Progress with Slattocks Junction

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:56 am

JFS wrote:Just regarding your baseboard-joints-in-the-middle-of-turnouts... one suggestion would be to put checkrails on the insides of the curves - the one advantage of the break being on such an angle is that there would be an unbroken check rail opposite, thus considerably reducing the risk of flange climb at the joint.


We did consider the use of checkrails but discounted them since the turnout radii are fairly easy and therefore flange climb at the joint shouldn't really be a problem. However.....we all know that baseboards can move over time so if a problem does occur in the future we will certainly install them.

Tony

Armchair Modeller
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:00 pm

Experience with an exhibition layout many years ago suggests that baseboard movement is not really the main problem with acute angled track. Maintaining a very tight joint between the baseboards (at track level) when they are assembled is the key to success.

The danger is that on an uneven floor, the bottom edges of the boards may be tightly secured, but there is still a slight gap between the boards at track level. The more acute the track angle at the baseboard joint, the more significant even a small gap at the baseboard joint becomes.

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:12 am

As has been said at various times in the past Slattocks has to be dismantled at fairly frequent intervals if the space in Dean Hall is required for something else. Although this inevitably slows us down (sometimes quite considerably if it has to be down for a few weeks) it does tend to focus work a little more clearly. For example, if work has been taking place at a specific point on the layout over a period of time and the job needs to be completed before the boards can be parted , greater effort has to be made to ensure that the job is completed to the point where dismantling can occur without any damage being done to recently completed work.

One such example of this occurred recently in the lead up to the MMRS AGM in mid February, which would require the space occupied by Slattocks. Work had been continuing on sorting out the electrics with the intention of laying the 'missing link', part of the last bit of trackwork to be installed on the layout and the part that had become the key to sorting out most of the electrical niggles and the key to relaunching work on the scenery again. This final turnout is a superb piece of work by Scalefour News Editor James Moorhouse.

This was the scene on the 9th February

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Final adjustments before the weights go on.
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No longer the missing link!!
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Last Monday 2nd March saw loco movement over the 'link' for the first time.

First train over the missing link  2 March 15 1 2.jpg
A sight for sore eyes for all members of the group
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First train over the missing link  2 March 15 2 2.jpg
This shot has been a long time in the making!!
First train over the missing link 2 March 15 2 2.jpg (186.46 KiB) Viewed 7049 times


Next Saturday we celebrate the MMRS 90th birthday, so hopefully a few pictures of that to follow.

Tony

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:24 pm

Not many pics of the 90th Birthday bash I'm afraid. The trouble with events like this is that you get heads in every picture. The picture below was taken during a quiet time!

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MMRS 90th Birthday Bash
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However, the photo's below show the shape of things to come on Slattocks Junction. We actually had 3 Black Fives running. All have a Comet chassis under them and are superb runners constructed by John Sherratt.

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The shape of things to come on Slattocks!
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DSC07383 1.jpg (89.51 KiB) Viewed 6948 times


Tony

Terry Bendall
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:08 am

Which year do we book you for Scaleforum Tony? :D

Terry Bendall

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:00 am

Errrrrrr............!! :o

David Bigcheeseplant
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby David Bigcheeseplant » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:42 pm

Railex first please!

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:32 pm

Well it has been rather a long time since something was posted here. Our group, led by Tony Williams, are not really forum-ites (is that what you call it?) and prefer to get on with things in the background. As a result people think that we don't actually do anything but that is a very long way from the truth. Over the last few years since our layout was totally rebuilt we have been persevering from one hurdle to the next and last week, following some extensive track fettling sessions, we felt confident enough to believe we have climbed the final obstacle and achieved the running we are looking for.

We have experienced major issues with flexi-track with gauge narrowing on curves which has created all sorts of issues. The front scenic boards have always performed extremely well and everything there has been handmade in a mixture of ply and rivet and handmade plastic sleepered and chaired track. In the fiddle yard it is a totally different story. We used flexi-track if we could and this has been a source of never ending problems with a track radius down to 3ft 6ins in several places. Gauge narrowing on curves occurred in many places and now we have removed all flexi-track in the fiddle yard (apart from straight lengths) and changed to copper-clad handmade track.

As a result of all this we had spent a considerable amount of time continually banging our heads against a wall trying to see what we have been doing wrong and not finding a real answer. Now we are able to gauge all our track ourselves we have improved the running significantly. Perhaps our problems are due to us having turnouts on curves and a minimum of 3ft 6ins but one thing is clear we don't have any issues with turnouts going across baseboard joints at all.

All this has been taking place in our clubroom where we spend about 3 hours a week working. For a layout this size it is not long enough really but we only have a small group which makes it even harder. We have been blessed recently with the arrival of Richard Dunning who has been able to bring along his fleet of stock which runs on his home layout and you cannot believe how much that has helped both us and Richard.

After our last track fettling session we got down to run trains and thought we should share this clip with everyone. It is of a double-headed train of 20 coaches hauled by 2 Bachmann LMS twins suitably running on Penbits chassis modifications. We did have it up to 23 coaches and it would probably take more (there wasn't a sign of any slipping) but we removed 3 of the coaches for various reasons - hopefully Tony Williams will post some footage as he got some shots of the 23 coach train.

Another thing we have managed to get working is a MERG CBUS controlled layout which is computer controlled by a touch screen. Yes, Mike Bolton, the MERG CBUS designer is part of our group which has been very helpful, but this does make layout control much easier and quicker on what is intended to be a continuous exhibition layout which can be controlled by as few people as possible.

Yes, it has been a long trip and several of our members have come and gone but when we have got there it will have been worth it.



Ralph

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:21 am

Only got video of a 22 coach train I'm afraid. By the time we'd got over the 'wow' moment and decided to get the camera out one coach had decided to play dead!

Please note that most of this train is of brass construction and fitted with Alex Jackson couplings. When demonstrating the coupling one of the most frequently asked questions is, 'are the couplings strong enough if you have a long, heavy train'? I think this train is proof enough. Here is another clip which may give a better idea of the length.

Tony

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Colin Parks
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:07 pm

Hi Tony,

Very impressive video clips of the train - especially the last one where the locos can be seen running around the back of the layout whilst the rear of the train is still negotiating the junction at the front!

Your account of the tribulations caused by gauge-narrowing of the Flexitrack is a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Having read of your experiences with it, I have decided against the stuff for my (extremely modest) layout.

Colin

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Horsetan
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Horsetan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:49 pm

ralphrobertson wrote:....We have experienced major issues with flexi-track with gauge narrowing on curves which has created all sorts of issues. The front scenic boards have always performed extremely well and everything there has been handmade in a mixture of ply and rivet and handmade plastic sleepered and chaired track. In the fiddle yard it is a totally different story. We used flexi-track if we could and this has been a source of never ending problems with a track radius down to 3ft 6ins in several places. Gauge narrowing on curves occurred in many places and now we have removed all flexi-track in the fiddle yard (apart from straight lengths) and changed to copper-clad handmade track....


I've probably missed something here, but why does gauge narrowing happen on flexi-track? Or does it only happen on particular brands of flexi-track?
That would be an ecumenical matter.

David Knight
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby David Knight » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:53 pm

Wonderful video. Has anyone shown this to Tony Wright :twisted: ?

Cheers,

David

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Horsetan
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Horsetan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:15 pm

David Knight wrote:....Has anyone shown this to Tony Wright :twisted: ?


I'm not sure that P4 modellers want to be damned with faint praise. :roll:
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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PeteT
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby PeteT » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks for sharing the update, I've yet to see Slattocks 'in the real world' but hope to one day and always interested to hear/see how it's coming along.

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:55 am

Colin Parks wrote
Your account of the tribulations caused by gauge-narrowing of the Flexitrack is a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Having read of your experiences with it, I have decided against the stuff for my (extremely modest) layout.

Horsetan wrote
I've probably missed something here, but why does gauge narrowing happen on flexi-track? Or does it only happen on particular brands of flexi-track?

The one thing you have to remember is that we have been building this layout since we were in short pants, which means we are back to the original issue of the make of trackwork chosen for Slattocks in the first place. This was C&L, when John Pottinger was using polypropylene as a trackbase. Our problems of painting this have been well documented but what we never envisaged was the problem of gauge narrowing on the curves leading into the fiddle yard. The chairs in the track base were simply not strong enough over time to hold the rail in place. The conditions inside Dean Hall could hardly be described as extreme but I suppose the temperatures can vary quite a bit. and this constant expanding and contracting of the track eventually loosened the rail in the chairs. So, does gauge narrowing only happen on particular brands of flexi-track? I think the answer is probably, "yes", and since the type of track we used is no longer manufactured, it should no longer be an issue. But.......will we ever use flexi-track again? I think the answer has to be, "very unlikely", since it makes further adjustments virtually impossible without a lot of work!!
As a footnote to all this we have since learned that there are now techniques which would have made the painting of the track a simple matter. That's progress for you, but we still don't regret changing the layout as we did - and the LMS twins hauling a 23 coach train at that speed would definitely not have negotiated the trackwork on the original layout!! :D

Tony

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Rod Cameron » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:24 am

Tony and Ralph, very impressive, thanks for the update and videos.

Do you standardise on a particular make of coach wheel?
Rod

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Lord Colnago » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:37 pm

Nice stuff Tony and well done to you and your team. Can't wait to see it in the flesh. Any chance that us wagon aficionados could see a clip of some freight trains? They don't have to be as long as the passenger train but you'll get no complaints from me if they are!

John.
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iak
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby iak » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:51 pm

As another member of the wagonistas, I heartily concur with his Lordship..... :thumb

Mind, it is nice to see Slattocks getting itself sorted.
More power to your resilience gents...
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
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Philip Hall
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:07 pm

I had problems with C&L track being narrow to gauge, but like on Slattocks, this was bought a long time ago. I had it on a shelf as my test track, along with an EM length obtained at the same time. I eventually had to abandon them both as narrowing got worse over time.

I replaced the EM length using some Exactoscale Fast Track bases - very stable in the years it has been there. It was purchased shortly after it was introduced and is a bright orange brown so you will be able to see how old it is. When the P4 got too bad I replaced this with some more modern C&L Flexitrack, purchased from Len and Andrew at a Scalefour North, I guess about ten years ago. It has been placed loosely on my test shelf for about four years now; it gets the sun on it; it gets taken up and bent into whatever radius I need to test a model on and straightened again. I have just put a vernier to it and come up with gauge from 18.85mm to 18.90mm, so I think that's more than acceptable and it has proved itself.

However, I feel that Fast Track is more stable still, with the stiffer, thicker sleepers and slightly beefier rail fastenings, so that and the gauge widened versions will be my choice for the main running lines on my new layout. The C&L will be used in sidings and hidden areas, mostly where there are no bends just in case. I have no inclination (nor the time) to make up the amount of plain track I need!

Philip

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Re6/6
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Re6/6 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:58 am

Here are a couple for you John taken on DRAG's test track (which will be coming to S4um this year).

They're a mixture of 64 rigid, compensated and sprung wagons with (IIRC) AJs and three links.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0-crSKMijM

All three links on this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_I3XoIeVUM
John

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:36 am

Thanks John,

A nice bit of setting back over the crossover. Brings a tear to the eye!

John.
The second best priest

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:38 am

Rod Cameron asked:
Do you standardise on a particular make of coach wheel?

Not really Rod, it really depends on whatever is round and true! I suppose we'd always go for Ultrascale but I'm quite happy using Gibson. A view I've never held is, "Ultrascale will always be the best". I've had several that have been awful, more so with wagon wheels, but to be fair most of us probably has a box of wheels we've had in stock for so long we can't remember where they were sourced!

Lord Colnago asked:
.......Any chance that us wagon aficionados could see a clip of some freight trains?

We'll see what we can do this week, John

Tony

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Colin Parks
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Hi Tony,

Really liked the video clips! Inspirational stuff.

Colin

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Rod Cameron » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:16 pm

Tony W wrote:
Rod Cameron asked:
Do you standardise on a particular make of coach wheel?

Not really Rod, it really depends on whatever is round and true! I suppose we'd always go for Ultrascale but I'm quite happy using Gibson. A view I've never held is, "Ultrascale will always be the best". I've had several that have been awful, more so with wagon wheels, but to be fair most of us probably has a box of wheels we've had in stock for so long we can't remember where they were sourced!

Tony


Thanks Tony. We've settled on using Ultrascales or preferably Black Beetles - the latter in particular seem to provide the appropriate reassurance of road-holding and reliability that Gibsons sometimes don't, albeit at a premium price. But ultimately of course it's a case of what works for you.
Rod

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:38 am

Having made a lot of coaches lately I agree with Tony that there is a fair mix of wheels but most of them are Gibsons of various vintages but I don't hav any Ultrascales in my stock at all. I did try some Black Beetle wheels thinking they would be the answer to good running and had a lot of problems because they are only insulated on one side. Consequently they were removed and now they act as the driving force behind both LMS Twins and very well they work too.

More running last night with lots of wagons, Tony will post some footage soon I think. The track is now beginning to behave itself a lot better and we are now down to fettling the goods yard access so it won't be too long before you will see signals, point rodding and scenery shapes coming along. The signal box appeared last night to give some background for the films, hope you will all enjoy watching them!

Ralph


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