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Track & signals.
W Chiltington.
Brighton Road.
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Plumpton Green.
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Ouse Wharf.
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Plumpton Green
January - December 2020

We had three exhibitions lined up for 2020 for Pulborough and Plumpton, but all three have been cancelled because of Covid. However, the extra time at home has enabled me to build three new engines, an E4X, a Gladstone, and an I2.

I’ve also spent many hours making a series of videos of the layout for YouTube. My plan is to film the entire day’s timetable, but since each video takes around 40-50 hours to film and edit it might be a while before we finish.

I’ve tried to film the layout from a reasonably realistic viewpoint - somewhere near eye-level for a 4mm figure. This has shown up a lot of minor lumps and bumps in my trackwork which are not noticeable from a normal spectator’s viewpoint. As a result I’ve spent quite a lot of time improving trackwork.

A couple of years ago I removed all the AJ couplings from my stock and reverted to 3 link and screw-link couplings. I’ve now had the opportunity to review all my stock to check on all the couplings, to improve them and make them easier to couple.

January - December 2021

As with 2021, all exhibition invites have been cancelled for this year, apart from the Bluebell show which featured Pulborough - an opportunity to try out our three new locos. Pulborough was also exhibited at the Pulborough Heritage Weekend in September, and created a lot of interest from local residents.

As a result of these two shows, much of the year’s modelling was devoted to making sure Pulborough was in good shape.

Very little work was done on Plumpton although two new videos were published.

January - June 2022

Plumpton Green finally got its first outing after a three year gap, at Expo EM, where it won the Peter Denny trophy for ‘the ‘most authentically operated layout’ - a tribute to the efforts of the operating team. It will appear again this year at Warley, as a replacement for St Merryn.

We have finally diagnosed and fixed one of the turnouts which has occasionally tipped a loco into the ballast, and I’ve had time to tighten up the lever frame interlocking to improve its operation.

With the completion of the point rodding, I’m happy to say that the layout is now ‘finished’, almost exactly ten years after its start in June 2012. There are inevitably a few minor bits and pieces that will be altered, added or improved over the next few years - no layout is ever truly finished!

We are now building another (much smaller) layout to feature the industrial engines built for Plumpton Brickworks. Details of the new layout ‘Ouse Wharf’ can be found here.




With the layout now exactly 10 years old, complete and well-received on the exhibition circuit, we have started to look again at some of the detail, adding a few extras here and there and carrying out a bit of maintenance:
-- the gauging and wing-rail on the London-end main crossover have been adjusted, improving the running through the single slip
- I’ve finally added the missing down-pipe on the signal box, and replaced the broken finial
- We’ve added another sound card to provide whistles from the yard
- We’ve added platform sounds for stopping trains (platform announcements, doors closing and guards whistle)
- We’ve added a hedge cutting scene, complete with bonfire
- We’ve added some detail to the creamery garden
- The missing steps on the mid-platform foot-crossing are finally in place
- After ExpoEM we discovered that some of the point operating linkages had corroded away, so all have now been replaced (and treated with neutralising solution after re-soldering!)
- A few cables have been repaired or replaced
- The display text has been updated and reprinted
- Signal arms have been adjusted

.......and still a few further things to do:
- replace the lost platform benches
- explore ways of storing more cassettes on the fiddle yards to add more currently unused stock to the sequence
Diary of a Railway Layout