Half an hour at Foundry Lane

A few photos of 20073 shunting the sidings at Foundry Lane, here we see it arriving with a brake van, there being no inbound traffic on this afternoon’s trip working

After dropping the brake van in the sidings, the loco headed off to the steel terminal, propelling a bogie bolster which had arrived on the morning trip and returning with some empty wagons which had been unloaded during the morning

The brake van is collected and added to the back of the wagons.  The loco then ran round, ready for the return working

The trip working then left, heading back towards the mainline

We grab one last photo before she disappears under the bridge and into the gloom beyond

The next exhibition appearance for the layout is Expo EM North on 15th and 16th September at the new venue of George H Carnall Leisure Centre, M41 7FJ.

First-sprung COV AB

For a while now I’ve been accumulating some of those nice Bachmann air braked wagons.  At some point in the future I might even build a layout on which to run them, but for now they are gathering dust.

With my planned move to P4, I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at springing one of these just to get a feel for how the Bill Bedford spring units work and maybe add a few other detail improvements too.  The Bachmann axleguard units are screwed in place, so are easily removed leaving a clear flat floor to mount the replacement units on.  The spring units folded up easily, I changed the spring wire provided for some 0.3mm phoshor bronze wire.  The Brassmasters axle spacing gauge came in handy for getting everything corrective aligned.  The wheels (these are Gibson EM ones) were fitted with brake discs by S Kits (from Nairnshire Modelling Supplies).  The bearings are left overs from Chivers MDV kits.

The buffers were also replaced using sprung 18″ Oleo buffers from 51L, which I fitted at our modelling night last week.

After touching in the paint on the buffers, fitting some brake pipes and a light weathering, here is the end result:

Technically it’s slightly too modern to put in an appearance on Foundry Lane, but I think it will find its way into the stock box for the next exhibition.

North Staffs Sand

For the past few days I’ve been following this topic over on RMweb about the railways around Stoke & Staffs in the 1970s & 80s.  There are a couple of photos of Cheadle station and a link to a nice video on You Tube of 24057 shunting at Leek Brook Junction in 1977; which reminds me that I must make my brake vans more free running and improve their ability to stay on the track when propelled at speed 🙂  There is some further North Staffs Sulzer action here.  The use of a 12T van between loaded wagons and the brake van was to protect the guard from sand blowing from the load!  Note that by the mid-70s most of the sand trains were made up of ex-Iron Ore tipplers/hoppers.

In particular these photos caught my attention showing a sand train behind a pair of class 25s.  Now the wagons here (MTVs) are obviously different to the older sand tipplers which we run on NHC, but I’m wondering whether the style of loading and colour of the sand might be more appropriate for the Cheadle sand on NHC than the flat loads of red sand we currently use?

How would you model this?  I guess a resin (?) casting roughly to shape then loose sand glued on top?  On our shorter (16’6″, 9′ wb) tipplers I guess two mounds of sand rather than the three seen in the MTVs would be appropriate.  We’ll need a dozen – any volunteers?

Who wants to model a wagon?

One of the facebook groups I’m a member of is the Industrial Railway & Locomotive Appreciation Society and there has been a very nice link posted to a website with oodles of photos of both mainline rolling stock and industrial internal user wagons. The site is by Paul Bartlett and features numerous galleries for specific types of stock and within the industrial section galleries of specific locations with photographs of different types of wagons within each gallery. Thanks to Paul  this website could be a very helpful resource for detailing and weathering, and also for a bit of atmosphere.

The site can be found here http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/

Vans finished

A little more work over the past couple of weeks has seen the unfitted LMS van and the BR Fruit van (as seen here) finally completed and removed from the “work in progress” pile and I’m quite pleased with the results (seen here posing in the winter sun):


No further progress on the other van, yet, though.

A trio of ex-LMS vans

I’m currently having a bit of a sort out and trying to clear a few unfinished projects from my workbench so I can focus on my new layout.  Two of these vans have been hanging around my workbench since before the dawn of time, the third is a more recent addition which was built just because I liked the prototype (and because it will fill a gap for unfitted van stock in the branch goods on New Haden).

They are, in no particular order, a Cambrian Kits LMS D1830 unfitted steel bodied van, a Parkside Dundas BR dia 1/230 fitted fruit van and a Ratio LMS van, tweaked to represent a BR dia 1/204 (or at least I think that is what I was doing with it).

The D1830 was built largely as intended, the the exception of buffers (some tasty castings from Lanarkshire Model Supplies) and brakes (having exhausted my stock of ABS 9′ unfitted brake gear these are from 51L – and very nice they are too).  As you can see below it has received its first weathering coat, although some variation in the colour and a perhaps a little light rusting remains to be added.  At this stage the poorly fitting roof  is still in need of attention.  Couplings are likely to be three link at one end and AJ at the other, so it can perform as a converter between locos and my other three link fitted stock on New Haden.

The diagram 1/230 fruit van has similar additions to its buffers and brake gear.  Unfortunately I can’t remember where the (sprung) buffers came from although they may be Gibson.  The brakes are from the Mainly Trains LMS AVB set in etched brass – a bit fiddly in my clumsy fingers, but well worth the effort.  This one really is finished except for lettering and weathering, so quite why it has remained in this state for over two years now is anybody’s guess – its even already got some varnish where the transfers need to go!

Finally and with the most work remaining (but dormant from almost as long) is the Ratio kit bash.  The underframe is Parkside and will receive the same etched brass brake bits as the Fruit did.  If memory serves correctly the (cast) buffers on this one came from Genesis Kits, the vacuum pipe from MJT and the axle boxes from 51L.  Not shown in the picture is an extra rivet strip added to the ends to match whichever prototype I was modelling at the time (I really must find that photo).

So there you have it; proof that I do, sometimes, do some modelling…………..