The Bluebell Model Railway

Based on a preserved line in Sussex

The Layout - Horsted Keynes

Track layout - Adapted for my layout.

 

 The track diagram has been adjusted from the real Horsted keynes to get everything to fit in a very tight space. I had to take out a few sidings which link up to the Ardingly branch which spurs off to the top of the diagram, and also some sidings from where the carriage and wagon workshop would be.

The original idea was to try and re create as close as possible whilst on a tight budget to the original station. This meant taking a few shortcuts, buy building things on my own and also modifying stock items.

 Track from the project was brought in July time in 2007 from Hattons. All track is Peco including the points which are the express type. Most expensive part of the track was the bulk of streamlined flexi track and the 3 way point located at the end of the layout towards the North. In total this cost around £200 in total.

 The base board is 12 mm thick ply, supported by a pine frame, which is screwed in to the wall (Should be fun if we ever move!). The basic line and layout was planned at the end of July, and started laying track.

I made quite a few mistakes in the build of this line, one major one was assuming that soldering the track together would work. Well it don't folks so don't try it, I had to rip up all my track and relay it with fish plates, so don't cut corners when it comes to this!

Progress in th last few years has been steady generally updating old track buildings updating the layout in general. The layout moved to the shed in mid 2009 allowing more space for expansion and more updates. The updates since moving included new track work, leveling of track, fixing of ballast, and back scenes. In early 2009 an extension was built based loosely on East Grinstead and the extension the Bluebell line were working on. This was completed in June, and linked up with Horsted Keynes with an outside section at both ends. Work again has progressed steadily and problems overcome. During the winter 2009 (present) work will be continuing on the layout even if running has been stopped due to the weather. The next update will be quite big. The side of the layout will be extended making room for 2 new sidings where the C&W are and also this will extend the platform back making room for a station building and another Canopy.

Updated: 21.06.12

 Horsted Keynes is undergoing some refurbishment work for next week, as its D-Day for the layout, having a professional photo shoot for a piece in one of the model magazines. Much work has been done, new station detailing, new scenics being added to the northern end of the layout, and a new signal box interior, as well as a new building, this being the pump house located behind the signal box.

Heres a shot prior to finishing off and cleaning up, ready for next week.

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Updated: 5.05.10

 News: Bachmann Release Bluebell waiting rooms Sheffield Park

Yes this news i knew about a while ago, as soon as it appeared today I preorded one, The building in question is one from Platform 2, which is currently the Bluebells Museum. At the moment this has been taken down due to the work on going behind platform 2 for operation undercover.
 Radial is going well, more parts been ordered over the past few days, one part has arrived, the Flywheel this was fitted today and will be trial tested before the end of the week once repairs to the controller are complete.
 Couplings, Hooks and chains, and a new pony truck is yet to be added to the loco in order for it to return to running order.

A new 4 wheel SR Coach is  on the way to the layout, and I hope to purchase a few more in the future.

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Updated: 30.04.10

Been a little while since I updated, So whats been going on, since the completion of the 2 P-Class locos, they have both proved successful and popular where ever they have been seen. Some work has been undertaken on Nettle adding Numbers on Buffer beams, which has now been done. Its good to see that I wasn't too far out with Nettle at the real 178 Nettle has re-entered the works to recieve more lining, lettering, and SE&CR Transfers.

 The Adams Radial (488), returned a few weeks ago and work has been on going to bring it up to standard of other kit builds recently completed. It was brought just over a year ago, and has never run on my layout, only being repained to LSWR Livery. After it arrived back a few problems with locking motion were still apparent, this was resolved last week with the re drilling of holes in the connecting rods giving them more movement on the crank pin, this has also been succesful. The loco now awaits a flywheel on the motor which is due next week.

  
  

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Updated: 26.03.10
 Progress on both P-Class has been steady, today saw the completion of the first, 178, NETTLE. It had a couple of runs up and down the layout hauling a few wagons around just to check all was working and it was happy. For its first run it went well with a few adjustments needed on the rear wheel pickup and a step. A small video is being compiled and once the weather is slightly better it will appear in the a 1963 Timetable weekend video,
 Progress on 323 Bluebell is progressing well the loco has been lined out and lacquered and then Numbered. It will have another coat of Varnish tonight and the plates will be applied before its first run which could be this Sunday. So far I'm Please with the result.

  
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Updated: 22.03.10
 Since the arrivals of supplies on friday to complete the 2 P-Class locos, progress has been very rapid. By the end of friday evening handrails were installed and fixed in position. Saturday and Sunday saw the start of the major painting of, 178, NETTLE And 323, Bluebell.

At this moment in time both Kits / Locos are very close to being completed, Name plates have arrived from Guild to be fixed on when both locos have had the varnish applied.

It is expected that 178 Nettle will be complete mid week, with 323 Bluebell being completed towards the end of the week.

 

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Updated: 18.03.10
  Due to a nice warm dry spell the layout reopened fully on the 17th and 18th. Part of this was due to a friend from the Wenchford model Railway required new loco STOWE 928 to feature in one of his videos as well as Port Line which was based on the Bluebell up until the year 2000.

What else has been going on? Well quite alot during running some problems occured with track outside dipping and throwing coaches off the track, this has now been resolved. The layout has had 8 hours of running over the past 2 days which is a good start for this year.

P-Class update, 178 now awaits its hand bars on the boiler which requires a 0.5 mm drill which i hope will arrive shortly. 323 Bluebell also had its first initial test, after some small issues were sorted she now runs really well and like 178 awaits its hand bars and then finishing.

34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair's new tender is progressing well, the body is on the chassis and ladders and additional details are being added proir to finishing.

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Updated: 09.03.10

 Not much has been happening on the layout due to the quite harsh cold winds, but overall the layout is in good shape for the summer, and the warmer weather. Some points still need a clean as its causing some voltage jumps. I've also been lucky enough to have exhibited a Layout last weekend - Fisherton Surum belonging to good friend Graham Muz, Was a good day, and a new expirence, something Ive always wanted to do but never had the chance as my layout is bolted to the wall, So thanks to Graham for the opertunity.

Locos,,,,
 Adams Radial:
Small update... Wheels, and the qautering have now been resolved as has the meshing problem with the gear and the worm, one small problem to go an itermitant short which is delaying its return.
E4, LBSCR: Loco is running very well after a rebuilt pony truck to stop it from jack knifing on itself all has been running well and has proven itself round the Wenchford railway layout.
H Class: Also running very well, bogie pickups have massively help the locos running and look forward to it running this year.
Schools: New Hornby Schools has arrived to replace the 12 year old one with tender drive, so far been impressed with hthe quality, altho fustrated with the very fiddily detailing parts... but still a nice model, which will be re-named and numbered to 928 Stowe.

P-Class's: Small update one the P project, so far the chassis have been painted as have the wheels and await the new bodies arrival from Dean Sidings. Cheque went through a few days ago so Im hopeful they will show up very soon. An Order has been made to Guild Plates for SE&CR Transfers, Name, Number, and Builders plates have been ordered for the P's also while I did this I also ordered 541 Q-Class Plates for the cab.
P- Class's will be named and numbered after the Bluebells:
323 - Bluebell
178 - Nettle

 
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Updated: 25.02.10

 Progress on the layout has stopped as it has reached its limit of development, and focus will shift to East Grinstead and completing some backscenes for it. On Horsted keynes a few sections of track have been taken out, levelled, and replaced, this should improve running of trains in to platform 3 and 4 + 5.

 Loco's:
 Locos for the future, have been thought about, originally a 9F was thought about as its a loco the bluebell has but at the moment not running. Buying this would be a huge amount out of the budget. I reviewed this and decided the 9F should wait till later on in the year, once more money came available. Instead Its is hoped to construct 2 P-Classes based on 323 Bluebell and recently completed 178 Nettle. Chassis are to be hornby terriers, with a resin body of a P-Class. Most materials have been purchased appart from the P Class Bodies and the name plates, Lining, and SE&CR Transfers. 
 No news on the Adams Radial tank 488, but it is hoped it will return soon.

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Updated: 23.01.10

Progress has focused new backscenes for the layout which are higher and a step forward to the older ones which were used. It is my hope this will improve the videos and pictures I produce of the layout. More consideration has been given to improving the signals but would need considerable funds to undertake this task, as I would like the signals to work and to close if not identical to the ones at Horsted Keynes. Another idea for the layout is to move it again in to the loft which it will be safer, warmer, drier, and locos can have a longer run. Not only this but another layout could be build based on Sheffield Park, this would help with the storage problems I am faced with, to many coaches, and to many locos to be on the layout at once, where the building of a new layout with loco sheds would help this. This remains a long term aim at the moment until more money is available. On the loco front, LBSCR E4 is progressing well, and has been painted and now awaits the arrival of Transfers. Another new loco will be arriving shortly this time a SE&CR, H Class, number 307, Im very happy about this as the H is currently under overhaul and will be released in to traffic sometime this year.


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More progress has been made on the layout as of late. Regular visits to the ice box (shed) to make sure everything was working and still in one piece. Work has recently started on another building for the Horsted Keynes layout. A visible gap between the subway and station building I'm sure seemed quite apparent as this is where in reality a Shop is located. Just before christmas, I decided to finish the station off by scratch building this shop out of Coffee stirers and Match sticks. I took down measurments and with images of the shop from my 2007 visit I started construction. Finished today ( 2nd Jan) I added a light inside the building.

   
   

 

 

 

 

 

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 Progress has now slowed down as only a few jobs remain to be done. Yesterday gave me a chance due to the dry weather to uncover the out door section to resolve a power drop in Horsted Keynes sidings. The problem was found to be a loose fishplate, once replace everything was ok again. a few other sections on the out door section have been replaced, or re-aligned. More freight has arrived in the form of 2 SR cattle wagons, Since the last update the platforms have been re-surfaced making it look alot neater, the cattle loading ramp on platform 5 has been built and finished using card and left over materials. Calbourne, o2 tank has had its first run outside and performed reasonably well (See Videos). Also agreed, in December a new loco will be purchased an N15, which will feature in the new year. This was chosen as its the closest you can get to the Bluebells S15.

   
   

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 Progress has been steady on the Carriage and Wagon workshop structure. Its is now complete with clear plastic on the windows, fully painted, and brick texture added around the base. A spare signal arm arrived a couple of days ago to repair and upgrade the signals in Situ. An extra signal was added to the signal bracket near the signal box, to control the Ardingly spur and siding. Replacement of the o2 Tank's bogie with a new bogie taken from a B1 loco, which includes power pickups will be added to help with running. A new streamlined left point was installed to help run more trains in to platform 4 and 5.

   
   

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Progress hass been reasonably slow in comparison to last few weeks. work on the station building is pretty much complete, where as work on the carriage and wagon workshop has only just started. Made from scratch and thin wooden sticks work started on the structure a week ago. Next phase in the winter overhaul is point motors, and loco enhancements.

   
  
   
 

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Back Grounds....

General landscape No Trees - http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Mattw04/Model%20Railway/SkyA.jpg
Landscape A - http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Mattw04/Model%20Railway/skyb1.jpg
Landscape B - http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Mattw04/Model%20Railway/skyb2.jpg

Updated - 12/09/09