Finally Made A Start in P4!

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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CDGFife
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Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:02 am

Well after nearly 18 months of membership I've finally got down to some track building!

Terry Bendall signed me up at Model Rail Scotland in 2013 - I'd gone with the intention of talking to the EM boys but found the P4 stand first. I spent the first year of membership reading up on what and how, and was actually a bit embarrassed when I spoke to Terry again at Model Rail 2014 and had to admit to having done absolutely zero P4 modelling in the year! I was however persuaded to make the effort to get to Scalefour north and as a result of the inspiring layouts on show and a long conversation with Howard Bolton and Paul Townsend on the Sunday (with plenty of encouragement to just have a go) I bought some bits and pieces from C&L and have dived in!

Pics below show the progress made since April. I'd dithered for a long time whether to just build some track onto a plank or attempt a small layout, but my interest is in scenics/railway in the countryside so in the end I came up with this as a possible eventual part of something bigger. The idea is of a small SR west country branch line (Sidmouth/Exmouth for example) set around 1930 and this portion is a freight only siding (probably to a mill or brewery) off the single running line. Really just an excuse to build a curved turnout and practice the making of crossing V and point blades. The plan was done in Templot. If it works out ok I will add other boards to it and if the mistakes I will inevitably be making are too great for it to be long term viable then I haven't lost much.

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June14-5.jpg
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June14-1.jpg
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June14-2.jpg
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Next Steps are to finish the turnout actuation, get the power connected and then I need to build either a T1 or M7 and decide on a coupling method (I'm currently reading the AJ book!) but have used Sprat and Winkle Mk3s on our large 00 layout to good effect so not sure which way to jump as yet.

Chris

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Tim V
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Tim V » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:34 pm

Looking good :!:
Tim V

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Re6/6
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Re6/6 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:00 pm

Nice work Chris.
John

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jayell
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby jayell » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:01 pm

That yellow book lying prominently on your bookshelf could mean you won't be doing much modelling in July 8-)

john

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:41 pm

johnlewis wrote:That yellow book lying prominently on your bookshelf could mean you won't be doing much modelling in July


John - You may be right!

I am actually in the midlands on the first weekend as I'm entered into a sportive in Shropshire, but it would be rude not to step across to Yorkshire when we're so close!! The rest of the race I'll have to make do with TV, although as in previous years, July days will be taken up avoiding work (in favour of modelling) and avoiding Modelling (in favour of TdF)!

Think the knack will be to start the T1 kit on the dinner table whilst the TV is on. Unfortunately don't think I'd get away with the layout out in front of the TV in the lounge!!

Chris

Terry Bendall
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:08 am

Looking very nice Chris and always good to hear when people recruited at exhibitions get started.

Terry Bendall

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:26 pm

Happy New Year All.

Can't believe it's been so long since I had the time to post an update. Just as I'd got going on the layout along came a pile of work (can't really complain about that) which pulled in some cash to allow me to complete another phase of house renovation (shouldn't complain about that either as I'm two rooms closer to my eventual 30' x 15' modelling space in the loft!)

Anyway I've not been completely idol on the modelling front (although progress has not been as swift as I'd have hoped), so below you should see a couple of pics of where I'm at now.

CSM15-1-2.jpg
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Stretcher rods have been fitted to both sets of points (we're early 1930s SR East Devon branch line backwater so old LSWR track with rods not bars is my general rule)
Most of the modroc landforming has been completed along with the brook culvert under the embankment.
The track bus has been wired and DC controller connected in (DCC will follow).
Track and sleepers/timbers have had their first coats of weathering
I have converted my old battle damaged Hornby M7 to P4 as per Phillip Hall's MRJ article.
All of which has resulted in a first movement of loco under it's own power and it runs through the turnout just fine - I'm well pleased.

CSM15-1-1.jpg
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Next Up some working point rodding, FPL and the signal box foundations

Cheers

Chris

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John McAleely
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby John McAleely » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:24 pm

CDGFife wrote:All of which has resulted in a first movement of loco under it's own power and it runs through the turnout just fine - I'm well pleased.


I remember that feeling from not so long ago on my own shunting plank. Well done!

JFS
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby JFS » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:30 pm

CDGFife wrote:
Terry Bendall signed me up at Model Rail Scotland in 2013 - I'd gone with the intention of talking to the EM boys but found the P4 stand first.
Chris


Phew! That was a stroke of luck!

It is looking good Chris!

Good Luck!

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:51 pm

So the Ambis Point rodding etches have arrived and I've had time to have a play today. See below for results.

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From the left are my first and second attempts at Compensation cranks, First one was just loose assembled but the second has been soldered up (and still moves) and just needs a tidy and paint. Finally the item in the tweezers is an adjustable crank (without adjuster fitted) in a folded up support base. I'm not sure I've got this folded up correctly (although it's been done in accordance with the diagram as best as I can make out. There seems an awful lot of vertical slop in the crank. The clearance between the base and the top strap (for want of a better name) seems awful large. Someone must have got these to work better than this? I thought maybe make up some spacers out of 0.45ID brass tube to vertically space the crank into the middle of the gap? Any thoughts appreciated!

Cheers

CDG

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:02 pm

Cranks don't usually have any 'top strap' or upper bearing, the axle is fixed in the base casting , the crank dropped on and held in place with washer and cotter pin.
If pins are used for the axle then the pinhead can do for the washer.
If you plan on driving the adjusting crank from below, eg if using the Ambis PALM unit then you need to fix the crank to the axle anyway, and with an anti slip fixing such as a 'D' shape hole.
Keith

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:44 pm

Thanks Keith - I folded the crank base up as per the Ambis instructions and knew it did not look right (hence my post) and certainly all the ref photos I have show no top bearing/strap. I suspect I will end up using only the bottom half of the Ambis part and fixing as per your post. It's certainly my intention to use a servo under the baseboard to drive the crank adjacent to the toe end of the point and hence the rodding back to the signal cabin. More on the layout of that later though. I had envisaged a D shape on the axle above the baseboard but below I was intending to form a U at the base of the axle rod fitted into 2 holes in the linkage to the servo.

All the Servos will be driven by MERG Servo4s and a relay board for crossing polarity. I'm also planning on implementing CBus modules for control.

Cheers

Chris

Terry Bendall
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:55 pm

Some very nice pictures of prototype rodding in MRJ No 113, The magazine is a bit old now - 1999 but worth getting hold of. MRJ 115 shows how Steve hall modelled his point rodding and signal wires. Just dug my copies out again as a refresher for some more rodding to go on Elcot FRoad. :)

Terry Bendall

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:57 pm

I like the Ambis PALM unit to interface a servo to the topside rodding, it isolates the delicate parts from any excessive thrust from the servo.
See and
Regards
Keith

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:03 pm

Keith - I'd looked at the PALM at the same time as I ordered the rodding/cranks etc. It is certainly in consideration not only because we've experienced the odd servo flutter on start up on my Dad's OO gauge loft layout where we've been using them for a while with Servo4 boards. We've found that Peco turnouts seem to be strong enough to cope with it but I have been a little worried about it's effect on delicate rodding/cranks. Presumably the straights at either end of the PALM slot protect the crank from this to some extent?

How did you connect the operating rod to the above baseboard crank? As I read the PALM instructions the operating rod should be 1/16" (presumably OD) but I'm finding that 0.4mm OD wire is needing the Crank holes slightly reamed to fit neatly.

Terry - I will look for the MRJ copies thanks.

Cheers

Chris

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:28 pm

My recollection is that I just had to file a flat on the end of the operating rod to fit a D shaped hole in the crank, but its a long time ago, I'll have a look when opportunity arises. Not sure if it was an Ambis crank either, I have some others around.
Regards
Keith

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:48 pm

I've had a quick look, I actually used tube for the PALM operating rod then fitted a wire in the top to fit the crank on, you can actually see the bottom end of the tubes in the video. I'll see if I can find the frets the cranks came from, but its likely to take a while :)
Regards
Keith

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:12 pm

Been quite busy this week for just a little visible progress:
Point rodding to turnout and trap point are now connected and working back to the signal box crank.
PALM units are in place for the point rodding (at the signal box crank) and the FPL (again signal box crank) - although these two photos were taken before the box cranks were fitted.
Just need to build the MERG Servo4 and fit the servos and then tackle the FPL!
Boy these rodding stools for single rod runs are fiddly - I've gone through 32 to make 14 stools!
CSM15-1-4.jpg
View down the line before the box crank and PALM were added
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CSM15-1-5.jpg
View across the turnout to the compensators (Shame about the snowy background)
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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:09 am

Been a bit busy of late (also distractions like Model Rail Scotland and finally being able to get together with the East of Scotland people) so not posted up my progress.

FPL and detector bar have been fitted but final connections to the box are awaiting an order to Ambis

Also been working on the signal box - it started with a requirement for the base so I could move on with the ground level filler, but I decided to build the cabin at the same time. Now it's painted I've mocked it up in position - photos below. It's based on the ground level Type 1 box at Ottery St Mary, with a 9 lever Knee frame. Next task is the roof and the tricky LSWR valance that was left in place when the horizontal planking was added.

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CS-15-3-3.jpg
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CS-15-3-4.jpg
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Also built up the first of the (ex) LSWR signals bought from MSE at Glasgow. Still needs a final paint job but getting there.

CS-15-2-1.jpg
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Finally "the layout" now has a name - Cadhay Siding. Cadhay was the location for a set of crossing gates just north of Ottery St Mary on the Sidmouth branch. My re-imagining has added a freight siding serving a mill/brewery/not quite sure yet (it's on the next board so can wait!). I'm going to add in a couple of flap type ground signals as well as the two posts protecting the crossing. I suspect (given the LSWR general lack of shunt signals early on) that this backwater would not have had any but the object of the exercise is to learn how to make things work so two will be added!

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:07 pm

Well not much pictorial progress to report as most of the latest work has been electrical and also in planning/thinking time.

Also what with a most enjoyable weekend just spent at Scalefour North and a long weekend in Wolverhampton watching the world's greatest prog band in action (Marillion for those interested) I have few pics worth showing just now.

However I have a query I need some help with:

The following pic shows the location of the Signal Box in relation to the goods siding turnout with passenger line running right to top left and goods siding off to bottom left. The line is bi-directional single line and (out of the photo to left and right) are the home signals that protect the turnout and the level crossing (crossing is where the timbers are shown fitted). I've also marked on the position of the detection rod from the toe of the point blades.

Detection Query.jpg
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Up home detection is straightforward as the signal wiring can run from the box through the detection and off to the left (all directions are as per the photo orientation) to the up home.

My query is regarding the down home wire run. In such a 1929/30 SR backwater as this would the wire run come from the box, run left to the detection and then double back to the right and out to the Down home or would the detection have been omitted for the down home (with the run leaving the box to the right towards the signal) and lever frame interlocking relied upon for "safe" operation?

I should add it is not my intention to make the detection (or signal wire runs) actually work but I would like to try and get them to look as accurate as possible to "standard" practice and I'm struggling to find any prototype reference to guide me!

Any advice would be appreciated!!!

Chris

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Noel
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Noel » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:58 am

My understanding is that detection is not optional on a passenger line, and it is required because it deals with a different problem to the one interlocking addresses. Interlocking prevents a lever being pulled when it would create a conflict. Detection is to deal with the possibility of a mechanical failure within the points themselves, such as a blade failing to move when the lever is moved.

Noel
Regards
Noel

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MarkS
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby MarkS » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:42 pm

I don"t want to hijack an interesting thread, but the last question prompted me to ask the question -
The rules for light railways were different than for the mainline railways, but regarding passenger safety, were light railways required to have the same standards for point locks, detection, interlocking etc.?
I would assume so, but I don't recall any discussion of the subject.
Cheers,

Mark.
"In the end, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done..."

dal-t
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby dal-t » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:55 pm

MarkS wrote:The rules for light railways were different than for the mainline railways, but regarding passenger safety, were light railways required to have the same standards for point locks, detection, interlocking etc.?


The historical situation may well have been different, but for modern-day (heritage) railways, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) says "As the name suggests, the term light refers to operations carried out under a less rigorous set of regulations, (my emphasis) using lighter equipment at lower speeds than those used by heavy rail".

Railway Safety Publication 5 "Guidance on Minor Railways" explains (note to para 239) that "The necessity to provide interlockng of points and signals is brought about by the requirements of regulation 5 of the Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1997 ", and says later (para 319) that "Point detection should ensure that the position of each switchblade is correct and the locking mechanism of points is properly engaged for train movements in the facing direction."

So there's no getting away from the need for interlocking, and point detection requirements appear to be the same as on a 'heavy' railway, but if the "less rigorous" bit has any substance, there must be a variety of lesser requirements that are more relaxed (the inspection regime (by the regulator) probably being one of them).
David L-T

Terry Bendall
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:07 pm

On the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway, where I can be found when not dealing with a certain exhibition, or doing some model making, operates under a light railway order and there is point locking in place on points traversed by passenger trains in the facing direction.

The railway has one of the most extensive collections of steam and internal combustion locos in the country and is one of the few industrial narrow gauge lines still running, having never closed since it was opening in 1919. Come and see us some time! Details at http://www.buzzrail.co.uk Very convenient for Aylesbury.

Terry Bendall
Last edited by John McAleely on Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fix link

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:26 pm

Noel wrote:My understanding is that detection is not optional on a passenger line, and it is required because it deals with a different problem to the one interlocking addresses. Interlocking prevents a lever being pulled when it would create a conflict. Detection is to deal with the possibility of a mechanical failure within the points themselves, such as a blade failing to move when the lever is moved.

Noel

Whilst not optional, detection is only required for facing points and hence only for the one signal in this case.
See http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/MoT_Requirements1950.pdf
I quote
21. Facing point equipment.
Facing points on passenger lines, and all points regularly used in the facing direction by passenger trains to have:—
(a) A bolt-lock through a third stretcher bar, with its bolt either worked through a locking bar
or controlled by track circuit. Locking bars, if used, to be longer than the greatest inter-axle dimension of vehicles likely to pass over them.
(b) A stock rail gauge tie.
(c) Apparatus to detect that each switch is in its proper position, and that the points are bolted,
before the relative signals can be cleared.

Similar equipment is desirable at facing points in freight lines used exclusively for running movements, and to be provided if derailment at them might foul an adjacent passenger line.

Regards
Keith
PS the appendix to the linked document covers the relaxations for Light Railways.


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