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CKPR

Mealsgate M&CR EM gauge layout

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I've got round, post-holiday,  to  downloading my proper camera on to the Macbook and thought I'd start a thread about my on-going project to build a model of the M&CR's 'Bolton Loop', basically Mealsgate and High Blaithwaite stations. This started out as just 'High Blaithwaite' , which was an abortive entry for the Workington MRC's 'five foot challenge' in 2009 (the year of the terrible floods in Keswick, Cockermouth and Workington) but I then got on and added 'Mealsgate' and the whole combo was shown in a bare boards but working condition at the 2013 Workington show . 'High Blaithwaite' has since been re-built and sneaked into Expo EM North a couple of times as part of the Cumbrian Railways Association stand. I'll start adding the photos when I've found a way to compress them to under 1 Mb !

Edited by CKPR
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As an Idiot with IT, I find that if I open jpegs with Paint, there is a % re-size function.

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Or open with Microsoft Office Picture Manager, then select 'Picture'; Compress picture' and you can see what size the compressed file will be.

Jim 

Edited by Caley Jim
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Thanks to Edwardian's tip, here are some photographs of 'Mealsgate' from the 2013 Workington exhibition - the various buildings are of M&CR structures but are not from Mealsgate, except for the unfinished signal box, which is Allhallows, literally just outside of Mealsgate proper. I've added an old Macbook camera and hence poorer quality picture of 'High Blaithwaite', which was joined onto 'Mealsgate' for the Workington show as can be seen in a couple of the pictures, but it was  designed as a stand alone model. By co-incidence, the track plan of High Blaithwaite was a real-life  'inglenook' and the actual station was operated as a stub terminal until closure in the 1920s.

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Edited by CKPR
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In case anyone is interested, the track work is SMP with tarted up Marcway point work worked by Fulgarex motors (if anyone has any NOS ones they don't need, drop me a line) with control by a variety of interchangeable controllers including Modelex (built into 'High Blaithwaite') and various ECM and Codar units. I coveted the latter during the 1970s and finally picked up a couple for a tenner each a few years ago and they really are as good as people said back then. The platforms as seen on the photos are strip wood and ply and now have Vollmer stone facings coated with Iain Rice 'mix' [ you can tell that this thread isn't going to feature very much in the way of laser cutting, CAD, DCC, etc ] and painted in watercolours and acrylics like all my stone buildings. The Peco/ Wills crane has been replaced by a 'proper'  (i.e. mid-1970s) Mike Models one and the cattle dock fencing has been  made from yards of Evergreen strip but not yet installed.For information, the buildings seen doing temporary duty on 'Mealsgate'  are Dearham Bridge station building and a pair of offices / huts that I measured up at the site of Bullgill Junction in the mid-1980s. These are intended for 'Linefoot Junction' when it is finally built- I'm envisaging an evolving  modular set up rather like Richard Chown's marvellous 7mm Irish set up  " Castle Rackrent".

Edited by CKPR
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To compress my photos for RMweb, I take a copy of the image file (and put it in a sub-folder called "RMweb") so that I've always got the original high-res version.  On the copy, I open it with Preview (just double clicking the file on my Mac), and under "Tools", "Adjust Size..." change the "Width" or "Height" sizes to bring the file size down to under 1Mb (obviously I leave the "Scale Proportionately" checkbox ticked).  Once I have done this I save the file and check the new file size in "Finder".  Sometimes it will take two or three attempts to get the resultant file below 1Mb because I think the "Resulting Size" shown is an estimate.

 

Hope that helps,  Ian

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Why do we need 1Mb files? It's a real pain on my relatively slow broadband, where picture heavy threads jump around all over the place when loading, and often end up on a post that I originally saw days ago, so I have to scroll through loads of posts I've already seen. I've given up following some interesting topics because of it. I store all my photos in Picasa, and I always export photos I post on RMweb reduced to 800x600, giving a size of around 100-150Kb. No one has ever complained about them being too small, and they look perfectly acceptable to me on my 1920x1080 resolution 23 inch screen.

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I've done a bit more work on 'Mealsgate' with a view to completing the main signal box and the smaller box at Allhallows. I've had to guestimate the dimensions from a couple of photographs, none of them head on unfortunately. I know there are techniques for projecting these on a plan view but these are beyond my drawing skills and I don't have any fancy CAD programmes so I've worked out the most likely dimensions by thinking in scale feet and inches and trying to keep everything in proportion. I found that some of calculated dimensions either matched those on the CRA plan for the Allhallows box or came out as 25% /50% / 100% larger, which I've taken, rightly or wrongly, as indicating that my estimates are basically correct.

 

Both models are mostly made from Evergreen strip and planking. I even had the necessary half round strip for the roof in stock thanks to Modelzone's closing down sale the other year when I seriously stocked up on Evergreen strip, Humbrol paint...and a Revell Supermarine Walrus kit. The next job is to make the brick base for the Mealsgate box and I'll probably do this in card and old-fashioned chads . I know they're the wrong size but they do look good  and my packet of chads was bought off Ebay a few years ago and turned out to be from Bob Barlow (RIP), complete with some hand-drawn instructions for their use.

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Edited by CKPR
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I've completed the base of Mealsgate box and need to paint the brickwork as the next job. I've propped the various parts up against the platforms for the photos but the box will actually go behind the platform in the position indicated by the planked section, which will need to be made a bit wider. You can just see the finished stonework on the platforms - this was my second attempt and I'm rather pleased with it.

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Edited by CKPR
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Have you got any more photos of High Blaithwaite? I have used the track plan to create my new LSWR (Bodmin and Wadbridge) layout but it would be nice if I could swap the buildings and stock over. 

 

Marc

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Have you got any more photos of High Blaithwaite? I have used the track plan to create my new LSWR (Bodmin and Wadbridge) layout but it would be nice if I could swap the buildings and stock over. 

 

Marc

The real station or my model ? There are only two photos of the actual station, one of which is unpublished but is in the possession of the CRA, but I can easily take some of the model , which is more than can said of the prototype...

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The model if you could? It is awhile since I saw the layout at Workington show.

 

Marc

No problem, I'll take some photos whilst it's still in the spare room (and not the attic)

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As requested, here's some photos of High Blaithwaite - my favourite one is the view under the bridge. There are a few commercial parts, such as the modified Ratio hut which is pretty similar to M&CR plate layers huts, the cut about Wills girder bridge and the Dapol / Airfix fencing, which again is pretty similar to M&CR line side fencing, but otherwise it's all scratch-built - I aim for atmosphere rather than strict accuracy and it probably shows ! I tend to avoid putting any figures on my layouts but I have a small selection that can be added to ring the changes (there are some discrete pin holes here and there for this purpose). Please excuse the lack of signalling (the necessary S&W parts have been in the projects pending box for decades  - the one and only set of signals I've ever built were some non-working Ratio ones in the 1970s), the FPL covers that are very evident in one of the prototype photographs (constructed from Masokits parts but not yet painted) and trees. As you can see, it's a real-life 'inglenook' design and very occasionally sees duty as such but  to date only with my Bachmann Cl 25 and a selection of 1970s wagons. I really should work out a shunting game based on the real-life one coach and 3-4 wagons that constituted the thrice-weekly train from Mealsgate in the early 1920s.

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Edited by CKPR
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Hello CKPR I've only just recently discovered this forum and noticed your excellent construction work on the Bolton Loop displays,

 

I was fortunate to restore Allhallows Colliery signal box last year with the help of my family, I see your model of Mealsgate & Allhallows boxes are still under construction, the area size of the Allhallows box is 12ft X 9ft with a roof pitch of 6 1/2" in 12" but I must say for not exactly knowing the dimensions the model looks fantastic n very much to scale! also the original chimney was in the back left corner not in the back right like the CRA drawing shows, this was changed later in the buildings life when Isaac Blacklock occupied it as a shop (he had the back wall cut out behind new stove so the joining garage could benefit from the heat aswell as the shop) the original chimney cut out is still evident on the celing, there is also evidence of wooden hand rails cut off outside the side door, 2 at waist height and 2 at floor level, could this be suggesting this building originally had a platform outside the door ? or a staircase leading upto it ? raised possibly on bricks to allow space for the mechanical interlocking ?

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a picture of the signal box in its original position at the colliery yet but constantly looking, I have several from it in its roadside position dating as far back as the 1920's n 30's if your interested I could send you on !

Your very welcome to to come and take photos & measurements if you like

 

Richard Wilson

 

http://www.cumbria-railways.co.uk/allhallows-colliery-signal-box.html

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Hello CKPR I've only just recently discovered this forum and noticed your excellent construction work on the Bolton Loop displays,

 

I was fortunate to restore Allhallows Colliery signal box last year with the help of my family, I see your model of Mealsgate & Allhallows boxes are still under construction, the area size of the Allhallows box is 12ft X 9ft with a roof pitch of 6 1/2" in 12" but I must say for not exactly knowing the dimensions the model looks fantastic n very much to scale! also the original chimney was in the back left corner not in the back right like the CRA drawing shows, this was changed later in the buildings life when Isaac Blacklock occupied it as a shop (he had the back wall cut out behind new stove so the joining garage could benefit from the heat aswell as the shop) the original chimney cut out is still evident on the celing, there is also evidence of wooden hand rails cut off outside the side door, 2 at waist height and 2 at floor level, could this be suggesting this building originally had a platform outside the door ? or a staircase leading upto it ? raised possibly on bricks to allow space for the mechanical interlocking ?

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a picture of the signal box in its original position at the colliery yet but constantly looking, I have several from it in its roadside position dating as far back as the 1920's n 30's if your interested I could send you on !

Your very welcome to to come and take photos & measurements if you like

 

Richard Wilson

 

http://www.cumbria-railways.co.uk/allhallows-colliery-signal-box.html

Thank you so much for this information and I'm so pleased that you've restored it as I entertained the very same idea for many years, albeit merely as wishful thinking ! We lived in Cockermouth in the 1960s, moving to Keswick in 1970 and we usually went Saturday afternoon shopping in Carlisle, thus driving past Allhallows box, which always intrigued me. I've recently started a new job which isn't leaving much time for modelling of late (that's working in Cardiff three days a week for you) but I'll go back to the models next week and look at them again in the light of this useful information and hopefully get started on the windows and interior for both of them, having painted the brickwork on Mealsgate (photos to follow). Speaking of brickwork, I think you're right about a brick base and a set of steps for Allhallows as these are evident at Mealsgate. Also, Allhallows appeared to have been a 'proper' inter-locked signal box as opposed to the quite different design of covered ground frame / block post that was installed at High Blaithwaite ( I'm no expert on signalling but High Blaithwaite appears to have facing point locks but no interlocking) and elsewhere on the M&CR.

Edited by CKPR
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I've been very busy the past month, but not at modelling as I've changed jobs and I'm now commuting to South Wales three days a week ! I've managed to paint the brickwork on Mealsgate signal box (in a Cardiff B&B, not at my workbench) so before I set out on this weeks travels, I thought I'd post a quick update. As usual, it's nowt fancy just watercolour from a cheap paintbox set but using one of my recent modelling discoveries, namely Italaeri paintbrushes. I had always used artists sable brushes until recently but the Italaeri ones are excellent, as they keep their shape and point and are obviously designed for modelling as they come in a variety of useful sizes and shapes. The stuff in the background comprises GWR and Bishops Castle Rly (ex-MR) cattle wagons and a fire tanker (ex-Roundhouse) for my HO logging layout.

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Edited by CKPR
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Mealsgate box is looking great so far, you've done a fantastic job especially considering you've done it in a B&B away from your workshop, I've tried uploading some earlier photos that may help you with Allhallows Colliery signal box but I'm having trouble attaching anything on this forum. If you're like to email me on [email protected] I could forward you them all on

 

Richard

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Mealsgate box is looking great so far, you've done a fantastic job especially considering you've done it in a B&B away from your workshop, I've tried uploading some earlier photos that may help you with Allhallows Colliery signal box but I'm having trouble attaching anything on this forum. If you're like to email me on [email protected] I could forward you them all on

 

Richard

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are the files less than 1MB? if not the files won't attach

 

Marc

Yer I think that's my problem Marc they are over 1MB. il see if I can adjust them somehow

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Yer I think that's my problem Marc they are over 1MB. il see if I can adjust them somehow

I had that very same problem  with my  photographs and ended up converting them to  .jpg files as these are much smaller and come in 1MB.

Edited by CKPR

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If you have a PC, the standard software will probably give you an "open with" option.  If so, choose Paint.  This allows you to resize. 

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Progress on the 'Bolton Loop' hasn't entirely stopped as I've made a FPL cover for High Blaithwaite -  just the one, mind you, I've still got the other one to do. All the other projects glimpsed on the workbench (the Potez 540, Bishops Castle Rly rolling stock, the HO logging wagon, etc) have all nearly reached completion so I might get one with Mealsgate station building in the New Year.

Edited by CKPR
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