Progress with Slattocks Junction

News from the Manchester Area Group (Linked to the Manchester Model Railway Society
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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:55 pm

Colin Parks wrote:
Really liked the video clips! Inspirational stuff.

Hi Colin
Glad you liked them. Hope you like the next few.
Tony

Last night we decided to test the track using freight stock. It should be noted that the fitted vans in the clips are a real rag bag of stock, with many still not completed (painting/weathering still required etc). However, for us, the most pleasing aspect was that virtually all went round OK and the problems with those that didn't were more easily identified as being with the stock itself rather than the track.




Apologies for the focusing in the clips. I'm only using my phone to take these (Samsung J3(6)) which seems to get a bit confused with moving objects!

Lord Colnago asked:
Any chance that us wagon aficionados could see a clip of some freight trains? They don't have to be as long as the passenger train but you'll get no complaints from me if they are!

John - I think we got it to about the same length :thumb

Tony

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iak
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby iak » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:05 pm

Wagon porn overload...
Very tasty too mind...

:thumb :) :P
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Lord Colnago
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Lord Colnago » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:43 pm

Hi Tony,

That'll do for me. The speed looks pretty good too. Not everything crawled around our railways!

Nice to see the layout progressing and look forward to seeing it somewhere soon.

John.
The second best priest

Terry Bendall
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:20 am

Very impressive Tony. Look like the visit of the layout to Scaleforum is coming a bit closer. :)

And for your next trick - how about running the train backwards through all that interesting pointwork. :evil:

Terry Bendall

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:25 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:And for your next trick - how about running the train backwards through all that interesting pointwork.


Let's get it all running properly the right way first! We do need to get the freight trains running backwards though as the entrance to the goods yard involves a shunt through some complex turnouts. We are working on it!

Ralph

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jsherratt
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby jsherratt » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:14 am

It all looks very good.

At the risk of drifting off topic, I like the SDJR 2-8-0.

I imagine it must have gone to Horwich for overhaul and is on a running in turn....

But seriously, all looking good. John S

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:47 am

Work on testing the trackwork has continued and we are slowly moving around the layout fettling and levelling parts of the track and it is helping the stock to run that much smoother. This process will continue over the next few weeks.

Our electrical team (Mike Bolton and Chris Morgan) are working on JMRI and the touch screen which will control Slattocks. Until now the complete Slattocks system has been totally controlled from the MERG CAB handsets or from a touchscreen. Although this is not prototypical (as one or two would like it to be) it does mean that we are able to easily keep trains moving without constantly moving levers for turnouts and signals. The team are currently writing scripts which will allow route setting to be selected quickly with one touch of a button thus taking a train from a fiddle yard road back into the same road without having to change every turnout by hand.

The big mill which sits at the back of the layout on the front board has been mocked up to get the size right and the design work has started on setting out the walls and windows. In fact some tests are currently underway on laser cutting the windows with a view to using the cutter to make the walls with all the brickwork scribed on by the cutter. If I can work out how to start my own Workbench thread I will get something going because it is much easier than you think to get stuff laser cut and to produce your own drawings for this and for etching.

Dick Petter who has written the articles in Scalefour News on bridges has started making the next 2 bridges for the layout and the shell of one of them has already been trial fitted. We have needed to move some track droppers as a result but now that has been done we are ready to get the topography sorted out in that area.

More news soon.

Ralph

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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Work has progressed on Slattocks since we last posted. We are a bit slow on updating our work on this forum but Tony Williams has been busy making the land forms whilst I have been trying to get my head around the laser cutter and getting the best out of it to produce the buildings. The mill is a big structure that covers the touch screen that controls the MERG CBUS electrics and the routes around the layout. The whole CBUS system is controlled by a Raspberry Pi that sits under the layout - it all works very well.

I have been working on the basic structures of the buildings using different techniques to most. After spending some hours using the laser cutter at the local Fablab in Altrincham using MDF and thin ply I came to the conclusion that there are different ways of doing this so I have developed a technique which seems to work for us.

20180213_192637_resized.jpg
View of 'Slattocks Mill' (don't know what it is going to be called yet) from the front of the layout.


20180213_192645_resized.jpg
The mill from the other side. The side building is the engine house and it will be detailed once the basic mill structure is made - it is simply a foam board mock up at the moment.


20180213_192716_resized.jpg
View of the layout looking towards the hills.


Ralph

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:19 pm

In the post of June 2017 Ralph stated that work was progressing on a number of fronts. By the end of the year the group had achieved its targets and whilst there was little to see of difference on the layout considerable progress had been made elsewhere. It was therefore pleasing to state in the annual report to the MMRS AGM that, at long last, we were further forward than ever before - and by a country mile!! Just before Christmas attention was able to be focused on the scenery as large chunks of polystyrene (generic name) started to appear on the layout. On one side of the layout these have started to be shaped to the correct topography and the layout is now changing appearance on a week by week basis.

20180130_205020.jpg

20180213_214216.jpg

It's still early days but the photo's above illustrate how the layout is now changing after only a few days.
Ralph has been beavering away with laser cut buildings and, as reported recently on his Gt Jackson St thread, will be keeping this thread up to date with progress.
Next month the MMRS celebrates its 93rd birthday and we hope to show progress on Slattocks to the full. Hopefully there will be opportunity during the day for a few decent pictures!
Tony W

JFS
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby JFS » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:32 pm

ralphrobertson wrote:
The side building is the engine house ...

Ralph


Hello Ralph,
Good job it is only a mock up 'cos you can't have an engine house there :shock: (well assuming it is a spinning mill you can't, and they pretty much all were around those parts) The Engine house should go against the long side of the mill, so that the ropes can drive the lineshaft to drive the mules. And the Mules went across the width of the mill. (and don't use the excuse that it is a Ring mill as there were not that different :D )

Also, the top two rooms should not have lower ceilings than the other spinning rooms - though the spinning rooms might all be lower than the Card room (ground floor). In truth, there is not a lot of flexibility in how a spinning mill is laid out as it is entirely dictated by the machinery - which explains why so many of them looked pretty much the same in all but detail.

Hope that helps.

It reminds me of the First Rule of Modelling - always copy a real one. In this case - before they all disappear!

Great to see further progress and looking forward to seeing further installments

Best Wishes,

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Noel
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Noel » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:06 pm

Looking at photographs in "Lancashire under Steam", T C Dickinson, Lancashire County Council 1984 [SBN 0 902228 49 8] it seems that an engine house at one end is the norm, unless you have a double mill, in which case it's in the middle. The question is which way round it should be; most [but not all] seem to have the long axis of the engine house at right angles to the long axis of the main building, presumably because the line shafting runs along the long axis of the main building.
Noel

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks Howard, always appreciate information from those who know more than I do. Actually the mockup is based on 2 mills in the Manchester area, one of which has equal sized windows across all 6 floors and the other has the top 2 floors with lower windows. I will look at this again based on your comments. This is actually the back of the mill, the front is off scene so it could be of any length. As a result the long wall can be either the left wall or the back whichever will work for us.

One of the constraints we are working too is that the mill needs to cover the touch screen we are using to control the layout and it also needs to be low enough for the goods yard operator to look over the top to see when a wagon goes over the uncoupler.

You are right about these mills disappearing. Whilst some mills exist and have been converted into blocks of flats they don't have engine houses because they are also big buildings. We have some photos of engine houses but these don't exist any longer so it is not easy. However, we will try and do the right thing so we do appreciate the input thanks.

Ralph

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iak
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby iak » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:12 pm

Pleasing to see your developments gentleman since I was fortunate to pay a visit a few weeks back.
Some video of things moving would be great :thumb
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JFS
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby JFS » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:28 am

ralphrobertson wrote:Actually the mockup is based on 2 mills in the Manchester area, one of which has equal sized windows across all 6 floors and the other has the top 2 floors with lower windows.
Ralph


Hello Ralph,

Ah - Manchester itself was very much a special case - built early, cramped sites etc!

ralphrobertson wrote:One of the constraints we are working too is that the mill needs to cover the touch screen we are using to control the layout and ...


Oh course, the biggest mill in the world (Dunlop No 2 Ring Mill) was only a step away in Castleton, but again, not really typical. Equally, many of the "listed" mills (which tend to be more complete) survive because they were unusual in some way.

One practical suggestion I would make is to have a trip to the Oldham Local Studies Centre where they have the entire collection of drawings from Joseph Stott and Son who's mills were pretty handsome things. Their mill for the Manor Spinning Company in Chadderton is listed and survives pretty complete including a full-height chimney albeit not with its original top. A search of Google Images for "Manor Mill Chadderton" will show you what it looks like and it has the advantage of having the engine room right at the end of the long wall.

The problem of having the mill "end-on" to the viewer is that the width of the mill (length as you have it laid out) is limited to about 135 - 154ft (the length of the mules), but if you need to have it longer than that, you could have the length of the mill to the viewer but using a vertical engine to drive it - again at the end of the long wall. The Regent Mill in Failsworth (by the same architect) is of this type and was a Ring Mill so is less "wide" (depth as you have it laid out).
I know that a (well-known) Society Member did a lot of research into this for his own layout and has done a fair few drawings - I suspect he is well known to the group, but ask for his name in a PM if you like rather than me name him without his permission.

Off course, if you are going to have such a prominent engine room, you will need an engine to go in it - here is one I have been working on:-


Times New LP side front lights fall off.jpg


It is a 3D computer model, so you should be able to send it to Modellu and an engine comes back!

Hope you don't mind me commenting - but I would hate the group to fall into the same trap as "Inkerman Street" which was backed by "Moss Hey New Mill - a former Cotton Mill". Er, never in the memory of man was that ever a cotton mill :(

Good luck for a fantastic project!

JFS
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby JFS » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:27 pm

... a couple of quick snaps of the two mills I mentioned showing the different orientation options.

Manor.jpg


Regent.jpg


Funny, I never remember the sun shining like that when I was mis-spending my youth in these places!

If you need something bigger, the safest way is to add a storey - it happened a fair bit in real life.

Hope that helps.

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:49 pm

Thank you so much for your information Howard, it is most interesting and I will certainly do more investigating before we go too far down this road. If we can get it right we most certainly will and we are at the stage right now where we can do that. Since you know a lot more about this than we do it would be great if you could keep checking what we are doing please.

The 3D drawing of the engine looks great, we actually have 2 members of our group who have 3D printers so we are capable of making one.

Your comments are much appreciated thanks.

Ralph

JFS
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby JFS » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:29 pm

You are very welcome Ralph and I will do what I can to help you keep on the straight and narrow!

I did wonder if you had copied your engine room from the "Ace" in Chadderton? If so, that is an interesting mill - not least because my mother worked there during the war, and I misspent a fair few days of my summer holidays in that engine room!

Good luck with the project!

Best wishes,

ralphrobertson
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:01 pm

Just to keep up to speed with this, Howard is providing us with some excellent information on the cotton mills of the area. We have to admit to being totally ignorant about this subject and have to confess to not doing our research correctly. This is now in progress with Howard's help and a field visit yesterday to study some remaining mills proved to be most worthwhile.

As a result we will now be making new structures for the mill and engine house at Slattocks based on more prototypical buildings which are still standing and more information will be posted as we develop this project.

In the meantime I thought it might interest our followers to see how Dick Petter makes his bridges. The area we are landscaping at the moment requires 2 bridges and some time ago Dick agreed to make them. There is little Dick doesn't know about bridges as his articles in the recent copies of Scalefour News shows and he spent his professional life working on BR with bridges.

The 2 lines leading into the double junction on the front boards cover tracks from Rochdale and Bury with the Rochdale track being built first by a few years. As a result the first bridge would have been made before the second was constructed and this shows in the way Dick has made the wing walls for the 2 bridges which actually meet in the gap between the bridges - it was quite tricky getting these to fit into the gap and then taking them out again. The Rochdale line is the one to the front of the boards.

20180308_105741_resized.jpg
Basic bridge structures

The bridges are primarily made from ply with a wooden base. At this stage there is no detail.

20180308_154718_resized.jpg
The Bury line bridge outline in place

The outside track is a loop line which was added much later in time and consequently the bridge would have been widened in order to provide this line. We have decided to build this bridge as a girder bridge which should make it a bit more interesting.

Since these photos were taken a couple of ground signals have been put in place powered by servos - the farthest hole in the photo above is for the ground signal, the other for a single post with 2 arms which will be ready to install soon. There are another 3 ground signals to be placed when they are completed.

Ralph

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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:34 pm

Work is still progressing on the layout and I have installed the 3 high LMS ground signal that was covered in one of the Scalefour News magazines a while back. Since then I made another and included illumination into the signal using surface mount LEDs which in this instance were prewired so I only had to find a way of getting the leads to the 3 LEDs from inside the signal housing to the control board under the layout.

Being a MERG member certainly helps here and I adopted Bob Gledhill's design for the removable signal mounts which use DIL sockets to locate the signal. This is particularly effective for these ground signals which can easily get knocked when cleaning track but the whole thing is fiddly to make when there are more than 2 operating wires. They are controlled by servos and the operating wires are located by magnet making the signal removable.

Anyway, the pictures show more about this particular signal but the discs need a slight tweak to get them inline properly. It is easier to get a camera in, it can't be seen so easily by eye. The last photo shows the signal removed and you can see the DIL socket that locates the signal to the baseboard.

Work is progressing on the mill building and thanks to Howard Bolton's knowledge on these buildings we have found a suitable prototype building and we have started to make the mill. I will start a separate thread for this and post more details soon.

20180423_204448_resized.jpg
20180423_204458_resized.jpg

20180424_193418_resized.jpg
20180424_193454_resized.jpg

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:10 am

With work progressing on various fronts (see elsewhere on this forum) it's been a while since I posted anything about the scenery. To enable us to progress this further we had to decide on the ground levels at the edge of the layout but this couldn't be achieved without final decisions concerning the depth of the front scenery boards, which had had a question mark against them for a long, long time! The original boards are in the first picture of this thread and I make no apologies for posting it again.
Slattocks old.jpg
Slattocks old.jpg (378.5 KiB) Viewed 395 times

These boards where made some time ago and have been 'in store' over several winters. However, they were made by the same member who built the main boards of Slattocks and, as a former professional joiner, he built them to the same standard so they have survived remarkably well. However, the size of them has always been a topic for 'disagreement' within the group and with the scenery progressing I decided it was time for this to be sorted once and for all! It has to be said that some of the newer members of the group had never seen these boards and their views were interesting. In fact their views were exactly the same as those of the rest of the group! It was felt that at their original size they did absolutely nothing for the layout and we agreed that boards half their depth would be far better. With access to laser cutters first thoughts were to make knew ones. However I decided to take one home and have a play with it. The legs were of mortise and tenon construction, something I hadn't tackled since I was at school, but since my first career thoughts were to become a craft teacher this held no fears for me (well, not after the first joint anyway!!). The result is shown below, and I'm quite proud of it to be honest, particularly as the whole lot was done with hammer, chisel and saw only.
20180430_174806A.jpg

Next came the boards themselves and to get these apart sufficiently to work on them a little brute force and ignorance was deployed. Very little damaged occurred to any of the three boards but these had to be measured and cut carefully to ensure they went back together squarely.
20180503_184225A.jpg
The original width framework

20180504_161402A.jpg
The framework after cutting

It should be noted that the same side was cut from each board to ensure any mistakes were kept to the outer edge of the layout. Happily the detachable legs all fitted first time, which I will put down to beginners luck but maybe the old skills haven't departed just yet!!
20180507_210827 A.jpg
Comparison shot with the first pic of this post

These boards have now been fitted to the layout and are, without doubt, a much better size than the originals. They are also more manageable which, as we all get older, has got to be a good thing!

The layout is now progressing visibly on a weekly basis and has moved on since these photo's were taken . More to follow as and when.

Tony

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 am

Forgot to post this picture last week. No real reason, I just thought it was quite a 'nice' picture. I was leaving Dean Hall and had turned all but the entrance light off. As I past the layout the one light caught the track, giving quite an interesting view of the junction.

20180529_225912 A.jpg


Tony

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Colin Parks
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:59 pm

Hello Tony,

That does indeed look like a good view of the track, very effectively showing the flowing curves through the junction.

Colin

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Tony W
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Re: Progress with Slattocks Junction

Postby Tony W » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:50 pm

Hi Colin

Thanks.....although it probably looks better in the dark....! :D

Tony


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