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My Loft Layout...
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They seem well matched for speed, a bit like a truck overtaking another on the M6 and taking from Thelwall to Stafford to do it. Twisted Evil

Glossop MRC used to have a double track roundy roundy for the junior section... Trouble was the kids couldn't get a look in for the "grown ups" racing trains on it.
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Bob Hughes
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Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made a start on painting the track... blimey there's a helluva lot of it!!! Shocked
I can't recall offhand how many lengths of flexitrack I used altogether, but painting the rails doubles that! At least I'm only painting the visible sides - a bit lazy I know, but why do what can't be seen? The only thing is that these days digital cameras can get where the Mk1 Human Eyeball can't, so it may come back to bite me, that decision... Confused Rolling Eyes Embarassed
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realised the other day I haven't updated this for ages!!

Progress is steady - slow compared to some of course, but then this always was going to be a long-term project... well that's my excuse!!

Here's a few 'progress' pics - nothing is "complete" yet, but they give the idea...


One part of the Industrial Park. Freight Transfer building & team track on the left, Food Processor on the right. From a low angle, I think it looks quite good...


Further along we have a Chemicals Distributor, and a Cold Store on the same spur....






At the far end, where it is imagined the old Depot used to be, Progressive Rail have a small Yard Office. Behind it is an Industry no longer rail served, although the derelict old track is still there (turnout "removed")


.. and a rudimentary start has been made on the scenery. In some areas it looks quite spacious, amazingly enough....


Over the boiler, the scene is narrower of course...


Finally on the "British" side a Metcalfe platform has made an appearance - another one is to be built for the left hand track. It holds about 8 coaches. Beyond is the Exchange siding for the American side, so it always looks a bit weird around here, but if/once my lad loses interest.... (evil laugh at prospect of re-development!!!)


Obviously, there is plenty more yet to do...!!!
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Andy in Germany



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 523
Location: Stuttgart

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More progress thn I've managed in half a decade Jordan...

I really like the industrial units, and the idea of a 'British' and 'american' side to the layout: they could almost act as fiddle yards for each other.

And didn't the UK railways once have races to Scotland?
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No pictures to illustrate this I'm afraid, but this evening I had a 'quick' operating session, along the lines of advice from Lance Mindheim.

I had an 'incoming' train of 7 cars set up in the loop on the right hand side of the layout. The loco went around the freight branch and pulled all the 'empties' from the Industrial Park on the left hand side - about 8 cars in all - and pulled them back to the other leg of the loop and left them there; it then propelled the incoming loads around to the Park, and spotted them appropriately; a couple of boxcars at the Chemicals Warehouse, two Reefers at the Cold Store (all on the same spur), then two centre-beam flats and an 85ft flat (plywood and pipe loads respectively) put on the Team Track.
Doesn't sound much - but it still took half-an-hour of thoughtful switching, moving the loco at realistic speeds, and I do have to say that length of run helps! But it does also confirm to me some of what Lance says; that operational interest in a layout depends far more on number of car spots than it does an "interesting" (i.e. complex ) trackplan - real Railroads do not lay track to make things 'interesting' for the Switching Crews!!
As Chris Ellis has said much the same thing in MTI for many years, just with smaller layouts, it's nice to feel like I'm doing something right at last!!! Embarassed Very Happy
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like fun Jordan. Add time for the crew to get on and off the loco to change points and connect air hoses, plus all the relevant pressure checks and walking the length of the train twice to put a FRED on the rear coupler before departing.

Then there's always locating the keys for any gates that need opening to gain access to private spurs and you'll double that thirty minutes for the operating session.

I'm sure the crew won't mind, providing they're paid by the hour and not by mileage.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackcloud Railways wrote:
..... you'll double that thirty minutes for the operating session.

Yes, I could've made it longer, with more pauses for such things as you mention, Bob - without going to the extreme of fitting 'dummy' brake wheels to the side of the layout to pretend I'm applying car handbrakes... Rolling Eyes Razz Laughing Wink

Quote:
I'm sure the crew won't mind, providing they're paid by the hour and not by mileage.

I have to PAY my Crew..?? Shocked Question Exclamation

Good job they're imaginary, most of the time..!! Embarassed
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 354
Location: the land that time forgot

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how's about an electronic time delay between moves?
Obviously with a bypass switch....but a but like some of these forums where one cannot click onto certain pages too quickly?


Maybe linked to a sound module, of air being built up, tested, etc etc....under the baseboard?


There was a lot to be said of controllers with a 270 degree knob rotation , centre off, forwards and reverse?

Which meant there had to be some physical delay before a reverse move was made......better than flicking a switch, eh?
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mention setting the hand brakes! But yes, there's another minute or so per car. It all adds up. Model shunting is generally carried out far too fast, I can understand this at exhibitions where Joe Public may not realise what the delay is for but I do think it adds something to a home operating session when the actions of staff on the ground are factored into the time taken to move a car or two around.

My views on over scale sound, especially at shows, are no secret (I hate it) but I do like Alastair's idea for an under the baseboard system if it were just be audible for home use.

Not sure about having brake wheels on the side of the baseboard though, it would entail some pretty precise spotting to determine which wheel was for which car! Twisted Evil
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you follow through Lance's Blog page you can see where he's used a timer for the various delays... and 'brake wheels' on the side of the layout!!

I'm mostly using my Athearn CF7 for the switching, and this has DCC Sound (not too loud!! Wink ), with manual engine revs (F9 = throttle up, F10 = throttle back). The neat thing about this is that you can rev the engine up before moving the loco, as if it's taking the strain, and throttle back once it's under way to simulate coasting. Because of the slight delay in the response, that too slows down the operation.
I found having the engine sounds on "auto" a bit limiting, as the revs often seemed out of 'sync' with the loco - it'd be moving along before the engine rev'd up for instance, still be revving when the loco stopped, and of course doesn't allow for the coasting effect. The only thing with the manual settings is if you press F10 too much and the engine shuts down altogether, whilst the loco is still moving!! D'oh!! Embarassed
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little bit of progress is being made on my loft layout. This week I've installed an NCE Booster to give 5 Amps to the DCC section. This also allows for more plug-in points for the Powercab Handset around the layout, so I have two to put in, and have done the first one. The advantage here is that the handset can be unplugged from one location, and plugged into the next, without affecting the train movement (if one is moving, of course!). This means a shorter lead can be used as well, so one less thing to trip over on the floor Rolling Eyes Embarassed

Here's the Booster in place. Above is a small control panel for the handheld controller for the DC section, seen next to the Booster; below is the original NCE Powercab socket, left in situ as back-up.



Here's one of the extra plug-in sockets.



Two handsets can be plugged into each location, if needed. This one is further along the same side of the layout, at the start of the Branch spurs. The other will be on the opposite side, by the Branch Junction and start of the passing loop, behind the station.... speaking of which...



The British Station has made an appearance; Metcalfe card buildings and platforms. Quick and easy, and the first things to go when my lad loses interest or leaves home...Razz

Meanwhile, I really need to tidy up my wiring under the boards...Embarassed


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Jordan



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another rare update on the rather less than snail-pace rate of progress up my loft.... well it's too much fun just playing trains, is my excuse!! Rolling Eyes

Today I've finished a little project that's been on the go for a few weeks; I've fitted 'safety lights' to the loading bays at the main freight shed. These are the indicator lights that show if the trailer has the loading ramp ("Dock Leveller") in place; fairly obviously 'Red' is when the trailer is being loaded, and you must not pull off the dock; 'Green' means the ramp is not in place and the trailer can be moved. Empty Docks usually show a green light, but sometimes will show red if the ramp is broken & the dock out of use. At other times there may be no light showing at all because the indicator is broken as well!!

With the use of LEDs and three SPDT switches, all these scenarios are now possible at Lakeville Shipping. Very Happy


Middle Dock "out of order".


Left hand dock "indicator not working".


The lights are usually on the Driver's side of the door. Naturally, as we're in the USA here, that's for left-hand drive. From normal viewing angles on my layout this means that with a trailer in place the lights can't be seen anyway!! D'oh!!! Embarassed


The great thing about digital cameras these days is, of course, that they can provide views that you can't get with the Mk1 Eyeball.


Same again, a view not really possible usually... and there's also quite a nice sense of space, I think. Cool

Now all I need to do is wait and see how long it takes someone to notice that the trailers don't have their back doors open.... oh b******r... Embarassed Rolling Eyes Embarassed
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 354
Location: the land that time forgot

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nice and palatial.....the lights are a neat touch, a detail so essential, it is most often missed?

[White [?] lines on the ground also help to guide drivers reversing onto bays.....about the width of the trailers themselves....[not the paint, just the distance apart..]...maybe diagonal yellow lines to depict danger areas between trailers, etc?

Then there are the black scuff marks made by trailer tyres when being turned, etc?

For the doors?

Why not simply make up some dummy doors [the insides, anyway] and glue them to the trailer sides? [don't forget the battered look?}
Driver's access door will need battered handrails..drivers not being too steady on their feet...
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alastairq wrote:

[White [?] lines on the ground also help to guide drivers reversing onto bays.....about the width of the trailers themselves....[not the paint, just the distance apart..]...maybe diagonal yellow lines to depict danger areas between trailers, etc?

Then there are the black scuff marks made by trailer tyres when being turned, etc?

For the doors?

Why not simply make up some dummy doors [the insides, anyway] and glue them to the trailer sides? [don't forget the battered look?}

Great minds, etc... yes all those jobs are still to do - as well as 'seating' the buildings a bit better, and I had thought about 'dummy' trailer doors (just held in place with blu-tack when req'd) after seeing what our Jack/Shortliner did with one of his, either here or on RMweb.
Quote:
Driver's access door will need battered handrails..drivers not being too steady on their feet...

Shocked There's no need to be nasty!! Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Bungus The Fogeyman



Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 104
Location: up a gumtree in Leicestershire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't worry about the door on the trailers J...they could be internal shutter doors, like our fleet at Matalan are......

DOMH
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