Once again sorry for the long delay between
newsletters. It is always the way that when you are busy with
lots of things to report then you never get time to write them
The Middleton Garden Railway
Since the last newsletter we had a very
successful open day. The addition of a feather light signal to
the bottom set of points seemed to help the drivers negotiate the
points. We currently have a section of track lifted out next to
the pond to allow installation of a new siding.
||My mum is finding the
garden harder and harder to manage and the installation
of this new siding will help reduce the work load. It
will also make it so much easier to clear the tracks of
stock allowing for both loops to be used with little
In the picture to the
left, not only can you see Clark using the new pond pump,
but to the left of the picture is the start of the works
for the new siding.
On our open day it soon became apparent that
having a large lever frame wouldn't work given the train
frequency. Therefore the lever frame is up for sale in our shop
section. I will be making a large loss but throwing near full
size levers for 3-4 trains a minute would be impractable. The
plan is to build mechanical levers but more like the power box
styles but the design will inlcude interlocking to protect points
and our lower crossing.
If your club could make use of a 10 lever frame
then please get in touch. While I do not want to make a total
loss on the project I would be happy to negotiate.
With the success of our track circuiting we are
now in the process of have modules commercially produced. These
should be ready towards the end of November/ early December.
We have had the portable track out twice in the
last month -
Romford - St Edwards C of E School
Chelmsford - King Edward Grammar School
My dad made front page news with his picture
appearing on the cover of the Chelmsford Weekly News.
Although the Romford show was a two day event
if suffered from poor attendance. The same could not be said for
the Chelmsford show. The train was running nearly non stop and
raised £165 for the Hospice. I think that the Chelmsford show
had the advantage of tapping in to the town centre trade.
Interestingly both tracks finished touching
doors at the end of the corridor - both 55m long.
We will be having the track out at Marshalls
Park School, Romford, on November
10th for a railway exhibition.
Do come and see us there.
Yes once again I am running behind on orders.
We currently have a 3-4 week lead in time for locos and coaches.
I was told that October to December are your quiet time when you
wonder if business will ever pick up again. We if the quiet time
comes I will fill it with the work on our new engines (see
As I keep stating I
cannot realistically work on future products while I have
outstanding orders to complete. That said I have managed
to update the drawings and sort out a few design issues.
I am hoping in the next month or two to
order the materials for 5 engines. I will them build the
first to get an accurate labour cost and work out a final
Left the rear safety valve assembly for
I will be updating the bespoke section soon but
just a couple of items of interest.
|Above - made from a sandwich of 8 and 5mm
steel this 25 deg angled crossover has been made entiley
from laser cut components. While it is high on material
costs the use of the pre cut steel kept assembly time to
just under 2 hours. This one is destined for a railway in
|Above - Customer order for a Hercules
chassis with steps. This chassis also has 8mm steel
buffer beams and flush sole bars to the sides.
Finally we got our VAT number. It took them
over three months to write back with a letter accepting our
application but could we provide proof of business. Why it took
three months for that letter beats me.
I suppose we should be grateful position of
having to pay VAT but it does rather affect labour costs. If I
buy items in then they do become cheaper but any labour charge
now has 17.5% deducted from it. Add National Insurance and Income
Tax then bang goes over 50%.
Still death and taxes - the two
things that cannot be avoided.