Saturday 27 July 2019

Fiddling with a fiddle yard

I've been quite a busy boy this week, having not felt like doing much modelling recently I seem to have my modelling mojo back. Strange how it comes and goes. Anyway, Arnold Lane Wharf is booked to appear at the Borth y Gest show in a couple of week so I decided that I should sort out a few issues that I've been meaning to deal with for ages. So, before doing anything useful I installed the water crane which I've had laying around since the demolition of the aborted big garage layout. I'm pleased with how it looks and now it just needs a small coaling stage to go with it.

Lucy got a coat of matt varnish which has made it look much better
Those lovely people in Devon, i.e. PECO have finally released the un-liveried versions of the L&B obs. carriage so I can finally complete my rake. Underhill Town was designed to be able to accommodate a rake of three of these in the platform run round loop. Obviously I can never leave anything well alone so 'Stonerization' has begun. So far it is mostly roof modifications. This coach comes with the later roof revision which includes top hat lamp vents; I think these are a real improvement over the original versions but I wanted to add torpedo vents, rain strips and brass handrails instead of the moulded on ones, so I did. I've also replace the moulded on hand rails on the coach ends which is something I didn't do on the other two but I like the look of it so a retrofit looks on the cards.

Down at the wharf for a test with Bjorn - another tidying up project. It finally has a driver and having somehow lost the name plate from one side I moved the surviving one to the cab back.

The biggest change has been the addition of a third siding for the fiddle yard. I've done this by screwing a length of 2 x 1 to the rear of the baseboard and installing a second pair of points.

Track plan A
Track plan B

In the end I opted for plan B as the extra points would have made the new siding stupidly short. As it is the new sidings are a bit short but I suspect that it will be ok.

The finished thing including isolating switch added locally as there isn't room to include it on the control panel.
I had a visit from one of the new SR liveried Bachmann WD wagons and although it is a fictional livery I think it looks very plausible.

Here it is with a PECO L&B van to the left and a PECO bogie open and a kit built open.
And then there is this...

Saturday 20 July 2019

A different island

I've been on holiday in South West Scotland this week which was very relaxing. I would highly recommend The Mull of Galloway if peace and quiet is what you like. I thought there would be no trains but that's not life threatening, however on our first trip out we took a small fishing boat to a small island called Ailsa Craig. It has a long and varied history but is now completely uninhabited. There is a lighthouse which is now fully automated but which used to have three lighthousemen in residence. There are three derelict houses to poke about in but most interesting to me was the fact that they had a 3ft gauge tramway from the landing place to the lighthouse compound. 

The first section of the line was an incline with a curved section, there was a small internal combustion engine worked winch for this. The whole workings are still in tact.

After the incline winding drum which is between the rails the line was hand worked by the looks of it. There is a siding off to one side through a gate which leads to a derelict building.

The siding

One of two wagons, the other being by the coast is almost destroyed. 

The wagon at the end of the track in the lighthouse compound. The track ended here but I suspect that it continued in a lighter gauge rail at some point as I detected the remains of sleepers amongst the dereliction. 

The incline winding house.

The incline. There is a newer concrete pier and the remains of an older wooden one. The track has obviously been changed to suit.

There was also another seperate 3ft gauge system which served the granite quarry. The stone was used for curling stones. This is completely removed now.

The quarry trackbed and the outside remains of a curling stone.

The old pier

The whole site

Ailsa Craig 

This is the phone video of the trip featuring the railway.