A few words about significant things in the progress of the layout or even just some social stuff we might have been up to.
7/8/9 August 2009
We exhibited at the Waveney Valley Model Railway Clubs excellently organised show in sunny Southwold. We loaded up a large van, three cars and a caravan and set of for our first weekend adventure together. Being the holiday season many of our usual guest operators were not available so Chris had press ganged some of his family to come along and lend a helping hand along with Dave Carter from our local Model Railway Club. On a very hot hard working weekend their help was very very much appreciated.
Setup went reasonably well with the layout being unloaded and assembled within our target two hours however we had a few electrical issues to remedy and placing loading stock took an age so it was well after ten before we retired to the B&B/caravan for a good nights sleep. Saturday morning we made an early start to make final preparations only to realise that our digitrax DCC throttles weren't working, PANIC!!!! It didn't take long though before we spotted a pair of unconnected wires laying on the floor, these were the connection between the Digitrax system and the ECOS central command station, Once connected we were all systems go PHEW!!!!
I'll keep a long story short, it would be wrong to say the rest of the weekend went without a hitch, or two or three..............We all came away exhausted but i think in a positive mood after a very enjoyable weekend. Yes we had a list of things we need to improve but when doesn't a running session produce one of those?
We need to acknowledge once again the invaluable contributions from Dave who worked "almost" tirelessly throughout the weekend and Chris's wife and son without whom the weekend would have been so much harder, i'd like to think that they even enjoyed it as much as we did.
Saturday 18 April 2009
Much work had been carried over the last few months, mainly replacing 3 way points which we were just plain unhappy with. This had obviously had a knock on effect with wiring which also took a lot of correcting. As a result a day at the local village hall had been booked for assembling the layout and carrying out both electrical and running tests.
We had a succesful and quite relaxed day including a nice pub lunch and achieved everything we had set out to do.
Saturday 4 October 2008 - Train ride to Carlisle
6.30 in the morning saw four of the BOB crew, Chris, Mark, Kevin and John standing on a dark, cold and damp, Bury St Edmunds station waiting for the Nenta Traintours trip up the Settle & Carlisle for 3 hours in Carlisle, then across to Newcastle and home down the East Coast Mainline. OK, so 12 hours in a train might not appeal to everyone, but Chris and I had done this sort of thing before. Being confirmed train-spotters and beer lovers, we were well equipped. Notebooks in one pocket and 4 beers each in the rucksack/holdall/bag, together with a cut glass whiskey tumbler to sup from, and food for the journey. Except..... Mark had forgotten his glass, and Kevin had left his food in the fridge!!!!! Importantly, both had remembered the beer!! Novices!!
Right on time, the train departed. Assorted Mark II's topped and tailed by lovely smokey 47s. The drinking timetable was efficiently worked out and Beer O'Clock arrived very quickly. Starting at 9:00am a quarter bottle each was dispatched at regular twenty minute intervals with toast to "Absent Friends"until we arrived at Carlisle.
Super journey across to Peterborough, then round Leeds and onto the S & C. By this time we had reached the rain. My, how we pitied (laughed at) the walkers waving to us from the quagmire under Ribblehead Viaduct. Why do they do it? (Perhaps they thought the same about us).
Arriving dead on time at Carlisle. Raining like mad, we wanted to find the Model Railway shop that we had visited last time. Could we find it? No!!! Were we wet? Yes!!! After about 20 minutes, we agreed that we were too wet to care, and none of us were desperate to buy anything anyway. So a pub lunch in the alehouse adjacent to the station. What a coup! Lunches were £8 for two, and there were at least two beers that three of us had not had before. (Kevin knew them, but then, he's Chairman of the local CAMRA group, and a smart-arse to boot)(Pity he forgot his food!)(Have I mentioned that before?)
3.45pm, back to the station and onto the train for the trip across to Newcastle, and, thence, home. But no, the rain had been so heavy that the line to the Tyne was flooded and we were going to have to retrace our steps (rails), back down the S & C and home. What a trip! The 47 on the front struggled with 13 coaches up the long drag to Dent. It was clagging beautifully all the way and we cannot have been doing more than 15 mph as we crested the summit. The rain had been persistently pouring since we had passed this way earlier and water was running down the hillsides in torrents. We could see the difference in the river levels from morning to afternoon. Quite frightening. But the walkers still waved as we passed over Ribblehead!
Not much to report about the return journey, except to say the the 47s performed magnificently, and we arrived back at Bury St Edmunds twenty minutes early. Thanks to all at Nenta, and the BOB crew for making it a fun day.
Sunday September 28 2008
Work has continued relaying the troublesome end of the fiddleyard which is now almost complete, we shall shortly begin rewiring work. Generally we are on target to complete this work around the end of October as planned.
Monday 23 June 2008
Debrief night, following the weekends exploits it was time for a debrief. Over a cup of tea lots of discussions took place mainly on how we felt the running went, the overriding theme of was the amount of derailments suffered on one end of the fiddle yard. The concensus being that the 3 way points were causing the trouble, the other end of the fiddle yard did not suffer the same issues so a decision was taken to remove teh three ways, redesign and relay that end of the fiddle yards. We had also suffered some issues with old recycled point motors so these would be also be replaced.
Work would begin the following Monday and with impending holidays and other commitments a taregt was set to complete this by around the end of October.
Friday/Saturday 20/21 June 2008 - Newmarket
Well it's time, our first exhibition. The layout's nowhere near finished but we are happy to go as a work in progress. The fact that we still hadn't succesfully run a loco all the way round didn't put us off at all !!!!
Friday night, loaded up the van and set off. Arrived around 17:30 with the intention of setting up and getting that first succesful run done before we left for the evening. Unfortunately the room we were allocated was occupied until 19:45 by a bunch of child thespians so it was off to the chippy for tea. We had set ourselves a target of 22:00 for that first run and despite the setback of the late start we still achieved that. Everybody went home feeling inspired for the next day.
Saturday, arrived at 07:30 to carry out a few bits of work identified from the night before and to load up the stock ready for doors open. We knew we didn't have much to attract the public interest but hey we were going to have fun on what amounted to an extended test day so what the heck. As such the day was a roaring success, we identified lots of problems, came up with a forward action plan, had a good play with our trains and guess what ? We kept it simple and we had fun..............