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A Future for Maindee East Engine Shed


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13 hours ago, polybear said:

Is there any news on progress?

 

Hello Brian,

 

The answer is 'Yes, I've made some progress, but nowhere near as much as I'd wanted to by now'.  In fact, the last two or three months of last year and the first month or so of 2020 I made very pleasing progress repairing damaged buildings and scenery, given the limited time I had available to spend on it while also sorting out my mother in a nursing home.  I hadn't begun to repair the damaged telegraph poles and yard lamps, but I felt satisfied that I'd done the layout justice in the repairs I'd done up to that point.  I did take some photos before starting, so I can eventually come up with some 'before and afters' that you and one or two others asked if I could do. 

 

In view of the fact that I didn't get any 18.83 locos or rolling stock with the layout when I purchased it, I also bought a cheap Bachmann Class 25 diesel and converted it to P4 with secondhand Ultrascale wheelsets from eBay to give me something to try out the track with (everything of mine is OO and all the locos that came with Maindee East were unfortunately OO, too).  There was a length of track at the front of the layout that had been damaged.  I assume it was hit a glancing blow during handling at some point in the last year or two, one of the rails having broken away from the sleepers; that's been repaired and the Class 25 has successfully ventured smoothly around all of the layout, using temporary wiring.  I've yet to really begin to work out Steffan's wiring underneath but I will, in time.

 

Talking about underneath the layout, I've also taken photos of some of the workings Steffan created and I'll post those here in time, too.  Not only was he an incredibly observant artist and model maker, he was extremely resourceful and quite an ingenious maker of mechanisms.  The drive and indexing for the turntable probably only cost him a couple of pounds (if anything at all!) in components, but they work perfectly and just make me smile when I look at what they're made from: basically a motor attached to a Tonka Toy wheel with a soft rubber tyre turning against the edge of what looks like a black vinyl 45 record mounted directly under the turntable.  The toy wheel and record diameters were clearly chosen to create the gear ratio he wanted and slots in the record provided the indexing to pause the turntable at the appropriate times.  It's not neat and tidy at all, but it works and it's cleverly done.

 

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has forced Maindee East, along with my own model railway, to take a back seat and nothing further has been done to either while I've been splitting my time between family things and keeping my work going (I'm self employed).  That's not to say my enthusiasm to get on with Maindee East has waned; it hasn't at all and I'll get back to it just as soon as I can comfortably spare the time.

 

Pete T.      

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Hi Pete,

Many thanks for the update - sounds good :)

Tony Wright wrote:  "Maindee East ....... One of the finest layouts it's ever been my privilege to photograph" - so it doesn't get much better than that......

Did you have any joy contacting the sellers, and perhaps finding any missing bits?

Cheers, Brian

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1 hour ago, polybear said:

Tony Wright wrote:  "Maindee East ....... One of the finest layouts it's ever been my privilege to photograph" - so it doesn't get much better than that......

 

I know, Brian; I read that in Wright Writes the other day and as I did so I thought 'Blimey!  It seems so hard to believe that what he's referring to is sitting in my loft!'  Of course I was already aware of the esteem in which Maindee East Engine Shed is held by so many modellers, but Tony's comment certainly helped to put the pressure on - in the nicest possible way - to ensure I do justice to it, both in the restoration work I do on it and also what I ultimately decide to do with it.

 

2 hours ago, polybear said:

Did you have any joy contacting the sellers, and perhaps finding any missing bits?

 

No.  The auctioneers' approach to the vendors to see if they would mind me getting in contact with them (it had to be done that way because of data protection rules) met with no response at all, which was very disappointing.  I've no idea who the vendors were, whether they were members of Steffan's family or completely unrelated.  However I did, a few months back, receive a good suggestion from another RMweb member as to how I might be able to find a way of contacting Steffan's family but I have to admit I haven't tried it yet.

 

I do have a D&S Cowan Sheldon 15T breakdown crane kit which I've thought once or twice would look good on Maindee East, along with one of Brassmasters' GWR match wagons that I'd get to go with it.  I rather fancy doing that, but I really need to apply a bit of self discipline and get a bit further on with restoring the layout itself, first, before I start getting sidetracked onto exciting little projects like that.

 

Thank you again for your interest; I do appreciate it.

 

Pete T.

 

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