A Garden Railway Pipedream: the odyssey continues

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Dikitriki, 7 August 2013.

  1. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well, a reasonably sunny day was forecast for yesterday, so, at very short notice, a get together was organised, knowing that the daylight would be in short supply. Richard's M7 ran well, great smoke effects in the cold air, causing much amusement and interest later to Richard's two year old granddaughter. Yes, they say start 'em young!
    Meanwhile it was the first garden run for my Tom Barratt 'Witherslack Hall' on five GWR Alliott coaches. She ran very well with a loud exhaust beat, gaining very positive comments from both Richard and Roger, who as a Severn Valley Railway driver knows a thing or two about these things. The previous owner bought the loco direct from Tom in 2007 and said it was his favourite loco to run at GTGs. I know why, it's easy to operate and needs very little adjustment when running, just a top up of water in the tender every couple of circuits. My Kinda loco!
    Later I ran my Barratt Bulldog, which was a fast runner on my rolling road in the summer. I then reduced the number & height of it's wicks to make it a steadier runner. Sadly in cold winter conditions, she did not generate quite enough steam. Perhaps some locos need summer and winter wick settings. Meths powered locos in particular all seem to have their own running characteristics. I came across an updated article by Roundhouse Engineering, the original dating from the days when they produced meths powered 16mm locos. It stated how important the height and packing of wicks was, it also commented on how some modern wick materials do not last long and need replacing. Something I wholeheartedly endorse.
    Anyway, we were all very pleased to have a pre Christmas run, while Boris' decrees permit. Sorry, no one had a camera handy, the light turned a bit dismal as the day went on. Maybe photos another time.

    We look forward to longer daylight in 2021 and hopefully lots of sunlit running sessions. (Well, you can dream!)

    Hope all readers have a great Christmas and a very happy New Year.

    Last edited: 18 December 2020
  2. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well, today we had some sunshine in between the showers, so I took a photo of Witherslack Hall, painted & hand lined by Martin Sheridan.
    Hope you like it, they say a picture is worth a thousand words...(she's posing in a warm greenhouse!)
    Steve 005.JPG
  3. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    As time is passing and we are now in another lockdown, perhaps this photo taken on a cold but sunny morning a few days ago will help cheer you up.
    My G1MCo Britannia is running well in the greenhouse, but, due to the fast shutter speed, the only clues that she is running are some steam from a safely valve and a faint hint of smoke from the chimney! Let's hope for warmer weather soon. I look forward to running live steam in Richard's garden in due course, post lockdown. Happy New Year !

    p.s. If you are running live steam, especially meths fired in a greenhouse or shed, please remember to have a door or window open as I gather the fumes are not particularly healthy !
    - I'm trying not to drink the stuff myself !!

    Steve 001 (2).jpg
    Last edited: 11 January 2021
  4. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Have you had to get the snowploughs out yet Richard?
    Last edited: 9 January 2021
  5. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Hi Chris,

    Bloody cold here, but no snow as yet today. I think it's been dumped on Clee Hill instead:) I don't propose going out to play just yet.

    isambardme, TheSnapper and 3 LINK like this.
  6. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    Hi all
    I can see from my house just off Sion Hill, Kidderminster that Clent is white over but I don't think very thick. The town had a very light flurry or 2 overnight but turned wet by 9am.
    A trip to the local hospital with my wife, filled the bird feeders now inside the rest of the evening.
    Allen Morgan
    3 LINK likes this.
  7. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

  8. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well, as this lockdown progresses we are told to exercise to keep fit...
    I like to think G1 locos also need to exercise to keep in good running condition, anyway, it's an excuse to get out of the four walls and into the fairly warm greenhouse - it was a balmy 7 degrees outside today and sunny earlier! Since I was first photographed on these pages two or three years ago staring at my stationary Spam Can, I am pleased that I have learnt a bit more about operating meths fired locos.
    A very experienced owner told me that Aster Spam Cans need to be run dry, that is without using the loco blower either in starting or in running. He was right, I tried that today. She lit easily and started well at around 1 bar pressure, building up to steady, very controllable running at around 4 bar. On starting, as with most locos the by pass is set to direct water back to the tender, as the boiler is already full enough. After a couple of minutes the by pass is reduced to a 'steady dribble' !
    If I ever start to do that I hope someone will kick me !

    Anyway, Winston Churchill ran very smoothly with no adjustment needed to the bypass for 36 minutes. She only slowed down and stopped when the meths tank had run out. A success!
    The loco is actually running in the photo which is why there is some blur in the driving wheels. If you look you might notice on the bench a dentist's mirror to inspect the wick flames, a home made bent rod lighter with a few strands of wick material wired at the end (works well when dunked in an old, spare meths bottle, like me!) and a mini fire extinguisher, as recommended by G1MRA ex Technical Officer Keith Bucklitch, 'just in case'!
    You might also notice an old vacuum flask which has been commandeered to hold hot water. This was a tip given by the previous owner of my Hall. It certainly speeds up the pre running time as meths doesn't have to be wasted heating up the water from cold. The hot water can also help clear any stuck ball valves in both tender and loco.
    So I'm still learning and looking forward to some future garden running later in the year with friends when lockdown is lifted and we've all had our jabs!
    Stay safe,
    Last edited: 16 January 2021
    David B, Boyblunder, paulc and 3 others like this.
  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The last time I saw a loco numbered 70004 was in 1951! It was my first trip to London and my father got us lost by taking a bus going in the wrong direction. I didn’t take a London bus trip for the next 60 years! Funny how your photo brought back such a memory.

    Thank you! Paul
    isambardme likes this.
  10. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Paul, I am very pleased the photo stirred such a memory. I guess one of the reasons many of us love steam trains is because of the special memories they stir from our younger days. Thinking about it, it's been quite a while since I was on a London bus too - great views from the top deck I seem to remember!
  11. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well, we're not out of lockdown yet & I can't run trains on Richard's line. So here are a couple of photos of the 16mm FFestiniog Charles loco by Roundhouse, with suitable stock, that I have run at Richard's in the past. She's running on my smaller garden line ( with gradients). First garden line run this year. Hope you like it.
    002.JPG 004.JPG Cheers,