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.
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I took a trip down to Ingatestone station this Sunday arfternoon to update myself and the team on the referbishment work carried out - although we have to draw a line on when we close our time period for the layout. We had said 2014 to 2016 but its a hard call.
The first referbished 321 EMU's have started to enter sirvice which represent a third version of the class for the team doing the crowded build (see red doors blue doors post ) to consider.
We also now have the London side station building sensitively restored and finding new life. As can be seen this sturcher was in a sorry state a few years ago when we first started surveying Ingatestone to be our prototype and looking back to B&W pic's from the 1970's we are thankful that this fine late 1840's building and 1900's buildings survived the age of concrete & plastic.
The group of buildings at Ingatestone have been put forward for world heritage status as they show in one place the style and devlopment of the early railway including the footbridge built in early rolled wrought iron - one of the few remaining in situ this was to be removed and replaced with a motorway style concrete bridge totaly out of keeping. This threat has spurred folk on to get stronger powers of preservation. There are also orignal OHLE structures which relate to early electrification and the first 25 kv main line too .
So my modelling dilemma is do we model the London building in gentle decay or its new smart role as a very 21st century coffee shop?
Class 321 Electrical Multiple Units (nick named Dusty bins) are the work horse unit on the Great Eastern main line through Ingatestone on the Essex and Suffolk commuter trains. They come in 4 car formations, but run in multiple to cope with the peak hour demand, so we need a number of them. Although rolling stock for our Club layouts is owned by members (rather than the Club) it’s important on any layout that the stock looks and performs consistently. So we need to get the colours broadly the same, and have the same ‘specification’ for the electrics, couplings etc to they can operate in multiple. So we are aiming to undertake a ‘crowd-building’ project to spread the work across a number of members.
Putnam will not be running during the Club's Open Day on November 20th. The lower hall will be given over to the Club's wonderful Copenhagen Fields layout, which is a good reason in itself to come along on Sunday.
Several members of the Putnam group will be present on the day, helping out in various capacities. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Following Putnam's last showing at the London Festival of Railway Modelling in March, work has commenced on expanding the side of the layout away from public view. The storage sidings, now shared with the clubs a-building modern image OO gauge layout Ingatestone, are being increased from 8 to 13 lines. The Club's carpentry whizz has grafted on extensions to the baseboards and work is well underway on the trackwork. Once that is complete it will be a case of all hands below decks as we get stuck into the wiring.
One may wonder why a layout of this vintage still needs new rolling stock. When the main Happisburgh layout was sold to MRC and GOG member Martin Long, most of the stock was passenger vehicles. A lot of what freight stock we had was returned to its original owners and what we had left was showing its age (just like the real thing!) So a few new vehicles have crept in here and there. Peter Rayner produced a Parkside Horsebox a while ago, and more recently it has been joined be a second one and surprise surprise, has even given permission for us to weather them. Another useful vehicle he’s currently building will be a standard BR brake van so the new one will make a welcome addition as we were particularly short of serviceable brake vans.
Some of the locos were also showing their age, so for a start the J15 has now been refurbished. She had lots of chips on the paintwork, had parts of the coupling’s missing, loose handrails, a missing buffer, etc, etc. There was no sign of any crew either (not sure if she ever had any) so some suitable Omen figures were purchased at Telford for the purpose and other locos have now also had new or additional crew figures installed.
We’ve had Alan West’s BTH Class 15 diesel running on Happisburgh Goods for some time. It was constructed from a kit many years ago, but it never looked or ran very well. However, after extensive rebuilding of the mechanism and bogies by the late Peter Elmslie, it at least ran well, and with some very heavy weathering applied by your scribe, this at least hid some of the many imperfections.
However, Bob Smith caught a glimpse of the forthcoming Little Loco Company’s model of the same class at Telford, while it was on display on 82G. He is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the postman so he can get his hands on this lovely new model. Hopefully this will be seen running on Happisburgh Goods in the near future.
Speaking of which, we are taking Happisburgh Goods to The Garden of England Modelfest at Knockolt, Kent on 10th & 11th December. Then in the New Year to the Canterbury Model Railway Exhibition on 21st & 22nd January, quickly followed a week later by the Longfield Model Railway Exhibition on 28th & 29th January.
The new outer ring 00 test track's proved most useful to the guys from "Ingatestone" 00 as they combined their fleet of container wagons into a 1/2 prototypical length intermodal train as seen on the GE route from Felixstowe into London.
We hope to run trains of this size on the layout with class 66, 70, 86 & 90's at the head on Ingatestone.
We've recently laid extra tracks in between our O gauge tracks, to enable a greater variety of stock to be run, and reflecting the popularity of the test tracks every Thursday evening. All of the tracks can be controlled by DC or DCC to maximise choice.
The new outer OO gauge ring now offers the opportunity on track nights for members to run very long trains round with out them "tail chasing" the last wagon, and with less strain on the locomotive.
In the picture, Kev counts off all 18 wagons of the test run beside the new tracks that have been installed.
Last Thursday Ingatestone had a demo / running night so we all brought some stock in to run on the two big end boards. Chris had his class 90 – a work in progress upgrade from the Hornby original whilst James had the old “One Anglia” livery version ‘out of the box’ so we could compare (as shown in the title picture), and talk about the ways to improve it. We also had some HST's and class 56's running for the fun of it!
New member Gus brought in a class 92 (freshly delivered from Hattons sale) which will be a conversion to GBRF/Euro Port livery as these class 92 were running between Trafford Park/Crewe and Ipswich with a daily container train for Felixstowe in our time frame. This was a short lived event in the real world but we will run this train through Ingatestone to show the variety that can appear on today’s Great Eastern railway .
A fun night with the team, as the pictures below show, with Kev fixing a wheel, a class 92 running under Stock Lane past the new signals, and James and Gus in discussion whilst operating.
The summer is often a down time for modellers, as family holidays, the gardening and BBQ's take over. But we have been continuing with work on Ingatestone mostly on Board 6 (the big corner board that goes into the fiddle yard) with what in the photo looks like a complicated amount of wire and points is in fact a simplification. The expanded fiddle yard being built by Putnum has head shunts so we have now dispensed with ours we just need to return our trains to the (correct?) UK running practice. Hence James, Chris and Lawrence have re-laid the track and put in points and motors in tandem. So with one flick of the switch both move which means a lower risk of accidents as the ladder is either open or closed. As pictured the wires and electrics are in Beta testing ahead of proper installation.
Putnam will be among the 40 layouts appearing at the London Festival of Model Railways. The team have been putting in extra hours to finish a number of mini-projects before we pack everything away ready for transportation 'up the hill'. Visually there are a number of new buildings along the back of the yard, and a number of bigger and better handmade trees on the more rural end board. Equally important are a number of re-wiring exercises which aim to improve resilience. All of which helps make Putnam better than ever. Come along to Alexandra Palace on March 19th and 20th and see the layout, and feel free to pose any questions you have to the operators.
It is often said that rail fans are off their trolleys! But the guys working on Ingatestone 00 are now firmly on and in control of their trolley’s.
We have been putting in some painstaking work (gold star for Mo for his skill and guidance) to build some trolleys so the layout can be mobile This is very important part of the project as we need robust cases on wheels to store and protect the layout as well as transport it in the months to come .....
The is a MRC tradition of giving packing cases ships’ names - Copenhagen Fields has Titanic & Carpathia I think I will have to look up the names of the Harwich to Hook of Holland train ferries -anyone know them off hand ?
Tom Slade co leader
We are looking for an 00 scale modern tractor as tractors of today are quite big and sophisticated as can be seen from the pic of a New Holland (monster sized) tractor crossing the level crossing at Ely. Does anyone know of a 4mm model?
So why the obsession with a farm tractors? Well it’s because the landscape of Ingatestone 00 is to be autumnal to give us a justification to be running top & tailed rail head treatment trains (leaves on the line trains to the general public), hence tractors ploughing fields and half naked trees etc...