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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. "Oi! Yow. Ow much longer yam gonna be? Mi buzz back ter Pye Green is abowt to leave and it's one of thowse noice comfy single decks but oi need t'ring me mom..." Wench who knows about WMPTE's new Leyland National private hire semi-coaches and how nice and comfy they are has a row with some bloke in a phone box at Wednesford.
  2. A 155 could be a canny move, for a small class in Provincial days they were seen quite widely across the west, West Midlands and north-west, and the small West Yorkshire sub fleet ran coast to coast and are still going strong having worn some attractive colour schemes. In any case, I doubt Hornby would be even slightly interested in doing a 155, they seem to have a decidedly bi-polar attitude to non-water boilers and in any case a 155 to the same standards as the Realtrack 156 would be superior in every way, not least because it would be able to have DCC fitted without having to do major surgery and would have decent sound. Hornby only pay lip service to DCC and managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with their otherwise brilliant Class 87 over the issue. So, if there is any chance longer term of a Realtrack 155, I'll be up for a Provo liveried one. Although quite how you will model the doors opening whilst running (an early fault with the class) will be interesting.
  3. Three dots showed the end with first class accommodation. Even at the end, when Regional Railways refurbished some to all standard seating as three car units, the wider seating bays were kept and the roof box still showed three dots. Due to the first class seating there was also one less door per side in the DTC compared to the DTS which was another quick recognition clue. You can probably tell, as a regular user of the units during the 80s when they turned up on the Walsall line, which was second class only, I had worked out how to get a free first class ride home from my studies at my Perry Barr alma-mater.
  4. Watching "trainspotting live" (Railcam's Crewe camera via YouTube and a smart telly...) I've noticed a few Manchester to South Wales (Carmarthen, Cardiff) services at Crewe worked by "double bubble" twin 153s, in amongst the more usual 175s, during the reduced timetable period. TfW Rail seem to have inherited the old Arriva random unit generator including a two car 150 yesterday on a South Wales to Manchester service. Bet that was fun, I like 150s and once went on one from Birmingham to Norwich when new but I think I would be a little upset if a 150 turned up instead of a 158 or 175.
  5. All the talk of Class 117s being too similar to a 116 - that didn't stop Bachmann from producing a series of low density DMUs after the Class 108, we got the 105, original (and arguably more obscure) Derby Lightweight, and a 101 despite there being the "competing" Limby 101 - so Bachmann clearly understand the DMU market and seem keen to maximise the use of the mechanical bits of any models to make further designs. Having invested all this moolah in a new underframe with what sounds like very good mechanicals, it would be more of a surprise if they didn't make a 116, although I suspect a 120 might be further up the queue, or a 119 if the slightly different underframe of the 120 is a problem (in fact the 119 has a better chance because of the important NSE livery option which was never carried by the 120). Also, in theory, a two car Class 114 could be an option for the long underframe unit and whilst superficially similar to a 108 apart from the length, being a very early DMU type they had a very long life and later emerged as Post Office conversions, which could make for interesting sales options. So personally I doubt very much if the Class 117 has killed off the chance of a 116 in the same way the 108 didn't kill off the production of further low density units. And modellers seem to be snapping up these units in spite of the price, so it seems that Bachmann have managed to move us off the price sensitive obstacle to quality three car units.
  6. Veering off route for a moment, when I worked at Centro one year we did a publicity stunt for the "Don't Choke the City" which encouraged car drivers to try alternative transport. Our "alternative" involved two members of staff dressed as a panto horse, drawing a rickshaw with the office's lightest "businessman" in it. The rickshaw was waiting at the New Street enquiry office, but the panto horse had to get from King's Norton to New Street by train. The service we caught was short formed and already full and standing, including the guard's van, by the time it got to King's Norton. However, completely unfazed, the guard just opened the guard's van doors of the Class 117 forming the service as if a panto horse was a normal event on the Cross City. Even more bizarre, no one looked up from their books or newspapers as the panto horse boarded.
  7. According to this image on the Railcar site, the 121s were delivered with marker lights, as were, apparently, the last three Class 117 sets, so the Bachmann model is correct - although possibly less so if they show double red tail lights in green! Railcar Website Class 121
  8. Very useful, thanks, pretty much as I suspected although I wasn't aware of the 118s having migrated to Tyseley in 1986. I suspect I'm going to have to stretch Rule 1 or pretend it's a 118 to fit my 1986 timetable!
  9. I'm wondering if anyone can remember when the 117s first became allocated to Tyseley? I've got in the back of my mind 1987, but that photo of the Cardiff set having moved from Tyseley in 1988 makes me wonder if I've got it right. Could it have been 1986? Tyseley's DMU fleet was in a state of flux around then, with two car Class 114 and 108 units coming to the depot, the 116 units being gangway fitted, the 101s heading off to East Anglia, so I wonder if the 117s first arrived about then?
  10. Photo here on Flickr of a unit that had moved to Cardiff from Tyseley in 1989, at Abercynon, so it seems they did get to Caerdydd (not my photo I hasten to add), 117 at Abercynon on Flickr
  11. I wonder if Tipp-Ex would simulate ***twrap that has got stuck on the pipe? Asking for a friend...
  12. Ben, I would hope that in a day or so you will come to realise that the histrionic wailing of the Finescale Taliban do not represent the majority of people on this forum and their intemperate personal criticism and dummy spitting is, I would venture to suggest, condemned by the majority on here - and I would hope others who feel this way will post or back this up. I've bought Heljan models which have recieved criticism in the past (Class 86 and 33) and yes, I can see faults (the National Grid surplus pylon used for the pantograph for example) but, I've taken the view that overall, they fit my purpose and when viewed from the equivalent of a ten storey building 200 feet from the track, they satisfy me. Your involvement on this forum and in bringing forward and revisiting models for the UK market, including revising the 86 which I never thought would happen as long as I draw breath, has been positive. I like perfection. I also know it is unattainable at a price I'm prepared to pay in a manner that makes commercial sense. When I saw the photos posted by Lee on his Facebook feed I thought "Wow, that does look nice". I didn't see the cab door, and as my first reaction was positive, I'll be ordering one or two. However, if every model you bring forward is going to lead to you and your company being insulted so publicly, can I suggest you start making other locos with coathangers on the roof? Classes Al1-AL4 still haven't been done, and then there's the AM10 unit as well. Leave the oil-burners to their voodoo dolls and pitchfork practice, those of us who like electrics will be very happy to have a full deck of classic sparkies to play with. But above all, don't let the disgraceful rantings of a minority cause you or the company to withdraw from the interaction on here. It has been appreciated by many.
  13. Following on from the discovery of shrinking plastic, I've tried to get the product to produce scale 48 sheet advert hoardings (in real life 10 by 20 feet, so a scale 40 by 80mm) but trying to work out the shrinkage was proving a problem, and the larger the original, the more distortion crept in. Then the brain kicked in. The main reason for me wanting plastic signs was down to paper or card not liking damp or changes in temperature, and whilst it is possible to apply a lacquer to paper or card to protect it, the fibrous nature of the material would still make it prone to curling or delaminating. However, I had successfully printed on to the plastic sheet in full colour without smudging, so why not 3d print a set of bespoke hoardings, print out the adverts onto a sheet of the shrinking plastic, to the correct dimensions, cut and trim, then glue to the hoarding? Just to be on the safe side, I gave the printed plastic a spray of photographic lacquer (used to protect home printed photos) but being on plastic, glued into a recess on the hoardings, they should hopefully be more robust than paper prints. So, the inkjet printable shrinking plastic has solved my signage problem but not as I thought it would. The local rag and Cock Marling's new brew Cock Inn Cider. The hoardings are mounted on the planter boxes with the 3d printed name of the station on them that I was going to use on the platform. However, I thought 3d printed station name signage would look odd, but the planters make the ideal base for an advert hoarding located on the redundant track bed, planted up by the Wednesford in Bloom Swat Team who seem to be everywhere across the town. The retaining walls haven't been glued into place yet Move to Wednesford and buy a new home via Ben Gallow Estate Agents. Or, if you are filthy rich, buy a factory instead from the Council. Your choice. "Leave it, leave it to Len, leave it to Len Langlands…" Part of the fun of making your own ads is (a) you can stick two fingers up to corporate flim-flam and (b) you can have fun with friends and relatives. My cousin and her daughter in law in this case, and the three most argumentative solicitors in Wednesford played by three friends. ...and in this case, my niece, who loves art and crafts, her dad, who is an expert modeller in his own right, and my cousin's son whose taxi firm has explosive fares deals. Clearly Cassocks from Hassocks are happy the preponderance of clergy rail enthusiasts make it worth their while advertising in the Midlands when their retail outlet is on the Brighton Line. I wouldn't mind, but to get there from Wednesford would take forever, changing from the daily direct service to Brighton at Gatport Airwick. Wednesford's Premier Night Out, the Knight Inn Cabaret Bar and Lounge. Actually, apart from the Poplars and the chippy, it's probably Wednesford's only night out unless you fancy paying for an evening horizontal leisure consultant. Which reminds me, I must pop over to the Noch website and have a look at their "sexy scenes"... Funny, Wednesford's graphic designers don't seem to know if they are in the 60s, 70s or 80s judging by the typefaces. It'll end up being twinned with Scarfolk.
  14. My personal preference is that they move onto IC Executive which lasted nearly 10 years in service, almost as long as their use in blue (and there's three options in that minefield, with the original jumper cables, with the jumpers and the TDM connections, and without the jumpers and just the TDMs to keep them happy!) and then possibly one of the "celebrity" repaints like Purple Ronnie or the ACoRP Black livery, although personally not the faux NSE livery, that would be too much. My bet is the next releases will be Exec and a celeb. Of course, there's also un-named blue as delivered, although I suspect Hornby would consider that guise less attractive than a "namer". Once 002 starts to run on the main line in whatever use LSL have planned for it there might be interest in doing a model then but perhaps as a dealer special.
  15. That's very sad. It's exactly the kind of service rural areas like mid-Powys need. Not everyone has access to journey planners and ticketing on line, especially in rural areas where broadband provision can be slower than pigeon post, plus older people need a face to talk to and who can ask the right questions to make sure what exactly the individual needs. In any case, on line ticket and journey planners are notoriously inflexible, a person with knowledge of the arcane British ticketing system can often come up with innovative options that save money and make the ticket buyer feel good about rail travel. I've had many examples where a ticket office clerk has saved me a few pounds by suggesting alternative ticket options the ticket machine or on line options were not programmed to do, which is why I'm strongly in favour of staffed stations. Is there anyone else in the community or group who could take on the service, perhaps on a voluntary basis with some grant aid?
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