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Newsletter September 2008



Workshop News
September the 10th marked our first 6 months in our new premises. Celebrated a few days earlier by taking on a two year lease. While the workshop comes with all the extra bills and expenses, the three fold increase in work, from the same period last year, was handled with out too much delay.

It is only in the last couple of weeks that the work load has lightened up.

Price increases - we are still working on 2007 prices, which with our improved productivity was giving us a fair price for our labour. Unfortunately with some of our materials costing up to 30% more than two years ago, our margins are being squeezed just a little too much. Prices will be going up in the coming months but we will be happy to honour current prices for orders placed pre price rise.

Engine Number 125

2008 was for us the summer of engines. No sooner had one gone out the door, it seemed another order came in. At one time I had four Hercules engines on the bench. In the coming week our 125th engine is being picked up.

We have alway struggled to work out what people want. This year we did not sell any bogie coaches until April, yet a couple of years a go 9 coaches were ordered from different customers, all before Easter. Having built engines all summer, it is nice to have a change and return to a bit of wood work and the completion of three panel coaches. One of these is a spec build, so if you are after a nice maroon coach with wood effect framing then get in touch.


Hunslet No. 2

 
Whilst on holiday we managed a fleeting visit to see Hunslet No. 2 on its home line the BCLR (Bakewell Court Light Railway). This private railway is an amazing line, set between the house garden and an adjacent paddock.

My nephew Toby with No. 2

Above - unbelievably the railway twists and turns in the landscaped paddock. Features include a true subterranian tunnel and a bridge across a pond (more like a lake compared with our pond).

No. 2 pulled nine of us on six coaches with ease.   The storage facilities include a ramp which allows for stock to be loaded on to a platform lift. This lift can then be used to load up the stacked tracks on the left of the shed. In the shed Trojan No. 05 can be seen
 
 
Vegetation on the line is well established and all adds to the mystery of the line.   The line runs in a loop with lines crossing in the middle. With trailing pionts set correctly, the whole line is traversed in both directions before ending back at the starting piont facing the same way.
:Left - while all the bogie coaches run on RoR bogies, the owner has build some of the bodies to a similar design to the panel coach. Eventually the plan is to paint all the coaches similar to the front two - blue and yellow.

A big thanks to our hosts for their time .


Summer Day Trips

Well it may have been a wet summer but we still managed a few days out -

BEKONSCOT MODEL VILLAGE

Although the site does have a ride on railway, it is 7.25" gauge. Although a good example of this gauge in a tight space, it is the gauge 1 railway which weaves itself around the model village, leaves you in awe.

 
While the railway control has a computer interface, it is also controlled by an old Westinghouse lever frame, complete with relays.  

A little biggger than our Westinghouse clone, but then their railway is a little bigger. There signal box is also full sized to accommodate this frame plus another along with all their rilling stock.

Like all railways it is not immune to the odd whoops.

 

A SMALL GARDEN RAILWAY    
Our visit to Bekenscot Model Village was combined with an invite to a small railway in West London. Although only a small set up, with some of it on temporary laid out track, I had the pleasure of driving the steam loco.

As we were pushed for space in our car, we took a Jasper and two wagons which sat on the spare seat in the car. A big thanks to Richard and his wife for letting come and play.

ROMNEY HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY    
Our second visit of the year. This line is simply fantastic.

It ouzes with character and has the feel of a mainline service. Our visit was on a day with a 40 minute service, which means plenty of opportunity to jump on and off along the line.

Time to walk on the shingle at Dungerness as well as time for fish and chip lunch and a play on the sand at Dymchurch.

There is plenty on the web about the RHDR so I want waste space here. That said they have a superb fleet of mainline steam locos pulling 10 coach trains along with two diesels - one being "Captain Howey"

         

         

  With my two boys calling any piece of rolling stock "Captain Howey" I decided to take up the challenge and actually build them one. The plan is to simply drive it using 2 motors on 12v so it will be limited to a top speed of 6mph.

The chassis is contructed from 25mm angle iron. Disadvantage of this has shown up when welding on strips to create a deck, the soul bars have distorded. Two lumps of wood and jumping up and down has got them nearly straight.

Open Day - 8th September
Yes we did run. Yes it did rain and yes once again I didn't take any pictures. Below are pictures from my good friend Giles who was trying out his newly aquired digital SLR camera.    

         

The colourful cover to the right in the above picture, is an old wind break used to cover up stock during the short spells of rain.

A big thanks to all those that came. It is always nice to get all the signals up and running along with a few new locos to the line.

 

 

 


 

That's all for the moment - keep an eye out for our up and coming clear out sale.

We are simply carrying too much stock of bits and pieces which deserve a better home. As soon as we get time we will be posting some good bargains on the website.

 


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