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13 minutes ago, Major Clanger said:

Bill,

 

The electrics aren't a problem as such - they are just there to translate the operators' wishes into volts and amps in the right places. The problems probably lie in there not being the familiar (pre-DCC) control panel with section and cab selection switches - with a very few exceptions, all track power is set by the route and knowing which is the correct controller to turn. Simply running trains round the circuits on both the GN and GC is not that difficult, but making them cross from e.g. up side to down side is not intuitive, and very few operators got familiar with the procedure.

 

The wiring is going to be documented - I will be gathering all the diagrams that do exist, and then as a first step start ferreting around underneath labelling everything. Luckily all my leg joints are still up to it! A track plan would also be a great help - I'm not sure one exists, other than the original BR surveys which were used to plan the layout. Scan, reduce, edit; scan, reduce, edit...

 

Andrew, I have trackplans in Hornby Magazine Oct 2015 Issue No 100 and BRM March 2013 Vol 20 No 12, which I can scan and send to you. Neither shows the fiddle yard, just the scenic section. Maybe Tony W has an electronic version of the BRM one that he can email straight to you and may be a better quality than a scan from a magazine.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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Tony is very kindly selling some kits on behalf of a friend of mine who is in poor health. I visited the house again today and came away with more model railway things, including some more boxes of kits that I have not yet checked in any detail. One thing I did identify is a Martin Finney A4 - engine and tender kit. 

 

There is lots of RTR stuff for me to sort out and sell one way or another.

 

I also found a few Parkside kits:

 

51230820665_2bc674bcb4_c.jpgIMG_0968m by Robert Carroll, on Flickr

 

Boxes are taking over my house, with more to come tomorrow.

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7 hours ago, Dunsignalling said:

Whilst no more than half the size of Retford, and somewhat less complex, there aren't enough "members" in our little group to operate Bournemouth Central on our own. We too therefore rely on visiting operators to make up the absolute minimum of six required. Fortunately, a number of TMRG members are keen to run it as often as they get the chance. Ideally, that would be every couple of months, but that's gone out of the window thanks to Covid!

 

The layout is operated on a walkaround basis, with up and down drivers, using wireless DC controllers, Signalman/supervisor on the "Mighty Wurlitzer" and separate operators for loco shed, goods yards and the two main sets of storage roads. Theoretically, we "need" seven operators, but Tom prefers to work both the "WaterlooWeymouth" and "Bournemouth West" fiddle yards solo, so we usually "run" with six plus one or two learners if enough of the experienced crew are in attendance. The presence of a seventh allows one of us to act as supervisor, trainer and "control", thereby freeing the main panel operator to concentrate exclusively on the "day job".

 

The real key to success can be summed up in one word, familiarity; it doesn't breed contempt, quite the reverse, it breeds competence. Once you have enough who really know their stuff, they can take newcomers under their wings.

 

Trying to run the thing with a crew that hasn't touched it for a year and more creates some foreboding, and we haven't yet arranged our first post-lockdown session. When we do, it will be with our "A-team" and no learners; even we will inevitably be rusty. It will take a while to get back up to speed in every sense of the expression. 

 

It sounds like Retford is rather like that every time it gets run, so you have my sympathy!

 

John

That's my sort of layout too!

 

The Mid-Cornwall Lines, which Tony has seen (and driven a train on - yes, using DCC...), in its current form can occupy ten operators:

 

Two each on the main Paddington and Penzance storage loops

Porthmellyn Road signalman

Four drivers (wireless, as above)

Fat Controller (usually me) to coordinate things (a bit like what Americans call a dispatcher but not quite the same thing).

 

Once the layout is complete there will be room for a few more:

 

St Enodoc signalman

Pentowan signalman

Pentowan shunter/station pilot

Two more drivers

 

We have a full running session every two months, which is frequent enough for the team not to get (too) rusty.

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1 hour ago, robertcwp said:

Tony is very kindly selling some kits on behalf of a friend of mine who is in poor health. I visited the house again today and came away with more model railway things, including some more boxes of kits that I have not yet checked in any detail. One thing I did identify is a Martin Finney A4 - engine and tender kit. 

 

There is lots of RTR stuff for me to sort out and sell one way or another.

 

I also found a few Parkside kits:

 

51230820665_2bc674bcb4_c.jpgIMG_0968m by Robert Carroll, on Flickr

 

Boxes are taking over my house, with more to come tomorrow.

Any pre-grouping parcels vans?  SB needs them for the 7:53 arrival from Addison Road.  Bill

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11 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

Andrew, I have trackplans in Hornby Magazine Oct 2015 Issue No 100 and BRM March 2013 Vol 20 No 12, which I can scan and send to you. Neither shows the fiddle yard, just the scenic section. Maybe Tony W has an electronic version of the BRM one that he can email straight to you and may be a better quality than a scan from a magazine.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

Good morning Tony,

 

I'm afraid I don't have access to BRM's archives directly any more, so cannot supply a Retford trackplan. 

 

I note in one of your previous posts a comment about Retford being more mechanically-reliable than many (most?) other layouts. I completely agree with that. Whenever I've seen it in operation in the past, any 'problems' have always been caused by the operators not doing something or doing something wrong.

 

I admit to always being puzzled by that situation. Roy was so insistent about good running (his locos are second to none in that respect) yet he didn't seem to have the ability to instill the 'discipline' necessary for it to be operated properly. As you say, he was never really a leader. You could run it, as could Pete Hill (and, no doubt, Andrew), but at every running day I attended it just seemed to be confusion.

 

And, it's no good just blaming folk, either. Though I'm using what I say next as no yardstick, with every single exhibition layout I've been involved with (and Retford was certainly 'on exhibition' during running days) complete insistence on the operators knowing exactly what they're doing has always been to the fore. Granted, none has been a big or complex as Retford (and in Stoke's case, it was just a roundy-roundy) but nobody was allowed near the controls (at a show) until they'd practised/trained and were thoroughly conversant with how a layout worked.

 

Such 'Draconian' measures might lead one to believe that there'd be a dearth of folk wanting to be involved. In fact, it was the opposite. Once folk know how to drive a railway (whether that be to operate it or run it is a matter of semantics) and are entirely confident in the layout's ability to 'work' (as any operator of Retford should be), then there's a huge sense of satisfaction. A satisfaction in knowing that it's been enjoyable, not frustrating, and entertaining - both for the operators and spectators. 

 

With Sandra keen to have Retford operated more, and for folk to learn how to do it properly, the future for Retford looks bright indeed; especially if I'm nowhere near the controls!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Edited by Tony Wright
to clarify a point
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9 hours ago, robertcwp said:

Tony is very kindly selling some kits on behalf of a friend of mine who is in poor health. I visited the house again today and came away with more model railway things, including some more boxes of kits that I have not yet checked in any detail. One thing I did identify is a Martin Finney A4 - engine and tender kit. 

 

There is lots of RTR stuff for me to sort out and sell one way or another.

 

I also found a few Parkside kits:

 

51230820665_2bc674bcb4_c.jpgIMG_0968m by Robert Carroll, on Flickr

 

Boxes are taking over my house, with more to come tomorrow.

It's a mammoth task, Robert!

 

This morning, I'm posting off five separate parcels of stuff I've already sold (one box contains four kits!). Two have already been collected, which makes ten loco/carriage kits sold so far, plus a couple of chassis kits, which I'll be having.

 

I'll be sending the money so far through soon............................

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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8 hours ago, bbishop said:

Any pre-grouping parcels vans?  SB needs them for the 7:53 arrival from Addison Road.  Bill

Not found any so far as I can recall but I have stock all over the place. Contents of boxes are very mixed and I'm trying to sort things out into some kind of rational order. 

 

I just casually looked in a large box marked loco kits etc and found it contained four Lima diesels along with various kits.

 

My focus for this week and probably beyond is to separate out the good RTR stuff (mostly newer models from c2000 onwards) from the old stuff. I'm offering the newer RTR things to people I know first. The older stuff is likely to go in bulk to dealers, along with some unsold newer stuff. Some friends have offered to sell some things on eBay, which is the most likely route where it is most likely to make a big difference to the amount after allowing for eBay costs etc. 

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10 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Good morning Tony,

 

I'm afraid I don't have access to BRM's archives directly any more, so cannot supply a Retford trackplan. 

 

I note in one of your previous posts a comment about Retford being more mechanically-reliable than many (most?) other layouts. I completely agree with that. Whenever I've seen it in operation in the past, any 'problems' have always been caused by the operators not doing something or doing something wrong.

 

I admit to always being puzzled by that situation. Roy was so insistent about good running (his locos are second to none in that respect) yet he didn't seem to have the ability to instill the 'discipline' necessary for it to be operated properly. As you say, he was never really a leader. You could run it, as could Pete Hill (and, no doubt, Andrew), but at every running day I attended it just seemed to be confusion.

 

And, it's no good just blaming folk, either. Though I'm using what I say next as no yardstick, with every single exhibition layout I've been involved with (and Retford was certainly 'on exhibition' during running days) complete insistence on the operators knowing exactly what they're doing has always been to the fore. Granted, none has been a big or complex as Retford (and in Stoke's case, it was just a roundy-roundy) but nobody was allowed near the controls until they'd practised/trained and were thoroughly conversant with how a layout worked.

 

Such 'Draconian' measures might lead one to believe that there'd be a dearth of folk wanting to be involved. In fact, it was the opposite. Once folk know how to drive a railway (whether that be to operate it or run it is a matter of semantics) and are entirely confident in the layout's ability to 'work' (as any operator of Retford should be), then there's a huge sense of satisfaction. A satisfaction in knowing that it's been enjoyable, not frustrating, and entertaining - both for the operators and spectators. 

 

With Sandra keen to have Retford operated more, and for folk to learn how to do it properly, the future for Retford looks bright indeed; especially if I'm nowhere near the controls!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

In that case I will scan and email a plan to Andrew later.

 

Some of Roy's actions actually directly created problems on a running day. There were several times when he would say that somebody totally new to the layout "wanted to gave a go" and asked me to teach them how to run the layout in the middle of going through the sequence with people watching.

 

I recall one time when I looked across at South box and there were two "newby" operators trying to teach themselves how to work it with none of the regulars in sight.

 

So it was no surprise to me that the operation was never quite as good as it could have been.

 

I would be like you if I wanted to put on a good display for viewers. Learn the layout first then work it in front of others.

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17 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

In that case I will scan and email a plan to Andrew later.

 

Some of Roy's actions actually directly created problems on a running day. There were several times when he would say that somebody totally new to the layout "wanted to gave a go" and asked me to teach them how to run the layout in the middle of going through the sequence with people watching.

 

I recall one time when I looked across at South box and there were two "newby" operators trying to teach themselves how to work it with none of the regulars in sight.

 

So it was no surprise to me that the operation was never quite as good as it could have been.

 

I would be like you if I wanted to put on a good display for viewers. Learn the layout first then work it in front of others.

I'm all in favour of encouraging folk to operate a layout, but never when there's a crowd watching.

 

In the past, towards the end of a day at a show, I've invited others to 'have a go', but always under close supervision and never when there's a 'full house'. This is especially so with youngsters (under the watchful eye of their parents), who often learn far more quickly and are far slicker than old gits. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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33 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

II would be like you if I wanted to put on a good display for viewers. Learn the layout first then work it in front of others.

Couldn't agree more. 

 

After over 20 years, I'm still learning my own layout, and I designed it!

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

It's a mammoth task, Robert!

 

Don't I know it! When I offered to help sell things, I had no idea how much there was. It turns out that the self-storage unit contained lots of model trains - everything from Lima and Hornby Railroad to high-quality RTR and ProScale kits, and even a Martin Finney one. 

 

There are boxes now at the house that I need to collect this week so I still don't know the full extent of the stock. Bachmann locos have now passed the 100 mark, although some of the first 99 have now been sold.

 

Before my railway room was overrun with boxes of working timetables etc (which will hopefully be collected from me in a few days' time) I began test running the locos. Most were fine but I have already found two duds, so I shall probably need to test all of them.

 

And still no summer 1957 King's Cross-Doncaster WTT has turned up. :banghead:

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2 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I'm all in favour of encouraging folk to operate a layout, but never when there's a crowd watching.

 

In the past, towards the end of a day at a show, I've invited others to 'have a go', but always under close supervision and never when there's a 'full house'. This is especially so with youngsters (under the watchful eye of their parents), who often learn far more quickly and are far slicker than old gits. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

I used to do the same but much depends on the layout and how easy or difficult it is to operate. We had many guests on Leighton Buzzard and because the controls were at the front, showing somebody how to operate it almost became a "demo" to the others watching and became part of the show.

 

I would suggest though that running Retford is much harder for a novice than say Stoke Summit or Leighton Buzzard because of the complexity and need for teamwork with three operators at different positions working together to run a train round the circuit on the GN portion.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

... with every single exhibition layout I've been involved with (and Retford was certainly 'on exhibition' during running days) complete insistence on the operators knowing exactly what they're doing has always been to the fore. Granted, none has been a big or complex as Retford (and in Stoke's case, it was just a roundy-roundy) but nobody was allowed near the controls (at a show) until they'd practised/trained and were thoroughly conversant with how a layout worked.

 

Once folk know how to drive a railway and are entirely confident in the layout's ability to 'work' (as any operator of Retford should be), then there's a huge sense of satisfaction. A satisfaction in knowing that it's been enjoyable, not frustrating, and entertaining - both for the operators and spectators. 

 

I absolutely agree with this and other similar posts that highlight the need for practice away from the public stare and I would like to think we've done that with Grantham over the years (you have attended some such sessions yourself, Tony). In fact, we have another set up for the early autumn to ensure we haven't all got rusty over the last 18 months since the layout was last seen in public. But - based on the experience with operating the layout over the last eight(-ish) years (and other layouts as well) - two comments to make:

 

You can sit some people down in front of the control panel, explain how it is supposed to work, talk them through each move ... yet no matter how many times you (patiently) do that, they just don't 'get' it. Conversely - and we've had this happen - you sit someone else down in the exact same circumstances and within ten minutes they've got trains zipping around, doing things that the builder never even thought was possible with their own layout. In other words, you can teach people all you like but 'operating' (as we might understand that term in a layout context) is a skill just the same as - say - soldering: some people have an instinctive feel (gift!) for it whereas for others it will always remain a mystery. (Fortunately, in Grantham's case, we have six different operating positions, each of which require a different skill set so generally there's somewhere for everybody)

 

Related to that, but not entirely the same thing, is the 'schedule' (timetable) that the layout is designed to operate to - assuming there is one. The schedule for operating Grantham at an exhibition is about as complex as is sensible to attempt at a show - many might argue that it is too complex to be sensible(!) And it therefore takes practice and familiarisation, which again we do at home. BUT however hard we try, you just cannot recreate the dynamics of a show situation at home. The last couple of times we've done it, it's taken two sessions to get through the schedule (a few hours Sat pm plus a few hours Sun am). You're naturally more relaxed at home, happy to chat and make a joke, we stop and try and 'fix' a problem if one occurs (which of course is part of the idea).

 

At a show it's completely different! You're aiming for a rhythm (Barry calls it the 'drum beat') where the layout has settled down and everyone is concentrating on their domain, planning one move ahead, the layout is behaving ... simply put, collectively you have to keep going for eight(-ish)  hours and nothing beats that for getting familiar with the schedule and honing each move. And I guarantee that - however much practise we've done and however much care we've taken setting the layout up - that will NEVER happen first thing Saturday morning! The best we ever achieved was at Ally-Pally (satisfyingly) when Andrew suddenly announced  that we'd been once round in slightly under two hours. And that was 1pm to 3pm on the Sunday. We just hit a lovely 'purple patch', the gremlins stayed away and everyone was 'on song'. Nirvana - but it doesn't happen very often!

 

 

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14 hours ago, bbishop said:

You seem to have quite a few problems with Retford.

 

A couple of WW regulars have operated Southwark Bridge (SB) which is large and complex and maybe some of our philosophy could assist.  An SB operating day is an exercise in operating a six platform terminus for a chunk of a day in 1912.  It occupies 10 operators plus at least two "assistants".  We operate a timetable to a clock, although that is usually running "slow" and each operating position has their moves on a tablet.  There is a computer, which requires trains to be correctly offered and accepted, and ensures the correct levers are pulled in the right order.  It is a pleasure to watch the 10 coach Plymouth snake out of platform 7, through points 76 to gain the down line.  But it is horses for courses and SB is a delight for people who enjoy the interaction.  SB isn't designed for visitors, although a regular will probably hand them their controller and show them how to operate.

 

At least the electrics are properly documented on SB and this could be your biggest problem in operating Retford.  I hope you adopt Brian's suggestions, but if you wish to further develop the layout, you may need to document the wiring!

 

The SB team are always willing to accept visitors so any Retfordian is welcome to join us for an operating session.  Bill

I can vouch  for that. Bill kindly invited me down shortly before Covid hit and when I arrived I was put on a down loco driver position with Bill looking over my shoulder. It was pretty intuitive and I think I picked it up quickly, such that I was allowed to get on with it for most of the day. A very enjoyable experience which I hope to repeat post Covid. 
 

Learning all the lingo and in jokes (the exclamation ‘white roofs’ featured prominently!) might take a bit longer.

 

Thanks again Bill,

 

Andy

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9 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

I absolutely agree with this and other similar posts that highlight the need for practice away from the public stare and I would like to think we've done that with Grantham over the years (you have attended some such sessions yourself, Tony). In fact, we have another set up for the early autumn to ensure we haven't all got rusty over the last 18 months since the layout was last seen in public. But - based on the experience with operating the layout over the last eight(-ish) years (and other layouts as well) - two comments to make:

 

You can sit some people down in front of the control panel, explain how it is supposed to work, talk them through each move ... yet no matter how many times you (patiently) do that, they just don't 'get' it. Conversely - and we've had this happen - you sit someone else down in the exact same circumstances and within ten minutes they've got trains zipping around, doing things that the builder never even thought was possible with their own layout. In other words, you can teach people all you like but 'operating' (as we might understand that term in a layout context) is a skill just the same as - say - soldering: some people have an instinctive feel (gift!) for it whereas for others it will always remain a mystery. (Fortunately, in Grantham's case, we have six different operating positions, each of which require a different skill set so generally there's somewhere for everybody)

 

Related to that, but not entirely the same thing, is the 'schedule' (timetable) that the layout is designed to operate to - assuming there is one. The schedule for operating Grantham at an exhibition is about as complex as is sensible to attempt at a show - many might argue that it is too complex to be sensible(!) And it therefore takes practice and familiarisation, which again we do at home. BUT however hard we try, you just cannot recreate the dynamics of a show situation at home. The last couple of times we've done it, it's taken two sessions to get through the schedule (a few hours Sat pm plus a few hours Sun am). You're naturally more relaxed at home, happy to chat and make a joke, we stop and try and 'fix' a problem if one occurs (which of course is part of the idea).

 

At a show it's completely different! You're aiming for a rhythm (Barry calls it the 'drum beat') where the layout has settled down and everyone is concentrating on their domain, planning one move ahead, the layout is behaving ... simply put, collectively you have to keep going for eight(-ish)  hours and nothing beats that for getting familiar with the schedule and honing each move. And I guarantee that - however much practise we've done and however much care we've taken setting the layout up - that will NEVER happen first thing Saturday morning! The best we ever achieved was at Ally-Pally (satisfyingly) when Andrew suddenly announced  that we'd been once round in slightly under two hours. And that was 1pm to 3pm on the Sunday. We just hit a lovely 'purple patch', the gremlins stayed away and everyone was 'on song'. Nirvana - but it doesn't happen very often!

 

 

 

A super post which sums up the situation as well as any I have seen.

 

There are people who can watch a layout for a few minutes and then just have an almost instinctive ability to work it. Natural born operators! Others can be shown a hundred times and still get it wrong.

 

Those times where everything falls into place, everybody gets everything right first time and the layout behaves are really quite special.

 

I remember the first time we went through our sequence of 56 trains in and out of Narrow Road in an hour. The sense of achievement was really quite something.

 

It was like that the time I mentioned when Pete Hill and I worked the sequence through on Retford. As the last train ran, the sense of "Get in there" as if we had scored the winning goal at a cup final was quite real.

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Roy may not have been too enthusiastic about operating Retford, but we should be grateful that he and the Retford Mob created a wonderful legacy of 4mm modelling, which Sandra has thankfully taken on.

 

Even a fairly simple layout like London Road needed a lot of concentration by the operators to run it over a long period. Richard McLachan created a straightforward operating schedule with clearly illustrated moves outlined for each fiddle yard operator and the main control panel operator. The main control panel was made as "intuitive" as possible, with LED indicators for the point settings and colour coded electrical sections. I would book the local village hall several weeks ahead of any show we were booked for and we ran a test session followed by an operating day. At shows we would start operating 15 minutes before opening time in an attempt to get rid of the cobwebs. However, with just a couple of shows a year it was too easy to become rusty so occasional errors were made. We kept operating sessions to 45 minutes to keep the operators fresh. Over time it became apparent that most exhibition visitors just wanted to see trains running (as frequently as possible), although the ladies attending a show were often more interested in the model detail.

 

Despite occasional requests from modelling acquaintances to join the team, we never took on "guest" operators at shows. There was one exception at Warley 2016, where a young man came back three times to view the layout with his grandfather. Colin gave him an opportunity to operate the main panel, while Hywel and Paul kept things running from the fiddle yards.

 

1722858259_Newoptraining2.jpg.f0e50b822ac7f398496c22b3d49077b9.jpg

 

 

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I am so glad I designed my layout for one man operation, with the ability of having another three mates driving trains.

 

I have system of operation, not a time table or a scheduled. normal sequence is a train leaves either storage siding, whizzing, or trundling along the main line whilst I do any necessary loco moves or shunts in the station area. After a few laps in come the trains into the station. Two more trains depart for the fiddle yards, doing a few laps each as I sort out any other stray locos hanging about the platforms. Some times I just sit back and watch the trains plodding along on the mainline.

 

The station area is signaled and when in the mood is run as close to real railway operation that I can get to which is enjoyable and so is just using the mainlines as a train set. Best of both worlds.

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A few years ago, I was on the operating team of a layout that ran two schedules, a fully comprehensive one for the clubroom, and a more simplified version for exhibition days, with the more complex movements that disrupted the ‘flow’ taken out.  The observing public were none the wiser, it removed most of the ‘not much happening here’ moments and the layout definitely held a crowd for longer.

 

Re: experienced operators, I wholly agree with the comments above.  I have however, on occasions, let people operate my own smaller Swiss layout at exhibitions, at quieter times during the day.  Always under supervision, often with delighted parents in attendance.  Interestingly, other viewers were often drawn to the layout by the ongoing explanation about its operation.  The last hour of a club exhibition seems to attract a different demographic of attending public, when things can be done differently.

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7 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Despite occasional requests from modelling acquaintances to join the team, we never took on "guest" operators at shows. There was one exception at Warley 2016, where a young man came back three times to view the layout with his grandfather. Colin gave him an opportunity to operate the main panel, while Hywel and Paul kept things running from the fiddle yards.

 

Just that one experience could mean that young lad may become a future @Jol Wilkinson, @Tony Wrightetc.   In my experience of demonstrating the workings of AC Electric loco cab controls, the (older) children ask the much more sensible questions than the adults (especially the adult enthusiasts who already think they know everything).

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1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

 

I used to do the same but much depends on the layout and how easy or difficult it is to operate. We had many guests on Leighton Buzzard and because the controls were at the front, showing somebody how to operate it almost became a "demo" to the others watching and became part of the show.

 

I would suggest though that running Retford is much harder for a novice than say Stoke Summit or Leighton Buzzard because of the complexity and need for teamwork with three operators at different positions working together to run a train round the circuit on the GN portion.

 

 

Your suggestion is spot on, Tony.

 

And, I wasn't trying to even compare the complexity of Retford with the trainsets I've been involved with (I use the word 'trainset' because, delightfully, that's how Roy described his). 

 

That said, because of Retford's complexity, it should have been even more imperative that operators knew what they were doing. The potential to operate it 'properly' is fantastic (above all else, I know Retford 'works'). I'm sure it will in future.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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On 06/06/2021 at 08:21, great central said:

 

We almost always run into Attenborough station against a red signal with the barriers open, unless something is coming the other way. 

We then have to wait for the route proving to decide that there's enough clear track after the barriers have been lowered which usually means leaving late!

The only time this changes is during leaf fall season when the barriers are lowered and signals cleared before we arrive.

 

 

I remember from spotting at Attenborough in the pre-barriers era, when the gates were operated by a wheel in the signal box - officially known as Attenborough Shunting Frame.  The gates were always opened for Up trains before they approached, even for stoppers (120 DMUs).  The signal was about 30 yards or so from the platform end, but the trains stopped with the front almost at the platform end.  I used to wonder why this happened until one day there was a rumour round at school that a train had gone through the gates.  Sure enough, a cycle down the next evening found two gates still operating normally, two piled up at the side in a bent condition and a man stringing a bit of red-and-white tape across the gap.

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1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

 

I used to do the same but much depends on the layout and how easy or difficult it is to operate. We had many guests on Leighton Buzzard and because the controls were at the front, showing somebody how to operate it almost became a "demo" to the others watching and became part of the show.

 

I would suggest though that running Retford is much harder for a novice than say Stoke Summit or Leighton Buzzard because of the complexity and need for teamwork with three operators at different positions working together to run a train round the circuit on the GN portion.

 

 

A good friend lets keen youngsters have a go on the goods yard, which is at the front of the layout and is self-contained, while the rest of us get on with the sequence in the station itself.

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2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

There are people who can watch a layout for a few minutes and then just have an almost instinctive ability to work it. Natural born operators! Others can be shown a hundred times and still get it wrong.

 

Completely agree with this. 

 

One of my friends who regularly helps me at shows tends to have a 'warm up' period in the morning of the first day. He's operated the layout many times and nothing has changed on the controls but it just takes him a short time to remember where everything is and how it all works. This is even after an at home refresher session.

 

However, once he's remembered he's a very, very good operator. 

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I'm all in favour of encouraging folk to operate a layout, but never when there's a crowd watching.

 

In the past, towards the end of a day at a show, I've invited others to 'have a go', but always under close supervision and never when there's a 'full house'. This is especially so with youngsters (under the watchful eye of their parents), who often learn far more quickly and are far slicker than old gits. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

That reminds me when I ran LB all on my lonesome for a couple of hours whilst you were swearing at something you were building. 

Although I’ve always found it much easier running trains by yourself, as soon as there’s a crowd things go wrong. 

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