Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Next Stop Davemoor

Last weekend we cleaned up the baseboards in front of the window, prior to planning the track layout for both the main line and the branch line extension.
The blue lines in the photos above depict the approximate route of the main line while the black line shows the course of the branch line, travelling above it on an embankment. The green lines, meanwhile, indicate this embankment which is, in effect, a continuation of the original embankment that carries the branch line along the back wall.
As you can see we have removed Lake End, the former branch line terminus, and taken up some of the track at this location. This station will now be moved slightly to the right and positioned, on an angle, in front of the electric sockets. It will then be renamed Anchwood and become an interchange between BR trains, running up from Gunnmere, and steam trains running on the 'preserved' extension to a new Lake End. This station is just visible, in the distance, in the second photograph.
In the third and fourth photos you can just make out the corner of a large baseboard which will contain a central loop connected to the main line via two single line sections - one of which is visible in the last photograph.
These lines will cross the gap via a couple of removeable bridges before returning to double track once they are on the other side. 
We decided to make these two crossings single line because, firstly, it was easier given the space limitations here and, secondly, we thought it would actually be fun to have a couple of single line sections, much like there is on Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash in Cornwall.
As you can see from the bottom photograph, it has made for an interesting tunnel with a single portal at one end and a double portal at the other, as the main line goes under the branch for the first time.
Does anything like this actually exist on the railways I wonder?
Once all of the cleaning, planning and marking had been done we then began to lay the first section of track. This will be continued next weekend as we make progress towards the new Davemoor.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Track Record

As you can see from the photographs above, work on the new main line is progressing well.
We have now ballasted to the end of the four track section and are about ready to plan the track layout for the next part of the layout, in front of the new window.
This will be a double track main line, over and around which will run the extended branch line on a curving embankment.
You might also notice that we have removed the siding alongside the farm house because the points and curve here often caused us a few problems and, anyway, this siding was seldom used.
We also noticed that the house is suffering from a bit of subsidence so this will need to be addressed. Clearly the base board here is not as level as we thought it was.
The new station on the main line, to be called Manxton, is made from Hornby Skaledale platform sections which we will cover with Metcalfe platform card, which will hide the gaps etc and, also, mean that it is in-keeping with the other stations on the layout.
We removed the background photograph before starting work hence the white strip on the wall.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lyme Regis

A GWR Class 1400 0-4-2T, NÂș 1462, standing at the station.
The same loco. with a brake van. performing shunting duties.
The remains of the engine shed.
Partially dismantled trackwork.
Here are some more black and white photographs taken by John Day back in the 1950s and 1960s.
This time we see four scenes of Lyme Regis station with the top two photos being taken in 1958 whilst the bottom two were taken during 1965.
Lyme Regis was at the end of a 7 mile branch line from Axminster and was opened in 1803. It was famously operated, for most of its existence, by three of the Adams 'Radial' Tank 4-4-2T locomotives, which were considered to be the best locos for negotiating the difficult route. After their demise, various locomotives were used during the last few years of the line's existence including Standard Class 3MT tanks, Class 14 diesel hydraulics and dmus.
There was just the one intermediate station, at Combpyne, with probably the most famous structure on the line being Cannington viaduct which, being a Grade II listed structure, still stands today.
Sadly the end of this lovely little branch line came in November 1965, however, the station was dismantled and reconstructed at Alresford on the Watercress Line in Hampshire.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Wanderer Returns

It is high time for an update on the progress we have made in remodelling the northern section of the layout.
Actually, not too much was done during the first two weeks of August as it was time for the annual summer holiday, some of which saw us in North Wales.
As might be expected during this time, we found ourselves on trains as we travelled on both the Ffestiniog and Snowdon Railways. Of course we did walk up Snowdon as well, a few days prior to the train ride, and it was good to ascend this spectacular mountain using two modes of travel as well as via two different routes.
Anyway, more of all that in a later posting; for now, here is a quick progress report on the work done on the layout during the second half of August and, as can be seen from the photos, ballasting has started in earnest on the newly laid track.
Prior to the ballasting we soldered wire to the track wherever we had installed a set of points and then dropped these wires down through the baseboard so that they could be connected to the Bus. 
We also added Hornby Clips to all of the points, as a belt and braces exercise, so this, hopefully, should mean that there is a good supply of current to all parts of the track despite the fact that there are, indeed, numerous points at this location.
We have also begun to rebuild the stone walling along the edge of the board, since this does provide a neat edge as well as helping to prevent anything from, accidentally, falling off the edge!
You will also see that we have added a new siding leading off from one of the Shed Roads. This will provide a similar facility to what we had in the old goods yard and will provide a destination to which we can bring trains and, then, indulge in a spot of shunting.
We intend to shoot a short video of a loco or two running on this new track next weekend so ... watch this space.