February 2020

February 2020

Another long gap between updates, but with Christmas and New Year well out if the way it’s suddenly time for the YMRG AGM.  This will be the last update with DaveS as Chairman, and time for someone new to boldly chair us into what will be a busy year with South Junction going out twice and Halsdon Road going out for the first time in its extended form at least.   Not to mention scenics for Evercreech New, and all that track laying on Heyno Junction to do…

Track laying continues apace on Heyno Junction and The Bank (TB).  If it’s a race between them to get a loco to complete a circuit, then our money is on TB at the moment.


The Holly Junction crew got the lights to work under the scenic cover of their fiddle yard, and very bright they are too.

It was easier for Peter to remove the viaduct board of South Junction to sort out the wiring for the new signals.  Pictures show the board out of position and also some of the excavation needed to fit the signal and the rather fine bracket signal that is being fitted.    Peter is also in the process of adding a replacement operating mechanism for further end of the viaduct crossover – after only 35 years the original scale functional point rodding (with temperature compensation) now has too much cumulative wear to throw the point fully.

The huge job of painting Prestleigh Viaduct is now well advanced and it has been removed from its baseboard so that the underside can be painted and weathered.  And yes, Dave H is standing inside the baseboard – just shows how slim he is!    Not to be copied we also show the correct way to hold the very large and hot soldering iron so that should it slip, someone else’s hand will get burnt not yours.  Good health and safety to the fore at CS2!


New member Robert hasn’t hung around since joining us and EN has had its front extension made and fitted as a result!   The scheme for the rear scenic boards has also been produced, and at this rate it won’t be long before they make an appearance too.  T-nuts and bolts have been purchased for attaching the boards to the EN originals.


Just before Christmas we have Bob operating the completed Hobson’s Brewery with joystick helped by Dave H – more details here.

And finally Allan has completed his Kingsferry layout and very good it looks too – just those two viaducts to paint on Evercreech New to keep him out of trouble now!

All Set for Taunton Rail-Ex

Very much in line with the  ethos of the club, what are probably the largest baseboards in the UK travelling together on the same giant stillage, with four normal sized boards for company.  This behemoth (which is the size of a small family car) will hopefully be lifted into the 7.5T lorry via the tail lift – which seem to be shrinking just as we need them to grow!



Evercreech New will be exhibited as a work in progress – this not being the first unfinished YMRG layout to debut at a Taunton Show!   There will be no layout lighting, no backscene, and our ambitious scenery is incomplete.  What we will have is the finished station area, and a representative ‘Speedy & Delightful’ weekday service with the prospect of DCC sound and all operated via tablets and smart phones.

August 2019

August 2019

Doesn’t time fly, and despite the lack of updates to this website, much is happening in the largest model railway shed in the west!   In July we had a very successful Open Day with fantastic catering, lots of favourable comments and some new members.

A few weeks ago the BBC Points West team visited CS2 to film a feature on Bob Alderman, who had lost his voice through MND, being given his voice back by his son David.  A shortened version of the clip is here.  It’s a heartwarming story, and there are trains, but not as many as in the longer clip that was broadcast.

In preparation for the upcoming appearance of The Summit at Fareham Railex in early October, Evercreech New has been taken down and The Summit re-erected for some remedial work and to play trains.

Work on Evercreech New continues however ready for its appearance at Taunton Railex in late October.  EN_PV_IMG_3771Painting of Prestleigh Viaduct continues with the MDF now primed and painted in a mortar colour.  The engineering brick colour will be dry brushed on, with individual bricks picked out in green and brown, and finally the mortar runs applied.   A test piece is shown showing the stages that will be required to achieve the effect we want.  Prestleigh Viaduct was a very scruffy item close up!

Previously it has been stated in this blog that the widened side of Pecking Mill was on the south side which has even sized arches on brick piers.  Following perusal of OS maps from before and after the widening it is now clear that the viaduct was widened on the north side where the uneven arches are founded on stone piers.  This would explain the presence of what are now obviously the old abutments at the end of the blind arch, the north side being narrower than the south side, and the need to use uneven arch spacings on the north side to make up for the skew of the road crossing.  What threw us was use of brick for the original  piers and stone for the piers on the widened side.

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The card etches for the brickwork on Pecking Mill Viaduct have been drawn up ready for laser etching.  However much closer to the bleeding edge of home based technology;  the long girder bridge spans for the A371 crossing and short spans for the adjacent occupation bridge have both been drawn using QCad and OpenSCAD.   The longer A371 span is the featured image at the top of the page, and a capture of the 3D render for Allen’s bridge is shown above, with the base of the rear girder rebated to fit the plywood trackbed.  Both spans are heavily skewed, but in opposite directions.  These girders will be printed using stereolithography in a resin bath.  The print will include the distinctive walkway supports using details lifted from the surviving girder bridge at Radstock.  The walkway support without the upright is behind one of the brick piers due to the extreme skew.  The girders at Pecking Mill differ from the surviving bridge at Radstock in that they have a deeper girder, three handrails and a wider walkway.

Also taking shape at the Pecking Mill End is the farm occupation bridge known to a select few as ‘Allen’s Bridge’.  No laser cutting for this chap just a pull saw, plane and rasps.  There was very little splay on the wing walls to the south, but a much larger splay on the north side.

Tracklaying has started on Heyno Junction, with the right hand picture showing the laser etched mock up of the Heyno Junction trussed girder bridge installed for Open Day.  Our ambitious plan is to 3D print the truss frame and bracing to achieve the more open effect of the real thing.  An interesting challenge as we only have detailed drawings from the original build – and we will be modelling it after the 1961 rebuilding.  This raised the track to put it in a ballast trough, and required the original top bracing to be placed on uprights and otherwise modified to restore sufficient headroom.

HJ_IMG_0121Holly Junction has gained a splendid canal lock complete with narrow boat entering; this will lift what is now a canal into a marina complete with suspension bridge over.

KF_IMG_3770Amongst the privately owned layouts there is an update to Kingsferry where the station area is now – allegedly – complete.

In the near future will be a long overdue update on Verwood with some upgrades to the Black Motor, an actual model of the rail-built LSWR loading gauge and a 3D CAD design for the  distinctive yard crane, plus potentially an alternative column design for the upcoming Modelu LSWR platform lamp.


Of Viaducts and Other Things

Of Viaducts and Other Things

In the absence of our esteamed Chairman on his extended trip to the very edge of the British Isles, lots of progress has been made on Pecking Mill and Prestleigh Viaducts.  The Pecking Mill carcass that was designed in QCad has now been expensively laser cut.  On Wednesday the track bed was removed from the connecting board and taken up into the Mendip foothills to be have the viaduct built onto it.


This side is the original viaduct with the two smaller arches – rather nice.


This is the more regular side that was built on when the line was doubled and that the public will see.  Streams run through the left arch and the centre arch on the right, the road goes through the middle.  The real thing of course is only on a very slight curve at the Evercreech New end so adjustments to the piers have been made to place the whole on an even curve.


When the line was widened the original small arch was blocked to become a blind arch.  Also showing is the aluminium plate joining two sections of trackbed together that replaced a 9mm ply splicing plate – doh!


At the other end the two mismatched arches that resulted from the widening exercise.  Counter intuitively the original bridge was narrower than the extension.


Amazingly for a one off everything fitted!  The next step is to apply the parapet wall inner lining and the piers/buttresses on the outside ready for cladding in a right old mixture of stone and blue brick.

IMG_0862The cladding is well advanced on Prestleigh, although one mistake has crept in on the pier cladding, but nothing we can’t live with.  An attempt has been made to represent the red brick repairs that had been made to the north east face of the viaduct which will face the public on our model.  Both the blue and orange laser etched card will be toned down in due course.  This is actually the widened side (brick piers), but some poor quality stone.  In this context it is interesting to note that it was the ‘new’ side of Bath Road Viaduct that collapsed in 1946!


And the side (with the stone piers) that could be seen from the main road.  Experiments are now being made to work out how best to paint the card, plastic and MDF used to get the right effect including the heavy lime mortar staining.

IMG_0866In other news Holly Junction is gaining a canal.







Refurbishment of South Junction continues in readiness for Open Day.

Heyno Junction is having cork applied, the N gauge layout gets ever longer with ever more track being laid, and ballast is being beautifully applied to Jim’s 0 gauge plank.

March 2019

March 2019

EN_IMG_0840Sausages!  We are always amazed at the fund of (an adjective escapes us here) knowledge that the members of the Yeovil Model Railway Group have and can conjure up at a moments notice to enlighten the inexhaustible quest for  knowledge of the rest of the membership!


So what happened to the delicious Palethorpes?  In 1969 the company was bought by the Bibby Group who sold it on to Haverhill Meat Products which then became part of Northern Foods.  It was then passed on to an outfit called Vision Capital. The various owners stopped using the Palethorpes name in 1986.  The vans will be run with some horse boxes to add a little levity.

It appears to be the cork laying season in CS2.  Both Heyno Junction and the N gaugers (NGs) are at it.  Simon will be looking for volunteers to assist him with the corking of Heyno Junction.  It must be British Summer Time at last as the NGers have come out of hibernation from the workshop and set up two of their boards at the end of the main room!

And so to Evercreech New.  Prestleigh Viaduct continues to be clad and some gravity defying shots show the progress being made.   Pictures show use of laser etched card (blue) and MDF, also Slaters stone and brick sheets.

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With 13 weeks to Open Day we need to get the track laid on the new boards soonest so we can at least run trains, oh, as well as continuing with cladding and Pecking Mill arch generation.

Finally some of the terra-forming that’s been going on at the Pecking Mill end of the layout.  Those of the membership who know Douglas will see him at the back of the last two pictures.

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January 2019

January 2019

Despite the recent lack of updates there’s plenty going on in CS2 on our Wednesday afternoon and evening sessions.  This week we had a visit from two possible new members, Lance (4mm 00) and Dean (N Gauge).  Each were shown round and appeared to enjoy themselves.  Hopefully they will return.


Alan and Paul R were doing some remedial track work on their bit of N gauge layout in the warmth of the workshop.  They also put together a small test rig for a Peco point motor and switch.  It’s to check that the throw is adequate and that the switch works. The test was a success.



Ratcliffe Street had its high level track removed. Nigel has decided that a redeveloped high level will give better access for loco shuffling off stage.

Peter continues to fix the foundations of some of the buildings on South Junction as well as continuing to seal up the bottom of the side wall in CS2. John S brought along some of his recently acquired EM gauge locos for test running on South Junction. Roy appeared to enjoy running them.

hj_img_9716Heyno Junction (HeJ) boards continue to be produced.  Just one more board and HeJ will have a continuous circuit. Soon be cork laying time!






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Much progress has been made with Evercreech New’s Prestleigh viaduct. Pictures  show the build up of the piers, with good use of the library’s facilities, and in position, culminating in the sides being screwed to the trackbed, and the inner parapet glued in held in place by just a handful of clips. Featured image today is our first attempt at a ‘map’ of what goes where on the cladding of the scruffier side of the viaduct facing you the punters – much of which will be laser etched.


At the other end, Pecking Mill, a flat area was made for the bridge to be built on. What is required is a photo excursion to the remains of Pecking Mill to take pictures for the model to be made.

With the Yeovil Model Show looming in March, we need to check out Gas Works well before then, so, volunteers for that job please so we can make start this week.


17th October 2018

17th October 2018

We had two visitors at CS2 last week, a friend of John M’s – and a visitor called John.  John the visitor has just bought an EM gauge layout, came across to see what we are about and gave us a hand in furniture rearrangement.  Good man.  The re-arrangements included moving the shelving and wood at the end of CS2. Once that was done half of Heyno Junction (HeJ) was moved to give an extra bit of space for the as yet unmade boards to fit into.  Other re-arrangements were made at the library end where some of the library cupboards were moved to the side of CS2 so that a re-invogorated Gas Works (GW) can occupy the vacated space.

Before GW is erected a bit of fettling is needed.  To start with GW is going to get dowel locators between the base boards after 24 years of existence; you can’t rush these sort of things.  Extra strengthening was applied to GW to take the dowels.  The dowels were reclaimed from a previous layout.   The building by the foundry on the smallest baseboard was removed to make the fan work again. GW_IMG_9635

It appears that a drive band had broken – this we believe should be an easy fix.

The N gaugers continue to make progress on Mondays in the workshop.  Be tactful and don’t mention the dropped base board!

Further work on EN in the last few weeks saw the completion of the joining of the two smaller boards by the addition of side panels.  When the water cut track-beds were tried in position it was felt that a slight realignment of the track would enhance the appearance of EN.  We will see what is needed to achieve that end.  The structures on EN were commissioned from Allan Downes and the goods shed has been receiving some much needed TLC from a highly qualified professional away from CS2.


On South Junction trains were running.  A Drummond Black Motor was hauling an excursion that included one of the lovely Hornby ex-LSWR non-corridor coaches as rebuilt by the Southern Railway on longer (and wider) Maunsell underframes (see top).  This loco probably started life as an etched brass Jidenco kit that has had a new Perseverance EM gauge chassis fitted to loco and tender together with a more robust chimney – more details here.   Also taking its first ever turn under its own power was a Rebuilt River U Class (sans tender). This engine is a long running project and work in progress; originating as a DJH kit with an etched SE-Finecast chassis with a wholly scratchbuilt nickel silver running plate and cab.

There are six private layouts in CS2 and to inaugurate the new modelling season a quick review of them follows for those not familiar with them.

Halsdon Road (HR) – Owned by Gary.  This is a modern image 7mm O gauge layout that is under modification at the moment. It has analogue control. Gary will be a more regular attendee after he retires at the end of October. Gary occasionally needs assistance with HR, please offer it to him when appropriate.

Holly Junction (HoJ) – This is a 4mm OO gauge layout with DCC control that has been extended and has developed quickly over the past year.  Julian can be seen fettling away below.HoJ_IMG_9631

Yeovil Town (YT) – As YT has its own website we will not duplicate information here. Use the link www.ymrg.co.uk to get information on YT.   Please note that the “ymrg” referred to in the link refers to ‘Yeovil Model Railway Gazette’.

Hobson’s Choice Brewery – Owner Bob A.  This 7mm O gauge layout has only recently taken residence in CS2.  As Bob is unable to model now, a few members are assisting in its construction under his watchful eye.


St Martin’s Wharf – Another 7mm O gauge layout with analogue control. This layout was previously owned and made by Bob A.   Tim has taken it on and is actively getting invites to exhibitions with it.  This layout is appearing at Uckfield this weekend.

Hornby-Dublo 3 Rail – Finally lurking at the end of CS2 is our chairman’s 6′ x 4′ Hornby-Dublo 3 rail layout.  He’s had it since his Dad made this relic for him in 1955.  It still works and only needs 2 wires from each controller to run trains.  Bit like DCC operation*! 😉

*Note:  this may well be one of our Chairman’s stranger fancies, though there is some evidence for us to believe it’s not alone.

Lastly, at very short notice we’ve been asked to fill in at Taunton Rail-Ex on the weekend of the 27/28th October.  This will be a chance to see both Gas Works and St Martin’s Wharf at an excellent local show at a lovely venue with excellent catering.  I’m informed that YMRG members clothed in our dashing corporate wear will have free access to the show, but not the food.  😦



12th September 2018

12th September 2018

We achieved a lot this week.  The week started with the sky and lights being removed from The Summit (TS) ready for the Weds session. Today the front scenic part of TS was removed and stored in stillages.  Two of the new base boards for Evercreech New (EN) were then brought down from their construction site and joined to the left hand end of TS’s fiddle yard.  Five boards of EN were then joined to the new boards before the other new boards were inserted to complete the circuit.  The featured image shows the end result.  We’ve already joined the two smaller new boards to make one and now need strengthening with deeper sides.  Once that is done work can recommence baseboard construction on Heyno Junction while EN’s track bed is being sorted.

SJ_IMG_9574Gary’s layout Haldon Road was moved to somewhere much drier than before.  The Junior layouts and Ratcliffe Street moved into the space vacated leaving a gap where the water comes in.  Haldon Road can be glimpsed in its new position next to South Junction which is being re-erected after a successful visit to SedgeRail 2018.


Next up is the tender chassis for Bob A’s 0 Gauge GT3 loco. Yes, it’s made out of laser cut MDF.  It’s a trial for the process to see if it works. The loco chassis is next so watch this space.


Gas Works will be at the WSR Autumn Gala on 28-30th September, so please come along to Bishops Lydeard and say hello.

Thanks to everybody in CS2 on Weds for helping with the moves.  A true club atmosphere – long may it continue.  There’s lots still to do in CS2 and the modelling season is upon us so don’t be shy in coming forward to get stuck in.

15th August 2018

15th August 2018

This is the first update in a while, not because nothing has been happening, but because no great leaps forward were made on any Wednesday in the last few months, just steady progress – perhaps because it was just too hot!   Well, we did get some stuff done on Wednesday and reached that critical tipping point where a website update was needed.

SJ_IMG_9529We will be at Sedgerail 2018 at Burnham-on-Sea with South Junction (SJ) in just over a week.  The lighting rig for SJ was therefore removed ready for packing the rest of SJ and stock into its stillages this coming Wednesday.  Picture shows the removed lighting rig.






On the subject of lighting, GasWorks (GW) has had its lights changed.  The incandescent lights and controls have been retired after at least 20 years of use and extreme heat generation not least in the main plug.

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The new lights are programmable LEDs.  The first slide shows the installation of the LEDs onto the original lighting rig.  Once attached and connected up, Tim used his phone and showed some of the colours available – as seen in the next three slides.  It seems that the green hue will be used when we simulate the aurora borealis.  The final two slides show the effect of the red and blue hues with the super cool new lighting rig fitted on the layout.   We just need to program several set colours into phone control to set various scenes on GW during exhibitions.  We could even program in lightning effects which would also work well on The Summit – perhaps to be followed by rain effects?


The new Pecking Mill end baseboards of Evercreech New (EN) were joined up to enable dowels to be positioned.  Discussions also took place as to transporting of the two large new baseboards – a caravan chassis was mooted.  Hopefully the track-beds will be cut and ready for installation next Wednesday – but South Junction takes priority.  We will need to take the front of The Summit (TS) down early in September to get EN attached to TS’s fiddle yard.   Once that is done work on Heyno Junction can start again.

So lots of assistance needed in the next 2 weeks and lots of jobs to do!  Please don’t be shy in coming forward to help.

24th April 2018

24th April 2018

It looked a bit like quite a bit got done while our Chairman was on vacation in the Silly Isles, and now he thinks he should stay away for longer periods.  As if…  🙂


Anyway, Gary’s layout, Halsdon Road, has its extension now with track laying planned for next Wednesday.







Holly Junction has been joined up and scenery is progressing




Evercreech New (EN) has its two new 4′ boards ready to join to the new curved boards.  Some of the curved board track bed has been cut by water jet. Very clean cuts from large sheets and no ragged edges.  We’ll use these cut pieces as templates for cutting the bases under the viaduct and bridge.

EN needs to be moved very slightly to enable the Pecking Mill boards to be joined to EN and the ‘The Summit’ fiddle yard.  All hands to help do that please when asked.



We had a full committee meeting this week. I’m sure the minutes will circulated soon. But here is a short heads up of what was discussed.  General tidying and cleaning will start on Weds.  Hoovers will be looked at to ensure they are serviceable i.e. they have “not full” bags in them.  It’s best to hoover up the dust etc rather than use a brush that only spreads the dust over the layouts. The brambles need to be moved from the side of CS2.   As members may have read in an email, grouting of the floor level concrete blocks has had an effect.  The flood has not re-appeared – result!