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TonyMcGartland

Disillusioned Modeller

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I've put a lot of work into getting Omagh North off the ground and now three months later I'm a bit disillusioned by the limitations of a 2m x 500mm end-to-end layout. My engine simply moves from A to B and back again with no illusion of travel at all. I'm putting it on hold for a week of so as the doubts are causing me much concern.

 

I don't know whether I should move to N-gauge or try something totally different in 4mm.

 

I'd like to hear other modellers thoughts on my plight.

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Hi Tony. What loco are you using and does it have a sound chip. A sound chip on a very smooth low speed loco can make shunting operations seem very interesting and realistic, with pauses as wagons are coupled and uncoupled, horns and whistles, slowly moving a wagon or two from one end of a yard to another, buffer clashes, flange squeal, etc. Once you have track ballast, ground scenery, and a back scene, the loco will have the illusion of travel once it has a mini world to travel within. All the best. Noel

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Run a few trains and try some shunting, see what you can do with it, making trains and moving goods.

Do you have any room to perhaps run through your fiddle yards into a different section of the layout? This may make it seem as if your train has traveled somewhere.

The scenery additions will make the layout come to life. Could we see a picture of the whole layout as it is currently?

Don't become disheartened...you've put a lot of effort in and maybe you didn't get your expected result with what you have done so far, but a break from a project will often bring new inspiration, and perhaps give you a different perspective on the operations side of it.

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What you're looking at so far, Tony, looks really good and as others say you've put great effort into it.

 

If you have room, even another fiddle yard through an archway, maybe under a bridge, gives an illusion of travel. If you had Omagh North, then a length of no more than a metre of track, then another goods yard (Foyle Road? Portadown?) it would provide interest in actually making up a train to go somewhere else.

 

Just a thought.

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I appreciate all the comments.

The main problem is a design flaw. One engine is only able to take two wagons max into sidings. Being end to end makes the project somewhat dead. I can move 'sideways' but little up and down travel. I'm in deep thought.

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I know it's a bit "off the wall" but perhaps something like the innards of an industrial complex where manoeverability is assisted by wagon turntables at right angles to the running line, e.g. at nearby Herdman's Mills at Sion Mills station. The classic GNR yellow brock structures would add to it.

 

I think that this arrangement for shunting was in place until the line closed.

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Hi Tony, would it help if you added a pair of cross over points between the two platforms ends so that you would have a longer passing loop? It might act as a loco release for running around wagons. Noel

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Is there any scope at all for a removable fiddle yard or cassettes containing different trains? This way a train could vanish out your bridge, giving the illusion of travel, to be replaced by something different shortly after and as signalling allows.

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That's a lovely setup you have and I would be sad to see it diaspaper, how about converting it into a exhibition layout, then you can have a roundy roundly layout?

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Tony, operations always were going to be a bit restrictive on a layout such as this, but can be made a little bit more interesting, as Noel said earlier, by operating sound fitted locomotives, which adds another dimension to operations. A fiddle yard beyond the bridge would also add some interest in that short trains could 'run out to the Nestle factory and back' which would add purpose, and give a little more length for shunting operations. Some sort of card system for deciding what wagon should be shunted into which siding would add a challenge to what otherwise could just be aimless shunting. Many years ago, before PCs, I built a large Motive Power Depot, and movements were decided by a program on a Commodore 64 home computer, so you couldn't just move the loco you felt like moving, the computer told you which one you had to move, and inevitably it was tucked away at the back of the shed, and required two or three other locos to be moved first.

It would be a shame not to finish what you have put so much effort into so far, and it is all good experience for future projects.

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Might there be some way to incorporate "short journeys" to and from the Omagh markets branch?

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Tony,

My home model railway started out as a window layout. It ran on a window shelf of 2'5ft by 9ft. After adding some point and installed various sidings etc, I quickly discovered the limitations I had created for running a model railway in this space. To overcome this limitation, I altered the railway to eventually run around the whole room. To further increase the available space, I made two tunnels into a built-in Wardrobe and now run my railway around the back of it. A removable section of track by the door entrance allows access to the my model railway room - this room, also doubles-up as a bedroom. Some of our quests ask if they may sleep there - and - they can/do run a model railway during their stay.

So, don't despair. Where there is a will there is a way to overcome limitations.

 

All the best,

Old Blarney.

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I know you expressed some reservations about the size when you were planning. I suppose some prefer to run trains and personally I prefer to do that. Obviously you also like to model as evidenced by the high quality of the layout and associated structures so far. If you move to N, you'll certainly fit more in and have room to do more shunting but will you be happy with that another end-end on a smaller scale in the same space?

Can the OO gauge layout be extended to create a circuit with helices (maybe impossible in the space still?) or round the room at some arbitrary level that might pass over the furniture allow the room to continue to function?

Summer house? Well insulated outside shed, although watch the damp?

It a lovely layout and maybe a break from the intense pace will help. I think of mine as a ten year project (more than two years on this site and I have nothing to show for it)!

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One of the problems with the space is I have half an engine shed and half a platform, very poor design I think. This is where we learn from our mistakes and move on I guess.

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One of the problems with the space is I have half an engine shed and half a platform, very poor design I think. This is where we learn from our mistakes and move on I guess.

 

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Hi Tony. What you have done above so far is really excellent progress and appears built to a very high standard. It looks really well and your track work is immaculate with lovely flowing curves and ultra neat joints (not a single kink or angular joint in sight).

 

Perhaps you are being a little hard on yourself. As your original objective was a goods shunting layout, this will look fabulous when filled out with lineside detail, scenery, backdrop, etc, and yet allow you to shunt and juggle clusters of wagons from sidings to shed which seems long enough to have two wagons loading internally and a few more outside on goods platform loading area, not to mention direct loading from trucks on sidings and horse/carts.

 

As suggested perhaps a pair of points near the platform mouth adding another run around loop for goods wagons. Perhaps parking a passenger coach on one of the platforms with a few figures will add still leave enough room for the loop to operate with goods wagons, while adding the perception of a busy station. If using steam locos then obviously non-tender locos may offer more flexibility (i.e. tank engines). Don't loose heart to early. Wishing you all the best whatever direction your layout takes. Noel

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Tony

 

I think Omagh North is an excellent self contained shunting layout that's capable of expansion either into a larger layout if you get the space or adding fiddle yards at one or both ends.

 

Introducing a wagon sorting system http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/Inglenook/inglenook-trackplan.html should make things more interesting. I would imagine a lot of shunting took place on the running roads and the yard neck in the days before the Enniskillen Line closed with cattle traffic off the SLNCR for Derry & Belfast ports and bagged cement from Drogheda to Sligo via Omagh and Enniskillen.

 

Some of us do tend to loose interest once the track is laid, I started a quickie Irish Narrow gauge layout 14 years ago and its still not finished or operates very well but it looks pretty.

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That's a lovely setup you have and I would be sad to see it diaspaper, how about converting it into a exhibition layout, then you can have a roundy roundly layout?

 

I think I support this idea of a simple "behind the scenes" oval - make it removable as you're obviously short of space - OR MOVE INTO THE ATTIC!

 

Personally, I thought your layout a clever idea. I've seen several similar layouts on the exhibition circuit over here - where the station is only modelled in part, but trains can "run" nonetheless. Usually they have a fiddle yard (which, of course could also be removable as another correspondent has said) - sometimes one at each end!!!

 

The Southampton MRC has a brilliant layout based on a tiny part of one of the stations on the North Road / Millbay line to the docks at Plymouth. All you see is a shunting area and the ends of the platforms, just like Omagh North. The line loops around at each end to form an oval - which does, admittedly, have a series of loops to store stock (and a gang of guys to shuffle the trains - they put their attractive lady secretary out in front to run the station area - very clever to attract the punters in a male dominated hobby!).

 

On this line, they run all manner of full length trains, including the famous Ocean Liner trains, goods, you name it and to keep people amused, there is always the shunting in the small yard. It's one of the best, small area, exhibition layouts I have ever seen.

 

You could use cassettes as someone has suggested here to load / unload trains and so run a sequence of trains. A oval is useful for giving your locos a RUN!

 

With your skills (and facilities) you could know up a removable oval in a weekend!!!

 

Keep it up - puts me to shame.

 

Leslie

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All of the feedback is appreciated, thanks.

My son is moving house in the next few weeks. He has a 12x8 garden shed that is very well made, water-tight and less than a year old. He is giving it to me.

At work, our bricklayers have dozens of sheets of un-used 2" and 4" high density foil backed insulation that they want shot off. I can take it anytime, free. With that in mind, I am thinking of taking the shed and re-building it with a 4" insulated base and filling the side panels with the 2" high density foam, followed by 4" foam into the roof area.

 

This would give me scope for a really busy layout that would keep me motivated over many years with no limit on track space.

 

For anyone who has a layout in a shed, is this a worthwhile option considering that Ireland spends most of it life until a shower of constant rain!

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All of the feedback is appreciated, thanks.

My son is moving house in the next few weeks. He has a 12x8 garden shed that is very well made, water-tight and less than a year old. He is giving it to me.

At work, our bricklayers have dozens of sheets of un-used 2" and 4" high density foil backed insulation that they want shot off. I can take it anytime, free. With that in mind, I am thinking of taking the shed and re-building it with a 4" insulated base and filling the side panels with the 2" high density foam, followed by 4" foam into the roof area.

 

 

 

 

Hi Tony,

very good,plus a little heating and Plywood:-bd you are an the Ball:cheers:

best regards

Walter

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I've put a lot of work into getting Omagh North off the ground and now three months later I'm a bit disillusioned by the limitations of a 2m x 500mm end-to-end layout. My engine simply moves from A to B and back again with no illusion of travel at all. I'm putting it on hold for a week of so as the doubts are causing me much concern.

 

I don't know whether I should move to N-gauge or try something totally different in 4mm.

 

I'd like to hear other modellers thoughts on my plight.

 

rebuild it all in 21mm P4 , you'll take so long that you'll be delighted to get back to the original arrangement

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Tonight I'm actually finishing the painting of the sides of my rails. Its taken two coats of RailMatch to look like anything decent. I'll finish painting all the rail and probably ballast the entire layout to see what sort of 'lift' it gives the track.

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Only just read your thread, Tony, but there is no doubt that space, or rather lack of it, is the bane ofany modellers.

However, a small layout can make an excellent project because you will see good progress and it can always be incorporated into a larger scheme later.

Much also depends on what you want to do. Personally, model making is my thing and I only operate my trains at exhibitions, but as others have already suggested, you can nevertheless get a lot of operation even from a small layout. What you don't get is the chance to sit back and watch trains go by on a continuous run. Try and get hold of Iain Rice's latest book 'Cameo Layout s'. It is crammed full of inspirational ideas for the space starved modeller.

One other thought is that smaller layouts get finished quickly, so you can soon start thinking about building another one!

Oh, and Omagh North is indeed coming on very nicely indeed.

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Tonight I'm actually finishing the painting of the sides of my rails. Its taken two coats of RailMatch to look like anything decent. I'll finish painting all the rail and probably ballast the entire layout to see what sort of 'lift' it gives the track.

 

Tony, you've made a stunning start and, it's fair to say, most modellers hit the doldrums from time to time. With a layout like yours you can get a long from the detailing, building in little scenes, perhaps lighting, wiring, animations, etc, as well as the trains moving about themselves..

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This morning I woke with a reassured feeling of determination, encouraged by the positive friends on the forum. By 7.30am I was weathering more of my rail and by tomorrow should have it all weather painted. I am determined to solve the things that are proving difficult and moving positively forward with Omagh North. Next week I intend ballasting the track and then start some work on a wonderful cattle wagon kit that I want to build and start scratchbuilding others.

 

So lets get cracking on with this project!

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This morning I woke with a reassured feeling of determination, encouraged by the positive friends on the forum. By 7.30am I was weathering more of my rail and by tomorrow should have it all weather painted. I am determined to solve the things that are proving difficult and moving positively forward with Omagh North. Next week I intend ballasting the track and then start some work on a wonderful cattle wagon kit that I want to build and start scratchbuilding others.

 

So lets get cracking on with this project!

 

good man, we all loose our mojo from time to time

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