GRC Railways

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News and updates from the various layouts all in one place

By Gavin, Jul 29 2019 08:39PM

Taken advantage of the good weather to get Wealden Cement set up in the garden ready for testing at the clb in early August. I wanted to make sure all the legs and braces were fitting correctly, marked all the legs and fitted retaining nuts on all of the bolts. I used the session to get to the back of the layout which is more complicated when the layout is in my study and tested the control panel, DC and DCC tracks and switching as well as ensuring trains run all round the layout. I

I've done a base level of scenics on the boards but stil have the buildings off the board. This is to ensure that all the sections work with the majority of the stock. Once the WSNG test is over then I'll add the buildings, finish the scenic work.

I've had this layout on the go now for over 4 years so looiking forward to getting it finished. I've been working on others over the same time but its been a long time getting to this state.

By Gavin, Jun 12 2016 07:37PM

Not a lot of visible progress on the layout at the moment as I've been mainly working underneath on the electrics. All the point motors are now fitted on board one and I tested them all out today and gave them all their numbers (Cobalt IP's), some didnt fire the points fully but I'll go back next and fit the sleepers in the gaps between the track and point join and fix them down ready for ballasting before doing a final check. I updated the track plan as I needed the numbers recorded somewhere and in doing so tidied it up so that all the long pieces are now not appearing red. For those who don't use Anyrail in the software you can take a piece of flexible track and extend its length but if you exceed its actual length it will show red in your plan. Not an issue as I'm using code 55 flexi all over but it does look tidier now. I've added magnets at all eighteen uncoupling points under the tracks and tested these out with some fitted stock. This is critical and I'm itching to test these out for real. With the hand of God they seem to work just fine but the presflo's all need to be adapted as they dont have NEM coupling box's and i've not started on that yet.

My other activity is with the buildings, I'm entering them as a diorama in our clubs modelling competition so whilst being a bit of a distraction this does allow me to test out some key areas. The first one of these is the back scene, chalk cliffs like Snodland and Shoreham. These are no way close to finished but I think they look effective behind the models. I've had a real challenge with the paint selection and colouring for the buildings and seem to have a range of finishes at the moment, none of which I'm overly keen on. I will probably overspray once im ready but need to find that elusive base colour first. All the buildings are removable from the diorama and are in exactly the same place they will be on the layout. Couple of drops of glue on the base's just to secure them down for the competition. I've added a bit of detail to some of the buildings. I need to reflect on these as they may be overscale in some

cases but they start to make the models look better.

Next job is point motor fitting on board 2 and the wiring up of all the distribution points scattered across the boards. I'll post some pictures next time. On the diorama the track is glued down but needs to be ballasted and the gap between the buildings will be buried in concrete. I've not done that before but looking forward to giving it a go.


By Gavin, May 21 2016 06:10PM

Managed to fit in a days modelling last weekend and made some progress with the coal unloading shed and conveyor and the cement storage towers. The shed was based on one at Dunfermline and the inspiration from the conveyors from a range of locations. The Conveyors themselves are made from Balsa as I wanted something light but stonger than the card and foamboard the buildings are made from. Everything needs a paint here but it starting to come together. I'm going to enter the club dioarama competition with the buildings so may stop soon and fit on the diarama and come back to the buildings on the layout later as I will need a fair number of conveyrors and the layout will need longer ones.

By Gavin, Apr 2 2016 07:39PM

I have most of the track down provisionally now and some of the building shells created to start to get the look and feel right. The buildings are the second iteration of some of them as the first ones were a little to large. These will get a first coat of paint and be reinforced and then when I have all of them in place will be put to one side to glue the track down and start the electrics. Actually maybe electrics first just to test everything but as I haven't got the point motors yet that may take a while. The building at the front was based on an unloading shed at I think Dumfires. It looks over large and I'm not overly happy with the shape so next job will be to rebuild in a smaller size, but probably the same building as it will suit that unloading loop well I think.

By Gavin, Nov 15 2015 09:41PM

After a year of just exhibiting my existing layouts and mulling over the next one as well as lots of false starts on the next one I think that the plans are coming together for the next layout which will have the project name of Wealden Cement.

I've been juggling with a number of requirements some of my making and its taken a while to get these into a plan that I think provides the following

• Continuous run for running in and watching trains go by

• Integration into the WSNG standards for exhibiting

• Standalone option for exhibiting solo

• Something a little different

I have had a 4 foot module, baseboard built and with track placed on it for most of the summer, the challenge was I couldn't get excited about the plan. I wanted to use buildings and track from my back stock if possible and this constrained the look. The other challenge was that I wanted to be able to use the WSNG track 3 if possible and do something a little different.

After building Crawley Yard I'd been toying around with doing something with Cement next and also something I could potentially link with the yard- Maybe the aggregate supply side like a quarry but whilst the ideas were floating around they weren't exciting me.

Model Rail (issue Nov 2015) has provided the inspiration with Tring Sidings. Tring is on the WCML but essentially trains come up the slow line, stop, reverse over a slip and into the exchange sidings. There they decouple the engine and break van and the main line engine either picks up a new load or departs light. The cement works shunter then arrives from the works and pulls the wagons into the change over area. It stops the wagons and runs around them to then push them into the Cement Yard for filling. This is then reversed once complete. This little operation could keep one operator busy at a show and provides some real operational action.

Unfortunately this was never going to fit on a 4' board and to get a continuous run In the minimum width was going to need to be at least 2 and 1/2 Feet so the current plan is for two boards 4 feet long by 2 foot 6 wide. What I'm not sure is if these will be long enough?

One of the nice things about N gauge is being able to run longer trains than the larger scale so a Presflo train I think needs to be around 10 -12 wagons ( Now I don't have any presflos but assuming they are similar to other wagons I'm estimating them at 2 1/2 inches each so for 10 to 12 that’s a train of around 30 Inches including a loco and break wagon. Getting exchange, transfer and load sidings is going to be a stretch so I'm going to have to compromise on length.

Plan v0.1 below reflects this first round of thinking and will need some tweaking the exchange sidings are slightly to short, if I had 18 inches that should enable 6 wagons and a break van and my need to be the target length and I need to validate the 18' in the change over area. There is quite a lot of space at the cement works end but as I don’t want any points crossing the board joins I'm going to play around with real track and see if I can squeeze as much length in as possible

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