View from Sgorr Ruadh

November 27, 2012

Digging around in my photo archives, I found a series of pictures making up a panorama taken from Sgorr Ruadh…

Munro ‘Beinn Liath Mhor’ is to the middle left and the Corbett ‘Fruar Tholl’ is in the middle of the view which is south east of my position. To the right is Loch Carron in the distance and Munro ‘Maol Chean-Dearg’. At the extreme right of the picture, in the distance, is Loch Shieldaig and Loch Torridon. Spectacular scenery!


MK2d BFK update…

November 22, 2012

BR blue and grey livery looks smart on my recently combined Mk2d FO and BSO project (using old and battered Airfix models). This is the second of two BFKs I have attempted and I am not sure how it will fit into the Folkestone East coaching stock fleet! Transfers and varnish are next and then finishing with Shawplan ‘Laserglaze’, hand rails and gangways. The first one, finished in Inter-City livery, is in service in the formation of a Manchester-Dover-Folkestone Central service…

Dudley Heath’s new staging stick…

November 21, 2012

…is now operational! Here’s an update picture of the result during testing. The two tracks are long enough to hold the model of the 5 plus 2 NMT built from Dapol Mk.3 trailers, the longest train to run on Dudley Heath. It opens up operations dramatically for running local trains and the EWS Executive train too!

Creag Pitridh.

November 19, 2012

A group of three mountains just south of Loch Laggan were the latest target of a walk into the wild. With day light hours limited at this time of the year, one was targeted whilst the other two were checked out for a future expedition. The three mountains are Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn and Beinn a Chlachair. As it happened, Beinn a Chlachair had a cap of cloud and blizzard conditions whilst Geal Charn was just too far for the allotted time.

On the walk in, Lochan Na H-Earba is passed which sits between two smaller tops and Craig Pitridh. The light was beautiful and water relatively calm.

Cloud gathering to the west hinted at a decline in weather to come as the day progressed, so time to press on.

On the climb, which is not too bad, the rocky summit of Creag Pitridh was reached in plenty of time to make the return walk before dark. Things were made a little more challenging by the snow which filled holes and pockets with shallow drifts. Easy to fall into and strain a muscle!

Don, a fellow member of Moray Mountaineering Club and an excellent companion for the day’s walk.

A 360 degree view taken from Creag Pitridh with Geal Charn to the left and Beinn a Chlachair to the right, both snow covered.

The same panorama but with the lochs in the centre. Loch Laggan is furthest away whilst Lochan Na H-Earba is just below Creag Pitridh.

On the walk out, the weather closed in with snow flurries and sleat. The available light left for safe walking was going too, so back to the rendezvous point for the ride home via The Glen Hotel in Newtonmore for a pint!

Scottish diesels…Class 27.

November 15, 2012


Just in and probably in time for Warley: the Dapol Class 27, a rail blue one with sealed front doors and TOPS numbers as 27 032. Reminiscent of the West Highland line and the Glasgow area in the early 1980s.

The model features fully working marker lights and an illuminated head code panel (with domino dots) with no light leakage.

The character of the Class 27s is faithfully captured by the model including the shape of the cab, the windows and roof profile.

Detail and grille tooling is sharp and effective. I like the small details including the windscreen washer outlets on the cab front and the shoulder grilles.

Internally, Dapol has provided a 6-pin DCC socket for simple conversion to DCC operation. A five pole fine control motor is included which performs well with a simple DC power pack and Digitrax DZ125IN decoders. Performance was controlled with good slow speed operation in both directions.

A neat model with character, just waiting for me to build a suitable layout! Who knows? I might be tempted with something compact based on the West Highland line circa 1980. After all, I live a couple of hours away from it, so inspiration is a stone’s throw away. There’s always the Highland line too…also a haunt of the Class 27 usually on freight in the rail blue era. Those modellers inspired by the lowlands could find a use for Class 27s on all sorts of duties including parcels trains and of course, the 1971-1980 era Edinburgh-Glasgow Push-Pull service, top and tailed on rakes of overhauled disc braked early Mk.2 coaches (Class 27/1 and Class 27/2).

New Fiddle Yard progress.

November 6, 2012

The length of what is to be the longest train to operate on Dudley Heath turns out to be 105cm in length…no point making the new fiddle yard any longer than that hence the careful measurements. The fiddle yard is attached to the main board with a hinge and removable pin so it can be removed for storage and transport. Two roads will be laid on underlay foam and the remaining space used to store some stock between moves. It should open up operations dramatically for little additional work or outlay!

Dudley Heath Track Layout – but there’s a change afoot!

November 2, 2012

The Dudley Heath track plan continues to be a source of interest for those wishing to adapt parts of it in a compact layout scheme and I must confess that I have never drawn it out to a standard suitable for publishing either in BRM or on the web. However, I have this helicopter view of the layout taken before scenery was applied showing exactly how the track formations are placed. It was the building of the NR New Measurement Train (NMT) which has made me consider a small revision. The train consists of two power cars and five trailers. I thought that it might be too long for the layout until the train made its exhibition debut recently. A five plus two formation did fit two of the four end fiddle yard roads! Just…

To the top left of the track formation picture, there’s a pocket to accommodate Class 156s and 150s working ‘local services’ on the layout. It’s three cars in length, too short for a Class 350 and certainly too short the NMT. It was provided as part of the track plan for a future extension of the layout. There is a cross-over on the main line to provide a single lead into it enabling local services to turn back, so almost any scenic extension could be made to work. I have decided to add a two-road staging yard to the layout using this pocket as the starting point. Another turnout can be added to provide two roads. It will be long enough for the NMT and Class 350s too and will open up operations and balance out the three staging roads towards the middle of the layout which are all long enough for the NMT. The new construction will be narrow, low cost and optional should it not be required for certain operating situations such as my proposed Rail Blue era where the longest train required to use it will be a Class 304 or three car Class 310/312 – they should fit the pocket track as it stands today. So, where is my mitre saw…?