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Saturday 16 September 2023

Ballast Cleaning Train - Part 12

This is the final part of this series about modelling in 4mm scale a 1960 BR(S) ballast cleaning train.

Here is the movie!

To follow this series from the start go to Page 1.

This may not be the end of the story because I am correcting and detailing further the CAD files of the ballast cleaning and power generator wagons with a view to (maybe) 3D resin printing the models for greater finesse.

Ballast Cleaning Wagon Chassis (CAD resin model)

Friday 8 September 2023

Ballast Cleaning Train - Part 11

Fitting a Zero 1 chip to the T9 Locomotive

I use the Hornby Zero 1 system to control trains. It is an early type of DCC (1980s). If all you want is simple track wiring and the ability to operate multiple locos at the same time then there is no cheaper option. Parts are available from the after market. The down side is that the chip is big and will not fit some modern model locomotives.

We need to open the Tender to fit the chip. My T9 has a six wheeled tender. There is also a 4 wheel variant. These instructions may not be suitable for that one.

  1. Disconnect the loco plug from the tender socket and remove the tender from the loco. Remove the two screws that are located near the chassis sides between the two rear sets of wheels and lift the body from the rear to release it from the tag holding it at the front
  2. Remove the three weights (we need the space!). I found removing weights does not not affect performance

3. Position the chip on top of the pickup strips. When reassembling it may be necessary to  adjust its position to achieve fit of body to chassis

4. Note the position of pin 1 marked on the plugin and remove the plugin; then mark pin 1 on the 8 way socket board. Set aside the plugin. It must not be used for this procedure.
5. Take a piece of solid wire about same thickness as the pins on the plugin. Form a 'U' and insert it in positions 1 and 8. Solder the chip black wire to this. 
6. Strip and tin the red and green wires. Poke the green wire into position 4.
7. Solder the capacitor that came with the chip to the 'U' loop of wire and poke the other end into position 5 (not shown in photo)
8. Solder the red wire to this capacitor leg (position 5). Ensure the capacitor legs do not touch other positions. If necessary, insulate the legs with the sleeve stripped from other wire
9. Reconnect the loco white plug to the tender white socket and test loco operation.
10. Refit the tender body locating the front tag first.

The loco crew were taken from an old Airfix Permanent Way Figure set. There is not a lot of room in the cab, certainly they cannot stand side by side. The lack of space is due to the boxes set against each cab side wall. These are wider than the prototype because they have to accommodate the 00 gauge rear driving wheels, which are set closer together than the prototype.

Sunday 3 September 2023

Ballast Cleaning Train - Part 10

The staff coach associated with this train was an ex-SE&CR 60 ft. Birdcage Brake 3rd lavatory (BTL) coach. These coaches (and non lavatory versions) were taken into departmental stock after they were withdrawn from passenger duties. Initially they were not repainted. Later the departmental colour of black and later still drab olive green was deployed and the coach re-numbered into the DS series.

I found two references to coaches used in BR(S) Departmental Stock:

  • BTL SR 3479 in Malachite was assigned to Matisa Ballast Cleaner DS100 in November 1956.
  • BTL SR 3521 in Malachite renumbered to DS 136
I cannot tell from the 1960 monochrome photos of the train what livery it had at that date nor the number allocation.

Model coaches are available from Bachmann (RTR) and Roxey Mouldings (KIT). Ever mindful of the cost I choose Bachmann from the after market. Bachmann coaches are available in Malachite, Olive, Dark Lake and Crimson. Some colours are only available from the after market.

At first I though to repaint a coach if I could find one that was in less than perfect condition but, all seemed to be new or in pristine condition. I am reticent about repainting a pristine model and as I don't know what livery it had in 1960 I decided not to repaint (for the time being). On this basis I should go for the Malachite version but this has extensive decals making it obvious for passenger services. The Crimson version is the only one with minimal decals and if I did repaint then it will be a simpler job to do.

The Bachmann Crimson is currently only available from the after market. I bid in an EBAY auction for one and lost out, being the underbidder. The person who won was very keen and placed multiple bids. If I had bid more I am sure I would have been outbid again. It sold for £31 + postage. 'Buy it now' prices for these Crimson coaches vary widely, anything from £40 to £75. I went for the cheapest EBAY 'Buy it now' coach available at £40 + postage - and whilst stated as 'used' it is in pristine condition.

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