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Bury St. Edmunds Model Railway Club

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Issue Six - Wednesday 10th June 2020
Welcome to Issue 6 of this esteemed publication.

And so another fortnight has sped past and yes, I'm sat in the kitchen once more putting this edition together.
Apart from doing this, I've been doing more bits and pieces with Fusion 360, the CAD package I use for producing things on my 3D printer. More of this later . . .

Thank you to all those who've contributed. It is very much appreciated.


Early Days - Tony Croft

Early Days

While I was born on Anglesey during the latter part of WWII, I was raised in Kent. In 1947 my parents moved to a village just outside Canterbury where they had bought a milk delivery business. It was a horse and cart to start with!

Somewhere along the way in those formative years I had a fascination for things that flew and can remember seeing planes like the American Lockheed P38 Lightning flying over the village and seeing the Bristol Freighter flying out of Manston as they transported cars to the continent. I cannot remember whether I saw RAF fighter planes (Spitfire, Hurricane etc), but they must have been about when you consider the airfields in Kent.

It was during the 1950’s that I regularly saw the Golden Arrow train head towards Canterbury. Three pm on a Saturday was the time as my Dad & I finished our last round of the day leaving Chartham Hatch. Canterbury was odd in that it had two Railway Stations – Canterbury East and Canterbury West. One line came from Faversham (which was 3 rail electrified), the other through Ashford.

I joined the Air Training Corp when I was old enough and through them had my first experience of flying at RAF Dishforth in Yorkshire during a Summer camp. Dishforth had Chipmunks and Provosts (Chipmunks were tandem seating and the much bigger Provosts were side by side). Unfortunately for me, the pilot of the Chipmunk I ended up in wanted to practice his aerobatic skills and so when we landed I staggered from the aircraft clutching my brown paper bag containing my stomach contents!

My schooling at the local Village school did not provide me with an opportunity to take any educational exams, but knowing I would need a certain level of maths to get into the RAF I asked my maths teacher to give me extra tuition to give me the necessary level. There were in fact a few of us who took this extra class, but unfortunately the poor man died before we completed the course!

I went to RAF Halton to sit the Apprentice scheme entrance exam and with no effort at all, managed to fail that.

I cannot remember whether they offered me a Boy Entrant place from that or whether I sat another Exam, but in late May 1960 my parents put me on the Train at Canterbury for me to travel to St Athan, near Barry, Glamorgan. I was 15 ½ and it was quite an adventure for me to travel that far. Again, memory fails me as I cannot remember whether I was met in London and then escorted to the train (from Victoria to Paddington via the underground was a challenge).
In those days, the trains running to South Wales had to take on water from the troughs in the centre of the tracks – I think the troughs in this case were before we entered the tunnel to go under the River Severn.

At Bridgend those of us heading for RAF St Athan. Again, the memory cells are not connecting, but I think that journey from Bridgend to the camp at St Athan was by lorry.

St Athan was a very large with the Training Camp at one end – with its own Guardroom and facilities. The Maintenance Unit was at the other end of the camp with its own Guardroom etc. I don’t think I ever went to the MU side of the camp.

The first 3 months at RAF St Athan was Basic Training – all Marching and Bull!

But there was a surprise in store for me. Unbeknown to me or my parents, my youngest sister had contracted Chicken Pox before I left and had infected me. So at two weeks into my basic training I erupted in spots and was promptly isolated in RAF St Athan hospital for two weeks covered in cream to stop me from itching!

Then I was sent home for two weeks to recover. That introduced me to the South Wales Pullman train – which cost me £10 over the top of my travel warrant to Paddington. That is my one and only time on a Pullman Train!

(More to follow at a later date).

‘Lockdown Meltdown Quiz’ (May 2020) - Richard Llewellyn

1. The annual Warley National Model Railway Exhibition is held at which venue?
(a) Alexandra Palace
(b) NEC
(c) Peterborough Show Ground (d) O2 Arena

2. The editor of ‘Model Railway’ magazine is:
(a) Steve Flint
(b) Phil Parker
(c) Richard Foster
(d) Mike Wild

3. What is the name given to a North American railroad car placed at the end of a train which was used to provide shelter for the crew who were formerly employed for switching and shunting duties?
(a) Caboose
(b) Carbox
(c) Carabou
(d) Canoe

4. From the stories of ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’ by Rev. W. Awdry, what colour was Percy?
(a) Blue
(b) Red
(c) Yellow
(d) Green

5. The first of the Richard Beeching reports from the early 1960’s identified the number of miles of railway line scheduled for closure; this was given as:
(a) 5,000 miles
(b) 10,000 miles
(c) 15,000 miles
(d) 20,000 miles

6. What is the Whyte Notation for a steam locomotive wheel configuration described by the name ‘Atlantic’?
(a) 4-6-2
(b) 2-6-0
(c) 4-4-2
(d) 2-6-2

7. OO-gauge model railways were launched by ‘Bing’ in which year?
(a) 1921
(b) 1931
(c) 1941
(d) 1951

8. In 2015 the world speed record for a train was set by the Japanese Shinkansen or Bullet train. What was the record breaking speed?
(a) 300mph
(b) 325mph
(c) 350mph
(d) 375mph

9. In which country do mineral ‘ore’ trains, travelling down the coast, generate five times the amount of energy they require for traction, which is sufficient to power nearby towns as well as the return trip for other trains?
(a) Japan
(b) Canada
(c) Argentina
(d) Sweden

10. In which country can the longest direct train route be found, spanning some 5778 miles?
(a) North America
(b) Russia
(c) China
(d) Canada

11. The Bury St. Edmunds and Thetford Railway opened in March 1876. On leaving Bury, the first station stop was:
(a) Ingham
(b) Barnham
(c) Seven Hills Halt
(d) Culford

12. The luxury ‘Golden Arrow’ Train was introduced by which company:
(a) London North Eastern Railway
(b) London Midland Scotland Railway (c) Southern Railway
(d) Great Western Railway

13. Who narrated the televised stories of ‘Ivor the Engine’ from 1959 to 1977?
(a) Brian Cant
(b) Oliver Postgate
(c) Johnny Morris
(d) Philip Madoc

14. In 1965 operation ’Hope Not’ was the code name given to the funeral plans for Winston Churchill, part of which was a train journey carrying his coffin from Waterloo to Handborough. What was the name of the locomotive used to pull the train?
(a) Winston Churchill
(b) Lord Beaverbrook
(c) Princess Elizabeth
(d) Biggin Hill

15. The first underground railway station was built in 1863, but in which city?
(a) London
(b) New York
(c) Rome
(d) Paris

16. The original Orient Express ran between Paris and which other city?
(a) Vienna
(b) Budapest
(c) Prague
(d) Istanbul

17. In the 1995 James Bond film ‘Golden Eye’, which type of British locomotive was adapted to look like a Russian armoured locomotive and filmed on the Nene Valley Railway?
(a) Class 37
(b) Class 40
(c) Class 20
(d) Class 33

18. Track 61 is a private railway platform underneath which New York building, linking it to Grand Central Station?
(a) Empire State Building (b) Waldorf Astoria Hotel
(c) Rockefeller Plaza
(d) City Hall

19. Which of the following was not a LNER steam locomotive?
(a) Enterprise
(b) Flying Scotsman
(c) Duchess of Hamilton
(d) Diamond Jubilee

20. What is the nickname given to Class 08 diesel shunters?
(a) Gonk
(b) Gronk
(c) Konk
(d) Donk

21. The new ‘Stadler’ intercity trains introduced on the Norwich to Liverpool Street line on the 8th January 2020 are made in which country?
(a) Germany
(b) Austria
(c) Denmark
(d) Switzerland

22. Which one of the following underground stations can be found on the London Underground?
(a) Graham Avenue
(b) City College
(c) Kenton
(d) Woodlawn

23. A semaphore signal having an arm coloured yellow with a black chevron on its face is termed,
(a) Distant Signal
(b) Home Signal
(c) Starter Signal
(d) Calling-on Signal

24. The 1937 British comedy film ‘Oh Mr Porter’ starring Will Hay, was based at which fictitious Northern Irish railway station?
(a) Castlecraggie
(b) Dunlaughin
(c) Buggleskelly
(d) Ballyboggle

25. Charlie Bishop is a well known internet presenter having published some 96 model railway ‘how to’ video’s on YouTube. The name of his layout is,
(a) McKinley
(b) Chadwick
(c) Everard Junction
(d) New Haven

26. Which Team won the final of the second series of ‘The Great Model Railway Challenge’?
(a) Railmen of Kent
(b) Who’s Counting Rivets Anyway?
(c) Team Grantham
(d) Rail Riders

27. On the London Underground map, which route is represented by a grey line?
(a) Hammersmith & City
(b) Waterloo & City
(c) Victoria
(d) Jubilee

28. What is the name given to the area between the two rails of the same railway track?
(a) Six-foot
(b) Four-foot
(c) Cess
(d) Sleepers

29. Which London station has a thirty feet high bronze statue of a man and woman embracing, called ‘The Meeting Place’?
(a) Euston
(b) St. Pancras
(c) Fenchurch Street
(d) Charing Cross

30. Which is Britains longest railway tunnel, excluding the Channel Tunnel?
(a) Mersey Tunnel
(b) Corby Tunnel
(c) Severn Tunnel
(d) Standedge Tunnel

31. What was the name of the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded reaching 100 miles per hour?
(a) King George V
(b) Mallard
(c) Flying Scotsman
(d) Royal Scot

32. Mallard's famous record-breaking run received no advance publicity because the attempt was disguised as,
(a) Braking trials
(b) Permanent Way measurements
(c) Crew training
(d) Running-in procedure following repairs

33. Which LNER class of locomotive had the nickname of ‘Bongos’?
(a) C2
(b) D3
(c) E4
(d) B1

34. On which rail network did loco
motives known as ‘Spam Cans’ run?

(a) GWR
(b) SR
(c) LMS
(d) LNER

35. In which year were the wheels set in motion to re-privatise British Rail under the British Coal and British Rail (Transfer Proposals) Act?
(a) 1989
(b) 1991
(c) 1993
d) 1995

36. The railway line running between Norwich and Cambridge is known as,
(a) The Bittern Line
(b) The Wherry Line
(c) The Cam Line
(d) The Breckland Line

37. The disused and demolished station of Bury St. Edmunds Eastgate, owned by the GER, was closed in which year?
(a) 1889
(b) 1909
(c) 1919
(d) 1929

38. The 3rd class fare between Bury St. Edmunds Eastgate and Bury St. Edmunds was,
(a) 1d (a penny)
(b) 2d (tuppence)
(c) 3d (thruppence)
(d) 6d (sixpence)

39. In the early 1970’s, what was constructed on the site of the former engine shed at Bury St. Edmunds?
(a) Ready-mix concrete plant
(b) Grain storage silo
(c) Storage sidings for redundant goods wagons & vans
(d) Storage tanks for diesel fuel

40. What feature, removed in 1893, once linked the pair of towers at Bury St. Edmunds railway station?
(a) An ornate wrought iron structure denoting the initial’s ‘GER’
(b) An elaborately painted sign denoting ‘Bury St. Edmunds’
(c) A walk-way having decorative side railings
(d) A single overall roof

41. What unusual incident occurred at Thurston Station on the 4th October 1850?
(a) A locomotive and and two carriages derailed, damaging a section of the ‘up’ platform and closing the line for three days while repairs were effected
(b) Two Stationmasters were killed by striking a bridge, when riding on the roof of a carriage with their backs to the engine
(c) One passenger was killed and fifteen injured when a train braked harshly to avoid hitting livestock, which had strayed onto the line
(d) A train passing a signal at danger was successfully stopped by the Stationmaster and a Porter, after they ran towards it waving flags and blowing whistles. Had the train not been stopped, it would have crashed into carriages of a second train being held in the station due to a breakdown on its locomotive

42. In 1956 the ‘Official Handbook of Stations’ listed sidings at Bury St. Edmunds which were privately owned. Which one of the following companies did not own one of these sidings?
(a) British Sugar
(b) Ridley Coal & Iron
(c) Burlingham & Son
(d) Greene King

43. The Ipswich & Bury Railway Company was formed by an Act of 1845, with a budget of £400,000 to build a railway line between Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds. What difficulty was encountered at Stowmarket?
(a) Strong opposition from the Guncotton Works, who argued that sparks and cinders emitted from passing locomotives could result in the ignition of stored explosives and materials
(b) Attacks on railway construction workers and acts of vandalism by angered local residents, who’s property, land and business premises had been seized and demolished to make way for the new railway
(c) Traversing a local marsh after test bores found the bog to be eighty feet deep
(d) Strong legal opposition from the Board which was proposing construction of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway, who argued that the close proximity of the two lines in the Stowmarket area would be in direct conflict

44. The Bury St. Edmunds & Thetford Railway opened on 1st March 1876, spanning just under thirteen miles. How long was the journey time between the two towns?
(a) 20 minutes
(b) 30 minutes
(c) 40 minutes
(d) 50 minutes

45. Which intermediate station on the Norwich to London Liverpool Street line currently serves the greatest number of passengers?
(a) Ipswich
(b) Manningtree
(c) Colchester
(d) Chelmsford

46. Following British Rail privatisation, the first private owner of the Felixstowe Branch Line was,
(a) Railtrack
(b) National Express East Anglia
(c) Anglia Railways
(d) Network Rail

47. Which model railway magazine has published several articles which are linked to the Bury St. Edmunds Model Railway Club?
(a) British Railway Modelling (b) Model Rail
(c) Railway Modeller
(d) Hornby Magazine

48. Which of the following is not a real model railway scale?
(a) P
(b) Z
(c) O
(d) T

49. Lego trains were first produced in 1966, with the track gauge being derived from the centre line of five Lego studs. The gauge measures,
(a) 35mm
(b) 37.5mm
(c) 40mm
(d) 42.5mm

50. The worlds oldest working model railway is located in the National Railway Museum, York. It was built by apprentices of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway at Horwich works in 1912. Why was the model built?
(a) As a show-piece of ‘British Innovation’ to go on display at the 1913 International Engineering Exhibition in Paris.
(b) As an experimental training exercise for railway apprentices, such that their work would have ‘purpose’, rather than having to produce ‘set pieces’ for grading purposes only
(c) As the model of a proposed new section of railway, the purpose of which was to link two collieries with a new heavy industrial area, such that it could be presented to prospective investors, business managers and local dignitaries
(d) As an aid to training Signalmen at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Signalling School


Improving Parkside O Gauge Vans / Wagons - Ian Norman

This range of kits, now part of the PECO product range, are relatively easy to build. If anyone has experience of building Airfix kits, then you will have the skills to tackle one of these kits.

However, I think there are three simple improvements that can be made to enhance the finished model. These are:

1. Reducing side play on the axle.

2. Increasing the weight of the model.

3. Overcoming the hollow box sound of these models when running.
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This is a weakness in the more recent additions to the range, as the wheel bearings are intended to be recessed into the moulding, allowing a slight amount of side-to-side play on the axle. Which causes poor running and allows the wheels to snag on the brake blocks. (Dragging brakes were never good).
The solution is, however, relatively straight forward. Upon opening the kit, select the parts which will be used to form the axle bearing housing. Fill the holes intended to take the brass wheel bearings with plastic filler (image A) and allow this to set while you work on the remainder of the kit. No need for accuracy. If you work at my speed, constant interruptions (tea breaks), then this will give the filler a few days to set.
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Once the filler has set simply file it down smooth to the original mouldings shape, (images B & C), and drill out the original hole for the main body of the bearing, but not the rim part of the bearing. Insert the brass bearing, fix in place with your chosen adhesive (image D). By moving the bearings closer to the centre of the wagon, by about 1mm, a considerable difference to the quality of the running of these vehicles is easily achieved.
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Weight of the model

Being mainly plastic, these
models are relatively light, this can
cause poor running, or even
derailment, when the vehicle is
under sideways load in a long train
going round curved track.
Therefore, there is a need to
increase the weight. A good guide is
1 gram of total weight per millimetre of length over the headstocks, in this case 124mm, so a total weight of at least 120 grams. This is achieved by adding weight on to the floor of the van before fixing the roof in place.

Hollow box sound

Irrespective of scale, vans tend to make a hollow box sound when running, this is easily dealt with by filling the body, before fixing the roof in place, with a material that will be light weight and fill the space. For example, left over packing foam, or scrunched up paper kitchen towel.

Safety warning
Warning, I once thought I would continue to build 4mm (EM) scale models for the rest of my modelling career, however, a friend (???) persuaded me to purchase a Salters private owner wagon kit. I found the build process easier and enjoyable, there was very quickly an inherent strength within the model, plus I could add additional detail with ease. Rather quickly the 4mm models were left on the shelf and more 7mm kits purchased; the rest as the saying goes is history.
For those who think 7mm is an expensive option, I would challenge that view. For a small layout I only need one maybe two locomotives, a couple of coaches and half a dozen wagons.

Total cost is then not much greater than the cost of the entire stock of the average 4mm small layout, and I would argue, much more enjoyable. Have a go, but you have also been warned of the risk.

Enough of my scribblings, I have another van ready for the paint shop to deal with.
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Parish End Update - Mike Hamilton

As I mentioned at the beginning of this issue, I've been busy beavering away with my 3D printer.

I'm using the printer to produce items that either aren't available in N Gauge or if I don't like the item if it's available to buy I'll have a go at making it myself. They're mainly small detailing items such as barrels, milk churns, though I have printed larger items such as workshops and sheds. All good fun and helps to keep the mind active.

These are a few sheds and workshops that I've done in N Gauge and are pretty much ready for planting.
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The oil drums are work in progress and just need a bit of tweaking - they're about 5mm high and 2.5 mm wide with a recessed top end and filling cap!!!
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I hope you enjoyed Issue 6 of The Anorak.

Any comments, articles, hints and tips etc. would be much appreciated as I have now totally run out of material again to do another issue.

Please email me at

In the meantime keep well and keep safe.

Cheers for now,