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Ray H

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About Ray H

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  1. Ray H

    Little Muddle

    I think someone needs a word in the cleaners' ears . . . . . To tell them that they're not supposed to rub the paint off as well.
  2. The District ran 6 or 8 car trains (except between Wimbledon & Edgware Road). The 2 car portion was always at the east end. At Ealing Broadway & Parsons Green the 2 car portion was uncoupled/coupled in the platform whilst the trains were taken into Upminster Depot to be uncoupled. Cancelled uncoupling then simply meant what it said, the uncoupling moves were cancelled at Ealing Broadway & Parsons Green whilst, from memory, the moves to & fro Upminster Depot still took place but the trains weren't uncoupled there. Cancelled uncoupling was pretty rare because extra station staff were required when 8 car trains were in operation - normally in just the peak hours. What I can't remember is what happened towards the end of the day especially at Ealing Broadway and Parsons Green. I don't think there were any trains stabled at Ealing Broadway overnight. I can't remember what happened to the the 2 car units uncoupled there after the evening peak. I think there were specific shunting paths at Parsons Green towards the end of the day that allowed the 2 car units to be moved around the sidings so that the trains could couple when they stabled at the end of the day. I started work with LTE in 1967 and the District were still uncoupling then. I can't swear to it but I think it was the early 1970s before they ceased uncoupling. This may have been as a result of chronic staff shortages which saw service levels on all lines reduced by as much as 25% (with special reduced service level timetables - handwritten & photo-copied for issue) for at least a few years. In those days there were already significantly different service levels on Saturdays compared to Monday to Fridays and on Sundays compared to Saturdays. These days the difference is minimal. The Northern line only ran 4 car trains during off-peak periods so the 3 car units were worked to depots/sidings where uncoupling occurred - Edgware, High Barnet & Morden. The standard stock on the Central line (and Q stock on the District line) required staff to be at track level to uncouple/couple and (I'm pretty certain that there weren't any Central line 7 car trains so) both train portions were 4 cars and both halves stayed in service. Ironically I believe that the introduction of the 1956/59/62 stock removed the need for trackside assistance to uncouple/couple but uncoupling stopped before the new stock was introduced. The Met ran (uncoupled) 4 car trains much longer than anyone else and there were different timetables for their coupled and uncoupled services.
  3. The other three coils have been fitted today and if I'd previously paid a bit more attention to the Dingham build Instructions I'm sure they'd have worked 100% of the time, They weren't far short of it though. I did have to replace the previous two bolts with slightly longer ones so that the top of the bolt was a bit higher than previously and this has certainly improved things. The next thing to do (me thinks) is to continue to look at the couplings more thoroughly and see what changes I can make to improve their operation.
  4. Also take the plug out of the throttle and check that there isn't a "pin" out of alignment.
  5. Yes, I've fitted two in parallel and they seem to work OK. The top of the bolt head is probably a fraction above top of the adjacent sleepers. The heads are bright & shiny at present but there's no ballast down. Once I'm completely happy with them I may glue the nut in place and glue the bolt into the nut. I can then ballast the space between the underside of the bolt head and the top of the nut, fill the slot in the bolt head and weather them with the rest of the track. I'll give the layout another run this morning and see if I find any problems, then I'll fit the other three if everything is in order.
  6. Thanks Phil. My coils are around 35Ω and I'm using a 12v supply to power them. The meter says that they draw just under 0.3 amp each. The 12v supply is rated at 2 amps and only used otherwise to power the three servos that operate the points. I've now got two coils fitted having goofed on the measurements that I quoted last night. The coil former diameter is 19mm, not 14mm and the core is 9mm not 6mm. I've thus drilled a 9mm hole between two sleepers and hot glued the coil former to the underside of the baseboard in line with the hole. I've managed to find a nut that fits snugly in the 9mm hole and an accompanying (short) bolt, which I've cut even shorter so that the head is a shade above the surrounding cork when screwed down. The nut isn't currently glued to the core but I may change that in due course. The top of the bolt is adjustable in height. I've only just finished the modification having previously drilled one hole too close to the board end which meant I couldn't centre the core in the hole so I had to re-drill one sleeper away. Consequently full trials will have to wait until tomorrow. However, I have managed to replace four fixed magnets with two electro-magnets so far and if the tests are successful three more electro-magnets will replace the final 4 fixed magnets.
  7. The penultimate image is interesting insomuch as it appears to show a cleared signal on the approach to crossing gates that are across the railway.
  8. With no other significant matters needing my attention, I've spent a large chunk of the day operating the layout. The only derailments were of my own making and the only coupling problems were either likewise or as detailed below. The layout has numerous permanent (Neodymium) magnets in the places where I reckoned there would most likely be a need to uncouple. The one downside of this is that every propelled vehicle passing over the magnets becomes uncoupled and has to be re-coupled before the "train" can be reversed back having deposited the wagon(s) that need to be left behind. Many (many) years ago someone gave me a couple of dozen of theses coils. I've tested one at 12v off the layout and they happily uncouple a pair of wagons so I should be able to use these instead of the present arrangement. There is a downside to that idea though! The end of the coil nearest the camera is some 14mm in diameter - I'd guess the core is around 6mm in diameter - and I'm stumped for a way to drill a 14mm hole without removing the track and then, having drilled the hole, how to secure the coli in place. I think I could probably manage to drill the smaller size hole - which would allow me to glue the assembly to the underside of the baseboard. The baseboard is circa 5mm thick. Does anyone know if I could glue some washes (or similar) of the relevant diameter to the core so that hole through the baseboard doesn't need to be any larger than the core diameter. I haven't tried drilling a 6mm hole and just gluing the coil to the underside of the board but I'll try to give that a go tomorrow in case I can get away without the washers or what have you.
  9. The layout is around 40ft x 20ft and we often leave a couple of train "circling" whilst we do other things in the room so we don't always have someone near a throttle to thump the red button. We have six power districts, 3 of which are parallel with each other. Add to that a reasonably large section of the layout where there isn't a (need for a) throttle - i.e. just plain line so no need for throttles (of which we have 8). A couple of panic (stop) buttons would be useful in the areas where there are no throttles. Alas that area is about as far as it can be from the power and control source. Perhaps we should have a few short circuiting devices hooked onto the side of the layout which can be grabbed and placed across the rails to stop a train. However, this wouldn't work where we needed to stop trains on two tracks simultaneously unless they were in pairs.
  10. You say that in jest I trust but we had someone at work who took that statement literally. You could often see the skin of his heel above the sides of his shoes.
  11. Does anyone know if there is something similar for the NCE systems? Our club has a large O gauge layout and the facility to have a few red buttons around the layout would be useful.
  12. Surely that's 9 too many if it is a DCC layout
  13. We had one of those Class 153 in this neck of the woods Andy. There's something about that livery that makes it so attractive on the single vehicle so I bought one even though it is too long for my layout.
  14. I like that idea! That said, I might take the odd break and do a bit of ballasting. There won't be too much scenery as the railway fence will be on the edges of the baseboard. Apart from the obligatory grass I have in mind a small signal box (as was, but is now reduced to a ground frame), a yard crane, a (probably low relief) shed/store in front of the fiddle yard and something to act as an office/messing facilities.
  15. What makes you think that the domestic manager might have been out for part of today? The legs are now finished and the layout was erected in the kitchen where there was room to have all three boards up and still have access to the bench in the garage if needed. The layout has since been moved back into the garage and the stock put back on it. I'm undecided on whether to spend a bit more time shunting wagons around or whether to overhaul some more couplings or, perish the thought. actually make a start on some scenery!
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