Ulpha Light Railway

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:43 pm

I have recently fitted the 'shelf' for the narrow gauge fiddle yard

Ulph094.jpg


I have mainly been busy with miniature brass origami, folding all the chairs for the remaining replacement pointwork on Ulpha.

Ulph095.jpg


Ulph096.jpg


Glad that's all over!

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steve howe
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby steve howe » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:18 pm

For Heaven's sake don't drop the box!!

Steve

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:36 pm

steve howe wrote:For Heaven's sake don't drop the box!!

Steve


Thanks for the concern - the box has a secure lid though, so all should be safe. ;)

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:20 pm

I made a few final and very minor adjustments to the track plan this weekend in Templot, such that I am now very happy. The plan was printed out. The sheets for the central scenic board have now been stuck to 2mm MDF using contact adhesive. After a bit of trimming, the montage was placed over the baseboard to see how it would look. Spot on for what I intended, I think! The only change will be to slightly adjust the line of the goods siding (bottom right) so it lines up better with the existing buffer stop. I can do this when I lay the track, which will be flexible track - no need to adjust the Templot plan any further.

Ulph097.jpg


On the left hand side, the overall trackbed is slightly narrower than before to take it slightly further away from the quarry wall. You can just see the line of the existing track sticking out beyond it at top left. Apart from the waggonway track, everything will still closely resemble how it was originally though - including interlaced sleepers on the turnouts.

I have also tested the new track plan for the third board with the trestle to make sure that has sufficient clearance. Everything seems fine there too.

Next, I shall strip the existing track from the central scenic board ready for sticking the new trackbed down.

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:14 pm

It has been a long time since I did any railway modelling. Things like house improvements and much extra time spent with my dear old mum (now nearly 93) have very much taken priority - and things are likely to continue that way for the foreseeable future. The long, dark nights are rapidly approaching though, so I should be able to squeeze in a little modelling over the Autumn and the Winter. My 2mm layout, Burghmire has to be the priority as it is supposed to be finished by the latter part of June next year.

In P4, I think I can find the time to do a bit more track replacement on Ulpha. I got hold of a copy of 'Early Railways, A Guide For the Modeller' a few months back, which has given me one or two very interesting ideas for the waggonway trackwork. I am not sure it will work in P4, but one that caught my eye is a sliding stub turnout on p47 which can serve as a simple double slip. I have a fascination for archaic trackwork, so this one is right up my street (track?)

Ulph098.jpg
Ulph098.jpg (41.55 KiB) Viewed 2056 times


The two pairs of parallel rails are hinged near the bottom of the diagram. By lining them up to the left, centre or right at the top, they give various options for routes through the formation, equivalent to a double slip. I messed around a bit in Templot and came up with a location for one on Ulpha. The plan is to build one off the layout and thoroughly test it.I shall use it on Ulpha. If I can get it to work reliably it can be a still-used remnant from the early waggonway days. Presumably, it was way too expensive to replace it with a double slip. If it doesn't work well, I can simply install it somewhere in the undergrowth - disused and unloved. Not a lot of work, but I suspect a lot of thinking will be involved!

Plans for stock building and other stuff will just have to be abandoned for the time being.

More in due course, I hope!

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steamraiser
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby steamraiser » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:49 am

Neil Kinison has a working stub point on his P4 layout Edford.

Gordon A

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:04 pm

steamraiser wrote:Neil Kinison has a working stub point on his P4 layout Edford.

Gordon A


Thanks, Gordon. I am sure it is possible to get something like this to work - more that my bodging may not be up to the standards required ;)

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:40 pm

Not Quite Ulpha, but here's a fascinating video reconstructing the Coniston Copper Mines in 3D, complete with waterwheels etc.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iMRTU9QJHA

I was up there myself over the last few days doing more research around Ulpha for the layout and taking lots of new photos. Unlike last year's visit, Dunnerdale was bathed in sunshine.

Ulph100.jpg


Ulph099.jpg


I also visited the beautifully restored Eskdale Mill, very close to Dalegarth station on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Ulph101.jpg


Highly recommended if ever you are in the area.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:21 pm

I am green with envy .... looks fantastic :thumb
Tim Lee

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:46 pm

Ulpha Abandonment

Unfortunately, Ulpha suffered during the very wet weather we experienced over the past few months. Water seeped in along the floor where the layout was being stored. This caused serious structural damage to the baseboards and also affected part of the scenery.

The layout already needed significant work to bring it back to an exhibitable state, even before the recent damage. I have also been having problems with the sheer size and weight of the baseboards.

I have decided the only sensible way forwards is to remove what I reasonably can from the layout and scrap the old baseboards. What is left, like the trestle and buildings can eventually be incorporated in Ulpha Mk2. I am thinking of something in the spirit of the old layout, rather than an exact replica.

No promises on timescale though. Domestic issues and other things have been getting in the way rather a lot recently. I think it would be sensible to spend a long time planning it properly, rather than rushing into things.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Serjt-Dave » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:10 pm

Sorry to hear this, a shame to seeing it going to that great layout room in the sky. But think positive and hope you can create a new layout from it's remains.

Dave

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:44 pm

Many thanks for the sympathy, but in truth its probably for the best.

I know from others that taking on a very old layout can be a huge challenge. It felt like I was taking one step forwards and two steps back all the time. Even if I had been able to restore Ulpha to full working order, the sheer size and weight of the layout would have continued to be a problem. The fragility of the scenery would also have limited appearances to a minimum, I fear. The water damage just made the decision to scrap the layout easier to make, on reflection.

Probably best to learn from the experience and move on, but not very far. I have definitely got the bug for modelling the area around Ulpha. I may do a little experiment in narrow gauge first though. OO9 standards on a P4 layout can definitely be improved upon.

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby SteamAle » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:16 am

Richard
Very sad news, but I'm also trying to bring an old layout back to life. I know exactly how you felt with Ulpha, more steps backwards at times.
I know I offered Ulpha a home of last resort rather than see it scrapped but needs must.
Make the most of what you have. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you come up with.
If and when you do have a new layout based on Ulpha and you want to exhibit it in Cumbria please let me know.
Philip

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:22 pm

Thanks Philip. I am having positive thoughts, I assure you, but don't want to jump into any construction work until I am absolutely sure of where I want to go. So far I have been thinking about the key features of the old Ulpha and what ought to be included in the new layout. For example, the mill, loading gantry, river, quarry and tramway bridge.

Interestingly, Boot on the original Ravenglass & Eskdale had more or less all these features within a very short radius. A bit of selective compression and I could base the model on a real place - though probably a standard gauge/narrow gauge mix as before.

A key to success must be to make the baseboards smaller and much lighter.
Last edited by Armchair Modeller on Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:32 pm

Here is Boot Station and separate map of part of the nearby tramway (this one for a haematite mine)

zz-Boot-c1900.jpg


zz-Boot-c1900-b2.jpg


The tramway connected with the main line just south of Boot station - the current terminus is on part of the trackbed

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby SteamAle » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:27 pm

Richard
Knew the area well in my younger years when I was a volunteer on Ratty! It looks pretty good for what you need and is still in Cumberland so that is a plus. Have you got the model article about Boot station, think it was S scale?

Regarding baseboards - a number of years ago I built some large 5'x3' boards that were 2"x1" braced with 3/8" plywood and then sundeala on top. They were heavy and I decided to rebuild the layout using 4'x2' boards based around building insulation foam. Just been told not to lift very heavy weights as I have been diagnosed with cervical spondylosis and problem with nerve supply in right hand as a result. Very pleased I took the decision as at least I can still lift and shift the boards by myself. I think I have still over engineered the boards and I'd do some things differently if I were to build them again but worth considering. If I was as skillful as Gordon Gravitt I'd have used his system.

Happy modelling
Philip

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:40 am

SteamAle wrote: If I was as skillful as Gordon Gravitt I'd have used his system.

Happy modelling
Philip

Is his system described in detail anywhere?

Tim
Tim Lee

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John Donnelly
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby John Donnelly » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:57 am

Le Corbusier wrote:
SteamAle wrote: If I was as skillful as Gordon Gravitt I'd have used his system.

Happy modelling
Philip

Is his system described in detail anywhere?

Tim


MRJ issue 235.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:20 pm

John Donnelly wrote:
Le Corbusier wrote:
SteamAle wrote: If I was as skillful as Gordon Gravitt I'd have used his system.

Happy modelling
Philip

Is his system described in detail anywhere?

Tim


MRJ issue 235.

Damn ... my collection starts at 237 :evil:
Tim Lee

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Tim V
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Tim V » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:26 pm

If this is about lightweight baseboards, you may be interested to know the next News contains an article on building them.
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:29 pm

SteamAle wrote:Richard
Knew the area well in my younger years when I was a volunteer on Ratty! It looks pretty good for what you need and is still in Cumberland so that is a plus. Have you got the model article about Boot station, think it was S scale?

Regarding baseboards - a number of years ago I built some large 5'x3' boards that were 2"x1" braced with 3/8" plywood and then sundeala on top. They were heavy and I decided to rebuild the layout using 4'x2' boards based around building insulation foam. Just been told not to lift very heavy weights as I have been diagnosed with cervical spondylosis and problem with nerve supply in right hand as a result. Very pleased I took the decision as at least I can still lift and shift the boards by myself. I think I have still over engineered the boards and I'd do some things differently if I were to build them again but worth considering. If I was as skillful as Gordon Gravitt I'd have used his system.

Happy modelling
Philip


Yes, I have Peter Kazer's articles on Boot in both the MRJ 206 and Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review (boy, what a mouthful!) no 119

On lightweight baseboards, I tried something akin to Gordon Gravett's system on my first P4 layout and didn't get on too well with it. I think I much prefer smaller, ply baseboards. The weight saving was not worth all the complications I found - but that's just my opinion. There were 2 articles in different MRJs IIRC. The main article and then a follow-up a while later?

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:24 pm

The article by Gordon Gravett on lightweight baseboards I have in MRJ is no 156 entitled 'Pretty in Pink'

Another Gordon Gravett article specifically relating to the baseboards on Pempoul was in Continental Modeller August 2008

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:06 pm

OK something for your amusement - a first, very tentative draft idea for the new Ulpha. Perhaps the best of several going through my mind.

Ulpha-New-Plan.jpg


The quarry would be a minor, derelict rock face - maybe used for construction material for local use, rather than a large commercial quarry. This is more typical of Dunnerdale.

It includes all the features of the old layout, more or less, plus a bit extra. Ideas include an incline to the mines and quarries up on the Fells, inspired by Calstock

Calstock-incline.jpg
Calstock-incline.jpg (78.1 KiB) Viewed 629 times


and a diminutive tramway terminus based on a minor French narrow gauge line (notice the turntable on the platform road - ideal for turning Col. Stephens-style railbuses etc. Not the station buildings though - far too big and obtrusive.

Chatillon11.jpg
Chatillon11.jpg (132.03 KiB) Viewed 629 times


The old mill building could be used as a view blocker, hiding the railway exit to the main fiddle yard.

Clearly it needs a lot of development and refinement, but it's a start.

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Neil Smith
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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Neil Smith » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Glad to see you're moving forward after the blow of the flood! This thread was one of the first that I read right through after I joined the Society just over a month ago, because I live pretty close to Ulpha, and the Furness Railway is my particular area of interest - your thread flagged up on a search of the Forum for "Furness" which was one of the first things I did once I got online! I have found the whole thing fascinating!
I think this new plan has a lot going for it - it resolves some of the bigger ideological contradictions (why NG on up the valley, how that integrated into the SG, the Duddon Valley geology in fact vs the model's fiction) - and the incline is exactly the sort of thing that would have been built there. But I do have one suggestion/question. I can see how you have used the old track layout as your starting point, but if ULR SG line now goes up the valley, would this not be a source of potential tourist traffic as well as minerals coming down (or reservoir construction materials going up) and in which case would at least there be the need for a second platform on the road leading to the northbound "extension"? The original platform location could be retained, partly to honour the original, but perhaps re-purposed as a goods wharf rather than passenger station?

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Re: Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:26 pm

Many thanks for your comments, Neil. It is great to have someone with local knowledge interested in the project :thumb

The idea of having a platform for through traffic had crossed my mind, but I was not sure where to put it. Something to think about! The Ravenglass & Eskdale had relative success with tourists, even in 3ft gauge days, so they are a must for Dunnerdale too, I think.


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