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'The Truth Is Out There..... somewhere!'



Just back from the most frustrating site visit ever! Some people have commented on the depth of the cutting at this pont. It's more like God wielded an axe! The situation is worsened by the fact thatr the railway boundary is demarcated by 2m-high 'anti-climb' fencing and worse, it's set well back from the cutting's edge. Even the undergrowth got in the way...


There is absolutley no view of the portal from the cutting sides, and any attempt to take one from Pootley Road Bridge (a mere 800m away!) was frustrated by lingering fog. Potley Road Bridge will form the other end of the layout (I know I was going to take it to the next bridge but that would be a massive compression) and I only managed one half-decent shot from the cutting side -




However, not to be defeated I made my way to Chippenham & caught a train to Bath Spa. An HST with OPENING vestibule windows! Potley Road Bridge again - from the train -




By now the train is travelling in excess of the 'ton', and with lighting conditions in the cutting below optimimum I switched to video on the run in to the Tunnel itself.... And from here on in you'll have to trust me 'cos my movie-making program doesn't recognise the latest 'mts' format! So I can see the product but (at the moment) I cannot post it.


Currently available images show (Maggs, & some web images) show that Brunel's orignal portal has been infilled somewhat, using blue engineering brick that shows up well in the video. So at least I can now make a determined effort on the 'civil engineering'. The current 'entrance' to the quarry trunnel looks more like a pill-box (perhaps something to do with the Ministry Of Defence occupancy later in its life?) (If the MOD have left the site, why are the MOD police still visiting??) Just for 'Old Times Sake'? One of their patrol vehicles passed me as I was walking back to the car...


All in all, not a bad day out in the end!


BTW I got this




Brunels original drawing - from the 'Network Rail Archive' -




courtesy of a 'heads-up' from the GWSG e-mail list. The archive is small, but growing & worth a visit & bookmarking.


Right, back to the model making. As I hinted above, Potley Road Bridge will now form the right-hand end of the sceninc section. The cutting is massive enough that I will have to cut it out of the intermediate walls (I was hoping the bridge would provide some lateral support there) but as the majority of the scenic work will be in urethane foam, rigidity (I hope) will not be a problem.


I've also got lots of new toys from 'shop 2'...





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  • RMweb Gold

Sounds like a pretty challenging field trip, but one you won't forget. And you actually used the train, which is a nice thought. But it sounds as if you'll soon be brought in for questioning by the MOD!


The drawing by Brunel is fascinating. Almost artistic. I wouldn't have thought the colouring was necessary from a practical point of view!

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Hi Mikkel -

It semed to be Brunel's hallmark. I was was lucky enough many (many) years ago to visit the Plans Room at Paddington where I traced his drawing for Box station - that was colour-washed also. More impressive (to me) was the captioning - no CAD or typewritten text there!





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  • RMweb Gold

Some years ago I got pulled in as a manager to do some kind of a work survey and went out with some telephone installers from Bath. One job was a some cottages alonside a railway line. As I got out of the van I saw the Beautiful Brunel Tunnel mouth. Of course I had no camera and should have been watching the guys at work but its not everyday you get a treat like that. Should make a good model.


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  • RMweb Gold

What a pleasure to read...and a beautiful drawing too.


I had the same problem getting some info for Kyle so I bought the Michael Palin DVD and freeze framed the TV and took some photos from it...bit crude, but it worked for me.


Look forward to seeing you tackle the tunnel mouth Ian...assuming you're not detained for questioning in the meantime :laugh:

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