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Based in the London Borough of Bromley Gallery of Members’     Photos and articles es January Meeting Report by Gerard Pearson

The first meeting of 2017 got off to a wet start but thankfully the rain held off once we began operating the four sheds.

Given the cold and damp winter the line worked pretty trouble free with no need for any clock stoppages. I was placed at Newdigate as a near novice and once I had been briefed by Brian settled down for a nice session. Shed three has its quirks mainly owing to its small size so its operators are physically constrained in their movements. Electric point motors positioned at the far end are really useful.  

After the strange sightings of the previous session it was back to our normal period for stock. A nice USA tank featured on a double–headed on an oil train. The Tilgate banker, a J72 tank, did not see action but is parked in the little shed at Tilgate for future use when we have the full six sheds working again.

Being by the door to shed 3 enables you to liaise with the folks in shed 2 when need be and this contributes to smooth operation particularly when the timetable sometimes shows movements every minute (or even simultaneously) for a period of time. I am aware of the need not to send trains out of sequence to Smallfield due to the limited space there and Tony sensibly kept his red light up when he was blocked.

I like realistic operation and on a few occasions was able to insert, as per correct procedure, a break between “is line clear” and “train entering section”. Most times the intense ferocity of the timetable makes this sadly impossible as not falling behind time is the greater priority in my view.