The Ulpha Light Railway

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Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:12 pm

RobM wrote:Richard, really good to see Ulpha in the flesh and to see and discuss its various problems. You have certainly taken on a task to bring it back to life what with the under gauge standard gauge track work , the narrow gauge section, the lack of detailing consistency on the 2nd board. I like the way you have dealt with the repositioning of the mill and your various thoughts on the waggonway bridge.......artistically, have got to think of the 1/3 rule and then a lead for the eye to be pointed to an area of rest (board 2 ?)......and with your suggestion of the extension of the old tramway (?) this could be accomplished......still very much up in the air.........look forward to another visit albeit a couple of villages away
Rob


Rob,
Many thanks

The only 1/3 rule I know is that I usually get around 1/3 of the way through a project before I think of something else to do instead ;) ;)

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Le Corbusier
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:44 pm

RobM wrote:Richard, really good to see Ulpha in the flesh and to see and discuss its various problems. You have certainly taken on a task to bring it back to life what with the under gauge standard gauge track work , the narrow gauge section, the lack of detailing consistency on the 2nd board. I like the way you have dealt with the repositioning of the mill and your various thoughts on the waggonway bridge.......artistically, have got to think of the 1/3 rule and then a lead for the eye to be pointed to an area of rest (board 2 ?)......and with your suggestion of the extension of the old tramway (?) this could be accomplished......still very much up in the air.........look forward to another visit albeit a couple of villages away
Rob


Out of casual interest which villages would they be?
Tim Lee

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:38 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:
Rob,
Many thanks

The only 1/3 rule I know is that I usually get around 1/3 of the way through a project before I think of something else to do instead ;) ;)


:D

Le Corbusier wrote:
Out of casual interest which villages would they be?

I'm in Newstead overlooking the now landscaped slag heap which buried Annesley MPD, Richard is in Kirkby in Ashfield which is a town.
R
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Le Corbusier
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:02 am

Ah ... the heights of Abraham turn off heading south .... always turned right instead of left I'm afraid ;) Newstead for some reason always makes me think of Newstead Abbey :?:
Tim Lee

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:29 am

Le Corbusier wrote:....... Newstead for some reason always makes me think of Newstead Abbey :?:

....and you would be correct......just a 20 minute walk.
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Noel
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Noel » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:* The Talyllyn loco was built by Fletcher Jennings at Whitehaven - quite local for Ulpha


According to L T C Rolt she was built and delivered as an 0-4-0T, but the BoT Inspector took exception to her riding. He also states that she had no cab or weatherboard when delivered, so presumably the cab was built at Towyn. I wonder what the Ulpha did with theirs?
Noel

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:00 pm

Noel wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote:* The Talyllyn loco was built by Fletcher Jennings at Whitehaven - quite local for Ulpha


According to L T C Rolt she was built and delivered as an 0-4-0T, but the BoT Inspector took exception to her riding. He also states that she had no cab or weatherboard when delivered, so presumably the cab was built at Towyn. I wonder what the Ulpha did with theirs?


That particular loco was supplied as an 0-4-0T, as you rightly say Noel. A side elevation exists of the Talyllyn loco by Fletcher Jennings, dated 1871 as a cabless 0-4-2T though. Maybe Fletcher Jennings developed the design into an 0-4-2T available to other customers? The cab and other details were modified on the Talyllyn loco, including hiding the injectors under a cover just in front of the cab. I shall imaginatively develop an Ulpha version with detail differences. After all, it rains a lot in the Lake District, as in Wales. Lowca succeeded Fletcher Jennings. There are photos of their locos in the catalogue with cabs, so I may use those for inspiration. Here is a Lowca loco on Mauritius

Image

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:36 am

Whilst the layout was up in its entirety (fiddle yard apart), I took the opportunity to trace the remaining original track as best I could, ready for a spot of Templotting. I had some old A4 continuous printout paper ideal for the purpose. I cut out various bits of the paper to fit over and around the more permanent obstructions and removed a few others to allow the paper to lie flat. Here is the layout with a more or less complete tracing.

Ulph073.jpg


I subsequently added another sheet nearer to the camera to complete the job as far as I could. The presence of the trestle prevented a complete tracing. To get around this I extrapolated the line of one side of the trestle onto the paper using a metre length rule. I was able to do the same with the alignment of one rail of the siding directly under the trestle. Overall, this should allow me to reproduce fairly accurately the existing track in Templot.

I only have an A4 scanner, so had to scan the plan in bits and join everything together again in digital form. To aid this, I drew a clear straight line right along the full extent of the tracing before doing the scans. I marked regular measurements on it. This enabled me to line up the scans very accurately.

Having achieved one digital image of the whole plan, I enhanced the lines and drew 150mm squares on the plan using Photoshop. The squares make it easier to scale the plan in Templot.

Ulph074.jpg


I included the line of the baseboard joints in the tracing. I also traced part of the new track on board one (far right of the image) so that I can line the new track on the remaining two boards properly in Templot. I was hoping that I could retain the existing track under the trestle and the siding behind it, to avoid having to temporarily remove the trestle. Unfortunately the latter, in particular, has gauge problems and definitely needs replacing.

I am not proposing to make a completely faithful replica of the old track. There are a few awkward wiggles in the plain track and some of the pointwork doesn't line up very well on the crossovers. Using Templot, I can smooth things out. I shall make the new pointwork using interlaced sleepers, as per the original. I have been swotting up how to do this in Templot.

I shall also add my version of the course of the old waggonway. Sections of this were included in the model, but the various incoherent bits don't really line up at all. The waggonway will largely be hidden in undergrowth, but it would be nice to give the random sections a greater sense of purpose.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:30 pm

I managed to do a bit of destructive work on the narrow gauge this afternoon, ready for track relaying. The NG track was in a pretty bad state, unfortunately. All but the section on the trestle needed replacing.

aDSCF5544.jpg


The narrow gauge track will be slightly realigned to eliminate an awkward S bend and allow gentler curves on the scenic part of the layout. All in the interest of reliability - but aesthetically as good as the original. I still have to do a little gentle work on the quarry face to give adequate clearance for stock.

I needed to do today's work to make sure that I get the pointwork in the hidden section on the middle baseboard properly aligned.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:40 pm

I have mentioned several times that the standard gauge track needs rebuilding to ensure long term reliability. Last night I got carried away and did a first stab at a Templot track plan for the track on boards 2 and 3. The scanned tracing I had done previously of the existing track was imported into Templot. I then played around with track templates, trying to reproduce the existing track plan as closely as possible. I printed this out full size and checked it against the layout. Fortunately, I was more or less spot on. I then refined the design slightly by straightening out a few unintentional wiggles in the original track and lining up the turnouts better. Templot is a wonderful tool for doing this - much better than the paper templates etc that the original builders must have had to use. That gave me the 'authentic' version - hopefully more or less exactly as the original builders would have intended it to be.

I then did a second version just for fun, keeping to the basic track plan but changing the alignment of various tracks very slightly. This was an attempt to address a few problems identified in discussions on forums and from personal observations. Some of these are as follows

1. Making the main running line more identifiable. The pointwork was altered slightly to make one track appear to be the main running line right through to the buffer stops. This largely meant changing some turnouts to the opposite hand.

2. Trimming back the edge of the platform. On close inspection, the platform edge is not very smooth. I suspect the builders had clearance problems with stock and cut the original edge back slightly. The result, unfortunately, is a very jagged edge. Here is part of it in close up.

Ulph076.jpg
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I think I can trim this slightly to give a smooth edge, retaining the appearance of the original platform as far as possible. It means moving the platform line very slightly towards the back of the layout to match the new platform edge. Playing around in Templot suggests this is a perfectly workable solution.

3. Optional slight realignment of the back siding, behind the trestle. Reading the article in Rail Model Digest, it was originally intended to load standard gauge wagons on this track from the narrow gauge loop above. Fortunately, they changed their minds and built the gantry instead - surely the highlight of the layout. There is now no reason why this back siding has to be so close to the quarry face, especially as I have to re-lay it anyway. There is plenty of room to move it slightly towards the gantry - looks like around 32mm in fact, roughly to where the red dashes are on this photo.

Ulph077.jpg


This would allow the ledge on which the narrow gauge line sits to be slightly wider and/or maybe the rock face below it to be slightly more 3D. It will be a long time before I get to do any major work on this board (other than the now completed removal of the narrow gauge track) so I have plenty of time to think about it.

Inclement weather this morning gave me the excuse to stay indoors and finish removing the old, life expired narrow gauge track from the ledge next to the trestle (as in the photo above). The old track wobbled a lot vertically - especially the one nearest the edge. I needed to investigate whether the underlying wood was warped. Fortunately, the undulations seem to have been due to the cork trackbed. The plywood underneath seems sound. I managed the track removal without any unintentional damage to the rest of the layout. I found a couple of permanent uncoupling magnets underneath the track, much to my surprise.

Unfortunately, when hoovering up the mess, I dislodged the rail at the top of the quarry steps. This has temporarily been removed altogether for safe keeping. I have also lifted the signal cabin and the small cabin on the platform for the same reason. The main station building seems to be very well stuck down, so I shall leave that where it is and work around it.

Here is a very provisional diagram of the new track plan. The green line is a possible alignment for the waggonway, buried in weeds - more or less on the alignment of the existing remains on the model. The waggonway remains will have to be added to in due course - like a few disconnected sidings hidden in the undergrowth.

Ulph075.jpg


Overall, I like the revised version best - largely retaining the look and feel of the original, but slightly refined. A lot more detail work is required yet in Templot, including converting the turnouts to interlaced sleepers, adding catch points etc. That should keep me quiet for a while.

Meanwhile, I hope to lay the hidden narrow gauge track on the centre board. The wheels have now arrived for the Beyer Peacock 4-4-0 (conversion of the Hornby LSWR 4-4-2T). More on that another time!

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:50 pm

I forgot the photo of the removed NG (narrow gauge) track, so here it is...

Ulph078.jpg


The base for the NG track appears to be quite solid, unlike the trackbed for the NG on the middle baseboard, which had to be completely replaced. Replacing it would have been a lot of work!

The rock face below the NG ledge slopes outwards towards the top, something I had only noticed recently. Looks a bit odd ;)

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:59 pm

More work in Templot! Having put the original plan in place on the layout, I realised I could make one or two slight changes to the plan to improve the flow of the trackwork. This includes a 3-way interlaced turnout where the waggonway joins the main line track. I belatedly realised too that I had forgotten about the baseboard joint. Roaming of some of the turnouts was necessary!

I have also now converted the turnouts to interlaced sleepers, using instructions I found on the Templot Forum as a guide. Here's hoping I don't have to do all that ever again! I found a few shortcuts, like copying existing ones to make new ones. These can be curved, switched to the opposite hand and roamed at will without adverse effects on the sleepering. More work was required for different crossing angles, but not as much as starting from scratch.

As before, the pale green is the waggonway

Ulph079.jpg


I have a vague idea of where the derelict waggonway sidings should go, but don't feel a need to draw them in Templot. I shall wait until the proper trackwork is laid before adding the abandoned track cosmetically - and the invasive undergrowth.

I plan to stick the track plan to 2mm MDF and build the turnouts on this, but off the layout. That way, I shall have good access to the trackbed during construction. By building direct on the trackbed, I also hope to avoid the worst of the usual distortion caused by the heating and cooling of soldered construction.

Meanwhile, work continues on the narrow gauge. I laid the solitary turnout and some plain track in the hidden area of the middle scenic board. I have also laid some 2mm MDF as the new NG trackbed on the quarry board. Before laying more track, I had to redo the baseboard dowels between the quarry board and the middle board. One set was moved quite a way, as the original site is in the way of the new narrow gauge trackwork. On the other, the female half was poorly attached to the baseboard. I filled the original screw holes with epoxy filler and reattached the female half of the joiner with new screws and screw holes.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:59 pm

Having sorted the baseboard dowels, I put some (nominally) 4mm ply down in the area near the trestle as a base for the narrow gauge track. I then put some PCB down either side of the baseboard joint. This will give a rock solid base for the rails where they cross the gap. I found a code 55 N gauge 3-way turnout. Code 55 almost matches the rails on the trestle. I shall modify the sleepers to make it look more narrow gauge. Here is a photo showing the new turnout roughly in position. The 24" Tracksetta shows the approximate line the new single track on the quarry shelf will take. I decided there wasn't proper space for the loop that existed there previously.

Ulph080.jpg


The other track will be a very short siding for a shunting loco. This will be slightly longer than appearances suggest, but narrow gauge locos can be very small and narrow anyway! The middle road of the turnout does line up with the track on the trestle by the way, despite appearances to the contrary.

Here is a photo showing earlier progress, with the narrow gauge fiddle yard headshunt and turnout stuck firmly in place.

Ulph081.jpg

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:55 pm

Richard,.....following with interest...........cringing at the thought of removing the gantry for the renewal of the track underneath............
Rob
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:06 pm

RobM wrote:Richard,.....following with interest...........cringing at the thought of removing the gantry for the renewal of the track underneath............
Rob


Does that mean you are volunteering? ;) ;)

Shouldn't be that difficult. I will have to investigate, but either of these springs to mind... (a) dig down into the foundations to loosen the uprights or (b) cut through the uprights near the base with a razor saw and/or circular saw on a miniature electric drill.

Other suggestions welcome!

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:24 pm

Methinks I would go initially for option (a)............if all fails then option (b)......and no.......not volunteeering...........
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:15 pm

RobM wrote:Methinks I would go initially for option (a)............if all fails then option (b)......and no.......not volunteeering...........


Your comments aroused my curiosity, so I investigated the most accessible and least perilous upright to get a better idea of the challenge ahead. Looks like they are just stuck to the wooden trackbed with Copydex (or something equally rubbery). The balsa is fairly flexible, so I think I should be able to use option (a) and gently dig them all out without too much of a problem.

Here is a photo with a thin cardboard bookmark inserted under the (slightly) lifted upright, just to prove I have done it.

Ulph082.jpg


Gllad I did this little experiment now. I can sleep more soundly at night knowing that the problem is not insurmountable. ;)

I think the gantry may need levelling slightly when I eventually put it back. I may need to use a different method of attachment - not that I am keen on Copydex anyway.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:44 pm

The remaining piece of main line narrow gauge track has now been laid to the baseboard joint.

Ulph084.jpg
Ulph084.jpg (79.59 KiB) Viewed 1091 times


I still have to cut an insulation gap in the PCB. The board is now back in store in the garage though, as the next few weeks are heavily occupied with other things. Once I get back to working on the layout, I should quickly be able to restore the scenery in this corner of the board. It can't be exactly as it was, because the NG line takes a slightly different course. I have retained most of the original scenery, which can be reused to maintain the look and feel of the greenery, in particular.

I did a bit of walking around Wirksworth yesterday. I got some good photos of quarries, including this surreal-looking one.

Ulph085.jpg
Ulph085.jpg (190.01 KiB) Viewed 1092 times


The chimney at Middleton Top (Cromford & High Peak Railway) is just visible top left.

I finished the evening with a Jazz & Chips train ride on the local preserved railway

DSCF5611a.jpg
DSCF5611a.jpg (147.59 KiB) Viewed 1089 times

Tony Wilkins
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:59 pm

Hi Richard.
Yes, it was a good evening. I was on the train towards the front outbound.
I spent a pleasant day wearing my other hat in the Derby Lightweight power car sat in platform 1 at Wirksworth station for the weekend. Shame I missed you.
Today by comparison was wet and cold with rather less interest.
Regards
Tony.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:50 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:Hi Richard.
Yes, it was a good evening. I was on the train towards the front outbound.
I spent a pleasant day wearing my other hat in the Derby Lightweight power car sat in platform 1 at Wirksworth station for the weekend. Shame I missed you.
Today by comparison was wet and cold with rather less interest.
Regards
Tony.


With so many people milling around, it would have been difficult to recognise anyone unless they sat very close by. I was in the middle car - no engine noise to spoil the music ;)

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:30 pm

Work has begun on the remaining two boards, to relay all the track on the narrow and standard gauges. Until I have new track, these boards are technically non-functional. The first stage for the standard gauge work has been to carefully remove the trestle. I have now done this, thankfully with no real damage. A few of the legs and cross beams were loose anyway. The rest came away relatively easily, in one piece.

Ulph087.jpg


Here is the baseboard, where the trestle once was.

Ulph088.jpg


With the trestle out of the way, I can easily test if the new Templot plot fits the site in the way it should. All being well, I can then begin to uproot the existing track ready for relaying.

A few other small scenic bits have been removed for safekeeping.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:58 pm

I removed the back of the quarry baseboard this afternoon. Nothing too dangerous, as the large hunk of blockboard that provides the standard gauge trackbed holds everything rigid. The reason for the removal is twofold. Firstly, I need to replace it with a curved back to match the other two boards. Secondly, I needed to investigate how to add the new track bed for the narrow gauge fiddle yard, which will slot under the hillside. No scenery was damaged during the extraction.

Here is a view of the board as it is now.

Ulph090.jpg


Fortunately, the existing narrow gauge track bed seems robust enough to attach the new fiddle yard to. It will also be supported by the new back to the baseboard.

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:27 pm

Good to see the trestles were removed OK. I'm still trying to figure out where the short siding will go from the 3 way, the photos show it falling over the cliff.......... :? .... Will obviously become clear as you progress........
R
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Updated December 2016

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:30 pm

RobM wrote:Good to see the trestles were removed OK. I'm still trying to figure out where the short siding will go from the 3 way, the photos show it falling over the cliff.......... :? .... Will obviously become clear as you progress........
R


Glad you are confident about that, Rob. You are one step ahead of me, there. ;)

This is the 3-way as it now stands. I removed the 'chairs' as they are purely cosmetic and serve no purpose in my cunning plan. To get the timbering correct for narrow gauge, I filled in the gaps between the sleepers with lightweight filler and filed the resulting slab down a bit, to represent the shape of the ballasting. That way, the existing timbers will effectively be hidden from view without affecting the structural integrity of the turnout. I shall add cosmetic sleepers in the form of thin plasticard or card on top so I can get timbers where they should be. Anything not subtle enough can be disguised with weeds and stray ballast in due course.

Image

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:09 pm

Work on Burghmire, my 2mm layout, is now long overdue after a 6 month pause. I plan to wind down work on Ulpha for the time being and make it low priority. I shall finish the back and install the base for the new narrow gauge fiddle yard and probably then work on the new standard gauge pointwork over the winter.

I have removed the station building on the middle scenic board now for safe keeping. It was very firmly stuck to the platform, part of which came away when I finally managed to lever the building up from the baseboard. The building is intact, but the platform will require repair or replacement!

Ulph093.jpg


On the quarry board, the new back is now more or less finished. It just requires the edges smoothing down and a bit of trimming to fit the baseboard. The holes are so that the operator can see the fiddle yard for the narrow gauge, which will be placed under the hillside.

Ulph092.jpg


I have also cut a 'tunnel' in the end of the baseboard for the narrow gauge hidden track to the fiddle yard. It all looks a bit untidy at the moment, but will look much better when properly finished off.

Ulph091.jpg
Ulph091.jpg (188.85 KiB) Viewed 324 times


I have largely finished the base for the narrow gauge fiddle yard. It is almost ready to fit in position - just giving some glue plenty of time to set.. Working out how to fit it in required a great deal of head-scratching, but I think I have sussed it now.

A few photos will follow when everything is assembled.


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