1116 Letting nature takes its course

Report from N gauge Ireland.

From last time, we left the two boards outside with all three point springs covered in petroleum jelly. After a month, there had been some heavy rain, frosts and a mixture of dry and wet atmosphere. The petroleum jelly remained intact, the track had lost its shine and thus would need treatment from the PCB cleaner, but the wood of the board and of the platform looked too damp. These will need wood treatment before we build anything substantial.

After ten days. Frost and animal debris.

Furthermore the wooden board did not dry quickly enough, remaining moist. We suspected this; we now need to test whether a treated board would possess greater resilience to rain and how quickly it would dry, such as if we would need to mop up any water or if it would drain naturally, even with a moist atmosphere.

Light frost on points and on the petroleum jelly covering.

We recognise that we need to cover those areas of any layout that possess points. Longer stretches of plain track could remain uncovered. We could use old roofing felt as a cover for the timber, and track laid on top. The disadvantage of that is how it looks and if it has small flakes of stone: from experience these can interfere with OO gauge, let alone N gauge mechanisms.

Glue a hard plastic block underneath two sleepers and then pin the middle of it.

We also need a better means of fixing track – Peco N gauge sleepers are quite narrow, but the Peco track pin looks to be too thin and probably steel, and might not endure outdoors. Examples of other manufacturers’ track in our possession have slightly overscale width sleepers which can take a wider steel – or even brass – nail. We haven’t checked the width of Peco ‘crazy’ track yet, as we don’t have any. Our idea is to glue plastic between two sleepers and fix the nail into the plastic.

We think we know what track layout to pursue, but now it’s deciding now to wire it, finding the wood and testing means of point operation. We ought to make a class 80 unit first, and the repository of model railway magazines here located a splendid series making one in OO  gauge, and the internet found some N gauge Ireland too.

Charity Shop OO gauge.

There’s been next to no progress. We monitored the web auction sites for OO items, and there has been some interesting stuff, but we haven’t bid yet. There have been plenty of small light railway style steam locos, other Lizzie examples, and in one job lot a loco which would not be out of place in Scotland, a class 25. There was another class 29, but ideally we’d like some N gauge.

We still have not repaired Stepney’s buffer. We have some useful tubing from lollies that we had for our SU2C fundraising, so they should help with providing a shank. Neither have we made a normal smokebox door for the loco. We also have not amended the 06’s buffers to ovals, we have not tried our 155 again to see why it ‘sat down’ in September.

Our shop did extremely well for SU2C. Next to no credit due to this blogger, though.

We also sold an ‘EFE’ lorry. I had my eyes on it, but thankfully someone else bought it first. We’ve had two good railway books donated recently, with some photographs of local interest: one of those books sold the next day.

Winter weather and other work commitments makes garden railway work less likely, but we may write something around Christmas. Please have a look at the Little Melton site if you can, as ‘Recreational Railways’ placed a priority on completing that work, and there’s a Christmas based recollection on there from 10th December.


Our picture this week is to show what we’d do with a spare class 25: we converted a Hornby class 25 to a class 24/1 by inserting a cut out along the cantrail, and by filing down the warning horns alongside the headcode box, and then adding some filler inside. It’s yet to be re-numbered, but we also performed surgery to simulate the cabside recess to hold a token catcher. Here it is alongside our 33 to 26 conversion, with two freight trains. These are simulating near simultaneous departures of Scotland to the south goods trains, with short wheel base Hornby wagons. Most of these we donated to the charity shop to sell. There will be another release of such wagons to the shop in time for Christmas.


Similarly such a conversion can regress a Hornby class 25 to a class 25/0 as well. Yes, I know the 24 has an express passenger reporting number.


Author: recreationalrailways

Just someone appreciative of the fun that can be had with miniature and model railways.

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