Greetings from sunny Lincolnshire

Discussion in 'New members' started by Ken589, 6 May 2020.

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  1. Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Hi
    I am Mark Kennard and live in the lovely village of Digby (not Dibley) but I am the vicar here.

    Our home has a “storage room” that measures 23ft by 10ft and here I am just starting to build a dream railway.

    It is a model of Midford on the S&DJR in 4mm from Combe Down Tunnel exit to the Up Outer Home Signal at approximately scale distance, and incorporates all the gradients of the prototype. Having said its 4mm I should admit that it is being done in OO. Simple reason is one of cost and sentiment. I still have operational some old Triang trains, the first from when I was just four, and I really don’t want to get rid of them. (Am I alone in these feelings?). The cost of new wheels for all my rolling stock was a little bit scary. (Enough said…) The point work is all scratch built using plans from Templot.

    Why Midford: well it’s an opportunity to build a railway that allow will me hopefully to “watch the trains go by”, and to operate a real signal box in something like the manner of the prototype, and a railway I have explored on line and on foot.

    Time wise it’s the end of steam era - which I just remember – with a lot of compromises about dates. My youngest son wanted a branch line so the Camerton branch still exists, as does a restored length of the Camerton Coal Canal leading to a marina at the old transfer wharves at Midford. The up and down lines will lead via some very long “tunnels” to independent return loops, and trains will stack and move forwards to return through Midford.

    One big question that I would love to hear about others thoughts on: how to make the two signal boxes either side of Midford offer trains to the signalman using bell codes, as in the late Peter Denny’s Buckingham branch. I would like to avoid computers. I have seen too many layouts where the fun seems to be the key board and not the railway. Although computer literate, I now have Parkinson’s which severely restricts my ability to learn new systems.

    Look forward to hearing folks thoughts
    Mark
     
  2. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    Welcome aboard, we like lots of photos here.

    Your project sounds very interesting.
     
  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Hello Mark, and welcome to Western Thunder. Like Peter says, we like photos, so make sure you take plenty as your layout gets under way.

    I think I may be correct that you are our first proper railway modelling clergyman!
     
  4. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Welcome, Mark
    It’s a good place, this. Helpful and good-humoured. And I’m sure a lot of folk - not just me - will be interested in following developments in both your layout and your approach to prototypical operation.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
  5. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Mark,

    welcome to WT. I look forward to seeing your photos in the near future.

    Stay safe and well.

    regards

    Mike
     
  6. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Welcome Mark,

    I look forward to seeing your layout come to fruition, from what you have wrote it sounds like you have your work cut out. But anything involving the Soot & Dirty will grab my attention.

    All the best,

    Martyn.
     
  7. Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Good evening
    Thanks for your interest
    A few photos and plans.

    This was where planning on paper ended.
    Both the up and down lines have to make a complete circuit of the room to get to the return loops.
    Tucking mill viaduct is the problem having aground height of -
    The figure in grey boxes give rail height relative to the datum point in Midford viaduct scratch2.png woked up plan.png
    Ground proofing the plan lead to version 26 which is being built
    Even then to make it work the curve of the line had to be flattened..
    Work in progress, the sation and viaduct.png
    Most pictures came out pretty grotty so will takes some more tomorrow.

    Some advice please: what's the best file size to upload?
    Downsizing my files is v time consuming..

    Mark
     

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  8. Threadmark: A few engines
    Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Sorry not to have been back for a few days but I have been very busy building a patio outside, with no energy for big time construction.

    I have however continued work on a few other ongoing projects. I currently have rather more than the usual number of engines under construction, most involving a large amount of scratch building. Currently in production, a 9F, 2x 4MT 2-6-0, a Bulleid light pacific, a 2P 4-4-0, 3 x 4F 0-6-0 , and 2 others awaiting starting.

    The 9F I am scratch building, after acquiring a Bachmann model and looking at its short comings.

    Their attempt at the “plumber’s nightmare” shows how they failed to interpret the drawings they were using. Topside, they got the dimensions of the boiler feed pipes to the clack valves spot on, but beneath the cab these pipes are little more than handrail size wires. This is really odd when the two pipes should connect together. I’ve been building the bits to replace all of this and so far on the third (or 4th?) attempt at the exhaust steam injector. I have managed to break three whilst filing the solid brass at the thinness point. Soldering it back together would be a nightmare as I was getting down to low temp solder as I worked along; this would be very weak. The Mk4 shows promise, after a redesign. A few pictures attached. A friend who actually fired these for BR has given me an A3 size drawing to work from.

    2_ES6_1.jpg
    The Bachmann interpretation. It sort of has 2 live steam injectors

    the real thing

    Evening Star Auxilliary Steam Pipes The large size of this is impressive.

    http://www.fraserker.com/winson/britannia_pix/Britannia - Injector Right.jpg

    A much better view is on Britannia 7000

    http://www.fraserker.com/winson/britannia_pix/Britannia - Injector Right.jpg

    This site will show you all the details of almost every BR Standard fitting.

    Pictures of
    20200517_205309.jpg

    The first one third on its way. Reject at bottom. The finished main body is only 9.5 x 3 mm so this is large.
     

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  9. Threadmark: 9F
    Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    I am really at producing components stage for this build, but here are a few holiday snaps

    20200517_205234.jpg

    1 pair nickel silver frames, and boiler with Pinochio smokebox.
    The nasty look on the edges is not my filing, but double sided tape. Awaiting arrival of steel flux so I can make a start on connecting rods, then on to horn block cut outs. The other side has the marks for the axle centres. Yes the bottom of the frames does need a tidy up to the spring hangers and horn block supports. and frames need the strengthening piece adding below firebox at narrowest point. Am planning to build the full longitudinal stretcher and cross stretchers too, if feeling mad enough. Drive will be via tender motor with universal joints.

    A true warts and all expose.

    The boiler and fire box. I’ve had great difficulty in blending the firebox to boiler at the angled joint. I fear my wooden former I used to bend the copper round was a fraction large. Think the boiler may just creep in diameter at this point. All corners are sharp as my radiusing became rather variable, hence the filler. Will make a suitable guide. The boiler and firebox are just three bits of metal, all ex-central heating pipework off-cuts. I learned the art of boiler filling here. (More pictures to come featuring the 4Fs)
    20200517_204552a.jpg
    Just to prove a splice can be made to fit and soldered in. The cracks along the splice are due to my dropping it, this explains the new smokebox too. Must remember next time to do it on carpet not concrete. Ow. The holes near firebox are shadow, really!
    Still new to this posting bit but will show Spam Can and 4Fs soon
    Stay safe - glad to say nothing yet here for me in our villages.
    Mark
     
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  10. SLNCR57

    SLNCR57 Active Member

    Depends how you interpret the ‘proper’ , Heather! I’m a ‘proper’ vicar too but as to my modelling status....

    Welcome, Mark! We do know each other - I’m still in the community you served with - you may remember a Northern Irish enthusiast....
     
  11. Threadmark: More news from Midford.
    Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Many thanks for all your greetings.

    As I explained in my intro, this is my first really large layout and it’s a big learning curve.

    Like most people I started off by just building open top boards with a track base, assuming my plans would work at 12” to the foot scale. It didn’t work out too well. Things just didn’t look quite right.

    I took some time just letting the view of the track bed “sink in” along the full length of the room. I eventually saw that flattening the curve through the station to maximise the radius of the curves at the end of the room had resulted in the loss of the flow of tracks along the cliff edge by the platform. I’m afraid I didn’t take a photo to show this but below are the beginnings of the mk 1 track bed.

    Some very early pictures.
    20190709_095724.jpg
    Removing 12 feet or so track bed to realign it was a painful task. I really shouldn’t have screwed and glued every joint. Plus the new alignment meant recalculating the height for every riser. (A rise of 1mm per foot from datum means this post needs to be xyz. But because each baseboard end is resting on the previous one and stepped, I must subtract abc to get the correct answer. Stop check framework is really level. Forget answer. Try again.


    20190709_095811.jpg
    At least by the time I’d got to the fourth board (above) I was learning to make a basic frame and then add in the additional framework to support track and scenery, not just put a cross bearer in every foot or so. These always ended up in the wrong place or at the wrong angle. Sherwood Forest is probably quite heavy too.
    Just a little background to this week’s disturbances.

    My son’s Limpley Stoke to Camerton Branch is the most advanced track base so far (I’d promised he could run his trains soon) but as I laid the track under the viaduct it became clear I could not live with the curve I’d laid out. Demolition ensued, including a completed embankment, and a new track bed cut and installed, well sort of. The limit of deviation on the plans allowed for the changes, and the engineer was happy, but not so the landscaper faced with a 2ins thick plywood wall at the baseboard joint. Short of removing each baseboard in turn from the window end this joint is going to be a challenge for the demolition team. Yes, I did allow space to dismantle the boards but the gap is by the window 15ft away.

    20200526_152351.jpg
    I
    A tour starting with the branch line viaduct.


    20200526_152953.jpg
    Limpley Stoke branch viaduct at Midford. Awaiting brick work. Now crossing a duck pond and canal drainage dyke/sluice. The original was built to re
    cross Midford Brook further across the valley. To achieve this was far too difficult in my compressed space scenario, but viaducts are expensive so why was it built.


    20200526_153023.jpg
    The other side of the viaduct.

    Somerset Coal Canal centre, ice cream tub is Hope and Anchor pub. Marge is Toll Collector’s house.

    Note path of the sluice and line of pond. There is no lock between here and the Kennet and Avon Canal Junction and they must be able to drain it somewhere for maintenance, why not at Midford? Rising path is the tow path which crosses over the canal at the main road. A roving bridge. Walls to protect tow line still to be made. S&DJR viaduct in the background.

    See The Canal, Midford c.1904

    To diverge for a second, in spite of an almost total absence of pictures of the canal bridge, it is possible to get one today. see below.

    canal bridge 2009.png

    canl rd briddge2.png

    I am fairly certain this is the canal bridge today with the path sloping down to the canal at the post before the pub sign. It conforms in shape to other bridges on the canal. Google street views
    View of Midford looking north, c.1922
    shows how this scene should look and how it is now compressed. In reality the Limpley Stoke line went up the east side of the valley and the S&D up the west. There is however in Mike Arlett’s book, The Somerset and Dorset at Midford a map (p41) showing a proposal of 1902 by the North Somerset light railway to build a line following very nearly the path as built here. A really crazy scheme but it was proposed.



    Back to the viaducts.
     
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  12. Threadmark: More from Midford 2
    Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Back to the viaducts.


    20200526_152933.jpg
    Top is S&D Midford Viaduct. Centre is Limpley Stoke branch line and below that Midford Brook following its correct course. As can be seen it would look very wrong doubling back between the two railway lines. For this route the natural course would be under the next arch towards the station which lines up with the bridge under the road.

    When I first starting planning this area it all seemed a tortuous mess but on building it began to make sense. On the S&D viaduct the line changes from a 1:330 descent from the north to 1:60 ascent to the south. This happens precisely at the junction point in the middle of the viaduct.
    20200526_152933.jpg
    The big hole in the viaduct is to accommodate a point where the single line becomes double. The darker area on the branch line track bed shows where additional material has been added to meet the engineer’s new specification and the spike to the left is the old alignment.
    20200507_134336.jpg

    Point in situ and a couple of close-ups.

    20200507_134351.jpg
    20200507_134358.jpg

    Plywood base, templot plan, lace pins in predrilled holes in coffee stirrer sleepers. Very slight sanding needed to size the sleepers. It still wants a dust and a point locking mechanism. Large holes to screw it down. First time effort after previous pcb construction. Ancient but very good ECM point motor underneath, motor and screw thread drive, totally reliable DPDT switch. 6th layout usage? Construction enabled bench build and testing. Having done this a novel way I can’t understand why the P4 original builders used rivets. I know how my remaining three visible points will be built. Oops forgot there’s two catch points as well.

    I've diverged but a bit more on points and signals before back to the layout proper.
    20200527_162752.jpg
    Point and signal control. The prototype lever for Midford signal box frame. The control of points and signals is going to be electrical but will all be fully interlocked both mechanically and electrically using a 16 lever frame. Midford box takes a whole chapter in Mike Arlett’s book to explain its working. Suffice it to say there were detectors on nearly all the signals and some track sections that locked parts of the box electrically as well as the normal frame locking. I will try to sort all this out into a practical working solution, but at the moment only the slide bars and nibs are worked out for the mechanical locks and there matters have rested.
    Has anyone built a small Whitaker tablet machine? I want something to dispense tablets!
    Amazing how file marks show on polished steel. This little chappie needs an extension to his bottom (legs?) but was made from a two inch panel pin, a gas ring on the BBQ and a large hammer. Brass bit for lever which does work. All 16 levers made, only one latch so far. Ever wished for a few more hours?

    20200526_153152.jpg

    A view from Midford signal box down the S&D Viaduct and the Twinhoe road. The viaduct (still about 2/3 of it to build this side) shows the gradient change quite nicely. In the distance is the branch line and just visible its tunnel mouth.
    There is a very nasty bump in the road just after the canal bridge, and beyond it is where the river bridge will be. The spike in the field is to remind me to dig a trench for the brook. The road can then be seen ascending towards the door in the far distance where it turns un-prototypically left. The real road bears right. The transition of the embankment to a deep cutting is not quite correct yet on the “viewing side” but I need to build across the doorway to clarify this. The depth of the cutting is indicated by the road in mid air.
    20200526_152326.jpg

    The embankment south of the viaduct and some scenery framework appearing.
    Twinhoe road is hanging in space by the blue container, and hints at deepish cutting. This has a large retaining wall and yet more brickwork stonework.

    To the right can be seen an angled ply piece for the foundations of one of the two 3 storey houses alongside the road. Access to the 2nd is being worked out with various options shown in sloping wood. The branch line now goes between them. Hopefully the extra 2" or so gained by moving the track my help me get my head around this. Would a farmers's "accommodation crossing" (level) have been allowed?
    My instinct says no but maybe someone can advise.

    The cutting on the "viewing side" should begin where a join can be seen in the underlying polystyrene tiles nearest the door. However this may be adjusted so it gives the best appearance of the trains vanishing briefly. I need to build the next bit first, but this will be built last.
    The doorway "bridge" will be interesting and I plan to have a section that pivots on substantial door hinges. The “free side” will have a wheel under it to bear some of the weight. This opening will have to carry 8 tracks across it, all at different levels and all with gradients. A lifting flap is just not going to work! My theory is a door always fits exactly into its frame and door lock and latch alignment works perfectly, usually for years without need for any adjustment. An extreme example, but one I used every Sunday, is the Church safe. It always shuts and locks and is even airtight. Providing the woodwork is completely rigid on all sides.... Here the legs are 2" x 2" and braced by thick plywood corner triangles.
     
  13. Ken589

    Ken589 Member

    Midford station
    20200526_153231.jpg


    The approach to the station from the viaduct. Road access is from the left and may need altering again as I think it slopes more. It is very hard to find a picture of this area before it was turned into a car park. On the other hand if there are no photos I may just live with it, it is my train set, and this is the third attempt here. I wish I was better at getting it right first time, or not quite such a perfectionist. hey ho.

    The Signal Box sits in the angle between the road and the viaduct end.

    20200517_212035.jpg

    Here is my slow and steady build getting towards window height. The stone effect that the DAS compound gave me was not textured enough so I'm adding a clay slurry to the stones to increase their depth. Window frames are under construction from aluminium, more later. Do i build the signal box as it was before 1936 with pitched roof, which I like or the "temporary" flat roof of later?
    In building a model of a line that never was, many justifications are along the lines of what if. In building Midford I either have to adopt the Pendon approach of this is it was on June 13th 1958 or go for a different approach.
    Careful study of the trackwork at Midford shows the sabotage of the WR in spending money. The up line was relaid in 1959 in flat bottomed rail but the point to the siding south of the viaduct was not removed until 1960. (So 2 x expense). The Down line was done in 1960/61 also in FB rail. Midford Goods yard point was renewed in 1956 (FB) but the track north of Midford viaduct was left as BH to the end. Pictures in 1960 though show sleeper renewal taking place on his part of the line, near Tucking Mill Viaduct.
    Why the anguish , well the next few photos show where I'm at. 20200526_153529.jpg

    Rather than building the platform to match the track I thought it would be much easier to do the reverse. What I hadn’t appreciated was that before laying and ballasting the track I would need to produce a fully detailed finish to the vertical platform edge. Examination of many photos revealed that there was originally a low platform, the wall finished in dressed stone. I suspect this stone was from Combe Down Tunnel. At a later date (sometime before 1922) the platform edge was raised by adding about 2 or 3 courses of bricks. It appears that both the original stonework and the raised brickwork were not the best workmanship and, like the wall behind, the platform edge was patched at intervals with more bricks. The raising in height also lead to a unique (?) feature. The platform was left with quite a severe slope down from the rails towards the station building which appears to have been left alone. This is very visible on photos. A concrete drainage channel, still present, seems to have been added at the same time along the rear edge of the platform.
    I commenced to build the patched variant of the platform edge but on seeing how smart it really looked in 1922 wanted this one, because this is how it should have been - just supposing it had been maintained. Similarly the wall behind the platform is good old wills stone work. This too had bricks all over it. Having taken some trouble so that the sheet joins cannot be seen do I now add brick work to distress it? The S&D is often written about almost in a PG Wodehouse world where everything is right and splendid. Yet the reality was this was the time of the battles between corporate management and the trade unions, of the ending of rationing and economic shortages.
    I think the distressed look will have to be the reality but....
    Incidentally Midford viaduct once looked like this Very elegant.
    The Viaduct, Midford c.1870
    However the Board of trade inspector wrote about the Bath extension saying that, "The pier on one large viaduct is 6- 8 inches out of perpendicular." The need for the strengthening brickwork is apparent.
    20200526_153451.jpg

    Below the platform edge is a 45 to 60ft drop. Th e card board shows how i'm examining the sope tat this should be set at. It was all done in Mod roc with the line works set at the minimum width for safe passage. Again looking at pictures after this was built showed that there was a yard or so at the edge of the track before the drop off happened. I then found that one or two pictures of th Somerset Coal Canal showed the hillside in enough detail to get an impression of the angle and how it is. It is now so wooded and built over that it is very hard to interpret.
    Midford canal weigh bridge2.jpg
    This is Midfrd weigh hous on the canal and behind it can bee seen fairly precipitate cliffs. My interpretation is that the ivy / trees / undergrowth are hiding much stone work like that between the two bays of the building. This too must be true of the area above the platform as the slope is far too steep to be stable if purely soil. Th station master's garden would have been on the platform! The cliff I am building will get mostly hidden, but its there.
     

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