As mentioned in the Paynestown topic, I was a bit underwhelmed with the slow speed running of the Dapol N pannier. So, determined to give it a proper run-in, I temporarily back-converted the Gulf, Atlanta & Eastern to DC and let the pannier do many laps (nearly 3 scale miles each time). The running did improve, but that's another story. While I had the layout connected up to a DC controller, I remembered a little 009 loco that had been in my possession for 18 years, but which had barely turned a wheel.
Flash back to 2003: when my wife and I lived in the Netherlands, we often enjoyed visits to the Valkenburg narrow gauge museum and railway:
It's a great little museum, situated next to a fine cafe/restaurant (which changed hands several times while we were there, but which was always worth the trip) and
near enough to our house that it was within cycling distance if we were feeling adventurous. The museum hosted a narrow gauge model railway exhibition from
time to time and I visited one of these in the aforementioned 2003. The Dutch are very into Welsh narrow gauge so there was a strong representation of British
themes, as well as some UK-based models and a presence by the 009 society.
After enjoying the exhibition, I was tempted by one or two goodies on the second-hand stall. The idea was to possibly add a narrow gauge feeder line to my then-layout,
still based in the Netherlands. For various reasons that never came close to happening, but I did acquire a small 0-4-2T loco and two coaches.
Subsequent research has established that the loco is a Roxey model of a Kerr Stuart type sold to Hampton waterworks, while the coaches are I think Dundas models,
possibly WHR types, although I must check.
There were a few problems, though. First the loco barely ran, which is why it got put aside for 18 years. I also managed to lose part of the pony truck. But, spurred
on by the Dapol pannier, I took another look at it. Once the wheels and pickups were cleaned, the loco grumbled into life, powered by an Ibertren chassis. A little
lubrication also helped, followed by lots of running-in which gradually saw the performance moving from dreadful, to acceptable, to - actually, that's getting quite
There was still an occasional tendency to stall, not helped by running it on deeply ballasted Code 55 track (i've a feeling it would be fine on Peco 009), so I added a couple of extra pickups to the restored pony truck, visible below:
One painted black, I think these will be nicely inconspicuous.
Speaking of paint, the loco was quite well assembled but the paint was a roughly applied shade of unfetching light green. Since I had no plans to do anything prototypical with this model, I decided to cut back the paint and reapply a gloss blue of my own choosing, the idea being that the Kerr Stuart has been sold into private usage.
The coaches were well assembled, but alas very poorly painted, with splodges of cream all over the glazing. I couldn't get this off to any satisfactory extent, so I bit the bullet and carefully removed the roofs and a sub-ceiling, thereby allowing the glazing to be removed and discarded. The cream part of the panelling was redone in BR cream, and then the lower part, which had been brown, was redone in the same blue as the loco. Glazing was then reinstated and the roof temporarily balanced back in place.
This shows the first carriage to be so treated, with the second one still being worked on. It's a bit of a cheat as the rear one is only running on three axles! At some point I've lost a wheel. That was when I discovered that N wheels aren't any good as the axles are shorter. So, a new wheel will need to be obtained! Various bits of damage to roofs and step-boards are also being attended to.
I rather like the setting above, as although the train is posed on N scenery purporting to be somewhere in Georgia, it could just as easily be somewhere in North Wales. Where will this lead? Who knows ... but
some ideas are quietly brewing.