Archive for May, 2018

Ready For Railex

Posted on May 19, 2018. Filed under: Project progress |

Other than five guest locos and Happy Hour visitors, the Far North line-up at Railex will look like this.

Loco Portraits 4788.JPG


All locos are lettered and numbered, they have the correct lamps for their duties, the driver and/or fireman are on the footplate, and there’s coal or oil in the tender, bunker or tank.

My latest loco for Railex, the recently painted and numbered ex-GWR 1649, had a quick run yesterday evening before I started to dismantle the layout.

1649 180519 4785       1649 steams into Culrain with the Dornoch coach

And that’s it.



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April Progress

Posted on May 1, 2018. Filed under: Monthly progress |

A pre-Railex run-through with improved lighting, a new train and a new loco, seemingly endless layout jobs completed, the re-painted Pullman fitted with new-style, easy-to-use couplings, figures painted and added to some locos, a couple of figures embedded in Kyle of Sutherland’s landscape (numerous requests for this), a more powerful servo transformer, more attention paid to rolling stock back-to-back measurement, extra pick-ups on locos, continued progress with 1649, and more. Like the curate’s egg: good in parts.

Shuttleworth Train 1959 4760       One of the good parts

This eight-wagon mixed goods was made especially for Railex (thanks, Tim) and paired with Pickersgill 4-4-0 54495 represents a train photographed by F.W. Shuttleworth from several viewpoints at Helmsdale in May 1958.

D8032 180426 4766       Inverness D8032 (also good)

In April 1960 the then new Type 1 D8032 complete with cab side recesses and tablet catchers makes its way light engine through Culrain back to Inverness after helping an ailing north-bound Black Five from Dingwall (well recorded at the time). Thanks, Bob.

Back to the present and I am only making slow progress with 1649.

1649 180427 4763       1649 ready for painting (less good)

1649 now has most of the upper works completed, but lacks brakes and sanding gear. The axles are still removable individually to allow more detailing of the chassis. Time is running out, so I am painting the body as is and will see how things go before painting the chassis.

The pre-Railex trial sequence sheet was highlighted separately for “South Operator” and “North Operator” (thanks to Ian for an example of this from a well-known Devon layout). I am now producing the Railex exhibition sequence with alternative train and stock opportunities. This includes two Restaurant Cars and a Mini Buffet: an ex-LMS Pullman to Helmsdale, a 12-wheel ex-LMS to The Mound, and an RMB in a BR Mk 1 rake to Wick, as well as the ex-HR TPO and other stock which (as with the prototype) change trains between travelling north and returning south. The plan is to have at least 10 trains available, with spare locos, and run different sequences morning and afternoon, weather permitting.

Finally, some Modelu lamps and loco crew are on their way, and I am fitting bogie pick-ups to the last, and most difficult, loco; the tiny ex-HR 55053 with only 2’6” bogie wheels.

Stop Press: the 06.40 Inverness to Wick and Thurso with Restaurant Car for The Mound is on the cover of the May issue of Scalefour News – all good PR for Railex.



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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot


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