Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

LITTLE STOKE

 

   This layout is my first attempt in modelling in N gauge and I wanted it to be small enough to fit into the rear of my car but also operate more than one train at a time and be reliable in running.

     It is fictional in character and although there is a place called Little Stoke, just east of Bristol in England, I live in Stoke in Nelson and my 00 layouts are in the era of 1920s- 40s and model the Great Western Railway, so this layout is also based the same as my 00 efforts.

     At the start, the project apart from the track and points, five locos and 6 house kits which have been brought new, all the items of rolling stock have been brought off TradeMe( New Zealand's version of e-bay) and E-Bay –UK to keep the cost down to a reasonable level. As the project firmed up more locos were purchased so that there are now a total 20 locos available for duty turns on the roster of the nine working the layout.    

The track plan is based on one from The Goods Yard site (on the left), and I have angled the upper station back towards the back corner instead of being parallel to the baseboard edges as shown on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Unfortunately I was unable to transfer the clip to this site, but if you click on  https://youtu.be/yVY34riRXf0, you will be able to view the minute long clip.   This was a video  taken at the Nelson's Model Railway Exhibition March 2012, the first show it attended as a work in progress and was controlled by a Gaugemaster twin DC unit. The video is courtesy of Rolly Penhall of Rail, Steam & Sail Nelson NZ who has  kindly found the clip and given me the you tube code.

OPERATION DEVELOPMENT

At first,  I intended to run this layout on DC and had set up using my GaugeMaster quad unit with Line 1 on the branch line to the upper level incorporating a shuttle unit; Line 2 on the outer circuit; Line 3 on the inner circuit and Line 4 on the centre  yard area. But at one of our monthly group meetings, I was persuaded to change to DCC and  make it automatic running via DCC and TCC, which means writing a script for each movement.

 I have written an overview of the layout which is on hand for the public to read at the show the layout,  and it is printed below. 

 

OVERVIEW OF OPERATING LITTLE STOKE LAYOUT

 

This show layout comprises a double track circuit on the lower level and a branch rising from the lower station to the upper level terminus.  The lower station has three platforms, one for each of the lower circuits and the third for the branch line to the upper terminus.  Three trains can run simultaneously, with lower trains stopping at the station every few loops.  Each of the lower circuits has a number of trains available (outer has 3 and the inner has 4), and these are exchanged periodically.  The branch terminus has four sidings and  two trains operate alternately, being exchanged after a few return trips and exchanged with the appropriate train from the lower circuits at random intervals.

 

Control System

 

The layout is controlled by the program TCC which runs on a PC.  Track devices are interfaced to the PC by an interface system called RPC, to which are connected photocells (LDR’s)  for train position indication and turnout drivers for turnout control.  Loco control is handled by the NCE DCC system, which is also connected to the PC.  The TCC screen shows the track diagram, status of Sensors, Controls, program Variables and the DCC system, and provides on-screen keys which perform various functions.  Note that turnouts can be controlled manually from the Controls table.

 

 

 

    After having at last written the last two and a half movements of my script and checked by my friend Peter Broadhead who had written the first two and half, it was suggested that I write an overview of the operating schedule. This overview is to clarify what I had envisioned the layout to achieve.  As there are two ovals of track with a crossover on either side of the station, a branch line operation to be incorporated with running of the two ovals along with two freight schedules operating from the inner oval. To describe the operation I have divided it into the Outer Circuit, the Inner Circuit, the Branch line, the freight run 1 to the interior yard and end in the Upper Little Stoke yard, the freight run 2 from Upper yard to lower yard and return to fiddle yard and finally the Brewery run which divides the freight runs.

        The Outer Circuit;-  This runs clockwise and has two loops in the fiddleyard and three locos running,  with two locos with two coaches each, one behind the other one on the outer loop. On the inner loop,  either a four-coach express or HST. The first sequence is the front loco departs and the rear one moves up.  After the first loco returns to the fiddle yard the second departs, then moves up. After a random number (between 2 &4) turns the points of the outer loop change and the inner train then departs on a random number of circuits & stops also between 2 & 4. There would be an exchange of the branch auto coach with leading loco on outer loop.    
        The Inner Circuit;-  This runs anti-clockwise and has three fiddle yard loops with four locos  situated as:- two 4-5 wagon trains on the inner loop, HST or four-coach express on middle loop and two-car DMU on the outer loop. The sequence starts with the HST or express, mainly running through station with a random between 2 & 4 stopping there. After random number sequence swaps to DMU which stops every time at station for random count between 2 & 4. After a number of circuits the DMU swaps over with the Branch Railcar when conditions are met. Once this happens, then swap to Shunt loco at head of inner loop, and Jinty moves up to front PE2.  Shunt loco completes shunt movements to deposit rake on Goods Shed and then takes rake of wagons which is already on siding beside Goods Shed up to Upper Little Stoke yard completing a run round to back onto Goods Shed siding and holds there. End sequence. Back to start of Inner Circuit when shunt loco on Branch line at PE25. Jinty movement will operate next sequence run.
        Branch Line; - This has two locos, one in the Bay platform and the other at the station platform. The Bay platform loco (railcar) starts sequence by departing down to Little Stoke station and returns for random number (between 2 & 4) of runs then swaps over to the Auto-coach at station platform. After a random of between 2 & 5 swaps the Auto coach swaps with Passenger 1 loco and then random number after the Railcar swaps with the DMU. When Passenger 1 is on Branch line it executes a run round its ‘B’ Set at Upper Little Stoke and also at Little Stoke. They swap back again when conditions are met, and this swapping over is covered by Movements 1 & 2.
        Movement 3;-  This is the Shunt loco with 4-5 wagons and Toad departs fiddle yard and enters lower goods yard and Jinty at PE18 Moves up to PE2. Shunt loco backs into Goods Shed uncouples and moves to back onto rake of wagons and Toad in Goods siding , couples and when track clear manoeuvres out of yard and onto Branch line and proceeds to Upper Little Stoke loop siding awaits loco at station platform to clear then runs round train and proceeds to shunt wagons into Goods Shed. Once the goods train has entered the branch line the Inner Circuit resumes it schedule when Shunt loco is at PE25.
       Movement 4;-  This is the Brewery run to be executed by LMS Jinty and 3-4 McEwan’s tank wagons (and maybe a van or open wagon) along with brake van. The train departs fiddle yard when next turn for loco at PE2, and enters the  lower yard and backs into brewery siding, stays until HST stops at station (on next sequence),and holds there to let the brewery run to leave siding and return to fiddle yard. When reaching PE18 turnout T3 changes to left (so as to allow the HST to complete its schedule) then halts at PE2. At the next schedule run for a loco on PE2, after the DMU run,  the Jinty departs fiddle yard for the second time and backs onto brewery siding and holds there again until HST stops at Station or ends it’s run at PE3 . Now Movement 5 starts. End of Movement 4 is when Shunt loco and wagons arrive at PE2 followed by Jinty and wagons (that departed brewery siding when Shunt loco reaches PE18), and then arrive at PE18.
      Movement 5;- This is to bring the Shunt loco and wagons back down to lower goods yard. It begins when the Jinty has backed onto the brewery siding and waits. On arriving at PE6 it backs and couples with the rake of wagons in Goods Shed and shunts them onto the goods siding, uncouple, and then return to the fiddle yard with the wagons from the upper level. When the Shunt loco passes over PE18 (the Jinty would then proceed to fiddle yard) and end Movement 5 when at PE2. 

Note:  All sequences repeat when all locos are back in their starting positions.  The two goods wagons rakes have a toad attached and the brewery rake of tank wagons has a LMS brake van.