RITES OF PASSAGE FOR A MODEL RAILWAY - 31: Let Me Introduce You To Ainthorpe Junction
Take a look at the real world as it was - close to home or away. Use old images, get a diagram or map, work from that
[If there's a group of you, maybe you could hire a mini-bus and go to survey the site as it is currently. There might be one or two buildings still standing - maybe a weigh office near where the goods and coal depots shared a common entry point - and maybe there's a station building still there... or more. Photographs, maps, track diagrams from OPC and from other proven sources]
The Plan - where the 'fun' started
As a contrast to the rural feel of 'Thoraldby', 'Ainthorpe Junction' is to be on the edge of an industrial town...
Dreamed up whilst in a hospital bed in early March, 2018, 'Ainthorpe Junction' has been furnished with sidings, some features associated with towns such as a large livestock dock for the sale of animals for meat or dairy, and a goods depot next to the exit from the displayed part of the layout to a fiddleyard and possibly another display section as before. Along the way there may be a double track viaduct, relief lines for slow traffic to allow faster trains past.
There are endless possibilities that can be entered into the planning, and I've thought of a brickworks to be added into the corner where the main running lines pass on a wide curve.
Construction takes off - supporting framework is already there around three cellar walls - [25/9/18 a start has been made on the 'front' fiddlyard]
Work started 25th September, 2018 - easy does it.
A number of short lengths, "risers" of 4.5" attached vertically, will give the base height and provide support for a stable 'floor' on the front fiddleyard (divided into two, front for goods and mineral traffic, rear for parcels and passenger traffic. It will also be the working level for the layout. Scenery around the track bed can be úndulating and provide a basis for short viaducts. There will be a short intermediate unit before the awkward corner where the main running lines follow a wide curve. On the other side of the corner unit another straight length will be inserted before the overbridge that will be skewed across the layout to carry a main road or bypass around the town. Counting the u nits starts from the front end this time (on 'Thoraldby' I worked from the other direction) and the sequence numbered anti-clockwise. There are a few details that need to be sorted out, but it's on its way. The first fiddleyard has started to take shape, with only assembly left before the board decking gets measured and screwed down (lots of hardware in stock, luckily), with a few metal right angle braces to buy.
Fiddleyard unit 1 will be on two levels, the rear half at 5.25" with a baffle between them to prevent stock from accidentally falling through. The track from the rear fiddleyard section will be lowered on a falling gradient to the main layout level in the distance to the junction on the level. Signalling will be added on the falling gradient before the junction and in the opposite direction for the double track turn-off.
Let's see how long it takes before there's something recognisable, and something to test new locomotives (my A1 conversion for a start, and a couple of BR Standard classes I bought second-hand from Hattons - see pictures below)..
Board will be fixed down onto the 'risers', underlay glued with spreadable wood glue where the track is to be laid in order to dampen the noise. That's a little in the future yet. First things first: unit assembly, fit, test and lower into place. A lot of thought will go into the assembly stage, believe me.
Follow progress below the next set of Unit 1 pictures....
Planned additions to the Ainthorpe Junction 'fleet'
RITES OF PASSAGE...
Make your way through the series and see how you measure up. Some of you may already be 'further along the road' than I am, some enthusiastic beginners. Whatever stage you're at, you'll find something in this series to interest you, maybe re-enthuse you if you haven't been involved for a while to try your hand again. You might enjoy assembling units and laying track, pointwork and building bridges for others to 'pretty up' with scenery. You might enjoy scratchbuilding structures, as I do, or you might enjoy 'kit-bashing' to adapt kits to suit your own purposes. Like making wagons and other rolling stock or locomotives either to drawings or with kits? There'll be something for you. There are some links on the right of this page that you'll find handy, and enable you somehow to navigate your way through the series at your own pace.
Just remember you're in this to enjoy yourself... Or go out and get yourself another job.
Fiddleyard - Unit 1 - begins to take recognisable shape
This will be an ongoing 'report' on progress, a major feature as you can see from the distance covered along three cellar walls.
'Ainthorpe Junction' will be treated differently to 'Thoraldby' insofar as this will have a townscape as a backdrop, and industry will figure to a degree
Instead of a mostly single track country branch line with a passing loop and other NER station features at 'Thoraldby', this will be double track throughout to enable through running, with sidings for wagon storage, a coal depot, probably a couple of level crossings and over/under-bridges, the junction itself and a goods depot with larger cattle dock at one end next to the exit from the scenery. A canal may be hinted at, with a tunnel mouth to face front (it's on the cards to have a commercial narrow boat about to emerge from the gloom) and maybe a lock... Who knows how the scenery will go?
Aside from a lineside coal depot, several features will be incorporated into the eye-level view, such as bow girders, level crossings, sidings and foundations for structures such as signal cabins and assorted smaller buildings, gates, lineside low relief terraced housing, corner shops, pubs, high walls, spearpoint fencing and so on. Under-bridges and pedestrian underpasses will be added for interest, a ramp to the back of an old (abandoned) station as an example. On the far side of the tunnel/modern overbridge will be a cattle market and goods depot. Passenger trains will be through-running unless held at signals on slow lines to allow higher priority traffic through. This might mean investing in the odd Class A1/A3 Pacific (Peppercorn Class A2 such as 'Blue Peter' were based largely in Scotland, although some Thompson A1/2 rebuilt Class P2 2-8-2 engines were shedded at York North - 50A - prior to scrapping in the mid 1950s) and as this will be a diversionary route that will be the odd thrill for schoolboy trainspotters on a footbridge (known these days as 'anoraks' for obvious reasons) or lineside, who collected engine numbers when they weren't at stations (where they were known as 'platform enders', with their Ian Allan pocket books into which they could enter the different class loco numbers. Halcyon days, eh? There'll be lots of signals to make, such as late LNER brackets, the odd signal bridges (that's how they were described in the North East, gantries elsewhere) and ground signals.
Next to be started is Unit 2, the first of several scenic units. This will be a short one, at 4 foot about half the length of Unit 1, to lead onto Unit 3, the corner 'L' unit that will carry the junction itself as well as a few features such as coal depot, underpass, canal lock leading to the canal tunnel. Unit 4 will be the next connecting unit to the gap in the wall and Unit 5 with its goods depot and livestock dock. Unit 6 will be the far end fiddleyard.
Let's see how this develops. Unit 1 has been completed by securing the plastic 'L' sections that cover the gap between levels and the gap between the lower level and front wall and is now in situ. Time to start on the intermediate, 3 foot 6 inch long Unit 2.that will see the upper level gradually drop on a gentle gradient to join the lower on Unit 3. Freight and heavy goods traffic enters on the level over a curve. I've had thoughts of carrying on the back level to the corner on a wide curve. This should be where a factory or parcels depot occupies an upper curve. That would be an ideal continuation of the upper level and give visitors something to look at when taking in the back and corner area if nothing's happening on the main line.
I'll see to completing the basic Unit 2 and develop the embankment into the fiddleyard. Hey-ho, here we go! . .
Time to set to work on the short 3 ft 6 inch long Unit 2...
Unit 2 is well on the way to basic completion.
The unit only needs front and back facing boards to complete the structure. As with Unit 1 the felt base for the trackbed will the dealt with when I've got at least as far as the 'divide' (the box inset in the abutment wall). The rest is plain sailing, compared to this at least. The scenic plans I have in mind will test my ingenuity - or what passes for it - in building the corner of the 'L' shape and bringing the two levels together on the junction. A coal depot will be built at the front, as with 'Thoraldby', to show the simplicity of the hopper bunkers at their best. A ramp will be included from road to depot level. Units 3 and 4 will be 'busy', with a level crossing, road-under-rail and canal tunnel mouth. Let's see what I can squeeze in, eh?
The other new 'belles' of the motive power pool drawn from around the region, (50A to 54D)
If you recall the motive power pool from the 'Thoraldby' layout, they will not change on this one. The new girls will complement the selection, with a few more probable additions by the time 'Ainthorpe Junction' is complete. I think maybe another K1, Q6 from around the Tees area, another Tyneside Peppercorn A1, maybe a J27 if I can persuade someone to spare the time to take me through the process of kit-building a couple at least. I have another few wagons built, with more kits to complete as well as carriages to acquire (second-hand of course - have you seen the prices of Hornby and Bachmann stock?!), so the extra motive power will help.
More soon. Meanwhile take a look at the other pages in the series, 'RITES OF PASSAGE FOR A MODEL RAILWAY' for ideas.
North Eastern signalling and signal cabin prototypes still in use from NER and LNER days
No north Eastern-based model railway layout is complete without a plethora of signalling and a forest of signal posts
Whether on posts or as ground signalling discs, every movement was controlled by the 'bobby' (signalman - in early days he would be a policeman, a force introduced by Sir Robert Peel and originally known as 'Peelers, modern policemen are still 'bobbies').
On branch lines a platform was often provided outside of or attached to a signal cabin by a walkway for him to collect the pouches surrendered by locomotive crew after passing through a single track section. The pouches might contain a metal disc or a signatory 'staff' issued by the signalman at the start of the single track section. That applied theoretically on 'Thoraldby', it will not apply here.
Ground signals were situated in goods yards or stations to control the passage of shunters where speed restrictions apply. Sometimes short-posted, short-armed 'calling-on' signals were sited where a ground signal might not be easily seen. In all events a 'home' or 'starter' signal was red on the front face, with a white vertical stripe around a third of its length in from the outer, straight edge. On the reverse the red are was plain white, the stripe black.. The outer edge of a distant signal arm took the shape of a chevron, the main body on the face being bright yellow (for caution), a black chevron about a quarter of the length in. On the reverse the arm was white with a black chevron in the same position as the front. A black baffle behind the lamp ensured a crew coming the other way on a bend couldn't mistake the signal for theirs.
Close to every point where two lines diverged or came together was a signal post, sometimes guarded only by a home. Where more tracks diverged (double scissors) there would be a signal for each road. Traffic followed the semaphore code. A telephone box would be provided for crew to register their presence when joining a main line. Sometimes they needed to remind the signalman of their presence at busy junctions. At no point were they to take it on themselves to ignore rules, and every movement was followed by a rule in the book that had to be learned inside-out to pass a stage on their rise 'through the ranks' (possibly to traffic inspector).
You as the railway operator will need to have some sort of guide to run your railway in a more realistic manner.
Motive power will be fairly wide-ranging, with members of many classes from various sheds in the North East and North Yorkshire
Over the years - since I started again on railway modelling - I've gathered a fairly extensive range of ex-LNER and ex-LMS of motive power...
I started with the Hornby D49 4-4-0 'Yorkshire' 62700 in 1985, stepping into the Beattie's shop on Holborn (there was a signal mounted on the wall outside - anyone who was around at the time would remember) and walking out with a big smile on my face. Various other Hornby and Bachmann products later (including GMR, Mainline and Lima) I think I've got a representative 'allocation' of Class Peppercorn A1 D49/1 and D49/2 (conversion kit from Crownline), V1, V3, V2, B1, Q6, K1, J94, WD 2-8-0 etc to run on the projected double track junction layout. I'll post a few pictures of the models as and when.The ex-LMS motive power so far is a 4MT Fairburn 2-6-4 tank engine, and two Ivatt classes, a 2MT Ivatt 2-6-0 (nicknamed 'Mickey Mouse' for its size, and 4 MT Ivatt 2-6-0, nicknamed 'Flying Pigs' by crews on Teesside where several were allocated. There were numerous large Ivatt locomotives - as well as Stanier Class 8F built at Darlington and Doncaster in the latter part of WWII. The Class 8F locos, originally given LNER identities were allocated west of Leeds and stayed on the LMS/London Midland region of BR and handled freight on the Settle-Carlisle route and around Leeds-Bradford or beyond, etc. Class 2MT, both tank and tender locomotives found work in the York district after the regional boundary changes in 1956. My 2MT was one of the 50A allocations, the 'Flying Pig' is a Darlington (51A) engine and suitably weathered, see 'Thoraldby'..Along with a smattering of Stanier and Fowler 2-6-4 tank engines, the Fairburns were brought east to augment the tired pre-Grouping tank engine classes, although they were scrapped around the same time in the mid-1960s at different sites around the region by very efficient yards (unlike the one at Barry in South Wales, that concentrated on scrapping wagons first and made a 'killing' from the restoration societies keen to give GWR, LMS and BR Standard classes a new lease of life). Very few (2) North Eastern veterans escaped the cutter's torch, and one BR built Class J72 built in 1951 to a Wilson Worsdell design of the late 1880s (see also the 'NELPG' page on this site).