Topcliffe Railway Extension
by Jim Robinson
The Topcliffe extension is the latest development of my Topcliffe layout, all brought about by my habit of buying more stock/locos. I finally ran out of space on the main layout about six years ago after squeezing in extra sidings, then further sidings went onto the reverse loops which are hidden in tunnels but these proved too short or curves too tight so eventually extended one of the hidden sidings through the panel wall so I could use cassettes in the workshop side of the garage. This worked quite well but was a pain setting up Workmate and assorted brackets to support the cassettes and could only use one at a time and restricted access to rest of garage. So the decision was made to build a storage yard that could be raised up to ceiling and using the existing hole in the wall.
Original concept was made from cladding, cheap n easy to alter, and various trials took place as to positioning as extension has to avoid garage door mechanism and bench vice. Eventually had to move hole in the wall by 4” and arrange the vice to swivel. Then the lift exercise, many decisions on how and where to put pulleys, ideas on lifting covered manual – discarded after weighing trains which meant fully loaded could be 30 lbs. Counter weights – discarded after experimenting with son’s dumbbell weights, bit iffy swinging around, so settled on winch, more decisions electric 12v, electric 240v or manual, as position would be as far from electric sockets as could be in garage and most Land Rover and commercial hoists were a bit over kill decided on manual. Still ongoing as not happy with balance of extension.
Once basic concept was proved built baseboard from 5mm plyboard and 18 x 44mm smooth planned timber. Track laid direct onto ply 2 x Peco Left hand points and 1 x 3 way point (acquired with no instructions = fun n games) Seep point solenoids with switch give me 5 x 6 coach + loco sidings. Duly rigged electric supply and it works !
Still to do - wire into 25 way plug for leads to control box, wire up control box. Install isolators ( yea go laugh u dcc mob !) and Kadee uncouplers
Next instalment – don’t hold your breath.