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Worsley Dale Garden Railway


mick
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On 03/01/2022 at 11:36, mick said:

I was just out cleaning the pond filter and noticed the moss growing on part of my viaduct again so thought I'd post a few photos. Wouldn't it be great to be able to grow this exactly where you want it? 

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It only seems to thrive on the short 8-arch section of Stack Gill viaduct, just before the girder bridges, where there's shade for the majority of the day and where, at this time of the year, it tends to be fairly damp. The remaining 16 arches of the viaduct have very little moss growth but they are more in the open.

That looks so real, if only we could tame moss. The viaduct is great!

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5 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

What has caused the sudden increase in bird droppings? Are you attracting more with food...

Yes it's our fault entirely. We get up in a morning and there's a pair of blackbirds and a pair of Dunnocks waiting for their breakfast. They've become so used to it that we can't not feed them. Just have to keep cleaning up after tham I suppose.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What a day! On the one hand it's been totally frustrating while on the other it's been quite enjoyable.

With it being calm and sunny outside I decided I would attempt to make a short video of the log train running on Worsley Dale. It wasn't going to be something I could do straight away because there was firstly the track to clean and then of course everything needed bringing down from the loft. It was also lunchtime by the time I came up with the idea so no sooner had I begun cleaning the track and hoovering away the debris it was almost time to break off for something to eat.

Dinner over with I got cracking and sent the track cleaner round to do a few circuits. Everything going well so far. I started placing the log carriers on track and thought it best to just run a few of them first to see how they fared but they made it out of the rear of the shed and as far as the first curve before one of them came off. Thankfully I was being cautious and had them running very slowly. I placed the offending wagon back on track and sent the train on its way again. On the curve just before Stack Gill viaduct it came a cropper again so I decided to take a closer look at the track.

The track on this curve has been ballasted using exterior varnish to hold the ballast in place and placing a spirit level across the rails it was clear that they were not level. So it was time to dig out some of the ballast using an old screwdriver (it's an old one now!) and place some packing beneath the sleeper ends to level the track out.

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The following photo is an indication of just how far out the track was.

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I had to do a fair length of track in order to get it something like level.

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But while it was certainly an improvement I am still down to two particular wagons that refuse to run over it without coming off the road.

I've read of some other owners having problems with the log carriers derailing and everyone seems to accept the fact that the problem lies with their track laying rather than anything to do with the wagons. I think the track has got an awful lot to do with it and my track laying skills leave a lot to be desired but I'm going to have to take a much closer look at those two wagons because something isn't right. Our demands for finescale detailing means that wheel flanges are ever so small and these on the log carriers are some of the smallest flanges I have ever seen on a model (don't allow your mind to drift!). Still, I accept that on level track they should be quite capable of staying on the road.

For what it's worth the train managed to run round the remainder of the layout, crossing both sets of spring points, without any further problems.

I never did manage to get round to taking any video and by the time I'd grabbed the following photos it had turned bitterly cold so I retired indoors to sulk.

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I mentioned at the beginning that it had been both a frustrating and an enjoyable day and that was definitely the case. While I would have liked things to have run smoother it was great to be back in 'maintenance' mode, trying to remedy areas of trackwork that require attention. I've always enjoyed that funnily enough. Keeping things running is all part of the attraction of a garden railway. 

Edited by mick
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  • 2 weeks later...

Isn't it amazing how quickly things can dry up after a prolonged wet period? I was looking outside shortly after lunchtime and it looked really nice so I thought I might as well have another go at levelling the track to see if I can get the log carriers running outdoors. It was still a bit breezy but it was also quite pleasant.

After I'd brought all the necessary tools down from the attic I began checking the level of the track and packing it where necessary with some thin plastikard to make sure it was as level as could be. I gave it a really thorough going over, checking with the aid of 2 miniature spirit levels just to be sure. The curve just before the viaduct as mentioned earlier was the worst section but I'm satisfied that it's now pretty much level. I'll leave it alone for a while until I'm sure everything's okay before re-ballasting.

Running the log carriers over I was delighted to make it across without a derailment but unfortunately propelling back over just doesn't work and I had to stop several times to put bogies back on the track. Trackwise there's not a lot more I can do so I'm going to have to take a closer look at the bogies and adjust those securing screws to see if I can make a difference that way.  I don't really want to start changing wheels because up to now they seem to be okay on the attic layout.

I've never had so much trouble with any item of rolling stock before, at least none that I can remember. It's something to bear in mind if anyone is thinking of purchasing any models with these fine wheel flanges - you really are going to have to ensure that your track laying is spot on.

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Mick - are the bogies sprung at all or is there a spring between the top of the bogie and the chassis? I know its a different scale but the Dapol O gauge mark 1 coaches have a spring between the bogie and chassis, but it causes derailments (I am not the only person that this has happened too) so I have removed the springs and, now, they dont derail.

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3 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

Mick - are the bogies sprung at all or is there a spring between the top of the bogie and the chassis? ...

No, there are no springs Iain, the bogies simply screw on to the underside of the chassis.

I haven't had chance to look at them today but I'll be trying loosening the retaining screws to introduce a bit more play to see if that makes thngs any better. I've read that some people have added a thin washer between the bogie and chassis so that might also be something to consider.

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On 11/02/2022 at 18:01, mick said:

What a day! On the one hand it's been totally frustrating while on the other it's been quite enjoyable.

With it being calm and sunny outside I decided I would attempt to make a short video of the log train running on Worsley Dale. It wasn't going to be something I could do straight away because there was firstly the track to clean and then of course everything needed bringing down from the loft. It was also lunchtime by the time I came up with the idea so no sooner had I begun cleaning the track and hoovering away the debris it was almost time to break off for something to eat.

Dinner over with I got cracking and sent the track cleaner round to do a few circuits. Everything going well so far. I started placing the log carriers on track and thought it best to just run a few of them first to see how they fared but they made it out of the rear of the shed and as far as the first curve before one of them came off. Thankfully I was being cautious and had them running very slowly. I placed the offending wagon back on track and sent the train on its way again. On the curve just before Stack Gill viaduct it came a cropper again so I decided to take a closer look at the track.

The track on this curve has been ballasted using exterior varnish to hold the ballast in place and placing a spirit level across the rails it was clear that they were not level. So it was time to dig out some of the ballast using an old screwdriver (it's an old one now!) and place some packing beneath the sleeper ends to level the track out.

20220211_140241.thumb.jpg.8107bdd30236016f3b1881080dfe2c05.jpg

The following photo is an indication of just how far out the track was.

20220211_140424.thumb.jpg.50417464e7de885fe49d26b836f6a157.jpg

I had to do a fair length of track in order to get it something like level.

20220211_142025.thumb.jpg.541119887066de05654466c89b5240f1.jpg

But while it was certainly an improvement I am still down to two particular wagons that refuse to run over it without coming off the road.

I've read of some other owners having problems with the log carriers derailing and everyone seems to accept the fact that the problem lies with their track laying rather than anything to do with the wagons. I think the track has got an awful lot to do with it and my track laying skills leave a lot to be desired but I'm going to have to take a much closer look at those two wagons because something isn't right. Our demands for finescale detailing means that wheel flanges are ever so small and these on the log carriers are some of the smallest flanges I have ever seen on a model (don't allow your mind to drift!). Still, I accept that on level track they should be quite capable of staying on the road.

For what it's worth the train managed to run round the remainder of the layout, crossing both sets of spring points, without any further problems.

I never did manage to get round to taking any video and by the time I'd grabbed the following photos it had turned bitterly cold so I retired indoors to sulk.

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I mentioned at the beginning that it had been both a frustrating and an enjoyable day and that was definitely the case. While I would have liked things to have run smoother it was great to be back in 'maintenance' mode, trying to remedy areas of trackwork that require attention. I've always enjoyed that funnily enough. Keeping things running is all part of the attraction of a garden railway. 

I have one corner I had to pack and adjust last winter and now this winter. Just the one same corner. Maybe it's slightly more exposed so it makes a difference. How well My long rake of older version hornby MGR's run around are usually a good guage of track conditons (even with the axle swivels fixed) If they make it around everythings fine!

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I've had very few derailments outdoors with my current rolling stock, in fact looking back I am amazed at just how few there have been. I remember a class 40 and a Deltic proving problematic over the points but that was quickly traced to uneven trackwork and rectified.

Up to now I've taken very little notice of current wheel standards and couldn't say whether any of my other most recent purchases have similar 'scale' wheel flanges to those of the RevolutioN IWA wagons. It does appear to be the norm these days but I haven't tested any of the Accurascale wagons outdoors to see if I encounter similar problems.

It's a bit too breezy to try anything at the moment, they'd probably be blown off the rails today.

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Here's a photo of the underside of the IWA wagon depicting how the bogie is fastened to the underneath of the chassis with a single screw.

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Now I've only just noticed the slight burring on the bogie mount rubbing plate in the photo above which wasn't apparent when I was looking at them so that's something I need to inspect. It might be nothing or perhaps just the way the photo has been taken but I'll have to see.

I've given the wagons a few runs over the areas where they've proved troublesome and narrowed it down to 3 wagons that seem to derail, the one depicted above being one of them. I have a feeling that the bogies are okay because I've run them back and forth over a metre length of old track, bent into a curve over an uneven surface, and it's very difficult to get them to come off the rails. I haven't ruled out the couplings, or rather the actual sprung mechanism, being a contributory factor perhaps in combination with the actual weight of the trailing load. It seems to me that we're getting pretty models built to scale appearance but which are not suited to running scale length loads.

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On 23/02/2022 at 14:47, mick said:

I've had very few derailments outdoors with my current rolling stock, in fact looking back I am amazed at just how few there have been. I remember a class 40 and a Deltic proving problematic over the points but that was quickly traced to uneven trackwork and rectified.

Up to now I've taken very little notice of current wheel standards and couldn't say whether any of my other most recent purchases have similar 'scale' wheel flanges to those of the RevolutioN IWA wagons. It does appear to be the norm these days but I haven't tested any of the Accurascale wagons outdoors to see if I encounter similar problems.

It's a bit too breezy to try anything at the moment, they'd probably be blown off the rails today.

My accurascale PTA wagons seem pretty forgiving, not one derailment yet!

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On 2/26/2022 at 3:28 PM, mick said:

I haven't ruled out the couplings, or rather the actual sprung mechanism, being a contributory factor perhaps in combination with the actual weight of the trailing load. It seems to me that we're getting pretty models built to scale appearance but which are not suited to running scale length loads.

Not everything scales down so well. I suppose you could scale down everything if all track conditions were scaled. But no layout I saw yesterday or anywhere has realistic points or curves. Even in a large garden there are compromises here. A 1mm flaw in OO track would be a 3" flaw on the real railway, that would probably cause some trouble.
There are places on the network where there is a reverse cant, Carstairs is one example, the speed limit there I think is 5mph.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/2/2020 at 6:01 PM, mick said:

I've just removed the spring and elastic from the first 'sprung' point and changed it to the later method which is proving to be a big improvement. Using the short length of springy wire there's less force required to push the points across when wagons are running through them and even the lighter wagons are now able to handle the points successfully.

There's no longer an over-centre spring and there's also a big chunk of plastic missing from immediately in front of the tie-bar where the over-centre spring was located - but I found that necessary in order to get friction free travel.

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I'll fit a spare sleeper in the empty void ensuring it's kept clear of the tie-bar so that it doesn't create friction.

Just looking at these. I know you didn't want to do a guide as it wasn't a tried and tested method. But two years in and you haven't done anything to them as far as I can tell? So I'm just reminding myself of what you have done and where the info is (Page 79).

Is the spring wire just glued to the tiebar end?

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Sorry Barry - a bit late with my reply perhaps.

Yes, the points still work as intended. The one nearest the shed does require a tiny bit of prodding at times to clear away any dust/debris but other than that I've been well pleased with them.

The spring wire was bent at right angles and popped into a small hole drilled in the tiebar and if I remember correctly a small dab of glue was applied just to hold it in place.

Don't forget that you might need to add some extra weight to any very light wagons to prevent them from riding up over the rails as they attempt to push the points across but it all depends on the strength and resistance of the spring wire.

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7 hours ago, mick said:

Sorry Barry - a bit late with my reply perhaps.

Yes, the points still work as intended. The one nearest the shed does require a tiny bit of prodding at times to clear away any dust/debris but other than that I've been well pleased with them.

The spring wire was bent at right angles and popped into a small hole drilled in the tiebar and if I remember correctly a small dab of glue was applied just to hold it in place.

Don't forget that you might need to add some extra weight to any very light wagons to prevent them from riding up over the rails as they attempt to push the points across but it all depends on the strength and resistance of the spring wire.

No problem with the reply. I wasn't in a hurry. I'll make a separate topic for it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I'm pleased to see some of our members' garden layouts have been up and running over the past few days and I'm also pleased to report that Worsley Dale can be counted among them. It's not yet fully up to speed but I'm working on it!

I'd actually made plans to run something today and made prior provision by cleaning the track thoroughly in readiness the evening before. It started well this morning as without doing anything further, 26024 made it round the first circuit with the track cleaner and went on to do a few more. I then decided to change direction so that it would clean the inner part of the double track section (with the spring points at each end) but it abruptly came to a halt as soon as it crossed the first points. I discovered a broken soldered joint cutting power to one rail on the inner track. Out with the soldering iron and it was soon back in order.

The set of sprung points nearest the shed then started playing up as they wouldn't spring back after a train had run through them. The steel 'spring' wire had lost some tension and had insufficient strength to push the point blades back across. I tapped a track pin into a sleeper forcing the wire over slightly and it's been fine ever since. You just have to ensure that not only is it able to push the blades back across but it also has to be free enough for small wagons to run through the point without them riding up onto the rails. I should really have taken a photo of the modification because I'm sure no-one can understand what the hell I'm going on about!

Anyway with everything running fine I went up into the attic for the umpteenth time this morning, this time to bring some 'Worsley Dale' stock down. I didn't manage to bring any additional locos so 26024 was the only one in action today because there was other work for me to do.....later.

Here's a few photos of 26024 in action with some freight.

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So, more work to do was there?

Well yes, something I should have been doing a long time ago but it got started and then left.

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So out with the cement and some remnants of cloth and the remainder of that section of rock face has been covered.

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I probably need to go back and make the top much less level but I had planned on getting some greenery to fasten to the face of the fence panels and drape over. I'll think about that.

On the opposite side of the track(s) will be a much smaller rock outcrop and I've begun adding the chicken wire former ready for plastering tomorrow hopefully. I say track(s) because I'm still undecided about double or single track here. I bought the points a while back to double track it but I'm wondering if it will be worth it or not. I intended 'springing' the points again to save on point motors.

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I've done nothing further with the IWA log carriers outdoors and they've been returned back to Skew Bridge where they are able to run properly.

Edited by mick
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A little bit more progress today with the rock face in the cutting at Buttlebank, running along the bottom of the garden. I've added a layer of cement soaked material to the chicken wire former along the front edge of the board but it's going to need another layer as it feels too brittle now that it's dried. I was hoping I could get away with one but it's going to need at least another layer if it's to be strong enough to take any knocks.

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I spent the rest of the day running 26024 round as I still haven't got round to getting any more loco's down from the attic.  Believe it or not I left it running for almost 3 hours only swapping from the 6 empty OTA wagons...

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...to the 3 BR MK1's

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Despite the amount of work this little loco has got through over the years I've had it, it still performs almost faultlessly. It's got a couple of creaks and squeaks now but it rarely ever lets me down.

The photos with 26024 give an idea of how this section of the layout is going to be once I can get it finished. The rock faces need more refining but it is beginning to resemble the kind of terrain this type of loco would have worked through. Single or double track? ....still undecided but erring towards leaving it single but maybe with the remnants of a previous track or unused siding alongside.

Once I'd put the loco away I decided to add corridor connectors to the 3 coaches as well as a tail lamp on the end of what will now be the last vehicle. I also added a tail lamp on the rear of the loaded OTA wagons and will add the same to some of the other freight vehicles. I was going to add corridor connectors to some BR Mk2 coaches but they require couplings changing first and my couplings are, of course, up in the attic and I'd had my fill of going up those steps for today.

 

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I've not had much time to spend on the layout today which is probably just as well considering the way things were going.

I thought it would be a good idea to put a rake of early BR Blue Mk2 coaches together, change couplings, add corridor connectors etc.... I don't think they've ever been on the layout before but I wasn't expecting any problems. They were all fitted with tension lock couplings resulting in quite a sizeable gap between coaches so I thought the Hornby R8220 bar couplings would be a suitable alternative but the mounting pockets on the coaches are set so far back that with the bar couplings fitted I couldn't get the coaches to couple. I could, at a push, angle the coaches to connect the couplings but then they were far from happy about running through pointwork. I had the same problems trying Kadee's and even the Extra Long No.20 was insufficient. In the end I reluctantly decided to use the Bachmann 'pipe' type couplings as they bring the coaches very close together but also make it almost impossible to couple up a 6 coach rake. I had the six coaches laid on their sides along the track while I connected the pipes and attempted to put the coaches upright.

I found that a Kadee No.20 on the leading coach was just sufficiently long to couple to the Kadee on a loco except it sits much too high when placed in the Bachmann NEM pocket. The coaches came uncoupled in the station without me noticing and the loco proceeded to circle the garden and collide heavily with the rear coach. A tangled mess.

I've now removed the standard cam coupling mechanism from the leading coach and glued my own NEM base onto the underside of the coach floor at a suitable distance for a Kadee to fit reliably but annoyingly it's still set a fraction too high and I'll need to redo it.

Below is 37026 'Loch Awe' attempting to haul the 6 coach rake. This was taken just before the impending collision in Shieling Bridge station.

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Another problem is that two of the coaches tend to lean to one side which looks slightly odd when seen in the rake. I'm not sure yet what's causing that but I am confident that a big hammer will sort them out if nothing else does.

The coach second from the rear below is one of those that has a slight lean to the left.

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I am however looking forward to getting things back up and running. I do enjoy the railway layouts but they can be immensely frustrating at times, in fact quite a lot of the time. What I'm aiming to do is assemble the stock I want to use on Worsley Dale, put them in rakes, and keep it all together so it doesn't become mixed up with the stock for Skew Bridge.

It's a real shame that things such as couplings should otherwise detract from what can be a thoroughly enjoyable leisure activity but it has to be the most frustrating aspect of the whole hobby.

 

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