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  • Location
    Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
  • Interests
    Modeling: Cardigan & Whitland Railway in the GW Merlin era (Fictious Scenario). Currently my modeling hobby is taking a back seat to others.

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  1. I understand that Hornby only tooled two versions of their scale-length mark 3 coaches (excluding the new sliding-door ones): 3-window buffet (TRUB/TRFB) First Open / Standard Open (same bodyshell for both as per the real thing) Lima produced at least the following: TGS First Open / Standard Open SLE / SLEP (are these the same or different, and if the latter did Lima produce both?) Did Lima also produce multiple types of buffet? When looking on Ebay for Merlin coaches, I've found some 3-window buffets (TRUB/TRFB) which are captioned as Lima products. However, when Hornby obtained Lima's tooling they started to produce 4-window RFM/TRSB/TRB mrk3 buffets. Did Lima produce these or did Hornby modify Lima's TRUB/TRFB tooling? The reason I'm asking is that I'd like a 4-window buffet (TRB I think) and was wondering what liveries they have been produced in.
  2. Both are listed as feedback on the page I linked to earlier: The relevant sections of that article read as follows: The Hornby R965 controller: "is a feedback type that uses a thyristor (or SCR) as an electronic element switching a rectified but unfiltered source of dc, at line frequency." The HM2000 controller: "It is clear from observing the output waveforms below that it is a thyristor-feedback design, like the Hornby basic R965 or Gaugemaster feedback designs." and "It exhibits some of the heating characteristic of a PWM design. It has a modest degree of feedback"
  3. Are these cast wheels the same as those used on the RailRoad class 395, which also has brake disc detail? For some reason there are three different sets of class 395 wheels listed by Hornby as spares, two of which (this one and this one) look the same to me but have different prices (the third set is the motor-bogie wheels). If the class 395 wheels are better than the ones fitted on the mark 3s, would the 395 wheels be suitable for use on future mark 3 releases?
  4. Thanks, I had better not risk it with my old feedback controllers then. That will make making a decision easier since it's now a clear choice between Bachmann's 8750 in lined black or waiting for them to do a 64xx in some form of GWR green with a brass safety valve cover.
  5. When the 'guises' are settled, will images of each version replace the photos of the real thing on the 'shop' web pages? I'm interested in one model, the preserved 1638 in either the 'semi-fictitious' GWR green or entirely fictitious BR lined black (with early crest). I'd rather have the latter, but it would mean lining it myself (scary thought) and probably renumbering so I haven't decided yet. If I do go for black, I'd be after an unweathered model with a brass safety valve cover and given the use of the same real photo on several of the products offered it's not obvious which ones are in that condition.
  6. Thanks for the reply; however I doubt my HM2000 is the same thing as your 'H&M Walkabout' controller and both the HM2000 and the Hornby R965 (which I think are the Hornby train set controllers I have - they certainly look like that) are listed as feedback controllers here. From reading the coreless motor threads I've found (which I struggle to understand if I'm honest), it seems that there's a few things that can kill a coreless motor, one being feedback controllers (depending on the width of the pulses said feedback controllers produce) and another being stalling the motor. It just sounds a bit risky to use coreless motors, unless a modern DCC chip is used (and I'm not sure if that would address the stalling issue - but then I'm not using DCC anyway so that doesn't matter to me).
  7. Do these have coreless motors? I'm trying to decide between a 1366, 64xx or 8750 and this could be a deciding factor; I am non-DCC and I fear my controllers (HM2000 and Hornby's old train set one) would damage/destroy a coreless motor so would avoid those.
  8. If it was just the tension lock coupler itself and this was easily removable (which I assume NEM makes so) then I think I would agree with you. However if removing the tension lock leaves the coupler mount very visible anyone fitting a scale screw coupling will still have the front end appearance of their loco effected by the coupler mount unless that mount is also easily removable or the modeller hacks it off. I have read descriptions of other model recently which state that the NEM pocket pivots, so presumably is a separately fitted part. I've not seen whether the Model Rail 16xx NEM pockets will pivot, if they do hopefully the coupler mount / NEM pockets will be easily removable so that anyone fitting a scale coupling does not have to take a hacksaw to the model. I'm not currently planning on fitting a scale coupling myself if I do buy one of these models, but if I find the coupler mount too ugly if/when I see it in the flesh I'd like the option of removing it and just using the rear coupling (and making sure my layout has a turntable at both ends). In short, if the NEM pocket / coupler mount is a separate piece that can be removed by unscrewing it that's probably fine. If it's a moulded part of the chassis block that has to be hacked off if anyone doesn't like it on the other hand... That's not something one should have to consider on a £150 model in my opinion.
  9. Yup, certainly some rethinking needed... Apart perhaps from the 'not destroying any scenery' part (which might reduce the safe reaching distance to the 2ft you recomend) I think I can reach about 3ft. However in OO a radius 4 semi-circle requires a baseboard width of getting on for 4ft. Thus a continuous run requires either access from both sides or an access hole in the centre. My brain is stuck thinking inside a box which dictates the layout is against a wall, so access from both sides is a tricky one for me to design something interesting. Regarding the access hole, the obvious solution is to make it a room-sized access hole and have a shop-counter style lifting section across the doorway. I can't see a way to make a reverse loop that fits in a reasonable space AND allows me to reach any derailments so sadly I have been forced to omit them from the latest iteration of my plan. Following the advice above I have used only Streamline points - minimum radius should be Peco/Hornby 3rd radius (unless I have accidently gone tighter with the flexi). Here's what the lower level looks like: As you can see, I have now had a proper go at Whitland station and following DavidCBroad's advice to turn the dead end into a loop I brought in elements of an earlier track plan (although I'm not sure where the turntable was in reality). The east end of Whitland station (confusingly at the left side of the layout diagram) has a footbridge which I thought could be used as a scenic break, hence me excluding the east-end platform ramps on the drawing. I think this is a big improvement in terms of access on the previous design but I'm not sure what to do about the left hand short-edge which is very inaccessible due to being under Cardigan: Whitland station itself is also quite wide, which could lead to issues if there are derailments in the bay platform (against the wall) but again I can't see a solution. Also evident is that there is no space for a fiddle yard for the main line. Trying to think of novel ways to get one in (the front-runner being a vertical traverser giving access to a low-level fiddle yard) made me realise I don't know how I'd operate the thing anyway. With Wales & West's wide selection of liveries (rebranded Regional Railways, Heart Of Wales orange, Devon & Cornwall black etc.) I thought* I would try to run a realistic timetable (so if a unit heads off to Cardiff it doesn't come straight back on the next train). But how would I keep track of which one is due back next without getting very bored keeping track rather than running trains. Maybe a layout this big just isn't cut out for single-person operation - more of a club thing to take to exhibitions perhaps? I would like to upload the SCARM file to share with anyone who would like to build something along these lines, but the forum doesn't appear to allow that. So, Challenge/Question N.2 - is a large secondary mainline layout practical for one-person operation? Perhaps more importantly, there's no room for a workbench for building scenery and no room for my other layout (the 2ft by 4ft one that I started building** because I had no space to build Whitland and Cardigan). Maybe I should just build some extensions to the small layout to make it more than just a shunting plank and forget Whitland, but how do I let go of a dream I've had for so long? And I still want to build something I can run my longer trains on (eg. IC125s). Finally, I note that the branch apparently rejoining the main line raised some concern previously. The reason I have done this is that the branch that diverges at Whitland is NOT the Cardigan branch. It is the Pembroke Dock branch that you see diverging 'on-stage', the Cardigan branch in reality diverged a little further on, well out of site of the station. I considered a seperate set of hidden sidings to represent the Pembroke Dock branch, but since Pembroke Dock is the primary destination for HSTs (which if they end up being 2+8 would probably be the longest trains on the layout and thus probably want to have a dedicated road in the fiddle yard that they always 'go home to') I decided against that. * if I ever find the units at a reasonable price on ebay or elsewhere. ** it's still unfinished
  10. Would the operation of that be similar to the Dartmoor railway where, if I recall correctly, this ex-EMU driving vehicle (possibly from a 4-CEP?) had control only of the brakes? I think the driver was on the diesel shunter (which might be a class 08?) at the back to apply power. Presumably if an auto-fitted GWR loco is used with an autocoach the driver can apply power from the autocoach? Returning to the use of a non-auto pannier with an autocoach at Didcot, would such operation be feasible on a long heritage railway such as the Severn Valley or West Somerset (in which case is there much benefit of using auto-fitted locos)?
  11. I have the Oakwood Press book "The Whitland & Cardigan Railway" by M.R.C. Price. The photos of the early days show 517 class 0-4-2 tank engines and 850 class saddle tanks, I'm pretty sure the 850s also appeared in pannier form and I think I've seen a picture of a 1901 class pannier at Cardigan. The Oakwood Press book states that the Cardigan branch had a 'yellow' colour weight restriction, which if true would rule out 57xx in GWR days. Presumably they might have appeared once BR reclassified them as 'yellow' locos but I've yet to see photo of one on the branch. A shame as a photo of an 8750 on the CardiBach would give me a perfect excuse to buy myself a Bachmann one. More relevant to this topic though is that the Oakwood Press book states that Dean Goods locos did run on the CardiBach. Tender engines were never common, it says, but the monthly cattle train to Crymych was apparently often hauled by a Dean Goods. No pictures that I'm aware of though, and I'm not sure if they ever got north of Crymych. Thus, if you model south of Crymych (or Crymych itself) you can include a Dean Goods without invoking 'I built it so I'll run what I like'.
  12. They look... glossy... I hope it's just a CGI render and the light shining off them is just to make them look like shiny new models and that they won't actually be like that. I've wanted a lined black pannier for some time (partly from seeing my brother's N gauge one and partly from seeing the real 9600 at Melton Mowbray on a railtour) but I'm not sure if I'm better off with the new one (which I think is 32-205A - running number 8771) or the older 32-201 (I think - running number is 8763) if I can find one on Ebay or the pre-owned sections of Hattons/Rails. Over in the 'Bachmann Availability to March 2021' topic it was stated that this latest batch might have coreless motors and I have a vague recollection of reading once that coreless motors have a problem with old controllers. My main controller is a HM2000 and if I ever get a big enough layout to need more than 2 feeds I have one or two of the old Hornby train set controllers (possibly R965, they look much like this anyway) and something even older I inherited (I'm not sure if it still works, haven't needed to find out). Would the new model render all my controllers obsolete and force me to buy a replacement? Also, I've yet to pluck up the courage to renumber anything, but it's something I would like to do in future. It appears from the glossy video that the number plates are printed flat (so are not raised detail) so it should be possible to cover them up with etched plates without too much difficultly. Is that correct? If I do renumber, the target loco would I think be 9600 unless anyone knows of any that ever ran on the CardiBach (it's plausible since there were given the necessary yellow weight restriction in BR days).
  13. Thanks for the quick replies. No auto-fitted 1600s, that makes justifying a purchase of Model Rail's new 1638 rather difficult again. For years I've thought, if anyone ever makes a decent RTR 16xx I'll have 1638 (assuming I'm remembering correctly that is the preserved one) in lined black (I've fancied a lined-black pannier for some time). Then I find out they never carried lined black so I thought ok, I won't have a 16xx after all. Now however I have started building a small layout (not the dream layout that I'm still designing) that doesn't have space for a run-round facility so autotrains would be useful and I thought that, had any of the 1600s been auto-fitted, could be an excuse to have 1638 in GWR green. I imagine fitting Flying Scotsman would require bespoke linkages to be designed and built for it, which would be more expenive and complex (and thus a much-less realistic 'what if') than taking a set of auto-gear parts identical to that used on a 4575 and installing them using a identical procedure. I apply the "it's my railway/money so I'll run/collect what I like" rule but the "what I like" is in part defined by whether I can think up a plausable (to me) story for why said items are running. Sounds like a 45xx is similar enough to a 4575 that (if I ever manage to obtain one) I'll be happy with my 45xx pushing an autocoach so thanks for answering my query. In that regard, given my general very limited knowlege of steam loco types and that the 1600s were successors to the earlier auto-fitted 2021 class, I think I can forgive myself for thinking that 1600s may have been auto-fitted. I suppose the auto-fitted 6400s were also successors to 2021s. Anyway, I stand corrected now; no auto-fitted 1600s. That leaves me still looking for an auto-fitted 0-6-0; I suppose I could use a 6400 but unless I find one was used on the CardBach (as 1600s were) there isn't a second point of interest in the class. The only other preserved types I can think of that I haven't already discounted (or confirmed as not having been auto-fitted) are the outside-cylinder 1366 class panniers and 1361 saddle tanks. Given that what I've read about these types suggests they were designed as shunting engines I very much doubt they were auto-fitted, but I cannot find anything that states outright that they weren't. I also found this history of 1369 which twice mentions auto-coaches. Of course they probably just ran round the coach at each end of the journey but it did give me a very faint hope that 1369 has been auto-fitted at some point. Can anyone confirm that 1366/1361 weren't auto-fitted as I assume?
  14. Does the latest release (R3692 I believe) still have traction tyres? It's clear from various posts that the previous one (without sprung axle) had tyres but I cannot see the tyres on any photo or YouTube video I've been able to find of R3692 so have Hornby finally removed the tyres when they brought back the sprug axle?
  15. Elsewhere on RMweb, I've read that at least one of the preserved 4575s was not auto-fitted by BR but has had the equipment fitted in preservation. Are the sloping tanks the only difference between the 45xx and 4575 classes because, if so, I take it a heritage railway could auto-fit one of the three preserved 45xx locos if desired? That page does say that "When more powerful autofitted engines were required in BR days the equipment was fitted to some 4500 class small prairie 2-6-2 locomotives." which doesn't tie up with what has been said on RMweb (ie. that only 4575s were fitted, not 4500/45xx with non-sloping tanks). Also, it doesn't say whether any members of the 1600 class were auto-fitted. It does say that 1600s replaced 850 and 2021 classes - given that many 2021s were auto-fitted according to that document, it would seem sensible to have fitted the 1600s. But were any of them auto-fitted?
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