Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Red to Red, Black to Black, Blue to bits!

My Cambrian modular layout is now nearing the stage where I need the proper power supplies for testing.
(Also tied in with this entry is this thread from Model Rail Forum RMWeb.)

As a qualified person I am quite capable of building my own electrical equipment for my model railway projects. However I must state here that anyone contemplating building anything involving 230V mains equipment should be aware of the consequences of their workmanship, and if in any doubt do NOT even think about building a project like this.

The electrical requirements of my modules requires three separate and independent supplies of 16Volts 1.5Amps for the Fulgarex units, lights and l.e.d. panel lamps and two further 12V a.c .at 2 Amps for the two track controllers.

One thing that any modeller who knows about electrics will tell you is to keep any 230V stuff outside of your control panel. To this end my PSU (Power Supply Unit) is housed in its own aluminium box which connects to the layout via a multicore cable and heavy duty polarised multi pin plug & socket. The PSU then sits on the floor away from the layout and out of harms way.

Here's a couple of pictures of the PSU showing the construction.

Note from these pictures that the 230V mains wiring is first of all protected by a 2A  fuse, in the panel mount  fuse holder just above the mains cable entry.
The 230V wiring is all kept to the nearside of the case well away from the low voltage side of the PSU.
Note also that the case and the frame/screen of the transformer is well earthed.
Both transformers are salvaged ex equipment types that have been thoroughly checked and tested before being used. The Transformer on the right is the 16V supply and the one at the left has two separate 12V windings.

 The view from the other side shows the low voltage wiring.
The 16V supply is protected by a glass fuse of 2A rating and the two x 12V supplies have their own Thermal over current self resetting cut outs. (Ex H&M I think)

The flying lead and multipole plug to the layout can be seen on the right.

Take note that since these pictures were taken I have made and fitted some Plasticard fabricated shrouds to cover the exposed terminals of the transformers and on/off switch.

When I built a bigger PSU for a club layout some years ago, I also incorporated a cover interlock switch that disconnected the supply if the cover was opened. I have not done so in this case as it will only be me that opens it and I hope I don't have to for a long time!

Once again before closing I will repeat, if you have any doubt what so ever then do not attempt this sort of job, get some one who is qualified to do it for you.

Cheers for now

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Penmaenpool MPD Track is down at last!

Just another update to say that all the track is now laid on Penmaenpool MPD. Well almost all, There is still about 75mm of track to be laid on the L/H  exit-entry road.This will be laid once the West fiddle yard is started and aligned so as to ensure good track alignment across the baseboard joint.

All flexible track is C&L Finescale with hand built turnouts.
The track is glued down direct to the baseboard with no cork or any other material between track and wood.

I don't subscribe to the "Silent running" brigade, I like to hear the trains running, I have no DCC sound either so no point in making the effort for silent running.
In any case at an exhibition who is going to hear the train wheels drumming above the general noise levels of  the show.

In the pictures you will notice that the "running line" stops short of the baseboard edge for the reasons already described above.

Looking from the other(West fiddle yard) end.
The base for the engine shed is fixed in place, the superstructure will be removable for transport and storage and slot on to the top of this base when the layout module is in use.

There is a bit of a dilemma over the ash / inspection pits.
In C C Greens book "Coast lines of the Cambrian Railways" the shed area track plan shows two pits in front of the shed.
Looking at pictures in the same book fails to reveal any sign of these pits. I'm therefore inclined to believe that the drawing is wrong and the camera never lies.

To this end I have decided to have two internal pits and the Plasticard base has already been cut to provide this on the No2 shed road.

Finally I include a picture that I have found of the prototype location to give you the reader some idea of what I am aiming to achieve with this layout module

Note the piles of ash and clinker at the shed entrance. not an ash pit to be seen.  The ground disc for the running line access, the down starter and up home signals will be modelled as will all the other buildings  water tank and coaling stage  except for the foreman's  house at the rear of the shed.

Another up date soon (I hope)


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

On the fiddle again!

After what seems like ages work as again restarted on the construction of my new Cambrian Modular layout Morfa Bach / Penmaenpool MPD  plus fiddle yards.
Poor weather for outdoor "wood butchering" and taking a holiday abroad  have contributed to the long delay since the last update.
Today has been the first opportunity  to get the modules built so far or under construction linked together for the first time.

This picture shows the three modules that have been built /under construction to date.

From front to back we have...
Penmaenpool MPD
Morfa Bach &
East fiddle yard.
Until I decide upon legs the layout is supported on plastic trestles.

This is Morfa Bach, the first module to be built but still needs work doing to it.

I have changed the back scene for something a bit more suitable for Wales! Grey cloudy sky over hills.
To the right of Morfa Bach the East fiddle yard is attached aligned with dowels and clamped up by two over centre catches.

As described in a previous post, the fiddle yard here will consist of a 3 road turntable so that complete trains can be turned without having to revert to cassettes. (a lesson learned from Pen Y Bont where turning a complete train on a 3ft cassette is a hair raising experience. One false move and it's game over!)

Here we have the turntable unit albeit with only one out of the three tracks fixed at present.

I have decide to use Peco code 75 FB rail in the fiddle yards and non scenic areas purely on the grounds of cost and convenience as I had a few lengths of Peco 75 in stock.

The Peco rail is the same height as C&L code 75 BH rail but has thicker sleeper bases so a bit of sanding, cutting, filing and packing had to be done to get a smooth transition at the base board joint and at the turntable proper.

It all runs through nice a smoothly though, the test wagon in the picture with Gibson wheels having no problems pushing or pulling over the joint gaps.

This is a closer look at the turntable joint.
I have used PCB copper clad material to make the track ends as rigid and as strong as possible, cutting insulation gaps as required with my Dremel and slitting disc.

To keep the rails aligned and to provide electrical connections I have made some "door bolt" type fasteners from 1/8" Brass tube and 3/32" brass rod for the bolts. Soldered into place after checking that no stock will foul on the bolts.
The little switch panel is the yard operators "cab control" and isolator switch for the yard.

I have also been working on the second scenic module "Penmaenpool MPD" and will post a separate blog post soon for work in progress at that end. Keep an eye out for that soon!

As you can see it is still a very much "work  in progress" situation here.
I shall have to put this project on the back burner soon though because I need to get Pen Y Bont out of store, cleaned and titivated ready for some up coming show commitments.

More soon

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pen Y Bont in print again!

British Railway Modelling  Magazine's   supplement  Modelling Inspiration  is out next Friday 14th June.

My Cambrian layout Pen Y Bont features in the supplement which has just been printed.

Here's a shot of the magazine being printed at the printers.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Midland Railex

My Layout Pen Y Bont is on the road again! This time at Midland Railex in August.

I hope some of my blog readers can make it and say hello!

Midland Railway - railex

The Midland Railex proved a great success last year and a second event is scheduled to take place at the Midland Railway - Butterley in Derbyshire on 18th and 19th August 2012

The Railex Exhibition will be open from 10:00 until 16:30 on both days. Midland Railex is not just a model railway exhibition but one where models rub shoulders with their life size counterparts. To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the first Class 47 locomotives entering service on British Rail in 1962, a number of visiting Class 47s will be operating or on static display on the railway and over the weekend will be supported by a display of over 200 models of Class 47s many of which will be operating on layouts.
Aberdeen Kirkhill
Aberdeen Kirkhill
Class 47s working passenger trains on the Midland Railway - Butterley will be 47401 (D1500) the first member of the class built (running in BR Blue 1980s livery) and D1501 (47402). Courtesy of the East Lancs Diesel Group, the latter locomotive has been superbly restored to as-built condition and carries BR two-tone green livery. This will be the first opportunity in many years to see the two prototype locomotives in action together. In addition, MR- B based 47417, currently under restoration, will be on display, so a total of three former East Coast Main Line machines will be present at the event.

The programme for this year’s show is well advanced with more than 26 visiting layouts confirmed in addition to those already based on site. Over 38 traders are booked to attend covering the whole modeling spectrum, modelling demonstrations are also included together with displays from specialist societies such as DEMU.
A number of layouts will feature Class 47 locomotives in operation including: Aberdeen Kirkhill BR 1980s' Scottish Region depot with more than 25 Class 47s in operation and a OO gauge model of Brush Works, also featuring Class 47s and other Brush-built locomotives. Former Brush and BR employees will be in attendance over the weekend to tell the story of the design, development and history of this iconic locomotive. Other layouts attending Railex in 2012 include: Hospital Gates, Rhatia, Deesdale Road, Wellington Road (Leeds), Pen Y Bont, Red Wharf Bay, St Marnocks Engine Shed,  Park Road Station (Ashbourne), Bw Udersfelde and Rhyd-y-Clafdy . A large range of specialist demonstrations will also take place illustrating the many and varied aspects of the hobby, from scenic tips such as tree modelling and scenery, through to building rolling stock.
Melbridge Dock
Melbridge Dock
Heritage steam and diesel trains will also run to an extensive timetable during Railex. The Golden Valley Narrow Gauge Railway* will also be in operation (* please note that a separate fare is payable on the Narrow Gauge Railway) The Historical Model Railway Society archive and shop will be open to visitors. This extensive collection of historical data is a fantastic research tool to assist the railway modeller. The Matthew Kirtley Museum and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust Depot (West Shed) will also be open and their extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock will be on display to visitors.

All the above attractions are included in the Railex ticket price which has been held at 2011 prices and car parking is free. Ticket Prices are - Adult Day Ticket £10.00, Concession Day Ticket £9.00 (for over 60), Child Day Ticket £5.00 and Family Day Ticket £25.00 (two Adults and up to three Children). A show guide produced by British Railway Modelling will be issued free of charge. Admission ticket includes standard gauge train rides. New for 2012 is a free heritage bus shuttle that will take you around the extensive site at Swanwick, stopping off at all the exhibition venues.
Pen Y Bont
Pen Y Bont
The Midland Railex is in support of the Midland Railway Trust, the fund raising organisation of the Midland Railway - Butterley. The organisers hope that last year’s visitors will see and appreciate the considerable improvements made across the site since last year and the work carried out on the station building at Swanwick Junction following last year’s inaugural event. A real ale bar and hot and cold refreshments will be available during Railex.

Please note that no public road access is possible at Swanwick Junction, all visitors for the Railex must arrive at the MRB Butterley station.
The first shuttle train will leave at Butterley 09:30, the Railex will open at 10:00 and various events will take place throughout the day. The Exhibition closes at 16:30 each day, the last shuttle train of the day runs at 17:30 from Swanwick Junction. A special limited edition OO wagon produced by Bachmann will be available for sale at the Railex. Details will be shown when available on the Railex website.

For advance Railex tickets and programmes please visit, telephone 01773 747674 or call the Visitor Information Line on 01773 570140