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Author Topic: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway  (Read 61620 times)

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Offline Balloon_726

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Thornton Gate end of season review 2015 Part 1
« Reply #195 on: September 22, 2015, 01:27:04 AM »
Thornton Gate end of season review 2015 Part 1
Leyland & Fleetwood model railway exhibitions.



Its been awhile since I last updated this thread, a mixture of other commitments and getting ready for a very short but solid 2015 exhibition season.

Leyland MRC exhibition August 8th & 9th 2015

Our first outing in August saw us setting up in the council offices in Leyland for what was a very good and well planned exhibition.




Above 2X: The quiet before the storm.. well maybe! Exhibition setup and ready to go!




Above: It was our normal 'A fleet' tram cars that started day one. 701 back on P'way duties or stabled in the yard and both Brush cars back out and working after preseason repair.


Above: The queue for the front... Behind the scenes always seems to be a point of fascination to the public, and as seen a number of the outer loop 'up line' cars waiting to run round to the front.

Above: On day two we decided to switch things around a little, so Balloons 726 and 710 were swapped for purple fat door twins, balloons 711 and 719. These joined all white fatdoor 713 and were the final cars used in the last hour of the Leyland exhibition, seen here posing for photos on the centre line.

All in all a good show no major problems, no tram car failures although, Jubilee 762 and Centenary 642 were again not used and stayed in the stock box the entire time.
According to the exhibition management numbers were down on last year which seems a shame considering how good the event was!

Moving on....

Now we did at end of August attend at the 'vicars garden party' again as a solo side show, as this was very much like last year it really didn't seem worth posting much here, other then to say it was a good opportunity to make a few running repairs, such as the roof of the station house building which along with the chimney had come loose during transit!

PART 2  Fleetwood will follow shortly.....
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:10:00 AM by Balloon_726 »

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #196 on: September 22, 2015, 11:33:29 PM »
  :greatpicturessign: thanks for sharing.
regards Derek.

Offline Balloon_726

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Part 2 The Fleetwood Model Railway exhibition update
« Reply #197 on: September 29, 2015, 01:30:57 AM »
Fleetwood Model Railway Exhibition 2015

Okay thanks for waiting for this Part 2 update... I had a retro computer show (My other hobby) the weekend just gone with 2 BBC Micro computers out at exhibition, (incase anyone is interested...) hence the delay in getting this written up!

Fleetwood marked the 2nd and final show of our 2015 season. We've really enjoyed the warm reception of the North West and people! And despite being built and based in the west midlands, it really felt the layout was home on the Fylde coast. Little did we know our season would end in a bit of a bang ... or should that be crash!

Arriving Friday evening, setup was a little chaotic, as it was a new venue this year some slight space issues had arisen, poor exhibition manager was a little stressed. being something of a veteran now, we did our best to help solve the issue and did have to move around the hall a bit, which is part and parcel of exhibiting...


Above: Anyway set up and ready to go!


Above: The show opened a little on the quiet side on both days leading to the decision is stable some of the tram cars on the centre loop on static display until the crowds had gathered justifying a more intense service. This takes the strain off the trams and gives the operators a bit of a rest. Its normally reserved for the end of a day not the start!


Above: On Fleetwood duty... Fatdoor 713 which for the first time was not joined by sisters 711 and 719 as both cars had failed somehow between the end for Leyland show and start of this one??? This meant 713 along with normal balloons 710 and 726 had to do a full two days as the fatdoors are normally set to the same CV decoder address, hence one car comes off and another with the same DCC number goes on.. 713 is fast becoming a favourite of mine, maybe because of its heavy rebuild from a standard shell or the fact its younger then some of the others and hence has done less running hours...


Above: Moving on to everyones favourite! Centenary no.641 'having a break' in Thornton Gate yard. The reason for this was to keep the loop clear for 701 and its p'way trailers then were running at this time and also due to the continued up and down reliably of this tram, it was best to keep in on show 'The kids just love it!' but out of the way. Sister 624 (642) was yet again not used and stayed in the stock box as did Jubilee 762.


Above: After 641 had left the yard and resumed service and with things getting quite again, I decided to have a bit of fun and chance my luck by shunting 701 and its train down the far line of the yard. Like the real Thornton Gate, the rear line was not that reliable and rarely used. However to my amazement with out stalling or derailing it made it clean over the rear point and rolled down the far line, after being stabled for a bit 701 even managed to drag its self off the sidings once more.


Above: So its the final hour on day 2, with things winding down, I've gone for a last look around when im called back by a guilty looking Anna... why?


Above: The late staying visitors to the exhibition were in for a treat as disaster struck Thornton Gate!! 713 now on Blackpool bound return workings, (driven by Anna) some how took out one of the catenary poles brining down the overhead and blocking the down line!


Above: So with less then 15 minutes to go, the down line was blocked, rolling stocked back up and we were down to single line running on the up line, minus part of the overhead! Now in reality the whole system would have shut down, but we managed to keep something moving whist we waited for a quite moment to untangle the mess and start packing up!

I think that'll go down in the history of notable accidents!

So we're done for another year! Im pleased to announce 2016 is shaping up nicely and even 2017 is in the works! As ever we have a lot of work to do, starting with repairs! However even in the last few days work has started on new updates, from rolling stock though to operations, ready to bring something new for next year.

As ever I will keep you all informed what we get up to this winter!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 01:59:19 AM by Balloon_726 »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #198 on: September 29, 2015, 09:37:18 AM »
Thanks for the report and the pics, Tom :thumbsup:
Good to see you and Anna up in our neck of the woods and I was pleased to see plenty of folks watching the layout who had lots of knowledge of the trams.
Sorry about the prang (I will say nothing about women drivers :zippedmouth:) but glad you managed to maintain a service to the end.

Offline Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #199 on: September 29, 2015, 02:02:12 PM »
Thanks for the report and the pics, Tom :thumbsup:
Good to see you and Anna up in our neck of the woods and I was pleased to see plenty of folks watching the layout who had lots of knowledge of the trams.
Sorry about the prang (I will say nothing about women drivers :zippedmouth:) but glad you managed to maintain a service to the end.

Thanks very much! I was trying to avoid the obvious pun (I do have to live with Anna! :angel:)
We always do very well in the North West, hence next year (TBC) its back to the North West! Should just move there really :D

All I can say its watch this space we've got some plans for the layout for next year  :NGaugersRule:

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #200 on: September 29, 2015, 02:17:30 PM »
Poor Anna!

One hopes you weren't too hard on her. Sounds suspiciously like those in charge of infrastructure were perhaps skimping on preventative maintenance  ;) :smiley-laughing:

Thanks for the report, some lovely and colourful pictures!  :camera:

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #201 on: September 29, 2015, 04:52:43 PM »
Some great pictures, Tom. Glad you have enjoyed this year. No Warley in November?
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Offline Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #202 on: October 01, 2015, 01:43:48 AM »
Poor Anna!

One hopes you weren't too hard on her. Sounds suspiciously like those in charge of infrastructure were perhaps skimping on preventative maintenance  ;) :smiley-laughing:

Thanks for the report, some lovely and colourful pictures!  :camera:

Na its all fine, we both knew there was an issue with that overhead pole going into this year, so nursing a few issues it was going to happen at some point... Just fun to wind her up over it :laugh:

As in ... "my girlfriend broke my train set!...."  :veryangry:

Offline Balloon_726

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #203 on: October 01, 2015, 01:45:54 AM »
Some great pictures, Tom. Glad you have enjoyed this year. No Warley in November?

Thank you once again.. No done the NEC last year, no need to repeat, I enjoy sanity to much  :drool:  :'(

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #204 on: October 05, 2015, 11:15:16 PM »
  :hellosign: Tom thanks for sharing, shame to end season with a crash. Looking forward to future updates.
regards Derek.

Offline Balloon_726

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Hello and.... Merry Christmas!!!
« Reply #205 on: December 19, 2015, 07:52:08 PM »
Hello and....



 :claphappy: :claphappy: :claphappy: :claphappy:

Yes its another year done once again! Decided to go with a more frosty winter scene with Balloon 701 out with its snowplough once more.

So 3 months disappear and no update, well.... I have been busy with other projects I have had to but all modelling to one side, the situation not improving much in the run up to Christmas.

However despite this new projects and upgrades are underway and we're hoping to get a lot done in January.

First up yet another new Balloon car this time in the form of 723.


Above: This is one of my photos of the real 723 taken in late September at Blackpool's Rigby Road Bus and Tram depot whist we were exhibiting in nearby Fleetwood.


Above: Never one to be happy with anything I do, despite the warm and positive feedback i've received over the years, I'm never one to get complacent, Hence I want a better Balloon class model! So to try and better capture the modernised look and feel of 723, one of my raw resin balloon shells was totally stripped and gutted of all window frames and detail. The shell was then resanded with the roof profile dramatically reduced, with filler used to help reenforce the resin in ares were it was getting a bit thin!


Above: where we are now, 723 (Sitting on a Bachmann Brill trolly chassis for now) has had new window frames cut from sheet plastic, these have then been sanded paper thin, also of note are some new upgrade parts including proper centre side doors with depth and detail! Instead of just being a recessed panel with a transfer overlay.

Also a brand new casted diamond centre head code box. The unit alone took over 12 hours to sculpt out of clay before making a mould for resin casting, however it looks much better and more in line with the prototype, so hopefully all the other balloons in my fleet will have these new parts fitted during 2016.

Still a lot of work to do on 723 but should be ready come exhibition outings next year and beyond!


And finally another project for 2016... You'll never guess what these might morph into.....!

Anyway thats it for 2015, So wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from all of us here at Team Thornton Gate!  :NGaugersRule: :beers:

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #206 on: December 19, 2015, 11:47:36 PM »
Thanks for the update, Tom.
Seasons Greetings to you and Anna :beers:

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #207 on: December 23, 2015, 11:54:44 PM »
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign: merry Christmas Tom thanks for sharing.
regards Derek.

Offline Malc

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Re: Thornton Gate of the Blackpool Tramway
« Reply #208 on: December 24, 2015, 09:37:13 AM »
As NPN says, thanks for the update Tom. Have a great Xmas and I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts, next year.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Offline Balloon_726

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Settle Exhibition Sat March 12th 2016
« Reply #209 on: March 05, 2016, 10:08:22 PM »
Spring time! Nearly with all the snow around!

We've been busy though February and into March getting Thornton Gate ready for its one and only (As it stands) exhibition booking for 2016, which is the Scout Rail event being held next Saturday 12th March 2016 at Settle Primary School, Settle.

As another welcome trip back north!

Since our last exhibition last year we've had a few things to fix, the art of 'sticking it back together' is something both Anna and myself are getting quite good at!


The layouts outer boards had taken a far knock during transit so were in need of some TLC. Hence I sanded the affected areas down and then patch painted.


The results looking much better. It is imported to do jobs like this to keep the layout looking clean, and presentable and that includes the out side frame not just the contents of the baseboards!


Now if you read a post or two back you might remember we had a accident at the end of last year, were my partner Anna managed to crash a Balloon class tram into one of the overhead catenary poles, snapping the pole and bringing down a section of the overhead...

Well priority number one for her was to fix it! As the pole had snapped at the base, it was first thought we'd have to build a totally new pole, however using a section of plastic dowl, glued inside the hollow pole, Anna was able to re-glue the pole back into position, which should buy us a bit more time before a total replacement would be due.


Above: Bush car no 636 dose the honers and tests the gauge clearance of the repaired pole and reinstalled overhead.


Above: With ploughs still fitted Balloon 701 was also used to test the electrics and point work, out of season we tend not to do any real running on the layout, this mainly to preserve running hours of the fleet for exhibitions as well as reducing ware and tear.

However after the layout has been out of use for a number of months, we normally do a full stock service and test running session, just to pick up any issue as well as it give the whole layout a clean and tidy up.


This also includes testing areas of track not normally used that much as the the very far siding of Thornton Gate yard, which 701 successfully managed to do a spot of shunting with the p'way sleeper wagon seen here stabled at the very end deep in the yard.

So were back and ready to go, the layout has now been packed up ready for this coming weekend, we hope to see you maybe?

I'm also looking for future exhibitions, so if you have an event and would like us to consider bringing Thornton Gate, please feel free to send me a private message and i'll get back to you :-)

 

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