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Everything posted by Patriot87003

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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 …
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Perhaps my messages should have included; “However, the Trent Valley 4-tracking now naturally prioritises the Manchester Route ... “. Coincidentally, the number 1 priority service group during WCRM for Virgin Trains was the Manchester route in order to promote growth to justify the 3 trains per hour, also to complete the modal shift from air travel between Manchester and London to rail .... mission accomplished! And it also gives me a smile when I hear the Man Utd squad travelling to away matches in London by Pendolino from Macclesfield. An additional journey time benefit of having the Down Fast heading for the Manchester route is that there is now no approach control/flashing yellow aspects for that route from the DF, allowing drivers to brake naturally (while avoiding triggering any TPWS over-speed interventions). During WCRM I carried out quite a bit of journey time analysis to compare the different signalling arrangements for some of the old passenger loops/junction approaches and found that you could gain much more journey time upgrading the turnouts/approaches ... than by upping the 125mile/h sections to 140mile/h. However I totally agree with you ... this does result in any services heading towards Stafford from the DF now having the 65mile/h crossover to contend with, plus any additional time penalty due to the junction approach signalling and defensive driving factors. I’m with you .... a 125mile/h crossover between the DF to DS situated somewhere along the straight between Rugeley TV and Colwich Jn would be very nice!
  11. Very interesting reviewing the APT record run log and comparing with the recent Pendolino attempt. While both runs appear to have had a maximum speed of 125mile/h, there’s quite a few subtle differences that explain the differences in timings, why the recent Pendolino attempt didn’t beat the record and also explains your correct observation why the APT won Preston to Glasgow by a good margin. I worked within West Coast Route Mod and developed and optimised one of the iterations of the line speed profiles for EPS and journey time analysis. One of the key differences appears to be a difference in the rules/standards for tilting trains around curves with Switches & Crossings (S&C ... aka points!); While current tilting trains are allowed to take advantage of increased cant deficiency limits along ‘plain-line’ (up to 300mm CD for Class 390 Pendolino and 265mm CD for Class 221 Super-Voyager), they are restricted to ‘conventional’/permissible cant deficiency limits through S&C. It appears this wasn’t the case for the line speed profile used by the APT .... in other words, the APT could ‘whizz’ around curves of plain line and those that S&C situated along them .... but the Pendolino can only ‘whizz’ around curves of plain-line ... but unfortunately not if there’s any S&C along them. There’s a few technical reasons that justify this rule ... around track forces, reliability, increased factor of safety etc. A really good example to see the effect of this rule is through Penrith station: The Up Line is a plain-line curve with no S&C along it. Therefore the max permissible speed is 80 over 90/95. This means non-tilt trains have a permissible speed 80, Class 221’s are allowed 90, while Class 390’s are allowed 95mile/h. The Down line is different: The Down Loop joins the Down Line along the curve at the high mileage end of the platform, thus the Down Line has a max permissible speed restricted to 75mile/h for all trains. There are a significant number of junctions/S&C situated on curves along the WCML, especially north of Warrington ... such as Warrington itself, Dallam, Winwick Jn, Golbourne Jn, Wigan, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Low Gill, Shap, Quintinshill, Beattock Summit, Abington loops etc. Each of these likely to have a lower EPS speed for the Pendolino when compared to the APT. As a consequence, WCRM took the decision to not have any ‘EPS’ between Warrington BQ and Wigan NW stations ... while due to a combination of the infrastructure, pathing and timetabling, no EPS currently exists between Carstairs and Glasgow C (although there is an oddity around Shieldmuir due to a HST differential speed board!). Therefore both of these route sections are ‘tilt for comfort’ sections while the max permissible speeds for tilting trains are the same as conventional trains. Again, the APT run shows significant gains through these two sections. Conversely, since the APT run, the Pendolino took advantage of a few gains from major remodelling schemes ... including a better departure from the remodelled Euston, the remodelled Rugby station, Trent Valley 4-tracking section, the new layout at Norton Bridge and the remodelled Crewe (from the 1985 scheme!). However, the Trent Valley 4-tracking now prioritises the Manchester Route ... therefore the Glasgow route now requires a slowing to 65mile/h to crossover at Colwich Jn to access the route to Stafford. There’s a few other subtle differences through some of the tunnels (aerodynamics/pressure pulses) and it appears the APT was allowed a higher max cant deficiency ... and probably a larger margin of tolerance regarding acceptable over speed (in the pre-digital age before average speed cameras etc!) ... while the Pendolino run appears to be a superb effort in concentration by the driver not to upset the ‘TASS (Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision)’ system ... as if the driver oversped and ignores the initial warning, the brakes are applied! So less margin for the driver to cruise at a few mile/h above the line speed profile. In summary ... both runs are very impressive in my opinion for different reasons - well done to all involved! One thing pretty certain .... both of these records likely to be smashed once HS2 is built ... but the Warrington/Preston to Glasgow APT record likely to stand for many years to come.
  12. Hi Matt, Many thanks ... I bought the reversing camera kit from Amazon ... it’s linked below. The kit arrives with a variety of mounting options. https://www.amazon.co.uk/podofo-Reversing-Monitor-Waterproof-Cameras/dp/B074M7485X/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Reversing+camera+4&qid=1624564512&sr=8-3 I’m impressed with it so far .... despite minimal instructions, it’s easy to setup and comes with wires of good length (at least 5m to each camera). It arrives with a vehicle cigarette lighter connected to gain it’s power ... and requires a DC input voltage between 12 and 24V. I purchased a separate charger of 16.8V DC and have hard-wired it then inserted a toggle switch in the circuit to allow me to switch the power to the cameras on and off.
  13. It looks very impressive ... and I look forward to visiting Chester this summer to see the layout. Meanwhile, Heljan have released this progress report on the thread linked below. The Class 86/4’s have had tooling approved and decorated samples are in preparation. Release date planned for Q2 of 2022. So almost a year still to wait ... but gives me a chance to save up for the 5 I’ve pre-ordered! Useful to have a progress update to plan pre-orders and finances ... and maybe gives Heljan a chance to do a surprise release of the NSE liveried 86401 (subtle hint to Ben and co! )
  14. I’ve found some time to mount the new 4 x CCTV cameras ... two installed to view each end of Yard 2, with the other two to watch Yard 3. The cameras are a little bit fiddly to install as the actual cameras block access to the screws, so I had to disassemble then reassemble after each bracket was installed. A bit of time then taken to tweak the angles before the screws were tightened. Plenty of clearance to the stock below ... The two cameras above Yard 2 are a different type (I think usually used for the sides of vehicles) ... installed with wiring tidied out of the way ... The monitor was attached to a spare bit of plywood and mounted next to the control panel ... The four cameras were then connected to the monitor. It has several modes of viewing, including the view below showing each of the four cameras. Each individual camera can be viewed full size on the monitor ... while pressing the mode button toggles through a few different views. Very pleased and this should allow me to control the lower yards without having to bend down too much to check! A bit of testing to do ... and I’m planning to install some labels or something to show the road/line numbers to help, also install uncoupling ramps on the new Yard 3, modify the location of the Yard 2 ramps and install some uncoupling ramp location markers to help position trains.
  15. Following completion of the project to upgrade and expand the yards, it’s made a nice change to progress a few rolling stock projects ... I found this wonderful video on YouTube that has 86401 in NSE livery from 6min 20s hauling a colourful and long 15 coach parcels rake of BG’s and GUV’s. As it’s been my birthday recently ... I’ve recreated a shortened 10 coach version of the rake. I sourced three cheaper GUV’s and repainted into BR Blue (just need to add the transfers) and added Hunt magnetic couplings. A few pics of the rake below ... I’ve also purchased the recently released Hornby IC Swallow MK3b DVT ... and oh dear! Not impressed with the light bleed, the silver window frame or the tooling imperfection on the roof! I’ve smoothed the roof and touched-up the paint, also repainted the window frame, removed the cab light and painted the inside of the cab. Below is the reassembled model ... light bleed vastly improved ... a little bit more touching-up to do. Finally, two Hornby HAA wagons were purchased some time back to extend the MGR rake. I’ve detailed these a bit to blend in with the rest of the rake ... new buffers, Hunt magnetic couplings, load fitted with real coal sprinkled on top and buffer shanks highlighted. A few other wagons have also been converted to have NEM pockets and magnetic couplings fitted. I’ve also given the track a good clean using the trusty CMX and Dapol cleaner in vacuum mode. Unfortunately the motor in the Dapol cleaner failed. I stripped down the unit and found a substantial amount of dust/debris had clogged the motor .... once cleaned, all working again! Having read a few articles on the forum also some other sources regarding polar v non-polar substances for cleaning, I’ve tried WD-40’s electrical contact cleaner (polar) ... and been impressed so far. No noticeable loss of traction while plenty of crud cleaned off the rails. Wheels have also been cleaned on the loco’s ... and so far so good. The CMX and Dapol cleaner cleaning Yard 3 ... Just two sidings produced this amount of dust/fluff! It had been two years since I last properly cleaned the layout ... so should really clean a bit more often. Some wheel sets of more heavily used loco’s have been cleaned since ... previously cleaned using 99.9% IPA ... will be interesting to see how the WD-40 contact cleaner performs over time. Next jobs ... some running sessions and more testing of different rakes to/from the new yards ... some more rolling stock projects ... and a few detailing projects around the layout. I’ve also purchased 4 x CCTV cameras to show the under-layout yards from the control panel, so hoping to install them soon.
  16. Avanti have confirmed ... record missed by 21 seconds. But plenty of money raised for good causes ... And by the looks of things they’re hoping to try again next Thursday!
  17. News from Twitter is that it missed the record by 21 seconds Next week’s attempt likely to have a few less passengers (and fittings) aboard!
  18. The line speed through Preston is 35mile/h ... Carlisle station area is slower at 20mile/h ... the approach to Glasgow Central is also slow, dropping from 30mile/h around the curve at Eglinton Street Tunnel to a 15mile/h crawl into the station.
  19. ... and 390044 has been renamed Royal Scot this morning at Euston before setting off. Tim Dunn is aboard and showed a live feed of the naming on his Twitter feed ... a screenshot below (hope that’s ok to publish!) An impressive factor is that I understand the unit is keeping to the Sectional Appendix line speed profile, therefore no dispensations for any speeding! Some works were carried out last night to remove at least one temporary speed restriction along the route ...
  20. My own opinion on this ... I feel that Hornby are trying to fix/improve several issues in one swoop. Each individual issue is probably not enough to justify the move, but collectively there maybe some logic; - 1) Supply chain issue: Balancing and optimising supply v demand issue (This potentially includes the possibility that Hornby has surprised itself with the volume of pre-orders being received directly on it’s website. Possibly due to the new improved website itself, also newcomers to model railways during the pandemic, also the 2021 range is pretty impressive). So there is the potential that for every one order being made direct to Hornby, that that’s one less for the lower end of the priority chain) - 2) Head-off some competition threats (from the existing competition eg Hattons, also any retailer that’s plotting competing products (note; not complimentary products). - 3) Incentivise Hornby brand placement/marketing amongst retailers I think 1 speaks for itself ... it’s a prioritisation system to clarify the order in the event of demand exceeding supply. No different to say a typical FA Cup final ... season ticket holder get first dibs, members the next and so on. 2 also makes sense to me ... why should Hornby prioritise Hattons over a smaller retailer, when Hattons have an increased potential capital to invest in announcing a rival product, such as a new Class 50 or HST? 3 is a bit more nuanced. In the modern digital age, product placement/advertising is a big deal. So Hornby is encouraging retailers to advertise the Hornby brand (all ranges) with retailers it wants to be associated with going forward. I found the adverts within the latest issue of BRM interesting ... eg Hattons advert has it’s own brand very visible, yet the branding of it’s suppliers were almost invisible. Compare with the Gaugemaster advert ... while the Gaugemaster brand is visible, so too is the branding of the main suppliers ... so Gaugemaster are doing Hornby’s marketing for them. This is probably why Hornby also go direct to some high street stores and Argos and Amazon.
  21. I don’t envy anyone working in any part of any supply chain at the moment; optimising supply and demand is a continuous challenge and many factors can influence and hinder this balancing act. I saw this interesting BBC business news article yesterday. While it’s related to the U.K. building industry, it highlights a few of the less obvious/less publicised challenges facing the supply chain (in addition to the fluctuating demand caused by the side effects of the Covid crisis). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57247757 Just one snippet from the article that maybe a causal factor to Hornby’s supply v demand balancing act ... There has also been a sharp rise in shipping costs, said Noble Francis, economics director of the Construction Products Association. "Shipping costs have risen sharply due a shortage of empty containers from Covid-19-related issues and the sharp recovery in global demand," he told the BBC. For instance the cost of shipping a 40ft container from Asia to Northern Europe soared from $1,500 (£1,061) in summer 2020 to more than $8,300 (£5,873) by May 2021, he said. Later in the article there’s a prediction that the shipping costs should begin to subside in the next 3 to 6 months ... so on one hand, likely to be pressure to manufacture, ship and sell goods ASAP to meet demand/plans and maintain cash flow ... but on the other, maybe more efficient to delay some products (especially larger/bulky/lower value items).
  22. It’s classic supply v demand .... In a parallel universe, there is a similar thing occurring where there is a precious commodity while the demand for the services outstrips the supply. I’m thinking about Harry Kane! Spurs currently have his valuable services but he is considering his options. While Spurs haven’t publicly declared the ‘banding’ of options, it’s not rocket science to workout ... Priority 1: Keep Kane at Spurs. This option keeps all the ‘goodies’ in-house Priority 2: Sell the services of Kane to a trusted other party for an agreeable price. Example characteristics being a non-rival. Eg Sell to a club abroad (different market place) or complimentary club/different league ... A non-rival, eg A Man City or Liverpool or Southend Utd(!). Priority 3: If getting desperate for income ... trade through gritted teeth to a rival that’s swimming in the same pond. Eg Chelsea, West Ham, Palace(!) etc. Priority 4: Trade with your mortal enemy ... Arsenal! Relating this analogy back to the Hornby supply v demand pre-order topic; I wouldn’t be surprised if the only trader in Band 1 is Hornby itself (or perhaps they are Band 0). I suspect that retailers that have over time become rivals to Hornby are in a lower banding. However retailers that are complimentary to Hornby and are currently trusted maintain a higher banding and better position in the priority list. This approach makes sense to me. However, as Stationmaster has indicated ... the underlying root cause to get to this situation with the pre-orders appears to be a fundamental mismatch between supply v demand. ps I searched the www but couldn’t find anywhere to place a pre-order for Harry Kane for next season!
  23. I’ve just found your video on YouTube and subscribed and commented ... (linked below for others to also view). Top work! Really looking forward to seeing the layout in the flesh once fully built ... I do especially like AC Electrics and the WCML. My own layout uses a combination of Dapol and NBrass kit built masts with Peco wires cut to size (thread and YouTube channel linked in the signature). How did you construct the auto-tensioners? They look very impressive (from the pictures on Facebook).
  24. Thanks Vivian! Following completion of the Yard 2 and 3 project I’ve put together an update video and just loaded to YouTube. It includes a bit more detail of the two drop-down boards, testing a rake over the joints and connecting line between Yards 2 and 3, also a cab-ride tour from/to the main layout via the upgraded yards ... It also includes a teaser of two or three new rakes I have in mind for the future and on pre-order!
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