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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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wombatofludham's Achievements



  1. On the 86/4 front, I wonder if any retailer (or even Heljan) might want to do a nice thing (and get some good publicity in the process) and release a fundraising model of 86408, "St John Ambulance"? As it happens, there are only two 86s which have been named after charities which rely on public donations (the other being 244, the Royal British Legion, assuming you consider "Rotary" and "Lions" to be less dependent on public fundraising) so it could be a nice way of doing something good and raising the profile not just of St John but also the model. Purely selfishly, I'd be up for 2, one to rename and renumber to "Wulfruna" as conveniently 408 had the full depth yellow front and not the grey band featured on the first ICX release!
  2. Thanks for the offer and going to all that trouble. I've had a tinker with my 3d printer to see if I could do something, given they are tiny and my printer is a cheap and basic model I wasn't hopeful, but I'm pleased with the results. Not 100% but close enough from normal viewing distances, so I might have solved the problem. But thanks again, that's what makes this forum a good place, that people are able to help like this.
  3. The creature lives Dr Frankenstein. Talk about a listing soup. Triangeljan AL1-6 if you squint
  4. For many years the bridge opened to allow the occupier of Coes Faen (the Clock House) to sail his boat up to the back door, and I've seen a photo of the bridge open in the 1960s but my understanding is, apart from tests of the mechanism, by the late 60s the bridge seldom opened "for real" and eventually the mechanism was removed. Today the Three Peaks sets off from the harbour. Penmaenpool was home to some ship building industry and was the limit of tidal waters where wool from Dolgellau and slate from nearby could be loaded onto coastal craft. Prior to the Cambrian railway building the line from Barmouth Junction to Dolgellau, when they built the tollbridge across the river at the limit of navigation, a ferry used to ply the river there, so there would probably have been a period when the bridge would have been opened more frequently before the railway killed off the coastal trade in slate and wool products.
  5. We're going to be checking the layout this Tuesday for decay/damage after it's enforced nearly 2 year closure. We probably will be looking to open again next year, assuming the world doesn't go bang in the meantime. We'll know more after Tuesday and once we've had a think about how to handle the post-pandemic rules that might apply.
  6. The second Barmouth Bridge is the swing bridge, which last swung some years back. The FIRST Barmouth Bridge was indeed a lift and draw contraption. The current swing bridge dates from a rebuild between 1899 and 1901 following the discovery of corrosion in the supports for the drawbridge. So for the first thirty or so years the viaduct was a peculiar drawbridge contraption. (edit) Beat me to it @corneliuslundie
  7. It is a very substantial job they are undertaking, they've sourced hardwood from the Baltics where the original timbers came from and a lot of steelwork is being replaced. It has all been agreed with Cadw and should give the bridge a secure future for several decades to come. As a "railway neighbour" (I'm about 500 yds from Fairbourne Station and feel the Earth move every time one of the 97s go past in the night) I'm getting regular circular letters on the works. One thing that impressed me about the correspondence was the Welsh translation. I've learned the language and use it nearly every day in what is, outside Fairbourne, still primarily a Welsh speaking area, and instead of the clunky BR era "Bont y Bermo" the bridge has more accurately been translated as "Traphont Abermaw". Barmouth is one of the few places which has three names - the English Barmouth, the original Welsh Abermaw (the Mouth of the Maw(ddach)) and Y Bermo. Y Bermo is a corruption of "Abermaw" and led to the English translation as "Barmouth" and is generally not regarded as the official Welsh name for the town, and "Traphont" is the Welsh word for "viaduct", "Bont" being a bridge. So to a purist "Traphont Abermaw" is a more correct name than "Bont y Bermo". Didn't stop me buying a model of 37427 even if it triggers my linguistic OCD every time I run it. I just call it "Bunty".
  8. I did think about them, but they don't seem to be available as spares when I checked both Gaugemaster (the current spares supplier) and Howes (the previous spares supplier). Frustratingly, a friend who had a large fleet of Heljan tubby Duffs had just flogged off his surplus spares including the unused RCH sprues when I asked him if he had any knocking around!
  9. I'm on the lookout for the jumper cable fittings used on the fronts of Class 86 and 87 locos in 1988. I've tried Google to no avail, and I can't find them on Shawplan's website. They must be available as I've seen detailed Hornby 86s with them fitted for sale on Tatbay but despite my efforts I'm drawing a blank, unless I'm doing something wrong. So, I'm asking my fellow modellers of trains with coathangers on the roof, any suggestions where I might find RCH jumpers for the cab fronts of AC electrics?
  10. As a bit of a fan of Virtual Railfan I was actually watching this live when it happened. During lockdown I discovered VR and the Tucson cams were a regular habit, where the Sunset Limiteds stop for a refuel by a truck parked on the platform, which takes about 50 minutes, during which time those on board wander around, have a smoke, wave at the webcam and generally have a break from the long journey. As such, in a way it's become a familiar place despite me never having set foot on US soil, let alone Tuscon. So when I heard loud gunshots close to the webcam about ten minutes into the refuelling stop, it was shocking, made all the more so by the fact I knew this was live, bar a few seconds delay. The policeman with the drug-sniffer dog who ran towards the shooter, before having to run for cover behind the equipment shed, is a regular on the camera when the local police do random drug sweeps of the train during the lengthy stop. I asked the chat community what they were doing when I first saw them, and was told they often sweep the train as it runs from California to New Orleans via some stops close to the Mexican border, and have witnessed the odd dope peddlar getting taken off the train after the dog had found something. So, to see them getting shot at was like witnessing a familiar face getting shot at. It really got to me when I saw elderly passengers being evacuated onto the low platform and trying to rush as best they could away from the gunfire. In particular, after the situation had been contained, when two elderly and frail people were escorted from the very coach in which the gunfight had taken place, the woman virtually having to be carried she was so distraught, I wondered how they would cope with having presumably been trapped in the carriage by their frailty when, I assume, the other more able bodied were able to escape into the adjacent cars. It's certainly not something you expect to see on what has been a fun to follow series of webcams and without wanting to get too political, makes me grateful we have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Of course, it won't stop illegal weapon use, nor does it, but having seen live the trauma play out in Tucson with an increasing sense of horror, it is one of the few things I feel good about this country that we don't have a widespread gun culture.
  11. The other thing which should be improving the sales of AC electrics is the much wider range of stock available - the 85 initially was ploughing a lonely furrow with only the Heljan 86/2 of broadly comparable standard (acknowledged flaws excepted) so probably struggled a bit for initial sales. Now, with the Hornby 87, the Heljan retooled AL6-86 and their own 90 I suspect sales will have picked up. Certainly the 85 seems to be getting difficult to get hold of in some liveries, and are fetching decent prices on Tatbay which, if you analyse trends rather than individual items, is a pretty good analogue for market desirability. Basically we now, or shortly will have, a sufficiently decent range of models to be able to run a convincing representation of West Coast Electrics from about 1967 onwards. The obvious missing links would be an AL1-4 and an EMU but I have a feeling they may yet come.
  12. You could try and source, via Tatbay, the first generation Heljan 86/2 "Alstom Heritage" if you are not too fussed about the flaws with the model and the National Grid surplus pantograph. The do turn up from time to time. Otherwise it is a case of wait for the programme to move forward onto the 86/2 using the current tooling. The current AL6 would require some serious modelling as Gordon suggests, headlight, roof fire extinguisher bottles, Flexicoil springs, TDM jumpers, plated headcodes, plus at the risk of re-igniting the "bluegate" controversy, I'm not entirely convinced "Les Ross" is the correct shade of blue, it's too bright, almost Walsall Corporation bus blue.
  13. It has in places Armco barriers but they, like many across Gwynedd, are so worn they'd struggle to stop a runaway Zimmer frame. This, I'm afraid, is Gwynedd playing it's usual game of pass the buck. Their motto ought to be "Yr ateb yw Na, be' oedd y cwestiwn?" Thing is, I'm pretty sure that this is an unusual case where the road came after the railway. Although Fairbourne didn't exist until 1906, there was a road across the marshes along which the Royal Mail was carried to the ferry across the Mawddach, which was run by the monks of Barmouth, since the middle ages. However, it went over the old "Drover's Road" which went up into the hills, and the road which now links Dolgellau and Tywyn via Friog and Llwyngwril was a turnpike built after the railway. It was widened which dislodged material onto the track which caused one of the two Friog derailments, this one in the 1930s, so to be honest I can't see why Network Rail should pay for any repairs unless they have damaged it when doing the rock stabilisation work a few years back. One good thing though today is if a car did land on the track, the in cab signalling ought to be able to issue a stop order as soon as Mach is notified, unlike when the previous two derailments occurred.
  14. It is bad, not quite sure why NRW are being pointed at, although NRW have done some works in the area the wall was partially dismantled by Network Rail when they did some work on the retaining wall keeping the railway in place. Unless the cross eyed BBC in Cardiff have mistaken Network Rail Wales for Natural Resources Wales. But yes, if a car came off or through what is left of the wall it could easily send a train over the edge if it lands on the track, and given the number of prangs there have been on the cliff road this summer with the huge increase in visitors locally, I suspect it's a matter of when more than if.
  15. One of 3 Bachmann Ken Dodds for sale on Tatbay at the moment. DCC Doddy Disappointed there's no sound option.
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