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mick

Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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Mick

The lack of distance is the issue, as you point out. Maybe, the loch needs to just be glimpsed through gaps in the trees / rocks?

A 2-D back-scene is always going to look a bit weird at shallow viewing angles. 

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That is correct. Can you cut down the building on say, the ridge line, and create space for sone trees cut and painted from mdf?

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I think as Iain suggested, the best option if I were to retain the loch, is to lower the horizon so that it can just be seen above the station building. Unfortunately that's going to remove a large expanse of water but should improve images at lower viewpoints. I'll have to have a play with it and see what I can come up with. There may be a lot more trees and shrubs on the way!

1 hour ago, roddy said:

..Can you cut down the building on say, the ridge line, and create space for sone trees cut and painted from mdf?...

Possible I suppose with the right cutting tool and would create some space behind but I'd prefer to keep the whole structure if possible. The building is one of those Bachmann cast resin things but I've heard of people successfully butchering them before.

I'm going to complete the station lighting today, finish off the ballasting at the terminus side and then I might get the paints out again and have a play.

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I added one additional light on the station forecourt (or should that be concourse?) but it proved one of the most difficult to date being to the rear of the widest baseboard. I was going to fit another but decided against it for today although I may return to it later.

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I then turned my attention to the terminus board and began weathering the track and ballast as well as adding ballast to the remaining blank areas. I've also added a small amount of vegetation between the tracks in the sidings as well as weathering the six buffer stops required at the terminus. I use the old Hornby buffer stops as I have a good number of them which I feel give a fair representation. They are instantly recognisable as buffer stops and do the job so why not use them? I know there are more realistic buffers out there, some with built in lights, but I'm happy with what I have.

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And then I made a start removing the loch and distant headland. The loch was no problem but the headland had been glued so needed scraping off.

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A quick sand down with some sandpaper and then some paint added to try smooth it all off and Immediately the low level shots improved. I've still not decided how I'm going to finish it but it's certainly better without an horizon. A plain sky with some trees and bushes would work better.

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Lots of weathered track in the photo above along with some freshly laid areas of ballast. I've also added some varnish in an attempt to simulate wet patches between the two sidings.

 

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The distant headland is no more but part of the loch/sea remains. I've set the horizon at a level I think I can get away with whilst still allowing a decent expanse of water.

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Without a solid object on the horizon even when the horizon is depicted too high then it does kind of blend in with the sky now. 

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On the end backscene I've tried to create the illusion that the station access road continues off stage behind the trees in a similar manner to how I did it on the Shieling Bridge boards. I'm wondering whether I should have taped over the join in the backscene but the gap does resemble the trunk of the tall tree in the corner. If it bugs me later I'll do something about it but for now it's staying as it is. Likewise the hedgerow in front of the buffer stops I think would benefit from the addition of a wooden fence. I could paint one on but again I'll see how I feel about it later.

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I spent the afternoon shunting loco's up and down the Cattle Leys side of the shed and once again familiarising myself with which lever operates which points and which ones do I need to change to get a loco from here to there. It's a good job there are only six. I thought about running trains around the layout but there was a threat of rain (which never materialised) and so I just opened up the exit hole at the rear of the shed to allow me to shunt trains out and back from the terminus boards.

Here we have Black 5 No.44875 pulling back into the station and passing 37025 'Inverness TMD' standing in the sidings headshunt. The black 5 hasn't been weathered - that's dust along the top and running plate from being stored on top of a cupboard for the past few months!

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While the above photo is in view I might as well tell you about another modification I made today. The tunnel you see above leads out of the back of the shed from the terminus station. On the other side of the shed, the through station, there's a similar tunnel exiting the shed. These two lines then join up (at what I have named 'Moor Dyke Junction') allowing me to direct incoming trains towards either station. The thing was, once I had sent a train out I could not see when it had crossed over the junction points without peering down through the tunnel and doing lots of squinting. So I have set up a small CCTV camera looking down towards the junction with the image viewable on my phone so now I know when it's safe to change the points. It also makes shunting so much easier and safer.

Here's another shot of 44875 arriving in front of the station building while a rake of MK1's await their next turn of duty in the bay platform.

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44875 is a bit unbalanced in that one of the wheels of the front pony truck often fails to revolve but a slight downward pressure on the rear of the loco seems to cure it. It seems there's too much weight at the front pressing down on the pony truck and causing the rear of the truck to rise slightly off track. Now that I think about it I do remember back in the old 'Selby Garden Railway' days adding extra weight to this loco in the form of 5p pieces which fitted nicely in the smokebox. I will have to have a look and see if I can distribute the additional weight more evenly. I don't want to remove it altogether as it's needed for traction because as it stands now 44875 is unable to move the track cleaner on its own.

Here's something I had almost forgotten about. While I was sorting things out on the shelves I came across the signals I bought some time ago. I'd already partly assembled one of them and then managed to damage it while clearing the layout so I glued it back together, gave it a coat of white paint and plonked it down in what was to be it's intended position. It doesn't look too bad though I really don't like that base so will have to do something about that. And there I was thinking I had almost finished!

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While I was shunting around I noticed how little clearance there is between the signal and a vehicle passing on the run-round line to the left - I'm not sure a Mk3 coach would make it - so I might have to move it slightly. Before I do I want to check with my rake of OTA log wagons because I'm sure they were the reason I placed it in that position to begin with.

I intend setting up the signals for manual operation powered via 12v DC and operated using simple on-on switches. I can probably use the same transformer that the platform lights are on.

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Having just visited Thomas' Maximilianshafen thread, what I've got to show seems a bit ordinary but I'm pleased to say there's been some progress again today and there's plenty of photos to go with it.

We've had more fencing installed round the bay platform and the station approach road as well as a gate should it ever be needed.....

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...as well as along platform 3 and round the rear of the waiting room

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But now I've run out again so will need to order some more in order to complete the job. Like the fool I am, I rushed into fitting it before realising I was putting it on the wrong way round but I've left it as it is - I don't think it matters that much.

The lineside views are improving with each bit of newly installed scenery - this looks much better with station lights and fencing but I do wish I'd continued that back scene across to the other side.

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And so on to the signals and yes, I've got one wired up and working. There's red...

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...and with the flick of a switch we have green.

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That's a lot of progress for me and I've even made provision for the easy fitment of the remaining signals. The switches are already installed so I just need to make up the lights and solder them in. It's just a scrap of plywood screwed to the underside of the point lever housing with a series of on-on switches but it's all I need and it works reliably.

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I managed to move the signal back enough to give clearance on the run-round road and it's now been glued down and ballasted in - awaiting weathering.

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Lastly, here's a view of the shed interior now both sides are almost finished. Nice and tidy at last.

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That looks fantastic, Mick.  Nice to see the overview of the (very tidy!) shed.  And the scenic impact is impressive - you've managed to combine decent distant scenery and station detail very effectively (such as the gate in the fence - nice touch).  An inspiring example for us all.

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A bit of a late start again today and an experience inside the shed during a series of heavy thunderstorms!

2 hours ago, Andrew said:

That looks fantastic, Mick.  Nice to see the overview of the (very tidy!) shed.  And the scenic impact is impressive - you've managed to combine decent distant scenery and station detail very effectively (such as the gate in the fence - nice touch).  An inspiring example for us all.

Thanks Andrew. The shed's much more comfortable now - It's hard to believe how much it's changed but there are photos on here showing how things used to be so documenting your progress (or otherwise) is a really worthwhile thing to do.

So yes, the thunderstorms kept me on my toes this evening but it didn't stop me constructing and wiring another two signals to the terminus board.

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Three main 2-aspect signals is all I need for sending trains forward but I've still got 3 ground position light signals to fit. One needs to go on the run-round road to the left of the middle signal and there really needs to be a shunt signal for the sidings headshunt.

At the other end of the station there's the crossover which ideally needs 3 ground signals but I'm not sure how far I want to go with these - I'll have to see later whether I want to buy another two as all this wiring is getting to me now.

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Today it's been the turn of the ground position lights and I've managed to get the three I had fitted and working. I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out although it's difficult to get decent photo's of them.

At the south end of the station I've fitted two signals, one for the run-round round and one to allow access from the sidings into the headshunt. Ideally the one for the headshunt would be better integral with the associated signal but I'm happy to leave it on the ground as in the following photo where it is seen displaying a proceed aspect towards the headshunt. I have disabled the red lights on this signal so it shows either two white lights or nothing at all. Any shunting movement towards the headshunt must return behind the signal before any movement can take place from the main line into the sidings. The signal on the run-round road, also seen in the following photo, shows either red/white, as here, or two white lights as standard.

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At the north end of the station I fitted my remaining signal to control movements over the crossover. It now really needs a signal on each line at the other side of the crossing but should I bother or not? I'm only going to see the rear of them unless I squeeze down at the end of the board. 

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I'll finish with three photos of loco's in the picture to show what a difference the signals make.

26024 on the run-round round with 37401 'Mary Queen of Scots' awaiting departure from the bay platform

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37025 'Inverness TMD' at platform 1

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68006 'Daring' also on platform 1

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I've decided not to add signals to the Shieling Bridge boards, at least not at this time. I may change my mind at a later date but for now I'm looking forward to taking a break from wiring after I've fitted the platform lights on Cattle Leys. 

 

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More great work Mick. Would dummy signal satisfy you for the ones that you can't see?

May I ask a really daft question please. Being colour blind, I see all sorts of colours in railway signals, depending on the level of light. Red, Orange, and Green, maybe Yellow. I don't really have a clue. Now you are talking about Red and White. Please put me out of my misery.

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On 05/08/2019 at 22:20, roddy said:

...Would dummy signal satisfy you for the ones that you can't see?

I've thought about them Roddy. I'm going to leave it for now and see how I feel later once I've recovered from doing all the wiring I've completed so far. 

On 05/08/2019 at 22:20, roddy said:

May I ask a really daft question please. Being colour blind, I see all sorts of colours in railway signals, depending on the level of light. Red, Orange, and Green, maybe Yellow. I don't really have a clue. Now you are talking about Red and White. Please put me out of my misery.

I'm not sure how to respond to this. Yes the ground signals display red and white lights but if you're colour blind then I'm not sure how I can better explain it as posting another photo wouldn't help matters. I can't help thinking of Ted Lowe the snooker commentator - "....if you're watching in black and white the pink is next to the green"! I really can't imagine what it's like to suffer from colour blindness but if you can explain what I can do to make things easier then I'm willing to give it a try.

It was an early start today and I set about fitting the five station lights on the terminus station. With experience of fitting the previous lights I decided it was best to do all five at the same time so it was a case of soldering wires to all the lights, drilling all the holes, threading down the wires, soldering on the miniature printed circuit boards and then finally coupling up to the main feed from the transformer. I was chuffed to bits that it went so well and so quickly and then bamm...only 4 lights working! Just my luck to get a defective light when everything had gone so well. I went indoors and had lunch.

Sat there thinking about it it suddenly dawned on me that the lights are double lamps with two separate LED's and two wires from each. I would be extremely unlucky to get one where both LED's weren't working. I went back outside to check all the connections just to make sure that I hadn't got my wires crossed over but everything was as it should be. And then you know how you start fiddling about pushing and prodding as if that's going to help matters...and then suddenly it's on! "The bloody things working!" So yes, all five are working it just needed a bit of persuasion.

The station lights are connected to the same transformer as the signals so I've now added switches to both station boards so that I can have the signals working but turn either or both station lights off if I want to.

Here's a rather atmospheric shot taken late this evening when the last passengers had gone home and the engines had been shut down for the night

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Now that most of the work has been completed I'm beginning to get my rolling stock in order. Tonight I've been changing couplings and fitting Kadee's to the freight wagons that are currently on the layout. Most of them were pretty straight forward but the Bachmann TTA's need some work in order to set the couplings at the right height. I've had to cut off the original coupling housing and fit a new mount so that the Kadee sits correctly. It's a fiddly process cutting thick bits of plastic with a sharp craft knife whilst trying not to damage any other details. They're not the easiest of wagons to hold firmly.

I've also removed the large couplings from the two grainflow wagons, cut off the mounting points and fitted new mounts to accept the Kadee's. I really need to start doing some weathering now.

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It's weird Mick. I can see that there is a red light and  what I assumed was the brighter green, but which you say is white. We have the Metro rail system here where we can actually sit at the front and look out. The driver is in his little cabin on one side of the carriage. I see signals coming with 4 lights arranged vertically, and every one of those looks orange to me. I am affected by shades of all sorts of colours. I moved to a new bakery years ago, and buggered up all the figurework which was supposed to be red and green. I could not differentiate the inks, but the plastic on the pens was easy. I also did a whole batch of fondant fancies in white because I thought it was pink. Yes I do drive, Traffic lights are ok, but I admit to having to be careful in a strange town at night as I can lose the red light in the sodium street lamps. Oh what fun. I have made it to 71 without serious mishap, but do wonder sometimes what I have missed. Poppies in a field for instance. I have to be close to see them.

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Roddy - drivers cant be colour blind, so its not normally a problem.

Also, there used to be a specific standard regarding the location of particular colours on a signal, so you could be colour blind and understand what aspect you have in the signal head. However, LED signal heads have put an end to that theory.

Ground position lights work on the following principle - two lamps lit horizontally = signal on / danger. two lamps lit at a 45 degree angle = signal off / clear.  

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Thanks Mick. I should hope drivers are not colour blind Mick. Whoops.  A lot of years ago, I passed all of the tests to join the Fire Brigade. Just the medical to do, and I was thinking about the colour tests. Medical all done and ppassed, and Doc suddenly said. "Oh, colours!" and pulled out a length of card with wool wrapped around it. All nice bright colours so easy to see Red, and Green and all of the others. Couple of years later I got caught out on a snooker table when I played the Brown instead of a Red. Hahaha. Nobody reported me thankfully.

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7 hours ago, roddy said:

Thanks Mick. I should hope drivers are not colour blind Mick....

You want to get those eyes tested Roddy - your thanks should be directed at Iain as per the previous post #1374! 🤣

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With sunshine and very little breeze I took the opportunity to weather a few of the freight wagons that will be housed on the layout. Some of them have already been done, some have been partly done and some I just keep going back to every now and again. I try to vary the degree of weathering so they don't all look the same but I find it very difficult to do the lighter examples because I was so used to seeing wagons heavily weathered and rusted and they're the ones I most like to try recreate.

Bachmann Grainflow wagon: I've never seen one of these but I have a photo which shows a heavily weathered example where you can barely read the lettering along the body side. I have two of these wagons and perhaps the one in the photo was like these as the slightest wipe over the transfers is enough to remove it! I'm missing part of the 'G' on my other wagon but it just looks fine. The body was brush painted and wiped with tissue and cotton buds and the chassis was done with the airbrush. Original large tension lock couplings removed and replaced with an NEM mounting block and Kadee No.18.

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Bachmann OBA: Very easy to quickly achieve a reasonable weathered finish on these without too much trouble. Paint a dirty mix on with the brush and wipe it off in vertical swipes. Chassis done with the airbrush. Tension locks replaced with Kadee couplings.

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Below: The difference between a factory pristine example and one simply wiped with the dirty mix as mentioned above.

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Bachmann HEA: I have a number of these HEA wagons but I singled three out because of the Scottish emblem and the fact that they had those large tension lock couplings screwed on to the buffer beam whereas all my others are more recent examples fitted with small tension locks in NEM pockets. I still have one to do but these two have been weathered in the same way as the rest. Large couplings removed and NEM mounting block fitted behind bufferbeam with Kadee No.18 fitted. Real coal will be added above the plastic moulded ones seen here.

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Bachmann TTA:  Here's my six that I keep going back to in order to get the feeling that they are right. Very difficult to do a lightly weathered one and trying not to have overspill on every wagon. Still not sure they're right but at least they all look different at the moment. All fitted with Kadee couplings which required hacking of the original mounting block and replacing some with new NEM mounts in order to get the coupling height correct.

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An overall view of the wagons that have been muckied today including ones not already mentioned above.

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Today I've managed to get another selection of wagons almost ready for use on the layout starting with two Bachmann VGA's. Weathered and fitted with Kadee couplings these still require their chassis weathering when the weather calms down and I can get the airbrush out.

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Next comes two Bachmann OTA wagons again weathered and fitted with Kadee couplings and like the VGA's requiring chassis weathering with the airbrush. I don't like leaving wagons empty but I can't have everything running around fully loaded so they'll stay log-less, at least for now.

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The HEA's I sorted a couple of days ago have now had their real coal loads added. I thought I'd sieved the coal fine enough but it still looks a bit overscale - never mind.

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I mentioned previously that I had a number of HEA wagons that were earlier versions fitted with those awful large tension lock couplings. I thought about selling them on but instead I decided to hack off the old couplings, construct new NEM pocket bases and fit Kadee's to a further 7 wagons. There's another red one as above, 3 in Transrail and 3 in Loadhaul sector liveries. I might as well put them to use on the layout. Here's the 3 Transrail wagons shortly after having coal loads glued in.

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I've use a plasticard base that sits just below the top of the wagon to support the coal but place a piece of cling-film in the wagon first until the PVA glue has dried. The cling-film is then lifted out, separated from the coal load and the load then replaced in the wagon - meaning it can be later removed as and when necessary.

Among the wagons in my 'to do' wagon box are a number of 16t mineral wagons and some 21t hoppers so while paint has been drying on the wagons I've been weathering I've also been messing around with a couple of 21t hoppers. I feel I can really go to town with these and model them in any condition I like so I've been doing a dirty one and a rusted one. Here's the dirty one, though with a rusted interior. Haven't touched the chassis on either wagon yet.

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And here's the heavily rusted one. Still work to do on both.

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Neither of the above two wagons are meant for the layout but who knows....I could go back a bit further in time? It's just fun and enjoyable weathering these sort of wagons and seeing what effects you can come up with.

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I was in the shed today using the airbrush to weather some wagon chassis when I remembered a few days ago thinking that the 6 Bachmann TTA wagons felt a bit lightweight compared to some other wagons so I decided to pop them on the scales and weigh them. I thought it would be a good idea to see how they compared against the other wagon types on the layout.

Hornby HEA hoppers (empty) 33g

Bachmann OTA log wagons (empty) 35-36g

BACHMAN TTA tanks 41g

Bachmann HEA hoppers (empty) 46g

Hornby OTA log wagons (empty) 47-49g

Bachmann OBA open wagons 52-53g

Bachmann HEA hoppers (my coal loads) 58-62g

Bachmann PAA Grain wagons 59-60g

Bachmann VAA Vans 89-90g

Bachmann VGA Vans 108-111g

As I thought, the TTA's were a bit light so I glued a small piece of lead strip directly underneath each axle (the only place it couldn't be seen) and it's added on average 4-5g per wagon. Doesn't sound much but it's a noticeable difference.

What surprised me most from the above list was the Bachmann OTA log wagons which, minus their accompanying cast log loads, come in at just 35-36g each whereas the empty Hornby version is 12-13g heavier. I decided to glue some lead strip underneath the Bachmann OTA's too raising their tare weight to 45-46g as I intend running these in an unloaded condition.

It's interesting to learn that my 'real coal' loads add only 12-16g per wagon to the Bachmann HEA's.

I'm not sure what the 'ideal' wagon weight is but I would consider a minimum weight of between 40-50g for a 2-axle wagon - it just feels so much better.

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I was able to have a decent running session yesterday using the stock that was already on the layout as well as two class 158 DMU's. I discovered that there's too many wagons on track to make forming trains easy and so I'll need to decide which ones are required or a better way of operating. I probably need to start thinking of complete running sessions extending over several days rather than trying to run everything in a single session.

A lot of time yesterday was spent altering CV's, especially on the class 158's, in order to get smooth acceleration from a standing start. I managed to hook up the laptop and use DecoderPro to view and edit the respective values which becomes much easier when you can see what the current value is.

Here's a few photo's from yesterday with apologies for there being just the usual loco's on view so they'll probably look very much like all my other photo's. I did manage a few short videos but just haven't had time to do anything with those yet.

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37025 'Inverness TMD' with a decent freight train crossing Low Shott viaduct. 

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37025 then makes it's way round Low Shott Flatts, a view not often seen as it means scrambling amongst the shrubbery to reach this vantage point.

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And once again we see 37025 this time hauling its' train along Stackgarth Gill towards Stack Gill viaduct, a much more accessible viewpoint.

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Not to miss out on the action, and a relief to not be hauling the track cleaner around, 26024 is seen hauling a rake of VGA's in the opposite direction along Stackgarth Gill.

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And finally, 26024 again crossing Low Shott viaduct with the VGA's.

I think I need to get out more!

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