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  1. Thanks for the searches. I too had seen the university project video. It looks good, but note that his hand does something behind the gates before they open, so I presume there is a mechanical catch to hold them shut. I might end up doing the same. The gate is made on a frame of 9mm x 10mm beams made by laminating 10mm wide strips of 3mm thick high-impact polystyrene sheet.
  2. I have built a lock gate test box to establish how well a model lock is held closed by water pressure, and trials are under way at the moment. I will report in due course.
  3. Impressive work, Mick. My viaduct uses similar construction techniques to yours, and is double-track, but not trouble-free! The worst part is the S-bend section between the lawn and the barn, where the calculations to provide a gradient of 1 in 50 on the curves proved too much for me and I reverted to trial and error!
  4. I note that I haven't logged on since May. I've done a lot of work on the railway since then, mainly modifications to improve reliability and reduce maintenance. I also now have sidings and crossovers outside the barn. The other major project since the railway was put into hibernation is construction of a 1/24 scale canal in the garden. This doesn't really fit into the scope of the 00 garden railways forum, but as it shares a corner of the garden with a 00 garden railway, I'll give a brief history. When I was a student, I built 1/24 scale model of a canal narrow boat. For the next 47 years, it didn't receive much attention, but recently I decided to refurbish it and fit radio control. The question then was, where to run it. The bath is too small, and it doesn't look right on a pond or boating lake. So the obvious solution was to build a canal in the garden.
  5. I am having trouble with Magpies. One of them seems to have taken exception to the scenic additions in one corner of the layout - fences, hedges, dry stone walls and telegraph poles (visible in the photo in 17th April post above). I regularly find that they have been torn up or damaged, and a few weeks ago I caught the Magpie red-handed! How do I repel Magpies? I will try hanging a few CDs over the area and see if that spooks them.
  6. Not really enough weight for either traction or good electrical contact outdoors. Looks pretty though, and runs well indoors on clean, level track..
  7. It's a Hornby model of a Sentinel industrial shunter.
  8. A very "Southern" day! It's all looking very good.
  9. I've been adding a bit of simple scenic work to the raised sections. Also needed to replace some of the telegraph poles and fences that were chewed by the wildlife.
  10. The quarry company has bought a new diesel shunter. Here it is seen returning from a disused and overgrown part of the quarry with three withdrawn trucks.
  11. Today I saw a Gresley P2 2-8-2 at Danes Wood, and fortunately was able to get a photograph. They are certainly very capable engines, ideal for this line with its long, steep gradients an fast schedules. I hope we will see them again.
  12. Now is the time for indoor tasks such as maintenance of stock and removable structures. Meanwhile, the rest of the railway slowly deteriorates in the winter cold and damp.
  13. That's some impressive viaduct Mick, and I especially like the girder section in the middle. Your viaducts look tidy and professionally built (though I know you built them). Yours will still be standing long after mine have fallen down!
  14. Today I had enough of the track modules for the quarry sidings complete and ready for a live operational test. There are two removable modules; the "black plank" and the "quarry turnouts". The "black plank" is effectively a bridge allowing space below it for the tree roots to grow. It contains the main line, single track at this point, the shunter refuge siding, and a turnout switchable between the main line and the quarry sidings. The "quarry turnouts" module contains two turnouts toe-to-toe, fed from the quarry turnout on the "black plank", and feeding back to the refuge siding and forward to the exchange siding or the quarry floor. The turnouts are switched using Peco point motors, which are hidden under appropriate-looking building. The building on the "black plank" is a ground-frame cabin, based broadly on the one at Midford North sidings near Bath. It was purpose-built from "plasticard". The other building covers two motors, and I found something suitable in Hornby's range, a weighbridge office I think it was described as. I decided that in real life, these turnouts would have been operated by the train crew using a special token to unlock the ground frame. In model form, therefore, I use the same principle; I have a ground frame in a box, which is plugged in to the track modules via a length of cable, and used to operate the points. (If you are an expert in these matters on real railways, please let me know whether the terminology in my description is correct.)
  15. The steps are an alterative route to the compost heap, the other being over the tunnel. They also lead to the extreme tip of the garden, were there is theoretically a view of the real railway. However, at the moment the view is obscured by bushes, as Network Rail only clear them at irregular intervals, and they were last done about 5 years ago. No viewing platform for the model railway.
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