Friday, September 08, 2017

Progress Report 70

I have had a fairly quiet time since my last Progress Report. The weather has been very unsettled all through August and so has made finding time to get out into the garden quite difficult. There's nothing worse than getting all the stock out for a running session, only to be sent scurrying back indoors to shelter from a heavy rain shower. Most of the developments on the railway have therefore been indoor jobs. However, I have managed a couple of impromptu running sessions where I've just got a train or two out, and also I've managed a fairly full session in which I managed to work through half the timetable before 'rain stopped play'.

Rolling stock

The most significant development has been the near-completion of another locomotive. After carrying out a battery / rc conversion for a fellow modeller on an LGB ToyTrain Otto which he was in the process of bashing into a half-cab loco .......

..... I decided that I quite liked the concept of a half-cab Otto and decided to have a go at bashing one myself. Some time ago, I had acquired a rather tatty secondhand Otto which I was originally going to pillage for spares - but now decided it could form the basis for bash.

After slicing the cab in half, I felt the proportions weren't quite right ........

..... and so cast about for a suitable prototype to guide the conversion. I happened-upon a photo of one of the Kettering Furnaces locos, a delightful Black, Hawthorn 0-4-0 saddle tank, and discovered that one was preserved at Penrhyn Castle, about an hour's drive away. After taking several photos of the real thing ......

..... including dozens of photos of various details ......

...... I set about converting the Otto into something vaguely resembling Kettering Furnaces No.3.

 My model is not a faithful replica of the original - but has been inspired by it. The dimensions of the Otto motor block and chassis have meant that several compromises have had to be made, but I feel a lot happier with the conversion now than I did earlier on in the build. After installing the electrics, I took her outside for a test run (or three) and was impressed by her controllability and how appropriate she looked in charge of a train of skips from the mine.

She is nearing completion - just a few details to be added - nameplates, number plates, works plates, reversing lever, brake standard, fire irons etc. and she'll be fully fitted out for service.

For more information about the build see How I bashed an LGB Otto into a sort of Black Hawthorn 0-4-0ST


Very few developments here - most of my time has been spent on ongoing maintenance and constructing the Black Hawthorn. However, a trip down to the Llanfair Garden Railway Show resulted in me bringing back a very heavy lump of concrete which has now been installed at Bickerton Station:

It's a Cain Howley structure which I bought secondhand several months ago. It has been kept safe for me by a fellow modeller since then until we met up in the car park at Llanfair and transferred it from one car boot to another.

Running sessions

As mentioned, the weather has not been particularly conducive to full operating sessions (which I usually run over two consecutive days), but I have managed to get outside a few times to run some trains and do some test running of stock such as the Black Hawthorn.
Hunslet No.3 Bickerton departs Beeston Market with the Down pickup goods
Bickerton approaching Peckforton with the Down Pickup Goods
Bickerton pulling up Gallantry Bank with the Up Pickup goods
Black Hawthorn No.12 Burwardsley on an early test run with a Down ore train at Peckforton
Burwardsley crossing the River Gowy with an Up ore train (the last of the day)
Burwardsley (now nearing completion) on a Down ore train with explosives van in tow
Burwardsley shunting an Up ore train at the Copper Mine
Barclay 2-4-0T No.2 Beeston approaching Beeston Castle with an Up passenger
Bagnall 0-4-2T No.11 Bunbury storming up Gallantry Bank with a Down passenger train
 Autumn is now approaching and so it is likely that there will be fewer running sessions - unless we have an Indian Summer - let's face it, we've not had much of an English Summer, have we?

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