Saturday, 16 February 2013

Too fussy?

The construction of Chipping Compton has of necessity been quite a log drawn-out process, periods when nothing much happens with brief flurries of activity as and when circumstances permit.  Over this period of time parts of the project have been redone, sidings for example ripped up and relaid when the ballasting failed to satisfy me.  So it's time to take a step back and take stock of things so far.  Does the layout still meet my expectations when the layout was initially planned?  Over all yes and for the first time in many months I have set all 3 boards up and taken a few photographs.

I'm quite happy with how things are shaping up in this view.  The scene doesn't look too cramped and the large goods shed doesn't appear out of place.  I'm still not 100% happy with the siding in the foreground though.  When planned this was to be a carriage siding where the second autocoach would be kept when not in use for the morning and late afternoon school traffic.  Now I intend to park it in the siding serving the (now disused) cattle dock opposite the platform.  Thoughts then turned to it serving a small loco shed but a minor BR(W) branch line in the 1950's still having a loco shed in use?.....not very likely.  So, a private siding of some kind?  A timber yard perhaps?.....done too many times.  A factory?.....maybe but the limited space between the siding and the baseboard edge would dictate narrow buildings which would effectively block the view of the layout.  A gas works?...lots of traffic potential with coal in and coke etc out but again to do this justice much more space would be required for a works of such size as to demand a siding of it's own.  Certainly very small gas facilities existed at such places as Ashburton but that was serviced through the station goods yard.  I then thought of it being a siding used by the local council for deliveries of Tarmac, stone, timber, in fact anything that a local authority may need for it's highways and engineers departments.  There was a private siding in Cheltenham built for this purpose serving the former Central Council Depot on the peripheries of the St James yard site but this served a large town, would a small country town have such a facility?  Maybe not, but if it was imagined that the District Council had outgrown it's former site and needed somewhere to house it's fleet of vehicles and store roadstone etc, then moved to a former industrial site complete with a siding it begins to gain credibility.  This then is the state of things for the moment, with the siding seeing occasional use for incoming materials.
A view from the station throat with virtually the entire scenic section in view.  Other buildings are to be added obviously, the small signal cabin will be at the bottom of the platform ramp for instance and a coal office in between the 2 sidings on the left. 

The large goods shed is based on one at Culkerton on the Tetbury branch.  Chipping Compton serves as a railhead for a large agricultural area and a building of this size would be kept busy in the era before larger road vehicles took over.

Technically not a great photo but it does show how effective static grass can be.  I'm very pleased with the results so far. 

This is the one area of the layout which does cause me a little concern and whilst I am pleased with the actual bridge (from the Faringdon branch) it is the actual placing of the bridge that's the issue.
Bridges of this kind were found in cuttings with the load being taken by the cutting sides.  I'd always like this bridge since seeing it in Stephen William's book on GW branch line modelling but seeing it in place makes me wonder whether the site would have been suitable for one in real life?  The far side of the cutting stops just after the retaining wall.....would it have been stable enough?  I'm not a civil engineer so if anybody out there can answer this I'd be very grateful before the layout proceeds much further.  

1 comment:

Steve Fackrell said...

One can never be fussy enough- just look at my efforts and you will see I am not fussy enough! Steve