Modelling a place on the LNER

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jdtoronto
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Post by jdtoronto » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:05 am

Wonderful! Thanks Colombo. Kinda gives me a feel for what the place looked like. It reminds me of so many of the places I knew in the UK.

John

GeoffB
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Modelling ECML

Post by GeoffB » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:10 pm

Hi Guys,

Just wandered in on this dicussion.

I'm very much into the A4's (my dad bought me the HornbyDublo "Sir Nigel Gresley" and teaks - tin plate then!! when I was 2 yrs old, so that sowed the seeds...........) and I am building (or rather re-building) a garden railway in 'O' gauge and it has to have A3s, A4s and V2s plus B1s etc with loads of teaks and so on.

I looked at doing an actual location but in the end opted for a ficticious ECML - that way I can run what I want but still basically keep the flavour of the late 30s in the layout.

I have just completed my first kit loco - see the J71 (now painted) and am about to start a V2 then an A4.

I have done quite a bit of research over the last few years and am starting to lay the station area - 4 road main line through station + branch lines. All I am doing is keeping the flavour of the period and letting the A4s have their head out in the country - the great thing about the garden railway - they can actually get up to a scale speed with full 7 - 12 coach trains.

Be interested to see what you come up with and how it progresses. Good luck.

GeoffB

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Colombo
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Post by Colombo » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:04 pm

GeoffB

It would be interesting to know what wheel standards you are adopting in the garden for 7 mm scale. Are you going for coarse scale or something finer?

What has been your experience with weather and leaves and so on?

Also, are you running on DC or DCC?

Colombo

jdtoronto
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Post by jdtoronto » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:23 pm

GeoffB, (and Richard and Colombo),

Progress isn't rapid. Well, not by my standards. I have purchased a number of books from the UK and they have started arriving. Various sources have turned up some useful photographs, special thanks to Colombo on that score. And I have written a nuumber of letters to try and get more information form other sources in the UK.

I now have a picture in my mind of a layout which has the ECML towards the front of the layout with Alnmouth Station. Then the Alnwick branch line will head off through the hills. According to the OS charts their is about a 100 - 200 ft rise between Alnmouth and Alnwick. I am anticipating, obviously, so selective compression of the distance, and also the alignment. This should allow me to model the trackwork accurately in both stations, but with the direction of the branch moved to limit the width necessary in the layout.

Having never 'scratch built' before I am finding the task of the Alnwick station a challenging one. SO I am bputting that off for a bit! Right now I am contemplating how to build the Alnmouth shed, and I am thinking that I will try kitbashing some Heljan engine sheds - the walls are bsically the same design, but with a new roof. Thanks to Colombo I have a nice photograph of the shed as it was.

It seems, GeoffB, that your task of finding rolling stock in O gauge is somewhat easier then finding then in N gauge! For what ever reason the N gauge manufacturers have historically never done a lot of LNER models, unlike the OO and O manufacturers.

I only have a small, inner city, lot. We are right downtown in Toronto, so something in the garden will just never happen here! But I look forward to hearing about how you get on with it, I have always been slightly jealous of people who like to do things in the garden.

John

GeoffB
NER J27 0-6-0
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ECML

Post by GeoffB » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:38 am

Hi Columbo/John

Yours first Columbo. I am modelling in standard fine scale (not scale 7) and use peco finescale track for main runs with mixtures of peco (in branch and sidings only) and Marcway points for the main station area. So far there are no points outside , but this will change during next summer.

As regards weather, I'm afraid I'm only a fine weather pilot so sunny days are the ones and as for leaves, I haven't had too many problems and I am surrounded by trees. Main problem comes from bird c...!

The line is in the throes of a complete re-route and rebuild at the moment and as I'm currently convalescing after an op I have time to build the rolling stock and locos that I promised myself for the last few years.

I will definately be using DCC when I get the line operational by summer time this year, although up 'till the line was uprooted for re-route (if you follow me!!) it was run on an old 12V H&M Duette controller which just about managed the 220 ft loop run. The line has now been extended in the re-route (over rockeries, etc) to 240 ft.

In the re-route/rebuild all the station area (I inherited the railway when I bought the house some 7 years ago) has hbeen completely re laid and all the curves taken up from the original "tight" 6&half ft rads to a minimum of 10ft.

I use Marcway points at the moment as I don't have the time to do my own points (I would probably use C&L if I did) and have the points made by Marc using 120/90 radius points and a minimum of 90 rad on any other than sidings. This achieves a nice flowing track through the main station, keeping everything looking as though it was made to fit sooner than fitting standard "straight" points where possible. All Curves are a minimum of 10ft radius through out on the main line with most of around 11 or 12ft radius.

In responce to yours John, there are a good lot of LNER Locos, wagons and coaching stock available in O but virtually everthing has to be either kit or scratch built - RTR is almost unknown (unless you have a back pocket like a mailbag!!), but it is very satisfying once you come to terms with this way of doing things. The great thing about O (and sometime the pain in the proverbial) is the amount of detail that is visible - what you can get away with in smaller scales you just can't in O. But the size is justb right I think as when you get hold of an O scale model it feels a nice handful, if you know what I mean!! :D

I have sent some pics through to Richard of the finished 71 and some are taken on the first bit of the approach to one of the three viaducts on the layout (they're all in construction but knackered hips and mixing concrete argue!!!!) I was setting out to market the viaducts (modular construction) and had a tremendous amount of interest when the hips argued - so end of venture. Maybe in the future???? The O runs over a mixture of bridges as well - some based on existing prototypes and others of freelance design with the "feel" of Victorian build.

Most of my time over the past 2 years has been spent building a 5" GroundLevel real steam railway - meandering in and out of the hip height O gauge - needed to finish the heavy stuff before the hips packed in - so now I can concentrate on the O this year. (I sent Richard a piccie of the 5" gauge Flatrol I built form scrap steel earlier this year. Maybe it can go on the site somewhere Richard? :D )

I will try to keep you informed if you're interested of the progress.

Regards,

Geoff.

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richard
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Post by richard » Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:20 am

Ah yes the Flatrol. I think you sent that before I had the attachment option installed. At the moment the best place will be the forums - would you like to upload it, or shall I?

The website doesn't have anywhere for wagons and coaches at the moment. I guess that's the next job after the locos are finished :-)
Doing a 'biography' page for every diagram of wagon is probably near impossible. Perhaps one for each general type (fish vans, 16t steel, etc).


Richard
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richard
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Post by richard » Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:35 am

Geoff,

I've added one of the pictures to the J71 page:

http://www.lner.info/locos/J/j71.shtml

I just used one, and chose the one that showed the J71 best. You're welcome to upload the other images to the forums if you wish?

I'm often tempted by O gauge, but doubt I could get such a convincing teak finish on those coaches!

Richard
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jdtoronto
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Coaches and Locos:

Post by jdtoronto » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:51 pm

Firstly my thanks to Colombo for his continued wonderful assistance on this project! Here is the state of the nation, any comments appreciated.

Location: The mainline station at Alnmouth - the branchline to Alnwick, Alnwick station and the start of the Alnwick-Cornhill branch (which will then go back-scene.

Period: 1949-1952, mainly 1951/2 to allow for blood&custard Mk1 coaches.

Information: With the help of Colombo I have found a lot of good photographs on the net and Colombo has graciously scanned and sent copies of some of his personal collection of the area.

I have some images from Ordnance Survey maps covering the period and I have three maps from 1923 coming that will give me the fine detail of the track layout at Alnwick. The National Rail Museum have the track layout for Alnmouth and I have ordered it.

I have purchased (but not yet received all of) about 60 books on the LNER, the ECML in early BR and the loco's. Thanks to everybody for their suggestions as to a bibliography. Fortunately I found a bookseller in New Hampshire who had a lot of titles at reasonable prices.

Current Locos:
  • A4 Mallard (farish in Express Blue)
    J39 GEM kit for which I now need to get a chassis
    J39 I am ordering a Union Mills early BR for when he does them in February
    V2 I am searching, but I may end up with a new Farish
    A3 I have ordered one from Hattons
Now, I can use the J39's for the local passenger service. But what should I use for the branchline freight (period 1949-1952) and what about the mainline freight?

Coaches:
  • Gresley Teaks - I have enough for at least two fuill trains
    MK1 Blood & Custard - at least one full train plus more
I am still working out what to do about branchline passenger coaches, in the meantime I will use some teaks.

Again, thanks to all of you here for your kind assistance. Over the next week or two I am going to start sketching layouts. My idea is to try and keep the trackwork at Alnmouth and Alnwick complete. I will obviously do some distance compression and the Alnwick branch will get some alignment change to make it fit in a reasonabe size. The start of the Alnwick-Cornhill branch gives me an extra industry to serve - a sawmill just out of town, as well as the gas works just east of the junction on the Alnmouth side. Naturally I will be looking for comments and suggestions at that stage!

John

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richard
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Post by richard » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:30 am

Sudden purchase of 60 books - that's quite a budget!

If you are waiting on the Farish V2 because of some of the negative stories, then I don't think you should worry. Visually, my V2 looks much better than my Farish A3. The main negative element is the "skirt" around the base of the boiler. On the positive side, the printing is better, handrails aren't moulded,etc.

The V2's pulling power has been criticised. I hit the limit at the last show, but I haven't pushed the A3 as far. My understanding is that it can pull more. I hear that adjusting the V2 tender pickups can improve the running.

I am not aware of any V2 kits or alternative manufacturers.

Richard
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jdtoronto
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Post by jdtoronto » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:37 am

richard wrote:Sudden purchase of 60 books - that's quite a budget!
Well...... a project I have been sweating paid of big time, so I spent about $500, that's all! You see we are a 'book mad' family. Our normal budget is around $200-250 per month (between three of us) but I haven't bought any for nearly nine months - so I had some pent up buying to do. It has been a very lean year, but now I can relax a little.
If you are waiting on the Farish V2 because of some of the negative stories, then I don't think you should worry. Visually, my V2 looks much better than my Farish A3. The main negative element is the "skirt" around the base of the boiler. On the positive side, the printing is better, handrails aren't moulded,etc.

The V2's pulling power has been criticised. I hit the limit at the last show, but I haven't pushed the A3 as far. My understanding is that it can pull more. I hear that adjusting the V2 tender pickups can improve the running.

I am not aware of any V2 kits or alternative manufacturers.
That's good news. I might go for one then. AFTER Christmas, I think I have all my things from Santa. My reason for waiting was that all the ones for sale used seem to be LNER livery. The BR livery seems to need to be purchased new right now. Hattons had the last stock of the early BR black A3's for a good price today, so I bought the last one they had.

..John

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Colombo
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Post by Colombo » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:27 am

JD,

My preferred scale is 4mm and I do not have any experience of N. So I have a question for you about couplings.

My station building and your proposed one for Alnwick have in common the overall roof. as my station is a through, running into the fiddle yard, I am able to uncouple train engines in the bay platforms because the locos pass through the scenic break into the fiddle yard.

Your station is not a through and so you may want to uncouple trains in the platform and under the overall roof. You will not want to lift off the roof, so what kind of automatic couplings will you use. I have Kadees on some of my locos and at the ends of passenger rakes, will you do something similar?

Colombo

jdtoronto
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Post by jdtoronto » Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:38 pm

Colombo wrote:JD,
My station building and your proposed one for Alnwick have in common the overall roof. as my station is a through, running into the fiddle yard, I am able to uncouple train engines in the bay platforms because the locos pass through the scenic break into the fiddle yard.
Indeed, and I am going to need to talk to you about how you made the arch gables and the pillars.
Your station is not a through and so you may want to uncouple trains in the platform and under the overall roof. You will not want to lift off the roof, so what kind of automatic couplings will you use. I have Kadees on some of my locos and at the ends of passenger rakes, will you do something similar?
Yes, in N they are called Micro-Trains, in the 1960's (I think) they split Kadee in two. So it is basically the same MagneMatic technology, but in N scale. I think I have no real alternative.

Richard and I have discussed this (but possibly in private messages). The MT couplers are a lot more prototypical and do offer the prospect of uncoupling, but they are still not totally reliable. I have been thinking about how to do this, and have it happen reliably, but I haven't come up with a magical solution! Currently I uncouple on a backscene fiddle yard using video. Being in the electronics game, it isn't hard to find tiny video cameras.

I have also done experiments with using electro-magnets to actuate the coupler pins, using neodymium magnets in the uncoupler, and finally a DCC uncoupler which takes control of the loco and goes through the decoupling sequence automatically. My NA prototype locos all have RFID fitted, so when the loco comes into the uncoupler area the tag is read and the local section controller takes over and manipulates the train using a conventional magnetic uncoupler. It works correctly about 80% of the time. A combination of the DCC with an electromagnet may well be the solution.

Biggest probpem on the N gauge stock seems to be the alignment of the couplers. I did four or five one evening this week, but they can be a real beast and you need plenty of thin styrene around to get things to align. As well as a good supply of retrofit coupler pockets.

How reliable have you found the Kadee couplers and uncoupler arrangement?

John

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Colombo
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Post by Colombo » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:03 pm

For those who have not studied Kadees, have a look at LisaP4s summary on this site:
http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/in ... wtopic=289, and also look at http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page58.htm

My experiences with Kadees has been good in 4mm scale, but I have not gone over to them completely. I would like to replace all my tension lock couplings with Kadees with intermediate wagons on goods trains on 3 link couplings.

Kadees are better because the point of contact between wagons is always on the centre line of the vehicle in the horizontal plain, which is not the case with tension lock, which causes vehicles so fitted to derail. You can also simply lift a vehicle out of a train.

Bachmann and Hornby have fitted NEM pockets on their newer locos at the correct height and so you can fit Kadee no.18s or the longer 19s with no problem. The newer Hornby carriages have them right and so the same applies. Bachmanns Mk1s and their mineral wagons and possibly other 4 wheel stock have the pockets at the wrong height.

I have just been fitting No46s onto two of their mineral wagons to make match trucks on short rakes of mineral wagons for shunting in groups. You can fit three link chains into the existing plastic hooks on these wagons, which is good, but to fit Kadees at the right height you must remove the NEM pocket and hack of its mount. The old no5 has a shank that is too short for British stock and the draw gear box protrudes beyond the buffer beam if you want the knuckle in the right place to avoid buffer locking. I use a similar box with a longer Shank like no. 46.

I use between track magnets to uncouple when shunting and the delayed uncoupling action works. I use an electro-magnetic uncoupler in the platform so that I can change locos without shuffling the train and there is no danger of unwanted uncoupling of trains passing through. The new engine couples up without having to push the carriages back off the magnet.

I have not tried the big magnets hidden under the underlay but I once observed the magnets holding a wagon over the magnet because it had steel axles.

Older stock I convert to Kadees on an ad hoc basis using whatever I have in available if I can to get the right height. I replenish my stock of Kadees in the US on holiday, or at MGS in Sheffield. They are much cheaper in the States.

That's about it really.

Let me know when you want to talk about constructing the station building.

Colombo.
Last edited by Colombo on Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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John B
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Modelling a place on the LNER

Post by John B » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:16 am

jdtoronto,

I too am mesmerised and totally envious of your recent order of around sixty books on the ECML and LNER and wondered if you would care to share the full list of books here for future reference.

The modelling you are proposing sounds like an awesome project and I am impressed with the speed with which you are resolving issues around the period and place to suit your modelling needs. I am afraid I work on a much slower timescale.

It's also great to be updated so regularly on the forum, there always seems to be something new and interesting to read.

Good luck

John B
John B

jdtoronto
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Post by jdtoronto » Sun Dec 18, 2005 1:21 pm

Thanks John_B,

Books are a very important part of this household. When we moved here from Australia we loaded a 20ft container, mainly so we could bring our books with us. Some 250 cartons of books and the bookshelves. Of course it is a family obsession, with my six year old daughter deciding that an "adventure with daddy" is a trip to the bookstore - or the train store.

I will prepare a list of the books and post it. Maybe I should start a website for the project. Progres on the layout will be fast - while I can do it without leaving my desk! In fact designing and researching this layout is helping keep me sane while business is so frantic.

John

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