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Is this the future? (Shellsea Harbour)
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very enjoyable day at the Beckenham show, with many bargains bought from the junk boxes in the Club Shop for my other layouts and future projects. Shellsea's new operating cards need a little tweaking, as some trains were found to be too long to be able to be shunted conveniently - the moral is to always keep some spare room in the goods yard! Towards the end of the afternoon we tested the locos from my 1860 project. All seem good for shunting, which bodes well for the new layout. Even one of the untamed Smoky Joe' conversions was behaving well.

A general view of the town and the tramway's station


Sailors and strollers. The Jolly Sailor Café, with approaching train.


Loco no. 3 pushes the fish/brake van into the fish-packing works


The little 0-4-0ST was also at work
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two more from the files. First off, another look at the tramway's milk or fish van - and a reminder that it needs some markings adding.


And now a look at the whole of the commercial quay. Since this picture was taken I've managed to source a collection of loads and clutter, so the area should look a lot more busy at its next outing.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A look at the quayside on the layout's first outing, showing how the main line exits the scene (pictures by David Thomas; rolling stock courtesy of Chris Ellis)



Some well known cut-outs, slightly adapted - other credits as before.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing new to report on the layout, as there's some time to go before its next show outing. However, we're just back from a short (cold!) holiday trip to Dorset and Weymouth, so I was finally able to investigate the harbour tramway. This is still 95% in place, so I've finally been able to work out how it operated. I have also finally been able to see the buildings that featured in Railway Modeller all those years ago. Of the three, only the Harbour Master's building is still carrying out its original function. Don't think I mentioned earlier that I used the layout of the ground floor of the building for the Shellsea Harbour Master's house, so I just had to go and see the original inspiration.

Also just along the quay is the old fish market, which I would guess probably dates back to the early Victorian era. Its a lovely building, simple to model, which reminded me a little of the Brunel-style wayside station design. Would make a super model as a market building, warehouse or even as an early station. Its also low relief, as the rear of the building omits the back slope of the roof and is jammed up against the house in the side street. Note rail tracks in the foreground.


We also stayed a few days in Wells, which is a delight for lovers of the traditional British townscape - straight out of John Ahern! Some of the buildings go back to the late 1400s, and no high rise anywhere, except the Cathedral.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2039
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only ever witnessed the harbour branch in use once. It was a class 33 coupled push/pull with an EMU style four car trailer set, so just straight in and out at the terminal end. I think the third rail only got as far as BoMo at the time so the through portion from London would have been coupled with a matching pair of four car EMUs as far as there, then loco hauled for the rest of the journey.

What would be difficult to model would be the p-way gang preceding the train and bouncing illegally parked cars clear of the loading gauge... Though I'm sure the loco would have made short work of the job and been better at persuading the owners not to do it again. Laughing
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just had a surprise, and last minute, invitation to a show at Dulwich on 26 May. Luckily the venue is only about two miles away, and I've also managed to get some help for the morning, so it should be a pleasant day.
I needed to tweak the sequence cards, which I've done, on paper, at least - it will be a dress rehearsal for what was going to be the layout's next outing at Burgess Hill on 1st September. There are also a couple of couplers needing attention, but nothing major.

If you're in S.E. London, the show is at the James Allen's Girls School, East Dulwich Grove, SE22 8TE and is open between 10am and 4.30pm. There should be 15 or 16 layouts.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some pictures of Shellsea at the Dulwich show. I'll put pictures of some other layouts in the Events section.

A view of the Ferry quay, with no. 4 departing with a goods train


As the show was 85% young families, I felt I could depart from the prototype a little and the Beattie well tank had some running in experience. With the feed-back controllers it has an almost imperceptible "run on" with the controller at 0 - but quite useful for the Kadee shuffle. It certainly fits in well with the style of the other tramway locomotives.


I used the short siding quite a lot, and think it would benefit from its own magnet as although one can uncouple below the station canopy, getting the couplers into delay mode is a bit more difficult. Here's No. 3 dropping off the fish van.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday's show was quite instructional, as I had to try and re-learn how to work the timetable in an extremely hot class-room, and with some very noisy young drivers busy thrashing Gordon round a circular Drive-It-Yourself layout opposite Shellsea. Got hopelessly tangled up twice, and reverted to running at random for the rest of the day. The moral seems to be "Make the timetable simpler", which I will try before the layout's next outing in September.

Other lessons leaned: the use of the shorter brown tram coach in three-coach trains makes it easier to avoid getting the train irrevocably stuck between two magnets in the station. Because it's impossible to see if the couplings are in delay mode under the station canopy, another magnet is needed for the short siding at the end of the platform; The long quayside siding with the kick-back to the fisheries is fed from the switched side of the main-line feed - it needs to come from an power source closer to the controller, so will probably need a new wire coming over the hinged baseboard joint. Probably what I was trying to avoid with the original wiring. However, operationally, this puts limits on how you can shunt the quay when there are two locomotives in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, here are a couple more views of the two Terriers at work. In the first one, it looks as if the wagons have been ganging up on No. 4 (Too much overheard talk about Troublesome Trucks, yesterday, I fear!)


The Southern Terrier (with wagons fully in control) is seen leaving for the main line with a goods run.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies - somehow the last posting was duplicated, so I've removed the repeat.

Last edited by giles b on Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a sign saying "Trains Cross Here" would be more in keeping with troublesome trucks. Laughing
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very slow: only just got the double meaning. Nice one, Bob. As the line was established pre-1896 and is officially a Tramway, perhaps the sign should read Trams Cross Here. I'll have to look at some Wantage or Wisbech pictures for a precedent.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the notice was installed by the local authority they would probably use a standard road sign like the one shown in this image...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/40910684@N04/33976292342
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remembered that Arthur North had done drawings of British road-signs in MTI, and found the copy (No 83). Sadly the 4mm reproduction is too small to come across, so I turned to my refrence books to see what tramways did.
On the Wantage, just outside the town they had large hand-painted signs that read LEVEL CROSSING. On the Wisbech, on the other hand there was nothing, even when the line suddenly swung across the road from one side to the other. I suspect this was because these lines were established under the Tramways Act (as was the Shellsea Tramway) and so were exempt from such niceties.

I think the Wantage sign was put up by the tramway company, who'd got fed up with motorists knocking Jane off the track Smile

Perhaps a Whistle sign, approaching the ungated crossing would be appropriate.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Shellsea was designed a short trailing siding was included at the end of the platform to give somewhere for the spare engine to lay over until the next train arrived; however train lengths often made this impossible and in consequence the locomotive lays over on the commercial quay further along the line. The other thought was that this would be somewhere to park the passenger luggage van between ferry sailings, but when the timetable was written, this never formed part of the planned movements. Another idea was that anything needed to be loaded by crane - furniture removals containers destined for Fayling Island, for instance - would be dealt with here. Scenic development then provided a small depot for the ferry company which included a tank for refuelling their boats, providing a reason for a tank wagon to unload here.

For all this the uncoupling magnet under the station canopy was used, but over the course of several exhibitions this was found rather restricting and in consequence the siding was not much used. With the Beaconsfield show only two weeks ahead it has been decided to put a new uncoupler in the siding; there will still be enough room for two wagons to use the siding, but the job should now be much easier.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a couple of days to bring Shellsea up to show standard this last week. The extra uncoupler has gone in on the ferry siding, the wiring feed to the quayside siding has been made independent of the main line feed, and a TRAINS CROSS HERE sign has appeared at the level crossing.

I also had time to re-cast the train working orders to remove the "heffalump traps" of trains too long for shunting clearances, unbalanced goods workings leading to an overstuffed goods yard, etc. etc. and the operator's cards have been rewritten. Now I've run things through twice and I'm pretty sure the timetable works; whether other operators interpret the instructions the same way as I do, only time will tell!

A couple of Shellsea's locomotives are a bit unsure when the track gets a little dirty, so I've been looking for emergency substitutes to use later in the day, if necessary. I tried some of the Victorian locos and one might be OK, but the star would be the Beattie Well tank. Only trouble is, I must bring myself to paint over the BR totem and number as it should be a Southern Railway locomotive for this, or indeed, Goosewithiel.


Last edited by giles b on Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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