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mick

Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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Just installed the final point and used the last remaining length of track from my old Selby layout to connect the sidings to the main running line.

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Have to get cracking soldering all the droppers to the bus wires now before testing it all out.

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So close to getting all the newly laid sidings finished and fully operational but I've had to leave it for tonight. The indoor bits are fully wired but one of the frog wires needs reversing and I want to do that at the decoder rather than soldering blue wire to red on the power bus etc.

The point sitting just through the entrance hole needs its droppers soldering to the bus wires and the point motor installing. I have a Peco side fitting turnout motor which I bought when I lived in Selby and as this point is going to be under cover and needs an above board fitment I thought I might give it a try as it's sitting there doing nothing anyway and is previously unused. It's worth a try.

Hopefully I'll get the chance to finish things tomorrow.

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We're all done! Point motorised and all fully operational.

I used the Peco side mounted point motor on the point just through the shed entrance and connected it up to the same decoder outlet as the point in the new sidings that leads to the headshunt so that they change together. If the point inside is set towards the headshunt then the mainline point would never be set towards the sidings and vice versa.

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There will be a cover over this part so that the entrance hole and point motor are shielded from the elements but it's pretty well shielded here anyway being right alongside the westerly facing fence. I chose to run the wiring to the points and motor back inside the shed as this isn't a scenic part of the layout and is rarely ever seen. I couldn't work out how to feed the two point frogs from the one decoder outlet so in the end I settled for one being fed directly from the decoder and the other via a Gaugemaster Autofrog module.

I spent a couple of hours fashioning some offcuts of plywood into a cover, coated it with bitumen and then some offcuts of roofing felt. It looks a right mess but it should keep any rain out. The only problem was I didn't put sufficient thought into my measurements and worked the spacing out for the straight track, being careful to leave room for the point motor tie bar. I offered the wet and stick cover up, placed it in position, and then realised that when viewed from within the shed there was barely enough room for stock to work in and out of the new sidings because of the curvature of the point. I think once the bitumen has dried I should be able to shave a bit of plywood off to enable vehicles to pass safely by.

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No garden railway that draws inspiration from the structures and scenery of Scotland's West Highland line would be complete without reference to Sir Robert McAlpine. His pioneering use of concrete during the construction of the Fort William to Mallaig extension of the West Highland Line earned him the nickname 'Concrete Bob' and it is these two famous names that are depicted on the latest locomotive to join the Worsley Dale fleet.

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Produced exclusively for Rails of Sheffield, Bachmann 32-384Y depicts class 37/4 37425 'Sir Robert McAlpine / Concrete Bob' in BR Construction Sector livery.

I'm not sure what 'Concrete Bob' would have thought about my methods of construction for the viaducts on Worsley Dale but due to his use of concrete I don't feel quite so bad for digging up a perfectly good lawn and encircling it in a foundation of concrete upon which to build my own representation of a scenic West Highland railway.

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After trimming back overgrown lineside vegetation and giving the rails a good clean after recent rainfall, it was an opportunity to set a train running round while I carried on with some other tasks.

Running OO gauge outdoors is always going to present problems and it's a constant battle against the elements and with nature in order to keep things running. I've read that Jennifer Kirk is dismantling the outdoor section of her layout after damage caused not only by rain but also by the recent excessive heat and if you're looking for advice about running OO gauge outdoors then the general opinion available elsewhere appears to be 'don't bother'.  However, just a few minutes work is all it's taken for me to get a train running round and in my opinion there's no better location in which to view a model railway.

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There are certain areas of my layout that I'm not happy with but that's down to the way I constructed it in the first place and it's all been a big learning curve. I don't like to see the undulations created by my attempts at track laying being mirrored through the trailing coaches and wagons like a roller coaster and so I am constantly striving for straight and level trackwork and if that means ripping things up and starting over then that's what I'll do.

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I believe what's needed are solid foundations. Anything that expands/contracts is always going to present problems to us. I ruled out using building blocks for my track base years ago because it just didn't seem right, in fact it seemed overkill at the time, but now I'm sure it's the way to go and I wish I had decided to do that on my ground level section when I first began constructing Worsley Dale. I've been lucky in that I've had very few problems with the ground level plywood base apart from the section that's recently failed but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before other areas succumb so I'm going to replace it as and when I can.

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The Black 5 and it's coaches seen in the above photos had been running round tender first for quite a few circuits before I noticed it was suddenly at the rear of the train and running in reverse. It seems that my attempts at fitting Kadee couplings needs some addressing too as the loco had somehow become uncoupled from the train, circled the layout and coupled itself to the other end of the coaches before propelling them away. No damage done fortunately.

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It's been another lovely warm and sunny day today, one of those days that's just perfect for running trains, but I've resisted the temptation to put loco's on track in order to progress with more work inside the shed.

I've finally fitted the backscene boards behind Cattle Leys terminus station but I know there's still some decisions to be made as to what to do from here.  There's not a lot of depth to work with so it's either going to be painted or a printed scene with perhaps some low relief buildings if I can source something narrow enough. I really haven't got a clue at this stage - indoor scenics are not my strong point.

The boards I've used were recovered from the back of an old wardrobe - some sort of compressed board that's decorative on the opposite side although I've opted to use the reverse face. I've framed them round the edges and along the join with some 2 by 1 to add rigidity. At the moment I've simply used a couple of screws to hold them in place but I was wondering whether I should make them removable.

This is the view from the shed door towards the rear of the shed. I had to raise the electrical socket seen in the background to make room for the backscene.

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And this is the opposite view from the rear of the shed.

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Plenty of clutter on display beneath the baseboards but you should have seen it before I tidied up!

Towards the rear I want a bridge or tunnel mouth to hide the access hole but it doesn't have to be anything special as it's the outdoor running that's important to me rather than indoor scenery but I'd just like it to look a bit more presentable.

The photos give an indication of the size of the recently added sidings which can accommodate my rake of 12 OTA wagons plus loco.

I haven't decided on the station building yet despite the presence of the small building on the platform. Would I need something larger or could that one be plausible with perhaps some additional buildings around it?

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Some very nice photos there, Mick.  The Black 5 looks good on your outdoor section.  And indoors, I'm impressed by the length of that station platform - just the job!

Andrew

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2 hours ago, Andrew said:

...And indoors, I'm impressed by the length of that station platform - just the job!...

It does look long doesn't it? Funnily enough it wasn't until I'd put the backscene boards together on the shed floor and attempted to lift them up into place that I realised just how long the terminus section is and it's all for a loco and half a dozen coaches. And as I've pointed out before, the outdoor section runs round the perimeter of my entire back garden almost and yet I'm restricted to 12 log wagons because that's the maximum I can accommodate in my platforms and sidings if I'm to operate the layout with any degree of realism. If I remember correctly, on my previous layout I once had a rake of 47 MGR wagons running round so goodness knows what size shed I would need in order to have sidings long enough to house that lot.

That actually brings back lots of memories because I still have all the wagons I used to run on the old layout and you tend to forget about them. The stone wagons, oil tanks, containers, HEA's, HTA's, HHA's, and of course my MGR's which now number in excess of 100. I've not given up hope of one day getting them all running again but I doubt it will be on Worsley Dale because I just couldn't cope with handling all those boxes. The next time they come out they will have to stay out so I'll need plenty of long sidings.

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I think I spoke too soon.

Just a few days after singing the praises of the DCC Concepts ADS 8FX decoder it has let me down and I now have only 4 of the 8 outlets working. The biggest drawback with this particular decoder, and one that I failed to mention previously, is that there is no inbuilt memory to remember the setting of your points at the close of day. The next time you start up it loads default settings so you may find that your points are set one way from the previous session and the live frog feed another resulting in a short circuit if you forget and attempt to move a loco across a particular point. I had got myself into the habit of resetting every point before moving any loco but on this occasion I simply forgot and the short circuit knocked out two of my outlets. As I had two spare outlets remaining I swapped over the wires, started up, and lost another two! I daren't do anything further in case I lose the remaining 4 outlets but I'm now stuck and have only half of my terminus station accessible. I've double checked all my wiring as a precaution but I'm certain the problem is with the ADS 8FX.

It should be noted that there is now an upgraded version of the ADS 8FX decoder available - the ADS 8SX - which has built in memory among other improvements and I would have no hesitation in recommending you take a look despite the problems I've just had with the older version here.

It's just another case of needing to keep things simple outdoors and so I'm now considering switches or levers to operate the terminus points as opposed to any more sophisticated electronics. I've thought about what I need it to do and it's very rare that I change points and have the confidence to run a train through the shed without checking visually first that the route is correctly set so I don't really need to be able to change points remotely. However, a visual reminder of which way a route is set would be good and so I was thinking of trying the DCC Concepts Cobalt S point lever's. I would need six levers in total to operate the terminus board but could get away with trying 2 to begin with as the decoder still controls 4 sets of points. My own version of the 'stud and probe' method using small nuts and bolts has worked faultlessly on the Sheiling Bridge boards since installation proving that simple is often better. The only drawback to the 'nuts and bolts' approach is I have no visual indication of a set route but I don't want to start building an elaborate control panel with LED's etc when my aim is to keep it as basic as possible. Two LED's provide the same indication as one lever so perhaps levers are the way I should go.

It's a setback after making progress over the summer but I'm looking at it as a way of future proofing the layout. In the meantime I still have most of the layout operational.

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Yes Roddy, the visual point I made about levers applies equally to switches, the advantage with the levers is they have additional switches built in which are useful for live frog feeds etc and I'm going to need that if they are to replace the decoder. That's the main reason I was thinking levers rather than switches.

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We're all done! Point motorised and all fully operational.

I used the Peco side mounted point motor on the point just through the shed entrance and connected it up to the same decoder outlet as the point in the new sidings that leads to the headshunt so that they change together. If the point inside is set towards the headshunt then the mainline point would never be set towards the sidings and vice versa.

Hi Mick going back to posted  August 23rd is that point a Electrofrog point as I notices you linked the outer rail each side together , I was sold an electrofrog  should of being an inculfrog point, I used the peco point motor the fitted under neath  the point , put mine on top beside the point. Used the signal switch to switch the partiality and wired up a CPU to give a lot more grunt, bingo worked.

I am looking at manual leavers for point on the the station complex modules close to the main panel  and points further away be motorized, don't think I will go for the car door motor, will keep an eye on Thomas's layout  how he dose his.

Have started work on wiring the module that will connect to the main control panel , slow going, 20 blocks to wire up.

 

Tony from wet down under

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6 minutes ago, aussietmrail said:

Hi Mick going back to posted  August 23rd is that point a Electrofrog point as I notices you linked the outer rail each side together...

Yes it's an electrofrog Tony - I wouldn't use anything else. I link the two rails together like that, cut the wired connection to the frog underneath and then feed the frog from a switched supply.

I wouldn't normally use the Peco side mounted point motor but I had one available and I must say that so far it's worked faultlessly and it was much simpler fitting it in that location than trying to fit another type as the baseboard is so narrow. It's not exposed anymore as there's now a cover over the top of that short section to keep the rain off.

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Hi Mick, a lot of modelers  use electrofog points , a fried told me they are better for the older locos and rolling stock, I have too many insulfro  points to change to electrofog points, here is a pic how I wired up the electrrofrog point I have , couldn't throw it in the unwanted bin , cost too much 

 I to used what I had and had the base , have wired it in such a way I can unscrew the the how point  motor and CDU so I can store the module in the garden shed, in the second pic .

I  did what you did, not sure if you soldered on a wire each side and linked after the frog on each side then cut the frog, I  them soldered the frog wire to the peco switch and two wires to the other side of the switch, bingo it worked, it is not just the cost of the electrfrgpoint on top of a point motor as a switch for every point, ouch..

Also have worked out howto cut a block mid stream so I can uncouple  the lead loco, drive it off without the second loco moving as well, onto another block so the second loco can move off into the platform , done that on a second block as will, all explained in my Camdale post.

Tony from cloudy down unbder

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Looking at the photos you posted above Tony, unless I'm missing something it appears you've gone full circle back to how an electrofrog point is originally supplied. In the top photo, the brown and purple wires closest to the point blades, have you wired them back directly to the frog? It looks that way to me which means your frog is now switched and powered through the setting of the point blades. You must have cut the link wires that connect underneath across the gap in the rails seen just to the left of your wire connections to the point blades so you've just reconnected those with your wires.

If you look back at my photo, I add my dropper wire from the power bus so that it connects the outside 'stock' rail to the point blades so they're both always live and not relying on any point blade contact. I then cut the two small link wires underneath to totally isolate the live frog, breaking the inbuilt connection between it and the point blades. The wire from my live frog then goes to the switch that changes the point and its integral switch which changes power to the frog.

In addition, I have insulated rail joiners only on the frog 'V' section as there is no need to isolate the outer rail sections - it looks like you've isolated all the rails which isn't a problem but isn't necessary.

On another note, I've just discovered that the latest 'limited edition' Bachmann class 37s, the so called 'Bachmann rep' versions are now being listed for sale at £164.95! and that's at one of the main box shifters. Ouch!! I think it's time to call it a day for those now. I may have just purchased my last 'new' Bachmann class 37. It's getting silly now.

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I may have taken a step backwards with my need to replace the failed decoder on the terminus boards with lever switches but I've also inched my way forwards just a little bit.

The decision's been made and some DCC Concepts lever switches have been purchased but before I could do anything with them I needed to decide where they would be best located. It would certainly make things easier for operating if they were within reach of the main station switches opposite so I could sit down and have access to each side.  There was more room for the levers towards the rear of the shed where the headshunt is but that would have meant relocating the switches from the main station too so I immediately ruled that out. Another thing to consider was that due to the No.2 siding running along the edge of the terminus boards, I intended adding a fascia board along the front so it seemed like the opportune time to do both.

From the attic I retrieved an old wardrobe door that I'd stashed some time ago. Beech coloured and with a rounded edge it fitted the bill nicely and so two five-inch wide lengths were cut and trimmed to fit. Then some offcuts of the same door were screwed in position on one of the pieces to create a well for the new lever switches to sit in. All very crude I'm afraid but it looks quite nice. The fascia pieces were bolted on to the front of the boards slightly above the existing track base level which gives a nice tidy finish.

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I've not got round to doing any rewiring just yet but I'll be making a start tomorrow on the points that are currently out of use.

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You always seem to strive for and achieve, a really tidy and professional finish on the outdoor section and now you've extended this to inside the shed. You should be really proud of what you have done.

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Again, I very much doubt that anything I do could ever be described as professional and as I've pointed out previously, a photo doesn't always tell the whole story.

The front of the terminus certainly looks better than it did but it's only two hand-sawn lengths of an old wardrobe door with the cut edge sanded down along the bottom. I haven't gone to any great lengths to achieve a perfect finish by any means but I'm pleased with how it looks for what it's taken and what it's cost.

I've grown quite fond of Cattle Leys station with its long narrow form and simplified track formation. It reminds me of the indoor end to end layout I never had the space for, the ones you often see at exhibitions or featured on online forums and in magazines. It was supposed to be just a means of storage to expand the possibilities for operations at Shieling Bridge but it's now taken on a guise all of its own.

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Hello Mick!

It does not matter if it's done professionally from any objective point of view, it just depends on it is working on the one hand and on the other hand looking good as well.
Both seem to be the case with you.

One of my monthly German railway journals which I have subscribed, had recently a report on the construction of a garden railway (ok was in Gauge 1 and not in H0/00). They went seriously into the garden with a concrete mixer truck to concretize the route with enormous effort "quite professionally"!!

Certainly the demands on the substructure in Gauge 1 are slightly higher than in H0/00.
But I have not even concreted the substructure for my garden terrace ...
... I think professional can sometimes mean "completely exaggerated". 😂

Regards

Thomas

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