Monday 25 April 2016

Seven and a quarter inch gauge

Over to deepest East Sussex yesterday for some 7 1/4" fun. Simon 'Stig' Hargraves in charge, CF brings up the rear to add ballast. Rhondda the Honda is a ex- garden tractor.

Friday 22 April 2016

More loading gauge posts

 What a joy this has been. Ref Kane's comment below. This may be the S &D based post mentioned. Standard gallows post with a bar along the top - twist and lift.

On t'other side of the region on SER metals, the same game. The Ratio design is a bit of a puzzle with flat linkage and the bump bar fastened at the ends so that the ends lift and open upward rather than the usual 11 and 1 o'clock as above. I can find no SR pictures to match it.
My take was to use the post and bar and wire supplied - make up three holders from strip (handrail knobs might be nice here) and use two of the supplied links for the outriggers. The cable is the thinnest wire I could find stripped out of layout cable. A closer view at the flickr link below at Heathfield (plus a lot of other very nice shots). It's too low, but after swearing and cursing for most of yesterday I gave up with it for a while. The parts are so fragile and you are fighting the spring of the wire all the time.

The more I work though this project the more I am drawn back to the easy world of the freelance modeller where you can pick and choose your pieces. Here there are rules, you have to stick to them and do hours of detailed research. This is tricky stuff, the freelancing is a piece of cake in comparison.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Southern loading gauge

Another head scratch moment. The rule of course is don't read instructions and don't read the label. The Ratio loading gauge ( is that really the correct term?) is marked SR/BR. Err...I can't find any picture in any Southern book which shows a similar bit of kit. The post itself yes, but not the rather convoluted lifting mechanism. What they all have is a bar across the top and 'jutty-out' bits holding cable/chains which hold the bump bar.
Keep the post, keep the bar and bodge the rest seems the likely solution.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Class 20s

A recent trip to the East Midlands throws up all sorts of conversations with Mrs F. re the North/South divide which I've discussed here before. What I am sure of is that in the allegedly rich South East we're loco poor. I can go months without seeing a locomotive down here on the main line. However as soon as the divide line of somewhere around South Mimms is passed things change. Jumping on a train at Oakham not only was I greeted by a seemingly endless line of pristine Midland signal boxes, but within half an hour one Cl 66 on a container run FOUR Cl 20s parked up under a bridge and a brace of stored Cl 56s at Leicester. Not only are we strangled by high house prices down here, but we don't get the loco-porn either.
The above looks scarily like a model at first glance, but suggests that using PECO track in a modern setting is fairly accurate. These four 20s are parked under a bridge at Melton Mowbray - why I don't know. I  presume waiting for the next hire-out.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Short advanced starter

Signals fascinate me.I can never work out why modellers leave them off and I do try to think about them fairly early on.
The above is a view of the AoC, but with a foreign visitor. A Saxby and Farmer 10' high advanced starter based on the one at Hayling station. An LBSCR signal from an LNWR Ratio kit destined for Mr Hill's round the room adventure.

Thursday 7 April 2016

Gomshall ARPsignal box

Mrs F is on holiday from Hogwarts, so days out have to be planned. Not one to pass up an opportunity and needing a photo, I suggested a trip across the razor wire into leafy Surrey where prices start at half a million and everyone is strangely the same colour. Lunch at The Compasses (note plural) and then off on another wild goose chase to find a signal box that's probably been knocked down - only this one hadn't. There's not much on Gomshall station and they appear to be building a bridge to get rid of the occupation crossing between the staggered platforms so that the nice lady looking after it has time to walk down to the UAB to sign on.

ARP boxes- completely devoid of architectural merit, but somehow quite gorgeous. This one has lost its stairs and windows and I think may have a preservation order on it. Which is good - well good for me at least You can't get a square elevation shot without warming your feet on the live rail or get around the back, but I have more shots it anyone wants them.

Friday 1 April 2016

Welsh Highland Railway Super power

One of those 'let's go now' situations where we piled into the car and went to N. Wales quite last minute. Deadly quiet just after the Easter weekend, where I though it would be heaving with children on holiday. I doesn't look like too many of us want to do this anymore.
Lots of new ideas where I'm trying to find new angles and ways to do things, so rather that riding-on the accent was on watching from different points, but making sure that any cash we spent on food etc went into the railway coffers to compensate. Likewise lunch on the return trip was taken at a deserted Llanfair station café.

I have mixed feelings about the NG16s. They are somehow too big. Very impressive, but visually out of place. I do like the compression that is forced upon the indigenous rolling stock.