Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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Emettman
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Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Postby Emettman » Fri May 11, 2018 8:56 pm

I have been unexpectedly in hospital for the last week, but to keep to model railway issues sometimes boredom rose above both illness and treatment and a mused and sketched a bit (on paper, not having the wherewithal to hit computer keys with precision.

A couple of recent Thomas the Tank engine mentions were the start point, and something of a new idea (though someone must have had it before.)
Anyway, let's have a picture, rather than try and explain things without it.

Ffarquahar Mk something or other

TTT6x4.jpg


As shown, R2 minimum, R3 visible minimum with Settrack / Hornby standard points.
The surprise? A circular fiddle yard.

Some circular running is maintained with the quarry line (Toby+Mavis) leaving the goods yard via a gate and a street route. (Mavis gets stuck there in Tramway Engines) There is no direct access to the platform, as is "right", but by shifting the quarry so that it leaves by a gate at the end of the loco run-round instead a point is saved or a siding added, and operational variety increased at the loss of some Ffarquhar's *terminus* character. Options!
The platform as shown is 19", long enough for Annie and Clarabelle to be up to 9" coaches, and the loop will handle ad added milk van on top of that.
An engine shed top left and three goods sidings.

The "fiddle yard" can handle trains from both directions, and has the lengths (clear of points) shown. With DCC or if sectioned two short trains may use each of at least the longer curved lines, while (with a little advance planning) locos can run round their trains without appearing into view.
There are also two (green) short sidings for locos or a brake van or special wagons.
This seems to have a lot more capacity than could be arranged with a conventional straight yard on this size of board.

This can be done in live frog points, but it's a horrible tight game of stealing millimetres in multiple locations.

The layout can be built on the level, but the scenery in the area of the station will be much easier to finish naturally if the the lines L&R drop to the back, and again the storage lines drop towards the station, perhaps some 40-50mm in all.
This makes the inner hidden track almost hidden from the start. The extra drop to take the track clean under would mean horrible gradients and a significant access issue.

There could be a child's or small adults 2' 6" "manhole" operating are in the centre, as is, but allow 6" extra either way for a 3ft hole and using short Peco electrofrogs becomes a lot easier, and allows for the possibility of a circular route which leaves the fiddle yard free to shunt.

I've had some time for thinking, lately!

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

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Mountain
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Re: Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Postby Mountain » Fri May 11, 2018 10:14 pm

I hope your better soon. Is an interesting idea. Are you planning to build it? Do you have Thomas and friends? I may have some spare.

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Emettman
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Re: Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Postby Emettman » Fri May 11, 2018 11:48 pm

Mountain wrote:I hope your better soon. Is an interesting idea. Are you planning to build it? Do you have Thomas and friends? I may have some spare.


It's a design project at the moment, and an offering as an alternate to the Hornby 6 x 4 Trackmat idea.
Thomas, Percy, Toby would work it happily, but it could handle Mavis, Daisy, and visitors such as Stepney, Oliver and Isobel...

If I were well I'd be very tempted to build it as an exhibition layout on foam-board (2 4ft x 3ft sections)
I used Peco Setrack points for many years on an exhibition layout with only rare problems, but as a personal choice I'd like to get rid of dead frogs on any future one. A live frog point with Setrack curves would be appealing to me, at least.

As things are I play with Anyrail when I'm not good for anything else. I can still find interesting and new ideas for small spaces.

Another couple of weeks should leave me clearer on my health prospects. Any really good news there would push restoring my garden railway to the top of project priorities.

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

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Bufferstop
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Re: Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Postby Bufferstop » Sat May 12, 2018 4:08 pm

Hi Chris, hope you are making good progress. I converted Peco setrack points to live frog in my more reckless days. The tools required are pretty basic, craft knife, files, track cutter and soldering iron. There's nothing sophisticated about the procedure, file a point on a piece of rail, cut away surplus bits of the frog then melt the new rail into place. I fixed it in place by moulding Plastic Padding around the frog and pressing new flangeways into it. Use it with the final Triang/Hornby tyre width wheels, not the latest fine ones and you'll be alright.
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Emettman
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Re: Thomas and Friends in 6 x 4.

Postby Emettman » Sat May 12, 2018 8:00 pm

Bufferstop wrote: I converted Peco setrack points to live frog in my more reckless days.


Yes, we've had a thread about this, and I converted a Hornby point too, as an experiment.

I think the sketch above would provide more railway-like operation than many 6x4 early attempts, but here we jump on horses and ride off in different directions (and to different compromises) according to taste and priorities.
To some R2 curves and R2 dead-frog points would be non-starters, to others room for the bigger Thomas engines to run would be more important than operating variety.
These and other factors will cause what makes a "good layout" to shift from one person to another.

I have some 15" radius live-frog points, and a pair of 15" radius double slips.
Now if all locos and stock would tolerate them, reliably, I could use a bit of R1 curve as well, and free up even more of the board for better curves and points and just space on the "visible" "real" section.

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


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