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Ruston Quays


Huw Griffiths
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Ruston Quays will be at Peterborough this weekend - with one big improvement - Shunting!

 

I've modified the coupling system (again) and now have a new DCC controller (see the November issue of BRM for details) that does what I need.

 

There's also a new yard light from the Beko range. As supplied it's a bit shiny for a UK prototype (they probably keep these things clean in Genrmany) but with a bit of car aerosol weathering, it looks the part.

 

Newlamp.jpg

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Would I be right in assuming that the "new improved" RQ will also be putting in an appearance at "Warley"?

 

To be honest, though, when I visit shows, I don't mind seeing progress on layouts that have previously appeared - especially when there are significant changes to their appearance or operation.

 

The use of a kit controller adds an interesting angle to this topic - especially if anything needs to be PAT tested for shows. I can't help wondering if a "ready made" power adaptor ("wall wart") might have been used - as a way of ensuring that any stuff directly exposed to mains voltages is easily tested - easily replacable - and known to be OK, whoever builds the "controller" part of the setup.

 

I'll be interested to find out how this controller - and this layout - works out over time at shows etc. In fact, I'll be particularly interested with the controller, as I've never been a member of MERG - so I don't know the controller's "capabilities" or what was involved in building it.

 

 

Whilst on the subject of constructional skills, I could also add that I'm surprised I haven't come across any demos of electronics soldering (and perhaps some other general electronics stuff, such as LED coach lighting) at shows.

 

(I could add that there is a reason for me saying this - my background is in this sort of stuff. I'm also wary about making suggestions like this, in case anyone reads too much into what I say.)

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm interested, how did Ruston Quays perform @ the Peterborough show?

 

Julie

 

Sorry for the delay replaying to this. I'm hard at work on the project I'm codenaming "Edgeworth 3" at the moment.

 

Anyway, RQ ran very well at Peterborough. Shunting took place on the lower yard achieving the "2 locos working in a 6ft space" aim of the project. I even handed over the controller to couple of members of the public who succesfully assembled trains devised by the random wagon generator (pack of cars with wagon pictures).

 

There are niggles - I'm still not happy with the couplings. Putting extra magnets in has increased reliability but a set of Sprat & Winkles would be much easier to use, if more effort to fit.

 

I'd love the time to add a load more detail too. If you've seen "Melbridge Dock" then you'll know I love to fill the space and bring it alive. We could do with more people, more station clutter, perhaps a few more road vehicles (look out for more on these in a future BRM) and generally more stuff.

 

Having said this, the layout still seems popular and hopefully has inspired a few models influenced by it. I've been told a couple of times that it should have more track to hold the attention of an operator longer but when I ask where this is to go, the answer is usually to build a much monger model - kind of defeating the object to a small layout! I'm sure lots of people have gone away to build warehouses with Skytrex components and know that MERG sold all the DCC kits they had at the show, so something has gone right.

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Edgeworth 3 already Phil, looks like I missed my shot at playing with Ruston Quays, unless it's going to get a final hurrah at Donny next year. (Will have to make sure I attend if so.)

 

Not next year - The new project will be there in whatever state it's in by that point.

 

RQ is still in store and when it gets another outing, I'll post something here. I'd like to think we can take it out again in the future.

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I'm hard at work on the project I'm codenaming "Edgeworth 3" at the moment.

 

… I'd love the time to add a load more detail too. If you've seen "Melbridge Dock" then you'll know I love to fill the space and bring it alive. We could do with more people, more station clutter, perhaps a few more road vehicles (look out for more on these in a future BRM) and generally more stuff.

 

… (I) know that MERG sold all the DCC kits they had at the show, so something has gone right.

It looks like some of us might be sticking with traditional DC for a bit longer yet, then.

 

Anyway, I'm trying to imagine what a 3rd generation Edgeworth might look like:

 

(1st gen) - as built - trains are steam or early BR DMUs.

 

(2nd gen) - platform buildings have been replaced by a bus shelter (on one platform) and some of those Macemain + Amstad "011" benches NSE were so fond of - some tracks have been fitted with OHLE - trains are a mix of EMUs and DMUs (early BR types or "1 for the price of 2" 1980s replacements).

 

(3rd gen) - station is now unstaffed - trains have been replaced by "rail replacement coaches" (probably ancient service buses, complete with PG9 notices), some of which might even turn up - are these the road vehicles you're talking about?

 

After all, I'm sure there's plenty of fun to be had painting / weathering diecast buses and adding LED light strips inside the ceilings.

 

 

Edgeworth 3 already Phil, looks like I missed my shot at playing with Ruston Quays, unless it's going to get a final hurrah at Donny next year. (Will have to make sure I attend if so.)

Not next year - The new project will be there in whatever state it's in by that point.

Joking aside, this new layout should be interesting - whatever it is - but whether you completely finish ALL sections of the layout before taking it to a show (or deliberately leave some bits as "work in progress") is likely to be a matter for the editor.

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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Hi Phil I do indeed remember Melbrodge. I had the pleasure of seeing it operate faultlessly for 2 days many years ago when you came to the Coventry model railway club.

I seem to think that you had to adapt the lighting rig due to the low clubroom ceiling. The clubroom was then and is now in the canal basin warehouse. I have happy memories of the day

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I've would like to see @ one of the shows a micro layout village, type of event, so that people could contrast and compare different types of ways of building them!

I have always been more impressed with a well observed micro, that runs well than a mega layout, where little moves!

Julie

Edited by Steam_Julie
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  • 3 weeks later...

When Ruston Quays was built, I presume you used lead based solder?

 

I had forgotten how easy it was to get it to flow.

 

Julie

 

Yes I did. Despite suggestions otherwise, lead-based solder is easy to buy and for us, it's easier to use than lead-free.

 

If you want to go lead-free, you need more heat and possibly a more active flux than for traditional solder as the melting and fully molten points are further apart than with lead-based solders.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...
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8 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

I still have it in storage, but have been too busy building many other models to do anything with it I'm afraid.

 

I could imagine this being something of an occupational hazard for editors of railway modelling magazines - probably also for people working with them on a regular basis.

 

With magazine projects (including layouts), I suspect there might be the possibility of them being needed for future issues (whether as "testbeds" for further projects, or even as photographic backdrops) - so promptly disposing of them isn't likely to be an option.

 

However, space is likely to be limited in offices - and not exactly plentiful in editors' (etc.) homes.

 

With lots of projects over a typical year - plus stuff that needs to be "followed up" - time is also likely to be in short supply.

 

 

OK - in more "normal" times, a number of projects might serve as conversation pieces on magazine stands - but how much reader / show visitor interest is there likely to be in old project layouts etc. when shows finally return?

 

As I've never worked on magazines, or in organising shows, I'd only be guessing - but I could imagine interest being limited, unless something "significant" is being done to these projects (cue even more magazine projects to be stored somewhere).

 

What do I mean by "significant"?
 

  • An old layout could be refurbished after years of use or storage. (I seem to recall something on this sort of theme appearing in Model Rail a few years back.)
     
  • Perhaps some major building on an otherwise sound layout might be replaced - with some minor changes thrown in for good measure. Alternatively, existing buildings might be upgraded in some way - adding lighting or improved interiors?
     
  • An old project layout might have been built for 12V DC operation. At a later date, this layout might be used to show how to convert it to DCC. (OK - I suspect that thought would be given to future conversion with current or recent project layouts!)
     
  • An old layout might have been fitted with incandescent or fluorescent lighting. The time might have come to replace this with LED strips. (This could also be used as an excuse to show how separately altering foreground and background lighting might alter perception of "depth".)
     
  • Another option might involve "repurposing" of an existing layout. For example, it would be possible to convert a layout similar to "Edgeworth" into an exchange point between "heavy rail" (DMUs) and "light rail" (articulated trams) or (if such a concept were set in the 1950s or 1960s) EMUs. Such a conversion would probably involve at least some new buildings - and sections of the layout acquiring OHLE.

 

 

OK - the last one is an extreme example - which I don't expect to see happening any time soon, for various reasons - but such places do exist (Altrincham etc) - and I wouldn't always expect exchange points to be at the centre of particularly large towns / suburbs.

 

They could just have chosen somewhere convenient, where bringing the lines together wouldn't take too much effort / cost. Of course, some large towns have occasionally appeared around junctions (Crewe? Swindon?) - but I wouldn't expect this to happen automatically - and certainly not at first.

 

 

The reason I mentioned "repurposing" layouts is that something like this would convert one project layout into a completely new one - one which might not be universally popular - especially with certain modellers - and particularly when "light rail" modelling isn't exactly well catered for by mainstream RTR manufacturers.

 

OK - I suspect that something like this might appeal to members of DEMU - or to people like me with basically similar interests. We'd probably take the line that "you can never get too much 'D & E'" - but I guess that some people wouldn't agree with us.

 

That's fair enough - and magazines (and their editors) have to cater for a wide range of modelmaking interests).

 

 

Returning to the original point, although I suspect that opportunities to revisit old projects are likely to be limited, the people who create magazines probably also can't get rid of them as quickly as they might like to be able to - and I'm sure this causes problems.

 

 

Huw.

 

 

Edited by Huw Griffiths
Edited for clarity.
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6 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

I still have it in storage, but have been too busy building many other models to do anything with it I'm afraid.

You wouldn't happen to have a pic of the high level station per chance?

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