Sunday, November 24, 2013

D400 and a Footbridge

Time for me to highlight some of the locomotives, rolling stock and other features that we have added to the layout during the past few months and I will begin with another Class 50 (and the fourth member of the class to be added to our fleet) as well as a beautiful station footbridge - both seen above.
We acquired the Class 50 in the guise of 50037 'Illustrious' which came with faulty, non-working Hornby sound decoder.
This we duly removed and sent back to Hornby with a covering letter and, amazingly, within a few days it was back with us, fully working. 
You do have to hand it to Hornby, their Customer Service department is second to none - absolutely brilliant.
Well, this now meant that we had three large logo Class 50s when we really wanted a blue-liveried member of the fleet. 
So, with the help of Alex at Mikron Models, who found a blue body for us and swapped it and then weathered it, we now have D400 in original blue livery - nice. 
The sound is still that of Hornby's and it is okay but not as good as the Howes and SWD sounds that we have in our other Class 50s.
She is seen, here, passing through Manxton at the head of an express heading for Davemoor.
The second photograph shows the footbridge that spans the four tracks at the aforementioned station. This was needed to allow passengers to cross from one platform to the other, there being no subway at the station. It is another masterpiece by Alex who produced it from drawings and measurements that we gave him. 
The bridge is, basicaly, a Dapol kit, with extensions, and it has been painted and weathered to look, well, stunning!
This station is coming along nicely now and just needs the addition of lights and station nameboards and a barrel crossing to be complete.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Update Part 2

Here, then, is the second part of my update, featuring areas of the layout that have been worked on during recent weeks.
The photograph above was taken to the right of Manxton station, shown in the last photograph of yesterday's posting. It is at this point that the four tracks become two before curving around and into the tunnel, over which passes the newly extended branch line.
The curved platform that is situated above the main line is Anchwood and it is where BR ends and a preserved railway continues to the end of the line at Lake End. This is still being worked on as we have to fit a canopy and lights on the platform but only after all of the scenery work behind it is completed. The small hill in the corner is there purely to conceal an electric socket. It still allows access to the socket switches and will be removable to allow full access to the sockets.
Further along, the preserved line crosses a minor road and then, immediately, crosses the main line for the second time.  The single track in the foreground will, eventually, lead to a central loop, which will include, amongst other things, another intermediate station and a ballast depot. This, then, will be the final development of the northern section of the railway and see the completion of layout construction.
The next photograph shows Lake End and the end of the preserved railway. This, too, is still being worked on but is starting to look quite good. It will be, predominantly, a steam railway and will be home to our Bachmann S&D 2-8-0 as well as, I hope, a Class 4MT tank engine. There will, of course, also be the occasional special visiting the station from the main line.
And finally, in this quick tour of the northern section of the layout, we have an aerial photograph of Davemoor, the new northern terminus, with Lake End situated above it in the distance.
The station has four platforms for use by the general public plus, to the left, a couple of privately owned sidings for use by the local factory. 
There is still a lot of finishing touches to be done here but at least all of the track is in situ meaning that trains can run once construction work at the other locations is complete.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update Part 1

After many weeks of failing to post any updates, I felt that it was high time to rectify the situation with a two-part tour of those areas of the layout that have been worked on during the past few weeks.
I will begin with the southern end of Gunnmere and, from the photograph above, you can see that we have turned the pillar just beyond the platform into a grass and greenery covered rock face. This is to try and make it look a part of the cutting beyond and it is certainly better than the blue wall that was there before!
Moving around the layout, in a clockwise direction from Gunnmere, we come to the embankment of the branch line, which has also changed quite considerably. It now looks much more realistic when compared to the bright green colour that it used to be. In time this will have trees and bushes added to partially conceal the branch line rising behind it. We have also taken out the short siding that ran alongside the farmhouse and turned it into a dirt track for vehicular access.
In the next photograph we catch a glimpse of Manxton, a new intermediate station situated on the section of four track main line. Standing beside the platform is Bachmann's Scenecraft Shillingstone Signal Box (44-165) which we have had slightly weathered by Alex of Mikron Models.
Finally, in this first part of my update, we see Manxton Station in its entirety with Bachmann's Scenecraft Shillingstone Platform Shelter (44-171) on the far platform and this has, again, been weathered by Alex. 
On the near platform is a kit building that, I believe, is by Ratio. We picked this up at a recent Toy and Train Fair and, again, it has been weathered so that it looks in-keeping with the Bachmann buildings. The bridge that joins the two platforms is also Ratio kit that was built, extended and weathered by Alex to span the four tracks and it looks fantastic. 
Indeed, so good is it that I will feature a close-up of this work of art in a future posting.