Burnham, Revived!

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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Tim V
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Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:55 pm

A request by Chris Challis to invite Burnham-on-Sea to Railwells 2016 to coincide with 50 years since the S&D closed brought three former members of the Avon & Somerset group back together, plus Steve from South Island at the weekend.

To those without long memories, Burnham was conceived circa 1975. It is in P4 without compromises on the length. It has appeared over the years, Scaleforum 1987, S4N 1991. It last appeared in public in 2004.

It occurs to me that I can't point you at an article on it - on checking the Snooze index, one hasn't been written!

After careful consideration, it has been decided to continue with the model in the spirit of the original concept, so no proscenium arches, no raising the layout (it is very low), no change of the multi suns up poles lighting. Also we are hoping to be invited to a few other exhibitions after 2016, after all putting a lot of work in for one show seems rash.

So we each have a list of tasks. Watch the forum for news!

Seen here before opening time at the Edington show in January 2004 on its last public appearance.
100_0301.JPG
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Brinkly
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Brinkly » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:20 pm

Ideal 'Todder' height Tim! :D ;)

Why keep it so low?

Regards,

Nick.

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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:51 pm

It was decided it was too much work. So many things would need altering, and anyway, the layout is a historic item virtually!
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jim s-w
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby jim s-w » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:19 pm

If you are using 3 links, you will alter it. The back pain after 1 show will dictate that (unless you can all sit while operating) ;)

Cheers

Jim

Brinkly
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Brinkly » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:40 pm

Tim V wrote:It was decided it was too much work. So many things would need altering, and anyway, the layout is a historic item virtually!


Fair enough, it is considerably older than me - although most things are! ;)

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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:45 pm

jim s-w wrote:If you are using 3 links, you will alter it. The back pain after 1 show will dictate that (unless you can all sit while operating) ;)

Cheers

Jim

We are investigating automatic couplings, and following a comment by you (!) a while ago, my favoured ones are Dinghams. It was this picture of John Palmer at Scaleforum 1987 that clinched it, we won't be able to lean down like this with buildings and backscene in the way.

That is the upstairs bar at City University by the way.
Scaleforum September 1987 OM1 270- (5).jpg
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John McAleely
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John McAleely » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:08 pm

With the side of me that runs websites showing interest, has the computer/vcr/whatever is is driving the TV from the wicker basket survived?

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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:03 pm

John McAleely wrote:With the side of me that runs websites showing interest, has the computer/vcr/whatever is is driving the TV from the wicker basket survived?

The wicker basket is our power supply box, aka 'Chernobyl', but we didn't use it other than as a distribution board for powering the portable TV shown in the 1987 shot. By the time of the 2004 show at Edington we had substituted a CRT monitor, as by then the visual display was controlled by a program running on a laptop and written in Visual Basic, reading its data from xml files that were, at that date, relatively new-fangled.

There was no way that I was going to lug my Sanyo 286 around to exhibitions in 1987, and in the layout's early years we were providing the visual display by means of a program written in ZX Spectrum Basic, read from a Microdrive if it could be persuaded to work.

Our visual display has always followed the same two-part format. One part gives some elementary background on the layout, and is run between operating sessions. The other supplies summary details of the current movement, derived from the 1950 WTT that forms the basis of our operating sequence, as well as information about the locomotive and rolling stock employed.

After an eleven year interval I was relieved to find that the program used at Edington was still stored in my code library, so I dusted off a semi-redundant laptop, re-installed VB6 on it and checked that all was well with what I'd written. It was, so it should now only remain for me to update the data files as and when we have determined what locomotive and stock combinations we shall be running, and to what timetable.

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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:15 pm

Tim V wrote:That is the upstairs bar at City University by the way.

Uncoupling a train standing in the trainshed involved positioning the coupling in question opposite the access doorway to the platform and poking your pole through the doorway in order to flick the coupling off its hook - great fun but not the most practical of arrangements!

That, for us, was a very laid back outing, as we were put into a lounge away from the centre of activity, and with lots of comfy chairs in the vicinity. Spectators could sit themselves down in comfort to watch and make ribald comments as we tied ourselves in knots with our shunting arrangements.

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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby dal-t » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:41 pm

John Palmer wrote:we were put into a lounge away from the centre of activity, and with lots of comfy chairs in the vicinity. Spectators could sit themselves down in comfort to watch and make ribald comments as we tied ourselves in knots with our shunting arrangements.


That sounds to me like the kind of comment that would be much appreciated on another thread, over here!
David L-T

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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:45 am

Fifty years ago to this day saw the passage over Somerset & Dorset metals of the the last public service passenger trains. I still recall the whistling of the last S&D trains, audible from my home in Burnham, but so melancholy was the occasion that I had no wish to join the crowds who attended them at nearby Highbridge.

I prefer the happier memory of my introduction to the S&D some six or seven years earlier: a sunlit morning on Shapwick Heath, dew gleaming on pollarded willows emerging from the evaporating exhaust steam of our Bulldog, forging steadily across the levels towards Meare and Glastonbury past endless rows of peat ruckles…

Six months to go before Burnham’s reappearance at Railwells! Several of us have assumed the role of Victorian housing developers – I have the task of recreating the back of Lynton Road, adjacent to the goods yard, and I must shortly come to grips with a Portrait profile cutter for fabrication of the windows. I shall be turning to this on completion of my second Johnson bogie tank – now imminent as only brakes remain to be fitted.

Meanwhile, Steve Carr has been busy building Burnham’s signals – seehttp://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=4383&p=39636#p39636. And it was Steve who came up with the brilliant notion of commissioning Modelu to 3D print for us the pinnacles, of a design believed unique to the S&D, that would top Burnham’s starting signals. Fortunately, I had made a dimensioned sketch and traced the profile of one of these pinnacles many years ago, so it proved straightforward to work up a suitable CAD drawing for the commission. Even more fortunately, the particular prototype pinnacle in question was one of the two that adorned signals at Burnham, so those appearing on our model can claim to be directly derived from the original they represent!

And here is the result:
S&D cruciform pinnacle.jpg
Standing 9.5mm tall, I think they capture exquisitely the look of the original, and, to those familiar with its signalling, should instantly identify the Somerset & Dorset as the railway portrayed.

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steve howe
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby steve howe » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:20 pm

It was this picture of John Palmer at Scaleforum 1987 that clinched it, we won't be able to lean down like this with buildings and backscene in the way.

That is the upstairs bar at City University by the way.


Exhibiting in a Uni bar? :D are you sure John was uncoupling and not just 'resting' on the layout? :lol:

Good to see these old stagers still going strong despite their quirks - I know - I've got one!

Looking forward to seeing it at Wells.

Steve

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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:40 pm

steve howe wrote:Exhibiting in a Uni bar? :D are you sure John was uncoupling and not just 'resting' on the layout? :lol:
Steve


Back in the days when we were nearly young enough to frequent Uni bars. And of course when exhibition venues had an edge over today's crop.
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John Palmer
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:42 pm

Less than two months to go before Railwells, and preparations once again to inflict Burnham on an unsuspecting public go steadily forward. Fiddle yard erected for track maintenance and stock testing. Currently I'm adding some weight to some of my featherweight rolling stock.
Fiddle yard stocked for maintenance.jpg
Picture shows a range of S&D motive power up for testing: an Armstrong, two Bulldogs and a brace of Johnson bogie tanks. Trying to find an excuse to run the GBL, but it seems unlikely one ever visited Burnham. In the background is one board being readied for installation of the Down Starting signal. Sorry about the poor picture quality; lighting none too good.

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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:07 pm

Yesterday and it was time for putting Burnham up, first time since 2004. The only space big enough was outside, so excellent lighting. One of the weak points on Burnham is the 1980s multiple suns, but then the layout is a museum piece now. Plus some new buildings - showing that the station was not in the middle of a field but on the edge of the town.
IMG_7831.JPG


IMG_7826.JPG

IMG_7824.JPG

And the view out of the window.
IMG_7837.JPG
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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:16 pm

Just found this picture which compares with picture 2 above. Interesting comparison of a camera with control over shutter/aperture with my old digital camera - note the lack of depth of field. Of course the 2004 picture was taken indoors.
100_0294.JPG

Didn't have to compress this old picture either!
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John Palmer
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:21 pm

Picture 016.jpg
“Now you’ve b******d it!” Chris Longley and Tim Venton confabulate as to how to get out of the operational hole into which they’ve fallen. Bulldog 43419 has brought an 8-car set into the Excursion Platform, but is locked in by the arrival of a local passenger hauled by Ivatt 41241. Ordinarily the Ivatt would run round its train using the crossover halfway down the Excursion Platform, but that would involve propelling the 8-car set clear of the crossover to a point foul of the trap at the loop exit. That’s fine when the trap is closed to admit traffic to the loop, but that involves release of the ground frame controlling the loop points, which, in turn, locks the crossover required for the run-round. Good job this wasn’t done under the public’s gaze at an exhibition…
Picture 015.jpg
The aforementioned crossover as seen from the operator’s side. The prototype’s Excursion Platform was constructed from pre-cast concrete ‘sheep’ and infill slabs manufactured at Exmouth Junction Concrete Works; unfortunately the viewing public only ever get to see the platform edging slabs. Pleasingly, the ‘great white whale’ of the station building/trainshed as seen in post #1 has been transformed to something close to the finished article by a lick of paint.

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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:59 pm

Less than 24 hours to go before we are due to start loading the van for Railwells, and I'm not far adrift from my critical path. Even so, paint on new buildings may well be close to 'damp'.

SandD-1.jpg
Proper headcodes. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Tim V
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby Tim V » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:00 pm

Layout seems to be fine, but controllers (the hand-helds not the staff...) are playing up. Being looked at tonight.
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Re: Burnham, Revived!

Postby John Palmer » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:27 pm

Apologies for a bit of thread necromancy, but it seemed an appropriate place to record the progress on Burnham that is still being made.

Less than a fortnight now remaining before the layout's outing to Scaleforum 2018, and here's a shot of Bulldog 43216 bringing in the 8.15 Up Passenger past Burnham's ground frame with its notorious cabinet, yet to be connected to the pole route. Anybody want to guess the antecedents of the grounded van body?
8-15 Up Passenger ex Templecombe.jpg

We shall be operating a substantially revised service, a single cycle of which takes up two operating sessions, and to cater for the changes I have had to re-write much of the software driving the information display visible in a previous post. I've taken the opportunity this provided to enhance our 'prologue' sequence giving information about prototype and model, which now includes a number of shots of the station and its surroundings. I hope this will help to show what we are trying to achieve, and the extent to which we have succeeded (or otherwise) in capturing an impression of our chosen prototype.

Quite a few changes have taken place to the area visible in the Scaleforum Guide picture, but lots of building work remains to be done at the seaward end of the layout.


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