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About rockershovel

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  1. My good wife does actually have one railway related interest - taking the children to the steam railway. We live quite near the NVR, so walking alongside the line, waving at people on the train, picking blackberries in season, running around at Ferry Meadows was always a popular distraction when they were small. We had a holiday cottage in Whitby for a number of years, and trips there often included a roundabout itinerary from Whitby to Goathland by local train, ride on the NYMR, run about at Pickering Castle or Levisham, sometimes the quite amazing ride by local bus over the moors from Goathland ... it’s amazing how children will travel provided that getting in a car isn’t involved.
  2. I would have thought that having the weight of the bogie itself, the front of the boiler, smokebox, cylinders and valve chests would do the trick... the piece about the angled drawbar tends to suggest that given the low overall weights and slow speeds, the 4-2-0 type would stand all the weight that could be brought to bear, and pretty much look after its own weight distribution..
  3. I’d always understood that the purpose of the bowler hat was to be resistant to damage when knocked off by tree branches while riding, and less likely to be so knocked off due to its lower profile and better fit. I hadn’t understood that it was intended to be a protective headgear in any sense. That said, early industrial protective headgear provided little real protection. The pressed-fibre miners hats used by the NCB until the 1960s were really only bumpcaps. The boiled leather Bullard hard hats which were the first real industrial “hard hats” in the 1930s were really only a revamped pickelhaube, without the crest. Even the aluminium hard hats I wore as a rig hand in the 1970s and 1980s don’t really provide a great deal of protection.
  4. One thing I will say from personal experience, is that whatever popular legend might claim, bowler hats won’t stand being stamped on..
  5. Wouldn't that be bowler = silent movie heavy, top hat = silent movie baddie? I dont know about German Officers cap with black eyeshadow, and don't really want to either..
  6. So the Plymouth job came to a sudden end! I shan’t miss it, or the place itself. It leaves me with various issues to resolve but on the whole I’m not too troubled. I’m reverting to my earlier role of Project Engineer for various specialised, niche drilling works. This is a nominal demotion, but as a contractor approaching at least, semi-retirement I’ve long since ceased to concern myself with such things. The money is much the same, the location is better (in the sense of being close to home) and I have the various details at my fingertips. I might even get some time off, which I definitely feel the need of. Press on!
  7. I have to remark at this point that despite my widespread reputation for cynicism and misanthropy, I’ve been happily married for 36 years now. My good wife takes no interest whatsoever in my various interests and enthusiasms, and I’ve never doubted that this is an important element of that. Secondary aspects include a line of work which at times, produces sufficient cash flow to “stock up” against times when time is available and money is less so, without it actually passing through the domestic accounting process. No 1 Son is now promoting the idea that Grandad should build a “train set” for his toddler, my granddaughter, incorporating elements of his 1990s Hornby trainset, believed to be in the loft somewhere.. get the next generation on your side, however nominally, and you are off and running!
  8. Look at the small, remotely controlled diesel shunters the Germans build. The second (and sometime, third) exit is typically from the front of the cab, along a walkway to the front of the loco. The rear exit with steps both sides is very European in style. This isn’t feasible on a steam loco (unless you are American, or one of those Indian loco crew who perch on the buffer beam, spreading sand) because the boiler assembly is hot and fills the loading gauge. I suspect that this is a key problem with modern steam, though - that remote control is now commonplace for shunting applications, and I fully expect that robotic shunters controlled from a central console, along the same lines as the robot unloading cranes and camels seen increasingly in docks. Steam just doesn’t give the required characteristics of instant power or standby. Nor does it provide instant immobilisation from a single button. Moving along, third-Rail electric shunters would be the logical conclusion; DCC for 12”-1’ scale!
  9. I assume that the second (side) door is to meet a legal requirement that there must be a second exit from a workplace? I also remember reading that the Corris 0-4-2ST were considered dangerous when first at the Tal-yLlyn, because their (very low) cabs had only a single door, to one side
  10. Well, one of the last two posts is incorrect... Network Rail does, indeed show waiting rooms on 5/7 and 13/15, no mention of anything on 3 https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Bristol-Temple-Meads-Station-Map.pdf Both were already crowded at 18:00. Neither had information screens, neither was the platform I expected my late-running XC train to appear at. To add to the problem, the cafe on 5 closed about 18:30....
  11. Regarding various comments above.. surely the difference between VR and imagination, is that VR provides a controlled, predetermined content controlled by others? Regarding something real as false, and believing false things to be true are surely directly related, if not aspects of the same thing? A propos BBC production editing, I spent a very satisfying hour yesterday listening to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s account of his solo circumnavigation. I can’t imagine any other network producing such an absorbing hours’ listening centred on such a remarkable character and for those with iplayer, I strongly recommend it.
  12. My elder son is badgering me to “build a train set” for my grand-daughter.. I think he wants to see his Hornby (or Tri-Ang, I don’t recall - it is 25 years old after all and has been in the loft for a LONG time) TPO Coach in action again!
  13. Can’t say I noticed the “finger trap risk” , nor did I venture into First Class, but I did notice that the seats were the same sort of “good for 2 hrs max” that a lot of modern train designs (and aircraft) seem to have. Certainly a quick trawl around the Internet reveals various criticisms. But the set was the full length, on time, and appeared to have been cleaned since entering service, so they were ahead of XC on all counts...
  14. Just been to Cardiff for a client visit. XC Plymouth to Bristol PW was its usual scruffy, short-formed disappointment (also grossly overcrowded past Taunton, XC being apparently oblivious or uncaring about Cheltenham Week). GWR produced a pleasing change of scene with a rather swish 800 class for the 45 minutes or so to Cardiff; the first time I recall travelling on one if these, and I was rather impressed. Return journey started with a new-looking DMU from GWR, quite comfy and with a nifty little half-width table on some of the airline seats, which seem to be just that bit more roomy than XC’s “Hommes 40, Chevaux 8” layout. However there aren’t any waiting rooms at Bristol TM, a pity because XC were in full “Air Congo” mode ... 34 minutes late.... not really the weather for that sort of nonsense.
  15. http://ctt.trains.com/how-to/product-reviews/2006/05/lionel-o-gauge-railsounds-boxcar
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