Model Rail Live on the 22/23 September looms closer and closer, the weekend really marking the beginning of the autumn with equinox being only a day or so before. Hopefully though we'll have a little summer before then.
So with just 6 weeks to go, I thought it a good idea to pull Arne Wharf out of the cupboard and fire it up to check everything over as well as popping it in front of the camera for a few fresh snaps.
The shot above which I hasten to add is not fiddled with apart from the smoke (from a GWR pannier tank just to upset the nasally afflicted) depicts a clanky old wheezer on the head of a trio of ball clay wagons. The loco is a Roxey Mouldings 'Famagusta' all dolled up to look ready for a night behind the dustbins rather than one out on the tiles. The lack of handrails is simply down to the fact that I have yet to add them, but seeing this loco was built back in 2004 I dont hold any great hopes for much happening in that direction before Model Rail Live. My excuse being that that the loco was damaged when re-patriated to the UK and that they have yet to be replaced.
To upset H&S jobsworths, the barrel in front of the smokebox doesn't contain water but gun powder to be dropped off (literally) to one of the explosive teams at the new quarry that's just been opened further inland.
The quarry crushing plant in the background doesn't see much use these days, most of the traffic now being ball clay, but when it does get fired up the noise is so loud that it can be heard across the water in Poole and even Bournemouth on wind free days.
The ball clay wagons are resin models based on ones that used to run on Fayle's Tramway and were produced as limited edition kits by well regarded 009 expert and modeller John Thorne (the railway modeller, not the actor) a few years ago. John's narrow gauge layouts are always worth keeping an eye out for, his current favourite being 'Purbeck', hence the reason for the wagons.
If you want to find out more about the narrow gauge railways of Purbeck, the Purbeck Mineral & Mining Musuem has lots of useful information as well as offerening the opportunity to sample a recreation of one of these fascinating narrow gauge mineral railways http://www.pmmmg.org/ first hand.