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Chris Heighton

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    Mainly 7mm modelling - late steam era, north-eastern region, with plenty of industrials thrown into the mix. I'm slowly getting back into the modelling swing now that I have a better job; Network Rail's hours are much better than contracting!

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  1. Good idea, although I have had bad experiences with poor running after trying it in the past. After all, it is more of a "toy train" for the young 'un to play on when he visits (I keep telling myself that - who am I fooling?) Maybe I'll pull out the track dirt and rust paints at a later date. -Chris
  2. "No, I'm building a new layout so that my nephew can play on it when he comes over" -The least convincing argument ever, October 21, 2018 To be fair, it's not his fault at all. I lay all the blame at Bachmann's door: there I was, happily bumbling away with the odd O gauge wagon kit, promising myself that I would build the layout to go with them soon, when suddenly the boys from Barwell announce their OO9 Quarry Hunslett. I have an almost crippling fascination with all thing industrial, and these diminutive 0-4-0s are probably the epitome of all that I love about the subject, so after approximately 7 microseconds of agonising soul-searching I put an order in for one and started planning a layout. I set out a list of key points that I wanted. The layout would have to be storable and small enough to be put away when not in use. I also wanted to use as many off-the-shelf scenery products as possible, as I didn't have much free time when I started the project, and I felt that these would make the project easier. It should also be noted that, apart from one brief attempt six years previously, I had zero experience at scenic modelling, so this would be a test bed for many skills and products. The layout itself is built on a 900mm by 450mm laser-cut baseboard, with back scenes made from 5mm ply cut to size by the local hardware shop. The backdrop is a Faller product, pasted to thick lining paper, then curved around the back, before the rest of the scenery was built on top of it. Most of the landscape is built from expanded polystyrene and thick brown card formers, the cliff faces then layered with plaster bandages and sculpted using Noch Rock Compound. Once dry, I tried to add a dark wash to parts of it to decrease the uniform colour of it, but the surface proved to be to porous, so I instead dry-brushed some highlights onto it. The buildings are scratch built from card, plastic section and sheet, and various doors and windows, before being painted and having basic lighting added with warm white LEDs; the one exception to this is the small shed on the front right of the layout – this was bashed from a Wills bicycle shed, as I wanted a few bikes on the layout. Ballasting, forever an anathema to me, was simplified using Deluxe Materials' Ballast Magic, which made life much easier. Wherever possible, materials were sourced from my local model shop, but use was also made of several online shops, as well as a box of old materials I have had lying about for years. Signage was made using an old but serviceable graphics package on my computer, before being printed off at high quality onto photographic paper. Rolling stock is all Peco, suitably weathered, whilst the diesel loco is Minitrains. All operation is via analogue DC, with electrofrog turnouts operated manually. Running is smooth all the way down to crawling, with continuity maintained using Deluxe Materials' track Magic Hopefully, my Nephew and I will get many hours of enjoyment from this. Perhaps one day that Hunslett will arrive, and find a warm place waiting for it in the shed! History Of the Quarry High above the sprawling industrial conurbation of the Rother Valley sits an outcrop of millstone grit, used by the locals since ancient times as a source of material for building and milling. Not much happened in the area until the mid nineteenth century, when easier workings and cheaper transport made the workings uneconomic and the site was abandoned. The workings, locally named “Hope Ridge” after the Nineteenth Century landowner, Sir Erasmus Galahad Hope, lay abandoned and gradually returned to nature, providing an interesting hazard to sheep and fell walkers, until in the mid 1950s, when it was decided that the industries in the Rother Valley needed an improved water supply. A large, underground aqueduct was proposed to bring water down from the reservoirs of the Peak District, and the old quarry was chosen as a perfect place to base an intermediate shaft to access the tunnelling. It is now the early 1960s, and the site is used primarily to load bulk cement and aggregates onto a narrow gauge railway, which then takes them into one of two tunnels, where they are offloaded and used to line the tunnel. Rolling stock for the works was purchased second-hand from other railways, and as such consists of many unusual combinations, from German diesels to Welsh steam engines.
  3. "No, I'm building a new layout so that my nephew can play on it when he comes over"

    1. LMS_LNER_SR_GWR_fan2004


      That’s always the best excuse ;)

    2. Lancaster622


      Oooo can we all borrow that one?

    3. Kylestrome


      That could come back to bite you later.

  4. Oho! A week off beckons! Now to see what this "Real Life" is that everyone is going on about.

    1. Luke Piewalker

      Luke Piewalker

      'week off'... what is this concept of which you speak...

    2. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      I'm not entirely familiar with the concept myself, but I forsee a sea voyage from Lancashire and several 3-foot gauge Beyer, Peacocks.

    3. Tim Hall

      Tim Hall

      Don't forget Groudle Glen and Laxey Mine....

  5. GReat Holiday, only problem is that I have to come home again.

  6. Well, that's me holidays booked. Of to the Hartz mountains for ten days of culture, sun fine German wines and lots of steam engines! Roll on July 20th!

    1. bgman


      Got any room in ya bag mate ?

    2. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      I think the Eurostar folks may be a little suspect of the grumbling luggage.

  7. Ask yourselves this, rail users: Would YOU travel on a railway that allows ME to be a COSS?!

    1. Captain Kernow

      Captain Kernow

      Why not? Is there something we should know?

    2. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      Trying to be glib about it. I finally passed my COSS exam! (Just in time for it to be replaced by Safe Work Leader)

    3. Southernman46


      You've done the easy bit - make sure you get PROPERLY mentored

  8. Curse you, Network Rail! That was I grade 2-listed beard I had to shave off!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. DonB


      Why? Where in NR's rule book does it list beards as unacceptable? Have you asked the PR dept. for an explanation? May have case for discrimination.

    3. big jim

      big jim

      if its facefit then anyone who works with ballast, ie track workers have to be cleanly shaven, absolute joke in my opinion, what if your muslim or hindu

    4. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      The thing is, my work usually doesn't take me near the HOBC. Ah well, Just enough time to grow it back in time for Christmas.

  9. OCD? What's that? Sorting Smarties by wavelength is a perfectly normal activity, isn't it?

    1. railroadbill


      It should be CDO. That's the way the letters go, isn't it?

  10. Night Shifts working with the High Output Ballast Cleaner. Best part? It's only a ten-minute drive from home!

    1. Captain Kernow

      Captain Kernow

      Are you going to be working in the 'TPOD' as well in a couple of weeks?

    2. beast66606


      Unless your in the loco at the far end when it's a 20 minute drive

  11. Working on the WCML at Shap this weekend. Hope the weather stays nice, I had to wring myself dry after last night's shift.

  12. Hey Tyneside, I'm fixing your Metro. You're welcome.

    1. Boris


      Lifetime supply of work on that....

    2. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      Especially when their new

    3. Boris


      I can sell you a dodgy one

  13. Today I are mostly been condemning sidings.

    1. Captain Kernow

      Captain Kernow

      May I ask why and where?

    2. Chris Heighton

      Chris Heighton

      Hartlepool Pipe Mill. The exchange sidings and internal network have not had any real money spent on them in years, so are slowly falling to pieces. As part of a fortnightly inspection, we decided that some of the sidings were so bad that they should be taken out of service immediately.

  14. Is one considered eccentric if one has an entire drawer dedicated to the storage of hats?

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Judge Dread

      Judge Dread

      If you are sane, I know where there is a house full of similar minded persons.

    3. Captain Kernow

      Captain Kernow

      Hats are good but may not necessarily go so well with one's Christmas jumper

    4. The Black Hat

      The Black Hat

      Hats off to you!

  15. Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po!

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