Chris Leigh, Con­sul­tant Ed­i­tor

Model Rail (UK) - - Backscene -

My lay­out has been busy! It has been an un­usu­ally hec­tic few weeks since school restarted for the au­tumn term. With three grand­chil­dren at school now, ‘Grand­dad Trains’ has been called upon for var­i­ous child-mind­ing and school pick-up du­ties. As a re­sult, Char­lotte (5) has learned to use a DCC con­troller, and a lengthy Cana­dian freight train has had a lot of use. On the in­ner cir­cuit, which is Bri­tish out­line, I’ve done lots of test-run­ning. I had Ker­now’s ‘O2’ 0-4-4T pro­pel­ling the same com­pany’s LSWR ‘gate stock’ coaches for a pro­longed test. The same ve­hi­cles were then en­trusted to Ox­ford Rail’s ‘Dean Goods’ 0-6-0 for half an hour’s run­ning-in, which turned out to be two and a half hours be­cause I for­got about it! I had two Dapol Class 122s that I had ‘chipped’ run­ning on ‘Pol­wyd­de­lan’, and then the Dapol stream­lined rail­car ar­rived. The high­light, how­ever, was when Richard Foster handed me the Model Rail/rapido Trains ‘J70’ engi­neer­ing pro­to­type, with the words, “Would you like to give it a run?” Well, I started with half a dozen vans, as the ‘J70s’ on the Up­well line hauled mainly fruit vans. Grad­u­ally the load was in­creased un­til I had to start open­ing boxes of ba­nana vans, as these were the only vans which I pos­sess in quan­tity. I’m happy to re­port that the ‘J70’ was just about on its limit with 30 vans in tow on 3ft 6in ra­dius curves. Test passed with fly­ing colours!

Mod­el­ling hours: Dozens! Note to self: Make time to plan for Christ­mas.

A ‘ba­nana train from the Fens’ passes through Bol­ven­tor sta­tion. How do you like my re­painted Hornby Skaledale foot­bridge?

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