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Things have been a bit quiet here of late. Well, among other things… on Saturday No. 1 son and I paid a visit to Dave Watkins for his garden railway open day. Many, many thanks to Dave & family for their warm welcome.
We brought along pretty much every item of 16mm rolling stock we have, including a couple of FR quarrymen’s carriages that have just been finished. The sides and ends of these, desperately thin scribed plywood, came from a chap in Aberaeron from whom we bought some track back in the mid 90s. Having found them in the loft we built a box of 1/16″ ply for reinforcement with a 1/32″ ply roof and added wheels, axleboxes and buffer/couplings from IP Engineering.
We have also built a useful drop-side wagon (vaguely L&B-looking) with centre buffer at one end and TR-style side buffers and coupling hook at the other. This is rather useful if you run stock with both types of couplings.
The Wren managed around 2 scale miles. I’m gradually getting the hang of setting the gas to generate the right amount of steam – runs beautifully, except if there’s too much steam when it becomes a bit of a monster to handle. Part of the solution is to provide plenty of rolling stock for it to drag round the line and hold it back somewhat. Like the look of Andy Bell’s GVT open carriages…
Surprisingly, the Saltford diesels also made it right round the track several times, with 3-4 lightweight wagons and (sometimes) the Corris van.
Well, this afternoon we have been having a whole lot of fun (after some initial problems with a blocked gas jet).
Back in the days when I lived in Aberystwyth I used to cross the course of the old Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway quite often – one of the world’s shorter-lived railways. And then there’s the wonderful tale of the very, very short-lived railway line to Magilligan Point.
But both are beaten by the Milholme Green Light Railway. Or whatever its name is – we didn’t actually get around to naming it, or having an official opening. But yesterday afternoon we dragged the stock of old Bonds’ O gauge track out of the loft, carried out some rather hasty repairs, and laid a line almost the length of the back lawn. The gradients were a bit on the steep side. The cant was, in places, somewhat in excess of what was strictly necessary. But we ran trains, and had much fun.
And then I took the track up and stored it in the shed, until next time.