Felixstowe Area “N” Gauge Group
FEBRUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
THE ASSINGTON BRANCH by Ian
This layout was featured in its early stages some time ago, and I would like to offer an update.
Set in the late 1950s at the end of a branch line off the old LSWR main line on the borders of Surrey & Hampshire, it serves a number of small market towns. However, its biggest customer is a large MOD Maintenance depot a little further back down the line. None of that traffic ever comes up as far as Assington, but there is a good customer in a long established weaver at the other side of town.
This area is also developing into commuter country and it is expected that the population will greatly increase so that the future of the line looks assured.
The layout itself measures 8 feet long by 18 inches wide, terminus to fiddle yard. At home it is operated from the front but could be operated from behind if needed.
I must thank Trevor for his assistance in doing the wiring for me. I possibly (?) could have done it but it would not have been as professional.
Unfortunately Ian’s photos are a little out of focus….Ed
TRAMWAY CATENARY – by Chris
As many of you know I have been working on a German DRG 1930’s Tramway, and with delays in getting items because of Covid it had been stalled for a bit. But I have finally been able to get the last few bits I’ve been looking for to make my catenary poles.
My intention is not to have them as a working system, but as a pretty close looking web of support and electric cabling crisscrossing over the tram lines that run through the town scene.
I have so far made 30 poles, about 60% with long arms and the rest with short arms. Plus as some are going to be mounted on the pavement and the others will be on the base road level, I have had to make some higher by 1.5mm to keep all of the support webbing at the same height above the rails.
Once I had them all made, I did a test fitting, which required drilling accurate 1.6mm holes through the layout to mount the poles, I then cleaned them all and sprayed them a satin black. It’s a good hardwearing paint and I might go back and add some gold detailing later but for now I like them as they are.
I’m pretty happy with how they look, and I’m glad I built them. It was long and dullish work but the end result is something I wanted and could not buy. There are some N gauge catenary poles out there, but they are mostly modern image and none had the look or strength I was after. These are soldered together solid brass rods, 1.5mm for the pole and 0.8mm for the arm, with plasticard tubing added for shaping and extra strength.
Next step is the stringing up of the support webbing, then the overhead power cable. For this I’m using EZ line; an elastic string that can stretch to 700% longer than its length. I have a coil of ‘Heavy’ black colour string (about 0.5mm) for the webbing and a coil of the ‘Fine’ green colour string (about 0.25mm) for the overhead power cable.
Hopefully, by April I will have it fully rigged up and looking good as it is due to go out to the exhibitions again, if they happen.
LAYOUT NEWS by t'other Chris
In the last newsletter, I had got as far as the electrics being completed.
The point motors & uncoupling units have all now been tested extensively and are working well. It takes a bit of practice to uncouple a rake of wagons, but it's no problem. I'm very impressed by the Peco solenoid uncoupling system, it does what it says on the box!
So, I've now moved on to the scenic side, and as you can see by the photo, the ply edge that will follow the contour of the land, is all on and stained.
The next step is to move onto the land itself, and also to decide if it will be a quarry or a colliery!
I've also started a major new N gauge project, which was why I had to move my viaduct orientated layout on (which is still available at present), but more on that next time.
MEMBER'S NEW TOYS
NGS Hunslet shunter in RfD sectorisation livery
Fleischmann DRG E19 Express train set (Secondhand)
Kato’s new RhB baggage coach