Last weekend saw us testing the newly laid track even though this section has not yet been connected to the bus. For the time being, Hornby Point Clips are being used on their own as the sole means of carrying the current and, thankfully, they seem to be working well. Of course wiring will be performed just as soon as all of the track is laid.
So, the first train to traverse the new line was the Class 42, which was chosen because of its notoriety for not liking tight curves. We hooked up a couple of Bachmann Mk2 coaches and sent her from Gunnmere to the current railhead, which can be seen in the last photograph.
The top two photos show the train on its return journey, first of all pausing briefly at the new station of Manxton and, then, travelling on the up fast line of the four track section, on its approach to Gunnmere.
In the third photo we see the latest addition to our loco fleet, in the shape of D400, resplendent in its original blue livery. This particular loco is a conversion from Hornby's 50037 'Illustrious' expertly done for us by Alex of Mikron Models in Taunton. He has also lightly weathered the loco and we think she looks ab fab. The loco is fitted with Hornby's own DCC sound files which are not too bad apart from the distinctive 'tick-tock' clock sound when she is idling. We do intend to fit a bass reflex speaker to this loco in the near future and this should, hopefully, improve the sound a little bit.
I will also include a close-up of D400 in a future posting.
In the photo above, the train can be seen passing through, what will be, the new tunnel which will carry the extended branch line over the main line. As mentioned in my previous posting, this tunnel has a single portal at one end and a double portal at the other end and it would be nice to think of a suitable name for this unusual tunnel ... any ideas?
The fourth photo gives an overall view of the track layout beneath the window. This shows the two single lines leading off to the central section. The edge of the baseboard for this new area of the layout can just be seen behind Manxton in the first photograph.
This coming weekend will, hopefully, see us start work on the baseboard for the branch line extension as well as continue running the main line towards Davemoor. We might even get around to capturing a short video of trains running on this new section.