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Google Ads are only seen by non-members of RMweb - Create an RMweb account and you'll only receive modelling ads. When I lived in Dorking (bottom of Deepdene Vale) nearly 50 years ago, I am confident my dad would not have tolerated my trains in his garden! After visitors arrived at the weekend with a bagful of old Tri-ang locos, we dusted them off and got them running, although old, coarse wheels don't go too well with Peco points. Here are a couple of shots of the latest engine to arrive on the DGR - a Southern N Class 2-6-0. Today I was lucky enough to discover some seasonal photos taken in the Fraser River Canyon, British Columbia, in the 1960s.
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With a continuing thaw this morning, the ice which had been encasing the track for the past couple of days had melted away giving me the opportunity to uncover the viaduct, clean the tracks, and have a running session. Try RateSetter, a P2P lender offering savers rates of up to 6.1% and earn an extra ?25 as a welcome bonus!
Today, despite the spring-like weather around mid day, I resisted the urge to play trains and instead I made a start on removing one of the annoying little humps which has led to problems with haulage capabilities when operating certain locomotives, steam loco's in particular. The weather's been on my side today but alas, I've managed to do nothing at all about completing the work of removing that small hump I started 2 days ago. Happy New Year to you too Ian.I've had a bit of a blast with some watercolour paints just to get the feel for using the brush itself. It's now almost 2 weeks since I began to level out the small hump along one side of the garden railway but any chance of completing the work has been out of the question since then. Still no progress with erecting the shed although I have now got all the materials required to construct the base and if the weather stays anything like I should be able to get this completed within the next day or two. Shortly after publishing my previous post we had a severe thunderstorm along with heavy rain and I was too late to get the viaduct covered up before it got a soaking.
Remember some time ago when I took one or two videos showing the on-board view from the train as it went round the garden?
Dave, firstly, initial hand-held use of the camera shows that, as expected, quality isn't good but what would you expect from a camera that costs approx ?12? If you've been reading my indoor layout updates then you'll be aware that I've just acquired a sound-fitted Hornby GW Castle locomotive. It's been a while since I purchased the mini camera which I was hoping would be suitable for filming onboard cab rides around the garden layout so today I decided to have a go with it.
Having edited a couple of clips into a short movie of just under 3 minutes duration and depicting a full loop of the garden line, I haven't a clue now how to get that movie online The mini camera records clips in AVI format and I've gone with that to produce the final video, but that short 3 minute AVI format clip is now over 600mb in size and would take an estimated 4hrs to upload I've no intention of waiting that long! However my Father is building a 3 rail layout in his railway room that will once again echo to the sounds of tinplate, if we can only decide and source what controllers to use as time has been called for safety reasons of deteriorating insulation on the original A3s, C3s, T1s and A2s.
They feature a pair of Canadian National F7As in zebra stripe livery with the 'wet noodle' logo, hauling a short freight train. In fact I took the opportunity to get 'Herring Gull' on track because I'm determined to get a decent sounding, capable LNER A4 that will haul my rake of Gresley teak coaches.
The photograph below shows the section of track where the problem is located but a glance at any of my recent videos will highlight this even more.I began by lifting three complete sections of rail from both circuits and then removed the roofing felt covering the decking board base.
At the moment that section of track is out of commission and covered from the elements until I can get out to purchase some more bitumen adhesive. Seemed a bit awkward at first trying to find the best way to hold it but it's fine now and I'm looking forward to tackling my first project. The garden is still covered in a layer of snow although it has melted away considerably over the past two days.
I've not even set foot outside in the garden yet and I've been informed that it will be delivered tomorrow! I'm hoping to have the shed erected by this coming weekend and really, as it's only been pre-treated, the quicker I can get it done and given some additional preservative the better.The plan to have a small indoor layout sited above the outdoor sidings means I'm now looking for stock suitable for a small branch line. At the moment the ground outside is like a quagmire and although I've made a start, more overnight rain looks like it's going to delay me further.
Hopefully it will be okay - even if only for a short time longer.Anyway, as promised here's a video of the Cambrian Coast Express set filmed earlier today. Well, in the hope that I can do it again but with a bit less hassle, I've just bought a cheap miniature camera which I hope I can attach to a vehicle for more onboard rides. I've seen them for sale in several stores on the internet (it can be found as a 'Mini DV' or 'DV80' model) where somewhat absurdly they are being sold for up to ?60 without any micro SD card to store recordings on.
I'm short of some western region locomotives to haul the relatively large number of western region coaches that I have collected and with the release of the splendid Hawksworth coaches from Hornby I thought it was about time that I had a decent loco to head the train.If you recall my purchase of the Hornby sound-fitted Black 5 some months ago, I was immediately disappointed back then about the loco's obvious lack of weight, coming in at a meagre 236g minus the tender. Previous tests had already given an indication that the resulting images weren't as good as I had first anticipated but until it's done a lap or two round the garden then I'd never know for sure.The first task was to find a suitable vehicle to fasten the camera to. I tried saving the finished movie in a wmv format but it comes out corrupted, stretched, and only half of the film is viewable.So, I need to take another look at video formats and get a better understanding, or at least a basic understanding, of how they work and how to convert between the various formats.

With a gross loco weight of just 306 grams, I wasn't surprised to discover that 6 coaches was her maximum although to be fair the track was somewhat against her being damp and slippery even after a good wash and wipe, but what did surprise me was how much better she sounds when she is actually running.
For the main part the roofing felt was stuck fast and had to be laboriously scraped away but in certain areas it had not stuck so firmly and had risen slightly to leave some small humps and bumps.
It's not really the best kind of weather for using the bitumen but when I went to the garage and took out the tin I had previously been using I discovered that it had hardened into something resembling a rather large Pontefract Cake. I've obtained some Railmatch enamel paints for the roofs as you suggested and I'm waiting for the Humbrol to come so I have everything else to hand. It's going to be one wet and soggy mess for some time to come I would think.Even though I'm unable to do any work on the railway I have finally managed to order a garden shed. I might even go for a freelance preserved railway which is an idea that I quite like and which would satisfy my desire to obtain items that simply take my fancy. The cold I can put up with as I can always put another layer on if needed but these underfoot conditions are depressing.Outside trackwork has to be Peco nickel silver and even though there may be cheaper alternatives available I wouldn't suggest using anything other than the Peco Streamline code 100. It's clouding over now but I took advantage of the nice weather to run something that I've been waiting to do for a long time.
I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out but this might be down to the appeal of the set in general.
Previously I had balanced (somewhat precariously I might add) a standard video camera on a flat wagon, but due to its overall size it was too wide to allow another train running in the opposite direction. I purchased mine with a 4GB card from an ebay store at a cost of ?19, but as said already, you can find them for ?11 if you have a micro SD card available. I had to add another 60g inside the loco body before it could haul anything near a decent sized train. I chose an old 5 plank wagon, removed the tension lock coupling and carved off the dummy plastic coupling hook and the 2 buffers so that there were no protrusions from the end of the wagon.
Some additional weight will certainly help with traction.Indoors 'Herring Gull' was a big disappointment to me but I had a feeling that once she was allowed to run outdoors things may have been different. Not the ideal weather for erecting a shed I know but then they are on sale at the moment and I was tempted by the 'pre VAT price increase' which has saved me about ?8!
I haven't even made a firm decision about exactly where it's going to go so I'm going to have to get out with the tape measure and my best thinking cap in the morning and then make space to store the sections until I can get it all erected.However, I'm looking forward to being able to lay some indoor sidings and having several trains on track at the same time. I'm not sure I could restrict myself to a set period or region even though most of the very best layouts I have seen are based on a certain time frame or located in a specific area but I'm sure that any such restrictions would work out cheaper than my present fancy!
It won't rust like ordinary steel track but will however become tarnished after a time and it's suitable for use with all your rolling stock. About 18 months ago I purchased a Bachmann Cambrian Coast limited edition set which in all honesty I obtained at a very reasonable price. This new miniature camera is just over 5cm tall and only 2cm wide but even at this size it's going to have to be attached just clear of the rails in order for it to pass beneath the bridge on the fly-over section. I'll wait until I can fasten it to the front of a wagon and give it a run round the garden before passing final judgement and allow you to judge for yourself.Did you all get the rain yesterday? I was half expecting the same with the Castle loco but it was clear on opening the box that there was a bit more beef about this one. With the aid of an elastic band I was then able to secure the camera in place with the base of the camera held just clear of the track.The next task was to ensure that there was sufficient clearance for the camera to pass beneath the bridge at the junction where the line crosses over itself. I didn't expect that I would be almost enjoying the session listening to her circling the route. If I had removed the decking board itself I would have had a much more difficult task of cutting away at the top of a breeze block! I've been getting the odd ones now and then as I try to make a complete set which will eventually be hauled by a class 37 and I've now got 12 of them which is starting to look okay.
Thanks for the links to the spray booth - looks ideal.The garden would not be a good idea for a spraying location, especially today after even more snow overnight.
Originally I was looking at the 8ft x 6ft budget range without windows for cheapness sake but in the end I went for one at 10ft x 6ft with windows so that I can have a view of the railway from the shed (could be useful) and one that is a bit more substantial and costly!
I think I'm also going to erect the baseboards which I constructed for my planned indoor layout in the shed too so that everything is in one place. I believe that tarnish, a discolouration of the metal surface caused by oxidation, is itself a form of rust but it's much kinder for our purposes and is easily cleaned away before a running session.Finally, no matter what track you obtain - you're gonna want a lot of it! It was described as being in 'mint' condition but it had clearly been used and one of the loco's required some attention to a cylinder which eventually had to be replaced altogether.
You might notice a couple of new vantage points which give good close up views of a passing train and also a lengthy view of an approaching train (almost half a circuit).If you can endure the entire video of the 2 locos and 6 coaches from the set (hope it's not too repetitive), then the final clip shows the train with 4 additional coaches and it makes a real difference. I'm not expecting it to be of great quality but for the price I just have to give it a try. Popping the loco on the kitchen scales it comes in at 285g without tender so if there's room within the loco body to add just a little bit more it should be sufficient to haul a nice lengthy train.I've not had chance to run the loco outdoors on the layout but I've given it a run on the rolling road to test out the sound samples. There was just millimetres to spare and so with the aid of a file I removed a little bit more timber from the underside of the bridge just to be sure.When everything was ready I switched the camera on and set it on its way only for the loco to derail on the curve just after the viaduct. At top speed, indoors she sounded like a bag of spanners but outdoors she sounds almost like a steam engine.

With the aid of a 2 metre length of timber to keep a check on the gradients I took away as much timber as I needed with an electric plane until it seemed right. I've also received some enamel paints so that i can have a practice with my new air brush Good on you Santa! I think I should be able to manage with a 10 x 6 though I would have preferred one at 8ft wide for an additional ?200 but solely for a model railway sidings that's pushing it a bit too far. Another disappointment was that the accompanying book which I would imagine provided a history of the train was missing but I should admit that the advert didn't state it was actually included in the sale. It won't be today as I have other things to get on with but I'll be trying out soon and publishing the results here.
Sadly, the area around the viaduct couldn't cope and it was flooded up to an inch or so until the rain eased off and the surplus water had time to seep away. There's a selection of whistles, the usual injectors, valves, coupling, coal shovelling etc., but this time there's also wheel flange and rail clank noises. The weather's taken its toll on some sections of track and it took more cleaning than usual before I could get things running satisfactorily. After messing about indoors with an additional speaker I know that I can get deeper exhaust chuffs from her so now I can't wait to swap speakers and test her outdoors again to see just how much difference that makes.The video below shows Herring Gull in action today although the first 2 minutes show her in non-sound action so that you can compare. To the naked eye it is really difficult to tell there is a hump in that location at all and it's only the compression in telephoto images and videos which reveal the problem. I've been watching the Right Tracks video of Weathering Techniques over and over again in order to familiarise myself with some of the techniques that Tim Shackleton uses and I must admit that I've started taking a more critical look at some of the weathering attempts on the web. Now, if the weather keeps fine and dry I have a shed base to lay before the shed is delivered in about 10 days time.There's not been any new videos because of the weather but I have obtained a couple more loco's and there's been some more rolling stock added as I try to build up some complete rakes.
I accepted the omissions and the fault with the one loco and put it down to experience and in a way I have never regretted doing so. That's the first time the viaduct has really been exposed to water and I'm much less optimistic about its long-term future after that. To be honest I'm not that interested in wheel flange and rail clank or even the coal shovelling and coupling sounds - all I ask is a good 'chuff chuff' exhaust sound and perhaps a decent whistle or two. Once I was satisfied, I replaced the track on one side of the running line and ran a light engine round to see if it looked any better. I'll be starting a workbench thread soon so that I can record how I get on.One other project that I will be tackling in the next week or so will be the addition of a new speaker(s) to my A4 'Herring Gull'. It is a very nice looking set.I removed the 2 locos from the wooden storage box along with the 6 coaches and gave it a run round. The garden layout is for running trains and so it's primarily the chuffs and less so the whistles that are most important to me.Does the Castle meet my expectations?
I discovered that the track wasn't level from one rail across to the other causing the loco bogie to leave the track and I had to do a bit of packing beneath a few of sleepers on one side to prevent the loco coming off the rails. I'm now going to leave it until tomorrow and then I'll take another look at it before fastening anything down permanently. It was my intention initially to add a second speaker but this time in the loco rather than the tender in order to try disguise the fact that the sound comes from the tender itself but after seeing Herring Gull in action round the garden and in action in the video I recorded I have to say that from a normal viewing distance it's very difficult to tell that the sound is coming from the tender and not from the loco. Eventually I had a loco running without further problems.The drawback with the camera is that until you plug it into your computer you don't know exactly what you have filmed or how it's turned out. I then added a further 4 coaches from my own stock and it looks really nice hauling the 10 coaches. The exhaust sounds aren't too bad from a start up to a slow speed running but then as it begins to accelerate it's more like someone banging the top of an empty tin can with a wooden stick. I found, once I had retired to the computer, that the sound was dreadful and that the footage wasn't as smooth as I had hoped. There really is something very pleasing about Western Region loco's and coaching stock which leaves you feeling nice and warm inside.
In fact I would go as far as saying that of all the sound-fitted steam loco's I have, this is perhaps the worst of the lot for offering a decent exhaust beat.
For some reason parts of the resulting video also causes my computer to crash so I haven't yet been able to put any clips together as a demonstration. I'll make sure that it's first capable of hauling a good rake of coaches and then I'll be considering getting the chip reblown with sounds that are more acceptable. I'll take another look once I've posted this update and see if I can sort out a couple of clips.Mini camera's certainly have potential on the garden railway but perhaps there is one of slightly higher quality? Perhaps when I find the time I'll read up on the actual train so that in future I can possibly run a more prototypical formation but right now it's just pleasing.I have some video clips to sort through before I get them together for uploading but in the meantime, here are a few photos of the train on the layout to be going on with.

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