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Railway signalling discussion

'A spring morning at Egloshayle.'

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'A spring morning at Egloshayle.'

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:05 am

This is not specifically signalling-related, but over the last couple of weeks I've been working on a fairly extensive video of operations with my 4mm scale 1950's North Cornwall layout 'Egloshayle.' This is now completed and has been uploaded to 'YouTube.' You can view the first part of this five-part video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seMcT2u5KnY

Part 1 on 'YouTube' does include some explanatory notes on the screen page, and these also serve as notes for all of the five parts. As the video has an explanatory commentary all the way through, I didn't feel it necessary to provide notes for every part.

At various points throughout the video you will be able to see the signals operating - these have mechanisms 'home-built' using memory wire.

I hope that you enjoy the video - it shows the interest engendered by operating a model railway in a prototypical manner rather than just 'watching trains go round.'

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Re: 'A spring morning at Egloshayle.'

Unread postby South Western John » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:25 pm

Thank you Peter for a most entertaining and informative series of videos. I, too, am a Southern enthusiast and am hoping to include pre-war style emu's in my layout that is to be set just outside London suburbia. Looking at your signals they appear to be scratchbuilt or Ratio. Is that correct? Have you tried soldered metal signals like MSE? If you have, even unsuccessfully I would like to hear of the problems you encountered. How do you run operating wires down through the baseboard? Do you use wire-in-tube operation or are all your signals motor-driven? I have looked in the packs of the first two signals I have bought. The first is a lattice post stop signal with upper quadrant arm. Do I fabricate the lattice post in a jig, for example? The other signal is a model of a Westinghouse 13 foot bracket (etched brass) to go on a railbuilt post. MSE's rail-built posts are white metal so will require low melt solder and a temperature controlled iron. Luckily I have both. But it has to be a "right first time" operation and therefore may need a jig to get the gantry square and true on the post!

Can you please advise.

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Re: 'A spring morning at Egloshayle.'

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:35 pm

Sorry, John, but I can't help too much regarding MSE signals, as all the signals on 'Egloshayle' are made from Ratio products. The single-post signals are their SR rail-built examples, with main posts of white metal. The brackets are made using the plastic Ratio LNER upper-quadrant kit with new main posts made up from pieces of spare nickel-silver rail and Stevens-pattern 'cruciform' finials from MSE.

To lead the operating wires through the signal bases to the memory-wire operating mechanisms I fed them through short lengths of the fine-bore copper tube that used to be sold as part of the GEM 'Mercontrol' system. However, the high price of copper seems to have led to this being replaced by a plastic tubing which (presumably) will do the job just as well.

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Re: 'A spring morning at Egloshayle.'

Unread postby rodtherelief » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 am

I've done an MSE bracket signal, it was a while ago so memory and minor burns tend to fade, but it was no great problem. It wasn't a standard kit so I ought to have taken a photo of the signal I was trying to reproduce with me when shopping for the bits, as despite the well-intentioned advice of MSE it came out a bit tall. The low-melt was no problem, it would easily re-melt if I needed to adjust slightly. To do the arm pivot I used the old Rice chassis trick of a thin paper washer touched with oil to prevent the solder going where it shouldn't. The arms were upper quadrant so operation was just pull by fine linen twine and return by gravity, with little springs on the cranks at the foot of the post to return the twine through the tube to the underside of the baseboard - this was a replacement for a plastic signal which had become impossibly brittle on the late Frank Dyer's Hardwick Grange, on which everything possible was done with twine and brass, which was a great help in keeping the electrics simple and comprehensible.
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