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So, I am fortunate enough to have a shed/office out the back that I can now dedicate to a layout, in the past I only had enough space for 8’ x 4’ approx. The shed is 3.4 m x 2.2 m and the layout is to run around the circumference. Depth of layout is 500mm all the way round. I have it set at a height of around 760mm so that I can sit comfortably in the chair and work away at it.

Most recent track plan is below. As you can see the idea is to run trains, I haven’t really given must thought to scenics, lifting flap is at the front so I’ve kept it simple there. The station area is on the other side. Why celbridge, well the idea is that the station will have up/down mainline and a commuter line, going up/down depending on “timetable” but the mainline will always have up/down. I’ll run dmu type stuff on the commuter line and diesel locos on the mainline.

I suppose its kinda one big fiddle yard.

The boards are installed and I’ve started laying track to get a feel for how it all fits.

Photos soon.


Paddy mac.

X Crossing Rev B.jpg

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Looks like a nice set up you've got there Paddy. Are you going to try squeeze in your model of Sallins station somewhere? :)


For the track plan; it might be worthwhile reducing the area of track in some areas and adopting the 'less is more' philosophy, with the central station area being the main focal point.


It may also be an idea to round off the corners of the central well to allow more sweeping track curves of reduced radii.


Just some ideas but it's your layout so you can do what you like with it :D

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Thanks for your comments barl. Its all a bit at an experimental stage at the moment nothing set in stone, so all comments/suggestions welcome.

So you remember my Sallins station building from the old forum, thats a few years back now....2010???

anyway heres a photo as a reminder. Its all packed away at the moment wouldn't have a spot for it on this lSallins station bldg.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

A bit of progress. I’ve laid down the track according to plan to see how it all works, check electrics and get an idea of any problems. One thing was, I needed a lot more track than my existing stocks, hardly surprising says you. Anyhow some mistakes made getting flexible rather than long straights….but Marks were very good and exchanged no problem.

I must say really enjoyed running trains around the track, I’ve never had a complete circuit of this length before. The diamond crossings are an obvious collision hazard and I’m investigating solutions. Heathcote do a module for this and at £15 it’s not too bad, although with a bit of help from my electronics consultant (cheers martin) I may do one myself……thing is I could be faffing around with a soldering iron and breadboard for several hours and only save myself a few €.

Any ideas on this are welcome.

So the lifting flap and cutting the rails is a big job, I can’t keep crawling under. For the moment its ok. Next I’m going to lift all the track in stages and paint it and then re-lay it. I will not be ballasting but am looking around for suitable colour to paint on the board under the track to have some cosmetic ballast tone.

I don’t really expect to get much done over the summer, with gardening and golf, and I enjoy modelling in the winter months.

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cbridge may 16 12-min.jpg

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Congratulatitions Paddy & well done so far, you have a shed just like mine inc. flap, but at least you have now got track down & trains running, My shed is 16ft x 8ft, I cannot at ths time put down any track as we're planning on moving !!! so for now all's up I he air, keep the photos coming, Paul

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  • 6 months later...

sorry photos arent great they looked better on the phone. So what lessons learned from trial run.

countersink holes for screws a bit cos mdf rises up a bit when you screw into it.Oh yeah my soldering iron had a rather sharp tip and never really transfered heat to rail that well...so i just cut the tip off to make it more blunt and now i find it easy to solder to rail. and copper clad needs sanding before you try to solder to it.

i had considered sticking the copper clad down with glue but screws are better if adjustment required. also one screw on copper clad is easier than 2 and also allows for adjustment (rotation if) needed later. solder is surprisingly strong strong for small joins.

more pics to follow of finished job

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  • 4 weeks later...

So my next challenge is to sort out the electrics for the two diamond crossings. In the track diagram below, the yellow track is mainline, down, the dark blue is mainline up, and the light blue is commuter line, up or down. So the objective is to have yellow track having right of way all the time. I have whole sections of the other tracks isolated either side of the junction and simply turn off the power to stop trains entering the junction when mainline train is coming. (I have something similar on the other side of layout).

So this arrangement is rather cumbersome and you’d literally need eyes in the back of your head when operating three trains. I must see about posting a video of this operation.

I’m working on a control circuit with sensors, something like that available from Heathcote, but without the need for an Arduino micropressor. More of that in time.

Cheers, paddy mac

X Crossing detail.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

As mentioned above I want to control trains thru the diamond crossing automatically, as opposed to switching on/off isolated sections. I have a control circuit using Infra-Red photo sensors.

On the actual layout, see above, sensors on the main-line (yellow) will detect a loco approaching from either side of the junction and shut off power to the other two lines (blue and light blue)

I wanted to test it out first on some spare track (thanks Dave). This has proven very useful and was a good trial and (lots of) error, before attempting it on the real thing.

The videos and photos hopefully will clarify things.

The orange loco is on the mainline and the other loco is on, say, the branch line. There are two sensors on the mainline when the orange loco goes over the sensor power is cut off to the other loco and it stops the branch loco. The orange loco couples with the carriage which goes over the second sensor and power remains off. Anyway it proves the concept works.

I’ll post a more detailed description of the circuit and how it works on the electrics and electronics forum. I can’t take any credit for the circuit design. I am a teacher in Bolton st (mechanical engineering) and am lucky to have plenty of technical expertise available.

My colleague Graham Gavin designed the circuit, and I had plenty of additional tech support from Martin Byrne.

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