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    Cotswolds England

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  1. You might do better with small 3mm(?) stereo jack plugs and sockets. Getting enough flexibility inti the wires is always the problem but at least in O you have a bit more room than I have in OO.
  2. Normally I bin tender pickups as a matter of course but the Hornby 4-4-0 chassis with traction tyres doesn't have enough weight on its trailing drivers or bogie for reliable pick up and needs the tender pickups even with live frog points.
  3. There is no need for the pivoting unless you run 1st radius and not much need for it then. Bits of plastic sprue fixed with Pipe weld or gel superglue are pretty useful for jamming the swivelling trucks.
  4. Glad to here someone likes the things. I have seen too many used on cars where they come loose and stop conducting.
  5. Sounds like a tooth off. Loose baseplate screws can initiate wear by letting the gears out of mesh. Ours had to be returned to Hornby after we removed it from the packaging and forgot to refit the baseplate screws. It now runs fine but won't pull the skin off a rice pudding so sits disconsolately on shed while one with a Hornby Dublo chassis pulls trains.
  6. The inability for a anti clockwise train to access the branch directly should be a bonus operating wise. Drawing forward from the lower platform and setting back into the upper before proceeding down the branch was the modus operandi at Kemble even for through passenger trains from Swindon to the Cirencester branch I am not aware of individual or pairs of coaches split from main line trains being hauled down the branch alone without additional branch coaches being added . Usually they were tacked onto the branch train, That sort of move adds interest to a running session or frustration if you use RTR tension lock couplers. Kadees or H/D or Peco let you reverse 20 plus wagons around 2ft radius reverse curves. I have a sneaking suspicion you would have to signal the upper platform for bi directional running to achieve that. If you curve the bay it compromises the station building. I don't see any need to reach stock there, the uncoupling will be further from the wall. I would follow Harlequin's advice there.
  7. I don't understand how the layout will operate. Trains go up the helix round the layout and then what? How do they change direction to come back down? A terminus or return loop layout works but some people have designed and built continuous run layouts with no way to get trains back down except by reversing or hand shunting locos from one end of the train to the other. (pic (12) If trains are to go up and run both clockwise and anticlockwise round the layout and come back down again then in practice unless you can build your own curved diamonds the helix has to exit via triangular junctions on two levels, the outer track exiting one full level below the inner so the inner can cross above the outer. (pic (16) If you are using ready made helix you probably need two to make it work. It probably doesn't matter whether the tracks are 5 up 5 down or 9 up 1 down but 5 and 5 probably make point work easier and make it easier to equalise loop length. Ideally the trains climb the outer track to minimise the gradient so climb clockwise for UK anticlockwise for US.
  8. I will be interested to hear if it is satisfying to shunt. It only looks like you can run round a couple of bogie vehicles or 5 four wheelers. Nowhere to put incoming wagons while shunting the outgoing. Many GWR branch termini has very long loops around 40 wagons so a whole train could be stored on one road while the outgoing train was assembled. Mine only holds four coaches or 15 wagons or so but I end up shunting rafts of 20 plus wagons as I have a long main line as a headshunt. Diametrically opposite way of doing it.
  9. Absolutely no comparison. The Manline had an excellent body with an awful motor and even awfuller wheels. Very few survive. The early X03 powered 2721 is pretty much bullet proof mechanically. The Mainline had an upgrade to become the Bachmann 57XX while the Hornby had a downgrade to the small Mk7 motor. The Hornby chassis has its roots in the Triang Jinty but the wheelbase is 8ft X 8ft 3" 3" too short at the back for a Jinty, 1ft too long at the front for a 2721. The pre 2721 Jinty chassis used on 8751 can be corrected by re drilling the chassis 4mm back from the front axle and using the later wheel sets with 6 fixing screws for the coupling rods and Mainline/Bachmann coupling rods it all bolts together. The 2721 is front axle drive with roots in the B12 so this trick doesn't work , drilling both centre and rear axles 4mm back would mean moving the chassis 4mm back which would mean the motor probably fouls the cab. The Full size 2721 had the same basic boiler as the Dean Goods. It was developed for the 57XX with revised and closer stays for 200lbs pressure instead of 180 and gave more trouble than the 180lbs version, albeit with more power. The taper boiler on the 94XX was a 225lbs boiler but fitted with 200lbs safety valves as was the 2251 to save wear on axle boxes and big ends, some 2251s had cranks in line with coupling rods to try to solve the wear issues which were similar to those of the LMS 4F Too much power for an inside cylinder loco. Harold Holcoft in his book Locomotive adventure explains Pannier tanks were introduced because the shape of the belpaire firebox inside a saddle tank made maintenance and assembly extremely difficult as someone had to climb inside. The few suitably modified Saddle tanks could be used with Belpaire fireboxes and when boilers were changed round top fireboxes could be used with pannier tanks, Just because a round top boiler was refitted don't assume the loco reverted to a saddle tank. Until the57XX the 2721 were the GWR's latest last word in heavy shunters so unlikely to be found at Little Puddlecombe hauling two four wheel coaches. That was a job for an 850 or 2021 class light pannier. Converting the 2721 to one of those is a real challenge. I have destroyed at least 6 X 2721 in trying.
  10. Harlequin's design is a bit short on fiddle yard capacity. My 6ft 4" X 4ft 6" layout can handle 6 coach trains, well it could if they could climb the gradients, but I would be looking for a 4-6-0 and 5 X 60ft coaches or at least 6ft loop length on this size of layout. My loft layout concept of a station on the outskirts of a town with the loco depot of a larger station adjacent could work here. Monument Lane style, Locals stop, Expresses don't stop and with carriage sidings even further away you can have ECS workings with tank locos on main line stock. I would probably have a Turntable in the hidden section for this scenario as bits break off modern RTR locos so easily when its handled
  11. I would suggest loctite, I am never too fussy about which grade. The problem with a loose worm is it may not run concentrically which means poor running. If loctite doesn't do it work out whether the worm is oversize or the shaft undersize and change the faulty component, Soldering can destroy the motor, ben there done that, So can superglue, if it gets in the bearings. been there done that etc...
  12. The trouble with narrow gauge is the lines all have or had their own identity, the Ffestiniog with its Fairlies, the L & M with its transporter wagons conveying standard gauge wagons etc. Many only had two locomotives, Talylynn, Leek and Manifold, Welshopool and Llanfair. The little Hunslets etc got around but again there were the two main users Padarn and Dinorwic quarries. I think the Dinorwic had the three big Main line Hunslets, Charles Linda and Blanche for their main line and the Padarn used a 4ft gauge mainline so there aren't that many actual generic NG lines. You can't go far wrong with a quarry scene and slate wagons and Hunslets. Adding a Fairlie kills the credibility, but preservation era, 1951 onwards is a rich hunting ground. Locos extinct in 1950 now roam the 2ft gauge world, It depends. You can build an 009 layout inn a suitcase or loop it around the entire house. Runn single coach trains or 10 or more a la Ffestiniog, but not at the same time. I think an entirely freelance system is probably more credible than a mis mash. Avoid Fairlies and Englands, build a few locos using Dapol Pug or railbus bodies on Minitrix N chassis, blow the kids inheritance on some peco L&M coaches and build away
  13. I had a guy contact me to say I had sent an HO gauge coach instead of a Triang OO Red /Cream coach. When I checked I hadn't sold him anything at all. I never did get to the bottom of it. The only time I sent the wrong thing, a Stanier brake instead of Stanier coach bodies I told the guy to keep the brake as a free gift but I buy and sell to build up and upgrade my layout, it's not a business, I buy a coach, fit buffers, detail it, paint it, basically ruin it and sell at a loss, or take one model from a job lot and sell the rest on, I'll never get rich but its fun. Worse problem is Argos and 3rd party destinations. I admin my father in laws account as well as mine since he has been unwell recently. I sold a red yellow Hornby coach for an offer of £8 against a start bid of £5. Sent it off to Argos. Father in Law had an identical one so I listed that. Same buyer £7.50. sent a week later. Buyer contacts me asking where mine is. I ask which one has arrived as we sent two. He smells a rat and takes Argos to task. One can go missing but not two surely. After half an hour Argos found both. I won't send to Argos any more. There are a lot of people with no interest in model railways selling stuff labelled incorrectly, not maliciously but through ignorance. Can be great value, but some of it is outrageous and with poor quality pictures easy to but a Lima 94XX instead of the Wills one its advertised as..
  14. I really like that plan, unfortunately downsized to your room few RTR steam outline locos will be able to haul reasonable size trains up those gradients. Its also for right hand running where we in the UK run on the left. What I really like is the staging, lots of room for lots of trains, ideal for DCC. It is the only one of your plans with anything like enough storage, you should be able to get at least 8 trains in there if not more, four each direction. You can almost never have enough storage. An express and a local passenger in each direction and a Mineral Empties one way and fulls the other with a pick up and an express freight would provide a reasonable service. Mix and match a bit. Run both expresses the same way to represent a train running in two portions. Expresses and express freights probably wouldn't call at your station but locals would. You can have a lot of fun with a continuous run but if there is no where to store spare trains running the same two gets mighty boring. Code 100 track makes sense in that you can mix and match set track curves for tight curves hidden from view with streamline points. most RTR gets round 3rd radius most kit built, comet chassis etc, needs more like 30" radius Set track points are nasty derailment inducers and I would avoid them for all but micro layouts. The great thing about continuous runs is you can set trains going and get on with doing something else while enjoying the occasional glance at the trains. You can also run in new or overhauled locos by letting them run.
  15. If its an X03 (or X04) The Pickups should be connected to the insulated brush. Sounds like the wiring connector is on the non insulated brush. Swap either the pick up contact or the insulated sleeve over. They do sound like cement mixers if you run them on PWM controllers. IMHO Better to change the controller than the motor.
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