As any Northern Rail commuter can tell you, “refurbished” is a euphemism for somebody else’s cast offs. The coach which is subject of this blog entry has been in my possession for several years, it was acquired via eBay so it actually is somebody else’s cast off. It originally ran on old Tri-ang coach bogies, I later rebuilt it to run on a spare On30 tender chassis but it then had a slightly asymmetrical profile from end to end. I’ve removed the body from that chassis tonight and done some repair work with filler where there were gaps in the woodwork. The roof has never fitted properly, one of those jobs that never quite made it to the workbench – until now. The HO scale flat car used as a replacement chassis had fish-bellied solebars, the one on the door side has been retained and will form the support for an access step.
I’m hoping to be able to touch up the paintwork to disguise the repairs rather than give the coach a complete repaint because I quite like the cross keys and varnished wood finish. I believe the coach’s previous owner to be a man of the cloth somewhere in the south of England, perhaps his parish church being St Peter’s. Anyhow the cross keys markings go well with the supposed history of the coach as being of Ferrocarril San Pedro origin.
The one-sided access is similar to the Corris Railway coach (above left) which I presume it to be based on, and the short wheelbase bogies resemble those on some of the Festiniog Railway coaches (above right) so the FSP coach is something of a Welsh hybrid.
This photo was taken at Cuarto de Pulgada on Saturday morning. The filled areas have been repainted and the coach body is now glued onto its new chassis.
… when a nation hides its organic minds in a cellar, dark and grim?
All the madmen? Nope, just one, me.
(And Sierra Oculta is in a garage, not a cellar.)
The FCPyF was still in a modular, portable, formation in 2015 (above) but by 2017 it had been extended and converted to a fixed home layout (below).
The railway gets bigger still each time I have one of my mad ideas, Grande first appeared as a detached section with trains ferried between there and Centrales on cassettes. Once I’d raised the baseboard under Grande it was possible to connect the terminus to the rest of the railway, creating the junction at Bodjio in place of Centrales. The latest extension is the terminus at San Fernandez with cassettes again being used to move trains between the two staging areas. Compare the plans above with the current state of the layout.
Even with work still in progress on the new terminus (above) I’m already thinking about extending again. San Fernandez could be moved about four feet to the right without obstructing the aisle between Grande and Jones River, this would make room to add servicing and turning facilities as shown below (not to scale).
Will this extension be built? Almost certainly. When? Depends upon finances, three sets of points are a major outlay by FCPyF standards.
To a British railway enthusiast “the far north” brings to mind the line from Inverness to Wick and Thurso. In Sierra Oculta it means the railway between Resurreccion and San Fernandez. This area of the layout relies heavily on the off stage cassettes between Frog Rock and the terminus, both for the storage and turning of goods trains and for the transfer of passenger trains between the main layout and San Fernandez.
In the photo above the Renault railcars are waiting in the staging area beyond Frog Rock, en route from Grande to San Fernandez, with 305 and 21 just visible in the lower staging area. At San Fernandez (below) the station shunter has just left the stock for the mail train at the station platform before retreating to the carriage siding.
The third photo shows the relative positions of all three levels, Rio Paleta above Frog Rock and Resurreccion, San Fernandez on the bottom level. Loco number 7 is ready to back onto the mail train before departure for Grande.
The southbound mail train and the northbound Renault twins will pass each other as their cassettes are transferred between the two staging areas. Once again, railcars 21 and 305 are seen in the San Fernandez staging area awaiting their turns of duty later in the day.
Does anyone make a weedkiller train in On30 and, if so, would the FCPyF use it?
Nope, didn’t think so.
I have long been of the opinion that most model railway track looks far too neat, unless you’re modelling Switzerland of course. When the glue dries I’ll add some litter to complement the weeds and that big, blank, brick wall is just inviting graffiti artists, especially in an urban, third world, environment.
I want to use the FCPyF’s Ruston as station pilot at San Fernandez. This loco has previously only been used for light freights and maintenance trains so it’s needed the tension lock coupler at the cab end replacing with a Kadee to match the coaching stock.
Having fitted the knuckle coupler I tested it for height with a quick shunt at Grande. I was quite surprised how easily the tiny loco dealt with the heavy mail train coaches!
The filler on the station yard and concourse has dried and been painted to match the grey concrete platform.
I’ve brought the microlayout indoors to concentrate on adding some details in relative comfort. The scenic break bridge is a mock up at present, the permanent version will be removeable to make track cleaning easier.
The Renault twin set is ready to depart on a semifast working to Grande, then railcar 21 will follow as a stopping train. Most trains serving the new station will be operated by railcars, only the San Fernandez mail train and “Los Forgonetas” express freight being loco hauled, so the shunt loco will not be overworked.