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Clay Mills Junction

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Posts posted by Clay Mills Junction

  1. Do we know what Hornby did to the newer ones other than the NEM pockets for couplings?

    We've got several old ones (r249) with metal wheels. The plastic wheeled ones with less detail were from trainsets like the 'Midnight freight' set, whereas the boxed individual ones had metal wheels.

    If replacing the couplings, fitting better buffers and weathering is on the cards anyway, I'm not sure how much difference you'd have between an old and newer Hornby one?

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  2. 14.1mm disc wheels were apparently correct, but the models have 12mm 3-hole disc wheels as standard. I've no idea if the 14.1mm wheels will foul on anything without modification and the hoppers will sit a little higher on them. 

    Another way to cure the wobble was to glue one axle on straight, you didn't need to glue both apparently. Bear in mind that this was Hornby's way of getting them around first and second radius curves so any modification might cause unintended consequences.

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  3. 3 hours ago, mick said:

    Holgate Bridge - I remember it well

    I used to go up to York in my early teens to the BREL/ABB works on odd occasions. My Dad would send the works Chauffeur to pick me up from the station in a Vauxhall Senator. Don't know how many kids got such red carpet treatment from their parent's employer.

  4. Thanks Mick. I'm estimating from videos that the real gap in normal running is probably under 3ft and I'd agree I'm not going to try getting them that close in 4mm even limiting them to the main running line with its minimum 36" radius. The images on Paul Bartlett's site suggest there was a fair gap between them ~3ft but maybe that is with the instanter coupling in the long position.

    I have discovered on the yellow ones that arrived today that the blue plastic of the chassis is incredibly brittle and will be impossible to alter the buffers so I'm going to test a pair of the others with the original buffers in place and a 12mm (scale 3 foot) gap. If that works at 24" radius then I'll do the lot like that.

    I used a couple of screws from a bachmann 159 coach I bought for spares to mount the first two kadees, but as I only had two and I've used them I'm rather stuck. A trawl of the usual modelling outlets came up blank and the auction site wasn't any help either. I eventually found some in stock at a model aeroplane supplier so that is 3 packs of 10 ordered (I won't be running out for a while). Who thought No0x6.25mm countersunk phillips screws would be so hard to find, but I guess it is the times. Anyway that project will have a little break until the screws arrive.

    I might even get out into the garden this weekend, weather is looking alright.

  5. So I converted my first two half wagons to No5 Kadees. As much an experiment using a couple of old Lima grain wagons, one an existing one from my fleet and the other newly acquired just because. I'd seen a video of a very dirty pair of them going off up the Far North Line from Inverness in about 1986 and thought they could be heavily weathered and go in a mixed rake behind 37114.
    On the newly acquired wagon someone had tried to lower it but made a mess of so I decided to replace the wheelset with a new Bachmann wagon pair. The pin axles are slightly wider on these so I had to hand drill out the mounting holes a little bit to clean them up and fit the new wheels.

    With the standard Lima tension-lock couplings the distance between the bodies is 22mm or a scale 5 1/2 feet.
    I wanted them a lot closer but thought I was going to have trouble with the buffers overlapping. So the first thing I did was shorten the shanks on the buffers. Then I cut off the original coupling mounting and glued a 1mm/040" bit of black plasticard under the area to screw the kadee box to.

    I haven't bothered about the distance above the rails for mounting this pair as they'll only ever connect to each other but by complete chance they appear to be about correct. I was more interested to see if I can get them working reliably and closer together.

    There is a lip on the front edge of the kadee No5 box which means the box just overhangs the end of the wagon so that has set the gap, having realised with the first wagon I took a 1mm slice off the back of the plasticard on the second so that sits where I intended.
    Having found a couple of old screws small enough to mount the kadee boxes to the plasticard I have put it all together and in the second photo is the result. The gap, according to the ruler is 14mm or a scale 3 feet 6". I was aiming for a straight 3 feet.

    I've tested it and it will still cope with 2nd radius curves with the shortened (and unfortunately one squint) buffers. Given that my minimum radius is streamline short points at 24" radius it looks like I didn't need to shorten the buffers to have them at this separation, or I could get them much closer with the shortened buffer shanks.

    I have no idea what the actual distance between these wagons would have been. Does anyone know the correct distance?

  6. I hope everyone had an alright Christmas.

    Someone mentioned they'd like to see more of my fleet. So while I've been away at my Mum and Dad's I took a few of my trains up (much of my stock lives up there permanently anyway) and put together a video with what I had. I'll do a part two with what is down here when I get a decent day in the garden.


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  7. 2 hours ago, Andrew said:

    Remembering what it's all about

    Fun in the summer sunshine:

    and a very Happy Christmas to all our visitors and contributors to this site!

    Well we are past the winter solstice, so officially on the way back towards getting back in our gardens. Though if the weather allows I'll do some block laying over Christmas.

  8. 4 hours ago, Riddles said:

    There are also the Beilhack snow ploughs (ex-Class 40) from Hattons which look a little bit delicate.

    Those and the Flangeway ones I have are both designed as decorative for indoor use so probably not of much of a starting point. The Beilhack ploughs are for drifts up to 1.8 metres high so the real heavy drifts would need the ploughs like tender derived ones.


    2 hours ago, mick said:

    I'm not sure how successful they would be, if at all. Of the few examples I've seen on video where people are actually trying to clear snow from the line, it seems that all it does is push the snow along in front until the load becomes too great. What you really need is scale snow too. Where I have seen some success it's been with vehicles travelling far beyond scale speeds so that it tends to throw the snow more towards the sides.

    Yes. I think you are right, a working one would need to be custom built from metal to force the snow aside and not a detailed replica of a real BR snowplough. That said, the shape of the Flangeways one will probably work if it can be recreated in metal and mounted on something heavy enough. The easiest way to do that would be to re-use an old co-co chassis. Anyone got a spare Heljan 47 chassis that banana'd itself? 🤣

    With your viaducts having edges, I think the problem would be lifting the snow high enough with the ramp section before forcing it out to the sides. Not impossible though.
    BR used to ram the snowploughs through drifts at a fair old speed.

  9. Do you have a snow plough Mick?

    I think the Flangeways ploughs are a little light for actually ploughing. It would be fun to have a working plough.

    Edit: I didn't see your post on my thread. Lol.

    Maybe a future project for me - Using an old chassis to create a heavy, motored plough. Possibly battery powered since the snow will probably short the track.

  10. So tonight will be the end of work on the tunnel until after new year. Things need to be cleared for Christmas.

    Might not look like much progress but those supports have been sawed from 12mm birch ply by hand. I used a saw tool on the Dremel to put a groove in the surface then did the rest by hand. The aluminium takes a bit of drilling too, I say that but it actually drills quite easily, it just takes a lot of drill bit swapping.

    I've managed to get it to all fit with a 5mm drop to the outside of the roof panel to help with water drainage. It will be covered with roofing felt anyway but the slope might help a little.

    I got a fresh sheet of 3.6mm hardwood ply from the orange place for the rest of the outer wall as that doesn't need to have the strength to it of the uprights now in place. On the inside I cut a groove where I wanted to bend it the ply rather than cutting it lots.
    I'll have to dismantle most of it to paint before the felt goes on as I've had to cut some bits that were already painted but it isn't hard especially with the old drill being on hand with the 7mm socket.

    On the subject of drills, I'm getting on really well with the Ryobi. I doubt the old B&D would have got through all of the aluminium drilling and even doing the bolts it smells on its way out.


  11. On 11/30/2020 at 10:40 AM, mick said:

    I don't worry too much about spiders either but they do sometimes build their webs inside the tunnels which then wraps around the leading vehicle if I don't notice it beforehand.

    Ha, I didn't think about that.

    Putting the tunnel away in the garage isn't going to help with the spiders. I may just have to clear webs before a running session.

    I'll have to think about how I engineer the tunnel ends.

  12. Hello,
    My condolences on your loss.

    What you have there is 16mm narrow gauge. That is a scale of 16mm to the foot or roughly 1 to 19. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_mm_scale
    Although it uses the same gauge track as O-scale.

    If you don't find anything on here (we're mostly OO-scale but some people might have multiple interests) then there are forums that cater for 16mm scale and I've found some links below.


    But, if you start by searching "16mm narrow gauge" on ebay you might get an idea of the value of some of it.

    I hope that is of some help.

  13. 12 hours ago, mick said:

    Nice work Barry. I'm glad to see you're still able to make some progress in spite of the weather. It all looks good to me.

    It actually doesn't seem quite such a sharp radius curve in the photo, especially where the coach is standing. Is that the actual track layout and if so how do you propose to operate the point in the tunnel entrance?

    Did you say you were planning on bunging up the entrances when the railway is not in use to deter the little creatures? I imagine slugs will be the biggest problem.

    Hi Mick, The point in the tunnel entrance will be sprung if I can make it work. With the blades and spring inside the tunnel they should be protected from the worst of the weather / leaf fall /droppings etc.

    The radius of the track throught the tunnel is 36" (91mm) so not too bad. Certainly a lot better than sectional track radii.

    The plan is to find a way of sealing the entrances from slugs and the like, I'm not a fan of slugs. Do you find they climb your aerated block sections much?
    I'm not afraid of spiders so I'll leave them to deal with anything smaller.

    Cheers, Barry.


  14. On 10/28/2020 at 12:30 PM, aussietmrail said:

    Hi Barry, wow that is some video, you are using DCC, like to see more video and pics please  and like DMU set .


    Tony from down under

    Thanks Tony. That was just done quickly with an analogue controller for the time being. Though I will be using DCC when it is up and running. If we get some better weather (it is just rain front after rain front sweeping over at the moment) I'll do a meet the fleet video once the tunnel section is in place.

  15. So I've managed to get on a bit with the tunnel section around the camellia by working in the utility room. I've got the inner wall in place and some of the aluminium angle for the outer wall. The tunnel mouth on the left is just in there for clearance testing and not fixed. The end structure and how I affix the tunnel mouth will be one of the last things. The roof is just placed on for demonstration.
    The tunnel is narrow due to space, hence I've made it quite high instead so I can get my hand in easily. The reason there are gaps in the outer alu angle is because there will be hatches to get access for recovering derailments and cleaning.
    The roof and sides will be covered in roofing felt on their outer edges. The roof actually overhangs the edges and ends so this section can remain out in summer. All of the ply will be varnished before the felt goes on.
    I've also got a string of battery powered Christmas lights from Wilkos to provide lighting inside the tunnel.


  16. 21 hours ago, SeaBeast said:

    OK, just caught up with your thoughtful replies on this. By 'section' does that refer to a single 36" rail length - or is it a composite of several?

    Yes, a single piece of track.

    Outdoors you might not be painting or ballasting the track but the climate and wildlife will conspire to get dirt between the fishplates (joiners - Peco SL-10 if you need the part code) and rails of the track and the metal will oxidise over time. That is why it is recommended to feed each piece of track.
    It isn't a must though, indoors or out; it is a best practise or recommendation. That said, there is a reason it is recommended.

    If you don't feed every piece and it stops working later on, how much of a pain will it be to go back and add the extra feeds? If you can still get to or take the track up to solder it if it stops working later then it isn't the end of the world but if you have to take track up and relay it then it might be easier just to do it up-front.

    We don't know what your technical knowledge is like, how competent you are with soldering etc. I'm guessing you've got some experience to take on building a structure of viaducts around the wall of the house but just not specific model railway experience?


  17. I'm not sure about sound without going to DCC. The good thing is though that if you buy "DCC Ready" locomotives then they can be converted easily, you just replace the blanking plug with the DCC decoder. Even if you buy "DCC fitted" then the decoder will recognise an analogue current and run anyway. Sound decoders are a big extra cost, I don't have them so others are more expert than I am.
    Older locomotives are a bit more difficult to convert as you need to hard-wire a decoder in by soldering.

    DCC has a couple of advantages, track is at full voltage all of the time, track wiring is simpler, more options for lights and sound. On the downside is cost, complexity of operation and the need to keep track and wheels even cleaner. DCC keeps the track voltage at full all of the time and controls each locomotive by sending it a signal through the track, if the track wheels and pickups aren't clean then that signal can be slow to get through.

    Having an analogue controller for fault finding and running in is always a good idea, so going with a decent but basic analogue controller like the Gaugemaster Combi to begin isn't going to be a waste of money even if you decide to go DCC later on. So it sounds as though you would be better going with analogue to start with and then decide if you want to go to digital later on.

    The only thing that will really be harder with analogue is if you have a passing loop in the line and want to control two locomotives separately. You would need two controllers or a dual controller (like the Gaugemaster model D for instance) and then you would need to have a system to chose which controller provides power to which line through the loop. I'd suggest sticking to a single line to begin until you are happy with the way it runs but build with the capacity to add a loop or second line later if you wish.

  18. I'd say the more modern locos (of any type) are better outdoors. Heavier cast chassis and electrical pickups on more wheels than the older models give you more of a chance.
    For controller, I'm guessing you are doing traditional analogue control rather than the Digital Command and Control (DCC). I like Gaugemaster controllers, the Combi would be a good bet for starting off. As with all controllers, this is better off kept inside if you can.

  19. Welcome to the forum Seabeast.

    Wow that's a big garden!

    How flat is your garden or area to use? Even a flat garden probably isn't completely flat. You could be raised a lot at one point and having to tunnel at another. Inclines are possible but undesirable, try to keep them as gentle as possible. Mick covered quite a lot there.
    At ground level is good: natural scenery, integrates with the garden more easily; but, you have to do everything on the ground, its harder to keep free of detritus like soil and leaves.
    Raised up gives you a decent working height but it is kind of more like an indoor railway outdoors to me. Also probably a lot more materials needed.
    I've gone for a ground plus approach. Using Mick's aerated block contruction but keeping the railway about 20-25cm (8-10inches) above the ground so it still uses plants as scenery.

    So apart from route around the garden, you will want your controller and power supply to be inside somewhere, whether in the house, a garage or shed. You can go all outside with the track like I am doing but it has disadvantages.
    1. Nowhere to leave stock, I'll be taking a couple of boards and all of my stock inside when out of use but that means it will take longer to set up and take down every time.
    2. Nowhere to quickly bring stock into when the weather suddenly turns too.
    3. The controller isn't permanent. I'll have to set up the controller and put it away. Though in my defence on this point, I'll be using a laptop indoors with just the two power wires coming outside then the trains controlled by throttle apps on smartphones.
    4. No "off-scene" staging area.

    So, the general recommendation is to have some sort of indoor space where trains can run to. Some people have done this into their homes by creating a tunnel through the brickwork. I wouldn't do that because I could see it being an entrance for not just trains but cold winds and wildlife too. I guess people have ways of mitigating that though.
    A garage or shed works well if you have power out there. Be aware of security with outbuildings though, a wooden shed might be broken into with a claw hammer and then that it potentially hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of stock gone in seconds. That is one reason why I didn't worry much about having an outbuilding, I'd be removing all of the stock at night anyway!

    In regards to single or double line, there are advantages to both. I'm quite a fan of the single line. Whether it is right for you could depend on how much action you want to have going on and the shape of your garden. 250ft is 3.6 scale miles in OO.

  20. On 11/13/2020 at 9:03 PM, mick said:

    The moulded loads, in my opinion, are just a little too big resulting in the load sitting right at the very top of the wagon whereas in reality they were rarely ever loaded that way.

    I did the same with my HAAs. The load would probably be OK with the ones that had the extra bits fitted around the top (HBA?) but not for the standard wagons. 

  21. 4 hours ago, traingeekboy said:

    Sure could use an update. This looks amazing. I need more photos! 

    To be honest, the last two months in Britain have been really wet and windy.

    And now the nights have drawn in its getting too dark to be working outside past about 4:30. We may have wonderfully late summer evenings but we have to pay that back in winter unfortunately. 

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  22. New Mk3a arrived, couplings at both ends are good and the door steps are all attached. Maybe they've improved quality since the original batches came over.

    I'm not so impressed by the hunt couplings. They don't have the rigidity of the fixed bars so not as reliable in a faulty Mk3a coupling. Better in the new and fixed ones. We'll see if they stay together OK when I return to my parent's but the magnets don't feel all that strong. I suspect if you got down to a full length West Coast or greater Anglia set with 7 & DVT then they wouldn't be reliable. But we will see.

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