Pampisford lives!

Serving the Cambridge, Herts and Essex borders

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Flymo748
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Pampisford lives!

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:01 pm

From today's running session, the first train in nine years:

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More to come soon...

Paul Willis
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Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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John McAleely
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby John McAleely » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:03 pm

Wow - that looks like you made good progress today then!

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Flymo748
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:06 pm

John McAleely wrote:Wow - that looks like you made good progress today then!


We set it up (twice! First time with the legs pointing the wrong way), cleaned the rail head, plonked a loco on it, pulled a few levers in the signal box, then pulled the correct levers in the signal box, and it ran...

I'm just about to download the second batch of pictures, as I took the morning's set off the camera at lunchtime in the pub :-)

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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DougN
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby DougN » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:57 am

Pampisford (along with Slattocks junction) is one of those layout that I have seen photo's of but it has always been leaving enough to keep my interest in it going. Just because it is unlikely that I will ever see it in the flesh ). The photo's have always enticed me! Others that have been through MRJ, BRM, etc I can look at some of the photos and loose interest straight away!

Doug
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grovenor-2685
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:27 pm

mmm, goes right back to MRJ14 in 1987, with a fairly comprehensive write up.
Keith
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Keith
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Flymo748
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Pampisford lives! - part one

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:39 am

For a number of meetings, members of CHEAG have been talking about resurrecting Pampisford. The area group contains both a number of members of the former Cambridge Area Group that built it, and new members that knew it only by reputation. When Pampisford was "retired" from the exhibition circuit, around 2002, it was donated by CAG to Adrian Brady who was one of the founder members and builders. Every since then, it has been carefully stored by him.

Under the enthusiastic leadership of Martin Wilkinson, and with practicalities being arranged by Adrian, a group of us came together in Thurlow village hall on Saturday morning. The layout had been retrieved, and an assortment of components were lying around with intent to be assembled... We had been asked in advance to bring toolkits, soldering irons, worklamps and so on, so time would tell how much kit was needed to bring it back to life.

Rather than tell the story in words, this is where it switches to a photo essay of the progress of the day...

It started with the Erecting Of The Legs:

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Adrian begins the placement and levelling of the boards:

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More slots into place. The whole layout went together really quickly and easily - a real tribute to the original designers:

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Martin and Peter Tyler discuss how the legs go on the fiddle yard. This hangs off the end of the layout.

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And into place it went. Everyone seemed to want to be involved in getting it up and running as quickly as possible:

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DSC_1111.JPG (65.87 KiB) Viewed 7877 times


And that's the point at which we realised that we'd assembled the baseboard legs in the wrong sequence. Yes, they are all marked and numbered, but as someone said "you need to read them Chinese style, not Western style..."

So apart it came again...

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And that's where I'll leave this posting, to ensure that it doesn't become more lengthy and unwieldy. Next time, Pampisford is prepared for running...

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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DougN
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby DougN » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:35 am

Come on Flymo, don't leave us suspended.... (not really the right word) I want to see more of this layout. Lots of photo's please.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:47 am

Inspired me to have a re-read of MRJ14, good article in there but comparing with your new photos the fiddle yard seems to have shrunk in storage.
Keith
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Keith
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Flymo748
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:58 am

DougN wrote:Come on Flymo, don't leave us suspended.... (not really the right word) I want to see more of this layout. Lots of photo's please.


I've got plenty of photos still to come (read that as a threat or a promise depending on your views of my camera skills!) but I'm a bit time-short for the next 24 hours... Second day of a big conference today, and a black-tie dinner this evening means that I may be a little "tired and emotional" tomorrow...

More soon though!

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:02 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:Inspired me to have a re-read of MRJ14, good article in there but comparing with your new photos the fiddle yard seems to have shrunk in storage.
Keith

Chatting with the former CAG members on Saturday, it seems that exhibition managers found difficulty with the amount of space that the oval fiddle yard arrangement shown in MRJ 14 required. The expression used was "enough room to set up camp inside it...". I don't know what these exhibition managers would make of Mostyn in its extended form then!

So Pampisford was changed to the two turntable fiddle yards. Whilst that means that the overall train length is reduced, there will be no real impact on the operating capability of the layout. The sequence of operating cards is still available, and should provide a good show.

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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hughesp87
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby hughesp87 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:33 pm

It was good to hear that the 'old dear' behaved itself last weekend. Unfortunately I couldn't be there, but it did surprise me that things had gone that well, bearing in mind the very 1980's technology that originally went into the layout. At the time we thought we were breaking new ground (and probably were), but I shiver to think how some of the mechanical and electrical standards we used bear up to today's examination.

As originally built, the layout was 24 feet long, with 4 x 4ft scenic boards and 2 x 4ft turntable fiddle yards. However, as the stock roster grew (largely because of Allan Sibley's marathon efforts with a soldering iron), so the requirement for a bigger fiddle yard spawned the 'roundy-roundy' version, which I think made its debut at IMREX in London in thje mid-80s. This was just about the time that Barry Norman had taken the opposite decision with Petherick - again our sanity was challenged by those 'in the know'. In fact, that was the most satisfying format of the layout from an operating point of view, and I recall that on our visit to Eurospoor in Holland, we had as much interest from visitors on the fiddle yard side of the layout as we did on the front! My favourite operating positions were the station signalman and the fiddle yard operator, both of which demanded a degree of organisation concentration and forward planning!

The decision to go back to the turntables was somewhat regrettable, but that's where those exhibition manager types have a hold over us poor modellers. Certainly the variety and length of train formations suffered as a result. No more B16s on Clacton specials and the occasional Britannia on a running in turn!

So it will be interesting to see the old girl in operation again from time to time, but don't expect a Sinatra-style 'third farewell tour' on the exhibition circuit. I'm not sure the layout (and possibly the operators) would be able to cope, and it would take a superhuman effort to get the stock availability up to scratch again.

One of the more interesting exercises in an off-beat moment at one of our weekly Friday meetings was to calculate what was involved in construction of the layout in terms of gallons of tea and tons of biscuits! Seriously though, we shouldn't underestimate the commitment to what is essentially a very simple layout - thousands of man hours across a good 15 or so years of intensive modelling!

Regards,

Geraint Hughes
Founder member
Cambridge Area Group
Geraint Hughes
Cromford & High Peak in P4
Danish Railways in P87

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Flymo748
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Pampisford - part two

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:44 pm

Following on the picture essay from last time..

After putting Pampisford up on its legs the *right* way round, it was time for a well earned cup of tea!

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It's coming together and happy faces are flushed with success of the trial run. It was not long after this that we retired to the most excellent village pub for an fine lunch and couple of very good pints of ale.

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At this point, stock was starting to emerge from various storage boxes. In this picture: Martin Wilkinson, Peter Tyler, Brian Page, Colin McCallum, Adrian Brady, Richard Dunning.

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General view of the station area, capturing the Great Eastern atmosphere perfectly.

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The immaculately made controls all still worked. Remembering how to use them was the biggest problem...

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Adrian contemplates the signalling diagram in the "box" and prepared to pull the correct levers. The layout is electronically interlocked, and unless you get the (working) signals and ground signals correct, nothing will move!

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The first trainspotter of the day, and something in anticipation of further action to view.

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Next time, some more pictures of the running session...

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

SHurst

Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby SHurst » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:40 pm

Hello Guys

Now just you be careful with that layout - it can tell a lot of tails !(Would you trust a layout that was based on a helicopter survey...?? :? )

Nice to see it again and nice to see you still using that spirit level Adrian- you built those baseboards to last :D !

From the Highlands of Scotland best wishes to one and all and I look forward to seeing some more photos of the layout and some (slightly ?!!) older familiar faces.

Simon

hughesp87
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby hughesp87 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:55 am

Nice to hear from our pilot again - it's 29 years since that flight!

As for Pampisford Tales, I recall being harrangued by a so-called local expert at the Ely Show in about 1983. At the time, Simon was producing numerous test samples of ballast for the layout and these were on display along with some of the track we had constructed. The said gentleman wrote off all of Simon's labours with a callous 'none of these look right'. In response we told him that we had visited the old station site and dug down in the formation to acquire a piece of the old ballast. It had then been sent off to the labs at Cambridge University where it had been microscopically scanned and a mould made to ensure that all of our ballast was the right shape and size. He departed, with tail between legs, never to be seen again.

You all know the sort - maybe as the hobby has become more sophisticated, their so-called knowledge has become more sophisticated as well!

Hope you're keeping well Captain, and look forward to seeing you again at Scaleforum in the future.

Regards,

The Navigator
Geraint Hughes
Cromford & High Peak in P4
Danish Railways in P87

SHurst

Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby SHurst » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:03 pm

Hello Navigator

My Log book shows 21st July Jet Ranger G-OIML "photographic survey Pampisford/Saffron Walden area" 2 hours ! ;)

You may also recall a rather elderly gentleman spending well over ten minutes examining one of our locos before very quietly telling us that we had it wrong. It turned out that he was a retired driver from Cambridge who had actually driven the loco modelled and our error was....... ? we had only one sliding cab roof vent and in reality there were two :cry:

Who said rivet counting was new....

PS :idea: If we keep our heads down for another couple of years then any low flying complaints should have been avoided.

Regards to all

Simon

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Flymo748
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Re: Pampisford lives!

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:25 pm

And finally, I find the time for the last set of pictures from the initial running session of Pampisford...

Up goes the lighting rig... We did have to test out as much as possible.
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A couple of shots of my Very Orange pug on a test freight train. It will be weathered soon, or sunglasses passed out to all visitors.
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The DMU passes at speed through the station.
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And with some more appropriate motive power an 0-6-0 busies itself...
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And so off into the twilight...until the next outing :-)
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Flymo
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