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mick last won the day on October 20

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  1. There might be a signal box Roddy but I'm thinking not much more than a plain backscene and grass embankment - much like Balbeggie. I want focus to be on the trains and while there'll be trains passing there will also be trains arriving and departing the sidings alongside the loop. There will be little doubt that this is coal country!
  2. It's still a layout without a name but at least we now have some movement. I've threaded bus wires along the entire length of the layout except for the removable end section and by soldering half a dozen droppers in place I'm now able to run around the full length of the outer main line. After cleaning the class 66 loco wheels and collecting my trusty 26024 from the garden shed in order to haul the track cleaner round I was able to record 66022 hauling a rake of 36 MGR's along what will become the scenic section. It suddenly seems a less daunting task than it did earlier and the fact that it's been possible to achieve decent running with very little effort makes me keen to keep going forward.
  3. I use the blue and brown cores from 2.5mm domestic electrical cable for bus wires on both outdoor and indoor layouts and as far as I'm aware I've never experienced voltage drop. There does tend to be a lot of discussions regarding voltage drop but I can't really say it's something that's ever concerned me and if I've had it previously then I must have been completely unaware of the fact! I don't think it's as big a problem as people seem to assume. On my previous garden railway I didn't use a bus wire at all and simply soldered a short wire to the rails across each rail joiner, as many people do, and ran trains without any problems whatsoever. I wouldn't think there would be any need at all for each loop to have it's own bus wire. If you choose to go down this route the one bus wire should be sufficient for several loops.
  4. And now the real fun begins! I'm able to run loco's along the proposed scenic section between each end of the storage yards but until I do some wiring, which I'll probably start on tomorrow, I can't yet run through any of the five sidings. So with just the one main line available to me I thought I'd give some loco's an out and back session. Perhaps it was only to be expected after 8 years packed away in their boxes but I can see that some of my loco's are going to be in need of attention. I took out a sound-fitted class 56 which sounds fine but just won't move. I have a class 37 with the same problem so I think it could be something to do with the Loksound decoders. I don't recall having a problem with the class 56 before so I'm not sure what's happened in the meantime and a reset of the decoder failed to rectify it. The amount of money I've lost/wasted on faulty/failed electronic chips/modules/devices while attempting to build a model railway is starting to mount up and it's not a nice feeling. A class 66 fared better although there was a lot of stuttering initially until I'd been round and polished the rail tops. Obviously even brand new track needs a good clean. It's still not brilliant but I've yet to clean the loco's wheels and use any IPA solution to properly clean the track so I do expect things to improve a great deal afterwards. I also took a class 60 up there with me but by that time my enthusiasm had waned and I decided to call it a day. I'm not too downhearted, I know it will take some time to get things running smoothly. There's lots of wiring to do to ensure electrical continuity and plenty of loco's that will need servicing. I have to remember that many of the loco's had been running outdoors in Selby and wouldn't have been cleaned or serviced since late 2011. Relaxing hobby isn't it?
  5. There's a couple of different threads about Balbeggie Sidings on RMweb Roddy and a couple of videos on YouTube as well as a Blog which follows the modellers later progress at http://thesulzer27.blogspot.com/ Suffice to say that my 'attic layout' (still for want of a better name) will be much more freelance in every single aspect. For instance, I don't care whether I've got concrete or wooden sleepers and I'm not concerning myself with adding trap points where the loop or sidings join the main running lines. I'm not really bothered about signals either! It's not that type of layout - it's just somewhere to watch trains rolling by and I don't believe that will lessen the enjoyment too much. Back to my attic layout and if I'd used track planning software it would probably have made things much easier for me but as it is I've struggled along this morning trying to make points fit while maintaining decent radius curves and long sidings. I am pleased to say that I now have (in a fashion) one completed circuit and with a bit of temporary wiring I should be able to run in and out of the 5 storage roads and, with a couple more lengths of track, along both main running lines. The photo's not brilliant due to the poor lighting but the above shows the west end of the storage roads now fully connected to the main line. There are four roads which all currently have wagons standing on them and are accessible from the outer main line and a fifth road to the left of them which is accessible from either main line so it gives me the opportunity of swapping sets of wagons over. The blue wrapper is just my packet of biscuits!
  6. There was no update last night because by the time I'd finished in the attic I just couldn't be bothered either taking photos or switching on the PC and yes, I'm one of those who still prefers using a PC rather than a hand-held device! My inspiration for this layout came after seeing a layout thread some years ago called 'Balbeggie Sidings'. An attic layout, it consisted of two main lines, a loop and some sidings not too dissimilar from the way I've gone with mine but I've also added some of the features I personally remember. 'Balbeggie Sidings' was a 'watching the trains go by' type of layout within a rural setting and no buildings that I recall which is how I intend my layout to be. Sadly Balbeggie Sidings is no more. I began yesterday by extending the track along the scenic section towards the newly installed end baseboard. Rather than lay everything perfectly straight I thought I'd introduce a slight curve and swing the track outwards towards the rear before it curved round onto the end board but it took me ages to align it properly and it's difficult getting a good low down view along the track when you have to keep making your way up and down the length of the attic. I think I've managed it though there may need to be some slight adjustments before any ballasting takes place. I then turned my attention to the storage end and tried to work out the best way of connecting the storage roads to make the best possible use of the available space while retaining as much length in each road as possible. I managed to install another two points and I'll be continuing with that today. There's currently a gap of about 5 feet between the end of the storage roads and the track I installed earlier in the day from the scenic section onto the new baseboards so I'm almost there. So far I've installed all the live frog points to make the best use of their capabilities by adding additional power feeds, isolating the frog section and feeding it directly via a switch, but today I'm going to use them without any modifications. As they're in the storage area I think I can possibly get away with it but if not they can be changed later. It should save me a lot of time now but may require extra work later - we'll see. I'll finish by mentioning another attic based layout that many of you will probably have seen already but one that frequently appears on YouTube through regular updates. Mouldy Raspberry's 'Yorkshire Dales Railway' https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPb9_WPXrSj96rxxfciOTog I don't think I could ever achieve anything like that.
  7. The baseboards are now complete and I have a full circle ready for track laying. Thank goodness I decided to keep all those boards from when we disposed of our old wardrobes as there's been enough to do the whole of the attic layout - and that's apart from the ones I used earlier inside the shed. The photo's don't show anything special other than the fact that it's now complete - here's the corner from the scenic section (seen to the right) leading onto the new end board... ...the corner from the storage boards (seen to the left) onto the new end board.... ....and this is the end board running in front of the wall-mounted solar panel inverter. The long end section is braced with 4x1 lengths of timber and rests on lips at either end so it simply lifts up and off should it ever be necessary to remove it for anyone to work on the inverter, although there's a good 4 or 5 feet of space behind. I have some legs from a previous layout that may well fit in the middle to prevent any bowing. I still need to add secure locating bolts before laying any track along it which will then need cutting over the baseboard joins and the rail ends soldering to PCB sleeper strip. There will only be two lines of track on this board so it should be pretty straightforward. Once I've determined where the track needs to be I can then remove some of the surplus board from the front to reduce the weight - the nearest timber bracing is set far enough back to enable me to do that. It's actually much more pleasant up there in the attic than the photos might suggest but I'll be gradually improving things now the main part of the work is done. Better lighting is also on the cards. I've been sorting out the boxes of rolling stock so that coaches are in one spot, wagons in another and all empty boxes are boxed up out of the way. I'd forgotten all about some of the wagons I came across so extending the width of the storage yard boards to add another 2 roads is likely to be a necessity.
  8. I've had a break from track laying today in order to complete the baseboards at the end of the attic where our solar panel inverter is located. I've completed the corner sections so it leaves me with just a length of board to fix between the two sides and then the circuit will be complete. The reason I didn't complete it today is because I'm wondering whether I should make the final board removable so that there is easy access to the inverter as and when required. It wouldn't be too much hassle to go under the baseboard as there is sufficient room but there's just the chance we might get an engineer who refuses, or is unable to do so. Best to think it over before screwing anything together permanently. I've had to order more flexi track and some more points to keep me going and hopefully they will arrive tomorrow. You don't realise at first how much track it takes to install a storage yard - it seems I've only just opened a full box and there's barely any left! Anyway, all being well I'm just a few days away from having the first operational loop of track and I can finally see a train running round the attic. I suppose I should come up with a more meaningful name for the layout too.
  9. mick

    Gas Safe Register

    Finally, I've received a response from Gas Safe Register, i.e "Gas Safe Register takes all matters concerning public safety where gas is involved extremely seriously.... I will arrange retraining with the advisor concerned to explain the course of action that should have been taken" and so on. But this arrived only after I had contacted the Health & Safety Executive regarding my concerns. I doubt I would have heard anything further from them had I not done something about it. However, it doesn't and can never alter the fact that I received a very poor response to the concerns I raised with them. I see no reason why I need to thank them for their later apology.
  10. So three becomes five! My fears of yesterday proved unfounded (it's been a good day so far) and I've actually managed to put in two more storage roads so that's approximately half the storage area baseboard filled with track. I should be able to get 10 roads on there and possibly another 2 if I decide to extend the boards right to the front edge. I think I'm possibly going to need to do so if I want to have as much stock as possible on the layout. I've never been able to do this before but I now have three full sets of MGR wagons on track, each comprising 36 wagons and I have 6 spare should I decide to form another set! I can almost taste the coal dust and smell the diesel fumes! I've made up one set of MGR's entirely with canopied wagons and one set entirely non-canopied and then there's a mixed set of both types so pretty much as I remember them. They just need a bit of toning down or weathering and of course - some coal in some of them. Waiting in the wings for power station duties is another EWS set of HTA's and a Freightliner set of HHA coal hoppers.
  11. I wish I had the space to accommodate curves of that size Tony. It should look awesome when you get some trains running.
  12. I think I'll 'stick' with coal thank you Andrew and hopefully it won't be too long before I'm loading some of the empty wagons up. Rain again all day here so it's just as well that I've revisited the attic layout.
  13. I think maybe I should have a day off tomorrow because I've enjoyed myself so much today that I just know tomorrow will be a bad day - that's how it usually goes with me. For the first time in a good while I've actually enjoyed putting some track down and I've done as much as I can do with the loop on the scenic section, installed two more points, and laid a third road in the storage yard. Here's a view of the loop running along the scenic section with the track temporarily pinned in place... ...and this is what I'm thinking of doing - adding perhaps 3 dead end sidings alongside the loop that I intend using as a coal storage yard or something like that. It might be good to make it into a colliery yard but that will need some later planning. Here's a view of one of the newly installed points with it's wiring yet to be passed through the baseboard and leading down to the third storage road, again plenty long enough for full length trains. And this is just a view looking back up the storage road area from the other direction. I was going to put another set of wagons out but I'll leave that until tomorrow.
  14. Doesn't it ever rain down there? How come you're always taking photo's of trains while we're sitting under persistent rain clouds? Great photo's Andrew and a nice mix of rolling stock to boot. My favourite is the wide view of 5043 with the backdrop of ivy and the ground cover in the foreground - it makes a brilliant setting.
  15. Is this latest section of your layout going to be permanently sited Tony? I thought I'd just about got my head round all the modules you've been constructing and now you've gone and plonked some more directly in the garden! If this is permanent then I'll be honest, if it were in my garden I doubt those posts would last a year. I've edged a big part of my garden in those short 'treated' log rolls and I'm not sure what they treated them with but they've just rotted in the ground. The tops are fine but the bottoms have gone. Perhaps it's just our climate that causes it but I'd be thinking something more substantial for posts here in the UK. Are your posts concreted in? I'm pleased to see the progress you've made and you're right, you've come a hell of a way since 2014 but just have another think regarding the posts. I wouldn't want to see it coming apart before you get the rest of it finished. By the way I like the new workbench. That's what I could do with - somewhere to work that's exclusively for that purpose and doesn't mean having to take over the dining room table! Maybe I'll make room for one in the attic.
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