Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Adrian

This thread has been mothballed but when I start anything to do with coaches then it will become alive again.

Paul
 
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Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Yesterday was my good lady wife's 80th birthday and the organization of the appropriate family and friends get together has been keeping me busy. Now I find myself in a vacuum of tiredness (does that make sense?) but I opened several boxes and looked at the contents. I even punched a few rivets. Then I began to realize I don't have "this" or I have left "that" in France, so orders have gone to various suppliers. I also need to visit Alton Model Shop in the week ahead, they are holding the materials for my ballast mix and I hope to spend some funds on other things as well.

C'est la vie! Paul
 

Andy P

Western Thunderer
Hi Paul, If you know when your going to Alton, let me know and I might be able to meet you there, as I need some bits as well.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Hi Paul, If you know when your going to Alton, let me know and I might be able to meet you there, as I need some bits as well.
Hi Andy. That's a good idea. They are closed on Mondays (I tend to forget about such things). We still have house guests so I am not sure when I will be going, perhaps net week?
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Some travel plans are being modified again (partly due to Brexit and the "Schengen 90/180 day rule"). I am not leaving for France just yet! Luckily with my mojo returning I have plenty of kit building to do here. But where to start? I am thinking coaches and other rolling stock though the DA Castle and Finney 7 Hall and 47xx are also on the top shelf. As soon as the visitors leave and I recover from the nerve wracking drive to/from Gatwick (yes, it took 24 hours last time!) then sparks may start to fly on the workbench.

My first pass at planning suggests finishing the two LMS Portholes while also pursuing the Parkside van kit. Then make a start on the latest and as yet unopened boxes containing two SideLines opens, one 3rd class, the other 1st class. All four coaches will eventually be lined maroon.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Right then, mojo working, roof for the water tank. Made of polystyrene sheeting and glued together with Mek-Pak, the roof is a snug fit inside the brass tank. This then sits on the primed brass support structure. All that is left to do is the ladder and inspection platform and also the water level gauge.

720D89A3-B5F6-4AB1-9019-FAC8EA25A4B0.jpeg

The location of the ladder is not exactly known but by elimination must have been on the end wall facing southeast. The water level gauge must have been on the side facing the signal box and the platform ends, so that is where it will go. Again, contemporary photos of the North Warwickshire Line tanks will be used. The ladder will mimic Stratford as this was steep due to its confined location. I have the materials to do the ladder and platform so that will be the next job unless I get sidetracked by some coaches. Which seems likely.
 

Dave Holt

Western Thunderer
Hi Paul.
The tank is looking good. Regarding the ladder, open ladders should slope at 15 degrees (British Standard and probably custom and practice before that?). Otherwise, steeper ladders are caged.
Dave.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Hi Dave, that is useful information, thank you. Here is a link to the details at Stratford:


And, for the purpose of research, a close up of the upper ladder, roof platform and gauge:

7CFC91CE-A884-4CBC-B346-FC14452B63FF.jpeg

The ladder looks steeper than 15°. If I make the ladder at 15° it should fit but given that the tank was located on top of the Digbeth Viaduct, workers would have to have a very good head for heights, not something I have.

The gauge is a very simple pulley with a float in the tank and a weight on the outside, painted white.
 

Dave Holt

Western Thunderer
As you say, Paul. Does look steeper than 15 degrees. Perhaps the railways had different standards to normal industries. I wonder what angle, if there was a standard, signal ladders were. Perhaps the tanks was similar?
The ladder at Toddington looks to be about 1 in 5 slope, but it's clearly not original and is caged, so might have been made to current standards.
Dave.
 
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Stephen Freeman

Western Thunderer
I believe caged ladders are a fairly modern innovation on the railway. Certainly a perusal of photos of signals seems to show cages after 2010 and no cages before 1990, I could be wrong though but it would be good to know when they came in. I have not found any evidence for them in GWR days.

Of course some railways didn't even provide ladders but had rungs attached to the sides of their signal posts. I suppose the poor lampman was expected to shimmy up the signal post accordingly! The Furness were particularly known for this, perhaps they couldn't afford ladders!
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Hi Larry, your layout is in the back garden, mine is around 900kms away at the moment, easier to be out of sight!

My current problem is there too many other things on the go, a large, fast growing garden, plumbers redoing a bathroom into a wet room, and, if I had some time left over, a car to finish rewiring so it can be sold. But I am slowly working on the design of the water tank ladder.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
I started on the water tank ladder by soldering the two sides together and then drilling 0.8mm holes at regular spaces, using my Proxxon mill as a drill stand.

Then I started to add 0.9mm wire using a paper template as a guide. I keep getting interrupted by the plumbers working on the upgraded bathroom, so here is an interim work-in-progress shot.

A74B3D18-11A3-43A4-8C7D-ED64050DABC3.jpeg
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Finally soldered up the ladder for the water tank. Too many distractions getting in the way. Next I need to modify one of the roof and sketch out the top platform and railings.

C92BC95F-A664-44F2-961C-4B2BD7E31ABC.jpeg

The model is currently in three parts, support, tank/roof and ladder. Transporting these will be easier if they are kept separate so the tank may carry the top platform to which the ladder will be fixed later, when everything is painted.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
I just found a "new" photo of the water tank, lurking on my icloud drive. I don't know where it came from but it may be a file that was sent me at the very beginning of this project. It needs to be shown so I hope the owner of the photo doesn't object. It will be removed if so.

Screen Shot 2022-04-09 at 1.57.56 PM.png

First off, it's in colour! Although mostly Birmingham 1950/60s smog and soot is revealed, at least the colour pattern on the tank matches those photographed in cleaner air down the North Warwickshire Line!

As I have often suspected, the ladder is not fixed in the same way as at Stratford. There wouldn't be space on the Digbeth Viaduct for it. The ladder is very steep. I have attached the ladder in roughly the right position with a blob of blue tack. The railing on the roof also appears to be at 90º to that at Stratford but the image is quite poor.

ACF88EAB-0C12-4722-945B-C5990A7EDA02.jpeg

Also, there is much more evidence of the various sheds at the base of the tank.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
The completion of the water tank is now scheduled for June as it will be easier to transport it as is and assemble the pieces in the Railway Room. Other modelling projects remain on hold but there will be plenty of ballasting to do very soon. Two new coaches will also be run in, one a Dapol auto coach, the other a Heljan GUV.

I am currently working on the two ex-LMS Porthole coaches and should post something on the appropriate thread soon.
 

Focalplane

Western Thunderer
Now arrived in France and a quick unpacking of new stock allowed me to take this photo:

7BF82F08-B9AE-48EA-A530-FD091B0F79EF.jpeg

Yes folks, it’s the Dudley Dodger! The forward Dapol auto coach was originally maroon, now sprayed crimson but without lettering. The rearward auto coach is straight out of the box. Not much difference in the crimsons.

The locomotive is my build of an MOK 14xx, number 1459 being an Oswestry push pull 0-4-2t, more at home on the Gobowen Rattler. However it went into storage in real life while sibling 1458 took over but the imaginary reinstating of trains to Alcester meant a short reprieve and the loco was transferred to Tyseley and its sub shed. It still carries an 89A shed code. Rule 1.

The photo also shows some lack of ballasting on the Bordesley Viaduct which will soon be addressed now I have the materials in stock.
 
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