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Showing content with the highest reputation on 18/07/18 in all areas

  1. Just a quick update on the storage sidings. The total of turnouts built is now 11 with ten now fixed in position in the storage sidings and three of the sidings laid. The turnouts are all constructed using 1.6mm thick double sided copper clad sleepers whilst the sidings are K&L and C&L lengths of flexitrack board joints strengthened using copper clad sleeper strips. Over the hot weather I have checked all the rail joints on the turnouts and board joints and where necessary I have widened the gap using a very thin file - a very useful tool obtained some years ago from Eileens. Here are some photos of the progress made so far. Once all the turnouts are in position I will fit digital cobalts and wire them in to two separate accessory buses. EDIT;- Two more turnouts added since my last post. EDIT:- Further progress as of this afternoon 24th July 2018. I have completed laying metre lengths of C&L Flexi track in the UP storage sidings. I have run out of the Evostick Timebond Adjustable glue I am using to fix this track and am having difficulty finding a replacement tube as B&Q don't have any local to me. I also need to order some more track and copper clad.
    3 points
  2. Well in one of my more recent posts, a regular contributor on here who will remain nameless, oh what they hell it was MIKKEL, said that my station canopy was curvy, how rude To be fair, he was right (I cant believe I have committed that to writing), but on the other hand he was just stating the obvious.....so I thought I better do something obvious to try and fix it. As luck would have it the Domestic Overlord was a little poorly today (not that the DO being sick is lucky for me), so Price towers was renamed Emergency Ward 10 and I went in to the full dutiful other half mode. Anyway I digress, each time I got ready to do a little modelling, the DO managed like a little Trojan to find the energy to ring the "Im sick" bell, so I had to down tools and see what the "love of my life" wanted, if it was only to say things like "I don't feel well" . Filled with concern, and because I am such a genuinely nice person, in fact positively saintly, I did some research to see if I could find a way of improving the DO's life threatening condition, and I found the solution. On my last visit the bio hazard area (our bedroom) I performed an emergency "Clapper-ectomy" and peace was restored to Price Towers (God help me when the DO recovers). So I got out my supply of card (well the bits I could actually find) and got to work in an attempt to get the basic canopy and station building roof formers completed. Progress went a little better than I thought and I managed to get the majority of the basic canopy completed. I even managed to get the building roofs ready for covering with roof slates, using my graph paper method. The problem is I am at that stage now, where the more I seem to do the more jobs I seem to have to finish, so at some point I will have to start to look at producing windows and doors, but at least its starting to look like a station? Which leads me on to the next problem, or maybe problem is not a strong enough word? I am supposed to be building a model railway, and railways need track to run the little Choo Chooos on and that is where I am a model railway maverick, I have not laid any track (well not counting just under a yard for the trams). I have sort of settled on the final track plan for the layout, I thought I would put myself at the cutting edge of model railway technology and use these new things called "Electro Frogs". So I made a list checked it twice, winced at the cost of all the track I needed and bought half of it. Apparently though these Electric Froggy things need to be wired differently (people who have seen my wiring have described it as different) to the usual "insul Frogs" I use, and this is where I need HELP How do you wire these things up to stop short circuits, and does it mean I will have to get my favourite tool of mass destruction or Soldering Iron out. Any advice will be gratefully received. Until the next time as Ever Happy Modelling
    3 points
  3. Hi. Things are progressing steadily at Spittal. The summer and hot weather often results in a slowdown in activity for a lot of us; holidays, barbecues, family commitments and possibly a little heat-induced lethargy……..I’ve found the answer to the latter. Spittal is being built in a converted farm building with 3 foot thick stone walls, and though it’s south facing it stays wonderfully cool and comfortable even when outside is ridiculously hot; I’m not really a Mediterranean climate sort of person. So the weather can be used as a reason to go over to the workshop ‘because I need to cool down a bit’…………...how long before that excuse gets rumbled? The downside is that any kinks, doglegs, knackered bits in the trackwork can’t be blamed on climate change but are the results of my own somewhat hamfisted efforts! There’s been a steady sequence of visitors over the last few weeks. Firstly, Splinter and Screwit, the local carpentry firm, extended the layout by adding a further 2.4m baseboard, taking the length so far to 7.8 metres; I’m going to start a bus service to transport operators/helpers etc around the place. This allows the trackplan to extend as far as the start of the terminus platforms and the spread of sidings into the goods yard: Two tracks on the left are platform 1 and the release road/carriage siding, next are the bay platform and a release road which also serves the goods arrival road to the right of it. The right hand tracks fan out into the goods yard, with a branch leading off and down to Spittal Point and the fish quay starting at the goods yard entrance. Once the clouds of sawdust and bad language had cleared, next to visit were the PW gang and tracklaying engineers. The trackwork on the previous board is now nearly finished; just the long carriage siding and the coal drop siding to go, but the latter will have to wait until the coal yard is in place, which won’t be until the wiring underneath is completed……….complicated I know, but I’m trying to avoid crawling about underneath with a soldering iron as much as possible, for a lot of very valid health- and wellbeing-related reasons……… The trackwork now flows onto the new baseboard; 3 more turnouts are in place and just need blades to complete them. Once that’s done I’ll have a small runround loop and access to the headshunt and coalyard sidings, so work on the layout will be frequently delayed by passing trains/testing/playing/wasting time. While all this was going on, the signalling department were busily working on the breakfast bar at home, surprisingly. The end result was my first homemade signal; something I have been looking forward to with some concern and trepidation but amazingly it works: Construction involves a 3mm square length of walnut strip filed to a taper in the vice; easier than it sounds due to the nature of the wood. The rest is made of various bits from MSE and a couple of homemade parts. Just 11 more to build…..fortunately there are no 48 arm signal gantries, although the linkages for the 3 junction signals may prove a little testing. After all this mayhem, peace and tranquility descended on the layout in the form of the local electrical contractors, Tangle and Testitt Ltd, who have been brought in to try and save the world/sort out the muddle/connect things up. I’m actually very lucky to have the assistance and advice in this area of a leading exponent of all things electrical and DCC, without whose knowledge everything would be taking me a lot longer as I’d have to keep the instructions in one hand while doing various 2 handed and 3 handed jobs with the other one…..not easy, especially when the flowing of electrical current is as mysterious to me as the flowing of the River Styx of Greek mythology (you cross it to enter the underworld, apparently). So with lots of help, the track is all connected up to the DCC bus and it works. A twin 12v DC bus provides power for uncouplers, which also work, and Megapoints servo boards and relays for frog switching, which, amazingly, also work. Lots of little flashing lights and faint clicking and whirring noises accompany what can only be described as smooth and seamless operation; the signal pulls off in 2 stages, and bounces splendidly on returning to danger. Remarkable, really, and it bodes well for future operation. So my control panel now has 1 of 12 signal levers earning its keep, along with 3 of the 11 rather nice retro look rotary switches. I even did a small amount of it myself……….. On a practical note, the servos, controllers and wiring are largely on top rather than underneath, for ease of access from the back of the layout. It’s an advantage of building a layout set on a sloping river bank; there’s a retaining wall (the sort I used to sit on to watch the trains, and fall off occasionally) along virtually the whole length of the back of the station area which will hide it all, and access will be via cutouts in the backscene. You may notice in the photos my rather overcomplicated design of combined servo mount and wire-in-tube link terminal, and you may also notice the mk2 version operating the signal, which is much simpler: servo mounted snugly in a hole cut in the 9mm ply baseboard top and secured with silicone glue, so removable if necessary...this leaves the moving bit at exactly the right height and is much quicker and easier to do while being more secure. A loop in the springy operating wire copes with excess movement, and is easier than attaching the omega loops. The final visit, on July 1st, was by a group of about 20 visitors from the North East and Borders area group of the EMGS. We had a barbecue in the courtyard outside the workshop, and several of them brought stuff to run on the layout. It was really rather inspiring to see the bit I’ve done so far populated and busy with a variety of visiting locos and rolling stock; onwards and upwards as they say. Hopefully, anyway……..good weather, good food and good company. And now, for those of you who have just scrolled through the above because you just want to look at the pictures, let’s pop back to 1960: An almost brand new class 2 diesel on running-in duty is waiting for clearance to head off up the hill towards the ECML and the junction just south of the Royal Border Bridge. It’s heading for Kelso and St Boswells on the Waverley route. The leading coach still awaits its new maroon paintwork. Just behind and on the next track across waits a goods departure for the Alnwick and Cornhill branch behind a far-too-new looking K1. The reason for the delay is a delayed Edinburgh-Kings Cross express on the ECML blocking access to the junction; it’s apparently just leaving Berwick heading south, so the route should be clear in about 5 minutes. Both types of servo mount visible above, and in the last pic you can see the inconspicuous DG couplings, which work well and don’t look too intrusive; on a layout which will extend to 1.8m in widthe in some places (for scenic reasons) hand-powered uncoupling is not possible, I’m afraid. The goods stock is kitbuilt and weathered; the coaches and locos have been gauge-converted and fitted with Dgs, but I haven’t had time to weather them yet. In the pipeline: a goods brakevan, an RT Models chassis to convert my DJM J94, bought when I was intending to model in 00FS, more signalling and the rest of the trackwork on the new baseboard; and then, just for a change……….another baseboard which will take the track to the end of the station. Thanks for visiting Spittal; sorry if it’s been a bit busy. Ian
    1 point
  4. Following high level discussions with PMP, there's a chance these two cheeky chappies may make an appearance on Albion Yard during its Railex showing. Both are suitable for the Forest of Dean although I make no claims for appropriate loco shed allocations, etc. The 94XX has featured on my blog in the past but it has now received a little more work and a touch of light weathering, hopefully to suggest a loco that could plausibly be running in early BR days, despite retaining GWR colours. I wasn't happy with the Gibson GWR straight pattern buffers as originally fitted - not only were they, in my eye, somewhat underscale in diameter, but they caused acute buffer locking on part of Paynestown - so I removed them and fitted some larger white metal examples which will do in the interim. The 4575 is a typically smooth running Bachmann example which has been running on my layouts since these models were introduced. I have to say, I am smitten with Bachmann's prairies and own more of them than I strictly need. But they are such sweeties. I have done very little with this model other than to renumber, add some crew, coal and lamp irons, and a smidgeon of weathering. Unfortunately I have lost/run out of appropriate vacuum and train heating gear for these locos. Cheers!
    1 point
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