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.
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.
I still get a bit of a buzz when the postman has a parcel for me and yesterday I took delivery of two laser cut kits from Lazor Works. With some adaption these should make a fair model of the signal box at Ingatestone. Mo has been busy at home working more traditionally on the model of the gate keepers cottage - Looking good Mo!
Meanwhile back at Keen House we did a master class in ballasting with Chris, watched avidly by Kev who was soon stuck in with the PVA spray bottle. Note the handy little ballast hopper/dropper - very useful for getting clean lines.