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St. Simon

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  • Location
    Reading
  • Interests
    Model railways
    Signalling

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  1. Hi Mike, Yes, I had great pleasure in telling him that, and to be fair he was gracious in defeat! Simon
  2. Hi Phil. You might want to clarify that it is pure EMU that don't lower and raise their pantograph in service. The Class 80x's do raise and lower their pantographs at linespeed regularly in passenger service. Adding to the answers to the original question on Pantograph lights, the operation of the lights to vary between classes, for instance the Panto lights on the Class 387's aren't on when stationary (or the doors are released, they seem to coincide, but I don't know if they are connected), where as on the Class 80x are on constantly when the Pantograph is raised. Simon
  3. Hi All, I keep meaning to post this, but I keep forgetting! To anyone who has brought the book (thank you once again if you have), if you wish to provide feedback to me on how it may be improved or if I have something wrong (which I'm sure there is!), I'll be happy to hear it! I'll be helping to operate Dad's Loughborough Road layout at Warley this weekend if you want to come by and talk about the book or ask questions! Simon
  4. Hi Thanks to the electrification, we have another ‘prototype for everything’ photo: http://www.railway-centre.com/november2.html#PhotoSwipe1574029828084 (17th November Image) The run is to test the wires at Steventon Bridges, to confirm the mathematical modelling surrounding the new 110mph PSR with a Class 80x pantograph. The class 90 is fitted with a Class 80x pantograph, instead of using a full 80x as they are all needed in service (and are quite expensive to hire for testing). Simon
  5. They are fitted, they’ve just had some software problems (although not sure what they were) which prevented them going down to Heathrow. I wander if it’s a case that those problems are fixed and the 345s can now use the ETCS down to Heathrow and that’s been mis-understood by someone? (The above is pure speculation and I don’t have any evidence to back it up!) Simon
  6. No, it isn't, you've got another year before ETCS from Acton to Stockley is commissioned and then several more years before it goes into Paddington. The only ETCS on Western is from Stockley to Heathrow, which is live and working and has been for sometime, it's just the trains aren't. Simon
  7. Hi All, I have decided to make yet another change to the layout (I really must start building it, then I won't have the time to change it!). Now that I have gone with the 'walking stick' shape, I've got an additional few feet of scenic area. I suddenly realised last week that I now had just enough space to include something I have always want to include on a layout........A Level Crossing. The problem I have is that actually I don't have enough space to do a full size Level Crossing, but I don't want to do a simpler crossing like an AOCL or ABCL, because I don't think that would look right. Also, I've seen full barrier crossings modelled before (such as the excellent one on Ravensclyffe), and as with almost everything else on this layout, I want it to be different. So I've decided to model a Manually Controlled Barriers On-Call Crossing or an MCB-OC. These can be found on lightly used small (generally B class) roads where the rail traffic outweighs the road traffic. An MCB-OC is very similar to an MCB-CCTV Crossing, but on an MCB-OC, the Crossing Barriers are normally lowered, the barriers only being raised at the request of a crossing user who has to push a button to alert the signaller to the need to raise the barriers. An MCB-OC actually has quite a few advantages for the modeller, one is that they are smaller than normal full barrier crossings, they only use 2 barriers making the mechanics of the barrier movement slightly easier, the road lights / yodel alarms are only one when the barriers are lowering rather than every time a train goes past and (for me at least), the signalling controls and interlocking are much simpler. For my MCB-OC, I'm going to make it work so that the Audience will interact with it, by placing the request button at the front of the layout, so the audience can act as the crossing user. There are obvious problems with that, such as the tendency of kids pushing the button constantly, so I'll have to add a timer so that it can only be operated once every 5 or 10 minutes as well as being interlocked with the signalling. Another 'change' I'm going to make to the layout is where the signaller sits, following Nearholmer's comments on this thread: I had planned to have the signaller around the back, but as I've had a few comments on the above thread about having someone out front fielding questions as well as people wanting to see the signalling screens, I've moved them around to the front: The problem I have now is that I have nowhere for my ground lever frame to go, but I think I will put that around the back as there is no easier place to put the yard operator out front and it'll have shunting easier as they can move up and down to uncouple wagons (or at least see uncoupling magnets). That's all for now... Simon
  8. Hi, Here we go, another question to ponder..... What do visitors and exhibitors think about physical audience interaction with a layout? I don't mean people asking questions or being invited to drive trains, I mean push buttons to make scenes move, much the same way that the Miniatur Wunderland does with its push button actions. Obviously we've talked by gimmicks being undesirable, but what if these buttons were controlling genuine scenes? My thinking behind this is that my new exhibition layout will feature a level crossing, and the type of crossing that is must suitable is an 'On-Call' Crossing, i.e. one that normally closed until a crossing user wishes to use it. I thought instead of this being controlled by the operators, it could be fun to put a button on the layout front for the visitors to use instead. Obviously it would be interlocked with the signalling so it isn't open when a train goes over it. What do people think of this as an idea? Simon
  9. Hi, Those yellow markings are probably temporary for maintenance purposes and almost certainly won’t have been there since your time period, but there probably would have be totally different ones! Simon
  10. Thanks Charlie, it is much appreciated! Simon
  11. Hi, A bit of both, as I understand it, the engine control is dynamic so it will start up and shut down engines as required and I think they rev up and down (based on what I've heard at Reading). Simon
  12. Yes, you are quite right, I get off at Tilehurst, so I could only remember that there was at least an hourly Turbo! Either way, there are still local stoppers to Oxford from Reading. Simon
  13. Hi, There's an hourly Banbury / Oxford Stopper from Reading that serves the local stations between Reading and Didcot. Simon
  14. Hi, You might interested to know that the book is now available for order from the worlds best model shop*, Kernow Model Railway Centre: http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com/p/40737/Book---Colour-Light-Signalling-for-Model-Railways-by-Simon-Paley They expect their delivery next week. *I have to say it is the worlds best model shop as I work in their Guildford branch on a Saturday! (and if you would like me to sign a copy, you more than welcome to come along!) Regards, Simon
  15. I have thought about this as well, and there's quite a few things to think about: 1) Having operated a dozen or so layouts that all require to be standing when operating, I can say that standing operating at a show, particularly with a hard floor, for 7 hours is very tiring. I want my next layout to be built so you can operate it sitting down for most of the time, but this imposes restrictions; Too high and either you can't see over the top or you fall off your bar stool, too low and you end up bending over too much. 2) During construction, I prefer wiring etc when I'm sat down, but actually scenic work is easier when standing up, so the layout height has to balance out this during construction. 3) I don't want to build legs for the layout, mostly as the chance of me getting them all the same length is very slim, so I've been looking at builds trestles, so far the largest I have seen, before you get into the rather expensive variable type, is 800mm tall, but I think this might be too low. 4) Obviously you have to think about the audience at a show, interestingly, when I have operated Graham Muz' Canute Road Quay and my Dad's Loughborough Road, which are both set at between 4 and 5ft off the ground, we've had members of the public in wheelchairs say they prefer the height as they can use phones to view the layout at a realistic height. Also as I side note, when exhibiting Canute Road Quay , I found that track cleaning is harder as you have to reach quite high to get all of the track. I think it is a case that build to the height you feel most comfortable with rather than to simply please an exhibition audience, but I think that discussion has been done to death! Simon
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