February 25, 2009

"Copley Hill Works Open Day"

Well ladies and gentlemen, we had our first annual open day at the Copley Hill works today! A couple of friends, eight ex-LNER pacifics and some DCC shunting went on. First, the exhibition, staring the pacifics of Copley Hill.

And here they are on the small works layout: Can you name them all? Numbers provided below:

60114, 60119, 60163, 60130, 60139 and 60145.

The exhibition was declared a success, with the promise of some visiting engines at the next open day. The rest of the afternoon was spent running the brakevan rides and demonstration freight, as well as 60163 Tornado being put through her paces in the yard:

February 21, 2009

"Royal Tornado"

It was very exciting to see 60163, Tornado, named by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall - I am delighted I got to see it, and many thanks to Tony Gee for the lift, there and back, to the event.

I can't help but wonder what will happen next - something pointed out to by several people: lots of the A1 Trust members are getting on in years, and if a new locomotive new build was announced, most would never see the day it would steam.

Perhaps a few younger members might like to take up the reins. I would certainly like to get involved in recreating a piece of British history.

Here's a link to my Tornado videos on Youtube, for the time being:


Until next time - which will be more modelling, I hope!

February 18, 2009

"Storm Warning..."

I'm off to York today for a very special event tomorrow. I have been cordially invited (as a member of the A1 Locomotive Trust) to attend the naming ceremony of 60163 Tornado at 9.30am tomorrow, where his royal highness, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will name her.

Until Friday, then - have a good week, and watch the BBC News on thursday!

February 12, 2009

"Digital Revolution"

I have bought a digital starter set recently, which includes a Bachmann E-Z command controller. I have bought some decoders, and a few DCC fitted models, and have been having fun with my new desk railway layout in my room at university:

I took the two models, "Digby" and "Charlie" and made them into a pseudo ex-London and North Eastern Railway J94 (numbered 68025), and "D2" (a pseudo Wisbech and Upwell Tramway diesel).

Basic disassmble and re-spray with black acrylic paint - followed by transfers and varnish. The diesel had plasticard side plates and front cow catcher added using poly cement onto the plastic body.

I've also had a lot of fun with some diesels and their light functions:

Buying that starter set has convinced me that Copley Hill, when built, MUST be a digital layout. It's actually very simple to set up - and with the DCC ready models, it really is plug in and play - the models also have very realistic motions:

The main thing has been that the DCC hangeover has been quite easy so far - I've only chipped the relatively new models, which all have either 8pin or 21pin sockets for specialist Digital Command Decoders.

I've managed to fit quite a few DCC chips in the last three weeks - most of my Pacifics have them, the 08 shunter ("Gronk") has a special slow running one, and I've also got a Bachmann class 25 to complement the Bachmann class 47 (seen in the above video). I've even started chipping a split chassis Bachmann V2 model, but more on that next time I do a DCC related post.

Next week, it's back to finishing the Great Northern model.

Until next time!