Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Lock down stage 3

Lock down stage 3

Well, May and June have come and gone and all I have to show for them is the completion of the replacement bridge over Gnome Valley Gorge . The first bridge finally gave out last Easter, and as it was only build about 12 years ago I thought it time to make alterations.
The gorge was thought to be a little large so it was reshaped and a new support system was created. As the old bridge was constructed in ply wood and pine the new one is built using hard wood supported on plastic sheet.

So here we are now, some 6 weeks later and finally managed to get the bridge in place. Got track down temperately so as to check clearance and running.
 It was thought Logs would be suitable for edging the bridge thus producing a safety rail.
 These logs where fixed in position with chain. ( Surplus left overs from my secondary hobby, Jewelry making )
 Looks OK to me and that's all that counts.
 So there you have it, The new bridge just waiting for the next train.

  The track inspection crew have finally pasted the bridge open for traffic.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Lock down boredom Stage 2

Lock down boredom      Stage 2

So I moved round the loop and having all my tools already handy in my mobile tool shop I carried on.

So here's before
and this is after

I managed to finish the rest of the loop and it looks OK but will be better after lock down and I can get on and give it a coat of fence care

Now I think it's on to the mountains, they seam to be in a sorry mess.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Lock down boredom


I think after about 5 year's layoff following heart and lung problems I think it's time to try and do some repair work and tiding up the layout.

I started with repairs to the return loop that had suffered considerably from wood-root had had collapsed, so here we go.

All we need now is some tubs of fence care to finish off with.

So lets move round and tackle the rest.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Bridge Day 7

Bridge Day 7

Well I started today by fitting bridge into position and  finally fastening it down.Then a start was made on the tedious job of track laying, and of course making sure the bridge did indeed work as planned.

The next thing was to build in a fail-safe dead area in front of the open bridge to prevent valuable locos and rolling stock from plummeting to the ground when the bridge is in the open position.

With this done it was time to test run some trains and see if every thing was indeed running right as this has not been done since last December when the accident happened that made all this effort needed. So what's next, well I think it's time to spring clean, repair and renew items to try and revitalize the Gnome Valley Railway as it has, for reasons of bad health and lack of enthusiasm been left, forgot and neglected for well over 6 years now.

                      So here goes  

Monday, 6 April 2020

Bridge Day 6

Bridge final step

I finished last time in a bit of a dilemma, how to but joint the wire rope guard rails.  Following discussions at my railway club monthly meeting I tried to use what is commonly known as a Choc Box connector.  This did the job but I was not really pleased with the look when fitted in place.

So after some considerable thought I came up with this.  A 1" length of 2.5mm aluminium tubing filled with superglue was I my opinion the answer. 


Saturday, 21 March 2020

Bridge Day 5

Having some free time owing to lock down I pottered about in the shed this morning. My problem was how to thread 2 mm wire rope through 2.5 mm holes to form the safety rail on the new bridge.

After considerable head scratching I came up with the following. A good covering of superglue over about a inch of the end and when dried cut off the end to form a nice clean end.

I tried several methods to cut the end and finally came up with my Dremel fitted with a thin cut off disc.

Now I set too and threaded the wire through the pre-drilled holes starting at the bottom row and from the middle. Now of course come's the next problem, how to butt join the ends


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Bridge Day 4

 Day 4 Started out OK, the wife went out shopping so I thought a hours or so working on the bridge would go down well, so into the workshop I trundled armed with my trusty little radio and a large cup of tea. A start was made and all went well for a time as you can see.

But then for some unknown reason, I don't know if it's old age, stupidity or perhaps complaisance But I made the mother of all mistakes, the sort of thing a kid in school would make I fixed the last 4 to the wrong side of the line.

So after a bit of self discipline ( and some swearing )  and another cup of tea I proceeded to drill out the rivets and replace the posts in the right place.
We are now ready I think to make a start on the side railings. I have decided to use 2 mm wire rope, but as yet I have not worked out how to butt joint the ends together

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Bridge Day 3

Got round to having another go. So it's time for the hand rail posts to be fitted. After calculating, measuring and marking out a start was made on cutting and preparing the necessary number of posts. then after filling everything up it was time to move on to the drop drill. So a small jig was put together to enable all the holes to match accurately. It was at this point I made another jig to drill the holes needed later for the wire safety rail I intent to use.

It was starting to look something like a bridge now so I thought it was time to take it out to see what it looked like in place.


Not looking too bad so back to the workshop to start the other side,     

  Another day. 

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Bridge Day 2

Day two of this bridge build was only a short work period.  I spent time measuring and calculating the right position of the hinge pin. After some research I found out that this pin position should be a minimum of 5mm above the rail head.

Having deliberately left the main rail bed support runners 4" over length at one end it was now time to cut off and fix the over hinge.

Friday, 28 February 2020

First Bridge

So a start is made on my very first attempt to make an aluminium flat bed bridge.
 I started by cutting and clamping all the base bit together and making sure all was square and measured correctly a start was made at drilling and riveting the pieces together.

Now after finding the right size rivets and drill size i.e. 3mm rivets/ 3.5mm drills assembly started.

When the final rivet was in place it was time to start and work out the correct placement of the longitudinal track support bars and making sure the clearances are adequate as the bridge is approached by a curve and so overhang had to be taken in to account. 

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Bridging the gap

Well here we are, after finally getting all the materials and helpful advice together it's time to make a start, this gap must be filled

The decision to build my own came about when I found out that Michael at MVL Bridges was at present not taking more orders as he has a backlog, and as I now need to get on and complete what was a rather hefty bit of repair work ( bought on I think over quite a lengthy time since it was erected, some 12 years I think ). On studying MVL Bridges website I found that all the materials needed were available from them. So looking at the photos on the website and making several adjustments for size etc I produced a cutting list.
          Lo and behold following a couple of fast responses to e-mail's it was priced up and dispatched and was here by the end of the week.
 Also Michael was extremely helpful with advice on nuts and bolts, riveting etc. So when all the tools and materials were got together with the measurements and sketch I had made it was time to make a start..


Friday, 17 January 2020

New Warehouse

It had become apparent that the Gnome Valley Barley Sugar Pudding Factory was in need of  a larger warehouse with distribution facilities. So a suitable site was looked for and we settled for a small overgrown area that because of its position was very difficult to keep tidy.

So measurements where taken and a design came up with. A two road siding was decided on with a long 2 story building so designed as to be able to be used as a storage shed for unused stock when not in us

Now I must say at this point that I am not a very accomplished modeler and not very interested in fine detail, all I want is a reasonable looking structure. So here I go to route through the workshop material store to see what might turn up that could be  suitable for this project.

Finding several pieces of 2” thick high density foam board and a decent sized left over off cut of 10mm twin wall roofing sheet a plan of action started to take shape in my head. Thinking further on from this I thought perhaps I could use home made doors and a few left over windows that I found in my spare                                                                        parts box.
         What came next was like putting together a large jig saw as I don’t work from drawing etc so I just played about with chunk's of foam until I thought I had what I thought would fit the space available.

Following several experiments with gluing dense foam I finally settled on UHU POR expanded polystyrene glue.

Hopefully a balcony will be added with a hoist to help with unloading, but several after conversations with club member it was suggested that individual platforms lowered by chains would look better and then following my first assemble it was suggested that the chains should be taught as they would have been pulled up from inside.

Now as for painting, again I looked for quick and easy. By mixing kiln dried sand with exterior masonry paint I came up with what looks like a Tyrolean type render . I applied several coats of this mix so as to be sure of a good waterproof coverage. 

Corner stones, window sills, lintels and side stones are all made from hard wood flat beading cut to size and fixed on after the main paint was applied. This of course made fitting difficult as areas had to be scraped and cleaned before they could be successfully glued in place.

The roof was easy as it is just a board laid on top. I glued small tabs of off cut hard wood inside so as to keep it’s position and it was painted with industrial grade machinery paint, (scrounged from a friend). The edges were sealed by securing hard wood pegs into the open weave of the twin wall and then inserting recessed tiny screws. 

So when finally put in place I think it looks pretty good, all it needs now I think is a few more bits and pieces on and around to finish of the illusion of a busy warehouse.

Now that’s what I call basic modelling.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Modelling made simple.

As I am not an in depth or indeed a detailed modeler, I look for the simple and quick way to producing what I need. So, when it became time to construct the main station for Barrowbridge on the Gnome Valley Railway a search round in the material store in my workshop uncovered several off cuts of once used 1” thick blue high-density foam, and 2 decent sized pieces of 10mm twin wall poly carbonate. Following some thought an idea started to take shape. So, armed with no drawing or indeed much else I made a start construction jig saw fashion, and this is what I came up with.

Playing about with this high-density board, a hacksaw blade and UHU Por glue for expanded polystyrene foam I started to put together a basic shell. 

Doors and windows are the products of Jackson’s Miniatures recessed and glued in place. Before fitting in place, the whole structure was given several coats of paint, which I made by mixing a small quantity of kiln dried sand with cream coloured exterior masonry paint.

This sand was left over from when we had the drive block paved, so came in handy. Now it’s on to the roof, this is basically two sheets of 10mm twin wall clear sheeting. Again, this was left over from repaired made last year to the green house.


The two sides of the roof were fastened together by shaping a length of timber to the correct angle and securing with hidden recessed long screws and loads of No Nails.

 The barge boards are made from hardwood strip secured by recessed screws inserted into hardwood plugs glued into several recesses in the twin wall sheet    
Exterior masonry paint was again used to finish the roof

So, there you have it, you don’t have to be that skilled to produce acceptable looking buildings for your railway