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There's always lots happening at the Model Railway Club. Keep up to date by following our Blog. If you would be interested to edit a blog and you are an MRC member please contact the webmaster.

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We now have a layout email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. So one less excuse not to get in touch.

Tagged in: EM gauge

Following a presentation to club members at the beginning of the month, our new EM Gauge project Orchard Wharf  (set in London's docklands c. 1960) was shown off to the public for the first time at last weekend's London Festival of Railway Modelling. The layout formed just one part of The MRC's extensive demonstration stand. John Jesson was the anchorman over the whole weekend, and used the opportunity to get started on constructing the dockside track, which will all be inset into the surface of the wharf. I divided my time at the show between explaining the benefits of the club on the membership stand and discussing the finer points of 1950s British permanent way specification with John and several knowledgeable visitors to our display.

The boards, the track, and the approach to planning and design all came in for scrutiny and discussion. We will give more details, and post pictures of the boards, which are a stressed-skin construction in laser-cut birch ply, in a future post. Meanwhile, thanks to all those who came to chat with us; we look forward to seeing you again soon.

If you are a club member and would like to get involved in construction of the layout, we want to hear from you. Track building, as noted above, has just started. Electronics work starts soon. Scenery needs research and design. We don't yet have our own email address so please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or speak to John Jesson or me, Ben Weiner, at the club.

Tagged in: EM gauge

We had a great trip to Doncaster back in February -- thank you to those who stopped by to see the layout and chat. The layout ran flawlessly (well, a cable did come loose on Sunday morning but that was it). I am grateful to the rest of the operating team, Hugh and Tom, for their contributions.

On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April we'll be attending Trainwest Model Railway Exhibition at the Springfield Community Campus, Corsham, Wiltshire. We look forward to meeting you there, as well as hopefully getting a chance to look at the other layouts attending -- once again we are in excellent company.

This is likely to be our last trip out with Empire Mills. Our new EM layout Orchard Wharf takes the team back to London's East End. Boards have been assembled and you can catch up with track building at the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace on 24 and 25 of March.

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This weekend, 10 & 11 February, we're attending the Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster race course. We're in the company of some pretty impressive layouts, not least in EM gauge. Look forward to seeing you there!

Tagged in: EM gauge Empire Mills

Posted by on in News
MRC Test Tracks at Warley 50

It's  been a busy first day at Warley for the MRC Test Tracks. A constant stream of locomotives kept the test team busy, with new owners were being reassured to see their purchases successfully  running round the tracks.

A handful of non-runners were identified, these were returned to suppliers for replacement or refunded.

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Posted by on in Minories
Minories November 2017

We've had a busy few weeks, leading up to two exhibitions over consecutive weekends in November- Tolworth then Wakefield.

It would be fair to say we weren't quite ready for Tolworth Showtrain - so apologies to the Hampton Court MRS and those who came on the Saturday morning. However with perseverance we fixed the key issues throughout Saturday and by the Sunday operating rather better. It was rather like taking a layout to its first show, and I forgotten how much energy and effort it requires. We also confirmed that the layout only just fits in my car assuming we have no overnight bags, and that was with loading in the last few bits through the windows.

Posted by on in Copenhagen Fields
Copenhagen Fields - November 2017

Space is always tight in our lower layouts hall, but we've got a few weeks available to have the whole layout up, which gives us the chance to carry out some of the more major projects on track and wiring.

We have had an incredibly productive day today with both new fast line loops completed on the "Sopwith Camel" board as well as a substantial re-wire of the electrical feeds.  The move of the control panels is also set to commence.  

As can be seen in the photo, the loop turnouts on the big fiddle yard board are roughly in place but will need connecting mechanically & electrically.  The track across the joint has been Araldited in situ and will be cut on Sunday. 

Tim

 

 

Posted by on in Empire Mills

Little jobs can be very time consuming. Firstly the uncoupling magnets are now powered by a relay, which hopefully means we won't burn out the switches on the controllers any more. Secondly the uncouplers which were incorrectly identified have now been fixed, so reducing a pernicious source of operator confusion. And finally a mystery short circuit which spread across the layout was (after pulling everything out and turning the boards on their sides) ascribed to a loose blob of solder that emerged from under a switch rail as the troubleshooters were beginning to lose heart.

We will be running on Thursday 30 November (though this depends on some loaned cables being returned) so drop in and say hello!

Tagged in: 4mm EM Empire Mills
Ingatestone Autumn Update: There is some good modelling happening

After a long summer with all the boards of Ingatestone up in the MRC workshop, a lot of progress has been made on both track and scenic elements.   

The scenic crew has been hard at work on the platforms, and after their recent trip through the paint shop when they are added to the layout you suddenly begin to see a station!  We'll need to remove them again at a later date to install the platform lighting.

Eric Sainte has been making progress on the 1880's up side station building:
 
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Because this building is going to sit on the viewing side of the layout, Eric has opened up the main doors so we can see in and through which means young and not so young viewers will be able to see the trains passing by through the doors as if you were really entering the station! Next up for Eric is the interior and roof parts.
 
Another major component of the layout is going to be the overhead catenary, which because of the history of the line there are a variety of different styles of masts and gantries all the way back to the original style erected during the 1950s electrification of the Great Eastern.
Tagged in: Catenary Ingatestone

Posted by on in Lacey Dale
Scenery Update

As it has been some time since the last update, I thought I would post some images of the layout. This is more a pictorial update on the progress so far than a detailed account of what has been happening. This will be covered in future posts.

To summarise, all the bare patches  on the baseboards have now been covered over, and it is time to get down to some fine detailing. I hope you enjoy the photos.

 

The header image shows a hard used WD Austerity running into the station on the low level.

We follow this with a view from the station looking North, where the low level track runs under the high level main line from Derby to Manchester.

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Following is a view over the goods yard, looking back towards the station.

 

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Posted by on in Empire Mills

Growling pains? Bachmann/Kernow cl. 37 awaits the future in the exchange sidings

The Summer months were quiet for Empire Mills. But like the proverbial duck, beneath the water there was plenty of paddling. We were giving a lot of thought to the best way to develop the layout and, perhaps more importantly for the long term, to retain and increase interest in EM gauge modelling in the club. We'll share more on this blog when our plans are more concrete.

Meanwhile, Empire Mills will be operating on Thursday 21 September so drop in and say hello!

Tagged in: Class 37 EM

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Ingatestone Update: Field Trip!

One of the advantages of building a modern image layout like Ingatestone is you get the opportunity to visit the prototype to get up to speed on exactly what you are building. 

So with master craftsman Eric Sainte visiting from Belgium we arranged a field trip which had almost a full turnout from the Ingatestone group:

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Posted by on in Ingatestone

A slightly delayed update this month as we handed over blogging responsibilities to a new member of the OO group - me!

 

A lot of progress has been made on Ingatestone in the last few weeks.  This is greatly helped by the fact that all 6 scenic boards are now up full time in the lower hall.  We expect to working on them all through the summer so do come down and see progress for yourself.

 

One of the goals of Ingatestone was to have as long as possible stretch of mainline to allow us to run some prototypical length trains.  As you can see from these pictures, the length looks quite impressive now we have the full set of boards up running.

 

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June's been a quiet month for Empire Mills, although like the proverbial duck the legs are paddling away under the surface.

We're running on two consecutive Thursdays -- 6 July and 13 July -- and last night we did a little work towards ensuring that stock prefers to run through a couple of the turnouts rather than hop in the air and land between the two routes. Track doesn't keep still and the recent very warm weather seems to have nudged the rails a bit, reminding us that we'll always need to keep an eye on it.

After we'd tested the turnouts to our satisfaction I photographed a Sentinel (from a Nu-cast whitemetal kit) standing over one of the turnout vees with an empty, and somewhat unruly, china clay wagon in tow.

If you're interested in getting involved do come along to the running nights on 6 or 13 July. We'll be practising remote Sprat and Winkle uncoupling amongst other delights!

Posted by on in Ingatestone

 

We have started the building of our platforms on Ingatestone 00 which are of two types -  traditional brick and the later extensions using a pre-fabricated concrete system (see header picture). This has meant we have been busy making prefabricated plastic components too! And they have to be laid out accurately so that the gap between platform and train is realistic but allow a variety of models that might not always been to scale to pass freely. Another compromise for the modeller as clearances don’t scale proportionally.

 

To aid us in the task on the pre-fab sections, Mo made up a very useful but simple jig for the placing of the support of the platform by setting the distance from the track.

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By clipping the jig to the rails each support is placed at the right distance from the rail and in a parallel line which makes the task easier.b2ap3_thumbnail_20170522_153753.jpg

 

The coming together of members in the Club with their different backgrounds and perspectives can often bring forth innovative solutions to problems ....

 

Posted by on in Ingatestone

New member Phil joined us on Monday for the working day on Ingatestone 00. We put him to work to help paint the platform supports that Mo had made at home. Liz also popped in to see progress and is admiring Mo's model of the cricket club house.

The 00 group is in most mondays between 11:00 and 20:00 hrs, and as you can see we welcome new members - and encourage them to get involved.


Posted by on in Empire Mills

We had a great weekend at Quainton Road, so thanks to everyone who paid us a visit. It was really fun to take part in a railway event that wasn't simply a model railway show, and great to get out into the countryside for a change so we can remember what it looks like when we model it!

This month we're concentrating on plans for a new set of modules for the layout. These will give us greater operating potential so we have more to entertain the public. Perfect for the moment when all the operators have perfected their delayed Sprat and Winkle uncoupling skills. And when I've got good at making reliable Sprat and Winkle couplings!

As ever, if you'd like to be involved with the layout drop us a line: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or talk to Tom or Ben on Thursday evenings.

Posted by on in Ingatestone

Ingatestone 00  is our demonstration layout on Thursday 20 April in the lower hall, and  we hope to put up the four front scenic boards to help check for shorts and running. 

The Monday session was most productive, Mo and Tom put higher ends on the boards  to protect all that "knitting" aka OHLE as it is installed over the coming months. Gus and Kev are seen testing out points motors running from the DCC in the top picture. If you would like to get involved, please drop us a note through the website, or come in and see us on Thursday evenings at Keen House.
 
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Tagged in: 4mm Ingatestone track

Here's a preview of the new control panel. Wiring work to support this is now in hand with the two main boards done and the two subsidiary modules depicting the clay dries on course.

Come and see us this weekend at the MRC open day -- we are hoping to have the basics completed!

We are also looking forward to attending the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Steam Gala and Model Railway Exhibition on 30 April and 1 May along with fellow Club projects Lacey Dale and Calshot Road (Young MRC).

For now I think I'd better get back to the soldering iron ...

Posted by on in Empire Mills

Although Ally Pally preparations are at the front of everyone's minds at the moment, we've started in earnest on wiring work. We might make a tweak or two to the sections and uncouplers as we go, but the real object is to ensure everything is documented and cabling is standardised so that if and when things do go wrong out on the road it's as quick and easy as possible to track down and fix the problem.

If you'd like to be involved with the layout drop us a line: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or talk to Tom or Ben on Thursday evenings.