Exhibition Layout

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As Murranbilla is aging momentum has been building to replace it with a new exhibition layout. This area contains articles covering the development of ideas and plans for the new layout.

Idea 16, Operator Out Front option

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Many many model railway layouts taken to exhibitions are designed to hide the operator and just allow the viewer to see the train on the scenery part. Our Murranbilla layout was no exception with a hidden staging yard at the back where we stood when not operating the layout, or the operators in the middle looking out to the public.We could shunt the yard as it was on the inside.

But many will say we are hiding from the viewers, which is true. A contrary view is to be with the viewers to talk to them as you operate the layout. Some will say the operator out in front gets n the way, but there again all the viewers get in the way as well !!

With this in mind I show you plans 16's variants. Both plans are shown using the full size triangle and industry spur.

(Editor: The Ashford and Littlmore layout of the Waverly Model Railway Club has this feature. I did not see it in use at the Waverly 2009 Exhibition.)


Click to EnlargeLike plan 14's concept of the section of track from the coal siding to the bridge on a 180% curve, we see the layout with the yard side open to the public. We have to live with a modelling concession in terms of the curve is the "wrong way". Mainline operators would still stay behind the backdrop. But the shunter would be in and amongst the public. After all he can take his time to shut, talk etc.

You can see the layout by going this way introduces Bandiana into the mix, well a very fictional version to save space.

It also means that the staging out back will have to be very well planned since the bridge scene eats into the rear most space. True we get stub ended staging behind the bridge.

Yes the non-scenic triangle means for a COMPLICATED layout. But offers maximum flexibility! Because of the length of the mainlines around the main part of the layout, I can see the triangle will not affect trains if uses when the train are not there!

The other feature is the whole triangle-Bandiana part need not be built initially or taken every time. there would be enough of the BG triangle to turn BG locos.

Click to EnlargeLike plan 13's concept in terms of a elbow, we see the layout with the yard side open to the public. Mainline operators would still stay behind the backdrop. But the shunter would be amongst the public. After all he can take his time to shunt and chat to the public.

You can see the layout by going this way introduces Bandiana into the mix, well a very fictional version to save space.

The staging will be longer, but planned to be a lot smaller in width. There is no need to have the SG & the BG next to each other. However I have planned the passing loop at each end so trains can be ready to head into the scenery as soon as the opposing train is in the back areas.

The other feature is the whole triangle-Bandiana part need not be built initially or taken every time. There would be enough of the BG triangle to turn BG locos.

This is a longer construct but worth it I think.

Idea 15, Using Aerial Photos

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Plan 15

Click to EnlargeAs you have seen with plan 13 & 14 the string diagram is very rough & ready. So I did a quick line sketch over the aerial photo to give me the plans you see on this page, which are all based on the sketch on the left. 

 


Variant A

Click to EnlargeFirst attempt to baseboard this construct area. As you can see it is a messy attempt. No where good enough to make strong stable baseboards.

Variant B


Click to EnlargeSecond attempt to baseboard this construct area. Going for all rectangles is just as bad as the first attempt.

Variant C

Click to EnlargeThird attempt to baseboard this construct area was a lot better. This will do for the following variants.

This is drawn off the full size so is in full proportion. This means the final track plan could be shorter, and not as wide if we leave some tracks out.

The industries at the angle form the mainline are a big modelling concern. They do take up a lot of space.


Variant D

Click to EnlargeThe industries at the angle form the mainline are a big modelling concern. They do take up a lot of space. The easiest solution is not to model them at all and run the tracks into the back scene. Yet this solution really makes the yard area very rectangular with far less shunting.

Variant E

Click to EnlargeThe industries at the angle form the mainline are a big modelling concern. They do take up a lot of space. Instead of modelling them in full like Variant C or not at all as in variant D is to have the track poke through holes and into a staging track on the rear. Operationally it keeps traffic, but scenically a problem with the holes, how to paint around it!

Variant F

Click to EnlargeThis is plan 14, better shown.

Having the almost 180% bend seperating the coal sidings from the Albury bridge really save a ton of space in the length and width of the layout. Ther eis a pinch point near the bridge which I would think would be 2-3ft anyhow.

A lot of space is devoted to the triangle, which is complete & fully functional.

A big issue is the side staging yard which gete the track back to the rear. I thought this would have a external photo board not just to hide it but to display photos that we did up. Security is an issue as most operators will not need to duck under there to run trains, and thus is a area of concern.

when the line run off scene I want at least a stsgin yard so train can head back out right away, whle the original train works it's way back to staging.

Not shown is an idea to have som stub ended stagin behind the river scene. That would be good for staging but would mean the baseboards would have to be wider.

Variant G

Click to EnlargeThis is plan 13, better shown.

Not having the 180% bend seperating the coal sidings from the Albury bridge makes for a longer layout indeed.

A lot of space is devoted to the triangle, which is complete & fully functional.

A big issue is the side staging yard which gete the track back to the rear. For this construct O would only have a passing loop for SG & BG to bring rains up ready to go out, and have no yard there, which makes that section narrower than shown I thought this would have a external photo board not just to hide it but to display photos that we did up. Security is an issue as most operators will not need to duck under there to run trains, and thus is a area of concern.

While it makes for a longer layout, it does keep all the scenery on one side.


Variant H

Click to Enlarge This is merge of plan 13&14, and like many merges it takes the problems of both int it.

Having the 100% bend separating the coal sidings from the Albury bridge saves a lot of length but creates a far wider layout. You could argue it is a rectangle shape now with all viewing basically on one side if you look from the top right. But it is still a big layout baseboard wise still with the Wodonga end blob.

Variant I

Click to EnlargeI decided to redo the triangle end to make it smaller. Radius will be tighter, say 3ft min.

This is modification of Variant F & plan 14.

You can see the reduced size compared to F at that end. the end staging is reduced alot as well.

Variant J

Click to Enlarge Directly related to I this modification could be applied to all the contract, which is the reduction of the industry in the coal sidings. I have left a ghost of an outline where the original back scene were, to show the space saving.



All these constructs have the staging inside the layout, so the mainlines are right at the front. We have talked about this before.

It helps us shunt the train from behind, it helps having a simpler back scene to paint. But as we have seen the angled industry spurs create hassles. And it wrecks havoc with the triangle and exit to staging at the Wodonga end.

Onto plan 16 to see the constructs with the industry in the public side.

Ideas 13 & 14, Splitting of Two Streams

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

After some thought about the mockup I did, and as a result of some discussion at the clubrooms as a result I have two more ideas to write out. Both these ideas base the layout like idea 4. But the change is the triangle. Looking at the mockup, if used to scale the radius would be say 15ft. If we keep this roughly to scale we end up with an "L" shaped section, that once the track has included the BG triangle, means we can then revers direction with a 3ft radius curve back 180% to head to staging. the staging would be at the end of the layout, well some of it would be. The diagrams below do not show the length we would have, I would say we would get 15-20ft, which is as long as our present layout.

At this point the ideas split:


Idea 13

If we kept the elbow or boomerang part to have the Coal Sidings and Albury Bridge in proportion to each other, it would mean a longer layout, but with 90% of the modelled scene at the front, we could not have a lot of the layout hidden against a wall.

It also gives us space for more staging, or for longer thinner staging rather than having a big wide board. 

 

 Idea 14

In order to keep the size down the right curve from the coal siding to the Albury bridge now has a 180 degree curve. This puts scenery on 3 sides of our layout. It does not means we loose staging as we can have some staging behind the bridge side.

It does make for 3 sided viewing, but could be a negative thing if one side of the layout is placed agianst a wall or other layout.

 

 

 

 

Ideas 11 & 12, Refinement of the Paper Clip

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Idea 11. Part A

Well this is a variation of the folded oval seen in idea 8. It involves the use of grades to get train up and over without any crossovers. the grades are in one of the staging yards, and hidden in the bridge scene. You can clearly see I have put the staging right in the middle. The staging is on 30 inch wide baseboards, the same width as the existing Murranbilla. I would plan to use the existing trailer to carry the staging and non-scenic section if needed. Not I have not shown any join in this plan.

Again this construct has two separate scenes, the bridge and the coal siding. The triangle allows for very interesting train movements, as you can see. To fit in the construct, we have the Wodonga part of the triangle curving the wrong way, a decision to make it easier. The layout still has a bit of non-scenic area on one side that could be hidden by a low barrier painted he fascia colour.

Idea No 11

It is not a good layout for duck unders. One 'pit" is for operating the coal sidings. The other 'pit' for staging yard manipulation & driving. I would mean no one needs to be outside.

This construct that places the coal siding on the inside of the layout.This would allow easier shunting for our member behind the layout. In this orientation, the back scenes can be mainly country. The other way some townscape is required. there is however, a fair bit of back scene needed.

This should not be as big as the paper plan many members have seen. I'd guess about 33ft long by 16ft wide

Member's Responses

Mark

 by email adds to the planning thoughts: 5/09/2007 11:03 am

David,

obviously the Idea 11 bridge scene could be longer to fill the top right corner of your diagram.

Which end of the bridge is Albury? Is the staging between the bridge and coal sidings?

I like the "staging down the middle" idea, what about having a reversing loop at the end of the staging and a junction going three ways on the other end. Three are Albury (staging) to north end of bridge, Wodonga (staging) to triangle and coal sidings and Cudgewa (staging) to Bandiana and triangle.

Bandiana works best in my doodles with the coal sidings on the outside because of the orientation of the triangle legs (Bandiana on outside). Bandiana is on the same side of the main line as the coal sidings. But there are some members who particularly want the sidings on the inside.

Mark Laidlay
 

David

Murray river as shown on idea 11 has Wodonga on the right, and Albury on the left. The construct is a big figure 8, now that I think about it.

Yes the construct has issues in getting the yard on the inside. also The track on the right is mainly BG, since the SG only has one leg of the triangle, in terms of real track it is a passing loop to the mainline. It is the BG that has the best choice, since the Wodonga-Bandiana leg of the triangle is a reversing section. One ends another reversing section to get train back on the same direction. You could tack on Cudgewa as an additional module or two making the whole construct more rectangular, in the future..... 

 

Roger Lloyd

Wednesday, 5 September 2007 11:09 AM

David, Mark
By George, you've got it! I think this is quite workable. It uses less space than earlier plans and this is an important consideration due to limited space in some venues. The only problem I see is that you have the Bandiana BG and mainline SG trains crossing on the level which means a bit of safe working will need to be built in. Also, some shunting of Bandiana trains will be required as they will need to reverse direction to go back on scene. One idea you can use here is the long cassette, say about 6 feet long. This is used in many UK layouts and because of the lack of frequency of Bandiana trains compared with the mainline, would be quite feasible. The general shortness of Bandiana trains compared with the mainline also helps. If you go with this, you can eliminate the grade crossing. The entry to the cassettes would be on the inside running directly off the triangle. The main problem with the cassette idea is that when it comes time to turn a cassette, there is a danger of bashing another operators head!

An alternative would be to have a loop running on the inside from about where the staging bends to behind the backdrop at the Murray bridge but this would severely impact on freedom of movement.

I would also reduce the scenic ed area at the north end of the bridge because the sharp curve is unprototypical in this location. Perhaps you should also have your covered track idea there as well. If you match the two curved ends to the same radius, this will ease transport problems as each end loop can be bolted face to face. I would suggest that each end loop is cut in half so you have a total of 4 end curved sections which, because there is no scenery, can be stacked 4 high and not take up much space. I would also extend the BG/SG lines south of the triangle about 300mm past the triangle points as this is an area of potential derailments and it is best to have the trains going straight as they enter the southern most turnout.

Regards
Roger Lloyd 

 

Roger,

British modellers have also been using a cassette system that has separate loco cassettes. What really needs to happen is just get the engine (and van) to the other end of the train (or the new train), not turn the train. Maybe the loco can be turned otherwise the components of the train are just shuffled around the board and several cassettes are joining together onto the branch line.

One good aspect of idea 11 is that it could be built in stages, the bridge and staging could be operated on it's own while the rest is built.

Mark Laidlay 

 

My reply back to them:

Lots of possibilities aren't there ! The mind boggles as to the SG/BG lines. MY aim is to only combine them at ONE point for "gauge conversion" use only. So what is SG, what is BG isn't shown, and I know you are all thinking about it.

I would ensure the BG off the Bandiana branch has interlocking. I would not expect it to get a lot of use though. It will be a "feature".

As to build sequence, the plan 11 as is allows for coal siding & staging first. As I said at the clubroom beware a layout with nothing to do. When my group had Somerton, it became boring, and that's why it didn't last long - it just had nothing to do. No shunting, no ops. You were reduced to just selecting a track, running it around, selecting another track and so on. That could be automated. The issue is why build a layout to have fun if you cannot hae fun. Why bother really building it at all - after all Murranbilla gives us plenty of operations now. If this new layout is supposed to be better than the original, then it better be!
 


Idea 11 part B

Here is a variation to the plan, still 11, just twigged a little.

After studying the BG & SG more there was a lot of track not needed or working right - I had SG into BG etc.

I have't mentioned that the Bandiana branch in the visible side is Gauntlet track, not a point. Keep the gauges seperate as they should be !

So I redid that end a little.

thinking about it the SG on the Bandiana branch is OK, it just heads back into staging. The BG leg is a pest as for mainline it has to recross the SG tracks in the staging yard. I would still have that, but take a lateral view like Roger & Mark have hinted is that the BG traffic will be little, small and thus allow a small passing siding and long siding on the inside of the SG yard. Loco lift cradle could be used, but I suspect the small passing loop will handle run arounds easy enough. the long siding allows serial staging if using a loco lift to help out ! that serial siding may conned to the SG to allow "gauge conversion" moves out of sight of the public.

As I said I rechecked the BG side and that triangle etc at the top and concluded that they were  were not needed; a good chance to simplify the design. I allowed me to extend the river side to the full length of the layout, giving us a longer bridge. I'd prefer to have scenery here as this wasn't supposed to be two dioramas like say "Marybrough" is to be. We get the chance to have more small stub ended staging in that point as well.

As Mark alluded to, the layout could be constructed to either allow the River scene+staging, or coal siding + staging, the track at the right side there could be temporary to allow this to occur. As I have drawn the plan the best way would be the coal siding as it is all level. However one would simply have to reverse the grade from one side to another to allow the coal siding+staging to be built first (though it would be boring to operate!)

At the back of Murranbilla we have 16 tracks across the board in 2ft 6 inches. So if the staging was this width I would allocate: (from top to bottom as seen on the plan)
  • 1 Staging express road BG
  • 5 Staging BG
  • 1 Express SG
  • 1 Express BG
  • 5 Staging SG
  • 1 Staging express road SG
  • 1 Bandiana serial staging BG
I know that comes to 15 tracks, but I have to allow side wall tolerance for the edges and the whole staging yard on a ramp thing.

The SG would have 3 extra single ended staging, the BG would have 7 extra single ended staging as well - in two places one for the Wodonga railmotor as such.... That in total would give us the possibility of 21 trains on the layout. I do think that is more than enough ! Murranbilla has 19 places at the moment.

Going to do this construct on paper to see how it goes in reality. << half drawn last night 


Idea 12

This grew out of plan 11B.

This will be alot simpler than plan 11. Still has the issue of the BG crossing but we explained that will be seldom used. I has the same total trackage as well, if anything slightly more. It is in face about the same as plan 7, just folded inside itself to achieve an external rectangle shape. This is more of the paperclip approach with a internal peninsular. this layout would be about 20ft x 36ft in size. It has more on scene trackage than plan 11 A or B and keeps the scenes in order

 

This construct allows a BYPASS of the staging ! This means you can keep train running around when changing trains and means little time without a train on scene.

The peninsular would be several modules in size. Capacity about the same as plan11 is aimed for. Operator access is a lot better.

Three operators can handle the layout when quiet but we can allow for:

  1. SG Yard
  2. BG Yard
  3. BG Mainline 1
  4. BG Mainline 2
  5. SG Mainline 1
  6. SG Mainline 2 

 

 

Update 15 January 2008

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Thoughts on the exhibition layout have not gone away.

We are heading in multiple directions to get progress happening. One angle is we all need to look for a potential new clubroom. - any new layout will be bigger than the space we have now.

while we do that planing and in for research is occurring. Not only do we need to plan the track/layout, but we also need information on the area as well - the building etc that were there. Knowing the building also influences the era we will set the layout. It will help decide what era to go for, what industry and thus rolling-stock is needed, and help shape the layout generally.

We have station diagrams from several eras but they do not tell the story. We need to:
  • Plan a field trip to see the coal sidings and bridge. This has been set for Early March. We need to see the site, and work out things.
  • Search for photos and material. AVisit to theState Archives is in order to see if we can find photos from the region.
  • Look up any local historical societies for this sort of information. PHotos etc may not be railway centric but may feature them in the background for a building/house/family.This may also need to lead to some interviews with some locals.

Exhibitions