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Neal Ball

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About Neal Ball

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  • Location
    : Villamartin, Costa Blanca, Spain
  • Interests
    All things GWR

    In 2014 I started to build my version of Henley on Thames, GWR in the mid-1930's. Progress is slow, but it's a big layout....

    I have had a fascination with Henley for ages, I remember one of my drives out just after passing my test was to Henley. The station building had only been knocked down a few years before. In those days, there was a huge expanse of open space around the one remaining platform, I recall the Goods shed had gone, but for some reason the Provender store was still there. That was an addition after the war, so will not be included in my model.

    Initially the railway was in its own purpose built garden room when we lived in Felpham, West Sussex. In Feb 2019 we decided to retire to Spain and the railway having been carefully packed is now emerging into the layout you now see.

    Temporary stalled projects:
    -I have a rake of Airfix carriages which will form the basis of a Centenary rake. This will include a Comet 1st class Kitchen (Being built March 2012), together with overlays for some of the other carriages needed for a rake of 6 in total
    -Set of Slaters Toplights, need to be finished and adjusted so they run properly;
    -Comet sunshine coach, needs a couple of weekends to finish;
    -Detailing the interiors of my carriages to include passengers and LED lighting.

    My wish list: GWR Semaphores (working from Dapol) although I will need bracket signals as well; RTR Collett Autocoach (to modern standards); Metrotank / 517 class. I'm waiting with anticipation for the new Kernow Steam Railmotor; and the Dapol and Heljan GWR Railcars.

    I am a member of the GWS at Didcot, Talyllyn Railway, as well as the Bluebell Railway.

    The old Layout is on RMWeb at: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/67477-wharncliffe-junction-gwr-in-the-1930s This has now been dismantled / fell apart in our move to Felpham - but the new layout will be even better :-)

    Although the railway is new, the station building of Henley on Thames has been on-going for a number of years and is on the old forum: http://www.rmweb.co....php?f=8&t=20200

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  1. Thats a shame that you have had to change plans Paul. Good luck with Thame, I look forward to seeing that develop.
  2. Thanks very much Scott, yes it’s a shame there are so many issues. The 61xx are lovely locos and once all the issues are resolved will be a great addition to the fleet. I can’t help but wonder what changes Hornby might make with any rerun locos next year..... I’m hoping for one in GWR roundel.... hopefully a bit heavier; Better pony wheels (springing) and maybe closed doors..... after a while you don’t notice the half open doors, but they would be better, open completely, or closed! It goes without saying as well, a loco that’s easier to fit sound and crew.... but that is probably too much to ask! Thanks again for the comments.
  3. Thanks for that. There have been reported issues of one of the drivers falling off as well. Let’s hope it’s not that.
  4. At one point this afternoon, we had 4 sound fitted locos running, with 6406 in charge of the Dapol track cleaner, together with GWR / AEC railcar running round. However, I then ran into my next issue with my 61xx - it seized for no apparent reason. A bit of fiddling with the wheels freed it up for a bit, only for it to happen again. Has anyone else had this?
  5. Castle and Hall ready to depart Henley on Thames: Windsor Castle 4082 in Platform 1 and Rood Ashton Hall 4965 in Platform 2. It was raining too hard to be cutting wood outside, so an afternoon was spent on the railway.
  6. Neal Ball

    The Engine Shed

    Apparently it’s going to appear next Friday. In the meantime, Hornby had posted a new signal box episode on Facebook and replied to my comment about what happened to the Engine Shed.
  7. Thanks for this, do you remember what speaker you used?
  8. Its been one of those frustrating days! Castle class 4-6-0 No 4082 Windsor Castle & TTS decoder: When I was checking some locos a couple of days ago and adding them to the DecoderPro / Sprog3 setup, it was apparent this loco still runs in reverse.... There is a setting in DecoderPro to change it easily and I made a note to check it was correct when back on the track. Maybe I didn't save the setting, or maybe it just didn't want to know. Either way, it didn't work, so I set to and tried to change CV29 - That didn't work either. When I first picked the loco up today, it had set itself to loco no 21 instead of 4082. I have made a note of the default values of CV29 and it should have been easy to add 1, but maybe this is part of the limitations of the TTS decoder...... All was not lost, as I managed to increase the background and running volume and also 2 of the 3 whistle volumes. TTS Steam sound: This is my only TTS steam decoder and the sound is very tinny. In stereo terms, it seems to have too much treble. I don't know if this is the limitation of the decoder or the speaker - Or a case of you pay for what you get! Any suggestions would be welcome. The other thing I discovered is that my other Castle that runs backwards, is also originally a Tintagel Castle (now renumbered), the same as this Castle which was originally Tintagel. Clearly I need to reverse the pick-up wires into the decoder plug, but I should also be able to do it through CV29 - Ho hum! The wish list: I then started to make up a list of the other locos that now need sound.... its a long list! (I don't have as many sound locos as I would like.) Which means it would be a very expensive project - I need to get some referral fees from house sales in Spain! Clearly TBC
  9. Thanks for that. Yes, the modern railway at Henley is a shadow of its former self - I believe its called progress :-)
  10. 6132 makes a fine sight as it sits at Platform 2.... my Modelu order was despatched yesterday, so should arrive the early part of next week, I can then have a couple of days of sorting crew out for all the locos.
  11. One of the locos that was being logged into Decoder Pro / Sprog yesterday was my 48xx, which at the sometime, was renumbered to 4807.
  12. All sorted - shall we just say "Read the help pages!"
  13. Of course the other variable is that all the structures were built by local contractors. Presumably the plans though were still drawn by Swindon... I had a similar issue when I original designed the Henley station building and overall roof. You wouldn't see it now, but its length has been shortened by 2 bays, that saved about 60mm or so. My concern was that I would not have enough room for a decent length platform beyond the overall roof to run 6 carriage trains. As it turns out, I needn't have worried about it, I could have made it longer having made the move to Spain.
  14. Yesterday I continued adding the locos into the Sprog3 roster and sorting out any minor issues. This included adjusting the relevant speed curves, just to see how the different locos are going to perform etc. There's more work to do yet. But there is an issue with the Sprog which I need to look at the users forum. Every time I open the program up, it's showing an error message.
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