Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introducing our new locomotive

Our first new locomotive is Zillertalbahn D16. A diesel-hydraulic locomotive which apparently carries an advert for a bird of prey attraction. D16, which is a Liliput model, looks absolutely superb and runs great on the phase 1 loop and will get plenty of running in as i plan the permanent layout phase 2.

Already this experimental phase has proved useful, my loop is built with PECO Setrack, the curves being radius 2. The train runs around them OK but it is a bit marginal for the HO size stock (the edges of carriages rub against each other for example) so i will likely go for radius 3 on the permanent layout.

We're up and running!

Phase one of Project Eskalon is officially up and running with the arrival of my first batch of stock and track!

Monday, January 28, 2013

More old photos

The drawback about the pre-digital camera and cameraphone past is that often many things were not recorded and so now you have to rely on fading memories. Of course being able to record everything now is not always a good thing! Here are a few more photos of my old OO gauge layouts anyway. The first two are of the final phase in the garage when the board had been extended and i had my first go at end-to-end layouts.
The strange shape of the photo is because half the photo is black due to a fault with the camera flash, not because of any censoring! Here we can see two of my old locos a class 47 and a class 86 in the shed.
Looking in the other direction we see the goods shed and a class 08 in War Department colours!
Photos of my later layouts in my bedroom are even rarer (and no photos exist of my brief N gauge experiment). Here we can see my class 25, 73 and an American loco. I still have all of this stuff though whether they all work after being in boxes for nearly 20 years is another question.

Doing some research

One potential drawback of my chosen prototype is that i have never travelled or even seen the railway in Austria. However thats fairly common surely especially for modellers who take a railway of yesteryear as their prototype. The need to research and explore actually may be a benefit and not a drawback.

Today i bought a book on Austrian Narrow Gauge, it covers the line i will be doing though its coverage of modern operations is only slight. However it will be useful in helping me get a feel for the scene and the atmosphere. Maybe one day i will visit the real thing and see just how wrong/right i am!

Phase One of Project Eskalon is now in progress with an order for my stock and track made. Hopefully soon i can get some trains running!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The old railway in the garage

My first model railway was a great train set bought for me one Christmas as a boy. It was a Hornby Royal Mail set with working mail despatch system and a Class 37 hauled train of coaches. This formed the basis of my first permanent railway set in my parents' garage. You can see a couple of photographs below. It was not up to much and the garage was not a good site for the layout being rather draughty and slowly rotting away. I did keep a layout here into my teens. I must see if i can find a few more photos.

Project Eskalon, what is it?

This is a blog about my return to railway modelling and is called Project Eskalon. But what is it? Well Eskalon is the project name for my new layout. Why Eskalon? No idea, the name just popped into my head and it stuck. When my new layout is built Eskalon will be the name of the station, now the layout will be based in Austria and Eskalon doesn't sound terribly Germanic but its a better name than trying to make up a name. It will be my layout anyway and i can call it whatever i like!

As the project is now moving forward i have created a dedicated blog for it, some earlier posts on my personal blog have been moved here to provide some background. So then what exactly is the project...

For years i had model railways (usually OO scale but with one N scale attempt) but in my early 20s i stopped due to space reasons mostly but i kept all of my stock, track and buildings in boxes ready for a relaunch one day. When i had my own house i finally though i had the space for a new layout but it still took me 10 years to get around to it! The catalyst for returning to railway modelling is probably my return to Airfix models a couple of years ago, this got me back into the world of glue and tiny paintbrushes. In fact some of my models i made last year make up a small train (in OO scale).

I have decided upon a HOe scale layout based on the Austrian Zillertalbahn. Phase 1 of Project Eskalon will be to buy a train, a loop of track and a power controller so i can get used to operation again and also test out some layout ideas. This hopefully can begin next month. Following on from this will be phase 2 which will be a proper layout on a dedicated board and a more interesting layout.

This blog also will include my Airfix modelling where the subject is railway focussed such as the train i built last year.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

HOe the way?

After planning my future return to model railways i did at least explore the possibility of an OO scale layout as in the past i have found N scale too fiddly (i am not blessed with dexterity or small fingers) however in the space available an OO scale layout is not really feasible unless i settle on an end-to-end layout and to be honest i've found them a bit dull to operate in the past.

But then reading Continental Modeller i had a revelation, why not narrow gauge? In particular HOe which uses HO stock (which is only a little bit smaller than OO) but with N gauge track! Is this the best of both worlds? Maybe. It does mean having a continental based layout though and i am thinking on one based on the Austrian Zillertalbahn but thats fine as a continental layout has always been an ambition of mine. Liliput make some lovely stock such as D13.

More research is needed but i think we might just have found the winning formula.