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There is nothing particularly good about this lock down except that you dont go out and spend money on coffees and meals and of course you can get on with working on the layout. Ever since Dapol announced that they were to produce a Sentinel loco I have been saving my pennies to buy one. I needed a DCC sound fitted version so had to wait a little longer but today it arrived. I debated with myself which version to get and the photos below show my choice.

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Here she is arriving at Ramchester but don't ask me how permission was granted for her to travel along the main line!

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She shunts a few wagons around .....

 

 

 

 

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... before pottering along the run round loop en route to the ......

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..... coal yard where she engages in a little more shunting.

 

The loco runs very nicely and is highly detailed - a credit to Dapol (usual disclaimer) and at less than £300 a real bargain. It would make an ideal starting pount for anyone wanting to have a go at 7mm modelling - advert over!!!

 

This is pure unadulterated indulgence on my part as the loco is totally out of period and it is very unlikely that it would ever have got anywhere near Ramchester in real life. But what the heck a little bit of what you fancy does you good and giving it a run this afternoon gave me a huge amount of pleasure. In any case I have applied rule 1.

 

Rod

 

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Rod

 

A very impressive addition to your fleet. Even though it may be out of period it doesn't look out of place! Don't forget rebranding following nationalisation took a number of years. Will you weather it?

 

Paul R

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Hi Paul.

 

Thank you for your comments on the Sentinel. It is a lovely little loco which runs and sounds well.

 

I will eventually have it weathered probably by Jintyman when he can fit it into his schedule which will probably be some time next year. In the meantime she can run around the layout in beautiful spotlessly clean condition.

 

Rod

 

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On 10/11/2020 at 14:36, railwayrod said:

Hello Jon.

 

You reached the same conclusion as me and as it happens Howard has given me some cranks which will hopefully help to solve the problem. All I have to do now is to get stuck into the job as quickly as possible.

 

By the way how is the bus getting on? Is it finished yet? I would like to see a picture of it when it is nearing completion.

 

Rod

Hi Rod,

 

Here's how the bus looked when I'd just finished painting it back in March, just before lockdown. I managed a 10 mile test drive, put it away and I haven't seen it since sadly..:(

 

IMG_20200314_105242513.jpg.92e497ca26ba185f306f85287961ab8d.jpg

 

Was hoping to see it a month or so ago as I was planning a quick trip up to Lancashire to grab all the seat cushions and backs for renovation but lockdown V2.0 got in the way.

Cheers

JF

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Hi Jon.

 

Your bus looks superb - the culmination of many years of restoration I suspect. For some reason I had it in mind that your bus was a single decker not a huge double decker. Where on earth do you keep it? Not in your back garden unless you live in a mansion! 

 

Just an idea when it is finished could you get one of the model bus manufacturers to laser scan it amd produce a 7mm model. Might help to swell the coffers somewhat and give you a bonus for all your hard work.

 

From the photograph it looks as though you have done an excellent job of restoration - well done.

 

Rod

 

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On 13/11/2020 at 19:56, railwayrod said:

Hi Jon.

 

Your bus looks superb - the culmination of many years of restoration I suspect. For some reason I had it in mind that your bus was a single decker not a huge double decker. Where on earth do you keep it? Not in your back garden unless you live in a mansion! 

 

Just an idea when it is finished could you get one of the model bus manufacturers to laser scan it amd produce a 7mm model. Might help to swell the coffers somewhat and give you a bonus for all your hard work.

 

From the photograph it looks as though you have done an excellent job of restoration - well done.

 

Rod

 

Hi Rod,

Its still up at Freckleton in Lancashire, about 275 miles from where I live. Until lockdown, I was travelling up there by train and staying in nearby Preston, staying for about 5 days and working all day on it. I'd be doing that about every 6-8 weeks which just about equals the number of visits I was making when I was still living a mere 80 miles from it and travelling up there on a day by day basis about once a week.

 

I'd love it if a company would scan it and produce it as a 7mm scale model but its probably a bit niche for that. I think Stockport had some almost identical vehicles but not sure if that particular body/chassis combination was widespread!

There's still lots to do but I'll get there eventually!!

JF

Edited by Jon Fitness
left a bit out..
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  • 4 weeks later...

It is a few weeks since I posted anything so thought that I would bring you u to date with the happenings at Ramchester. I am ashamed to say that very little has been done - just enough to keep a little bit of headway until Howard and I can resume with the electrification of the fiddle yard points. The distance across the baseboards is such that I am unable to see what I am doing at that range hence waiting for the time Howard feels that it is safe enough for him to pop around.

 

However I have been working on the control panel which is just beginning to take shape albeit at the moment consisting of bare wood. I have purchased the switches and the "chocolate bar connecters" ready to install as soon as the panel is ready - not too far away I hope. All the stock has been transferred to the station area which now looks like a very busy area with no more room for any more arrivals. In fact Sid the signalman is doing his nut wondering how to get out of this problem.

 

Ah well happy days.

 

Rod

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  • 3 weeks later...

Firstly I hope that everyone who follows this thread had a really good Christmas despite the presence of the last minute restrictions imposed on us by BJ , Still the vaccine is gritting closer and I am pleased to say that all being well I will be in the next group to receive it.

 

On Christmas Eve Maggie and I decided to take advantage of the fine weather and went for a 5 mile walk from home to the  sea front and along the Prom, round the harbour and back via a different route. A pleasant walk on a nice day. Upon getting back home the postman had left a package on our front step which I immediately thought was something that I had ordered for Maggie as part of her Christmas present. While she was busy in the kitchen I looked at the parcel and realised that it did not come from any manufacturer but from a friend who had moved away from this area late last year. Vic Burles is a first class modeller and his scratch built locos are of the highest standard. He once built a fine S7 open wagon with full working brake gear - fantastic. When I opened the package I found to my joy and amazement a 7mm fine scale LMS tank wagon adorned with United Dairies livery. My friend has been having a clear out of some of his 7mm stock in order to concentrate on 16mm live steam and he thought of me knowing that it would fit into Ramchester very well. If you are reading this Vic many, many thanks.

 

Here are a couple of pictures of the wagon sitting in one of Ramchester's sidings.

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My Christmas started with a very pleasant surprise which cheered me up no end.

 

Rod

 

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Hi Paul.

 

As much as I would like to add a dairy to Ramchester space does not permit. Howard and I have spoken about adding a small industrial estate at the coal yard end but at present I just cannot face the upheaval that it might cause. It would mean altering the run round loop and a fair bit of baseboard extending (not too difficult as the benchwork is done on the L girder system) but also altering the control panel and possibly having to have more signals made. Still  nothing is set in stone so all I can say is to keep following this thread and see what transpires.

 

Rod

 

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Firstly I would like to wish all the followers of this thread a Happy 2021 despite the latest lockdown.

 

As regular readers will know the fiddle yard is undergoing point electrification to make operating the yard much easier for me. As a result regular services to and from Ramchester has been suspended while this heavy engineering work proceeds. However a great deal of behind the scenes activity including high level talks with Management and the Unions I am glad to say that permission was granted for the "Christmas Day Special" to run albeit in a casual truncated form. An 04 diesel was coupled to a well wagon and allowed to pass through the engineering site on the one engine in steam principle and arrived in Ramchester some what later than usual. Nevertheless it was greeted by an enthusiastic Maggie who was delighted at what was on board. Here are some pictures of the event which I hope you will enjoy.

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The train exits the tunnel and rounds the curve towards Ramchester.

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It slows as it approaches the station.....

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....before negotiating the crossover and comes to a stop.

 

Rod

 

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Thanks Paul for your comment re Christmas Day Specials. These have been going for many years originally on my LGB layout which was situated in a caravan in the garden. Glad you liked them and hopefully they will go on for some years yet.

 

Now for a picture of a visitor to Ramchester's metals. For some time now Howard, who lives on his own, and I have formed a "bubble" and have met up during the last month or so between lockdown periods. On Monday he turned up with his latest acquisition in the form of his latest loco. This is a DB class V60 diesel in era 3 livery. Here are a couple of pictures of it arriving at Ramchester.

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The loco is by Lenz and is fully DCC fitted with all the features you would expect from a current model even to the driver who turns to face the direction of travel. This is a fantastic model which will fill a hole in Howards stock.

 

Rod

 

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I agree with your comment about the size of the V60 but remember that this loco is to 1:45 scale rather than our own 7mm which is 1:43.5 so the model is to a smaller scale and still looks bigger than one of our tank locos.

 

Rod

 

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As I mentioned in my last bulletin Howard and I had formed a bubble and as a result we have been working on getting the fiddle yard fitted with point motors and a local control panel. Just before the latest lockdown the work was completed and tested. Great news it all worked first time. The yard had been cleared and the whole area vacuumed and the rails cleaned. I am posting a few photos to bring everyone up to date.

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Looking towards the terminal end of the yard.

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View towards the yards entrance.

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The new local control panel.

 

While all this work was being undertaken the entire stock (bar one coach) was crammed into the station much to the despair of the signalman.

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I have never seen the station so full, lol.

 

Rod

 

DSC06075 (2).JPG

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Looks like  a busy summer Saturday in the 1950's Rod! Not unprototypical at all!

 

I love the depth of your layout by the way. 

 

Paul R

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6 hours ago, pwr said:

Looks like  a busy summer Saturday in the 1950's Rod! Not unprototypical at all!

 

I love the depth of your layout by the way. 

 

Paul R

Thanks Paul for your kind comments.

 

There are moves afoot to alter the layout at the coal yard end but plans at present are in an embryonic state. Complaints have been raised by a number of lorry drivers about the difficulty of turning their vehicles in the coal yard. There is a plan to lift the nearest siding to the staithes to make much more room for vehicles to do a 180 degree turn. At the same time negotiations are taking place with a number of small companies who wish to have rail access to their premises(currently off scene). What the outcome of these talks will be remains to be seen but watch this space.

 

Rod

 

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A new recruit is about to join the staff on Ramchester's Platform. He is Percy the porter and was a Christmas present from Howard. Howard must have purchased him some time ago as he had sat down and painted him in acrylics. himself. Percy's duties commenced on the 11th of January and already rumour has it that he has settled in very well indeed. He is yet to have his official photograph taken but here he is pictured on the day he arrived.

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Rod

 

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Hi Brian.

 

Nice to hear from you again.

 

These were given to me by Peter Martin as he did not want them anymore.

They are PECO green ones which I believe are better than the standard models. Some of them had switches mounted on top but I removed them where not needed.

 

Everything seems to work OK so I am happy.

 

Rod

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Earlier in January Ramchester Had another visitor. This was a DB rail bus VT98? which is Howards latest acquisition in Era 3 livery. It is up to the usual Lenz standard with an excellent sound system, lights, etc and beautifully finished and runs very well infeed.

 

Here are some pictures of it on the layout.

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Here she leaves the tunnel.....

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.....rounds the curve......

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....pauses for the signal .....

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.....and enters the station. Like all Lenz models she is built to 1:45 scale slightly smaller than our British 7mm/ft but even so she is too wide to enter the platform road.

 

More anon.

 

Rod

 

 

 

 

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