The Roundhouse Journal May 1999

Welcome to this edition of the Malden Roundhouse Journal, I hope that you are all well and ready for the spring season at the beginning of 1999.

Well the beginning 3 months have 1999 has brought us mixed fortunes at Malden. Unfortunately we have lost another two senior members who passed away, the club was represented at both funerals.

The first member we lost was Sid Watson in January, Sid will be best remembered for running his 4-6-4 5" Halton Tank on the raised track. Sid big green engine could always be relied on for passenger hauling open day after open day. Sid was in his 90's when he passed away, he was always a good Malden stalwart running his engine frequently at Malden year in year out. I know lets of us will miss his presence.

The second member was Jim Scrubby who departed this life in March. Unfortunately Jim had been ill some some considerable time and was confined to hospital, but he was able to get about to Exhibitions and Malden periodically the support of his helpers. Jim had even managed to get to most of the major exhibitions last year including the Model Engineering exhibition in January 1999. Jim was a very accomplished Model Engineer in his own right, and world often make the rest of us sigh, I remember on one occasion he wanted a very small split pin, not being able to find one, he took a plastic bag tie, stripped off the plastic, which leaves wire about 20thou thick, then proceeded to file it in half.!

Item two on my agenda is slightly out of sequence, but I prefer to end with the better news towards the end of the editorial.

The Ice Cream parlour & ticket office has been seriously damaged by fire, the complete inside of the building was a complete burn out / right off with everything destroyed. Part of the roof and 50% of the back also burnt out. Structurally the building is a total right off. We have been in contact with our insurance assessors, and the club are in the process sorting out compensation. Meanwhile all the ticket sales and limited ice cream sales will move into the shop building until a replacement solution has been sorted and provided. At this point as far as the source of the fire is concerned, we know where it was started, and there is more than a 50% probability that it was arson, currently the local police CID are investigating some leads.

On the raised track front, a serious amount of work has happened over the winter period to stabilize the track, along with replacement of several concrete beams and then reinstatement of the track. All should be ready for Easter. You will see later on in this edition of the Roundhouse Journal a detailed report on the condition of the 3½", 5" & 7¼" Raised Track by William Geoff. Please take time to read this it is important.

On the ground level track, the major track relaying exercise on the main line is getting near to completion, all track will be back in time for Easter, though some points will be missing, plane track being substituted until the new points are completed. As the new track work layout has involved resignaling, none of the new signaling associated with the new track work has been completed for Easter. All the electrical changes required in Willowbank Signal box internal wiring has been completed, but the outside infrastructure is still incomplete, i.e. new signaling locations are still need to be installed and one signal gantry still needs to be completed. One main reason for the signaling being incomplete is it was more important to complete the track to enable public running to start, current estimates to finish the track and signaling work will be June / July 1999. We were also very fortunate in that the Croydon Tram link project had a number of redundant signaling cabinets which were donated to us for free, all we had to do was go and collect them. Some of these cabinets will be used to house the new / reworked signaling equipment. Just to give you some idea of people numbers this project has involved some 10-15 people per Sunday for six months solid.

Lastly (as if the above wasn't enough) at long long last, all the old toilets facilities in the club hose have been completely demolished and a completely new set of modern up to date toilets have been installed, this has involved everything from moving walls to new water supplies to electricity & lighting to new sewers as well as new floors & ceilings. The new toilets are a major structural improvement which was long overdue. As the saying goes we no longer have a sight for sore eyes, but we now have a sight for sore eyes! The planning and execution of this work has involved very detailed planning involving 4 club members burning a lot of midnight oil over the best part of two years. The actual execution of the work was done professionally with a building firm that we have used previously for the modifications to the clubhouse roof. This work was directed by an AGM mandate issued two year ago.

Following this editorial on the subsequent pages you will find the some AGM feedback, in the form of Chairman's, & Secretary's speeches. The Committee was re-elected in the same form as it was last year, for details of individual posts see inside of the front cover of this Roundhouse Journal.

Lastly there is an Article from 'The old Buffer' on Christmas on the raised track, which is a nice read..

Best wishes to you all..

Chairman´s Report...AGM 19 February 1999 ... Mr Derek C. Smith

As I came to write this report I took the opportunity to go back through the records and consider what had been said in previous Chairmen's reports. Standing out from those reports is one recurring theme: -that of the need to plan for the future and tonight is no exception!

The Annual General Meeting is the forum where the membership meets to hear about the activities of the elected committee and the Society over the past year and vote for a new committee and plan for the future. And speaking of the future, it seems that everyone is going Millennium mad at the moment. The main activity of every government department and major industry is to make sure that each of their computer systems is year 2000 compliant and that when the seconds finally tick over into the next century all systems will continue to operate. There are great concerns that because of the large number of computer systems that are involved in every facet of industry there may be some catastrophic failure. An example of this is the fear that an aircraft jet engine management system may just decide to shut down on the stroke of midnight. Indeed, the Chairman of British Airways intends to take a New Year flight to disprove millennium bug fears. In this respect I can assure the members present that the Malden and District Society of Model Engineers two main computer systems are year 2000 compliant. One is used by the treasurer, Mike Evans and the other by the ground level signaling system under the control of Mark Adlington.

So, coming back to the main subject it is imperative that we as a society carefully consider the future and think about how best we should develop to meet the changing needs of the next century. In doing so it is necessary to have an understanding of what has taken place in the past and that which has made the society a successful one. One clue to the success of the society is the diverse range of members, which the society has been able to attract. Three such members, each very different in character and manner, but each with a common interest in model engineering and this society have recently died. They are, of course, Jeff Evans the man with the sweets, Ray McNuff the man with the Rolls Royce and most recently Sid Watson the man with the Halton Tank. Our condolences go to all their families with grateful thanks for their memory, fellowship and their varied contributions to the society.

As one generation passes we must strive to attract a younger membership who can share in the common aims of the society. I think we are going some way to achieve this because if we don't succeed then the society will wither. Diversity is the name of the game and at present there are a great number of diverse interests and activities within the society. Four or more projects are under way. The carriage sheds are now almost complete but essentially watertight to protect our investment in coaching stock. Proposals are now being ratified to construct a signal box on top of the carriage shed in order to control Hampton Court Junction and make this part of the ground level track much safer to operate.

The extension to the workshop is making slow progress at the moment only due to the cold weather conditions. However, the main roof steelwork is in place, the materials for the wall construction on site and I am assured that the work will be recommenced with vigor in the spring.

The main concentration of work is being directed to achieve replacements of the main line alongside the river Rythe from the far corner to the signal box. Much of the track had simply worn out and the sleepers had rotted. Opportunity has been taken to realign the track and to equalize and improve the gradients. It is essential that this work be completed before Easter.

Investigations are under way to establish the safe structural integrity of the raised level track and to put into place a planned investment program of immediate emergency repairs and a longer-term maintenance. The committee considers that the raised level track is a major asset of the society and will give every assistance to those who share that interest.

The refurbishment of the toilets within the existing structure has taken a little longer than anticipated to realize. At present, the plans have been agreed, a specification produced and the work put out for initial tender.

There are many friends and members of this society who freely give of their time and energy. Many of their activities are only fully realized and appreciated when they can no longer carry out their work. Doug Palmer and Ted Marks are wonderful examples of this. So it is with regret that I report that Sue Adlington has resigned from the position of Shop Manager in order to devote more time to her family. Until we can find another shop manager I am afraid that the shop, which provides an added interest to those who visit the society, will have to remain closed. In conclusion may I, as chairman of the committee, thank you all for your accomplishment throughout the year, whether you are member, associate member, junior member or a friend of the society. It remains only for me to wish you all a Happy New Year for the last time in the twentieth century and I hope it is a good one for model engineering.

MDSME AGM Feb. 1999 ..... Hon. Secretary's Address: W. M. Goffe
I should like to talk about just one of the subjects that has been discussed at committee during the past year - the Raised Track.

Popular with visitors and drivers alike, a visit to Malden would hardly be complete without a trip on the Raised Track. All 1800ft of it, laid out as a double circuit with a bridge. Let me talk you round:

You embark at Rythe Station, named after the stream our juniors know so well. The whistle blows and the engine works hard in full gear for a spell, drawing away from the station around the curve. After passing the 5" shed up to speed, we gently coast down to the bottom, a touch of blower keeping the fire bright for the brisk pull ahead. From below the bridge, the curved ascent is the steepest on the circuit, and, with a slow start and a dry track, the loco can put in some impressive work. Super heaters begin to notice the bright fire, and, on a good run, on easing back the pole, the loco will accelerate all the way round to Angel Road, only to be slowed for the natural tunnel formed by the bushes. On a bright day it can seem quite dark inside. Suddenly the train bursts out across the bridge into the brilliant sunshine high above the field, and seemingly lingers over the reverse curves, before the reluctant drift back down once more to the station. Even without the old joke about watching for crocodiles its an exhilarating ride.

The Raised Track at Malden is 30 years old. It was constructed by members between 1969 and 1972 and replaced an earlier raised track. The inner circuit was completed first, and the outer circuit added later.

Many of you will know who did the building, and the care they took. And I know quite a number of you helped.

It is a multi-gauge track catering for 3½", 5" and 7¼" stock. The majority of locomotives presently using the track are 5" gauge, hauling Club driving cars and passenger cars of 7¼" gauge. The old imperial rail is rectangular black mild steel 3/8" x 7/8" rolled to the required curves. Four rails are welded into precisely milled slots in rectangular steel sleepers. A wider steel sleeper is used at joints, and one side is left free to allow expansion. The gap between each track section was the width of a lollipop sticky when new.

The supporting beams and pedestals are made of reinforced concrete and were cast on site. A group of members cast two pedestals and two beams on a Wednesday and a Saturday every week for a year till they had all they needed. This gave time for the concrete to cure. Then they built the track. They made two different lengths of curved beam to ensure an even spacing of the pedestals. The pedestals are supported on block work bases going down to the level of the field. There was no embankment when the track was originally built it was added later.

To give access to the field, two sections of track can be lifted out complete with pedestals. These are of lightweight steel trussed construction. There are two traversers running on bull-head rail. There is also a straight test-track offering facilities for 2½" gauge as well.

In its early days the Raised Track was maintained during almost daily visits by members who took a personal pride in it. They also indulged in Wednesday afternoon steam ups. Unfortunately, like Sid and Ray, they cannot help us now except by the example they showed.

In recent years the track and structure has received minimal attention, with the committee imposing a reduced speed limit of 4 mph. in the autumn.

Pedestals & Beams:

Around Christmas the Beams and Pedestals were inspected one by one and the results recorded They are summarized on the slide. (table below)

Between 75 and 80% of the existing concrete structure is perfectly sound, and the majority of visible defects do not need immediate attention. However, some do.

I should like to comment on the severity of the defects: During January three of the worst beams were removed. The worst of all had its reinforcing rods partly exposed on the underside, but the rusting was surprisingly slight. Most of the metal was still there. On removal, the beam was energetically thrown to the ground from waist height, and suffered no damage. It did not crack or shatter further as a result. I conclude that this beam, even though it had scored 10 on the assessment, would have been unlikely to fail suddenly even if it had remained in service for a further period. Without being complacent about this, a program to replace the cracked components over say 2-4 years would seem to be realistic and achievable, as well as necessary. We would need to make one or two beams and pedestals a month. That is one or two beams and pedestals a month.

Raised Track Posts and Beams I
inspected WMG 20/21 Dec 1998
Posts and beams were assessed on a scale of 0 - 10 
1 denotes visible cracks 2 = not too bad 3: take another look etc.
Posts Beams Score
0 207 218 No visible defects
Score « 4 3 OK for now
Score 1 23 16 OK for now
Score 2 18 7 OK for now
Score 3 7 9 Review
Score 4 3 4 Review
Score 5 4 4 Fix these
Score 6 2 4 Fix these
Score 7 0 1 Fix these
Score 8 2 2 Fix these
Score 9 0 0 Fix these
Score 10 1 1 Fix these
Other 2 4 bridge, metal etc

Total: 273 273

To fix components scoring 5 or more requires 9 posts and 12 beams
To fix components scoring 3 and 4 requires a further 10 posts and 13 beams
Posts Beams 75.82% 79.85% 
Proportion of existing components with no visible defect 64 
51 Total number of components with defects

The cracks are fairly evenly distributed between the inner and outer circuits, with the greater exposure of the high outer circuit to frost damage perhaps being a factor. There is no evidence that the oldest beams will fail next or at all. Some consideration has been given to alternatives to concrete perhaps metal pedestals and timber beams. However, because the necessary repairs are scattered nearly at random round the circuit, and because only ¼ of the components need any attention, I personally would favor casting some more beams and pedestals ourselves. This would blend in with the visual appearance of the remaining structure. We have the original moulds.

Why not have someone do the casting for us? Well, I understand the Tunbridge Club recently did just that. Peter Larkin discovered it cost about œ100 for them to have a beam and pedestal cast professionally - just slightly expensive.

I could go on and speak about the rail itself, the station canopy, the traverser, and the Rail Bridge, all of which would also benefit from some attention.

Most of the members who currently attend on Sundays are fully occupied maintaining the Ground Level facilities.

Once upon a time, there was a separate Working Party for the Raised Track. There is clearly scope for there to be one again.

It's perhaps getting a bit late for New Year Wishes, but for 1999, I should like to see a group of members getting together to look after the Raised Track as a first priority.

I very much hope that a period of permanent closure can be avoided the Raised Track complements the Ground Level working so well it'd be a great pity to be without it. However, to keep the track open, work needs to start on the beams and pedestals NOW.

If you think you might be able to help with this important work, please do have a word with me afterwards.

Perhaps you joined in the past couple of years? Or perhaps you now have a bit of spare time? The Raised Track needs you! Its not necessary to run an engine. Think about it

Finally, I should like to thank everyone who has helped to make my first year as Secretary an enjoyable one, and in particular, I should like to thank Peter Pullen for presenting synopses of the committee meetings to you on Friday evenings. Thank you all very much.

Raised Track Jottings
from the Old Buffer
Yet another successful Santa's Specials day has come and gone. Judging by the numbers of children and parents who came to take part, there must have been a great feeling of satisfaction in the breasts of the organisers and their assistants who managed to shepherd the members of the public on to the trains and through Santa's Grotto within the available daytime.

Alas for the raised track, the same claim could not be made. As is his wont, Mike Evans solicited locomotive owners as to their willingness to steam on this particular day. Not having steamed on previous track days, due to an ailing locomotive, I was determined at least to support Santa on his day and duly turned up for duty with the sweet Pea. The only other 5"G locomotive to appear was Peter Larkin's.

Geoff was wearing the Station Masters hat and further assistance was given by young Tom Adlington. The first task after opening up the station was half an hours vigorous leaf sweeping to clear the platform for the benefit of the members of the public, and to clear the steaming bays.

By about 11 o'clock I had raised steam in the Sweet Pea, and during this period of raising steam I was taxed with questions like, Will trains be running on the raised track today? and, What time will you commence running?the answer to these enquiries was, yes, as soon as I have got steam up.

With a queue forming and lengthening, I ran the Sweet Pea on to the track and began passenger hauling. At first one coach was coupled up, but being the only train operating, this was making no observable impression on the length of the queue. Another coach was added and with some judicious loading, administered by the Stationmaster, a greater impression was able to be made on the numbers in the queue, but still not enough!

At each circuit, anxious glances were cast in the direction of the steaming bay where William was busy raising steam in Peter's loco. Due to unfamiliarity with the loco, William as volunteer driver was proceeding with caution, which was also consuming time. Eventually he made it on to the track and began to haul passengers. Still the queue continued to lengthen and still they kept on coming. With William's contribution to passenger hauling duties, I was able to take the Sweet Pea off in order to take a short but necessary lunch break. I made sure that a full head of steam was maintained so as to be able to return to work without delay as soon as I had downed my vittles.

On my return to the track it was found that all was not well. William was experiencing a few problems with his loco. A couple of times I had to give him a push with the Sweet Pea as he had run out of enough steam to carry him over the top of the gradient on the approach to the flyover. Unfortunately he had to retire early before the last ride at 3.30 pm, so it fell to the Sweet Pea to perform the remainder of the passenger hauling. Even so, at the end a few hopefuls had to be turned away.

Inevitably, while in the station, during disgorging one load of passengers, taking on a fresh load, stoking the boiler and filling up with water, one gets faced with answering questions about the locomotive and its running. The question that took the prize this year came from one rather attractive young mother. Having closely watched me stoke up the boiler, she asked, What does it run on? Petrol? I merely smiled tolerantly while a thought flashed through my mind concerning the subject of a brace of stalwart wooden items of small rectilinear proportions.

On a pleasing note, it was gratifying to observe the number of small children who came to thank the driver for the ride, without prompting from the parents.

After completing the final traditional double run, the Sweet Pea retired to the steaming bay for blow down and clean down, the final stages of which were completed in the dark.

On this occasion, the passengers were charged 10p a ride and it would be interesting to know, at the end of the day, how much was raised by our efforts. In conclusion, it can be said that Cinderella did go to the Ball, but only just! 
Gerald Todd. 

From Mike Evans,
To all club members, here with attached is the current project's list and the people responsible, If anybody has any questions regarding ANY project listed below, please ask the designated Project Manager

Project Number  Project Title                   Project Manager

SP 1 New Toilets Committee
SP 2 Central Heating Committee
MP 1 Workshop Extension Structure Sub Committee
MP 2 Ground Level Carriage Shed Paul Henley
MP 8 Raised Track Maintenance John Mottram
N1 G/L Signaling New Work Sub Committee
MTCE 1 G/L Signaling Maintenance Sub Committee
N 2 R/T Rolling Stock New William Goffe
MTCE 2 R/T Rolling Stock Maintenance William Goffe
N 3 G/L Rolling Stock New Work David Wilkins
MTCE 3 G/L Rolling Stock Maintenance David Wilkins
MTCE 4 Air Supply Derek Smith
N 6 Fencing New Work Peter Pullen
MTCE 6 Fencing Maintenance Peter Pullen
N 7 Mowing Equipment New David Wilkins
MTCE 7 Mowing Equipment Maintenance David Wilkins
MTCE 8 Club Locomotives Running Costs Mike Evans
MTCE 9 Club Locomotives Maintenance/Rebuilding Costs Mike Evans
MTCE 11 Maintenance of all External Equipment John Mottram
MTCE 13 Workshop Refit Sub Committee
MTCE14 Workshop Consumables and small tools Sub Committee
ANN 1 Exhibitions Mike Evans
N 15 Roundhouse New Work Paul Henley & Mike Evans
MTCE 15 Roundhouse Maintenance Paul Henley & Mike Evans
N 16 Library Model Engineers Peter Pullen
MTCE 18 Raised Track Maintenance John Mottram
MTCE 19 G/L Track Maintenance Martin Baker
MTCE 20 Buildings Maintenance Mike Evans
MTCE 21 Site Maintenance Mike Evans
MTCE 23 Drainage & Water Pipe Work John Mottram
MTCE 26 G/L Truck Maintenance Martin Baker
N 27 Willowbank Re-Development Martin Baker
MTCE 28 Kitchen Mike Evans
MTCE 29 Signal Box Improvements John Mottram
N 30 Clubhouse Alterations Mike Evans
N 33 G/L Mechanical Signal Construction Mike Evans
S1 Stock Items Mike Evans

John Reid
It is with regret that I have to announce that John Reid died on the 16th April 1999. John was 92; John was usually seen with his 5" 0-6-0 Tank Engine modeled on the LBSC "EVA MAY" design. John was in the process of rebuilding "Eva May" at the time of his death, and I understand that there is also a traction engine. His Widow offered the locomotive and traction engine to the club, but due to existing commitments the Committee had to reluctantly turned the offer down, but the committee has passed the offer over to the existing members to negotiate with John Widow, (Peter Pullen has the details).

From the Editor; Unfortunately I didn't really know John Reid, having only chatted to him a few times, so I'm asking if any members knew John Reid, If they would like to pass me information about John's life I will gladly print this in the next newsletter, I know John was a member for many years.

High Visibility Vests
The Committee have provided a number of High Visibility vests for use by club members who have to work on the track or signals during our public running days. Station staff, drivers and guards are not expected to wear them under normal operation on track day. The reason for their introduction is so that only authorised people are on the track during running time. The use of the High Visibility Vests also improves drivers awareness of people on the track and the person on the track is authorised and meant to be there.

Guildford Model Engineering Club Rally
Just a short note to remind members that the Guildford Model Engineering club are holding their summer rally on the 17/18th July (Saturday / Sunday). This annual event is well worth a visit if you haven't been before, with lots of models in the model tent, Trains and traction engines galore in steam, plus plenty of trade stands.. My comment is don't miss it.! 

Preventing Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth
click the following line to see the article published in the Roundhouse Journal.
Preventing Accidents at metalworking lathes using emery cloth by the Health & Safety Executive
Contents cover Hazards, Precautions & Further information.

1999 Events Calendar

Sunday 30th May Track Day; 2pm Public open day, Members BBQ @ 6.30pm,
see note below.
Monday 31st May Track Day; 2pm Public open day (Spring bank holiday)
Sunday 6th June Track Day; 2pm Public open day
Sunday 20th June Mencap open day 2pm (to be confirmed)
Sunday 4th July Track Day; 2pm Public open day
Saturday 17th July Guildford International Rally, Guildford Surrey
Sunday 18th July Guildford International Rally, Guildford Surrey
Sunday 1st August Track Day; 2pm Public open day
Sunday 29th August Track Day; 2pm Public open day, Members BBQ @ 6.30pm, see note below.
Monday 30th August Track Day; 2pm Public open day (August bank holiday)
Sunday 5th September Track Day; 2pm Public open day
Saturday 25th September Families Day from 2pm, & Night Run. BBQ provided @ 6.30pm (small charge)
Sunday 3rd October Last Public Track Day of Season 2pm
Saturday 9th October 7¼" open week-end,start 10am, Buffet Lunch provided @ 12.30 (small charge)
Sunday 10th October 7¼" open week-end,start 10am, Buffet Lunch provided @ 12.30 (small charge)
16th-23rd October Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition; Castle Donnington, Nr. Derby
Sunday 21st November 10am Stuffing Day / Decorate Clubhouse
Friday 26th November 8pm Rummage Sale
8th-12th December Model Engineer Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, North London.
Sunday 12th December Santa Special Day. 11.00 > 15.30

Note:# Members BBQ, bring your own food and drink for a 6.30 pm gathering of chatter and companionship.