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Author Topic: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway  (Read 52524 times)

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Offline Ollie3440

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2012, 05:23:10 pm »
Well that's brought me back a few memories (well 4 years ago) as I used to go to Priory. Congrats on getting another show date, i might try and get down to Crewe as it'd be nice to see the layout in the  'flesh'

Ollie
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 Balloon_726

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Thornton Gate at Crewe this weekend!
« Reply #61 on: October 26, 2012, 09:05:43 pm »
Hi all, just time for the final update ahead of tomorrows 'Model Railway Show and Miniature Railway Gala' at Crewe heritage centre, this is 'the gates' first major outing so if you happen to be in Cheshire this weekend do say hi  :-)



Also I will have stock to sell... including the tram kits (Balloon, Jubilee & new Centenary) , some new card building kits as used on Thornton Gate, a few other items including prints of commissioned tram drawings and my 'B Grade' box of tram shells which I only sell at shows on a 'Sold as Seen' basis.

Right sales pitch over.... time for that update! and a few things have changed and are getting there, including the first test run of our new tram class making it debut this weekend!


Above: finally new station signs!


Above: Paint still wet! 624 (it should be 642!) makes its final test run today crossing over the road into Old Thornton Gate station


Above: The new tram class is the first to use the Bachmann USA PCC trolly chassis and has been wired for digital in the same way as the brills


Above: With the best part of a year of shows, talks and generally being carted around the existing fleet where starting to look a bit tired, after cleaning and servicing ahead of Crewe all trams where given a quick weathering which helps hide any defects in the shells or paint work, seen here still drying!


Above: 624 sits on the up line in the station area, as you can see a lot of work has been done to this area, were hoping to have the rest of the buildings in come the end of the exhibition year for us in November.

Right well thats it for now, im off to bed! Crewe Heritage Centre opens its doors at 10 tomorrow (SAT 27th) and (Sun 28th)!
All the best.....

Offline Tank

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #62 on: October 26, 2012, 09:45:25 pm »
Lovely work.  Have fun! :)

Offline Balloon_726

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Thornton Gate At: Crewe Model Railway Show and Miniature Railway Gala 2012
« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2012, 07:19:57 pm »
A Show Repot.

​Its been a very long weekend (oct 27th / 28th) but im pleased to say Crewe has been a very enjoyable show and one of the highlights of this years exhibition bookings. so here are a few photos of the day.

Above: Setting up, glad to say being in the large exhibition hall at Crewe heritage centre makes a welcome change from the small spaces ive been crammed into in the past at shows, one could tell this was looking promising from the out set!


Above: Really coming into its own, Balloon 710 waits on the up road at Thornton Gate station


Above: An over view of the much improved station area, On its first public showing, yellow Centenary 642 is seen stabled on the centre road.


Above: Its amazing how many people keep asking about 'behind the back; of the layout.... so here it is Centenary 642 and Jubilee 761 fighting there way though mars bar wrappers and styrene cups to get back round onto the front of the layout, Action everywhere you look!


Above: A view from the fleetwood end of the layout as Centenary 642 makes its way north passing a rather busy Thornton Gate yard.


Above: an over shot of the new p'way compound in Thornton Gate yard, Balloon 726 had come into the yard at this point to assist the contractors with gauging trails and electrical testing.


Above: Another view of Balloon 726 parked on the road crossing area with in Thronton gate yard awaiting permission to return to the mainline.


Above: Leaving the sidings Balloon 726 makes an empty end of the day flying trip back to Rigby road depot.

A really good weekend thanks to all that said hi, Thornton Gate makes its last appearance of 2012 on November 24th At the Puffin Rail Show, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

And Finally a video of our time at Crewe... enjoy!

Thornton Gate tramway at crewe 2012 show
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:38:10 pm by Balloon_726 »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2012, 07:36:42 pm »
Excellent work, and a great vid to end with :thumbsup:

Online Bealman

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2012, 09:15:47 pm »
Very excellent. Most professional! Looks like it was a bit cold, though!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2012, 01:08:53 am »
Very excellent. Most professional! Looks like it was a bit cold, though!  :thumbsup:

Thank you for your kind words... its taken a long time to get to a stage were im modelling N gauge I fell happy about ... should have seen my layouts 10 years ago..... awful ....  :'(

Anyway yes it was cold which give to some interesting problems such as condensation build up on the tops of the rails leading to very poor running for the first hour or so... in the end i had to just run 726 on its own just to warm the rails up and clear the moisture off, leaving it with a horrible oily gunk on all the wheel treads, so had to be cleaned... all the trams had to be run just to get the motors up to temperature.

The staff at Crewe where fantastic and provided us with an fan heater, which i put under the layout blowing hot air into the space so that it kept the layout warm and the air around us warmer... by the middle of day one, all was well and tbh i've never seen Thornton Gate operate so smoothly after only a few hours... although the track did need yet another good clean come the start of day two.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 01:11:30 am by Balloon_726 »

Offline Balloon_726

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The final show of the year! and the point that gave up!
« Reply #67 on: November 12, 2012, 08:55:28 pm »
With no time at all to even catch my breath were gearing up for our final show of this year....



And what better why to end the year then exhibiting at my local show, called a number of things over the years, its known locally as 'The Puffin Show' and is always very enjoyable, Its were i first started out on the exhibition scene and used to be my only public show outing... but that was a long time ago.....

Now before Thornton Gate can exhibit once again a few issues have to be sorted, the main one being the broken point at the end of the loop.

During our outing at the Ludlow show the tie bar snapped leaving the brass control wire to come lose, as posted at the time....


Well not having a spare available at the time, the point was forced across and locked into one set position, luckily it was rarely used and trams only really ran one way on it so, although it ment the loss of the run round loop , it was decided to struggle on.

However come the end of the 2 day Crewe show the point had all but collapsed leading to shorting and derailing of rolling stock, so it had to be replaced before our next outing.


Above: Old (very old) used Peco point which has to come out, next to a brand new one ready to take its place.


Above: Now as the point was all but shot.. having snapped and buckled it seemed easier to simply cut it up and preserve the track around it, rather then try and dig it out as a whole unit.


So with a razor saw and a pair of track cutters and pliers, it was cut up, being careful not to take down the overhead lines!




Above: The track bed was then cleared back to the cork underlay the Ballast was then scraped up from around the point area with a flat head screwdriver and dumped.... Believe it or not, a few spare open wagons can be very useful on a work site as holding containers for track pins or, in this case spoil and other rubbish.... even in N gauge!


Above: The new point in place, wired up, connected back into the brass control rods and freshly ballasted, because all the track was carefully weathered on Thornton Gate any new track is always going to look out of place... however this area will hopefully get re-weathered before our last show.


Above: Right the only other bit of news is im working on an un-powred boat car using one of the many miscast balloon car shells I have.


Above: Its very early days but the shell has been extensively cut down and is mounted on a cut down Roco crane chassis refitted with TPM BR Y25 bogies which are the nearest things I had to the brill trolly trucks, Still needs a lot of work but when done I hope to use this tram as a trailer for one of the powered members of my fleet.

Well thats all for now... Will try and do one more update before the show on the 24th... And yes i know thats Warly weekend :-/ ... will make that show as a visitor on the Sunday... as Bayston Hill is luckily a one day event only... give it a few years and i'd love to do the NEC as an exhibitor!

Thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 09:12:36 pm by Balloon_726 »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #68 on: November 12, 2012, 09:08:22 pm »
Good luck at the Shrewsbury Show :thumbsup:
Neat removal of the point, especially with the spoil trucks to hand ;)

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #69 on: November 12, 2012, 10:12:50 pm »
A really neat layout - looking forward to seeing it at some stage. Keep up the good work.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline Balloon_726

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Last tram! Thornton Gate calls it a day for the 2012 exhibition season.
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2012, 09:36:58 pm »
Well after 4 shows starting with our debut in July we did our last public showing of 2012 and what will most likely be my last blog update until the new year, so big thanks to everyone that has support us and helped the team and myself in getting this project off the ground.

Ok so whats been happening well......

Thornton Gate got into a magazine! well ok a small local rail society news letter but hay its a start!


Above: A very small article appeared in 'Abbey Lines' SRHT's local members newsletter (It might have something to be with being based in the same building as them! )

The other big news was our outing on Saturday 24th of November to the Shrewsbury Puffin Rail Day at Bayston Hill.
Despite it clashing with the opening Saturday of the Warley Show at the NEC which is only about an hour or so away from where we were, the show as packed, at times the crowds were 3 deep around the layout! 


Above: Set up in the main church, we had a prime spot and with just me and Sam operating, we were kept busy all day.


Above: Still much work to do, new centenary class 641 waits on the down line at the station area.


Above: Yes a new tram! Built by myself but now owned and funded by Sam, the gates second centenary class member 641 in Kit Kat red livery, this its first outing, the varnish was still drying, having only had its custom transfers fitted the night before! 


Above: Despite sounding 'sick' for most of the year balloon 710 performed well and has kept going being surprising reliable. 710 is seen here using the centre road to reverse and head back towards Starr Gate.


Above: Far less reliable were 642 which had suffered a split gear (mechanical failure) and for this show a recently re-introduced 762 which had been out of service having given its trucks and DCC chip to 642, now on a new set of trucks and fitted with a 8 pin chip it failed with some sort of electrical problem.... in fact both trams had failed with in the first half hour of opening. And because the yard was somewhat full, both trams were left on show on the centre line for the whole day, This left just 6 working trams to run at the show :-/


Above: The final staged lineup of 2012, taken in the last half hour of the show... just before the final tram of the season!

A lot more to be getting on with, upgrades, buildings and repairs, im now going to get on with the much delayed Brush Car project so hopefully a few more classes of Blackpool tram for the start of the 2013 season.

Once again thank very much for reading, hope you enjoy my updates, Will try and do a Xmas update and we'll do this all again come 2013!

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2012, 09:47:28 pm »
Congrats on getting 'into the press' and I look forward to seeing what comes up in 2013.
Love the Kit Kat livery as I used to sell the aluminium foil to York many moons ago (and I don't mean :moony:)

Offline moogle

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2012, 11:45:09 pm »
642 or as I called it and its sisters when I lived in Blackpool: Tram-Buses!
(Because they look like a bus... :doh:)
They do break down prototypically.
I was on a white one in 2009 going to Fleetwood when it just suddenly stopped and wouldn't start.
The driver eventually, after a good 40 minutes, fixed whatever the problem was with zip ties and duck tape!  :smiley-laughing:
Personal motto: You don't have to be mad to be a modeller, but I find it helps!

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Offline PLD

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2012, 08:52:02 am »
642 or as I called it and its sisters when I lived in Blackpool: Tram-Buses!
(Because they look like a bus... :doh:)
They do break down prototypically.
I was on a white one in 2009 going to Fleetwood when it just suddenly stopped and wouldn't start.
The driver eventually, after a good 40 minutes, fixed whatever the problem was with zip ties and duck tape!  :smiley-laughing:
The Centenaries reputation was a a bit unfair... It's true that those 8 cars were responsible for around 40% of failures in service, but they did account for around 60% of the total annual mileage! Over the last few years pre-upgrade the most unreliable class (in miles per breakdown) was infact the Twin-Cars...

Re: 641 I always thought the KitKat ad was so simple but one of the most effective all-over adverts - It looked just like a Chunky KitKat!  :)

Online Bealman

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2012, 11:24:27 am »
OK...

It's a bit late here in Oz and I always check on the Forum just before turning in... especially after a couple and starting my 2 day week tomorrow.....

This Blackpool Tram business is a absolutely fascinating. So, in N scale, it must be feasible- will we see a full seafront promenade with a tower? And a Pleasure Beach at the end? It would make a great project!!

As I say... it's late here in Oz and I've had a few refreshing outback refreshments. Now... where's me transport. Rolf, where are ya? Tie me kangaroo down sport....

I'm serious, though.... Blackpool Tower in N! Could be done....?!

Cheers, George  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

 

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