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Havering is a Scottish word for talking nonsense.

So updates on what is going on in my railway world. I've just got back from a couple of weeks at my parent's so little has happened on my own railways as I've spent evenings fiddling on my Dad's. Doing general maintenance but also laying a bit of new track and starting the base for his new island platform.

I talked with my Dad about my garden railway and about a name. He tended to like my favoured suggestion which is Glen Dollar. Named after a park we liked going to when I was little. That park had a railway line next to it with a semaphore signal visible from the play area.

I've taken the plunge and ordered a 3rd Oxford Rail Mk3a in blue grey to go with my DBSO. I've also ordered some Hunt Couplings for the Oxford Mk3as and the Hornby HST set.
I'm working on the Oxford Rail coaches to rectify the faults and build issues but I want to know if the Hunt couplings are rigid enough when connected to work without fixing them. I've figured out how to fix the coaches now anyway so no real hassle either way.

Decision on the garden railway to be made, do I have them take the right line through the station or the left? Going left is more common on the UK network but going right isn't unheard of, there are a number on the highland lines (or were in the 80's and 90's) eg. Bridge of Orchy.

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I like the idea of using names that mean something to you - most of the named sections on my layouts are place names from the area where I grew up, many of which are now lost in the midst of time.

I've heard and read a lot about Hunt couplings recently but I'm still plodding along with the Kadee's. I prefer having the coupling attached to the coach itself rather than the bogie and so far, touch wood, they've proved pretty reliable in use.

Does the decision regarding left or right through the station imply that you'll be having a form of sprung points? I assume it does otherwise you'd just be able to route either way.

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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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13 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

......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.

I'm surprised to hear that after the rave reviews they've been getting elsewhere but I suppose you don't really know until you've tried them yourself under the conditions you yourself operate. 

Most couplings work just fine with short trains and little trailing load but it's once you start increasing that load that your problems begin. I didn't really want to start butchering any of my coaches and wagons but it was the only way to achieve reliable and consistent coupling between individual vehicles. Shorter trains was never part of my agenda.

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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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.
DSC_0500.thumb.JPG.8ed4e2815971e526954451189b8e2110.JPG
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.
DSC_0499.thumb.JPG.474e6ce3d8ea6d60988aff94d330ec7d.JPG

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?

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8 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

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

Perhaps that's something I should know but I was never really all that interested in the classroom. 

It's a difficult one to answer because when stabled the wagon buffers would generally be touching as the force of the sprung buffer would set them apart. There wouldn't be more than a couple of inches between the face of the buffers when the wagons were in motion so in 4mm scale it would probably be unworkable. Certainly in your lower photo the gap between wagon buffers would appear to me to be too large for an instanter coupling in the normal running (short) position. However, the important thing for us is that the gap between individual wagons looks okay and I would be quite happy with what you've achieved. It's certainly an improvement over the original.

From a standing start or if being hauled uphill then the gap between buffers would increase due to the sprung couplings. Likewise if the instanter coupling was set in the long position which we would do for shunting purposes. But generally the buffers would be close together for the smoothest possible journey.

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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.

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7 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

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

You are a braver man than me, though it is now above freezing in this part of the world - but only just!

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  • 2 months later...

Another meet the fleet video. This is the rest of my modern fleet so you can see I don't have a lot. Everything else is old Hornby or Lima and isn't DCC or running very well.
Unfortunately one of the Oxford Rail Mk3a couplings broke when I tried to put a Bachmann coupling bar in it to connect it to the blue/grey DBSO so that meant I couldn't include them. I've thought of a different way of repairing them so I'm going to try and fix it before the next running day.

The Loksound v5.0 for 37114 arrived today so hopefully the next video will not be silent, though you can hear my next door neighbour's dog in this one.

 

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