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    • I made it up into the attic last night and spent some time coupling the MGRs together using the instanter couplings. It's a fiddly and often frustrating job putting the couplings into the short position but I eventually managed it and they run together just fine. I'm not sure if the following photo tells you a great deal about it but here's the 2 sets of loaded MGRs alongside each other. A 36 wagon non-canopied HAA set on the down mainline behind 58048 and a 34 wagon mixed set of HAA/HBA/HFA on the down loop behind 56095. My two empty MGRs which still require weathering will be a full canopied set of 36 wagons (seen above in the sidings behind 56040) and another mixed set of 35 currently stabled in the main storage yards. Oh and I've discovered there are 2 versions of Smiths' instanter couplings. There's item No. LP2 which is the standard version and there's LP2F which is sold as a 'Fine' version. I've used both types but the fine ones, which I assumed were just finer detail, actually have slightly smaller links which, when assembled, are a very tight fit over the coupling hook. I would opt for the standard version should I be crazy enough to do this again as they are much easier to couple.  
    • That's an impressive total running length Noel, ideal for lots of scale length trains and you can take it from me, building a garden railway takes several years even without the intervention of your employment! Out of curiosity, is a garden layout your favoured choice or did you choose this route due to the lack of space for an indoor layout? I actually chose the garden route because I wanted scale length freight trains but then discovered what a pain it would be having to place them all on track at the beginning of the session and have to remove them all again afterwards. That's when I decided to scale down train length outdoors and use the attic for a permanent home for the freight. An outbuilding of a size capable of stabling several long trains was out of the question. Of the two the outdoor layout gives me more satisfaction and is more akin to operating a real railway with all the maintenance it entails - much of which I quite enjoy.
    • Thanks for the comments guys,  so a bit more detail. I started the layout 4 years ago, initially as an end to end with a view to making it a full circuit. That has taken 4 years thanks to work getting in the way. The first section built was the main station at the top end of the garden. This features 4 platform roads (Platforms yet to be built) 2 fully reversible, 4 carriage sidings and a small stabling point. From there it went slightly up hill to go round the top of the rockery and then down the far side of the garden to the shed. This section included a long passing loop on both the Up & down lines, whilst the shed consists of three terminal lines. The next extension was from the other end of the station down the opposite side of the garden to the smaller 2 bay platform station with two "through" lines laid ready for the bext extension. This came last year and starts 1/2 way down to the shed but swings out and round the front of a flower bed then across to join the two through lines that were previously laid ready. The station is built on external ply, but is in desperate need of a rebuild after part of the tree landed on it last year. Temporary fix done for now, with the replacement planned to be external py laid on decking boards and covered with roofing felt. The rest of the layout is on treated decking planks fixed to breeze blocks, the whole layout is between 1 & 2 foot above ground level.   Hopefully if the weather stays and I don't get called into work then a large bridge is being installed part way round.   I have got several other vids which I need to get off of the phone, none of progress through building, but attached is the only video of the full circuit.    
    • I was looking forward to going up in the attic and coupling the MGRs together today but with the weather being nice I decided to spend some time outdoors, after all, it's not often we can do that kind of thing lately. I began by cleaning the rails over the small viaduct and then from the rear of the shed round and over the larger viaduct. It wasn't as bad as I had expected with just the usual bird droppings which brush away easily once they've dried. At least there were no sloppy ones! With the rails cleaned I turned on the track power and tested each section for continuity. Everything was in order and working as expected. The ground level section that I re-laid late last year is currently unpowered as the droppers have yet to be connected up to the power bus and the insulating joiners on the two electrofrog points giving access into the yet to be reinstalled loop prevent any power getting past them. Lifting the old plywood track base had also meant removal of the wooden lineside 'fencing' which has resulted in a lot of soil being brought down onto the tracks by the birds. Before worrying too much about the power feeds I thought it best that at least some sections of 'fencing' were reinstalled to hold back the soil in the borders, primarily that to the outside of the track which is slightly higher. So some old log roll sections left over from the previous fitting were soaked in preservative and cemented in place, this time slightly higher than before. I haven't concerned myself with keeping them level or straight, nor in removing the remnants of rusty wire as I think it all adds to the scene. Once I can get the thyme growing over the top again it should look fine. I know that isn't a lot of progress for an afternoons work but time is something we have an awful lot of right now and with some settled weather on the cards for the coming week I may even get some more done.
    • So my replenishment of cut wood has arrived. I immediately installed some of it. 😁
    • Never mind the photos Tony, the Swing Bridge is permanently manned and does swing. Still fully operational despite the lack of big river traffic that used to be the River Tyne.
    • Hi Roddy, how are you going, thanks for the link, had a look , the swing bridge doesn't swing anymore going by the pic , thinking of building the side beams the same shape as that one . Big day tomorrow will be doing the big mock-up decking of the layout to see how it will fit in , if I need more curved decking, know I need more straight sections , pics to follow , days are cooling down now in the high 20's next Saturday 24 degrees, going to make the most of the cooler weather now. Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead.  
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