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  • Location
    Fairbourne, Gwynedd, Cymru
  • Interests
    LNWR, LMS, West Coast AC Electrics, Midland Red, Crosville and Walsall/WMPTE buses, Classic British Airliners, VW and SAAB cars, The Eurovision Song Contest. Yes, really.

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  1. That was actually one of the projects I was involved in. We worked with the Dudley Borough artist Steve Field to design the paving, the glass blower statue, the railings and other features, and later when a toilet block was added, he designed that. Ironically, it shortened the branch even further, as when the project first came up for funding, it was just to refurbish the bus station. However, when we discussed the project with the operators and the team managing the bus station, they said what they really needed two extra bays and could keep the shelters going for a bit longer. So to get
  2. "Vernacular" architecture advocates always amuse me. They coo and gush about St Pauls, or in railway circles St Pancras, completely oblivious to the fact neither of these buildings in any way reflected the "vernacular" that surrounded them. In fact, there is somewhere a very funny (for us Planners) Planning Committee report advocating the refusal of St Pauls Cathedral as being of an inappropriate size, potential to cause congestion, the non-vernacular architecture and materials and detrimental affect on the amenity of neighbouring property. St Pancras, which let's not forget was a second-ha
  3. Looks more like an Optare Excel (1995-2004) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optare_Excel But is more likely a generic modern low floor impression with a pod for the batteries/hydrogen/bionic duckweed just used to illustrate integrated transport. I like the design, simple, attractive, and with Covid likely to be around for the foreseeable, the medics advise plenty of fresh air and ventilation is one of the best defences against catching it. I'd rather have an open station with no dangerous places for thugs to hide, plenty of ventilation, space to move away from other people (not a pe
  4. Yes and no, it's a WMR unit that should by now have been transferred to EMR to start the replacement of the 153/156 units, but because WMR's Cif Cavities are not ready for service, the unit has been repainted but sent back to Tyseley to stay on the diagrams it had been working, if that makes sense. EMR will eventually be getting the WMR fleet, whose three car units have been shrunk down to two, with the centre cars going to X-Factor Trains to add to their two car sets used on the Nottingham-Cardiff and Birmingham-Leicester and beyond routes. Jim - if you've not tried it I can recomme
  5. Speculation, but I wonder if the fact Oxford is under the day to day administration of Lyndon Davies' daughter Eloise has led to a cooling off on the rail range? The HST trailers seem to be a no-brainer in terms of market as despite having purchased two rakes of Hornby Mk3s for my two HSTs I'd much prefer a complete rake of Oxfords based on their loco hauled coaches, gimcrack design and Greygate notwithstanding. The Hornby Mk3s are nice but are let down in some areas. The rail side of the business seems to have petered out, and the diecast range seems to be treading water a bit. Shame real
  6. I remember reading a post somewhere on this forum that someone had asked Peco about the gantries and got told that the delay had been in part down to a decision to move production from Sommerfeldt to in house, but then hit further problems with the in-house production not being robust enough. It seems that they are determined to do them but the project has had an unfortunate series of setbacks, the most latest being Peco turning a lot of their production over to PPE for the pandemic and now playing catch-up with their mainstream track production. It's good that Peco are still showing the
  7. Peco did list the multi-track gantries in the 2020 "Spring Report" (an online leaflet thing) Peco 2020 Spring Report
  8. Peco ones are metal I think whilst the Dapol ones are plastic. The fact I've only just learned how to solder after 45 years of trying was another push towards the solderless Dapol masts. I seem to recall the Peco ones need some components soldering on but don't quote me on that. I suspect the Peco option would be more robust but for many the Dapol option will be adequate. The one good thing about Peco is they are still committed to do multi-track portal gantries which Dapol dropped like a hot brick some years back. Whether the increase in interest in overhead line modelling might make
  9. The Dapol wires are relatively easy to install, but are a bit fiddly. The key to good installation is get the post locations spot on, or you may find your wire is slightly too short, causing the register arms to bend, or too long, causing a loss of tension. I speak from experience, my baseboards are like Swiss Cheese because I was a few mm out in post installation. I also found adding a blob of superglue to the wires once fixed on the mast to be invaluable, as track cleaning can be an issue if like me you are a bit clumsy. More than once the wires came pinging off because I caught the mast
  10. All the talk about the 24/0 and SLW - to be honest, I'm probably going to end up with a mixed bag of new Bachmann, SLW and Heljan 24s and 25s, they are all comparable price wise, probably slightly more choice of options with the Bachmann/Heljan range than SLW (he's not got a non-Scottish 24 in his sales range at the moment although that will no doubt be remedied) but the quality and in particular the sound options for SLW are outstanding. As you can never have too many Rats in the Black Country, I'm happy to pick and mix as finances allow. If anything, the SLW - Heljan - Bachmann competi
  11. Flippin' Nora, I was bemoaning the choice of unlined utility black as the launch livery for the LMS standard Compound 9 years ago!!! More to the point, I still haven't built my LMS layout yet...
  12. A red Compound. Am I hallucinating? Intercity Mk2fs. Nice. Class 24 unexpected but also of interest, and I doubt SLW are too worried as they have plenty of new stuff on finals. Interesting announcements. Now Barwell, where's that Class 310 seeing as you've finally got round to the Crimson Rambler?
  13. I think my dislike of footy caused my late father to question my true parentage as he was an avid football fan despite being a Walsall supporter. I'm most definitely the odd one out in the family, my brother is also a mad keen football fan and my uncle and cousins are season ticket holders for the Saddlers. It was always amusing when, in a past job, I got to visit The Hawthorns executive box (nice food, I gather some team called West Bromwich Academicals play there) and the board room of a football team in Witton in the course of my job, much to the envy of the avid fans of said teams in my
  14. The prolonged nice spell has enabled me to progress some bits and bobs on the layout, but the main works have been an extra heavy clean, stock sorting and a rethink on the backscene, to make it easier to remove for access to the fiddle yard behind. However, I've also been doing some work on the stock. Today, I repaired and converted a DC Kits AL1 in 1966-7 livery, which I had bought many moons ago and which was fitted with a Black Beetle, to which I fitted a DCC converted Hornby 86 chassis. It's actually a pretty good fit once you shorten it slightly at each end and cut back the chassis
  15. It's probably a co-incidence but over the past week or so an increased number of earlier Heljan 86/2 models have appeared on the Bay of Tat. Given none of the liveries are in any way being replaced by the new models, other than a co-incidence I do wonder if these are models bought to be "backdated" to earlier styles now no longer needed for these projects? I've been able to blag a few backdated Heljan 86/2s in a number of liveries over the years off the Bay and other sources, and it just seems a notable increase over the usual rocking-horse dung rarity of these models on the site. That said
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