February 23, 2015
Looking up the Clyde from the Bells Bridge towards the Squinty Bridge.
The annual jaunt to Glasgow for Model Rail Scotland is over for another year. Wheal Annah turned out to be an absorbing layout which was fun to operate. It was so busy that there was little time to get round the show with a camera.
Mark Chivers puts a shift in on ‘Wheal Annah’.
Mark Chivers was a great help with the layout, allowing me some time to pick up some supplies and some more wagons for the layout including a couple of Peco CDAs and some 5-plank open wagon kits. The latter will make the perfect stand-in for 1970s clay liner wagons after some details have been changed and detailing added including tarp covers. Layouts that did catch my eye included Scottish Modellers’ ‘Newlands Park’; Brian Thompson’s ‘Kilbowie’ and the massive extension to ‘The Maxwell Colliery Loading Point’ – the layout that never stops growing. Old favourites include ‘Outon Road’ and Ayr MRC’s ‘Perceton’. In all, a great weekend with a great cross-section of layouts to enjoy.
February 9, 2015
Model Rail Scotland is only a couple of weeks away and much preparatory work remains to be done on Wheal Annah!
Sarah and I have decided to take Nairnshire Modelling Supplies off the exhibition circuit for the foreseeable future – we need a break from trading on the exhibition circuit. Consequently, NMS will not be at Model Rail Scotland (Glasgow SECC) in a couple of weeks’ time, I am afraid. NMS continues to offer a wide range of useful modelling materials online where we are introducing some changes to the range over the next year to meet the ever-changing model railway scene. The NMS web site with its secure online ordering can be found here.
Some of you may have come to this conclusion based on my blog references to preparing Wheal Annah for its exhibition debut on the Hornby Magazine stand where I will be found blethering about modelling techniques and layout building. The positive side of taking a break from trading at shows is being freed up to enjoy the exhibition circuit with one of my two N gauge exhibition layouts. Dudley Heath will be attending Perth in June and possibly Bonnybridge in the Autumn; whilst Model Rail Scotland is the only booking for Wheal Annah currently. Should be fun!
February 4, 2015
Cold clear air – perfect for low light shots such as these taken at Nairn yesterday evening. The Aberdeen service (The Class 170) crosses with a service for Inverness at 17.30 hrs. A minute later and both trains had departed.
February 3, 2015
New stock for Wheal Annah is test-run as preparation for ModelRail Scotland continues slowly. The Railfreight Class 37 will be renumbered and fitted with replacement nameplates as one of St. Blazey’s finest – No 37 671 ‘Tre Pol and Pen’ looks favourite at this time!
February 1, 2015
Out and about again and in glorious late January sunshine on Saturday. This time, my magazine work took me to Ayrshire, and after completing the project on Friday, I stayed over one night and spent the short day light hours photographing stations on the Ayr-Line on January 31st. Usually, I do not bother with photography in January or February unless the light is particularly good. With that said, the window of useful light in January is short and that is an important factor when photographing those fast-moving ScotRail Class 380s such as No. 380005 above passing Falkland Yard near Ayr with a service for Glasgow Central. And boy, was it windy – a cold raw day!
A portrait of the impressive Class 380s, this time three-car No 380012 as it slows to call at Newton-on-Ayr on a Glasgow Central – Ayr service.
Of all the stations I visited and photographed, Troon has to be my favourite. No. 380017 pauses on a Glasgow Central – Ayr service.
The 25kV AC overhead wires just squeeze under the station canopies. The line to Ayr was electrified in 1986 and saw Class 318s introduced which dramatically improved services between Glasgow Central, Ayr, Ardrossan Harbour and Largs services. They gave way to Class 334s and eventually the current high technology Siemens Class 380s. Both Class 318s and Class 334s remain in ScotRail’s fleet, but no longer make the run down the Ayrshire Coast Line.
Freight traffic is intense at times, consisting primarily of power station coal traffic originating from (relatively) local coal loading points and Hunterston. You will also find that the oil terminal at Prestwick (Monkton) is still active and freight still runs to the Caledonian paper mill near Irvine. An example of coal traffic was caught at Troon consisting of former EWS Class 66 No. 66 156 on an Hunterston – Carlisle service with HTAs in tow.
Folk living close to the line between Saltcoats and Ardrossan South Beach will be familiar with the procession (and noise) of coal trains running to and from Hunterston. Former EWS Class 66, No. 66 250 wheels empties to the port for loading.
My presentation of a small selection of pictures from the short window of good light is concluded with another shot of a Class 380. The essentially empty yard at Falkland Junction forms the backdrop to this view of Class 380 No. 380102 bound for Ayr. The wind was strong enough to blow sea spray over the yard – it can just be made out in this picture. In all, a great day of photography despite dealing with the highly contrasting light and long shadows.