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    Modelling 0 gauge blue diesel era, using DCC. Interested in the North West and North Wales areas mainly (born and bred a scouser - the blue side! - and having had holidays in North Wales as a kid). Am building a new layout, based on West Kirby, Wirral and have decided to bring back preserved steam to the layout having fitted an Ivatt 2-6-2T with sound!!
    12" to the foot DMUs - was a DMU driver at Llangollen Railway for 13 years until I retired on 22 June 2013.

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  1. HI Stationmaster. Thanks for your comments. My apologies for not replying sooner - I thought I had, but I can't find what I'd written, so I expect it never got saved. I think I should start by protecting my adviser's reputation!! He advised me on the signalling setup and drew the diagram knowing only that I was having the preservation society in the private siding. It was only when I'd done all the trackwork and signalling, and started building up more stock that I decided that I'd move the society out (to elsewhere) and use the area as a stabling point. He does not know of the later development!! Using the GF came from my experience as a DMU driver on a preserved railway. The 2 locations we operated from in my time there were both accessed from the main (single) line by GFs. Both had a lock on them which was released by the bobby after a phone call to ask permission to leave or enter the siding(s). On one frame there was a plunger to press (released from the box) before pulling the locking lever: the other required the single line token inserting into the machine before the bobby could give the release. There was then a releasing lever to pull before 2 levers for the crossover points and a fourth for the signals. This latter crossover could be used reasonably often as it also allowed access to the C&W workshops and could be used as a second access to the engine shed. On the model, the stabling point is not that big - it has 2 sidings which hold 4 cars and one which holds 2 cars: in practice there's just a 4-car, a 3-car and a 2-car stabled there. It does have a fuelling point but movements in and out would only be at the beginning and end of the day, as would refuelling (except in an emergency!!!). Stock which is not used outside the rush hours is stabled in the sidings in the station area rather than returning to the stabling point. So, all in all, there isn't that much movement to/from the stabling point during the day. In these circumstances, would a GF be a complete "no no"? I envisage the 4 levers being the locking lever (Blue/brown) 2 point levers (black) and the ground signal (red). I could paint the latter white if the yellow disc was operated from the box. Rod
  2. Any luck with tracking down the Dingham coupling jig?

    I have used Dinghams for about half my stock, but hoping to update the rest so need a quicker route.....


    (Kirtley Bridge)

    1. Dmudriver


      Hi Bob.


      Sorry, no, I'm not having much luck.  I'm not a member of the club anymore and the people I've asked give me the impression my contact has drifted off the scene.  He wasn't at Leigh and, though he was at Doncaster, I missed him!!


      I'll keep trying, though.




  3. Hit. Nail. Head!! Yes, it is based on a real location and here is a picture of the signal box diagram in the early 70s - provided by an ex-signalman who worked there: West Kirby is a terminus on the Merseyrail system and has an intensive service into Liverpool. As you suggest, there is a single disc, before the trap point leading out of the 2 sidings on the Down side of the station which, with the siding on the Up side, are used to store units in the off-peak. I have complicated matters by adding a stabling point to add more operating interest to the model. My original plan was to have this set of sidings as a preservation depot (which is why it is referred to as a "private siding") and the layout was set up that way. As I increased my DMU collection, I decided a stabling point was a better option!! The former signalling inspector I mentioned above recommended the signalling set-up I have now. Here is a picture of the signalling diagram above my layout (drawn by said former signalling inspector): All the other points and signals are worked from the box as that was how it was in real life! I've left off the track circuiting. Hope you find this interesting. It's certainly an interesting layout to operate!! Rod. PS If any other reader has thought about the colour of the release lever on the ground frame, I'd be glad to hear them.
  4. Hello, Railwest. I deliberately simplified the description as it was the lever colour I was concentrating on!! To answer your questions, though, and put everything into context, here's a sketch of the layout of the area I'm talking about. Track layout - sidings.pdf Ooops, I've missed out a catch point between P3 and the point from the Down line to the platforms!! Apologies!! Region is Midand; layout set in late 70s/early 80s. The ground frame is marked GF. S1 (which is the yellow one) can only be cleared when the route is set to rear of signals 4 and 5. Signal 6 is purely for movements from the Down line to the sidings. Shunt moves between platforms and sidings must always go via the Up line in rear of signals 4 and 5. The ground frame operates P1, P2 and S1 only: all others operated from the box. There is a phone from S1 to the box to request release and confirm completion of shunting moves. Movements to/from the stabling point are of empty stock only. I've assumed a locking lever is required from my experience as a driver on a preserved railway and the retired signalling inspector who drew the signal box diagram (see my thread) didn't object to it!!! As I said in my original question, the lever in the box is blue/brown: would the one on the ground be the same colour? Look forward to hearing from you. Rod
  5. Hi. On my layout I have a headshunt to a DMU stabling point. Access to the main line is through a lever frame which is unlocked from the signal box. The lever in the box is brown and blue. My question is: what colour should the locking lever on the ground frame be? The other levers are points (x2) and the ground signal. The point levers will be black and the ground disc lever red - but is this colour correct as the ground disc is in fact yellow allowing shunting movements within the stabling point to pass it when it is horizontal? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Rod
  6. Hi all. It's over a month since I posted!! Part of that is due to going away to Northern Ireland for a fortnight with my partner - she was born and bred in and around Portrush and hasn't been back for years so it was a very nostalgic visit. And the beaches are just superb in that area!!! Anyway …… to modelling!! I've put a new chip and speakers in my 03, together with a stay-alive. The latter because, for various reasons, the match truck wasn't picking up as effectively as it did. I'll still run it with the match truck but there won't be any connecting wires between them. The chip is a Zimo and it's got a Paul Chetter Activedrive (I think that's what it's called!) sound file. It's good!!! I'll try and get a video of it on my camera - I've tried on my phone but not very successfully!! I've also changed the 2 sugar cube speakers under the 131 for a couple of small bass speakers and the sound (SWD) is much better - there's less "white noise" as I call it: the individual sounds are much clearer. I was having a problem with a slipping gear on my 50 - the toothed wheel belonging to the Delrin chain on the driving axle was the one slipping. A pal who's got steadier hands than mine drilled it and inserted a thin rod to stop it slipping. I then found (when I got home) that a driving wheel is loose and wobbling - it looks as though the fixing screw on the end of the axle has come off and disappeared. Knowing what JLTRT bogie sides are like on the 50 (no way to remove them if you followed the instructions!!), fixing that could be a problem. I think, however, that it looks like the builder may have made them removable: at least that's what I'm telling myself!!!! In other news, the fire station is coming along. I've made the sides up and in the pics below I've held them together with Sellotape. They need painting before fitting permanently so that's the next job. The roof is just laid on top and there are no doors fitted yet - I'm planning to have the ones behind the engine open and the ones behind the Land Rover closed: just for a bit of variety!! I think it's just the right size for that corner. It might take a while to finish it but I'm happy I've made the right decision about that area. Here's the first pic, showing how it fits in the general area: Then a view from the front showing the training tower at the back: and finally a fireman's (sorry, should that be "firefighter" in these politically correct times??!!) view as he/she walks up to the station: The double door on the left is just a loose fit, unfortunately - I'll fix it in before painting. I'm giving myself a day out tomorrow - to Doncaster Show by train. I did it 2 years ago and had a really good day: I tried it last year and fell foul of Northern's timetable chaos!! Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be OK. Anyone else going? More soon. Rod
  7. Following on from the discussion about the 105 front end, here's a picture of the model I took today from dead in front: I think this shows that the other picture is distorted by the 3/4 front angle, added to by the full yellow end wrapping round to the door. Dave has been in touch with me and advised that the kit is by Westdale, with JLTRT window frames and some other details added by Dave. The shape of the front is correct as he went to measure up, and photograph, the one at Bury and had a number of discussions with Dick at Westdale who was very keen to get the shape correct. As for the window size? A possible query but end on it certainly looks better than in the earlier pic of mine. Rod
  8. And finally for tonight, ……… the training tower is finished so here's a couple of pics of it in roughly the position it will occupy on the site. Obviously, the building will be bigger now but that will move over to the left a bit, alongside a road which will likely come in from the bridge and curve round the back of the site, along the back wall. Well, …. that's the concept but as I've said before, watch this space!!! Things could well end up differently once I get the base set up off the layout. The idea is that the paper you see is a template and I will build the model off the layout on foamboard and then fit it back on the layout when it's completed. there will now be a short intermission - well, a couple of weeks, actually - when I won't be able to do any more, but I'll be back soon. Rod
  9. I hadn't thought about it, to be honest, Paul but here's a pic I've found from my collection (don't know where I got it from!) but it does support your suggestion: As for the model, I assumed it was from an Easybuild kit but I've found this pic on the Easybuild website: which has larger windows. I'll check the model tomorrow - it's got me curious now!!! Rod
  10. Side contact??!! Not another complication!!! I'll stick to DMUs ……… but I do agree the 503s are prettier than the 504s!! I've just checked Wikipedia and it seems blue/grey livery came in in the late 70s, which does fit the timescale of the layout. Rod
  11. Dead right, both of you. Yes, it's a Bury unit - Class 504. It normally resides on David Hampson's "Oldham King Street Parcels". It's effectively scratchbuilt: the sides were cut by Shawn at Easybuild, the cab ends were actually scratchbuilt by David; the bogies are Wayoh and I think the pick up apparatus is also scratchbuilt. David has put third rail on his layout (the station side for those who know it) but, no, I'm not doing it for WKT!!!! The 105 is also David's - on loan - as was the 103 and the 101 a few months ago. My plan now is to get a Regional Railways 101 for WKT: that will then bring the layout capacity to its maximum for efficient operation. Anything new coming on will mean something else will have to go!! However, that's a while in the future yet. Who knows, we might even see a Reggie Rail 37/4 when Heljan release them. Watch this space!! Rod
  12. Hi all. Still no progress on the training tower thanks to Storm Hannah!!! Thank you, Hannah However, the 103 has now returned to its (her?) home depot and a Class 105 has been allocated to replace it. Here is the 105 in the stabling point: More pics to follow. Hopefully the next driver will put the correct destination blind up! In the meantime, what's this that has arrived in platform 1, sandwiched between the 25 and the 50? Answers on a post card, please!!! More will be revealed after receiving the post cards - electronic versions are acceptable!!!!! Rod
  13. Hi all. A bit of progress. The fire station kit and the correct size pieces for the training tower arrived this week. I've built the training tower and sprayed the inside before I glued the front on. As it's not a big spray job I didn't get my spray booth set up but sprayed outside. Once I'd put the front on, the weather changed to heavy rain so I'm waiting for a bit of fine weather to finish it. Here's progress so far, though: I've not started the fire station yet, but here's the manufacturer's pic of the extended kit: (doors to go on, obviously!!) Watch this space!!! Rod
  14. Hi Barnaby. I've lost touch with the lad who did the jig for me, but I'm going to the Leigh show on Saturday and I hope to see him there. I'll let you know asap. Rod
  15. Hi all. "More soon" I said - well over a month ago!!! Things have been moving - although a little slowly, but here's an update on progress so far. The concourse fencing is finished - apart from one slight adjustment. Here's a couple of pics of it: It's a bit higher than I envisaged but it is a scale 5'6". I don't know what's happened to the ticket booths in the 2nd pic but normally you can't notice the lean. Close up camera pics really do show up faults, don't they!!! The fencing to the right of the booths is leaning a bit - that's the slight adjustment that's being made as I type. The fire station has made no physical progress yet. I've had advice from a pal who used to be a fire officer, about the layout of the site. He suggested that, for a town the size of that which I'm modelling, a station with 2 appliance bays would be more appropriate - and I've got the room for it. So I contacted KS Laserdesigns and, as it happens, they're about to introduce a larger one of the size I want. The original one has gone back (with a cash sum to make up the difference) and the new one should, hopefully, be dispatched next week. Here's a pic, from their website, of the existing fire station: The new one will have (I assume) the extra bay added to the right hand end of the building. I started building the training tower but found out that some pieces are not the right size so that's stopped the job!! The correct size pieces should come with the new kit. Finally, the 03 (which doesn't figure in pics that much) has had a bit of an upgrade. Since I've had it (many years now!! It was probably the first modern image loco I got) the match truck has been used for extra pickups as the short wheelbase tended to cause problems. However, the wire joining that truck to the loco had to pass under the deep bufferbeam on the loco. Unless it was properly adjusted - and there wasn't much room to play with - it would catch on pointwork and, amongst other effects, pull the micro plug apart. Over time this gave up the ghost so I decided it was time to replace it with a stay-alive. Unfortunately the chip was a Loksound v3.5 which does not take kindly to stay-alives!! The loco now has a Zimo MX645 chip with Paul Chetter's Activedrive sound file. It's good!!! I'm on my second trial of a speaker - there's a third on the way next week, I hope. The loco still has the match truck attached but it that is not now picking up power: the stay-alive works well!! I'll do a video of the 03 when I've got the new speaker. In the meantime, I'll alter the functions around so that they match those on the 08. So that's the update for now. More soon (and hopefully in sooner than over a month!!) Rod PS Does anyone know of a buyer of used chips? - and speakers too, come to that!! I must have half a dozen chips lying around and even more speakers. I'm loathe to just bin them!!
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