Monday, 31 October 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
My little NCB works train is slowly taking shape.
The past few afternoons have been spent assembling a handful of laser-cut styrene kits from The Bespoke Carriage Company. Although they need much more work before they're complete, I’m already redrawing my Maudetown Colliery extension plans to include a short run of ‘OO9’ gauge track. Narrow gauge has never really appealed to me until fairly recently but I’m really gripped by the idea of a little works train pootling about amongst the full-size mainline traffic.
The ‘Ratty’ steam loco kit is designed for mounting atop a Kato ‘N’ tram chassis, but I wondered if I could try something different. At the moment, I'm trying to mount it onto a Farish J94 0-6-0 underframe. That way, I can have a set of coupled wheels beneath the bodyshell, adding a little more visual interest. Hopefully , it should be running by the end of the week.
Look out for an in-depth ‘Benchtest’ demo/review in Model Rail in the New Year. In the meantime, though, you can learn more about this range of kits and modelling accessories at www.yorkmodelmaking.com
Monday, 17 October 2011
In a brief flurry of expenditure, I picked up a handful of new wagons over the weekend, most of which are private owner 'minerals' for my colliery layout project. From both Hornby and Bachmann stables, they’ve been chosen for their South Wales markings (well, 2 out of the 3). Consolidated Fisheries of Swansea (Hornby) and James & Emanuel of Newport and Cardiff (Bachmann) are perfect for my location, whilst the Bullcroft Main wagon (Hornby) was chosen purely because I love the big bovine logo!
The Bachmann model just needs a set of scale couplings, but the Hornby counterparts will be mounted on new plastic chassis kits from Parkside Dundas. All will be weathered and re-branded into National Coal Board ownership, although their original markings will still be visible.
With countless BR designs of minerals already in traffic at Maudetown, I’ve been working to inject a bit of variety with some ex-Private Owner designs. Coal wagons are amongst my favourite rolling stock so it’s really no chore. In fact, I’m doing this as a form of relaxation...
Friday, 14 October 2011
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Here they come... all five working 'Deltics' in the one train: not something you see everyday!
Standing in the typical Northern October drizzle, just a handful of eager enthusiasts stood on the platform of Bury Bolton Street, waiting for a very special train. Just after midday yesterday, a procession of five 'Deltics' arrived onto the East Lancashire Railway, having run on the main line from the NRM at Shildon.
Hauled by D9000, the consist reversed at Castleton to access the ELR via Heywood, this time with green D9016 in charge. With the unmistakable sound of a throaty Napier approaching, the convoy soon hove into view, rewarding those who'd waited patiently for their arrival.
Leading the convoy, the former Porterbrook purple Gordon Highlander looks like her old self again. The modern WIPAC light clusters have been removed and a more appropriate livery applied.
The reason for the visit of all five operational 'Deltics' (Tulyar, the sixth survivor, is under restoration at Barrow Hill), is a spectacular Deltic Gathering at the 'East Lancs' this coming weekend (15-16 Oct). Along with the usual highlights of regular ELR diesel galas, the five Class 55s will be powering an intensive service, including evening trains on the Saturday.
I hadn't seen 55002 'KOYLI' since I was a young teenager, when it was based at the North York Moors Railway.
The full line up is: D9016 Gordon Highlander, D9009 Alycidon, 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier, 55002 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, D9000/55022 Royal Scots Grey
A full timetable and other information can be found on the ELR website
Monday, 10 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Friday, 7 October 2011
Had to dash to Buxton library this morning in the face of a potential fine for not returning a book. The tome was on the subject of model railway layout design by the respected author Iain Rice. Realistic Railway Modelling (Haynes) is a good read with lots of great ideas and I’d renewed it up to my limit over the past few months. In fact, I liked it so much that I’ve decided to order myself a copy from Amazon!
An amusing feature of the train journey was the fact that the Class 156 was adorned with vinyls advertising my beloved Settle-Carlisle line and the tabletops inside featured illustrated maps of the route! While I love the ride to Buxton, especially the section between New Mills and Dove Holes, it did make me long for a ride up to Dent or Garsdale.
While the S&C services have been ‘upgraded’ to Class 158 traction, I’ve missed the 156s on that route. They may be noisy but at least you can open the windows and I find that the sealed, air-conditioned(!) 158s somehow insulate you from the surroundings. Indeed, last time I was up in the Fells, the train I caught back from Dent had a 153 attached to the 158 unit, so I opted for a seat in the rickety single car.
There was only a few young blokes for company and I initially assumed that all the other passengers had opted for the relative comfort of the 158 cars, until I realized that said group of youngsters were getting tanked-up noisily on super-strength cider. But no matter, they turned out to be a quite pleasant and witty group of Leeds Utd fans and was a pleasant alternative to the ‘blue rinse’ brigade listening to the on-train guide in the ‘posh seats’.
I don’t mean to sound like a miserable old so and so, but as a regular S&C traveller, the tourist nature of many of the trains is a bit tiresome. I’d rather it was treated like a proper train service. But I suppose it’s more important to get bums on seats, even if many of them are being transferred from a coach at Settle to another one at Appleby or wherever; many of them not ever considering train travel for any other purpose than a novelty trip. Once you’ve overheard the same story about Ribblehead for the hundredth time, all you want to do is plug in your Ipod and turn AC/DC up to full volume!!