Thursday, 1 October 2015


66135 gingerly feels its way through the fog at Gilberdyke Junction with 6D94 bound for Hull Docks. Thick fog is a very common occurrence on the Hull mainline, being right next to the River Humber, it seems to be very susceptible.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Little and Large

Don't worry, this isn't about the former British 'comic' duo, but instead a contrast in sizes of current workbench residents.

The larger of the two is only partly scene - the Playmobil loco which has appeared a couple of times now on my blog. It was very much 'played with' when it arrived with us, and still needs a clean to remove the dust which has gathered from being stored. There's nothing wrong with signs of 'play', they are toys after all, but it needed a couple of little bits sorting. The main ones being the missing crank pins - German eBay provided a source of spares thankfully. Not surprisingly, Playmobil seems to have its greatest following in its homeland and the shear amount of Playmobil sets, parts and bits listed there reflects this.

In front, the 'little', is progress so far with a set of Penbits sprung bogies for a Bachmann based class 37 for West Halton. Just as with the class 25, the kit is superb and things fit as they should. I don't want to say it's easy, as that might undermine the product, but it is very straight forward and a great project to raise spiritis after a rather down week or so.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Model Railway Journal 241

I'm in MRJ!

Well, not as you might imagine... One of my locos is in the Scalefour Society's advert for this year's Scaleforum.

It's a model of 37501 in its unique light blue livery and it resides on Model Rail Express' editor, Si Bendall's layout Ravenscroft Sidings. It was made using of the the then brand new revised Bachmann class 37s in 2008. It was on my blog here. Until today, I hadn't realised how long it is since I built it!

Completed with Brian Hanson's then brand new parts - I'll stick with what I said in my original post that Brian's parts are revolutionised D&E modelling! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Trying Not to get Carried Away

I get carried away with ideas and layout planning very easily! I think night shifts and quiet times when your mind is free to wander fuel this sort of thing. One night while engineering work carried on outside the signal box I managed to conjure up a scheme, inspired by the Forest of Dean, for a 5" gauge layout which could have fitted in my parents' garden! I knew about the ease with which you could get wagons for 5" guage, but I also found all you could need for the track (scale bullhead in fact!) along with the motive power - class 14s to which you could easily add radio control to really have an enormous model railway. Of course with this would come an enormous cost, well beyond most people's hobby budget. Getting carried away, you see what I mean?

So this may count as getting carried away...

It's a possibility, isn't it? Trains and railways in the garden seem quite civilised I think and Playmobil is very durable, even in the hands of young children. We'll have to wait and see if it can happen...

My last post hinted at what we had acquired recently. It's for Thomas, and the idea was we could have it outside on the lawn in summer. Playmobil is very durable and, if you buy carefully, very reasonable second hand. Providing you leave their colllectable side well alone - mint boxed locos can go for more than what we once paid for a car! Seriously.

The set we managed to get off eBay isn't perfect - it shows signs of having been played with (not a problem), just the odd buffer to replace... Incidentally searching eBay for the buffers, I have discovered that the french for buffer is 'Tampon'. You learn something new everyday. Of course, if it proved a success, a more permanent right of way could established. Thomas has said he would like a railway in the garden - he does need to remember that the August edition of Railway Modeller is not a catalogue though. As a way to get children outside it could be very effective, and better than them always being inside when we're at home in summer.

So a few lengths of track were place by the edge of the lawn (the curves even following the line of the flower bed perfectly - must be meant to be, surely?) just to see how it would look. And the household authorities didn't say no!

Thursday, 3 September 2015


New Project - always wanted Playmobil's trains when I was little but they were very, very expensive! 

Something completely different!

Not for me (well, a little bit perhaps!) but should be fun!

Hybrid Class 40

One of my longer term projects has been this class 40 - D235 Apapa as she was during the sixties whilst working on the WCML.

The source is a mix of Bachmann and Lima with a big helping of Shawplan parts. The chassis is Bachmann and most of the body is Lima, but with Bachmann nose ends with the Lima bonnet reduced in height to match. This then gives the correct room, or there abouts, for the new windscreens from Shawplan. The result? Well hopefully a class 40 that looks like a class 40 and not obviously a particular model manufacturer's version of the class.

I hope that doesn't sound snobbish, but the satisfaction of building or making something that looks right and captures the original is immense. And after many set backs which have affected my modelling this year it feels rather good.

Sadly it has a new home to go to soon - I'm quite sure it'll be appreciated!

Further Reading

Diesels in Depth: Class 40s by David Clarke

Friday, 21 August 2015

A Horrible, Selfish Man

We called in at Embsay on our way home from a holiday and saw there was a train about to leave. My son, Thomas, was very excited and got his camera from my bag ready to take a photo. Despite the guy in the photo seeing Thomas waiting patiently with his camera, he continued to stand there, waiting with his iPad - not taking photos but, as it turned out, waiting to film it as it departed.

He actually moved just as the train was about to depart so Thomas did get his picture, but he only moved when he wanted to to get his footage - a horrible, selfish man. Sometimes at heritage railways, you can't expect to get a clear view because railways often have hoards of people and passengers! But here, well, you can probably tell my opinion of this man..

Fortunately Thomas did get his photo and a couple of treats from the shop, but still there's never an excuse for selfishness like this when a child affected.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Looking Like a Class 47 Now!

Compared with the original Lima model, my model of 47380 is look much more like a class 47 now - thanks enormously to the fantastic Shawplan etchings.

There's a lot to be said of projects like this even these days. Back to basics stuff where modellers of all abilities can hone their skills and try new things in a way they might never do with new ready to run or expensive kits.

So, go on, switch the internet off and go and do some modelling!

Wordless Wednesday - Newby Hall 1987

Newby Hall Station - 1987

Monday, 20 July 2015

Evening HST

HST Power Cars 43307 and 43317 passing Gilberdyke - the leading power car is in East Midland Trains livery, the coaches in the previous East Coast colours and 43317 bringing up the rear in fresh Virgin red, a bit of a mix. The full size version can be found on Flickr here.

The evening Virgin Trains East Coast service for Hull from London Kings Cross approaches Gilberdyke Junction on a glorious summer's evening in East Yorkshire.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Model Railway Journal - Bob Barlow

Model Railway Journal No.. 240

The latest Model Railway Journal, issue no. 240, has a very different appearance from normal but it seems very appropriate. Much of the magazine is has tribute to Bob Balrlow who edited MRJ for the first 14 years of its life. During this time MRJ set the bar very high indeed, but (and it's a huge but) if you read the back issues there was nothing elitist about it and it was very much a 'doing' publication, with plenty of articles about how modellers could achieve things.

The finescale, and hobby as a whole, owes Bob Barlow a huge debt.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Full Circle

How to get a little boy to help pack away his wooden railway quickly?

Well, make it like a real railway when it was closed and lifted, have a demolition train! We'd passed Gilling station, near Helmsley in North Yorkshire, this afternoon and we'd been talking about how there's no longer a railway there. So later on, when it was nearly bedtime and Thomas didn't really want to put it all away, adding a demolition train in to the mix worked wonders as it ferried track 'panels' ready for disposal!