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The Elmstead Market & Battles Hall Railway


Hi All.
Let me introduce you to our railway. The EM&BHR. This is a diagram of our layout

This winter has left us with more than a few problems with the track. A couple of sections were left dead. These were the line that crosses the garden (curves across from the Rose Garden), and the line to the bottom of the garden. After some serious investigation it was discovered that the fault (or so I believe) was caused by the snow and frost causing the joiners between the rails to come loose. I discovered this by tracing around the track with a multimeter, this shows up where there were bad joints. This is on of the faulty sections
 To remedy the problem I decided to use Massoth (why Massoth, at the time they were all I could get) railclamps. So this section I completely replaced all of the old joiners with the new clamps, a continuity test soon told me that a complete circuit was now complete. I will be testing this section tomorrow.
The next section to be tackled is the bottom of the garden section. This was dead from the points just before Woodside Halt right round to Blackberry hill tunnel. Again a test with the multimeter soon showed up a fault with the points these were removed by the PWG and the fault discovered.
PWG starting work
And this was the problem with the points, corrosion under this screw.
This appeared to correct the fault, but I think before I test this section tomorrow, I'll go round and check all of the joints on this section to be doubly sure.. I'll let you know if this action has cured all of the problems. And I'm sure as testing starts, other faults will show up.
This is my first attempt at posting on here, hope I've got it right.
Here's an update. After working the PWG really hard Saturday Morning and all of today, I'm pleased to announce that the project has been a success. Loco's Kelvin W, Peter W and The Isles of Scilly tested the track after lunch, one or two small glitches were found, but were soon rectified.
                                                                  These are the clamps that were used
                                                                                     Locos testing the track, Kelvin William.
                                                                                      Peter William
                                                                                                   And the Isles of Scilly
 A good job done.
There are a set of R1 crossover points by Heatherbank and a second set (these were really awkward to get to) behind Ivy Junction, these have over time caused several derailments. A plan was needed to cure this problem. I had several R1 points laying about, so these were sold and the proceeds were put into a development fund. This where the points were.
After discussion, it was decided that 2 R3 points, 1 left facing and 1 right facing, this would ease the transition from the outer track to the brewery loop. the points would be just beyond where the R1 crossover was.
The second crossover will be here
On a trip (unfortunately for work) to South Wales, I made the time to call in to see Jeremy at Dragon G Scale. Whilst there The 4 sets of points and motor drives were purchased for the project. Here are the points once installed.
 And here under test
The new point work has made a world of difference to the running of the loco's, so far no derailments.
As I said in a previous post that I have acquired for Mary three battery loco's. I found that one of them was a 32mm, what to do, hhmm, sell it, or buy some track. On a visit to the 16mm show at Brandon, I found the track at the right price. So enough was bought to make a small loop. A few ideas are being developed to make a small line somewhere in the garden, maybe a mine or quarry.
Also at the show I bought for Mary a small IP open carriage wagon for the loco, she also bought some figures to put in it. Here's the completed wagon being pulled by the 32mm loco
 And the carriage
These battery loco's are something else, they will run up to 7/8 hrs on one charge
We returned home last weekend from our trip to the Llanfair Cerrion show, with one or two bargains, 3 binnie skips and a 2.4GHz control for our live steamer (George) . This has now been fitted and tested, found the loco responded better with the digital set.
Now this has set me thinking, with winter on the way, do I really want to clean the track every day, or should we get another steamie. I know a shop that has an Edrig that hasn't moved for quite a while, was wondering should I put an offer in for it, or should I look at something else like a Ragleth. It's a big decision and one I'll give full consideration too. Watch this space.
Today I decided to have a look Marys battery loco that fail on us. Once the loco was taken apart this is what I found
Some of the soldering is coming adrift, so I think this will have to be replaced. Time to start having a look round to see what's available.
Today we visited Maplins to have a look at batteries to replace the faulty ones. Eight 2500mAh batteries plus a case to hold all eight were purchased. These batteries are more powerful than the 1600mAh (as you can see from this picture) batteries that they will replace.
Unfortunatley, the battery case was to big to fit under the bonnet, so what to do. There is plenty of room in the cab, so I decided to put them in there. Not only is there plenty of room in the cab, but it also allows easy access to the battery pack if needed.
Here's the battery pack in place (sorry about the picture quality)
All wires soldered up. and sleeved.
The old batteries were left in place to add a little weight to the front of the loco.
Loco now put back together, roof only temporarily in place, as I want to make it removable, not as it is at the moment which is stuck in place
Loco now on charge. Test day tomorrow.
 St Cyprian now running on the rolling road, think I'll leave him on there for is first run.
The work is continuing during this wet spell. I bought some Binnie Skips from the Llanfair show, put them together during the week. I took a look at them and thought, I must be able to age them a bit, so, I took the bull by the horns and had a go.
Here's the 3 of them before any work was carried out.
I took a small blow lamp to them and buckled the edges.
Then sprayed them and applied a little rust dust.
The end result out on the track. They seem to run fairly well. I still have the frames to paint and weather.
 Today, this little loco was given an extrem test. It was sent to the bottom of the garden to collect the goods for Sunday lunch and it managed to pull the load.