Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tri-ang Gold Plated Train Set T.43

I found this very unusual train being sold at a local antiques shop recently and, although I had neither seen nor heard of it before, I realized at once that it was probably a rarity.
It is a TT scale model (i.e.: 3 mm : 1 foot) and it was produced by Tri-ang in 1961 for the Kays Mail Order Catalogue.
It features SR Merchant Navy Class NÂș 35028  'Clan Line' together with three coaches all of which have been finished in vacuum-plated gold
I believe that only 300 oft these sets were made and, to be honest, I cannot imagine that they would have proved to be all that popular at the time. However, because of this, and its resulting rarity, this set has now become highly collectible.
Originally it would have come in a box, together with an oval of track ... please see the picture below:
Sadly, though, the set that I acquired was unboxed and had no accompanying track. 
So, as I have no TT scale track myself, I am unable to run the train but I have applied power to the locomotive's wheels and they do seem to turn okay. Therefore, all it probably needs is a good clean and, maybe, some lubrication and then it should run very well.
The train is by no means in mint condition but it is still an eye-catching model. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Signalling The Way Ahead

A junction signal controlling at the northern end of Petersfield station.
The first of two two aspect signals at the southern end of Petersfield.
A two aspect signal at the southern end of Gunnmere Junction.
The first of several signals controlling the northern end of Gunnmere Junction.
This weekend we finally embarked on installing some more coloured light signals on to the layout. Those at Sueston, which we installed some time ago now, have, rather embarrassingly, been the only proper signals on the system and the only mitigation that I can offer, in defence of this, is that we have been busy rebuilding the northern half of the layout and wanted to make sure that all heavy building work and track laying was completed before we installed delicate (and expensive) signals!
Well, I feel that we have reached a point now where we can safely install the signals and we have now made a start both at Petersfield and at Gunnmere Junction. 
The latter station, in particular, requires some complex signalling, especially at its northern end with all platforms and sidings needing to access four main running lines plus the branch line!
The signals are not yet in action because I wanted to install them all first before wiring them to the power supply and innumerable switches!
This process of signal installation is, by the very nature of the size of the layout and the cost of the signals, going to take some time to complete but it will be fun to do and will look fantastic when it is finally finished.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Station Refurbishment

We have been spending some time making much-needed improvements to Coneyvale Halt, one of the smaller stations on the layout.
As with some of the other stations, we began with some straight sections of Horny platform plus a couple of platform ramps. Over this we laid some 1/32" cork and painted this grey. We then applied some platform edging and acquired some old Airfix Platform Fencing, which really does look the part, I must admit. 
The buildings are from the Hornby Skaledale range and are pretty basic for a simple halt. On each platform there is a Small Wooden Shelter (R8718) while on Platform 1 there is also the Wooden Platform Signal Box (R8721). This controls access to the small coal yard just seen in the top right of the first photograph. 
Indeed it is the workers at this yard who, probably, provide most of the passengers who use this little station although both platforms do seem to be well populated with people waiting for trains in the photos above. 
There is no footbridge at this station so the only way to go from one platform to the other is via the barrow crossing seen in the lower photograph.
Lights will, however, be provided in the near future since, being stuck out in the middle of nowhere, Coneyvale Halt can be a dark and lonely place on cold, winter nights!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ballast Yard Lights

At long last we have installed lights in the Ballast Yard plus a couple of buffer stops that also have red warning lights. The buffer stop lights are supplied direct from the track while the yard lights, as well as the platform lights at Carswater station, are all controlled via the 12V dc supply on an old H&M controller.