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Ennitoun – Update – 21st February 2021

Blockade Blues – Knockout Blows… 

As at 26th of  November 2020 – Work came to a halt on Ennitoun’s track layout.  Whilst the new track layout had been successfully carried out and tested. progress track wise ground to a halt  in middle of October owing to the fact that goods ordered where not available and were on back order. It had been planned that all points (30) would be motorised and operational panel installed.  Once the points were upgraded it was then planned that the tracks would be ballasted.  Ballast was ordered and duly received.  Point motors were somewhere on the high seas between China/UK and for all I know may now be at bottom of the oggin!

Christmas Knockout

I hope all a good time a Christmas?  I know it is February, however due to an accident at home I missed Christmas preparations, sending cards etc.  On 12 December I had received my final purchase “Hornby R3865 BR Britannia Class 4-6-2  70013 Oliver Cromwell after upgrade to DCC Hornby TTS Sound.  In midst of unpacking and attempting to put the loco on track……………. I found myself attempting to stand up with no idea of how I had fallen.  Somehow I had slipped and knocked myself out (totally unconscious).  On regaining some form of consciousness I made my way to my good neighbours who called ambulance. and I was whisked of to A&E and diagnosed with concussion and recommended that I stay in hospital for the night.  I asked to be let home on the  I had a home on grounds I had a home alert system, home aid, and my neighbours wold check on me.  I was allowed home.

To this day I do not know what happened to make me fall and bang the back of my skull.  The indications were,  bubble wrap near to my work station, the model loco was laying to my left hand side on floor and the screwdriver was under the right hand board.  I appeared to have stood on the bubble wrap and slipped backwards without warning and…..goodnight world.

As a result of the incident:

  • Christmas was a total wipe out.  No cards sent, no presents bought.  I barely went out only to local shop for cat food.  No driving etc.  I read my kindle.
  • I developed an aversion to being in the railway and my layout was left unloved/unwanted until this month when I felt that I could face being back at the scene of mystery.

I owe a great deal to my neighbours who were very supportive during Christmas and January.  It is only recently that I have gone back into the “Railway” room and had a look at the damage to my “new” loco.

January 2021 Cat-astropy & Great British Train Journeys

All is hazy with the first two weeks of January.  I spent most of my time reading (Kindle) and in a semi stupor.  It was Felix that help dragged me back into the world.  He was due his annual medical check at the vets which could not be postponed as his health insurance required this check.  Thankfully I made the effort for the check-up revealed he had a dental problem which need teeth extracted (very expensive is not insured) and during his blood checks for the op it was discovered he had diabetes.  Oh boy.. did that wake me up, my wee pal need insulin for rest of his life and I had to give it to him twice a day. I was adamant that there was no way I could give him an injection, but vet talked my through it and also gave me lessons and now I have no qualms about giving him his insulin injections.  We have go into a routine 1st jab is 07:00 2nd jab 19:00 approx.  It is no so ingrained he comes in waits to be lifted onto the table for his injection, I think it is something to do with the chicken treat he gets after the procedure 🙂

Having become bored with reading I turned to the TV mid January to Mid February and discovered on “Yesterday” Channel Michael Portillo and Great British Railway Journeys.  I sat through series 1 to 10, also Canada, USA, Europe and Indian railway Journeys.  I am currently looking for series 11 DVDs.  The result of watching these series re-awakened my old interest in railways, which in turn, lead me to entering the railway room last week and powered up the track and had a little running session.

February 2021 Loki – Jealous of Felix, Oliver Cromwell Returned to Hornby (Repair)

Loki feeling jealous of the attention Felix was getting promptly decided to have an irritated intestine and with vomiting effect of that – he was taken to the vet for a days observation.  No Loki would on occasion regurgitate his food and on checking I noticed he had eaten grass. I was not concerned about this it is known that cats eat grass and purge their food.   This time it was not caused by grass – so he had a days observation at vests and now on anti acid tablets which I have to give him twice a day.

I contacted Hornby re damage to Oliver Cromwell – which never ran on Enitoun’s tracks and they have agreed to carry out a non-warranty repair, well it was not their fault or a fault in the loco.  Apart from minor detail damage the main damage is to the running gear/valve gear (see image below)

Oliver Cromwell was the last loco I purchased in 2020 – I have 6 pre-ordered for 2021.

Outstanding Tasks

Things still to be done –

  • Re-build station platforms to meet new width and track lengths.
  • Ballast track beds, enhance scenery.
  • Fit 30 point motors to points.
  • Build and test controller board.

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Ennitoun – Update – 26th November 2020 – Plans in Disarray

Plans  Who Needs Plans !!!

As at 26th of  November 2020 – Work has come to a halt on the track layout.  Whilst the new track layout had been successfully carried out and tested. progress track wise ground to a halt  in middle of October owing to the fact that goods ordered where not available and were on back order. It had been planned that all points (30) would be motorised and operational panel installed.  Once the points were upgraded it was then planned that the tracks would be ballasted.  Ballast was ordered and duly received.  Point motors were somewhere on the high seas between China/UK and for all I know may now be at bottom of the oggin!

In last blog dated 5th September a new programme of improvements was put in place.

  1. The conversion of the last 9 non-DCC ready and 16 DCC ready locomotives would be completed before Christmas 2020. (UPDATE – All NON-DCC ready locos have been upgraded to DCC, some with sound, of the 16 DCC ready locos 9 have been chipped, tested and now on layout)
  2. A new project would commence in Spring 2021 with the remaining 16 DC locomotives providing the motive power.  Further details will be announced in January 2021. (UPDATE – this project has been put on hold at this time)
  3. The offer from a ballasting expert to undertake the ballasting of the “Ennitoun” tracks has been grasped with a two hands – there is no getting away with it Frank.  We have dispensed with the last clown who really mucked up the ballasting – (that was me folks). (UPDATE – On hold due to awaiting other remedial work before ballasting can take place)
  4. Prior to the Ballasting,  work will commence in powering the many points/turnouts on the layout – expert advice is currently being sought or some-one to undertake the task out of pity or for a small libation.. (UPDATE – when my ship comes in then and only then can work be completed)
  5. Sourcing of material for the building of bespoke station platforms has been undertaken. (UPDATE – work in progress tracing material)
  6. Questions were raised concerning the time period of the layout.  At present we can run LMS/LNER locomotives from 1923-1948 – BR from 948 – 1966.  Apart from  3 car DMU the remaining locomotives are steam outline, though consideration is being given to obtaining Diesels such as Type 37, 47 & 55. plus others up to 1971. (UPDATE – Decision to run trains under the “ITs My layout I run what I want).

Motive Power (as at 26th November 2020)

Not counting the Class 110 DMU there are 72 steam outline locomotives available to be run on Ennitoun’s tracks, breakdown as follows:

NBR:

  • 1 J36 “Maude”

LMS:

LNER:

  • 2 A4 Mallard, Golden Shuttle
  • 1 A1 Flying Scotsman
  • 1 B17 Manchester United
  • 1 P2 Cock O’ the North

BR:

  • 1 A1
  • 1 A3
  • 4 A4 (Update)
  • 1 B1 (Update)
  • 2 B17 (Update)
  • 3 Black Five (Update)
  • 1 BR Standard 8
  • 2 BR Standard 7s (Britannia)
  • 18 Duchess/Princess Coronations (Update)
  • 1 Ivatt 4
  • 1 J38
  • 2 Jinty (Update)
  • 4 Jubilee
  • 1 K3
  • 1 Patriot (Baby Scot)
  • 4 Princess Royals
  • 1 Royal Scot
  • 2 Stanier Moguls

Things still to be done – build station platforms to meet new width and track lengths, ballast track beds, enhance scenery

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Ennitoun – Update – 5th September 2020 – Future Plans

Future Plans

5th of  September 2020 – The Managing Director (That’s me folks) made the decision, at considerable pain (akin to migraine) that it was time to move on.  However, as he was the last Director he was told he was staying.  On hearing that news he promptly announced that no further building of tracks would be undertaken or commenced. A new programme of improvements was to be put in place.

  1. The conversion of the last 9 non-DCC ready and 16 DCC ready locomotives would be completed before Christmas 2020.
  2. A new project would commence in Spring 2021 with the remaining 16 DC locomotives providing the motive power.  Further details will be announced in January 2021.
  3. The offer from a ballasting expert to undertake the ballasting of the “Ennitoun” tracks has been grasped with a two hands – there is no getting away with it Frank.  We have dispensed with the last clown who really mucked up the ballasting – (that was me folks).
  4. Prior to the Ballasting,  work will commence in powering the many points/turnouts on the layout – expert advice is currently being sought or some-one to undertake the task out of pity or for a small libation..
  5. Sourcing of material for the building of bespoke station platforms has been undertaken.
  6. Questions were raised concerning the time period of the layout.  At present we can run LMS/LNER locomotives from 1923-1948 – BR from 948 – 1966.  Apart from  3 car DMU the remaining locomotives are steam outline, though consideration is being given to obtaining Diesels such as Type 37, 47 & 55. plus others up to 1971.

Motive Power (as at 5th September 2020

Not counting the Class 110 DMU there are 48 steam outline locomotives available to be run on Ennitoun’s tracks, breakdown as follows:

LMS:

  • 8 Duchess/Princess Coronations – which includes the oldest model in our collection Hornby R685 LMS 6220 “Coronation” Blue/Silver (Circa 984/85) recently converted to DCC with a motor upgrade  by Horns & Whistle Workshops  as may be seen on video below:
  • 2 Princess Royals
  • 1 Black Five

LNER:

  • 2 A4 Mallard, Golden Shuttle
  • 1 B17 Manchester United
  • 1 A1 Flying Scotsman

BR:

  • 10 Duchess/Princess Coronations
  • 4 Princess Royals
  • 2 Britannia
  • 3 Jubilee
  • 1 Patriot (Baby Scot)
  • 1 Royal Scot
  • 1 BR Standard 8
  • 1 A1
  • 1 A3
  • 2 Black Five
  • 1 Ivatt 4
  • 1 J36
  • 1 J38
  • 1 Jinty
  • 1 K3
  • 2 Stanier Moguls

Things still to be done – build station platforms to meet new width and track lengths, ballast track beds, enhance scenery

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Ennitoun – Update – 8th August 2020 – Ennitoun Reborn

Ennitoun  Reborn

8th August 2020 – After 3 weeks of dithering, snags and problem solving except for one problem I can honestly state that Ennitoun’s tracks have been screwed to the baseboards and the layout finalised sans the “Bridge the Gap” track.  I’ve decided to accept the fact that in its current configuration it is not viable to have a continuous track/loop.  However all was not lost as we did accomplish several things and sorted out several problems:

Baseboards were levelled, joins were smoothed so track was not bouncing  or jig-sawing.  Hornby points were replaced by Peco points, there is a slight difference in them but one that proved beneficial to running DCC engines with the smaller wheelbase  i.e. 0-6-0 and some 4-6-0.  As well as the station have a more simplified approach, which by the way allowed the addition of two platforms.  This in turn has given more operational options.  The curves have been sorted as has the fiddle yard.  The fiddle yard now hold 6 trains which is ideal with the station having 6 platforms.  No major changes to the shed layout – tracks have been fixed to the board there as well.  At present the layout has been set up with BR liveried locomotives (all steam outline).  I can set up running sessions under LMS, LNER, and for one engine North British – or SRPS (Scottish Railway Preservation Society).  Not all engines have sound chips, but all are DCC (Digital Command Control).  On one of the FB groups I joined the following questions was raised – “DCC sound, it’s nice and all but is it just a tad unnecessary? Do manufacturers take advantage of this by adding it to locos to bump up prices?  I get the impression that to some people Sound is not for them.  I went to DCC as I wanted the sound of steam – it added to my enjoyment.  However, I will admit that have  or more engines sitting in the station and all with sound on can be annoying.  I know I do not like it when I am a model railway exhibition – were some sound is extreme.  The good thing is sound can be turned off.   The track is actually screwed to boards, I opted to use track screws instead of pins it is easier to get screws out without damaging the track.

Since I undertook the DCC route I have learnt the following:

  1. DCC can be expensive whilst you can run a DCC fitted engine on a DC (analogue) system you can’t do the same with a non-DCC loco on DCC track..
  2. Use Peco points in preference to Hornby – it is all to do with the isolation gap on the frogs of the points.
  3. Decoders can do the task – but some engines need a little boost – like having a stay-alive capacitor fitted.  Most those of the smaller wheel case configuration, or older models which have coarser wheel flanges.  Modern track is set to to the finer scaled wheels of modern models. Older models having larger wheel width and larger rims can short out as they cross the frog – this short cut power.  A stay-alive capacitor retains enough charge so the model carries on and the system does not record a short.
  4. Avoid a large group of points/turnouts.  Keep it simple.

I have shot a small video showing the new layout, it is approximately 8 minutes long – You will notice I refer to the City of Sheffield as the City of Liverpool (which was on the station track – platform 1).  There are no train movements just a look around the revised layout.  I will get some movement shots when I get a bit more competent in videoing and operating the train.

Things still to be done – build station platforms to meet new width and track lengths.

Thank you for following this blog on Ennitoun development. Please do leave a comment – no spam please.


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Ennitoun – Update – 31st July 2020 – Ennitoun Testing of Finalised Layout

Ennitoun  Mark 2 – Testing of Final Revision

 

31st July 2020  A landmark decision was made – to pin the station & engine shed tracks and secure to boards.. However a minor change had to be made to allow the Factory on board 3 to have its private sidings restored.  On this occasion I decided not use the traditional method of pinning the tracks, especially after the hassle and track damaged on attempting to remove the pins.  I opted to use track screws 8 mm in depth and was very pleasantly surprised at the ease and time it took to cover the shed head shunt and platforms 1 to 5 and main lines up to start of board 3.  Platform 6’s track is awaiting final fixing as the track may be lifted when the “Bridging the Gap” board is put in place.

Prior to the track fixing a lost of testing was covered this week.  80% of the engines were giving a trial and any teaks needed to ensure smooth running were made.  In response to a comment made with respect to when can you see a video?  My answer is now.  I shot a short video for you. A lengthy one regarding time shooting and editing for me 🙂

Please forgive some shakiness and some bad editing/splicing (need when I dropped the video camera.  I really missed Susan more than usual as she was the video expert though I did help with editing.  So without further ado I present The Video of a small running session used to test power, track alignment etc.