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Took part in #TwitterModelTrainsShow yesterday. This tweet was the most popular of Amblethorpe.

 

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Posted (edited)

Gave the rails a clean today. Tomorrow I may give a train a run out, see what has survived the winter ravages.

Edited by chris
typo
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I still find it exciting to open up the layout for its first session of the year. It's usually a welcome surprise to discover just how well it's survived the winter months despite our initial concerns so I hope it's good news for you. I'll be waiting to hear.

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Took a test train out. There are a few sections of track that are dead. The usual suspects.  I really should to a proper job of rewiring them. Problem is I've lost track of how my sections work. Seen as Mick had introduce 31233 to Skew Bridge I thought it should have the honour of etc first run of the season.

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The rake included a new Hornby coach which was a Christmas present. Down side is that it is now too long for the turn back siding.

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Doing some maintenance on scenic boards this morning. Mainly repairs to damage caused by wildlife.

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That's a nice test train, Chris - every vehicle different, which always helps.  More soon, we hope!

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I got a couple of trains looping today. Usual derailing as trains enter or left the lift out section. A slight shove in the right direction an I could leave the two of them to stretch their legs for 20 minutes.

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I didn't bother with any of the scenics.

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Task of the day was to tidy up the the scenics that live out, but under a canopy. On one side of the tracks is a farm and on the near side a campsite. The farm would only need a clean and patch. The campsite, well...

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The local cats have taken to sitting on it.

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There was no way that this could be cleaned and patched.

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I removed the tents, caravans and all the rest. These were rather well glued down, which explains why they have survived the feline assault. With all these bits stored i attacked the layer of static grass. This mainly came off with a green paint layer. Some of it was stubborn, but not much of the kingspan came away.

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I've covered  the Kingspan with a thin coat of brown acrylic window frame sealant. Tomorrow I'l paint the whole thing green and get going with the static grass. I'm assuming I've got some!

 

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Wildlife is one of the biggest threats to our garden railways but I suppose we have to accept that we're now in their world and we have to adapt accordingly. We have a neighbouring cat too, though after a couple of years I'm still unsure as to which home it belongs to. I've had to discourage it from jumping down onto my viaduct by fastening anti-climb spikes along a section of fencing and this appears to have done the trick for now. I only ever see it on the CCTV cameras at night.

My early morning routine is to feed the birds and they've started waiting in earnest for me to fill up the dishes. They give us no end of entertainment during the day but leave behind an awful mess that has to be cleaned away before any trains can emerge. It makes no difference whereabouts in the garden they are fed, it seems they prefer to do their business on the tracks.

Your campsite appears to have fared pretty well considering the cats have been on it and that it's been in place for around 4 years now. I've just checked back and it was May 2016 when you first published details about it so it has done very well indeed. The farm looks much the same as it did back then.

Your class 31 is the same number as mine - 233? Wonder why they chose to release it in different liveries?

Well at least you're back up and running even if you do need to do a bit of soldering here and there. I haven't powered mine up this year yet - I might just leave it another week or two.

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Having discussed the Hatton 66 I decided to get one of my old Lima 66's out for a run.

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I've replaced the motor in this unit and it runs well. But it is low on tractive effort so can end up with wheel slip. First run in 6 months or more after wintering in the shed and I didn't need to clean the wheels or pickups, which is always a pleasant surprise.

I took 10 minutes to lubricate the wheel bearings on the wagons. One of the auto-ballasters was emitting a squeak. The "falcons" were running a little heavy. Lubrication is one of those jobs I mean to do, but don't get round to. With all this extra time on my hands I'll have to get to the bottom of a few of the running problems with my stock.

Having had a very pleasant week for late March, the forecast is more gloomy. I'll continue with the rebuild of the campsite baseboard for which I have plenty of the static grass and look for a few more indoor tasks to work on.

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I've got quite a number of wagons that squeak and sometimes it's annoyingly difficult to get rid of, even after lubrication. But as you say, now is as good a time as any to sort things out - we've all got plenty of time on our hands and even if the weather does turn for the worse a lot of those tasks can be carried out indoors.

 

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Even though I (we) can't leave the house at the mo, I've found little time to model. I've been out to the shed a most afternoons to shunt a few units around. This afternoon I allowed my mates Parcels unit out to turn it's wheels. 

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I've found a few more bonds that need replacing. I'll get my iron out once warmth arrives and the wind subsides.

 

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It's usually the case that the more spare time you have the less you manage to do. I'm not sure how I used to manage to do the things I did when I was working because now with time on my hands I tend to struggle to get anything done.

It looks like you've made a start reinstating the campsite? Did you manage to find some static grass?

The weather's looking better for the weekend and the middle of next week, though it's forecast to be a little breezy at times but hopefully there'll be an opportunity to get the soldering iron out.

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It's surprising how many jobs there are to do round the garden when you have time to crack on an do them. I've been switching between jobs that benefit the railway and ones that don't. Painting the shed just about fits into both. I have grand plans for my shed which never quite get off the drawing board. This means the wall facing the garden has been somewhat neglected.

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I avoid it when photographing trains, here's a corner from 2 years ago.

The last 3 days has seen all the fence paint sanded off. The light blue has been extended up to the windows and the rest has gone green.

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For the last few years I've covered the station here, Amblethorpe, with a slopping roof. it did a good job of protecting it. but was very ugly. It's gone. Binned so ensure it don't return. I'm concerned about water draining away. I'm thinking about shortening the platform on the near side of the shelf to 2 car length to reduce the size of the water trap. The other thought is to remove one platform completely. I don't run many trains into this station so it may not be much of an operational loss.

 

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Having built my platforms from conduit and floor tiles, I've found that with time the tiles have lifted at the corners.IMG_6491.thumb.jpeg.b622e8fa482e9ab9f0bbad8a85950492.jpeg

The moveable section of Colwick was fixed last year. I lifted the 4 tiles form the centre platform, removed the adhesive that came on them and then re laid them with contact adhesive.

Today I did the same for the outside bit. It's a messy job removing the self-adhesive, scraping and wiping with a white sprit soaked rag. The midday sun helped by keeping it warm and more fluid. They went back down surprisingly well, I'll see if they have fully stuck in the morning.

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If they are successful, I'll repeat the process for my other 2 stations.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 20/04/2015 at 17:24, chris said:

I've had all the kit I need to build some platforms collecting dust in the shed. Construction is basically the same as last time. Electrical trunking for the base and floor tiles for the top surface. The last time I added brick embossed plasticard to face up the base, but it keeps falling off. As ever I have to remind myself that I'm modelling outside and compromises have to be made so I've kept it simple and sprayed the side of the white trunking a rusty red. The floor tiles have been cut, scored, painted and varnished. I plan to finish off the centre platform this evening.

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At some point I will be build the second half of this terminus station. It will be on a moveable board which will be stored inside to allow greater detail. As things stand I could do with adding some kind of barrier so I don't runs train off the end.

My Hitachi drill-driver makes construction a whole deal easier. It came with two 18volt batteries which charge very quickly so it's always good to go.

This forum is very handy for check when you did something. 5 years ago I build the platforms I've been restoring today. It surprises me that it was so long ago. It's lasted very well considering.

Turns out it took me a year to build the rest of Colwick station, which explains why I thought the outside section was a more recent addition. 

Edited by chris
added an extra sentence.
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Plastic trunking! Why didn't I think of that? For my small station I've used inch by half wooden battening topped with very thick plasticard. Whilst the top looks good, the wood has warped in less that 1 year! I think I'll look into plastic conduit for when I do the four platforms at Pentney parkway... Even better excuse NOT to make the platforms curved!

 

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I came up with the idea years ago. The some of the trucking has now been outside for 8 years and is showing no sign of wear. I think the idea may be my best contribution of OO garden railway modelling.

The bathroom floor tiles on top aren't as successful. But I think that is down to the fact that I rely on their self adhesive. They stick much better with contact adhesive.

 

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Forecast is warm and windless. The kind of day to sort out your failed track bonds.

Fire up your soldering irons chaps, get 'em fixed and enjoy smooth running all summer.

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I replaced around 10 bonds this morning. I can't say it was enjoyable, but it was as easy as it's ever been. Ran a train this evening. Found a intermittently dead section. Not happy.

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48 minutes ago, chris said:

I replaced around 10 bonds this morning. I can't say it was enjoyable, but it was as easy as it's ever been. Ran a train this evening. Found a intermittently dead section. Not happy.

It's one of the worst tasks Chris - there's nothing enjoyable about soldering wires to the rails until the last ones done.

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