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Pentewan Light Railway

The Pentewan Railway in Cornwall was possibly unique in having three* gauges in its lifetime. Christopher Hawkins built the original rai...

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Another visitor to the PLR

David John's K1 (built by Paul Berntsen) came to visit the PLR over Christmas. This is it trying out the big climb (1 in 28  with 26" radius reverse curves) with a few wagons on the back: http://youtu.be/ypnf0ot11tM

And a couple of shots of it posed with mine (I can't actually run them together as mine is DCC and David's is DC)

Sunday, 27 November 2016

More Lynton Trackmaking

After very slow progress over the summer, a burst of activity means the final three turnouts are well underway. The following photos show the sacrificial jigs I use which are made from card a copy of the template overlaid with card and straight slots cut for the rails. Flares and cosmetic rail clips (made from pins) are added later and the rails cut to length.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Trackmaking for Lynton

I agreed a while back to make some trackwork for a new layout of Lynton in the late SR period - all in O14 of course. We had lots of challenges with various sources and Templot to ascertain the track layout and turnout angles/dimensions which is as close to scale as we could determine. Subsequently I started a new full time and very challenging job so progress has been a lot slower than intended. Luckily the recipient has similar time challenges and is very patient.

Here are a few shots of the first turnout under test and the common crossing under construction for the next.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

PLR Model Size and Statistics

I have often been asked the overal size of the PLR so I have included the following plan of the current configuration. This can be compared to the configuration in the 1990s and 1980s.

The key statistics are:

Overall Size: 18ft x 14ft

NG full circuit: ~ 80ft
NG mainline maximum grade: 1 in 28 (3.5%) - from lower tunnel exit to quarry loop
NG mainline minimum radius: 27in - the big spiral and a small section c. 22in between quarry and viaduct.
The quarry lines are much steeper and tighter.
SG end to end length: ~30ft
SG maximum grade: 1 in 25 (4%) - mainly in hidden track

Grid squares = 1ft 

The plan below shows the section that was exhibited at ExpoNG 2014 with the additional boards that were built to allow operation:

PLR Location and Route

The following maps show the location of the three phases of the Pentewan Railway. The PLR was the third epoc* and the approxomate area modelled is shown below.

(* The PLR of course only really existed in my model world)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

More Standard Gauge Progress

Enough standard gauge track has been built to give the prairie chassis a run - probably about 14' in all.

More photos here: Progress on the PLR

The chassis was loaded up to near final weight (about 1.4kg)  so it would sit correctly on the CSB suspension. I had a lot of problems with the pony trucks but a revision of the springing eventually sorted that out. It is being tested with DC and is now running very sweetly. I am considering what DCC chip to use in the completed build - it will be sound of course.

It derailed rather too often on one curve but a continuous check rail seems to to have solved that. I am now working on completing the hidden track and the loading dock loop.

More photos here:  GWR 2-6-2 No. 5519

Friday, 2 October 2015

PLR featured in Narrow Gauge and Industrial REVIEW issue 103

My article on the trials and tribulations of getting the PLR to ExpoNG was featured in Narrow Gauge and Industrial REVIEW issue 103

This article was commissioned by Bob Barlow at ExpoNG and it was largely completed and edited just before he fell ill. It is with great sadness that I know it appears in the first issue since his sudden and untimely passing, and I offer it as my personal tribute to him.

NG&I has now reverted back by Roy Link (who was still production editor in the Greystar era) and I have been helping Roy set up a new website and shared admin facilities to help ensure it's continuity in the future.

The website has now gone live at: narrowgaugeandindustrial.co.uk where you can subscribe - and of course buy a back issue of Issue 103

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Standard gauge progress

Since the reassembly back in the loft after ExpoNG I felt I needed a bit of a change so I started work on my ex GWR 2-6-2 prairie no. 5519 from a JLRT kit. This is ScaleSeven of course and I am attempting to use continuous spring beam suspension and split axle pickup. After overcoming several challenges I have got as far as a running chassis but I want to be confident it will work before completing the footplate and body. For this I need some track for it to run on. I then found that the 3 way point I built many years ago is not fit for purpose so I am making another. I fear this may develop into a major focus on the SG before 5519 gets it's body or any further progress on the adjoining NG. However, at least I am back on the interchange yard.

More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/13437403@N03/sets/72157649101140788/

Monday, 3 November 2014

PLR at ExpoNG

Well the day came, it happened and I'm glad it is all over.

It largely went to plan. Packing the van was a challenge, but luckily my friend Steve helped us do it properly. Set up on Friday night took the best part of 3 hours, and we just got to the hotel in time to persuade the barman to give us a drink.

Everything worked as well as could be expected on the day. We had some challenges and soon realised it was better to abandon the planned realistic operation (clay up, coal down) in favour of plenty of action to please the crowd - Hensbarrow has never seen so much traffic!
I would especially like to thank Gary, John, Mark, David and Steve for their help and support, and doing nearly all the operating. Due to a quirk in layout placement the back-room operations area proved quite an exhibit in its own right.

With David's help the boards are back in the loft. Some repairs are required and it will be a few weeks before it is fully operational. I'm looking forward to working on the next developments without any pressure.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Here's hoping it's worth it

With just a few days to go, the construction of temporary staging, fiddle yard, traverser, lighting gantry, etc. is all complete. There is more trackwork behind the scenes than in front - all just one show!

The last push will be to try and get some more wagons ready and a few more running trials.