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Author Topic: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)  (Read 68069 times)

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Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #630 on: September 15, 2019, 01:54:18 PM »
Excellent work and photos., Richard. I agree it's a very attractive model.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #631 on: September 15, 2019, 02:28:49 PM »
I'm not too impressed by this particular Farish product from a mechanical viewpoint:  it's not just a dog, it's a great slavering wolfhound of a model and I'm glad I only need one of them.  It does however look very pretty, as all recent Farish models do.

Can you expand a little on that, Richard? I have 2 4MTs and they are extremely smooth runners with a decent haulage capacity and fairly good slow running. They have a tendency to lock up the motion but a very light oiling of joints sorts that, and the loco-tender gap is exaggerated (presumably for 1st radius curves) but I consider them 2 of my better locos :hmmm:

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #632 on: September 15, 2019, 08:11:19 PM »

Can you expand a little on that, Richard? I have 2 4MTs and they are extremely smooth runners with a decent haulage capacity and fairly good slow running. They have a tendency to lock up the motion but a very light oiling of joints sorts that, and the loco-tender gap is exaggerated (presumably for 1st radius curves) but I consider them 2 of my better locos :hmmm:

Grinding the backs off driving wheels has possibly given me a jaundiced view of this model, but there are a few other things I'm not happy with:

1. The excessive sideplay in all the axles, loco and tender.  This seems to be a common issue with Farish models, presumably to help them get round no.1 radius Setrack curves.  However this one seems to be worse than the J39 or 2MT that I have.  As noted above, the crankpins tend to catch on the valve gear, while the sideplay on the tender axles encourages the tender to skew sideways under power which looks horrible. I'll probably add some shim washers to the tender axles at some point.

2. That drawbar.  I would love to shorten it, but the pivot points are cast into the chassis and cannot be moved, and the supplied drawbar is about as short as you can realistically make it due to the need for the contact wires to be long enough to have a bit of "spring" in them. The same maker's 2MT shows how it should be done.

3. I'm not a big fan of Farish's 8x15 flat can motor: I find it a bit weedy and lacking in low end grunt.  Weirdly, the one I bodged into the Poole chassis under the J27 runs better than it ever did in the J39 it came out of - I can't decide whether it's just the gear ratio, or whether that big fat brass Poole worm gear is acting as a flywheel.

4. Tender coupler pocket.  It looks exactly as though the designers finished off the tender chassis and committed to tooling before they realised they had forgotten the coupler.  So they bodged an ugly great box onto the back. Not a problem for me with my home-made couplers, but a competent designer ought to be able to do better.

5. Lack of adhesive weight.  Granted the 4MT tender with its narrow coal bunker is a bit short of space, but the loco is far too reliant on traction tyres to provide decent haulage capacity, and there really isn't enough weight in loco or tender for reliable pickup at slow speeds.  Farish uses some kind of lightweight (zinc-aluminium?) alloy for its weights: I suspect lead has been banned as these models are classed as "toys", but a denser material, and better use of what space there is, would make a big difference. Sintered tungsten would possibly be ideal, but I guess this is all down to cost.

I'll admit my loco requirements are fairly unusual.  I'm trying to reproduce in N gauge the kind of slow speed shunting operations more usually seen on EM/P4 layouts.  For most modellers the 4MT will be more than good enough: it is quiet, smooth and responsive. By now I expect to have to rework mechanisms to get the performance I'm looking for: it was just those ridiculously wide flanges that really annoyed me. And to be fair this is now quite an old model by Farish standards. I recently acquired a Southern N class for nefarious purposes, and it's just lovely in every way.

Richard

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #633 on: September 15, 2019, 10:14:44 PM »
Thanks for that most comprehensive reply. I have been educated.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #634 on: September 21, 2019, 08:13:42 PM »
4MT is now looking a bit less factory-fresh:



She ended up as 76050 rather than 76049 as I have run out of "4"s on my transfer sheet.  Blame 46474 for that. 76050 went new to West Auckland and must have put in some hard work over Stainmore summit before being transferred to Hawick in 1963 along with 76049.  She seems to have spent most of her last couple of years on Hawick-Carlisle local passenger workings (and appears frequently in Waverley Route photo albums) until withdrawal in September 1965.

76050 is relatively clean by Longfram standards.  I tried a new weathering technique: a coat of matt varnish lightly tinted with black and brown enamel, then some dry-brushed highlights of rust and limescale, and another coat of tinted varnish to finish it off.  I'm reasonably happy with the end result.  I'm less happy with the way she runs: I think I over-adjusted the wiper pickups, so despite having extra weight in the tender she slips to a standstill on even a fairly lightweight train.  If I can't find time to fix this by next Saturday, 76050 will be working the inspection saloon at the Bury show.

Richard

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #635 on: September 22, 2019, 08:19:16 PM »




A hot summer's day in 1958, and Longframlington's ice-cream van will be doing good business.  Not a wisp of steam or smoke as the regular branch J39, 64843 of Tweedmouth, eases away past the signalbox and rumbles over the level crossing with the mid-afternoon train to Morpeth.

Richard




Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #636 on: September 22, 2019, 08:32:24 PM »
Excellent photos., Richard. Thank you.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #637 on: September 28, 2019, 07:47:11 PM »
Another outing for Longframlington, Bury St Edmunds MRC and their 70th anniversary exhibition no less. Once again the layout behaved itself, apart from the usual intermittent coupling / uncoupling problems.  At some point I need to methodically work through every single wagon and get heights etc absolutely right.  I hadn't asked the club for lunch cover and although someone did offer around 1.30, by this time I was really in the groove and just carried on running trains.  Six hours straight without a break, and the time just flew by.

It got to 3.45 and I thought I had better close the railway properly.  So we had an enthusiasts' "brake van special" behind the 2MT.



Followed by 76050 sent to clear the line of all remaining wagons before the demolition contractors moved in to start dismantling:



Four show invitations for next year, not sure I can do all of them but it's nice to be invited.

Richard

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #638 on: September 28, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »
Congratulations, Richard, and thanks for another pair of excellent photos.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #639 on: September 29, 2019, 08:01:12 PM »
I've been thinking today, what next?  Longfram doesn't really have a lot of development potential left.  I've started making up some point rodding, and possibly over the winter I might replace the turnouts at the station throat in a quest for smoother running.  But I can't think of much more to do.  I am considering two possibilities:

1. Allendale, another northeastern branch terminus similar to Longframlington but modelled on a real station, with better scenic treatment, coal drops and a turntable.  Slightly bigger, around 8' long including fiddle yard (Longfram is just under 7'.)  The idea is to use all the lessons I have learned from the current layout. It'll be very nice, but possibly a bit too similar to my last three layouts. 

2. Stobs, a small wayside station on the Waverley Route.  Totally different to Longfram - main line, almost no shunting, long trains.  Too big to fit in my house: scenic section will be around 8' long, but if I want to run trains I'll have to set the layout up in my workshop which is normally full of old Land Rovers.  So apart from testing the only time it will actually run is at shows.  It will also need a team of operators - three at any one time to keep things moving smoothly.  If I do this layout I'll keep Longfram for those times I just want to play with my toy trains.

I really can't decide between the two. I have fairly detailed plans for both, and I'm all ready to start baseboard construction - but which should I go for?

Richard

Offline Train Waiting

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #640 on: September 29, 2019, 08:15:14 PM »
Stobs, Richard; definitely Stobs.

Allendale would be absolutely lovely but would it not feel a bit like 'same again'?

Best wishes whichever you choose.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

The Table-Top Railway is an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1930s to the 1950s.

For the made-up background to the railway and list of characters, please see here: https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38281.msg607991#msg607991

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #641 on: September 29, 2019, 09:30:56 PM »
I've been thinking today, what next?  Longfram doesn't really have a lot of development potential left.  I've started making up some point rodding, and possibly over the winter I might replace the turnouts at the station throat in a quest for smoother running.  But I can't think of much more to do.  I am considering two possibilities:

1. Allendale, another northeastern branch terminus similar to Longframlington but modelled on a real station, with better scenic treatment, coal drops and a turntable.  Slightly bigger, around 8' long including fiddle yard (Longfram is just under 7'.)  The idea is to use all the lessons I have learned from the current layout. It'll be very nice, but possibly a bit too similar to my last three layouts. 

2. Stobs, a small wayside station on the Waverley Route.  different to Longfram - long trains.  Too big to fit in my house: scenic section will be around 8' which should I go for?

Richard

Do you have rolling stock to cover either option? Long trains could be expensive.

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #642 on: September 29, 2019, 09:55:50 PM »
Can you get a team of three together Richard? I know from my experience that planning a team of people for exhibitions needs lots of notice and lots of committment. Poorly people can drop out without notice and so you need to build that in to your team.
Can you successfully run the layout in exhibition conditions with a team with one less person than you planned for? We take six for our layout but we only ever need a compliment of five. One person spare covers breaks, lunches etc. If needs be we can run the exhibition with one less person and manage the breaks.
And no matter what you say and do, someone on your team will misunderstand instructions and cause mayhem. Therefore what you build has to be operable by that person. Your builds will be an engineering marvel - absolutely no doubt of that Richard - just build comprehensive training into your programme if you go for the multi-operator layout.
cheers
Kirky
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Online Roy L S

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #643 on: September 29, 2019, 10:03:25 PM »
Stobs, Richard; definitely Stobs.

Allendale would be absolutely lovely but would it not feel a bit like 'same again'?

Best wishes whichever you choose.

John

I am currently looking at Heriot as a long term N project for an exhibition layout (using Finetrax of course) so perhaps unsurprisingly Stobs gets my vote too.

Roy

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
« Reply #644 on: September 30, 2019, 09:49:51 AM »
Can you get a team of three together Richard? I know from my experience that planning a team of people for exhibitions needs lots of notice and lots of committment. Poorly people can drop out without notice and so you need to build that in to your team.
Can you successfully run the layout in exhibition conditions with a team with one less person than you planned for? We take six for our layout but we only ever need a compliment of five. One person spare covers breaks, lunches etc. If needs be we can run the exhibition with one less person and manage the breaks.
And no matter what you say and do, someone on your team will misunderstand instructions and cause mayhem. Therefore what you build has to be operable by that person. Your builds will be an engineering marvel - absolutely no doubt of that Richard - just build comprehensive training into your programme if you go for the multi-operator layout.
cheers
Kirky

Thanks for that, all good stuff to think about.  Actually thinking about it the layout would run fine with two operators provided I come up with a good method for them to communicate with each other.  Bell codes and block instruments?  The layout will have a set of storage loops at each end, so if you treat each operator as a "signalman" for the block section either side of Stobs, and assume Stobs box was switched out and unmanned (as was often the case latterly), each operator has two jobs: (a) set up the correct exit route for outgoing trains (controlled by the other operator) and (b) set up the entry route and control incoming trains. 

I've thought about this before for club layouts: in theory a simple double track through station with storage loops each end could take five operators: three signalmen (one each end and one in the middle) and two drivers (Up and Down trains).  Every hour or so everyone changes places.  It would be about as close as you can get to realistic operation. Main problem would be finding enough competent operators to allow for break cover etc. I'd invite you and @Roy L S  but you're both a bit far away.

@Newportnobby - I have been surreptitiously acquiring locomotives and rolling stock, but yes I will need a lot more.  I will have four storage roads each end, one of them split into two.  The idea is to run a sequence of representative Waverley Route trains, namely express passenger (8-9 coaches), semi-fast (4 coaches plus vans), local passenger (2 coaches), express freight, fitted freight and semi-fitted freight (30-35 wagons each), parcels (a right old mixture of vans and bogie stock), pick-up goods (15ish wagons) and night sleeper (same formation as the express but with a few sleeping cars substituted).  That lot will take a while to accumulate, but I'm not in any tearing hurry.

Richard

 

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