Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Restoring a Layout

After sitting on the windowsill for nearly 2 years without any use/work, I finally decided to get the OO/009 layout running again. It, fortunately, didn't need much work for the OO. Only needed track cleaning, dust removing and cobwebs removing then it started to work again!

The 009, however, was another matter. Back in the day, I had a fleet of 009 engines that all ran on DCC. Now, most of the fleet have been sold one. Hence as well as the other work, it needed converting from DCC to DC. An easy task you'd think. Nope. The way the layout sits on the windowsill, getting underneath it to remove something from the main wiring is a nightmare. Fortunately, two little tugs pulled the track feeds off the main DCC power bus with ease. One quick rewire later, now the 009 runs on DC. Seeing as it's the only 009 section of track I now have, running it on DC is probably for the best/involves the least risk.

The overall layout

The newly DCed 009 section. Now working better than it did on DCC!

The Main Station area. Not bad for effectively a glorified inglenook with coaches!

The 4 stars of the current Passenger Fleet. Bachmann 4575, Bachmann E4 and Oxford Rail Adams Radial. Other locos do see use from time to time.

The two current 009 stars. A pair of until now unrun. Now running nicely.

When you need bigger engines, these 2 and the C class tend to get used. The fact they're both sound fitted has nothing to do with it. Honest!

What needs doing, the back of the layout needs tidying up as well as sorting out an engine shed for the 009. Then its Backscenes, detailing and sorting out the fencing as well.

It's getting there is the phrase I'd use. Now, onto the next one (the N gauge test track/009 running in area). Then I should have 3 working indoor layouts (On30, OO/009 and N) plus the 'outdoor'. Outdoor in inverted commas because it needs some serious work to sort out track issues.

Hopefully, there won't be too long a gap until the next post!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Its been a while!

So this is out of date just a little bit.........

A lot has happened over the last 16 months. Layouts have gone, Layouts have been started. I'll sum up the major changes below:-


  • Majority of the 009 Collection has been sold off
  • Blaencwm has been scrapped after electrics have been recovered
  • Micro Maine V1 has been Scrapped
  • O gauge Layout  has been Scrapped
  • LT Underground Layout has been scrapped
  • On30 Fleet has been focused on one particular location. Bigger Tender Engines have been sold.
  • Larger items of O gauge stock has been sold off.


  • Micro Maine V2 has been started
  • Trio of On30 Forneys have appeared with others to follow.
  • New 6ft by 2ft N gauge layout for just running trains
  • Lots of 16mm

There's been some rationalization because even I've realized I can only support multiple gauges for so long before something has to give. With a new job and at times a unpredictable income, the mass collection has been thinned down with priority placed on the projects that bring me genuine enjoyment. Long gone are the days of modelling massive 009 Trains behind massive engines, now taking its place are Medium sized Tank engines with 4-5 vehicle trains. Admittedly, its a larger scale so the lengths are staying the same but its more manageable size and price wise.

The current list of projects is now one of four:-

  • Micro Maine Version 2 - On30 - 8ft by 9 inches. DCC using a fleet of On30 0-4-4RT and 2-4-4T Forneys mainly based on Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Prototypes.
  • BR Mainline - N Gauge - 6ft by 2ft. DC controlled using a fleet of Dapol and Farish Ready to Run stock based on British Railways Southern and Western Region prototypes 
  • Billington Road - OO9/OO - 5ft something by 2ft. DCC for OO and DC for 009. Modern Day preservation in the South of England using a fleet of Hornby, Bachmann and Heljan Ready to Run stock.
  • Bowaters - SM32/16mm - Unknown by 6 inches. Live Steam in the garden using a fleet of Bowaters Steam Engines all built by Accucraft with rolling stock designed and produced by myself.
Its easier to maintain 4 Layouts rather than the 7+ I was before. Before people start to wonder, I'm keeping the rest of my 009 and O gauge fleets. The items I'm keeping I either like or have personal reasons for keeping. Plus you never know if in the future you'll have the room for lots of layouts!

To end the post, I'll finish off with some pictures of Micro Maine V2. Its progressing nicely and who knows what will happen next with it........

Until next time......

Friday, 25 December 2015

Micro Maine sees the track plan is complete

With Christmas day bringing the remaining track needed for Micro Maine to see its track plan completed, I've been able to complete the Loco Depot track. Due to a minor muck up, I've got extra money to play with so I might be adding a extra siding to the Goods yard which may be converted into a small Carriage shed if I go ahead with the extra siding.

The proposed track plan showing the extra siding

The whole trackplan at the moment

The Engine Depot with both the tender engines on shed

The Station area showing the new shed spur

The two tender engines up close

With the Forney due early next week, that should bring the roster up to 3 engines. I'm not sure what the next engine will be as it depends on funds although hopefully a second Forney (this time outside framed) may follow in a month or two.



Thursday, 24 December 2015

Going up a scale - A exercise in On30

After a long time contemplating and a chance purchase of 2 engines and 3 coaches, I've started a small project in On30. As I'm quite interested in the rolling stock and practices of the Maine Two footers in the USA, that's what I'm basing my layout around although some other stock will run mainly because I like it. Its designed to have plenty of shunting room with track power being provided by DCC. All rolling stock will be using knuckle couplings with Magnetic uncoupling.

Stock is mainly Bachmann Spectrum although there will be a small number of Mount Blue Model Company coaches. So far, the stock consists of:-

Motive Power

A Bachmann inside framed Forney (On its way from the USA)
A Bachmann 2-8-0 Tender Engine
A Bachmann 4-6-0 Tender Engine
A 3D printed Monson No.3 Forney type (Being designed for 3D printing)

Planned additions to the Motive Power lineup

A Bachmann Outside Framed Forney
A 2nd Bachmann Inside Framed Forney (for conversion into WF&FR No.9)

Rolling Stock

5 Bachmann Passenger Coaches (3 in Grey and 2 for conversion into Excursion stock using Mount Blue Model Company Kits)
1 Bachmann Sandy River and Rangley Lakes Caboose (On its way from the USA)
1 Mount Blue Model Company Sandy River and Rangley Lakes Caboose
2 Bachmann 18ft Freight Cars  (On their way from the USA)

Planned additions to the Rolling Stock lineup

2-4 Bachmann 18ft Freight Cars (either Box vans, Gondolas or flat cars)
1-2 Bachmann SR&RL Flat/Pulpwood Cars

The layout could be described as a enlarged Inglehook layout with extra sidings added for a small motive power depot which should have room for the 2 large tender engines or 3 smaller Forney type engines.

Track Plan with planned scenic layout

Layout so far (I ran out of track to continue with the track plan annoyingly)

Fan of sidings - Engine Headshunt on the far left, Good siding, Platforms 1 and 2 of the station on the right

Current motive Power - The 2-8-0 on the left and the 4-6-0 on the right (Forney's still mid atlantic at this point in time)

It should be a good little project in all. Just need to get hold of some other bits and pieces (the rest of the track being the key bit at the moment) before I can look into any form of scenery.



Sunday, 28 September 2014

Update time!

Time for a update I think,

In the time since the last update, further items of rolling stock and motive power have arrived on the 009 layout.

I'll start with the latest motive power.

Although not strictly new, the two NG15s have received updates and new identities to take advantage of the newer V3 CAD files for the engines compared to the V1 prints. The new pair will be numbered NG121 and NG146. Both have already made a good impression running on the 009 test track with NG121 making a appearance at a recent exhibition where it had a run in with a tunnel mouth!

A new steam shunter has arrived in the form of a Cape Government Railways C type NG20 'Midget'. Running on a Minitrains F&C Chassis, its a smooth performer even if it does wheelie if too put power is put to the track. Hopefully, a reprint should fit that with more space for additional weight.

The final new arrival is a new Minitrains Feldbahn 0-8-0T engine. Brought ready to run from the 009 Society, its a very smooth and powerful little engine for its size. Its a very controllable little engine which helps on such a short layout as Blaencwm.

Moving onto rolling stock, an addition 5 RNAD wagons have been brought and built bringing the total upto 6 Box vans and 3 flat wagons. Also an additional 3 NG-B Wagons and 2 NG-Y Ballast hoppers have arrived from Boston Largs Works along with a NG-V16 brake van (the first example of the kit to be sold infact!).

On a passenger coach front, 4 SAR Passenger Coaches have all arrived to my own design and I'm very happy with all 4 of them. They go very nicely with the NG15s and look better in a longer rake. I've also received 3 FR Superbarns from Boston Largs Works which are like normal, fantastic.