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  1. I’m planning to build a BR 22t vac-braked creosote tank (35tGLW). These were very similar to the class B tanks (as made by Heljan) but with a longer tank. However, the tank wasn’t quite as long as the class A tank. I see that the Heljan tanks are occasionally available on ebay, so I could fo a conversion of one of them. Can anyone with a Heljan class B tank tell me how easily it would come apart. For example, is the tank easily separated from the chassis? How are the ladders and catwalks fixed in place? My alternative is an MMP kit, available in class A or B var
  2. Many thanks! That does look a good alternative trackplan, and a super layout too. I'll sketch something out based on that plan. Cheers for the idea.
  3. At Davyhulme the railway was mostly used for constructing and maintaining the filter beds, and for bringing in chemicals (lime etc) and fuel from the wharves. The railways at Carrington and Boysnope (in the other book) were used for spreading night soil on the moss. All three of my local 'Sh!t Railways' were fascinating systems integrated with canal, shipping and main-line railway transport, and despite their real-life purpose would make wonderful models. Now that we have DCC movement, light and sound, the next step is surely an accurate rendition of the smells associated with o
  4. Indeed, I have been using that book to plan some of my walks on both Chat Moss and Carrington Moss. Immediately opposite on the other side of the canal was another narrow-gauge railway associated with the excrement business, which also features in a book: This aerial photo of Barton Locks shows parts of both the narrow-gauge railways in addition to the standard-gauge MSC Railway: https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW042578 It also shows one of the sludge disposal vessels on the canal.
  5. I have recently been having some very interesting discussion on the Industrial Railway Society egroup and I have gained a lot more information on the activities of the tar distilleries connected to the MSC Railway, including their own internal operations and interchanges with the MSC. While I am still favouring a simple 'shunting plank' layout to start with, as presented in the third version above, I think the theme may be the interchange sidings between the MSC Railway and the Lancashire Tar Distillers site at Cadishead. I now have a good basis of information for a short rake of tar
  6. Sorry John, I didn't mean to drop you in it there. Many thanks for your help. Regards, Paul
  7. Many thanks! In this case, John Isherwood kindly offered to print them for me, which has occurred this morning. Cheers, Mol
  8. Next up was the gearbox casing, a distinctive feature of the MSC locos that had to be entirely scratchbuilt. Actually, I got most of the material for it from the parts of the kit I wasn't using, such as the footplate and the rear bonnet. Pete Briddon's close-up photos of the real thing proved exceptionally useful again. Note that the brackets on top of the gearbox casing were a later addition to his loco, I don't need to model them. I marked out and cut a couple of shapes to form the basic box of the gearbox casing, and drilled holes for bolts to attach it to the b
  9. The good news from the present is that my delivery from Slaters has arrived, so I now have the correct wheels which will allow resumption of work on the chassis. However, I've been building a wagon kit in the meantime and I ought to polish that off. But back to the past progress on the loco (which is fast catching up with the present). The similar BR locos represented by the kit I started with had large cut-outs at the corners of the footplate for the steps, which were of a completely different arrangement on the MSC locos. Additionally, the kit had a cutout u
  10. After building the previous two wagons from kits I already had from a decade ago, I decided to buy a couple of Parkside wagon kits to represent other MSC prototypes. I chose to build two 5-plank open wagons, the most common type of MSC wagon. I'll introduce one today, and another later in the week (they are of course different from each other). The 'easy' one was a former LMS diagram 1667 5-plank open. I had a 1960s photo of one of these in MSC livery, but otherwise pretty much unchanged from LMS days. Unfortunately I don't have permission to publish that image here so you wil
  11. I tend to agree with your logic! But here are some rails being moved... ... and here is the stack of old rails: And the very fresh orange rust on the foot of the rail looks like it's new:
  12. So far I have lettered my models letter-by-letter using HMRS 'Pressfix' private owner lettering transfers, plus a few odd waterslide ones for tare weights etc. I'm now building a few wagons which require considerably more wording in small typeface that would be very tedious to do this way and also very difficult to get it even. Because I'm modelling Manchester Ship Canal prototypes in 7mm scale, there are no commercially available transfers that are suitable, and it's unlikely to be something that they would want to add to their ranges. I've created the artwork for the le
  13. A search of the darker recesses of the garage has found about 6 yards of Peco Streamline bullhead track, previously used to some extent but in adequate condition for re-use. It is probably 25 years old, but the quantity is sufficient for my needs. I have also found five Marcway 48" radius points, a mix of LH and RH, that have never been used. That's more than I need, and they will be an ideal geometry for an industrial railway. I have a big roll of 1/8" thick cork sheet. As expected, the supply of thin plywood is inadequate, though there is plenty of thicker stuff and lengths of
  14. The ships come into and out of the canal at Eastham Locks around high tide. This makes their passage through the locks much quicker as the levels are almost the same, and means that the channel approaching the locks is at maximum depth. Ships going down the canal will almost always leave in the two hours before high tide, and ships coming up will arrive in the two hours after high tide. This means that the ships are going in the opposite direction to the tidal flow in the Mersey channel, which makes them more manouevrable and easier to steer (they have to have more power on so there
  15. Good spot! It's Arkonia, heading down. Currently in Barton Locks. https://www.vesselfinder.com/
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