Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

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Julian Roberts
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Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:54 am

The lockdown looked as though it would prevent me from testing and operating my steam locos on the West Scotland 4mm Group layout Calderside for the foreseeable future, and one afternoon I found what looked to be a perfect layout to make - Kyle of Lochalsh MPD. I'm attaching something I wrote explaining how I got to that point.

The last 6 weeks has seen me glued to our computer screen learning how to use Templot, with much help from one of the East Scotland Group members, to draw out the track plan on the only large scale OS map available, dated around 1900. I have just completed this rather massive task, and learned to appreciate what an amazing tool Templot is, unbelievably available free. Never having had to use a computer for my work (which has changed little in the last 200 years), I'm not the least savvy in their use except for writing and manipulating pictures, which is in a way an advantage for Templot as it is (apparently) totally unlike any other design programme.

I'm attaching a screenshot of the completed track plan. It has the option of connecting through turnouts to two fiddleyards, though I've not decided whether to use traversers to access them and save about 2 feet in length. I haven't included in this shot most of that part of the trackplan. For now I'm going to concentrate on making the layout, while my plans for FYs evolve. The piece of track along the bottom is simply to indicate the likely extent of the baseboard- which may be straight rather than curving.

This post is in fact to see if anyone has any thoughts about the bit I had to invent as it is not on the OS map. Many pictures show an extra line going towards the turntable from the shed road, which went to a coaling stage, just by the water tower (marked Tank on the map). I've guessed that this line would be at a 10 foot shunting line distance, and fiddled about till I had a turnout roughly in the right place to connect nicely. I took a 15ft loose heel switch as a likely start, and experimented to get a likely V setting. (1: 8.5) There are several photos that show all this which I attach too. This extra line clearly didn't exist throughout the time the MPD was there, so photos do not all show it, hence the guesswork. I hazard a guess that the Black 5s didn't need to be coaled up at Kyle as well as at Inverness, so the extra line became less necessary.

The only map or diagram on which this siding appears (that I've found so far at least) is one marked not to scale in John Thomas' "The Skye Railway".

I think my question on this is, would this coaling stage be closer than the 10 foot distance, if so how close?

Also, I don't know how long this siding would have been, even whether it ended prior to the place from where the coal would have been shovelled. Would crew have stood on the coal in a wagon alongside the tender? Doubtful, I imagine. That's what we have to do on the Bala Lake Railway when we have a wagon full of fresh coal, until we've dug down to the floor, from when it becomes a lot easier! Considerably smaller locos to coal up!

Anyone who looked at my question a week ago regarding the tandem turnout will see I've opted to have the switch slightly beyond the place marked on the map, on the assumption it was changed at the time of the track realignment for the extended turntable. The switch position looks to me to be reasonably appropriate to the photo of the point lever. (Thanks to Dave Bradwell for first flagging up the likelihood the track would have slightly changed for this. Otherwise I've drawn this all out as exactly as I can on the lines on the map)
Attachments
COALING STAGE map.jpg
018-hr-water-tower-kyle-of-lochalsh-engine-shed-11-05-63-john-boyesarpt-001.jpg
FINAL LAYOUT PLAN.PNG
The coaling stage siding is probably too long - not the issue!
useful pic.PNG
useful pic.PNG (303.7 KiB) Viewed 772 times
Single slip view.PNG
Showing the coaling shack before being overgrown
Photo.PNG
Giving a useful idea of the length from the turnout to the shed in relation to this loco
Photo.PNG (456.08 KiB) Viewed 772 times
photo turntable.jpg
Also showing the overgrown coaling stage
photo turntable.jpg (12.42 KiB) Viewed 772 times
httpswww.ambaile.org.ukdetailen276381EN27638-the-main-railway-line-entering-kyle.htm.png
This one shows the overgrown coaling stage after the track was removed
Black 5s at MPD.PNG
Black 5s at MPD.PNG (424.44 KiB) Viewed 772 times
BR 57955 and 54463 27 June 1949.jpg
27 Aug 1960.jpg
27 Aug 1960.jpg (63.36 KiB) Viewed 772 times
JOURNEY TO A P4 LAYOUT.docx
Sorry I don't know how to convert this to PDF
(11.7 MiB) Downloaded 10 times

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:10 pm

Going by what seems to me the age of the various pictures it looks as though the siding was added rather than removed, ie was there in 1960.
The coaling stage opposite the water tower serves the turntable road and does not look like it ever moved. On the photo with the platelayers trolley there is a shelter of some sort next to said coaling stage which looks as though it would cover the siding if it was there.
Certainly a mystery but I doubt that the siding would have a coal stage alongside as you have drawn it, far more convenient to coal locos on the turntable road.
Regards
Keith
Grovenor Sidings

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:22 pm

Yes Keith - I realise I wasn't clear - I am supposing the locos were coaled standing in the turntable road, and that the siding would be for a wagon to take coal there. Yes, judging by the OS map the siding was added later, and judging by photos removed at some point.

Really the issue for the trackplan is whether I've got the turnout in roughly the right place, and that is very related to how far the siding would be spaced from the turntable track.

John Palmer
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby John Palmer » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:48 pm

Here are links to three more photographs that may assist as regards the kickback from the west-side shed road:

https://www.ambaile.org.uk/preview/en/27630/1/EN27630-The%20turntable%20and%20shed%20at%20Kyle%20of%20Loch.jpg
https://www.rail-online.co.uk/p129376112/h67FA4852#h67fa4852
https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83407

The Ambaile shot gives better detail of the shelter to which Keith refers. The Rail-Online shot clearly shows that the turnout into the kickback was a sleepered lead. The Transport Library shot shows piles of ash adjacent to the kickback, and perhaps hints at the presence of a pit beneath the locomotive.

Taken overall, I think that the kickback terminated just short of the coal stage, and may well have been the shed's ash road.

Welcome to the world of prototype research where the elusive detail you are after is *just* out of shot, or *just* too distant for you to draw firm conclusions from a photograph!

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:12 pm

As far as the correct location for the turout goes it looks different in every photo! Probably why you are asking. :)
Mostly it looks around a loco length from the shed, on the photo with the 2-6-4T and the one with two black 5s I would put the switch toes almost opposite the crossing of the turnout leading down the side of the shed, the latter photo also shows the toes pretty close to a black5 length from the shed door. So I think your turnout is to long and starts to close to the shed. The siding I suspect is angled away from the turntable road rather than parallel so it ends up under the shelter. The shelter probably to try ank keep some of the rain off the men shovelling ash into wagons.
Seems we have to have surmise when the evidence is so scanty.
Regards
Keith
Grovenor Sidings

davebradwell
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby davebradwell » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:23 pm

In the small photo above, the shadows give us something - the Black 5 seems to be quite close to the shed doors and there's a good working space in front before the turnout starts. Operationally, this is the important thing.

Some very exotic grounded bodies, too.

DaveB

John Palmer
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby John Palmer » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:25 pm

Two more shots of the coal stage from Ernie Brack's archive, the first confirming that the kickback terminated just short of the stage:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/49413495242/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/49413294851/in/photostream/.

And a shot showing one end of the turnout, confirming that this was a loose heel switch:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/37469238361/

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:37 pm

Looks like they were shovelling coal from the wagon direct to the tender rather than using it for ash.
Regards
Keith
Grovenor Sidings

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Noel
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Noel » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:40 pm

The bottom picture in your original post suggests that the point is clear of the fouling point of the two shed roads, and John's latest set of photos seem to suggest that the locos in the Transport Library shot are on the access to the turntable road, and the siding is not present, as it doesn't seem long enough to take two tender engines.
Regards
Noel

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Martin Wynne » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:44 pm

There's a 1950s aerial photo here:

https://ncap.org.uk/frame/8-1-2-4-46-178?pos=12

which might possibly help, if high enough resolution. Unfortunately it requires a paid subscription to zoom in and find out.

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

Jeremy Suter
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Jeremy Suter » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:03 pm

Hi Julian
I always thought Kyle of loch Alsh was a good place to model as a short engine shed layout here are a few more picture of the area you are interested in. although probably a bit early If I get a chance I will look out some taken in the 50s. Lucky for the modeller it was well photographed.

Looking at the original turn table took the 440s comfortably, old postcards
img20200627_19342163.jpg

img20200627_19360220.jpg

img20200627_19415507.jpg

Where the dumped the ash, old postcards
img20200627_19475584.jpg

img20200627_19470418.jpg

Looking down the line from above the turntable back to the shed 1934 Copyright MLS
img20200627_19215476.jpg

Looking down to the turntable from the main behind the shed 18.7.36 copyright H.C.Casserley
img20200627_19505747.jpg

General view looking at the area copyright 1958 P.J.Suter
img20200627_19444561.jpg

Back towards the shed Copyright J.J.Davis
img20200627_19432567.jpg

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:09 pm

Fantastic help from so many folks - thanks so much, just the Forum at its very best! Is that Ivo Peters' car in one of John's shots? "Exotic bodies" had me worried for a moment DaveB! These pictures give me a whole load more information than I had till now, very exciting to see new scenic possibilities.

The photo with the car shows the V's relationship with the blades of the point on the connecting road. John's other photo there shows the loose heel switch has 7 timbers length, which I've found on Templot. So I've just had another stab at it. I shortened the siding but left its spacing from the turntable road the same, rotated it, re-did the turnout and joined them up. With the measurement grid showing in front of the map, there is now 9 inches clear from the front of the shed to the switch, plenty long enough would you agree?

Jeremy, one of your photos shows the first proper view I've had of the tandem and gives me further clues. Thanks again everyone, there is a lot to digest here so the "FINAL" file name will no doubt prove groundlessly premature!
Attachments
FINAL LAYOUT 2A.PNG
FINAL LAYOUT 2.PNG

davebradwell
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby davebradwell » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:34 am

Hmmm! 9" sounds a bit tighter than the real thing. Surely the engine has to shunt a wagon or 2 into the siding without entering the shed, it will be the big operating event of the day. Looks like it could in the photos.

It will be an interesting model. If you want a second station, Julian, I measured up the octagonal private station at Duncraig some years ago. The wall of Inverness station waiting room is decorated with a large photo of a group, including full entourage, on the platform there.

DaveB

bécasse
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby bécasse » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:17 am

It seems unlikely that a locomotive would have been used to shunt coal wagons into/out of the coal siding itself, but only as far as the mouth of the shed, pinchbars being used for the final/initial reverse shunt - a far more common practice, especially postwar when traders' horses ceased to be readily available, than most of today's modellers imagine.

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:02 am

Hi DaveB

Quote from Wikipedia (I had to look it up)

Duncraig was closed between 7 December 1964 and 5 January 1976;[2] it was reopened after local train drivers refused to acknowledge the station's closure for the intervening 11 years


Thanks for the idea! I think I've got enough here actually. Having 2 fiddleyards makes a nice reasonably compact layout into something rather long and unwieldy, depending how long they are.

I think the 9" can't be extended by a wagon length and look right probably... David (Becasse)'s point is unfortunately not readily modelled! :o I'd have thought there's adequate room for a shunting loco and wagon. The only pilot loco I've seen photos of is a CR 0-4-4, which I've already made :D I'll check out the length of that and maybe tweak the turnout. The issue can be left to fester in my mind as the rest is going to take a wee while....

These photos folks have put here really give me so much more to go on regarding the kickback siding. This one shows the shelter wasn't over the coal platform. https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswis ... otostream/ So is that where ash would be disposed I wonder, then shovelled up into the wagon. I imagine the coal would be more easily loaded onto the platform from a wagon in the turntable road.

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Noel
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Noel » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:12 am

None of the photos shows a close-up of the later turntable, but it is a vacuum operated one - see the Jones Goods film 1001056 in https://www.huntleyarchives.com/results.asp?txtkeys1=kyle
Regards
Noel

davebradwell
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby davebradwell » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:19 pm

I expect they put the wagon in the sdg any way they could but the photos show there was space for the loco which was really my point. That Clan Goods has some ominous holes where there should be rivets holding the beam on.

Duncraig platform is a fine place for a picnic on one of your jaunts, Julian, looking out over Plockton Bay.

DaveB

John Palmer
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby John Palmer » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:12 pm

davebradwell wrote:That Clan Goods has some ominous holes where there should be rivets holding the beam on.
DaveB

I thought they were likely to be the holes used for bolting a snowplough to the buffer beam. From memory, some Scottish K2s had a length of angle iron attached to the running plate adjacent to the buffer beam, similarly perforated for the same purpose.

Another good view of that tandem to be found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/49420877283/in/album-72157687405662664/

That coal stage is on a rather higher level than the floors of coal wagons used for its replenishment, making it a bit easier to get coal into tenders. Possibly coal could be barrowed out of such wagons, but stern work with a shovel may have been the only way to get coal onto the stage. In that respect the elevated loco coal road at Mallaig was a more satisfactory arrangement.

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:42 pm

davebradwell wrote:I expect they put the wagon in the sdg any way they could but the photos show there was space for the loco which was really my point. That Clan Goods has some ominous holes where there should be rivets holding the beam on.

Duncraig platform is a fine place for a picnic on one of your jaunts, Julian, looking out over Plockton Bay.

DaveB


0-4-4T + wagon just fits! 20 inches/508mm from the end of the shed - just over the length of the shed!

Yes a jaunt beckons when lockdown finishes. I wonder when non essential workers are going to be allowed to travel on trains - which are rattling around 95% empty. :cry:
Attachments
Length of shed.PNG
Length of shed.PNG (69.27 KiB) Viewed 408 times
20200628_180915.jpg
20200628_180836.jpg

davebradwell
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby davebradwell » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:02 am

As long as it's comfortably longer than a class 5, like the photos.

DaveB

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:13 am

John Palmer wrote:That coal stage is on a rather higher level than the floors of coal wagons used for its replenishment, making it a bit easier to get coal into tenders. Possibly coal could be barrowed out of such wagons, but stern work with a shovel may have been the only way to get coal onto the stage. In that respect the elevated loco coal road at Mallaig was a more satisfactory arrangement.


Thanks John for the photo of the tandem. I am still digesting all the replies I received - I see it is in the same series as photos you'd already posted. I hadn't found that link previously, it is a wealth of pictorial information. The sheer hard graft of work on the railways is apparent from these coaling arrangements.

Do those tandem switches look like loose heel ones?

Noel - one of my aims is to have locomotives that can move in the same way as the Jones Goods starting out of the shed, but if it's possible on straight analogue DC. I already gear them for good slow running, but I can't get them to start to move like that. I think more sophisticated control systems are available than my low level stuff. The turntable won't be vacuum operated! - though I would like to get it to move equally smoothly.

Jeremy - several weeks after I'd come to the realisation this was the location that suited me Allan Ferguson sent me an article from the Modeller (I think it was) saying just that, what a good subject to model. My problem as I said in my attachment is that all my locos are CR, so I will have to stretch credibility either in the loco department, or by locating this model elsewhere.

One of your photos shows the loco poised to take the road into the sea. I wonder what that road was for - maybe for a wagon full of ash to tip its contents...

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Martin Wynne » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:48 am

Julian Roberts wrote:Do those tandem switches look like loose heel ones?

Hi Julian,

No, the first switch is a "B" flexible switch. The second switch is also flexible but more difficult to be sure about the size, I think it is also a "B". However, it is a split-deflection switch, which makes it more interesting. It means this tandem is neither a type 1 nor a type 2, but somewhere in between. More about split-deflection switches here (scroll 3/4 of the way down): https://templot.com/companion/real_track.php

What's clear is that this tandem is not the one shown on the 1902 map, it's a later renewal. So for example the far V-crossings are not now opposite each other or self-checking, and the first switch is now nearer to the turntable.

Great picture! Later today I will have a go in Templot -- a split-deflection switch makes extra interest. Image I think it is about 33%L and 66%R.

cheers,

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

Julian Roberts
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:13 am

That's interesting Martin. Thank you! - a guide for where the first switch position (nearest the turntable) is, is on the photo of the water tower that I posted in the OP. And on this LMS map. Possibly I could have learned how to put this image and others like it into Templot to design the trackwork, but the original in the book is very small.
Attachments
20200620_153913-1.jpg

John Palmer
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby John Palmer » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:13 pm

Looking at the tandem's furthest switch in the Boyes photograph to which I posted a link, there is a pronounced set in the right hand stock rail, but I'm hard pressed to see any set in the stock rail opposite - so was this really a split deflection switch?

In the MLS-copyright photograph of 1934, the left hand switch tongue of the nearer switch in the tandem seems to be angled relative to its closure rail, as does the l/h tongue of the turnout beyond, suggesting to me that both of these switches were loose heeled up to that date at least.

It would appear that there was a time when at least two stall tracks led away from the turntable. Done away with when the table was renewed?

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Kyle of Lochalsh MPD - track layout

Postby Martin Wynne » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:02 pm

John Palmer wrote:Looking at the tandem's furthest switch in the Boyes photograph to which I posted a link, there is a pronounced set in the right hand stock rail, but I'm hard pressed to see any set in the stock rail opposite - so was this really a split deflection switch?

Hi John,

It's difficult to be absolutely sure, but drawing lines on the photos certainly suggests it:

kyle_tandem1.jpg
kyle_tandem1.jpg (390.03 KiB) Viewed 232 times

Showing fairly clearly a deflection both ways on each side. The right-hand side could possibly be on a curve instead from the first switch toe, but the rail on the left is clearly dead straight up to the second switch (look at the shadow -- in fact the shadow perhaps shows the set better than the rail top). I think it's likely that this first switch (red lines) is on a straight line from the centre of the turntable.

This one has very little switch front to align over, but still suggests a set in the stock rail. To the left I think it is probably about 30% of the total set, so it is never going to look very prominent:

kyle_tandem3.jpg
kyle_tandem3.jpg (206.58 KiB) Viewed 232 times

Drawing a chord across the outside rail edge also seems to leave some daylight in the middle (but not much):

kyle_tandem2.jpg
kyle_tandem2.jpg (196.4 KiB) Viewed 232 times

Happy to be proved wrong of course.

cheers,

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...


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