My latest updates may be read from the top of this page ....

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This is an Ongoing Project - More Updates Soon.


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06 - 02 - 11.
 The first arrivals of the New Year  from my "wants" listing arrived during the week.
Both are BACHMANN items; firstly the 3 car 170434 in ScotRail's new "Saltire" livery ...
The long awaited (and I do hope that they didn't drop this one back onto the boat decking!!!) 70006,
in the "PowerHaul" Freightliner livery.
I still think it's the ugliest loco ever to set foot (or should that be wheel!!) on UK soil.
Both are exceptional models (to my eyes) especially the Class 70.  Amazing detail - be careful how you handle them, by the way.   See for yourselves in the attached photos.
 A video of these two items has also been uploaded onto my
SUNDAY 09 - 01 - 11.
With the weather today being sunny but cold.  I ventured out into the shed to give the layout a run along with my latest acquisitions.  I soon discovered that I was faced with a bit of a problem!
Both tracks of my "D" controller are controlling any loco that is using a "switched in" section.
That meant a severe scratching of the grey matter insued whilst I gave a couple of trains a run to see whether I could sort the problem before freezing to death out in the shed!!
Unfortunately the cold won after a couple of hours.
I think the problem is "an animal" of some description (no not a lion or a tiger!!) but a little thing like a ladybird, (of which there are plenty hibernating in the shed) could well be lying on a bed of layout wire and making contact with two "common return" wires.  I had a good look along the tracks to see whether anything was causing a short circuit above the baseboard.
 I will return to the shed next week for some serious investigation.  Kojak is high on my speed-dial !!!
I have finally received the balance of the East Midlands Trains' H. S. T.
I received three coaches in late October and the remaining three coaches and the Power Cars train pack turned up a couple of days ago.
Here, my full 2 + 6 formation EMT HST can be seen.

 Top of the list in my letter to Father Christmas was a new camera.  I asked him, pretty please, could he bring me a Panasonic Lumix TZ8 digital camera to replace my old sturdy friend, the Lumix DMC - FX8.
He obliged and now, after a week or so's practice, I've taken today's photos with my new friend.
I thought my last camera was the "dogs danglies" but this one is the "dog's danglies with bells on"!!
This TZ8 has a far superior video mode and can even zoom whilst recording.
Can't wait to get a handle on that!!
Watch   This   Space!!
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02 - 12 - 10. 

The inclement weather and in particular, the negative Celsius values both night and day in rural Cambridgeshire, have not allowed me to venture out into the shed apart from occasionally checking all out there is OK.

Whilst not neglecting the layout completely, I have been inside in the warm refurbishing an old wagon load.  Not only that, I have also completed a brand new load that I purchased from TEN COMMANDMENTS at the Warley Exhibition.

The refurbished load is my “Extra Large Pipes” (Ref. No:- W101) that are transported on my eight Bachmann 30 Ton Bogie Bolster wagons.  These pipes I had originally painted grey and they looked rather dull and didn’t sit at all well on the wagons.

So I took the bull by the horns and refurbished these pipes by repainting them a lime green colour and are now “secured together” by what hopefully looks like red straps.

The straps were made by cutting (into three strips) the sticky labels I had originally used with the “DYMO” Labelling Products.  I had used these different coloured sticky tape strips to represent the tracks on the Stroley Central Control Panel.  This photo is a reminder.

Finally I attached “anchors” to the base of the pipes and they now sit on the Bolsters quite well.


The brand new load, also purchased from TEN COMMANDMENTS are “Steel Strip loads”

(Ref. No:- W156).  They too will be transported as an alternative load for the same Bachmann wagons.

I used grey as the base colour for the “steel strips” then painted the raised “straps” a rusty grimy colour.

This final task was rather awkward and fiddly, but viewed from a reasonable distance I don’t think that they look too bad!


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TUESDAY 09 - 11 - 10.

I've spent a few days out in the shed, freezing my nuts off

by generally taking photos for the new pages mentioned on the update page.

During this time, I have also continued with the piping in the refuelling area.

Nowhere near finished yet as the diluted PVA glue takes such a long time to go off in this weather!

The photo below shows the (slow) progress being made.
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On Friday, 29th October 2010, I had another day out on LONDON MIDLAND TRAINS.
They had another "GREAT ESCAPE" go anywhere on their network for a tenner.
So ... I had some of that!!
Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street and International plus Coventry and my start station of Milton Keynes were on the agenda.  Some cracking shots were had which can be viewed on two of my sites.
The Railway Herald site has different photos (generally) from the Fotopic site.
.... and ....
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27 - 10 - 10
After a break from regular updates of almost two months, you may be pleased to know that these
are now returning.
Apart from small details that will be incorporated into the layout for a while yet, the last major scenic area that I need to complete has now been started.  This being the pipework for the fuel unloading area.
I have glued down and "flocked" the surrounding area of the unloading pumps.  The pipework is being measured and will be cut to length and glued to the pipe accessories and placed in due course.
 The two photos below were taken straight after the last drop of glue was drizzled into place, hence the "wet look" of the flock.  I have used the same principal as for previous areas of "flocking," so I won't detail how this was done here.
 As proof that indeed "Life" can imitate "Art,"
please take a look at the following two photos.
The first (above) being a Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) ICE set, having streaked through the Channel Tunnel, sprinted along High Speed One and terminated at STROLEY INTERNATIONAL.
The second (below) being a Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) ICE set, having streaked through the Channel Tunnel, sprinted along High Speed One and terminated at LONDON St. PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL.
It just goes to show that what happens at Stroley International
can also happen on Network Rail metals!!
On Tuesday 19th October 2010, this appearance of the German Railways' ICE Set at St. Pancras was to promote the official presentation by Deutsche Bahn of their proposal to commence a new Amsterdam / Frankfurt to London 200 mph service
via the Channel Tunnel and HS1 from 2013.
More photos and videos from this event and my "Capital Day Out (5)"
can be found at my other sites.
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Due to the increasing volume of comments I am receiving regarding the lack of recent updates, I feel that I need to give an explanation.
I am certainly NOT going for the sympathy vote here either.

My wife has not been in the greatest of health during the last few months so I want to
stay within earshot of her, hence the lack of work being done out in the shed.
When time permits, the layout will be completed, until such time I am continuing with other layout bits and pieces that are computer generated.
Please continue to enjoy my sites.
Thank You.
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Please click the link above to visit my channel.

The first eight videos are now uploaded ... Thanks.

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Click the link to see the new videos my pal Andy has uploaded to his

PORTLAND Modern Image layout website on YouTube.

The videos also include views of his superb hand made helix.

Great videos of an excellent layout-in-the-making.



The latest HORNBY releases are now through from MODELFAIR.

These include the Advenza Freight Class 66,

The DB Schenker Class 59 and

the East Midlands Trains' HST Open First (x2) and TGS coaches.

 I have also added another collection to my scale "1:1" photographic website

entitled .... An HOUR or so at St. NEOTS (2).

Please click HERE for my Fotopic site.

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 30 - 08 - 10.

The MOTORWAY BRIDGE section of the layout is now complete.

 Six or seven years ago whilst building the Stroley International predecessor Stroley Central,

I came across an extremely useful book called ....


Google "Know Your Traffic Signs" and it will download in PDF / Adobe Acrobat format.

Since then, it has become my "signs" Bible.

So during the last few days, I've been busy indoors trawling through my "grey matter" picking the scenario I wish to portray on the Motorway Bridge.
Having travelled, during my last 25 years of employment, 1.3 million miles up and down the UK motorway network, I had quite an array to draw upon.  I really like, and hope you do too, the eventuality as seen in the montage below.



 The last photo (below) of this montage shows a motorway sign that I made up on my PC in Microsoft Office Word.  The districts of Stroley are made up but actually feature in my layout history.

"LINDEVEN" is the area in which the DMU maintenance / stabling area is situated, with the Lindeven Engineering Company as a neighbour.

"FITZWILLIAM"is actually "off stage" but is the destination of the "Yard Line" that runs through the cutting as the fifth (inside) track then out into the Fitzwilliam (goods) Yard.

The blue background of this sign is a pretty close copy of the actual Motorway Sign colour and obtained from the "Microsoft Word" pool of colours.  The white "arrows" were cut from a piece of copier paper, shaped and stuck in the appropriate place.  The "Junction Number" was shaped in the Microsoft Office Excel" PC programme.

The "font" used is called "TRANSPORT" and again, downloadable ...  just "Google" it.

 The "M 14" is a ficticious motorway so Stroley cannot be visualised in an actual area of the UK.

The "NARROW LANES" sign was copied from my "signs Bible" mentioned above along with the other motorway signs.

The MacDonalds advertisement was obtained from their website.

The lorries on the motorway are, if my memory serves me correctly, in HO (1:87) scale.

These I purchased a few years ago (so are certainly unavailable now) from



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CONTINUED FROM W - i - P:- Page 13

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