We are making 2019 the 'year of the EMU'. Already completed and entering Coppell service in November at Workington show are a 304/2 and a GMPTE 303. On the workbench is a 323 which should hopefully pass its running tests at the same show, although it will not be finished by then!
Staying out of the pub is good advice! While chatting after a long days operating of Coppell at a recent show, one of the guys opined that now the layout is all DCC, we really didn’t need the fan of points in the middle of the fiddle yard anymore, as they were just wasted space. So three months later after relaying a third of the fiddle yard, removing 24 points, ripping out hundreds of meters of wire plus connectors and easing the curves, we now have six roads for the outer slow circuit (same), seven for the outer fast(was 14), seven for the inner fast(was 14), and four for the inner slow(was 3). All at least 25 feet long and some much longer!
After getting fed up waiting for one to be anounced, we decided to convert one -
A class 81 under conversion from a Bachmann 85. Let more 'roaring' commence!
We're currently upgrading our APT with a Heljan 33 mech and dcc sound and this is progress so far.
A 20 x 40 bass-enhanced speaker is fitted in the bottom of the chassis (with lots of holes drilled to let the sound out!) and the motor will sit on this with the class 33 PCB fitted on top. Newly extended drive shafts in front. I just hope the thing runs again when it's reassembled!
Anybody that saw Coppell at the recent Modelworld show in Brighton may have noticed an I-pad in trial use to control trains. This worked well, with a few minor issues, so will be in use again at Trainwest shortly using an I-pod as well. The control software is the excellent Touchcab
The Danish invasion has begun!!!
86 205, 239 & 233 all with sound, wait to stretch their legs at Liverpool show. April 28&29.
The organiser’s of the L&YDCC show we’re attending at the end of October will be pleased to know that the newly modified layout worked well at the weekend with just a couple of ‘’sticky’’ point motors to fix before our trip to Rawtenstall. See you there.
As you can see, the wiring is now ongoing! Its all a bit ''tight to gauge'' but the longest and fattest wagons will pass each other on the curves, so fingers will be crossed in October that everything else does!
After finishing wiring up the left hand end of the layout, (via a detour into baseboard building for a Swiss metre gauge layout!) its time to start the right hand end. This is the current track layout -
The two concrete sleepered tracks in the background are the two 'fast' lines, with the two 'slows' in wooden sleepered track on either side. The two nearest points on the left of the formation will be removed and plain lined, with the third point slewed over to the left to allow the newly independent up slow line to pass around the outside and join the wooden sleepered track in the left foreground.
The wooden sleepered line to the right is the newly separated Up Slow. While the wooden sleepered dead end track in the middle is the Southport line! Below is a close up of the pointwork -
After a (mostly!) successful trip to Stafford and the first running of the layout in full DCC form we have decided to carry out a few modifications to both the layout and our operating style! DCC has slowed down the running of the layout in both good and bad ways, so to compensate for this we're rebuilding both ends to allow a fourth circuit/operating position to bring more movement back to the scenic section. This is the left hand end (if viewed from the front) with a lot of the track ripped up! -
The turn back siding that left the dirty mark in the foreground will be moved to between the mainlines to leave room for the fourth track to squeeze through.
This is the entry to the layout proper after removing unwanted track. You can just see the outline of the former track formation -
The track on the far right still needs to be cut back and diverted around the concrete sleepered track in the foreground as the ''new'' route. To allow this to reach the fiddle yard at this end has meant adding 2'' to the side of the connecting boards, as can be seen here -
Well, after 19 years, 70 odd point motors, 12 push buttons, 4 double deck rotary switches, 2 new control panels, some dcc stuff and more wire than we care to think about, we have finally finished motorising the 'fiddle yard'. No more finger prodding. It should also put an end to those occasional embarrassing ''oops I've put that train in the wrong road'' moments! Just in time for Stafford show.
For the first time in Coppell's (and most of Boldon's) existence it is possible to set the layout up in the clubrooms! Including the fiddle yard it fills most of the room and leaves no room for any of the other sections, so that option is for testing only. But the scenic boards can be set up along one wall and leave some room for movement! And here it is, so now we can get on with some long awaited repairs/updates.
After adding an extra switch and a couple of new wires before Hawick show we were able to try running the previously DC only outer circuit with either DC or DCC. This worked well, so work is now ongoing to modify the wiring on the fiddle yard 'fan' of sidings to allow this to be a permanent arrangement. Apologies to the residents of Hawick for Siobhan's suitcase on wheels. Its the first time we have been noisier on the Sunday morning walk to the show than the Saturday night walk back from the pub!
And here she is after arriving in the newly decorated clubrooms. In this form the layout is usually wrapped in a transit van!
Yes, its true, Coppell finally has a new home. After 25 years at Cemetery Lodge, (during the last five of which we've referred to it as the ''fungus factory''!) we are moving to the top floor of No1 Dundee Street, Barrow Island. We are currently cleaning and decorating our new home before we move our meager belongings across town! It means we finally have a room big enough to set Coppell up and play, sorry test!