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Sunday Smog

Chris Nevard




120428_4-track_DSC_4215_BW, a photo by nevardmedia on Flickr.

Sunday morning's bit of silliness is the replication of a stretch of mainline in South Wales with an ex-GWR pannier tank in possession of a rake of empties just having left the mainline. The 9F flying along behind has a load of freshly filled wagons heading for somewhere distant or maybe just Cardiff Docks.


Sunlight has just started to penetrate the fog and pollution – also known as smog it was a typical feature of industrial Britain in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In those days everyone used to smoke, mostly because the nicotine filled air of the cigarette or pipe was probably less life threatening than the atmosphere around! In the western world we no longer have smog because we exported it to China and other far east manufacturing nations, they now do the dirty work that we used to perform because we became too expensive to make toy chuffers at the price we want to pay.


Back to the photo above, this little set piece is just a table bound mock-up using various rolling stock track photo thingies and a few of the coal industry buildings I have been building up over the last couple of years. The smog is of course Photoshop because I have no means generating smoke indoors unless I burn the toast, smoke a big cigar or hire one of those threatre fog making machines.

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The Clean Air acts basically did for this phenomenon. The use of coal for firing anything (including trains) declined rapidly in the 1960s. I remember attending the Manchester Model Railway Society exhibition in December 1961 or 1962 and observing that the air in Piccadilly Gardens was yellow! By the time I moved to London in 1969 the days of the notorious, killer London smogs had gone. You could argue that the output from road vehicles is more insidious, at least with the smog you could see it.



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