Monthly Archives: June 2014
A reprise from Oly and Chris of our trip to the Great Central Railway Model event.
Thanks to them, along with the other Chris, Pete and Mike for their assistance over the weekend!
Things are just about returning to normality here after a brilliant if exhausting 3 days spent in the company of Mark Tatlow and his P4 layout Portchullin.
Although we spent much time operating the layout, which captures perfectly the atmosphere of a small passing station on the Kyle line in 1974, enough operators were on hand to allow decent length breaks giving us the opportunity to explore the rest of the show, which took time given it was spread from Leicester North to Loughborough!
Although we did not get a chance to visit the stands at Rothley and Leicester, Loughborough got a visit where there were a couple of small layouts on display in the waiting rooms, along with a small marquee on the platform housing an LGB and live steam display, which seemed to be going down well with the families. However, as with other shows that feature stands…
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Portchullin’s next outing will be at the Great Central Railway‘s model event on Friday 20 June through to Sunday 22 June.
I have been looking over the stock and we should be up to around 7 trains, which is close to an all time record! Might even break out one or two unusual ones, even if they do still need some detailing work on them.
Whilst we have seen these pictures before, they are worth showing again……….
I will be making at least some of the items that I have been developing available for sale.
Therefore, I have set up a separate website entitled Miscellany Models that shows what is available, how to get them and (when I get some time to do it) will become a repository for prototype information that I have on the items I have made, construction/finished photographs and instructions.
You can find this website here. If you look hard, you will see some hints as to what other things I have been working on and are expected to be made available in due course.
Back in February (where does the time go?) I put some pictures up of some signals I was restoring for Benfieldside.
Matters have progressed; although I did find that one signal was beyond repair and both of the remaining needed quite a liot of work to do to them as all of the landings, ladders and in some cases balance arms/finials had dissappeared over time. They are not quite finished, as the final painting, weathering and installation of the spectacle plate glass is still to be done. However, this is what they look like:
In addition to the three signals to be restored, I have a number of others which were missing altogether. Here is the first of them:
Last week I was able to visit Richard Chown’s house to have a play with Castle Rackrent at one of his operating sessions.
Castle Rackrent is both an individual layout and also a system; comprising a total of five stations, a harbour and a couple of fiddle yards. It is based on Irish practise, so is all hand built to 5’3″ gauge. Given that the layout is 7mm/1ft, it is pretty substantial and wraps around Richard’s basement a couple of times. This creates the situation where it is somewhat of a challenge to know what is going on in any other location on the system – this does not matter as the stations communicate with each other via bell codes (well, only one adjacent station in our case due to a fault, so we adopted a version of the telegraph system known as shouting!).
It is fair to say, even with this and possibly due to some inexperience on my part, things still get chaotic. We ended up with four of the six possible trains at our station at one point. The normal controller Mr Summers was not in attendance fortunately, otherwise I sense some firm words might have been had………… It was all good fun though and is not really a basis of operation I have experienced before, even though of course all it does is mimic the real thing.
Here are a few photographs; starting with the terminus and original station on the line, Castle Rackrent:
I spent my time (mostly successfully directed by Ian) at Moygraney, so here are rather more pictures of this station:
Immediately next to us was Mount Juliet Town):
It is worth noting the red tag on the rear of the brake van in the final picture above. This is a form of tail light and one of the jobs of the signalman at each station is to check that the full train is there by checking that each train has a tail light. The eagle eyed might also note a few coloured discs on the top of the wagons – these are a form of wagon label; each colour describing the station that the wagon is to be detached at. It all adds to the the challenge of working the line.
The final two stations I have pictures of are Salruck Junction and Lisgoole:
And the reason for the title of this post?
Fortunately, this was not the last train to Castle Rackrent; which will no doubt please the show manager of the Perth show (where the layout will appear in June 14) but it is the last to Castle Rackrent in its present form. Richard has in mind changing the arrangement of the layout and introducing another station. So it was still a historical evening.