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Newsletter January 2008

2007 was a busy year for us. With a full order book came the accompanying work load.

All that said and done in 2008 we hope to have a few new products out -

  • With the release of a new range of colour light signal options, we hope to continue expanding the range.
  • Coming soon -
  • Feather signal
  • Crossings lights (2 and 3 bulb options)
  • Ground Signal
  • As they say "watch this space"

New Four Wheel Truck

So what is so special about this truck?

This truck can be adapted to run on both ground and raised tracks. It is our intention to build a small batch in fully finished state offering adaptable side skirts for raised tracks and running boards and body for ground level running.

The longer wheelbase means that this truck is restricted to larger radius corners but that isn't a problem at most clubs.

If you can't wait for a finished truck I have a few frames welded and can get a kit ready at short notice.


NEW ENGINES in 2008  
As well as a planned batch of 5 Quarry Hunslets, we do have another locomotive planned for release. We have chosen a continental style diesel locomotive for our next model. I can't say too much as I think this engine could spark a lot of interest and I would hate to for one of our competitors get the edge on us.

This will be our first venture in to fibre glass moulded body, but with complex curves it is the only practicable option.

As soon as we get the mould produced we will publish details.

Middleton Garden Railway - NEWS

After our May open day with our new signals in place, it soon became evident that the proposed lever frame would be impossible to operate with a train fequency of 3-4 trains a minute. Well it might have been possible but you would need to be pretty fit.

We actually had partially constructed the lever frame with five levers in place. It only had five so it could be moved in to position as with so much steel involved it was getting too heavy to move. The design even allowed for interlocking to be used on our crossing and bottom set of pionts.

While the design was a reasonable success, the shear size and effort required to operate it would be too much. It was with sadness that we put this frame on ebay and sold it for a huge loss.

Looking on the internet for miniature lever frame information, I found a fantastic website devoted to Westinghouse power frames. - http://www.wbsframe.mste.co.uk/newsite/index.htm

Having contacted Westinghouse and ruled out that option, it was decided that if we wanted a miniature lever frame we would have to design and build one.

A trip to the Chingford Model Engineering Clubs signal box provided the rough dimensions and style to produce our own frame. While Chingford have opted for a electropneumatic system with electronic interlocking, we opted for a mechanical interlock system.
While the orginal Westinghouse frame is modular on individual levers I have designed ours to work in banks of four. On our first example lever 2 (points) can only be moved with the other 3 levers at red. Only the correct signal levers can be set.

I still need to work on electrical connections and the lever handles, I will publish more details as and when progress is made.

I am working on a bank of 12 levers for our box which will give me a better idea of prices later should anyone be interested.

Hopefully for our May open day we will have the lever frame up and running along with block bells and track circuiting. If you think the block bells on the left were expensive then think again. Bought the pair on Ebay for 10.

They are not true block bells but rather old BT external telephone bells, but they work well when tested. Plan is to offer communication with our bottom station so drivers can tap in which route they want.


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