Friday, February 28, 2014

A case of good timing

Perhaps more accurately, very lucky timing.

I was moving about bits of track on Winkford and doing a bit of refresher reading on Light Railways generally when I remembered seeing a review of a small HO tank loco recently on sale - masquerading as some kind of OO industrial. I remembered thinking it had promise and I started googling.. As I did so, I received my regular daily newsletter from Rails of Sheffield. Yep - on offer that day was the very same loco. I made a quick purchase and found that within hours they were out of stock again!

Loco arrived and I'm very pleased. Marketed by Rails as a 'Golden Valley' model, it's an Electrotren model (I believe there is a Jouef version too). Clearly a European prototype but I think it won't take much work at all to anglicise this (If I choose to do any actually). It is fitted with standard NEM coupling pockets and two small tension locks were provided to replace the Euro couplings. Size -wise this is dinky, really not much in it with the venerable old Pug. I'll get around to posting a picture of it with a wagon.

Ooh.. or maybe I'll build an HO French or Spanish backwater? :-)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rebuilding Winkford.. planning

As much as I'm enjoying my wargames at the moment, I have a modelling itch which needs scratching. I'm enjoying the occasional play with my US HO shelf but feel the need to build something. Problem is, I really can't decide what I want to build.. a 'classic' OO GWR branch terminus like Hemyock or Blagdon..(I've never done it).. or perhaps do it in 3mm scle.. or perhaps 7mm narrow gauge.. grr.

Anyway, unable to go to the Doncaster show today, I thought I'd dig Winkford out of the loft and have look at the options for converting this to a 4mm standard gauge layout.  It's a small layout, so the choices will be limited. Also, I have three Peco 'Streamline' points, along with three lengths of flexi track. I'd like to stick to that, rather than spending any money on this.

I've boiled it down to two options now, and need to decide.. 

Option 1

The Light Railway company was bought out by a larger concern, who took up the narrow gauge tracks and laid a new standard gauge line (still to Light Railway practice). The passenger service was maintained to Winkford, and the station building preserved, although some rebuilding of the simple platform was carried out. A simple loop with one siding for the light goods and coal traffic.
Traffic would be mixed trains of one short 4 or 6 wheel coach and a couple of wagons to shunt.

This gives me the option of bashing some coaches.. and the 'feel' is really quiet and simple. The only downside is that I'd need to fettle the fiddle stick as trains would arrive from and leave to, the world offscene.

Option 2

Similar to above, however passenger services were cut, usual competition from bus companies etc making it unprofitable for the company to continue a service to Winkford. The end of the line site was still served by rail, now a small yard, with three sidings. Wagons here are sorted for drop off further back up the line. The station building was retained and converted into an office and store for the railway.

This is basically an inglenook. I reckon I can just about squeeze a full one on (need to accomodate 5,3 and 3 wagons and a loco plus three wagons on the headshunt). There's a lot more play value to this design, and it is self contained, no fiddle required.

So, I think I need to sleep on it as I'm fairly torn between the two at the moment.