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Newsletter August 2010



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.

New Hercules - RoR demonstration model

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 fete.

 

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.

 

 

 

Captain Howey ready to take another train.

9 passengers and driver

Chingford 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.
A4 visiting from Colchester Eastern Region loco - sorry not sure of the class
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.
Drena, Jasper and Clark A4 approaching Willow Tree Halt
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.

Site view of the ground and raised tracks Quarry Hunslet driven by Ryan Manning
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

End of the line

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" gauge.

 

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 THIS SPACE"

 

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.


Prices

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


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