To entice new operators to the railway room, this year we hid 20 Easter eggs around Banbury Connections with the assurance that all eggs were on or above baseboard level. Katie was tasked with finding the eggs and triumphantly returned with 18 found in various engine sheds, goods sheds etc. Amy was called upon to case her expert eye to discover the final two. Following intelligence from the Head Ganger, it was suggested that Katie look into the skies to see what was winging in! Batting 19 eggs, the final egg was found down the shaft in the pit head winding gear at the Nottingham coal mine (though not below baseboard level).
The newly tooled Airfix Lancaster Bomber kit proved extremely time consuming for our skilled aeronautical division which finished the kit splendidly!
To cope with increasing levels of freight traffic from the Great Central and to aid operating efficiency, one of the goods roads at Marylebone was extended to accommodate several more Great Central goods vans. This was achieved by relocating the goods shed closer to the far end of the station and extending the outer track. The extension raises the possibility of a new warehouse being constructed in the future. A picture of the extended siding, complete with wagons, is below.
Addition of a camera overlooking Nottingham Victoria Station was a major breakthrough for Banbury Connections. The camera allowed operation of Nottingham from the Sheffield panel, thereby improving the flow of traffic through the Great Central by relieving the work of the Birmingham Snow Hill operator (whose previous duties included Nottingham Victoria). Utilising a wireless camera and old television screen, the system performed reliably for a number of years before problems with the picture began to materialise.
In light of this, a new full HD camera was acquired alongside a donated television from our next door neighbours. This has resulted in an enhanced operating experience and (hopefully) fewer operating hiccups! Katie is pictured in the camera alongside a B1 on platform 4.
A note on the 38xx's return to service can be found under the rolling stock update tab.
It is circumstances such as these which afford us with the time to improve our railway modelling. Following a recent assignment by the Banbury Connections Managing Director to remove a crane from a break down wagon and relocate it to Shrewsbury goods yard, I was met with a small dose of scope creep! While the original intention was to paint the chipboard grey and settle for a concrete finish, further reflection resulted in the decision to add a lovely stone finish and accompanying stairs. Between the use of gap filler and multi-tone treatment of the stonework, I like to believe that the finished result was worth the extra yard!
A pair of Hymeks were spotted at the end of Chester General yesterday following a recent pickup in freight traffic.
Banbury Connections General Blog
The Banbury Connections blog looks at issues of significant interest involving the railway and its staff.