Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Garden Railway in Operation

Some more images of the now semi-regular running on the line. Also some images from my visit to that lovely Matt Towell who has fitted Radio Control to my Superior and Excelsior. He's got my Leader for fitting right now. He also repainted and renamed Superior into its proper name. It looks absolutely stunning and I couldn't be happier.

The 3 Bowaters Railway Engines running together on Matt's line

The 3 Bowaters Railway Engines running together on Matt's line

Superior and my Welshpool set. First run together in a long time.

Excelsior on test passing a cooling down Superior

'The Tank' with my pair of Chattenden Coaches. Hopefully, I'll have the full set of 4 by the end of the year.

The Bowaters Set in Operation. First time in about 2 years they've run as a unit.

After running round, heading back down the other way down the garden

Superior sat in the station ready for departure

A typical SKLR passenger train abet with an engine that sadly hasn't been home since the 1960s.

Passenger train pausing in the station before continuing uphill

After running round, passenger train sits ready to return downhill.

All the captions have been written as if the full line exists. I'm planning to buy the required track for the final extension soon, however, this is on hold until the parents decide what they want to do regarding the garden shed.

Might get the rest of the line in over the summer then it's complete! Just need two shunt releases plus required track work down the garden.


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Micro Maine - Things get swapped around, Loco Lettering, Big 2-6-2 and Turntable!

Despite only a short time passing, a lot has changed on Micro Maine. So I'd better get started!

First of all, 2 major changes have happened to the layout. I've swapped the good area and the loco area around. In hindsight, it didn't make sense to have such a massive engine shed on what is basically a branchline with such small goods facilities. So I changed them around. The good area can now hold 8 cars rather than the 4 before with the engine depot a much more reasonable size. That said, the other main reason for moving was the new turntable! It wouldn't fit in the previous location but a quick move to the other end of the layout meant it works! Its only 9 inches long so won't fit a Tender engine on it but that's not the main use of it. It is intended for Forneys that only need 9 inches.

Something else you might have noticed, is that all the engines have been lettered. After drawing up some custom artwork, I had Precision Decals produce them in Gold which looks perfect on the locos. I'm very happy with the way they've turned out and can't wait to get started on lettering for the rolling stock next.

Now for the fun bit. After looking around and seeing a general lack of 2-6-2s for people modeling the Maine Two Footers (bar the very good but beyond my skill level Neil Sayer Kit), I decided to do my own as previously mentioned on here. The first two prints have now arrived! 23 is the only one though that is finished as the other one had too many issues to make it useable. I'm very pleased with the way its turned out as its been a long time since I designed a model to fit on a chassis that wasn't 16mm scale! Just need to sort out some valve gear, DCC chipping and some detailing but then its good to go.

Everything's progressing nicely so I don't think it will be long until I start looking at Scenery!


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Micro Maine Gains a Headshunt

With a day off from work, I was able to fully operate the Micro Maine Layout. However, very rapidly, I grew fed up of the fly shunting needed for the layout. More often than not, the coaches wouldn't roll far enough or they would derail. Even using a shunt release style of operation, I rapidly got fed up with trains not fitting or engines not coupling. So a change was needed!

Again I raided the spare track box and found two spare points plus short straight sections so built a small headshunt. The points are standard Hornby R2 points compared to the Larger radius 33" points used on the layout so far. The same style used on the loosely named Turntable lead (one is on the way). The headshunt is just long enough to fit a 4-4-0 in however it's mainly designed for Forneys. The Siding off the loop uses a 33" curve as well as a short straight. This is mainly for the longer Maine Locos 18/23 that are on the way which may not fit around the 'train set curves'.

Despite appearances, I can fit 2 full-length coaches plus a wagon in the loop which is the normal train length. That said, that might change soon depending on if a current project comes to fruition. With two deliveries due by the end of the week, it won't be long until my currently hidden plans will surface either just before Christmas or afterwards.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Micro Maine - A layout reborn. Again.

Although I enjoyed version 2, short trains and quite frankly nonrealistic train lengths were both starting to annoy me as well as a lack of space. The joys of having a spare set of layout boards that were bigger meant a rebuild was in order. Fortunately, I didn't need any spare track so got on with it!

The old N gauge layout with track now removed. 

Track now in place. Only track not shown is the 3rd engine siding.

First test places of rolling stock on the layout 

 Station area:- Two lines (on the left) are the main arrival/departure lines with the two on the right for storage/transhipment

 Engine shed area:- Two rear lines designed for all current and future motive power. Front line for Bachmann Locos only.

 SR&RL No.25 has now been painted. Starting to look the part now with lettering on the way in time.

 First passenger trains on the layout. Two longer coaches will be the normal train length. Just means buying enough coaches to complete a bigger passenger fleet.

First test of the layout. 4 wagons/cars and a tender engine will be the largest train in use. Room left for a certain big 2-6-2 which is in the works........

The stock list has also evolved. At present, there is an operational fleet of 8 Forneys and 4-4-0s. Detailed design work in underway for 3 3D printed Locos. Monson Railroad Number 3, Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Number 18 and Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Number 23. These 3 will complete the initial operating fleet on the layout although these may be bolstered by a Neil Sayer Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Number 19 along with some more Forneys covering the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad.

Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Number 23. Will have a Modern 4-4-0 Tender hooked behind it to complete it along with other bits mainly from Forney Locos.

Monson Railroad Number 3. Will need a number of bits from Hornby UK to complete the loco.

Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Number 18. Will need some bits from Forney Locos to complete it.

Rolling stock wise, the current stock is 3 coaches (12, 17 and 18), 4 flat/pulpwood wagons and 2 cabooses. In time, there will be another 3 flat/pulpwood wagons, 3 box cars and 2 more coaches which will allow for some flexibility when operating the layout. One of the coaches will be another cut and shut coach which will represent Combine number 11 with the other being the short coach number 16.

That should give an overall rolling stock list of 5 coaches, 10 Freight cars and 2 cabooses to operate the layout with. This combined with the larger loco fleet will give me the layout I've been wanting for a long time!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Garden Railway Expands!

Couple of days later than planned, it is done (almost). It took two of us (me and dad) 6 hours to complete but its been worth it.

The first job was the remove the turf from the section of garden. Surprisingly easy to do but still took a long time.

Next, we put down the weed proof membrane onto the ground. Something I didn't do on the existing railway and boy, do I regret not doing it!

Next, the fun stuff starts. Ballasting! First pass took 12 bags of gravel with the second pass taking another 3. The membrane got trimmed as well at this point.

First track then went down. 45mm gauge first as its easier to lay. LGB track was used thoughout and unsurprisingly was down in minutes. First time I've had 45mm gauge out in about 5 years!

Now the track that will see the most use, The 32mm! Passing loop is long enough for a Brazil and two WHR coaches (Note, WHR not FR) which should be good. Only one joint needs trimming but the weather turned awful at that point so.... that can wait for another day. The track also needs packing but I suspect that will have to wait until better weather so I can get a loco out and start to test it all!

Safe to say I'm happy with the progress. I'm out of 32mm track now plus the parents want to see it bedded in before approving stage 2 so that's for another day.