Highlander66

Loch Garry

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So, the old layout was left behind in the USA and my rolling stock and buildings have made it over to Ireland.  After creating the track plans (as outlined in the planning thread) I made a start on the build just before Christmas.
It has 3 8'x4' boards end-to-end with a n additional 8'x4' board offset to make an 'L' shape - the purpose of that board is to provide a largish TMD and stock stabling area.  with the addition of this board I'm limiting the fiddle yard to be more of passing loop siding type tracks behind the scenic board that will run the length of the layout.  In addition to the main lines which pass through the station on long platforms, there will be additional bay platforms for regional services and the branch line to Strath Garry, a line also heavily used by a timber load train and the Royal train will be spotted on occasion as they head to their summer residence.  well, that's the ice anyway, for now, but we'll see how it materialises as the track work continues to develop.  Just not looking forward to installing all the cobalt point switches, signals, and ballasting before the real scenic stuff can begin.

 

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To Jamie (7APT7) here is the last version of the plan, but I've since made some mods to it when seeing it on the board - I haven't gotten started on the TMD and stable area yet and I want to leave open an option for running an extended loop around the outer wall of the attic on a 12 inch wide board to give some good run length and add another dimension...

 

Thanks for the comments from both yourself and Class 66!

 

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Hi Mate

 

Thank you for showing everyone you track plans, impressive and you option to run round the outer walls on a 12 inch plinth sounds great. loco can disappear for a minute or so giving plenty of play on the scenic front part.

 

Like the modern image to as well as near to full length as possible.

 

Look forward to seeing your many photo updates along the way with alterations and modification as time goes by.

 

And Welcome to the MRL.

 

Jamie

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Some progress today.  I completed the wiring of the branch line to Strath Garry which has two access points to one line on the fiddle yard meaning that a class 150 can run from one terminus platform outbound, join the mainline behind the back scene and come around on the mainline in to a terminus platform which has a head-shunt attached, long enough to take the class 150 or 158.  I began work on the spur leading of to the rail preservation society siding which will house my West Coast livery locos and Mk1&2 crimson coach stock.  I hope to get the remaining 8x4 board braced this week and butted up to complete the 'L' so that I can press ahead with the TMD and stabling yard track work.  I found some sheets of Woodland Scenics 1/2 inch polystyrene that I think I'll use as the bulk filler between my Peco platform sides and then skim coat with Polyfiller on top to give a textured concrete look - I'd like to use some printed card but the humidity is going to play havoc with anything paper based, unless anyone can come up with an alternative (easier than shaping blocks of MDF I think). Ran a varied array of rolling stock around the track and through the fiddle yard with no hiccups, 5 trains going at once - it was fun and a good motivator for pressing ahead.  It'll soon be time to weather the tracks and begin the tedious effort of ballasting.  :wacko:

 

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Hi Franco,
I understand what you're saying and I modified the track slightly on the bottom left corner as you look at the plan, and put in a kink, but I didn't want too unrealistic curves given the board is only 4 feet wide and I wanted several platforms capable of taking full-length rakes.  I completed laying the sidings yesterday behind the station which are to be occupied with my West Coast Railways traction and coaches.  As I looked at the boards and what was to be a little spur off the branch line, I've taken to the idea of that turning in to a loop - the thought being to elevate that track running along the back scene board to the end where it will run over the top of the concealed tracks at the right hand end along the outer edge of the 'L' and decline around the outer end of that board to join back to the outer main line where it heads off in to the TMD - just to add another dimension to the visuals of the layout and add some additional operational interest - I'll post some pictures as I make some progress with it.

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So, the incline only goes to 3 inches max height over a length of about 10 feet, but I wanted to keep it low so as to not make the incline appear not too severe and I also want to leave height available for scenic above that level (potentially).  I've used the Woodland scenic stuff before and find it a dream to work with, so next is to get the plaster cloth over it, put foam track underlay down on that and see what it looks like… The 6mm ply level where the track is level and transitions over to the TMD board to the side, I've created as a lift-out unit should anything go wonky underneath it although there is enough room for my hand to get in.  Trains are running around pretty smoothly on all tracks and sidings now.  :D I plan on getting the TMD board braced and aligned to the main board this week so that track laying/configuration can begin, time permitting.

 

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Hi mate

 

Great photos, that west coast cl33 & cl37 looks the biz, and on those Royal Coaches looks really nice, how many Coaches do you have on the Royal train, couldn't quiet see... is the 5 Coaches on the Royal train or more, do you have that top n tailed with an other cl33 / 37.

 

I like all your livery choice that you run...

 

Jamie

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Hi mate

 

Interesting thoughts you have with the inclines, as10ft is a good length but you could always (may be to late judging by your photos) raise the main running lines (that goes under your bridge) immediately after it gone under the bridge, raise it up by an inch (1") if space is a premium then your incline only needs to rise 2 Inches (which will be the 3 inches you said) and possibly bring the 10ft down to 8 ft. as you have compensated for it by raising the main lines up by 1 inch.  That's what I' will be doing on my layout.

 

Being modern image, will you be putting on gantries OLEs on the layout in full or in part...?

 

Jamie

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Thanks Jamie!  I have the Royal livery class 67 (just waiting for some 8 pin chips to arrive), so I may team it up with the class 33 (I need to get its sister as well, the Heljan models are superb), and the rake at the moment consists of 5 coaches, a Couchette at either end, the dinning car and two household MK3 coaches - it looks smart.  I'm certainly considering adding OLE on the visible part of the layout on the mainline, there are some really good off-the-shelf products out there as I don't have the inclination to build from scratch.  It's coming along, I try and get on with it when I'm not tied up with work, and it's a welcome distraction… I should have more pics to post soon (I need to buy a few more boxes of track now and some additional points.  Tell me, do you have issues with the 'Y' points from Peco at all, some coaches (especially Hornby) take a real 'thud' where the switching rail meets the frog section, I'm thinking I may have to lengthen the guide rail…  Your constructive input is always very welcome. :)

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Hi ya mate,

 

Can't say I have had any problems with the Peco code 75 track, in the earlier days about 4-5 years back now I used Hornby points code 100 and I had issues with some certain Bachmann wagons derailing on the point, I thing the radius of the Hornby point was to open and the Bachmann wagon wheels couldn't turn enough to the bend to just kept derailing, it only seem to be Bachmann at the time, but since I have moved over to Peco code 75, all is ok, saying that I only have 1 small 'Y' point and I have not put it on my layout as yet to find out.  sorry dude...

 

Do you have a similar problem to me accept horny coached on Peco track, are the MK3/4 that derail or all coaches, and does it only happen on coached or wagons to and if so what brand.

 

Jamie

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It's Peco code 100 track (I know, I know), and it's only Hornby coaches MK3 - why is so much of everything that is Hornby just garbage?.  I've checked alignment, level etc and found nothing but when I free-hand the coaches over the point I see, and hear, the thump where the switching rail meets the fixed pivot point  at the frog area - could be just a duff point…  It's in the fiddle yard section so the stock is out of sight at that point anyway.

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Hi mate,

 

Do you have another 'Y' point on your layout and if so, can you repeat the same issues as you are having on that point and if so, I doubt its the point that's at fault, unless you have 2 faulty points... unlikely.

 

And you say Hornby coaches, have checked the back-to-backs on the wheels.

 

When I first used my old Airfix coaches on code75 I had to re-wheel all the Airfix coaches as the flanges were to wide to go between the check rails just before hitting the frog, similar to your experience, how ever some of my Hornby coaches, not all but some straight out of the box has similar issues but after checking the back-to-back with the correct tool for 00-Gauge solved the problem, I can say that Bachmann are a dream in all aspects.

 

I have just bought a second back-to-back tool gauge but there are several for EM Gauge p4 Gauge and 00 Gauge so make sure you you get the correct one for what you are running which is the same as mine, you need a M38 from Pete's Spares on TBay £4.99 + £2.00 P&P although if you buy it through his website, Peter did said it was cheaper when I spoke to him at the Hartlepool show, but I have just had a look on his website and it is only £4.44 but his postage on checkout added £4.00 postage which I presume is a standard shipping charge, so buy from his Tbay one and save £2.00 postage, he is quite vast at shipping to.

 

A small tool worth getting to check all your back-to-backs is called 'Markits M38 4B2BG00 Back-To-Back 00 Gauge 14.5mm' so if you just search for that it will come up with the Peters Spare Tbay item page.

 

Hope that helps in some way.

Jamie

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Jamie - thanks, great suggestion, that was the next plan of attack having figured out that the point appears good in all other respects.  I'll take a shifty on t'bay as I've bought stuff from Pete's Spares before and found him very responsive.

 

Neil - thanks for the comments, I'm looking forward to getting the rest of my fleet out of storage, I'm a bit of a class 37 nutcase and have a few still in boxes :) 

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Hi dude

 

No worries mate, I just hope you can resolve your current issue, I would be very interested what it was as and when you resolve it.  I like the technical problems as you never know the true answer until, fault finding I quite like getting involved with, and you normally find that the answer was something so stupid in the end, plus you gain more knowledge so you don't spend 7 weeks 6 days and 23 minutes the next time you come over the same issue so that can be an extra 7 weeks 6 days and 23 minutes of pure playtime, if that is the correct word to use or run rime on trains.

 

Look forward to seeing more pictures mate.

 

Jamie

PS: what neck of the woods are, Scottish judging buy two of you running liveries and your user name.!

Edited by 7APT7

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Yes Jamie, I hale from the far north east of Scotland although I've not lived at home in over 10 years, just moved to Ireland (my wife is an Irish lass) after 7 years living and working in Minnesota USA. I love the liveries of that region in Scotland heading up beyond Glasgow and Edinburgh although there is nothing electrified beyond there, but that's the huge advantage of not being totally prototypical - you can dream/imagine a little more freely.  I have some other swoosh livery DMU's I need to chip (alas none are DCC ready) and I have a few of the 158's in their original Regional livery requiring chipping as well, but I love my 37's that were the backbone of that region - that sound bouncing of the sides of the glens echoing for miles, nothing quite like it.

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Hi mate

 

Interesting, touring to the places that you have gone to mate.

 

I agree totally with run what you want to run, none of this... Erm... you can run that because xyz...

 

Back you on that mate.... I normally say... it says Weetabix on the back of the bus, but they don't sell it... haha

 

Jamie

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You wait for one to come along……. and then…...
 

Six of my class 37's decided to put in an appearance with 37411 thinking that the ballasting operation isn't far away  :)

 

I was able to get the last 8x4 board, that will make the TMD etc, braced and lined up yesterday - won't be too long before I start weathering track and ballasting the visible areas of the layout and it really begins to look like something.
More pics to follow.

 

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