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.
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.
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.
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.
In preparation for Ally Pally this coming weekend, the Ingatestone crew have been busy getting ready the boards that we are taking to display. On Sunday, the packing crates for the corner boards were finished, with an extra day of work by Tom, Bob and myself getting the foam core for the scenery being cut. What is on display will be a work in progress to show visitors how we are building the scenery, to allow them to ask questions, learn and hopefully come and visit us at our open day in May. To act as a "place marker" for the PECO
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...
Above we see a couple of pictures taken by Lawrence Robbins this afternoon at Keen House. These show the great progress being made on Ingatestone. Mo, Tom and Kevan are seen building the base for the new dollies that will take boards 5 & 6 in due course. The second photo shows boards 5 and 6 which connects into the country end of the fiddle yard that will be common with Putnam. The mock up of the bridge prepared by Bob Allaway has been a great help in getting track centres spot on and avoiding side-swiping on the curves between Mark 3 coaches (the longest vehicles that will run on Ingatestone). Once the last piece of trackwork has been done, we will turn to soldering the main power buses to the power droppers. Come and drop by and meet with us - we will be in most Thursdays and the next couple of Sundays !
On Saturday June 27th, the Ingatestone team will be heading to Ingatestone (where else!) for a measuring, drawing and photographing session. From the station area to the Cricket Pavilion, we'll be busy getting the detail as accurate as possible for our layout. If you are in the area from mid-morning onward, come by and see us!
This is the first blog by the team that will be bringing Ingatestone to life in 4mm scale. The team are: Chris Ibbotson, Tom Slade, Bob Allaway, Maurice (Mo) Beanlands, Lawrence Robbins and Kavind Patel. We are at Keen House most Thursday nights from 19:00 and also have Sunday working sessions from 11:00 that will be advertised on here.