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  1. As Jools 1959 says I have just started a Far North layout based a little further up the line than Helmsdale using Forsinard as the passing station and Thurso as the terminus. Regarding track my previous layouts have all been code 75 with electro frog points but this new one is using the new Bullhead rail with the new unifrog points. My experience with the unifrog points is that they are a revelation. They have been installed for over 6 months now and I haven`t had one single stall. They also look so much better. I would say if it fits your budget (and your stock) make the move to b
  2. FORSINARD AND THE FAR NORTH Began in summer 2020 this layout seeks to represent Forsinard station in full, a section of Flow Country and end in Thurso. It is built in a newly constructed shed measuring 24 x 12. The layout will operate in two periods, both BR blue using Class 24/1& 26`s and then later with 37`s. Here are a few photos but the layout is a long way from being even a quarter finished. There is a thread on the layout pages with the same title.
  3. All projections are just that but I would wager a large sum that the research done on HS2 goes into thousands and thousands of pages which has to count for something You are dismissing all the experts opinions with what ? Do you have 1000`s and 1000`s of pages to back up your opinions? Thought not. You can keep repeating an opinion as many times as you wish but it doesn`t make it right. Evidence is needed to back it up . Can you supply it ? If so, i will bow to you better judgement. If we are not to do anything because we cannot be sure what will be in 50 years time then
  4. I think the crucial point re HS2 is that it is a very long term piece of infrastructure. Suppose the Victorians in the 1800`s had the same doubts then the ECML, WCML , MML GWML etc, etc probably would not be here now. We, in 2020 can have no idea what demand will be in 50, 75 even 100 + years time but it is highly likely that - Few, if any more motorways will be built The population will continue grow there roads will become MORE congested Rail traffic will grow again after C19, even if there is working from home, this will only slow the growth. Zoom will not replace
  5. In those days I was a spotter down at BHX. The DC9 did 3 rotations a day between BHX and Brussels and in between fitted in a peak BHX - Heathrow service. In reality the distance between BHX and LHR is just too small for this service to be viable these days. Recently BA gave up on Leeds - LHR, a significantly greater distance than between Brum / Heathrow
  6. For the sake of accuracy it should be pointed out that British Midland operated the BHX - L:HR service with ATP`s with 64 seats. They also used the DC9 on this service with c 90 seats You are thinking of the Brymon service from BHX to LGW which used Twin Otters which did have c.20 seats Whatever , it is true that BHX has services to numerous European hubs. I lived in brum for 30 years and often hubbed through Frankfurt, Munich , Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Zurich etc and on these flights I would the bulk of the pax were transiting onwards. Using LHR is a royal pain from brum. 2 hou
  7. Ok, I edited my post I also love trees and have many in my garden but those protesting need to see the bigger picture. Yes, it is sad that some ancient trees have to be felled but for the greater good of getting many people out of their cars then surely it is worth it ? And, as i said , the young trees being planted will absorb far, far more CO2 as they grow than those "ancient" trees which everyone is trying to protect. This ancient tree debate is emotive, designed to appeal to those who don`t want to change anything but the facts say different. HS2 has really not explained it
  8. Which means I, and I would think many others will take my car (very polluting) rather than the slower train. What does this achieve ? What needs pointing out is that old, mature trees are not absorbing CO2 any more, it is the young, growing trees that are doing so. HS2 is planting millions of new trees
  9. I probably didn`t make myself clear. i mean the wiring will have no visible effect on the scenic development so not many new photo in the weeks to come Droppers are soldered onto MOST , if not every piece of track . maybe I will regret not doing all pieces later ? Only time will tell. Now I just need to get the bus in and connect the whole lot up. The scenic sections use the new Peco Bullhead unifrog points and I have not had a single stall in over 6 months of running trains over them . The hidden sections use older code 75 electro frog points. I would highly recommend the unifrog points
  10. Hi John, Thank you for your kind words. That`s why i choose the FNL or Kyle line, rather difficult to fill with track, at least if you opt to model a stretch of line outside a station. The scenery is what I prefer not being that great at scratch building. I think the real progress isn`t going to come until the spring when its dryer. I also don`t want to go charging ahead with the scenery until the backscenes are in place for which I need to go to Caithness to take some photos so I am handicapped somewhat by a certain virus and the lack of daylight at this time of year. It w
  11. Would love to know the title of this book when you can find it. Many thanks
  12. Hello Mark,


    Just ordered a copy of your father`s book. Not sure why I hadn`t done so before . It would be interesting to see other photos of this bridge so thanks in advance. My bridge is actually taken from a rather poor photo of the one at Duible between Helmsdale and Kildonan but the abutments are all but invisible in these photos hence me using those from the Achnasheen bridge.  The intention was never to model one specific bridge but just to produce a generic one. 

    The Thurso and Forsinard sections will be as faithful  to reality as possible but the section between these two, the Flow Country is essentially freelance, taking various interesting elements that are found along this section of the line such as the snow fences and abandoned croft etc 


    Thanks Mark





    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. class26


      Hello Mark,


      Will be very  glad for any photos of Forsinard. 1982 is spot on for the 37 era. I also will run 24 / 26`s from the previous decade as I can`t miss out on Sutton Loco Works imminent highland 24`s. 

      My e mail address is -


      [email protected]


      PS saw Portchullin at the Nottingham show a few years ago and your idea of a station with passing loop and a couple of sidings on a long single track line was my inspiration for doing Forsinard , just took several years to get there.  The idea that such a simple track plan can give a satisfying layout comes from that day ! I originally intended to do a roundy with the Flow Country occupying the whole of the opposite side of the layout but that would have entailed too much in the way of hidden storage tracks hence Thurso 


      Look forward to receiving any photos you may have of Forsinard. 


      Thanks again



    3. Portchullin Tatty

      Portchullin Tatty

      Hi Nigel,


      Just sent from from my email account; if it doesn't come through let me know and I will send via the firm's file transfer system.


      Pleased to have helped with some inspiration somewhere along the way!  I enjoyed the Nottingham show; I recall they had a "most realistically operated layout" competition which I threatened to enter and then point out they had missed a train about 20 mins before hand and the next cam past a 7pm, would they mind waiting?  They couldn't but score me correctly!!


      I am also down for at least one of the Sutton Loco Works class 24/1; I have one Bachie class 37 and will get at least one of the Accursacale ones - obviously large logo!





    4. class26


      Hello Mark,


      Photos received thank you. Extremely useful and gives me lots to work on. Will keep them to myself until your give the all clear.


      Many thanks



  13. I am going to revise my abutments along the lines of that outside Achnasheen station as in the photo above. There is more than one lattice bridge on the northern section of the FNL and I guess they all will have different abutments as the topography will be different in each case. As that part of the layout is not based on any specific place but more of a general impression of Flow Country it ought to be acceptable ! Will still be interested to see any photos you may find.
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