7mm Withyn Reach ... point rodding question.

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Jordan, 19 February 2010.

  1. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    As requested, here's some info about my small O scale layout "Withyn Reach".

    First written in February 2008:-

    Thinking ahead to next year, and due to the inconvienient fact that British O scale stock with buffers & 3-link couplings can't cope with 2foot radius curves (but small US locos & 50ft cars with Kadee buckeyes can :eek: so my layout "Portway Terminal" is unsuitable for British models)... also inspired particularly by Neil Rushby's layouts, and some of his simple plans, here's my plan for a small British layout, 6ft x 1 ft plus Fiddleyard; "Withyn Reach", set by a canal wharf...

    The assumption is that this is where BR & a Private Docks/Wharf railway exchange wagons, the rest of the private system offstage being accessed from the front track, BR the rear, though I plan to make the Fiddleyard either a traverser or sector plate to form a small run-round loop. The front canal-side siding is assumed to be an old loading point, now just used for storage when exchanging trains.
    No unloading points are envisioned onstage, a more frequent turnaround of wagons appears a bit more realistic. To throw a spanner in operating procedures, it's assumed the front siding, being by the canal, cannot take the weight of big locos- only the Private Shunter can access wagons there. scenery to be very simple, mostly overgrown scrub. I also plan to raise the level of the headshunt up a bit & drop the front siding for a slight variation in height- should make shunting interesting too!! I'm unsure how to hide the Exit; I'd like to avoid the 'usual' things like road bridges if possible!!!
    Time period will be late 60s/early 70s, Locos are a Heljan Hymek & brass-kit-built Barclay 0-6-0. Track Peco Code 124 bullhead . Well, that's the plan- ... how far I've got by Dec 2008 remains to be seen :oops: Don't hold your breath...
    The name I've actually seen before on a layout- a little 4mm British Light Railway that was for sale many years ago at a Warley Club open day... I've Googled "Withyn Reach" and got 0 Results except for the "idiot question" 'Do you mean Within Reach?' so I'd like to lay claim to the name here!!! Usually I'm not keen on names that are a pun or play on words, unless they're quite subtle & not too contrived, which I like to think "Withyn Reach" is... :D

    Well it's taken me a bit of time to get going on this project (buying all the bits first!) but today I made a start & here's some pics...
    The board is a plank of contiboard- never recommended by any 'proper' modelling guides, but as my layouts live up in the shed I like the inherant damp-resistance of it. The bracing is by L-girders of 2"x1" wood:- substantial enough to take the not-inconsiderable weight of O scale engines, as well as just keep the board straight!!!
    Withyn Reach 001.jpg
    Trackbed is a mixture of hardboard and MDF offcuts, all pinned & glued in place. I was after some cork tiles but neither B&Q or Wickes (my two nearest DIY sheds) had any...
    Track & points is Peco Code124 Bullhead, as yet just cut to size- wiring and fixing in place to be done soon...
    Photos were took in the fading light with a fading battery in the camera- if I had more time I'd try & play with them in the Imaging Studio... but you'll get the idea...

    Withyn Reach 004.jpg
    Stock capacity is pretty obvious- the loop can hold 3 short wagons plus Brake Van, headshunt Hymek & Brake Van, and the front siding 4 or 5 wagons comfortably.
    Fiddleyard is likely to be cassettes, resting on a 4ft piece of Contiboard I have ready. I'll simply slide them into place on that- I'm not going to go lifting cassettes with rather expensive & heavy engines on them!!!
    Well Garden Empire it ain't, but hopefully it'll have enough operating potential to keep me occupied a-while....
    As always, all comments very welcome...[​IMG]
    Withyn Reach 008.jpg

    It took a bit of climbing to get this overall view...!!
    Withyn Reach 006.jpg

    The headshunt is at a higher level than the siding in front, to try and add a bit of interest to the scenery-which there won't be much room for!!!
    Withyn Reach 002.jpg

    The "inbound" loop holds a Brake Van & 3 Mineral Wagons, but clearances are a bit tight.
    An operating restriction I've added is that BR locos are too heavy for the siding, which can only be used by the Shunter... any excuse to justify two locos at a time on such a small layout :rolleyes: :p
    Last edited: 19 February 2019
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  2. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    In an attempt to get away from the traditional ways of disguising exits to fiddleyards (ie bridges/tunnels etc) I'm trying out this idea of the wall of an adjacent building, and since it's the inside wall and we don't normally see inside walls when stood outside I thought I'd make it the remnants of a derelict & nearly demolished building. It's only been glued in place this weekend so is yet to be painted and heavily weathered...
    The retaining walls need capping stones etc on them, and the embankments have to be painted and grassed before I put various fences up the back; some will be wood, some concrete and some corrugated iron for variety, but there won't be anything else beyond them so the backscene can be photoshopped or use natural backgrounds (better than my garden fence though :oops: ) for photos...
    There's plenty more to do but it's starting to come together now...





    The little hut has a detailed interior with a couple of lights to be wired up, one clear in the roof and a red one in the fireplace to keep the Station Cat warm...
    Hut detail 003.jpg
    Last edited: 19 February 2019
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  3. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    The retaining walls are all in place and painted and the fences as well above the slight embankment; this needs the foliage doing- much overgrowth is planned. I've tried to break up the wall visually by having a mix of types with varying colours. This might help the layout look a bit longer too, since it could quite feasibly have been just one long uniform wall.
    For the capping stones on the stone wall I've tried to copy a feature often seen even today that dates from the dark days of WW2; when Invasion seemed imminent and Britain was short of steel for armaments, across the country miles and miles of fence railings were cut down to be used, leaving just the stumps in the wall... as an aside, this effort was mostly just a waste of oxy-acetylene, since the cast iron they were made from was useless for any weaponry anyway!!!
    The derelict building used as a view block just needs the windows doing. The 'rubble' is in fact real brick, crushed up by me with a lump hammer (or " 'ommer" :lol: ), and fixed with diluted PVA.
    A strip of MDF is in place as a small part of the canal itself, yet to be finished, but with a bit cut out so that the empty Joey (or Butty) boat can look like it really is 'in' the water...




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  4. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Had an evening at the Black Country Museum and took the chance for a few shots of canal Joeys for reference when I make one for Withyn Reach. It was a touch dark but these pics will help...

    Yes this one does have weeds growing IN it...


    But then I found one that would've been SO much simpler to model, if only I hadn't already cut out the space for a 'floating' Joey...


    :shock: :mad: :p
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Well work proceeds a-snail's pace on Withyn Reach... little jobs get done here and there, so here's a bit more progress...

    The Derelict building now has windows fitted... I think possibly there should really be more 'broken/missing' glass, but as this plays a major part as a view-blocker, remarkably there's just one pane broken...

    The windows were clear plastic sheet with microstrip frames, sprayed from behind with Testor's Dullcote and a light dusting of primer grey to give a very filthy, "never been cleaned" look to them.

    I've scratch-built a couple of point levers from steel rod, and balsa wood for the decks. I really should do more research as I've no idea what real point levers might look like in this situation so made it up as I went along :shock: :oops: ...
    Maybe it should be a Lever Frame so that both points (forming a crossover as they do) could be operated from one location, but that would mean I'd have to model point rodding etc, so as it stands the Shunter has a lot of running about to do!!

    I've finally got around to making one of the features I first envisaged for this layout- the canal Joey. It represents a steel-hulled version so I built it out of... well, steel, of course, with the aid of a MIG Welder and Angle Grinder... yes, really!! :shock: (and a bit of brass thrown in) ...ah, the joys of large-scale modelling...

    It's yet to be painted, and you'll have to ignore the background clutter in the pics; but here she is alongside the old Wharf...

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  6. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Here's a few more pictures of Withyn Reach with the Joey now painted and weathered...
    It still needs permanently fixing in place and some ropes to tie it to the bank, but you get the idea...


    It's last load (however many years ago that was!!) would appear to have been a load of coal, but whoever unloaded it left a bit behind...



    The figure by the hut (currently Withyn's sole resident) is an S&D Models figure #OF84...
    He is known as Old Bert. Starting out on the Railways as a Lad Numbertaker, over the years he's risen up the Career Ladder to the dizzying heights of Working Foreman, although other Railwaymen who have to deal with him might dispute the accuracy of the title "Working"...
    Here's a close-up of him, taking a breath of fresh air and surveying his little kingdom, whilst waiting for his current Lad Numbertaker to return from the Rail & Canal Yard proper (this is just the Exchange Siding, remember). It's only a mile or so, but the Lad Numbertaker contrives to take an extraordinary amount of time to accomplish the journey; Old Bert will then have to listen to a repertoire of "Possible but Dubious" Explanations as to where the young chap has been... Bert can't really complain, though; he was just the same as a lad- in fact it was probably him who invented some of the excuses he will soon be hearing...

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  7. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Trial operations with a single track "cassette" proved to be unsatisfactory, so I've been working on a 3-track/2 position Traverser. Today I've had it working for the first time. :D

    It's all a bit "low-tech", maybe these pictures will show the idea...

    Edit Feb 2019:- the traverser didn't last as built, and I also lost all the photos of it. :oops:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 19 February 2019
  8. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    Like it :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: ..........too much of this S7 milarky on here for my liking :p :laugh:
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  9. iploffy

    iploffy OC Blue Brigade

    love the track gauge mate no frills there perfect engineering same system I use for the 6 foot

  10. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    funny you should post this now as I'm just contemplating how hell to make a sector plate or traverser around 14 foot long for my layout :eek: :shock: :? ..........I've already ruled out 14' cassettes :laugh:
    Phill :wave:
  11. lancer1027

    lancer1027 Western Thunderer

    Hi Jordan, i love the idea of the drawer runner,simple but affective :thumbs: :bowdown: . Very interesting how you have done your trackwork as well. The track gauge is exellent ( if it works use what you can for the easiest is my view) :bowdown: :thumbs: Great work !!
    Rob :wave:
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    For the runners you could use those designed for computer desk keyboard trays; more robust and precise than drawer runners, and quite long too (suit a wider traverser). I just used what I had lying around...
    Station Road Baseboards does them, cheaper than B&Q... ;)

    I was once going to buy some commercially made track gauges, but for one thing in O scale they were only available for Code 124 & larger (the Trader looked at me very strangely when I said I wanted to build O scale track in Code 100!!) and my mate with me at the time who is an engineer thought the price for 4 bits of machined bar was utterly extortionate (which I suppose it was!) :shock: :p
  13. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    That's a really useful site :D , I will post a rough plan on my layout thread as soon as I get a chance....if you can let me know what you think I would be grateful ;)
    Phill :wave:
  14. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    A few more pics today (on my El-Cheapo phone :oops: ) as I didn't photograph the whole thing really before.

    Edit 2019:- photos lost. :shit:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 19 February 2019
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  15. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Track gauges are silly money ?8 for 10p's worth of brass or steel. Maybe you could undercut and sell yours for a fiver :laugh:
  16. marsa69

    marsa69 Western Thunderer

    Thats how I'll be doing mine for the 6ft. I got the roller type ones for my track building but they came with my C+L turnout kit so as far as I'm concerend they were free. And nice to see a wonderful layout again :D
  17. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    What a stonkingly fine layout; I'm not sure how it slipped past my radar till now. Love the decay and sense of industrial clautrophobia; but I'm most impressed by the ordinariness, such a hard thing to do, most fail, but you've captured something rather special there.
  18. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Thankyou very much, Neil! From a layout builder of your calibre I take that as very high praise indeed!! :bowdown: :D
  19. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Neil's post reminds me that I meant to add my appreciation of your layout too.

    I think you are very modest about it, the whole thing punches well above its weight in all areas :thumbs:

    Your idea of blocking the entry with an inside out building is both inspired and very well done, and it's a joy to see your son really engrossed in operating too.

    Harry and Charlie (my two) are getting on now (10 & 8) but I have always let them have access to my models and I love watching them when they are really concentrating on things. Harry has just discovered the joys of live steam with my 40 (bl**dy hell) year old Mamod, seen in the garden on Monday while Fred and I were distracted...


    Apologies for the slight hijack and I look forward to seeing more of Withyn Reach.


    PS Your canal boat is a true masterpiece too :bowdown:

    Attached Files:

  20. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the comments! My lad has his Hornby stuff but much prefers my O scale as he finds the stock easier to rail (don't we all!?!) and is fascinated with three-link couplings, which was also an attraction to me to go up a scale, having dabbled & got frustrated with them in 4mm years ago.