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  1. The paper copy of the November issue of BRM is now out in the shops … very surreal seeing my layout on the cover in public! Progress around the layout continues … the arrival of the Bachmann Mk2F’s also brought 6 new standard class in Intercity Swallow livery. A Hornby Mk3b DVT was upgraded to correct the QC flaws (window frames, light bleed, moulding groove issue and buffer shapes), and an Oxford Rail Mk3 buffet car was added (lower body grey repainted and window frames painted). I already had 2 first class Bachmann Mk2F 1st class carriages in Intercity Executive livery, so this now forms a typical 1990’s push-pull Mk2F rake. Westhill Wagon Works Hunt magnetic couplings have been fitted to the rake for closer coupling, also reliable push-pull operations. The repainted buffet car now blends nicely with the Mk2F’s … I have also inserted coupling bars to each of the Mk3b DVT’s. This will allow some operational variety as per the prototype, including ability to have loco-haulage or Motorail hooked on. The bars are 1.5mm titanium rod bent to shape then painted matt weathered black to blend in. The picture below also shows some more weeds, vegetation and ballast have been added around the terminus area to blend the cable trunking, also the walls. A Bachmann Class 90 coupled up … The Virgin DVT’s have also been fitted with a coupling bar; a Heljan Class 86 hauling. Clearances are ok for 2nd radius curves … Other work around the layout has included adding rods on the short test track / wheel cleaning track in order to trap kitchen roll or other cloth in position to allow hands-free wheel cleaning. To achieve this I cut the sleepers between the rails, drilled holes and installed three pre-bent rods. I then drilled holes in a block of wood and glued the ends of the rods into the block under the baseboard. This allows the block to be lifted up to allow kitchen roll to be slid into position then trapped in place. The rods from above lifted up … The rods below the baseboard … The rods glued into the block of wood. This allows easy lifting and positioning … also avoids injury from any exposed rod ends! The block of wood lowered, with the rods at or below rail level, trapping the kitchen roll in place … (with plenty of clearance to an underside equipment of loco’s) The latest mini-project is installation of a new siding off Yard 2. The upgrade of the fiddle yards earlier this year identified than an additional siding could be situated directly under the ramp down from the main layout above without compromising clearances when walking around the shed. I picked up a couple of offcuts of 10mm plywood from the local timber yard and attached them to the side of the baseboard for Yard 2. Timber supports and a couple of brackets below provide additional support to maintain cross-level. The corners of the plywood have been rounded to avoid injury! A view of the additional boards … Another view, showing the board with the ramp directly above … while the new siding will pass the other side of the vertical supports for the baseboards above. Two turnouts have been installed and the plain line track laid … next job is to wire and install the point motors etc. The new siding is easily long enough to store a loco + 7 coach rake. I recently recorded some footage to show the DVT’s and new Bachmann Mk2’s in action … Next project in the shed is a bit more mundane … sorting out my magazine and football program collection!
  2. Well … I used to be a goalkeeper! Don’t know about my arm length but hand size likely to be larger than average! I do have some handy steps as well … very useful. The scenic board is 90cm wide so not too much of a stretch. A few months ago I did accidentally knock Prince William off the shelf (the Royal class 47!) and it landed on top of the two Dapol OLE masts below, snapped them and bent the wires! The Dapol masts are very easy to replace and the wires straightened, hooked back on and as good as new. The mishap simply clumsiness … nothing to do with reach!
  3. The digital version of the November BRM issue is now out with the hard copy to follow in the coming days and as you may see … Davidson Parkway has made the cover page! Very surreal to see my efforts be published but very proud as well … and the issue includes a 10 page feature. Some additional background info; My grandparents lived next to the railway along Davidson Road (hence the current layout name) just to the north of East Croydon station. The garden overlooked Windmill Bridge Junction, where the E Croydon to Norwood Jn and London Bridge lines diverge from the lines towards Selhurst and Victoria. They had a decent view of Pope John Paul II train during May 1982 (hauled by 73142 Broadlands). My grandparents, uncle and Dad each had an interest in the railway and had some old model railways as well and the interest, along with proximity to the railway naturally passed to me! My interest in AC traction and the WCML was probably sparked during a visit to Euston to see my grandparents away on a holiday to Blackpool … including my first cab visit! Coincidentally, my parents bought a house further along Davidson Road and my bedroom overlooked Selhurst Depot! I wish the likes of Realtime Trains, RailCam and digital cameras had been around in those days! I received a Hornby HST pack one Christmas and that further lighted my own interest … my first cat seemed impressed as well! My parents house had a reasonable sized loft that allowed a couple of train-sets to be built … including my first dabble with OLE using the clunky Hornby single wire system. I then had a break for a few years as life took over, such as college, uni, career, sports, socialising, family etc … before the move to Derbyshire, a decent sized garden and building of a shed that now houses Davidson Parkway. Hope you enjoy the article … many thanks to Andy Y for his enjoyable visit and to the BRM team.
  4. Thanks Andy … very enjoyable day for me as well … and feels very surreal seeing my layout making the cover of BRM! Look forward to receiving the printed copy later this week.
  5. Cracking announcement! I remember seeing the Silcock Express a few times; always an impressive working along the WCML … and when assembling a Speedlink rake a few months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many Cartic rakes were built and many found their way into Speedlink workings. I’m going to need a new fiddle/storage yard at this rate! In addition to the info sources listed in previous posts, I would also recommend Paul Shannon’s ‘Speedlink’ book as it contains details of many workings and formations, many including Cartics … https://www.waterstones.com/book/speedlink/paul-shannon/9780711036970
  6. Heljan released a project update yesterday, including the good news that the 86/4’s are now in production … with delivery due late 2021 (I guess subject to international shipping issues). https://www.Heljan.co.uk/post/product-update-september?utm_campaign=226423cd-3cd0-4b9b-ace2-b2deee35bf7a&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail&cid=12d42152-d01c-4279-82d5-4ff1f6f5f758 I had better ramp-up the efforts to save some pennies to pay for the pre-orders!
  7. Thanks Dave … my daughter is recovering well, she’s 16 so midway through the teenage years … so door-slamming has recommenced! Great to see your new layout progressing well … Good screenshot! I do like that view down the straight and watching the trains go by when operating in ‘roundy roundy’ mode … since the last update, I’ve added plenty more figures to the layout including those two waiting at the bus stop. The video that pic was taken from is linked below … also includes the first trials of raising pantographs and setting the height just below contact wire level. The video shows a running session of the 7 freight rakes that I currently have, including two fairly recent additions to form a couple of Speedlink working. Another new arrival … a pre-order for a rake of Bachmann Mark 2F’s in Virgin livery arrived to form a typical 7 coach Cross-Country rake … lovely models! A RFB (Restaurant First Buffet) Standard Class Brake Second Open End details Since the last update, the layout had a special visitor … was only meant to be a 2 or 3 hour visit, but eventually became 6.5hrs! A very enjoyable day … and watch out for the November issue of BRM!
  8. The new Virgin and Intercity Swallow liveried Mark 2F’s are now coming into stock and my pre-order arrived this morning … very impressed! A new Virgin Cross Country rake for Davidson Parkway with a few pics below … The RFM … Standard class … Standard class and brake End detail (additional details supplied in the goodie bag not yet fitted) A couple of pictures of the completed rake …
  9. I took my dad on a jolly to Carlisle and back yesterday aboard the Staycation Express; thoroughly recommended! A couple of pics of the power cars 43058 and 43059 below at Skipton and Carlisle … The service is booked to operate until 9th September; still some tickets available … https://railcharterservices.info
  10. Hi all, hope everyone is having a good summer so far. Quite a few detailing and mini-projects have been underway … including my daughter! Two years ago she was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), her treatment was delayed due to Covid, but luckily her operation was slotted in last month and thankfully was a success. She now has a straightened back, is on the road to recovery and is at least 3 inches taller! Regarding the layout, I’ve painted the bases of each OLE mast and signal gantry black … took ages and a bit fiddly, needed a steady hand! My Heljan Class 58 had sat along a siding in the depot for some time a few years ago, unfortunately the UV light through the door window had badly faded the yellow warning panel on one end! The window now has a blind fitted to prevent any repeats (as well as help running in the dark scenes) … while the 58 had the yellow on both ends masked, primed and painted. Etched plates have also been fitted. A few renumbering projects also completed, including a Hornby Class 87, 87003 Patriot … … also Heljan Class 86, 86260 Driver Wallace Oakes GC … … also Hornby Class 50, 50008 Thunderer (memories of a holiday to Paignton during 1985) Etched nameplates have also been fitted to a few other locos. Meanwhile, some more steel coils have been created using the Scale Model Scenery card kit. I used the Bachmann BAA coils cut in half to wrap the card around. Another mini project has been fitting logs to two recently purchased Hornby OTA timber wagons … each log glued and placed individually (good therapy while watching another England batting collapse!). The steel coils have been placed onto the rake of BAA and BBA’s using small blobs of blu tac to hold in place.
  11. One factor to remember .... Bachmann have made a huge investment with the research, design and new toolings so it’s likely that they’ll be releasing a variety of 47’s for the next 10 to 15yrs or so to make a decent return on the investment. So while batch 1 maybe financially out of reach for some ... there will be plenty of opportunity to save or divert pennies for future batches. Also, no doubt the models from batch 1 will trickle onto EBay and co in future so if there’s a particular number or livery that is a ‘must-have’ that’s another opportunity to save and purchase. Not long to wait until 9:30am to see what liveries will be available within Batch 1 ... good luck saving ... and please wish me luck in return as I’m thinking of excuses as to why the 2022 family holiday needs to be postponed!
  12. Thanks again for the kind comments ... and when I lived near Selhurst Depot during my younger years, Burma Star used to be a regular passing my bedroom window, so it’s nice to have a bit of the Southern region visiting the WCML! One activity on the to-do list has been a refresh of some of the rolling stock rakes. My older Blue/Grey Mark 2 rake was formed of Lima coaches, some a bit scratched/damaged from some rough shunts during my younger years! I always liked the Lima Mark 2F’s ... very reliable, hardly any derailments, something about the appearance ... but with the downsides of lack of NEM pocket or close coupling, flushglazing etc. At one stage I was tempted to upgrade the Lima Mark 2F’s but since purchasing the Bachmann type when released a few years ago ... no contest! I’ve assembled a new replacement Blue/Grey rake using a prototypical example from 1986 ... with Oxford Rail Mark 3’s as first class, then the Bachmann Mark 2f as standard, a BSO, a Mark 1 buffet and BG to complete the rake. One problem I had was sourcing Blue Grey TSO’s ... very rare to find these days and very expensive on EBay ... however I did purchase two at a sensible price. For the remaining three, during some research I found that BR declassified quite a few FO’s to Standard Open (SO’s) during the mid 1980s and used along the WCML before transferring to the Midland Main Line. I managed to find and purchase three Bachmann First Class Mark 2Fs at a sensible price and have also declassified ... an example FO before conversion: ... and the three declassified coaches after conversion (SO’s) ... The ‘1’ printing from the doors were removed (although some ghosting appears in the pic ... but can hardly be seen in reality ... so I may paint over) ... following careful masking, the yellow stripe was painted over with several thin coats of rail blue ... then each coach disassembled and the first class blue stickers carefully rubbed off each window using a blunted cocktail stick. I’ve not renumbered the carriages yet ... I’ll do that when I get round to adding passengers, flashing tail lamps and possibly interior lighting to the rake. I understand BR initially kept the original 2+1 seating layout when they declassified for a few years ... before a rebuild saw high capacity seating installed before the move to the MML ... so I’ve kept the 2+1 layout for now! The rake was then formed and tested around the layout after hunt elite magnetic couplings were installed ... and pleased with how the SO’s blend with the TSO’s ... simplest way being to count the windows!
  13. Sorry to hear about the loss of your father but that’s a wonderful legacy ... and I echo what Bill and Mike have already said ... am sure he would have been proud ... and an excellent project. The upgraded garden also looks good including the path to and around the shed ... good productive lockdown projects that I’m sue will entice you to visit the shed and layout more often! Hopefully Kirkhill will be back exhibiting soon as it’s one of my favourite layouts to watch for a good time ... the realism of the interesting operations, smooth running, the coaching rakes, the details, such an interesting era as well for motive power ... superb. Enjoy the comforts of the upgraded shed and good luck with the signalling system project. ps Regarding carpet tiles ... I have them in my shed and have never had a problem with dust. I do hoover occasionally and only rarely have to clean the track. So if my experience is anything to go by, the carpet tiles should be ok ... and comfortable to stand/kneel on for operating sessions or for layout projects.
  14. I’ve recorded a new video ... a cab ride tour of the layout. It includes a few views of the new parcels rake and a trip through Yards 3 and 2.
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