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Nick Holliday

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About Nick Holliday

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    Sutton, Surrey
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    LBSCR P4 (Fittleworth)

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  1. I think there are a number of factors to consider. One is that, on many branches, one loco, or one class, would provide the service, and would operate always facing the same direction. There are many tales of locos facing the wrong way after overhaul at the works, and having to be sent back to be turned the right way round. This would mean that the facilities could be provided to suit that type of loco. Secondly, the real thing had much more space than a CJF layout, so there would usually be plenty of leeway for placing the loco in the optimum position relative to the facilities. Thirdly, a BLT would usually be operated as one engine in steam, so positioning a loco in the most convenient place would obstruct any other operations. Fourthly, there would be plenty of time between trains for the crew to carry out refuelling, even by hand. Fifthly, on many branches the facilities at the terminus were more of a back up to those at the junction, hence the lack of engine shed. Hence they were there mainly for emergencies, and any slight inconvenience wouldn't be a problem.
  2. If I were you I'd go with the full circuit idea, although your comment regarding a bridge or lift out section throws a spanner in the works. If you follow the cassette idea, then there is less need for pointwork within the fiddle yard area, so the space available might be longer than the visible area of the station, so plenty of room to accommodate your super-train. I would suggest you could have a continuous run for both tracks, with points off to a central cassette yard which could serve both directions, whilst leaving the outer tracks free for circulating trains, to keep things moving. I have exhibited an end to end layout, single track with cassettes at both ends, and, as has been said, you spend more time dealing with the yard than you can with the station area. I would think that this might be worse on a double track layout, as at least on a single track line you should really allow plenty of time between trains to allow for the block sections to be cleared. As for length of cassettes, I would agree that 3 feet or a metre (depends on how long your track lengths come in) is a reasonable maximum, and separate loco sections is the way to go. It is possible to go a little longer, if you are trying to accommodate a particular rake, such as a Brighton Belle unit, but then you need to take even more care if turning the whole cassette - probably best just to lift and move sideways only. I suspect that anything longer is likely to involve a degree of baseboard design; a 2m long cassette, if made as per shorter designs, would probably be a bit bendy, the last thing you want if trying to turn and balance everything at the same time. Slightly off-topic, but your goods yard is likely to be challenging to shunt, without some sort of facility to run round the trains. The two sidings to the left can only be served by trains travelling anti-clockwise, (South to North) whilst your Inglenook on the right can only be dealt with by clockwise trains (North to South), unless you have some cunning scheme for moving wagons around the yard without using the train's loco. Not entirely unknown in the real thing, but it does mean that traffic flows are a bit lop-sided, as you can't return empty wagons directly to whence they came.
  3. When I go to their website I get a message that the new catalogue will be available soon. (As of 8th November 2018) What am I doing wrong?
  4. The two pipe arrangement was fairly common, at least in southern lines, once the final mantle gas lighting had evolved. On one side there was a small bore pipe which provided gas permanently for the pilot light, whilst a second, larger bore, pipe provided the supply for the actual lights. This latter supply would have a control valve so that the guard could switch the lights on or off as necessary, on a coach by coach basis. Nick
  5. You are correct that, generally, in Britain the trains run on the left track. Left hand drive here refers to the location of the driver cab. It seems to have been the usual practice, except in small shunting locos, for the driver to have control of the reverser and regulator, whilst the fireman attends to the braking, along with maintaining coal and water supplies. On the Midland/Somerset and Dorset, as well as other lines, some of which have been mentioned, the driver's controls were located on the right hand side of the firebox, so that is where the driver stood, on the off-side of the loco. With left hand drive in the loco, positions of the controls were reversed, and the driver took station on the left side of the cab, the near side. One situation where signal posts on the right would be found is at the end of island platforms, such as at Highbridge on the S&DJR. This would also mean that the guard would be able to see the starter, too. I assume that the guard would not show his green flag until he knew that the train had been signalled to depart. Looking through signalling plans for the Somerset and Dorset did give the impression that there were quite a number of signals that were on the 'wrong' side of the line, and these were mainly the distant or outer home protecting the station, as earlier suggested giving the driver early indication of how he should proceed. Midford has some interesting signal locations, but sight lines in a rather interesting location may be the driver there.
  6. I'm not sure this is generally true. In most instances the signal post is positioned to the left of the track it refers to, as usually this is the side there will be space for it. If located on the right hand side, then, except on single tracks, either the post will be on the far side of the opposite track, which could make things very awkward if there is another train in the way, or between the tracks, which, except on the broad gauge lines of the GWR, would require wider spacing with commensurate additional earthworks. Life would also be difficult for the fogman during emergencies. The precise siting of signals would depend on sighting considerations, and could result in occasional positioning on the wrong side of the tracks, on all lines, but a right hand drive loco policy would slightly increase the chances, but such examples seem to be few and far between.. I would have thought that left hand drive would suit platform operations, as most platforms would be on the left of the tracks, and the driver could then monitor the guard's signals, and he would also have a clear view of the platform starter. However, as others have said, for roughly half their services, tank engines could be running in reverse, as would a smaller proportion of tender locos, so any advantage would be lost. It's interesting which lines seems to prefer right hand drive, the Midland and GWR are probably best known, but there were plenty of others, such as the GCR and SECR, and many lines had examples of both hands without too much moaning from the drivers, although occasionally they did revolt about having to change, so the advantages of either were probably marginal.
  7. If the LSWR used Laycock ventilators, which it looks like they did, there is a good largish sized manufacturer's drawing in David Jenkinson's first volume on carriage design. The only problem is that it is not scaled, however, also in that book, there are dimensioned drawings of coaches from a couple of lines that would allow you to size the ventilators fairly accurately, although it does appear, from other coach drawings, that these ventilators were available in different sizes, jus to confuse matters.
  8. The earlier piled track used slightly more substantial transoms, at 6" x 9", but they appear to be structural supports for the longitudinal beams, into which they were notched., as per Colin Thorne's otehr sketch in GWW, which he has dated as 1838. A German publication, Das Eisengahn Geleise, referenced in Dow's The Railway, shows an unpiled track design from 1835, in which the transoms scale at around 6" wide. In the very first British Railway Journal there is an article by Andrew Wiles on constructing broad gauge track in 4mm, using an innovative method, which doesn't seem to have taken off, and he used 60thou x 2mm plasticard strip for the transoms. Assuming this strip is on edge, the thickness os only 1.5mm - 4½ scale inches.
  9. There were plenty of 54ft full thirds built by the Brighton. The specific kit, Alan Gibson by the sound of it, was intended for Isle of Wight modellers and was based upon the rebuilt stock as found on the island. I don't know how different the IOW rebuild was from a mainland original, and I suspect that it is marginal, and probably undetectable on a layout. Over the years many island coaches lost parts of the timber mouldings to the panels, some ending completely flush sided, but I don't think this applied to the all thirds. For some reason the Southern originally transferred only brake thirds, of various types, and some composite coaches, so, presumably, the actual operational requirements needed more third class accommodation, hence the rebuilding. I don't know why full thirds weren't transferred, perhaps they were earmarked for the DC electric train conversion programme.
  10. Getting back to the track plan and facilities, I can only echo others remarks that the timber lock up shed is the way to go, and as far as I recell, all of them were mono-pitched, like your model. As a bit of inspiration, Chris Nevard's photos of my Fittleworth layout may be of interest, as well as an original view. (His copyright) A simple track plan, but, unusually, the station only opened in 1889, many years after the bracnh to Midhurst opened. And, to provide an unusual variation, you might consider Rudgwick, another small station, platforms only 260 feet long - 3' 6" in 4mm. What makes it different is that the main line veers away from the platform, with the access to the goods yard running straight ahead. (Note the shiny rails) That would confuse viewers! Photo from the Rudgwick Ptreservation Society website Oddly, there is no run-round loop for the yard, so presumably shunting only took place by south bound trains. The wagon turntable with long sidings was unusual, and perhaps there was a strong horse available to move wagons. If you still want your cattle dock on the other side of the line, perhaps you could take a lead from within the goods yard and cross the main line with a diamond, removing the need for the single slip. Note that with both stations, and normal elsewhere, the signal box is located adjacent to the running line, and not within the goods yard. At Rudgwick, the tiny box in the photo and map was replaced fairly quickly by a more substantial building opposite, at the end of the platform.
  11. We might be in for a spate of these incidents, as Model Rail have, in the latest edition, used a Coopercraft hut in their goods yard article, and have cleverly included all the website details etc. I would have thought their editorial team should have been aware of the situation, but obviously not.
  12. Nowhere in the same league as the superb modelling that is displayed on this thread, but I thought I'd post this anyway! As a modeller in 4mm, with 7mm fingers and thumbs, and Gauge 1 eyesight, I decided to take up the challenge of 2mm modelling, although the last time I dabbled in it was sixty years ago with Lone-Star push-along stock. I am a member of the Epsom & Ewell MRC, and they have, as is fairly well known, started building a model of Lewes, on the LBSCR, set in 1886. As a Brighton enthusiast, I have become slightly involved in the project, and I wanted to be able to contribute something concrete, and get to understand the challenges that this scale presents. I didn't want to interrupt the production line of LBSC wagons, both etched and 3D printed, but finding something else that would fit the date was a problem, until I saw Jim Watt's contributions here, with some suitably antique Caledonian wagons. Eventually I tracked down his Buchanan Models website and ordered a few of his choicest, and appropriate, offerings, to give the scale a try. The first off the blocks is this dumb-buffered open, hard to justify in southern England, but not totally impossible. It doesn't look too bad, to my eyes at least, for a first effort, certainly when viewed from a distance, but I'll have to try harder in future, and I might get the paintbrush out again to tidy up a few things that the camera's cruel eye has highlighted. I found the construction of this all etched kit "interesting" thanks to my lack of skills, and my ten thumbs defeated some of Jim's cunning plans and excellent instructions, but it went together in a very satisfying way, using a RSU and I was amazed at the level of detail incorporated in the etch and the clever use of framing to the various overlays to get them to align, something I had not seen in the 4mm etches that have come my way. Next in line is a cattle wagon - Sussex was just crying out for pedigree Ayrshire and Highland cattle, I hope. (Apologies for the N gauge track, the only thing I had to pose the wag(g)on on.)
  13. Very nice looking, but it would be helpful to know where and how to get them. They don't appear on listings on either of the GCR Models sites.
  14. 5&9 Models have produced castings for springs, axleboxes and buffers that could be used. It's worth contacting Chris Cox to see if can still oblige. http://www.5and9models.co.uk/parts.html
  15. There were three designs of cattle wagon which fundanentally looked the same. Stroudley's design appeared by 1882, and had a low profile roof with a single wooden brake. The design developed slowly, the basic side elevation remaining unchanged. The brakes improved, but they were still fitting single sided brakes into the twentieth century! Similarly the axle boxes were improved. The biggest change was the higher roof profile, which seems to have come in the mid-1890's. There was a third design, of which only 20 were built, which dated from around 1921, but the changes were minimal, and hard to detect. Apparently the corner posts were slightly wider, and, if a view of the Isle of Wight transfers can be believed, the top of the diagonal strapping was different. Theoretically all these transfer were the later design, but it is believed some earlier ones were sent instead. The Smallbrook kit ought to represent this later design, 1528, but it looks as if it is based on the preserved wagon on the island, which was converted to a van, as cattle traffic was minimal. This wagon looks like the 1527 design, either because it was one, or the ironwork was altered, but there is no reason why it should have been. The wagon in the photo was built in 1912, hence the modern running gear, but it seems atypical in having horizontal planking to the door, most had the diagonal version, as the drawing. As for lettering, you are right in surmising that they didn't have any class lettering, just the number and LBSC, although the Stroudley wagon in the book has an "illiterate" mark, shaded number and no visible lettering.
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