Longroyd Bridge is no more. It has been pulled apart after our last running session in October. All the buildings have been stored.
The group finally agreed a track plan for 'Moorbrook Junction' then the hard work began. Bernard and Anton started building the baseboards, the track and turnouts were roughly drawn onto the baseboards by Graham, and the old buildings were strategically placed in position.
One of the features of the new layout is an incline along the entire length of the layout. Under test, some locos refused to run up the incline with others requiring a gentle push whilst the diesels tackled the incline without a problem.
As luck would have it, one of the people we enticed to join us following his visit to our Holmfirth Exhibition was Dave and it transpired he was a dab hand at making pointwork, and lo and behold, a large number of large turnouts began appearing at the club on Thursday evenings.
Whilst the chippy gang carried on carving out cuttings, building bridges and tunnels, and fitting the whole board of coal drops from Longroyd Bridge into the new layout, Graham glued hundreds of chairs to sleepers. I don't know how he got that job but I am glad he did.
Once Dave had finished the points, the rest of the workforce glued plastic to the bottom of each sleeper to bring it to the correct height. Each sleeper then had to be primed and painted; luckily we have had up to seven people working on these operations on club nights. They still managed to miss painting half a large set of points. It must have been tea break calling.
Thankfully the points are now completed and track laying has started, the first pieces being laid through the cutting and tunnel. The rest of the track for the front and station side have now been laid and Dave has wired up the points using the 'Mega points' method and the main lines are now live. So, after five months, O gauge engines are running again at Huddersfield Railway Modellers.
The retired boys (they know who they are) usually meet on a Tuesday to keep them out of mischief. They have cracked-on with the roads, tunnels, bridges and generally fitting the buildings of Longroyd Bridge onto the new layout.
It will still be some time before we can run our prized purchases from Telford around the new as yet unnamed layout, but we are getting there. Just like BR, we're just not telling anybody when.
We must say a big thank you to the Guild as they have contributed money to the purchase of signals for Lydgate, our exhibition layout; a few have been built already. Hough Lydgate has currently been partially dismantled to leave just the station and viaduct boards for the testing of new engines and to perfect our shunting techniques.
Young Harry has spread the word and his friend Henry, (and dad Andy, for the taxi) has started attending, so the O Gauge group continues to grow.