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Author Topic: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway  (Read 39069 times)

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Offline Bealman

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #225 on: May 23, 2017, 09:50:15 am »
I love this layout!

Thanks for the updates from a guy who hopes to see it someday!  :thumbsup: :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #226 on: May 23, 2017, 09:58:25 am »
The layout is looking good, Tom. I'd love to come up for the Blackpool event, but the bad back that caused me to miss the SVR event, isn't up to it. Here's hoping for another successful outing and some more great pictures.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #227 on: May 28, 2017, 10:30:29 pm »
 :hellosign: Thanks for the updates &  :greatpicturessign:  just typical we are in Blackpool 17th- 24th June,  :'(  (got work on 25th in Cornwall). Would love to see sometime
    regards Derek.

Offline Balloon_726

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Totally Models : June 24th / 25th 2017 Rigby Road Depot Blackpool
« Reply #228 on: June 22, 2017, 12:19:16 pm »
Its been a hot one! infact June 21st 2017 was the hottest day in the UK since 1976 .... apparently...

Anyway it has been nothing but an utter pain trying to work on the layout over the past five days in the 30+ C temperatures, but we had to with this weekends model show and open weekend at Blackpool Transport's Rigby Road Tram depot.


This is the first event at Rigby Road for some years, so its a real privilege to be able to take Thornton Gate inside the depot for the weekend.


Above: With the show on the horizon the decision was taken (not by me i might add!) to replace the card 'Blackpool' fencing with something a little more 3D, so with only two weeks to go at this point Anna (My girlfriend) took it upon herself to rip out all the card fencing from the layout, some of which has been on the layout for over five years now.

Above: The replacement was some custom resin cast panels which Anna had build the master for out of plastic strip and I had made the moulds and tooling for rather a lot of cast resin duplicates!

The process of cleaning and then painting these panels took in all three days, and was a large undertaking.

Above: Here Anna is just applying a final light weather coat to the newly install panels, which really do look for part!

Above: Some areas like the station were a bit tricky to say the least, and some white paper was used to protect the 'wooden' fence behind from a splatter of Humbrol matt 64!


We've also been static grassing the layout to aid the overall scenics and to try and add some depth, this along with the new fences worked well and allowed for some test 'sunset' moody photos....


Above: Long withdrawn Balloon class no 708 made a brief return to Thornton Gate, now weathered down for this shot of it dumped awaiting onward movement at the rear of the yard.


Above: Work crews still installing new fence panels for the tramway lineside in the streets of north Cleveleys.


Above: And finely sunset at Thornton Gate station.

Back to the upgrades and the coming 'Totally Models' Blackpool Show.... 


Normally with Thornton Gate we like shows that give us barriers, however in this case it was unknown if we were going to get any for the weekend, in which case we have to use plexiglass shields, which I for one hate using as it gives a rather obstructed view of the layout and a 'gold fish bowl' effect. But this children and even some adults completely unable to not touch things, its a necessary safeguard. So for this show we've fitted new shields, still in there protective wrappers in this shot.


And finally we'll end with Balloons 701 and 713 out on test yesterday (21st June) ahead of the layout being crated up ready for transport to Blackpool for this weekends event.

We hope you can make it, well worth a visit this one, with all the other things going on in support of the model show, doors open from 10am on Saturday 24th June 2017!

And as ever thanks for your continued support and viewing of this thread.

Online newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #229 on: June 22, 2017, 12:29:21 pm »
Sorry I won't be able to make it, Tom, but the mods look great, especially the fencing which is superb. Congrats to you and Anna. At least with the weather we've had the paint should have dried quickly!
Good luck for the show. I'm sure you'll get heaps of interest.

Offline PLD

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Re: Totally Models : June 24th / 25th 2017 Rigby Road Depot Blackpool
« Reply #230 on: June 22, 2017, 02:15:51 pm »
it gets better with every little change Tom  :thumbsup:

This is the first event at Rigby Road for some years, so its a real privilege to be able to take Thornton Gate inside the depot for the weekend.

We hope you can make it, well worth a visit this one, with all the other things going on in support of the model show, doors open from 10am on Saturday 24th June 2017!
As I'm now Crew at Blackpool as well, I couldn't really get away with not being there! See you tomorrow afternoon Tom  :wave:

Offline Balloon_726

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Totally Models 2017 At Rigby Road Depot - Blackpool June 24-25th 2017
« Reply #231 on: July 05, 2017, 05:43:09 pm »
Totally Models 2017 At Rigby Road Depot - Blackpool June 24-25th 2017
Show Report..




Well .. were to begin with this one..... what can I say...... What a show!
I warn you this is going to be a long report at best... The Totally Models exhibition held at Blackpool Transports Bus and Tram sheds in Blackpool was really good, and thats an understatement! 

FRIDAY



Above We'll start with a few pics taken the Friday evening in the drizzle that has replace the summer heatwave of June. Having arrived in Blackpool and setup Thornton Gate, i took the opportunity to visit the real location of Thornton Gate once again to snap a few pics of how the side is and any changes etc...

The contractors left a few buildings in the yard from the 2012 rebuild, however most now appears to be the remains of supplies etc. It is worth pointing out that currently (at time of writing) Thornton Gate yard is still the active p'way depot for the tramway even if it currently has no sidings on the site itself.


Above: A view looking towards Blackpool over the centre line loop sections and old station of Thornton Gate


Above: And a view the other way showing the summer undergrowth beginning to take ahold around the retained buildings of the old station.

SATURDAY


Above: Saturday started with the view from our B&B in Fleetwood. We chose to stay up the northern end of the tram system as its a bit quieter then the hustle of Blackpool itsself.

For the first day of the show we chose to leave the car in Fleetwood and took the modern Flexity class tram from Fleetwood Ferry station to Manchester Square, before with toolboxes in hand walking over to Rigby Road with an hour before doors opened to the public at 10am.


Above: The setup its self was something special, the exhibition taking up two halls or should that be workshops of the Rigby Road depot these being the ones behind the main shed buildings adjacent to the bus yard. Our position for the exhibition mean we had to setup over the top of one of the tram roads, with the rails seen here underneath the layout. As these tracks were connected to the rest of the tramway, it did mean that technically we have exhibited literally on top of the Blackpool tramway! 


To some models.... And Centenary 641 AKA "Kitkat Tram'. On the first morning as i was prepping the stock 641 moved all of 1cm before failing once again! Now on its 3rd PPC chassis the fault, which i think was with the DCC decoder was not fixable, so 641 spent the whole weekend on show but dumped out of the way on the centre loop, Its future up for debate!


As things got into a bit of a rhythm, all was woking well, Here Bush car 622 and standard 147 wait at the station on Fleetwood bound services.


Above: As with normal practice for us, Balloon 701 stayed on the yard sidings with P'way trailers in tow.


Above: Im not a bus person.. Sorry! But thought it was worth showing what was also in the hall we were in... its a BUS! (thats all i know)


Above: And the view just outside the depot on the main Bus yard at Rigby Road, showing a number of Buses including some heritage units that along with the classic tram cars provided rides and tours for the visiting public.


Above: With the show closing at 5PM (with an extra hour for staff to look around) we packed up and made our way to the depot fan to wait for a special taxi service back to Fleetwood! But first Balloon class 723 needed to come on shed and clear the single access line to and from the depot.


Above: The reason? Well our ride back to the hotel was waiting for us, in the form of sister Balloon Class no 717, booked to do a exhibitors special Rigby Road to Fleetwood Ferry working, a perfect way for us to end day 1 and hitch a free ride back to Fleetwood!


SUNDAY


After a good first day, day 2 (Sunday) bought us some visitors....


Above: Shortly before we opened to the public Thornton Gate yard played host to a wonderful model of diesel Pway car No 754 with matching trailer. A wonderful model and big thanks to John Marfleet for lending it for this photo. Readers of this thread might remember John's version of Balloon 701 visiting Thornton Gate a few years ago....

Below: Operations for day two were sorted in the normal way....




Above: With 641 dumped on view as failed, the decision was taken to swap a few cars around. Taking 641 and Balloon 710 out of service and replacing with Fatdoors now 711 and 719 seen here waiting to go out front, on the hidden fiddle yard siding around the back of the layout with standard 147 stabled behind.

With things up and running and the show open, we welcomed our second guest!


Above: Young Jack, son of fellow exhibitor John Docherty, joined both Anna and myself for a short while.


Above: After a brief run though, Jack took control out inner line services, picking up what can be a complicated layout to operate in no time at all! Which left me rather redundant!


As the day went on, trams cars in full flow on an intensive service Balloons 719, 726 pass failed 641 and stabled class mate 713


P'way Balloon 701 made it out of the yard on day 2 and is seen here Blackpool bound at Thornton Gate station.


Above: Failed 641 is later joined by Jubilee class no 761 on a short working, waiting to be turned back to Blackpool


We'll end this section with a view from the main hall, adjacent to where we were based, just showing how busy it got!

So with less then an hour left of the final day of the show, there was one last treat for us exhibitors.....


Staff at Blackpool Transport took us for a tour of the rest of Rigby Road depot! As you can see here we're all standing in a boat car undergoing work in the fitting shop.


The other side of the shed Brush car no 612 was undergoing work even as we visited!


Above: This was a find! As my username (at time of writing) is Balloon_726 it was a joy to find and photograph the real Balloon 726! Still sporting its blue Coastguard livery, the car has spent a few years in open storage before being brought back to Rigby Road depot. 726 last ran in 2011 I think???


Above: Ever wondered what the very back of Rigby Road's main tram shed looked like? Heres your answer! Stored Millennium Class and some what broken Balloons to be found!


Above: I also found Balloon 703 painted up as Sunderland car no 101, again readers of this thread will remember when i photographed it in the shed at Beamish a few years ago. As with many others 702 has been out of use for some time with a broken tire.

And... welcome to the end of the post! Glad you could make it!

I just want to say a huge thanks to those that made this possible.. What a show!
I have it on good authority that Totally Models (might be called something else) will return next year bigger and even better (if thats even possible?)

Thornton Gates season rolls on ... I'll be updating about that shortly...

As ever thanks for reading and bye for now! 

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #232 on: July 05, 2017, 11:50:11 pm »
 :hellosign: Many thanks Tom  :greatpicturessign: super show report, shame about 641 hope good news for it`s future
      regards Derek.

Offline Balloon_726

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Mini Update - End of July 2017
« Reply #233 on: July 29, 2017, 05:05:34 pm »
Mini Update - End of July 2017

Hi all, just wanted to to a quick update on Thornton Gates next and final outing of 2017 which will be:


Please note: This is Ellesmere (North Shropshire) and NOT Ellesmere Port!

More info can be found on the Ellesmere MRC website

http://ellesmere-modelrailwayclub.weebly.com/ellesmere-12th--13th-august-exhibition.html


For us it'll be nice to do a 'local' show again the first (excluding the SVR event) since November 2013!

Its also nice to end our 2017 season whist its still summer and before winter sets in...


In other news .......
Work has continued on new updates for next year (2018)


My brother and fellow team member Sam and been working on some new road and plant vehicles, which he's scratch building.
To be honest i knew nothing about these until he showed me the other day! Still very much a work in progress, but once done we hope to replace some of the earlier items on the layout, but not until we come off season!

Anyway hope to see you for final outing this year.
Dates for 2018 will be announced once confirmed.

Im now taking bookings for 2019 - 2020 season(s) So do drop me a message if your interested in Thornton Gate for your show/exhibition.

All we'll keep you updated on the overall Thornton Gate project over the coming winter.

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #234 on: July 29, 2017, 05:25:26 pm »
Here's hoping to catch you at one of next year's exhibitions, Tom.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline Balloon_726

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Ellesmere Model Railway Exhibition 2017 - Show Report
« Reply #235 on: August 19, 2017, 08:45:50 pm »
Ellesmere Model Railway Exhibition 2017 - Show Report



The weekend of the 12th & 13th of August 2017 marked the final exhibition outing for Thornton Gate this year.

The two day event held in the North Shropshire town of Ellesmere is relatively local to us, and with its mere, lakes and inland water ways is about as coastal as landlocked Shropshire is going to get!


Anyway...

The show its self was very well attended with a mix of local trade and layouts, some are the more normal ones seen on the local 'circuit', but for us it was nice to see some old faces and people I knew, It being a few years since the last time the layout attended a local event.

This was the scene and our setup in the main hall, the event taking place in the town hall / local council building.



Before the event, most of the rolling stock got the once over and quick clean. I was however keen to see what was wrong with Centenary class No 641 AKA 'Kit Kat tram' which readers may remember 'let go' in the first 2 minutes of the opening of the Blackpool Exhibition.

As well documented on this thread, our Centenarys have been a constant source of breakdowns with split gears and blown decoders. Sister car no 624 (should be 642) was broken up to allow the more popular 641 to keep running...

However on inspection this time it was found that yet again the DCC decoder and gone pop! And I am loathed to spend anymore money on a replacement!
so as a short term fix and to get the tram back into service, Using fuse wire, I bridged the decoder pins hence making a makeshift 'blacking plate' this basically made the chassis DC again.



As most DCC control units can support one DC loco 641 was run using this mode. The only downside is the motor makes a noise all the time and its not good for it in the long run. However it got the car back into service and to be honest im past the point of caring if the motor burns out!


Above: So ever popular with the kids! Kit Kat tram No 641 returned to service and run both days for most of the time! However due to the chassis, I'm looking at retiring 641 and this may be its last public show.

As for everything else....


Above: A scene ... off scene! Bush car no 636 and Jubilee 761 wait just out of public view on the 'up' fiddle yard line.

A bit of news from the end of day 1... We won something!  :bounce: :claphappy:


Above: Okey so we might not have 'won' won but we got runner up from the Ellesmere model railway clubs 'best in show' members vote... which was nice and i'll take! As i'm never going to win against a GWR branch line .....  (that'll upset someone!  :censored: :veryangry:)


Above: Operations on day 2 (Sunday) saw the 'Fat Door' Balloon class cars out in the form of white 713 and purple 711. We were hoping to use sister purple car no 719 but it had developed a rather major fault and was found to be 'out of gauge' for the layout and had to be withdrawn. Still the remaining 'Fat Doors' carrierd on and both 713 and 711 can be seen at Thornton Gate station on 'up Fleetwood' workings.

 
After about 2pm on the Sunday the show got a bit quiet, this was to be expected as is the case at local shows, sometimes this down time is welcome in the weekend...

To aid the passing of this time I took Balloon 701 our p'way car on a shunting trip in Thornton Gate yard sidings, an operation I rarely carry out.




Above: Completing its shunting move no. 701 with the rail car trailer stabled on the far line of the yard.

So as the final hour approached and the service on the layout cut to a bare minimum we decided to shunt some cars for a final end of year photo. A bit of a tradition here on Thornton Gate.


Above: For this years photo the serviceable Balloon cars were stabled on centre road for the photo, from left to right : no's 713, 711, 710, 726, 701 (with reel trailer which had not been detached after its shunting work!) 


With the line up complete and a crew getting ready for the photo, we called an end to another successful season with Thornton Gate and also a fitting tribute to the Balloon cars, our largest fleet of tram, for the hours and good running these cars have done over the past 6 years.

I would once again like to thank Anna and Sam for there continued hard work and aid in keeping the layout and its rolling stock going!
Also a huge thanks to all of you that have come to visit us at shows, stopped for a chat for have posted comments on here or send me messages.
We all really hope you enjoy the layout as much as we do!

Photos from the show taken by the club themselves can be viewed here: http://ellesmere-modelrailwayclub.weebly.com/ellesmere-12th--13th-august-exhibition.html

And we'll be back in the new year! But do check back for updates as the work never stops!  :thankyousign: :beers:

Online newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #236 on: August 19, 2017, 09:14:40 pm »
Thanks for the report and pics, Tom.
I hope you all enjoy the winter break.

Offline Ollie3440

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #237 on: August 19, 2017, 10:57:42 pm »
Evening all,

It was a lovely little show. I visited on the Saturday and Thornton Gate got my vote for best in show, no contest really with it being the only N layout!

Cheers

Ollie

 :NGaugersRule:
Hi I'm Ollie, and I'm a addicted to buying MK1s......

My Previous Exhibition Layout - The Sheaf Valley Railway
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=24.0

My Current Exhibition Layout - Wenlock
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23228.0

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #238 on: August 19, 2017, 11:42:53 pm »
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:   Thanks for the show report Tom
       regards Derek.

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #239 on: August 20, 2017, 10:53:28 am »
Nice work, Tom. Second place....you was robbed.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

 

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