Friday, 18 June 2021

June 2021 Meeting

Just as we were hoping to come out of COVID lock down and meet up face to face again, we have been put on hold once again for at least a month and possibly longer.

We received a very nice letter from 'Virtual Railex' thanking us for our Lightermans Yard contribution to their virtual show last month and inviting the Yard to the next 'real' show.

So, to report on another Zoom meeting! This session could be labeled 'points' as discussion covered two approaches to turnout construction.

Howard: Playing around with points - Easytrac and Finetrax. I have experimented with curved pegged pointwork, all these examples are using B6 Finetrax points but similar observations apply to Easitrac.
The Geoff Jones method works fine, but means I have less point base between all the sleepers. 

I prefer to keep as much of the point base between the sleepers as possible because I like to paint & ballast the point, then add the rails.

I later discovered the Rod McCall method but when I tried this a slit appeared right across the point base. 

For my N/2mm test track I plan on having a crossover for each gauge. Finetrax do a complete crossover. 

To align the plain track and the point base, I had to cut the sleepers on the plain track at the bottom right, otherwise there is a large gap (shown at the top left). It might have been better if the crossover had been extended by about 3 sleepers. I may have to use some PCB point sleepers and solder the track at these positions.

Unlike the Easitrac points, the milled crossover in Finetrax does not have a tapped hole for the dropper. I intend to drill and tap a 14BA hole for this.

I also need to experiment with soldering brass chairs to point sleeper base in order to electrically join the switch rails with the stock rails. I intend to use this instead of filing the point base and adding some copper strip. 

Alan said that both Easitrac and Finetrax are to include the chairs in their point bases replacing slotted chairs so only the rail needs to be added.

Tom Cutting: Showed progress on the point and track work for the Richard's cameo layout 'Clyde', adopting a more traditional way to produce bespoke turnouts and a crossing using Templot templates. 

 The point template. The proposed angle of crossover was discussed.


Alan S: Just one picture of some of what Alan has been up to this month. More jigs (quartering) for the shops.

Pete K: I have just spent a very pleasant long weekend at The Isle Of Wight Steam Railway for their 50th anniversary gala. These guys model at 304.8mm/foot and it’s very impressive. The weekend featured 2 Terriers and an O2 and they ran beautifully.

As we all know locos with a 0-4-4 wheel arrangement and Terriers, because of their size, are difficult locos to get running smoothly but they managed it brilliantly. I asked one of the drivers what sort of stay alive unit they used but he was just obsessed with cleanliness and all he kept repeating was “Muck Off!”, at least I think that’s what he said!

Meanwhile the Island’s electric railway was not running at all. The official word was because of engineering work but you only had to look at the track and it was obvious….. it just needed cleaning!


Pete Townsend: Locomotives under construction in Somerset.

In the above photo are 5 locos that I started building before moving West.

I have taken advantage of some spare time and made progress with all of them. They are two E2's one with extended tanks, a C Class that predates the Farish model, 
A Q Class and a Lord Nelson.
All except the C Class are 3d printed bodies from Shapeways. The C Class is a N Brass Models kit. 

All are mounted on Farish chassis converted to finescale using the Association replacement bearings.
Next meeting Zoom? on 11 July


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