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Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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Thank you for your comments.

I've always tried to distance the layout from a typical model railway. I don't look back on my railway career with any great fondness but I do remember the appearance of much of the railway I experienced. It was dirty, decayed, overgrown with vegetation and littered with all kinds of rubbish. In fact the tunnel portal really could do with discarded shopping trollies, bicycle frames and an old bed mattress tossed over onto the tracks below in order to make it truly realistic. Something for later perhaps?

Well today was going to be a DMU running day. Utilising my two spare 8-pin chips and with 2 DMU's already DCC fitted I thought a quartet of units would make a change from the usual loco hauled stuff. The trouble is the 8-pin chips I have are 'direct' fitting, meaning they have no wires making them slightly larger than the 8-pins with wire harnesses and they wouldn't fit the void in the motor blocks where the DCC sockets are located. And after all the time it took me to get those pesky bodies off!

I gave up with the idea of using the 8-pins and decided instead to get out another two freight steam locos, both of which require 21-pin chips. These two, a Robinson 04 and a class 7F, date back to my Selby Garden Railway and I couldn't remember whether or not I had fitted them before. As it turned out the Robinson 04 had been previously fitted but the 7F had not although I did have one spare so in it went. The 04 ran perfectly while the 7F runs with what appears to be a square rear driving wheel - in fact there's almost no need for a sound chip because it sounds like a 'chuff chuff' when it's in motion as it is. It's in need of attention - yes, another one to add to a growing list!

The heat outdoors was becoming unbearable and so as a last resort I placed a class 108 DMU on track that was DCC fitted about 9 years ago for the Selby railway. I well remember my frustrations in trying to dismantle it at the time! So here's a few photos of the class 108 DMU in action this afternoon.


A similar view to the photos added yesterday as the three car class 108 DMU enters Watch House tunnel. I omitted to mention all the wiring in my captions yesterday but I think they are part of the scene too, even if a little over scale.


The DMU exits Watch House tunnel and heads towards the 'missing sleepers' which is where the plywood base appears to have failed.


Through Trundles Bridge we go, having safely negotiated the enforced speed restriction.


And here we're on the run along Stackgarth Gill towards Stack Gill viaduct. The power car is almost at the point where the plywood base meets aerated block base and so its from this point that works will begin later.


Finally we see the DMU part way over Stack Gill viaduct and onto the girder bridges crossing the river Buttle. Currently just a dry bed, I would really like to add some form of water below the bridges. Something else to include on the to do list.

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Morning Mick, very nice set of pics indeed of the three car DMU set, with the good mix of plants in the background, with loading pics like you have done with wording between them do you have load the pics into your gallery.

When I finish the bow section of my ship build project I plan to model an Australian NSW  Endervour DMU 3 to  4 car set, using TYCO powered bogies, from  my late Uncles train collection, got drawing and lots of pics to go by .How is the summer going in the UK , saw Europe is copping an bad heat wave, high temps of of over 40 degrees, what we cop  in summer.

July was the warmest month for winter since 2006, Sunday pecked  28 degrees, cool change coming in today, rain coming, hope enough to see if my fancy plumbing will work to stop the rain water leak between the pergola and house right where the approach module is sitting onto the points, can leave that module set up for a while.

Tony from down under.

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17 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

.....with loading pics like you have done with wording between them do you have load the pics into your gallery.....

No, the photos were added as attachments Tony.

I click 'choose files' when I first start and add all the photos I will be using in the post. Once they've all loaded I type my text and then when I want to add a photo, place the cursor on an empty line (press enter key to make one) and click the photo I want to insert. Just remember to press the enter key to make an empty line where you want the photo to appear.

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It's been a messing around day today, no actual work on the layout but plenty of playing trains and taking photo's. Mind you, my 'to do' list grows longer by the completed circuit as the intensive running reveals areas of track that demand my attention. One such area is a point inside the shed which has a bit of a dog-leg and I'd like to ease that out if I can.

Anyway, I mentioned photos so here we go....

Just to prove that I haven't forgotten about my 16t mineral wagons, which have been stabled inside the shed for a couple of years now, I thought today would be a good time to give them a run and blow away the cobwebs - literally! And what better loco to haul them than the WD 2-8-0 Austerity.


Here 90630 hauls the rake of Bachmann 16 ton mineral wagons away from Sheiling Bridge and across Low Shott viaduct. Imagination is required as to its destination.

When I first placed the loco on track today it was very hesitant to move, often stalling and needing gentle persuasion to get it moving again. I turned it upside down and proceeded to clean all the wheel treads and pickups with a cotton bud soaked in IPA before giving it a gentle oil. There was a good deal of dirt around the wheel flanges. I then gave the entire track a clean before using IPA solution in the CMX track cleaner. The difference was worth the effort.


A very similar view to the previous photo but I like both. Stack Gill viaduct can be seen in the background.


Close up of 90630 which is clearly still in need of completion. It would be nice to close the gap between loco and tender and  a driver and fireman wouldn't go amiss either. Perhaps also some lamps on the front bufferbeam?


Here's the troublesome 37025 hauling the log train across Low Shott viaduct. I gave my knees a rest today so there's no low vantage point photos in the cuttings. Again, Stack Gill viaduct can be seen in the background. I need to take a good look at this loco as I feel sure that's where the problems lie. I need this loco to be performing consistently well.


37025 INVERNESS TMD once more but this time we see it starting out over the first 8 arch section of Stack Gill viaduct. After the girder bridges there are a further 24 arches to traverse.

I hadn't planned to include the following photo, especially as the loco isn't in focus, but just take a look at the track alignment here!


Standing alongside the layout you don't notice this at all and I take great pride in ensuring my trackwork is nice and smooth. I'm not sure whether the heat has caused this or whether it has always been this way but a long focus lens certainly focuses on your imperfections. I'll take a look and see if it needs immediate attention or whether it can wait until I start relaying that area.

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1 hour ago, ba14eagle said:

...The WD's chimney looks odd - has it lost the top?

It was like that when I purchased it. What you can see poking out of the chimney is the smoke generator. I don't know anything about them but assume it's just too big for the space available inside the smokebox. A pity really but I daren't start messing about with it as it still works and it doesn't look too bad when it's working.

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Bit by bit I feel like I'm starting to make headway ironing out some of the faults I keep coming across. It seems it's never ending but I do quite enjoy it.

I mentioned yesterday about a misalignment with one of the indoor points. What I didn't mention was that occasionally when a train travelled over the point frog it would create a short circuit as the integral switch of the SEEP point motor had started playing up. Fortunately I still had a spare Gaugemaster DCC80 Autofrog module so I decided to replace the inbuilt SEEP switching with the Gaugemaster module. It was simply a case of unscrewing 3 wires, soldering them to the solder pads on the DCC80 and it was good to go.

It seemed a good time to sort out the misalignment of the point too so I carefully dug out the ballast from around the sleepers of the adjacent track for a distance of about 6 inches or so. I was then able to move the track over slightly to ease the curve towards the point and secure it in place with a track pin. The ballast was replaced and fixed back in place with Klear polish. Another job well done and such a relief to remove another cause of many frustrations.

I made some room inside the shed today by temporarily removing the Kyle Line coaches and putting them in a storage box. The 16t minerals don't really belong out there but because they have scale instanter couplings it's easier to leave them where they are rather than trying to couple/uncouple them all each time. With those and the OTA log wagons I really don't have enough sidings but I've worked out I can add a further 2 storage roads at Cattle Leys terminus without going to too much trouble. That will then give me a destination for the OTA's and enable them to work back and forth.

I noticed today that the bogies on my 37025 are very rigid whereas those on another class 37 I compared them with were quite loose. It seems that 37025's bogies are unable to follow undulations in the track meaning that it's possible for the wheels to lose contact with the rails. Definitely need to look into this. 

On to todays photo's although it's more or less the same as what's gone before but with maybe some new faces.

I'm becoming quite a fan of the DMU's but I do apologise in advance for the lack of detailing parts fitted to them. I promise I'll get round to it soon. I enjoy being able to run them back and forth from bay platform to bay platform without having to man handle them anywhere.


Crossing Low Shott viaduct, class 101 DMU sets out for Cattle Leys (or is that New Castle Leys?)


Bachmann class 101 DMU hugs the curve round Low Shott Flatt as it makes its way to Cattle Leys. This was factory fitted with DCC and is a lovely smooth runner. The destination blinds will need changing when detailing parts are fitted and tension lock couplings are removed to enhance the appearance.


The same DMU but here it has just come off Stack Gill viaduct onto the raised curve section that leads onto Buttlebank running along the bottom of the garden. This is another area that needs some work to complete it. Firstly by fitting some type of girder sides around the curved edge and also by bracing the curve itself which despite it being 38mm thick has taken on a slight depression in the centre and it's noticeable when trains cross over.


The three car class 108 DMU seen previously. Noticeable again in this section of the layout is how uneven everything looks with a telephoto lens - most noticeable with the alignment of the carriages. As before, detailing parts to be fitted and destination blinds to change, although Scarborough isn't too bad a choice on a day like today.


I'm not sure if I've ever featured this class 37 before. It's not really one of my 'go to' 37s and the sound, reblown by Howes, isn't very audible compared to some of my others. Maybe that's because it has the factory fitted speaker up in the roof void somewhere. I have to admit that it looks okay in the photo so perhaps I'll warm to it eventually. It runs smoothly and reliably, unlike one other I could mention.

Tomorrow I'll try to photographs loco's that haven't been featured before.

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As I mentioned yesterday, it was my intention to photograph some different loco's today rather than keep posting photo's of the same things all the time but to be honest I don't enjoy it and it feels like a chore. I've never enjoyed taking loco's out of their boxes, especially so for just a few minutes before replacing them and though I did make an effort I just kept thinking there was other things I would have been better off doing. Looking over the photos I did manage to take I am reminded once again of the need to fit detailing parts, ensure that buffers are straight and that any detailing parts already fitted are in the correct positions. What could have been decent photos in the end all look a bit silly as I will point out.


This is Hornby R3267XS Class 60005 SKIDDAW in Transrail sector livery, factory fitted with sound. A total lack of any fitted detailing parts and two wonky buffers don't do it any justice. I had trouble getting this one to run smoothly at first due to the over-long sandpipes fouling the rail chairs. I tried bending them back in line with the wheel treads but in the end decided the best course of action was to trim a little bit off the ends.

What I do like about the above photo are the small growths that have taken hold on the tops of the aerated blocks. I hadn't noticed them previously. The loco is running along Stackgarth Gill towards the viaduct.


Hornby R2901XS Class 50037 ILLUSTRIOUS in large logo BR Blue has been seen before on my old Selby Garden railway but maybe not on Worsley Dale. Factory fitted with sound I doubt very much that it would ever have been seen along with the West Highland MK1s but when you're in charge of the railway anything goes.


50037 ILLUSTRIOUS once again, this time rounding the curve at Low Shott Flatt before entering Watch House tunnel. This curve used to be super-elevated with a small strip of rubber placed beneath the outer sleepers but it was removed when certain locos constantly derailed. From the photo it appears to have been reinstated.


We catch up with 50037 as it exits Watch House tunnel and is illuminated by the morning sun. The decaying log roll on either side of the track resembles a sleeper built fence and I hope I can recreate that effect when the area is relaid later.


This shed view is the last one I will include in this post - there are one or two others that I'll add to my Gallery but nothing really special. Have I pointed out the height of the signalbox chimney before?

On shed are 50037 ILLUSTRIOUS, 31439 NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY, 60005 SKIDDAW and just out of sight 37025 INVERNESS TMD and 26024. 31439 is a static exhibit at the moment as I don't have a spare chip.

There are plans afoot to erect some backscenes along both sides of the shed and suitable board is already available so it's just a case of making the start.  That should make it a better location for photographs especially when I get some lighting installed above. At the moment the shed door is a good location when there's plenty of light coming through. 

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No running whatsoever today, instead I spent the time putting down some additional track on the terminus board to act as a destination and storage for the log wagons.

I never intended adding to the terminus boards but it's not until you start running trains that you find the layouts limitations and the fact that I don't have a siding to accommodate the OTA wagons meant they would need to be stabled on one of the through roads in Shieling Bridge station. That in turn would limit the space available for passenger workings so a permanent siding for log traffic was needed.

The following photo shows the entrance to Cattle Leys terminus at the rear of the shed. The right hand road is the bay platform, centre is the main platform and to the left is the run-round line. To the left edge of the boards is where I plan to install two sidings for the log train but I have yet to decide where to make the connection with the remainder of the layout. There is limited space to the left of the loco between the trap point and the point ahead and that will probably mean altering some of the existing track which I don't really fancy doing. The other option, slightly more involved, is to have a point connection just outside the shed with an enlarged entrance hole and at the moment I am leaning towards that.


The next photo is taken from the entrance hole looking back along the platform and to the right is the space I have available which is just enough to squeeze in a couple of sidings.


So, salvaged from the old Selby Garden Railway, half a dozen random lengths of track and we have the beginnings of two dead end sidings. They've had droppers soldered so most of the work is done and all that's needed now is the connection to the rest of the layout. I decided against adding another cross over in the sidings and so an arriving train will need to be run round alongside the main platform and then draw forward to reverse into the sidings. Involved perhaps but in the real world not an unusual occurrence at all.


This looks to be the easier of my two stations to complete in the way of scenery. There isn't a great deal to add other than a backdrop and it would be nice to get something more or less completed at last. I'm going to add 2x1 battens around the backscene sheet to give it some rigidity before making a decision on what to do with it.



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A few days ago Iain asked about the odd looking chimney on my WD Austerity 2-8-0 and I explained that it was the Seuthe smoke generator that had been fitted by the previous owner. I barely notice it these days but I can see why it might appear strange. I'm not sure if there's anything I can do about it or even if it would be removable. Anyway, when I took the photos the other day I didn't include this one showing that the generator is still working even though there's no DCC function to turn it off and it must have run for many scale miles without any smoke oil inside.

It's a shame that the protruding part is so prominent


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The Seuthe smoke units must have much better heat insulation than the last Hornby smoke units did. I remember watching horrified as the chimney and smokebox of my 28XX loco slowly sank down as it overheated. It took me over 12 months to find a replacement body so when I did, the smoke unit was removed a.s.a.p. That was on analogue control as well so current was only passing when the loco was running. Steam/smoke does add so much to the realism when it's done well.

Edited by Riddles
Correction of grammar

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1 hour ago, Riddles said:

The Seuthe smoke units must have much better heat insulation than the last Hornby smoke units did....

I wouldn't like to say which is the better option as, other than the Dapol Black Label models, this Seuthe unit is the only one I have any experience of. I know that the advice from Dapol is to never run the A4's without smoke oil so I assume the Seuthe would necessitate a similar warning. I just keep forgetting!

I have my fingers crossed but I'm hopeful that I've improved the running qualities of 37025. I decided to take a closer look at it today and found that when the wheelsets were pushed to either side of the bogie frames, some of the wiper pickups were no longer in contact with the rear face of the wheel. This would certainly explain why a gentle push sideways was often sufficient to get her moving again. I managed to put a bend in the wipers forcing them back against the wheels. At the same time I discovered that the reason the bogies were so rigid was because the retaining screws were too tight so I loosened them both off slightly to allow some play in the bogies. I've tried it in the shed and I think it's better but I'll give it a proper run out later when the paint has had time to dry....??

......yes, I've made a start weathering it too as I want it to look like a true working locomotive rather than a display exhibit, although it is my own vision of weathering and not true to prototype in any way. What else is there to do when there's rain about? Photos later hopefully.

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So as mentioned in my last post, I've made a start weathering 37025. Doing little by little (and often backtracking over what I'd previously done) I'm just trying to get the sense of a working locomotive but one that's not too scruffy as it has also to act as a passenger loco too. I've seen the sorry state that some class 37's were allowed to get into but looking at photographs of the West Highland line it seems they were pretty well looked after so I'm looking for that happy medium. 

It's a bit early in the day and the sunshine is at the wrong angle for photos on Low Shott viaduct but hopefully you'll get the idea.


These first two are very similar but I noticed the shed door was open so closed it for the second.


From the opposite side (below) you can see more of the roof weathering which will be added to later, especially around the exhaust ports but again, little by little.


I know some people would be aghast at painting enamel weathering over a 'limited edition' loco but it's a model layout and I want it to look as realistic as possible. Anyway, the price of a standard range loco these days is in excess of what a Limited Edition one was just a few years ago and in my eyes the weathered version just looks so much better.


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2 minutes ago, markgd said:

I think it’s looking really good Mick. Are you airbrushing or using powders and dry brushing?

It's just brushed enamels Mark thinned with white spirits but be prepared for a thumping headache afterwards or better still, be even more prepared and do it in a well-ventilated location.

I think a loco requires mainly track colours along with a little oily stuff. I've got plenty of rust coloured powders but I think they're more suitable for wagons. Washes of track dirt, sleeper grime etc, well thinned with that lethal white spirit and wiped off with kitchen roll, cotton buds, dry brush etc. It just needs to tone down the factory finish to take away that toy look leaving the dirtier stuff in cracks and crevices. The white spirit doesn't appear to affect the plastic model parts.

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Before I get on to today's photographs I should perhaps report that 37025 is now running reliably well after yesterday's overhaul. I don't suppose I can just expect everything to keep performing without some kind of maintenance so it may be time for a regular routine of some sort.

37025 in its new weathered guise has been in action today but so too has 26024 and she too is now wearing a new coat of mucky brown. Propelling the track cleaner isn't the most glamorous task so further photos will have to wait but here's a quick glimpse.


So on to 37025 and  I really do like this engine, more so now that it runs so well. I've taken in the region of 40 photos of it today but don't worry, I'm not going to add every one here but I would like to share the following six photo's of it in the new weathered livery as I feel it adds a great sense of realism.


Running along Stackgarth Gill towards the viaduct with loaded OTA wagons destined for afar.


Running onto Stack Gill viaduct.


Emerging from Watch House tunnel.


Another view of 37025 passing beneath Watch House tunnel with loaded OTA wagons.


37025 'Inverness TMD' captured from the side of Watch House tunnel heading towards Stackgarth Gill.


37025 stands in the platform at Shieling Bridge waiting for the right of way.

I'll add additional photos to my gallery though they are much the same as the ones featured here.


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I don't have the time (or inclination to be honest) to begin compiling videos right now but I've uploaded three short clips taken today of 37025 running with the log train.



I'll try better next time.


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21 hours ago, mick said:

It's just brushed enamels Mark thinned with white spirits but be prepared for a thumping headache afterwards or better still, be even more prepared and do it in a well-ventilated location.

I think a loco requires mainly track colours along with a little oily stuff. I've got plenty of rust coloured powders but I think they're more suitable for wagons. Washes of track dirt, sleeper grime etc, well thinned with that lethal white spirit and wiped off with kitchen roll, cotton buds, dry brush etc. It just needs to tone down the factory finish to take away that toy look leaving the dirtier stuff in cracks and crevices. The white spirit doesn't appear to affect the plastic model parts.


As an alternative to using thinned down enamels, have you looked at the different types of weathering washes you can now buy?

I think they would give much the same results, but without the fumes! I bought a set, but have yet to pluck up the courage to use them. I think the idea is, you completely paint the bit of bodywork you want weathered, and then wipe most of it off. 

Whatever you do, you've nailed it on the 26 & 37 - they look excellent.

Edited by ba14eagle
added text

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My son uses those Vallejo or AV acrylic washes on his wargaming models with great results. I need to buy some cheap wagons and give it a go. I will show you my results in due course. 




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Yes I know the sensible thing is to opt for a more user friendly alternative to white spirit, if only for the benefit to ones health. I'll take a look at what's available.

White spirit is a harsh substance that often reacts with enamel and model surfaces in ways that I quite like but it's rather like an annoying tune and you can't get it out of your head for some days afterwards.

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