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McMullen Coal Company reborn into 7.1/4"


Owd Bob
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Another week of working between the heavy showers and another ten foot of track is laid, the shed is back on its base and plants now fill up the beds on either side of the track along the back fence line.  I've only two more ten foot lengths to lay on this back stretch behind the sheds and along the fence line to reach my limits for now. I'll still have two more ten foot lengths of track left which i'll be using to make a couple of points and two short sidings with. Everything we have done so far is well hidden and private, but where we go from here now all depends on 'others' nasty attitudes. Today rain or not i can stay under cover and remove two old posts from the old garage corner which are stood in the way of the last two track lengths, three new replacement posts have already been concreted in to hold the roof up, i've set them back from the track bed with just enough elbow room to pass by them. The total amount of track laid so far is 80 foot, it's already plenty enough to trundle up and down on and test out any wagons or loco's i have plans to build this summer. :)

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With the new upright posts now set solid and holding the old garage roof up we finally removed the old (White) corner post that was in the middle of the track alignment. The two new posts now have an old gate hung between them to stop the Dogs getting access, and the rest is meshed off thanks to 'Aldi's special buy' green coated chicken wire. The return loop track bed branching off to the left through the gate is only a footpath and a future project for now, the hardcore is leveling out just right to converge with all the existing garden levels both behind the old garage and back towards the house and start of the future loop. It needs the old branches and debri clearing out, then the last 10ft. length of track can be laid. If we do have to go into self isolation then at least we've plenty to keep us very busy around here. ;)  Must get some building materials in today or tomorrow, i don't think white ballast and granite dust is in short supply yet.:D 

 

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Thanks Mike, you're probably right 'cos from this weekend all in this household have to so called self isolate for three months:o As we all have and as they now keep repeating 'underlying health probs' We've almost been self isolated for years around here anyway, and i suppose working from home :lol: If i can get out and get some materials bought today we'll have enough to keep us busy, and i've a lot more railway modeling projects still to work on, even with three months of fettling i bet not one will get fully finished:D......also i still have the new welder to test out, and an MOT due soon. :rolleyes: At least the weather is getting drier.:)

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old age cock up.
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1 hour ago, Owd Bob said:

also i still have the new welder to test out, and an MOT due soon. :rolleyes:

 Me too..just purchoiced a Machine mart 80 amp inverter.....took a trip into a big smelly city to get it too.....saw very few people, didn't get coughed on, either. [Keep the car windows wound up...and don't use the aircon.]

 

Thought I'd try one out, see if it will work with thin steel[18 or so gauge]...simpler for a burgeoning OAP to cart about...[unlike my MIG welder..which is a real lump [the wheels fell off]....plus big gas bottle I no longer have as gas is costly for a pensioner...]

I have what is now an 'old' Sureweld 1400 too, which is great for quickly welding next door's gates shut when they annoy me.  But rather brutal, even on its lowest feasible setting [notchless control]....for car steelwork....

Anyway, I need something other than  hot Blutack to weld the metal on a FIAT!

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I got a new Clarke turbo mig 145 amp,  i had no troubles at all rebuilding cars for nearly 20 years with my old machine mart mig welder and it was a 90 amp, it just got old, very well used and well worn out. Gas or no gas it'll weld up to 4mm thick metal with ease, it's plenty strong enough for a loco' chassis or any future sit on wagons. Fiats! i just scrapped any that ever needed welding, Panda's and Unos...they just were'nt worth bothering with.:lol:

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OK! So no back op' again for me for a while, its just been cancelled, fair enough i can understand why for once. So sod the rain i thought, and in a moody moment of madness i went out and got the penultimate track section bolted up and ballasted down and my frustrations spent.;) The dark area behind the garage was cleared out yesterday and is now all leveled and is awaiting the last piece of track!:danced: 

 

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14 hours ago, alastairq said:

Will that be a dead-end, at that pallet with the blue ank on it?

Yes it will Alaistairq! For now anyway, to go any further on gets too near and in the open range of the anti social idiots next door, it would be easy to see us and for them to take the wee-wee, it's a real shame 'cos beyond the water container it go's on and back around for at another 25ft-30.ft. Hopefully the left turn before it which will fork off through the garage can be completed one day by installing a point, most of this is already hidden and can be easily hidden more by planting a couple of big Laurel bushes in just the right spots.;) My only hope is knowing how they already act, and that in this current climate of isolation the scum will go' stir crazy' and kill each other.:lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

We've been busy on the warmer days over the last three weeks or so demolishing an old shed and using the best un-rotted wood from it to make the small  platform and add a little fence. Think i've overdone it with the signs and bucket though. :rolleyes: The plants are growing well now and are bushing out nicely all along the track side.:) 

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Another good week of track bed construction and plenty of rubble was found, tidied up and then laid in the shed floor. Had a bit of  a 'Time Team' moment when we came across an old yellow coloured path under about four inches of soil right at the end of my final six foot length of track bed behind the shed, i remember helping my late Father to construct it in 1977. (i remember it so well because Elvis had passed away the week we did it) My Dad had made the paving flags himself using wooden molds, he worked at a builders merchant in Wigan and materials were easy to get hold of... ..and mostly if not always free if you know what i mean...Nudge! ..Nudge!;)  A can of yellow cement dye (Febtone from memory) was used to try and match the path to the house brick colours, it was laid down level from the rear door of the house, starting two brick courses under the DPC level and went due north towards the rear boundary fence, it was used for my Mums washing line. I also found a short piece of angle iron knocked well into the ground, (so it's stayed in) that the then wooden 3" x 3" clothes line post was once attached to. I was amazed to see my track bed levels had matched up perfectly with the old flag level! Deffo more luck and a pure fluke than good judgement. The old shed base which was once dug out and lowered so i could get my old landy inside it and under the roof was re-filled in with rubble back up to the original surrounding ground levels again, hopefully one day i can complete the loop through the shed and this over this rubble. Its alignment would curve through the shed and then go right under where the left wheel of the trailer is and roughly under the left rear wheel of camper van in the last pic' Thanks for showing an interest and all the nice comments.....it's a real pick me up and great encouragement to carry on. :)  

 

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4 minutes ago, Owd Bob said:

Had a bit of  a 'Time Team' moment when we came across an old yellow coloured path under about four inches of soil right at the end of my final six foot length of track bed behind the shed, 

 

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Bobs discovered the yellow brick road!

 

We’re you wearing red slippers? ;) 

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Nice work, haven't we all been lucky "in isolation" with the weather thus far ?

 

Carry on digging out the Yellow Brick road Bob. it'll lead to Wigan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Brit15

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1 hour ago, PaulRhB said:


Bobs discovered the yellow brick road!

 

We’re you wearing red slippers? ;) 

Red sling back wellies with gold racing stripes Paul! :D Following the Yellow brick path/road leads to a 3-bed post war semi demolished Wigan MBC council house,:lol: No Emerald City or pot of Gold at the end of a rainbow here, but i'm doing my best with what i'm lucky to have to create my own little Utopia.:)  Lovely weather for getting stuff done, but we're only doing a bit every other day, and If we carry on digging down Apollo i'd more than likely find a few unrecorded  late 18th -early 19th C. mine shafts.:) With my Phil' Harding hat on i dug this up from the original field levels on Thurs'  there was a mineral line about 20 yards away where a brick viaduct once went across Westleigh Brook(River Glaze)....'cos i really can just about remember when all this was just fields.:D

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Mineral railways - The Leigh / Wigan areas were chock a block with them. The Standish collieries system joined the West Coast Main Line near my house at Rylands Sidings. The routes are nearly all walkable today, with rails still set in the road at the crossing near Gidlow cemetery. They shut around 1964 but I remember my dad taking my brother & me to the engine shed one summer night at (I think) Giants Hall colliery. One loco was named John & one Lindsay - same names as my brother & I !!! (I 'm sure Lindsay is preserved).

 

Everything coal in Wigan was closed / closing when I was a lad (50's/60's) and what was left was falling to bits. Local(ish) to me at that time was Ince Moss colliery (opposite Springs Branch) with it's last loco "Lyon" an ancient 0-6-0. I remember climbing aboard the rusting wreck, and thinking I was driving The Caledonian !!.

 

Granddad lived up Belle Green Lane at Ince at the side of the level crossing - a reet tatty area - but boatloads of  industrial & railway  interest back then !!

 

Looking forward to see more of your interesting railway.

 

Brit15

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Apollo at the very top of Gidlow Ln. there was a colliery where the tracks ran directly on top of the old Roman road going north towards Boars Head, the Roman road remains still run south through and under the turf farm field. Rylands sounds familiar was there a mill there? Then there's the old Pagefield building of Walker Brothers fame. There's a cracking big railway viaduct off Wingates Rd./Sennicar Ln. near the River Douglas, but beware of the locals who have made it a no go zone for anyone driving or even walking up that area, and somehow made it a private road, not sure how they can get away with stopping folks walking up as it's a public road and a public footpath in my A-Z, but they have done!  Mike the water tank is a dead end siding, it would have gone right through for another 15ft. and then back around if things where different, but doing such would take me too near the anti social scum bags next door, and the less i see, hear and smell of their existence the better for us all.;) So we'll swing it through the old shed. We are busy pegging and leveling out the last of the route today, as it maybe the last warm dry day for a while, but the plants do need a good watering, hopefully not as much as it they had a month and a half ago though.:o Will post more pics' as we progress.:drinks: 

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I take my daily walk across the footbridge over the WCML where Rylands Sidings signal box was, then along the old colliery lines to the houses at the top of Gidlow lane, then across the site of the old washery plant to Boars Head & home - a nice country walk these days post industrial Wigan now the slag heaps etc have long since gone.

 

The Standish system collierys are on the top left of this map.

 

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Standish colliery lines crossing Giants Hall, Lane  heading towards Standish Lower Ground. An ex Wigan Coal 7 Iron Co Loco built by them at the Kirkless workshops Top Place (!!) Ince.

 

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Rylands sidings looking south on the WCML, Rylands mill chimney can be seen on the left in the distance, signal box around the rear of the train on the left of the main lines. A completely changed and overgrown scene today.

 

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Finally the Douglas valley viaducts - yes two of them, again overgrown and as Bob says difficult to get to today.

 

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The two viaducts are in the crossing lines at the top of this map

 

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Brit15

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Bob

 

Just found your topic, I am building a miniature railway.... but in 7/8ths scale using 16.5mm gauge track... Whst I am desperately trying to find is some dimensions for V skips trucks the same as yours so I can build a rake for myself... any chance of sending over some GA dimensions please

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry John i make the wagon sizes up as i go along and i have no sizes for 7/8ths scale V' skips. I just make cardboard templates for the 7 &1/4 " stuff i build until they look about the right size and shape, my two skips are made to carry a good 20kg. of ballast or sand in each but we'll see how that works out soon.;)

          A bit more progress in making the track bed formations, that's if i'm ever to join the ends up. The whole of any future route was dug out and down to a foots depth and all the good under laying soil was removed and used elsewhere to form beds, the 20ft long trench was filled with rubble which we have plenty of dumped all around the back yard. The existing track side plants and some recently thrown on grass seed is shooting up and the shrubs are bushing out and filling up the gaps nicely.  A hole was dug two feet deep until we reached the original soil levels for a shrub swmbo wanted to plant near the gate, four full stone cobbles and half a dozen red engineering bricks came out of the hole, all i would presume from the old mine workings and the demolished nearby railway viaduct......so we've even more rubble to hide and another hole dug out somewhere to hide it in:rolleyes: A stone path was laid up to the existing end of the track, mortared in level so any future track coming through the gate will meet up with the existing levels where the old van is parked up by the side of the house. :)

 

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