Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mike Hamer's B&M Railroad

You may have noticed a new link has appeared in the standard gauge links section. I thought I'd write a short blog entry about it - I may go back and blog about some of my other links in future. I found the B&M Railroad from a post on RMweb in the excellent Southerham thread by number6. Like him I'm a fan of American layout designs and would like to incorporate some aspects into my loft layout. The plan of the B&M is superb and gives an amazing sense of space in a 11'x13' room (which is tiny by the standards of American layouts). Now how can I include similar ideas and a double track main line? Well I've got plenty of time to think about it and already have a few ideas. Number6 has given me a few more things to think about with his plan.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Astolat (Guildford) Exhibition

We took a trip to the Astolat model railway circle's annual exhibition on Saturday.  The main attraction for me was Cement Quay but I was pleased to discover that there were quite a few narrow gauge layouts there too.  I took photos most of the the narrow gauge layouts but I missed out Hayesden.  Fortunately there are already some good pictures of that layout on Flickr.  Two standard gauge layouts that stood out were Westcliff and Bulverhythe Sussex.

Generated by Flickr Album Maker

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

More planning

I've had a second go at planning the layout, this time I made some point templates by drawing round my two Peco points and cutting them out.  I wanted to see if using Peco asymmetric 3-Way points would improve the plan so I made an estimated  template by overlapping two templates.  I was considering using two 3-ways, one by the fiddle yard exit and on above where the class 09 is.  However after playing about a bit I decided that I'd be better off without the one by the fiddle yard exit and I'm not sure that the other one would add enough to the plan to make it worth including.  The advantage of avoiding the 3 way points is that I can use code 100 track which is what I already have.  I did consider using Peco code 75 points and SMP bullhead flexi-track but my aim is to get something built quickly so I'll probably stick to what I've got for this project.

The orange juice, shoe box, Boggle, Fluxx, and Swiss vegetable bouillon are there to give an idea of what it might look like with buildings there - you'll have to use you're imagination!  The Jenga pieces and takeaway menu over the fiddle yard entrance represent some sort of loader (possibly stone). I also plan to put some kind of pipe bridge or footbridge over the middle of the layout to add interest.  The siding with the two badly weathered tankers will have a second loading/unloading point - possibly for fuel.  The tankers themselves will be sprayed with grey primer and have some subtler weathering applied!  I also need to work out a way of hiding the fact that the siding with the class 57 in will run right into the corner of the layout, I think some small trees could come in useful here.

I'm off to see Cement Quay in Guilford on Saturday.  It'll be good to see it operating and I might have the chance to get some bits for my layout too.  John Thorne's Purbeck will be there too which I'm looking forward to seeing again.  Anything else will be a surprise as there's not a layout listing on the web.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Planning a small standard gauge layout

As I mentioned in my last post I'm planning a small standard gauge layout. I'm going to try to keep it fairly simple so that I can get it built fairly quickly. The layout will be based around the trackplan from Chris Nevard's Cement Quay. I'll be reducing the size of the scenic area 5'6"x2' to 4'x18" by taking out the narrow gauge and using small radius points.

I laid out the trackplan on the table - though I don't have enough points.  The paper and boxes along the left are where the back sceene will be.  The track along the left is there because I was considering having a through track where I could take photos of passenger trains of intermodal trains - however I think that would make the layout too cramped so it won't be making the final plan.  The track middle track at the bottom of the picture will be the fiddle yard exit - the siding that the tanks are on will also run into the fiddle yard to allow a longer train to be backed into this siding.

I've done a second draft of the plan in mirror image and moved the points around to adjust the siding lengths - I considered using 3 way points to get longer sidings - either the symetrical type (which I don't really like the look of) or the asymetric ones - but I think I will be able to avoid using these.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Standard gauge plans

© Rob Jefferys, used with permission

I've been quietly planning a standard gauge layout for a while now but I've not blogged about it, mainly because I was still trying to decide whether my scale strategy involved standard gauge. I decided a few months ago it did and ordered a couple of Bachmann diesels and intermodal wagons. I got a few more wagons for Christmas and I've also got some old OO stock from the last model railway I built in my teens. One of the advantages of OO is that I can build a layout without any kit or scratch building if I chose to - which is a big plus when I'm struggling to find time for model making. My long term plan is to build a continuous run layout in the loft, set in the Southern Region post-privatisation with mostly freight traffic but the option of running DMUs (or even EMUs if any suitable stock becomes available). However the loft needs boarding and insulation adding beneath the rafters and I need to research how to do this properly so that nothing falls down. I still have plenty of other DIY jobs to do around the house so I doubt I'll start work on the loft before the Autumn. Not having anything to run my new toys on for at least a year is no fun so I decided to build a small OO layout. I'm going to make it 4' by 18" so that I can get it into the loft. It will have a cassette fiddle yard which will probably be another 2'6". I spent an evening drawing out track plans for small layouts that I like and seeing if I could fit them into that space. I've decided on a track plan and just need to finalise the siding lengths and decide what freight facilities the layout will have.

Narrow gauge fans - don't worry I've not abandoned the delights of 2' gauge and I've even done a bit of OO9 modelling over Christmas. I'll post again soon with some pictures!