Saturday, August 11, 2012

Progress Report 42

Prolonged running sessions

The weather this summer has been appalling from a garden railway modeller's viewpoint. Showery weather is a great frustration - do I assume the sunshine will last or will the heavens open as soon as all the stock has been set out?

However, a couple of days of almost unbroken sunshine/light cloud has enabled me to have some prime time out in the garden 'playing trains'. Interspersed with ongoing maintenance and other matters, I managed to work my way through about half the timetable. This included a fair amount of freight handling and shunting and also some re-runs of manoeuvres for a video I am compiling (more later).

The following pictures give some indication of the ongoing running sessions -
The first Down Train of the day about to depart Beeston Market
Early morning Up passenger about to depart Bickerton Station
Daily Down pick-up goods about to depart Beeston Market
Up passenger crossing the Down pick-up goods at Peckforton
Unloading the milk from the early morning Up passenger at Beeston Market
The mid-morning Down Passenger pauses at Beeston Castle - not many tourists in evidence!
A laden ore-train cruises through Bulkeley station having just emerged from the Mine Branch
Full ore train approaching Peckforton from Bulkeley while the mid morning Down passenger approaches Peckforton from Beeston Castle
Full ore train crosses the mid-morning Down Passenger at Peckforton
Up pick-up goods between Bickerton and Bulkeley
Up pick-up goods between Peckforton and Beeston Castle
Up pick-up goods arrives at Beeston Market - too long for the loop, the train has to be split to be shunted
Train of empty ore wagons being run round at Beeston Market
Mid-morning Up passenger approaching Beeston Castle
The prolonged operating sessions provided plenty of opportunity for the stock, the permanent way and the locos to be tested. The star of the sessions was Hunslet No.3 (Bickerton). Having spent some time in the workshops having more weight and a power buffer fitted, she is now proving to be a very reliable loco for slow, controlled freight duties (See Progress Report 37). The added weight has improved adhesion considerably - the somewhat elongated Up pick-up goods of eleven wagons proved no problem for her up the 1:40 gradient between Peckforton and Beeston Castle. I am now seriously considering adding a power buffer to Barclay No. 2 (Beeston) which seems now to be the least reliable loco, stuttering and stalling over quite a few points despite assiduous wheel-cleaning!

The newly acquired Atropos flat wagon is proving an asset - being used on the first passenger of the day to collect milk churns. The finer scale wheels sometimes cause problems over some of the facing R3 points - and there is no way she would go through R1 points, but with a little tweaking I feel confident the wagon will become a stalwart of the line (Update - see How I made IP Engineering Wheels compatible with LGB pointwork).

No comments: