Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Staying In The Background

We added a couple of trial background pictures to the layout at the weekend - the first was behind the viaduct while the second was behind Gunnmere station.
In the first photograph, hikers and campers are enjoying the view and watching passing trains as a Class 45 rumbles over the viaduct with a coal train.
In the second photograph, DP2 storms across with a passenger train for the south.
In the third picture, we have a busy scene at Gunnmere with the coal trucks seen earlier, now in one of the sidings, while 50007 Sir Edward Elgar enters Platform 3 with an express for Sueston.
Meanwhile, standing at Platform 1, is a Class 121 waiting to depart for the branch to High Bridge and at Platform 2 is a Class 25 at the head of a rake of lowmacs.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Swanage Diesel Gala 2017

Here are some photos taken on Friday 5th May at this year's
Swanage Diesel Gala. The event was entitled:  

"Dawn of the Diesels"
D6515 enters Norden Station with the 08:55 from Corfe Castle. On the right is 45041 'Royal Tank Regiment' and she will take the train (and us) to Swanage at 09:15.
 Meanwhile green liveried Class 47 (1842) and Class 56 (56096) await their next turns of duty.
The Peak stands at at the buffer stops at Swanage, having just arrived with that 09:15 train from Norden.
The Class 47 now takes its turn at the same buffer stops, having just arrived with the 10:00 train from Norden.
Looking very clean and smart in their matching green livery, a brace of Class 20s (D8188 and D8059) wait to depart Swanage with the 10:45 to Norden.
One of the three sets of coaches in use on the day included the Pullman Observation Car No 14. This Observation Car was used on Devon Belle trains in the South West of England as well as on trains in Scotland during the 1960’s. It was also hauled by Flying Scotsman in the USA in the early 1970’s and, in 2007, it was brought back from America to the UK where it has since been restored to working order.
Now for two photographs taken of 50026 Indomitable from the aforementioned Observation Car. This first one was at Corfe Castle with the Hoover setting off for Norden with the 11:16 train from Swanage, while our train was the 11:30 from Norden.
The second photograph was taken at Harmans Cross with Indomitable hauling the 12:15 from Norden while 1872 is at the head of the 12:15 from Swanage.
1842 once again and here she is seen hauling the 13:45 from Norden having just crossed the viaduct that carries the railway over the B3351.
Class 26 (D5343) arrives at Norden with the 13:45 from Swanage, while sister BRCW locomotive 33111 waits, with 56096 (hidden), to couple up at the other end of the train to form the 14:30 back to Swanage.
From the train, 50026 is seen once more, this time waiting her next turn of duty, which would actually be the 16:20 to Swanage.
Class 73 (73961) stands at the buffer stop at Swanage having previously brought in (with sister loco 73119) the 16:00 from Norden.
 56096 and D5343 back on to their train at Norden to form the 18:15 to Swanage.
 The train is almost ready to depart ....
... and, when it does so, we see that the two Class 73's are coupled to the rear. Yes, I think that over 5,500 bhp should be sufficient for this five coach train, don't you!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dirty Looks

Here we see 'Before' and 'After' photographs of two of the most recent additions to our locomotive fleet - namely a Heljan Class 35 and a Bachmann Class 40.
The After photos were taken at the same location as the ones Before and, as you can see, both locos have been fairly heavily weathered and, to me, they look pretty good too; much more life-like than before.
As you may know, from previous posts, we have had most of our locos (and rolling stock) brilliantly weathered by Alex at Mikron Models in Taunton and he continued to do a few jobs for us, for a while, after the shop sadly closed in 2014 - yes we still miss that amazing shop!
However, with the need to find someone else to weather these two newly-acquired locos, we thought we would try Scott at The Weathering Works.
I had previously purchased, through e-Bay, a couple of wagons that he had weathered and was very pleased with how they looked. I then visited his website and could tell that he knew what he was doing so I sent these two locos to him on the 15 February. 
They duly returned last Saturday (1 April) and we are very pleased with the results. The turnaround time, of around 6 weeks, was a bit longer than Alex used to take and much more than the two weeks that others (like TMC) state in their advertising. 
However, he does seem to be quite a busy chap and, provided we are happy with the results (and we are), the timescales are not such an issue.
For the moment we have no more locos that need weathering but we do have several rakes of coaches that require dirtying up a bit. Therefore we may well send some of these to Scott and send some to other weathering services, such as TMC and Grimy Times, to see how they compare.
I will report back with our findings!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Clean

The train is about to depart Sueston
Here it is seen passing Petersfield
A different angle of the train at Petersfield
Arrival at Gunnmere Junction.
About to depart Gunnmere for the journey to Davemoor.
Having acquired three of the Tri-ang Track Cleaning cars (R344) recently we thought we would run a track cleaning train around the layout instead of employing our more usual method of track rubbers plus lots of elbow grease.
The train was hauled by a Class 20 and consisted of the three aforementioned Track Cleaning Cars plus the Hornby Track Cleaning Coach (R296) with the Dapol Motorised Track Cleaner (B800) bringing up the rear in vacuum cleaner mode.
The first two cars behind the loco had a small amount of Goo Gone applied to each of their cleaning pads while the third track cleaning car (green) had Wahls Cutter oil applied to its pad.
Goo Gone is very good at removing anything that is stuck to the rails, while the clipper oil lubricates the track and helps to prevent any unwanted build-up on the rails. The Hornby Cleaning Coach was added to help remove any dirt softened / loosened by the Goo Gone.
Unfortunately, the Dapol Motorised Cleaning car is faulty and only works intermittently. I think the spindle that rotates the vacuum cleaner catches somewhere and, therefore, does not spin freely. It did pick up some debris so it obviously does what it is supposed to do but it clearly has a problem somewhere.
As for the track cleaning itself this all seemed to work very well although there were some problems on points, with the various pads and abrasers (on the Hornby coach) catching from time to time.
However, judging by the colour of the white pads after the cleaning was completed, I would say that the train did its job very well and the track certainly looked and felt a lot cleaner afterwards.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trains at Gunnmere and Davemoor

Here are a few photographs of trains at Gunnmere and, in the last picture, at Davemoor.
Gunnmere is our main intermediate station and is also the junction for the branch line to Anchwood.
In the first two photos we see Class 23 'Baby Deltic', D5909, at the head of a short rake of milk tanks that would have started their journey at the milk depot just outside of Sueston.
In the next couple of photos, two express trains call at the station. The southbound train to Sueston is hauled by Class 45 45053 whilst 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar' is at the head of the train heading towards Davemoor.
In the final photograph we again see 50007 standing at Platform 2 at Davemoor, having arrived with its train. Meanwhile, at Platform 4, Class 37 37057 'Viking' stands having earlier brought in a stopping train from the south.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Shredded Wheat Train

The 'Shredded Wheat' is an N Gauge train that was made by Graham Farish for the Shredded Wheat Co. in 1989.
The locomotive could be obtained from the cereal company by sending 3 tokens, plus £1.00; or one token, plus £5.00, with the tokens available on packets of Shredded Wheat. 
The coaches were acquired separately (in pairs) by sending a single token plus £2.99.
The loco is non-motorized so is not intended for layout running. 
However, it must be possible to (carefully) change the couplings on both the loco and the coaches. 
The loco is free running so would be great for double-heading.
I really don't know how many set of these cute little trains were made but it is one that I have never seen before and one that I was delighted to acquire recently.