A Grand Day Out!

Tottington Hall Estate Railway was well received at its very first show appearance at  Ilton.    Peter (mostly) and DaveS, with Harry later on, operated and answered questions posed by the crowds at the 009 Society (SWOONS Group) Open Day. Thanks to other members who turned up to support, it was appreciated.  We may even get a possible new member from the show.

Just before the public were admitted. TH_IMG_9237

An ace operator operating.TH_IMG_9238
















This was a well attended event:  Just some of the crowds that were there.TH_IMG_9239

We’ll have a pictorial feature on the completed (for the moment) THER in the next few weeks – now there’s a threat!

27th December 2017

We hope that you all had a good Xmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

Saturday brings us the West Camel Winter Show at the The Davis Hall, Howell Hill, West Camel, Yeovil, BA22 7QX starting at 10am. We will have Gas Works there so please come and support (and operate and chat and say how wonderful we are).

Yesterday a very select subset of the membership met at CS2.  Work continued on Yeovil Town (YT) with Paul H, Olivia and Nikki working away on the telephone exchange to work YT. Looking forward to the demo on that. Paul also installed a roof bucket to catch drips.  Richard was installing a worktop in HoJ.

Young Peter continued to get Tottington Hall Estate Railway  ready for its debut on the 13th January at Ilton for more detail see here.  Dick got his diesel going properly and ran his newly acquired milk tanker on The Summit.  The N gauge chaps cleaned the component parts of their legs, made a jig for welding them together and will hopefully have a complete set ready for next Weds. They thought that having them chrome plated would be a good finish for the legs. A bit flashy eh.


Simon and DaveS continued with EN baseboards. The picture shows the extended outer gussets which will provide support for the curved face and cross members. The latter will now no longer need bracing.  Lightening holes will be cut when the outer face is attached.  Weight however is not a problem as the board will never need manual lifting as it will be on castoring wheels.  For reference there are two boards this size both 12′ 8″ long (corner to corner) and 4′ 2″ wide – that’s if everything has gone to plan!  The board in the photo has room for scenery plus Pecking Mill Viaduct, the other board is identical apart from having a different drop on the end boards to allow a full length and height representation of Prestleigh Viaduct.

A Healthy, Happy and Productive New Year to you all, and hopefully we’ll meet at least some of our followers at the shows we will be attending over the next year in West Camel, Ilton, St Neots, Aylesbury or even in CS2 on Open day!

13th December 2017

In three weeks time the West Camel exhibition will be over and Gas Works back in CS2. But first we need to get Gas Works there and we need four operators. Saturday 30th December is the date and we’re assuming 10am – 4pm.  Charlie Bishop, the organiser will be in touch soon.  We need transport and volunteers to load/unload/operate.  Please don’t be shy in coming forward, it’s good to support our near neighbours.

KF_IMG_2540 AllanH has sent us some pictures of his 00 gauge layout ‘Kingsferry’ which uses the GWR terminus of Kingsbridge for inspiration.  The layout is quite simply already stunning and further progress has been made since the photos were taken, including adding the goods shed.  The stock is an interesting and carefully selected mix, some of it kit-built from eBay with mostly ready-to-run locos.   More pictures and information on this cracking layout can be found here.


Progress continues to made on the very large baseboards that will join Evercreech New to the fiddle yard built for The Summit.  The boards are the size of a car and there has been speculation that these are the largest portable baseboard sections in the UK, but we have been assured that they are not!  The plan is to pivot the boards vertical and move them on wheels.  Loading into the lorry will be via a ramp constructed from scaffolding boards.  Tickets will be made available to interested spectators nearer the time and counselling will be provided to the combatants willing or otherwise.  The picture shows the board for the Pecking Mill Viaduct end; the Prestleigh Viaduct end being similarly advanced.

HJ_IMG_9221A couple of weeks ago Holly Junction was rent asunder with the aid of a small and largely volunteer army.  Considerable progress has since been made in bridging the resulting gaps.  Allegedly it was mooted that the fiddle yard should be a lifting section for ease of access until the full implications of this proposal dawned on the potential victims.  The plan now is that a trolley should be provided to speed entry and exit from the heaving centre of operations.

In other news, board construction for the N gauge layout races ahead and in fact will shortly be gaining legs.  The automation of Yeovil Town continues with a much-anticipated demonstration planned for early in 2018.  Trains continue to be run on The Summit which was featured in the Christmas edition of Hornby Magazine, but sadly not on the included DVD.   South Junction has been re-assembled and is operational after its third trip to Taunton, with replacement of the two remaining original scratchbuilt slow action point motors in hand with Fulgarex units.


25th October 2017

South Junction at Taunton Rail-Ex in its very own padded cell!

IMG_9194With a huge amount of much appreciated support from members, South Junction had an enjoyable visit to Taunton.  We were made most welcome by the host club, Taunton School being an excellent venue, and the catering was superb.  It was pleasing to hear that numbers were up on last year.   The customary wide variety of trains were run on South Junction with things only occasionally getting out of hand.  The new warm white LED lighting appeared very yellow in the hall and we may revisit the mix of light strips used.  After this rare and exciting outing South Junction was partially re-assembled in a slightly different position in CS2.  To enable this to happen Yeovil Town was moved towards The Summit.



Yeovil Town is now assembled after some of the  layout boards were taken away for work and PaulH will now be spending much of his time in CS2 to get this fully automated layout working.

IMG_9196The new extension boards for Holly Junction have appeared and are residing inside the layout.




The new Evercreech New baseboards continue to progress.  Two diagonals have been installed and trimmed to size.  Note that we are going to put two further diagonals in place (one is behind the glue tube) to help stiffen up the structure.  A method of transportation was also discussed.  This involves being able to rotate the board onto its edge to save space in the van.  More on this when the idea develops.


18th October 2017

Lots of people around with the car park very full.    On The Summit normal service was restored last week with kettles dominating, although JohnM’s Turbomotive seemed to have running issues.

Heyno Junction: another board was completed and attached, they are starting to become bespoke now so taking a little longer to make but the end is in sight.

IMG_9192This week the first of the very large boards connecting Evercreech New to The Summit fiddle yard was started – and as it’s roughly the size of a car it will need its own parking space!   One of these boards is destined to carry our take on the  eleven arch Prestleigh Viaduct.


Hamish was experiencing the ‘fun’ of freehand ballasting with N gauge Ballast, join the club!   The N gauge dept put together two more boards, this is going to be a long layout for tiny wheels!

Last week SJ was getting a final dust down and gremlins rectified.  The tower damaged in the previous weeks storm has been repaired.  A need for spare hand held controllers was identified and two have been kindly donated by Jim and converted from 4 pin DIN to 5 pin DIN.  Oddly GasWorks is 6 pin DIN so we couldn’t borrow those two controllers until we standardise on 6 pin DINs for South Junction.


Last week SteveS test ran his Kernow/Bachmann 4TC, probably the first in EM gauge.

Initially with a fake green Class 33/0 and ‘virtual’ jumper leads and then this week with a bagpipe fitted and heavily weighted (but still very slippery) Lima Class 73 on its long awaited 13mm Ultrascale nickel silver wheels.

So are those underframes brown under all that grime?

The backscene at the town end has gained a stormy hue, and was test fitted before the weathered 4TC was photographed and the layout fully dismantled and packed away ready for a busy and exciting weekend at Taunton Rail-ex – all help gratefully received.  Don’t forget your corporate clothing and Yeovil MRG membership card to gain entry.

All packed up and ready to roll!

The minutes of the last committee meeting have been signed off and are available to read in the foyer. Also posted are two Exhibition availability sheets. So if you wish to be involved with taking/operating layouts at exhibitions but have been too shy to ask, please sign up, we can never have too many volunteers! A proper notice board has been ordered.

4th October 2017

Lots going on again in CS2, and another new member!

South Junction was systematically taken down and packed away in stillages and boxes and then re-erected as a test for its rapidly approaching visit to Taunton Rail-Ex.   Just before 10pm a tank engine made its way cautiously round the layout.  Track joints require adjustment, one of the many point motors needs attention, and one of the controllers is playing up.   Thanks to the many members who turned up to help!

SJ_2017-09-20_22-15-52_62In preparation for the exhibition South Junction has gained a signal box for the Canal Junction that has been long planned but only recently executed and  in considerable style.  Here it is in the process of being planted in South Junction’s otherwise verdant landscaping.




SJ_2017-09-20_22-16-45_713The wood yard on South Junction has also recently gained facilities that CS2 sadly lacks.  Not an army, but staff loos based on those at Yandles.  Previously the workers would have walked to the other end of the layout where the garage is fully equipped!



TS_HST_IMG_0536Last week Hornby Magazine turned up for a photo shoot on The Summit.  However timing is everything and this week they missed an HST powered from both ends and with lights.  A sight so captivating for some that work nearly stopped on South Junction for a while.   Working well in both directions it was even hand signalled over the crossover in front of the signal box.  On the inner loop it turns out that there is not quite enough clearance for modern 70′ coaches resulting in the occasional derailment.
The N Gauge group have got stuck into base board construction so now have four boards ready for finishing..  On Holly Junction scenic work continues to progress, and space has been found for the layout to be extended to add further scenery and to grow the fiddle yard.

A delivery of plywood was received just before the timely arrival of the ice cream van.  Baseboard construction continued on Heyno Junction and significantly strips of plywood were cut ready to start the build for the new boards that will join Evercreech New to The Summit fiddle yard.


6th September 2017

Gas Works had a successful visit to Sedgerail 2017 at Burnham where we had an enjoyable time.  The author particularly liked the layout of Midford shown by the Shepton Model Railway Society – a really good example of a railway flowing through plenty of nicely detailed countryside.

Lots going on in the clubroom as always each Wednesday.  The permanent way train for The Summit has been enhanced with an extra four wagons collected from Telford – these are (I’m told) the empty catfish and dogfish in the picture.

TT PW Train

Construction of Ayno Junction continues, and the CAD drawings for Prestleigh Viaduct are well advanced.   South Junction is being made ready for its trip to Taunton with the new lightweight LED lighting now installed and working complete with a section of ‘cloud cover’.   It’s a while since the layout has been out so the next task is to take the layout down, load it into the stillages, and to re-assemble it in the clubroom.

SJ ExpoEM 1982 (1)

The layout’s very first public appearance was at Expo EM SouthWest at Taunton in 1982.  It’s in an unfinished state apparently to encourage the viewer, and it’s perhaps interesting to reflect that we’ve only just got round to making some of the signals work!

SJ ExpoEM 1982 (2)

Also captured at the exhibition was a very modern image train crossing the unfinished viaduct being very closely watched, by what I think we can assume is an admirer!

Open Day – 15th July 2017

YMRG Open Day 2017 001aYMRG had another very successful Open Day with increased takings largely due to the well supported raffle.   The refreshments were excellent, and we had sixteen layouts in operation.  Our members and the many visitors appeared to have an enjoyable time with many favourable comments received.

YMRG Open Day 2017 012a





This is supposed to be a fun and constructive hobby and hopefully the group were again able to demonstrate just how much construction (and fun) there is to be had!




YMRG Open Day 2017 011a

An example of the correct application of rule #1 on the The Summit.

IMG_8285For anyone interested in the full length Lima HST seen on South Junction,  details of the various upgrades carried out so far (and planned) can be found here.

Only Three Weeks to Open Day!

Preparations for Open Day on July 15th are now well advanced with a huge tidy up under way throughout the building.  On a very hot Wednesday afternoon we managed to move Heyno Junction into position at the end of CS2, shuffle Gas Works round a bit so that operators can get round the back and removed some carpets from corridors (potential trip hazards) all helped by essential purchases from the ice cream man when he arrived.

The new LED lights continue to be put together on South Junction to the point where the fiddle yard was lit for the first time with the new lights revealing that the LED strips used are not as bright as those used on The Summit and may need a rethink.   The junior layout continues to progress, a section of Yeovil Town made a welcome return and personalised mugs appeared on Holly Junction complete with Holly Junction totem.

Thanks to the generosity of members and friends we have the following prizes for the raffle:

– Oxford Models Adam Radial in BR livery
– Sunday lunch for 2 at the Mason’s Arms in Lower Odcombe
– DCC Train Automation loco decoder
– DCC Concepts ADS-2fx solenoid decoder
– Paull’s of Martock £10 voucher
– A bottle of Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port
– Eddie Stobart Special Edition Lorry model
– Box of chocolates
– Bottle of white wine

Any other prizes will be most welcome.

With only 3 weeks to go to Open Day, we will need to crack on with the tidy up of the first half of CS2.  We are nearly there now and look forward to a good turnout of members on the day.

April and May Update

Halsdon Road from The Summit

It’s been a while since the last update, but much progress is being made in the run up to our Open Day in July.   First of all the long awaited re-organisation is in progress with Halsdon Road, Evercreech New and The Summit all re-located.   The drawings for the new baseboard to join Evercreech New to the The Summit fiddle yards are complete with baseboard construction planned to start after our Open Day in July.


DS_May17_002At a recent ‘official’ club visit to the ever helpful James at DCC Trains Automation a Z21 control unit was selected and subsequently tested successfully on our newly adopted 00 gauge Diesel Maintenance Depot layout.  This layout will be wired for DCC as a test bed for Evercreech New and this control unit will also be used to control Evercreech New.

YMRG May 2017 011

Holly Junction continues to progress with progress on all fronts and a dazzling display of lighting all individually switched, although clearly not on this occasion.

With a number of new and existing members having N gauge interests, a meeting of like minds is planning a 20′ by 10′ N gauge layout.  As one of these members is involved in planning the re-organisation of the club room, finding space should not be a problem!



YMRG May 2017 009Construction of Heyno Junction baseboards continues apace despite moving onto the well charted but weird and wonderful shaped boards that will complete the circuit at each ends.




SJ tree 20170508_114614_resizedThe selective re-inforcement of the South Junction MDF fiddle yard boards is now complete with trains moving much more smoothly again.  Attention is turning to the revised lighting arrangements, the stillages for transport and a crash barrier for errant HSTs next to the scrap yard.  A backscene is being added to improve presentation and some state of the art trees are in preparation for this venerable EM gauge layout.





YMRG May 2017 001

Following on from the last blog our two Railway Modeller cups posed on The Summit, the larger for 2017 and The Summit. The smaller the 1997 one for Gas Works.



YMRG May 2017 008


Sadly this little fella also seen on the The Summit probably isn’t in contention for any award.   Whilst this could be seen as an innovative solution to the expense of 0 gauge locos; is it really right to deprive the family hound of a much loved plaything?