Pictures by Walter

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Ennitoun – Update 19th April 2020

Ennitoun has been hit by savage cutbacks and withdrawal of all Locomotives and coaching stock.  These cuts are more severe than those of  Dr Beeching’s savage cuts in the 1960 of  British Railways.  At least his cuts left some lines and motive power.   A decision had been made to upgrade to Digital Command Control (DCC ).  To allow the smooth transfer from DC (Direct Control) to DCC (Digital Command Control) the wiring of the layout tracks had to be altered.  In DC mode 1 Locomotive.Train can be controlled at one time by one controller. This means that in a dual track system two or more controllers are needed and care mast be taken to prevent short circuits. DCC has one controller/cab and all parts of the layout and all lines are live.  Control of each loco is by means of  DCC chip fitted to each locomotive, this chip is a programmable device and will only allow power to the motor when it gets the correct coded signal from the CAB/Controller.  Once a system has been converted to DCC operation DC powered locos can no longer be run on the layout.

Once the decision was made to upgrade to DCC suitable motive power was sourced (i.e. those fitted with decoders or DCC ready).  Some of the older locos were assessed to see if they could have decoders fitted and be upgraded.   Stock survey on 9th April 2020 revealed that out of 70 locomotives:

  • DCC Fitted 9 – able to be run on new system
  • DCC Ready 19 – awaiting fitting of DCC Chip
  • Non-DCC – 33 with possibility of 14 being converted to DCC by fitting chip
  • Possible DCC stock = 42 out of 61 as at 9th April 2020.

The older Triang/Airfix/Palititoy/Bachmann models will be withdrawn and placed in display cabinets.  Perhaps at some future date they may be converted.  Reaming 33 non DCC stock will be upgraded by the fitting of a chip within the next few months (once the present restrictions on movement are rescinded).

With 9 locos ready to run under DCC and the decision to go ahead all rrolling stock was removed to allow the necessary rewiring to be undertaken.   The DCC controller/CAB selected was NCE Power CAB starter set.   To ensure that power went to all parts of the layout the self-isolating points/turnouts had to be made non-isolating.  This was achieved by the use of Hornby DCC point clips .  Once all 42 turnouts were fitted with the clips it was time to test the track using one DC locomotive.  Placing it on a site that would normally be isolated from the controller a test power application was made – For the first time in my life I was pleased to see that the isolation of the shed was breached the engine was tested all over the track to ensure even if all points were set against it power was still getting to the loco.

With that simple test it was time to set up the DCC controller and test a DCC fitted loco. Looking at the diagram image to the left it is a simple procedure to link the two wire (the only wires you need) to the controller.  Ah there is always an Ah at this stage

in the proceedings.  When it came to fit the plug from part 6 to the socket part 5 it was found that diameter of the plug was larger that the circumference of the socket. Swearie  word time, rant at manufactures that cannot do a basic parts check etc etc. Regardless of language, rant the point was at this stage the project ground to a halt.  The PW Team leader advised the Fat Controller that they were screwed and the job was at a stop until the correct PSU with the correct diameter plug was obtained.  The loss of revenue was the Fat Controller’s fault for ordering incompatible gear.

With luck and Royal Mail being its’ usual service the replacement part will be here on Monday 20th April 2020 and the final test be completed.

Oh the joys of lock-down, model railway and mail order (with priorities being enforced) have added two weeks to a three day project.


Link to Ennitoun Motive Power Album

Click on image below


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Ennitoun – Update 5th April 2020

It is still an all change situation at Ennitoun.  When Susan and I started the layout in 2016 it we used the surviving coaches, engines etc from my layout in 1971. The majority of the stock was Tri-ang Hornby with some earlier Tri-ang locos (original black Princess Elizabeth and Princess Victoria), along with LNER & BR version of A1 Flying Scotsman and a type 37 Diesel locomotive .  A M7, Dockyard Shunter, and an old “Hornby Double 0 City of London  converted to two rail), Tri-ang Hornby B12 and Britannia.  It became apparent that the older Tri-ang and some of the Hornby-Tri-ang stock would not run on the newer finer scale rails – the points in particular caused them problems due to the wheels on these loco being a lot broader than modern.  Mind you that was no surprise as the earlier locos were really toys and not fine scale models so the wheels were broader to let little hands get the engines on the rails easily. Considering that in 2016 many of these locos were 45 years and in the case of the City of London 50 years old.  I was amazed that all ran straight from the storage boxes to track.  In addition to the original stock I had 3 locos purchased in  2002 3 Black Fives which changed Honby from a tour train to a precise model railway.  The detail was superb and the wheels were to scale.  3 version were released by Hornby LSM, Early BR Crest and Late BR Crest.  The latter was weathered to reflect the closing age of steam power on the railway.

The oldest loco was the converted Hornby Double 0 three rail loco.  This was heavy die cast metal body a frames it had no problem on the finer track.  I’m a Glesga keelie and an engine named City of London was not my favourite name.  The model did represent a class of express steam locomotives I admired.  I call them Coronations after the original streamlined loco 6220 Coronation. Now days the go by Coronation, Duchess Coronation and Princess Coronation – to me they will always be Coronations.  I had one particular favourite in that class BR Number 46242 “City of Glasgow”.  A good friend of Susan and myself , Paul James, undertook a repaint and renaming task and the “City of London” in BR Red became “City of Glasgow” BR Green later totem:

Ennitoun locomotive stock now numbers 65, 20 of them will be retired or sold on if they cannot meet new modifications as Ennitoun is going DCC (Digital Command Control) Adding this add so much more to the atmosphere of running a model rail layout.  As well as being able to control more that one train/loco at a time with one hand controller sound can be added to the locomotives when fitted with DCC decoder chip+sound.   To enable this change over the layout underwent a big P-way task.  The engineers were out in force replacing 37 Hornby points/turnouts and two diamond crossing to Peco points/crossings.  This solved one problem of older engines stalling at the points / crossings. After that task was completed all locos were tested on all routes – two of the older (Tri-ang) locos still failed… they have now been selected for the Ennitoun Railway Museum and will shortly be encased in their own highly desirable display case.

Of the 65 locos – 14 will not be used on DCC layout (they will undergo a conversion programme – currently held in abeyance due to current movement restrictions.  7 are undergoing Conversion and held in workshop again due to current movement restrictions. 8 are fully fitted with decoders some with sound they can be run on old system at present but without the sound <sigh>.  17 are DCC ready – i.e. they have the connections in place and they just need chips fitted. This will be done as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

However, before any DCC can be run the layout has to undergo another track replacement programme.  Under current operation if more that one loco shares a line it has to be isolated from the controller and that means isolation track has to be fitted.   In total there are 36 isolating tracks (approx 6″), this mean that all the 6 inch/12 inch track between the isolated track can be replaced with 36 inch continuous track, all points have to be made continuous power – thankfully that is a minor job using point clips which elevate the self isolating points problem (too expensive to replace all 60 points)

Timescale – task has started supplies of clips, DCC fitted locos available, DCC controller needs to be ordered so it is planned to have all completed by End of this month (April) failing that middle of May 2020.

Regarding the Hornby Double 0 City of Glasgow it is earmarked for a special display cabinet – however a special order has been placed for a new modern version.  One that has sound, DCC, smoke, crew, flickering fire box and operating oil lamps and in BR Green to take pride of place on revised Ennitoun layout.  Meantime there is still a City of Glasgow loco – only it is in LMS Wartime Black numbered 6242:

Just for my friends in Auld Reekie to keep them happy I  have 6241 City of Edinburgh as well:

Link to Ennitoun Motive Power Album

Click on image below


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Ennitoun (was All Change) – Update 27th February 2020

On the 29th December 2019 I added to the blog under the Title “All Change 12 Months on”.   Originally “All Change” was the blog regarding the  resurrection of  my childhood model railway.  Part 7 was published on 29th December 2019 1 year and a day after Part 6 which showed the changes from initial design up to the revised design started at end of 2018.  Alas, the January blog was the last due to Susan’s cancer becoming more aggressive and my (then) partner was in and out of hospital for the rest of the year.  Other blogs tell of our marriage on the 26th June 2019 and my wife’s sad passing on the 15th September 2019.  During all this time the layout languished for the want of attention.

One of our last outings was to the Perth Model Rail Show on Sunday 30th June 2019 where with the finance director’s agreement I purchased a new Hornby model


NBR J36 Maude 673

engine – Ex NBR J36 “Maude” an engine that has memories for both of us. Susan saw it at Haymarket Shed and I along with a school friend saw it at St Margaret’s shed when in BR ownership.   During our many chats Susan urged me to continue with the project and to stay with the Clydeside Model Rail Club we had joined. and not to mope.  Well I did mope, and still do at times it was so bad I was on the verge of abandoning it all until Sid took me to the Falkirk Model Rail Show in November 2019.  Well I walked around that show like a zombie – no interest in anything.  Sid suggested we head for a cuppa and we did.  During our tea break the conversation went to how I first got interested in model rail.  A long story – too long to tell here, but a surprising statement came from me.  It came about as I mentioned that I never did get a modern model of the engine that started me off on model railways, no, not the “City of Glasgow”.  The first train set I bought with my own money was an express passenger set of three coaches hauled by a toy train ex LMS Princess class loco “Princess Elizabeth” I have it still up in the attic – a non runner on today’s modern scale layouts.  It was black bakelite, cast iron wheels and sounded like a tank but it fired my interest in building my own railway.   He suggested we go and look again at the traders stalls and see it there was on at the show.  To cut a long story short a dealer/trader I trusted was at the zshow and when Sid asked if he had such a model – I could scarcely believe his reply of  “Yes, I have one from the Peter Waterman Collection by Hornby” .

Sid promptly bought it and said that’s yer Christmas…..  What a friend he turned out to be.  He only went and got me out of my depressed state and once again thanks to his generosity 46201 Ex LMS Princess Elizabeth fired up my interest in continuing with an old hobby.

Other  model locomotives have been added since and the layout is evolving.


Adventures with Susan – A Walk In The Park October 2005

As 2005 wound it way to 2006 our friendship was deepening.  Having discovered digital photography I always took a small camera into work with me.  On days that I walk to work I would stop and take photos of Sunrise, how the light changed the shape of trees and images which pleased me.  At this time I was using a simple point and shoot Nikon E7900 a 7 mega pixel camera that fitted into my pocket. In fact that little camera was responsible in re-awakening my interest in photography.  Looking back to 2005 images I rediscovered a set taken on the Wednesday 5th October 2005 during a lunchtime stroll along the river Almond (Now Almondale Park.   Looking at the images I realised that the landscape then was a lot different as were the amenities.  Under the  Livingston Development Corporation (LDC) the town was developed in stages.  The riverside was retained as natural as possible with an open air bandstand/Antitheater, Pitch & Putt course (Now the site of the Civic Centre). Walkways, seats placed alongside the river. In 2005 a lot of the sites were dilapidated and in need of restoration/replacement.

However, the walk along the river was a pleasant walk on a nice with plenty to see if one looked carefully.  I found to my pleasure that Susan like to listen to the birdsongs, and nature watch  We were slowly finding out that we did have a lot in common as well has having different interests from each other.

Being Autumn the foliage was autumnal in colour, gold, bronze and the birds were singing or even trilling their songs. Squirrels were dashing up and down trunks, scampering along branches looking for nuts etc to take to their store for the oncoming winter.  I found on these walks that Susan loved nature in all its forms,  she was perfectly happy to sit and just listen to the sounds that surrounded us.

During good weather days we would take many walks along side the river Almond and the many country parks surrounding Livingston over the 14 years we were together.  Our last trip was on the 14th June 2019 when we went to look at the changes made to the old weir at the road bridge on the B7015 Calder Road.  They had made changes to reduce the force of the water flow from the weir and creat salmon ladders and pools to allow salmon to get up river.  We had seen the Almond change from a dirty, frothy, contaminated river to a cleaner river that salmon had returned to.  That was just the latest change we had witnessed over the 14 years.

Link to the album of our walk on 5th October 2005

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Adventures with Susan – Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre October 2005

Perthshire hills

Looking back at pictures taken in 2005 it would appear to have been avery good year weather

Susan acting her age.

wise.  I am judging by the fact that on the 2nd of October 2015 Susan along with my young cousin Caitlynn headed off to Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre.  If I recall correctly it was known as Auchingarrich Wildlife Park then and the sky was blue and the sun shone.   I had found out about this hitherto unknown wee gem of a place in Undiscovered Scotland.  The park was nestled in the Perthshire Hills near Comrie.  It was a wee bit of an eye opener, in more ways than one.  As well as the park it was also a farm, a Bird of Prey Centre with indoor playing areas where kids of all ages can have fun.  I discovered then that Susan had a zest for life and refused to let decorum or other restrictions on how adults should behave stop her from releasing her “inner child” (see picture on left).  Caitlynn was surprised at first as was I.. shocking behavior in front of my young cousin  ;).  We headed to the cafe (which would always be our first port of call on any visit), to enjoy coffee and a bite to eat before we set off exploring.

Susan posing at Standing Stone

Outsider the cafe to the left as you leave is a small hillock with a standing stone on a small hillock. I forget how old it is, but it has been there since the year dot as we say.  I posed Susan next to the stone to proved scale, and as I suspect that many of use would do, Susan reached out and touched it (see image on right).  As she turned her back to the stone, I looked up with a look of horror on my face and indicated that the


stone was falling…..   I got laldy from her – she discovered I had retained my service humour.  We did have a good laugh over that over the years.  It was here we both saw our first Kookaburra – the Australian King Fisher, funny it would be another 8 years before we say the British Kingfisher and that was on our trip to Bath via Stratford on Avon.   We had a right laugh at the sign pointing “This way for the Tartan Sheep”, we ignored as we were sure were were not tartan sheep or that gullible.    There are many exotic animals at the centre/park and all well looked after.  We wandered among geese, ducks, hairy heiland coo (that ate bananas as a treat), the outdoor play park where the kids had fun:

Susan on the ball, Caitlynn the catcher

Sited among the Perthshire Hills Auchingarrich provides good opportunity for landscape photography as well as wildlife (captive or otherwise).  What of our younger member Caitlynn?  Apart from attempting to keep Susan under control she was enjoying the experience apart from birds flying near her.  She told us that she had a fear of birds as did her mother.  However, she had no objections to walking through the Birds of Prey section as she was assured there would be no birds flying loose there.   As we wandered around the central arena Caitlynn spotted a small “Kestrel” it was being held by its handler.  She backed away from the bird which had fluttered as it was startled by some noise.  The handler placed the bird on its perch, amd went to reassure Caitlynn that the bird was more afraid of her the she of it.  Susan and I looked on as the handler slowly talked Caitlynn into approaching the bird, but not too near.  As the handler told of the life of the bird Caitlynn began to relax and ask questions about the birds in general.  After a while the handler asked Caitlynn if she would like to have the bird on her hand?  Hmm, bad idea I though as I had experienced the effects of her phobia when a wee budgie escaped from the cage at home.  To my surprise and to her credit Caitlynn did indeed hold allow the bird to perch on her hand, but as the picture shows she was still wary of it.  Susan and I were so proud of my young cousin that day.  Mind you she went with Susan to the cafe as I took a few shots of a  falcon in a flying display.  In all we had a great day out and as the weather was beginning to change we decided to head home after we had some tea of course.  As we left the cafe and headed for the car I took one last picture.

A promise for the Future




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Adventures with Susan Part 3B – Deep Seaworld (2005)

As our ramble around Kinross Gardens was a bit too quick and the day was sunny we decided to spend a little time in a cooler place.  After a short discussion we headed for  North Queensferry and Deep Seaworld as Caitlynn and, if truth be known, Susan wanted to walk under the sharks.  So we headed back south and entered the undersea world.

Walter walking under the sharks at Deep SeaWorld

I am saddened to state I have very little memory of the visit, I know I was there and took pictures in very trying conditions.  Susan took a few, one of which is me walking under the sea tunnel with camera glued to eye as I attempted to take pictures.

I do wish I had more memory of the visit and I’m positive we did go back on another day. I do know Caitlynn and Susan were really excited, no surprise there with Caitlynn, but Susan displayed the joy and wonder she felt so openly in her face.  I came to know that look as so often she showed it on our outings, sometimes the simplest thing would light up her face.

One thing – we found Nemo before he was officially lost, as the picture below reveals: (click on image to see album of visit)

Nemo Found

In all we had a good day visiting Kinross House Gardens and Deep SeaWorld.

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Adventures with Susan Part 3a- Kinross House Gardens

Susan, Catelynn and Debbie

Having enjoyed our inauguration adventure on The jacobite we looked forward to our next adventure which turned out to be in two parts.

On this adventure we had the company of my cousin Debbie and her daughter Caitlynn.  I have heard that the days remembered always appear to have been warm and sunny, all I can say is that 7th August 2005 was very hot and sunny.    Our first stop was Kinross House to wander round the formal gardens. I had discovered the gardens some time previously and told Susan about them.  No entry to the house, just the gardens and it was an honesty box system.   I understand that the house and gardens were sold in 2012 and one can no longer visit the gardens.

As you may have noticed Susan had her camera with her and  looking at her archives I found some pictures she took of the day:

Susan was a good photographer but she really enjoyed doing videos.  However she would always take a few shots – but tended to use mine in preference to hers own.

I particularly like this one of my young cousin Caitlynn that she took:

If it is true that one can no longer walk around the garden it is a sad loss. The history of the gardens was interesting as was the layout.  From the garden you could see across Loch Leven to the ruins of Loch Leven Castle

Ruins of Loch Leven Castle

From Wikipedia:

Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the location of military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357). In the latter part of the 14th century, the castle was granted by his uncle to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, and remained in Douglases’ hands for the next 300 years. Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567–68, and forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler‘s family. In 1588, the Queen’s gaoler inherited the title Earl of Morton, and moved away from the castle. It was bought, in 1675, by Sir William Bruce, who used the castle as a focal point in his garden; it was never again used as a residence.

Today, the remains of the castle are protected as a scheduled monument in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.[1] Loch Leven Castle is accessible in summer by the public via a ferry.

Click on image to see Album.