October/November/December 2015/January 2016

Hello All

With the AGM of the YMRG next week, I will make this my last blog for the website. I have decided to stand down at the AGM and let others take over and move the club on. It has been an honour and a privilege to be the Chairman of the YMRG. So without further ado I’ll waffle on about what we have been up to since the last blog which is not a lot really.

So what’s been going on. Well, we had a successful Ladies Evening in October with twenty-six attendees. This evening is mainly for members to show their appreciation for their partners. But it’s not necessary to bring anyone along. This year we had members bringing no partner and one bringing two! The rest of us just brought one.

With The Summit (TS) back from its successful début at Telford the planned visit by Avon O Gauge group with their large collection of rolling stock went ahead. An excellent evening was had watching different locos and stock running round TS. TS has also been photographed for the Railway Modeller (April 2016 issue I believe). We have seen the proofs and are pleased with the results. We will put the pictures up on the website after publication. There are a few modification to be made following on from our operating at Telford. The monitors will be repositioned nearer to the control panels for ease of viewing, cameras will be repositioned to see all of the front of the layout and the starter signal on the inside track will be repositioned nearer the road over bridge. A shunting sequence is also being considered. Hopefully the mods will be done before the Taunton Railex 2016 exhibition in October. Then 4 weeks after Railex, TS goes to Warley in November.
Pictures show an incident where goods train was circulating the TS unattended while we watched at the front. “Suddenly” we had the incident with trucks strewn all over the track in the tunnel and a buffer beam left in the 4 foot. Never did get to the bottom of the problem.

busy_day_on_gasworksGasworks was successfully displayed at Taunton Railex 2015 where it won the Chairman’s Shield. Very pleasing. Picture shows Gaswork’s own “diesel dawn”, a bit over stocked but impressive.

A tarpaulin curtain has been erected at the end of of the main room in CS2. Behind this screen the first baseboard for Heyno Junction (HJ) has been started. It is hoped that this screen will stop the majority of the dust generated finding its way onto the other layouts. Face masks have been provided for members working in that area.

This first board was a test for construction techniques. From this first bit of construction the following decisions were made; use better wood and cut it more accurately. Pictures show the construction of the first board. The spots on the first picture are down to the wood dust in the air.

Since then we have constructed a flat board on which the boards will be built on top of full size plans. Angle iron defines the ends of the board under construction. A large saw table has also been built so we can cut the wood accurately. A large capacity chop saw, courtesy of one of the members, completes the wood cutting facilities.

South Junction (SJ) has had a few problems lately. Why does a point made on copper clad sleepers and correctly gapped suddenly get a short on it after twenty five years. It appears that a whisker of copper had found its way across a gap after all that time. Other than that trains run each week on SJ.

The Chairman’s Cup competition is going to run this year with judging taking place on AGM evening. An independent judge will be sorting out the wining entry. The competition is to build a 7mm scale 16T mineral wagon from a plastic kit. The main object is to get a rake of empty mineral wagons for use on TS. There are other cups to be won for locomotives, rolling stock and non-rolling stock railway related items. All entries have to have been completed in the preceding twelve months. I think there will be an array of vans too as the excitement of building the mineral wagon has had an effect on the members!

Our librarian continues to sort, reorganise and consolidate the collection. I don’t think anyone needs more than one copy of a particular year’s set of modelling magazines.

Holly Junction continues to develop while trains are run. Lots of new DCC equipped stock keeps appearing and run on the layout.

Welton Down has been out being exhibited. It will return to CS2 after its electrics have been sorted out.

Yeovil Town has had some scenic work done.

Several new members have joined YMRG. This is very pleasing as it shows we have something to offer new members.

Congratulations to Jim Allwood who has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the 2mm Scale association in recognition of his services rendered over many years.

We will be having an Open day later in the year. If you want an invitation please contact our secretary Ed – details on the website.

Well that’s about it from me. Thank you to all those who have read my ramblings. I’m sure the new chairman will continue with his own style of blog.

Regards to all.



YMRG: Summit – Status 23 Oct 2014

Hello All

Boards 3, 4 & 5 have been removed from the front of the layout for sorting out the the ground signals and points. We were a little enthusiastic with the ballasting and need to free them up. The wiring will also be tidied up while we have the chance. It all works, it’ll just look better. Board 5 has been completed.

fettling20timeTwo looms will have additional wires added to them so that the status of the signals on the front of the layout can be seen on the Up and Down control panels by the operators. The operators should also be able to see the state of the front signals on the monitors by the Up and Down control panels.

Although we had set the positions of the cameras to cover the front of the layout, actually mounting one of them in the required position would be difficult. Following a re-arrangement of the end cameras to point towards the ends not towards the signal box, a committee of two decided that, after viewing the changes on the screens, the changes were successful. The cameras are also easier to mount in their new position.

strip20lightingTwo strings of LED lights were obtained, one white and the other warm white. At £7 each they are not expensive. They were mounted in a white piece of guttering. Once we had found a suitable power supply, each 5m length uses 4A at 12V, we were able to light up part of The Summit to a reasonable level. Warm white was used in the gutter and the next try will be with a strip of white and warm white. It was also decided that what ever support and light we use that it will be usable for all other layouts in CS2.

That’s all for now. See you all sometime.



Gas Works at Seaton – Oct 2014

gasworks20at20seatonThe Seaton Show has come and gone and a good time was had by the chaps who attended. We had taken the HRCA (Yeovil and District) Hornby Dublo 3 rail layout with us as well as Gasworks. Fortunately we had loaded both layouts the night before as the rain came down heavily in the morning. Unloading layouts in the rain is not a pleasant experience but 6 people make it quick and easy.

The show was dominated by railway related stands, 16 in all with one stand each of boats and dolls houses. New friends were made and we can expect some visits to CS2 from them. Both Gasworks and the HD layouts worked well as did John Meakin who was demonstrating locomotive building.


The slick dismantling of both layouts at the end of the show and packing of the van saw us back at CS2 and unloaded by around 5pm. For a week or two we will have the HD layout as a visitor.



A last look back

a_last_look_backAt just on 12 midday today I locked CS1 for the final time. We cleared out the final items and swept up after us. We left the place in a better shape than when we moved in. CS2 is now the club-room and I shall refer to it as such from now on.

It’s been a hectic month. On the 7th Aug most of the members went to see the club-room for the first time. On the 19th I signed the agreement. We were able to gain access and start the clean-up from the 22nd. 29th and we have secured the rear of the building. Sept 4th and we have front doors and electricity installation well under way. Spraying took place over 7/8 Sept. Internal doors installed and the first 3 bays near to electrical completion by the 12th. 18th and the floor is cleaned all power installed on the centre supports. Finally on the 22nd we moved in.

Quite a month. Well done to all for making it all happen.

We now need to take stock of what we have and get rid of any crap, sorry, unwanted items. If we use the end of the club-room by the rear doors as a collection point for these items then a decision can be made as to whether it stays or goes.

The ridge tile needs installing. I don’t think that it’s worth the effort in putting a tarpaulin over the roof. It will soon become permanent! Carpets need to be laid and then layouts re-erected. We have trains to play with and exhibitions to attend. It’s a rosy future.

More keys are being cut and will be available soon. Let me know if you require one. For those who prefer not to have a key we will install the key-safe on the exterior of the building by the feed silo.

Again, thanks to all for the tremendous effort in getting the club-room up and running.

See you all on Wednesday.



Signed, sealed and delivered

The group have now signed a lease on our new clubhouse and this is where the work starts.

We are meeting there tonight to start the refurbishment work and I for one am excited about having new larger premises.  It will allow us to move forward as a group by improving facilities and increasing the size of the group.

The work is simple but a large task.  Still with lots of group members getting stuck in it should be ready fairly soon.

A new home for some old layouts

Thanks to John Marshall for his time and negotiating skills, we now have a new building for the group and the documents are to be signed shortly.

All hands to the pump now then because we need to clear the building, repair and fit doors, block up windows, paint and fit electrics.

There are several retired members and some will take holidays to help get it ready for the earliest date.  We are all excited because the new building solves many problems and offers far more space.

The existing building is large and we filled half of it with a very large 7mm layout ‘The Summit’ which has inside scenic boards but the outside ones could not be fitted in situ without breaking down the layout.  In the new building we will be able to erect the whole layout and have space for viewing all the way around.

We will also not have to share parking on club nights with others nor mow the grass to be able to park.

The new building is taller which means no more banging of heads! and far more flexibility for putting shelving etc. against the walls.

All together it will be a good move for the group and should help attract new members to the group with the better facilities we will create.

Every cloud has a silver lining…

A pool of ideas

After meeting to discuss the move group members have come up with many avenues to pursue.

It’s good to see resourcefulness at the club but I should not be surprised it is one of the traits of YMRG that we all help when needed.

Watch this space….

All Change!

After about 11 years of using this old Chicken Shed as a clubhouse we have been given notice to move on.  Our landlandy is flexible about dates but we are going to start packing now!

There is much to do just stripping down the layouts and our interior fittings but the search is on for a new place.

An exhibition in the life of the Gas Works

An invitation to attend the Yeovil Railway Centre exhibition with Gas Works was met with a good amount of enthusiasm by club members.  Gas Works has been there, done it, and got the tee shirt many times and is always well received whereever it goes.

Of course it is now of Railway Modeller fame where it was mentioned last Christmas and filmed earlier on in 2008 for the special Railway Modeller DVD.

Well, last Friday evening came and we had a good team to help load the van, Paul R, Dave, Paul H, Olivia, Peter C and Bob A.  The van was smaller than expected but that was no obstacle to the ‘team’ and when done you could not fit another box in the van.  We then travelled to the Yeovil Railway Centre and set up Gas Works in the Transfer Shed.  A quick test to prove we could run trains and it was home for the night.

Saturday saw another selection of members to help run the layout, Paul H, Olivia, Bob A, Bob O, Ernie, Peter C and Paul R.  Olivia was tasked with handing out leaflets and was seen at one point pursing them to the canteen to make sure they had one.  I don’t think anyone got away!  That activity combined with Gas Work’s appeal caused several genuine enquiries about the club.

Well a last minute decision to bring a laptop and show the 10 minute DVD of the first night of the Summit film met with disaster, I picked up the DVD case not realising that I had taken the DVD out!  We resorted to setting up the club web site to display and that also attracted some interest.


We all arrived at 09:30 but by 10:00 we were all in panic mode as the electrics failed for the front track and decoupler units.  Investigating a plug left us with a couple of wires off so they were soldered back into place.  We got the front track working but did not push our luck on the decoupler magnets.

The next club night will see the plug rewired to a better standard and some items that did not work investigated and fixed:

  • Electromagnets for decoupling
  • Extractor fan on side of building
  • waggon turntable
  • Gasometer rising and falling
  • Lights in main centre building

It is important to fix these as it looks like we may get a short notice request to attend another exhibition in November.


I was going to write about two club members Paul R and Ernie who were new to operating the Gas works layout at exhibitions and how well they both did but they were upstaged by a young girl about 10 years old who was fascinated by the layout and ended up being trained to work the coal train in and the coal train out process.  She was as good as gold and just to watch her concentration and ability with this task made the whole day worth double the effort.

Well the rest, as they say, is history, the layout was packed up and taken back to the club house.  There is always a special atmosphere when club members pool their help and expertises to work an exhibition.  Long may it continue.