7mm Birmingham Moor Street

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

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Thanks, Phil, that really helps.
    Phil O likes this.
  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Quite a lot of ballasting achieved recently. Here are some views:

    All the platform roads, as well as the return road from Traverser 3 have been modified by sprinkling the new mix on top of the existing brown. This has today been extended across the station throat. The boardwalk to the signal box is an artificial boundary to the work as the other side will be blended into the sidings beyond. I jave just started thinking about this area. The area to the left is waiting on sheets of Slaters cobblestones.


    A closer view of the throat is next. Some of the rails here have yet to be “rusted”.


    After cleaning the track, the Jubilee brought in four coaches to Platform 3. Note that it doesn’t fit on the traverser even though it might have on the prototype. Certainly Castles and Halls used the traverser. But the station is not as long as the prototype so something had to give. My memory was always of Prairies anyway.


    The next few days will see mostly ballasting though the wagon traverser next to the wagon lift will be slightly redesigned so that I can order appropriate Slaters sheets, etc.

    There are also point motors to be wired up but I keep putting that off!
    Last edited: 19 October 2021
    Deano747, LarryG, Len Cattley and 9 others like this.
  3. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Same evening as above, more ideas about the smaller surface yard for the Goods Station. The next two photos are from the definitive book on Moor Street, they are from c. 1910 so are probably not copyrighted (if they are, they are shown purely to explain the layout, nothing more).

    The first shows the smaller 20 ton hoist located between the passenger station and the Snow Hill main lines. The latter are behind the traverser operator. Vans and wagons were shunted in on the far track, unhitched and lowered into the Goods Station below. Once unloaded (or possibly loaded) these were brought up and hand shunted using electric capstans and then transferred onto one of the two sidings to be taken away by the next goods shuttle to Bordesely.


    The second photo shows the capstan drive (other capstans were “dumb”).


    So, how to show all this? Here is an overview of the yard with my first ideas.


    The hole for the hoist is clear. The beginnings of the traverser are laid out in front with a wagon representing the traverser. My first thought is to lay the traverser tracks and make a dummy wagon table which will sit (and not move) between the two widely spaced tracks.

    So all shunting will indeed be by hand! Though I do plan to make the hoist work eventually. A close up of the traverser:


    Finally, what about the yard surfaces? They appear to be several. Ash ballast, concrete foundations for the capstan runs, bricking paving elsewhere. No cobblestones here because no horses were used, the movement of wagons being by electricity.

    Incidentally, a piece of absolute trivia! Jintys were called Dobbins in several areas south of Crewe, in particular at Nuneaton. There are also photos available showing cart horses shunting alongside an 8F at Bletchley. My own Bescot shed Dobbin is not a Jinty!

    More ballasting tomorrow, perhaps a wagon traverser as well?
    BR Tony, Geoff, LarryG and 6 others like this.
  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Are we sure the chap posing with capstan is not Buster Keaton....:)

    Len Cattley, Osgood, jonte and 2 others like this.
  5. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Well, Dave, if not Buster Keaton then a very versatile employee. He is featured operating several pieces of equipment, no doubt for publicity purposes. His smart uniform reminds me more of the 1950s but the clerestory roofed coaches and unfinished Platform 1 date the photos at around 1910.

    Moor Street Goods Station was considered new technology when built, with ferro concrete construction and the various electrically operated “assistants” built into the design. But it was still labour intensive.
  6. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Well, the wagon traverser won’t be started just yet. Feel I have a cold coming on with the slight change in the weather so simple things, like ballasting, will be continued rather than going into detailed complexity. However, a bit more research was done in the middle of last night and the overall design of the traverser is now better understood. The carriage has feathered rails which allow a wagon to be pulled up onto it using the wire ropes and capstans. This should be easy to fabricate though I still have not made a decision on how much detail to show or whether to mechanise it.
  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Definitely under the weather this morning, so some research seemed a good idea.

    The original Water Tank at Moor Street is something of an enigma. This is the best photo I can find

    Moor Street Station: Winter 1968, looking south from the island platform along the viaduct towards Bordesley

    It was a simple tank built on 4 or 5 circular columns. The fifth may have been the pipe delivering water to the two cranes on the platforms. It appears to have a peaked roof and there are riveted panels on the walls of the tank.

    its location can be identified from old maps (thank you, National Library of Scotland) and it is interesting that the structure sat over a viaduct arch through which Meriden Street passes today.

    It disappeared from the landscape as soon as steam was withdrawn from Moor Street and all photos of DMUs that might have shown the tank show nothing of it. It is ironic that a replacement brick supported tank now sits on what was Platform 1, though whether it is used by heritage locos these days is unclear.

    The 25” map of the area published in 1945 has the footprint of both the water tank and the signal box, also long gone. So a reasonable estimate of the dimensions of the buildings can be measured off. The height of the tank may then be deduced. I have ordered a digital copy of the map so that this can be done. This map

    View map: Warwickshire XIV.5 (Birmingham) - Ordnance Survey 25 inch England and Wales, 1841-1952

    is also suitable for printing and framing.
    Pencarrow likes this.
  8. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

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  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave

    Yes, a better photo indeed. I was wrong on two counts, there is a photo with a DMU and the roof of the tank is curved, not peaked. My interpretation of the roof was hindered by the signal in the way and the skewed setting of the tank. Thank you for finding this photo, a real face saver! I should check Flickr more often.

    Meantime the National Library of Scotland have sent me me a copy of the map so I can get some measurements scaled off. The columns under the tank are also better defined in the “new” photo, plus sharper evidence of the wire cable bracing.

    I looked at Street View of Meriden Street and the location of the water tank is indeed on top of an arch. What pity Street View never existed in the 1950s!

    There is also a night club on the other side of the viaduct, called Suki10c. It took me a minute to work that one out! Some wild artwork on the walls. It wasn’t there a couple of years ago when I walked all around the area.
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I initially found the photo on the Disused Stations website (1950-70s section) and saw the photo acknowledgement - then when to the Flickr for the original photo.
  11. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Dave, I shall enjoy the film when I am back in BBC Paid Up TV License Freeland!
  12. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Came across another photo of a DMU and Water Tower (although in a long shot). It is in a slide show on the home page.

    Another one on Flickr but not as clear.
    Focalplane likes this.
  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    OK, feeling a bit better, so I scaled off the footprints of the three demolished structures.

    Signal Box 50ft long by 13ft wide (though this is probably at ground level, the box actually was wider)

    Water Tank 36ft long by 16ft wide

    20 Ton Hoist 23ft long by 19ft wide

    As a check, the total length of St. Martin in the Bull Ring church measured at 176ft. This is very close to measuring the length of the church on Google Earth, give or take a foot! So I think the map outlines are reasonably accurate though the signal box width does appear to be at the base, not first floor. That correction can be made from available photographs.
    Last edited: 21 October 2021
    simond likes this.
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Back to the Water Tank. Another map on Warwickshirerailways.com suggests that there were four columns supporting the tank, the columns being inset from the ends to give better load bearing spread. The columns appear to thicken at base and top so can be made up using two brass tube sizes, one inside the other. The columns then support a thickish base which connects the four columns and is smaller all round than the tank it supports. There are braces, both solid steel and wire, and presumably there are pipes to bring water in for topping up and take water out rapidly to the water cranes. Their precise location is uncertain.

    The footprint is known by calibration of maps and Google Earth and it should not be too difficult to estimate to height of the columns and the vertical measurements for the tank.

    So, with Dave's help, a good day's research!
    Compton castle likes this.
  15. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Hi again....

    Just comparing the water tower at Henley in Arden and that at Moor St.

    These are cropped images form the Warwickshire Railways website of the Henley in Ardern water tower and the Acton Wells Junction Flickr image of Moor St linked to in an earlier post to illustarate their family resemblance.

    Henly in Arden is on the left and Moor St on the right.

    Henley in Arden cropped.jpg Moor St Water Tower cropped.jpg

    Construction is similar i.e. two girders to each leg except the Moor St tank legs are taller (hence the cross braces) and the tank appears longer judging by the number of cross support girders visible. Each leg appears to be set in a square concrete sloped base.

    I would suspect the tanks are the same width as they are probably made from standard size fabricated sections with Moor Street's being longer for an increased capacity.... a GW aficionado should confirm :eek:..... as my UK railway interest is the SR ;).
    Focalplane and Compton castle like this.
  16. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Earlswood Lakes was located at the summit of the North Warwickshire Line and heavy trains needed banking this far from Stratford. The large tank there is similar but the supporting columns are different.

    Earlswood Lakes Station: Behind the up platform was an elevated 12,000 gallon water tank, which supplied a head of water to the water cranes at the lead ends of both platforms

    Earlswood is where I grew up but the closer station for us was the Lakes Halt so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the larger station and its facilities. In fact I never saw a double headed train on the line though there is photographic evidence that they did exist. High on the Birmingham Plateau we often had snow when no-one else did (at least no-one in Warwickshire!)
  17. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I think you've found the best photo thus far which shows the tank construction together with the location of the filler and water crane supply pipe.

    It looks like to me the supporting columns for all three water tanks are of the same construction except with different length of what appear to be box girders.
    Focalplane likes this.
  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    As well as all the above, I quietly made a start on the wagon traverser adjacent to the 20 ton wagon hoist. The various ground covers have been identified and mapped and locations for the capstans, driven and dumb, have been selected. A total of 2 driven and 6 dumb capstans will have to be made up.

    The photo shows where the concrete footings will be needed for the capstans and cables. These are represented by white plastikard, scribed to represent expansion joints. The wagon traverser is primarily Plastikard metal sheeting but with tracks using bullhead rail. Other areas will mostly be treated with an ash ballast. Some paving will be added around the wagon hoist.


    The actual wagon carriage proved to be a bit difficult to build but I think I have a solution. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. But it won’t be mechanized just yet though there is a plan to do that if time allows.
    BR Tony, Deano747, GrahameH and 2 others like this.
  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Here’s a mock up of the wagon traverser carriage, placed on the traverser tracks but not showing the ramps that allow the van to be pulled off the siding on to the traverser. I will wait until the Roket Max is fully cured before doing any cutting and filing. Which I probably should have done first. The photo of the prototype shows several small wheels which would run on the traverser tracks and this is a possibility if notches are cut in the siding rails. Nylon wheels would be ideal to avoid any shorting.

    Brocp likes this.
  20. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Ideally you would want small friction drive wheels or HO/4mm scale rubber car wheels.

    I've also worked out a way (I think) how this wagon traverser can be made to work - as ever the solution always comes after the track is laid!

    As you have alluded to I also noticed from the photo there are rail breaks in the track where the traverser is located.


    Apologies for my crude drawing skills but I envisage an upside down tray with the sides removed.

    My suggestion involves a bit more - cutting two deep slots just a tad over rail gap width in the rails where the traverser is to be. The traverser itself is effectively an inverted large U with the rails on top. The wheels would then run on a plate below the baseboard.

    This can of course be made to operate electrically or by hand with threaded rod (in the same way as the traverser at the buffer stops?). To do this it would mean making the traverser plate and drive mechanism detachable from each other for installation and disassembly..

    Trav 1.jpg

    Hope it makes sense - and I've just now thought of another possible less intrusive solution.... but alas it's back to work now.
    BR Tony and GrahameH like this.