Kelpies at night.

November 29, 2016

Pictures – nothing more needs to be said…

http://www.thehelix.co.uk/things-to-do/the-kelpies/

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Test running the Class 310/1.

November 23, 2016

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The tricky business of converting old Graham Farish Mark 2 coaches into a Class 310 EMU has reached the testing stage. The model is being built using Electra Railway Graphics self-adhesive overlays onto heavily modified clear-sided Mark 2 coach bodies. The result, I hope, will be a respectable representation of a 3-car Regional Railways Class 310/1 (No. 310106) which was a common sight in the West Midlands at one time and a signature model for the layout.

The conversion is not the easiest one I have done in N gauge so far – the 3D printed cabs being far from satisfactory and having a distinctly grainy texture to them which is not simple to remove. In fact, the printed material is so hard, wet and dry paper struggled to smooth the grittiness down to any degree. On reflection, scratch building from styrene card may have produced a better result. Weeks after completing the main part of the conversion, the unit is finally being tested on the layout with bar couplings and new gangways designed to close up the gap between the coaches. As you can see, I was far from happy with the join between the cab roof and the main roof moulding. Considerably more finishing work (and patience) was put into making this area of the model as satisfactory as possible together with a final coat of dark grey paint for the roof.

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Class 310 copy

Having filed the cab ends to more or less the right shape, re-profiled the cab windows and removed the bowed ends from the Mark 2 coach body moulding, replacing them with a flat suburban stock end with the gangway extension unique to Class 310 and Class 312 EMUs, the model was relatively simple to finish with the vinyl sides. The centre coach has  pantograph well cut in it, fitted with insulators cut from 10BA brass screws and a Dapol ‘pan’. Cab painting was made awkward by the coarse printed texture, making smooth clean lines difficult to achieve.

The model will be more or less complete for an outing to the Falkirk exhibition this weekend, together with the Class 90 I have been working on recently. No. 90 033 requires a little more finishing to the roof, pantograph well and to disguise that Digitrax DZ126 decoder which can be seen through the cab windows! Despite the challenges and sometimes frustrations of working on older N gauge models, both are a welcome additions to the 25kV fleet. A Class 323 is the next EMU project – also a signature EMU for the West Midlands area.

OHLE spare Class 86

Dudley Heath will be attending the Falkirk MRC model railway exhibition this weekend (26th and 27th November 2016) being held at the Forth Valley College in Falkirk. Electric stock will be featured including Dapol Class 86s.

The Falkirk exhibition is the last major show in the Scottish exhibition circuit calendar and is held annually at the Forth Valley College in Grangemouth Road, Falkirk, FK2 9AD. It’s usually quite an event; much more laid back than a certain other model railway show being staged this weekend at the NEC and a lot of fun.

 


An hour at Drumchapel.

November 1, 2016

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A recent trip to East Dunbartonshire to photograph a layout for BRM offered the chance of an hour or two of photography at Bowling station – a favourite location of mine. Located on the North Clyde route to Helensburgh, the station sees a fair procession of electric trains on various services – or would have done on this particular Saturday (22.10.16) if someone had not dug up the track with some dirty great yellow machines.

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Hornby R600 straights left beside the platforms. Now, where are the rail joiners?

Okay, an hour to kill before my next assignment and no trains between Helensburgh, Balloch and Dalmuir…where next?

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I relocated to Drumchapel station on the Dalmuir – Anniesland loop to find a steady procession of Class 318s and Class 320 EMUs running singly and in pairs between Dalmuir and Airdrie/Larkhall. On good days, freight bound for Glen Douglas and Fort William will also use this line, together with service trains for the West Highland line.

It was unlikely that I would see anything as exotic as an MoD working on this visit. Nonetheless, I find suburban railways fascinating and the North Clyde lines are among my favourite suburban railways. In the hour at Drumchapel, I photographed a goodly number of the ScotRail Class 320 fleet together with the odd Class 318 – enough to keep me occupied.

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