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The Jamestown & Brampton Railroad

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Our railway has finally (after almost 20yrs) got a name! We've had a few false starts over the years with various names being put forward, thought about, tried out, only to be discarded for whatever reason. The breakthrough finally came not long ago with the completion of the branch line which terminates in a small 6x4 shed. The name of "Brampton" was chosen because not far from where we are is a village called "Brampton" and it did once have a very busy little branch line that served many local industries, ours bears no resemblance to it other than it has quite a few industries and is quite busy, in fact it will eventually be a "short line" as it has it's own loco's and cabooses etc.

Jamestown was a bit easier really as all the boys have "James" in their names (it's a family thing!) so that's it "Jamestown & Brampton" it is.

So now it has finally got a name I suppose its about time I got around to doing a potted history and description of the layout. :)

Ok, the layout as it stands today is in it's third reincarnation, it was first conceived way back in 1996 when SWMBO decided that she had had enough of the model railway in my son's bedroom, this coincided nicely with an old chap offering me (free of charge) his old garden shed it was a 6x8 shed and when new must have been quite expensive because it was well over 20yrs old then, and it only needed a new roof and this only needed doing because the felt had become damaged and the weather had done it's work. So the shed was repaired and the layout constructed, my young son David who was about 8yrs old at the time was amazed when I cut two holes in the shed walls and continued to build the trackwork outside. It was only a small loop from the front of the shed, it passed through a fence and then ran down the side of a pergola, and in again near the back corner. Although it was only a small layout we had some great fun with it and it served as a useful trial for later on.

Stage two came after a couple of years when we decided that the shed was not big enough for our needs we could not go any wider but we could go longer................ so we did, I extended the shed from it's original 8ft length to 20ft and then of course the outside bit was extended as well and then a branch line was also added that was worked with a shuttle system.

This version soldiered on for a number of years until various things conspired against it, decaying external timbers, and a lack of interest from the operators the railroad fell into disrepair! :( We had also moved onto 7 1/4 gauge railways at the local model engineers club, we have got a freelance narrow gauge diesel loco that we use at the club track it's great fun driving your own train pulling real passengers!!

The model railway only survived at all because it was in it's own building, had it been anywhere else I'm sure it would have been dismantled.

Then SWMBO intervened again! " what are you going to do with the railway?" she says "why?" says I "because it looks a bloody mess, either fix it or get rid" :shock: Well at least I now knew where I stood on that one! :lol: So to keep her happy I dismantled the messy bits. Then I tidied up the building and gave it a new coat of preservative. Now that things were looking smart and tidy I bravely approached the planning dept (SWMBO) for permission to construct phase three!

I expected some tricky negotiations but amazingly all went really well and permission was granted to extend from the shed back up the garden for about 25ft as far as the apple tree, I was not to go over the path! as she wanted clear access to the summer house. Fair enough that was big enough for me anyway, it gives me a layout of 45ft x about 6ft

This stage has been a long time in the making and very nearly again did not happen, my son David is now 28 with his own home and life and as we both work shifts getting together to operate the railway is not that easy.

Ideally we like to have at least one running day a month.

I have two other sons now as well one at 17 who loves the railway and one at 11 who I can't get off his computer!

We don't just run the trains for the sake of it all the freight trains originate from somewhere and each wagon has a destination and then the empties will need to be returned.Passenger trains also run, although not to a timetable, and then there will be the steam specials as well! The railway is quite complicated such that it really needs four operators but a decent running session can be had with three, but you are very busy!

I will sort out some pictures of the earlier phases of the layout and how it is today I also have some video clips that I will try to upload as well as soon as time permits.


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Ok, so I have had a look through loads of photo's but could not find any from the first phase of the railways life, then it occurred to me that this was before we had a computer so any pictures taken would be on real film!

Anyway I did find some pictures of phase two of the layout and these are posted below.








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Hi Nige, WOW nice work there, gee you layout has stood up to the elements for 13+years well done, layout hasn't that much in all those years, I really love the rock cutting using real rocks you would of had to put a lot of bracing there to take the weight of those rocks.

Wish full thinking I had a shed to have a permeant staging yard and track to run a train if it rains, the most I could leave my layout set up is a couple of days but I would have pull up the layout outside in case it rains over night, I didn't use marine ply too expensive to buy.

Two levels and I like the idea of the through track going through the stations, I have the same as well and a second level where there is a spiral modelled on the famous Tehachapi loop, my layout has single track main line and passing loops. There is extra double track blocks either side of the station blocks as well, to hold a waiting train in case the stations blocks have a train in it.

Looking forward to see how you constructed you layout over the years :roll:;);)

Tony from down under

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Early construction of phase three. 3 x 1 1/4 timber framing with 3/4 exterior grade ply track bed mounted on 3 x 3 posts, all either bolted or screwed together using exterior grade screws. It's been together about 5 years now and just this year I have had occasion to replace two of the small cross members due to deterioration and we have also altered the route of the branch line and all the screws came out as easily as the day they were put in, I can't recommend the screws highly enough, they do cost more to buy initially but the heart ache they save is well worth it.

The framing was built strong enough to walk on, not that you would want to, but I knew that when I started to build the layout I would be using real rocks and cement etc to construct the scenery, so it had to be fairly substantial.

Also there might be some big steam loco's running on it from time to time as well! :lol::lol:


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Eyup mate. Long time no see ( or speak??) :lol::lol: . Looking good mate. I've only got 2 words to sAy. WOW!! And WOW!! Loving the entrance to the shed mate. Looks really good. What's it made of if I may ask? :D:D regards. Mark

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Here are some more photo's of the railway, both of the inside part and the outdoor bit as it is today. :)

This picture shows "Hillside jct" as it is today in it's much reduced form, it was once a very busy double track main line jct with other lines diverging off to the right as can still be seen. The main lines have now been singled at this point and the line in the foreground serves the "Lonesome Pine Agg' and Lumber Company". The abandoned tunnel is where the lines used to run to get outdoors (see earlier pictures)

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Hi Nige, nice lot of pics, wow with the stone loader there are an awesome site when working, I have a friend that scratch build one as well using one of the tortes point motor, do you have a video of it in action, always good to have something else on the layout to catch peoples eye.

Like the two tunnels and leaving an old tunnel great idea, at least your old loco came to good use as a wreck scene on the layout, I am going to use a couple of loco shells as a flat wagon load.

Can you run to layout in the garden shed as a separate layout.

Tony from down under

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Hi Tony, to answer your question, we can work between all the yards and the Engine Terminal but there is not a complete circuit within the shed itself, so it's like running an end to end layout. Which is what we do if the weather is really that bad, that said we have on occasion run when it's been raining without any problems what so ever! Obviously we don't run the stone trains then though! Just to clarify, I have to say we have not started a running session when it has been raining, but should it start raining while we are running we don't always pack up either.

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Sorry for not joining in earlier Nige. I've just been going back over threads I haven't caught up with whilst I've been out and about enjoying summer doing other things.

Really enjoyed your potted history of the J&BR and seeing how things have developed over the years. It's good to hear that work is ongoing and that the line is still operational because that's exactly how the construction of a model railway should be in my view - something that we develop and improve upon over a number of years. Ripping everything up and starting over afresh just wouldn't seem the same as developing those first sown seeds. Long may it continue to flourish.

Would be great to see some footage...

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Hi Nige, nice to see you pushing that track gang along, they like their coffee break a lot, :D:lol::P . moving long nicely indeed, make the most of the mild weather before the snow sets in.

Going back to page one I noticed you have Lima FP45 106 running number I have one as well, a bloke at the train club on Saturday was showing me how to pull a lima motor apart quite easy , just don't lose those springs, I have four of the FP45's on the holt days will be doing maintenance on them and other locos too, need new rubber tyres as well.

Summer here has being pleasant not hot so far over here, had to get the mowing out the way yesterday before Christmas, so long as the grass doesn't grow too fast, working on my layout tomorrow and the weekend.

Keep the good work up Nige and good to see you too Mick, what's happening with your layout finished the station in the shed.

Tony from down under keeping on moving a head.

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Hi Nige, no worries be looking forward to see your video, nice to have a helper as well, my layout is slow going, one more approach module to complete the whole front modules 8 all up, mid summer before I see a train run up the spiral and into the car port area, being at it for 2 and a half years, only got the back bridge to cut out, 24ft in length, all the other curves are cut out ready to join together.

Tony from down under keeping on moving a head.

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