Sunday, August 30, 2015

Almost Under Control

For the past two or three weeks we have been busily constructing and wiring the panel of switches that control the assortment of signals and lights at Gunnmere, as seen in the top photograph.
This mass of coloured wires is slowly being organized into looms that feed the various signals as well as the mains supply.
This weekend we managed to get the yard lights, platform lights and the three double aspect signals all working.
These signals can be seen in the photographs above with a Class 20 being held prior to gaining access to the small goods siding while, at the other end of the station, a Class 50 awaits departure with an express for the south.
So, with fingers crossed that we do not get any wires crossed, we hope to have all of the signals fully working during the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lion-side Photographs

Here are a few line-side shots of 0260 'Lion' and 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar' hauling the Cumbrian Coast Express set of coaches. 
We begin with Lion' awaiting departure from Davemoor (top photo) with the southbound working while, in the top left-hand corner of the photo, can just be seen the engine shed at Anchwood, the terminus of the branch line from Gunnmere Junction.
Next we see the train passing Manxton, on the up fast main line. Note the very wide, specially-made, footbridge that spans the four tracks.
The third photograph shows Lion approaching Gunnmere, through the plethora of coloured light signals that we are currently in the process of wiring! Hopefully, soon, all of these lights will be fully operational.
The last photograph of the southbound express sees it pausing at Gunnmere Junction, the only intermediate stop for this particular train.
Finally, we see Class 50 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar,' passing at speed with the return working, heading north.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Updates From Above

As well as adding signals to the layout, especially around Gunnmere, we have also been making a few changes / additions to the layout, at various locations. 
At Gunnmere, above, gone is the old engine shed to be replaced, at the bottom of the photograph, by a Bachmann Scenecraft Shillingstone Goods Shed (44-170). The engine shed was never used and we felt that Gunnmere definitely needed a goods shed so it now has one. We will need to add another yard light here but, apart from that, the shed is pretty much 'goods to go'!
We have also been planting a lot of trees around the layout, as can be seen from the photos above, showing either end of the viaduct, at the northern end, and around Carswater at the southern end.
Finally, along with the trees, we have also added some telegraph poles to the branch line, above. Trees (and telegraph poles) do certainly add a realistic dimension although, with a layout of this size, it is a slow job.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rivarossi Royal Scot

Rivarossi 1350 - 'Royal Scot' Class 4-6-0 6140 'Hector'
Rivarossi 2931 - Corridor 3rd Class Coach 14289
Rivarossi 2932 - Corridor 1st Class Coach 15604
Rivarossi 2933 - Corridor 1st Class Coach 15933
Rivarossi 2934 - Brake Corridor 3rd Class Coach 16100
Rivarossi 2935 - Corridor 3rd Class Coach 14250
Rivarossi 2931 - Corridor 3rd Class Coach 14250
I recently had the good fortune to come across this Rivarossi 'Royal Scot' Class locomotive plus six coaches in a local charity shop.
All of the items were boxed and hardly seem to have been used. It has since been tested on our layout and the loco runs extremely well and the whole train looks quite stunning.
Rivarossi, an Italian company that began life in 1945, later became a part of the Lima group and they found quite a large market in the US.
In 1977 they decided to try and break into the UK market but, for some reason, they failed to understand the importance of the scale difference between HO and OO and, as a result, they produced models that sat somewhere between the two. This meant that their models looked too small when compared to their OO gauge equivalents.
This is a shame because the quality of their models was outstanding and, had they decided upon OO gauge from the start, they could have developed quite a following in the UK as well.
All of the above items, plus Hector's sister loco 6100 'Royal Scot' and two further LMS coaches, were all produced around 1978 / 1979 but some were still in the Rivarossi catalogue some ten years' later.
All of the coaches came with clip-in corridor end boards plus replacement tension lock couplings while the locos came with just the one replacement coupling plus a bag of accessories. 
The founder of the company, Alessandro Rivarossi, died in 2010 and Rivarossi is now part of Hornby International.

Signals Galore!

For the past few weeks we have been continuing to install the remainder of the coloured light signals at the northern end of Gunnmere.
These signals control quite a complex track layout, with the two track mainline becoming four tracks plus a branch line.
All of the tracks need to feed into and out of the four platforms at Gunnmere, plus its two goods sidings, hence need for predominantly feathered lights.
With all of the signals now fitted, but not yet working, we have been adding the hoops and ladders etc as well as working out how best to wire the innumerable switches required to operate this amount of signals. 
Hopefully all will be completed during the next two or three weeks!