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StevieG last won the day on November 6 2019

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  1. Hi Tony, thanks for your comments. Amazingly it's an old Lima class 40 which I bought new in about 2002 I think. I haven't used it much but gave it a quick oil and clean before running. I have added the Hornby class 40 sound decoder. I must have been lucky as the motor works really well. I'm aiming to use some treated timber for the platforms in probably 2 lengths so they can be brought into the shed when not in use. The platforms will be 2.8M long, 70cm wide x 19mm high. Dimensions are pretty much the same as Hornbys platforms which I had thought about using. However I decided that clipping enough together for 2 x 2.8M long was going to be a chore and expensive for the number I would need. Like you I cover part of my layout and it has worked well over the British winter. The cover is over the station area which is where all the point work is located. When it was 'unwrapped' in spring the points were pretty clean and only a quick rubbing over with a track rubber was required. The cover is easy to put over on a frame and when not being used I always cover it over. See my earlier pictures. Good luck with your platforms.
  2. Thanks Andrew. The station platforms when built are designed so I can run Up to 9 coach trains. Not often on model railways can you find enough room to run longer trains and the garden gave me that option. My indoor layout of Mallaig allows up to 4 coaches. The real Mallaig can handle up to 6 coaches but I just didn’t have room.
  3. I have a mix of decoders Zimo and Loksound but agree with you Mick Zimo are much more driveable straight out of the box. Slightly smoother running particularly on starting/stopping. I guess I could play around with the CV’s on the Loksound to improve. One wet day perhaps! I too love the manual braking function and the air brake noise from it. After buying the class 50 I then bought Paul Chetters Black 5 and that is also fantastic. The 50 has the Big Boomer 40x20x7 speaker. I took out the useless fan mechanism and the speaker fits nicely there under the fan grille.
  4. It's been a while since I have posted an update about my layout. During the early part of lockdown I managed to obtain enough track & points to finish the double track. I also decided to felt over most areas as although I had painted the woodwork I wasn't sure it would stand too many winters. I have also updated my YouTube Channel which has video's of the Garden Railway and of Mallaig, my indoor railway based on Mallaig station and the West Highland Line. Now the trackwork outside is finished here are a few pictures. Featured in the video is a newly acquired a Hornby class 50 into which I have put a Zimo decoder with Paul Chetter's Activedrive sounds from Digitrains. Speaker is from the Rail Exclusive range and I think it sounds fantastic. I also dusted down my ancient Hornby HST and changed the old Ringfield motor for a CD drive. The coaches are the old Jouef mark 3's. While not up to modern standards they are still OK and run nice and smoothly. The powercar did need some additional weight to give it some traction. I have also put lights into the Hornby class 156 and fitted a snowplough which was made from the part for a Hornby class 153. Looks so much better with the plough fitted. Next phase is to put some platforms in the station area and possibly a storage area for locomotives at the end of platform 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx70EktpbQY
  5. Hi Mick I agree far too steep. We were staying at Kinlochewe just a few miles from Achnasheen and I knew the special was coming through. I spent some time with OS maps trying to work out a spot we could access where it would be working hard up the gradient. I wanted to try my external microphone on the SLR which I think worked really well on my Canon EOS77. Although it was a remote spot well away from the road it’s a shame that one of the 3 or 4 others decided to stand next to me and you can hear his shutter going off. Wasn’t brave enough to ask him to move!
  6. Short video clip taken on 12th May of Mayflower on the climb from Acnasheen heading for Kyle of Lochalsh.
  7. Thanks Mick. I haven’t really decided as yet. I would like to put point motors on as it makes life so easy controlling from a central location. I’m going to research how I’m going to do it over the winter months and do it when I lay the down line next year. I’ll probably use PECO point motors protected in some way and camouflaged by small buildings. The wiring can then go back to a panel with push switches that I plug in when in use. On cost grounds would also keep as a separate 12v DC system to the DCC system. I have it this way on Mallaig indoors and it works just fine. Looking forward to reading how others have done it on the forum, I know people have posted but any further advise welcome.
  8. After some thought I have managed to work out a way of sealing up the station area for winter. The layout was planned so that all the points are in the station area. For any sessions it only takes a few minutes to undo by reaching underneath and flicking the bungees away. Materials used were a tarpaulin sheet 3x2 metres, available for under a tenner at B&Q. This was cut in half to make 2 pieces 3x1 metres. The planning officer sewed the edges so they won’t fray. We put some additional eyelets in using a kit and threaded bungee through. Cup hooks were screwed under the boards to pull the bungee cord onto. I made the frame to form a tent from leftover bits of wood. It all blends in reasonably well, looks fairly neat and should keep the elements off the expensive points. Pretty pleased with the mornings work!
  9. I was a bit sceptical of the Hornby ones as I have a class 37 Lima with one and I didn’t think it was great. However I also have Bachman class37’s with Loksound and South West Digital sounds which are fantastic. I guess I’m therefore have a comparison where the class 40 is the only one I’ve got. I’m pretty pleased with it, it does whistle just as I remember the real ones. I’ve got a Lima class 31 so will now get a Hornby TTS for that too. My strategy is Hornby “value” decoders for the old Lima stuff and better sounds for newer Bachman/Heljan stuff I have. By the way I recommend better Megabass speakers I have fitted which are better than the Hornby ones supplied.
  10. After a few days of heavy rain had a running session this afternoon. Relieved that the 2 lift out sections across pathways fitted perfectly after the rain. i have a soft spot for class 40’s and had a Lima version that always ran well on DC so decided the convert to DCC and fit the Hornby Sound decoder. While the sound isn’t up the the standard of Howes/SWD/Legobiffoman etc I have in my Bachman’s and Heljan, it is very good value and is a good representation of the “Whistlers”. Very impressed. Conversion has been fully successful with the old Lima running very well and pulled 11 coaches with erase.
  11. I have mainly passenger stock, a mix of Mainline, Lima, Hornby and some new Bachman which are fantastic. I also have some Jouef mark 3’s so just need to convert the old Hornby HST I have somewhere to DCC. I’ll probably put in a CD drive motor conversion. Re freight I know what you mean about the cost. I have a few old pieces, some from the 1960’s that came with my first train set! I do intend to have freight of some sort and as I had more Airfix mineral wagons than anything else I keep a look out on eBay for them, bought 2 recently so I think I now have 8. They seem to do for £7 or £8. Probably pre date the locos I have by a few years but I can’t afford newer stuff when I still have the down line to complete.
  12. A nice day in South Yorkshire yesterday so I decided to smooth out one the curves I wasn't happy with. Looks much better now. See picture 1. I know green isn't authentic but it does blend in better keeping planning happy. Selection of running videos below as well. On the indoor layout 'Mallaig' I run NCE Power Cab and computer interface with JMRI software/WiFi throttle on my ipad. For the next running session I'm going to set up outdoors and see if the WiFi works reliably enough in the garden.
  13. Thanks Mick. There is one curve in particular that is too sharp and I am going to alter. I am a little constrained by the shape and size of the garden and the planning officer of course! Next step as well as a cover is the bridge across the pond. Think of some sort of box bridge cosmetically added to the track base.
  14. 3 weeks after starting the construction I now have the up line in place with passing place/platform. Eventually it will be double track all the way around with station and sidings. The railway is 25 metres long, which if my maths is correct equates to about 1.3 miles scaled up. My indoor railway is based on Mallaig so most of the stock I have is West Highland based at the moment. I’m not restricting the Saffron Line to any place or period so looking forward to buying some more varied stock. Today was the first running session and all went well without too many problems. All the time making good solder joints was not wasted! Next job is some covers for the station area where the points are. Current thinking is to rig something up with square black guttering. Has anybody down similar or have any suggestions? Hers a few clips of today’s trial run. The bridge over the pond will eventually have some structure around it. Looking for inspiration now.
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