Category Archives: Operations

Bulldog on a Stopper


Bulldog 4-4-0 3399 ‘Ottawa’ entering the station with a stopping train consisting of a GWR B-Set, Fruit Van and ex-LNWR Brake/1st/3rd (through coach Liverpool-Southampton). Engine could do with a dusting (or I could eradicate the woodworm in the garage roof).

Loco Excess


Unrealistically large number of locomotives in Wychminster station, as seen by a passing pigeon. The line is obviously not worked on the one engine-in-steam principle.

City at Work


3714 ‘City of Gloucester’ heads out of Wychminster on a train of GWR Brown stock.

Freight Arrival


2357 arrives in the goods loop with a pick-up freight train. The use of Dingham Autocouplers on the engine condemns it to running tender-first on turns to Wychminster although, if I turned it round, and also turned all the wagons fitted with these couplings as well, it could run the other way – it’s a matter of choice and I prefer to see it heading out of the station as nature intended rather than in to.

The area of the engine shed still needs work in softening off the edges around the buildings and the watermarks on the ground. However even with my long arms, it’s a stretch to work on and it’s being avoided.

Mixed Train

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843 heads up a mixed train on the main platform while Shunter George awaits some action in the goods yard. The nearest wagon is fitted with a Dingham Autocoupler, still in need of a brush over with blacking fluid –  a simple enough job that invariably gets forgotten.

My next project is to motorise the three-way splitting signal at the station entrance, the inner homes. After that the electrics are more-or-less complete but only more-or-less reliable. Mysterious bouts of shorting in the lever frame are still unresolved.


Cattle Train


843 arrives in the goods loop with a train of cattle empties.



Double-heading was not a GWR tradition, they left that to companies with small engine policies like the Midland. Also two locos for a four coach train seems a bit extravagant unless it was to avoid providing a second path for a light engine movement which would be useful on a line with extensive single-track sections.

Anyway I don’t need an excuse to run 1334 and 3714 together so I have.


4365 also featured in this session and the photo shows once again that I should have painted the garage walls before starting the layout.


Lastly a lower angle view which shows off the scratchbuilt MSWJR 2-4-0 to advantage.

Coaling Stage

shed coal

I can’t get away from the engine shed area at the moment! Anyway a Dean Goods has backed a supply of loco coal down next to the coaling stage. Judging by the size of some of the lumps in the wagon, it will take more than that puny crane to shift them.

Heavyweight made heavier

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7810 Draycott Manor enters Wychminster with a Southampton – Birmingham (Snow Hill) train.

As supplied this engine did not have the strength to pull the skin off a rice pudding (I didn’t actually test that as it would have messed up the track bed – it’s just the impression I got). It certainly couldn’t pull the four coaches it’s shown with but did make a good job of polishing the track. Thankfully the model has an opening smokebox door so I was able to cram it full with strips of roofing lead (bought from a local builders merchants – no nearby churches suffered). Pulls quite well now but prone to slippage if the power is applied too quickly, something I don’t think Great Western engines ever did in reality unlike some of their less well-engineered cousins.

Parcel/Milk Train Arriving


3714, ‘City of Gloucester’ runs into Wychminster with a mixed parcels and milk empties train (and some bananas). 4510 and 2743 on shed.