Monday, 29 December 2008

A lost layout

I found some old photographs of my first portable layout build in the late 1970's. Not very good photos and for some reason I used black and white film. The track plan was lifted from an article in the Railway Modeller as it suited the very limited space I had available at that time. Overall the layout was 9 ft long being two 3 ft x 1 ft boards for the scenic section plus a 3ft x 1 ft fiddle yard. Peco Streamline track with Peco point motors underneath. The buildings were card kits from Prototype Models. It was used a couple of times to promote the Mablethorpe Club in displays and if I remember correctly once at one of the club's exhibitions on an August Bank Holiday Monday. The layout has now long gone but I still have some of the stock, all of the wagons being converted to EM.

Lets hope I can do better this time around.



Sunday, 28 December 2008

Boscarne level crossing

Just been checking out some of Malcolm Smiths photos of the line and come across an good photo of the level crossing at Boscarne. Bottom Photo on this page

It shows that the land fell away from the level crossing very steeply down towards the river. The buildings in the left of the picture must be what was the mill etc and are well below rail level. So I doubt whether the Wharf siding would have connected directly with the mill, not unless the mill was extended. Would think that the Wharf siding would have been at a slightly lower level than the main running lines. With this evidence I think I may well leave the buildings off the layout, but would really like to visit the site again, if possible, taking photos of these buildings.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (2)



First attempt at adding some scenic detail to the Boscarne track plan. I need to further investigate the level crossing area of Boscarne, especially the Mill and cottage south of the level crossing. There was a mill race running off from a weir on the river Camel further up the valley so I could presume that the mill was water driven.

After looking at baseboard joints and where they may fall to miss point work, I think this will be built with four 4 x 2 foot baseboards. This may mean I could extend the left hand exit/entry point (Grogley end) by 1 foot to give a 10 foot scenic frontage. This extra foot might give me enough space to suggest a halt platform but not sure how to disguise the exit point f I do. I am at working on the assumption that I will be using a cassette style fiddle yard with maximum train lengths of just under 3 foot. (Engine and 2 coaches or engine and approximately nine wagons).

If this track plan is going to be used as a test piece there shouldn't be anything stopping me from starting to build the baseboard framework. Open framework construction was how I used to build baseboards. These boards may be similar to be able to have a level base framework onto which the different levels can be constructed. The last boards I build used the plywood sandwich beam method which did end up to be very stable. I am also pretty sure how each end baseboard end piece contour should look.

Oh dear, this means I should now start to prise myself out of that armchair.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (1)


Well is this it? Boscarne Junction as it might have been if Grogley Junction was built as my scenario. A much reduced track plan from the original as the exchange of clay traffic will be taking place at the new Grogley Junction. At last having found some time I've had a play with Templot and produced this track plan. Simple plan but please don't mock as I've mastered a few little quirks of this software and feel a little more confident in it use.

Grogley is to the left, Bodmin North and Wenford bridge are off top right and Bodmin General bottom right. For extra interest I have added a Wharf siding which would also serve the Mill at Boscarne. This siding would be gated like the one at Nanstallon. As the original Boscarne Junction I have not included any platform but it is very tempting to duplicate Nanstallon's or Dumere's style of halt at the left entry/exit just before a level crossing.

Overall length is 9 feet of scenic frontage so this could be a first foray into P4. With only four points and on straight baseboards if would be very simple to build and get something working. I will be trying to take this plan into a drawing package to add scenic bits and bats and will post later if reasonably successful.

Ruthern Bridge

First draft for Ruthern Bridge track plan. This proposes that the mine was still in existence with a few wagons being exchanged in the sidings at least once a week. (I still have not found out what was mine in these workings, I am hoping it is iron ore). There is also one wharf siding serving the local community which is gated.

Grogley is just one mile away so I have not included any platforms at Ruthern. I am proposing that the next station on the line to St. Blazey would be Bugle on the Par to Newquay line. Not settled on the next station towards Mawgan Porth and not sure if I really need to yet. If I ever do I may be looking at the stations on the Newquay to Chacewater line for inspiration. Possibly Perrenporth with its island platform otherwise it would be based on a typical North Cornwall line station layout.

I have not full worked on size of this layout but would put it in the region of 12 - 16 feet scenic frontage. It is a little large to be a first project, test layout. But it would make an interesting extension/addition to Grogley Junction or a stand alone second layout.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

How to make a start

After realising the potential task with the time I have available, I have been putting some serious thought into what do to get me started. A small diorama/working layout may be the best starting point. I am trying to think of ways that if this is successful whether it could be constructed in such a way that it could become part of the Grogley Junction project. Or at least a stepping stone onto Grogley.
So first thoughts being:
1) How would Boscarne Junction look in my alternative universe?
2) How would Ruthern Bridge look?
3) Could I get enough out of building an extension to either of the three lines leaving Grogley Junction?

Boscarne, as it may have been if Grogley Junction was build as I propose, could be a good starting layout. Should be able to get this junction down to three points. At a later date may be able to justify a small wharf siding, feeding the Mill perphaps?

I am beginning to like the idea of Ruthern Bridge but as I commit pencil to paper the track plan always ends up to be more than just a test layout. This would have a good range of traffic with thought traffic between Grogely and Mawgan Porth also Grogley and St. Blazey. Plus if I really stretched the plusable history to it limits, the addition of a branch to the mines near Withielgoose Mills and on Mulberry Downs. Not sure what these mines were, (Iron Ore, Tine, Lead or Copper) but the extra interest in traffic and track layout would add to the operation.

To build an extension to any of the three exits to Grogley could be a quick way of getting started. An extension to the line off to Mawgan Porth would be especially good as it could form an excellent bridge between Grogley and Ruthern Bridge. Though how would I gauge the end sections? How much value would I gain as there would be no real track building, no points to construct. It may be better to build these once both layouts are build so that end pieces will match.

So Boscarne it is?!!! Well for the moment anyway.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Locomotives allocations 1960

The following are allocations of engines known to have worked to the area during 1960.

Wadebridge
Class 0298 2-4-0T (Beattie Well Tank) : 30585 - 30586 - 30587
57xx 0-6-0T : 4666 - 4694
Class O2 0-4-4T : 30200 - 20236 (30236 withdrawn in Jan. and 30200 stored in Feb.)

Okehampton
Class T9 4-4-0 : 30313 - 30338 - 30709 - 30710 - 30715 - 30717
these were also used for part of the summer 30718 - 30719 30729

Exmouth Junction
Class WC/BB 4-6-2
34030 - Watersmeet
34033 - Chard
34038 - Lynton
34069 - Hawkinge
34080 - 74 Squadron
34110 - 66 Squadron
Class N 2-6-0 : 31834 - 31836 - 31839 - 31840 - 31841 - 31845 - 31847 - 31853

The above taken from A. Henderson's article in the July 1997 BackTrack magazine.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Loosing time

Well, it would seem that I am falling into the same trap as previous. Yet again not being at home this weekend and finding enough spare time for Grogley during weekday evenings is being difficult. Any spare time has been spent on expanding MI Territorials web pages http://www.miterritorials.co.uk/index.htm. The web site still needs a little work before publishing so any spare time this week will be spent on this.

Templot is a great piece of software but I need a good continuous stint at using it to get the best out of it. As a first plan in Templot and with the sporadic time I'm giving it, Grogley Junction is proving to be a hard learning curve. When I find a couple of hours free I know I will be going over old ground to remember commands etc. This is getting a little frustrating so I've been thinking a lot about how best to get started. As it will take time to finalise Grogley's trackplan, it is very tempting to build a small diorama/working layout first. This would help to iron out and test track building techniques and problems, gauge my woodworking skills, and try out different scenic construction techniques. So what to do? This is the question.....

While this is thought about I will get my membership application of to the P4 Society this week.