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    Railway Modelling, Signaler on East Lancs Railway, CAMRA and occasional guitarist

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  1. We were back home by 9pm and North Ballachulish put to bed until its next appearance at Model Rail Scotland in February 2020. A rather good show with the layout running very smoothly apart from the occasional "operator error" , the soldering iron never left the tool box and in fact the only tool to come out was the fibreglass brush for track and wheel cleaning. The set up and strip down were seamless, after last years debacle of waiting a hour and 45 for the van to get in the hall we were gone by 7pm. Like most of the exhibitors I saw relatively little of the show other than the traders I needed to see, most of the time out from behind was spent chatting, you cant wander round the show without bumping into dozens of people you know! This was the scene at around 10 am on Saturday morning, it seemed a bit quieter until around 11ish when all of a sudden large crowds gathered. We had some really good comments and some unusual ones as well, with having one side of the L shape open to the public view, folk could see behind the scenes and of particular interest was the cassette system in the fiddle yards, as well as the usual queries about the scenics and the Faller car system. What we did notice though (and they can be seen on the photos) was that the hall lights cast a shadow of the lighting pelmets onto the layout, which was disappointing, something I've never experienced before. The great thing about the show though is the ability to pick up everything you need in one spot, and most of Greenbooth's building requirements were obtained this weekend including one of Hornby's new 0-6-0 Pecketts, just need Gordon Ashton to etch a chassis for EM and P4 for that one now! Thank you for all of the team at the Warley club for a very enjoyable weekend.
  2. And so it begins. A morning spent cleaning wheels in preparation for the show, so out with the trusty Duette. Clean wheels and clean track are essential for good running so its time well invested. I'll declare North Ballachulish a cake free zone, but there will be an over abundance of wine gums and probably 75cl of a beverage in keeping with the West Highlands of Scotland. No, not Irn Bru.
  3. So far the Greenbooth build had all been a bit arse about face in my usual order of construction, for example painting the finish on the baseboard outers and the basic backscene have been things always done at the end of the build. Continuing that theme I finished the lighting units this week, another job usually done at the end of the build. I've used two strips of warm white LEDs. I also started to prep track laying and building. First job was fitting a routing bit to the Dremel and attacking the baseboards, carefully routing out a recess in between where the tracks are going to place the uncoupling magnets. Its a heart stopping job at times making sure you don’t go through the baseboard and calls for a steady hand and patience with the Dremel – all done by hand and rack o’th eye. The magnets are fixed in place with two part epoxy. Ive decided to use permanent magnets in order to reduce the amount of wiring underneath and also make a simpler control panel – Ive also found the electromagnets (PK) I used on North Ballachulish a tad underwhelming in power. The next task has been to drill pilot holes and fix in brass tacks. I use these to anchor the rail to by soldering when point building, it avoids creep out of gauge whilst the Exactoscale chairs are curing on the ply sleepers and also gives the build a lot more strength. On points I usually put a pin in between every 5th or 6th sleeper. I also put pins in where every length of plain track goes, the bonus of this method is the pin protrudes below the baseboard and instead of having to put dropper wires in, I have a hard point to solder the track feed wires to, and which will give a good reliable track feed. Of course as always nothing ever goes quite to plan, after getting a good two thirds of this baseboard done, I managed to snap my last 1mm drill. Job stopped, I’ll get some replacements at Warley this weekend. https://newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/getting-down-to-brass-tacks/
  4. I cant remember which one exactly but think it was Autumn 2017 - According to my signalmans log I did the job in Townsend Fold box on 18 August 2017, so its sometime after that!
  5. I've converted a 122 to EM simply by spreading the wheels. I've had to reduce the BTB by . 5mm to get the over thick profile wheels through pointwork but it runs very well indeed. See my blog article https://newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/another-convert-to-the-cause/ It was also in the EMGS newsletter around 18 months ago.
  6. Will be there with North Ballachulish (C32) but not in the location on the floor plan, as despite supplying plans and a photo of how the layout is exhibited, someone decided to put it in the centre of a long bin, so you could only see one (the short) side of the layout! After a word with t'management good sense has prevailed and we are now relocated on the end where C48 /C47 were.
  7. Very good show and well worth a visit, some excellent layouts on display. Good trade support as well, picked up some useful items for the new layout build.
  8. Greenbooth's lighting pelmets went up for the first time on Friday. As with North Ballachulish, it will be LED strip, warm white probably. I also unwrapped the new Peco EM track. It's quite impressive. Ive got to honestly say this is the first time Ive used Peco track in over 40 years! Ive previously used SMP and C&L flexitrack, but the one thing I don't like about both is that they use thin sleepers. This makes ballasting harder and it works loose easy. The deep (1.5 mm) sleeper of the Peco will help get a more solid bond. All my pointwork is going to be hand-built, as usual, I've already started filing and assembling common crossings, but despite having a Brazilian rain forests worth of wooden point sleepers it's all thin .8mm stuff, so I've had to buy another rain forest worth of 1.5 thick point timbering. Needed to build a test inch of track though to check the railhead heights matched before shelling out. They do so it's paint the baseboards this week then start laying track. I'm out at the Warley NEC show in just over a week with North Ballachulish so that will be an opportunity to stock up on various supplies for the build.
  9. Good to see it out Mark. I was sizing it up for our show at Littleborough but I think it's a shade to big. Shame it's not EM gauge though, I'll get me coat :-)
  10. I like its approach, there's a lot less concentrating on the "characters" on the railway that tend to get front and centre in most programmes because they allegedly make good TV, and more on the Joe/ Josephine ordinary. Its also a lot better at explaining things too, technical but not so much that its unintelligible to the layman. If I've one very minor bug bear with it its whoever scripted the voiceover, the 3rd episode with the wedding on P3/4 at Bolton Street, the station was constantly referred to as "Bury St" despite the camera constantly panning to the running in boards! This week the commentary constantly referred to Braunton as "The Braunton" which grated after a while. Some of the continuity is a bit suspect as well but we will gloss over that! Not complaining though, we have had some good publicity out of it for the weddings and the dining trains. The crew filmed me operating the crossing gate wheel at Rammy from the platform, so I await with interest to see if its the cutting room floor or my 15 seconds of infamy.
  11. Sub frame finished and baseboards finally connected together properly. I'm going to do a lightly different approach to this one, normally I'd be getting some track down right now, but have decided to do the lighting pelmet next so that the whole lot can be painted - White underneath to give some light whilst upside down at shows lol, and a smart gloss grey for the rest, The backscene boards will get a coat of a sky blue. By that time I hope Ive got some 1.5 mm thick point timbers, needed as I'm using the new EMGS PECO track, the thinner sleepers wont match up the track height. Hand built pointwork as usual though. All that whilst starting the selection procedure for pubs for next years Good Beer Guide as well, which does require some quality assurance ;-) Assembled sub frame, pleasingly rigid
  12. ELR is most definitely running this weekend, I'm rostered in Ramsbottom Signal box on Sunday.
  13. Work continues - second board completed last week and now building the sub frame - One hard lesson of setting up at shows I've learned over the years is to label and mark everything on the legs and frame, so no one has to guess where things go! newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/keeping-things-in-order/
  14. Greenbooth is a layout of two halves, at the front an industrial sorting yard, which is a direct crib of Yates Duxbury’s, with a line off to Ding Quarry in the North and another to the South serving Greenbooth bleaching and dyeing, a malodorous industry giving ample scope for the import of various toxic materials there. At the back is a small station, I must have been thinking of this whilst on ELR duty because I’ve subconsciously almost replicated Rawtenstall’s track plan as it is now. I was going to start joinery work myself as usual, but having chatted to a few people, decided to get some boards from Tim Horn as he could laser burn the track plan into the baseboard, which would make building some of the complicated pointwork a sight easier. The boards arrived a couple of weeks ago but as I've been a tad busy lately with CAMRA and ELR work (I work harder now Im retired than I ever did when I was paid for it), as well as building a new aircraft for North Ballachulish, today is the first chance Ive had of starting work on them. I must say I’m pleased the way they have gone together, its taken me 3 very easy hours (even allowing for waiting for glue to dry) to get the first (obtusely board 2) board together. There’s still the strengthening cross pieces to put on when Ive worked out the point drive clearances, but tomorrow should see work commence on the next board. https://newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/
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