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Sunday, 17 June 2012


With the trackwork painted and ballasted (previous posting) it was time to run some trains.

I have had a very enjoyable afternoon stepping back in time to the 196os. I watched the Atlantic Coast Express, the Okehampton-Surbiton car carrier. The Meldon ballast and other freight and passenger steam workings on the Waterloo to Exeter mainline in Somerset. I think Sunday's are my favourite time for a heady session of train spotting.

sidingPerhaps many of you spent time in the garden. How are your vegetables coming along? Here at Hewish Gates railway cottages the cauliflowers are full grown with harvesting underway. The residents of Number 1 are going to be sick of meals laced with cauliflower recipes for the next few weeks.

If you would like to know how they were grown pop over to the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway and whilst you are there register yourself as a follower.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Last Spike

siding13 months ago I embarked upon a project to improve the look of my track. I am now close to completion, having set the final piece in Hewish Siding. 13 months is a long time and my initial enthusiasm for this work has waned, despite the amazing, authentic look of the finished item.

The track shown here is obviously not finished. The sleepers and rail need painting and ballast layed between - about another hour or so work. It's a short piece of track (about 60cm) so I will paint it by hand rather than spraying. It's less messy and requires less preparation/cleanup. However, spraying does produce a better finish and it gets into crevasses that a brush may miss.

I had to buy a packet of C&L chairs to supplement my ancient stock. I did not buy enough so, I stripped the balance from old EM gauge turnouts that I made years ago. The dark brown is current manufacture and red the old stuff. The old stuff has aged to become very brittle indeed and many just broke up on handling. Fortunately, there were enough survivors to complete the job.

The buffer stop is made from a whitemetal kit (don't remember the brand - it must be 30 years old!). Looking close it appears to be code 100 rather than the code 75 of the adjoining rail, which has had to be raised to level the running surfaces. Making a better quality buffer from code 75 rail and other bits could be an interesting project. However, once this buffer is rust painted and ballast is laid then the existing arrangement will blend to my satisfaction.

I'm looking forward now to re-photographing scenes showing the enhanced track work to publish on my Hewish Gates model railway web page.
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