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It's quite a pleasant change to be outside with trains running round and be under no pressure to chase after them with a video camera. Not that I would have had much opportunity today anyway with messing around changing couplings and rummaging around indoors trying to find coaches I know I've got but can't remember where I put them. But at least I've now got one 11 coach rake of BR Mk1 Pullman's together and all now fitted with inner close couplings and kadee's at either end.


I'm not sure they will see much service outdoors as the indoor stations on Worsley Dale can't handle a train of that length - they're probably better suited to running round the attic but it's nice to see them outside in natural light. Fortunately the majority of these coaches were purchased when prices were much more reasonable. They are wonderful coaches but as nice as they are,  I'm not so sure I would be as keen in acquiring them at the current new price of around £60 per coach.


Generally when I have the layout operating I concentrate almost exclusively on the garden section and use the indoor through station for exactly that purpose - running through. It would probably have made more sense to have nothing but storage roads on either side of the shed. I very rarely use the small loco depot for anything and if you do happen to see loco's standing there they have normally been placed on there by hand rather than running via the associated pointwork.

Little has changed since I last took photos of the indoor section.


Well apart from one thing perhaps - the space below the layout is now masked from view using some old black material that I've simply stapled on along the edge. It makes it look a bit tidier in there.


Oh come on! I couldn't let an 11 coach rake of Mk1 Pullman's pass by and not get something on video could I? Just the one single clip then.


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Despite getting the sprung points working I just knew there had to be a better, perhaps much easier way. I kept going back to what @ThomasIsaid about fastening a spring to the points and to a screw al

A little later than planned but here finally is a video with action over the past 2 days mainly featuring the SLW class 24 quartet in yesterday's bright sunshine.  

Here's a very brief video made up of clips taken during yesterday's running session, the final clip showing the train passing over the sprung points before crossing onto Low Shott viaduct.

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Like @ba14eagle I've been making the most of the fine weather today by spending time in and around the garden layout. I seem to have been through the sorting out of stock stage many times already but today was another day for that and now that I've got a good selection of locomotives I want to get the coaches together in suitable rakes so that I have easy access to them and don't have to worry about taking them out of individual boxes.

The standard rakes of blue/grey Mk1's, Mk2's etc are fairly straightforward as are the Kyle line and West Highland green & cream sets but occasionally it's nice to be able to run something different such as excursion rakes. It would also be great if I could replicate something like the Royal Scotsman but there aren't really any suitable coaches available RTR so I keep thinking about creating my own 'special' train - coming up with an appropriate title for it and then selecting suitable vehicles from those I have available. 

Working in the shed it's quite handy that I can pop the camera on a tripod just outside the shed door and get a great view along Low Shott viaduct towards the spring points and the start of the double track section. I'm able to film trains leaving and entering the shed over the viaduct without having to do too much. So that's what I did today while sorting out some coaches. And yes, the spring points still work brilliantly saving a lot of hassle. In fact I think Peco should manufacture some that operate like that.

Firstly 37254, the loco that kept stalling on the curve just the other side of Low Shott viaduct a few days back, is now running sweetly and is seen successfully hauling some standard Mk1's with the addition of an Inspection saloon on the rear. Passengers must pay a small premium to ride in the saloon.

D6607 (37403) 'Ben Cruachan' is on a mixed rake of Pullman coaches including some blue/grey Mk1's and the Nightcap Bar

37248 'Loch Arkaig' can be seen hauling the 12-wheel Pullman coaches - superbly smooth runners. I wonder if the real things were just as comfortable a ride? 

I do need to add a signal on the double track section before the sprung points to hold an approaching loco while the absence of trap points is a little concerning..


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12 hours ago, traingeekboy said:

....Sort of surprised to see how good the run through station is looking. The whole layout is looking very nice.

Cheers Griff. The through station has remained unchanged for a year or more now and to be honest I don't really have any plans for doing much more with it. I never sit there shunting wagons or locos around so it's just another place to take photos and videos. I much prefer the outdoor part of the layout.

I thought it was time that the Cawoods containers got dirty as they looked totally out of place with their bright yellow paintwork.  I have some yellow paint so one or two of them will be having some patch repairs before I've finished with them and of course I want them loaded so I need to make some coal loads.



I currently have six Cawoods PFA wagons running on Worsley Dale but have purchased another 3 when the seller decides to post them off to me. I don't feel there's a need for any more than that but I could always borrow some from the attic rake if needs be.

I've had D9008 'The Green Howards' running round today and I'm not sure if you'll remember but the last time I ran it I had problems with it derailing. It's a strange thing because up to this week, although I've heard people frequently refer to it, I can't say I've ever had problems that I could put down to wheel 'back-to-backs', especially on locomotives. But this week I've now 'cured' two loco's that kept derailing simply by checking and adjusting the wheel back-to-back measurements. In the case of D9008 it was clear that the wheels were too close together on the leading axle as I couldn't get the gauge anywhere near them but as soon as I'd adjusted it the problem disappeared completely. And 37698, the one causing me grief a few days ago, is also now running without any further problems. It's gone from not daring to take your eyes off them to relaxing and just letting them get on with it.

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There's been no running whatsoever today but I have sorted out another loco to try break up the monopoly that the class 37s seem to have had recently. It's a bit of a mish-mash this one with a bare Heljan chassis coupled with the body from another and a sound chip from yet another with a speaker out of the spares box. Put that lot together and you end up with 47715 'Haymarket'. I'm not too impressed with the sound which if I remember correctly was a Howes soundfile but that's probably because I've grown so accustomed to the 37s.




Thankfully this is the only Heljan class 47/7 I have as I wouldn't like to think I had to mess around adding all those fiddly detail parts every time. It will be taking it's turn working a push-pull set between the station at Shieling Bridge and Cattle Leys terminus which is what I had planned when I decided on adding the terminus. My push-pull coaches and DBSO have yet to see the light of day so I'm looking forward to being able to get them on track in the next few days.

47715 looks to be in need of some weathering.


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I've managed to get 47715 'Haymarket' coupled up to some Mk3 coaches and the DBSO today and although the sound isn't too good at least the running between stations has been faultless, both in push and pull mode. I half expected some derailments but thankfully there has been none at all. The trains is still running on standard tension lock couplings until I can stop playing around and do something about it. I need to change them in order to lessen the gap between coaches as it's way too big for my liking.

Here's some shots of 47715 in the sunshine earlier today.




And not seen for quite some time I've also had the West Coast Railways class 33's out again but this time I've converted 33029 'Glen Loy' to a dummy loco so that it freewheels. I then consist it together with 33025 'Glen Falloch' and I've got perfect double headed operation though again, I'm not overly impressed with the sound as they are far too quiet and lacking any great depth.




I took these photos of the 33's running along 'Buttlebank', which is where I would like to create a rock backdrop along the fence, so that I could gauge how high any rock face needed to be.


I don't think, looking at it, that it needs to be all that high and certainly no higher than the longest piece of timber you can see immediately behind the leading cab in the photo below - probably 6 or 7 inches?


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Here's a short video from today with 47715 on the push-pull set and 33025 & 33029 hauling an excursion.

I know I shouldn't moan about the weather but I've discarded quite a bit of footage due to the high contrast and glare with the bright sunshine. 

I'm not impressed with any of the sounds, though they are a bit dated now, but the Biffo class 33 never impressed me all that much from the outset. Perhaps I need to look into changing the speakers to see if that will improve things.


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3 hours ago, mick said:

I half expected some derailments but thankfully there has been none at all. The trains is still running on standard tension lock couplings until I can stop playing around and do something about it. I need to change them in order to lessen the gap between coaches as it's way too big for my liking.

With my Dad's Bachmann 47/7, Oxford Rail Mk3a and Bachmann DBSO set I used a pack of Bachmann Cl 411 (I think) drawbars to make it a permanently coupled rake. I found this the best way since the Oxford Mk3 couplings are really weak and can tend to drop when used in push mode. The fixed bar makes it impossible for them to drop.
My Dad's does run on setrack though so you can probably get away with a shorter connection. Though I found the Bachmann 47/7 needed a longer coupling to the first coach than between the coaches.

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I haven't examined the Oxford Rail coaches too closely yet Barry as I was too eager to get them on track and running round. I'd read elsewhere that the couplings were a bit flimsy so I'll take a look later. I want them close coupled so if needs be, and there's room to do so, I'll remove them altogether and fit adaptors to take my usual Kadee couplings.

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10 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

...I'm interested in what you find out since a fully fixed rake is awkward.

I couldn't put up with a permanently coupled rake. I need something that's easily taken apart which is one reason why I like to use Kadee's as you can just lift them up to separate individual vehicles.

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As most of you will have gathered I'm not much of a rail enthusiast so I tend to model what I like rather than what I probably should. I don't worry too much about running stock together that probably never came close to meeting each other during their life times but I do take notice if anything is ever pointed out to me. I might decide not to do anything about it but there again I might on occasion heed the advice.

One of the comments on my YouTube feed pointed out that, as nice as it looks, 47715 Haymarket wasn't fitted with the buffer beam ETH sockets as I had portrayed it and the correct location for them meant that snowploughs couldn't be fitted. So I had a quick look around and to my disappointment I discovered no pictures with snowploughs fitted and the ETH sockets placed differently to where I had affixed mine.

Well there wasn't a great deal I could do about the ETH sockets so I did my best to make it look more realistic by relocating one of them. I'm not sure it's the correct one or that it's in exactly the right location but it's now clear of the buffer beam. And then, reluctantly I have to admit, I removed the snowploughs.



I need a driver figure in that cab and a replacement screw coupling for that hideous example provided in the detail pack which I've actually used! And the top of that cab still needs weathering - I've seen videos of push-pull sets in Glasgow station where the loco's are so dirty that there's no visible yellow above the cab front windows but I like to see it showing through so mine won't be as bad as that.

As for the coaches that make up the push-pull set, I've removed one coupling entirely from the coach next to the loco as it is not at the correct height for a Kadee coupling and in its place I've fixed on one of my own contraptions using a piece of plastic glued over the original coupling hole and then an NEM mounting block suitably filed down and glued onto that. At least now the Kadee matches up with the loco.

The remaining coaches I've fitted with Hornby R8220 close-couplers which bring the coaches slightly closer together and I may now fix corridor connections in place to close the gap. The couplers do appear to lock firmly together and there's doesn't appear to be any drooping couplings when propelling the set but I'll have to wait until I can give the whole set a decent run round once the glue has dried on that first coach. I've also changed the address of my DBSO and consisted it with the loco so that the directional lights work together.

All this faffing about has left no time whatsoever for any running today.

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A further two locomotives have returned to the Worsley Dale fleet today after being out of action for some time - it's good to have them back!

First up is 47406 'Rail Riders' in InterCity livery. This was one of my earlier purchases back in the days of the Selby Garden Railway and is fitted with a Loksound v3.5 sound decoder with I believe a Biffo soundfile. The sound is showing its age but it's a slight improvement on the Howes sound in 47715 'Haymarket'. I actually tried some different speakers in this one today and by far the best sounding, and the loudest, was a Rail Exclusive Boom Box but you can't get the body back on when it's in place!

Here 47406 is seen crossing onto the single line over Low Shott viaduct before entering Shieling Bridge station.


Sadly 47406 is another class 47 that doesn't have snowploughs fitted but I suppose that adds variety rather than them all looking much the same.

Here's another view of 47406, this time rounding the curve towards Watch House Tunnel having just passed beneath Trundles Bridge. I do like these ground-level shots and all the associated decay and debris - as well as the wiring!


The second locomotive back on Worsley Dale is 47461 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' in Scotrail livery and I'm pleased to say that on this occasion I can add the snowploughs! It is seen here passing beneath Trundles Bridge.


47461 has been fitted with a Rails Exclusive sound decoder loaded with their class 47 sounds which I've actually removed from 47522 'Doncaster Enterprise'. I've added a double iphone speaker which fits nicely in the space beneath the fans and the combination sounds pretty good - the best of the three 47's seen so far.

This final photo shows 47461 making its way round Low Shott Flatt towards Watch House Tunnel.


I've spent some time running a few trains today, leaving them operating while I've been busy setting up the new loco's. The push-pull set has worked faultlessly in both directions so at the moment I'm quite happy with the Hornby R8220 close couplers but still need to close that gap between coaches with corridor connectors.

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I've now fitted corridor connectors to the coaches in my Scotrail liveried push-pull set and even though the gap between coaches is still overscale, even with the Hornby close couplings fitted, the connectors make it appear much less of an issue and I'm quite happy to leave them like this. It's a massive improvement over the factory coupled examples and at a cost of approximately 50p per coach! They run perfectly in both push and pull mode.


Other than fitting the corridor connectors I've just had a day running a few trains round. 47461 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' is fast becoming a favourite of mine as I'm starting to enjoy the sound - especially when compared to the other two I have running at the moment. It also looks great with the snowploughs fitted as seen in the following photo taken shortly after departure from Shieling Bridge with a rake of blue/grey coaches. I need to work out a way of fixing the ploughs to the rear with a Kadee coupling.


And here again 47461 makes its way along Stackgarth Gill.



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With tomorrow forecast to be the final day of this brief Summer spell before Autumn takes a hold there's going to be fewer opportunities for running our garden railways in the coming weeks so here's yet another video from me as a reminder of the lovely weather we've enjoyed recently.

Make the most of tomorrow everyone!

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