7mm Birmingham Moor Street

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 9 April 2019.

  1. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    Very nice indeed
    Focalplane likes this.
  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I have mentioned that the addition of the single Goods Station siding will provide much needed operational activity once the layout is complete. Here are a number of still photos showing how a local freight moves down from Bordesley Yard into the Goods Station.

    The pannier takes the spur into Moor Street.


    The main approach for all trains into Moor Street. Tracks from top are Up Main, Down Main, Goods Loop, Moor Street approach, 2 Coach Sidings, Goods Station head shunt.


    About to cross the station throat double slip, a bottleneck.


    Pannier now heading off the double slip on to the Platform 3 Release Road.


    Local freight now on Release Road, pannier heading toward Platform 3 traverser.


    Pannier uncoupled, moves forward onto centre track of the traverser. The other tracks on the traverser Were never used to move a loco, purely a safety feature. The white square will eventually have a red/green signal lamp as in the prototype.


    Pannier on traverser, moving onto the Platform 3 Road.


    Pannier moves off the traverser onto the Platform 3 Road to run round its train.


    Pannier reversing past train onto double slip (station throat).


    Pannier moves onto Release Road and couples up to brake van, then pulls the train back onto the head shunt.


    To be continued.
  3. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The pannier pulls its wagons back into the head shunt.


    The wagons are then shunted into the Goods Station.


    The freight arrives in the Goods Station shed.


    The pannier and brake van back out of the Goods Station and onto the head shunt before working their way out of Moor Street. The next job for the crew may be to visit the sidings on the other side of the passenger platforms, or simply to return to Bordesley Yard. Panniers were also used to transfer goods traffic through Snow Hill Station to Hockley.

  4. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    I like that sequence.
    Focalplane likes this.
  5. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Thanks, Alan

    I am not sure that the sequence was prototypical in that there were more tracks (5) on Bordesley Viaduct with one dedicated to goods traffic. So the double slip bottleneck did not exist. Even so, the traverser could have been used during the night operations as it would have been available. Platform 3 was also used for parcels trains, of which there is daytime evidence, but passenger traffic must have been less intense for this to happen.

    Warwickshire Railways has a good photo of a pannier struggling up the gradient into Snow Hill Tunnel, having crossed from the relief Down to the main Down line:

    Moor Street Station: Ex-GWR 0-6-0PT No 9798 is seen crossing slowly from the down relief line to the down main line

    A much longer train than I can fit in!

    This photo has a wealth of detail, including the dummy capstans for chain shunting in the yards (left) and one of few photos that show the water tank. This is another feature that will have to be scratch built as all RTP water tanks have stone/brick bases. This one is on concrete/iron pillars. The current water tank at Moor Street came from somewhere else!
  6. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    The thing to consider in O gauge is coupling up wagons, so I hope you don't have too much trouble doing this within the goods shed. It is all looking very good and is coming together well Paul. :thumbs:
  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    You are absolutely correct about Gauge O coupling but I have positioned the shed so that coupling can be done on the platform and release roads. Because only half the shed is there it is relatively easy to couple inside the shed except where the platform gets in the way.

    I have, somewhere, a simple brass shunters pole which I bought at Guildex. What it needs is a small torch to light up the coupling area. Bifocals also don’t help!

    Would some automatic coupling be better? I am not so sure. On the other hand the micro magnet couplers sold for rakes of coaches are invaluable accessories that are hidden from sight. Some even have a hook as well. My Western Region Mark 1s have magnetic couplers within the 7 coach rake that do a good job.

  8. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Here’s a demonstration of how a train of coaches “stay together as a rake”:

    Seven brass coaches behind the loco which means the first magnet is pulling six. Not sure about inclines since I don’t have any.
    jonte likes this.
  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    One half of the glass roof to the Goods Station shed has been designed and constructed.


    It consists of a sheet of Styroglass with a strengthening frame of Plastikard on which sections of 4mm scale bullhead rail have been cut and glued with CA glue. The result is a fair representation of the skylight roofing seen in various photos of the real thing. I won’t paint the rails.

    Now working on the second half.
    jonte, Ressaldar, cbrailways and 2 others like this.
  10. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The Goods Station shed is finished for the time being. There is some detailing to be done when the supplies arrive but for the time being it’s time to move on to other things. A few photos:

    First, inside the shed


    next, views of the outside with emphasis on the wall next to the release road.




    A few comments. Styroglass like any plastic needs to be protected from glues. It will have to do with a few marks but since the roof glass was rarely cleaned. . .

    The windows will be fitted later.

    The dirty white ladder is an afterthought, it doesn’t appear on any photos.

    The galvanized roof panels are paper glued to card, the paper sheets are from Kirtley.

    This has been a good practice for the passenger station concourse roof, a much more complex structure that needs to be accurately portrayed as it really is the centrepiece of the layout.
  11. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Lots of small details have been added, s9me just ballast, but also the station name boards.


    The board is a Sktrex white metal mini kit, suitably painted with printed names added. No relief to the letters but from a distance they look fine. Lots of painting to do on the platform, never mind the long awning that has yet to be sourced.

    I have also glued down most of the aluminium sheets that were laboriously riveted a year ago for the first traverser.


    I found some brass “u” section that will be perfect for the Up Main sand trap coming out of Snow Hill Tunnel, but what to use as model sand? Nonetheless, many small steps mean progress.
    Last edited: 23 October 2020
    jonte, Deano747, Ressaldar and 3 others like this.
  12. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Hi Paul

    I’m enjoying seeing the progress on your layout, but can’t help thinking the text on your newly installed running-in board is a bit undernourished....

    Here’s a crop of a British Railways enamel running-in board I found on the internet (copyright unknown, but included to illustrate a point - mods please delete if necessary).

    Notice the larger spacing between letters (with a join in the board between the “I” and “N”), the bracketed “Moor Street”, and also, being a large sign, the central support. Being enamel, there would be no relief between the letters and background, well, none that could be measured in 7mm scale! Of course, if your running-in board is based on a GWR one, I’m talking a load of old tosh.....


  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Dan, thank you for The comment and the photographic evidence of the sign in the 1960s. The Rotunda was built in 1964 I believe, which makes it a bit younger than the end of steam period at Moor Street. It looks more like Midland than Western, perhaps a Saltley influence?

    The truth is I guessed the spacing of the lettering, using Illustrator to manipulate the kerning, etc. It can easily be changed.

    simond and Dan Randall like this.
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I have two photos of the station boards at Moor Street. Dan's is mid-sixties, mine is 1911 and very Great Western! The metal panel does seem to have Saltley influence and therefore post dates my period. However, the letter spacing is another matter. The 1911 photo doesn't have parentheses for the "Moor Street" but does have raised lettering. I thought about doing raised lettering using Slaters letters but, to be honest, I think that is overkill. Heck, I am 75 in two weeks time, I don't have a lot of time left to finish this project!!!!

    So I am moving on a bit, priming GW seats for the platform shelters and re-sizing Kirtley posters to fit the screens. All will be revealed soon. But it is Friday and so my responsibility to cook a good supper - Magret de canard with Girolles a la creme.
    oldravendale likes this.
  15. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Things have been moving forward slowly on the scenic front but nothing shattering has happened this past week.


    I have noticed that running trains in the background has revealed some disturbing facts about the track laying. Well, not just the laying but the track itself. Here are some observations.
    1. The super-elevated main lines at one end of the continuous run are going to have to be flattened. As good as seeing trains lean into the 36" radius curves may be, some locos tend to lose contact with the electrical current. Ironically this loss of pick up appears to be dependent upon the direction of travel, which suggests the loco pick up design may be the cause. The Heljan Large Prairies (I have 2) do this a lot. All my locos behave impeccably at the other end of the oval which being hidden from view (eventually) are not super-elevated.
    2. Some Peco curved points are showing typical problems associated with their geometry. There are two areas along the curves which are not curved as they should be - it is a well known design fault recognized by the Gauge O Guild. In this case it would seem that the Heljan Large Prairies can have their pony trucks derail. I am sure that added weight to the trucks could solve this problem. But the better solution would be to replace the curved points with hand made ones.
    3. The Peco double slip was selected for the station throat as it saves about 15cm of space. However, the smooth running one would expect is not always present though I have not isolated any repeatable problems. In retrospect the Marcway scissor crossing would have been a better option but it is longer. I will have to live with the double slip for the time being.
    4. Finally, I now think that a goods loop in addition to the Up and Down Mains would have been a useful addition in the design.
    So, what to do? Probably nothing just at the moment, but the super-elevation does need to go, a pity as it has already been ballasted. The Peco curved points can be replaced in time. Some lead weight can be added to the pony trucks to see if that improves things.

    If I was starting all over again I have to say that I would choose either Marcway or hand built points. The former would be direct replacements for the same track formation, the latter could give rise to some overall geometry improvements using Templot.

    The addition of the Goods Station has really improved the operating potential of the layout so I will not be starting all over again!!!

    3 LINK, Bobbiskit and Dog Star like this.
  16. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    do the heljan prairies have one-side-insulated wheels, and if so, does their (mis)behaviour depend on speed and direction?

    it’s a wild guess on my part but I wonder if they are losing contact between the wheel and the backscratchers (assuming that’s what they have). If so, it may be possible to keep your superelevation, and fix the locos, which I guess would be a win on both counts.

    fingers crossed
    Focalplane likes this.
  17. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    I need to investigate. Thanks for the response we are currently awaiting the President’s decision as to a second lock down.

  18. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    C’est deja fait, non?
  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Mais oui! Mais exactement? We have a ferry booking for Monday night but can we drive across regions? Meantime this has become desperate for shopping before leaving given that Brexit is in disarray after December 31. Mon Dieu!

    Railway comments to come.
  20. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I routinely super-elevate curved track, but it was usually in the region of 120" radius. I never experienced any pick up problems with locos including a Heljan Large Prairie. Peco set-track in the garden was super-elevated too, but the leading truck derailed on the 3' 4" radius after Slaters wheels were fitted. Heljan's pony truck wheels were put back ~ problem solved.