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Friday 22 September 2017

Project 17 - Troubleshooting

A few tasks to improve the layout operations -

Half way along No.1 road a dip in the track caused some locomotives to stall. How to level it? Track work was initially stuck down with strips of double sided tape, which did not hold too well. However, the ballasting fixed with PVA glue did a splendid job of fixing the track as well. To cure the dip all that had to be done was to wet the ballast, which turns the hardened PVA back to liquid, and then gently pull the track up until levelled. More ballast was laid on top to fill in around the raised track.

The track work in the fiddle yard cassettes came loose from its double sided tape fixing and under a hot sun much warping of it occurred between the fixed, soldered ends. I can live with that because the layout is normally at room temperature where wild temperature extremes are unlikely. To fix the track though I tied the sleepers down with wire strapping. Track pins will not hold in the foam board (unless glued).

The weak turntable motor drive has been replaced with a manually operated worm gear meshed with the existing large cog wheel. The photograph shows my 3D printed worm gear arrangement. The sleeve in the middle is a coupling between two rods, necessary as the printer track bed is not large enough to print one long rod. This manual method works wonderfully being quiet with precise turning control at a snails pace. I should have opted for this method in the beginning instead of motor drive.

The track has been wired for DCC and all my locos are chipped for Hornby Zero 1. I opened the M7 to find there was no space whatsoever for the large Zero 1 chip without serious modification to the loco inners. What I need is the smaller ZTC 202,211,203 or 214 chip, which are Zero 1 compatible but all are no longer manufactured. This poses a serious problem as until a ZTC shows up I'll either have to switch controllers between Analogue and Zero 1 during operations, dechip some of my other locomotives or, buy a new set of locos for analogue control exclusively for this layout and rewire the track for isolated sections. (I have no desire to upgrade to a modern DCC system).

With regard to building this micro layout it is now complete. Now I want to reorganise the railway room so the layout and fiddle yards can be set up for operating sessions and make a movie of it. 


To Part 1.  

Friday 15 September 2017

Project 17 - New Stock #2

And another eBay purchase at a fair price. This time the ubiquitous Swanage M7 tank engine - Hornby R2734 #30056 from the 2008/9 manufactured batch. It is brand new and bought from the collection of a deceased collector who never opened the boxes.

30056 was photographed on the Swanage branch in 1962 and 1963. At that time (and 1961) it was allocated to Bournemouth shed 71B of which Swanage was a sub shed. It was scrapped via Eastleigh works in December 1963.

The shed code fitted to the model is 75F (Tunbridge Wells West) and the crest confirms its allocation there in the 1950s. It is therefore, rather early and in the wrong place for the 1960s period of my layout. It was purchased because of the relevant 30056 number. It would not take much effort to change the crest to the later totem, transfers that I have in stock, and the shed code  could be overlaid with a printed label for 71B.

To Final Part.

To Part 1.

Friday 8 September 2017

Project 17 - New Stock #1

Yippee - I won the Hornby Maunsell Pull-Push coach set on eBay and at a favourable price. It is R4534 coach set 610 released in 2012 and is brand new (where has it been hiding I wonder?).

Set 610 started life on the BR SE Division in 1960 and transferred to the Western Division in 1963. But was photographed at Wareham for Swanage in 1962. I think it was a rare visitor to Swanage as I have seen no other photograph of it there.

I don't yet have an M7 for it but I do have a Triang-Hornby BR Class 3MT. This class worked alongside M7s, and Ivatt 2-6-2T hauling the Pull-Push sets during 1964. Both the M7s and 3MT were withdrawn the same year. Only the M7 was Pull-Push fitted so the others had to run around the coaches at each termini.

My 3MT must be about 60 years old and has sentimental value being my first train acquisition. The body detail is good but below that of current detailed models. The chassis, wheels and drive gear design are naive, toy like compared to current standards.

At least it  runs adequately on its (transplanted) X04 motor.

3MT on Shed (Note shed pendant lights ablaze)
To Part 28.

To Part 1.  

Monday 4 September 2017

Andover Modelex 2017

This exhibition spanning two halls of a school had the usual mix of high quality model railway layouts of various gauges and territories.

Three that stood out for me were Melton Mobray (North) (N gauge), a long layout noted for its many but, uncluttered scenes of people in realistic static poses.

The second was St. Martins Wharf (7mm scale) - shown below. A good atmosphere was created by the nicely modelled landscape and buildings.


My best in show goes to 'End Of The Line', another 7 mm scale model but quite compact. Narrow gauge trains from an off stage, unseen coal mine (I assume) bring in loads of coal that unload into a hopper for conveyance into a lorry via a moving conveyor belt. Under radio control the lorry transports its load over the road network and off stage. Apart from the road and rail movements that attract attention the landscape is almost barren, which adds to the air of realism.

Trade stands were a bit sparse in my view because I found nothing on my shopping list.
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