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Newsletter July 2007



Sorry for the lack of news over the last few months. From a slow month in April we are now busy busy busy. We have at least 6-8 weeks worth of orders, so please bare with us while we work our way through the order book.

Middleton Garden Railway

Timber Frame of the signal box

As any regular visitor to this site will have seen the new signal box on the line. Built from a solid frame we hope this structure catches the railway look and also provides protection for the eventual 10 lever frame that will go in (when we get the time). What I haven't shown is the control we use on the lower set of points.
Signals mounted on the rear wall of the signal box.

To control the lower point we opted for an idustrial rated linear actuator. A bit pricey but this piece of equipment is designed to withstand the rigours of being left outside. It runs on 12v and is operated by simply reversing the current. We have had these actuators factory pre set to provide a 20mm throw which is reduced by the crank down to 10mm. The springs on the pull rod take up a little slack and also allow the points to be trailed.

If you are really desperate for one of these then we can supply it with a crank at 135. We hope to put it out on the market enclosed in a box with an override or byepass switch later in the year. Sorry for the high price but it appears you have to pay for quality. On a busy day our points get changed literally dozens of times and I think anything less substantial would have a very limited life.


Signalling

Having spent quite a bit of time building and testing the signals and track circuiting on our line we have finally got a working product fit to market. We are currently sourcing a PCB manufacturer to produce stand alone boards and also a new signal design. Having had early failures with circuits holding open on wet track we have found a simple method to over come this problem.

As they say watch this space.

If you want to see our signals in action - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=JZPmEQui_I4


New Engine

Below are the first proper pictures of our new engine.

A battery electric Hunslet.

Having originally planned to get this loco out in May I am afraid due to the high work load the launch will be delayed yet again. It is unfair of me to work on future projects while we have such a high work load. Initially we are looking to produce a batch of 5 as rolling kits. this will keep the costs down and allow the detailing work taken to the owners own level.

The engine is powered by 4 of our standard motors but this time driving 5" wheels.


Quick Holiday

What ever you might think about the Disney parks, the steam engines running around the perimeter are wonderful. British made and full of character. As for the Park - I think the French can't run a park like the Americans. The park is nearly the same it is just the service (or lack of it) and lack of holiday atmosphere which you pick up on in Florida. Still go and see. 2hr 44m from Waterloo and cheap if you stay off site in places such as Torcy.

On a plus point it didn't take long to get in to the heart of Paris on the underground so even if Disney lets you down you can still have a good time.


Another Garden Railway

Having had Hercules number 8 visit our line on numerous occasions we finally took up the offer to see it on its home line. WOW.

A big thanks to Tony and his wife for putting up with the Middleton invasion.

The garden slopes to the side so the railway winds around dropping from a station area near the house to a drop of around 4-5 feet. I am glad to say that the Hercules performs well even on the steepest gradient that must be steeper than 1 in 20. The garden is superb. As good as any formal garden I have seen and the railway fits in well. A good contrast to our race track of a line.

For a cab ride view see - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ufatjczb-g


26th June - Chelmsford Club Talk

 

Raise 7.25", 5" and 3.25" gauge track

A big thanks for the warm welcome we received at the club on Tuesday night. We were invided along to demonstrate our locos and talk about the railway/company. Before it got dark most there had a good race with the locos we took along. I think most were surprised at the power and speed of the Trojan and Hercules. Jasper being a 12v version almost acted as a pace car. It's nice to see members who have to behave when pulling public testing a loco at full pelt.

As for the talk I thought it went well but then I didn't to sit and listen to me for an hour.

If you would like us to come to your club then please get in touch. We have a video projector and able to offer a talk on the Garden, the company and the three times we have been involved with TV.


New Kiddy Coach

The first picture of our new kiddy coach.

Although we have had a kiddy coach body on the books for many years, it wasn't really that good. For a start it was too high and only took two passengers. We are now able to offer a three seater well wagon version. It is around 1.5m long and gets the seats down to around 200m from the rail level.

Due to the fantastic success of articulating these coaches we will only be selling these as part of a pair. The rear coach (or front) can be anyone of our bogie coaches. We have already taken orders for 3, the first of which will be running on the Thomas and Friends Day as the Caledonian Railway on Dundee on the 7th and 8th of July.

A word of warning - it is heavy and costs over 60 to ship.


Finally

Just as I was getting the ordering system in to shape. NOTHING. Yes that was the response to from my netwok drive with all my orders on. Orders 07225 to 07275 are gone. I do have all the information but it will take me time to get it all back in shape.

In the age when I was trying to go to a paperless office, my lazyness of not backing up has bitten me back. Two options for the future 1. Back up procedures including paper copies or 2. Hardware and software automatic back up options.

If you are waiting for you final bill I would appreciate a copy of your dispatch note.

I will have it all sorted out before the 1st of July as this is the date from which we must charge VAT.

 


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