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Henley on Thames - GWR in the 1930's


Neal Ball
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It’s been a bit quiet at Henley of late... the builders have been in again.

 

This time extending a wall in the garage, which meant all of the railway had to be covered with dust sheets. I had planned to use the time to continue a couple of projects, but with one thing and another it didn’t work out.

 

The plan had always been to cover the railway with voils and plastic to limit the amount of dust that can get through. This involved putting up a frame at the back and front, which is now all in place. The back support will have another set of lights added soon.

 

It all looked a bit weird when looking through from the office next door, although in the photo below it all looks a bit of a mess!

 

56B987AA-79C2-4695-ACE2-B59D6FDE8456.jpeg.6af88afcee82f3beb5b2cb92c6bfb5b4.jpeg

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This afternoon, I just thought “what if” and took my 1970’s Stephenson Rocket out of the box.... R346C made by Triang Hornby.

 

Clearly there is NO power on my DCC layout, this is only for the photo. It’s now safely back in its box.

 

96CAB69B-FD98-4C39-82C7-BA871E88937A.jpeg.c84fdea7c618dfb6e51d4eddf651511d.jpeg

 

Showing it was made in different times, none of the train liked going across the double slip into Platform 2. I’m very tempted by the new Hornby model..... don’t need one, but it’s tempting!

 

Maybe I should get another Dapol railcar instead :-)

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Sunny greetings from Spain - where I'm full of cold, my 2nd in 2 months :-(

 

Ive just had a read of the Hornby "engine shed" blog, where they are committing to a (blog) schedule every 4 weeks, with a promise of more if they have a lot to say.... with the amount of new models promised for this year, that should be easy to do. 

 

Looking through the blog, they are saying that a lot of the projects started in 2018; you cant help feeling that they must have increased the number of researchers / CAD designers in order to do this.... does that mean there will be a similar number of new models released every year? Thats quite a large commitment, which can only be good for the industry. Obviously a lot of the Centenary products are re-liveries of current items, held in new packaging, but even then someone needs to design it.

 

There are a lot of the models due in October and December, lets hope they don't slip....

 

However, every time I see this, I keep thinking ...... it would look lovely at Henley.... but I don't need it!

 

1794512078_HornbyRocket.jpg.167bb5bda6f1215ad6b5bbabf8a179ea.jpg

 

No You're right - I dont need one!

 

So this week, I have pre-ordered the new 16xx from Model Rail / Rapido, which should arrive later this year:

 

1318838635_ModelRail16xx.jpg.bd40d39269da398cc785ed98be23d7c1.jpg

 

Sorry for the purists, but it will be painted into GWR shirt button livery!

 

At the same time, having seen the Railcar on @john dew Granby layout, I have taken the plunge and bought myself the Parcels Railcar No 17 from Hattons. My justification is that I found a picture of No 17 in Sonning cutting in 1936.... Conceivably it was going to Henley on Thames! - Right era; right stock :-)

 

1008053729_HattonsRailcar.jpg.d8c9659b46bf6c67d2526083d58a1671.jpg

 

At the same time, there has been a debate raging on the Hornby page of the forum about stock allocations to different dealers. In the hope that I dont miss out, Ive increased my 61xx order to 2. I was hoping to PX some old stock, but will do that with other items rather than miss out on the new loco.  Hopefully this works out!

 

I have also been impressed with the 94xx, not only from seeing it at Warley, but also seeing it running at Little Bytham in one of @Tony Wright videos. I'm inclined to order it from TMC and get them to re-livery it, together with a bit of weathering before sending it over. Its not due for a while, so have time for that one.

 

Sounds like I have just written my own "engine shed" blog! - Still don't need a Rocket!

 

What of the railway I hear you cry....

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Developments at Henley on Thames:

 

We had the builders in straight after the new year, which halted a lot of work, but I managed to make a start on the signal box. More to come on this in the next couple of weeks when it will be finished. It's quite a large structure, so far I'm pleased with the progress to date.

 

I have also changed a section of the baseboard around the lifting flap area, which gave access into the middle of the railway. I had never been happy with a section of the board as it had started to warp. My woodwork isn't really the best at times!

 

Thankfully now though, its very flat and trains can now proceed across without the front bogies coming off. 

 

At the same time, I wanted to change the arrangement where the curve comes in from the  back of the layout and then goes into a point straight away (photos will follow, which should explain it better). Some locos had derailed at this point as the bogies were still curving with the track and could do the reverse curve.... which meant I regularly had a short circuit. I'm hoping by inserting a short straight section here, that will make it easier.... which has meant that I've removed the flap and we now have a duck under section.

 

Note to self: I always knew it was going to be tricky having points so close to the edge of the flap and I possibly could have made it work. But replacing it completely was in the long run, the easier option. I don't want to keep taking the track up to fix it every time something goes wrong.

 

Everything is being wired up at the moment, with testing taking place at the same time.

 

Next week my Railcar should arrive from Hattons. It was being despatched on Friday by DPD on a 3-5 day delivery.

 

More to follow:

 

 

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Hi Neal,

 

94XX were first built in 1947 so a bit out of period for your 1930s timeframe...? Slightly closer than a Rocket, but still... :wink_mini:

 

If you're interested in sound it is possible to fit quite a big speaker in the Parcels Railcar without it showing obviously through the windows and without having to do any cutting or carving - just two soldered connections. (Dapol have modelled some basic shelving/racking inside the body.) Having said that, I'm having some sound quality issues with mine, which seems to be related to the decoder heating up. I'm working on it.

 

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Nice to see you doing lots of shopping! I also like the picture of the layout under the covers, good to see the whole layout in one shot, gives an nice overview.

 

Hope the building work is all ok and you can then crack on ready for your new purchases. 

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3 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Hi Neal,

 

94XX were first built in 1947 so a bit out of period for your 1930s timeframe...? Slightly closer than a Rocket, but still... :wink_mini:

 

If you're interested in sound it is possible to fit quite a big speaker in the Parcels Railcar without it showing obviously through the windows and without having to do any cutting or carving - just two soldered connections. (Dapol have modelled some basic shelving/racking inside the body.) Having said that, I'm having some sound quality issues with mine, which seems to be related to the decoder heating up. I'm working on it.

 

 

Thanks Phil, Yes I know about the 94xx, but it looks like a good model. I'm determined to have all my locos in 1920/30's livery, which means getting rid of the GWR on the tank sides.... Rule 1 will apply :-)

 

Thats also interesting about the sound in the railcar. I'm getting the DCC fitted version as at the moment, none of my railcars have sound... but never say never!

 

2 hours ago, sjrixon said:

Nice to see you doing lots of shopping! I also like the picture of the layout under the covers, good to see the whole layout in one shot, gives an nice overview.

 

Hope the building work is all ok and you can then crack on ready for your new purchases. 

 

Thanks Scott. Its not my favourite view - it shows too many things that I can see are wrong!

 

But its all work in progress...

 

Hopefully the last of the building work will be replacing the garage door with a wall; window and door. It's a lovely day over here today and it would be nice to get some fresh air into the railway room, although fly screens will be needed. (28 in the shade!)

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Dont Panic! Dont Panic!

 

I'd like to say sunny greetings from Spain where the temperature today has been a balmy xx degrees. Instead it's not all sunny in the land of idle....

 

The Coronavirus has caught up with Europe and Spain has been particularly badly hit. We were ok, until everyone in Madrid was told to work from home.... so a whole load of infected people went to their holiday homes on the Mar Menor, which is just down the road from us.

 

At midnight last night, all bars and restaurants were forced to close in this area and today a general curfew is being imposed across the whole of Spain from 8am Monday morning. Hopefully after a fortnights containment, no new cases are reported and things will (slowly) get back to normal. 

 

My parents were due to fly in tomorrow and have thankfully changed the flights (had to pay again though). Then on 26th April, we were due to fly to the US which is still possible, but probably unlikely at the moment.

 

So what's all this got to do with Henley? It means I can spend more time on the railway and spend more time giving a progress report on some on-going projects that haven't been seen yet on RMWeb.

 

1. Signal Box project: coming on nicely.

2. Replacing the lift up flap section for a duck under.

3. Catching up on other outstanding jobs.... goods shed & signals.

 

To be continued:.....

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Let's start with item 2 first!

 

To gain access to the centre of the railway, there has always been a lift up flap, which was the same flap I used when the layout was in the shed at Felpham. Back then it was fine, but recently it hasn't really worked properly and has been the cause of a few derailments. 

 

Now woodwork has never been a strong point, but at one time it all fitted together and was alright. But having seen the Duck-under at Granby courtesy of @john dew I decided that was the way to go. The work to change it all over took place a couple of months ago and its not been an issue to get under the layout.

 

As John has commented, it might put off non-railway people, we will have to see....!

 

The original flap:

 IMG_4091.jpeg.e9223d89d50ccc1908d68fd1f372a7df.jpeg

 

The track has been lifted next to the flap and it was really here that I had a problem, with differing heights / non aligned track etc.

 

IMG_4071.jpeg.0be43c9f76372dfd9c8f8042f63903d3.jpeg

 

The completed board - in fact, before I finished I rep[laced the flap and the area beyond this picture. I then spent about a week or so wiring it all up. More photos to follow on this topic:

 

IMG_4076.jpeg.fd8d68bbfc4a68dd2d0b18ac8ee4a765.jpeg

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Its a busy Sunday afternoon at Henley on Thames. 

 

4965 Rood Ashton Hall has just brought its train into Platform 2, with diesel railcars 11 and 17 in the bay platform No 3.

 

1336246292_Sun15-3-20.jpg.0f78af178960990d145e81abf15943cf.jpg

 

I need to tone all those white roofs down!

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Lockdown day 1:

(The weekend has been please don’t go out, today it’s a case you are not allowed out.)

 

Today has seen the railway running and some seldom used track being cleaned. 
 

Locos running; 4965 Rod Ashton Hall; Pannier 5775; Railcar 11; Castke class loco Dryswllyn Castle; 47xx 2-8-0 4704

 

Whilst everything was running, I managed to get some figures painted. These are the Modelu scans of us and also the free Modelu scans included with BRM a few months ago.

 

 

BB2B303A-5615-45CB-BF09-2C1B73247FFF.jpeg
 

There are also some Dart castings people.

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Wednesday 18th March:

The start of the 5th day with the bars closed during our lockdown here in Spain! Its all a bit odd - day 5 for Bars; but full lockdown didn't start until last Monday; now day 3!

 

Its all seeing lots of work being done on the railway, although yesterday I did manage some decorating as well!

 

It looks as if the passengers on the 16:07 must have thought they were on lockdown as well, as they were still at the outer home!

 

1913656925_GWRRailcarno11.jpg.44feedb0b29709437823572093c777a6.jpg

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Yesterday was also taken up with catching up on painting some signals, ready to be installed on the layout, together with running some trains.

 

At this stage I'm not going for more of the Dapol working signals, but that will eventually be the plan. I am hoping that I can install them today.

 

There was lots of shunting with Pannier 5775 - due to be renumbered when the plates arrive from Modelmaster. I think they need another chase today!

 

820601231_Shunting1r.jpg.b5dae8e319c21b402833bd7b2d1e91c6.jpg

 

Incidentally, all the vans being shunted are kit built.

 

 A view across the yard: 

 

1700177743_Shunting2r.jpg.f0a21b7ead753fba88eb672b25129a6f.jpg

 

And here, just with the Parksdie Beetle van:

 

413375832_Shunting3r.jpg.22bde7b741e4b69c11f694a036efe04a.jpg

 

 

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7 hours ago, Neal Ball said:

Unfortunately, in the process of shunting and cleaning this track, I broke the Yard loading gauge. I need to find a better way of fixing the gauge to the frame.

My loading gauge takes a battering too - not sure there is any way around it if you need to uncouple stock etc

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

My loading gauge takes a battering too - not sure there is any way around it if you need to uncouple stock etc

 

Maybe I need to get into the habit of removing it when I'm cleaning track.... I know its there and know not to knock it....

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I chased Modelmaster again yesterday for my loco plates...... another 2 or 3 weeks. I placed the order at the end of October.

 

Apparently the echters are slow!

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Signals are coming along nicely and will soon be on the layout. Something else for me to knock over!

 

8DDBD0AF-F932-43DE-B547-FEC0D162D3AF.jpeg.a41d1b9882b4f1776a7535e6ad711223.jpeg
 

and people.... footplate crew; Andy York @AY Mod et al and Robbie and I - all scanned by Alan at Modelu


248D17B8-B669-4765-A24F-D1B5D501AE68.jpeg.ff0a46eb142a9de75f570716d4400c68.jpeg

 

D3EF8F0A-8ACF-41C6-83D7-BB9A4C6BFF47.jpeg.67ca68e3b0f0ebace7a70f791554aa23.jpeg

 

The close up here is a bit cruel, but once installed on the layout you won’t notice.

 

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3 minutes ago, KNP said:

I had a cameo appearance made by a full sized rendition of Mr York on the layout....does that count?

 

887.jpg.0219a0d796473de621843747f8c31c28.jpg

 

 

 

I didn't realise Modelu did 1:1 scale 3D prints, very realistic though

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2 minutes ago, ChrisN said:

I would have to back dae him to 1895, unless of course I hid him in an alleyway.

 

I think it was @AY Mod that I had to do some surgery on his back.... Were you wearing a hoody or a backpack Andy? Out of the 4 figures from BRM, 2 had items removed from their backs!

 

They will be standing in such a way that you won't see....

 

One of the others was @Phil Parker and @Howard Smith - who is the 4th?

 

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  • Neal Ball changed the title to Henley on Thames - GWR in the 1930's

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