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Noel

Kingsbridge - Old New Layout

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Our new layout as really an old project that stalled.

 

I'm new here but have been a model train fan for nearly 50 years! :)

 

Background

 

My first memory of model trains was my Dad running Hornby-Dublo 00 GWR Castle class under my cot as a toddler. I've been collecting model trains and rolling stock for over 45 years. Everything from Hornby-Dublo (two rail), Triang-Hornby, Hornby, Bachmann and just recently some Murphy Models. When an 8yo I build my first very simple layout in my dad's attic, when 12 we moved house and I built my first 'scenic' layout in the attic of our then new home. The layout was effectively built into the attic structure, the track was all glued with ballast and pinned. When my Dad died a few years later and we moved house again the layout had to be left behind with only rolling stock and buildings salvageable. I vowed then that if I every built a layout again that it would not be 'nailed down' but semi-portable or at least transportable without too much damage. I dreamed up and designed many layout plans in those years (doodling with a ruler, pencil and compass), forgot about them and then eventually decided to built a layout once again when our son was born 20 years ago. I had still kept collecting rolling stock in the intervening years in the hope one day I might build a layout.

 

The idea

  • 00 layout - Hybrid Irish and English countryside
  • Bolt together baseboards on foldable leg system.
  • Four continuous loops with some sections hidden
  • A large terminus station - a suedo mock up of Heuston/Kingsbridge with dual steam era/diesel infrastructure and some poetic license
  • A main line junction connected to a branch line
  • Operate as four loops or one long linear section effectively allowing steam loco to leave terminus and return facing in opposite direction
  • Two turntables

 

Steam Engine Sheds at Terminus yards

DSC_6533.jpg

 

The build plan

The layout plan was a reworking of one I had designed in school study hall one night. But over 20 years later I was not about to start building it (i.e. 1993). I started with a design for the baseboards that facilitated bolt together joints where track could be cut at reasonable angles to the board joints. The base boards would have up to three levels to facilitate hidden sections, gentle curves, gentle transition gradients between the continuous loops on the upper and mid levels. I spend about 6 months building the base boards using mainly 9mm ply on 3"x1" structure, and legs made by 2"x1" lattice, butterfly bolts, and dowels for the joint alignment. After that I provisionally laid the track to ensure the curves would work with the geometry on the paper plans which often don't work out with the real practical world. Some adjustments and then laid the track (peco) provisionally on foam underlay. The long term plan was to get the track work wired and fully operational, then do the scenery and then relay the track by gluing it onto cork underlay using PVA, paint and ballast. Anyway I got the base boards finished, got the track laid, first fix electrical done for a 12v block section system, build a few control switch panels, scratch build the station platforms virtually all of which were curved, and drilled baseboard under all the points for future motorisation. The wiring and sectional insulation took forever, especially making up the control panels. I got most of the track running and then scratch built a few buildings, amended some of the old 'toy' hornby and airfix buildings I had since the 1970s. A few years had past so we 'played' with it and then a combination of family life and work commitments effectively had me abandon the project for the past 16 years. I did manage to move the layout over two days from a farm outbuilding to a converted attic space.

  • 1993 - Build Baseboards and legs
  • 1994 - Lay track
  • 1995 - 1st fix wiring of block sections and isolation sections
  • 1996/7 - build control panels + scratch build curved station platforms

 

 

The plan now?

  • Rewire the layout for DCC and remove all the old block section wiring.
  • Start the scenery in sections - need grass embankments, hedges, some trees, and also city scapes with brick raised sections.
  • Finish some additional scratch buildings (stations buildings + signal boxes)
  • When initial scenery is done, relay track on cork underlay and fill track with simulated ballast using PVA, etc
  • Motorise points

 

Anyway, very rusty but hope to make a start back at it over the winter months. Looking forward to learning from folks on here and getting some advice from time to time. I feel humbled when I see some of the stunning layouts and craftsmanship on this web site. Our layout is meant to be fun, hence it will have an unusual mix of UK and Irish rolling stock from steam to diesel because that's what I grew up with and I love GWR and LMS rolling stock. DCC sees to offer much simpler operations without the need for all the isolation sections I have already wired, but I am quite excited about what sound and lighting possibilities DCC may offer. I'm sure the next 'phase' of building our layout will take anything for 4 to 10 years.

 

Access roads to the terminus

DSC_6537.jpg

 

English style mainline through station

DSC_6539.jpg

 

Good night, looking forward to chatting to folk on here

 

Noel

Edited by Noel
PhotoBucket were Plonkers - Bye bye!

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Super stuff Noel, rolling stock is my cup of tea too. Love the BR steam/diesel transition era, especially when it involves former LMS and LNER motive power.

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Lovely stuff Noel, welcome to the forum. Looks like a big layout. Keep us posted of your progress :tumbsup:

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Just wow Noel!!

What are the overall dimensions? Do you have a track plan?

 

Thank you guys. Despite the layouts age it is early days yet. I would love to get my teeth back into it this coming winter. This web site and the amazing layouts you guys have built has inspired me to get going again.

 

It is 16ft x 12ft on six main bolted boards, plus a few removable smaller sections in case it needs to be dismantled or moved. I need to rethink how I will do the landscaping as modelling materials and techniques seem to have moved on somewhat since the chicken wire and paper mache day I learned with 40 years ago as a youngster. :) I am stunned by the quality of layouts and models on this web site. I will try and find the track plan as it's 18 years since I had it to hand.

 

"Respect" to you guys! worthy.gif

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welcome Noel - thats one great layout! love this...

 

DSC_6537.jpg

 

....the point work here is the dogs! looking forward to the progress!

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welcome Noel - thats one great layout! love this... <img src="http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=14683"/> ....the point work here is the dogs! looking forward to the progress!

 

Agreed! Inspirational!

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noel - will you throw up a few more pics please? did have you a track plan or did you make it up as you go?

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noel - will you throw up a few more pics please? did have you a track plan or did you make it up as you go?

 

Yes, I drew up the initial track plan back in 1974/75 in school study time! :) I revised it in 1988 and finally started laying it around 1994 when I had completed the baseboards. It is buried in the attic somewhere, but I will dig it out and scan. Yes when I get some time I will take a few more pics. I have some old film photos I took of the baseboards during construction back in 93, but I will have to find them in storage boxes. :) The key concept was to be able to operate four continuous loops, or as one long linear section (i.e. using the loops) via a reversing loop for out and back operation into the terminus using all of the main track. Will have to figure that one out for DCC!

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A few more photos. As you can see it's very bare as it has been for past 15 years, but hopefully this winter will see a start to scenic work and landscaping one section at a time. The layout has three ground levels. Upper has two continuous loops through four track station, connected by twin track gradient to middle section which has two continuous loops (70% hidden under upper level). Middle section through station acts as a major junction with twin track branching off to the terminus and a single branch line to a lower level branch station on the bottom level loop which will also have a reversing loop via a viaduct. As you can see I still have some of the clunky toy buildings I had from the 60s and 70s (Dublo, Triang, Airfix), which I hope to replace with a mix of kits and scratch built buildings over the years.

 

Ultra wide angle

DSC_6545.jpg

 

Terminus - May end up a 'poetic license' version of Heuston mid 70s

DSC_6520-1.jpg

 

Terminus on middle level

DSC_6543.jpg

 

Mainline station with junction to lower branch line which will have reversing loop across a diagonal viaduct. This will facilitate end to end linear run out from terminus around the loops and back in. Note the clunky old toy Triang station buildings, which will be replaced during the scenic phase. Hopefully with lime stone block buildings.

DSC_6530-1.jpg

 

British style main line station on upper level. Note two 'Thomas the two tank engine coaches'

DSC_6540.jpg

 

Steam service area. Will have ash pits and water towers.

DSC_6522.jpg

 

Discovering your superb forum here has given me fresh interest and inspiration to restart work on our layout. The layouts and models I've seen so far on this forum are absolutely superb. I had no idea the hobby was so strong in Ireland. I had thought with the growth in gaming, portable electronics, social networking, etc, modelling in all forms had taken a nose dive, but obviously not. I am stunned by the sound possibilities. I used to play cassette tapes of railway sounds when operating this during test operation with classical music in the background. Can't wait to hear steam loco sounds and especially GM motors revving the genset as a CIE diesel loco starts starts to pull a load. I hope the sound effects on the 071, 141/181s also simulate coasting engine sounds. Cheers for now.

Edited by Noel

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thanks for the pics noel - would love to see the track plans if you can get them!

 

Thanks Guys for kind remarks. Hope you won't mind me asking lots of questions in the future. I spent 2hrs last evening sifting through old boxes, filing cabinet and piles of old papers trying to find the track plan but no luck so far. I know they are here somewhere, but after a house move they are probably buried deep in some box. They will turn up. If not I can always sketch it out again and scan.

 

heirflick is your name Sheamus? If so I think we spoke on the phone Monday re DCC sound and 141 which I managed to source thanks.

 

Q. Does anybody have a recommendation on sources of DCC Sound 'speakers'? Or are they just common electronic components I could get from somewhere like radionics? Ohm rating?

 

Cheers

Noel

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Noel - i am seamus, but we did not talk on the phone - i assume it was Seamus Graham aka 'The Trainman' of 'The Model Shop' in Portlaoise(a man of the highest integrety and honour=))...i mean that!) anyway, would really appreciate you taking the time to look for the plans:)

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Superb work Noel, looks like great fun to operate, and for some reason it screams GNRI at me, if I squint, lost stations like Enniskillen in particular :confused: . Richie

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Noel,

 

Welcome to the site.

 

It's a quality layout, and BIG! You've done all the heavy lifting in terms of layout so the detailing should be fun over the winter at this stage.

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Looks very good Noel. Lot's of flowing track, it will be really enjoyable and never boring operating it. At this stage it is very easy to walk into the room with a plan of action for scenic and other work, then sit down and run trains and the evenings plans are gone. I look forward to seeing more of this, it has the makings of a really top layout.

 

Rich,

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Noel if you are looking for a speaker for your 141 check out Murphy models

Site-reviews, which has feature from Model rail a number of years ago on installing

A chip and speaker.DCC supplies have the speakers.I think it's a 4 ohm speaker

You need if it's a MSB chip.Georgeconna on here did a brilliant feature on this himself

on a previous site, but this is lost in cyberspace space now.

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Noel if you are looking for a speaker for your 141 check out Murphy models

Site-reviews, which has feature from Model rail a number of years ago on installing

A chip and speaker.DCC supplies have the speakers.I think it's a 4 ohm speaker

You need if it's a MSB chip.Georgeconna on here did a brilliant feature on this himself

on a previous site, but this is lost in cyberspace space now.

 

Thanks Enniscorthyman. I will try and source a module from MSB and also a speaker.

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Just received a weathered Murphy Models 071 today from Graham's. I am totally in awe at the unbelievable detail of this model as well as how incredibly well it runs. Wow - model locomotives have come a long way since I last purchased one about 15 years ago. The detail on the 071 is in a league of its own. It just reeks of quality and realism. Hats of to Paddy Murphy. This is the best RTR model loco diesel or steam I have ever run or seen.

 

DSC_6559.jpg

Edited by Noel

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This is another inspiring layout. I was exactly the same as you - a chance return to the hobby last year after about twenty years - once I got my hands on a Murphys Model I couldn't believe how great they were. I reckon if it wasn't for them I might not have kept up the hobby this time! I was amazed at their slow running ability..... and I'm only DC at the mo! Most of my old locos now have a little spot on the shelf.

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This is another inspiring layout. I was exactly the same as you - a chance return to the hobby last year after about twenty years - once I got my hands on a Murphys Model I couldn't believe how great they were. I reckon if it wasn't for them I might not have kept up the hobby this time! I was amazed at their slow running ability..... and I'm only DC at the mo! Most of my old locos now have a little spot on the shelf.

 

Thanks + Ditto. :)

 

I have decided to rewire for DCC before I start scenic work, and also need time to learn the newer techniques and materials for landscaping. The landscaping will need to have joins and edge support where the separate baseboards join in case I need to move the layout.

 

DCC? There seems to be a confusing maze of possibilities.

 

I "think" my DCC requirements might be: (over a few years when built up)

 

  1. Rotory knobs for throttle control or joystick (I hate push buttons)
  2. One handed control/cab units (ie to have other hand free for uncoupling, points, etc)
  3. 5amp - The layout will end up with about 170m of track and about 25-40 locos stored on track (rest off layout in case tracks)
  4. Run up to 6-8 locos (or sets) independantly at the same time
  5. Happy to start with two cabs/or rotary controllers, eventually in time I may need 6 cabs located near stations for single handed use (i.e. two for mid level twin loop station, two for upper level twin loop station, one for terminus, one for branch line loop). Don't like the idea of taking over different locos from the same cab still while running.
  6. Need control/cab unit memory for potentially 60-70 locos (i.e. long term may convert my old Dublo, Triang and 70s/80s Hornby if I can get them running smoothly enough with extra power pickups, 5 pole, flywheel + gearing)
  7. No interest in controlling points using DCC, instead I like the tactile feel and operation of banks of levers (i.e. signal box simulation)
  8. Loco Naming on Cab/Control Unit Displays rather than selecting by number (e.g. IE 071, GWR PT 0-6-0, CIE 141, Cardiff Castle, etc).
  9. Good Sound Control - 21 Function module support for Loco Sounds, Loco Lights, uncoupling, etc)

 

Nice to have but not deal breakers:

 

  1. Colour LCD Display on main programmable panel OR no display but Web Browser interface to programme the system from PC or Tablet.
  2. Smartphone/Tablet integration option for programming + Operating the layout
  3. One Hand Held wireless controller for walkabout outside the layout in the future, but not needed for a few years.

 

Can most of the non-toy train set DCC systems handle such a list? Are my expectations unrealistic? Technically the eCos 50200 ticks many boxes, BUT it costs the earth and the cabs are too physically large for single handed use. NCE, Dynamis Pro, ROCO Z21 looks amazing, but doesn't work with physical cabs and knobs, only smart phones/tablets. ROCO Multimaus has a nice HH with knob but looks like a 'Fischer Price' toy phone! :) The ZIMO MX32 looks interesting. The Guagemaster/MRC Prodigy Advance DCC02 has a nice handset.

 

I am spending a lot of time reading up on the different manufacturers including their online manuals and watching online videos of their features and operation, but to be honest the more I learn, the more I learn how much I don't know.

 

As Fr Doughal Maguire once said "Ted, I'm seriously confused" :)

 

"I mean DCC, what's it all about anyway Ted? They never thought that stuff in the seminary!"

 

TedConfused.jpg

 

As to DCC loco module options, that seems as vast sea of options. Most of my locos do NOT have DCC sockets, so I will have to hardwire modules in, and perhaps add tiny LED running lights to some of the older locos. I would like to simplify it to FOUR suitable module types with wiring harnesses (i.e. no sockets available on my locos):

 

  • Control + lights + Diesel sound
  • Control + lights + Steam sound
  • Control + lights
  • Control only

 

Apologies for the long post, but I feel I need to spend sufficient time to get this right as it will be a big investment and a don't want to save a penny now to lose pounds later by getting the wrong starter system. Happy to keep it simple at the start as long as it can be expended to match my list above over time when funds permit.

 

Cheers

Edited by Noel

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Noel if your looking for all that in a controller get the ESU Ecos 50200 it runs up to 8 amps with a touch screen and 2 knobs for throttle control. They can be got for around €500 from Germany or £500 from the UK. It is a serious piece of kit and you won't have to ad to it as your layout grows.

 

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50200-dcc-system/what-ecos-can-do/

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Noel if your looking for all that in a controller get the ESU Ecos 50200 it runs up to 8 amps with a touch screen and 2 knobs for throttle control. They can be got for around €500 from Germany or £500 from the UK. It is a serious piece of kit and you won't have to ad to it as your layout grows.

 

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50200-dcc-system/what-ecos-can-do/

 

Thanks Dave. I'm not sure though if you can add smaller handheld cabs to that system for single handed use? The base unit seems too large to carry about but functionally seems to tick most of the boxes.

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