North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

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Andy C
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North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:53 pm

For the last year Ive been giving serious thought to a Parcels Depot in P4 as a successor for New Hey. However after some counselling and relooking at the track plan with colleagues, thats sensibly been put on the back burner as it may be a tad too ambitious for a first P4 project. However the P4 bug was not going away (particularly as i have the point kits and some stock now) so a new project has come along.

To be honest its been lurking in the background for some years now, as someone who is frequently in the West Highlands, Ive always been struck by the "whatifability" of a station based on the area of land between the Loch and the A82 after you come over Ballchulish bridge into North Ballchulish - the sharp left hand bend at the north end has some thing that says build me about it.

N B 3.doc


The scenario then is that the Callander and Oban did the right thing by building another "Connel ferry bridge" at Ballchulish Ferry and extended the line right up to Fort William not only that but the projected line through the Great Glen was built as well linking Oban / Fort Bill with Inverness as per the 1894 bill to do just that. In reality the bill was withdrawn after opposition from others, not least the good burghers of Fort William who didnt want a railway messing up the view of Loch Linnie (not that it wasnt already in part anyway). Taking advantage of the easier running over the north bank of Loch Leven a branch was made at North Ballchulish to enable goods workings to the Kinlochleven aluminium smelter. On the track plan attached below this is at the bottom end of the plan forking off to the left as you move in the Oban direction (South). Simple goods yard, possibly a goods shed, but the station buildings and signal box are going to be Kentallen in reality the next but one station to the south.

Set in 1970 /71 apart from passengers traffic by the ubiiquitous 27s there will be goods working to Kinlocleven (Presflos and Cov Hops from Burntisland) Oil and Timber workings as well as some van and 16 ton coal traffic. Not too ambitious but the chance for some nice scenic modelling. it will feature the Church there, a few cottages and a very nice cottage group which is right on the bend of the A 82.

corner.JPG


church.JPG


The first baseboard was started today - 9mm ply tops and side and cross members.

board 2.JPG


board 1.JPG


Will be going up again in October when the midges have gone for another survey. And a few more beers in the Clachaigh at Glencoe !!
Last edited by Andy C on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jim Summers
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Jim Summers » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:02 pm

All good wishes for this project, Andy. The more Caley the better.
But naming your attachment as NB did make me splutter a bit!

Jim

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:47 pm

Caleyman wrote:All good wishes for this project, Andy. The more Caley the better.
But naming your attachment as NB did make me splutter a bit!

Jim


Sorry for offending your Caley sensibilities there Jim,I didnt give the NB initials a second thought but then again who would :D

Terry Bendall
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:30 am

Andy C wrote:However the P4 bug was not going away (particularly as i have the point kits and some stock now) so a new project has come along.


Excellent Andy. In some ways starting in P4 with diesels is a lot easier than trying to convert steam locos where clearances are sometimes tight. There are serveral people on here who have done the same thing and will be able to advise you about conversion of locos and stock.

Any when it is finished there is a certain exhibition that takes place at the end of September that would be interested in having the layout along. Just let me know when.

Terry Bendall

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:15 pm

progress, the basic boards have been completed and now await cross members, but I took the opportunity to lay them out on the lawn to view how they will look when finished.
IMG_6604.JPG


IMG_6606.JPG


IMG_6605.JPG


* please note the Border Collie woodworking assistant, his names Floyd, and he has contributed several paw marks on the baseboard tops.

I was thinking of viewing from the inside of the L but on looking at the boards tink the outside might be the better option, looking downhill as it were into loch Linnie and an opportunity for a spectacular backscene;

sunset.JPG


This was taken from the approximate spot where the station platform would have been, quite accidentally in January this year before this germination of an idea became anything near reality.
Last edited by Andy C on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Flymo748
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:14 am

Andy C wrote: I was thinking of viewing from the inside of the L but on looking at the boards tink the outside might be the better option, looking downhill as it were into loch Linnie and an opportunity for a spectacular backscene;

This was taken from the approximate spot where the station platform would have been, quite accidentally in January this year before this germination of an idea became anything near reality.


Lovely photograph :-)

I don't know what layout height you are thinking of but whatever it is, making the backscene as tall as possible will really give you the impression of grandeur (in the wide open sense, not the "P4 elitist" one ;-) that the layout deserves. A little 9" strip of hardboard would just so not be the right thing...

My 2p,
Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:50 am

Andy C wrote:I was thinking of viewing from the inside of the L but on looking at the boards tink the outside might be the better option,


I think either way round would work Andy, but viewing on the inside of the L might mean things are a bit cramped. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to allopw for this sort of arrangement in the floor plan at exhibitions.

Terry Bendall

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:34 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Andy C wrote:I was thinking of viewing from the inside of the L but on looking at the boards tink the outside might be the better option,


I think either way round would work Andy, but viewing on the inside of the L might mean things are a bit cramped. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to allopw for this sort of arrangement in the floor plan at exhibitions.

Terry Bendall


Tell me Terry! - 25 years as an exhibition manager accommodating odd shaped layouts first into Rochdale Town Hall and then the downstairs hall of the New Century Halls in Manchester - bleedin nightmare :D .

My only concern was that viewers miss out on the frontage of the buildings and it will be something of a rear view - mind you I have been known to model a mean and interesting back yard!! I will probably offer it to shows either way - it means extra backscenes and an adjustable lighting pelmet but at least it gives a choice - at home it will be sitting in the back bedroom (ie workshop) along 2 walls so will be inside viewed.

Flymo: the backscenes will be fairly substantial - probably around 18 "-to get the full grandeur of the place, but as the trackbed height is going to be at 48", as all my other layouts have been, its not quite as bad an issue - top of the lighting pelmet wiil be around 6 feet giving a 2' viewing slot. The backscenes will have to be removable as I want the layout to travel in cars - hopefully just the one. I know layout height is an issue to some people particularly those in wheelchairs, but at a mere 6' 3" of height, my back is also an issue - my health comes first!

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:59 pm

Martin Edmondson printed off the Templot plans for me this week - Ive not been able to put them all together properly yet due to canine interference - whilst the pawprints on the baseboard tops are acceptable, I suspect they may wreck the plan. hopefully on Wednesday in the club rooms I will have space to lay them out fully and join them.

The weights holding down the plans are the leg adjusters - and M10 nut welded to a plate with a bolt as an adjuster.

IMG_6640.JPG


IMG_6639.JPG


IMG_6638.JPG


What is shown as a diamond will be a single slip giving access to the Kinlochleven branch from the up line.

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:29 pm

Andy,

I am pretty certain that the Caley will have been a line that used interlaced timbers on their turnouts until well into the 20th century (it saved money - something that seemed to appeal to the Scottish group companies in particular....).

Presuming this is so, then it is likely that these will have remained in the yard at least - they definately did on the Highland well into the 1980's.

They look nice and different too!
Mark Tatlow

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:49 pm

Baseboards together for the first time today - another milestone reached!

IMG_6657.JPG


IMG_6652.JPG


IMG_6659.JPG


IMG_6648.JPG

DougN
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby DougN » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:11 am

Ahh I see Canine problem solved with the tour De France!.... wonder what he is thinking????

Plan looks good as does the Base boards. I hope that the domestic authorities approve of the kitchen use..... then again getting the tea could be a quicker exercise! :)
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:16 pm

The first items of rolling stock got their test runs on Slattocks last night at the MMRS running evening, I desperately need to get some track down on the boards so I can test stock!! - my test track on the work bench is .63 of a mil to narrow :o

Locos and the GUV were fine, the Mk 1 BSK and SK need a bit of work though - the lack of lateral movement in the bogies means they are to rigid - I suspect the problem is that a protruding bit of the (Commonwealth) bogies rubs on the underframe stopping the side to side movement so i think a little judicial hacking out of part of the floor pan may cure that. Otherwise compensated bogies here we come. Conversely the GUV which is on B1 bogies runs fine! Now I can go ahead with he detailing and weathering of the locos.

I'd be interested to hear from others who have just done the conversion by dropping wheelsets (AG's) into Commonwealth bogies as tho their experience with this cheap and cheerful method.

Apologies for the quality of the photos, taken with my low end Nokia mobile!!

12082011.jpg


12082002.jpg


12082001.jpg

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:43 pm

Andy C wrote:I'd be interested to hear from others who have just done the conversion by dropping wheelsets (AG's) into Commonwealth bogies as tho their experience with this cheap and cheerful method.


Spot on, it is the damper (I think) arm of the commonwealth bogie that is the problem. Trim it off and do not tighten the securing screw too much.

I also used a little microstrip on the bearing plate of the bogie. At one end longitudinally and at the other transverse so that the bogie rocks slightly. A little weight on the bogie helps too.
Mark Tatlow

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jim s-w
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby jim s-w » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:40 pm

Andy C wrote:I'd be interested to hear from others who have just done the conversion by dropping wheelsets (AG's) into Commonwealth bogies as tho their experience with this cheap and cheerful method.


Hi Andy

My experience is they start off perfectly fine however the pinpoints (over time) slice into the bogies and the running gets progressively worse as time goes on

Hth

Jim

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grovenor-2685
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:44 pm

Here's a couple of pics of the drop in wheelset conversion. Running Ok so far, if and when the pinpoints wear out they will get bill Bedford springs.
DSCF0652.JPG

DSCF0643.JPG

I have not had any problem with the bogie rotation or trackholding on these, see also

Keith

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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby craig_whilding » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:36 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:I have not had any problem with the bogie rotation or trackholding on these, see also
Keith

It wasn't a bogie rotation issue but one of roll. We have some temporary track while parts of the fiddle yard on Slattocks await replacement (removing sub 3ft curves and sorting out operational requirements..) and some of the rails are misaligned slightly. Its an issue that shouldn't be there but it does replicate an issue that may occur on an exhibition layout over time and probably worth dealing with.

The coach effectively wasn't able to roll its one bogie to deal with twist in the track due to the dampers Mark mentions that rub on the solebars. I'd mentioned the 3-point solution he describes on Friday night and I was hoping there was a picture somewhere on this site to help illustrate but I can't find one.

Bearing points for the bogies as follows basically, these coaches had none of the latter style.. | and --

The microstrip shim and a slight paring of the dampers would probably be easier than trying to mill the solebars.. Gibson wheels are already overscale I think so ride height will have to be monitored.

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Thanks for the assistance chaps, rather than remove the damper (I hate taking detail off) there is a raised ridge on the floor pan just underneath it. I am now thinking of taking some shim off that to enable the lateral movement of the bogie. Of course though I will be laying absolutely flat track so it all should be academic :P (one lives in hope). With the mk1s running on New Hey Ive had no problem with the pinpoints wearing the bearing surface out and they have run fine over around 12 shows now. the microstrip idea will be used!

Cheers
Andy

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:55 pm

I'm doing a demo on layout planning / building at the Rochdale show - see http://www.rmrg.co.uk for details - with North Ballchulish with Craig Whilding and Ralph Robertson alongside. All the baseboards will be up and happy to chat with all comers! All the main boards have now been primed / tops varnished now ready to start the track laying.

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:25 pm

A few pictures from last weekends Rochdale show when i was able to put the layout up really for the first time:

sma;; 1.JPG


small 2.JPG


small 3.JPG


small 4.JPG


small 5.JPG


I'm currently clearing the back room so the layout can now go into its real home, and tracklaying can commence. The corner board is already up but the clearing of the room is taking a w hile, its surprising how much junk you acquire in a lifetime. Truly nature does abhor a vacuum!

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Ive not done great deal to the layout over the last year due to other commitments and keeping New Hey on the road - hopefully moving this onto a blog format will give a new impetus!

http://northballachulish.wordpress.com/

and

http://newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/

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Flymo748
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:55 am

Andy C wrote:Ive not done great deal to the layout over the last year due to other commitments and keeping New Hey on the road - hopefully moving this onto a blog format will give a new impetus!


Hi Andy,

consider that blog tagged and subscribed to follow :-)

I find that running a blog (as well as posting on here) is a tremendous incentive to Get Things Done. You look at the last posting and realise that you haven't done anything significant for the last 2/3/4/... weeks and it's time to pick up the soldering iron again!

Which reminds me... I have a little plan to announce for 2013 ;-)

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:05 pm

It has had that effect but on some of the New Hey stuff - Ive a BP to convert and was struggling hand pulling the wheels out on the coaches - so built an attachement for my GW wheel puller to do the job, also painted a full train of Lowfits!

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Acquired last weekend from an outfit called Totem Signs who were at the Loughborough Show, £40, and looks pretty good. They are at Peterborough in 2 weeks time, and at Warley. Done while you wait!

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Andy C
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Re: North Ballachulish - Blue diesels in the West Highlands

Postby Andy C » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:49 pm

Ive been having a rethink about the trackplan on the layout - the single slip seemed a little bit overkill for what is essentially a small country junction station, and I suspect I only put it in because I happened to have the Exactoscale kit in stock. So after revisisting all my books on Scotish railways Ive come up with a slightly revised trackplan sans slip.

north_ballachulish_very_final_screenshot.png


One of the things I want to get right is how the layout would be signalled - essentially its a passing loop with a junction at the very South end - the point at the bottom leading onto the Kinlochleven goods only branch. Whilst I understand the basic principles of signalling, like I say, I want to get it right, so I'm asking for any advice on how the signalling would be done on the Cally - its 1970/ 71 so it will still be semaphore!


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