Sorry for the late update, but as
always things have been manic + I managed to get a week camping
in South Wales.
My New Hercules
Nothing special about another
Hercules except this one is mine (or rather the companies). Bobby
- Hercules No.5 will now get to spend more time on the Middleton
Garden Railway. The problem with borrowing No.5 was having to get
it back to the railway everytime. This loco is intended to be
used to demonstrate the new motors along with optional extras.
Hercules no.85's first
outing was for hauling at a local primary school's fete.
We set up our track on a straight across the playground
and managed to carry over 300 passengers in an afternoon.
The real shame is that it is not even Clark and
Jasper's school as their school doesn't have a summer
From previous years experience we set
up an on side and an off side to help with loading. This
worked pretty well and avoided the numerous tricky
children who liked to try and get a free second ride.
I took Captain Howey loco as a spare
and to give it a test run as I had been asked to take it
to Chingford for public running the following day.
Every year Ridgeway Park in Chingford is host
to Chingford Day. This year the event included a whole variety of
mixed entertainment from public services to a sound and dance
stage. Of course the Chingford and District Model Engineering
Club make the most of the park visitors by running the raised and
ground level tracks. As a member of the club it wasn't my rosta
but I went along to see if any help was needed.
|To start with on the raise
track I ran Hercules no.85. While electrics are easy to
get going they are no way a replacement for the two
visiting locos from Colchester club.
|These two locos did the bulk
of the afternoons running and performed with out fault.
Sorry but it got suggested to me on several occassions
that we should do electric versions. Well Dan Jeavons is
doing a Psuedo Steam range offering just that. Personally
you cannot skimp on the running gear, so if you go to all
the engineering of a rolling chassis (and the cost) you
might as well just add a boiler and have the real thing.
|Well we had
to have a ride.
Trains run at the
park every summer sunday - see the website for full
details - http://www.chingford-model-engineering.com/ (website currently looked after by yours
truly). My next rota turn is 22nd August.
|I would recommend Chingford
Day to any one for an nice afternoon out. It is only a
shame that the council didn't seem fit to advertise it
anywhere and the event wasn't well attended. Even knowing
the event was on couldn't find any details on the
internet or even the councils website. In this day and
age that is poor to say the least.
7 1/4" Gauge
Having had a dabble with
building a 7 1/4" gauge Hercules using mainly
5" gauge parts we have decided to drop the idea in
favour of a new loco.
While the loco performed
well I think the external wheels didn't look right.
At some point in the
future Hercules 79 will re-appear as a 5" gauge
version as the bogies have now been sold to a customer
who wants to convert his existing Hercules to 7 1/4"
The replacement loco is
well in to the design stages with a pair of bogie frames
already welded up at the workshop. I don't want to spoil
all the surprises but the new loco will be totally new
with external bogie frames, 5" wheels, lot more
power and yet designed to fit in a car for transport.
As they say "WATCH
The 4 wheel truck is selling well, so we are
still producing some 7 1/4" gauge bits. Hoping to have the
loco finalised for early October - sorry won't be ready for the 7
1/4 Gauge Society AGM at the end of September. Hoping to attend
but still not sure what days.
New to the range is a lager version of our 5" gauge
couplings. Simply upscaled and cut from 6mm steel these couplings
will be fitted to the coal wagins and available seperately for
£15 a pair. Pictures to follow soon.
Sorry but after holding our prices low for so long there comes
a time when the margins get too tight. With a very busy work load
over the last few months we don't seem to be making much money.
Looking in to our bills we have seen steel prices go up by as
much as 30% with many other items increasing in price by between
5 and 10%.
From September 1st we will be
putting our prices up by 3%.
We will of course honour the exisitng prices
for all orders placed before that date.
All the best for now - Paul