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  1. What for? US railroad practice is essentially to maximise train length and minimise train numbers. UK railway practice focuses on traffic density, running train lengths which haven't really changed since the First World War. There WERE double headed freight workings in the diesel era but they were never common and I can't remember when I last saw one.
  2. Railways have ALWAYS been political, on some levels. Germany, in the modern sense was created by the railways (or more correctly, by State transport policy). Australia ran cross-country trains in a land with multiple track gauges, for political reasons. Mussolini's apocryphal achievement doesn't need repeating here. Abraham Lincoln considered the building of a trans-continental railway so important, that it continued even when the nation was locked in a fight for its very existence. It would have been inconceivable for Britain NOT to have fast, direct trains between its regional and central capitals, plus the great ports of Liverpool, Bristol and Southampton.
  3. ... which all points to why the Tudors created the institution of "the King's English" (or Queen's, as it might be) - because they recognised the importance, in an age when even spelling used by speakers from the same area was more a matter of opinion than fact, of a single, universally understood language in which legislation and the business of government be carried out. It was central to their great project (and despite the present fashion for portraying them on television as near-insane psycopaths, they thought deeply about their goals) of creating a unified nation in which the destructive family loyalties of the age were transferred to the Crown and Nation. This wasn't actually a new idea, it dated to the time of Alfred, but the Tudors worked out how to bring it about.
  4. Weren't Kirtleys double framed, rather than outside framed?
  5. I've never really found it a problem, but I've driven in various countries for many years. The main problem I find is the habit, common in the ME of driving on whichever part of the road seems to be most convenient or has the best surface.
  6. Out of curiosity, when would the term "hamburger" in the sense of a patty of ground meat, have come into use in British English? It was certainly in use in the US before WW2, Steinbeck uses the term "hamburg steak" in Cannery Row and Grapes of Wrath
  7. Spalding? Interestingly enough, Spalding appears to be the only town in Lincolnshire not to have somewhere named after it in either hemisphere, even Canada.
  8. It's curious that some early designers, if that's the correct term at that formative stage, seemed to have lacked understanding of the most basic aspects of steam locomotive design - that the boiler needs to big enough to provide an ongoing supply of steam, and there needs to be enough weight over the driving wheels to provide adhesion and hence, traction. This wasn't unknown at the time. Builders like Stephenson and Hackworth, involved in constructing locomotives for tramways, certainly understood the principles. Stephenson did quite a successful job of identifying the task set to contestants at Rainhill and building a locomotive to execute that task, whatever else it did or didn't achieve
  9. Looks like something you'd find on a minor Belgian tramway, probably in conjunction with outside frames, Joy valve gear and a half-round smokebox door
  10. Regarding wagons, coal and obsolescent design, it's worth bearing in mind that the British industry never learnt to make the large to very large steel castings which the Americans successfully used for applications ranging from tank hulls to locomotive chassis. The 1930s also showed the complete inability of the British system to make effective use of profits; whatever else nationalisation did or didn't do, it swept away the old system and transformed the coal mines into a world-class centre of technical excellence.
  11. I assume the horse radish sauce represented the hot axleboxes?
  12. It wouldn't. The classic American 4-4-0 was a development of the earlier 4-2-0 type, placing the weight of the firebox and large-diameter boiler section between two pairs of driving wheels thus maximising adhesion weight. Fireboxes were narrow and wagon-top boilers prominently tapered. Leading drivers were sometimes flangeless because bogie mounts were of the simple pin type used on 4-2-0 designs. As bogie mountings were developed and track improved, the ubiquitous "ten wheeler" 4-6-0 emerged. Pacifics were a different beast altogether.
  13. Big models are always interesting. I visited the Ringling Museum in Sarasota in Jan 20 and was much impressed by the "circus model" including, at one end a very nice "circus train" model which I believe is 1 gauge, you might imagine the size if the whole layout ...
  14. True, and also of the 2' gauge NGG16 types; but the LMS and NGG16 types were the most powerful locomotives to run on their respective track and loading gauges. The LMS units were designed to pull 1450 tons at 25mph, the subsequent BR 9F 900 tons at 35mph (although they were capable of going considerably faster).
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