Inspiration #2, and Authenticity from Warley

Authentic Model Railway Operation ISBN 9781912038008

Authentic Model Railway Operation
ISBN 9781912038008

From the earlier post from-warley you could almost think I’ve gone all Southern returning to my roots and all that stuff! Well fear not, the Forest of Dean is still very much in my thoughts regarding a larger multi location layout. Amongst Warley’s O gauge exhibits this year was a layout ‘Staple Edge’ clearly based on Ruspidge and Eastern United Colliery.
I spent quite a bit of time watching this layout, as Ruspidge/Eastern United is one of the key locations I’d like to include on my scheme. One item I collected at Warley was the latest book from Wild Swan Publishing WildSwan, ‘Authentic Model Railway Operation’ written by Martin Nield ISBN 9781912038008. The book is written as a comprehensive introduction to working a layout prototypically, and also covers design aspects with pointers on elements to look for in the layout design stage.

Having watched Staple Edge and quickly read through the book, retrospectively I realised that I’d been applyinging quite a few of the suggestions included in Martins book. Staple Edge is a well modelled 7mm scale halt and colliery screens/sidings and it is very clearly based of Ruspidge in the Forest of Dean. Chapter one deals with analysing traffic requirements. Well my Severn and Dean project is like Staple Edge to be based firmly on the Forest lines, and fortunately there are some excellent reference sources for those routes. Coal was the primary reason for the development of the Forest of Dean lines. The mining industry has a unique history in the Forest with how it developed and how it was managed. There were many collieries within the coal field, small compared to some of the Welsh or Midland and Northern Collieries, but they generated an interesting flow of traffic which lasted into the 1950’s and 60’s, my era of interest. Having done a good deal of prior research I’ve already got a good idea on the Forest traffic and what routes it flowed over.


Martin also deals with track plans and how to adapt them or use company protocols, e.g. the Midlands aversion to facing crossings, in a layout design. Watching Staple Edge I already had an idea of how the line ‘worked’ so it was interesting to see what features they had chosen to include and adapt from the prototype into the layout. The prototype is a north-south alignment with the bulk of traffic for the colliery coming from the south and terminating at the colliery, empties (northerly) inbound and full southbound. For these pictures here assume North is at the opposite end of the layout to the colliery screens. The first thing of note for me was the traffic flow was reversed, so inbound came from the ‘north’. This may be a practical consideration for how the layout is used away from exhibitions and how the layout is physically operated, or it could be the builder prefers it that way. The layout at Warley was operated from the rear or ‘west’ side. For my scheme the layout would be operated from the east side and the operator and viewer will see the orientation as shown in these pictures, working in 4mm scale I’ll have the benefit of more space pro rata, to allow the trains to ‘breathe’ in. The 7mm scale colliery trains were approximately seven wagons plus brake van in length. With the size of layout these trains took a good but not unrealistic proportion of the run round loop. I’ve worked out that my ideal train length will be in the order of ten wagon plus brake in 4mm scale. The linear nature of the site in a valley bottom is a key element I want to capture, so my run round loop will be longer possibly a twenty wagon capacity length. This will allow the trains more visual impact, and retain the overall appearance of the location whilst still allowing selective compression to be used. The book covers signals and interlocking but not in significant detail, understandably considering the many different company variations that existed. It does however give a good feel for the subject to allow further research with the pointers given. The track layout has a few variations from the prototype within the colliery site and sidings. This is one of the areas I’m still working on. The stumbling block at the moment being capturing the appearance of the wagons being loaded via the screens and then gravitating into the storage sidings. Both Mick Simpson and Ian Pope have given me ideas to follow up on this as I want the loading to be discreet, but I feel I may have to adopt a shunter to move full wagons from the screens to storage sidings to retain an authentic track plan.


Martin covers Timetable operation and train formations too. Having done the research for my project this was how I noticed the reversal of the operations, I was expecting a different flow to that which I viewed. I must emphasis this isn’t a criticism of the Staple Edge layout or operators, its their layout and they’ve made those choices for their reasons. For my project the layout is a module, and the traffic flow through the whole scheme reflects the prototype operational flow. With the Severn and Dean scheme the orientation of the stations also assists in keeping the traffic flow logical across the whole route. I did try swapping a few around but the result compromised what I want to achieve in operations. Well, that’s the theory anyway! Train formations are pretty simple too and over the past year or so I’ve been making the ‘trains’ and selecting stock to represent the traffic flow reasonably accurately. Hornby’s announcement of an AA15 GWR/WR Toad Brake ( gwr-aa15 ), for 2017 has already saved me time, I’ll finish the Bachmann conversion I’ve started and Ratio Kit and get on with other stock, and likely a 16XX as that’s the type currently noticeably absent from the roster. Finally the book covers realistic movement and exhibition operating, breaking down subjects such as running round a train and the actions that take place performing the task. Some of those parts may seem obvious to people whom have had the opportunity to see it in real life in teal time, but there will be readers whom haven’t had that experience, and its a logical inclusion in the book. The production values are typical Wild Swan, however some of the model photographs aren’t as good as they might be, some showing pixilation and saturated colors, and a shallow depth of field. Prototype images are good quality and well printed, all  images are relevant to the sections of the book they are used in. The book is centred on steam era operations, however many practices and protocols are still extant on todays railway. If there’s an area where the book is weak its perhaps in the lack of coverage of contemporary operations and railways, particularly post British Rail Corporate era.

Overall its a good book and worth the £13.95 price tag, particularly for readers who may be new or returnees to the hobby, and want to learn more about replicating railway practices on their layouts. Reading the book and realising I’d been unconsciously following its ethos whilst watching Staple Edge was quite interesting, particularly when I compare and contrast the different compromises that the layout builders have used, and that I will have to address myself all be it in a different scale and era.

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Posted in 2016, Bachmann, blog, book, Branch Line, British Rail, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, Forest of Dean, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, Layout, LMS, LNER, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, research, review, Scottish Region, Southern, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, Wales, Welsh Marches, Western Region, wild swan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Inspiration from Warley #1

  
Well if you read the interweb too much it’ll range from, it’s too crowded there’s nothing to see there what’s all the fuss about, through to it’s the bestest thing evaaa!, and, an opportunity to engage in mortal hand to hand combat over the use of assorted bags to carry ‘stuff’ in. It is of course a mix of all three to varying degrees. You can of course use the exhibition as a really good place to find lots of things and people you want to speak to all in one place. This year I’d got a bit more time on my hands than I’ve had in past years, and was able to look around the layouts. Myself and a few others I spoke to on the day and subsequently, felt the choice and quality of layouts was better than in recent years. Of them ‘Minories’ in 18.83  Scalefour by Howard Bolton really took my eye. 

  
  
Staying pretty faithful to the original Cyril Freezer design, Howard has placed his layout in Southern Electric territory and whilst shown as work in progress it looked superb. The inner London and third rail really suit this design, and it’s also interesting to see third rail and semaphore signals modelled so convincingly. 

  
Having been working on a few varied projects of late I wanted to crack on with a layout project, and Minories and a couple of others have reignited that spark. One of the projects has been an SR layout based around a typical Ian Futers design which recently has been on the back burner. One element of the plan had been the track layout and it’s appearance at the station throat. 

 
 For me the look wasn’t right, and after an hour or so of thinking, I tore up the two head shunt sidings and realigned them as in the two pictures here. This has improved the appearance of the train moves too with the snaking through the station throat and head shunt sidings. There’ll be a lot of walls by Wills by the time this ones done.

  

This has given a far better look to the station throat, and consequently spurred me on to  continue and complete the layout. Final location hasn’t been decided yet, whether to do it as an urban terminus as Howard’s Minories is, or as a suburban commuter terminus possibly adjacent to Biggin Hill. The latter is my current preferred option, modelling a truncated line, in a cutting in Autumn. The stock and track plan potentially allow this layout to be tried in a peninsula style, having seen and operated Pete Kirmonds Laramie  https://laramieengineterminal.com and this well presented narrow gauge layout at Warley, ‘Saint Amis sur Mer’ that possibility is also churning away for the presentation.

 I also caught up with a very good friend and his sketch book who has a brilliant design for a similar long view, peninsular type presentation. Just build it matey, just build it! 

So, Warley. Is it as bad as you read on the interweb? No it isn’t. Over the two days there are in the order of 15,000 visitors. Out of those about five have a problem with acting like an adult and have to demonstrate that across the internet, and twelve think that car parking should be free like it is at the village hall show. The rest of us just get on with it. 

Oh and the show wouldn’t be a show without a gratuitous reference to a Pannier tank post. Well I got the final 97xx body I’ve been waiting for to go on a topless chassis,  which one to choose though? It’s a tough life..

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Posted in 2016, Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, brassmasters, British Rail, dapol, DCC, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, flying scotsman, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Ian Futers, Inspiration, Interweb, laramie, Layout, LMS, LNER, magazine, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, Scottish Region, social media, Southern, Southern Electrics, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Western Region | Tagged | Leave a comment

Warley 2016 Grab Shots #2 (The Canadians are Coming)

  
On Model Rail’s stand this weekend were several models of the LNER J70 locomotive. In partnership with Rapido, Model Rail is looking for expressions of interest from those interested in purchasing a ready to run model in 4mm OO gauge, before launching the project. The team has already done some serious thinking about specification including the possibility of DCC sound options, and how to fit it all in whilst retaining a reasonable haulage capacity. Rapido already has experience in the UK market and other examples of their work were on show including Locomotions Great Northern single,  see below.

 
Also on show from the Rapido and Partners stable were RevolutioN’s bogie TEA tanker in both OO and N gauge. Almost all of the N gauge run has sold out proving the value of making to orders received, rather than leaving stock unsold.

 
From the Canadian market the HO Budd railcars are close to being on the retailers shelves.  
  Surprisingly the US and Canadian market were asking why do the Budd, it’s been done? Well the quality of this model and the orders validate Rapido’s decision to go ahead with the model. 

 
  
Both examples showed Rapido’s attention to detail, and variations for correct authenticity. I wonder with a further DMU project tie up with DC kits at Leeds and the proposed Model Rail J70, if Rapido’s proven quality and delivery of their and customers models, mean they are becoming the UK’s limited edition producer of choice? Here’s wishing continued success for them on both sides of the pond!

Posted in 2016, blog, blogger, Branch Line, British Rail, canada, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, djm, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, flying scotsman, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Kalmbach, Layout, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, research, Scottish Region, social media, Southern, Southern Region, toy fair, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, Western Region | 2 Comments

Warley 2016 Grab Shots #1

  
  
  
  
   
 
  
  
  
More to come later

Posted in 2016, Bachmann, blog, blogging, Branch Line, British Rail, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, flying scotsman, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Ian Futers, Inspiration, iphone, Layout, LMS, LNER, magazine, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge | 1 Comment

Wordless Wednesday, Dapol’s 08

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Dapol O Gauge 08
7D-008-000 7D-008-000D 7D-008-000U
7D-008-001 7D-008-001D 7D-008-001U 7D-008-002 7D-008-002D 7D-008-002U
7D-008-003 7D-008-003D 7D-008-003U 7D-008-004 7D-008-004D 7D-008-004U

Dapol O Gauge 08 7D-008-000 7D-008-000D 7D-008-000U 7D-008-001 7D-008-001D 7D-008-001U 7D-008-002 7D-008-002D 7D-008-002U 7D-008-003 7D-008-003D 7D-008-003U 7D-008-004 7D-008-004D 7D-008-000U

Dapol O Gauge 08
7D-008-000 7D-008-000D 7D-008-000U
7D-008-001 7D-008-001D 7D-008-001U 7D-008-002 7D-008-002D 7D-008-002U
7D-008-003 7D-008-003D 7D-008-003U 7D-008-004 7D-008-004D 7D-008-004U

Dapol O Gauge 08 7D-008-000 7D-008-000D 7D-008-000U 7D-008-001 7D-008-001D 7D-008-001U 7D-008-002 7D-008-002D 7D-008-002U 7D-008-003 7D-008-003D 7D-008-003U 7D-008-004 7D-008-004D 7D-008-000U

Dapol O Gauge 08
7D-008-000 7D-008-000D 7D-008-000U
7D-008-001 7D-008-001D 7D-008-001U 7D-008-002 7D-008-002D 7D-008-002U
7D-008-003 7D-008-003D 7D-008-003U 7D-008-004 7D-008-004D 7D-008-004U

_B6O4719.CR2

Posted in 2016, Branch Line, British Rail, Canon G10, copyright, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, flying scotsman, Great Western, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, Kalmbach, Layout, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, review, Scottish Region, Southern, Southern Region, toy fair, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, Western Region | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday

Remember this post? https://albionyard.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/dapol-08-in-7mm-scale/

No,  me neither, but two weeks ago there was a weighty arrival at the yard in the form of the newly released Dapol 08 in O Gauge.

  
I’m getting the opportunity to have a closer look, first thoughts are this could be a game changer in the D&E O gauge market. This is a very affordable ready to run locomotive that covers the core eras of the D&E genre up to today, and no doubt into the future. Here’s hoping when I nail it back together, there isn’t a small pile of screws and nuts on the bench!

_B6O4719.CR2

Posted in 2016, blog, British Rail, Canon G10, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, finescale, Great Western, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fallen

  

Posted in 2016, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, history, Inspiration, life, remember | Tagged , | Leave a comment