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Tony Wright

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Tony,

 

I was surprised at the choice of Best in show for Stevenage. The first time I saw Brinklow, I saw one RTR 9F whizz past at a ridiculously high speed and moved on. I did go back for a second look after I heard it had won, and can appreciate that it is a well modelled prototypical location with good scenery (and I appreciate that scenery was an important part of the criteria) and I enjoyed the constant action and reasonably accurate formations - no C1 on Thompson stock! But it seems to represent a lot of what you complain about in the modern hobby. I.e. RTR/ course scale/ Unrealistic operation/ non working signals. 

 

There were many better contenders in my view. And my own best in layout was either East Colne - a delightful small east Anglian Branchline terminus, Little Salkeld as already mentioned or Burntisland 1883. I appreciate that Burntisland had a lot of running issues and that certainly spoilt it. But that has to be set against the enormity of the challenge that they have set themselves. Everything is Victorian kit or scratch built stock and the ability to get wagons to run up and down a ramp onto a ferry with a rope capstan (reliably when I watched it) was truly stunning. Also coal wagons being worked via working wagon turntables to a waiting ship and then discharged into the hold was really impressive.

 

They get a perfect 10 for difficulty in my book if only a 5 out of 10 for attainment. Whereas the winner was the opposite.

 

Andy

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10 minutes ago, Lecorbusier said:

I couldn't comment about DCC, my knowledge of how simple or complex DC is for such manoeuvres is pretty much non existent - though I did understand from your original post that you were arguing that it was  complex and so needed skilled operators ..... but then this perhaps has more to do with the operations themselves and not the operating system? On the protocab (radio control) front, I am very much at the start so again it is difficult for me to comment .... with the new controller you have a digital screen display with the names of the various locos (as many as you want) and you simply press to select the loco you want (on my controller I am currently limited to nine locos) .... so I don't think there are many buttons to press. The nice thing perhaps is that you can have a separate driver for each train running who is solely responsible for that train. If you then have good signalmen as well it seems to me that you have a fair representation of the real thing going on?

 

The move on Buckingham isn't complex but when you have a novice operator and you have to explain "Put that one back (pause while they find it) , then pull that one (pause while they find it) , then push the plunger above it (pause while they find it), then turn the controller", the three pauses mean the departing train is long gone before the trapped loco moves!  

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46 minutes ago, thegreenhowards said:

Yes. That’s my understanding. No doubt someone will correct me if I’ve misunderstood but as I understand it a d.117 and d.118 boiler are essentially the same externally apart from things like dome position which can be added to the basic moulding.

 

It wasn’t until I saw these two photos that I twigged.

 

AD5F492D-425D-439F-A8C7-F6A31726FAF4.jpeg.a4593e25a9e3025075dc2430fb188f82.jpegF863C369-8EDA-45E7-AF2E-42A1F3C95E7A.jpeg.39c675f354cce74112fb0249344a39f8.jpeg

 

 

 

Good morning Greenie,

 

It's the same photo, the A2/3 with dia 117 boiler, with a different caption added. Hornby have tooled up for three versions of the 117 boiler, more than DJH did with their Thompson A2's. They are doing the original as fitted to 500 in LNER condition, this had the same boiler band and cladding arrangement as the ex P2 boilers fitted to the original LNER A2/2. They are also producing the latter style as fitted to 512 onward, this being the more familiar type to most. Finally, the third style as fitted to 60505, with the streamlined dome in place of the round top dome. In addition, the Peppercorn dia 118 boiler is being produced for both A2/3 and A2/2. Given that the original cladding style is being produced for the A2/3, it makes it even less explicable that the original pre 1952 boiler, that also survived on two members of the class until scrapping, isn't being produced for the A2/2.

 

I'm thinking that an enterprising modelling type could convert LNER green Edward Thompson into LNER green Cock 'o' the North. New cab, s curve, sand boxes and rub down the tender rivets. Oh, and change the deflectors.

Edited by Headstock
add info also change dia 113 (sic) to dia 117
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Thanks, I stand corrected. It was that photo which had confused me. However, all the examples you list above are more similar than the V fronted cab and original boiler required for the early A2/2s. I don’t know how much that saves in tooling.

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1 minute ago, thegreenhowards said:

Thanks, I stand corrected. It was that photo which had confused me. However, all the examples you list above are more similar than the V fronted cab and original boiler required for the early A2/2s. I don’t know how much that saves in tooling.

 

Not so Greenie, see my post regarding the original arrangement on 500 in LNER condition. Flick off the round dome, fit a streamlined dome and bobs your uncle. I shall wait for pictures of the actual models but I think it would be a rather interesting modelling challenge to convert one to the other. I reckon I could do it, I even have a spare Hornby A4 V fronted cab in stock somewhere. A bit off patch painting here and there but nothing that scares me.

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9 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

You don't need to ask how big Leighton Buzzard is, do you Tony?

 

All I am saying is that if a novice can manage a layout that has things like slow running, gently easing up to vehicles without bashing them about, changing direction, coupling and uncoupling, remarshalling, adding and removing vehicles, working block bells and instruments as well as points and signals, then they should be able to manage on a layout where each train just does a circuit on a continuous run. The latter should be easier if the vast majority of trains just go round. You learn how to set a route in the fiddle yard, a couple of signals and you are away!

 

So although the physical size of the layout may be smaller and there may be fewer and shorter trains, there is actually more to physically do operating Leighton Buzzard than there is to Stoke Summit or Little Bytham. There are more actions for an operator to carry out for each train that runs.

 

I have operated Gresley Beat, Dunwich, Retford and various other layouts where trains went mostly round in a circuit. They are a doddle and much easier compared to one where all the moves are into and out of a terminus with all the associated station movements. The length of the trains and the number are irrelevant. 

 

As for running two trains on one track, Peter Denny cracked that before Stoke Summit was thought of. We don't usually do it when we have visitors as you need skills akin to playing a church organ but when a train leaves Buckingham, you depart it on the Grandborough controller and switch the platform line to the Buckingham controller (to release the loco that brought the train in up to the platform starter) as soon as the departing train loco is clear of the platform end. It requires putting signals back and pulling other levers at the same time as working the controller and doing these things when trains are moving, so we tend to keep it for when we have a proper running session with fully trained up operators.

 

I am sorry that you feel I was wrong to give people the chance to operate Leighton Buzzard at shows. It made those who had a go happy and seeing their pleasure made me happy too. Some of them turned out to be very good operators too. Seeing grown modellers shed tears of joy at being able to drive those famous old models was worth every moment.

 

There may even be one or two RMWebbers who had a go. Hopefully they were happy enough that I don't follow all your rules.      

 

 

 

 

Good morning Tony,

 

'I am sorry that you feel I was wrong to give people the chance to operate Leighton Buzzard at shows. It made those who had a go happy and seeing their pleasure made me happy too. Some of them turned out to be very good operators too. Seeing grown modellers shed tears of joy at being able to drive those famous old models was worth every moment.

 

There may even be one or two RMWebbers who had a go. Hopefully they were happy enough that I don't follow all your rules.' 

 

 

I'm not sure I ever stated that you were wrong to let others operate Leighton Buzzard, nor do I expect anyone to 'follow my rules'.

 

I was asked what I thought were 'essentials' for successful model railways at exhibitions, one of those being fully-trained operators. 

 

It might be interesting to find out how many 'guest' (untrained) operators we've had on Stoke Summit and Charwelton down the years. Loads and loads, but never at the busiest times. That's my point - I'm all in favour of allowing others to operate the trainsets I've been involved with at shows, including the young (who often grasp the fundamentals far more quickly than the more mature), but only when there isn't a large crowd watching. 

 

However, by my letting others have a go, I've never brought them to tears!  

 

Am I really that much of a zealot? I will not tolerate poor running, derailments, stuttering locos/stock, poor operation (of which I'm often guilty, which is why I rarely operated at shows) and incompetence in driving. I really do tire of poor running at shows. Last weekend (on a well-known layout) I watched a chap (not a guest operator) flick switch after switch, turn knob after knob, look, look, look and look again at a loco, and still it didn't move; until he nudged it. It then went, and, as I watched, some wagons derailed elsewhere on the layout! I walked away!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

     

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Interesting to hear some saying that layout are run too fast - obviously I didn't see the specific instances cited, but my experience is often the opposite. Too often layouts appear to be run too slowly IMHO, particularly steam era.

 

Looking at archive film, many passenger, express passenger runs were fast! As was some freight. 

 

As such, layouts like Tony's Little Bytham from what I've seen, particularly the BRM Youtube video seems to be running at the 'right' speed - A3s and A4s, as well as early diesels running as proper greyhounds. I think correct scale, but good high speed running is a pleasure to see and draws an audience.

 

But that's very much personal opinion. 

 

On N gauge - as an N Gauger, I spend considerable time fettling locos to run reliably at all speeds, and it very much can be done - I think I've seen as much bad running in other scales as in N. One area though are baseboard joins, where N needs to be done with much more precision to avoid massive chasms or bumps - even a 1 millimeter step in N gauge is enormous!!


Cheers,

Alan

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1 hour ago, Lecorbusier said:

The nice thing perhaps is that you can have a separate driver for each train running who is solely responsible for that train. If you then have good signalmen as well it seems to me that you have a fair representation of the real thing going on?

That's exactly what we do, and why, on the Mid-Cornwall Lines using DCC. The drivers and signalmen (and yardmasters, who are responsible for the storage loops) are different people. We do have to tap a few more buttons to change locos but at least the GWR/WR had the foresight to make its loco numbers compatible with DCC standards...

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38 minutes ago, Dr Al said:

 

As such, layouts like Tony's Little Bytham from what I've seen, particularly the BRM Youtube video seems to be running at the 'right' speed - A3s and A4s, as well as early diesels running as proper greyhounds. I think correct scale, but good high speed running is a pleasure to see and draws an audience.

 

 


 

For those DVD’s, the two in particular I helped with, the LNER and then the BR days one last year, the trains were actually moving slower on the layout. Tony pointed this out to me, we tried running at a normal speed looking at them go round on the layout, but it looked much faster on the camera. I’ve noticed the same on my own layout when you video a train running past, you need to slow it down, as the camera makes it go faster for some reason.....

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1 hour ago, thegreenhowards said:

Tony,

 

I was surprised at the choice of Best in show for Stevenage. The first time I saw Brinklow, I saw one RTR 9F whizz past at a ridiculously high speed and moved on. I did go back for a second look after I heard it had won, and can appreciate that it is a well modelled prototypical location with good scenery (and I appreciate that scenery was an important part of the criteria) and I enjoyed the constant action and reasonably accurate formations - no C1 on Thompson stock! But it seems to represent a lot of what you complain about in the modern hobby. I.e. RTR/ course scale/ Unrealistic operation/ non working signals. 

 

There were many better contenders in my view. And my own best in layout was either East Colne - a delightful small east Anglian Branchline terminus, Little Salkeld as already mentioned or Burntisland 1883. I appreciate that Burntisland had a lot of running issues and that certainly spoilt it. But that has to be set against the enormity of the challenge that they have set themselves. Everything is Victorian kit or scratch built stock and the ability to get wagons to run up and down a ramp onto a ferry with a rope capstan (reliably when I watched it) was truly stunning. Also coal wagons being worked via working wagon turntables to a waiting ship and then discharged into the hold was really impressive.

 

They get a perfect 10 for difficulty in my book if only a 5 out of 10 for attainment. Whereas the winner was the opposite.

 

Andy

Good morning Andy,

 

Am I a hypocrite then? Could be.

 

Yes the winner was coarse scale (not course) and the signals didn't work, but every time I watched it, the running was impeccable (I didn't see the rocket-powered 9F). 

 

I agree that if one (or a group) sets himself/herself/themselves the most difficult of tasks to create a layout, then that has to be admired. However, if he/she/they 'fail' with regard to an absolute essential (to me) element - good running - then I wonder where he/she/they/goes/go from there.  

 

One friend commented that, no matter how good (and difficult to build) an overall layout might be, it was a 'dreadful' advertisement for the finer scale when it came to the running. 

 

This has been aired before, and I'm not going to have a dig at group of chaps I count as friends (I wonder if it's mutual?), but they know my views on running, and I'll leave it there if I may?

 

Now, the ongoing saga of the Hornby A2/2 and A2/3! The pictures you posted show (at least to me) the same model. 

 

Regarding other comments. It's crossed my mind that when I'm asked in the future to assist in the development of new models by both RTR manufacturers and kit-makers, I'll politely decline and suggest they contact several on this thread. The manufacturers will no doubt be told that they're 'silly' and have little idea what they're doing. I shall happily 'retire' and continue doing what I really should be doing - making models and writing books! And probably (with great rejoicing, no doubt!) also retire from this thread and mind my own business. 

 

Is anyone interested in going up to Hattons and making a DVD with them about their forthcoming O Gauge A4s, taking pictures, advising them and writing a report? It's great fun! 

 

Just to clarify a few points, if I may?

 

If Hornby were to produce an original A2/2, it would suit just six locos as first rebuilt, and 60503/4 until the end of their lives. There would be subtle differences, but for the most-popular period (the steam/diesel transition), they'd only have two to sell. 

 

Now, by doing the A2/3, they have 15 to choose from. Nos. 500 and 511 had a different boiler band configuration (fewer segments) as built. (60)500 kept it until the early-'60s, but (60)511 lost it quite early in its life. The original boilers were D.117 (based on the shortened P2 boiler, but not the same), and (60)512-(60)524 had boilers with more segments as built. All had round domes on the second ring. Eventually, all the A2/3s received the later, Peppercorn D.118 boiler, with the same, more typical boiler band configuration but with a streamlined dome placed further back. Several A1s and A2s received D.117 boilers. The two types were entirely interchangeable.  Since 60501/2 and 60505/6 eventually got D.118 boilers (and 60505 got a D.117 towards the end of its life), it would seem to me to make economic sense for Hornby to do the A2/2s fitted with these later boilers. That gives a total of 19 locos for Hornby to pick from.  

 

It is not just a 'simple' matter of making just different boiler moulds for the original A2/2s. The cabs were fully 'V'-fronted, the smokebox was longer and the 'S' in the footplate was in a different position. One is talking serious money there! 

 

Yes, I know the four A2/2s fitted with the later boiler had a part 'V'-fronted cab, but I imagine a segment will be fitted into firebox mould to match the flat cab front of the A2/3. Just as DJH did.

 

Whatever the 'rights and wrongs', the Hornby Thompson Pacifics will sell like hot cakes!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

P.S. No doubt, the different boiler band configuration on 500 and 511 will be accommodated. I don't know, since I'm not a designer, but Paul Isles and I spent many hours in discussion. 

Edited by Tony Wright
to add a P.S.
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47 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Am I really that much of a zealot? I will not tolerate poor running, derailments, stuttering locos/stock, poor operation (of which I'm often guilty, which is why I rarely operated at shows) and incompetence in driving. I really do tire of poor running at shows. Last weekend (on a well-known layout) I watched a chap (not a guest operator) flick switch after switch, turn knob after knob, look, look, look and look again at a loco, and still it didn't move; until he nudged it. It then went, and, as I watched, some wagons derailed elsewhere on the layout! I walked away!

In my limited experience of show attendance I have experienced the same. It is certainly frustrating and ruins the illusion.

 

My only comment would be that as a modeller who attends shows to hopefully learn and certainly to enjoy the modelling, the drama and make believe of the operation only forms part of the reasons I go (and not the main part as for myself I would get far more entertainment from actually operating the layouts). On a couple of layouts over the past 3 years, which I had been very interested and keen to see, I can report that the running was far from satisfactory and I did not spend much time watching the trains. However, both were very nicely modelled with marvellous landscaping and representations of buildings. The observation of the track and accompanying paraphernalia was also superb, and the quality of the rolling stock and locos in terms of detail, painting and weathering were also of a very high order. In both cases I therefore spent a lot of time studying the layout itself whilst letting the train movements carry on in the background.

 

Not a good situation if you come to shows to be entertained by the 'live show', but from my perspective thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational non the less.

 

Having everything is obviously optimal ... at Scaleforum I spent a long time watching and studying Pulborough & London Road both of which ran faultlessly .... but for myself given the choice I would rather see a fine piece of modelling with the annoyance of gremlins than a so so piece of modelling with perfect running.

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17 hours ago, johndon said:

 

Didn't the Akagi (also of Pearl Harbour and Midway fame) also have her island on the port side...

 

John

Spot on John , missed that one . So 2 carriers with port side islands .

                       Thanks ,

                                   Ray .

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2 minutes ago, Lecorbusier said:

In my limited experience of show attendance I have experienced the same. It is certainly frustrating and ruins the illusion.

 

My only comment would be that as a modeller who attends shows to hopefully learn and certainly to enjoy the modelling, the drama and make believe of the operation only forms part of the reasons I go (and not the main part as for myself I would get far more entertainment from actually operating the layouts). On a couple of layouts over the past 3 years, which I had been very interested and keen to see, I can report that the running was far from satisfactory and I did not spend much time watching the trains. However, both were very nicely modelled with marvellous landscaping and representations of buildings. The observation of the track and accompanying paraphernalia was also superb, and the quality of the rolling stock and locos in terms of detail, painting and weathering were also of a very high order. In both cases I therefore spent a lot of time studying the layout itself whilst letting the train movements carry on in the background.

 

Not a good situation if you come to shows to be entertained by the 'live show', but from my perspective thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational non the less.

 

Having everything is obviously optimal ... at Scaleforum I spent a long time watching and studying Pulborough & London Road both of which ran faultlessly .... but for myself given the choice I would rather see a fine piece of modelling with the annoyance of gremlins than a so so piece of modelling with perfect running.

The usual wise post, Tim,

 

Thank you.

 

The 'best' running one usually sees at shows is that on, say, a vintage Hornby-Dublo train set, where nothing derails. 

 

I probably put good-running higher than many in my list of imperatives, but we are (or should be?) trying to replicate the prototype in our modelling. And, though there are obvious exceptions, most real railways run most of the time without derailments. 

 

Having lived for nearly 16 years now adjacent to a real railway, I've witnessed no derailments on it in all that time. Granted, there is no shunting, but the running has been perfect (apart from the wires being pulled down one day!). 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

Tony,

 

I was surprised at the choice of Best in show for Stevenage. The first time I saw Brinklow, I saw one RTR 9F whizz past at a ridiculously high speed and moved on. I did go back for a second look after I heard it had won, and can appreciate that it is a well modelled prototypical location with good scenery (and I appreciate that scenery was an important part of the criteria) and I enjoyed the constant action and reasonably accurate formations - no C1 on Thompson stock! But it seems to represent a lot of what you complain about in the modern hobby. I.e. RTR/ course scale/ Unrealistic operation/ non working signals. 

 

There were many better contenders in my view. And my own best in layout was either East Colne - a delightful small east Anglian Branchline terminus, Little Salkeld as already mentioned or Burntisland 1883. I appreciate that Burntisland had a lot of running issues and that certainly spoilt it. But that has to be set against the enormity of the challenge that they have set themselves. Everything is Victorian kit or scratch built stock and the ability to get wagons to run up and down a ramp onto a ferry with a rope capstan (reliably when I watched it) was truly stunning. Also coal wagons being worked via working wagon turntables to a waiting ship and then discharged into the hold was really impressive.

 

They get a perfect 10 for difficulty in my book if only a 5 out of 10 for attainment. Whereas the winner was the opposite.

 

Andy

 

I'm pleased that the wagon turntable worked when you saw the layout.  When I was watching, the operator removed a wagon from the loading spur by hand and placed it on the siding feeding the turntable.  Another operator happily pushed a rake of wagons along a siding to where he wanted them by hand.

 

Burntisland is a remarkable layout which I've seen before, when it ran well,  but it wasn't at its best on Saturday.

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21 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Having lived for nearly 16 years now adjacent to a real railway, I've witnessed no derailments on it in all that time. Granted, there is no shunting, but the running has been perfect (apart from the wires being pulled down one day!). 

 

 

Inarguable ... but I wonder how entertaining?

 

So long as no one was hurt, a few derailments might add to the mix? 

 

Witness the entertainment value of the trap points  here ....though of course this wasn't poor track work or badly built stock but rather operator error!

 

I have seen Burntisland on two occasions now, and both times the stock continually derailed down towards the harbour end. There was also the occasional sticky loco. Would I like to watch the layout with perfect running .... you bet. Does the less than perfect running frustrate ... absolutely. Would I rather see Burntisland with less than perfect running or not see it at all ... I would plump for less than perfect running every time - it has so much to offer on so many other fronts. Do I find it inspirational ... very much so. Shall I try to emulate  the poorer elements of the running qualities .... not if I can help it.

 

Anyway .... moving on .... :whistle:

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Interesting comments above Tony - please don't go, you are an anchorman in this hobby and greatly respected by many - me included.

 

Re your list of "running requirements" I agree with them all - though on my layouts some rules don't apply (perhaps they should), some are in progress and some are in the think about it stage. Yes good prototypical running is important, especially at exhibitions (Wigan being my main one).

 

There are many exhibition layout operators commenting on this thread. May I take this opportunity to thank you all - As I am a lone operator if when things go wrong I either quickly sort it, leave it till next time, or (as no one is looking) just say "sod it". At exhibitions this can't be done and I sympathise with the operators if I see things go wrong. I don't walk away, laugh etc, I think it manners to stay a little while, inspect other bits of the layout, give a few encouraging words if possible and wait till things run again - usually problems are sorted a hell of a lot quicker than I can do. I think the operators like that from their viewers. It must be awful to be tut tutted at whilst under pressure to get the layout up and running again, then again some layouts should perhaps be a bit better in the running department. This is NOT a big (or even small) issue for me, it's usually Sods law in action etc.

 

Happy exhibiting folks - I need to get to a few more local ones this year.

 

Brit15

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, 2750Papyrus said:

 

I'm pleased that the wagon turntable worked when you saw the layout.  When I was watching, the operator removed a wagon from the loading spur by hand and placed it on the siding feeding the turntable.  Another operator happily pushed a rake of wagons along a siding to where he wanted them by hand.

 

Burntisland is a remarkable layout which I've seen before, when it ran well,  but it wasn't at its best on Saturday.

I’ve seen Burntisland two or three times and the running has always been poor, but I tend to forgive it for the scale of ambition. And they’re very good at having a chap out front to interpret the scene.

 

I went on Sunday, so perhaps a few gremlins had been sorted out. In my opinion it’s a shame it wasn’t built in EM to give a better chance of good running. But I suppose that it would then be set in 1820 rather than 1883 and nothing would need to run at all!

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Am I really that much of a zealot? I will not tolerate poor running, derailments, stuttering locos/stock, poor operation (of which I'm often guilty, which is why I rarely operated at shows) and incompetence in driving. I really do tire of poor running at shows. Last weekend (on a well-known layout) I watched a chap (not a guest operator) flick switch after switch, turn knob after knob, look, look, look and look again at a loco, and still it didn't move; until he nudged it. It then went, and, as I watched, some wagons derailed elsewhere on the layout! I walked away!

     

 

Completely agree, I saw an amazing looking P4 layout recently, as a diorama it was superb.  However, as soon as any engine approached a set of points it would stall time and again, then wagons would derail even on straight track.  It just became frustrating to watch.

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About speed of running on layouts :

 

I occasionally help out with an exhibition layout and like to shunt the goods yard. I try to do this with a good deal of slow speed but I have heard that in reality shunting was often a bit faster and rougher than this? Would like to know if I can improve anything. 

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If I might add to a couple of the topics.  I'm part of the Management team at Stevenage, so basically had an hour to rush round all the layouts.  I'm not disputing the choice of Brinklow, but personally I appreciated the suburban scenicks of Hedges Hill Cutting and the art deco of Aerodrome Park.

 

On the subject of exhibition operating, have we discussed interaction with the public?  Burntisland cracked it with the "top hat" out front.  A problem can occur when an operator (say, the signalman) is involved in a long discussion with a spectator, the layout grinds to a halt and all-bar-one walk away.  The operators on my layout (Höchstädt) will interact with the public but anyone with a complex question is directed towards the fiddle yard.  This is open to the public, with the information sheets set out between the cassettes and the public.  If the fiddle yard operator has to receive a train and send out the next one, a simple "can you give me a couple of minutes?" usually means the punter waits and then resumes the conversation.

 

Tony, please keep injecting themes into this thread, which is far and away the best one on RMWeb.  You once explained to this modeller of the London & South Western Railway and Deutsches Bundesbahn, the etymology of the three variants of the Thompson A2 Pacifics.  So I have no interest in how Hornby will tool each individual locomotive but accept that some people do .....

 

Bill

 

 

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Please may I make a small comment about reliable running.

 

I should say that I have never built or operated a railway for public exhibition, and am full of admiration for those that do.

My railway is quite private, although occasionally friends have been (and hopefully will be) invited to see it.

There is of course a rule that on such occasions something will go wrong, even if that precise failure had not happened before.

If this applies when one or two people are visiting, then heaven knows what will happen with lots and lots of people watching!

 

Two things that I didn't note in Tony's list or the comments above are:-

 

1. Adequate weighting of vehicles (especially goods and mineral vehicles) which are quite small.

2. Consistent standards for couplings and buffer lengths, and testing of these in trains. Only yesterday I discovered that one scratchbuilt wagon (of which I am reasonably proud) caused a derailment when connected to another scratchbuilt wagon (of which I am actually even more proud), but elsewhere in the train caused no problems!

 

Thank you for all the splendid photographs and comments.

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4 minutes ago, Dave John said:

Interesting debate on reliable running. One issue I have from time to time is starting. You know, you roll a train to a perfect stop at a platform, then when you open the throttle to move off it just sits there. Aye, usually when folk are round to have a look at the layout. Harumpf ..... 

 

 

So on Kelvinbank 2 I  added a small pushbutton with a quite stiff action down there on the bottom lhs of my walkabout controllers. 

 

1384990031_cont1.JPG.90f497a0db04870660a17af2b53a9bd2.JPG

 

 

That button, via some electrickery,  fires the coil on a hefty old contactor, one mounted up at the back corner of each of the main baseboards like so.

 

cont_2.JPG.cbd3b7e3bdc5df6ac3ae2f513728d708.JPG

 

 

This imparts a knock to the baseboard quite sufficient to get over the moment of sticktion or tiny amount of dust and lo, the train moves off neatly without the hand of god or the operators knuckles being hurt by a sharp rap to the baseboard top. 

 

Also you can see a small LED on the top of the controller. Thats a loco present light. Comes on if the controller senses the resistance of a loco motor, even with the controller shut. So if its not on then you look at section switches and point settings as a first thing, rather than prodding the loco and then realising the siding is switched off. 

 

It also has another function. It is fast enough to detect tiny open circuits to the motor and amplify them a bit. If it starts to flicker while a train is running then that tells me that track or wheels need a clean.

 

A couple of dirty tricks perhaps, but if it keeps the trains running without the hand of god I'll go with them. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha ha that's great! I've not seen a contactor like that since the 90s and certainly never for that kind of purpose.

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1 hour ago, bbishop said:

If I might add to a couple of the topics.  I'm part of the Management team at Stevenage, so basically had an hour to rush round all the layouts.  I'm not disputing the choice of Brinklow, but personally I appreciated the suburban scenicks of Hedges Hill Cutting and the art deco of Aerodrome Park.

 

On the subject of exhibition operating, have we discussed interaction with the public?  Burntisland cracked it with the "top hat" out front.  A problem can occur when an operator (say, the signalman) is involved in a long discussion with a spectator, the layout grinds to a halt and all-bar-one walk away.  The operators on my layout (Höchstädt) will interact with the public but anyone with a complex question is directed towards the fiddle yard.  This is open to the public, with the information sheets set out between the cassettes and the public.  If the fiddle yard operator has to receive a train and send out the next one, a simple "can you give me a couple of minutes?" usually means the punter waits and then resumes the conversation.

 

Tony, please keep injecting themes into this thread, which is far and away the best one on RMWeb.  You once explained to this modeller of the London & South Western Railway and Deutsches Bundesbahn, the etymology of the three variants of the Thompson A2 Pacifics.  So I have no interest in how Hornby will tool each individual locomotive but accept that some people do .....

 

Bill

 

 

Thanks Bill,

 

And thanks again for your most-generous contribution to CRUK.

 

'Hedges Hill Cutting and the art deco of Aerodrome Park.'

 

Both were on my list of 'possible' winners, as was Burntisland, and some others mentioned.......

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

 

 

 

Yes the winner was coarse scale (not course) and the signals didn't work, but every time I watched it, the running was impeccable (I didn't see the rocket-powered 9F). 

 

 

 I owned one of these once. I was 13 at the time and loved it. I didn't know any better at the time that it was really a Britannia with a German 2-10-0 chassis. I'm 58 now, so bear in mind the age of the loco. Memories are a bit vague of the running qualities of my example, but there could well be a good reason why they are operating it at breakneck speed...

 

Chris 

Edited by Chris Higgs
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