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Everything posted by PJT

  1. What a great image. Reminds me of a well-known image from almost the same vantage point, taken in 1955 during the prolonged ASLEF strike, that depicts a similar wonderful selection of loco classes in the shed yard. Many a happy hour spent poring over the details. Pete T.
  2. In fact, just to finish the point, if you and your company trust your stock control - which these days you should be able to - the only time that having allocated stock on the shelf alongside free stock becomes a problem is when you're doing a physical stock taking, as Hattons are preparing for now. Unless the person doing the counting in the warehouse location has the details to hand (which they're not supposed to have in a physical stock take), it's most likely quite unclear to them visually as to what's free and what's allocated stock. That's why Hattons want to ship all the trunk contents before they start on the stock take, to get rid of everything from the bin locations that might pollute the count. Pete T.
  3. Ah, well, I didn't just 'used to be', I still am very much in that industry. That's been my job for the last 35 years, working in and managing car parts manufacturing and distribution. That includes working with/for Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, MG Rover, Unipart, Caterpillar, Autoflow, etc. (used to be an employee, now freelance, doing exactly the self same work), so I do have a fair degree of experience in current warehousing and distribution techniques. Doesn't mean I always know what I'm talking about - far from it - but I assure you I wouldn't have written what I did above if I hadn't got it from the horse's mouth and understood it from a professional viewpoint. Pete T.
  4. You're welcome. I've had it happen to me before paying, too, but I've also had it happen a handful of times after paying, which requires manual intervention on the part of someone at Hattons to sort it out, as you can probably imagine. Pete T.
  5. Actually, Neil, no they don't. I've talked with Hattons about the process on a couple of occasions when they've given me a refund because 'the item wasn't there'. When you ask for something to be put in your trunk, it gets allocated to your trunk but doesn't physically move. It only actually moves when the picking list is raised, after you've asked for your trunk items to be shipped. So, in electronic stock control language, for 'picked' read 'allocated'. For 'the item wasn't there' read either 'our stock quantity was wrong' or 'you got pipped at the post by another customer', the latter being more likely than you'd think. There is a very short period of time when it's possible to accidentally allocate one item to two customers, if they both order it within a few seconds of each other, before the stock control system has allocated the item to the first customer. At that point, the system has to be manually unknotted, the customer who ordered the item first gets the allocation and the second customer gets the 'item wasn't there' email. I'm told this happens most commonly during the scramble of customers to buy items from the pre-owned list after it's published every day. Pete T.
  6. Where I worked thirty years ago, I was one of five 'Petes' who worked together, four of whom were interested in railways and railway modelling. The fifth, who wasn't really into railways, was always known as Pedro because otherwise he'd have a habit of answering every time when someone came in the door saying 'Hey, Pete', whereas the rest of us always knew instinctively which Pete was being spoken to. Covid aside, after all these years we still have a Meeting of The Petes on a more or less annual basis. Digressing a bit more (sorry!), it doesn't stop there... my partner's called Pam, her mother was Pam, my mother's Pam, and for many years I (genuinely by coincidence) had a car with a PAM registration. Pete T.
  7. You're welcome, Neil. You know, I bought my railbus as a non-runner and, knowing something of the history of the Heljan railbuses, I suspected one or both of the final drive gears were split. However, what I wasn't prepared for was the damage to one of the idler gears as well. Looking back on it, I strongly suspect that a previous owner had persisted in trying to run the railbus even though there was clearly an issue with the drive (which must have been audible as a loud clonk every wheel revolution, together with either very slow and juddering motion, or no motion at all) and as a result the incorrectly spaced teeth either side of the split on the final drive gear created the damage to the idler. A little sympathy a bit earlier might well have kept the replacement parts down to final drive gears only, instead of idlers as well. Incidentally, for those who haven't done it before, accessing the gears to check them could hardly be easier: two cast cover plates can be unscrewed underneath the railbus, then the axles and idlers can be simply lifted out for inspection. Pete T.
  8. Ultrascale do replacement brass final drive gears (axle gears) for the Heljan OO railbuses - I used them on my W&M railbus, to very good effect. See: https://www.ultrascale.uk/eshop/products/view/CAT015/557 If you ask nicely, they also do the idler/intermediate gears in brass too. The idlers weren't shown on the Ultrascale website at the time and, knowing Gaugemaster had zero stock of any of the railbus gears at the time I wanted them, I went into a flat spin when I realised that I needed to replace an idler gear that had lost a couple of teeth as well as the split final drive gear. I contacted David at Ultrascale to see if he could make a replacement for the idler if I sent him a sample, to which he replied that actually he had the idlers in stock but hadn't got around to putting them on the website yet. Result! My railbus now has brass idlers and final drive gears and, while it's marginally noisier in my opinion, the noise level is very acceptable and the railbus runs as smoothly as it would have done before the gear problems. The noise may reduce even further with more running, but I'm not bothered if it doesn't because it really isn't an issue anyway. Fitting a brass idler gear is no problem, since it should have a small clearance fit on its shaft and is supplied with the shaft anyway (at least, mine were). The brass final drive gear requires a method of fixing it very securely to the axle, since it can be pushed on to the axle merely by hand (quite tightly, but not tightly enough). There are several methods you could use of varying degrees of integrity, one of the simplest being to file a small flat on the axle and use a tiny bead of Araldite to secure the gear over the flat. It's worked fine for me. Oh, I nearly forgot: once ordered, the gears arrived within a couple of weeks. I can't remember exactly how long it was, but it really wasn't long - and, to be honest, it was a pleasingly small time when you consider that before contacting Ultrascale I'd been facing a situation of no genuine Heljan nylon gears being available from Gaugemaster (or Howes, the previous Heljan spares supplier) and no indication of when they might become available again. Pete T.
  9. Hmm, standing on Wood Lane Bridge, right over the hump, watching it all happen at Tinsley. My favourite railway location in my youth, bar none. Always something moving somewhere. I could have stayed and watched for days. For me, a Class 13 would be the best memento of a fantastic railway scene, now long gone. Not that tricky to make one myself, I suppose; about time I got around to it, or went for one of the Olivia's conversions (if they still have them). Unless of course a really lovely RTR one appeared... Pete T.
  10. PJT

    EFE Adams O2 tank.

    I agree. By the way, on the underside of the box there's the KMRC logo and, in suitably prominent letters, 'Distributed on behalf of Kernow Model Rail Centre' with the Camborne address underneath. Whatever the terms of the deal were between Bachmann/EFE Rail and KMRC, the packaging certainly gets the O2's origins nicely acknowledged in EFE Rail stockists around the model railway world. Pete T.
  11. John, After several days of having forgotten to do so, I've just stuck an SAE in the post to you for a set. Thank you for your generosity in making these available. Pete T.
  12. Oh, you bet! Me too. And at least I've got a pair of lovely EFE-branded Kernow O2s on the way in the meantime. Pete T.
  13. 1. More Mk3s - Britain's favourite railway carriage - especially HST ones at last, would be very nice. 2. It's easy to see one suite of Radial tools becoming collateral damage in the move announced today. But which one? For me, the Hornby Radial looks more finely detailed and finished, but the Oxford one's heavier and, for what it's worth, has a 'proper' radial truck whereas the Hornby one doesn't. I suppose it's not an important issue since, with all the very tempting discounted prices a year or two ago, most Adams Radial fans must own as many as they could ever possibly dream of owning by now. How times change. I remember when, if you wanted an Adams Radial, you had to build the K's one. I did. For the full personal nostalgia trip, the K's kit came as a Christmas present from my Dad, bought from Holts of Swansea's advert on the back cover of Railway Modeller. 3. On balance, I think it makes sense too. Not just from a manufacturing viewpoint where I can imagine many plus points, but also perhaps if (in an EFE Rail sort of way), Oxford Rail aside from its own items might also offer a route to get other products into smaller shops and new start-ups - the sort of retailers that might otherwise struggle to comply with all the conditions laid down by some of the bigger suppliers (not least Hornby) to get a half decent account. Pete T.
  14. Quite so, and most of them have earned a good reputation for sure-footedness with heavier loadings, for instance another of my favourites, the Hornby B12. Waxing lyrical upthread about the Oxford N7s and now the Hornby B12s I'm beginning to sound like a fan of all things Stratford! I'm not really, but I do love both of them for the performance their 'heavy metal' content gives them. If the complete acquisition of Oxford by Hornby means more die cast loco bodies in future (most OR loco bodies, J27 and Janus excepted, seem to have a high metal content), well, the more the merrier, I say.
  15. Possibly. Why not? The Oxford Rail N7 already has a die cast boiler and, a few easily fixable detail faux pas to one side, it's a great model in my opinion with the scale equivalent of the renowned haulage ability of a real N7. Pete T.
  16. Just wondering... does this mean that Hornby effectively now has a dedicated manufacturing facility in China (and if so, I wonder what the capacity is)? I seem to remember at some point in the past Lyndon Davies having his photo taken outside 'Oxford Rail's own factory'. I also seem to remember there was a discussion at the time as to whether 'Oxford Rail's own factory' was a bit of a play on words, but I can't remember what the outcome was. Pete T.
  17. PJT

    Hornby king

    Yes, I tend to order several at a time, together with some other detailing/repair parts (smokebox door handles, tank fillers, etc.), because of course it saves on postage and because I know I'll use them all within a reasonable length of time - they're really useful sorts of things to just have in stock, ready to use, without fear of them joining the kit stash and collecting dust for the next decade. The loco looks lovely, Phil, and I'm delighted to see the fall plate did the job.
  18. PJT

    Hornby king

    Phil, I do the following for missing fall plates on modern Hornby Grange, Castle and King locos. If I want a fall plate that looks like the Hornby original, then I'll cut out, roll and file one from Mainly Trains diamond chequer plate (MT355, from Wizard Models). This method of course relies on me having another similar Hornby loco to hand that's still got a fall plate fitted so I can copy the shape (which I have). If I'm not concerned about fitting a fall plate that looks like the original Hornby one, then I'll use a J. E. Detailing GW Tender Fall Plate (JEW74, from Phoenix Precision) which has two advantages: (i) it includes floor planking in front of the fall plate, so it can be attached to the loco more securely than the original Hornby item; and (ii) rather ironically it looks far more like a Grange/Castle/King fall plate than the original Hornby one ever did - in my opinion, anyway. Can't help with the valve gear levers though, other than making something out of plastikard or brass fret. Hope that helps. Pete T.
  19. Crikey. Staggeringly good. Hornby's model, your work on it and the photo. Just beautiful! Pete T.
  20. It has a half-insulated earth pin, too, which I believe from memory is outlawed and is certainly unsafe. Pete T.
  21. I'd thoroughly recommend their motors. I recently used one of their 10 x 20 motors in a Oxford Rail N7 and it now runs as smooth as silk - in fact, it runs very noticeably a lot better than my other Oxford Rail N7 that I'd previously regarded as very good. I've used Tramfabriek motors in other applications, too, and always been very satisfied. Pete T.
  22. Are you drilling in from the outside of the roof, or out from the inside? If the former, try marking and drilling out from the inside of the roof. That way you're drilling into a concave surface rather than onto a convex one - a drill will always try to wander away on a convex surface and the smaller the drill, the more chance it will flex and snap when it does so. If however you'd rather drill from the outside in, use a fine sharp object like a scribe (most centre punches would be way too large, creating an unwanted dent in the roof) to create a tiny point mark in the roof that the drill can positively locate into. Don't forget to support the aluminium from underneath as you do so - aluminium of course dents very easily. Hope that helps. Pete T.
  23. I agree with Zunnan, Great Central I'm sure wasn't one of the early A1s with a suspect motor (put it this way, my Great Central's fine). However, while you've got the body off, you might want to flex the fallplate a bit so it's not resting on the tender (that assumes you're close coupling the loco to the tender), and clip a bit less than half the length off the springs above the front bogie and Cartazzi axle, restretching what's left of the springs back to their original length. That allows more weight onto the driving wheels (while still ensuring the springs do their job) and hugely improves the Bachmann A1's adhesion and haulage capacity. Pete T.
  24. No, we've never talked to the Bluebell Museum about it - but since you mention it I'm sure we probably should, because it'd be a lovely little anecdote for them - though it was discussed at length very enthusiastically with the platform staff at Sheffield Park on the day. None of us had cameras that day, either (whereas today of course pretty well all of us would have had a camera phone each and would have captured the moment in still picture, video and sound from every angle; how times change!). Newhaven Museum know all about it though, through a much more recent visit there. Great double head photo, by the way - just how I remember Stepney and Fenchurch (and the observation carriage too) in my youth. Fenchurch had her name on one side and 'Newhaven Harbour Company' on the other, as I recall. Pete T.
  25. You and me both - me, for very sentimental reasons. I have family connections to Fenchurch going back to Edwardian times - my grandmother, whose father was blacksmith and farrier at Newhaven Marine, used to blag rides on Fenchurch on the East and West Quay branches when she was a girl and loved it, as did most residents of Newhaven at that time - it was 'their engine'. Fast forward 60-70 years to the early 1970s and our family visit to the Blubell Railway, she was so overjoyed to see Fenchurch again (at that time in black Newhaven Harbour Company livery) after all that time, she gave it a big hug. She'd been totally unaware Fenchurch still existed and the rest of the family had been similarly unaware of her childhood connections to it. Pete T.
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