Felixstowe Area “N” Gauge Group

EVENTS by Trevor

We held our members day event on 11th September. We had a number of layouts running including modules, Dave’s new layout and Alex brought along her layout which has undergone significant work during the lockdown periods and is looking very impressive. Kevin allowed me to bring an O gauge layout, which needed a test outing since updating. We also ran Ted’s layout Clifton Creek. This was a test before we show it at the Lions event, and I’m pleased to say it ran very well. The numbers attending was a bit disappointing, but those who attended had a good time.

The group will be attending the Lions model exhibition at the Leisure Centre on Sunday 17th October. As mentioned, we will be showing Clifton Creek, alongside Stowley Loop and Sam & George will be bringing their layout. Chris is the contact for this if you want to come and help.

On the Saturday 30th October we will be going ahead with our Open Day at the Welcome Hall and nearby clubroom. Kevin is organising this and we do need help with setting up, running and dismantling layouts. We will be running a module layout, and Mike is bringing his layout. Orwell Models are attending and we are still sorting possible secondhand options (or might be additional layouts).

With their exhibition cancelled this year the Ipswich club (IRMA) have decided to hold an Open Day at their clubrooms in Norfolk Road on Saturday 6th November. The details will be available via their website http://www.irma.org.uk/

Finally, the Colchester exhibition that had been planned for 31st October has recently been cancelled. I understand this due to them not having enough members to be able to man the show.


The past few weeks, when time has allowed, i've been messing around with my colliery layout.
Originally, the whole thing started as I had a board that was going spare and was intrigued by the Peco electromagnetic uncoupling devices.
The web had various reviews from different people who'd used these, so I thought I'd give them a go, hence the colliery layout came into being.
Anyway, the story of that is all for another article, another month, in the meantime, let's get back to the magic!

The single, main line that serves the colliery emerges from a tunnel that runs underneath the colliery sidings before the train can reverse back into the exchange siding.
All was going well, until I realised that the length of train that was to hide & ultimately emerge from the tunnel, was longer than the board available! The board could have been extended & already had been, but was now at its limit to get it in the back of the van - just in case it went to the Felixstowe show one day...
So - a bit of sideways thinking was called for, or rather curled up thinking.

As you can see from the photo, the bit of wood with 9F written on it is the loco, this has to stay on the straight track. However, it appears that N gauge wagons with standard couplings, will go round alarmingly tight bends quite happily!
As this is all out of sight and underground from the tunnel mouth onward, the onlooker doesn't see the 'trick' of getting a full train into a space just half the actual train length.
The maximum train length for the colliery sidings by the time the brake van has been dropped in the exchange siding is 10 wagons, so the extra curly part on this section gives plenty of leeway in case the loco runs too far before it gets stopped by the sharp curve.
Who knew that those little couplings were so flexible - just another one of the wonders of N gauge..!!


Re 4/4 in BLS livery.


As some of you know Chris and Kevin, along with Dave, have been building two new exhibition layouts. The first of which is Dave’s 9’ x 3’ layout that is completed to a running state and is waiting to have the scenery started, and second is Kev’s and Chris’ 12’ x 3’3” layout, which is the subject of this article.

With little work done over the lockdowns, we started in earnest once the clubroom reopened; getting the last of the eight modular boards built, the legs made and linking up all the boards to from one layout base.
A 1.5mm layer of cork was glued over the whole top, it was decided to do it this way as the track plan is extensive with more space being taken up by rails than open scenery, and we can always cut away what is not wanted.
A layer of light grey paint was then put on and after it had fully dried the track plan was carefully drawn out on top. This was a great deal of help, to have an accurate centre line to follow when the next stage of track laying begins.

Recently we are nearing the end of the track laying stage, with about 90% done, though we have found that the Birchwood ply is tricky to get the thin track nails into without bending them.

Overall, we are feeling happy with the results, and after running a battery powered loco around the main loops and through the marshalling yard, we are even happier with the point arrangements and smoothness of our track laying.
This means then next stage of sorting the wiring is coming up fast, and there may be some real head scratchers to work out as it will be all analogue DC.

I will be bringing my newly completed exhibition layout “Weston” to the open day, and it will go on sale.
Everybody who has seen it agrees that it is built to a very high standard and will be in great demand at exhibitions as soon as it is seen in public.