Monthly Archives: March 2013

Interlocked Lever Frame – Part 1; Experiments

One of the features I propose to include on my next layout Glenmutchin is an interlocked lever frame.   This is because one the most common “issues” now on Portchullin is driver error running signals or attempting to go over a turnout that is against it.  Glenmutchin will be a much more complicated trackplan and there will be a fair number of signals on it, so we are bound to have more operator issues!   The use of an interlocked frame is intended to be one of the means of controlling these – after all it is how the prototype did it!
Interlocking frames have been built before but they are not written about much – there are some pieces here:
if you want to look them up.  Whilst is it possible to do this electronically (and people have) I decided I wanted to go down the traditional route of locking tappits, so that if the road was not set correctly, the lever would not work and you knew you had a problem.
Given that Glenmutchkin looks to be heading for a 45 lever frame, with a lot of interlocking I thought it would be a good idea to start on something simpler.  Thus, I have concocted myself a simple layout with a moderate amount of locking; this is what I have gone for:

Test Layout Signalling Plan

And this is the locking chart that I think is right:

If people out there think there are errors in this; especially the locking chart (locking logic is a bit mind twisting) then please pipe up as I will be building it soon!

Glenmutchkin Part 5: Signalling

Whilst they are not without their frustrations (they are delicate for example), I was slightly surprised to have enjoyed building and using the signals as much as I did.   Therefore, Glenmutchkins will going a bit more large on signals.

I am assisted in that the Highland seemed to follow the trend of the pre-group companies and be fairly lavish with their signals.  Taking significant cues from my sources of inspiration, Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh, this is where I have got to with a signalling plan.

Glenmutchins-MTs-version-of

As can be seen, there is a fair amount to this as I have assumed that there is a junction off scene that is signalled from the station cabin (although this is still under review) and not only is the yard signalled onto the running line but both the run around loops and the shed are both signalled.   It looks like this will be a 45 lever frame, so there is a fair amount to do……………

A particular signal to note is the one with arms 17,18 & 19 on it.  This is a repeater for arms 15 & 16 so directs locos coming off the yard where they are to go to.  This exact same situation existed at Kyle and in addition to being a surprising duplication between the two signals the former is that the signal is situated well up on the bank and faces fairly firmly towards the shed, not the running lines.  I do not presently have a photograph that is free of copyright to illustrate this but there are lots in the various text books; try The Highland in LMS Days or LMS Engine Sheds.

Portchullin at Ally Pally – 23 & 24 March

Portchullin’s next outing will be this forthcoming weekend where it will be at Alexandra Palace

lfrmpre-book

It will be dirty diesels on Saturday and 1920’s steam on Sunday.

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Diagram 39 Brake Van

The latest completion off the workbench is a goods brake van.

This is a diagram 39 version; which was the Highland’s last brake van design (and there is some speculation that they were not delivered until after the start of the LMS era but if someone has a photograph in HR days, we would be all eyes!).  These were quite modern by the Highland’s standards and were the first ones for several decades to do away with the lookout on the top of the roof which was likely to be a retrograde step given all the twists and turns of the Highland’s lines.

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It was built from a Lochgorm Models kit; constructed mostly as intended. However, I elected to insert some sprung suspension using Bill Bedford sprung W irons, rather than the designers intention of compensation. I also found that the sides were a little tall, so these needed to be cut down a tad. Other than this, it is was pretty easy. Having bought some of the NBR Models etched builder’s places, this became the first model of mine to be fitted with one – so a small first!

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Glenmutchkin Part 4 – Inspiration

Glenmutchkin’s main source of inspiration is Wick or its slightly more slimline cousin, Thurso.  These are very similar in layout except for their MPD’s; where Wick’s was quite a lot larger.

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An overall view of Thurso in the 1970’s, with thank to Richard Oaks

818361_9f69cc94 from geograph

Wick in 1983; photograph by Peter Whatley with Creatives Commons Licence

However, rather than a facsimile of either (hey Ben Alder/Richard Oaks has nabbed that idea anyway!), I am proposing to use the same arrangement of MPD as at Kyle of Lochalsh’s shed area, with the access road leading to a turntable and then the shed roads coming back off this.  Due to the way that the layout will sit in its home, I have had to do a mirror of the shed at Kyle but otherwise it will be the same.

1908 from Time Capsules

A rather fab photo of Kyle shed with a superheater goods (which were the mainstay of the line from about 1930 through to just after the war) on shed.  It is also a fine view of the signal here – one that I wish to model.  Photo with thanks to Jim Payne and available at www.throughtheireyes2.co.uk

All of the lines to the west coast of Scotland; both built by the Highland or any of its rival companies or projected come late in the 19th century – partly as a result of Prof Aytoun’s story that I have paraphrased in part 2.  Wick and Thurso however were built rather before this and are stylistically rather different as a result.  The main differences are the way that the platforms were arranged and the use of a stone built station building/train shed.  However, having decided that the Glenmutchkin was much earlier than this, I felt that I could assume that the terminus was built before any of the other lines to the west coast were achieved and thus use the older style of station.  In practise I have done so because I wish to model the overall roof – probably the building at Wick as its screen to the end of the train shed is very attractive.

Wick_station_1983_-_geograph_org_uk_-_818357 from geolocations

Photo of the road side of the main station building at Wick (that at Thurso is a bit smaller).  Copyright held by Peter Whatley and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Another feature of Kyle that I will take is the overbridge splitting the station from the shed area.  Being the son of a bridge engineer, I guess I need to get some proper civils into the model and the latticework is quite attractive. I will go for a single span bridge, rather than the twin span seen here at Kyle.

2194733_8d181140 from Geograph creative commons

Copyright held by Ben Brookshank and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

Those cattle pens will appear at some point too!

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