Och…it was a bit wet…in the Far North

July 13, 2012

…and the cloud had fallen down on the hills…

But it takes more than a little rain to put me off a run up the Far North when there’s Class 37s out and about. Class 150/1 No. 950001 (technically a Class 150/1 body shell but a Class 950…)was a bonus, photographed in the Strath of Kildonan (Strath Ullie).

New intermodal terminal at Georgemas Junction with 37 602 and 37 605 in attendance.

Photographs taken at Kinbrace and Forsinard respectively on the 12th July 2012. Great to see Class 37s earning their keep on the Far North line (Sutherland and Caithness Railway section north of Helmsdale) once again.

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More on the Dapol Class 56…

July 4, 2012

The first N gauge Class 56 models to emerge from Dapol and kindly sent over by Dave Jones for me to feature here represents those built by Electroputere in Romania.56 018 in EWS colours and 56 013 in Railfreight Coal are the first two models scheduled for release.

The models are neatly presented and represent the class well. Note the cut in detail of the bogie side frames. LED lights are fitted, working directionally on analogue power and independently with a decoder with no sign of light leakage into the cab or from underneath the loco.Face looks good too. NEM coupling pockets are fitted and the models are supplied with alternative coupling types. The buffer beam has a small notch in it to clear the coupling.


Side views showing the etched metal side grilles and moulded detail behind them. The fan grilles are moulded with a representation of a fan behind them. Note the later adaptation to the shoulder grilles at the No.2 end which is a 1990s modification.

Another look at the grille work. The bogie, sand box and buffer beam detail is also shown to advantage in this image. The cowl is modelled partially complete as if representing the locos after modification of this area and the early Doncaster-built machines which did not feature the side sections of the buffer beam cowl. This version of the detail will not be correct for a Romanian Class 56 in 1970s condition, say in BR blue livery or in Sector livery. Records show that 56 013 was no modified in this way and did not have the modified No.2 end shoulder grilles.And finally: the internals which include 6-axle drive with stub axle current collection and a centrally fitted 5-pole motor. Performance is smooth and the model is geared to have a reasonably low top speed in keeping with its status as a freight locomotive in the same manner as the Dapol Class 58 models. A 6-pin DCC interface socket is included in the electronics; the loco being shown with a Digitrax DZ125 installed.

As I was preparing this overview (not a review, that’s for the magazines) of the Dapol Class 56; Dapol had just released its latest NEM pocket fitting buck-eye couplings including a short shank and a long shank version. More on those next time round!


It’s a bit of a mess…

July 2, 2012

Modifications to the ‘Dover’ fiddle yard has seen some of the scenery removed and things messed about a little. There is the odd scar on the back drop boards to fill and paint too. Still, work is underway to replace and repair this area and make a start on the first of the turn back sidings.

The modified ‘Dover’ fiddle yard now has an extra road and the scenery box which disguised the entrance from the rest of the layout has been set back a little and reduced in size. This was made possible by a small adjustment to the yard throat and relocation of a Tortoise switch machine. It has left a gap in the scenery where insulation foam is obviously visible which needs some attention!

I use dense black track underlay foam as track bed on my layouts. Its sound deadening features are excellent and the closed cell structure means it does not absorb much ballast glue.

The foam I use is 3mm thick and a Nairnshire Modelling Supplies stock item.

I use Woodland Scenics Foam Tack Glue  for gluing down foam products. It has good initial ‘tack’ which grips the foam and holds it firmly, allowing around 15 minutes for adjustment. PVA glue can be used too, but needs more setting time and weight to hold it in place. The former saves a great deal of time.

A scrap of foam is used to spread the Foam Tack Glue around.

Making progress…the foam is easy to cut and shape.

In around 15 minutes, the glue had set sufficiently for me to mark in the track for the first turn back road using thread to check alignment. The edge of the foam is cut slightly unevenly but can be trimmed if desired. Track laying now follows. I have still to fix the scenery!