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Mike Storey

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  • Location
    Charente Maritime, France
  • Interests
    BR Southern Region, 1975 - 1986. Building a model in 00 based on Queenborough, Sheppey, Kent. I also model live steam in the garden, scale 16mm/ft, 32mm gauge.

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  1. This is now looking like a serious railway Bob. Outstanding.
  2. Not exactly. Only 27% of all fares income derives from full price tickets (Standard and First). Another 18% comes from Season Tickets. So 55% of all income is achieved from discounted tickets. You could allow that some discounted travel is for business, but equally some full fare travel may be for leisure/visiting friends etc etc. (2017/18 - source ORR Report Jan 2019).
  3. The engine shed and coal stage have come out very well indeed! It is difficult to get it all to look right, and you have managed that. I have just finished restoring one signal box (ex-Old Bob) and have recently finished a new kit of another. I am just in the finishing stages of the Pendle Valley engine shed kit, and hope to post photos soon on my thread "Belle End", when the weather improves!!
  4. That is true enough, even if you made it dual gauge, 32mm and 45mm. It is probably a niche, in that (almost?) no-one else does that. The question will be, how much will the b***ers spend in your pub? Or, perhaps more relevant, how much will it attract others to the pub, for them to spend on some serious drinking/eating? It would very much depend on the organiser making it an inclusive event each month (or fortnight), something quite demanding of time and energy, aside from running the place. Possibly something to ponder, whilst we await the permitted re-opening of our most sacred institutions......
  5. The buildings are looking good! For coal, a method I have seen used is to break up polystyrene into the smallest bits possible, stick them together in clumps and then spray them black and grey. Used to lighten loads in wagons, but may work equally well for this? Alternatively, sharp grit, but this is much harder to paint. Fortunately, I have some real coal, purloined on a visit to the UK some time back.
  6. Ah, but Rule 1 applies, which means the nearby cement works do not exist. I think it much more likely to have a cement works here than a re-fuelling depot! But then, what reason will you have to run a number of light locos on to the scene? Tricky decision....
  7. I managed to watch (most of) the re-run of the Transport Select Committee from Friday, solely about HS2. Very, very interesting but nothing terribly revelatory. John Armitt, giving evidence, was superb in the way he contextualised all the issues, by comparing them to other grand schemes and previous cases from the UK and around the world. One key fact was about the decision to keep 18 trains per hour as the spec - he emphasised that LGV lines in France had been built to lower frequency specifications, to keep costs down, but since then, the French have wanted to increase frequencies, despite double-deckers, and found it to be horrendously expensive. The "new" Minister for HS2, Trans-Pennine Upgrade and Northern Powerhouse, Andrew Stephenson, was actually quite impressive. One thing he said though, was, as well as the Euston Complex, that HS2 Phase 2B would be developed by somebody/something other than HS2 Ltd (to leave HS2 Ltd to concentrate on delivering Phases 1 and 2A). This kind of contradicted what the CEO of HS2 Ltd said about the work. I have not seen anything else about this - does anyone know?
  8. OB - is that plastic water tank (or whatever it is) in the way, or can you get around it?
  9. Fairly standard action for this sort of work (apart from the crowdfunding). I dealt with dozens of them. Almost all lost. The only one I can recall that "won", was in relation to an enlarged cutting (at Filton Abbey Wood) whereby we had purchased the ends of gardens and funded a new boundary wall. But we had missed one - right at the end, and marginal to say the least. We settled out of court for that (peanuts effectively). The most important thing for HS2 to watch is whether this could set a precedent in law, or at least a precedent for that stretch of work. If there is any merit, stand by for a sudden withdrawal, meaning an undisclosed settlement, not to be reported publicly. £3m could easily turn into £30m or more, along the row. But as others have said, given the mitigations that are now standard for such works, the likelihood of merit for the subsidence case is remote.
  10. I don't understand this - if parliament can resume using remote tech, then surely committees can as well? https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/hs2/hs2-parliamentary-hearings-delayed-23-04-2020/
  11. This is beginning to look every bit as impressive as the railway it replaced OB!!
  12. Lifts are usually much cheaper to install, if there is sufficient space/headroom, but they carry a much greater long term cost. For example, we tried to fit ramps in at around 40 stations (during a programme in the late 90's/early 00's - the beginning of the Access for All programme) but found the average construction cost (two platforms) was well in excess of £500k, whereas lifts were usually about £100k each (16 person version, or room to turn a wheelchair), especially so if it was possible to connect them to an existing bridge. But the sponsor went for ramps at virtually every location, as no-one could promise to fund the operational/maintenance and repair costs of lifts.
  13. Well, in this time of lockdown and with the good weather now upon us here, and now having got most of the decorating, maintenance and gardening jobs out of the way, I am ready to carry on with the railway. But in this time of lockdown, I have run out of sand, cement and concrete...... will just have to make a few more kits. Roll on 11th May (maybe)!!
  14. My 2 HAPs have gone back to September, which is fine by me. But I wonder if they will stick to these dates, given there is now talk of a second wave (of the virus)? There are already reports of some new cases in China, not attributed directly to people returning from abroad. Not many, it is true. I think we may have to assume that these dates are aspirations.
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