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Everything posted by bécasse

  1. Surely all piped brake vans, whether vacuum, air or both, had brake valves so that the guard could apply the through brake, what they didn't have were brakes operated by that through pipe - the theory being that the guard could always apply the handbrake if the brake power of the van was required.
  2. ......... until someone tries to use them to paint some watercolours! (All very impressive though.)
  3. I worked for Sealink car ferries in the early 1970s before the UK joined what was then the EC and I certainly remember carnets de passage, but in those days nobody took layouts to overseas shows so it was only the likes of musicians that needed them (for their instruments). Even then carnets were frighteningly expensive. A friend who is a renowned specialist musician (of mediaeval music and instruments) has been trying to get quotes for the potential (and probable) new situation and it seems that somewhere around £ 1000 may be the starting point even if some mainstream insurers come back into the market. I was talking to a Dutch acquaintance yesterday who has regularly exhibited in the UK in the past, and he said that even visiting the UK will be too much hassle in the future, let alone bringing a layout - many Europeans don't possess passports (I don't) because they travel everywhere in Europe on their ID cards, but the UK has said that it will refuse to accept ID cards from 2021 on the rather spurious basis that they are less secure than passports.
  4. Tylor's catalogues were bound in a rather deeper blue colour board and I suspect that that was the colour on the tower too, it certainly looks dark in the aerial photograph. I certainly don't expect you to redo it - but sooner or later someone will come along and say "My grand-dad worked for Tylor's and.................."
  5. Only one reel - I've got three, albeit different solder types!
  6. In 2FS I would seriously consider using straightened out staples to form each rib, they would need preforming in the case of the three crosswise ribs.
  7. Exhibiting British-based layouts in continental Europe and continental-based layouts in the UK may well become all but impossible from next January. Unless the UK and the EU remain in a Custom's Union, which given the recorded thoughts of chairman Cummings seems very unlikely, each layout will need a carnet de passage des Douanes, effectively an insurance policy that says that if you don't return the layout to its home base the insurance company will pay all the import duties which become due. The carnets don't come cheap.
  8. The darkening on the prototype was more the result of a chemical reaction (hydrogen sulphide in the atmosphere converting some of the lead oxide in the paint to black-ish lead sulphide) than of the effects of soot, etc. Rain would have had a washing effect on soot deposits but rain actually helped the chemical reaction. The net result is that the "weathering" should be reasonably consistent over the whole roof although soot, etc deposits would tend to gather just above any rain strips and around ventilators.
  9. I keep a series of erstwhile plastic food containers (well cleaned out, of course) for scraps of metal, etches, plastic, wire, etc. It is surprising how often just the scrap piece that one needs for a particular task can be found therein.
  10. Surely the carrying case(s) for a 2FS Highland layout should, by tradition, be guitar shaped?
  11. 0,875 mm in 4 mm scale, 1,533 mm in 7 mm and 0,437 mm in 2 mm.
  12. The difference is that the old SR-style feathers required all three lamps to be individually proved alight whereas, at that time (pre-mid-1960s) at least, the five light feathers used elsewhere merely needed to be proved to be taking current on the basis that the signal would still carry a clear meaning to the driver even if one of the lamps had failed. That was what I was told at the time by a Wimbledon S&T engineer when I queried the obvious time delay between the feather lighting and the aspect changing - and certainly any delay on other regions' feathers was much less obvious.
  13. Old-style, say pre-privatisation, colour light signals didn't noticeably fade out (or in), unless there had been a very rare failure one colour and only one colour (but of course two yellows were possible) was lit at any one time. It wasn't unknown to see a signal cleared from red, flash yellow (and even two yellows) for a split second and then go green, much the effect that you might get from turning a rotary switch (although that wasn't why it happened), but just as often they just cleared to the fine aspect. I can think of two examples where things happened more slowly, although no fade effect was involved. The first involved the old SR-style three light feathers which had to be proved lit for the appropriate route before the aspect would clear from red, but the delay to the aspect change was rarely longer than one second. The second involved the rather different two-aspect stop signals on the Underground where red indicated, in effect, that the train stop was up (and therefore STOP), while the green indicated that the section ahead was clear. When a signal was cleared, there was a noticeable moment when both aspects were lit because the train stop was still being lowered - as soon as it was the red aspect went out leaving just the green alight, but if there was a train stop fault both aspects remained lit, indicating to the driver that he needed to "trip past", stop to reset the trip and then proceed at caution to the next stop signal.
  14. Well, I was brought up on the Southern and to me a "lunar" is a bi-directional lunar white warning light for pw workers that were lit whenever a signal had been cleared for the adjacent track. They were installed at places like Borough Market Junction where there were reduced opportunities for pw workers to stand clear of trains and the sight lines for a look-out man were restricted. Like the Southern's three-light feathers, they had to be proved alight before the relevant running signal would clear.
  15. Nearholmer is right. There were only two small SR termini with colour light signalling in that era, Sheerness (as he mentions, from 1959) and Bromley North (from 1962), the former had a single track access, the latter double. Both were resignalled as part of major schemes connected with the Kent electrification projects, but both only received colour light signals instead of retaining semaphores because of special circumstances which meant that the installation of colour lights enabled other economies to be made. Even the Isle of Wight electrification of 1967 saw a minimal number of colour light signals installed, none of them at either of the termini. Indeed the Sandown-controlled up starter from the down platform at Shanklin, used when Shanklin box was switched out (as it normally was except on peak Saturdays) was a motor-worked semaphore.
  16. That at least explains the Restriction 1 stock which was doubtless allocated to Eastbourne for use on one of the rare Cuckoo Line trains that worked through beyond Tunbridge Wells West to Tonbridge.
  17. My suspicions are that this is a naval special, possibly Chatham to Portsmouth and perhaps in connection with the Spithead Naval Review of 15 June 1953. 32424 is displaying a head code which was "spare" on both Eastern and Central Sections, and, while it was allocated to 75A, the first restriction 1 4-set is clearly from the Eastern Section. It would appear to be on the Brighton main line (north of Balcombe?) which might seem a little odd for a train to Portsmouth but at the time of a Naval Review just about every possible route would have been used.
  18. The original position would obviously have been considered acceptable in the days when passenger trains carried side-lights too as these were also often mounted on top of the guard's lookouts. I rather presume that at some later date that position became unacceptable to the MoT, doubtless as a response to some incident. There were quite a few railways that used the top of lookout position for side-lights - there were some early LNER goods brakes that were so fitted, for example, so the practice obviously continued into the 1920s - but they all seem to have had "corner" lamp irons fitted eventually, sometimes coincident with the removal of the top-of-lookout lamp casings, sometimes with that lamp casing left in place (both situations could be found on those LNER vans even in BR days).
  19. I suspect that the important thing here will prove to be that the disease is apparently believed to have a 14-day incubation period. The measures that the Chinese have taken, notably the mandatory wearing of masks, may well largely contain any further spread of the disease, especially as experts here say that it isn't particularly contagious. Numbers of cases, and, sadly, deaths, will obviously rise for at least a few days, but we may well then see the situation stabilise. The laboratory at UC Leuven here was optimistic today that an effective vaccine can be developed very quickly too, seemingly as a spin-off to all the work that has been going on to create a longterm flu vaccine. I too was rather impressed by the speed with which a new hospital is being created, perhaps the Chinese should be asked to take over the HS2 project.
  20. Photo 2215 shows the same train in Kingsbridge station so it is definitely on that branch. The photographer seems to be using some extreme lens settings (note how the single carriage often appears overlong) and that may be causing the problems of matching the shots with how the landscape appears today.
  21. I have certainly seen a model of Holywell Town, and you are right about Dave Pennington's Stanmore, it was a superb model.
  22. The interior of the driver's cabs may well have been painted a pale green colour as used on SR emus. The colour wasn't just some designer's dream, it had been agreed with ASLEF, after careful consideration of alternatives, as the colour least likely to distract drivers.
  23. Some were in malachite, some in the first BR emu green and, in the early part of the period, a few would still have been in the earlier, darker Southern green. Generally emus were revarnished after 3 years, repainted after 6 which gives some idea of how earlier liveries would have lasted; lettering was usually(?) altered to the latest standard at revarnishing. Don't forget that emus, suburban units in particular, threw up a lot of brake block dust, some of which got "absorbed" into the varnish affecting quite considerably the appearance of a unit. This meant that the variations between units in the different greens was much less obvious than one might assume. What did tend to be very obvious was newly replaced doors (they were always getting knocked off, mainly in minor depot side-swipes) and any areas, particularly on the steel-skimmed later SUBs and EPBs, where repair work (and hence patch repainting) had been done. Even in the mid-1960s when all the units were painted the same colour (pre-blue), a newly outshopped unit stood out from the rest livery-wise, not least because those with full width roofs ("all-steel" SUBs and early SR EPBs only had narrow roofs in their early years) had roofs which were almost a silver colour but which toned down to match the rest of the stock within months (an effect obvious on steam coaching stock too).
  24. And before the Q stock, 4-car trains of F-stock. When that changeover took place there were multiple complaints from the regular clientele about their modern (F-stock) trains being replaced by "antiques" (Q-stock). Before the F-stock, 4-car trains of C-stock were used, I am just old enough to remember one middle of the day ride from New Cross to Whitechapel when the hand-worked doors were allowed to remain open for the whole of the journey, much to my excitement.
  25. I looked at a lot of black & white photos of red finials before coming to the conclusion that the finial on the banner post was black but it is, of course, impossible to be absolutely certain. I would, though, have expected it to be painted to either match the post (white) or match the banner arm (black). There are other black items on the post so the painter would already have a brush "loaded" with black paint (and, of course, white), he would have to get out a brush specially for red paint - railwaymen generally were very good at finding the easy way to do a job, within the rules of course.
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