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LNER4479

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LNER4479 last won the day on March 19 2015

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  1. My understanding re the A3s leaving the GC is this was part of a wider shuffle round of the ER pacific fleet in conjunction with a re-cast ECML timetable based on service accelerations, starting with the Talisman in 1956. The ones that went to Grantham were to replace the latter depot's Peppercorn A1s which were henceforth used more intensively and efficiently, cutting down on the loco changes at Grantham (which had been reintroduced big time in the immediate post-war era due to the Gresley pacifics not taking too kindly to minimal maintenance attention during the unpleasantness). Add to that the fitment of double chimneys to the A3s from 1957 onwards, greatly improving their performance, and the stage was set for the glorious swansong on the ECML immediately prior to the diesel revolution. Meanwhile, the GC started on its sad, inexorable decline ...
  2. Two of his layouts have been in the mags over the years. First was 'Hanbury' RM March 1983 ROTM (photography by Brian Monaghan!) Then 'Strathmore Route' Model Rail May 2001 (my favourite of them all to operate) Those mammoth operating sessions were actually on the previous layout to 'Hanbury', dismantled in 1975 (house move) and never made it to the mags. Current layout (Aberdeen) is ready for photography and is on the 'to do' list now lockdown is starting to lift.
  3. My love of operating was nurtured from a very early age. As some will be aware, my father is also a great railway enthusiast and railway modeller and his layouts have always leant towards operations. His layouts always run to a 24 hour timetable (his present one still does) - and it takes 24 hours to go through 24 hours, even if that means occasional (but not too many) moments of waiting for the clock to tick round. The night time hours are for sleeping car trains, fish trains, express freights (etc). As a train-mad child, I recall many a wet, rainy weekend day when we'd repair to the Model Railway Room after breakfast and start operating the layout. We'd start after breakfast at around 10 in the morning and restart the clock from wherever the last operating session had got up to, the locos and stock all ready to pick up where they'd previously left off. Lunch time would come and go with Mum bringing up a plate of sandwiches. Still we were shunting stock up in the station, locos were coming on and off shed. Even tea time (hot meal) wouldn't interrupt things, a convenient 'slack' time being arranged for the plated meals to be brought up as we continued on. At half 7 or 8, I'd nip out to get into my pyjamas and there'd be a final train agreed to be run before I went to bed. We'd been operating the layout - nay, running a railway - for 10 hours continuously. Locos had come off shed for a planned working, gone to the 'rest of the world', returned with their balanced working and come back on shed in that time. They'd been periods of intense activity, where keeping to time was a real challenge and required thinking ahead and they'd been quieter times when you could catch up with shunting or cycling locos around the shed (all needed to go over the ash pit, to the coaler, turned and be watered before being berthed in the shed building). A subsequent career on the railways only served to sharpen the awareness of how a railway is operated with hopefully a fair dose of that ploughed back into the subsequent layouts I've built. I guess we all have our own stories to tell that influence our own particular preferences within this great hobby of ours.
  4. I (sadly) never saw Charwleton at a show in its original (ie steam era) format; however I've discussed the layout several times with Tony (Wright). One thing you say, Tony, is that after a while the operating team abandoned the planned shunting moves for the simple reason that it effectively 'shut down' the rest of the layout and unduly interrupted the 'parade' of trains. 'Nothing moving on this layout' (from the viewers down at the tunnel end) That 'chimes' with me as we have a similar syndrome on Grantham. We have a pretty established sequence of 30 stages (each of which includes up to 3 or 4 individual 'moves') and everyone's happy when that's one of the premium expresses flying through. But that's contrasted by other stages where there's a shunt across the mainlines or a loco change going on. I like to think that we aim for a balance in that respect and certainly don't intend fundamentally changing it. And we probably get away with it more as it's a more complex layout with capacity for four or five movements to be happening simultaneously so there's usually something moving somewhere, including the now activated road system (which I quite happily accept as more of a gimmick). Those that appreciate more of the minutiae of prototypical operation clearly enjoy it and hang on the barriers for hours, but I suspect that the overall popularity of the layout suffers a little overall. We now have an interesting contrast with Shap, which is much more of a 'parade' layout and the early signs are that it'll probably be judged as a more successful / popular layout in time. So what do you do? Pander to the exhibition visitors who only have a 30 second attention span or stay true to the original concept (assuming that is sound in the first place) and keep the balance between the spectacular and the mundane in depicting a typical vignette of the slice of railway you're trying to portray.
  5. Kyle more of a fishing / ferry port (for Skye) than specifically built for tourists but I absolutely see where you're coming from. I need to go trawling (ha - see what I did there) through my photo archive as I have a fair few pix of some of these surviving places. I was going to suggest Wemmiss Bay ...
  6. Well, if you add Euston Road to Promenade it did! It's certainly 'grand' enough https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW042134 Just thought the 'poor man's Blackpool' deserved a mention (and if someone doesn't 'bite' on that I'll be amazed)
  7. Morecambe, to include the iconic, art deco Midland Hotel, open once again to the well-heeled. Scarborough famous of course for having the largest platform bench in the world - probably.
  8. Seeing as how no-one else has mentioned it - and I've made a condensed model of it - Manchester Central, t'other end of t'line from St Pancras and every bit as grand.
  9. That is a simply FANTASTIC collection of footage - thanks Tom for finding and Jonathan for highlighting. The priceless piece of footage at the end is of the Up 'Aberdonian' setting off on its journey south from the Granite City - the ex-Coronation twin was attached at the front to provide evening eats and drinks as far as Edinburgh. It was still in use thus in the mid-1950s, repainted into Blood n custard livery. The whole film is worth watching, especially all the different freight train formations and shades of bauxite-brown to be seen. Fish traffic is prominent and the formation of those is especially interested, with several examples of a raft of vans attached behind the guards van, presumably for dropping off en route. Great stuff!
  10. Likewise enjoying the show! Thanks to all at the BRM team for pulling this together and for giving up precious weekend time to 'run' the show for us. Just a quick note on the Team Grantham GMRC final layout video that is now on there. I don't think it takes eagle eyes for the discerning modeller to spot that the layout isn't actually 'finished' as such yet - but, hey, never let facts get in the way of a good story! The 'story' is that - despite all urges to unceremoniously 'bin' the thing at completion of filming, Andrew struck up a deal (aka a severe case of arm twisting) to recover the layout to his Dad's house. Andrew then ended up spending much of the recent lockdown at said house which allowed a concentrated period of activity on the layout, the results of which you see here. The plan was to premier the layout at this year's Hartlepool show, several of the team being involved with the running of said show (not yet officially cancelled); this weekend's BRM show seemed like as a good place as any to preview the progress to date. Yours truly needs to digitus extractus to finish off the removeable scenery piece which will occupy the rather glaring space behind the water splash pool and also make up the Faller Ferris wheel, the mock up of which can be seen in the background in some of the views.
  11. Thanks, guys. I certainly can't take credit for the idea - the idea was shamelessly 'nicked' from an article in Oct 2017 RM called 'the gate'. Also with one eye firmly on the future to prevent cursing the requirement to 'duck under' when I'm in my dotage!
  12. I've made a door! Here is a kitchen base unit from a well-known, other brands available, DIY store. However, the 'cunning' part is on the bottom (left hand side as viewed), where 3 decent sized wheels have been attached, positioned so they are tangential to the edge where the 'gate' hinges are. Very satisfyingly, once upright, the thing traced the correct arc without any other interference. And in position. Even more outward facing storage space to satisfy the critical eye of the domestic authorities. Ta-daa!! Said domestic authorities did have some trouble supressing the urge to say 'I'm impressed!'! And now with the beginnings of the railway atop. The idea was to have the Hawes road bridge more or less bang centre of the door as shown but, having now mocked up the tunnel mouth, I think I'll cantilever out on the LHS and make this all one continuous piece so that the left hand break is beyond the tunnel. That'll give a gap of three feet, albeit tapering a little towards the camera to take account of the arc of the door as it swings open. View from outside shows the nice sweep of the continuous six foot radius curve. And opened slightly, to show the idea. The newly provided storage space is being put to good use for storing ... er ... mud! Takes all sorts ... Meanwhile, work has continued on the viaduct. Here, the intermediate supporting pieces of 6mm ply have been pinned and glued in place, prior to the inner side piece being permanently affixed. And here we are, as of last night. The screws will be removed, and countersunk one at a time to get them fully flush. No reason why I can lay some track over this now...
  13. A gratuitous reason to post the following: This is the other surviving Challenger, and the only one on permanent public display, in North Platte, Nebraska. I didn't even know about its existence and only stumbled across her by chance as we stayed overnight in the town last year en route to Cheyenne. (Also head to this place for the 'Golden Spike' tower, giving an panoramic view of Bailey Yard, the world's largest rail freight yard, at eight miles long). Personally I prefer the 'Big Boy' in terms of overall proportion and looks - there's something about the connecting rod and eccentrics acting on the rear coupled wheelset that 'grates' a little for me with six-coupled locos so-adorned like this; gives a bit of an unbalanced look to the thing. But loco aesthetics always will be a subjective thing! Great work on the conversion to create your 'Challenger'. Maybe I'll try that myself some day and recreate the above?
  14. Last Big Boy instalment: With the fiddly chassis work done, time for a few details on the body. You may recall, that one of my first jobs was to remove the all-moulded main handrail so here's the replacement 0.5mm n/s wire being fitted into position. The distinctive front bell awaits fitment. Other principal fitting on the driver's side is the regulator rod linkage (also moulded on the as-bought boiler. So this was a bit of fun making up these various parts. And now fitted, showing where it all goes (once painted, it'll be much less prominent). Not much to the tender; more or less made up as per kit. Only thing of note is, again, the replacement of the moulded rear top rails with similar metal ones. And the final part fitted ... rather boringly, was the injector pipe assemblies either side. Finished ... but anonymous. Bet that's surprised you? Obviously #4014 is the star of the moment; however, the kit (from some years ago) only includes transfers for 4006 or 4023. Both of which - oddly enough - I caught up with on the trip last year. 4023 is the one prominently displayed above the freeway on the outskirts of Omaha and, as I rather enjoyed that display, that was the one I plumped for. Just to prove the back of the tender got its marking! Now for a couple of more realistic / dramatic angles. I think it looks like a Big Boy? (ie, despite it being a bit basic in places, the kit captures the overall look well and seems to be pretty much to scale. I don't have a drawing to compare it with!) I took a picture of 4023 at Omaha from this sort of angle, which emphasises their massive size. And finally, the closest angle I could get to my fave 2019 picture of #4014. And now I'll leave you in peace - although I'm preparing a US photo feature for the forthcoming BRM virtual exhibition which might feature a few Big Boys (if that floats yer boat).
  15. Any big American loco fans out there? Whilst it's a little quiet in the Grantham corner, full story of this little bit of fun can be found here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/152919-si-modelling/page/11/ (first post towards the bottom of the page, on 30th May; latest instalment posted earlier this evening)
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