Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

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Julian Roberts
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:11 pm

Back to your previous post Tim I seem to recall this is the second time such a "call" has been made during the the time your thread has been going! And that Railtrack at the time of its maximum 'irrational exuberance' before Hatfield made just such a call. You'll be in a good place to offer architectural contractorship for a rebuilt Monsaldale station! What your partnership's collective imaginition would do for an old station would be of great interest.

Two or three such far from irrationally exuberant reopenings have occurred up here in Scotland. The cycleways which the track had become are not extinguished. They continue to exist alongside or near the track. Near the present terminus of the very welcome reopened Waverley line at Tweedbank the railway crosses the Tweed on a tall viaduct. Being now single track the cycle path is where the other track once was with a tall fence between. How tunnels might be treated would be a question, and where double track restored, too. Whether this reopening would be a rational scheme is another matter...

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:22 pm

Hi Julian,

It would be great to see 12" :1' running through the peak again as it is such a beautiful route ... particularly if there were a way of running a heritage element in tandem ... but whilst keeping my fingers crossed I shall not be holding my breath - it will be one hell of an undertaking and alongside money there would be a myriad of complications to iron out.

But one can still hope :thumb
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:31 pm

Right .... back to the 1F ;)

Following all the experimentation and advice given ... and also because Dave Franks' new universal inside cylinder coupling rods are now available, I decided to unsolder everything ... clean up and start again. I want to set the hornblocks accurately from the new coupling rods :D

Another reason for starting over was that although the original etch for the coupling rods by my calcs was not accurate to the correct wheel base .... on inspection neither was the brake rigging which was throwing out the brake positions in relation to the wheels ... and I don't want to scratch build all the rigging.... so I have gone back to the original spacing - its pretty close.

As an aside, I also found that either my calculations on the correct spacing were out, or the pre-drilled holes in the Gibson Frames for the brake hangers were also incorrect .... and furthermore they did seem to match the original etch spacing quite closely :? So perhaps I made a cock up all along :D

Anyway .... I have spent the last few evenings building my version of Allan's Chassis Jig from his starters thread and am now ready to put the frames together again using this new toy. ;)
Chassis Jig - 3.jpg
Tim Lee

Julian Roberts
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:08 am

It's such a luxury making a loco from a good kit where everything fits together! I cut my teeth on locos where I had to get Gibson frames and did a bit of bodging for the brakes. Whether the holes weren't in precisely the right place or it was my ineptitude it didn't matter much really, they aren't exactly the focus of attention! The great thing about the Gibson frames is the huge range of prototypes, ready availability, and nice chunky thickness and quality of the brass, I think.

I haven't followed all the twists and turns of the 1F saga. It would be slightly easier to go back over it if you had a separate thread for it possibly? Anyway power to your elbow Tim. I must confess I haven't even got a chassis jig. Too tight/poor to buy one and too low boredom threshold to make one! When I'm fully retired and a full time modeller perhaps! But your version of Allan's jig looks good. Interested if you show it to us in use.

petermeyer
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby petermeyer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:15 am

This may be P4 heresy but, as the axles are supposed to move up and down with the horn block guides, the wheelbase is a moveable feast.

For the same reason the brake shoes can't be too tight against the wheel.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:50 am

petermeyer wrote:This may be P4 heresy but, as the axles are supposed to move up and down with the horn block guides, the wheelbase is a moveable feast.

For the same reason the brake shoes can't be too tight against the wheel.


The problem I had was that the centres of the brake rigging were different to the revised wheelbase I set up via the coupling rods. This meant that it was noticeable that the brakes were vertical on the centre wheel but sloping back and forwards respectively on the front and back wheels ... not a great look really. :?
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:04 am

Julian Roberts wrote:It's such a luxury making a loco from a good kit where everything fits together! I cut my teeth on locos where I had to get Gibson frames and did a bit of bodging for the brakes. Whether the holes weren't in precisely the right place or it was my ineptitude it didn't matter much really, they aren't exactly the focus of attention!


That's pretty much what I did on my Barney until I discovered the Perseverance chassis kit for the Drummond 700 class which matched :thumb

Julian Roberts wrote:I must confess I haven't even got a chassis jig. Too tight/poor to buy one and too low boredom threshold to make one! When I'm fully retired and a full time modeller perhaps!


The price of the bought ones was a step too far for me as well. I just reasoned that Allan has built a lot more locos than me and his skill set is likely to be a few tiers higher than my own and he obviously finds the jig of use ;) .... so I thought I would give it a go.

Julian Roberts wrote:But your version of Allan's jig looks good. Interested if you show it to us in use.


You can see from the photo I have the frames clipped to the sides ... so they are vertical and the width is correct. I have set the ends using the scribed lines to ensure they are square. I then simply soldered the spacers in place. I have set one of the horn guides central and vertical in the central cutout. I then used a length of 1/8th silver steel rod to position the opposing horn block and guide. The jig allowed me to square this using an engineers square clipped tight to the angles and with the rod clipped to the opposing angle of the square. This has hopefully ensured that the opposing horn block and guide is true and square across the chassis. I was also able to clip the guide in place against the angle and adjust to ensure it was vertical within the cut out before soldering in place. So from my perspective the jig has so far allowed me to set things up to my satisfaction much more positively and without needing three hands ... or actually to hold anything ... prior to soldering - the downside is that I only have myself to blame if it is wrong :? .
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:17 pm

Here with the jig set up with the square setting the opposite horn-block and guide .... mocked up to show how I used it. :thumb

Chassis Jig with square - 1.jpg
Tim Lee

Julian Roberts
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Julian Roberts » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:16 am

Thanks Tim. Interested to see that continuing process as you go.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am

pardon the digression from the 1f build .... I am curious to canvas peoples opinion of closed cell rigid insulation as a track base? This starts from the assumption that using protocab the track will not need to be powered, and also based upon my surface operated point rodding and signal wire experiments ... so access to the underside of the track bed will not be a major requirement.

Thoughts off the top .....It is very strong made to take high compressive forces under building ground-slabs (it needs to take the point loadings of heavy goods vehicles). It is extremely light and easily workable. If used in 100mm (4") thickness it is very rigid and will not deform or sag. It is inert and not subject as far as I know to expansion or contraction or other movement. It is impermeable to water. You could bond cork or any other track base directly to it using a suitable adhesive.

Are there serious reasons why this would not be advisable? ... or might it be worth an experiment? Just a thought as it would mean that the whole scenic profile could then be modelled monolithically in the same material and it would be very lightweight.
Tim Lee

Philip Hall
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:28 am

Tim, that's an interesting idea, so long as the stuff is completely rigid and will not compress or dent. If it were to be as solid as timber then perhaps it would be OK. But for underlay, perhaps, I'm not so sure.

I had originally thought that foam underlay was a good idea, but am now pretty convinced that 3mm or thicker cork is much more stable and flat. I may be unusual in that many of my engines are going to be rigid RTR conversions, and they have all performed impeccably on the Epsom Club's 'Wadhurst', where that track is very firmly glued to cork. A foam base has the tendency to have undulations in its surface, not when first stuck down but later. I think Pendon has found this in places when using code 75 rail.

I recently visited a very fine 00 layout where the builder had used (on Guy Williams' recommendation, no less, based on Pendon experience) a rubber track base, and had found no problems at all. Indeed, the running I saw was quite impeccable. But, here's the thing, the rail used was code 90 bullhead, because that was all you could get when the layout was started, and that rail is far stiffer.

I actually like quiet running, and so I will probably not glue the track down firmly but pin it gently down in places, making sure it is well supported before ballasting and (maybe) removing the pins. I do think that with our fine flanges (turning burrs as they were once described to me!) we need to pay much more attention to level than we might with the deeper flanges of EM or 00.



Philip

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:56 am

Philip Hall wrote:Tim, that's an interesting idea, so long as the stuff is completely rigid and will not compress or dent. If it were to be as solid as timber then perhaps it would be OK. But for underlay, perhaps, I'm not so sure.

I had originally thought that foam underlay was a good idea, but am now pretty convinced that 3mm or thicker cork is much more stable and flat.


Hi Philip,

I was thinking of using cork as the underlay but perhaps bonding this to 4" Celotex (or similar) rather than the usual 9mm plywood. I thought it might be an interesting option to experiment with given its inherent stability and extreme lightness. It can dent locally if subject to impact, but you can fill it ... it was Neil's recent posting on Dorset 1937 that made me think of it...

viewtopic.php?p=70803#p70803

though of course his track bed is ply.
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:00 pm

Tim, I think Gordon Gravett has done something similar on Arun Quay. Although that’s O gauge of course. I suspect you will be OK so long as it’s absolutely flat.

A thicker underlay had crossed my mind, but the cost of thicker cork put me off a bit. But it is a lot more stable than foam. I’m putting all the wiring on top of the boards, sometimes in channels in the underlay, so the thicker it is, the more there is to cut out.

As this is the ‘last great project’ old, proven ideas tend to appeal. I really don’t want to have to rebuild anything, so am determined it needs to be right. Walter Ward-Platt’s article (Scalefour News) spoke of firm boards and firm track and has guided my approach so far.

Philip

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Flymo748
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:35 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:pardon the digression from the 1f build .... I am curious to canvas peoples opinion of closed cell rigid insulation as a track base? This starts from the assumption that using protocab the track will not need to be powered, and also based upon my surface operated point rodding and signal wire experiments ... so access to the underside of the track bed will not be a major requirement.

Thoughts off the top .....It is very strong made to take high compressive forces under building ground-slabs (it needs to take the point loadings of heavy goods vehicles). It is extremely light and easily workable. If used in 100mm (4") thickness it is very rigid and will not deform or sag. It is inert and not subject as far as I know to expansion or contraction or other movement. It is impermeable to water. You could bond cork or any other track base directly to it using a suitable adhesive.

Are there serious reasons why this would not be advisable? ... or might it be worth an experiment? Just a thought as it would mean that the whole scenic profile could then be modelled monolithically in the same material and it would be very lightweight.


Gordon Gravett, MRJ 235, p.301.

In short, yes, you just need to protect the edges. I bought a few slabs from Wickes of the 100mm stuff to experiment with.

Cheers
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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:28 pm

Hi Tim, :D

I have been away down to Newcastle with Dubbieside last weekend and have been busy getting it ready, so have not been able to look at the forum. Looks like you have made a good job of the chassis jig and if used correctly will do what is required. Thanks for trying it. As to the material you are considering using - I was given a number of large blocks of the material which was intended to be used for insulation in the bottom of a building being built not far from here. I was told I could just take whatever was left in the skip. I came away with about ten large sheets of the stuff and about the same thickness as you were considering using.

The first thing I noticed was that not all the sheets were perfectly flat although they seemed fixed in their form. I could cut it easily and it could be filed using a wood rasp to shape. A bit messy but to be expected. I had three days to create a circular form which was to add a double track main line section on to the back of Dubbieside at shows when on its higher legs. It is very light and allowed for easy assembly by one person. The edges were protected using 3mm mdf which can be curved and gives a reasonably neat appearance. The ends of the "boards" were ply. It was only intended as a trial of the material as a light weight material and just for one show. The support legs were just singles and clamped the board ends together and the main part of the layout helped to support this upper level. I may have some photos somewhere. It also used the idea of contact plates to reduce the need for inter board connectors. When all the boards were clipped together the electrics were up and running immediately.

I will maybe take a couple of photographs of the boards which are stored in the garage. There are a couple of comments on their use which you might find useful. As I was working at speed I needed an adhesive which would allow for this speed and tried several things. I thought that carpet adhesive might work on the material when putting on the sides. This worked to a degree providing it was sprayed on the mdf and fairly quickly fitted to the material - if sprayed on directly the material could dissolve If you can take longer than I had then clamping and gluing using white glue might have been better. I glued on black foam for underlay as it would allow me to pin the track down easily using pins -I thought I would try a floating track base to see what the effect was going to be on running. The track was never glued down or ballasted, so a lot of experimentation just in one circuit. The trains ran around at eye level above the normal Dubbieside scene.

Running was very quiet . I think cork is still the best way to go and have gone back to using it after a number of experiments with foam. My new layout uses completely different techniques and not nearly so bulky. I will put up some photos showing what worked and also what problems there may have been, it will be later this week.

Providing the front piece was set up, the back circuit could be put up and working within about 15 minutes - it was only intended to be something interesting just for one show and in fact it has been to about half a dozen exhibitions in this form. At Newcastle I reverted to the original three boards with one of the additional end boards which has the distillery and ash handling plant, but no station board. I had painted a new back scene showing the third dock at Methil in the background, again something just for this show. We had a good show although I did have a problem which held up the operation of the distillery end - I had a dead short after having replaced a point motor before we came - By mistake I had connected the operating wires the wrong way around and the motor was throwing the wrong way around compared to the frog feed - which of course resulted in a short. :o It took me some time to realise this school boy error :cry: - we all have them I am afraid. However once sorted the layout performed pretty well for the rest of the weekend. The exhibition was excellent and we are already hoping to be there next year with my new layout and its phase 1.

Allan :D

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby bobwallison » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:56 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:I am curious to canvas peoples opinion of closed cell rigid insulation as a track base?


Tim, as stated by Flymo, Gordon Gravett's articles show the way but it is crucial that you use the right stuff - and it ain't Celotex!

There seem to be three types of rigid insulation commonly available:
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) this is the stuff that crumbles into little balls as soon as you touch it. Avoid.
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) as used by Gordon Gravett, often referred to as Styrofoam. The bees knees.
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) which is sold as, for example, Celotex and Xtratherm. Avoid - even if it starts flat it warps every which way over time unless firmly fixed to a flat surface. And Celotex comes with added glass fibre reinforcement, which does nothing to keep it flat but will embed itself in your skin as soon as you touch it.

Unfortunately, sourcing reasonable quantities of XPS at a reasonable price here on the Herts/Essex border has utterly defeated me. I cannot find a local supplier and delivery costs from stockists seem to start at about £60. Aaaargh! Flymo - did you really get extruded polystyrene from the local Wickes, and if so, which one?

Regards,
Bob

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John Donnelly
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby John Donnelly » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Not that it helps but B&Q used to sell extruded polystyrene from Knauff (I used it as the baseboard for my last layout) but it seems to have disappeared from the shelves, at least here in the North East. Having just insulated the living room floor with Celotex, I can confirm that, if cut, it is nasty stuff, the dust gets everywhere and fibres are a nightmare.

John
Last edited by John Donnelly on Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:03 pm

bobwallison wrote:
Tim, as stated by Flymo, Gordon Gravett's articles show the way but it is crucial that you use the right stuff - and it ain't Celotex!

There seem to be three types of rigid insulation commonly available:
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) this is the stuff that crumbles into little balls as soon as you touch it. Avoid.
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) as used by Gordon Gravett, often referred to as Styrofoam. The bees knees.
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) which is sold as, for example, Celotex and Xtratherm. Avoid - even if it starts flat it warps every which way over time unless firmly fixed to a flat surface. And Celotex comes with added glass fibre reinforcement, which does nothing to keep it flat but will embed itself in your skin as soon as you touch it.

Unfortunately, sourcing reasonable quantities of XPS at a reasonable price here on the Herts/Essex border has utterly defeated me. I cannot find a local supplier and delivery costs from stockists seem to start at about £60. Aaaargh! Flymo - did you really get extruded polystyrene from the local Wickes, and if so, which one?

Regards,
Bob

Thanks for the steer Bob .... Appreciated :thumb
Tim Lee

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Will L
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Will L » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:32 pm

Philip Hall wrote:...I actually like quiet running, and so I will probably not glue the track down firmly but pin it gently down in places, making sure it is well supported before ballasting and (maybe) removing the pins. I do think that with our fine flanges (turning burrs as they were once described to me!) we need to pay much more attention to level than we might with the deeper flanges of EM or 00.


While I've never used it the flexible nature of foam underlay and pined track has always bothered me, and while I'm sure there are people who have been able to make it work successfully, I still suspect ensuring your track stays flat enough becomes a more difficult problem. However there IS a way to achieve much quieter running with your track stuck firmly to a nice flat plywood sub-base. Spring your stock. As your already on the sprinting rout and a lot of what you planning is a step way from the normal path, I rather wonder whether riged foam baseboards isn't just another uncertain factor you could manage without?

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Flymo748
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:32 pm

bobwallison wrote:
Unfortunately, sourcing reasonable quantities of XPS at a reasonable price here on the Herts/Essex border has utterly defeated me. I cannot find a local supplier and delivery costs from stockists seem to start at about £60. Aaaargh! Flymo - did you really get extruded polystyrene from the local Wickes, and if so, which one?


Yes, I did. It was the one just off Edinburgh Way in Harlow.

I've just popped down to Wickes as I needed a couple of lightbulbs anyway. You're right - they don't stock it any more...

The nearest they have is this stuff: https://www.wickes.co.uk/Knauf-XPS-Laminate-Plus-Insulated-Plasterboard-Tapered-Edge---55mm-X-1-2m-X-2-4m/p/163698#

Which has the same pink board on one side, but a stonking great sheet of plasterboard bonded to the other! I can't remember the brand name of the stuff I bought, and I think that label of the pack of 5 x 1200mm x 500mm x 50mm sheets has long gone. If something strikes, I'll let you know!

Cheers
Flymo
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby jasp » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:06 pm

We are, perhaps, fortunate in central Scotland. There is a “Seconds and Co” in Stirling.
Apparently their main base is a unit adjacent the Kingspan factory and sell Kingspan, extruded polystyrene “seconds”!
The price of these is usually about 50% of the usual sheet price and the “damage” minimal.
Jim P

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:45 pm

Will L wrote:While I've never used it the flexible nature of foam underlay and pined track has always bothered me, and while I'm sure there are people who have been able to make it work successfully, I still suspect ensuring your track stays flat enough becomes a more difficult problem. However there IS a way to achieve much quieter running with your track stuck firmly to a nice flat plywood sub-base. Spring your stock. As your already on the sprinting rout and a lot of what you planning is a step way from the normal path, I rather wonder whether riged foam baseboards isn't just another uncertain factor you could manage without?


Is this advice for me or Philip ?

If me, I shall certainly be springing all my stock. On the foam front I am simply thinking of having an experiment at this point. Styrofoam is actually very rigid with as far as I can tell no springiness and has no memory to speak of. It will dent more easily than plywood, but I suspect is the more stable material. As I am planning to build a demountable layout stability is of interest ... I have been watching Allan's aluminium angle and poly-board thread with much interest.

But maybe the advice wasn't meant for me as 'sprinting' I certainly aint :D
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:54 am

Perhaps I should clarify my ‘pinning’ of track a little. I intend to locate the track laterally with a pin into the base through a clearance hole, but not held down rigidly as you normally expect with pinning. Track is either FastTrack or PCB based, both of which are sufficiently robust for the sleepers not to bend. Once located, tested and ballasted quite possibly pins can be then removed.

I fully accept that springing is possibly the best way to quiet running, but with a huge amount of stock needed (at least for a one man band) making the track as good as possible and using many commercial items gets me there more quickly, and that’s important for me. Reliability and smooth running most definitely will not suffer, that’s too important for me.

Philip
Last edited by Philip Hall on Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Will L
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Will L » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:13 am

Tim/Phillip

My advice was directly more to Tim than Phillip, but mostly at people considering the noise "problem" (if there is one) and how that might consider building a layout. Phillip just gave me an entry but as I said I'm sure he personally has made floating track work and for him it is a tried and tested method. As it happens there was a more logical place to write the advice on the sound deadening qualities of by springing, but as I was working my way through a lot of post, having been away from three weeks, I got to the "Plywood Disaster" thread second (which also explained Tim attitude to track noise). Fortunately others made the same comment for me. The jet lag may or may not also explain any suggestion you were sprinting Tim.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:27 am

Will, sorry for any confusion. I sympathise with jet lag but we solved that on our most recent trip to the US by going by sea!

I have used floating track before but only on a little branch line, and the underlay did easily dent although it maintained its level. I do now think that with our small section rail it’s no longer a brilliant idea, so I’m going back to cork, but lightly secured as outlined above. Also there will be longish heavy trains belting around at 65 or so, not a couple of wagons and a brake van, so I feel like some more security.


When I do get around to a sprung engine it should be almost completely silent! And no, I won’t be DCC sound chipping it. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to build quiet engines. And now we put noise into them...

Philip


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