N Gauge Class 22.

May 18, 2013


Class 22 image 1Western Region modellers are going to love this one – a small loco in a small scale which will inspire a few layouts, I am sure. Despite the long held view that minority loco classes would not make it to main stream modelling, manufacturers have broken into this field and are now offering some very attractive models of unusual prototypes. For N gauge, the Class 22 breaks new ground and Dapol has done a pretty good job of it too.Class 22 image 2It is a small Bo-Bo type locomotive which will suit anything from large layout themes based on WR main line action to sleepy west country branch lines.Class 22 image 5Features include wire hand rails, etched grilles applied to the body sides and flush glazing.Class 22 image 4The  off-set roof radiator grille characteristic of the Class 22 is faithfully represented.Class 22 image 3The face of what turned out to be a smooth running and powerful little model.Class 22-image 6

Class 22 image 8Spoked wheels are fitted and the spokes are individually represented. remember when it was considered impossible to produce spoked loco wheels (steam and diesel) for N gauge which were see-through? All four axles are powered.Class 22 image 7The technical specifications are up to the usual Dapol N gauge standard. A five pole slow speed motor is fitted which drives both bogies though the now standard drive shafts. Brass flywheels ensure that the model has some momentum too. Electronics include running lights and a 6-pin DCC socket. The body simply pulls off (no connecting wires to the chassis) to reveal a die cast chassis which brings the model’s weight in at around 75g. Test running proved to be very satisfactory, with no light leakage into the cab and smooth controllable running. In all, a very smart model of an unusual prototype!

One from the archives…

May 9, 2013


I was a student when I took this picture of 3H No. 1126 in the early 1980s. It’s a timely find in my negative collection – Kernow Model Rail Centre has not long released its exclusive ‘Thumper’ model, albeit in early green as a 2H.

Overcoming analysis paralysis…

May 9, 2013

There was a block on the completion of my Montana Rail Link 4th Sub layout which occupies the lower and middle deck of my home based, never to go to shows, layout. I really, really was not keen on any sort of bridge across the entrance doors to the cabin – it was an absolute ‘Given’ in my planning that there should be no bridge. This, combined with a determined bit of bloody-mindedness over the inclusion of a trestle on the 4th Sub line resulted in a struggle with the final bit of track planning, holding up the middle deck of the layout.

10th sub-6

In the end, I looked at the possibility of using aluminium angle to create a rigid and stable removable bridge across the doors to the cabin. The experiment worked and thus a route for the secondary 10th Sub line could be included in the plan, resolving several track planning dilemmas. Also, this move clarifies where the west end staging yard (Sandpoint) will be located.

10th sub-5

Some care was needed to ensure good alignment at each end of the lift out bridge. This allows a single track line to run round the opposite side of the room from the main line (4th Sub route) and allows the junction with the 4th Sub at Paradise to be modelled.

10th sub-4

10th sub-3

10th sub-2

With that planning change, work could commence on the building of the baseboards, inserting the spline track bed and preparing for track laying. The layout is based on shelf layout principles and the boards above are only 10 inches wide, minimising impact on the room but increasing operating potential of the layout.

10th sub-8

The picture above shows a view of testing work on the new door bridge using temporary wiring before completing the back drop and fascia. A switch to prevent trains entering the bridge zone will be installed to prevent accidents!

10th sub-7

The door bridge project turned out to be more successful than I had hoped. I can now make further changes – installing a Pratt through truss bridge (4 spans) on this stretch of 10th Sub line to cross the Flat Head River and a similar truss bridge on the main line close to Paradise Yard. This fills my bridge building urges and means the originally planned trestle can be dropped. At last, the over-thinking (or analysis paralysis) is over and practical work on the layout has recommenced – and all resolved by adopting a more flexible approach.