The Roundhouse Journal October 1999
Welcome to the new look Roundhouse Journal, as you see there have been several changes to its format, namely colour and including colour photographs which previously were not possible. I hope that each and every one of you find something of interest in the new style Journal.
I would also like to record my thanks to those members who have written articles for this journal. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for more material, so if you have anything up your sleeve or pen, please send it in. I have always published everything I have received.
Lastly I invite your comments and views on the newsletter or any club issues remember this is your newsletter.
Mark Adlington, Editor
Willowbank Station Improvements
Major track work and signaling improvements are taking place at Willowbank station at the arrival and departure ends of the station on the 7¼" gauge ground level railway.
A major piece of very complex point work has just been installed at the departure end of the station, allowing the two platform lines to access the new up sidings. Reinstatement of the workshop access road from the loop line platform has also been built into the point complex along with a new coal road siding which has been provided for the coal truck to reside in near to the locomotives awaiting departure from the Willowbank station.
Although the complex point and track work has been installed as has the necessary underground pipe work for track circuit cables, point blade detection cables and air supply to the point motors, work is still progressing on installing a new signal equipment cabinet. Once the cabinet is in there will be a great deal of wiring to be done to get the point / track complex operational from the signal box. This area of Willowbank station is the most complex area of the station and it will be Easter 2000 before everything is operational from the Signal box. Additional computer slave units are need and will have to be installed and wired into the industrial computer that controls the signal interlocking.
In the middle of Willowbank station a new facing point has been installed in the main line outside Willowbank station Signal box, this will in due course allow access to the center loop line. A new trailing point is being constructed and may / will be installed by the time you read this. This new facing crossover will be needed this December as trains will require access to the Loop Line from the main line during this years Christmas Santa operations, as the local line in the station will be out of action during the winter period. (More about the planned renewals later on.)
At the arrival end of Willowbank station a new signal gantry has been erected to carry the 5 semaphore signal posts which will control entry to the station. the 5 posts will carry 7 semaphore arms. The new gantry replaces the original one which was removed last winter when the main line was realigned. It is hoped to get some if not all of the signals operational towards the end of this operating season.
Next to the signal gantry a new signal equipment cabinet has been erected to control the signals mentioned above this will house the necessary signal, point and track circuits.
As mentioned earlier the local line from Willowbank arrivals platform for some 300 ft towards Angel road Signal box is being completely replaced this winter, this is because the track is some 15 years old and the sleepers and some of the rail is completely worn out. During replacement the track will be raised to improve the gradient profile. Also scheduled during this relaying exercise a new arrivals platform will be relayed, as the existing one will be too low.
Relaying is scheduled to start immediately after the 7¼" Gauge open weekend in October 1999. Completion is scheduled for Easter 2000.
Mark Adlington.View from the Willowbank station, with some of the departures signals.
Following the installation of new toilets in the club house, (as reported in the last Roundhouse Journal) The main clubhouse meeting room took quite a battering as far as decoration was concerned, I am now glad to report that the clubhouse has now been redecorated, and that all the railway orientated fixture and fixings have been reinstated.
Plain bearings are very suitable for small lathes, but they do require a generous supply of oil. I tolerated the resultant stripe on the wall behind the lathe, where some of the excess ended up, but when I found corresponding stripes on my shirts I looked for a cure.
Oil from the front bearing reached the chuck and was spun off in all directions. My remedy was to fit an oil thrower ring behind the chuck so that oil working its way along the shaft from the bearing encounters the increased diameter of the thrower ring and is thrown off by centrifugal force before it gets to the chuck. A simple shield collects the oil allowing it to drain into the drip tray.
The ring and shield are shown in the accompanying sketches. Dimensions are not shown because of the variety of lathes in use; the only critical one is the ID of the ring which must give a push fit on to the shoulder of the head stock, but not be too tight or there could be difficulty were it ever necessary to remove it. I used an aluminum alloy purely because I had a bar end of the right size. For my ML7, I made the shield out of 0.5"x0.035 brass strip. It does need to cover the gap between the bearing cap and the chuck back plate with clearance to moving parts, but otherwise size and material are unimportant. A short piece of the same material, drilled to accept the bottom thread of the oil reservoir, supports it off the bearing cap. The two pieces should be riveted and/or soldered together.
Since the oil thrower ring only does its job when the head stock is rotating, some oil may collect at the lowest point when the lathe is stationary and cross to the chuck side. If this occurs, remove this oil with paper towel or rag before starting the motor.A Visit to the Manor Railway by Don Cottle
Last year my wife and I visited a number of miniature railways; the most impressive named was the 'Newchapel, Horne & Burstow Grand Junction Railway' at Horley which was almost as long as its name.
Once every year many of these lines have a fete or a public open day. The 10¼" gauge 'Manor Railway' which is located in the grounds of Scopes, Ingfield Manor Residential school and is located at Five Oaks north of Billingshurst, and is typical in doing this
For the occasion they were graced by the visit of Dame Vera Lynn, Michael Aspel, and Tony Hart, of BBC Children's TV. Who mingled with the visitors at the fete in the schools grounds during the afternoon.
Whilst there were a number of disadvantaged children present, it was pleasing to see so many of them enjoying the railway facilities & trains with their families in the manor grounds.
Apparently the members of the small club running the railway do their own fund raising and have no support from Scope or the school. The railway usually operates during the summer, twice a month for the pupils, but occasionally alters its routine for certain events.
We arrived early and met several people we knew. The members were very friendly and offered refreshments and had time for conversation, and we had a ride after. Following the opening, they ran for the school a very hectic operation, based on Ingfield Central station, located about half way along the line.
When this started we spent the rest of the time videoing and looking around the fete which was by 3pm quite busy.
The line commences at Haven Road station which consists of a small goods yard and the main loco yard. Movements in and out are via a turntable, and the line overall is based on a branch line rather than the usual circuit. Therefore a number of trains run tender first, especially if they are very busy. Several also ran double heading once passenger hauling began, for various reasons.
From Haven Road which also has a wharf line (for unloading loco's or ballast) the train departs through trees and runs along the bottom of the school garden parallel with a hedge. The train stops at Garden Crossing Halt where there is an entrance from a field used as a car park.
The train then departs going through an arch in the hedge and runs around the edge of the playing field to Ingfield Central Station. This is a passing loop with two platforms and two shelters. At each end is a siding, both were used for stock and loco movements as the station was the pivotal point that day. On some trains locos were changed, or trains altered here.
The member in charge of the communications and track here was very busy all afternoon and dealing with train information to and from either end.
From Ingfield Central trains headed east on around the school Peto unit by way of a large curve & into the woods as far as Marsh Halt. Where there are another two platforms and a loop. Here they terminated although the line goes on, but due to the steep gradient the wouldn't use it for passengers. I don't think this section was quite compete, & although I meant to walk it, due time ran out and a heavy shower also intervened. We lost time waiting for it to clear.
At Marsh Halt was a small yard and outside stood an almost completed Royal Scot 4-6-0 LMS locomotive & another loco in steam. A larger shed was being built here, & they were selling bricks at £1 a time to complete it. On purchase, we filled in the chart with the location, colour, and type of brick on it, which was displayed there. As they had limited access to the public, it struck me as a good fund raiser that day.
On the day of our visit, the star attraction was 'Sir Percival' a 4-6-0 King Arthur class locomotive, but equally interesting was a Blue Caledonian 4-4-0 tender 'Dunalister', a Great Central 4-4-2 tender engine, plus two 0-6-0 LBSCR terrier Tanks.
A couple of small 0-4-0 tendered locomotives were not being used, and unfortunately a resident 4-6-0 LMS black five was away receiving attention. I was particularly was hoping to see this running, as it had a long history. It started life in Lowestoft and had operated on two commercial tracks in Northern England before coming here.
Several loco's came for the day from Kent and this meant the resident non-steam motive power was not required, as it often is.
Although the railway started in 1973, it was not until 1976 that the first section opened & 1977 before it was completed to Ingfield Central. That station was completed and fully operational about 1979/80 and the extent ion to Marsh Halt after that. So it has taken some time to build and is still developing.
Their open day is usually the second Sunday in June.
HSE draft document.
Following the open meeting at MDSME on 25th June at which the HSE Draft document
"Model Engineering: Guidance on safe operation of miniature railways and model traction engines" was discussed. Our Hon Secretary has replied to Dr Terry William in time for the July 7th cut off.
I understand from the Model Engineering press, that as a result of input from other model engineering clubs and individuals, the model engineering liaison group (MRLG) with the HSE are redrafting the document to include many of the comments sent in. The draft document will be reissued in due course...
Malden DSME committee will keep the membership informed as and when the new final document is issued. In the mean time attached to the rear of this newsletter is the current redrafted 'draft version' which you will see is very different to the previous version. Which we received on the 9th September 1999.
River Rythe rebuild -Steam tested successfully 26/9/99.!!
The club locomotive River Rythe (0-4-0 Tank, based on Romulus design, but physically larger) has now been reassembled following a major chassis overhaul and rebuild and a new boiler installed.
Structurally the engine looks the same as before. The club wishes to thank Dave Wilkins for suspension modifications, Ernie Widowson for cylinder overhaul, Derek Smith for profiling the wheels and Len Broadly for reassembling the engine from a kit of bits and manufacturing the new smoke box. The club also wishes to thank Jim Goss for manufacturing the new steel boiler.
At the time of writing this article we are just trying to schedule a steam test, to check everything out. If all goes well we hope to formally recommissioned River Rythe for next Easter 2000.
Tinkerbell Saves the Day
During our family holidays at Bournemouth, we had the pleasure of visiting Jim Haylocks Moors Valley Railway, this 7¼ steam line is the South of England's longest, fully signaled narrow gauge steam railway. It is located in Moors Valley Park, Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Near Ringwood Dorset BH24 2ET, 01425 471415. Whilst we were there I noticed a new book entitled 'Tinkerbell Saves the Day' written and produced by Jim and his brother Mike with the help of David Bellchamber. The book is very nicely illustrated in colour. The book is aimed at 6 to 10 year olds, the next reading step on from the well-known Thomas the Tank engine books.
This story is a true story of a real engine 'Tinkerbell' built by Roger Marsh and now resident on the Moors Valley Railway, it tells of how 'Tinkerbell' rescues the another of the lines real engines - 'Sapper' when 'Sapper' breaks down. I thought the book selling at £4.95 was delightful, and my daughter Elizabeth 7 has read it several times after I read it to her a few times at bed time.
Of interest to Malden DSME members is the fact that page 3 is actually an illustration at Malden DSME way back in 1978.
Next time we went to see Jim at Moors Valley, Elizabeth found Jim and asked to see Tinkerbell, Jim was very kind and took Elizabeth to see Tinkerbell, who was sitting in the sun outside the locomotive shed,
Elizabeth was really very lucky to be allowed to sit in Tinkerbell whilst Jim and I reminisced. Thanks to Jim's kindness one little girl's dream came true
Jim tells me that more stories are to follow in the near future.
View from the Ticket Office 1999 – A Personal Perspective - The Raised Track
I have been asked to forward to the committee my observations on events during track days this year as seen from the ticket office.
The raised track is an equal attraction for the open days. When, on the last occasion, there were no engines running on the raised track, thus rendering it inoperable, many people turned round and went home again without buying a ticket.
There has been strong public reaction to the strict enforcement of the under 5's rule. Many parents are reluctant to come to the track days now, as it is not just the children who enjoy this ride. Parents are no longer able to use the raised track because there is no way you can leave a child while he/she sneaks off for a ride! (Not without suffering from loud protests for a considerable period of time).
Many adults are taking advantage of the "under fives free" rule. They are, for the price of an adult ticket, able to provide an afternoon's entertainment for their own and frequently their friends' children, too! I have seen adults bringing up to 6 small children and I have been unable to charge for anyone other than the accompanying adult or two. It is difficult to enforce the "one child free per fare paying adult", since there are so many one-parent families with more than one child under 5 years old. I do not think that to uphold this measure is "people friendly" and I would be unwilling to take yet more flack and stress.
We are losing 50% of our business by not charging for the 3-5 year olds.
Either we charge a reduced rate for 3-5 year olds and try to recoup some of our losses or we put greater effort into altering the standard of the passenger stock on the raised track to accommodate younger children, with immediate effect and get back to status quo.
I am certain that the answer is to seriously and urgently consider undertaking the latter option. This may mean putting other projects on hold but if something isn't done soon there will be insufficient income to purchase a roll of toilet paper, let alone necessary track improvements etc.
At the risk of overstatement, the raised track is a very vital part of our organization and needs to be prioritized at the earliest opportunity by ALL committee members
In addition, I have noticed that the raised track has run only 2 trains on a track day. This is adequate at present, but if the improvements to passenger stock on the raised track are undertaken, this matter will also have to be addressed.
These are my own observations. I only want the club to flourish so that our hard work is acknowledged and the improved receipts will enable all members to receive the best enjoyment from their hobby.
8 September 1999
Raised track passenger truck redesign for Easter 2000
The club committee have been concerned this season at the number of potential customer that we have been turning away as a result of having to impose the 'No children under 5 years of age on the raised track'. Our Hon Treasurer Mike, was also warning of an income drop in track day taking, as well as noticing a drop in the number of 3½ & 5 inch gauge engines available on the raised track. The committee were also concerned at our customer's comments and disappointments at not being able to let their children ride on the raised track.
At the September committee meeting we received an open letter from Eileen Smith our ticket office lady, outlining several problems. The letter was discussed, along with details of a pilot scheme to make the passenger vehicles safe for younger visitors. Therefore, a decision was made that 'As of Easter 2000 the age limit would be reduced to 3 years for children to ride on the raised track.
It was also agreed that the public would be told up front (ASAP) that the raised track would be taking children over 3 years old as of Easter 2000.
The pilot scheme had found a solution to make the passenger cars safe by installing protection over the bogies and the couplings.
This decision has two implications.
A) Club members will be asked, (and will be needed) to do the necessary modification to the raised track passenger cars.
B) There will be an increase in the passenger loading on the raised track as a result of (A) therefore more 3½ & 5 inch gauge engines will be required on track days.
William Goffe our Hon Secretary has offered to head up the group manufacturing the passenger car modifications as he was involved in the pilot scheme and has all the modification details.
So MALDEN MEMBERS, please contact William Goffe with you offers of help.
Post Script from the Editor, following informal conversation with raised track members about the problems outlined above and the remedy (altering the passenger cars). Some of the members I talked to outline the problem with the lack of locomotives, as a number of regular members have passed away and therefore their locomotives are no longer available. For example Sid Watson and his 5" Halton Tank, these members and their locomotives have not been replaced so hence the shortage. They (the members) see recruitment as a key issue or the raise track could be at risk in the sense that there are no engines to left run.
What do you think? Send your idea's and solutions into the editor and I'll get it into print.!
Santa is Coming
I know it's only October 1999, but as sure as the leaves fall off the trees in autumn, December will soon be with us again. We have heard from Santa Claus that he definitely coming to the railway, and as a result he has asked for some help. The actual day is Sunday 12th December, when Santa will be at Malden, so as much help as possible will be needed and appreciated, free lunch and tea's coffee will be provided to all those who help. Sunday 21st November 1999 will be decorating and wrapping day, again as much help as possible will be appreciated.
Workshop Management Group
We missed on reporting in the May edition of the Roundhouse Journal. For months the external working conditions had played havoc with our desires to do any building work but in more recent times we have at least managed to make reasonable progress. Our target now is to complete the end wall as a matter of urgency as this will enable us to lay roofing sheets and secure the site against the recurrent deluges of water and acorns that have caused so much aggro.
Internally we have a Wilson lathe that now works (but requires completion of its coolant piping) and a Myford Lathe that is well on its way to being completely rewired.
A friendly caller has donated a large quantity of 4BA and 6BA bolts. A specimen rack of fifteen different samples is available for inspection by any member wishing to replenish stock.
William Goffe, Jerry Birchall Graham Putz & Ian Proctor
New Years Party
The club will be holding a New Years Eve party to be held at the club's head quarters. This will be a ticket only affair as we are required by law to register the event, with the police. Apparently all Millennium party events have to be registered with the police!. The event will be a ticket only event . i.e. No Ticket, No entry to the party. Watch out for your invitation which will be sent out in due course.
John Mottram Hon Sec.
This years Rummage Sale will be held on the last Friday in November 26th starting at about 8:15pm.
At 8pm Elizabeth Withey will be giving a brief talk about her charity expedition to the Andes in South America
John Mottram Hon Sec.
Since the last Roundhouse Journal, six new members have joined the Society, we would like to welcome the following. Mr Danny Betswork , Mr Phill Johnson, Dr. Keith Gugan, Mr. Derek Littleworth, Mr. Ian Tiplady
Mr. Nigel Brochwell & Jason Brochwell Car Park - Beware of Hole !
Please be aware that after the 11th October 1999, a hole is going to be dug from the Clubhouse to the Roundhouse in the car park this is to allow the remaining sewer to be laid to redirect the rainwater away from the roundhouse. Whilst the hole will be protected as necessary, please be careful when driving in to the clubhouse car park, especially in the dark, we don't want to land up hoisting vehicles out of the hole!!
Don't forget the clubs open weekend, 9th & 10th October 1999 when other clubs visit us, from 10 am both days, A buffet lunch will be provided both days for a small charge, tea and coffee will be provided free. See you there and enjoy yourselves !
5" gauge club locomotive 'Minx'
with Jim Lawson driving
After the Fire
As most of you will know the Society had a fire on 24th March 1999, which badly damaged the Pavilion we used as a ticket office and ice cream parlour. We lost all the contents which included three freezers and two refrigerators due to the heat and smoke damage, as the fire raged inside the building for at least an hour before the Fire Brigade were called by our tenants in the yard. The total claim to the Insurance Company was about £8000 (we pay the first £1000 of any claim)
So what do we do now? It will be up to you the Members at the next A.G.M. to decide. As I did the valuation for the insurance company I got quite a shock as the figures mounted up and so I thought I would put forward some ideas.
1. It has been suggested that the Society should get an outside ice-cream seller (Tonibell or like) to come on track days, for which he will hopefully pay us a fee. This idea is all very well but unless we have very busy track days and he takes at least £100 an hour he will not come again.
2. To replace the damaged pavilion with a new like for like building will cost £4486.00 (Barretts of Ripley), and fitting out is £3425.00 making a total £7911.00. This includes insulation and tile effect laminate to a standard required under the Food Act. We have also had a quote to repair the damaged building and fit it out at a cost of £5896.00. On top of both these quotes are the costs of the contents at £2600.00. One comment on this has been that it is uneconomical to spend that amount of money on something that only makes a profit of about £700.00 a year, therefore it is going to take a number of years to recover the capital (better spend the money on the ground level track).
3. What I would like to see, is. that we replace the pavilion with a much smaller building to sell ice-cream and to house the ticket office, similar to the shop spending not more than £1500.00. The rest of the money from the insurance claim to be spent on squaring off the club house to the right of the entrance, to house a disabled toilet, a store for chairs, a room for freezers and a small workshop. This extension would save the kitchen ladies carrying food from the freezers in the pavilion to the kitchen and would enable us to keep an eye on the freezers if there should be a problem as we have had in the past. The chair store would free the clubroom of chairs and tables when they were not required, and the small workshop for engine maintenance to save working in the open, and of course the disabled toilet would be a great benefit to at least one club member and to the public on track days.
I hope these thoughts will give you the members of the MDSME something to mull over before the next A.G.M. So that we can come to a decision.
Hon Vice President
Well, that's all folks, it's taken me about 7 days to get all of this glued together, as well as learn the idiosyncrasies of this new word processing package. As the say in the signal boxes 7-5-5 Box closed!
1999/2000 Events Calendar
Sunday 3rd October Last public open day 1999; 2pm
Saturday 9th October 7½" gauge open weekend; 10am, buffet lunch provided at small charge.
Sunday 10th October 7½" gauge open weekend; 10am, buffet lunch provided at small charge.
6th - 21st October Engineering in Miniature Exhibition; Castle Donnington. Nr. Derby
(£7 adult, Children £4.00)
Sunday 21st November 10am Stuffing day / decorate clubhouse (Operation Santa!)
Friday 26th November Rummage sale 8:15am, Charity talk 8pm.
8th - 12th December Model Engineering Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, North London
Sunday 12th December Operation Santa, 10am onwards.
Sunday 26th December Boxing Day Steam up..
Friday 31st December / Saturday 1st January,. New Years eve party, INVITATION ONLY,NO TICKET NO ENTRY.
21st - 23rd January Engineering in Miniature Exhibition; Lea Valley Leisure Centre, Pickets Lock,
Meridian Lane, Edmonton. London N9(£5.50 adult, £3.0 children, Concessions £4.50)
Friday 18th - Sunday 20th February Model World 2000, BIC Brighton, Sussex (£4.00 Adults, £2:00 Children)
Sunday 16th April Tune up Sunday, BOILER TESTING.
Friday 21st April Good Friday, final clear up.
Sunday 23rd April Easter Monday, 1st Public open day for Year 2000, 2pm
Monday 24th April Easter Monday, Public open day.
Note:# Members BBQ, bring your own food and drink for a 6.30 pm gathering of chatter and companionship.