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Newsletter January  2014

As usual I will start with an apology for the longest period between newsletters. With so much going on this year it has been hard to find time to sit down and write about what is going on within Ride on Railways. I know when I mention Facebook and twitter people immediately switch off, but it does let me load up pictures quickly and easily. I can even upload pictures direct from my mobile phone. So if you follow the link from our home page (or above) you will see some of what we're up to and some of the news I should have posted months ago.

Trade shows and events.
2013 Saw us attend a few big trade shows. While these can be expensive they are an opportunity to get out and meet people and for some it is the first time they have seen some of our products in the flesh. I was doubtful if it was worth getting trapped in "the circuit" but I think it has paid off. The big three - London, Harrogate and Bristol represent an outlay of over 2000 without adding travel and accommodation expenses or taking into account lost time from production.
So please excuse me if I was a little short with the gentleman who was rude to me about not attending the 4 day Midlands show. If the said gentleman would like to pay my diesel, accommodation and expenses then I would be happy to attend. looked a great show but just 1 too many in the year for us.


We also attended the 16mm Association National Garden Railway Show at Peterborough. From our perspective it is an easy 1 day show.  You drive right into the hall with your trailer, unload where you're going to set up - saves all that moving around of stock between car and stand.

At London, Harrogate, Bristol and Peterborough shows we shared a stand with Station Road Steam. 

We try to take different stock to each show, so if there is something you would like to see contact us and we will try to bring it along.

Pinewood Railway - RoR/Station Road Steam Day

 This Industrial Hercules has been detailed brilliantly                                 We've finally got the brass controller on the tram!
Tony's orange hercules keeps getting in the pictures

Our 7 1/4 tram looks small next to Station Road Steam Staffords - the Hercules looks dwalfed!
Mike from Station Road Steam waiting for a green light.

We had a really good day at Pinewood Railway in May.  There was a good mix of visiting Ride on Railways and Station Road Steam locos.

Many, many thanks to the Pinewood Club for making us all feel so welcome and expecially Colin Gross who organised everything.

The dual gauge track is very  picturesque through the pine trees.  It is a nice long run, with the signal box getting as many trains moving as possible.

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway -  Toys and Trains Weekend
This was a new event for the RH&DR, bringing together visiting miniature railways, traction engines and model railways with some associated trade stalls. As the Merstham Show was not running this year we decided to try something different and take the family for the weekend.  Our stand was set up in one of the sheds with Chingford Club and a couple of other traders.  After an interesting day on Saturday, talking to people and riding the trains, the family bedded down on the floor for the night.  It was quite warm in the shed as it's the old paint shop and quite well insulated.  It was added security for the stock - but the kids thought it was the best time ever!  
Personally I could have done without the RH&DR diesel security train "parking" outside the shed at 1am and leaving it's engine running - that thing is loud!

The boys didn't want to get up ......... although they did eventually, who can resist breakfast outside watching the trains being shunted around

The boys found a steam engine chassis under the blankets      Faith wanted her photo taken in the tram

  Chingford Club brought their 7 1/4" gauge "Captain Howey" to run on a mobile track and visit it's big namesake - unfortunately the original was in pieces having a major overhall so Chingford's loco was the only Captain Howey running that weekend!

Day at the Little Hay Railway at Sutton Coldfield
Clark, Faith, Drena and Jasper at the station  being pulled by Clark's Jasper loco     
  Keith and his grandaughter pulling into the station - Mike taking photos
Waiting for a green signal in the tram     
Have train will travel!
                        Drena enjoying the day - that e-book is glued to her hand you know.                              
Clark had a go with the Hercules on the raised track - although he did go a bit fast (leaning round the corner) and we had to remind him that it wasn't the Nurenburg ring!

Many thanks to the Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Club who hosted around 30 visitors who bought 8 locos with them - a mixture of steam and battery electrics. The burgers and hot drinks from the kitchen were much appreciated.  The weather kept changing between sun and showers, hot and cold.

Things got very interesting in the station area at times regulating the flow of  trains to keep everyone moving. A great atmosphere prevailed during the day as drivers swapped locos and took turns driving trains belonging to others.

Lady Amwell at East Herts Miniature Railway
Having seen Captain Howey running at their track I was approached last year about building a custom locomotive for the society. They liked the Chingford loco but wanted something more unique. It was decided to loosely base their loco on Lady of the Lake which runs on the Ruislip Lido Railway.  The project was started late last year.  It was finished and after a few teething problems with a locked bearing, it was put into service this year at theEast Herts Club - by the New Year it had done over 75 hours traction time.

      Started the year on chassis stand being painted and sanded and painted and sanded ......                                                                  Drena doing more painting inside

                              Continuing with the dashboard and wiring                                                                                               The stripes are on, but we're missing the front cab

         Barry helping the finished loco get into the trailer to it's new home 
      The loco being tested on site by some of East Herts Club - don't they look happy about it!
         In service pulling 20+ people round the track      
Pulling in the dark with all the lights on

Trip to The Netherlands to collect a 7 1/4" gauge Tram
   We're up really early for a ride on Le Shuttle over to France - got a long journey ahead                             Exploring Utrecht in The Netherlands - thankfully nobody got run over by a bike

                Have to visit the National Railway Museum in Utrecht                                                                      Jasper and Faith try to explain to Drena how to drive a steam engine

                     Rob wrap up the 7 1/4" gauge tram for transport                                                                    Thankfully it fits on the trailer and it gets back safely to the UK

                The springs on the tram need some work - it's like sitting in a boat!                                             Clark poses with our Glasgow tram at the Chingford Club track - Luke's helping.

Changes in stock for 2014
Changes to Braked Riding Trucks

Ratchet brake added to 5" raised and ground level trucks. 

This brake can be locked on when parked in the station or to stop it rolling in the back of your car.

Changes to the 2014 Hercules

  • Controller plug repositioned so you can plug in/out without removing the body.
  • Lights that change colour when  loco is put in reverse added.   Lights are not attached to the body, so you can remove the body without worrying about the wires.
  • Optional hi-lo horns and/or diesel sound generator added
  • Optional rear doors to access battery isolator switch and speed governor
  • Optional glazing to cab
  • Customisation of body and chassis paintwork available

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