Club Blog 2014

Tuesday 7th January ‘14.  The first meeting of the New Year saw the OO gauge layouts platforms start to have their coping stones installed and the final areas of track ballasting through the platform  was completed, this just leaves the small area of ballasting to complete at the baseboard joints around the platforms  Work on the back scenes low relief buildings continues as too did work on the country scene/tunnel end boards.  On the N gauge layout wiring work was undertaken to install track feed dropper wires to the copper clad sleepers at board joints.

Tuesday 14th January ’14.  The final sections of the two platform coping stone edging was added to the OO layouts platforms and the track within the platform area was painted a dirty colour to represent oil spills etc on the ballast.  Further construction work on the low relief buildings was undertaken.   On the N gauge layout the point rail feed error was corrected. A decision has been taken to operate all of the N gauge layouts points by Cobalt stall type point motors. The first batch of 24 motors are to be ordered.   

Tuesday 21st January  ‘14.  Work on the N gauge layout concentrated around the recently purchased Cobalt point motors and their installation. Terminal blocks were bonded to the baseboards undersides where required to allow connection of the track feed wires to the pre fitted dropper wires from the rails.  On the OO layout a barrow crossing has started to be made at one end of the platforms, while the back scene low relief houses construction continued to make good progress. Work on the country end hillside and a disused narrow gauge track area continued.

Tuesday 28th January ‘14.  Being the last Tuesday in the month, it was a running night. The OO layout was fully assembled and used to run a variety of DMU and EMUs. It was noted that the rails where fresh ballasting had been undertaken were needing extra through cleaning, which will have to be carried out in more detail baseboard by baseboard. The rear back scene was given an initial first coating of sky blue paint, further top coats will be needed to complete.  On the N gauge layout  it has been decided to make the main boards control panel a drawer style slide out fitting. Temporary linking of all the track feeds has been undertaken, this will allow a twin track controller to be used to test to all the track sections prior to final wiring starting.

Tuesday 4th February ‘14. Work continues on the OO layouts tunnel area and also the building of the low relief buildings. Track ballast paining (toning) work has started and the construction of a wooden Barrow crossing at one end of the platform has begun.  On the N gauge layout the two loops of main line track were temporarily wired to a twin controller and both loops ran locos and carriages successfully for the first time. Further track testing etc will continue next week. The N gauge main loops control panel has been commenced.

Tuesday 11th February ’14.  As the M2 motorway came to a grinding halt with a sink hole between both carriageways and the ‘A’ roads got more congested, attendance tonight was little on the low side.  But those who were able to get in managed to carry on with the OO layouts scenic work and make a start in investigating one of the cross-over points failure to throw issues. While on the N gauge layout full length trains were run in opposite directions to each other to check clearances etc. It was found that on one curve a little easing of the curve would be required to give the necessary clearances needed.

Tuesday 18th February ‘14.  Further scenic work was carried out on the OO layout. The construction of a barrow crossing is well under way and a pair of Island platform building kits have been obtained and now need making up.    On the N gauge layout a 60mm by 325mm slot was cut into the rear side member of one baseboard. This slot is to allow the main line and storage area lines control panel to fit inside the baseboard. The panel will slide in and out on a pair of metal drawer runners and be able to be secured out in the operating position but stored away flush when the layout is not used.

Shepherd Neame have invited us to attend their exhibition which is to be held in Faversham on 7th June and we have decided to take along the N gauge layout as a Work in Progress exhibit.

Tuesday 25th February ‘14.  The last Tuesday of the month meant it was a running night. With the “OO” layout in  use.  The newly built scenic items were added to check and test fit them . A final coat of sky blue paint was applied to all the back scene boards. The low relief buildings and arched walls certainly make the layout come to life!  Various types of rolling stock were run with a mix of steam outline locos and diesel hauled. The track on one curve on the “N” gauge layout was repositioned to allow more clearance.  The main layouts ‘slide out’ control panel was test fitted.

Tuesday 4th March‘14.  The first of the Cobalt point motors was fitted to the N gauge layout. Though the point it was fitted onto had to be removed and repaired after suffering minor accidental damage.  With some modern Mk3 carriages it was clear that the inner loops curve around the station area would have to be eased a little to prevent two carriages touching when passing each other.   The ‘drawer’ style main board control panel was fully fitted.   On the OO layout work continues with making the tunnel ends country scenic section. More domestic buildings are being constructed from card kits, a water tower and a sand drying plant is also being constructed. Painting of figures began to populate the platforms.  The timbered barrow crossing on the end of the platforms was completed leaving it now to be painted and eventually weathered, a passenger foot path leading from the station booking halls lift tower to the crossing is next to be constructed.

Tuesday 11th March ‘14.  On the OO layouts country end discussion took place on how to present a low relief cliff face. Construction of the industrial end buildings continued. On the N gauge layout the curved track in the planned station area was eased outwards to allow long carriages to pass each other.

Tuesday 18th March ‘14. The Clubs Annual General Meeting was held with the election of club officers and committee members for the next twelve months. The committee is comprised of - Brian Lambert Chairperson. Colin Hudson Secretary. Kelvin Inge Treasurer. With committee members Bob Bushel, Martin Luffman, Graham Church and newly elected Peter Newman.  A financial statement was presented to the club by Kelvin and was accepted by the clubs membership.  Automatic affiliation by all club members to the WFCC was proposed and unanimously agreed.  The cost of the affiliation will be taken from the current clubs annual membership fee. An amendment to the clubs Constitution for this change was agreed by all present and this updated page will be produced and issued to members as soon as possible.  Bob Bushel also produced the clubs Heath and Safety policy statement which will be used by the club and a copy held by the WFCC.

Tuesday 25th March ‘14. “OO” running evening with various items of stock. A dead section of track was discovered and faulted to a bent 9 way plug pin which will be replaced. Work on the ”N” gauge layout continued.

Tuesday 1st April ‘14. All but two of the “N” gauge layouts main boards Cobalt point motors have now been fitted. The “OO” layouts non working cross-over point have been corrected and fully tested. The 9 Way D connector with a damaged pin has had a replacement connector plug and wiring harness assembled ready to be fitted next week.  Construction of buildings continued with painting of the 10’ foot space between station approach tracks. Scenic work on the country end of the layout, which is being depicted as a cliff face is well under way.  Consideration is being given to using Toggle Latches to secure some of the baseboards together, as well as fitting Tee nuts fitted inside the baseboards frame to allow easier and faster removal and refitting of end and side protection boards.

Tuesday 15th April ’14. The last of the M6 Tee nuts have been fitted onto all the baseboards of the “OO” layout. Fitting of toggle latches used to lock the baseboards sections together began, with three boards being fitted.  On the “N” gauge layout two end plates were fitted to the baseboards after the support beams were trimmed to their correct length. The valance curtain’s Velco strip was fixed to the baseboards side edges and the valance trial fitted. Measurements were taken to ensure the clubs logo transfers will be correctly positioned onto the valance.

Tuesday 22nd April ‘14.  Work on the “N” gauge layouts baseboard wiring continued, with much more still to do. On the “OO” layout further work on the country ends scenic area was resumed and production of lineside buildings etc. was undertaken.

Tuesday 29th April ‘14. “OO” layouts running night. Various club members locos and rolling stock items were run.  One short section of track (approx. 4 inches long) was found to be electrically dead, the cause will be investigated during a club evening in the future.  As it was a running evening the N gauge layout wasn't erected, but some work was undertaken on the Cobalt point motor wiring with the baseboards stood on their sides.

Tuesday 6th May ‘14.  Work on the “N” gauge layouts wiring continued apace. With one boards point motors wired back to the inter board connectors.  On the “OO” layout the country end scenic area was given a base coat of a ‘earth’ coloured paint, the barrow crossing was also painted a brown timber colour. Construction of lineside buildings continued.

Tuesday 13th May ‘14. Construction of the “OO” gauge layouts island platform buildings continued and it is expected to have them completed by next weeks meeting. Further painting of the landscape at the country end of the layout was undertaken. On the “N” gauge layout the multi pin plugs from the control panel to board No.1 were finished with No.2 board connections still to be terminated. Track feed wires commenced to be installed on board No.2

Tuesday 20th May ‘14. Wiring on the “N” gauge layout continued with board one being virtually completed while board two has had three of its five point motors wired with two left to complete. The track feed and return wiring on board two is now to be undertaken. It is anticipated this will all be completed during next weeks meeting. On the “OO” layout scenic work continued at both ends of the baseboards. Point frog switching on a couple of points was checked and a fault located which is still to be rectified.

Tuesday 27th May ‘14.  Running night with the “OO” layout. All of the buildings were trial fitted which brings the layout immediately to life. Various locos and items of rolling stock were run. A short video and some still pictures of the OO layout are available on the Club Layouts page.   On the “N” gauge all the two boards wiring was completed. This leaves next weeks meeting to commence testing of point motor operation and track feeds.

Tuesday 10th June ‘14. The N gauge group, following the success of Shepherd Neame's Railway Exhibition, discussed how the scenery will be laid out on the layout, this mainly centred around how they would design the hiding of the fiddle yard, the group felt they didn't want a bridge both ends, but no firm decision was made. A two line loco shed, terraced houses and platforms have been purchased. Following the tea break Bob Bushell gave a talk on the principles of Railway Signalling from its conception in the 1840's to the current day. It was explained by the aid of a film from the Internet on BR signalling part 1 & 2 which showed how Absolute Block, Track Circuit Block all operated and how a simple track circuit worked. The video was halted as required to answer questions. Bob was thanked for an interesting and informative talk.

Tuesday 3rd June ‘14.  Work on the “N” gauge layout to complete its wiring was almost finished, but several track feeding defects were noted. The layout will be worked on to correct all errors over the next couple of days by the club Chairman.

The N gauge layout has its debut at the forthcoming Shepherd Neame Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday 7th June.

Work on the scenic items of the “OO” layout were undertaken by club members.

Saturday 7th June ‘14. The “N” gauge layouts debut. We attended the Shepherd Neame “Rale” event early on Saturday morning and set up the basic layout which still lacks any scenic work. The layout which as yet is still to be named was given the temporary name of ‘Under Construction’. Stock was loaned by several club members.  The layout operated faultlessly and gave the club a great six hours of continuous use. The two pictures below show the layout at the event.
Tuesday 17th June ‘14.  Work on repositioning one of the “N” gauge layouts left hand side storage/fiddle yard points was commenced. This will bring the yards point work into line with the original track plan and the control panel. On the “OO” gauge layout work was undertaken to secure a section of back scene to allow scenic items to be securely fixed to the backboard.
A decision was taken to fully erect the “OO” layout at next weeks meeting but not run it as a members running evening, but to use the opportunity to check and if necessary fault find any defects before the layout appears at the WFCC Summer Fete in mid July.
Tuesday 24th June ‘14. Work continues on the “N” gauge layout repositioning one of the storage yard points to match the track plan and mimic panel.  As it was the last Tuesday of the month the “OO” layout was fully erected and run with a couple of locos to determine any defects before the layout appears at the WFCC Summer Fete on 19th July.  The layout performed well, one baseboard section being noted to have slightly sagged and this will result in the need to lift some track and re aline it, but this will not be undertaken until after the 17th. One cross board rail joint was noted to be in need of realignment too.
Tuesday 1st July ‘14.  Track relaying on the “N” gauge was completed. Wiring of the repositioned track and point was also completed. Testing will be undertaken next week. On the “OO” layout fault finding on one cross-over pair of points proceeded. One end has been proved and now works correctly. Next week the further end point motor wiring will be checked. Minor track relaying at one end was also completed. The ramp end of one platform was re profiled to a slight curve to allow carriage overhang to clear the platform edge.
Tuesday 8th July ‘14.  Following completion of the fiddle yard track relaying on the “N” gauge layout, electrical testing was carried out. It was found one point had been incorrectly wired and this was corrected. Point operation was tested and corrected as needed. On the “OO” fault finding on number 9/10 cross over pair of points continued, it is still unclear what the cause of the failure is. Next week four temporary point motor feed wires direct from the panel to each point motor will be installed to see if the problem still exists when using these wires instead of the normal wiring.  Work on bracing a small section of back scene was undertaken and the coping stone platform edging was fitted where the platform had been curved at one ramp end.  Latches were fitted to some baseboard sections.
Tuesday 15th July ‘14.  The “N” gauge layout was tested for operation, one place at the two baseboards join was found to be causing a short circuit. This was corrected and then the layout tested by running various items of stock.  The “OO” layouts point operating issue continues and no permanent fix has been found so far!  Some scenic items were stuck in place and their position carefully checked to ensure they were safe when the boards are crated.
Tuesday 22nd July ‘14.  The “OO” layout has had one of the short baseboards track lifted and once the area is cleaned off the track will be relayed on shims to level it. Scenic work continues.  The fault with the cross-over point operation on No 9 and 10 points has now been resolved. Work on the “N” gauge layout, which performed well at the WFCC Summer Fete, was restricted to a start on making the lift out cassettes.
Tuesday 29th July ‘14.  A large amount of work was undertaken on the “OO” layout this week. Scenic scatter was applied to the country end. The last of the latches that pull the baseboards together were fitted and a section of track removed plus one defective point ready for relaying. Three brand new Seep PM1 motors were checked and all found to suffer from various defects! These will have to be returned to Gaugemaster. Work on the “N” gauge layout was centred around the lift out Cassettes and the beginning of building the connecting slope that will eventually allow the main loops to join the lower terminus area, which has still to be tracked. The track for this area has been placed on order from the Hobby Shop Faversham.
Tuesday 5th August ‘14.  Wire run tidying on the “N” gauge layout was tonight's job, with baseboard 1 now completed.  On the “OO” a new point was laid which replaced a damaged one and then two new Peco PL10E motors installed with PL13 switches fitted for frog polarity switching. These have replaced the two Seep PM1 motors. Further scenic work was undertaken on the country end of the layout. Next week track relaying and levelling should commence on the baseboard section which has had the track previously removed.
Tuesday 12th August ‘14. On the “N” gauge layout all the main line scenic area rails were sprayed with a rusty rail track colour. Work on the Cassette system continued and initial work on the slope that will eventually join the main line to the lower terminus area started.   On the “OO” layout more scenic work at the country end was undertaken, while the track on the one narrow baseboard at the other end of the layout was temporarily fitted and checked for level, though the actual track has still to be permanently laid and ballasted.  The two Peco PL10 point motors installed last week were tested from the control panel and worked correctly. The testing revealed the need ideally for another point operation push button. This was duly fitted, wired and tested.
Tuesday 19th August ’14. Wiring tidying up was undertaken on the “N” gauge layout. On the “OO” layout track relaying continued.  A further two latches were fitted to the “OO” layout enabling easier and quicker layout assembly.
Tuesday 26th August ‘14. It was a running evening with the “N” gauge layout. The layout performed well and at one stage a 14 coach train was seen running around the main line.  The point on the “OO” layout which had previously been replaced was fully ballasted. A toggle latch was fitted to retain a small section of scenic board rather than used a bolt and wing nut fixing.
Tuesday 2nd September ‘14. The final stages of wiring tidying up was completed on the underside of the “N” gauge layout.  While on the “OO” layout the new section of track was soldered in place and cut through at the two baseboard joints. Scenic work on the country end redundant quarry continued while a support for the industrial end back scene was produced. Discussion took place around adding a hidden storage loop behind the industrial back scenes area.
Tuesday 9th September ‘14.  Some country end scenic work on the “OO” layout was undertaken. But many club members crammed into meeting room 2 to listen and watch a soldering techniques demonstration given by club chairman Brian. Topics covered were how to solder joints in electrical wires and soldering wires to rails, choice and types of soldering iron and actual solder types and fluxes and their use.
Tuesday 16th September ‘14.  No work on the “N” gauge layout was undertaken this week as it was felt necessary to continue the work on the “OO” in preparation of next years exhibition invites.  More scenic work on the country end of the layout was carried out while new point work on the the opposite ends loop lines was undertaken. These new tracks will provide a further hidden storage loop and a siding too. The last two “OO” baseboards where crated to enable easier and safer storage and transportation.
Tuesday 23rd September ‘14.  Work continued on the “OO” layouts industrial end hidden storage loop line and siding. Scenic scatter was applied to more of the country end scene. Hand hold slots were cut in the baseboard crating end plates to aid transportation. All wing nut fixings have now been removed and Tee nuts fixed to the inner framework. M6 x 40mm long hexagonal head bolts are to be obtained together with suitably sized nut spinners for use in electric drills.   On the “N” gauge layout the slope that will eventually connect the upper main line to the lower level terminus station was commenced. Some test running of members locos was carried out to check they worked correctly.
Tuesday 30th September ‘14.  It was a running evening with the “N” gauge layout.  Various locos and rolling stock items were run. In addition more scenic work on the “OO” layouts country end was undertaken. New M6 x 50mm hex head full thread bolts were commenced to be installed replacing the former Gutter bolts used, which prove a little difficult to allow a screwdriver to grip securely onto their heads.
Tuesday 7th October ‘14.  Tonight saw further work on the “OO” layouts country end scenery and track laying on the industrial ends off scenic area, which is now nearing completion. The smaller baseboard section of the “OO” has had its transportation and storage crating construction commended. Some broken wiring was corrected on the “N” gauge layout.   
Tuesday 14th October ‘14.  On the “N” gauge layout work began on fitting the incline that will eventually allow the upper main lines to connect to the low level terminus station and sidings.  On the “OO” layout more scenic detailing work was carried out on the countryside end while further hidden storage siding track laying was undertaken on the industrial end of the layout.
Tuesday 21st October ‘14.  Work continued on the country end scenery on the “OO” layout. Plus cobble stones effect ground cover was commenced to be laid around the area of the industrial arches workshops. A new drive motor and control circuit board has been obtained to operate the “OO” layouts turntable.  The motor has still to be fitted but its control board has been installed and tested into the layouts control panel. Construction work of the slope that is to eventually link the “N” gauge layout main lines to the lower terminus area continued.
Saturday 25th October ‘14. Club members met between 10:00 and 17:00 to carry out scenic work on the OO Bysing Wood Junction layout. Great progress was made in the hours available. The main station and its over bridge has been fitted as well as much of the back scene buildings. More ground work and detailing was carried out on the country end too.
Tuesday 28th October ‘14. After carrying out some damaged track repairs on the Bysing Wood Jnc. layout, a running evening took place. Several items of rolling stock ran. It was noted that modern image long carriages where unable to clear the ramp end of number four platform when taking the exit towards the main line in the country direction This may lead to some platform ramp end corrections, if its considered to be needed.
The crate for the smaller platform over bridge station section was completed and this can now be stored securely without fear of scenery damage. Storage still remains our most serious problem with the limited space available to us off the meeting room.
Tuesday 4th November ‘14.  Work on the connecting slope on the “N” gauge layout continued with the track bed for the slope being fitted. On the “OO” layout the brewery scene is well underway and more work was carried out around the industrial area. Detailing work on the country end was undertaken and this is now nearing completion.  Hand holds where cut in the layouts end plates to aid carrying the layout sections.
Tuesday 11th November ‘14.  Wiring of the “OO” layouts new storage loops began but a defect is present that still needs resolving. Further scenic detailing work was undertaken on the station, brewery and country ends of the layout.  On the “N” gauge layout the connecting slope was completed and the track was measured ready to be installed.
Tuesday 18th November ‘14. Pre wiring of track and points with dropper wires on the “N” gauge layout commenced.  While on the “OO” layout the new storage loops wiring was corrected and the faults rectified.  More scenic work on the “OO” country end was undertaken.
Saturday 22nd November ‘14. Club members met to set up the “OO” Bysing Wood Junction layout and undertake control panel instruction and learning, while at the same time checking for any running issues. With a wide variety of stock being run. A couple of minor track alignment issues were corrected but overall the layout performed very well.  Clear colour coded marking of the crating end plates was also undertaken.

Watch the test train running video…
Tuesday 25th November ‘14.  Technically it was a running evening, but by consent of all those present it was agreed to make the evening a normal club night and continue with more scenic and track work on the layouts.   On the “N” gauge layout more track was pre wired with dropper wires and frog polarity feed wires installed on points. On the “OO” layout lineside fencing was added to the country end. Town area scenic detailing was undertaken. The approach lines track to the turntable was lifted as its rails have been found to be too short at the baseboard joint. While a new piece of track was fitted it too was found to be eventually short, this will be corrected at a future meeting.
Tuesday 2nd December ‘14.  Club members enjoyed a talk and demonstration given by club member Graham on the art of plastic kit construction. Graham discussed the tools, adhesives and general construction techniques he uses. He was able to show several stages of the same kits construction, which aided the understand of the process very well.  In the main meeting room scenic detail along the front edge of the “OO” layout continued and on the “N” gauge layout the track was wired and laid on the upper part of the slope that connects upper main lines to the lower terminus area.
Saturday 6th December ‘14.  Club members and their partners enjoyed a club pre Christmas three course evening dinner at The Sun Inn in Faversham.  
Tuesday 9h December ‘14.  Further scenic detailing work on the “OO” layout was undertaken. The turntables approach track was relaid. On the “N” gauge the lower slope track section and point leading towards the terminus was installed.
Tuesday 16th December ‘14. The last meeting of the year saw a treat of chocolate biscuits at tea break (Mmmmm) as members took a well-earned rest from the year’s labours. The year ended with further scenic work being carried out on three of the sections of the OO gauge which is now looking very close to the finished article. On the N gauge track laying continued and resulted with the incline section being completed meaning that work in the New Year will commence on the third and final board. All in all, this also being the end of the club’s third financial year, members and committee are extremely pleased that the club has become firmly established as a going concern and look forward to welcoming any new members that wish to join. The club is open to all including accompanied Junior members who receive a 50% discount on their annual membership fee. Merry Christmas to all and we look forward to seeing you all in 2015.
Members to note:
There are no meetings on Tuesday 23rd or 30th.
First club meeting evening of 2015 will be on 6th January.
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