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mick last won the day on January 31

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  1. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Another short running session today but not before I'd managed to cross off another couple of items from the 'to do' list. Firstly the point forming the connection to Cattle Leys terminus. The point itself, operated by a car central locking motor, is a Peco live frog type under DCC control but I hadn't installed any form of frog power feed switching. I had toyed with the idea of using either a microswitch or a 'frog juicer' as I had done with the 2 other outside points. The frog juicer worked out rather expensive, especially since I have already had 2 failures which admittedly are likely to have been my own fault as they were left outdoors over winter! I then noticed that Gaugemaster had started selling their own Autofrog modules and at a very reasonable price meaning I could obtain 3 Gaugemaster Autofrog's for the price of a single 'frog juicer'. So about 12 months ago I purchased three and today I finally got round to installing one. The above photo's were taken after I had installed my first module, hence the reason there are only two left in the packet. The bottom photo shows each side of the module, the rear comprising three solder pads to which you solder your track feeds (top left and right) and frog supply (bottom centre). I had read elsewhere that the wire carrying your live frog feed should be as short as possible which would mean having to locate the module outdoors adjacent to the point, something I was keen to avoid if at all possible. I decided to try it with the module inside the shed and wires approximately 8 feet in length extending outdoors. It seems to work just fine. I can't fault it and the module is better protected under cover of the shed. I had a sticky solenoid point motor inside the shed and discovered I had installed it at a slight angle to the tie bar so managed to realign that and it now works much smoother and more reliably. Watching trains circulating is very enjoyable and the little Heljan blue class 26 seems like it could go on and on forever. It runs faultlessly whereas most of the others like to have a little stutter now and again which can sometimes become rather frustrating. However, I do find operating the layout much less appealing. Most of the time it is done completely oblivious as to what is actually happening outside the shed because once trains pass through the entrance/exit holes they are out of sight unless you actually walk around following them. Fortunately the wireless handset allows me to do that when I need to keep a close eye on one of them. Remote camera's and track circuits are out of the question I'm afraid. Anyway, here's just a couple of photos from today. 37408 'Loch Rannoch' heads towards Watch House tunnel having just passed beneath Trundles bridge with the West Highland line set. This is the location where the track bed is in a sorry state although it's still good enough for running trains. I'm not sure why there's so many missing sleepers. I do like the lineside areas here with the rotting logs and decaying vegetation beneath the other greenery. It's how I always wanted the layout to appear. Below is a favourite spot for photos as it's easy to access and not too bad on the old knees. Loch Rannoch again this time passing over Low Shott viaduct
  2. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    It's taken me far longer than anticipated but I have just managed to spend a couple of days on the layout. I can't remember how long it's been since it was last powered up but you can imagine how relieved I was to discover that the months of neglect hadn't taken too heavy a toll. However, the first job that required my attention was a short section of parapet wall on Stack Gill viaduct which had succumbed at the hands of a young child. Luckily it was just the parapet wall but my garden was never designed or built as child friendly. I'd been putting it off for several weeks (the tulips hadn't yet flowered in the above photo) but the nice weather finally persuaded me that it was time to sort it out and while I was at it I reattached the sections of log roll that had come adrift along the base of the viaduct using some of that acclaimed 'Gorilla' adhesive. So with the parapet wall duly repaired the route was finally clear and it was time to bring out the trains. Now it's been six years since Worsley Dale was started, although the final section from Stack Gill viaduct along the bottom of the garden to the shed is more recent, but there were still a number of track joins that I hadn't bonded and they were playing up so before going any further it was out with the soldering iron. Now with a fully bonded circle of track surely we can get something running? I'd been looking forward to seeing the Scottish coaches out together so chose a suitable loco to get things started in the form of 37025 'Inverness TMD'. This is fitted with a 'Legomanbiffo' class 37/0 sound chip and really sounds the part. In fact I couldn't put it down and found myself using hardly anything else all day. I'll add a few photos from a selection just added to my photo gallery. 37025 INVERNESS TMD rounds Low Shott Flatts hauling a rake of six green and cream West Highland Line MK1 coaches on its approach to Shieling Bridge station. A little further on and 37025 is seen crossing Low Shott viaduct as it slows to enter Shieling Bridge station. Crossing Low Shott viaduct in the opposite direction, having just departed Shieling Bridge station, 37025 is seen here hauling a rake of 6 Kyle line coaches 37025 on its approach to Stack Gill viaduct. 37025 appearing somewhat insignificant as it nears the end of the imposing Stack Gill viaduct. You'll notice that only the main part of the layout has been used over the past two days and that I wasn't running into Cattle Leys terminus or using the passing loop. The reason was that I just wanted to get something running and not spend the whole time trying to get things fully operational. It all looks great in the sunshine but there is going to be a need for some repair work on Worsley Dale in the very near future. The section between the two viaducts is causing me some problems with track alignment although I'm not sure whether it's the plywood base or simply the roofing felt that's rippled. I really would like to replace the plywood base with something solid and weatherproof. It could be done a little at a time if I need to keep things running. I'll keep you posted.
  3. mick

    Baker Wood Bunker

    I wonder what that could be....??
  4. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    It's good to see the temperature rising above zero degrees today after the short sharp blast from the east. I don't ever recall two degrees centigrade feeling quite so balmy but it's such a pleasant change from that bitingly cold wind. A few days before the cold weather set in I checked up on Worsley Dale and yes, I'm pleased to announce it's still there, even if a little worse for wear. Firstly, something easily remedied, is that a few of my wooden blocks have become detached from the viaduct side wall. It's no fault of the adhesive but simply that the wood has expanded and forced each of them off. Unless they shrink back on their own then I'll have to shave a bit off the sides before reattaching them. My primary concern outside are the point motor housings which, although they stay surprisingly dry, attract a whole host of squatters. There must be a family of at least 30 woodlice in one of them. Do they still operate? Well I've yet to test them and it's probably been 12 months or so since they were last used but I 'm hopeful. I'm going to wait until it dries up a bit before powering up. Another thing I would like to mention is that just outside the shed I ballasted a short length of track over the smaller viaduct using an exterior grade varnish and it's been exposed to the elements for a year now with very little deterioration other than it turning slightly green. I might just try it again this year as I would like to see both my viaducts fully ballasted even if the remainder of the layout is left bare - and the green isn't that bad.
  5. Yes they do operate with quite a kick so I think your optimism is in order. It all depends on the switch but there's bound to be one suitable I'm sure.
  6. I've been looking at exactly the same thing Thomas but as you say, will need to do some tests to see if the motor has enough power to operate the switch reliably. If so then it could be the perfect answer to the problem. There are a multitude of cheap miniature slide switches available online (notably ebay) so I'm hopeful that one of them will prove suitable. Being able to utilise the switch itself for powering the frog is an additional bonus.
  7. mick

    Griff's Oddities

    I'm glad it's not just me who's unable to resist a bargain - even when there's no other justification for the purchase. That little KOF pictured above is a strange one. I thought it was just a body in need of a chassis at first. What type of work would it be put to? I've learned through painful experience to be very careful when handling new models. It seems you can barely extract them from their boxes these days without some part or other breaking off and to be honest that's one of the reasons I've decided to reduce the number of items I've been purchasing. I've been watching a loco on ebay for the past week and I've no reason for doing so other than the fact that it's listed at a bargain price. I already have a similar one so why am I tempted? It can quickly get out of hand.
  8. mick

    Mick's Drivel

    I have every sympathy for all those who struggle to give up smoking. I know what it was like and it was many weeks of torture for me and more especially, for those around me. I'd had several failed attempts to stop prior to that so I understand how others feel. I would never lecture anyone who chooses to smoke but if you can make the effort to stop I would advise that you do because life is so much better without cigarettes. You will feel healthier, you'll smell better, your home and belongings and your friends/family will smell better too. In addition you'll be much better off financially. When I stopped smoking I was paying between £5-£6 per packet of 20 and on average I was smoking 30 cigarettes per day - so we'll call it £9 per day. 12 x 365 x £9.00 equals £39,420!! That's enough to make anyone stop and think. And how much are cigarettes these days? Not sure about the US Griff but over here there's an awful lot of tax on tobacco products. I was trying hard to justify spending money on a new car last year but then I worked out what I'd have spent on cigarettes and it was a no-brainer.
  9. mick

    Mick's Drivel

    No I don't really need any of them at all Griff, it's just the collecting bug in me. I'm just glad that I chose to do it with a class of locomotive that only numbered 35. My second favourite loco is the class 37 diesel of which in excess of 300 examples of the real loco's were actually constructed! My aim has been to collect one model of each actual A4 loco, which I know is a bit extreme when they're never going to play a major part on my layout, but should I ever have a change of heart they can simply be sold. I think back to 12 years ago when I was an habitual smoker and of all the money I used to spend each week on cigarettes, and what I've saved since then would have completed the class 37 collection several times over by now. A display shelf for the A4's would be great but they'll probably reside in their boxes, with perhaps some occasional outings until, like all the others, their fate is decided.
  10. mick

    Mick's Drivel

    There's actually 25 on that shelf Griff but they form only part of my A4 collection (now you see why there's been a need to have a clear-out). I could possibly have started one Q but I'm getting back to a more sensible level now.
  11. A stunning model but the above locomotive is now no longer part of my collection.
  12. mick

    Mick's Drivel

    Like I said Tony, it's nothing to get excited about but this is a section of my shelving for locomotives... In this photo there's A4's on the top shelf, various other steam class loco's next, then two shelves of diesels which still need arranging properly. Excuse the odds and ends which have nothing to do with model railways. Larger class collections such as 37s and 47s have their own shelves as do Heljan (including Prototype Diesels) and DMU's. At least now, no matter how they are arranged, they are easily accessible, which wasn't the case previously.
  13. mick

    Hornby GRESLEY A4 Collection

    Don't worry, I'm not going completely bonkers just yet, but I do have another photo to add to my Hornby A4 collection. Although 4468 MALLARD featured as part of the collection a short time ago, that particular model was actually the one from the Hornby GREAT GATHERING collection whereas the one shown below...... ...is the Hornby R2339 model which depicts the loco before the addition of the 'World Speed Record for Steam Traction' plaque. As mentioned in a previous post, the Mallard photographed here is actually sitting on my sound-fitted 4466 HERRING GULL chassis and as you may notice, is missing both its cab doors. This model is another that I could possibly renumber/rename as apart from the Great Gathering version I also have the Dapol Black Label version of Mallard. How many Mallard's does a man need?
  14. Have you had any ideas regarding the 'locking' aspect Thomas? I understand exactly what you mean because one of the springs in my outside points has failed and the central locking motor doesn't provide the necessary force to hold the point blades fully across. It's okay when travelling in the reverse direction but slightly worrying when the points are facing. I'm sure there's a simple solution out there.

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