Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

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Allan Goodwillie
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Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:50 am

:) Up to now most of my entries on the forum have been to help starters in the gauge as I feel the forum is a very useful tool to teach techniques and to learn new things - even for an old dog like myself. In recent times I have decided to build a new layout for myself, with the intention of taking it to exhibitions while I am still able to. So I intend to use the space available here just to show what is going on at home and record the ups and downs of building a new layout. This I hope will give some incentive to our little starters group as well as show progress to the other members of the West Scotland Group who will be using it to represent the Group at the Glasgow show. :)

I have a short series of articles going into the Snooze over the next few editions thanks to our present editor. They centre around my home layout, Grayrigg, based on the station of that name on the West Coast Main line near Tebay. Over the last 25 years it has been my big "experimental" railway and some things have worked well and others not so, so the new layout is being built with all that I have learned in mind and a few more new things gleaned from the contemporary scene, as well as a few new ideas of my own. (Well you still have to be looking for new challenges, don't you?)

The articles on Grayrigg look at both success and failure and reasons why, so I hope, an honest assessment. You would think when reading some articles in the press that layouts were built without any challenges, but it is not all that easy to build something which works well, at home you can put up with things not being quite right until you get around to adjusting - so there is less pressure than an exhibition layout. Unfortunately for me Dubbieside is becoming more fragile as time goes by and requires repairs every time she goes to an exhibition and with everything underneath the baseboard it is more difficult to work on it - that's age for you. So for me, a new layout is required.

I have been building stock and buildings as well as track, but due to illness I am about two years behind where I was hoping to be by now - however I have to get the layout to the Glasgow Show in 2018 as a work in progress and want to get all the structural and electrical work complete by that time (February). The engines are quite advanced as can be seen in the Locomotive building thread elsewhere on the Forum. They are sitting waiting for painting as are quite a large quantity of stock I have built, many many waiting for couplings and weathering. All the smaller buildings are built, but the engine shed and wagon works are still to be started - I am very unlikely to be able to complete them by Glasgow, but hope to also show them under way. :) (I say optimistically) :!:

I hope to post progress on a weekly basis, probably on a Sunday evening - providing all goes well.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:00 am

Sounds very interesting. Looking forward very much to the updates :thumb

Julian Roberts
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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:24 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Sounds very interesting. Looking forward very much to the updates :thumb

Here here.

Your article was very interesting Allan, as was Steve Hall's in the previous issue on the real life things that have to be sorted on a layout. Particularly your observation that so many layouts feature a terminal station when there are many other things around which one can be centred - I would like to think more about that! Martin's update to Templot to enable OS maps to be included in the digital planning process is a massive step forward too.

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:54 pm

Thanks Richard and Julian, :)

Richard, although I have not contributed to your own thread I have been having a look from time to time - one of the interesting things that came up was the interaction between foam and electrical insulation - which I am trying to take into account in the building of Scott's road. The discussion on stock boxes was also interesting. Everything has to be compact for Scott's Road including stock as the entire layout has to be able to go in the car. Very enjoyable thread Richard. :D

Julian - as you know Dubbieside enjoyed a sort of an exchange yard all be it a small part. Scott's Road is really an exchange yard of greater dimensions and in real life was in constant movement with trains coming and going between the NCB pits and the Wemyss Private system. To add interest there was also a wagon works and engine shed nearby for the Wemyss system. In time I hope to include the BR Buckhaven branch which runs parallel to the yard. So it should make for an interesting exhibition model and not a station in sight! :o

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Martin Wynne » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:18 am

Julian Roberts wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote:Martin's update to Templot to enable OS maps to be included in the digital planning process is a massive step forward too.

Hi Julian,

Just to be clear, that is already possible, and has been for more than 15 years. See for example:


The next program update will simply do some of the preparation work for you, in loading the maps directly at the correct size. Instead of your needing to capture screenshots and scale them to size yourself.

But unfortunately the only OS maps available this way will be the very detailed 60"/mile maps of 1890s London.

The useful 25" maps for the rest of the country are not available (yet?) on subscription from the tile server -- if I were to include them Templot would be infringing the NLS licence terms. So for those you must still make your own screenshots -- see the link above.

However, OpenStreetMap (OSM) will also be available -- despite the similar-sounding name this has no connection with the OS. It is created by every man and his dog as a free open source worldwide project. In fact I have been on there today adding some local details -- it can be very addictive. See:



40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:04 pm

This week went reasonably well and I now have a pile of material all cut and the underframe end pieces, legs and sides and the board ends cut and drilled. A couple of photographs showing progress. :)

Frame and board ends made in aluminium, cut drilled and ready for assembly.

Legs and side frames all ready to be drilled and fitted.

As you can see the layout is going to be made mainly from lightweight materials, if I can get a couple of days this week it may allow me to get the frames, legs and first baseboards assembled. I have a Chinese friend coming to stay for a couple of days, so we will see how things go as we are supposed to be going out to take some landscape photography and visit the Edinburgh Festival.

The layout is going to be an exercise in lightweight materials, with a minimum of wood used. Quick to assemble and knock down. Easy to build and maintain. It must be exhibition robust and use a carrying frame to fit the layout into a car.

Providing there is enough development this week I may have a few of the under frames assembled by next week. :thumb

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:38 pm

Far less progress this week :( as I was helping to repair another layout, spent some time on Burntisland since it is being worked on and did some remedial work on my Burntisland engines. I have been busy on the Wemyss layout today, but no photographs at the moment. I have been trying to get the key centre frame section made up and may complete it tomorrow. It is the most complex one and if I can get it cracked all the others are simpler and of a similar design - so hoping to rattle them off later on in the week. Lack of progress during the week has also been due to having a Chinese photographer friend to stay and going out on Safari with him as it were. I had him out at 1.30 in the morning to take photographs of the Forth Bridge in the moonlight. Being a professional I do not want to publish his photos here, however I now have a great screen image! :D

The Hurst 0-6-0 Goods and the Hurst Burntisland tank along with the Neilson, three of the original 4 locos built for the Scalefour competition all so long ago now! Note the Wemyss wagons sitting on the workbench in the background.

The little Neilson tank stripped down, filth everywhere!

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:46 pm

Had an email from Julian this evening wondering about the baseboards and curious about some of the bits and pieces. :)

I was hoping to have put the frames and legs together this week, but several things managed to get in the way. :( I was originally hoping to have the garage space until this evening and been able to work all weekend on the layout, before Burntisland came back from its temporary home in Blackburn, however, on Wednesday I was told that the layout had to be brought back before Sunday. Fortunately there were enough helpers available on Thursday to be able to take the layout down and some of us brought it back on Friday morning. This meant that I had to move everything on Wednesday , so Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all ended up being used for other things.

The few hours I have had available, I have continued to cut and drill metal when possible and I am now at the assembly stage. :)

Pillar drill all set up ready to drill the hundreds of holes required for all the nuts and bolts. The little pillar drill vice I bought from Richard when he closed down Parkside. I thought it would be nice to have a tool from him which had so much use in the development of so many good kits.

I will put up the assembly next Sunday if I manage to get some of it done.

Right then Julian, so what am I up to as far as the baseboards are concerned?

It will become apparent from the articles being published in the Snooze that I have been trying out a number of ideas over the years including a range of different approachs to baseboards. Dubbieside has light weight boards made entirely from foam for the back mainline extension and although they were made in a hurry for one exhibition only they have been out quite a number of times with their experimental floating track and continuous run storage.

I do know of layouts which have used elements of aluminium to keep them light and as I get older I still want to be able to exhibit in future years, so I want to have a go at building a trial light baseboard layout ( or should that be layouts :o ) using aluminium and foam and as little wood as possible.

This is the chop saw which I bought from Screwfix which is still on offer. It certainly cut the work down and has been very consistent.

Now I have heard of layouts of very light construction which have been a bit unstable, so I want to have something which is strong and not top heavy and hope to avoid pitfalls, so I will be interested to hear from others who have used any of the techniques I am using.

So Julian, this is what I am hoping to achieve-

The entire layout will be able to fit in a carrying cradle which will go in the average car. It will consist of 6 boards all 4ft in length. (24ft in all)
It will have-

A sub-frame made from aluminium with steel bracketing and strengtheners.
Aluminium legs which will be braced and fold under the baseboards for transportation, they will have outriggers and stabilizers for exhibition use.
The leg braces will take the weight of the transformer boxes tool boxes and stock boxes on their bases to help make the centre of gravity lower.
Weight will also be transferred from the light rigging to the riggers on the layout base.

A bolt-on top frame which will also strengthen the subframe when up and will support and carry the baseboard material.
The baseboard will be made from a sandwich of thin MDF and layers of foam board and a top layer of 1/8" cork.
Baseboard ends will have added strip wood and copper clad material replacing cork to add to the robustness of the board ends.
Pairs of boards will bolt together and fit in a light weight frame.

Additional support material will be made from aluminium and foam board.
The upper part of the layout will have sub structures carrying wiring and electricals all of which will be reachable from above or the side. No wiring underneath. Sub structures will also be used so that items an be taken off the layout for repair and construction on the work bench away from the layout.

All parts will be bolted together to allow for alterations and to allow for other top boards to be attached at a later date.
Everything will be recyclable and be capable of being taken off the layout without damage.

So that is what is planned for baseboards - after years of exhibition work I have come to the conclusion that light is better than heavy, standard sizes make it so much easier to put up and take down and easier to transport in a compact way. I went to a few garages and measured lots of different cars with the rear seat folded down and was amazed to discover that 23" width and up to 5' can be coped with by most cars, this leaving three seats and some spare space for bags in the boot, to allow three to go to a show together. I am going for 4' boards as it makes boards more flexible at home for working on and taking off and when moving it around at exhibitions I can cope with that length as it is easier to manipulate.

Of course I have been using the correct safety gear

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:29 pm

Well progress this week has been OK :thumb - I have started to do final assembly of the lower aluminium structure, but have also been busy preparing wood for the upper sections. Despite me saying I want to keep wood to the minimum I decided that the board ends would be partly made in wood as well as wooden sides on the upper board sections, there will also be some cross members which also use wood. My mate Richard offered to buy a board of 5mm birch ply, which arrived last weekend and on Tuesday evening Richard and I went over to Ian's place to cut the ply on Ian's beautiful saw table, an hour later and we had a pile of ply all cut to length.

The sheet of ply cost me £27, but is beautiful and of real quality. :) Most of my Aluminium I bought when B&Q closed locally at a very advantageous price - I had planned on using the Metals 4U site which John Stocks recommended originally. I started buying Machine screws and nuts etc. from B&Q, but the cost was prohibitive I thought, so, although I bought some from them and some from Screwfix, I found I could order and receive them next day from RS components for a fraction of the price. Foam board is also cheaper at certain times of the year (around Christmas) or if bought in bulk.

All this ply needed to be varnished while still nice and flat, so I have spent a good few hours doing this and will continue on with it this evening. The varnish is an oak tinted one by Ronseal (two coats, rubbing down with sand paper between coats. I give one coating to one side then do the same with the other side so that any expansion /contraction is equal.) The varnish is touch dry within 20 minutes (Room Temperature) completely dry ready for a second coat takes a further hour. :idea:

Here is the ply being dealt with - I know what you are thinking-"I thought Allan was not going to have much wood!" I see that Mr.Trump also manages to get to places that are quite unexpected! :shock:

I have bought enough to do a number of layouts over the next few years, if I am spared. I have varnished the lot and will store what I do not need at this stage on the flat to keep them flat. :idea:

A pile of cross timbers and end boards ready and varnished for use.

side boards waiting for me to varnish them tonight sitting in my work room. I have been varnishing at odd hours during the night and in between other commitments.

Top boards are also under way ready for next week and hopefully the first properly assembled boards and tops - might just get one done by the end of August which was my original target.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:59 pm

Now a look at the aluminium bits and pieces. :D
Here at the top are the sides of the main board marked up using a permanent marker and below the sets of legs for the board. Here I have been checking how the legs fit and making the positions for drilling pilot holes for the steel brackets for holding the ends to the sides.

I have been cutting lengths for the ends and sides as well as the legs, not all the legs are the same length. On the middle board there are two lengths to allow the legs to fold over one another. the difference being made up by the position of the holes in the sides

All the markings can be cleaned off later as they are not permanent on aluminium - they can be removed by using meths.

End pieces are also dealt with. I have been using M4 machine screws, washers and nuts of different types.

The legs required the tops shaping to allow them to get them right into the corners of the frames

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:33 pm

Initial assembly has been done using my little donkey :shock: :?: and some clamps of different sizes and my power drill. The first attachment to the side is made using a rivet which gives a nice stiff joint so there is less chance of movement when drilling out the holes. I have used strips of aluminium as spacers between the end and the side, drilling them as well, as can be seen in the following pictures. :)

This is what I am trying to get at the corners of the frames. Note the rivet to start things and the machine screws used to assemble the ends to the sides. I have used countersunk screws and need to to be able to remove the top sections.

The sides have a short overlap section to cover the lower part of the wooden end sections, if it is not clear just how that works out you will have to wait for further photographs.

everything clamped together for drilling and fitting screws

The legs fold up below the frames and within one another. The cross braces will follow later

So now there are a pile of under frames being fitted with legs. :)


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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:13 pm

I have continued on with the underframe and legs this week. :)

Managed to get all the under-frames made up and legs fitted and made a decision about height adjusters. I wanted to make some form of adjusters where the adjustment could be made at the top of the legs rather than the bottom. I am trying to get a layout which will not require me going under it or need to bend over much when assembling or disassembling or operating for that matter. This lower framework and legs will allow me to build a number of layouts over the next few years, so it has to be right and adaptable. I also believe now-a-days that anything I now build must be recyclable, so much of this is being put together using nuts and bolts (mainly M4 size). :)

The adjuster design was something I had been considering over the previous couple of weeks. During the night I awoke with the solution in my mind and I went through to the workroom and drew it out on the newspaper covering the table where the wooden pieces were lying. It uses a simple lever system and does not take long to fit. It has meant a slight change to the leg tops and I have taken a small slice off the top of the curve which I originally cut. This is just to maximise the vertical movement of the legs.

The first thing was to make up a paper template of the lever and to cut one out from the same material as I used from the frames. Note the angles cut to allow for the clearances. The left hand lever is being used to mark out the cut required for the right hand lever.

Here we see the mark done in permanent marker. Note how much movement is required off the lever.

The extra leverage is created by cutting a slot to allow more movement at the fulcrum.

The final finishing touch to this part is to clean off anything which might just catch and to put an angle on the cut. This angle allows the material its full strength, but also allows maximum movement.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:40 pm

OK so far. :| Now the fitting of the lever. The holes in the frame had to be worked out to allow for the maximum movement and be able to take the long legs which I am fitting the layout with.

Along the curving line I mark three points using a new tool for me which my friend Jim Batchelor suggested was worthwhile - a sprung loaded centre punch, turned out to be excellent for this kind of job where the frames are just being steadied between the legs!

I then pre-drilled the three holes with a small drill 1.5mm and then used an over-sized drill M5 to give plenty of clearance for the machine screw which is going to be fitted through it.

The holes drilled now need cut together using either a piercing saw or sets of files.

This is how the slot looks before fitting the right hand lever.

I temporarily glue a small length of the aluminium with a 4mm hole to match the hole already in the top of the leg - this will act as a spacer to allow for the other leg in the main section to ft in the space between the leg we are looking at and the mainframe. Note the change to the top of the leg as mentioned before.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:03 pm

Now to fitting the legs. :)

Here we see the m4 machine screw with a spring washer. I want the legs to be tight enough so that they are never really slack, I don't want them dropping down when handling the layout in or out of exhibitions. Note again the squared off leg section to give clearance when folding away.

A little bundle of spring washers - note how each is twisted and has a cut across one side. THis helps to tighten everything and also stops the screw turning when tightening up. You can also use one of the washers with a serrated edge which acts in a similar way, but digs in more to stop any movement.

I have a small bag of little angle pieces and I have used one half of one of these as a large outside washer. I hope to use the flat side as an indicator once the legs are in action. The fitment is completed by using a wing nut.

Here we are looking at the lever fitted the correct way around for this side. The levers have to be made sided for this to work.

This is how the lever will look when the leg is being held vertical and with the leg in as deep as possible. Note the lever is hard up against the edge of the frame.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:16 pm

Here is the sequence when dismantling the railway and folding away the legs. :thumb

The wing nut slackens and the leg is pulled until the wing nut reaches its lowest point.

The leg is folded under the frame.

finally everything gets closed up as far as it will go into the carrying position, which means the wing nut is roughly in the mid position. It is not perfectly flush, but is reasonably tidy for going into a carrying frame.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 pm

Then..... :)

Staying with the legs just now, I decided to run a stretcher across the bottom, normally they would be fitted higher up, but I intend having out-riders fitted to help with layout stability at a later time which can be folded out from these bottom stretchers. I also want to be able to attach to the bottom stretchers my heavy transformer boxes and stock boxes when empty to lower the centre of gravity and help steady the layout. There will be other pieces of metalwork added in the way of braces and perhaps another stretcher on each leg at a later point once I see how much added stability the upper boards will add. I have a rather strange idea for a back scene / display area which I am going to experiment with and the layout will require a bit more stability to be able to deal with that and a lightweight lighting rig as well.

Here is a paper jig used to mark the hole positions for the rivets or machine screws.

The felt pen penetrates and leaves a mark for the centre punch. The leg is held out the correct distance from the frame side and is equalised on the other side.

Here is how the legs were held in position during drilling and riveting/screw fixing, the screw will later be used to attach the out-riggers.

The photographs above show the wooden end boards of the upper layout in place. I realise that for some reason I forgot to take photos of the fitting. So I will do that next week when covering the final assembly of the upper section as this is enough for this evening. :)
The building has taken the month of August so far and I reckon it will take my free time this week to complete the top boards and get started on track making. - so running about a week behind at this stage. :|

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:19 pm

Progress this week has been steady, :)

last weekend I was working on the legs and was curious to see just how much more metal I might have to add to make the boards steady. I fitted a cross brace along the bottom line between each pair of legs. It is intended that this bottom stretcher will be weighted with the transformer boxes and empty stock boxes and tool box amongst other items.

Within a short time I realised that instead of using screws it would be better to use rivets where you want maximum stability. I have continued to use M4 machine screws throughout until I want to firm things up, then progressively I have been going on to using rivets on the legs.

When I managed to get the key board on to its feet I realised that more metal would be needed. So I put another cross brace on about half way down each pair of legs and this helped immediately. I had also been considering adding protection pieces for the ends of the baseboards and after some thought decided to use them for steadying up the leg tops when not in use as protectors. I had considered using spare baseboard ends, but once I had fitted the hinges to the baseboard ends I found that the space below would not accept the full thickness of another baseboard end and so, instead, I have used thin MDF.

Beyond this addition I have added further support to the legs using long aluminium braces. I am prepared to add more if necessary at a later date when I may manage to set the whole layout up - some time this week coming I hope. :)

Rivets about to be closed -on the cross bracing-


Hinges set into the board ends ready to take the protectors-


Finally the protectors in the protecting position-


The bolt lock nuts protruding near the bottom of the hinges secure the protectors to the hinges. The bolt head stops the protector flapping around in travel and goes through the holes used to bolt the boards together when not in use for that job. I am thinking ahead to the carrying method and may use this bolt another way. When the base bards are up and in action the MDF folds down underneath and attaches to the legs-that is why there are two holes in the upper corners of the protectors.

At this stage I do not have a photograph of the stays - just forgot to take a photo when the board was erected - I will show one later on. It will also be noticed that one of the photographs above ALSO SHOWS THE UPPER BOARD ATTACHED TO THE UNDERFRAME! more of this later. :o :!: :?:

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:10 pm

There have been some alterations during construction - there is a certain amount of experimentation going on here as sometimes ideas just occur to you when handling the bits and pieces. I had considered using ply end pieces and tried them in place using a couple of clamps to hold them as I checked one or two things like how would the hinges behave. I found that they were too thick, however if I used MDF it would be thinner and could also be used to steady the legs as well as give a flush fit.


The upper board sides have been fitted above and trialing for the protectors are under way.


The sides are attached to the under frames by using small brackets, the aluminium frames require drilling and seven brackets were used for each side perhaps this is overkill. The brackets are all fitted with wing nuts as this will allow me to separate the frames from the layout tops which will allow for other tops to be built and the frames be reused for them at a later date.

I had to use machine screws that were M4 12mm for the brackets so that they would not get in each others way. Even before I had taken all the boards to the same position I thought I would try out some of the top board material just to see how it would fit and of course one thing leads to another so some track was placed and one or two of the buildings tried out to see what might be possible. Sometimes it is worthwhile just doing this and although I had my plans to hand I am happy changing plans when I can see what is there in 3D. There are certain problems to deal with later as there are three gradients which I would prefer to start on the main board, so I have moved up a cross-over on to the board and moved a number of things around a little. I still want to keep the key things in the right relationship, but there will be a little compacting as well as straitening here and there. ;)



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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:55 pm

:) When through in Glasgow on Tuesday evening at the club there was some discussion and questions about what I have been putting up here. After all the reason for using the forum in this case is primarily for the West Scotland Group members to see what progress is being made towards the layout going to the Glasgow show in February as a work in progress. It may give some impetus to the Starters Group as well. Since there are at least 2 other new layouts started over the summer with a couple of test tracks also being built, which is very good, there will be much to discuss on our next meeting on the first Sunday in October.

I was saying to Chris Coles that I was surprised :shock: that up until now no-one had asked any questions on the forum, as the approach is a bit different from the normal baseboard construction and I said that probably because Terry had covered everything in his excellent series :thumb so well about building in timber that most would not be interested in doing otherwise.

However, there may be a few who would like lighter and more flexible baseboards. :idea:

Chris said that might be true, but it was probably because it is a boring subject :o :!: - so suitably chastened, :cry: I hope the next stage might be a bit more interesting! I have spent about six weeks building the baseboards so far and am only fitting the top boards at this stage.

This week I have a C0-B0 to re-wheel and some stock to get ready and tested for Scalefourum next weekend. So there will be no progress posted until the following weekend. Sometime over the next fortnight I will try out a few tests on a made up test track section to finally decide one or two things before proceeding. I plan to make everything modular so that it can be worked on and repaired easily on the workbench. :idea: If lucky I might find enough time to make the rest of my points so that I could lay tracks on the first three boards.

Saturday was spent doing some work on the Blacksmith's building along with other members of the East Group constructing various things. A very relaxed and enjoyable session as we try to progress Burntisland on a bit. I am aiming to get the outside of the building finished for Christmas and find time to progress it at the same time as my own layout. Outside of that I doubt if I will have much time for any extras. :|

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:48 pm


Rest assured your ideas are of interest. As we advance in years the thought of not having to lug great lumps of timber in and out of exhibition halls appeals! Unfortunately in my case the solution was quite drastic, build a permanent layout, very heavy and hopefully very solid.

We have progressed now to fairly lightweight plywood boards in many cases, but you have taken the idea a stage further. I worry a little, though, because I remember that the boards for the East Suffolk Light Railway were aluminium framed, and on the odd occasions I helped Iain & Bob (Rice & Barlow) to operate the layout at shows the boards did tend to flap around in the breeze a bit, and it was probably best not to lean on them too heavily. But they were quite strong I think.


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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:09 am

Allan Goodwillie wrote:Chris said that might be true, but it was probably because it is a boring subject :o :!: - so suitably chastened, :cry: I hope the next stage might be a bit more interesting! I have spent about six weeks building the baseboards so far and am only fitting the top boards at this stage.

I have also been following with interest :thumb Once read this is just the sort of thing I bookmark to come back to when such things suddenly become extremely pertinent :!: .... Along with most of your other threads :P
Tim Lee

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:09 pm

Hi Philip, :)

I do know about the exploits with the East Sussex and am aware of some of the problems you had, however I feel it is still worth further exploration. The separation of top boards made from Ply and aluminium underframe is surprisingly strong when bolted together and I have further measures to overcome sagging which will show as time goes by on the blog. The aluminium legs have base supports to them and braces going up towards the centre of the frames and will also carry low down much of the weight of transformers and stock boxes etc at floor level to help stability and alter the centre of gravity. They will also have out riders which will fold out - still to be fitted at this stage. It is all a question of design when it comes down to it, I remember all the dark discussions and grumbling, when carriage building on BR went from MK I design with everything strongly and traditionally built from metal and beautiful woods gradually to coaches based more on aircraft construction techniques and the use of light materials which now dominate today.

Would the railways even consider going back to the old ways now? (Yes I know about the Australian train - but that is an exception being built for rich tourists!)

As to leaning on the layout, well that I consider a bad habit and am designing it out of the layout in several ways - more of that later, another bugbear of mine as someone who is often called in to do the scenery on various layouts is that scenery is often spoiled during other work being done on the layout. Tools can be dumped on it, items like trees etc. get broken easily as they are delicate - same with signals, point rods etc. or in some cases the scenery is used in a temporary way to cover up things that could have been better made with a little time and thought. So there has been much thought and questioning going into the construction of this layout and I hope it will link up with the short series of articles I have done for the Snooze, questioning why we do things the way we do them and are there any ways of improving the breed?

I will say straight away that not everything I am doing is my own idea and I hope to give credit to those who have come up with good solutions which I do know work. We are genuinely all in this together and I appreciate the fact that the East Sussex was there before this and think it was a bold attempt to build something lighter for exhibition use and very commendable and will welcome your views and comments Philip as we go along as I am sure you have much to pass on. Philip,I was wondering if you could possibly tell me? Were the baseboard frames and legs on the layout made entirely from aluminium and what bracing was involved? Did it have a separate understructure or was everything integral? What aluminium sections were used and what was their thickness and did they have any further strengthening and finally what was the maximum board size?

I have chosen 4ft x 23in partly to avoid the aluminium under-frame being too susceptible to bending. 5ft boards would have been possible, but on measuring the aluminium that was available and the sizes chosen, left very little waste and have given me a more stable base. 5ft lengths will go happily into the car (Honda Civic), but 4ft is easier to manage and manoeuvre especially if boards are paired. and if paired 6 boards will give you 24ft which is a descent length for any exhibition layout. By going over to 4ft it meant that an extra pair of legs (and extra cost), but with their braces, helped with stability. The under-frame units are designed to give a number of possibilities from one board length up to six in multiples of 4ft so a number of layouts can be produced for shows with only the need to make the top boards.

Sorry :( there are such a lot of questions, but that is also what the forum is all about, but discussion helps in problem solving - so often you read articles in magazines where the problem solving and thought process is missed out and you get the impression that everything is easy and that the person is a genius - which is not real life I am afraid. I am putting at least 50 or more years worth of learning into one design, but there are still experiences I have not had which others have, so there is always much to learn. That's part of the fun. :D

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:23 pm

When I last posted on the baseboards was before Scalefourum and the week before I had spent getting stock ready for John Stocks layout Kettlewell and re-wheeling a Co-Bo one afternoon for my son Dave as he was keen to exhibit it on John's layout as a guest engine. I took some nice photos of John's layout, which I might post if I get the OK from him. Meanwhile, when I managed to get home it took a couple of days before getting time to doing some work again.

The last time I was playing around with the track and buildings as well as my track plan. I am sure Martin will not mind me saying that sometimes when building a layout we do not stick entirely to what was there for various reasons. In my case the sidings would have to be long enough to take trains of 35 vehicles , plus brake, plus locomotive. An RCH wagon is just over three inches long, therefore, 4 wagons to a foot so the longest sidings would have to be approx 10 ft long to accommodate the longer trains. It would also require this length of fiddle yard cassette, or longer sidings again. I did not feel this was necessary to give the sense of a busy coal railway. We when building Burntisland ended up missing out sidings at the West and East docks. The layout is extensive and busy enough anyway without adding extra depth to the scene. The sidings at the West end were usually used for stand-age of full coal wagons. So it also saved us having to build a couple of hundred wagons as well!

So I have shortened some of the loops I will still hope to run train loads of approx. 20 wagons, which was a common enough length on the real thing. The other thing I am doing is trying out track which I have already built to see if I can get better combinations of points to allow me to straighten out, a little, the east end of the layout, without loosing the climbing curve behind the wagon works. By doing this I can keep the boards all the same length and make it easier to transport and set up. Trying things out on the work bench allows me to see what might be possible and see how it will look when the layout is built. It will be obvious from the photographs that I am considering some changes, to be able to better incorporate the buildings, curves, elevations, gradients etc.

There will be a trough along one side of the layout to incorporate motors, wiring etc. and again they can be set in place and the mechanics worked out beforehand. All the wiring and electrical gubbins and mechanical items will run along in the trough which will be covered later during the scenery stages. This will allow me to service everything from above the layout. I am considering fitting a piano hinge along one side of the layout - we shall see. :)

Here are another couple of photographs of this stage.

Here the plan is being re-considered and proportions looked at - none better that the no.one eye-ball! The use of a couple of lengths of flexi-track should be noted although I have no intention of using it anywhere - it just allows you to try out alignments.

Doing the same for the area in front of the shed, working out just what might need cutting/expanding to get all the features in. The item which changed most was the area of water between the tracks which has been reduced a little and the banks angled slightly differently from what was there in real life, due to the straightening up of the area.

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

You can tell from the photographs that I had not put the baseboard tops on at this stage. In truth I had not made a decision about how to use the baseboard tops. I have considered cutting them to shape once I have marked the track positions and slicing through the styrene and MDF and placing risers coming up from some cross battens (American style). I have also considered keeping the boards flat, still sitting on cross battens and building upwards for the tracks coming down or going up.

At one point I realised that I had been a bit premature making up the boards before making up the under-frame. :shock: I was going to have to take some of the edges off the foam when fitting the ends to the board ends and I have started to experiment with an idea I have been considering for a while which may not require the boards to be fixed to the cross battens at all. I was thinking about expansion of the baseboards due to temperature, but the styrene I have discovered insulates the MDF and does not expand /contract compared to wood. Not sure what effect the track will have on them, but I intend to put in plenty of insulation gaps into the track. The baseboard tops are very light, but strong, about a third of the weight of a plywood top.

The cross battens are made from strip wood and based on how bed bases are made and slightly springy similar to a dance floor in construction. Here we have a couple of variations under construction. :thumb

Two different levels on this board

Similar level all the way across I will post a photograph of the multi level board when I get around to it

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Re: Wemyss Private Railway - Scott's Road - Allan Goodwillie

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:44 am

:) One or two little detail things -

Securing the corners - it is best to do this when fitting the wooden sides to the aluminium frame and end pieces before the strip wood bearers are fitted as they can get in the way when drilling, not impossible to deal with, but just easier to do it at that stage.

Just another bracket fitted using machine screws and lock nuts The ones on the end have to be countersunk, the side ones can be the same as used on the other brackets. The photograph shows the longer length of the side screws, but I have decided to change the side screws to a shorter type 12mm - probably an evenings worth of work, but I think it would allow for easier separation when necessary later when I have several layout top boards

The strip wood has been glued in place using outside quality wood glue, which does take longer to dry, but has a very strong bond and resistant to water. The strip wood is glued on to quarter curved material which has been cut into small strips and glued to the wooden sides using old style Evostick, the curved underside stops any chance of the glue getting on to the Aluminium for ease of separation later. (even if it may occasionally stick it is easy to slide a knife under without causing any real damage. The strip wood is painted with white wood primer - two coats once the glue has dried, just to seal it as I have done with the other wooden surfaces. :idea: I am keeping everything below baseboard level white as it is easier to see if there are any problems at exhibitions - with conventional wiring and motors this is very useful idea - a good idea for storage and fiddle yards - makes it easier to see if anything is off. :idea:

I do not paint the glued areas and in fact do not paint anywhere where wood meets wood in a glued joint. I scrape back to the basic wood if I have to glue another piece on as the paint will be the weak part of any joint. I have also pinned the wood on the double level joints made and not just relied on the glue.

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