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Author Topic: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway  (Read 55007 times)

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Offline Balloon_726

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The first preseason testing of 2015
« Reply #180 on: February 21, 2015, 03:59:45 PM »
The first preseason testing of 2015

The other week as planned the first tramcars took to the rails of Thornton Gate once more!


Above: After cleaning most of the track, our resident Farish class 04 was the first to take to the rails, on an initial test of all the electrical connections and rail joints etc. As its not chipped it don't normally get much of a chance to run, so it made a nice change. Still really impressed how well the Farish 04 runs and this was a second hand one as well!


Above: First tram of the year. Balloon 701, the resident engineering works car, made a successful test run on the inner circuit. The tramcar itself looking a bit tatty at the moment after having its Warley ads stripped. So after this test it was taken over to my work bench to join a few other fleet members in need of some attention.


Above: A nice overall shot of the station area with 701, overall the layout its self faired well, no real transit damage as such, really just areas then need a little tidying up etc.


Anyway on to the work bench were 701 joined 713 for some much needed attention, the latter had done both days all day at the NEC, but for some reason its lead weights had become loose inside making it to risky to run as if the lead hit the DCC chip or motor it would have shorted out the tram. Hence 713 with a front cowling removed is seen awaiting attention,  701 was receiving attention to its body work, manly using wet and try to smooth down areas and a spot of filler in some gaps. Some of the window linings had to be removed and after patch painting fresh sets will be reapplied.


On the Balloon front 708 was also on the bench for attention, it last being used for the Christmas card shoot. However on closer inspection a number of issues were discovered. Mainly an area had bulged on a lower corner of the car, this was an issue left over from when the body shell was first cast back in 2012. As one of the first clear shells, 708 had an air pocket in its lower bodywork, rather then scrap the shell it was filled with plastic strip and filler. However as this is an area that the chassis grips onto it has been under pressure and finally snapped and hence bulged outwards.

Now seeing as we have many better casted balloons available (the moulds were updated two years ago) and a number of other new builds in the pipe line for 2015 a decision was made to mothball and hence retire 708 from exhibition service.


So still sporting its 'Virgin' nose badge from Stockport 2013, 708 has been rechassied back onto an unchipped Bachmann Brill trolly unit and given a trolly pole replacing its Kato pantograph. Its chipped Tomix chassis and pantograph being reserved for a future build. 708 is now living with my girlfriend on a small box file layout thats she's building at home. However as the car still runs, it can still make appearance back at exhibition should the need arise.


Above: Moving on, bush car 636 got into a spot of bother with its tower tangled in the overhead and was completely ripped off the car! Entering service last yeah both Brush cars had new towers built from scratch by my brother, however as time was tight ahead of Warley we didn't get time to test them and at show it was found they were both to high, so after this happen on test over the weekend, I decided to fix the issue once and for all!


As this line up sort of shows, 636 (infront) has had its however modified and lowered, this was done by taking a sanding disc to the top of the body shell tower stump and removing about a mil, then cutting down some of the top framework of the pantograph tower itself.

Behind fellow brush car no 622 sports a out of gauge and higher tower as yet to be modified and behind both Balloon 713 illustrates the correct height for the pantograph.


Above: all done (almost) the two Brush cars on bench with modified body and tower profiles, Both now requiring some patch painting and refixing of towers, in addition 622 (left) also need requires some chassis attention as it made a loud metallic clanging noise during its time running, and I'm yet to get around to investigating why!

So there we have it, most of my time spent just maintaining the current fleet at the moment, however I hope to start building new tramcars real soon.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 12:05:27 AM by Balloon_726, Reason: Typos again! Very Sorry »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #181 on: February 21, 2015, 09:19:05 PM »
Thanks for the comprehensive update :thumbsup:

it made a loud metallic clanging noise during its time running

I thought all trams made that noise ;) :-X

Online Bealman

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #182 on: February 21, 2015, 10:41:49 PM »
Yep, thanks for the excellent update. Reminds me of broken ribs and gashed hands, though... eh Mick  ;)

(Blackpool chapter of 2013 UK adventure thread)

Seriously, great to get news of this unique layout.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #183 on: February 21, 2015, 11:47:36 PM »
Thanks for the comprehensive update :thumbsup:

it made a loud metallic clanging noise during its time running

I thought all trams made that noise ;) :-X

Yes.. fair point ... cant really fault that  :hmmm:

Trust me its really not a good sound and really needs investigating .... kind of sounds like the chassis eating its own DCC decoder kind of metallic sound  :uneasy: 

Offline Tdm

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #184 on: February 22, 2015, 01:00:47 AM »
This talk of Thornton Gate and Trams reminds me of when I used to work in Blackpool, and at Illuminations time I used to drive to Bispham and Board a Double Decker Tram there that would take me all the way through the Illuminations as far as the Pleasure Beach and back.

Although I now model in N gauge, I still have in my collection several Blackpool Trams in 00 gauge dating back to the Seventies.

I have a relative who bought the Windmill at Thornton and turned it into a home, but whether he still lives there I have no idea.

Offline Balloon_726

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How time flies!
« Reply #185 on: June 13, 2015, 12:59:39 AM »
Well have I been away from here for awhile! How time flies!

Happy to report all is well. I've replaced the car (again) so Thornton Gate was created up and went for a test fit... Success it fits!
We've having a quite season this year as other things and project (Not model or rail related) have taken over. However if your into retro computers or programming then you might have seen me around doing a lot of the computer exhibitions and shows!

Anyway as it stands Thornton Gate will be out and about at:

Leyland:  August 8th & 9th 2015
http://www.leylandmrc.com/index.php?p=1_36_Exhibition-2015

And a welcome return to the Fylde coast at:

Fleetwood: Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th September 2015
http://www.blackpoolandnorthfyldemrc.co.uk/exSept.html

And that is as it stands for 2015.....
Personally I've been quite relieved for the 'rest' if you can call it that! Give us time to take stock and think about what we're doing or more to the point what i'm doing!  :hmmm:

Anyhow once I've stuck BBC Micro computers (Remember those?) back together might manage to clear my work bench and do some tramming! Will post some updates soon!

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #186 on: June 13, 2015, 09:50:56 AM »
Thanks for the update.
I'll be visiting both shows so will pop by and say 'Hello' :)

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #187 on: June 13, 2015, 10:47:26 AM »
As Mick says, thanks for the update. I won't be going to the shows, but am glad I saw you at Warley last year. I do remember the BBC micro, I once wrote a disk operating system for it. About 3 months later ADFS was released.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline Balloon_726

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First outing for Thornton Gate in 2015! (Update)
« Reply #188 on: July 09, 2015, 09:16:43 PM »
So back out on exhibition in 1 months time! First outing for Thornton Gate in 2015!
After a long time away from doing anything model related, today I sat down and started prepping for the new season.


Just two shows this year, which I really don't mind but do want to build a season for 2016...


Above: 701 Thornton gates resident ballon class works tram and last years 'Warley Tram' has had a patch paint back into plain yellow again, will add some missing windows linings door ect later.


Above: Brush car 636 is in more pieces then I seem to remember ??? so been sticking that back together plus touching paintwork back up

... and ...


Im thinking about building a second Brush car as i have all to bits, chassis, pantograph ect again proving just how reliant I am on Japanese products to make this all work!



Also been looking into using some Micro Machines toy cars and vans which I near perfect for N gauge, These were off an old old layout from some years ago as as you cant buy them anymore I was keen to find these again. Thinking of making some casts off them so I can easily duplicate if needs be. Im thinking these might be useful for modding into different vehicles.

The layout its self is still crated up at the moment, so i'll need to set it back up for the never ending cleaning and sticking back together that is always required pre season .... oh the joys!
Nice to be back.. but really did need the break!

Offline Ollie3440

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #189 on: July 13, 2015, 08:45:04 PM »
Looking good Tom!

A fantastic little layout that I have yet to see 'in the flesh' so to speak! Typical that quite possibly the most local layout to me on this forum is one I've not seen! I noticed you are starting plans for the 2016 season, my club (Telford Railway Modellers Group) is not holding a show this year but should we hold one in 2016 I'd be happy to mention Thornton to the organisers. Not everyday you get a DCC Tram Layout in N Gauge!

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 Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #190 on: July 13, 2015, 10:39:51 PM »
Cheers Ollie

Yes I think that sounds doable!  :D

Its been awhile since we've done any local shows, they tend to not pay anything despite taking profits (And i don't mean charity) or to be honest are a bit crap or like the ones around Shrewsbury, died a death along with the modelling population  :worried:

However yes be happy to do that, looking at one or two others locally for next year as well, in addition to wondering the miles that we do in search of that elusive exhibition :D

 :thankyousign:

Ps sorry about having to edit this just kept noticing mistakes every 2 seconds  :censored:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 10:50:31 PM by Balloon_726 »

Offline Balloon_726

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Thornton Gate @ Leyland 2015
« Reply #191 on: August 06, 2015, 11:29:08 PM »
Well its the night before the Leyland show. So am about to spend most of tomorrow on the M6 going north.. hmm

As its quite late this will be a brief update on whats been happening.

We're hoping to run a full fleet service over the weekend minus Balloon 708 which as mentioned before has had to be retired due to cosmetic and structural issues, plus with myself being so busy, I've really not had a chance to build a replacement as yet...


Above: The theme for this event will be for us to run our single deckers in full service across both days. The Brush cars have been in bits since last running in November 2014 and have been worked on, repaired and in some some cases enhanced (note the new yellow plastic bumpers on 622)!


Above: The two brush cars have had some extended running over the last few days and are now settling in well, be it with a number of tweaks and modifications since last year.


Above: The other half of the single decker fleet is made up of the two Centenary Cars, these trams have been dogged with problems since day one (as were the real ones!) Anyway the every popular 'KitKat' tram No. 641 had has some external repair from transit damage as well as being resuscitated back into life! The Bachmann PCC chassis really cant cope under exhibition conditions.


Above: Sister Centenary N0. 624 is running better as it was not used much during the end of last year. Both cars need a lot of work or even scrapping and starting again! And we really need a better chassis for the class at the very least! But for now expecting breakdowns over the weekend :-(


Finally Balloon 701 is back! well almost. Now sporting plain yellow once more, and again being used as the layout works car or stand in should a failure arise!


So all in all we're ready, Thornton Gate has had a lot of work done to it, new little features and repair of others. Come and see us at:

August 8th / 9th 2015 from 10am
Leyland Civic Centre ( Council Offices)
West Paddock
Leyland
PR25 1DH

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #192 on: August 07, 2015, 10:03:45 AM »
I'll be there so will say 'Hello' :D

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #193 on: August 07, 2015, 10:36:58 AM »
Hope you have an entertaining weekend, Tom.
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 #194 on: August 07, 2015, 11:31:18 PM »
 :greatpicturessign: thanks for the update & best wishes for Leyland.
regards Derek

 

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