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Friday 26 February 2016

Project 16 - Platforms Pt. 2

The Up platform was made in the same way as the down platform. It is much wider in places in order to support the Station Buildings. The open land to the right (car park) will be filled with sloping ground works down to a siding.

There is a culvert in the front face of the UP platform. This is where turnout control roding and signal control wires enter to come up inside the platform mounted signal box. There are two cross members of bullhead rail in the culvert, one is a lintel support and the lower one is a support for signal wire pulleys. (I shall be modelling cosmetic point roding but probably not the signal wires.) The left hand wall of the culvert broke away when I sawed through the platform and has been replaced with card. In this view you can also see my solution to fill the gap left by the saw blade - a slither of (pink) card that is glued to one face only, this area being the split between baseboard modules.

To Part 10.

 To Part 1.

Friday 19 February 2016

Project 16 - Platforms Pt.1

In 1970 Graham Farish published a handbook that included modelling tips and their 00 gauge product catalogue. There is a helpful illustration in the handbook of clearance dimensions for lineside objects. It specifies a platform height to be 13.5 mm from the top of the rail and set back 11 mm from the inner edge of the closest rail.

For as long as I can remember I have constructed platforms for my 4 mm scale layouts from a plank of wood. It is quick, robust and level. Using 18mm thickness available from Wickes DIY it is about the right height when used with Peco code 75 track work. Quick is true if your platform is straight but mine has to fit a complex curve, which required half a days work to make.

First I tackled the simpler Down platform. The curve was marked using a vintage compass. The pointed pin was slid out from its holder and the holder adjusted to run along the top and side of the rail whilst the drawing end marked the curve. The wood was cut with a jigsaw. When aligned with the track a passenger coach was used to check clearance and it was found that at various points there was interference. I think because of the complex curve the coach overhang the track by differing amounts. There then followed much fettling with plane and sandpaper to take out the discrepancies and I ended up with a distance of about 13mm from the rail instead of 11mm.

The platform was cut into three pieces since it spans 3 separate baseboard modules. Before doing this I temporarily screwed the whole platform in place from the underside of each module. This was to ensure when it was cut and the three pieces screwed down the linear alignment of them would be true. What I did not take into account was the width of the saw blade. An alarming gap appeared between the three pieces. I have a plan to close the gap when the decorative layer is added to the wood.

The bridge is reclaimed from the previous build. A cutout in the platform was necessary for it to slot in place leaving a walkway to the remainder of the platform on the other side.

To Part 9.

 To Part 1.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Project 16 - Up Line Operational

Regular followers will know about enhancements I  made to Peco track to make it look more authentic for 4mm scale. I don't mean the current work on Misterton, which uses 3D printed sleepers, but earlier work for Hewish Gates that retained the Peco sleepers. The most significant change was to space out the sleepers.

This week I learnt that Peco intend to introduce code 75, 00 gauge Bullhead flexi track in 2016 and maybe Bullhead turnouts later. Guess what - the track "will feature proportionally greater spacing between the sleepers". This is very good news indeed. I have one concern though looking at their CAD drawing. The rail chairs include the characteristic oak key but it does not protrude beyond the chair, so typical of the prototype. I hope Peco change in this respect.

Now I have both main lines running I shall take a break from track laying and focus on fabricating station platforms.

To Part 8.

 To Part 1.

Thursday 4 February 2016

Project 16 - Starting Up Line

Track laying has started for the Up Main Line. The distance between Up and Down tracks, is known as the 6' way, measured between the outer sides of the inner rails. But, I have seen this stated as 6' 5.5", which equates to 25.83mm (4mm scale). On curves the tracks are spaced further apart than this to stop passing long rolling stock hitting each other.

Having fixed the Peco single slip and 3-way turnout down and taken the measurement I find Peco has set it to about 33mm, which equates to 8.25'. I assume Peco set this dimension for uniformity with the wider spacing necessary on curves ?

This photo also shows the removable/lifting bridging baseboard between Misterton and Hewish Gates. It joins the Misterton baseboard at the blue line. It is not a good idea to cut the rails at such an acute angle as the gauge can become distorted. I prefer to cut the rails at or near to 90 degrees. To achieve this the track bed extends onto the Misterton baseboard (bounded by the red line) and for strength is made from hardboard instead of cork.

On the previous layout this lifting board for access beyond was non-scenic because I did not want cumbersome scenic items to get in the way or be damaged due to lifting the board. Instead a portable back scene was placed at the front of the baseboard to give a view of landscape and hide the bare railway. Access beyond was never found to be necessary so, this time I am going to landscape the board whilst retaining its remove-ability. At the far end will be the portal to Crewkerne tunnel, the other end of which already exists on the Hewish Gates side.

To Part 7.

To Part 1.

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