The Cordale Hall Railway

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The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 am

The August 2018 edition of Railway Modeller contained an article about the Longstone Railway, a fictional narrow gauge ‘estate’ railway, which was built by Graham Watling to the unusual scale / gauge combination designated Gn15. (1/24 scale, using 16.5mm track to represent 15” gauge). Well, it is an usual combination for Railway Modeller! Further investigation led to finding the Gn15 web forum, the Gnatterbox.

Graham, better known as ‘Grum’ in this forum, has produced many posts on his Longstone railway. If you are not familiar with these, I suggest you search for ‘Longstone’, and marvel at the quality of what Graham has produced.

I quickly devoured most of the railway topics on the Gnatterbox. I have built (and failed to complete) many layouts over the years, in N, OO, On30, 7mm NG and most recently in O. The Gnatterbox showed what could be achieved in a fairly small area, so I decided I might be able to get a layout close to completion in Gn15.

To keep in the spirit of Gn15, I felt I should document my progress on the Gnatterbox. It has actually taken quite a few months to find out how to get admitted, and then for admittance to be granted - all for valid reasons, I hasten to add. In the meantime I have been posting on RM Web. I’ll spent the next couple of weeks doing some catch-up posts to record how I started in Gn15 and got to where I am now. Things will then slow down as I start recording in real-time.

October 15 2018

I started by buying and making some kits from Smallbrook Studios.

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Smallbrook Harlequin
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Smallbrook Studios Kits
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As can be seen in the background of the second picture, I have made and painted several figures from the ICM and Master Box ranges.

I also have some spare Smokey Joe locos to produce further Gn15 locos.

I have build a maintenace shed using techniques demonstrated on the Longstone posts. The colours need toning down a little - actually quite a lot!

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Maintenance Shed
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I received a Petite Properties 1/24 scale house as a birthday present. Although a fairly small house, it is a very big model.

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Washtub Cottage
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A baseboard (4’ x 3’) is on order from Model Rail Baseboards. A plan has been created using XTRKCAD, which I’ll attach in due course.

The layout will depict part of the Duke of Kensington’s estate railway in the grounds of Cordale Hall, close to the small town of Corgrave in the North of England. The initial railway track and stock was provided by Sir Arthur Heywood, with the first loco ‘Ymir’ (pictured above, but awaiting name plates, etc) being built in 1899 at the Duffield Bank Works.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby chris stockdale » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:04 am

Hi,

Thanks for that informative introductory post and welcome to the Gnatterbox.

Those pics certainly show a bunch of pleasing progress.


Cheers,

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:26 am

20th October 2018

Having looked at the many varieties of railway on the Gnatterbox, I realised that I wanted something a little bigger than either a di orama or ‘pizza’ layout. I have nothing against these, and the examples on the forum show a very high standard of modelling. But I wanted a layout where I could have some fun operating, or just watching the trains go by, as the mood took me.

As noted earlier, I found Longstone, particularly in its second iteration, very appealing, but slightly too large for the baseboard I could afford and accommodate (4’ x 3’). The Berger Hall Railway, by Bilco, set me thinking about a ‘multi-scene’ layout. However I was not able to come up with a plan to have multiple scenes, plus shunting capability, within the space available.

The other layout which I’d single out as being a big influence was the (sadly unfinished) estate railway by Ian-IoM, although I won’t be attempting to fit my cottage with a bathroom to match the example in his estate house. Look it up if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about.

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Track Plan
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The overall size is 4’ x 3’, with each square on the plan being 3”. All the curves will be 9” radius, which is quite acceptable with a Smokey Joe chassis. Track will be Peco O-16.5 narrow gauge track, except the points in the fiddle yard which will be Peco OO Setrack.

The area at the top, which will be behind a 15” high backscene is the fiddle yard / storage area. Note that this is not overlapping the baseboard edge, as it appears in the picture. I was being miserly with the printing, and didn’t want to waste 6 sheets of paper just to get the extra couple of inches printed out!

The three buildings in front of the backscene are (from L to R), a packing shed, a small garage and the house (Washtub Cottage from Petite Properties).

The circuit will allow continuous running, to watch the trains go by. There will be the possibility of automating this using a controller and sensors from Heathcote Electronics, or similar.

The packing shed will take goods inward from the estate, and send packed goods out. I have yet to decide what these ‘goods’ will be! By extending the line through the back of the shed into the fiddle yard, goods inward can be swapped for packed goods outward.

The garage will be used to display one or more vintage cars - eg an ICM Ford Model T to go with the ultra glamourous ICM Female Mechanics (supposedly from 1910!) and / or a Revell Bentley Blower, both of which are under construction at present.

I’m now awaiting delivery of the baseboard and legs, so that construction proper can commence.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:42 am

23rd October 2018

Still no baseboard, so work continues on the main building for the layout, Washtub Cottage from the Petite Properties 1/24 scale range. The basic build is complete, except for the front door and all windows, which need painting. I’m planning to use an acrylic spray for this as there are too many small panes to do by hand!

The internal walls have all been painted, and as an addition to the basic kit, ‘coffee stirrer’ skirting boards have been added.

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Washtub Cottage Internal View
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One thing I’m finding with the ‘new-to-me’ large scale is the problem of when to stop adding detail. The house has chimneys at both ends of the roof, but the internal rooms have no fireplaces or chimney breasts. I have to remind myself that this is part of a model railway, and not an accurate architectural model of a house! The front of the house will not be permanently fixed to the rest of the building so that more detail can be added later. A ‘For Sale’ board outside could explain the lack of internal furnishings!

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Washtub Cottage External View
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The external walls have all been faced with Slater’s 7mm Dressed Stone (technique copied shamelessly from Longstone!). The sides of the front elevation still need trimming to size, then the gaps at the window edges, etc need filling with Milliput. The openings will then be masked and the whole shell will be sprayed with acrylic spray (Humbrol Dark Brown 29, which is not a very dark brown at all). The individual stones will be picked out in different creams, browns and greys. Fortunately the back wall will be against the backscene, so will not need to faced at all.

The roof tiles have all been individually laid. The theory was to use different shades of grey card to give a varied, natural look. The shades of grey in the mixed pack I bought have turned out to be too varied, and the look is anything but natural. Humbrol Dark Sea Grey acrylic spray will come to the rescue soon! In order to get the tiles aligned fairly neatly, I used a technique adapted from a recent Railway Modeller article. Graph paper with 5mm squares was stuck to the plain roof. Tiles, 1cm x 1.5 cm (ie 2 squares wide and 3 squares high), were cut from sheets of 180g/sm card. UHU was applied to the bottom three rows of graph paper squares, and the first row of tiles stuck down, aligned with the squares on the graph paper. For the second row, UHU was applied to the next row of graph paper squares and along the top of the first row of tiles. The second row of tiles was stuck down, offset from the previous row by half a tile (ie one graph paper square).

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Roofing Technique
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The final row of tiles uses tiles of 1mm x 1mm and then a thin paper ‘lead strip’ can be added along the ridge of the roof.

One of the Petite Properties pictures on their website uses a bottle to give a sense of scale, and so I attach similar.

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Washtub Cottage with Champagne
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I didn’t know we actually had a decent bottle of champagne in the house, but when I have tiled the other half of the roof, and painted several hundred stones, I’m sure I’ll deserve to drink this one!
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:51 am

8th November 2018

Still no baseboard, but it has arrived on Arran on the last ferry today and will be delivered tomorrow.

Work is just about complete on Washtub Cottage - some stones on one of the end walls still to be painted, downpipes to be added, and foliage added round the porch to hide the joins in the stone work.

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Washtub Cottage External View
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The Ford Model T is also nearing completion. This car is needed so that the ICM Female Mechanics have something to work on!

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Ford Model T
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The Duke of Kensington and his PA, “Long-legged Linda” Loveland are still trying to let out the unfurnished property. They might do better if they give the cottage a more upmarket name!

I hope to post some pictures tomorrow of the baseboard with the track plan laid on it and the buildings in position.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:12 am

9th November 2018

Still no baseboard - the parcel that arrived today was package 2 of 2 and contained the baseboard legs! As the local delivery company haven’t rung me to pay the carriage for package 1 of 2, I assume it has not arrived at the local depot today. That probably means Tuesday (13th) at the earliest before it could arrive!

The locomotive nameplates, numbers and works plates arrived yesterday and have been fitted. I’m glad this is large scale modelling; I should not have fancied fitting plates on anything smaller! The detail is incredible. YMIR was built at Duffield Park Works in 1899. It says so on the works plates, if you use a magnifier. Thank you, Narrow Planet.

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YMIR with Plates
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All the stones on the walls of the cottage (Paul’s dolls’ house, as it is known) have been painted. Down pipes and brackets have been added, and a large amount of greenery has grown since yesterday.

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Washtub Cottage Completed
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These two characters are not prospective tenants. They are the Estate Manager and his Accommodation and Lettings Manager, Carmen Stay. (With thanks to Usborne Books for that name!). Carmen is checking the pictures she has just taken on her mobile phone.

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Estate Manager and Carmen Stay
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The plant round the door is the climbing variety of what is known locally as the ‘tissue paper plant’. The Duke is thinking of planting a field with the low-growing shrub variety. The flowers, when picked and pulled apart, produce a very thin material, like tissue paper. These can be processed to form a natural confetti - more potential income from the estate, both from the confetti itself and for charging visitors to come and see the plants growing in season. This is a scheme the Duke picked up on from another natural confetti producer, Wyke Manor Farm at Wick in Worcestershire.

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Confetti Field
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Even though the visitor season is only for the couple of weeks when the plants are in bloom, the income from entrance fees, cream teas, ice creams and additional product sales has the Duke rubbing his hands in anticipation. One field for growing the plants and another for parking, marquees, etc. No problem on an estate the size of Cordale!
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:20 am

12th November 2018

At last, the baseboard has arrived from Ireland.

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Baseboard with Mock-ups
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Existing items and mock-ups have been placed on the track plan to gauge the effect. The backscene boards are 15” tall, just higher than the cottage chimneys.

Track laying and wiring next on the agenda.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby chris stockdale » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:05 pm

Hi Paul,

All coming along nicely.

Useful to have that note that the backscene is 15” high, I’m a fiend for dimensions (yes, I know you’ve mentioned the baseboard size too) as I think a measurement or two always helps build a better mental image of what we’re looking at.

Cheers,

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:38 pm

14th November 2018

The track laying is almost complete. Most of the curves are 90 degrees, with a 9” radius. The curves into the fiddle yard are only 67.5 degrees, the points themselves providing the other 22.5 degrees. (see track plan in a previous post)

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Track Laying
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All the men on the estate, from the Duke downwards, are examining the innovative technique for laying these curves. First all the webs between the sleepers on the inside of the curve are removed. A slitting disk does this job very quickly. Then pin holes are drilled in the ends of the sleepers, on the inside and outside of the curve.

The template, around which the track is laid is a piece of 3mm MDF, cut to size so that the centre line of the track is 9” radius. The quarants are each 22.5 degrees. Using this method, it has not proved necessary to pre-bend the indiviual rails.

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Consternation
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The main area of concern for the men is the lack of remaining track pins, when the line into the packing shed has still to be laid. The contractor has explained that the tight radii mean more pins than expected have been used to ensure a firm track base. While the Duke accepts the explaination, due to the remote location of the estate, it will be a while before further supplies can be sourced.

It must be a serious matter. There is not a short-skirted lady in sight!
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:43 pm

14th November 2018

Much excitement on the Cordale Estate!

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First Train
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The Duke of Kensington is joined by the entire estate population to watch driver George McKechnie and Ymir take the first train round the restored tracks on the estate.

I have added on track feed to each section and attached them to an old Coastway Models controller which I built from a kit about 35 years ago. It provides smooth, slow running from the Smokey Joe chassis.

Next, I’ll add a second feed to each section for reliability, just in case the layout ever becomes exhibitable. Then I’ll attach the section switches to the baseboard surround, below the fiddle yard.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:56 pm

17th November 2018

The Duke has now sent one of his minions (me) off to Glasgow to collect the necessary track pins to complete laying the line through the packing shed.

I’ve lived in the west of Scotland for about 40 years and this was the first time I have ever been on the Glasgow Subway, getting between Buchanan Street and Maryhill Road (Pastimes shop). I’ve also spent many years living and working in London and the similarities and differences with the Underground were interesting to note. Since the track is narrow gauge (4’), I hope I’m allowed to mention the Subway in this forum! Trains are just three coaches long and the island platforms feel very narrow, particularly when two trains are arriving at the same time. The stock itself reminded me very much of the old, red Bakerloo line stock.

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Duke Guards The Pins
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The Duke stands guard over the new pile of track pins, while his P.A., Linda, summons the contractor back on site.

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Packing Shed
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With the track laid, the men can get on with building the packing shed. This is another 3mm mdf shell and will be covered in stone plastikard.

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Line Through Packing Shed
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The track will disappear out of the back right corner, into the fiddle yard, so that goods in can be exchanged for goods out. I think a black paper ‘fringe’ across the centre of the building will help to disguise this. I’m also thinking of fitting servo-controlled doors, which will be a new thing for me.

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No More Stone Sheets
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The quantity surveyor is in trouble again! The stone sheets have run out. More are needed to complete this building and the estate wall which will run along the bottom of the visible sections of backscene. Squires will be getting another order soon! But at least there is plenty of card for making tiles for the roof, so that job can be tacked soon.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:45 am

10th December 2018

Some more progress to report. The backscene board has been erected and a Gaugemaster photographic backscene has been attached. I hope this gives an impression of the ‘rest of the estate’ behind this walled-in area. Integral to the backscene board is the support for a lighting rig. This gives somewhere to display the layout name (Cordale Hall Railway - Gn15). Lighting will be from LED strips. There should be room for 5 parallel rows of LEDs on the underside of the pelmet. I have attached clear acrylic sheet round the four edges of the baseboard, partly to prevent little fingers getting where they shouldn’t and partly to prevent derailed stock diving 70 scale feet to the floor!

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Overall View
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On the left hand side, the mdf estate wall has been constructed. This will be faced with the Slaters stone sheets. A similar wall will be built for the right hand side and the gap between the garage and the cottage. I’ve used black tissue paper cut into thin strips and fixed above and behind the backscene openings to block the view backstage. I’m not sure if I’ll keep this or try some other method. It does look a bit like a fairground Ghost Train.

I’ve made a start on the cat litter ballasting. Having cleared the layout to take these pictures, I totally failed to notice I’d left one of the ‘chassis donor’ engines lying around! Sorry.

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Estate Walls
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This is the first attempt at using cat litter as ballast. First job was to grade the litter using a kitchen collander as most of the clay pieces were way too big. I’m now at the ‘waiting for the glue to dry’ stage after which I’ll get some idea whether this is going to work.

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Cat Litter Ballast
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I suspect that painting the ballast is going to be the biggest problem, Does anybody know if white granite (or marble) was ever used to ballast track?
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:51 am

25th December 2018

Father Christmas has brought some new project material!

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Christmas Presents
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The two Smallbrook ‘Coumbines’ will become ‘Odin’, king of the Norse gods, and ‘Frigg’, wife of Odin. Colours will be red for one and green for the other.

The Preiser Market Stall accessories are interesting. I had expected them to arrive already painted, but they are not. Although the wooden boxes are self-coloured in a reasonable light brown, all the produce is dark brown plastic and needs painting appropriately.

The Petite Properties ‘Lean-to Greenhouse’ comes with the usual excellent instructions, and will, in due course, lean against the cottage.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:58 am

4th January 2019

I’ve made a start on the garden produce from the Preiser Market Accessories kit.

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Farm Produce
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Grapes (or are they mushy peas?), bananas, red peppers, apples, cauliflower and cucumbers. Still to be painted are carrots and pears. There are also cheeses, loaves, baskets and sacks, plus the parasol and stand. In the background is part of the Petite Properties greenhouse.

I’ve also made a start on the Smallbrook Studios ‘Columbine’ kits. These now need to be primed then painted.

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Columbine Sub-assemblies
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In contrast to the ‘Harlequin’ kit, the sub-assemblies need to be painted before final assembly takes place. This is because the inside faces of the side tanks are quite visible, but would be hard to paint when glued to the footplate.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 am

8th January 2019

We now have a name board, which is the front face of the lighting rig. As is obvious from the photo, the lighting rig is lacking any illumination! LED strips will be fitted later.

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Name Board
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The last time we saw the packing shed, there was a shortage of stone facing for the walls. This has now been attached and the chippies need to put in the door and window frames. Once they are installed, the plasterer will fill all the gaps around the stone sheets with Milliput. Finally, the painter will spray the whole thing brown before colouring the individual stones separately. The estate wall and gate will be treated similarly.

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Packing Shed
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On the other side of the board, the lean-to greenhouse is just about complete. I’m sure the plants will start to grow better once the spring weather arrives! The estate wall and gate on this side is a day or so behind the first one.

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Greenhouse
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Estate produce is now available for the visiting public to buy. The table was knocked up from coffee stirrers. It will serve to keep the cheeses off the ground! The reluctant salesman will be glad when the new locos are complete and he can take up his proper duties as engine driver.

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Produce Stall
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YMIR and driver George continue to handle all the train duties on their own. Long before the summer arrives, the two new engines (ODIN and FRIGG) should be fully built and painted, ready to share the burden and support the increased number of trains.

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Partly Completed Engines
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That concludes the rather rapidly posted story of the Cordale Hall Railway so far. Future posts will be added on a more normal timescale, as and when there is progress to report.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby PeterH » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:49 pm

Fabulous. And fast. Many thanks for posting your construction progress.
Peter

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:28 pm

This week has seen more progress on the main structures for the layout.

The packing shed has had all its stones painted. The roof needs a spray with a darker paint (Humbrol Dark Sea Grey rather than Mid Sea Grey) then the ridge can be completed. What a relief to have got all the stone painting finished!

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Packing Shed and Garage
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Overall view of the left hand end of the layout. ODIN (still to be completed) pushes wagons into the shed. The fences are from Lemax. Two new wooden tables are needed to display all the produce. The grey block is the area where a small halt will be constructed.

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Left Hand End
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FRIGG is almost complete as well - just needs the metalwork fitting (regulator, hand brake, seat rails and smokebox dart).

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Working on Frigg
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An overview of the whole layout.

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Layout Overview
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One of the major remaining tasks is ballasting and then colouring the ballast. Then I need to think about the ground cover - which bits will have hard landscaping and which bits will have vegetation. There will need to be somehwhere for vehicles to enter the scene. This will probably be a wood planked crossing on the right hand side, between the maintenace shed and the cottage.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:49 pm

Let there be light! Layout illumination is by LED Lighting Strip. A 5 metre daylight-white strip of lights arrived today. This set includes a 12v transformer plus a rotary dimmer switch. The strip can be safely cut with scissors at marked points (every couple of inches) and then joined with wire soldered to the copper tags on each side of the cut.

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LEDs in the Lighting Rig
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This shows the effect. The room is in compete darkness except for the LEDs. No flash was used to take the picture.

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Layout Lit Only By Lighting Rig
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Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:15 pm

We used to have a saying at work: The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time. The last 10% takes the other 90% of the time. I’m very good at starting new tasks, but not so good at completing them, as the next picture shows.

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Uncompleted Tasks
D5E74518-7604-48FE-8903-156A9EFB44C1.jpeg (716.53 KiB) Viewed 834 times

Attach phone box roof and glazing, make and attach carriage roof, replace inspection coach chains, paint fence posts, make packing shed door, repaint packing shed roof, attach lead strip to packing shed roof, lay ballast, paint ballast, fix fence outside the tracks, give the cow and bull some grass, and plenty more besides.

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Market Stall Halt - Shelter
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The shelter for Market Stall Halt was put together over a couple of days this week. Photographs are cruel - I’m off to touch up the poor painting as soon as I have posted this.

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Market Stall Area
C28F80BD-1135-4BBF-ACB3-54F2ADFCEDDC.jpeg (672.57 KiB) Viewed 834 times

The ground round the market stall has been painted brown and green to gauge the overall effect. Static grass will be added over the green paint and sand or similar to create light gravel will be added over the brown paint.
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby chris stockdale » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:33 pm

It’s all coming together very well. Lots of items to keep the interest up.

Cheers,

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:54 pm

I have to confess to making a Big Mistake! Last night at dinner, I foolishly mentioned that I had made a promise on this forum to finish off many of the part-completed jobs on the railway. “Ah, so that’s how to get things done, is it?”, was my wife’s reply.

So if you soon read that I will be giving up all modelling activities until I have tackled and finished all the uncompleted jobs around the house, you’ll know that my password is not as secure as I hoped and that a certain someone has hacked my account!
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:30 pm

As promised yesterday, the paintwork on the shelter has had its defects corrected. The young lady in the picture apparently bears a strong resemblence to Blake Lively, according to my son. No, it didn’t mean anything to me, either! Gossip Girl amongst other things, apparently.

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Repainted platform shelter
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The phone box has been completed, except that the photograph shows some more faulty painting. When BT replaced the phone box in the market square in Corgrave with a modern glass affair, the Duke of Kensington purchased the old box to add a touch of character to the estate. The painter has restored it to immaculate condition (nearly). The phone box kit was from Petite Properties 1/24 range.

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Red Phone Box
6E897490-259D-460D-9BA8-ED2C80AABE32.jpeg (660.02 KiB) Viewed 772 times
Paul

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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:17 pm

With Spring approaching, the Cordale Estate is gearing up for sending out orders for its Natural Confetti. This product needs large packing cases. I used an Excel spreadsheet to create an A4 page of boxes. The sizes are based on the ‘Gn Oil’ cases included on the Prints Page of a Gn15 Tome, which were designed by Steve Bennett. I need to improve my graphics skills before I can produce anything remotely resembling Steve’s boxes!

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A4 Confetti Boxes
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All the fold lines get scored (using a steel rule and the back of a Stanley knife blade) while the sheet is intact and then the individual boxes get separated. The tabs that make up the sides and base of the boxes are trimmed before glueing.

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Trimmed Boxes
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I used pva adhesive for these boxes. UHU might have been quicker, but I’d run out! The cardboard rectangles are for filling the empty cases, for strength.

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Under Construction
5A67B20A-F330-4A43-8154-0F68CBCB6405.jpeg (359.78 KiB) Viewed 719 times

One thing I didn’t consider was the dimensions of the wagons that would transport the full cases. If I had shortened the width of the boxes by just 1mm, I would have got six boxes per wagon instead of five. A lesson for real life as well as modelling! How many of us, I wonder, have built our portable layout only to find that it won’t fit in the back of the car?
Attachments
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Whoops!
284FA632-BBE3-4D7C-B6DF-69602ACD0149.jpeg (468.08 KiB) Viewed 719 times
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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby PeterH » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:35 pm

I wouldn’t worry about the boxes not fitting snugly in the wagon. When I see photos of prototype railways, I’m often impressed by how awkward and Ill-fitting things seem to be. I assume that boxes were rarely designed with the size of the wagon in mind.
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Re: The Cordale Hall Railway

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:42 pm

A Back-story for the Railway

Many modellers produce a back-story for their railway. In cases where a real location is modelled, hours of research will be required to assemble all the details, noting all the changes of track layout, the details of the railway buildings, the goods carried, the train timetables and destinations, and plenty more detail besides.

Other back-stories rely more on imagination. A fictional back-story may, for instance, invent a railway in a place that never had one. Again many hours of research may be required to see how a railway may have developed in the area, what goods needed to brought in to support local communities and businesses and what finished products might be transported out of the area.

Fictional back-stories may allow for a railway to continue in use long after it had actually been closed. The back-story may explain details of the model that might otherwise be hard to understand.

The best back-stories often blend fact and fiction. I leave you to judge where the facts stop and fiction starts in the following back-story.

Cordale Hall Railway - A Brief History

Minimum Gauge Railways

In the late 1800s, Sir Arthur Heywood, who had developed an interest in railways early in life, created what he termed a ‘minimum gauge’ railway in the steeply banked grounds of his home, Duffield Bank, close to Derby. This was a fully functional railway that aimed to maximise carrying capacity of both passengers and goods on the smallest track gauge that would provide enough stability. Having previously built a working 9” gauge railway for the pleasure of his younger siblings, Heywood settled on a 15” track gauge for Duffield Bank.

Duffield Bank Railway: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duffield_Bank_Railway

Narrow gauge lines were already in use in military camps and ammunition depots for transporting small but heavy ordnance. The Royal Engineers were, at the same time, experimenting with railway systems that could operate in battlefield situations, bringing goods from supply depots to front-line troops.

Sir Arthur demonstrated his railway to entrepreneurs, land owners and military planners. At Duffield Park, he created a works that could supply all the equipment required for a small railway system. Despite his efforts, Heywood only managed to interest two wealthy aristocrats, both of whom placed orders for their country estates - the Duke of Westminster for his family seat at Eaton Hall in Cheshire and Stephen Grosmont, the 3rd Duke of Kensington, whose home and lands were further north in Cordale.

The Eaton Hall Railway was built in 1896, and Duffield Works supplied all the track plus one 0-4-0 steam locomotive, 30 open goods wagons, an open 16 seat passenger coach and an enclosed 12 seat passenger coach. Two more steam locomotives (0-6-0) were supplied later, in 1904 and 1916.

Eaton Hall Railway: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eaton_Hall_Railway


Cordale Hall Railway - The Early Years

The Cordale Hall Railway was constructed three years later, in 1899. All track and pointwork was supplied by Duffield Works, along with a single 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive and goods wagons. Small passenger coaches were built in the Cordale Estate’s own workshop. The line provided connections between Cordale Hall and the various parts of the estate - the forest for wood supplies to heat the hall, the farm for dairy produce and the substantial fruit and vegetable growing areas at the southern edge of the estate. There was also a connection to the mainline station at Corgrave (the principal town in Cordale), four and a half miles away from the Hall. The Duke used this connection as his link to the outside world, in particular his London residence, Radley House in Kengstington. Most guests of the Duke arrived and departed on the estate railway to Corgrave, whether they had arrived there by train or horse carriage.

Locomotive No 1, built in 1899, was an 0-4-0 saddletank and was named ‘Ymir’. In Norse mythology, Ymir is the primeval entity, from whom all other mythical entities were created: gods, giants and other fantastical creatures.

Locomotive No 2 was built four years later in 1903. Again an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement, this was built with more conventional side tanks and was fitted with a tall brass dome. The Duke gave this engine the name ‘Odin’, the king of all Norse gods.

Locomotive No 3 was added to the roster in 1905, in order to meet expanding production of the estate’s fruit and vegetables. This was an exasct copy of No 2. In keeping with tradition, No 3 was named ‘Frigg’, wife of Odin.

The railway operated continuously until just after WW2, when the 8th Duke decided that it was time to modernise the estate, and as with most steam railways, it was superseded by the internal combustion engine - cars for the passengers and lorries for the goods. The link with Corgrave railway station was removed and town expansion has obliterated all traces of the route. The track and rolling stock were all stored in the stone outbuildings of Cordale Hall Farm, but time and rust took its toll on all the equipment.


Cordale Hall Railway - Modern Times

In 1980, Simon, heir to the 11th Duke of Kensington and correctly styled ‘Earl Grosmont’, went up to Trinity College, Oxford, reading Philosopy, Politics and Economics (PPE). The Earl was a gifted scholar and managed to combine successfully academic study during the day with the life of a rich playboy at night. Naturally, he was a fine sportsman, receiving his Blue in both rugby and cricket. Marriage to Lady Margaret Smithson put a stop to the wild nights and in due course the lineage was secured with the birth of David Stephen Grosmont. Mary Margaret Smithson-Grosmont followed her brother into the world two years later.

Simon pursued a career in merchant banking, and the Grosmont family fortune increased hugely under his expert guidance. Fast cars provided the excitement in Simon’s life. A successful and happy future for the family seemed assured.

But all that changed in 2005. The 11th Duke passed away suddenly and Simon, now the 12th Duke, rushed north from Radley House to Cordale. Tired from the long journey, he fell asleep at the wheel of his car on the outskirts of Corgrave. Collision with a tree put Simon in a coma for three weeks. During the long recovery that followed, it became apparent the the new Duke was a changed man. He turned his back on Margaret and the children, yearning to return to his former wild playboy lifestyle. But gone was the interest in the latest super cars, one of which had almost taken his life. Instead, it was replaced with the stylish glamour of veteran and vintage vehicles, which held a surprising attraction for the bevy of young beauties attracted to Simon’s money and title. With no place in the Duke’s changed life, Margaret took David, now Earl Grosmont, and Mary back to the Smithson estate in the south west of the country.

Only one former friend, Robert Heywood, managed to stay close to the Duke. A fictional tale would have Robert as a descendant of Sir Arthur Heywood, but in reality, the name was just a remarkable coincidence. Walking one day around the grounds of Cordale Hall, both nursing hang-overs from a big party the previous night, the two men stumbled upon the stored, rusting remains of the old trains. Over the next few days, Robert convinced the Duke that it might be ‘a grand thing’ to resurrect part of the estate railway. After all, however much money was required for the restoration, it would hardly dent the finances of the Dukedom. Robert hoped the project might help the Duke back to ‘normality’ and even a reconciliation with the Duchess.
Paul


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