Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club

 ( C R A M E C ) 

Welcome to the Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club. We are a self-funded model engineering club that has both raised and ground level railways that we open to the public during the summer season. The engineering skills and expertise of the club members have greatly contributed to the building, maintaining and running of our railways. Most of the locomotive power belongs to individual members, who have either built their locos from scratch or purchased part-built or kit assemblies. 

Several times a year, our members give their time freely to help other clubs who support the disadvantaged, and people with special needs, within the community. 

We are the Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club.  

 


 CANVEY MINIATURE RAILWAY 

Ongoing vandalism

05th December 2020 update

As many of our customers will now be aware, from social media, there have been repeated acts of vandalism at the railway club.

Over the last six months we have incurred a number of attempted break-ins, damage to our buildings and fencing; and recently bonfires have been lit on our site with the trees, bushes and wooden fence panels being used as fuel for the bonfires.

Within the last week we have been receiving emails asking us if a crowd-funding site, to help towards costs to reinstate/repair damage, is legitimate and authorised by us.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/canvey-minature-railway?utm_source=customer&utm_

medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

We didn’t authorise this site but our investigations reveal this to be set up by a Canvey resident who wanted to do something for us and their community.

In these very difficult times of job loss and financial difficulties we would sincerely like to thank everyone who has contributed their hard earned money to help us continue.

We are very grateful for the money and point out that our members have created the Canvey Railway over many years of hard work. With Coronavirus and the reduced attendance of members we will struggle to be able to repair all the damage so that we can open to the public next year (2021).

Subject to funding, we need to repair all the damage done to run the railway. If you have ever thought that you would like to join us some day, then now is the time to join. You may be able to help reinstate this facility that is so loved by the residents of Canvey Island. To join our club you must be at least 16 years of age and preferably have engineering or a DIY background, or just have a general interest in railways.

 

The Canvey Island Miniature Railway has two separate tracks for the public to ride on. The oldest track is a raised 5 inch gauge track that was constructed in the 1970s.  The ride lasts approximately 6 minutes and you go round the circuit twice. The locomotives that pull the trains vary each week; sometimes steam, sometimes electric or a combination of both. 

The ground level track was constructed in the late 1990s. The track is a 7 1/4 inch gauge. This means we can run much bigger locomotives and rolling stock. Unlike the raised track the rolling stock that the passengers ride upon varies. Sometimes you're sitting upon a c2c train, other times you may be sitting on a tram. Like the raised track, the locomotives that pull the trains vary each week; it all depends which models our members bring in. 

Additionally, the ground level track has signalling, points, bridges, turntables, a carriage shed, signal box, and loading bays. 

For those people who want to travel behind a steam locomotives, we have to point out that by its very nature, not only does a steam loco generate the authentic sound and smell of a bygone time but they also generate a certain amount of smuts and smoke. Best not to wear your Sunday best clothes.

 

2020 / 2021  OPENING TIMES

We will remain closed to the public until further notice

 

 


CANVEY MODEL ENGINEERING CLUB

 

Click here for Club Member's Calendar 

Welcome to the engineering side of the Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club. The club was initially set up in the 1970s, at which time we did not have a railway. However, as many of our members were building locomotives it made sense to construct a small piece of track. Over the years this small piece of track has grown to over a mile in length. We have a raised track that has both 5 inch gauge, and 3 1/2 inch gauge rails, and a ground level track which has 7 1/4 inch gauge and 5 inch gauge rails. On the ground level track we have signalling and points that are pneumatically powered, all of which is controlled from the signal box. 

We have members-only running days when members can operate their engines without the public present; and if they don't have an engine, the club has a few electric locomotives that members can use after receiving suitable training. The members have a comfortable club house with kitchen and disabled toilet facilities.  

Although we are primarily a model engineering club, looking after this infrastructure takes some considerable maintaining. As we cannot maintain the railway on a Sunday, when we are open to the public, Wednesday is our maintenance day; from 10 am to 3pm you can find us on site, trimming the bushes and maintaining the grounds, buildings and infrastructure. Additionally, there is usually a new project underway.

The club’s members, have many different talents and skills between them and, on occasions throughout the year, at our Friday club meetings, individual members will give talks about their particular interest and skills or partake in our ‘Seen on the Table’ evenings. This event is where members can bring along items they have been working on and discuss their progress. In the last couple of months, we've had many different items on the table. Carvings, wood turnings and hot air engines are just some of the other items that turn up on a ‘Seen on the table’ evening.

 

 


 

 MODELLING ACTIVITIES IN THE CLUB

Designing using 2-D CAD system.

Laser cutting

 

The model of the Manx tram above was made within two months from start to finish. All the component parts were drawn on a CAD machine and then the parts were laser cut. It was then a simple matter of assembly. The CAD drawing below was used to produce the side panels. The drawing was produced on the CAD machine as a full-size drawing it was then scaled down to meet the requirements of the modeller.

 

Using a 3-D CAD system

The model above was produced in two dimensions, however most CAD systems can work in three dimensions (3D).  The advantage of 3D is that you can physically walk through the model. You can also see how all the component parts interact with each other. And if you have a 3D printer you can even print your model.

 

 

Click this link for more information on the design of this bus

This CAD drawing was produced by one of our members and entered into the Boris Johnson; Mayor of London New Route Master bus competition. The proposed bus can be powered by an on-board diesel engine, an overhead power supply, or battery. The configuration of the bus is easily changed by removing and inserting various modules into the side of the bus between the wheels.


    

Click this link for more information on this proposal

This CAD drawing was produced by one of our members as an alternative to the proposed Thames Estuary Airport that was to be constructed on the Kent coast south of Canvey Island. In the above picture Sheerness is on the left side of the river Thames estuary, Shoeburyness and Great Wakening are on the right side of the river; Southend Pier is visible jutting out into the Thames Estuary and Canvey Island is visible in the distance. In the centre of the river estuary is the airport. And the airport is connected to a flood defence barrier that goes from Sheerness to Shoeburyness; with locks by the airport for shipping.

A 3D design system is a great tool for this type of project, it enables a model of the Thames Estuary to be created with all of the shipping channels, sandbanks and water depths built into the model. Once this model of the Thames Estuary is created the designer can try various proposals.

 

MORE CONVENTIONAL MODELLING

 

 

Shown above is a Conflat-A wagon with container, and a 5-plank open wagon. These models are all handcrafted from the basic raw materials. It is the skill of the model maker to take these raw materials and produce an accurate model. Producing one of these models will take many hundreds of hours of work and much patients.

 

Shown above is a model of a Metropolitan Tank Locomotive, which is often seen operating at our club track.

Click this link for more information on the construction of this Metropolitan Tank Locomotive

 

 

Boiler testing and boiler construction

 

If you are considering constructing a boiler or purchasing a model with a boiler then do not do anything until you have spoken to a boiler inspector. He can bring you up to date with the latest rules and regulations. Otherwise you could purchase a model and find that you cannot run it because it has not been built in accordance with modern regulations; or fails on incorrect paperwork.

 

 

Electronics and computing

 

The above printed circuit board shows some transistors an integrated circuit and a couple relays. These boards are being produced in our club for the new signalling system. If you have an interest in analogue electronics; digital electronics or computing there will be someone in our club to share ideas with.  

 

 

Membership can even lead to greater things.

 

The above photograph shows a model of a C2C Electrostar along side a full size train. 

For those wising to pursue a career on the railways, the activities and running of miniture railways has many similarities to full size practice. If you are at school or college and considering a career on the railway's then joining a miniature railway will give you a great insight into the workings and running of a passenger carrying railway. One of our younger members has recently obtained an apprenticeship on the railways, and is of the opinion that membership of the club helped him in his application. 

View our Membership page if you wish to become a member of our club. Membership page 

 

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Last updated 2020-12-05