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Everything posted by HeatonLodge40

  1. Lots of radio silence lately I know. All positive update wise though, the automation works superbly - in fact the sight of seeing two ‘40’s on a 20 van Redbank parcels slowing down for a red, then accelerating as the points change a single yellow plus feather light up is super to watch. It’s been a huge amount of work to get the system to perform - mainly because it involves getting one 10amp system to talk to another system that works the automation & won’t run on 10amps! At the end of the day there isn’t a manufacturer whose designed a system for O gauge either, so you see the issues. So the last few days the job has begun to completely dismantle Heaton Lodge, load all the boards onto the steel handcarts & at the same time tidy up the wiring and fix other bits and bats. The150ft fiddle yard is now mostly down, next week down comes the scenic side. It’s a mess in the dungeon at the moment so please excuse that! After that it’ll all be reassembled for more testing, getting the overhead ‘platform’ type timetables to work and weathering a load of rolling stock that hasn’t been done yet. For those who are interested the layout will be displayed in Wakefield City Centre from Sat 4th - Sunday 19th December in the Market Hall, Union Street WF13AE. Official sponsors Heljan will also be there with additional OO layouts by Peco. It’ll be in the modelling press soon enough together with more details.. Thank you to all of you that have followed this thread for the last 7 years, plus Andy York & Phil Parker for a kind and complimentary write up last month in BRM. I will keep updating here every few weeks but it’ll be more on the logistics of shifting 100+ boards weighing about 5 tons.! Hopefully see some of you in December
  2. A welcome parcel arrived from Denmark on Friday. Heljans brand new 31’s will shortly be joining the fleet - there’s 8 altogether, two are already present and correct plus another 6 just landed. These await weathering, sound and numbering. The 50 will join the existing green ‘Sir Edward Elgar’ on the rail tour circuit..
  3. I’m well aware of the coupling issue thanks. Give me a chance! Im modifying the GUV coupling by unscrewing the coupling housing and dropping a blob of hot glue half way along the spring - which cuts the spring travel by 50%. Crude but it works
  4. Red Bank rises again! After oiling 20 vans to make them run as free as possible followed by weathering & numbering, Healey Mills 40057 heads west with the Red Bank newspaper empties. This train on weekdays is always routed via the Calder valley on the L&Y line, crossing from the up slow to the up fast. (Haven’t had time to add a brake lamp before anyone asks)
  5. I wish. It’s usually a two minute walk to find the back half of a train. Another problem to solve
  6. The coupling issue is becoming exactly that - not so much because of the hooks pulling out but breaking because of the weight of the very long heavy trains. For example the 40 on the HUO’s in the video above has now another 15 16T mineral wagons added. The 40 will still pull them - even up the incline - but the train often breaks apart with broken coupling. I haven’t time to change coupling (to more robust ones) given the 500 or so wagons on HLJ, so I’ve ordered a large quantity of stainless steel links about 1cm long. I’ll use these as a fail safe and loop them over the coupling. Might not look pretty on close inspection but better than a pile up
  7. You’re right, in fact I never saw more than 15 on a train heading up the incline back in the day. I’ve just this thing with long trains. I am going to have to address the coupling issue - long passenger rakes have the same non prototypical effect too
  8. Healey Mills based 40057 heads up the 1:75 incline heading for its home depot with a heavy load of unfitted HUO hoppers, passing 37222 with a Liverpool express on the way
  9. Here we have the Trans Pennine Class 124 heading for Newcastle passing Heaton Lodge Junction. The Class 101 DMU & 56 wait for the road further east.
  10. Thanks for the kind comments Edward. I’m pleased to say as from this week Heaton Lodge Junction is fully operational for the first time. I’ll be posting some videos up soon showing multiple Trans-Pennine expresses & multiple freights rattling by.
  11. Had a break this week from helping out with the automation so turned my attention to scenic work. I’d been meaning for ages to redo the river and all the water features on the layout as I made a complete hash of it a few months ago. In fact it was in front of some cameras where I mixed the wrong casting hardener and the river almost disappeared in a cloud of smoke and steam. Anyway.. here are the pics from my efforts of yesterday (plus a couple with some new figs from modelU). Used about 2kg of casting resin and mixed them together with two different woodland scenics dyes - yellow silt and murky. Im really pleased with the results and the ‘deep’ appearance of the river. Had a bit of casting resin left so redid all the puddles, the sewerage works and the streams. Glad to say it’s all set like concrete too
  12. Thanks for the video (and the comment Mike!) I am currently still working on the very last of the automation with the software chaps. A couple of weeks should see it all running on its own. Next month is a practise dismantling and setting up. Then it’s two months of testing trains for any track issues etc
  13. Now that the best part of 60 Mk1 coaches have landed I’m slowly filling them with passengers. It does make a huge difference seeing full coaches passing instead of the usual modelled empty rakes. I’m using the Preiser seated figs, hot glued into place with their legs chopped off. There’s also lots of standing figures including guards and photographers leaning out of open windows - these from Modelu. Also been busy painting a lot of pipe loads from skytrex, these await the wooden frames painting. Pleased with these too, they fit nicely in the Heljan OAA’s. Finally the timetable is taking shape which shows the date. The date might change when, for example I fancy running a Colas rail Cargowaggen train. Mostly it will show 1983
  14. Apparently BR banned roof racks in later years as suitcases disappeared!
  15. You are right as most Motorail trains had passenger coaches attached too. However I’m told on popular busy routes passengers often went first with a dedicated Motorail train with the cars following behind.
  16. You’re right Simon the cars all should be facing the same way as apparently the flats were all loaded from one end. I just need to swap a few of the flats around as the cars are all facing the same way on each flat (if you know what I mean). There is a great group on Facebook called British Railways The lost Motorail services which has some great photos
  17. I’ve a Princess on there and of course the Minis! Look out for the 1976 Lotus Esprit S1 too. It is a very heavy train, not sure if two 31’s in real life would pull it.
  18. A very quick vid of the Motorail train starting from signals on its way to Manchester via Hebden Bridge. The two Heljan 31’s just managed ok
  19. I don’t think it would have gone up the ramp! Beautiful car though
  20. The 15 wagon Motorail flat train is now complete with 50 x 1:43 weathered and detailed cars. Most are from IXO models and the Corgi Vanguard range. As previously mentioned I file the tyres at the bottom so they sit better and given its winter the windscreen wiper marks are modelled too. I also added a working tail lamp using a CR2032 battery holder, resistor and a Dapol lamp. Looks a bit messy underneath but it works well. Couldn’t resist doing an ‘Italian Job’ flat with 4 minis and a Lamborghini Miura I’m hoping two Heljan 31’s will haul this lot, if not two tractors. I hadn’t realised how expensive these model cars are. After buying 50 I do now!
  21. Been a while I know but here’s an update.. Rolling stock has been landing left right and centre including 60 MK1 coaches from Heljan (which also include 20 GUV’s & 10 BG’s for the Heaton/Red Bank parcels. Dapol delivered 80 16T mineral wagons and Ellis Clarke trains 15 of their Motorail Flats. (I’ve got my weathering work cut out) Can’t have an empty motorail train so just shelled out for 45 x 1:43 cars (everything from Ford Sierra XR4i’s, to Volvo 262’s & Opel Kadetts). Had a break from helping out with the automation today to mount the first car - a Ford Cortina, to one of the Ellis Clarke flats. Each car has its tyres filed on one small bit so they sit ‘flat’, (thanks to the late Allan Downes for that tip), bit of dirty black weathering all over with an airbrush, before the tyres are picked out with Life Color tyre black. I’m making literally hundreds of wheel chocks which I’ll spray yellow. Finally some of the Motorail trains had the cars chained down too so the tweezers will be out and lots of very fine chain. So all in all plenty to see with dozens of ‘80’s cars on a Motorail train consisting of 15 wagons. This will be very heavy so I reckon it’ll be down to a couple of 37’s to pull it. Motorails rarely ran with just the flats (mainly 5/6 were tagged onto the train itself) so 15 will be unusual but quite a sight. Continuing with the rolling stock theme I had something very special land recently. As a kid I used to see the Class 124 DMU’s frequently so had a 4 car set commissioned. The builder is Michael Hughes (J&M Hughes models) whose spent a year building it. I’m really pleased with it, it’s heavy and really well put together. It’ll soon be going for weathering, smoke unit, sound and additional front end detail - windscreen wipers for example & Trans Pennine logos on the side. Michael has promised a Class 110 in the next year or so which will be just as welcome. Really will be Trans Pennine then! On a different note the first outing for Heaton Lodge will be the full month of December at one city centre location. Watch this space.. Heljan will be providing support and Peco with some half built and fully completed layouts. This exhibition will be a twist on the normal theme as I’m aiming to hit the non modelling general public as well as fellow rail modellers hence the city centre locations. As such there won’t be anything ‘specialised’ trader wise but I’ll be posting about what will be there later this year. This exhibition will be a ‘pilot’ as I’m ultimately aiming to run regular large exhibitions at city centre locations during school holiday periods from next year onwards. Partly because HLJ will take 3 days to set up and another 3 to break down these exhibitions will run in school holidays longer than the usual 2/3 days. In the meantime here’s some pics of the 124 and the first weathered Ford being loaded onto the Motorail train .. Ps - We’ll be live-streaming HLJ during the summer with super quality cameras, a zip line with GoPro following trains etc. Quick pic here too as the live streaming and automation control desks take shape
  22. All ok, thanks for asking. Been a relatively mundane month helping out with the final fitting of the automation. It’s been a huge job in itself with the amount of track but a necessary one. I do miss proper modelling I can tell you. Today has been a running session here’s some pics
  23. The safety valves were tried but proved unreliable as they clogged up being so narrow. However the next victim of the new smoke generator- Black 5 45212 will hopefully be more successful
  24. I don’t mind admitting I much prefer constructing scenery. Currently wiring in 5 Digikeijs sensor boards which detect where the trains are. These are connected on the outside by caravan connectors. I’m taking instructions believe me! How I’m going to make this lot tidy I dunno
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