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Author Topic: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)  (Read 47507 times)

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Offline Izzy

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #525 on: April 25, 2019, 08:40:10 AM »

Like the end on view. To my mind the empty ghost town type look is how such places would be for much of the time. Makes it seem real, and very natural.

Izzy

Offline port perran

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #526 on: April 25, 2019, 09:02:48 AM »
Thatís great work.
I particularly like the rust on the water tank and also the feeling of space as shown in the final photograph.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #527 on: April 27, 2019, 07:22:06 PM »
I went to a local exhibition today: not much N gauge on the trade stands but I came back with some rather nice apple trees which now grace the station garden (and one outside the pub) and fix the time of year as late summer/ early autumn as they are bearing tiny fruit.



Early September 1962: having shunted the goods yard, an ex North British "J35" prepares to top up with water before ambling back down the moors to Meldon and Morpeth with the daily branch goods. 64499 is by this time one of the last three J35s still active. She has just a couple of months left in service before her final trip to Cowlairs Works where she will sit around for almost a year before being cut up at the end of August 1963.



Richard

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #528 on: April 29, 2019, 05:05:44 PM »
Many thanks for the latest update with another set of excellent photos. I really like your apple trees, which make are they, please, as I need to buy some and have not been happy with some I've seen.

I think both the station garden and the forecourt need some extra detailing, too, but not more road vehicles and only a few more individual people. It would be pretty quiet.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #529 on: May 01, 2019, 02:22:06 PM »
A nice operating session last night: here an N15 0-6-2T (allocated to Reedsmouth shed, in my parallel universe where Reedsmouth didn't close in 1952 but continued as a sub-shed of Hawick) prepares to depart with a motley collection of wagons.



The light grey tube wagon deserves a mention (and some weathering).  It is a Peco body on a 2mm Association chassis. The first Peco N Gauge wagons appeared in the 1968 catalogue and the tube wagon was among them.  After a bit of research I found that it is supposed to represent a "Ferry Tube" wagon, one of only 20 built for working to mainland Europe.  It is short on scale length, and mine now sits on the wrong sort of underframe: Ferry Tubes had UIC double link suspension as per the Peco 15 foot chassis.  But it looks like a useful kind of wagon and it is my personal tribute to 50 years of British N Gauge.

Coming soon: I read a while ago about using vibrating motors under the track at critical places (i.e turnouts) to help prevent stalling.  I just ordered ten motors for £8.99 (surplus stock from a manufacturer of erm, ah, things that vibrate :-[) and will see if they make a difference.  The N15 in particular has an annoying ability to find tiny dead spots in what looks like perfectly clean track.

Richard

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #530 on: May 01, 2019, 03:33:15 PM »
Coming soon: I read a while ago about using vibrating motors under the track at critical places (i.e turnouts) to help prevent stalling.  I just ordered ten motors for £8.99 (surplus stock from a manufacturer of erm, ah, things that vibrate :-[) and will see if they make a difference.  The N15 in particular has an annoying ability to find tiny dead spots in what looks like perfectly clean track.

Richard

That's going to be interesting especially as your points are electros by the look. Do you get stalling on them and do you have polarity switching please?
A closer look at your N15 would be nice, too :camera:
 :thankyousign:

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #531 on: May 01, 2019, 07:05:27 PM »
Hi Richard, I thought there were 'ordinary' 'Tube' wagons, too, in far greater numbers than the 'Ferry' 'Tube' versions. I also like the Peco wagons but I cut away the moulded internal supports (for Peco wagon loads) then sand smooth the sides and repaint the interior. Well worth the effort. I'd apply a thin black wash to the body to weather it and bring out the nicely moulded detail then use track dirt on the underframe.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #532 on: May 01, 2019, 09:23:01 PM »
Hi Richard, I thought there were 'ordinary' 'Tube' wagons, too, in far greater numbers than the 'Ferry' 'Tube' versions. I also like the Peco wagons but I cut away the moulded internal supports (for Peco wagon loads) then sand smooth the sides and repaint the interior. Well worth the effort. I'd apply a thin black wash to the body to weather it and bring out the nicely moulded detail then use track dirt on the underframe.

The Ferry Tubes had double doors rather than the single door on the standard LMS-design Tubes, both types are rather longer than the Peco model but it's still an astonishingly good moulded body for a 50 year old product.  The range originally announced included an MGR wagon and a Lowmac as well as the 15 foot  wagons we all know and love. The MGR hopper finally turned up in the Peco range about 40 years after the original announcement: we're still waiting for the Lowmac.

At some point I'll probably build a couple of Plate wagons for which the 2mm Assoc underframe is correct.

The trees you asked about came from  Model Scenery Supplies, and are made by "Footpath", catalogue number FP493.

Richard

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #533 on: May 02, 2019, 10:51:01 AM »

That's going to be interesting especially as your points are electros by the look. Do you get stalling on them and do you have polarity switching please?
A closer look at your N15 would be nice, too :camera:
 :thankyousign:

Points are all live frog, with polarity switching via miniature signal relays (much more reliable than microswitches) run off a control board which gets its signal from the board which operates the servo motors.   It sounds complicated but I have found it very reliable so far.  Most of the running problems are down to defects in my own track construction and laying: code 40 is very fussy stuff to work with.

I think I posted some stuff about the N15 when I first built it, but to recap: it started out as a plastic-bodied Farish GP tank, and I decided to see if I could turn it into something more useful while keeping as much of the original as possible.  In the end only the footplate and side tanks survived: the smokebox and chimney are off a Pannier tank and most of the rest is Plastikard. I don't really need an N15 as they didn't stray much from the big marshalling yards around Glasgow, Edinburgh and Carlisle, but it was fun to build, and I don't know anyone else who has one.



Richard

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #534 on: May 02, 2019, 11:16:22 AM »
Thanks for the comprehensive answer and pic, Richard.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #535 on: May 02, 2019, 11:35:19 PM »
One of those evenings when I end up wishing I'd taken up a different hobby, like stamp collecting.  Longframlington has storage for four locomotives at any one time, and I decided it was time to reshuffle the pack.  Out went the J35, B1, Ivatt 4MT and N15.  In came:  two J39s, one of which ran very hesitantly (poor contact with the fine wires on the drawbar) and the other started locking up its tender drive (most likely a split gear on one of the axles).  The J27 seems to have lost pickup on a couple of axles, and the Crab derailed repeatedly on the turnout at the station throat when running tender first.  The BRCW Type 2 ran perfectly as always, and I was just starting to relax and enjoy playing with my little trains when I lost power to the servo motor for no. 1 (station throat) turnout.

The entire layout is controlled from a home-made handheld unit in a metal case, pictured below.  The four switches along the top are for turnouts, the push-buttons on the left operate the two uncouplers. 



I have had a couple of those little toggle switches fail in the past, so I removed the lid of the control box, bridged the switch for no.1 turnout and nothing happened.  I then spotted that a wire had come adrift on the 18-pin connector at the top of the control box.  Soon fixed with a soldering iron, but I am reminded that the wiring inside the box is horrible.  I did the whole thing in fairly thick layout wire which tends to stress the soldered joints when all the bits are crammed into the casing and the lid screwed down.  So I can add two things to the "to do" list: rewire the control unit with thinner wire, and build a second identical control unit as a spare.

With that fixed, I started poking around the track by the level crossing, which has always been a bit rough.  I poked too hard and broke a short length of rail right out of the chairs.  By the time I had repaired that I wasn't really in the mood to run any more trains.

Grrrr.

Richard

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #536 on: May 03, 2019, 11:15:16 PM »
Tiny Earthquake Machine - first test.  The vibrating motors turned up today.  They are theoretically 6 volt but I found they give a nice healthy buzz on a single AA battery.  So I attached one to the underside of the board below the level crossing using double-sided sticky tape, ran my misbehaving J39 over the crossing very slowly until it stalled, then gave it a buzz.  It started moving again.  I did a bit more testing and found that the buzzer will reliably "unstick" a stalled loco up to around a foot away.



I'll need a more robust mounting, but not too rigid otherwise the vibrations get absorbed by the baseboard structure.  I also need a simple way to operate the motors, and I have run out of paths on my control box cables.  So I have ordered a 4 channel remote control unit which uses a small handheld controller to operate relays.  The controller can be tacked onto the side of my control box, and four buzzers should cover all the areas where stalling at slow speeds is likely.

I don't know how noticeable the buzzers will be in an exhibition setting.  It is already quite a noisy layout - the big servos for the uncouplers aren't exactly silent. But I hate to see locos being prodded to make them go, and the buzzers take me closer to the 100% hands off operation I am trying to achieve. 

Richard


Offline Bealman

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #537 on: May 04, 2019, 12:52:16 AM »
Now that is an intriguing and certainly different solution to stalling problems!! Top marks, sir.

I like your homemade controller too as I am very much into all that kind of stuff. I also have a homemade (not by me, though) hand controller which I am very fond of using. It is very convenient and reliable, and gets it's juice from a very nostalgic 1963 Triang P5 power unit!

Fantastic innovations on a fantastic layout of a place not far from where I used to live. Keep the pics and descriptions coming!

Was there an RAF base at Longframlington? If so, I think my mother may have been stationed there.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #538 on: May 04, 2019, 08:23:39 AM »
A nifty solution to a problem which baffles me. What d'you think is causing the issue on the point please? With my Peco electros it's almost always gunge between the point blades or dirty wheels on the loco concerned.

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #539 on: May 04, 2019, 08:51:18 AM »
Very sorry to read about your operating problems, Richard, but I am intrigued by your use of vibrating motors to promote smooth running of your locos. I hope that you're able to rewire your handheld controller. Your N15 is a superb example of scratchbuilding. I hope you'll be able to add a BR Standard 4MT 2-6-0 to your fleet in due course. Thanks for the correction about the Ferry Tubes having double doors rather than the single door on the standard LMS-design Tubes. I knew that both types are rather longer than the Peco model but agree that it's still an astonishingly good moulded body for a 50-year-old product and I ahve a few of them in various liveries.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 11:17:28 AM by Chris in Prague, Reason: Updated. »

 

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