Wisbech & Upwell doodles

Been doodling around with track plans for the Wisbech & Upwell tramway, home to GER tram engines and latterly O4 shunters with side skirts over the motion.

It all started with Iain Rice’s ‘Creating Cameo Layouts’ book, where I was looking at the little ‘Fen Drove’ layout, only 7.5′ long in 4mm scale.  Simple, but offering plenty of operation, and a possible 4′ cameo layout in ‘N’.

But I then went back to Hawkins & Reeve’s book, ‘The Wisbech and Upwell Tramway’ to look at some of the track layouts along the line.  Both Elm Bridge and Boyce’s Bridge Depots, intermediate stations on the line, would make good, if minimalistic, layouts.  There are few buildings and plenty of fen.  I see both depots as the focus of simple, 4′ diameter, circular layout.  The real line is straight on both sides of the curved depot, but a little modeller’s license would continue the bends into a fiddle yard form and continuous run. (All track layouts from Hawkins & Reeve.)

Further along the line we come to Outwell Basin Depot, the original terminus for the tramway.  A very simple layout, but it could make a good model, as the old channel of the River Nene runs parallel (below) the line.  The railway crosses the river just to the right of this diagram, on a bridge approached by a short 1 in 30 grade, that complicated prototype operations at times.

Then we come to the most interesting station on the line, Outwell Village Basin.  This has been modelled in a wonderful 4mm layout, that is described in detail on RMweb, and has appeared in the model press.  Not only is the track layout accurately modelled to scale, but the surrounding village has been correctly included.

Here is the depot in GER days.  The layout was simplified in later years, losing the loop within the sidings and the diamond crossing together with the end of the long coal siding, that served barges on the River Nene through a series of unloading chutes.

I then came across the design below in ‘The BRM Guide to Trackplans and Layout Design’, an ‘N’ gauge version of Outwell in later days.  It’s a larger 7′ x 2′ sized layout, but 6″ could be lost to fit it on an internal plywood faced door.  It would be an excellent ‘train in the landscape’ model, watching a short goods train amble along the riverbank.  The only snag is perhaps the 9″ curves needed at each end, but this wouldn’t be a problem for the sort of stock found on the Wisbech & Upwell.

I then took this plan and cut it down to a more manageable 4′ x about 1′.  Making rails and river disappear at each end would be scenically difficult, but there is a good, but not excessive, village area to model.

And finally I rotated the layout by 180 degrees, so that the River Nene is at the rear of the scene.  The backdrop would consist of the houses along the road.  This would make a very pleasant shunting layout with a fiddle yard to the left, with a possibility of a second fiddle yard through the backscene.

And will I build any of these – probably not, as I have plenty to occupy me already.

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Ron flies east #2

More from our European rambler, who has reached Germany.  Day 2….

Rail trip to Cochem. Photos show inside and outside of station plus train at platform and Cochem’s road train

After time looking round town we were taken to a wine merchants for a wine tasting. We tasted five wines and then finished the bottles off.

Never mind the tasting – I always thought it a waste to spit good wine into a bucket.  Just pass me the bottle….

Day 3….

Rail trip to Koblenz so we could cruise down the Rhine to Boppard and then back by train. However we experienced German inefficiency as our boat was kaput upstream so we had to reverse our journey and we returned two hours later than expected. Photos show riverfronts at Koblenz and Boppard and a Rhine river barge.

Day 4….

Our free day so used my rail pass to do round trip to Cologne by train at half price. Few photos from station attached.

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Ron flies east

Ron’s off on his travels to Europe again….

Got on Eurostar at St Pancras only to be told that we were being held as there was a problem in the Chunnel. We finally got away 10 late. On arrival in Brussels we found our train to Luxembourg would be leaving 17 minutes early as it was being diverted due to flooding. We made first stop outside Brussels on time but then continued to lose time and eventually reached Luxembourg 30 minutes late. However we made our connection to Trier on time but then had to wait 5 minutes at first stop to cross a late running train. We eventually reached our hotel at 8.30pm and our evening meal was not served until 10pm, Weather started out fine but it has been raining heavily since 5pm.

Photos show Eurostars lined up at St Pancras and platform indicator and train at Luxembourg.

Regards, Ron


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ESNG Exhibition 2018 and beyond….

Exhibition planning is well under way for the ESNG 2018 exhibition, and the first flyers are out….

Layouts on show will include:

  • ESNG N-mod/N-club modular layout
  • West Sussex group N-mod modular layout
  • Forrestone (UK modern)
  • Freshwater (2mm finescale IOW)
  • City Basin Goods (BR Western Region)
  • Maxwell (UK)
  • St Elizabeth Street (UK modern)
  • Berry Town (UK, BR era)
  • Stoughton Road (UK)
  • Fichtelbergbahn (Germany, Nm)
  • Kato racetrack (Japan)

I’m pleased to have a 2mm finescale layout on show, and Duncan’s large Nm layout is also a new venture.  Both are part of the 2mm/N family, so I think they will add interest and variety to the show,

Trade will include:

  • BH Enterprises
  • NScaleCH
  • Invicta
  • JB Modelworld
  • Ian Grace
  • Club shop

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to use St Joseph’s School in 2019.  So we are going to hold a joint show with N Gauge Forum.  We’ve had initial discussions with Chris who runs the forum, and it looks a runner.  We’ll combine our experience of running a series of ‘N’ gauge shows, plus Chris’ contacts on NGF for access to layouts.  It should be a larger show than we have been able to hold to date, with more specialist ‘N’ gauge traders.  Perhaps the only down side is us having to leave our ancestral home of Redhill, plus access to Riddlesdown by public transport is not ideal.

But we’ve decided to give it a go.  To boldly go and all that jazz……

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China announces plans for ‘flying train’ that can travel up to 2,500mph

From the Independent…..

China announces plans for ‘flying train’ that can travel up to 2,500mph

The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has claimed it plans to develop the next generation of trains, which can travel at speeds of up to 2,500mph.

Liu Shiquan, a deputy general manager at CASC, said their scientists would be looking to develop the super-fast trains of the future that could “fly on the ground”.

It’s all very well running a train at that speed – you’ve still got to find someone silly enough to travel on it!  Mind you, some ESNG members seem to be aiming for that sort of speed with their trains running on club nights….

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ESNG meeting – 7 September 2017

After the last non-meeting, the 7th September was a complete contrast – 14 members and a full fiddle yard of trains.  Perhaps it was the start of a new school year, or perhaps that we were discussing how to get to TINGS, plus ideas for the 2019 show.

It looks like I won’t be getting to TINGS this year, as most members are going by car on the Sunday, when I am busy.  Still, I suspect that this will save me a lot of money….  I shall try and spend the Saturday doing a little real modelling.

It was a good evening, with a chance to talk to people as well as run trains or just watch them go by.  And the trains were a mix of UK and Japanese (though I recall that Graham’s Canadian Via set got a quick turn around the layout.

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Old Oak Common 111 #2

There were more steam locomotives on display than I expected, and that were in the original published list.  BR ‘Britannia’ Pacific’s are a personal favourite.  When I was returning to primary school after lunch, I often used to see the ‘Golden Arrow’ with a Britannia on the front.  ‘Oliver Cromwell’ was one locomotive on the final railtour before the end of steam in the UK.

I love the cork on the oil-box.  Another high-tech solution for steam….

Also present was ‘Tornado’, the replica A1 class Pacific.

In contrast, a modest ex-GWR pannier tank, that could be found anywhere from London to Birmingham to Wales to Penzance.

The 1500 class were built in 1949 in British Railway days, and were a most atypical Pannier, with outside cylinders, Walschaerts valve gear, a very short wheelbase, and virtually no footplate.  They spent much of their short, 10-year, life on empty stock workings out of Paddington station.

Class 50, Western, Warship, Manor and King classes….

King class 4-6-0, 6023, King Edward II.  I love the early BR blue livery, originally specified for the highest powered express locomotives.  Unfortunately it faded fast, so by 1953 most, if not all, blue locomotives were repainted in the better known green.  I must also confess that I don’t really like the King class, with its strange leading bogie design.  Give me a Southern ‘King Arthur’ any day.  Sorry, but I won’t be buying DJM’s King, just because it’s there!

Class 47 and Class 37….

Two Class 47’s.  When we first moved to Redhill, I used to take my son to Redhill station, and we occasionally saw an ‘Intercity’ livery 47 heading up the Brighton to Newcastle train.

Two Class 57’s, with the iconic ‘Castle’ names.

Finally, the prototype for everything department.  This O8 shunter is called ‘Neil’ on one side and ‘Scousey’ on the other.  It has been known for people to do that with models of wagons and coaches to increase variety….

All in all, an excellent visit.  Plenty of interesting trains to look at, and there were plenty of stalls selling railway and model railway items and books.  It was also very easy to get to Old Oak Common, with a train to Clapham Junction, then Overground up the West London Line to Willesden Junction plus a short walk.  The most confusing bit was was Willesden Junction station, that resembled an M.C. Escher picture – you had to walk round five sides of a square to get to the exit!

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