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The Michigan 125 wheel loader is required to operate as a shunter on a quayside siding, but will actually running on hidden rail wheels. It won’t be running over any points, just about 18 inches of track, partly on the feeder canal quay and then under the bridge at the end of the main yard / scrap yard where a loco will take over. I also have found a sound file of one working and hope to have a speaker under the board to give it an added dimension.

The chassis was built from plastic with brass top-hat bearings, a small Mashima motor with 25:1 gearing and a flywheel. The motor sits in a cradle, held by a bar (that forms the driver’s seat!). The wheels came from a Wiking model of a tractor loader, which were the right size to sit in front of the rail wheels that came off a Heljan Falcon after re-wheeling with Ultrascales!

The underside showing the gearing, bearings and pick-up arrangement, all packed into a very small space!

Here we see the rather complex lines of the body starting to take shape. The motor sits within the loader frame, beneath the driver’s cab. Extensive use was made of Evergreen plastic strip - easy to work with and accurate.

After a few more days work the machine is basically complete with the motor/flywheel partially hidden by ‘engine bits’. Hydraulics are jeweller’s wire and cored solder. The only other survivors from the Wiking loader are the green bits! The frame at the front would normally hold the bucket but on this version a buffing plate will replace it.

Here’s the Michigan on the first section of quay (made from carved Das modelling clay) up against an out-of-the-box Bachmann mineral wagon. The driver is leaning forward to clear the low bridge - not much Health and Safety in 1972! The Monty’s casting was once drinking a cuppa but will soon have a steering wheel to contend with. From the normal viewing angle the rail wheels are hidden.

And here it is painted and weathered except for the flywheel. The buffing plate of wood and steel was welded to the front loader arm assembly. The stone sets will continue beneath the bridge (off to the right) and the feeder canal bank is in the foreground. I haven’t painted the tyres yet - waiting until I’ve levelled the Das clay along the quay by pushing them through it before I get the paint on!



The LMS 12T Van, M509745, has now been completed with an early BR livery and overall weathering.

BR Dia 1/219 Shocvan-Palvan B854518 is shown in a condition based on Paul Bartlett photographs of the type from the 1970s.

The Open AB has been finished as 100047, with typical original works-applied markings and light weathering.

Reworked Dia 1/002 Lowfit wagon B452181 has had an Army Sankey one ton trailer added as a load. The parts for this model came in the Airfix kit which also provided the basis of the Mk2 short wheelbase Landrover on the layout.

A couple of old Canada Road locos from the 1980s have undergone a little improvement recently. GWR Pannier Tank ‘8779’ has had a chassis rebuild, with new Gibson wheelsets, to improve it’s running.

….And scratchbuilt Barclay 06 002 has had the bonnet-top fuel tank better blended to the rest of the bonnet, and a fresh arrows badge. Extra fuel-spill grime as also been added, based on ‘Rail Online’ photos showing ‘002 in the mid-70s.

One aspect of the Hornby 08 improvements which I overlooked last month is the wheel balance weights. These were cut from 0,1mm plastic sheet and fixed with superglue.

08 918 was a little unusual for undergoing dual brake conversion in 1972, but missing out on a re-paint into rail blue, and so remaining in green livery into the mid-70s.

The other 08 awaiting weathering is 3298. This model is for the late 60s – early 70s period, with ladders removed and datapanels applied. The real loco went on to become TOPS 08 228, still in a tired green livery.

The bodyshell of Class 73 number 73 122 is pictured ready to be reunited with the mechanism.

Finally, the doing-it-the-hard-way Class 15 ‘D8239’ is also now ready for underframe grime and weathering.



Hornsey Broadway made its debut appearance at Shipley on the 19th & 20th of September 2015.

Still a 'work in progress' with the main lines operational, it was an opportunity to show certain areas awaiting attention, through to other areas of finished detail.

Brush type 4 number 1932 storms through the station with a Pullman service on the last leg of its journey to Kings Cross. Also visible is a Met-Cam class 111 DMU ready to depart on a suburban service to Upminster.

BR type 2 number 7660 hauls condemned '38 tube stock en-route for scrapping, with Peak D166 in the background.

A Cravens DMU heads away on the Up Slow line, passing BTH class 15 number D8242 on ballast duties.

A Western Region NBL loco D6326 fresh from the depot and ready to head back home.

A service to Welwyn Garden City enters the station in the capable hands of a 4-car Cravens unit, whilst class 501 units provide a frequent service between Watford and Broad Street.

Another Cravens unit heads along the Down Fast line on its way to 'The Cross', and passes Hawker Siddeley's Kestrel hauling empty MGR wagons - during the early 1970s it was either coal or freightliner duties for this 4000hp locomotive before it was sold to the USSR.

A BR Derby DMU disappears into Hornsey Tunnel as a green Brush type 4 emerges on the fast lines. A rake of mark 1 sleeping cars can be seen on the Down Slow line, heading ECS to the carriage sidings.

A view looking north from Hornsey Road where Kafe is doing a roaring trade next to the milk depot. EE type 2 'Baby Deltic' D5909 can be seen trundling along the old branch with a rake of wagons collected from local industries.

Another view of D5909 on the viaduct after depositing its wagons.

Just smell those diesel fumes! A busy weekday scene at the depot with a selection of Eastern Region motive power undergoing maintenance.

A rare sight to see two Western Region locos at once on Hornsey Road Depot - D1033 Western Trooper and D826 Jupiter.

July 2015
  October 2015

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