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Kelvinbank, a Caledonian Railway project.

Entries in this blog

CR D21 Loco coal wagons, part 1

I have been relaxing a bit, doing some layout maintenance and just running trains. All is now running smoothly and I can sit back and watch…..   Well that was the idea. One of the problems with having a real good clean up of the railway room is that you end up with a nice clear workbench. All the tools put away tidily, the materials stocked in the right drawers. Yes, well. They say nature abhors a vacuum. I think we should change that to plasticard abhors an empty workbench.  

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 8, in service

It has taken me longer to build these than it took St Rollox. So, a few pictures and a bit of video of the rake in service.                         A bit of video, they move quite well.        All things considered I have found this to be an interesting build. There have been challenges which meant that I had to develop techniques to overcome what I know to be my modelling weakn

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 7, a pair of sides

It has often been said that the camera is the harshest critic. I tend to agree with that so I thought I would post a couple of photos of completed sides to see how they look in the context of the layout before going ahead with the other two.   So, here we are.   Diagram 96 all third, compartment side.         Diagram 94 composite, corridor side.         Those look reasonable to me, apart from the dust. Getting ther

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 6, some details

I have been making slow but steady progress. When I started I knew that it would take most of the summer, so I’m happy just pottering on with it all, learning as I go along.   A few details. This is the luggage rack assembly, with the mirrored compartment wall. The brackets were a very fancy design, I have simplified them as they are less than 4 mm long. Not difficult in itself, but I have 64 of them to make.           Seating is provided in the kit

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 5, running trial

A bit of progress. Four bodies are now on frames and I have been playing on the layout to iron out any running issues.   I wanted to try and get it to look as if the coaches are properly coupled. Even with springs I found that screw couplings didn’t really keep the buffers together on curves, and I wanted the buffers to compress to take up and rattle.   I came up with this. Essentially half an aj on a diamond spring it is stiffer then the buffer springs but can be extended to

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 4, bodies.

A blog in several parts, due to photo size.   The kit is designed so that the body folds up from the floor in two halves jointed at the floor centreline, with quite large gaps to be filled with card. The corridor wall is then soldered in. I thought about this and decided it worried me. The sides fold inwards about 5 mm at cantrail height narrowing the aperture to get in and do the interior. I made coaches this way in the past and it was a real hassle getting in to add details and glaze

CR Grampian corridor stock , part 3, running frames

I have now made all four underframes. Perhaps not in itself blogworthy, but I thought I’d share a bit of silly video. No couplings so I can’t pull them round, but with bit of tape to stop the buffer bodies locking I can do a push test. I’m happy with the way they move, the bogies do seem to follow the rail well.     The buffers are made up, but a few tests needed to ensure I get them just where they can spring correctly.     Electric lighting for rai

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CR Grampian corridor stock , part 2

A bit of progress on the project.   The first underframe. Relatively straightforward though I fixed it down to a flat board when soldering to prevent distortion. The kit provides for a variety of the brake systems fitted during the life of these coaches but for my period the simple westinghouse arrangement is correct.   Some slight removal of the lower edge to clear the wheels on a curve, but that can’t be seen from the side.       A row of bogies re

CR Grampian corridor stock , part 1

Over the last couple of years I have made a fair number of wagons, still not enough but I can now run fairly representative goods services. However folk may have noticed that the passengers are poorly served by just two rakes of coaches, and both of those are a bit shorter than they ought to be. So time for a bit of coachbuilding.   The Grampian Corridor Stock, built 1905 was really the CRs finest. Large proportions, very comfortable with great attention to ride and insulation, electri

Yet more sheeted wagons

The bench has been occupied by some non-railway stuff, but back to wagons now. Sheeted wagons tend to be modelled in far fewer numbers than period photos indicate that they were used, so I’m slowly trying to nudge the proportions in the right general direction.   I am still trying to get sheeted wagons to look reasonably right. Having proper tie down cleats and roping from the edge helps, but the sheets themselves really need to look like Caledonian sheets with individual numbers. I ha

CR Diagram 2 Fresh Meat Van

Way back in the 1980s I made one of these from a John Boyle etch ( it is labelled Decent Models No 74 ). I used standard CR parts and it made up into a nice van, but back then I lacked information so a lot of the basics were just wrong. It has been stored a long time but I was having a sort out, rediscovered it and decided to have a go at bringing it up to standard. A day in the brake fluid followed by an attack with the flame torch and I had a new kit to make.   So what exactly is it

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Caledonian railway telegraph poles , part 3

Some photos of the poles planted in their sockets. I managed to get the spacing fairly even at 60 - 65 yards, the preferred Caley distance.   The camera is much harsher about verticals than the eye, particularly along the length of the layout. People used to Glasgow might be familiar with the effect, tenements do tend to lean back a bit. The time to panic is when they start leaning forwards.                     I’m ha

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Caledonian railway telegraph poles , part 2

Making all the poles and fitting sockets for them has kept me going for a few weeks. Chilly weather and bad light slow it all down a bit.   The poles are 3mm dia dowel sanded to about 2 mm dia at the top. I doubt I could drill a 3mm hole through the baseboard square enough to make the poles stand upright so I made some sockets from spare brass tube, 25 mm long with bits of wire soldered on. The bit across the bottom acts a stop but still lets any debris fall through.  

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Caledonian railway telegraph poles , part 1

Dead easy, several suppliers make plastic ones. Buy some and plant them ?   Well, no. These are not any old telegraph poles, these are the telegraph poles of the Caledonian railway. As with so many aspects of pre-grouping different railways did things in a different manner. “Signalling the Caledonian” by Jim Summers has an entire chapter on the subject giving many details and a couple of useful pictures of the L+D under construction so combined with photos from elsewhere I know what I’

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The back of trains and 2020........

I consider myself to be a very lucky man. 2020 hasn’t been the best of years for me but it has been a damn sight worse for a large proportion of the worlds population. The lockdowns mean that I have been able to spend more time modelmaking, perhaps the upside of it all.   A year most of us will be glad to see the back of, so I thought I would do a few photos of the back of trains.   A late afternoon train vanishes under the bridge.     Tail end of a mixed

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Fixing a traverser

Way back I made a blog about the traverser. I’m the first to admit that traversers are not the ideal storage solution, but space dictated the use of one. At the time I used some heavy duty drawer slides, smooth movement but I always had some problems with backlash when running round a train. To add to the problem they had some sideplay, only a mm or so, but that turned out to be an issue.   Anyway, couple of weeks back I turned the layout on to run a couple of early evening trains whil

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CR D38 Glass wagon part 3

The D38 Glass well wagon has given me a challenge but I’m reasonably happy with the overall result.   The support frame has a slight lean, but it is only really noticeable in closeup and square on photos. As specials I think the wagon would be in good condition for the Edwardian era, it is in its first decade in service. I therefore just gave it some very light weathering.   If someone has any transfers a scale 1” high that say “OIL” then I’ll buy some. those 3 dots above the

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CR D38 Glass wagon part 2

The main assemblies for the wagon are now largely complete.   Frame has been detailed, spring castings should have more leaves but those look ok to my eye.     Body has the sides fitted. and the floor is planked. Note the holes in the body sides. I think these were to enable the screw clamps to be tightened up when used at a lower level, together with a pair of clamps at the bottom of the well.     The fiddly bit was making the support frames.

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CR D38 Glass wagon part 1

I seem to be in a wagon building mood these days. Dunno whether I’m locked down, locked up or or which tier of the cake I’m on, so wagon building is a cheap and time consuming activity.   Now it might be argued that I’m getting my ratios wrong again, too many unusual wagons and not enough of the bread and butter diagrams. I’d agree, but the fun is in the odd stuff. I therefore decided to have a shot at one of the 1896 built D38 glass well wagons. Decent pics in the wagon books and a di

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Wagons, real and imaginary.

An odd title you make think, but I shall explain.   Firstly the real one. The CR had large numbers of pig iron wagons, in practice used whenever a low sided wagon was needed. Another of those general types you can never have enough of. This example is built from the 51L kit, though I have used my usual method of a copperclad sub chassis for the W irons and sprung buffers.           Ok, the imaginary wagon. I mentioned that I cut some extra bits when

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