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  1. I do like these scratch-built locos. TT, for me always has an image of "TriAng" but these are really nice, show what can be achieved in the scale
  2. Definitely agree about the "sexy looking diesels" thing. The Americans really mastered the "polished stainless" aesthetic with designs like the Budd carriages. The F3s were a stroke of genius on the styling front. Wartime aircraft like the B17, B29 and Mustang embodied it, too.
  3. A propos the styling/streamlining of the GWR railcars, the subject wasn't much understood in the 1930s and the two tended to be equated, to varying degrees. A classic example would be the Railton Cobb car which to this day, holds the Brookland lap record. As a sculpture of a racing car, featuring some quite superb craftsmanship it is in a class of its own, but it is not "streamlined" in any real sense.
  4. I've long believed that the LNER 2-8-2 types were too powerful for their English freight roles, and too long in the driven wheelbase for the Scottish expresses, because that was intrinsic in a design of that type. The LNER determined to build them, when other companies were settled on 2-8-0 and 4-6-2 types and the results are a matter of record. This sort of thing happens sometimes, its how operational boundaries are defined
  5. Japan is rather different to the UK in that most of its heavy industry and population, live in the coastal regions. So coastal and export sea freight is big business there, whereas the railways pretty much killed off coastal shipping in UK. Also they made much use of Cape Gauge (3'6") so locos capable of good but not spectacular speeds, and good TE were very successful, and the Mikado type provided that.
  6. Gresley's 8-coupled engines demonstrated clearly that the overall structure of the railway network, couldn't handle locos of that size and capacity. They didn't succeed because their real purpose wasn't catered for.
  7. I rather think he did, and it was called an A1 Pacific? I think the 4-4-2 type had had its day, by the time Gresley took the reins
  8. Nooooooo..... that Wikipedia entry correctly states that the B29 was of slightly earlier origin. It would be more correct to regard them both as parallel developments of late-1930s concepts. In any case the B29 was developed far beyond the German plane. The B29 programme cost $3bn in 1940s money, compared to the $1.9bn expended on the Manhattan Project.
  9. Agreed. It can feel a bit superficial at times, and that's irritating. I don't find this programme sufficiently interesting to seek it out, certainly not to brave the sighing, eye rolling, wandering in and out of the room and conspicuous clattering in the kitchen which tend to accompany the suggestion of watching something that isn't endless soap operas and 1980s sitcoms, which is a shame given the subject.
  10. Re Northmoor, above, it's a great mistake to regard the 1973 and subsequent 1979 "oil price shocks" as unforeseen and unpredicted. Eisenhower recognised the underlying causes, and described them at least as early as 1959; Nixon also recognised them, and sought unsuccessfully to deal with them. Oil drilling in the North Sea had started in the 1960s and production begun by 1969; the great Forties and Brent fields were known by 1971. When I first worked in the oil patch, in the late 1970s there were plenty of people still working who had foreseen the event in outline, if not in detai
  11. The Americans reached a simple, fundamental conclusion during and after the Second World War: that aircraft were expensive, but concrete was cheap. They had a lot of experience of building large and very large aircraft and operating them over intercontinental distances, particularly in the Pacific and from India to China. They knew about pressurised cabins (the B29 had them) and tricycle undercarriages. They knew about the logistics of air freight haulage. They knew about internal domestic air traffic; the great "named" trains of the pre-WW2 era were already falling victim to this,
  12. Your second point is the important one!
  13. Surely the real point here, is that by the 1930s, steam traction had reached the limits of its useful development in the U.K.? The real last-generation giants, the huge simple-expansion Garratts and Mallet-type articulated locos and fast, super-heavy 2-8-4 and 4-8-4 types with feedwater heating, superheating, mechanical stoking and cast-steel beds to tie all that power together, found no home here. Last-generation UK steam essentially consisted of heavy, simple-expansion suburban 2-6-4T types, mixed-traffic 4-6-0 and the 9F 2-10-0, well suited to U.K. conditions but all, essentia
  14. Grammar schools, particularly the Direct Grant variety (which were minor public schools in all but name, particularly after 1975) commonly had rules which required boarders to wear uniform off the school premises at all times, and day boys to wear uniform while travelling to and from school, or about any school activity. Bus passes were only valid for travelling to and from school. It was supposed to act as a deterrent to going in pubs, and buying cigarettes, but I don't recall it being particularly effective in those lax times. Certainly in Cambridge, with the Grammar within easy
  15. my sister certainly wore a uniform at Impington Village College in the 1970s. from recollection, the local Secondary Moderns (Coleridge and Netherhall) wore uniforms, including ties, much like the Grammar. Coleridge Girls had a blazer and pleated skirt in a rather drab red and bottle green tartan. Netherhall, if memory serves, were black or grey with white shirts and a striped tie. Perse and Leys School lower forms wore caps. I don't remember the other schools doing so. Prep school boys changed school at 11 in those days, although there was quite a high turn-over of b
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