Easy with hindsight

Chris Thompson is considering building a OO scale version of Lyddlow Mill. He makes very kind comments about my O scale microlayout on his blog but I would suggest a few alterations to the plan, alterations that I would incorporate into a replacement for the mill if I were ever to build one.

Three wagons on the siding, loco still off stage.

Lyddlow Mill is a reduced Inglenook with siding capacities of 2, 3 and 3. The cassette acts as the headshunt between the sidings and can hold a loco and 2, thus complying with the laid down limits for such a shunting puzzle. However, these limitations mean that the loco spends most of its time off stage and only appears in full view when there’s just a single wagon on the siding.

Two wagons, loco still partially hidden.

This is not good because Chris is building his version as a home for his Sentinel shunter, “Clara” and I think he’d probably like to see more of her.

“Clara” – Photo by Chris Thompson.

I would therefore advise making the sidings as capable of holding the loco and 2 or 3 wagons instead of being limited like mine.

The loco comes into full view at last, but with just one wagon on the siding.

The Inglenook rules could be still enforced by replacing the overbridge with a level crossing, which cannot be blocked by uncoupled wagons, and using a low relief building or an advertising hoarding as the scenic break to hide the cassette… And the brass band can be stood waiting for the gates to open!

Posted in My trains, Other people's trains, Standard gauge, Toy train chit chat

Something for the (bank holiday) weekend? Part two

I have very carefully (using a lump hammer) dismantled Hazy Days. The main warehouse building came off the baseboard, complete with its platform, virtually undamaged so it can be reused on the new version of the layout.

The exit-to-fiddlestick will be disguised by the netty and the tree, again salvaged from the original model.

The proscenium arch has also been salvaged and will be incorporated into the new baseboard, making a closed in scene with the warehouse and high boundary walls around the ends and rear of the layout.

At this stage I stopped for lunch and gave some thought to how the track was going to be laid. After lunch I flipped the baseboard over, the black side will be easier to work with when it comes to adding scenery, and used some loose rails for the end of the front siding instead of the plastic track in the second photo of this post. The gauge here is less than accurate but the wheels on the stock have broad treads.

Track laying is now completed bar the last couple of inches of the rear siding (inset above). I’m considering extending this siding through the doorway so that wagons can be loaded/unloaded “inside” the warehouse.

Clearances are tight but everything I want to include in the scene has been accommodated.

Meanwhile, back to On30 scale, I’ve been advised by the sender that the Plymouth DDT I’d ordered for use as station pilot at Cuarto has been mislaid by the carriers.

He’s going to send a replacement. Ho hum, more late running on the FCPyF!

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

Something for the (bank holiday) weekend?

It was over four years ago that Hazy Days was last used as anything other than a static diorama. The model almost went to Stafford show but events at home meant I had to cancel.

It was originally built as an entry in a modular competition at Telford Narrow Gauge Show (though it didn’t win any prizes) and later reworked as a stand alone exhibit using fishing line power as shown in the video above. It was being exhibited in this format at Crewe Heritage Centre when Terry asked if I could take it to Stafford.

Anyway, I could never bring myself to dismantle the scene so it still exists, albeit very faded, in a corner of the garage. I also have a selection of the stock remaining, including the one track-powered “garden shed” loco as originally used at Telford.

Hazy Days still has charm, not least because it reminds me of when I was a teenager, but it lacks operational interest so I’m considering a slightly larger version using as much as possible salvaged from the original.

It’ll still have the kids hanging about, sharing a bottle of cider and a packet of ciggies, but as a “tuning fork” style layout it will also be possible to shunt the wagons instead of just pushing them back and forth.

Posted in My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

A Bodge Too Far

No connection whatsoever with this!

Wednesday again. At FCPyF HQ that means it’s time to get something done on, or for, the railway. Browsing the interwebby while cooking breakfast brought up two ideas. Both equally incredible.

I’ve got a couple of Underground Ernie inspection car mechanisms, currently under Gn15 locos that never get used, one of which could be the basis of a very small On30 shunter based on the NZ bush tramway prototype shown above.

If that’s not strange enough for you, how about this?

It’s not just railway modellers that are ham fisted when it comes to scratch building, it happens in full size too! The other UE mechanism, with the outside frame removed to reveal the wheels, might fit under the engine cowl.

To be honest though, I think this might beĀ  – A Bodge Too Far.

While searching for bits and pieces suitable for use to make the little loco shown above I found another forgotten project. Some time ago I acquired two identical HO scale toy loco bodies. My original intention was to make a pair of (fishing line powered) kneeling cow engines for a mountain railway in either HO or On18 scale but this idea was abandoned in favour of an On18 Fairlie for the Seaside Line. I got as far as joining the two body shells cab to cab so that they would fit on an N gauge Kato DMU chassis… Then the project was side-tracked by something else, as so often happens with my modelling.

Looks fairly like a Fairlie?

Anyway, here it is again. It’s now sitting on another Underground Ernie mechanism, this for one of the EMUs. Exactly what it’s meant to be I’m not sure. Sort of a hybrid with a Fairlie style cab and boiler arrangement but geared transmission like a Dunkirk or similar logging loco.

Size wise, it’s on a par with the Porter #5 and just needs wider side tanks adding.

I have another geared loco built on one of these UE EMU mechanisms. While it is a good runner it cannot pull much, because it is a lightweight, so this pushmi pullyu is unlikely to get much use on the main line.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

HO or On30?

Just got to love that little Plymouth DDT.


It’s just like an HO loco on an On30 layout! Yep, I’ve got one on order for the FCPyF, made by Model Power and marketed as an HO scale model, it’ll be used as the station pilot at Cuarto de Pulgada.

Posted in My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

Electrification, FCPyF style

The railway has been experimenting with electric traction… Don’t expect to see overhead wires, or even a third rail, though because the experiment has been with battery power.

The Seaside Line, an English 18 inch gauge railway (click here, opens new tab), had an abandoned NCB electric van going spare and the FCPyF is always on the look out for a bargain. Obviously the vehicle needed re-gauging but Cuarto shed took the job on anyway.

The On18 van hasn’t been used since I can’t remember when but I don’t like throwing anything away. It’s a die-cast body and originally rode on a Kato 11-103 chassis. The body has been stripped down and temporarily mounted on a OO gauge Bachmann (?) DMU bogie from my scrap-box. It’s not a very good runner but I’ve given it a good oiling and it may improve with running in.

If it can be persuaded to run smoothly I’ll give it a repaint and glaze the cab windows, if not the bits will be returned to the scrap-box, either way it’s cost nowt.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

Trollied – 2

A couple of short tracks have been installed at Rio Paleta today.

Any ideas what they’re for?

Want a clue?

And another?

The P-Way gang need to ensure that they do not impede the passage of trains.

They can manhandle the trolley off the line anywhere, but it’s easier where there are proper run off tracks.

There’s a coal train following about twenty minutes behind railcar #20, so the gang have plenty of time for a beer in the Posada Estrella.

Posted in FCPyF 2016 rebuild, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat