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Shinkansen

Shinkansen's Layout - Lyttelton

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Hi all,

Have been working away at an attic room / Layout & baseboards for quite some time. As of last weekend (Sat 4th Jan 2014) the final section of baseboard was slotted into place. This allowed the first loop of track to be laid and trains to be run.

 

It's been a slow burning project for sure. There have been plenty times I wondered would it ever get somewhere. But thankfully it has and I'd like to say to anyone working on their own layouts... there's nothing quiet so satisfying as running the first train. In my case the first train to be run was No.201 'River Shannon' pulling a rake of Mk3s. Seeing it thunder around the single loop of Hornby set-track (plenty wobbly and un-nailed!!!) was a great feeling. Making all those hours spent ferrying building materials up and down the attic ladder at the weekends so worthwhile.

 

Firstly, the name... Why Lyttelton? For two reasons; I like the play on words Lyttelton (little-town). And also as a reminder of time spent working on the South Island of New Zealand. Lyttelton is the chief port and rail head for the South Island. I'd regularly pass coal trains heading there whilst travelling State Highway 73 enroute to Christchurch. Kiwi names aside... It'll be mostly Irish stock being run, with the odd Eurostar or NZR coal train thrown in ;) It will eventaully be DCC, for now its the good old Bachmann DC controller and Set-track.

 

Room size is 4 x 3meters (12' x 10') approx. It was originally just open attic space, underutilised and full of the usual household junk. I took the time to insulate and draft proof it where possible. To keep costs down I undertook the majority of the work myself, framing, insulating, plaster boarding etc... However I draw the line at modifying the roof trusses and electrical work. These were left to the professionals.

 

Baseboards are constructed of 16mm MDF framework with 10mm tops. All mounted on height adjustable feet. They are of my own design. I wanted something completely modular that I could take with me if I ever moved house. Plus, the baseboards had to clear the 'W' roof trusses that every 80's bungalow seems to have. The boards had to have removable sections at two points, the window (mounted on 'flush mounts'), and the entrance

door (mounted on a hinge).

 

I wanted to incorporate a difference in height form the rails in regards to the landscape. I wanted to avoid the 'flat earth' look of some model railways. Therefore one of the middle sections of baseboard is mounted lower, thus giving plenty room for a wide stretch of river and a future home for a pair of Kibri viaducts I'm working on. A river being the lowest point, well below the height of the rails. Ballast, hills etc.... can be added in layers giving a depth and rolling lanscape look.

 

At this point in time I have no finalised 'track-plan’; it’s still a work in progress. After all the hard graft it's just nice to watch the trains go by.

Cheers

Tom

 

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It's a great start Tom and has given me a push to get on with making a start on my own layout. It certainly must be so satisfying to see the first trains running. 201 and the MkIIIs crossing the valley look fantastic, as does the Tara train.

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Lots of space,and lots of operating potential,nice work Tom,look forward to your updates and in particular that viaduct...well done.

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A clear canvass, I'm sure everyone who looks at it is mentally planning what they would do. But you will do something that's unique to you and that's what makes this a fascinating hobby. Looking forwards to seeing your ideas come to reality.

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Looking great - is making me feel like ripping up my own layout & restarting - More pics to keep us updated with your progress

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Great start and a tidy cleanspace to work with. I hope to get to that stage this summer. I will be keeping a close eye on this layout.

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Hey everyone,

many thanks for all the kind words about the Layout. It is definitely a "blank canvas" at the moment. I have big plans in mind for it. It'll take a while to get there, and knowing me I'll probably change my mind more than a couple of times. But hey, that's what it's all about. Letting the imagination let rip and create something unique! All the encouragement is very much appreciated and a big help so cheers lads :cheers:

 

There was a time I got so hung up on what the end product should be I put off starting for ages. Best thing I did was make a shortlist on what mattered to me in a finished layout. Then go ahead and get on with building it. Finer details can be ironed out later such as theme, sceanery, track plans etc.... Building a layout that doesnt need to be dismantled when relatives come to stay (as located in the spare room) or safe and secure from younger (and more destructive!!!) relatives are definite must haves!

 

There's some great inspiration on here, some real quality layouts being posted up and real skill on show. Hope to do my part and contribute too. To that end, here's some videos shot on the phone. Apollogies for the quality, it's a wee bit dodgy. Hope it gives a better idea of the general layout.

 

Cheers

Tom

 

 

 

Edited by Shinkansen

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Lovely work on the woodwork looks class as for the plan remember what Spike Milligan used to say there is no plan so nothing can go wrong

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While I'm at it... here's the latest goings on in Lyttelton. Major rail infrastructral works are afoot with the arrival of the (long overdue!) Girder Bridge. The Civil Engineers are doing a few final checks making sure everythings where it's supposed to be. Trains don't take bumps in the road very well!

 

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Wow! Love it already! It's amazing how the addition of one or two scenic items suddenly brings a layout to life and sets the 'tone'! Happy days, plenty of fun ahead

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I need an emoticon for jaw hitting the floor. 10 out of 10. Great detail. Girders, latticing etc.

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Great looking uncluttered railway room & viaduct Interestingly the Lyttleton-Christchurch line was originally built to the Irish 5'3" gauge. I suppose you could end up with pairs of 141s working the coalies to an from t ort while the DXBs are serviced and re-fuelled at Middleton Yard.:)

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Great looking uncluttered railway room & viaduct Interestingly the Lyttleton-Christchurch line was originally built to the Irish 5'3" gauge. I suppose you could end up with pairs of 141s working the coalies to an from t ort while the DXBs are serviced and re-fuelled at Middleton Yard.

 

 

Only an engineer would have the theodolite boys in the box ready to go! Love it already.

 

 

Interesting stuff John. Would the Lyttelton - Christchurch line be one of the first to be laid down in the south island? 5' 3" is good on straight runs, probably not such a good idea up in the mountains, winding it's way thru river valleys and around rocky bluffs. Looking forward to finally having something to run those DX's on :D

 

Thanks for all the positive comments lads. This project took a while but was well worth it. I have a real softspot for rail infrastructure, probably because I spent time as one of the "Thedolite Boys" when I was overseas. I find the things facinating. Hope to have more developments soon with the other viaduct (modern concrete arch). The Kibri stuff really is nice to work with. The Arched girder bridge had parts missing when I first bought it. A quick email to Germany and the problem got sorted... free of charge. Cheers,

Tom.

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Now thats what I call a work in progress, kinda gives me the incentive to pull me finger out and get on with mine. Excellant workmanship there ! and yeh cant beat the ould heater on the floor !

 

 

 

 

Better to say : There yeh are than where are yeh !!

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Interesting stuff John. Would the Lyttelton - Christchurch line be one of the first to be laid down in the south island? 5' 3" is good on straight runs, probably not such a good idea up in the mountains, winding it's way thru river valleys and around rocky bluffs. Looking forward to finally having something to run those DX's on :D

 

Thanks for all the positive comments lads. This project took a while but was well worth it. I have a real softspot for rail infrastructure, probably because I spent time as one of the "Thedolite Boys" when I was overseas. I find the things facinating. Hope to have more developments soon with the other viaduct (modern concrete arch). The Kibri stuff really is nice to work with. The Arched girder bridge had parts missing when I first bought it. A quick email to Germany and the problem got sorted... free of charge. Cheers,

Tom.

 

Originally each province was more or less a law onto itself until the Colonial Government intervened in the 1870s, most of the early lines were in the South Island linking the local port with the hinterland.

 

I think the first line was in Southland Standard Gauge weird Crampton locos and wooden rails. The Canterbury Provincial Government built North and South from Christchurch and built about 80 miles of 5'3" before the Provincial Goverments were abolished in the1870s. The track was re-gauged and locos and stock exported to South Australia. A couple of years ago I came across a siding laid in the old Canterbury Provincial Government double headed rail & chairs a p.w. mans equivalent of finding the lost arc

 

The frugal Scottish settlers in Otago went for the new 3'6" gauge with Fairlie loco, one class were 0-6-4 back tanks complete with Inchacore style cab, bunker and outside framed trailing bogie.

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