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  • Location
    Near the 15" gauge and the 5"gauge, far from standard gauge, but 25 miles from Calais.
  • Interests
    BR to 1990ish; old buses. DB era 4. Originator and builder of New Annington; Tidmouth Junction and Rath Ost (DB).

    Hate DCC control, far too complicated. Give me a box of relays any day.

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  1. Having just read a 1932 book The romance of the Underground, the rates of pay there were something like £4/18/6 a week for a top line controller, £4/16/0 a week for a driver, going down to just over £2 a week for a cleaner. So this would suggest a weekly average wage of about £3/10/0 a week not £5. This would amount to nearly 50% of the week's wages for a radio valve! It puts things into perspective.
  2. Locos wouldn't be found to have a hot big end prior to leaving the shed as implied in your first post. Arriving locos may well have a hot big end. Locos being prepared could be failed for things like broken springs, other loose or worn bits underneath. even locos that have been "repaired" or serviced by fitters could be found by the shed prep crew. Arriving locos with known defects would be disposed of and dumped on a "dead" siding for repair. On facilities, don't forget the outside toilets. The one at Top Shed was by all accounts a basic affair with a number of "traps" with half doors as decency screens and a continuous bench seat with suitable size holes. The waste was an open pipe which flowed down to one end. this provided amusement to some who would wait for some grumpy old sod to use the 2nd trap from the lower end. The outlet would be blocked by waste paper or rags and would of course block back to trap 2. Someone would then set fire to some cotton waste soaked in oil and floated down towards trap 2...followed by a hearty yell as occupant of trap 2 ran out... Happy days.
  3. Ring mains and radial systems both seem to work perfectly well here and abroad from what I've seen in Europe. The British fetish to earth everything and PAT test everything amuses those on the continent. I used to own a Wurlitzer jukebox that kept blowing fuses when i bought it. It turned out that the previous owner had a problem with it blowing fuses because I discovered the change-over relay that made something inside go the other way and flipped its contacts so they had jammed. He replaced the slow blow fuse with a no-blow fuse, (see above) with a nail which then blew not only the 13A in the plug but the house RCD as well! In my old workshop we had a set of Prolift vehicle lifts, 3 phase 5 tonne jobbies. We had a problem with those, so someone decided to try to get them to work by holding in a relay. that was the one that reversed the phases to reverse the lift motors. Not only did that blow the internal fuses but the 63A fuses in the 3-phase input! It was quite a spectacular BANG! My previous house was built by Colt, a novel timber frame design from the late 1920s, but built in 1971. I was installing some double sockets and found several loose connections in the backs of the old single sockets. I've learnt that these can work loose just with the 50hz frequency as the cause.
  4. Some have no-blow fuses installed, usually loads of silver paper, a nail, or suchlike.
  5. Reminds me of an incident many years ago with my first mrs. I had a home-made extension lead with a single 13 a plug on one end and a 13 a socket on the other. This was wound onto a metal and cardboard cable reel for storage. I got home and found she'd used it for something like the washing machine. The cable reel had started to melt as the tin inner of the reel acted as a core for the coil and had caused it to overheat. Luckily the only damage was to the cable, but 10 minutes more could well have caused a fire. Think before you use an extension cable, completely unroll it first if you're going to use a high current thing for a continuous period.
  6. Yes. If you plug the appliance into an extension lead, that is also fused. why have 3 fuses in a circuit when 1 will do? Which one will blow first? Not the lowest rated, but probably the RCD in the cupboard under the stairs.
  7. Having little or no interest in DCC, this lot has dissuaded me from ever trying it. when I built the MRC's New Annington layout we had less iring than those 2 shown in the videos. We had 7 cab controls, automatic 4 aspect colour light signals interlocked with the points, entry/exit push-button controlled hidden loops and sidings, working interlocked semaphores... Admittedly we had light-sensitive switches with a couple of transistors as train detection and a couple of infra-red detectors in the loops, but it was all controlled by switches and relays. AFAIK the only electronic thing was a late addition, an AHB level crossing with working barriers. I'd rather spend time wiring up and making the trains move than spend time trying to work out how to programme everything. I also hate having to spend ages programming each controller to move a train, not my idea of fun. If I want to do computer stuff, I do that here. Now, where's my H&M Duette?
  8. But will they be moulded plastic or 3D printed? Sounds interesting whatever. Good luck on your venture.
  9. Duettes are variable resistor, very reliable units. I have one that i bought in the mid 1960s' still using it.
  10. Sammy the Shunter was at Brighton in the mid 1960s in a unit under the seafront arcade.
  11. Dublodad's reply sounds about right. There is virtually no circuitry in these old units. everything is visible and easily traceable. All the answers are above. It may be the rivets that operate the wiper have broken or failed. It will take less time to trace the wires in the unit than it will to go online to find a wiring diagram.
  12. According to the 34A Facebook Kings Cross staff group, the new trains out-accelerate the HSTs by "quite a bit" but of course are far less comfortable. Their comments are from those who have driven on the ECML since the Deltic days.
  13. It's a bit like walking time. At Waterloo the agreed walking time from the old mess room in the Village Block on platform 15 was 5 minutes to the front of the train on all platforms. with a new guv'nor in the early 1980s this was altered. He was concerned about late departures after the flexible rostering strike. He had a bit of a gammy leg and one evening peak walked with the union rep from his office opposite the mess room to the end of platform 1. It took him a good 9 minutes fighting through the evening crowds. Walking time was then 10 minutes to the furthest platforms. then when trains were put in the "wrong" platform that messed up the agreed walking time. So we ended up with 10 minutes walking time to all platforms. Which then messed up the new flexible rostering rosters...
  14. If the "prepare in your own time" were to be introduced, where would liability start and finish if there were to be an incident? It doesn't add up at all. to refer to a case in the bus driving industry, the "Shearings" case was interesting. Shearings ran tour coaches. A driver could be required to drive his own car from home to a distant location, say Dover from Manchester, to take over a coach to ago abroad. Say 6 hours driving for that journey in a car. He and another driver could then be on duty for up to 22 hours sharing the coach driving between them. the car driving wan't recorded on the tachograph. It was deemed that the drive to pick up the coach was indeed work and needed to be put on the tacho as "other work". It cost Shearings a fortune in legal fees to get the case heard but t least the law was clarified. If your employer tells you to do it, it's work.
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