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IanR

Kirkfield & Warmthorpe Railway

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The Kirkfield and Warmthorpe railway is a OO gauge model railway that runs around my small, triangular back garden. It runs along the perimeter fences and onto a wall on the patio and crosses paths by means of removable sections. It is basically a single line with two long passing loops giving the impression of a double track main line on the long straight sections. The main station, Kirkfield Northgate, is on the patio wall and there are four tracks here. I call it an outdoor railway rather than a garden railway as it is raised about four feet from the ground and doesn't actually run through flowers and shrubs etc.

Assembly started in April 2008 by fixing aluminium greenhouse shelf brackets to the perimeter fence posts to support the baseboards. The baseboards are six inch wide sections of 18mm waterproof ply. This was treated firstly with a coat of bitumen paint thinned with 20% white spirit and then an undiluted coat was applied to the underside and edges. The boards have been stengthened using a product called 'Gypframe' which is a galvanised channel used for constructing partition wall frames and was obtained from B&Q. Besides providing strength it also acts as a trunking for cables. Roofing felt was bonded to the top using roofing felt adhesive and rolled flat using a wallpaper seam roller. Peco code 100 track is used and is pinned down using fine brass pins in the ends of the sleepers about every three inches or so. Track joints are bonded using layout wire soldered across the joints and a gap is left between the rail sections to allow for expansion. Points are operated by Peco point motors housed in weatherproof boxes which I made from plastic sheet.

The control panel, which is conventional DC, is built into an aluminium tool box and connects to the layout via a multipin printer cable.

Locos and rolling stock are all of the late 50’s early 60’s period.

The layout is now into its second year and has seemed to survive fine through the winter.

There are more pictures of my layout at http://photobucket.com/kirkfieldandwarmthorperailway

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That's really excellent stuff Ian and you display great attention to detail not just in your modelling but also in your methods of construction which puts some of my work to shame. I wish I'd read about some of your methods before I had made a start on mine as it would have made things so much easier.

The photo's are also excellent and the ones on your photobucket site are mind blowing. Your control panel is a work of art in itself! I love the twin girder bridges spanning the river which makes a great photo shoot position.

I feel like I have hurried my layout now and need to go back over it to correct the obvious faults. Thanks for some really great inspiration and terriffic motivation and please keep adding info and pics to the site.

Mick

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That's really excellent stuff Ian and you display great attention to detail not just in your modelling but also in your methods of construction which puts some of my work to shame. I wish I'd read about some of your methods before I had made a start on mine as it would have made things so much easier.

The photo's are also excellent and the ones on your photobucket site are mind blowing. Your control panel is a work of art in itself! I love the twin girder bridges spanning the river which makes a great photo shoot position.

I feel like I have hurried my layout now and need to go back over it to correct the obvious faults. Thanks for some really great inspiration and terriffic motivation and please keep adding info and pics to the site.

Mick

Thanks for your comments Mick, I'm glad that you like it. You'll have to be more patient than me as you have to wait for your scenery to grow, mine was more instant, mainly in the form of scouring pads and a hot glue gun!

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When I first built the railway it wasn’t my intention for it to be scenic. I intended it to be a track on a shelf but it sort of evolved! The first things to be added were a tunnel and then I discovered that scouring pads made acceptable looking bushes and trees and are quite weather resistant.

A few buildings have been added, these are mainly either resin or plastic kits from Skaledale, Scenix and Dapol. I have installed a few colour light signals, most of these change with the points and give me a visual indication that the points have actually fired. There are also two semaphore signals and these too work with the points. Don’t know if these things will survive as they are rather fragile for an outdoor layout but we’ll see.

This year has also seen the doubling of the track over the river and through the tunnel. This of course meant building more Dapol girder bridges and a new double track tunnel. The tunnel is a wooden frame with plywood sides, covered in roofing felt and finished off with scouring pads. (I have used hundreds of these things, thank God for pound shops).

This year I have also added the background that you can see on the photos. This is 5 inch wide lenghths of 6mm ply painted with two coats of Sandtex smooth “snowbird” masonry paint. I’m not sure how it will weather, just have to wait and see! I have stuck some low relief buildings on to this and also more of the good old scourers.

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The scourers look extremely effective and I would imagine they'll last ages! There are some very nice resin buildings and structures available. I have a small selection of Skaledale but I'm not sure that I'll be using any out in the garden. Perhaps when I get the proposed shed they'll find a home there. Likewise signals - I hadn't intended incorporating any at all but there are certain areas where a signal would be appropriate and give you a reason to stand a train.

I'm still going through your Photobucket pictures. I like the loco storage module. Are the cradles proprietery products or have you made them yourself? After seeing examples of your work aready I wouldn't be surprised to learn you've made them too but I do recall seeing something similar a number of years back.

Mick

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The scourers look extremely effective and I would imagine they'll last ages! There are some very nice resin buildings and structures available. I have a small selection of Skaledale but I'm not sure that I'll be using any out in the garden. Perhaps when I get the proposed shed they'll find a home there. Likewise signals - I hadn't intended incorporating any at all but there are certain areas where a signal would be appropriate and give you a reason to stand a train.

I'm still going through your Photobucket pictures. I like the loco storage module. Are the cradles proprietery products or have you made them yourself? After seeing examples of your work aready I wouldn't be surprised to learn you've made them too but I do recall seeing something similar a number of years back.

Mick

Yes, the storage cradles are made by Peco and are called "loco lifts". The beauty of them is that you don't have to handle your locos as you just put them on the track and then they become live enabling the loco to drive off. I did make the boxes to hold them myself.

Ian.

Edited by Guest

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It's been a great week for playing with trains! Makes a nice change to be able to get things out and not have to keep looking skywards for the next shower cloud to threaten.

You can't beat seeing the models in natural daylight, especially sunlight. I couldn't resist taking photos, here are a few of them and the rest can be seen on Photobucket http://photobucket.com/kirkfieldandwarmthorperailway

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B1 no 61017 "Bushbuck" emerges from Back o' t' Shed tunnel with a parcels train.

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WD no 90200 crosses the river with a coal train

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2 car DMU calls at Sheddleton with a local service.

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Agree entirely - nothing can beat natural light for enhancing the models and scenery which I guess is why indoor modellers with more portable baseboards bring their layouts outdoors to photograph them. I decided to build my viaduct as a spot for taking photographs but I've found that the section at the top of the garden with a backdrop of conifers looks far more realistic as it's usually dappled with sunlight (when we're fortunate enough to get some).

I really like the weathering on the B1 and WD in your last photos, in fact a lot of your stock appears to have undergone some degree of weathering. Do you do this yourself? My WD has the light factory weathering which I quite like but yours look like they've seen more demanding work and look even better.

Mick

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I mainly use Carr's Weathering powders for weathering my locos and stock. These powders are best applied to a really matt surface so I give the models a coat of matt varnish before I apply them. Wheels and rods are painted with matt paints, usually a mixture of Humbrol matt black and dark earth. I have done quite a few locos and goods vehicles with this method. I do need to do most of the passenger vehicles and also most of my green locos are still pristine, this could be a project for the winter. I think an airbrush could be useful for weathering the passenger stock, I may have to invest in one.

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I'll have to get hold of some weathering powders and give it a try myself. I've never attempted to weather anything before but I've got a few cheapie loco's that I can use to practise on. There are some items of stock that I definitely won't be dirtying up - the MK1 Pullman's and Gresley teaks for a start - I don't think I could bring myself to do it. Perhaps a slight dirtying of the bogies and underframe at a push but certainly not along the body sides! They have very efficient coach washing facilities on the Selby Garden Railway and that's gonna' be my excuse!

Your loco's look excellent.

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I know what you mean, it takes some courage to take some of the models out of the box and start to attack them with paints and powders, although at least powder will wash off if you don't like the effect. I wont be doing much with the passenger vehicles, probably a little underframe and roof dirt, same goes for the diesels.

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Ian, what type of couplings do you use?

I'm really not happy with the operation of tension locks which is notably worse as the trailing weight beind the loco increases. It doesn't seem too bad when you have just a short train of say half a dozen coaches on but they're nothing but trouble when you try running 10 or 11. The heavy load doesn't appear to allow the couplings to slacken off and return to a central position once they have traversed a curve (a curve of any radius) and they seem to be running around most of the time with the couplings wedged over to one side and ultimate derailment. Have you had any problems with them or do you use something else? I don't fancy the task of having to replace them all should it be necessary.

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Mick, Is it passenger stock that you're having problems with or freight stock? My mark one coaches are old Lima ones and are fitted with the 'Keen close coupling system' and i've had very little trouble with those. I have a rake of seven Hornby Gresley coaches which have tension lock couplings and I don't have any problems with them either. I must admit that i've not tried running 10 or 11 coaches, eight is usually my maximum.

I wonder if a quick spray with silicone lubricant on the mechanisms would help?

All of my freight and parcels stock is fitted with small type tension locks.

I understand that Hornby R8220 close couplings are very good for use with Bachmann coaches. I think that they may solve your problem and they also bring the coaches closer together.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BRAND-NEW-HORNBY-R8220-NEM-COUPLING-ASSEMBLIES-PK-OF-10_W0QQitemZ120436852827QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Trains_Railway_Models?hash=item1c0a98885b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Ian

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Ian,

I have problems with tension locks on both coaching stock and freight wagons but this is notably more severe when working long and heavy trains and especially on those couplings which have a spring tension allowing the couping to extend out from the vehicle to negotiate a curve and which are supposed to retract when back on straight track. My track isn't permanently fixed yet so I expect to have some problems with undulating track but the problem is that the couplings remain locked over to the inner side of the curve they have just negotiated and don't return to the central position when on straight track because there is too much tension behind to allow it to do so when working long trains. Reduce the number of wagons and the number of problems recede.

I've ordered some of the couplings you suggest to give them a try for curiousity sake but I think it's the extending coupling that's causing all the problems. When I view the rake on straight track it's running round with all the couplings to one side instead of them being central between each vehicle. It would seem to be a not so easy task to replace all those!

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Yes it does seem to be tension and friction that is causing the problem. I don't really know what to suggest but I would try a little silicone lubricant. The couplings may help though.

Good luck

Ian.

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Got hold of some R8220 couplings but not had chance to try them our yet as I have been busy with other things. I have a feeling that a spray with silicone lubricant might be a big help with the original couplings so what sort would you recommend? Don't want to risk damaging the plastic. If it's dry for the next day or two I'll see if I can get outside and test the R8220's.

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I use Servisol Grease 70, I got mine from Maplins. Carr's supply silicone grease in a syringe, it's called "Micro Grease" and is useful for lubricating wheel bearings etc.

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Hi Ian, how's things on the Kirkfield & Warmthorpe Railway?

I've just been taking another look through your Photobucket site and I have to say that those short videos you have uploaded really do bring your layout to life. They're also very realistic. I especially like the variety of wagons marshalled on the short freight. I sense you take the time to try get things looking right because they've certainly not been marshalled willy nilly as per the Selby Garden Railway!

Look forward to possibly hearing how you're getting on.

Mick

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Hi Mick,

I'm still alive and kicking thanks!

I don't run trains at all at this time of year as the railway is at the back of the house which faces north, and it is permanently damp , wet and cold.

I have been busy cleaning and servicing locos. I have also purchased an airbrush and compressor and have been using it to weather some stock and a few of locos. It's a joy to use, wish I'd got one ages ago.

Here's some pics.

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Good to have you back again Ian.

Interested to hear about the airbrush. Obviously you're pleased with the results and if those photographs are anything to go by (and if they are an example of what you've achieved so far) then I'm well impressed. That Deltic looks so much better with a bit of dirt around the bogies and lower body. The van behind looks the part also. The 47's also very nice and I can relate to diesels as I'm used to seeing, and working with them, in a largely unkempt condition. The weathering simply enhances your photographs which are already of a very high quality and extremely realistic. Is there any chance you could document the stages of weathering stock or locomotive through a series of photographs? It's something I would like to get into but advice and experiences regarding equipment and methods would be very useful.

Mick

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