Sgùrr nan Each, Sgùrr nan Clach Geala, Meall a’ Chrasgaidh and Sgùrr Mòr (again)

October 11, 2016

Allt Breabaig looking south up the pass.

A desire to hit the mountain trails reached crisis point this weekend past as a period of calm Autumn weather settled over the Scottish Highlands, presenting reasonably clear air and a good chance of cloud-free Munros. Back to the Fannaichs (Fannichs) to tackle a trio of tops which form a second arm of the mountain range with a north-south axis from Sgùrr Mòr towards Loch Fannich. The walk started at Loch a’ Bhracin near the A832 with a gentle ramble south up Allt Breabaig to a pass or bealach.


The saddle between Sgùrr nan Each and Sgùrr nan Clach Geala looking back down towards the top of the pass.



Mountains and more mountains – a long walk plus altitude equals happiness.

Upon reaching the top of the bealach, I turned east and climbed the saddle between Sgùrr nan Each and Sgùrr nan Clach Geala. Sgùrr nan Each is the most southerly Munro of this arm of the Fannichs and rises to 922 metres.


Sgùrr nan Each 360 degree panorama with Sgùrr nan Clach Geala to the left of centre of the picture.

From Sgùrr nan Each, I turned north to retrace my steps back down the saddle of the mountains which was followed by the long climb up Sgùrr nan Clach Geala (1093 metres).


Looking town the crags of Sgùrr nan Clach Geala with a rocky top called Càrn na Chriche in the back ground.



360 degree panorama from Sgùrr nan Clach Geala. Summit cairn (south) to the extreme left of the shot. Centre of the image looks east with Sgùrr Mòr to the right.

Timing on this walk was important if Sgùrr Mòr was to be climbed again. I had to leave the summit of Sgùrr nan Clach Geala no later than 13.30 hrs to be sure to fit in all four Munros within the planned walking time. I have walked up Sgùrr Mòr before, in poor conditions which made good photography impossible. On this expedition, I approached the mountain from the opposite flank, starting with a good scramble down the loose rocks on the north side of Sgùrr nan Clach Geala, over the rocky top of Càrn na Chriche and a long clamber over the boulders of the north west flank of Sgùrr Mòr. Last time, I approached the mountain from the south east after climbing Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich.

Sgurr Mor OMWB

Last time!


Second visit and a cloud-free summit!



The 360 degree panorama impossible to obtain on my last visit to Sgùrr Mòr with some fellow walkers enjoying the views.


From there. I retraced my steps back down the north west flank and back over Càrn na Chriche to reach the last Munro of the day: Meall a’ Chrasgaidh (934 metres). Nothing spectacular: a rounded summit with a cairn and shelter. The ground between Meall a’ Chrasgaidh and Càrn na Chriche presented some of the easiest walking of the day allowing some time to be made up by running part of it.


Approaching Meall a’ Chrasgaidh as a brisk walk with Sgùrr nan Clach Geala in the back ground.



360 degree panorama from Meall a’ Chrasgaidh allowing a view of Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich for the first time that day. Sgùrr Mòr is centre with Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich behind left and Sgùrr nan Clach Geala right of centre.



A five-minute break to admire the view and pay due respect to the four Munros of the day before heading back to the car.



Allt Breabaig on the walk out towards Loch a’ Bhracin.



Mountain time again.

October 10, 2016

Early morning at Loch a’ Bhracin in the Fannaichs.

Out and about Munro-bagging in the Fannaichs once again – more later!

Xenophobia has no place in Scotland.

October 7, 2016


To all those who have chosen Scotland to be their home – I am truly sorry for all that is now happening – overseas-born child/school registrations, worker registrations, naming and shaming of companies and the demonisation of overseas-born citizens (I hate the word ‘foreign’). I particularly feel for EU citizens that came to the UK to live, having spent so much of my childhood living in Europe where I was made welcome. I am personally embarrassed and upset by the populist xenophobia and bigotry that has emerged in main stream UK politics in place of serious policy debate.

Scotland wants no part in it as you can see statement by Nicola Sturgeon FM above. I want no part in it. I am pro-European and wish the EU would do more to help Scotland emerge from this extreme right-wing and dangerous political situation and take its place in the European family of nations as a full member state. It’s time the Saltire flew alongside the other European member state flags outside the EU institution buildings.

Saor Alba.



N gauge Class 90 progress.

October 5, 2016

More on that Graham Farish Class 90 which is to become No. 90 033 – masking for RfD International blue.


Masking removed after painting. This is done whilst the paint is still soft.90033-6The livery is starting to take shape. The strange shade of blue used on the revised (International) RfD livery requires a light base as an undercoat for a decent coverage. Flint grey is the next colour to be added which will finish the bulk of the painting.

So which Class 90 will be next for Dudley Heath? I fancy one of the trio painted in pseudo European liveries. However, they did not quite make it into my layout’s time frame. There was one special livery that did manage to survive until around 2013 and that was 90036 (90136) which was finished in a scheme similar to the SNCF special. Called ‘Sybic’, I think I am pleased the livery never progressed beyond 90 136 – note that it has managed to retain at least one of its cast double-arrow plates. I photographed the loco under the roof at Edinburgh Waverley on 23rd September 2004 when it was deployed on ScotRail Edinburgh – North Berwick services. There’s enough livery elements on Fox Transfers sheet F2308 to cover this loco as well as No. 90 033 plus a couple of others.


Other Class 90s found in Edinburgh on the same day included No. 90 040 resting between sleeper duties and 90 023 also working North Berwick services.




Nairnshire Modelling Supplies – O gauge wheel sets…

October 5, 2016


The possibility of stocking O gauge wheel sets as part of our small but growing range of Nairnshire Modelling Supplies 7mm scale O gauge turned brass/turned metal components is being seriously considered. We have the chance to have these 3ft.-6ins. coach disc wheels produced together with a 3ft.-1in disc wagon wheel set too. However, the cash outlay at the start is not to be taken lightly…we have to be sure there’s a market for them. They will be supplied with the appropriate bearings.

O gauge coach and wagon axle bearings.

O gauge coach and wagon axle bearings.

Also added to the 7mm scale O gauge range this year:


Short hand rail knobs.

Short hand rail knobs – 2.5mm in length, 1.5mm diameter round head and with a nominal 1.3mm diameter stem for mounting.

Medium length hand rail knobs - 3.5mm long.

Medium length hand rail knobs – 3.6mm in length, 1.5mm diameter round head and with a nominal 1.3mm diameter stem for mounting.

Long hand rail knobs - 4.5mm in length, 1.5mm diameter round head and with a nominal 1.3mm diameter stem for mounting.

Long hand rail knobs – 4.5mm in length, 1.5mm diameter round head and with a nominal 1.3mm diameter stem for mounting.

O gauge smokebox darts copy

Universal smoke box door handle sets – darts if you like!

3/16th inch inner diameter loco main frame bushes.

3/16th inch inner diameter loco main frame bushes.



Project update: 150002 and 90 033.

October 3, 2016

90033-1Having completed the OHLE gantries on Dudley Heath, the push to prepare more electric stock has started with a Class 310 (AM10) No. 310106 and a Class 90. The Class 90, based on the venerable Graham Farish model has reached the paint shop already and may be completed in time for the Aberdeen Model Railway Club exhibition at the end of the month. It is to be finished as 90 033 in June 2004 condition wearing Railfreight Distribution international livery as seen below.


Note the lack of a fairing at the pantograph end of the loco (nearest the camera). The model will have full detailing of the buffer beam at the end equipped with the fairing and a coupling at the non-fairing end.

Next up: Class 150/0 No. 150002…

150002-2150002-1I very much doubt that the second of the prototype Class 150/0s will be finished in time for the Aberdeen show. Vehicles No.s 55201 and 55301 are now equipped with the former Class 154 roof mounted air-con vents, a feature which was not applied to the centre car. The driving cab doors have been changed from inward slam doors to a representation of power doors. The hand rail recess es are now filled and finished with wet and dry paper. Note that the original roof vents have been removed.

15002-3Remedial work on the centre car No. 55401 has been completed. After the cut and shut stage of the project, the body was undercoated in rail grey to reveal any faults in the area where the two body sections had been joined. As always, some further work was required (see above) to make the join as seamless as humanly possible – not easy with all those roof ribs! It has since returned to the paint booth for a second undercoat of rail grey and the additional finishing appears to be much better. Once that undercoat has fully dried in the next couple of days, the first livery colour will be applied.


In the meantime, No. 90 033 has passed through the paint booth for warning panel yellow. RfD international blue and slate grey are next! More on the Class 310 soon.

IMOG Harvester Run 2016 – Minis, mountains and Loch Ness!

September 19, 2016
Classic Minis - the same car, but all sorts of colours, fittings and character!

Classic Minis – the same car, but all sorts of colours, fittings and character!

Yesterday, ‘The Min’ and I joined in the Inverness Mini Owners Group (IMOG) Autumn run along Loch Ness to Fort Augustus via a circuitous route over the A887 and A87. The group calls the trip its ‘Harvester Run’ and the circuit around Loch Ness, the ‘Lochnessring’.


The route was: Inverness – Drumnadrochit – Invermoriston on the A82, running west along the north side of Loch Ness.

Invermoriston – Beinneun Forest up Glen Moriston on the A887 Kyle of Lochalsh road.

A87 to Invergarry, A82 east to Fort Augustus.

Return was east along the south side of Loch Ness on the B862 for 10 miles; B852 to Foyers, finishing off at Dores Inn just west of the Inverness outskirts to complete the ring.

Right, on to the road! Plenty of thrash and a great deal of attention from tourists and other motorists as we powered along the A82 past Drumnadrochit and on to the junction with the A887 at Invermoriston. Minis can shift when they want to and the road is a great one to test their superb road holding capability. I really began to appreciate the road holding performance of the Yokahama A539 tyres I had fitted this spring, despite the relatively high cost of them. Turn right on to the A887 for more thrash – increasingly uphill at this point.

Turned left on to the A87 at Beinneun Forest after some pretty spirited running 15 miles along the A887 where the first stop was made in the lay-by just beyond the junction. A lay-by crammed with classic Minis by the time we had all arrived.


Showing off and why not when your car looks a good as this!





Ready to move off – the silver BMW was lead car.

From there, A87 to Invergarry, turning left back onto the A82 for the short run to Fort Augustus, the town at the head of Loch Ness where the Caledonian canal starts once again with a fine ladder of locks. The Minis headed to the point where the canal enters Loch Ness for a photo stop. The popularity of the classic Mini seems unabated judging by the reaction from tourists on our pretty chaotic and noisy arrival.





After lunch, a trip on Loch Ness on one of the small cruise boats, ‘The Legend of Loch Ness’ ( was followed up by a run east along the south side of Loch Ness along the B862 for ten miles before turning on to the single-track and winding B852 to Foyers to see the Falls of Foyers.


Legend of Loch Ness with Fort Augustus in the background.


Departure, with swing bridge and lock gates.


Heading east down Loch Ness. No sign of Nessie…


Return run back to Fort Augustus with west coast mountains dominating the skyline.


Entering the Caledonian Canal with a wee light house on the left bank.

From there, a run along the south side of Loch Ness to Dores and a final blether at the Dores Inn to finish the trip. Fortunately, the threatening rain held off until that point and did not last too long. A brilliantly arranged tour with the bonus of a trip on Loch Ness. Sixteen classic Minis, of various shapes, sizes, colours and character took part in the run and no one suffered any technical issues or break-downs either. A perfect day!





‘The Min’ in the thick of the action at Fort Augustus.