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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/05/2020 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Afternoon, Well I thought it high time I shared my garden railway with you all. It's approx 70' x 30' double track main line, and features several challenging gradients which requires some trains to actually be driven as opposed to being left to run themselves. All controlled by Lenz DCC, with a wifi connection. This allows me to utilize a couple of old iphones with touchcab software giving me total fdredom to control trains from anywhere in the garden (and the top garden when SWMBO calls!) Era is mainly BR Blue but with the occasional foray into the modern day. Loco's are the usual mix of current manufacturer with some older Lima stuff being slowly restored to service. 90% of the rolling stock is Lima which I find runs fantastically outside. So just to give you all a taste I uploaded my first video to Youtube today with a pair of sound fitted 37's on a heavy enterprise working.
  2. 4 points
    First trains of the year About time too, I hear some say. Well, up till now the weather hasn't been great this year, and there's always real life which conspires to get in the way of running trains. But with this recent spell of fine weather - and no social obligations intervening(!) - I was able to make the most of today. It was a Southern day in honour of the sunshine, and the first train past was a coal train hauled by an N Class 2-6-0: Then a West Country appeared with a passenger train, seen here running past the goods train at Northdown Sidings: Running across the Northern Viaduct and past Foxdale Carr Hall: Heading past the new footbridge on towards Foxdale Bank: And past the commemorative platelayers hut: Just caught a threequarter rear view as she passed: Then the N Class reappeared on a local passenger train: Rumbling past empty coaching stock in the sidings:
  3. 2 points
    A new approach module has being reborn, I decided to straighten the bridge and station up to do away with that small curve making way for the new approach module, got to use the double and single slip cross over and small one on top of the 3 way point. Giving access to the double tack main line and platform track , I be building the triple track first , still working on the curved approach module a second curved deck be merging onto the first one, heavy modifying . The first three pics , I be repaint the decking but will have to cut slot an inch past the to three cross overs so the decking for the triple track and auto side dock cut line up, have left the cross overs on the deck to do that , I will find out from Mick if I can put Google Earth pics on the post. Forth pic I made use f the ceiling fan yesterday, still was hot in the garden shed yesterday, next summer will have put a whirily bird on the roof to get the heat out, at least I have a good area to work outside the shed with the shade where I will do the cutting on Friday. Luckily last the new track plan , I have done away with the Tehachapi loop ides, not working out with the shipping canal , good news is construction is now under way, loo at the top end where the spiral is I am planning a swing bridge have a 7 foot span so big ships can pass through , may never extend the length of the layout . Tony from sunny down under keeping on moving ahead
  4. 2 points
    I'd like to be able to say I've made further progress with the MGRs but alas, there's been very little for the past day or two, mainly because of the cuts to the tips of my fingers though fitting the instanter couplings. I would like to be able to complete the second MGR set by fitting the remaining couplings but I'll have to leave it for a day or so more. What I did manage today was to remove the remaining MGR wagons from their boxes and put them on one of the storage roads, after removing the HST and 100t tanks from the layout to make the necessary room. If I can make use of them all then there should be 2x36 wagons sets, 1x35 and 1x34, but that depends on using the 4 that were destined for spares. Many of the wagons were purchased in used condition and it amazes me why some people paint the insides of the hoppers black (it hardly resembles coal), or why I have half a dozen or so with red and yellow paint in and around the tops of the hoppers. Not to worry, what can't be removed can be disguised with the weathering and what parts are missing can either be made or hidden towards the non-viewing side of the layout. Because of my lack of progress with the wagons I really wanted to make a start on something a bit easier on the fingers and so this evening I started weathering 58048. I've only attacked the body itself so far as I prefer to airbrush the chassis and perhaps the roof as well. I'm trying not to go overboard with the weathering and have already returned to it after taking some earlier photos and considering it too heavy. It's not too bad now that some of the previously heavy areas have been lightened, in fact with the weathered wagons in tow it's beginning to look the business.
  5. 2 points
    I've just showed Angela your post, and pointed out to her that it is true, but it's all down to the training she's received over the past 34 years! When I started spotting, the 56s didn't exist, let alone the 58s, 60s and 66s. MGRs were hauled by 47 3xx or class 20s, and from what I saw in Toton yard, peaks too. I lived down in Staffordshire in those days and my observation was MGRs to Rugeley or Ironbridge. The 56s and Westerns are my two favourite classes, probably because the Westerns were being withdrawn when I started spotting and a little later the 56s were built. It was exciting going round Doncaster Works and seeing their construction and the Sunday trips seeing the new locos at Shirebrook, Westhouses and so on. I live near Le Mans and the weather is similar to the south of England, although perhaps a few degrees higher. I'd love to get something going outside, we'll see how things pan out this year, it's a shame to have stuff packed away in boxes.
  6. 2 points
    Last night I had a further short session in the attic and fitted instanter couplings to another 3 wagons as well as filing down the moulded coal loads to fit. So that's 3 more that just require weathering before they can be added to the set. I have a small number of MGRs that I obtained at a decent price due to them missing certain underframe parts. Some had even been painted with completely black interiors, the purpose of which I am still trying to understand. At least removing the black paint wasn't too difficult. I've been sticking bits back on where possible and trying to make good ones out of several bad. In train formation many of the missing parts are not even going to be visible so they'll all find a way into this loaded set. I can always place the wagons on track so that the better sides face towards the viewer if any bother me that much, or I could even form a cripple train. It's working on little projects like this that makes me completely understand why some members take on the task of replicating prototypical train formations. I'm thinking primarily of Iain, @ba14eagle , who has featured trains that he's portrayed comprised of the actual coaches that would have been included in a certain set. I often wondered why anyone would go to such lengths but even doing something as simple as putting these MGRs together makes me see the enjoyment and personal satisfaction that can be gained from it. Fitting instanter couplings to a rake of 36 MGR wagons is very tedious but in a way extremely enjoyable. It's completely unnecessary of course and I know that, you probably all think I'm off my rocker, but I look at them and think wow... they're just what I wanted them to look like. I worked on these actual wagons for the best part of 26 years and it's so satisfying to be able to replicate them in model form. They're a world apart from the shiny silver 'out of the box' models standing in the sidings opposite. It's great to get rid of the plastic couplings and replace them with proper metal ones and to have real coal and coal dust on top of the wagons. Now whether I'll do any further sets like this I don't really know. And before anyone asks, No!, there's absolutely no way I'm going to attempt renumbering - that is a task I'll gladly leave to Iain and his coaches. My viewers will just have to put up with a lot of duplicate numbers.
  7. 2 points
    Having discussed the Hatton 66 I decided to get one of my old Lima 66's out for a run. I've replaced the motor in this unit and it runs well. But it is low on tractive effort so can end up with wheel slip. First run in 6 months or more after wintering in the shed and I didn't need to clean the wheels or pickups, which is always a pleasant surprise. I took 10 minutes to lubricate the wheel bearings on the wagons. One of the auto-ballasters was emitting a squeak. The "falcons" were running a little heavy. Lubrication is one of those jobs I mean to do, but don't get round to. With all this extra time on my hands I'll have to get to the bottom of a few of the running problems with my stock. Having had a very pleasant week for late March, the forecast is more gloomy. I'll continue with the rebuild of the campsite baseboard for which I have plenty of the static grass and look for a few more indoor tasks to work on.
  8. 2 points
    I quite agree Chris re serving our own interests. I'm also getting completely fed up with people posting photos of empty supermarket shelves on facebook, ranting at people for selfish panic buying - imho these posts are compounding the problem, making more people scared, thus increasing panic buying. I've started turning off notifications from any of my friends who post these or any other ranting posts i/c/w covid 19.
  9. 2 points
    Same here. We don't drink much either though we do enjoy the occasional glass of wine or cold bottle beer, especially when the weather's nice and you can sit outdoors. As for eating out, I've experienced a few, shall we say, less than delightful meals and some rather expensive ones to boot. Nowadays we get most pleasure from cooking ourselves and you know you're always going to get decent food when you make it yourself. I wonder if the majority of railway modellers fall into the same category? Are we all into staying home and in small social circles? Perhaps it's who we are and why we enjoy model railways so much. I just worry about what all those young people who spend their hard earned over the weekend in pubs and clubs are going to find to do now? No doubt it will be something that annoys the hell out of the rest of us.
  10. 2 points
    That's a brilliant video, Mick. It shows how fantastic that landscaped section of layout now looks - such impressive progress within what seems like just a few weeks. The trees are superb, the bridge helps to frame the corner, and I'm particularly impressed by the colour of the main line ballast as few people seem to capture that true brownie-pink look (which on the real thing never looks like the battleship grey too often seen on layouts). What a backdrop against which to show off your enormous collection of modern image wagons. All looks most realistic, complete with the portacabin. Will we ever get you back into the garden, I wonder!
  11. 1 point
    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.
  12. 1 point
    Thanks for the kind comments. One more shot:
  13. 1 point
    That looks like excellent structural engineering, Thomas. I think there could be a lifting/removable section visible in one of those photos. I'm trying to work out how many different levels of track there will be on the indoor section - maybe I need to check back in case you included a plan many months ago, but of course plans change...
  14. 1 point
    You are clearly an excellent tutor and you have a first class student! I was never interested in trains as a youngster but started work on the railway just as the 56s were beginning to replace the 47s on coal traffic and the HST's were displacing the Deltics on the ECML. It was all an entirely new experience for me and yes, I suppose it was exciting too at the time. I'd never been up close to a locomotive before, never been on the footplate in my life, and yet all of a sudden there I was in the cab of a new class 56 at the head of a coal train thrashing its way down the mainline passing Deltic's going in the opposite direction. Being new to me, I think the sound of the Deltics, class 56s and HSTs in those early days will live with me forever and that's the experience I am trying to recreate. Regarding layouts, it's usually a solitary hobby, unless you're part of a model railway club, but I suspect many of us are lone modellers working in our attics, sheds, gardens, and bedrooms!, but our motivation comes from sharing what we do with others such as on a forum like this. I find that documenting progress on here, no matter how small or trivial, keeps me motivated and maintains my enthusiasm. I'm not sure I would have achieved the same had it not been for this forum and the people on it. Join in and I doubt you will have your stuff packed away in boxes for much longer, though do Angela a favour and keep it clear of the bedroom.
  15. 1 point
    Not sure what I had posted so here are some more randoms... The figures are mostly painted now even the second one got his pants. A sleepy squirrel friend loves to cuddle. And some experimenting with cheater hand laid track. I plan to remove most of the sleepers then glue the rails to hand cut real wood sleepers. Then I can remove the remaining plastic sleepers that were keeping my set track aligned and I end up with what looks like painstakingly hand laid track. The more I find out about hand laying the more I realize it just can't be that hard.
  16. 1 point
    Leaving class 66s and missing axle boxes for a moment, I've made some progress with my second set of MGR wagons. I now have 9 wagons, a mixture of canopied (HFA/HBA) and non-canopied (HAA) wagons, all fitted with instanter couplings, weathered, and fitted with moulded coal loads. I've left a tension lock on the leading wagon for coupling purposes and this will probably be changed to a Kadee in line with the other sets. I still need to add the layer of real coal.
  17. 1 point
    Took a test train out. There are a few sections of track that are dead. The usual suspects. I really should to a proper job of rewiring them. Problem is I've lost track of how my sections work. Seen as Mick had introduce 31233 to Skew Bridge I thought it should have the honour of etc first run of the season. The rake included a new Hornby coach which was a Christmas present. Down side is that it is now too long for the turn back siding. Doing some maintenance on scenic boards this morning. Mainly repairs to damage caused by wildlife.
  18. 1 point
    Gave the rails a clean today. Tomorrow I may give a train a run out, see what has survived the winter ravages.
  19. 1 point
    Please excuse me, but what a pillock that man is. He protests just enough to keep his rubbish in the news for the free advertising. It will be a better way of living, once all of the fools and self entitled have been taken by the virus. Us good folk can live in peace then.
  20. 1 point
    I feel for you both Chris but you have made the right decision and it's the route many others should now be following. I'm pleased to learn that the government will be helping small business owners out, even if it is in only a small way, but I truly hope you can get the business back up and running in the not too distant future. Only time will tell what happens but at the moment it's all looking rather bleak.
  21. 1 point
    Took part in #TwitterModelTrainsShow yesterday. This tweet was the most popular of Amblethorpe.
  22. 1 point
    That's the method I've used previously Dave, both with the 16t minerals some time ago and more recently with the HEA hoppers and some of the Seacow ballast wagons. It does work although there's an extended drying time for the PVA and I find that the coal usually sticks to the clingfilm around the edges leaving it looking a bit rough when the film is eventually removed and pulls pieces of coal away. As for the actual modelling of the load I'm undecided exactly which type of load to portray. Some loading bunkers had a travelling hopper so loads came out uniformly flat topped, while others just had a series of doors resulting in loads with a central peak and the coal usually running down to the very top of (and over) the wagon sides. And then there were collieries where coal was loaded by JCB wheel loaders in a random sort of way. I don't suppose it really matters so long as each wagon in the train is similar - it just has to depict a loaded coal train because that's all the viewer will see. I've now filed down all the moulded coal loads so they sit slightly lower in the wagons. The first half dozen or so that I did, the leading wagons in the first photo, were still just a bit too high for my liking so I went back over them again. They now sit better giving me the space to model my chosen coal load. I even came across a tail lamp for the rear wagon which adds the final touch although this rake currently contains only 28 wagons so there's another 8 to weather and load yet.
  23. 1 point
    Probably not such a good idea as I originally thought 😳 I hadn't considered the consequences of thousands of others having the same idea and it's not just the West Coast of Scotland raising concerns but many other coastal and rural areas of the UK. I don't think it will be long before we are all ordered to stay at home and, quite sensibly, that's probably the right decision. Pubs and clubs and all similar public spaces are closed, primarily it would seem to protect the most vulnerable in society which includes the elderly, but it amazes me that local hair salons are still open for business serving the needs of elderly ladies. I'm not sure what category hair salons fall under or whether it's right that they are still open for business but it does seem odd that most public entertainment for mainly younger people is cancelled while the elderly seemingly go about their normal daily business without a care in the world.
  24. 1 point
    Yes, you too Jim. It must be doubly difficult having your mum to consider as well but it's extremely difficult to isolate yourselves completely when even the slightest contact with someone or something? else could result in the virus being transmitted. As our household supplies dwindle there's no option but to go out and get some more. If you attempt to place an online order there's a waiting time of 2 weeks or more and currently many items are unavailable. Things may change over the coming weeks. I'm sure we all understand the seriousness of the situation so everyone take extra care and stay safe.
  25. 1 point
    Here is an unusual load that may interest period modellers. Hylton Station 1926 with J 25 0-6-0 LNER 1724 heading an out of gauge load consisting of bed plates which had been cast at a Tyne Dock foundry for Doxfords Marine Engine Works.
  26. 1 point
    Nice to see you making progress Thomas. It all looks very complex!
  27. 1 point
    Another video today, though shorter than the previous offering and featuring much the same stock as seen previously. I thought I'd try filming from a different angle but looking at the results I prefer seeing more of the layout on view. I think there's a total of 10 passing trains condensed into just over 5 minutes of video so there's not much waiting around. I've used the old camcorder again for filming because it's just so handy to use and it nestles nicely on the tripod but I've placed another light close by to help with the illumination - I'm not sure it's made that much difference. This evening I had to alter another of the Gaugemaster surface mounted point motors as the operating arm kept slipping off the point tie-bar again so it meant removing the cork underlay to allow the motor to sit lower down. I unscrewed it, lifted it off the baseboard and the lever seized up just like the one I had to return as faulty. I decided rather than sending it back I would take it apart to see what the problem is with them and the inner workings, which look far from robust, had all come uncoupled. I've managed to repair it for now using superglue and a short length of plastic rod to prevent the crank lifting off the operating arm but they do seem very poorly designed.
  28. 1 point
    I had a day off from working on the layout yesterday and instead I spent the time running trains round and trying to capture the movements on video. When it comes to filming video I have four available options, the easiest of which is using my phone camera which gives satisfactory results. I also have a Nikon camera which takes great high definition video outdoors but struggles with the lower light levels indoors. I have a digital SLR capable of taking 4K video but I just can't get it to produce decent results indoors. And finally I have a 10-year-old (at least that's how long I've owned it) HD camcorder that's an ideal size and shape and with the advantage of great optical zoom but again, the low light levels don't do it justice. When I installed the new LED lighting in the attic it was a massive improvement and for viewing the layout it still provide ample illumination but obviously to a much lesser degree than natural daylight. I certainly don't want to purchase another camcorder with the equipment I already have to hand so maybe I need to look at some cheap video lights just to give that added sparkle. Anyway, here's a longer video than I normally put together showing some of the movements captured yesterday with the 10-year-old camcorder. The quality isn't brilliant but it's not too bad when viewed in the small window. Just to put things in perspective, the movements in and out of the sidings are at what I consider a prototypical speed so do take a while but I enjoy watching the wagons snaking through the crossings. Oh and yes, I realise I got the Freighliner loco number incorrect in the caption during its second appearance - 66552 should read 66522
  29. 1 point
    It looks like you've built your railway to W8 clearance. Lifting your structures to W10 is a costly exercise. One of my modelling mates is a gauging and clearance expert in the real world, I'm sure he could advise 😉 Modelling in On30 after you've got used to OO means the I have things bumping into structures all the time. Everything is so dam wide and high.
  30. 1 point
    Made a bit of progress on the line today, completing the transition stretch from Sycamore Curve viaduct to the start of Foxdale Bank, which will be crossed on a disguised timber shelf. The contour curves should look good, but may be a pain to construct as each section will have to be completed and bedded in (screwed onto preservative-treated timber pegs driven into the ground) before the next one can be designed and cut. Today's progress saw just two yards of track laid. Here's today's inaugural train, with a BR Standard Class 4 loco running off the viaduct with a local passenger service in the mid-1950s - definitely needs some super-elevation adding in due course: Starting to get some mountain atmosphere - the West Highland Line, perhaps? Still looks a bit like a railway on a shelf, but no doubt nature will weather and stain that timber soon enough so that it blends in better. Finally, we see the Class 4 paused at a signal. Just as well really, as the track goes no further today.
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