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Author Topic: Marton Hinmarche  (Read 308970 times)

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Offline Train Waiting

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3075 on: February 22, 2019, 10:00:19 PM »
… Fortunately, Union Mills J26, 65761, ran like a dream.

In my experience, Laurence, that's what Union Mills locomotives do.  And keep on doing!

Many thanks for another interesting post and splendid photographs.

Best wishes.

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

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3076 on: February 23, 2019, 05:35:58 PM »
It being Saturday, we walked into Hessle as usual.  But we were a little behind this morning, so there was no early session in the Train Shed.  After we returned home our daughter and son-in-law called in for coffee.  So it was nearly midday before I managed a session in the Train Shed.  I ran the next cycle (3a/b/c) but it was a not-so-good session.  Both 5572 and 4571 ran nicely but both 80119 and 46443 required nudges to get them going in the first instance and then to restart from the station.  61664 Liverpool was back to its best now that it was sporting its new bogie.  6713 was much improved after its wheel cleaning, although it needed a nudge of two to complete its run-around.  Also, Ditcheat Manor seemed to have benefitted from its wheel cleaning.  Here’s the evidence of the wheel cleaning.



The long marks are from Forthampton Grange and the ones nearest the camera from Ditcheat Manor.  The small mark furthest from the camera was from6713.

6417 also ran faultlessly round the layout, but I had a deal of trouble with Union Mills G2, 49368.  Not that there’s a problem with the loco itself, but rather with a couple of track joints.  The problem is that the leading tender wheels get stuck on the joints when running at prototypical speeds (circa 10-15 mph to scale).  If I wind the speed up, the tender wheels will pass over the joints.  One of the joints, in the DOWN loops is less of a problem because 49368 encounters it at the start of its run, so I can wind up the speed to cross the joint and then set it back to normal, so that it emerges from Oakwood tunnel at the correct speed.  However, the other is at the toe of Point 33, the crossover into the goods loop.  The end of one of the rails must have been distorted when I originally cut it with my Xuron Track Cutter.



Of course, it would spoil the effect completely if I were to increase the speed significantly to cross the joint.  Forthampton Grange has often hiccupped there, as have one or two other locos.  So I guess there is nothing for it but to rip up that section of track and relay it.  Unfortunately, that means ripping up all the ballast and making a real mess.  But, needs must…

However, the session ended disastrously.  6713 reached the Norton run-around and, horror of horrors, it entered the wrong track, where 5572 was standing ready to move off to start the next timetable cycle.  I stopped it, backed it up and changed the points, or, at least, I tried to.  But they would not change.  The point in question was Point 8, which is paired with Point 16 as Accessory 8.  Point 16 operated well enough, but Point 8 just would not change.  I couldn’t even change it manually because the Cobalt servo was locked in position.  I remembered having a similar problem with one of the other points some time ago and it turned out that it had forgotten its programmed accessory number.  I reprogrammed it and everything was fine again.

But Point 8 refused to be reprogrammed.  I dug out the Cobalt instructions to make sure I was doing it correctly, which I was.  I even tried programming it to Accessory 100, but still with no joy.  I also checked for DCC supply at the input terminals, but that seemed to be OK.  At that point (forgive the pun) I decided to give it a rest and get something to eat. 

During the break, it occurred to me that there might be another explanation.  There are three connections to the Cobalt.  A red one and a black one, which are the DCC supply and a green one that goes to the live frog.  It was possible that, if the change-over switch had become set to the wrong polarity, it could prevent the DCC signa from getting through to the Cobalt.  If that didn’t do the trick (unlikely, I surmised) I would have to remove the point.  But changing a point manually with the spring removed, would be very unreliable.  However, I do have two more Cobalts in the goods yard that are almost never used.  So I could remove one and reprogram it as Point 8.

When I returned to the Train Shed, armed with a crosshead screwdriver, a terminal screwdriver and my multimeter, I slid under the baseboard.  First, I removed the green wire.  Then I extracted myself and turned on the controller.  Surprise, surprise, the point now worked normally again.  So I reconnected the green wire and it was still working properly.  Therefore, it must obviously have been a problem with the DCC signal being blocked.  The trouble was, that once blocked there was no way of getting any signals through to the Cobalt.  But, once the green wire was removed, the switch operated normally and I emitted a very loud PHEW!

After that, there was another back-breaking (or oblique straining, to be quite accurate) shredding session, so I called it a day for the Train Shed.  But I have ordered some more layering spray and, while on the WWS website, I noticed that they produce a hedge making kit that is similar to the idea offered by Grey Wolf.  As they are very cheap, I ordered one.
With kind regards
Laurence
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3077 on: February 23, 2019, 09:09:59 PM »
Back Story (continued)
Saturday February 23rd 1959

The famous fish train that runs through Marton Hinmarche brings fish from Grimsby en-route for the West Country via the Great Central Main Line (GCML).  The GCML is also known as the London Extension of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR).  The MSLR originally ran from Manchester to Grimsby via Sheffield and Doncaster.  The GCML was opened in 1899 and was built by the Great Central Railway running from Sheffield in the North of England, southwards through Nottingham and Leicester to Marylebone in London.   Because it originated in Sheffield, trains running North towards Sheffield were UP trains, while those running South from Sheffield towards London were DOWN trains.

The GCML was the last main line railway to be built in Britain during the Victorian period.  Built by the railway entrepreneur Edward Watkin with the aim to run a fast north–south line, it was designed to a specification which permitted trains to run at higher speeds.  Watkin believed that it would be possible to run direct rail services between Britain and France and had presided over an unsuccessful project for a tunnel under the English Channel in the 1880s.  The GCML was accordingly designed using the continental loading gauge and operated as a fast trunk route from the North and the East Midlands to London.  Initially not a financial success, it recovered under the leadership of Sam Fay.  Although initially planned for long-distance passenger services, in practice the line's most important function became to carry goods traffic, notably coal.

In the 1923 Grouping, the Great Central Railway was merged into the London and North Eastern Railway, which in 1948 was nationalised along with the rest of Britain's railway network.  Freight traffic grew healthily and became the lifeblood of the line, the staples being coal, iron ore, steel, and fish and banana trains.  The connection with the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway at Woodford Halse proved strategically important for freight on the route.

The Great Central thrived in the early years of nationalisation.  However, from the late 1950s onwards the freight traffic upon which the line relied started to decline, and the GCR route was largely neglected as other railway lines were thought to be more important.  Although a very straight and direct line, it was designated a duplicate of the curvier Midland Main Line.  In 1958 the line was transferred from the management of the Eastern Region to the London Midland Region, whose management still had loyalties to former companies (Midland/LMS) and against their rivals GCR/LNER.

DOCTOR HOW took a trip forward in time from 1959 using his Manis, a speedier version of DOCTOR WHO’s tardis.  The Manis looks like a small lamp hut from the outside, but inside it is even larger than the Tardis.  He discovered the following information about the GCML.

In January 1960, express passenger services from London to Sheffield and Manchester were discontinued, leaving only three "semi-fast" London-Nottingham trains per day.  In March 1963, local trains on many parts of the route were cancelled and many rural local stations were closed.  However, at this time it was still hoped that better use of the route could be made for parcels and goods traffic.

In the 1960s, the line was considered by Dr Beeching as an unnecessary duplication of other lines that served the same places, especially the Midland Main Line and to a lesser extent the West Coast Main Line.  Most of the route was closed between 1966 and 1969 under the Beeching axe.  Dr Beeching decided that the London to northern England route was already well served by other lines, to which most of the traffic on the GCR could be diverted. Closure came to be seen as inevitable.

The closure of the GCR was the largest single closure of the Beeching era, and one of the most controversial.  In a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on 28 September 1965, Denis Anthony Brian Butler, 9th Earl of Lanesborough, a peer and railway supporter, wrote that among “the main lines in the process of closure, surely the prize for idiotic policy must go to the destruction of the until recently most profitable railway per ton of freight and per passenger carried in the whole British Railways system, as shown by their own operating statistics. These figures were presented to monthly management meetings until the 1950s, when they were suppressed as "unnecessary", but one suspects really "inconvenient" for those proposing Beeching type policies of unnecessarily severe contraction of services.  This railway is of course the Great Central forming a direct Continental loading gauge route from Sheffield and the North to the Thames valley and London for Dover and France”

DOCTOR HOW surmised that the reason for the suppression of the operating statistics was connected with the transfer of the GCML from the Eastern Region of British Railways to the London Midland Region, who wanted to boost traffic on their existing mainlines.
With kind regards
Laurence
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3078 on: February 24, 2019, 05:11:27 PM »
Well, today was another one of disaster, although I did manage a form of rescue in the end.  It was a bit misty first thing this morning so we decided to go to a garden centre for coffee and to buy a couple of blousy clematis, Nellie Moser and Ooh La La.

So I managed an early session in the Train Shed.  I decided to run the next cycle (4a/b/c).  However, when 5572 reached Point 8 it stopped.  On inspection I found that the point hadn’t changed again, causing a short circuit.  So I went through yesterday’s routine, all to no avail.  In the end, I unscrewed the Cobalt and prised it off its sticky pad.  I checked it with another pair of DCC feeds, but with the same result.  I tried to run 5572 over the point with manual switching but, as I had suspected, with no latch spring, the loco would not pass over it.  So I decided to give up for the morning and go out to the garden centre.  Here’s the Cobalt removed from the underside of the baseboard.



I sent an Email to DCC Concepts, which left me with a number of options.  Obviously, I would need to replace the Cobalt at some stage.  In the mean time I could:

a)   Do nothing;
b)   Just concentrate on the scenery with no train operations;
c)   Run the mainline trains and suspend branch line operations;
d)   Replace the point with a new Unifrog point and continue normal operations, switching the point manually.

In the end, I decided that, as I needed to install Unifrog points at the branch run-around throats to prevent 4571’s front pony from shorting between the switch blade and the stock rail, the best option was the d).  So, after more digging, pruning and clearing up, I returned to the Train Shed and removed the point.  Then I fitted the Unifrog.  The beauty of these is that they require no IRJs because the frog exit rails are bootstrapped to the opposite stock rail.  Here’s the new point in place.



The frog itself is dead at the moment.  I could reconnect a Hex frog juicer to make it live again, but the prairies both crossed it without a murmur.  6713 objected to it, but that might be more a characteristic of 6713 than of the point.  Hopefully I will get another Cobalt soon, so all will be back to normal again.  In the meantime, I have restored normal operations, using manual switching of Point 8.  Here’s 5572 crossing the point.



So, in the end, I was able to run the whole cycle successfully.

When I returned to the house, I received a reply from DCC Concepts suggesting a method for testing the Cobalt to determine whether or not it really was faulty.  I returned briefly to the Train Shed to carry out the test and it appears that the servo has failed.  So I will have to send the Cobalt back for repair or replacement.  But, in the meantime, I think I will order a new one as well because it seems like a good idea to keep a spare.  At the same time, I will order some more Unifrog points to replace all the existing points where there have been short circuits between the switch blade and the stock rail in the past, caused by pony or bogie wheels bridging the gap.

Tomorrow, I may pluck up courage to lift the section of track adjacent to Point 33, where G2 49368 has been having a problem.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
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Offline lil chris

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3079 on: February 24, 2019, 08:46:31 PM »
Before you buy another one Laurence, contact them again, they replaced a couple of faulty ones I had without returning the old motors. I just kept them for spares.
Lil Chris
My new layout here, Irwell Valley Railway. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47127.0

my old layout was East Lancashire Lines.

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3080 on: February 25, 2019, 06:51:52 PM »
Today was table tennis day.  As usual, before we went, I had an early session in the Train Shed.  After yesterday’s shenanigans, I thought I would have another operating session, activating Point 8 by hand where necessary.  It was a pretty good session.  80119 had a little trouble entering the DOWN loops because I hadn’t run 46443 far enough into Loop 14 yesterday and there was too much overhang on the curve at the start of the loop.  But that wasn’t a running problem, rather a numbskull one.  46443 is starting to get a little touchy and I think I am going to have to give it the IPA treatment shortly, before it becomes a real problem.  Also, the last two tank wagons detached from the rear of the milk train as it was crossing over from the Milk Loop to the UP main. 

But 6713 is playing up again.  Not too badly, but enough for me to give its wheels another clean.  I decided that, if it continues to play up, I will try some IPA on its pickups, but I’m not sure that is the problem.  When it stops, a slight downward pressure on its boiler is enough to bring it to life, so it definitely seems to be a wheel/track contact issue.  I’m convinced the track is OK because neither of the Prairies have a problem, but their slightly longer wheelbase and additional pickups on the rear pony trucks may be enough to overcome any very localised track problems. 

In the afternoon, I shovelled and carried compost from the compost bins to the garden and then tried to rationalise the pieces of carpet on top of the compost bays.  After a cup of tea (well, you have to expect that) I went down to the Train Shed again and decided to give 6713 a few circuits of the mainline to see if that would improve things.  However, there were still a few places where it stuttered and stalled, so I gave the inside of the drivers some IPA in the hope that it would work its way into the pickups.  Then I set it running again, this time with more success.

 


While 6713 was running around the mainline, I thought I would try to stick down the road surface onto the roadbed that I had fixed from the London Road Bridge down to the station yard.  Here’s the result, still under weights at the moment.



When it was time to bring 6713’s circuits to a halt, I resolved to try running it bunker first tomorrow to see if that would give any problems.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
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Hessle: www.hessle.org.uk

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3081 on: February 26, 2019, 07:51:24 PM »
This morning we went to the gym.  I had quite a long session in the Train Shed before we went.  I spent about half of it running 6713 both forwards and bunker first.  It wasn’t entirely successful but, largely, 6713 ran OK, with just the occasional halt.  Then I ran the next cycle, (6a/b/c), complete with manual switching of Point 8.  When I had finished that, I noticed that the road surface I had laid yesterday was too high and, as it turned out, the roadbed had lifted.  So I had to re-glue it down to the Shaper Sheet.  I’ll see how it looks tomorrow. 

I didn’t get back into the Train Shed again this afternoon because, apart from my pruning duties, I found that the U3A website, which has been fine for browsing with traditional browsers, gave strange results when viewed with my android phone using Google.  I spent several hours sorting it out and it turned out that it was a single line of code that was the culprit.  “<meta name=viewport content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">.  I use that on my CCT website and it works OK on there, but not on the Hessle U3A website.  So, apologies for not including any further updates today.
With kind regards
Laurence
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3082 on: February 27, 2019, 06:03:57 PM »
Today was another day at the gym and I managed a session in the Train Shed before we went.  I was rather disappointed with the road I had installed leading from London Road Bridge down to the station yard.  I had sited it adjacent to the sloping retaining wall, but the level of the ground was too high, so that the road was level with the top of the wall.  So I ripped it up again and will site it further away from the retaining wall.  Unfortunately, I pulled up some of the plaster where it was glued, but I think that a layer of static grass will hide the scar.  I may paint it brown to resemble a bit of a crater.



After that, I ran the next timetable cycle (7a/b/c) and everything behaved fairly well, apart from the fact that 6713 stops over the dead frog of the new Unifrog point.  As soon as I get the new Cobalt, I will be able to wire up the frog again to the switch, which should cure the problem.

In the afternoon, there was more pruning to do.  Then, after a cup of tea, it was off to the Train Shed again.  The postman had brought me a package containing the layering spray I ordered and some hedgerow material.  I’m not sure about the layering spray, because I order 400ml aerosol cans, but I have received 500ml pump action sprays.  I will need to check with WWS.  The original aerosol is the middle one.



Here is the hedgerow material.  I will have to slice it up quite a bit to reduce it to N scale.



By the time I had taken some photos, it was nearly time for tea and the temperature was dropping, so I called it a day (“It’s a day”)  :D.  I do need to get on with the scenery, but I so enjoy running the trains, especially when they are running nicely.
With kind regards
Laurence
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3083 on: February 28, 2019, 06:32:40 PM »
Today I had to walk into Hessle early for a haircut, so there was no early Train Shed session.  When I returned, I did a few tasks on the computer, including informing WWS about the wrong layering spray.  Then made coffee so that Celia could have one before she walked into Hessle for her hair appointment.  I was then able to spend a little time in the Train Shed before I walked in again to meet her for dinner (sorry, in modern parlance, lunch), I ran the next cycle (8a/b/c) and found that somewhere along the line, I had made a mistake with the manual switching of Point 8 and so the branch goods was in the wrong loop of the run-around.  So I had to make a few last-minute adjustments before I could continue.

After that, I operated on the hedging material that arrived yesterday.  First, I cut about one third of the width to length and then removed a little from the top of the newly created hedge to reduce it to a reasonable size.  Here’s the material after the hedge had been cut away.



The I fitted the hedge roughly into position.



I have yet to add green colouring and possible flowers.  After that I walked into Hessle again and we found somewhere to eat.  Our first choice was unavailable.  It had a notice on the door saying closed for refurbishment.  When we returned, I found an Email from WWS asking for a picture, so I sent them the one I posted yesterday.  Later, I received an Email from them saying that they had dispatched two aerosol cans to me, which was very good of them.  Then the postman arrived with lots of goodies.  I have been pinching other people’s ideas over the last few days and ordered some bits and pieces.  First, having seen Peter’s new modelling guillotine, I decided that it would be useful, both for modelling and for Celia’s craft work, so I’m afraid to say that I copied the idea.



I had tried to buy what appeared to be an upmarket version but, when I tried to order it, I was asked for all sorts of details like passport number, date of birth, etc, so I binned that idea. Then, after Mick’s mention of trackside signs, I ordered some for Marton Hinmarche.



Then I hit Kevin next (not literally) and ordered some sheep, three cows and a horse.



Here’s one of the cows in the field next to the new hedge. 



The last package came from Rails and contained the Unifrog points I had ordered (apologies for the poor focus).


But, most important, it also contained the two spare Cobalts I had ordered.



I soon got to work under the baseboard and fitted one of the new Cobalts under Point 8.  I had to tinker with the programming a bit but, eventually, I got it working correctly and connected the frog to the Cobalt switch.  Here it is with 4572 testing it.



So, all in all, it was quite a busy day.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3084 on: February 28, 2019, 09:40:01 PM »
Many thanks, Laurence.  I hadn't heard of Dorspring Models and I'm looking for livestock.  That looks like a nice Friesian cow (or 'coo' hereabouts).

Best wishes.

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

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3085 on: March 01, 2019, 06:41:38 AM »
Many thanks, Laurence.  I hadn't heard of Dorspring Models and I'm looking for livestock.  That looks like a nice Friesian cow (or 'coo' hereabouts).

Best wishes.

John
It's a little bit shiny under the lights.  I'll try some Humbrol Matt varnish.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3086 on: March 01, 2019, 07:28:50 AM »
Many thanks, Laurence.  I hadn't heard of Dorspring Models and I'm looking for livestock.  That looks like a nice Friesian cow (or 'coo' hereabouts).

Best wishes.

John
It's a little bit shiny under the lights.  I'll try some Humbrol Matt varnish.

New to me too. I’ll look and see if they supply goats.

As an alternative to the varnish you could try mud?  :hmmm:

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3087 on: March 01, 2019, 05:13:39 PM »
I'd go for the mud!  :) Seriously.

Leon
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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3088 on: March 01, 2019, 07:17:32 PM »
Today, being Friday, there were all my weekly chores to do.  But, because it is the first of the month, there were also my monthly chores.  In addition, because it is the first of March, there were some quarterly jobs as well.  By the time I had finished them all, the morning was over.  During the morning, there were also two deliveries, a cartridge for the U3A laser printer and a parcel from WWS.  WWS have been absolutely brilliant!  I contacted them yesterday and they sent two replacement aerosols by express delivery, free of charge.



When I asked if they wanted me to send the hand pumped ones back, they waved me away, saying I could keep them.  By the time I had finished all my chores, the morning was over.  I had to stay in today because I had ordered a Li-ion lawn mower and a Li-ion strimmer, which were arranged for delivery today.  They were delivered early in the afternoon and I spent quite a time assembling them.  When the instructions say “press together and click” they don’t explain that it is quite tricky to align all the lugs and that quite considerable banging is required to get them to lock together properly.  I managed to bruise the base of one of my thumbs so badly that the skin split, leading to a certain amount of bleeding.

However, I managed to get everything assembled and the batteries on charge by cup of tea time.  Then, eventually, I was able to make my way down to the Train Shed.  I decided to run the next timetable cycle (9a/b/c) as the first to be run with the new Cobalt.  It worked well initially, but I must have slid the fulcrum of the new Cobalt too close to the bottom with the result that it dropped out of its mountings and so the point, once again, refused to operate.  However, after a degree of jiggling, I managed to get it back in again and slid it a bit higher.  That seemed to do the trick and everything worked well thereafter, apart from operator errors.  I even managed to make a short video of J26 65761 bringing the pickup goods into the goods platform.

 


Apologies for the not-so-good camera work but, after I started filming, I realised that the controller was at the other endo of the layout, so I had to back up and reach behind me to find it.  I promise to get on with some scenic work soon!
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
Coventry Corporation Transport Society: www.cct-society.org.uk
Hessle: www.hessle.org.uk

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Re: The Train Shed Project - Marton Hinmarche
« Reply #3089 on: March 02, 2019, 06:13:59 PM »
Today it was our day for walking into Hessle to the butchers.  As usual, I had an early session in the Train Shed and I ran the next cycle (10a/b/c).  I soon found out that, in making yesterday’s video, I had forgotten things that soon led to trouble.  First, when Jubilee Class 45572, Eire, departed from Platform 2, it turned into the goods loop behind 65761’s pickup goods.  So I had to carry out an emergency stop and reverse it back into Platform 4.  I had clearly forgotten to reset the route after I had filmed the J26 entering the goods loop.  The second thing that happened was that, as 5572 approached the Shipton run-around, I noticed that 4571 was still in the headshunt.  Obviously, after the video, I also neglected to run 4571 around its train.  So I had to stop 5572 and reverse it back along the branch so that I could perform the run-around. 

After that, things ran a little more smoothly, although there were one or two operator errors, such as selecting Loco 1 (Cranmore Hall) instead of Loco 11 (Royal Ulster Rifleman).  It wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact the Royal Ulster Rifleman was running into the UP loops at full speed and so, by the time I had selected Loco 11, it was too far in to stop in the correct place and I had to press the red button yet again.

After we returned from Hessle, I made coffee and then tried out the new mowing equipment.  Both the strimmer and the mower worked a treat and I managed to cut everything much more quickly than normal, even though it was the first cut of all the lank winter growth.  I think that, in normal circumstances, it will take about half the time to cut the grass than it did before.  There was one disadvantage though.  The strimmer uses a nylon blade instead of the nylon line used in the old one.  The blade wears very quickly on all the brick edging and I had to fit the (only) spare that came with the strimmer.  So I have ordered ten spares to make sure I don’t run out.  The head of the strimmer swivels through 90 degrees so I think, in future, I will be able to use it in that mode against the bricks.

In the afternoon, I returned to chopping up the piles of prunings and putting them in our council compost bin.  The wisteria prunings are too coarse for our compost system, but too flexible for me to be able to shred them.  After that, it was time for a cup of tea followed by another visit to the Train Shed.

This time, I thought I would tackle the joint at Point 33, where the Union Mills G2 was having trouble.  I began by lifting the track.



Then I scraped up most of the remaining ballast, using the blade of a large screwdriver.  The only disadvantage of using ballast magic is the difficulty of removing it if the track has to be lifted.  Here’s the result after scraping and hoovering up all the loose ballast.



Then I decided to replace the rail joiner on the problem joint, because it looked a bit mangled.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a power feed joiner.



That was a bit more problematical but, fortunately, I have a box full of them.



Eventually, I managed to fit the new one and then cut a length of track to size to replace the one I had removed.  It was Murphy’s law that I had to do quite a bit of filing of the cut end before I could fit rail joiners successfully.  But, in the end, we were ready to go.  I haven’t fixed the track down yet, but I thought it might be a good idea to test the new joint with the G2.  Unfortunately, it still wouldn’t pass over the joint at low speed.  It looked as though the end of the point was a little too high, so I packed and additional piece of cork underlay under the end of the newly lad track.  However, that still didn’t do the trick.  I looked carefully at what was going on and it appeared that the middle pair of tender wheels were acting as a pivot on the joint, so that the two pairs of powered wheels with the traction tyres where simply revolving in thin air.  Drastic measures were called for.  I took out my micro drill and drilled the end sleeper of the point, then inserted a track pin which was hammered securely into place.  That did the trick.  Here’s the G2 crossing the joint a very low speed.

 


Tomorrow, I will need to fix the track securely to the baseboard before I can carry out any more timetable operations.  I won’t re-ballast that section of track for a while, mainly because I have run out of ballast and need to order some more.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
Coventry Corporation Transport Society: www.cct-society.org.uk
Hessle: www.hessle.org.uk

 

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