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Auchintoul & Inverness Citadel

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Inverness Citadel is due for an outing shortly which has prompted a minor frenzy of work. To be honest the layout spends most of its time folded up in a spare corner but that is what you would expect from an 'occasional' layout I suppose.

 

The track layout, which never made any claims to copy a known prototype at any time or place has been slightly modified to become more outlandish. A connection has been provided directly to the docks branch and the long, otherwise useless, siding is now a coal depot. The layout will be operated in the BR blue period because that is the only one that I currently have enough stock for.

 

47973547653_eeb177315c_c.jpgops decant 002 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

This is an overview of the layout. showing a train from Spean Bridge connecting with a class 105 which will leave for Elgin Boroughbrae. The train is formed of a class 37, GUV, BCK and a SK. These are all Mark I vehicles familiar to me from my youth. The parcels vans wait to meet the train and the new dock connection is visible in the foreground. A couple of 21t hoppers and a 16T mineral stand beside the shovel. Some-one will doubtless inform me that 37s did not run on the Mallaig/Fort William line in the late seventies but they do in my warped reality. It is probably overkill for the flat run along the Great Glen but there we go!

 

47973606966_f9e7730311_c.jpgops decant 007 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

A view of the platform ends shows the proposed layout. The station buildings will be timber, as will the goods shed. The platform will be covered by a canopy which will need to be removable.

 

47973607701_4c346b0f2e_c.jpgops decant 009 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The tannery stands on the left and is intended to hide as many microswitches as possible. The main stand of Citadel FC can be seen in the background. As far as I am aware Citadel never used the word Inverness in their name, as their near neighbours Clachnacuddin do not either to this day. (It would be rather like saying London Arsenal for example.) I am well aware (being a football grounds anorak) that the main stand was actually on the other side of the ground but once again Rule 1 applies. In a similar manner the background scenery will be slightly more mountainous than it should be. The station and ground would actually overlook the Merkinch, one of the low lying areas of the town.

 

47973557478_f4e510852c_c.jpgops decant 014 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The railway enters the layout beneath a girder bridge which will be modelled to represent a busy street. In reality this area was in the boondocks until very recent development. The vehicles are all Viking models bought years ago and disinterred from boxes full of German stock which has not turned a wheel in forty years. Auchintoul's signal cabin poses in the background. This needs completing and a twin needs to be made for this location. The various huts hide point micros.

 

47973608256_801b1ea675_c.jpgops decant 011 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The final picture shows the goods yard. The background buildings are a flour mill and a slaughterhouse, the football ground being noted for its malodorous location and icy north winds before its closure. The vehicles are strategically placed over the access screws which hold the dock's surface in place. Once again it hides point polarity switches and it has been off once already to 'ungum' a point in the far sidings. The artic was repainted many moons ago to look more realistic and the other vehicles will eventually follow suit. Unfortunately it caught the attention of my dad's Golden Retriever who decided that it would be very nice to eat. The bite marks remain to this day. Stupid hound!

 

Assuming that all performs okay the next main job will be to install some signalling and complete more pre-Grouping stock. As at Auchintoul it is intended that the layout can be set in different eras.

 

Ian T

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Inverness Citadel's last outing on the road threw up a few minor problems that need attention but on the whole I was quite happy with its overall performance.

The 'snagging' process involves running lots of trains and trying to solve problems rather than ignore them!

 

N gauge bogie diesels are much more tolerant of minor deviations in track alignments (vertical and lateral) than their rigid wheelbase steam counterparts.

Instead of using BR standard steam locos I decided to run the embryonic pre-Grouping stock for a change.

The photos show some of the early testing.

 

48054938816_7d3f959074_z.jpgIC15 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

1. The only completed GNoSR loco is O class No 10, seen here shunting the yard. The GNoSR utility option was, strangely, the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement which formed by far the majority of the loco stock. This model is obviously a converted Union MiIlls product wherein lie some problems. The boiler and cab should be much lower. The discrepancy is obvious when viewed against the GNoSR carriage stock in the background which has been built to a scale height. On the other side of the coin the Farish horsebox in the background exhibits the same problem.

 

48054939201_15258cb82c_z.jpgIC16 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

2. There is a train of GNoSR carriages built to this profile. Fine, they are not exactly exquisite examples of the model makers art but they did take some time to construct. They do not claim to be scale models either as they have been cut and shut to fit the Roco six wheel chassis. The mixture of liveries is, as I understand it, prototypical, in that the older (brown) stock was not repainted after Pickersgill introduced his version. I believe that some reporters stated that certain four wheelers were almost white by this time!

 

48055035557_f778294094_z.jpgIC17 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

3. Unfortunately the distinctive GNoSR vans, one of which is at the left, were built in the signalboxes that I used to sign for, using Farish vans as a template. They are therefore somewhat larger than their real life counterparts. The van next door is a NBR six wheeler which is probably on the emaciated side and will need attention to its roof before final completion.

 

48055035877_79d1f6e505_z.jpgIC18 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

4. The remaining donor stock retains its BR livery at the moment. The pre-Grouping opens are simple repaints, although I suspect that the one on the right has been repainted into BR livery and has escaped into the wrong stock box! The class O is about to shunt the quayside, the passenger train loco has come to the platform end as was standard practice, so that the signalman could see it, and the class E (as will be) has pushed the stock into the departure platform.

 

I suppose that it has become a case of pre-Grouping modelling for the ham-fisted!

 

Ian T

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I totally reject your inVasion of Inbhir Nis by the GNoSR, Highland would never have let that happened.. :D It's as likely as having a model railway called Tiree, based on Highland Railway Kyle line.. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38780.0

 

Interesting seeing the mis/treatment of Inverness this way, you could of called it Inverness Clachnacuddin and enjoyed the mispronouciations of the name. Either are not too far my old school (The High).

I'll be following your Progress..for more interesting Developments.

Edited by TheQ
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Grant Street Park is across the river and the "Sheep Baggies" have achieved almost mythical status!

 

Did not realise until recently that Clach are named for the Washing Stone by the River.

 

Wait until you see the plans for the NBR extension from Spean Bridge.

I will publish these if/ when I persuade the under construction NB 4-4-2T  to behave itself.

 

Mind you i could always model the proposed amalgamated GNoSR and Highland which almost came about.

I've always liked the Highland's 0-6-4Ts.

 

There are too many signalmen in Norfolk are modelling the Highland already (you know who you are!)

One thing that I have never understood about the Highland, especially since it served the Gaeltacht areas, is why all its literature was written in English.

I stand to be corrected if wrong. Otherwise, any ideas any-one?

 

Ian T

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Inverness Citadel has seen a faie amount of activity recently whilst Auchintoul languishes.

 

I am due for another visit to the Cotswolds shortly so an effort has been made to fill in all the blank spaces on the layout.

 

48631142572_e33a098f3c_k.jpgops decant 038 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

We begin by arriving behind a 4MT  tank in platform 2. Immediately we notice that the station has acquired a canopy, as promised, although it appears to be rather generic, if not downright GWR  swearword!

As a concession to its supposedly GNSR origins it will eventually be painted in brown and cream, probably emphasising its origins.

 

48630993641_2df80cec24_k.jpgops decant 026 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The GNSR platform buildings are all built of wood, as befits an interloper into a Highland stronghold. The Great North used wood extensively but not, to the best of my knowledge at its terminals. Alright having written that Old Meldrum springs straight to mind! Okay, here goes. The Great North did not usually use wood at its terminals and had no wooden terminus buildings at right angles to the track (to the best of my knowledge). The Ratio canopies have taken a bashing. Hopefully this can be disguised with filler and paint! Given the foregoing observations the buildings are freelanced but hopefully credible.

 

48630992591_bf2e4f083a_k.jpgops decant 015 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Beside the station buildings, alongside the right angle bend in the sky, lies the harbour. The weird track layout allows this to be shunted from the goods arrival loop. It looks like Seafield, the GNSR marshalling yard and loco depot, has purloined an LMS tank to shunt the fish sheds.

 

48630634818_ea4f2b1433_k.jpgops decant 014 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The "fish shed" also masquerades as the oil terminal, wood yard and cement terminal, depending upon the wagons to hand. It is a simple fiddle stick and, obviously, an afterthought. A harbour scene, including an indeterminate ship, will be painted onto the background and the German lorries will be Anglicised.

 

The microswitches in front of the platform have now been hidden. This will become a coalyard in BR days but most coal arrived by sea in the earlier parts of the twentieth century so it will be an ambiguous waste ground in other periods. The point operating switches have been painted black in an effort to disguise them. I will reserve judgement as to how long they will last so before a repaint is needed.

 

48630637268_9da88b8589_k.jpgops decant 030 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

One of the hinges is hidden beneath the grandstand of Citadel FC. This has been designed to be credible throughout the entire operating range of the layout. It is a typical old fashioned Highland League design in that the home and away teams run out from opposite sides of the stand as they did at Caledonian and Inverness Thistle in days gone by. A series of signs, indicating the next opponent will eventually be produced. That for the pre-WWI period will feature the 93rd Highlanders, better known as "The Thin Red Line". Forces teams often entered sides into the league until the fifties.

 

48631314777_9dd8bff835_k.jpgops decant 023 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The other hinge is hidden by the tanning factory. The clearances are tighter than is normal on a model but they were fairly common in reality. The BR sign, in alleged Scottish Region light blue, is also removable so that it can be replaced by one appropriate for the era.

 

48631141997_2498e7302f_k.jpgops decant 032 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Just along from the tannery we find the bridge for Harbour Road which crosses the sidings in the goods yard. This has been based on GNSR prototypes and I have used paving stones in an effort to replicate the large granite blocks used in the area. They also form the base of the grandstand. Once again clearances are much tighter than normal on many models bu they seem to reflect prototype practices.

 

48630637948_aa83690cd6_k.jpgops decant 034 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The trains enter in front of the box and behind the two huts. The two huts are removable to give access to the bolts aligning the sector plate. It would be better if they were not there but they are hiding microswitches. A new isignalbox is still needed, although point rodding and boxed in cranks have been included.

 

That ends this brief update. Hopefully the layout will survive a week or two away without any major problems.

The basic foundations are now there to allow development to continue.

The next job here will be the signals but that will be left for some time in the future.

 

Auchintoul is earmarked for some remedial attention and there is the gardem railway to extend.

The AFK also needs some high capacity coal wagons.

 

Ian T

 

 

 

 

 

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On 13/06/2019 at 16:55, ianathompson said:

Grant Street Park is across the river and the "Sheep Baggies" have achieved almost mythical status!

 

Did not realise until recently that Clach are named for the Washing Stone by the River.

 

Wait until you see the plans for the NBR extension from Spean Bridge.

I will publish these if/ when I persuade the under construction NB 4-4-2T  to behave itself.

 

Mind you i could always model the proposed amalgamated GNoSR and Highland which almost came about.

I've always liked the Highland's 0-6-4Ts.

 

There are too many signalmen in Norfolk are modelling the Highland already (you know who you are!)

One thing that I have never understood about the Highland, especially since it served the Gaeltacht areas, is why all its literature was written in English.

I stand to be corrected if wrong. Otherwise, any ideas any-one?

 

Ian T

The Highland railway was funded and controlled from Inverness,  by this time ALL big business was conducted in English. The Scottish education act of 1496 required all Nobles children to be educated in English in the central lowlands.  The Highland was funded to a great extent by the Highland aristocracy particularly the Duke of Sutherland.. At the start of the this period schools were controlled mostly bythe local church of scotland who insisted also in the use of English.. 

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Q

 

Thanks for your enlightenment.

Having recently read The Highland Railway by David Ross I had tentatively drawn that conclusion.

It seems a shame that such an attitude could prevail, although I accept that times were different then.

 

It is nice to see that the modern railway uses Gaelic, at least on the station nameboards, although I understand that this has raised controversy in the Doric speaking areas.

Not everyone, apparently, likes to find that they have arrived at Inbhir Uige.

Most prefer Wick, which I presume derives from the Viking name.

The Press & journal, if I remember correctly, reported that some locals were taking pot shots at Gaelic signs in protest.

As Google translate does not run to Gaelic it might be some time before trains arrive at An Caisteal Inbhir Nis.

My first thought Broch Inbhir Nis presumably heretically combines both tongues?!

 

Regarding the last posting. I was in a hurry to get to a football match so you will have to excuse the typos.

I also notice that I missed out one photo which I had captioned.

The photos came out much too large thereby unwittingly revealing just how much of a bodger I actually am.

Never mind. At least I will have something other than cats, cathedral evensongs and football to occupy my time in the Cotswolds.

 

Ian T

 

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The Spread of Gàidhlig sign posting, to areas of Scotland, which have never spoken Gaelic is quite controversial. Wick before the Vikings would have probably been, Pictish, which thought to have been nearer Welsh, But modern Welsh has many Latin influences thanks to the Romans.. Old Welsh being probably nearer to Old Gàidhlig than it is to Modern Welsh..

Confused ? so am I ..

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Just a couple of photos, hopefully at the normal size, to show a little progress.

 

The backscene was daubed onto the artist's board using acrylics. 

The whole process took about an hour. 

It certainly won't win any awards from the Royal Academy but it gives the context.

 

48684748617_9c2f3a4ec5_z.jpg6 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The Aberdeen service pulls into Citadel having run via the coast line. The Moray Firth is in the background.

 

48684748217_2ff29bd82e_z.jpg5 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Another view of the same train looking towards the town which has been deliberately omitted from the scene.

The Black Isle is visible across the Firth.

 

48684747472_ef9ce87fc7_z.jpg4 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The Stanier tank shunts the harbour. Given that this piece of the layout is about two inches wide it is useful to draw the eye in.

I have deliberately gone for an overcast dull day in an effort to relegate the backscene to its supporting role rather than have it call attention to itself

by being too bright or too detailed. The landscape is a series of muted colours in vague shapes.

 

Ian T

 

Edited by ianathompson
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It has been a few months and progress on Inverness Citadel has been slow.

That at Auchintoul has ground to a halt and actually regressed when the goods shed fell apart!

Never mind, other model railway interests have taken precedence.

 

49385270431_c85a9c9d31_z.jpgIC19 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

In a similar view to that above we can now see that this mini-scene of the harbour alongside the Ness has been completed. 

The 4MT  is weathered and is in steam. It has run onto the now inlaid track to pick up some weathered fish vans.

The nondescript industrial building (Moray Mercantile) is complete and, although it is not apparent, the Wiking lorries in the background have had a lick of paint.

This narrow scene is on the "fiddle stick" which also moonlights as the reception area for cement wagons, wood traffic and oil tankers.

 

It would have been nice to include more detail, such as figures, but this area is a separate attachment to the main layout and needs to be as bomb proof as possible.

It already has three basic parts without counting the stock and road vehicles.

The next operating session will be in the sixties with maroon stock and green diesels as well as BR standard steam.

 

The sketched in background is prominent in the photo but is not so obtrusive in reality.

It looks across roughly towards North Kessock.

I am never sure whether this is the Beauly or the Moray Firth as there seems to be no clear boundary.

Perhaps some-one can enlighten me.

 

Ian T

 

Edited by ianathompson
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The Kessock bridge is reckoned to be in Loch Beauly ( Beauly Firth) ..so that's a clue..  

Interestingly I typed in Kessock ferry to check my facts,  and it's not recognised by Google Maps,  even though that's what we all called it.. 

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A little further progress has been encouraged by the likely prospect that the layout will be needed next month.

 

A start has been made on the signalling although this is a time consuming option given my ineptitude for subtle modelling.

 

49464280396_8c281974fe_k.jpgIC20 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

This is the gallows signal on platfrom 1 which protects the points leading into the goods shed sited alongside the platfrom.

The trap point that protects this siding is visible behind the signal and will be protected by a Stevens dropflap shunting signal.

There is one working example at Auchintoul so I know that it can be done!

 

The signal is hardly a thing of beauty as completed but it does hide under the station canopy, which is off its moorings as the baseplate for the signal currently covers the locating hole. 

It was difficult to persuade the camera to focus upon the signal as it seemed much more interested in the football grandstand!

As can be seen the arm stands well above the horizontal but this was fairly typical for lower quadrant signals.

The signal has received a good dosing of "muck" to tone it down.

 

I am well aware that the GNoSR, like many Scottish companies, used lattice masts for most of its signals.

Given that this model is less than one inch high and located on a portable layout there did not seem to be much prospect of such a model surviving!

The mast, which is made from one piece of barss to aid robustness, represents a wooden mast.

 

49464280716_a77bb99398_k.jpgIC21 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The signal has been pulled off, authorising a train to approach the starting signals at the platfrom end.

Although the underboard mechanism is yet to be connected, having reached this stage, I do not anticipate too many more problems in finishing this example.

I have found plenty enough along the way!

A number of compromises have obviously been made to make the model work, which could be avoided if one wished to present a more realistic appearance with a static model.

Most modellers seem to be oblivious to signals anyway but, as an ex-signalman, I want mine to work as they should do and will accept the compromises in appearance.

 

The arms and spectacle plates come from an MSE etch but they are very small and delicate.

This example went through two arms and four spectacle plates before reaching this stage.

From my experience of building MSE kits in other scales I suspect that these are "shot down" photo etches.

The techniques that work well in other scales are not quite so easy to apply to the models in this scale.

In fact separating some of the more delicate pieces from the etching is beyond my capabilities!

At the current rate of progress the signalling should be completed around 2035 and require about twenty etches for the dozen or so arms needed!

 

Ian T

Edited by ianathompson
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After last week's constructional debacle and out of focus photos I retreated to consider my future options.

 

MSE etches are excellent examples of the art, although as I noted, I suspect that the 2mm scale frets have been "shot down" from a larger scale.

I have used their products before to create the lattice masts for many of the AFK's signals.

The AFK sports a very unlikely combination of continental signals which can be seen here if you are interested.

They are a weird and wonderful bunch, and all have been scratchbuilt.

 

Having reached a cross roads with my N gauge efforts I have decided that future additions will be totally scratchbuilt as I cannot cope with the intricacies of the etches.

My ham fisted builds will bear more resemblance to the Hornby Dublo, Tri-ang and even Timpo (remember them?) signals of my childhood. 

Here are the results of approximately four days modelling time, to be found at the end of the platform.

 

49491667873_633967945e_k.jpg7 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The 4MT tank removes a CCT from a train that has arrived in platform 2. 

The shunt arm is off. there is some minor contraversy as to what the GNoSR called these signals but I believe that they meant "shunt to right road".

Any way, although there were four of these on the etches that I had only two survived my constuctional techniques and one of them later fell of the post and had to have emergency resucitation.

The "dodds" on the approach signals will be conventional arms.

Incidentally does anyone know what word Scottish railwaymen used for shunt signals?

I have asked before but never got a reply.

 

49492170046_25f3cf321f_k.jpg8 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

A little later in the proceedings the train departs.

The arms on the other road both come "off" as well.

The signal will eventually receive a platform and some ladders, always providing that they survive their peripatetic life.

The box, in the background, should now contain 30 levers, so whenever the actual box for this location is built it will probably include another window along the front, as well as having the door on the other end.

As restricted acceptance is authorised to and from Longman the signaller will also need to poke his green flag out of the window.

 

You will have to forgive any typos that appear in this postas, once again the internal editor repeatedly deletes large swathes of text rather than allowing alterations.

Why is it that I only get this problem on this site but never on others?

 

Ian T

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Inverness Citadel has just been "on tour" in the Cotswolds for two weeks fulfilling the role that it was built for.

 

49584042881_7645b15dd3_k.jpg9 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Board 1 now contains a full complement of working lower quadrant signals and it can be seen that, at just before 07.00, the Aberdeen via Buckie train is signalled away from platform 2. The signals all work including the Stevens dropflap shunting signal in the goods shed bay.

The class 29 that brought the train down as ecs will go to the docks to shunt the oil depot.

On platform 1 the morning train for Spean Bridge on the West Highland waits to depart behind a standard 5MT.

A 4MT tank shunts the yard.

 

The layout has seen a burst of activity with the installation of signals, but, as is the nature of third/fourth string layouts it is not likely to see much more development any time soon.

 

Ian T

 

 

Edited by ianathompson
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