Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

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Giraffe
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Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:10 am

Early planning for my first layout since I was a kid. Not much space in the house so it's not able to be permanently in position. I've got room for a 5' by 2'6" approx baseboard to be stored upright behind the sofa. This will need to be lifted out over the top of the sofa so looking to reduce size as much as possible to keep weight down. Obviously I need to go completely flat with lift-off scenery.

Elements I really want to include are a shunting area and a turntable. Would like to model realistic operations, but not necessarily a real location.

Current thinking: a small branch line terminus serving passenger and freight. Goods yard can be an isolated Inglenook for some shunting fun.
branch_01.gif


My thinking behind how this would operate:
Passenger service can come straight into the platform (1 on the diagram). Uncoupled and use the runaround to go to the servicing/turntable before reattaching to leave.
Goods train would drive into lane marked (2). Local shunting engine would pull trucks back into (3) and then into the goods sidings bottom right, allowing the loco to access the servicing area. Shunting engine can then arrange a new train of wagons, drop them back in (2) and the turned locomotive can attach and drive off.

Is anything about this wildly unrealistic? Would a terminus of such a size be realistic at the end of a single track?

Any tweaks that could improve operational interest? This would be a learning-the-ropes type layout so I don't want to unnecessarily complicate things, but quite happy to add some justifiable complexity!

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End2end
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby End2end » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:11 pm

The plan looks sound to me.

Giraffe wrote:This will need to be lifted out over the top of the sofa so looking to reduce size as much as possible to keep weight down. Obviously I need to go completely flat with lift-off scenery.

Why not slide it under the sofa for flat storage?
Thanks
End2end
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Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:33 pm

Unfortunately there is not space under the sofa.

If I can get the size down appropriately, I might look into having a folding baseboard that could store somewhere else, potentially.

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Emettman
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Emettman » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:30 pm

Two thoughts on the plan.

If the turntable lead is shorter, and comes off the start of the headshunt, there would be room to put the engine shed opposite the entering turntable road. A turntable that only has to turn 180 degrees and then back is much simpler to set alignment for.

If the platform is put on the other side, (and the loco release crossover flipped, the first siding can be set at the other platform face.
This means that siding is fine for goods van traffic, but can also be used as a bay platform for heavy holiday traffic or excursion specials.
(it was at Seaton station. (southern) but I suspect that wasn't unique.

On storage, under-bed or under sofa is not as dire as it used to be as the board, or more likely two half boards can fit in large zip-up blanket storage bags.
An alternate location would be to hang it on the wall, with a pleasing large picture stuck to the flat underside of the layout or, probably more satisfactory in the long run, having the picture as a separate item which sits over the layout as a lid (with some depth of sides) when the layout is on the wall.

Just thinking, Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:38 pm

Emettman wrote:If the turntable lead is shorter, and comes off the start of the headshunt, there would be room to put the engine shed opposite the entering turntable road. A turntable that only has to turn 180 degrees and then back is much simpler to set alignment for.

This would make it a pain to get a turned loco back to (1) to take a passenger train out, if I understand your plan correctly? Alignment of the turntable wasn't something I considered, but I can almost certainly extend the length to allow the engine shed to be on the far side with the current arrangement (I have up to 5' in N gauge, and I don't think long express trains would really fit this model, so I've got plenty of length available) Current position of the engine shed was more a factor of where I started drawing on the paper! :lol:

Emettman wrote:If the platform is put on the other side, (and the loco release crossover flipped, the first siding can be set at the other platform face.
This means that siding is fine for goods van traffic, but can also be used as a bay platform for heavy holiday traffic or excursion specials.
(it was at Seaton station. (southern) but I suspect that wasn't unique.

Sorry, I don't understand what you're suggesting here :? Any chance I could impose on you and ask for a quick sketch please? It sounds like it could add a bit of flexibility so I'd be keen to explore it!

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Emettman
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Emettman » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:20 pm

Giraffe wrote:Sorry, I don't understand what you're suggesting here :? Any chance I could impose on you and ask for a quick sketch please? It sounds like it could add a bit of flexibility so I'd be keen to explore it!


Well I can cheat.
Seaton.

seaton.jpg


Still one actual platform, with a run-round loop on one side.
On the other side the first of only two sidings at Seaton was laid at the side of the platform, making it double function. Mostly used for clean goods in vans (parcels, papers, probably a milk van collecting churns...) On summer Saturdays the single normal platform face could not cope with the holiday traffic, and that bay was used for coaches. For example, coaches on a train arriving at the side with the run round could be taken to the bay ready to depart, leaving the run-round side free to receive a new train.

Here a small picture of a layout using that idea.

seaton2.jpg
seaton2.jpg (27.01 KiB) Viewed 613 times


The small siding opposite the main platform is here set out as a cattle dock, but a small platform dedicated to milk would do just as well or with a crane and an end-loading dock and a crane for agricultural machinery.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:34 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Emmettman. I've been playing in SCARM and come up with the below.

The colours are my thinking for wiring for DC control. Red and Blue are controlled by respective controllers, Green is switchable, allowing a freight loco to come in under the red controller and then have the shunting engine collect the goods under the blue controller. The yellow sections are isolatable.

To hide the exit, I'm currently thinking a removable road bridge where the road continues along the back, sloping down to come around the back of the station area into a car park / van access to the goods yard area.

behind_sofa_01.jpg


I'm just going to have to work out measurements of how long i need the platforms/sidings for the sort of trains I'm thinking of running (I figure a 2 coach passenger service would be the realistic limit for this size of station and maybe up to 8 wagons on the freight?) and then try and work out where i need to keep clear of bracing underneath for point motors and the turntable.

Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:24 pm

I've been having a fiddle around with the plan, trying to swap for streamline points so I can use electro frog. Is it just me, or does SCARM's peco code 80 n library have a number of missing pieces? I've tried switching to AnyRail which has more in the library but I can't see the peco turntable.

To further complicate matters I made the mistake of taking two of my boys to my club's open day last weekend and my 4yo has come back saying he really likes the ones "shaped like a zero" so it looks like I have to at least try and incorporate a continuous run :/

I'm open to dropping the idea of passenger services in the terminus, but I've also gone back and had another flick through some of my track plan books and noticed a few things I could tweak in the terminus that might help as well.

Any suggestions on incorporating branch line + terminus off a continuous run before I get too involved, from those who have been there done that made all the obvious-in-hindsight mistakes?

Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:02 pm

I've grabbed the idea of placing a through-station with a goods loop from one of the layouts from the "Small Locations" layout book, expanding it slightly to get an Inglenook for shunting, and shifted the loco yard slightly up track to the other front corner (that's a turntabe with three tracks off it, rather than a stick figure's head on the far right!), leaving the back half as potentially back-scened out or scenic-ed as I feel. This does have a number of compromises but ticks most of the major boxes for those involved. I know this mean I can't shunt in the yard while a goods train comes in, but I'm not sure how prototypical that owuld have been anyway - and it saves quite a number of points which brings the cost down nicely.

The goods loop will be wired up to be controlled by either controller similarly to previously., and I intend to put some isolatable sections in the loco yard.

layout_v02.jpg

Giraffe
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Re: Branch Terminus / Steam era / N gauge

Postby Giraffe » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:08 am

Much thinking later... I have decided to scale back the plans to just a simple Inglenook Sidings (no attached station). I already have the required points and flexible track, and a little tank engine, so don't need anything else in that department, keeping the costs down.

I've picked up three peco PL25 electromagnet uncoupled to experiment with. I hear they aren't great on the sprung couplers, which two wagons I bought a few weeks back have, so will have to experiment there, although the 6 wagons I bought off ebay are peco ones without the spring so I will compare. Also got two point motors guagemaster pm2, which I have some experience with the pm1 version from my clubs layout. My existing points are insulfrog tho so I don't need the switch. (Electrofrog will need to wait for the next layout!)

Planning to scratch build as much of the buildings as possible, one of the members at my club is very experienced at that and has taken some time to give me a little tutorial and draw up some simple starter designs to practice on.

I'm just waiting for the ebay wagons to arrive and then I can measure up how long I'll need for the sidings, and then I'll start on constructing the baseboard. As such, I think the planning thread is done, unless anyone has some experience in those uncoupled that they would like to weigh in with? :)


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