Sunday, 15 September 2013

Report of the September Meeting - Trackwork

Only three hardy (or foolhardy) souls fought their way through the miserable weather to this meeting - a rather disappointing turnout, but we knew that some of the regulars had clashes with other commitments.

We waited until a bit past the scheduled start, in the hope that latecomers would arrive, but then Richard Wilson dived into a demonstration of Templot. Instead of the expected "Here is how to draw a turnout" approach, he started with "Here is my Templot representation of Birmingham Moor Street Station". Having worked on the rebuilding a few years ago, he had access to a full set of site plans, and had previously used Templot to generate a trackplan that closely matched the original.

He then dropped to a more realistic level of presentation, starting with a single turnout, extending track in both directions along the main line, adding another turnout to create a crossover, adjusting curvatures, saving various stages as new templates.

After a break for refreshments, we moved on to discussion of  practical trackbuilding. Unfortunately most of Richard's jigs had apparently been mislaid during his escape from a waterlogged Traction Engine Rally at Bedford the previous night, but I was able to provide a range of examples (all in pristine condition). The main part of the demonstration followed on from the Templot start - put double-sided tape onto a printed Templot turnout, add sleepers cut to appropriate lengths, then chairplates and appropriate rails.

Time didn't permit the boring details of soldering the bits together, so a Blue Peter approach was adopted - "Here's some I finished earlier", including two or three turnouts and a double-slip, now all surplus to requirements on Copenhagen Fields.

There was also some discussion and demonstration of alternative approaches - using Association base and templates for PCB sleeper-based turnout, and using milled bases for Easitrac-type turnouts. We finished with a brief discussion of tiebars/TOUs, with the moving sleeper method being recommended.

Plans for the near future:
Next meeting, Sunday 17 November, has been replaced by an MRC Open Day, 2FS and N gauge, with all members of the London Group invited to come along and "play trains" for a while. Copenhagen Fields, Lambourn, Llangerisech and the Central Shop should all be present.

Sunday 19 January will thus be the next conventional meeting. Provisionally scheduled as a "Show and Tell" session - bring along your current projects to talk about them, or just have a general chat.


PS Apologies - uploaded photos weren't displaying earlier. I think the problem is solved now - they don't do justice to the examples of trackwork on display, but they are (I hope) better than nothing.