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  1. Yes, Jim, my sentiments too. As I expressed to the Chairman of the 1992 Conference on Croydon's trams at Fairfields Halls. During the lunch break I went and sat at as many tables as I could to listen to the views of delegates. None seemed to have experience of light rail only heavy. I reported back to Geoffrey of my dismay of hearing of expensive schemes from over engineering (just as I found in the port transport industry1) and concluded that all present thought "all their Christmas's" had come at once!!! In 1996 Geoffrey thought I would be pleased with the scheme as now going ahead. My reaction was to say that all I see wrong that will have to be picked up on the maintenance account soon after full service had started. I had not then taken into account poor cost cutting work by contractors not all of which ha been agreed by CT management! What stories of what actually was going on my younger daughter would overhear on contractor's staff pay days at a pub in Rotherhithe. That confirmed a lot of wrong doing I was seeing on construction east of Croydon!!! I will say no more!
  2. To me Phil, the most important thing when starting a new tramway, as I said to LRT's Light Rail Manager/Planner in September 1989, is to get the best mesh between the trams that will be ordered and the track construction to be used. We formulated what we considered to be the best articulated tramcar for Croydon which could be extended at the articulation following European practice. Based on a car with both bogies and 'Judas' truck, the best track construction to reduce maintenance should then be explored. The quote he got for a single artic car that autumn was £0.75m. In the end Croydon got initially a car with bogies plus a C-truck, sections of poorly laid track that cost millions to restore and now the latest cars are what I call three four wheelers articulated together. From my experiences of riding such combinations of German experiments in the 1950, I fully understood two decades later C C Hall of Sheffield advising Crich on laying and maintaining their track to understand the 'attack' approach that leading wheel sets have on any curve. In those days there were no hub motors or 'split' axles to try to reduce this track wear and tear as tried in Helsinki recently which I think failed to give the expected results. As to ballast depth I recall that when Bob Reid became BR Chairman in the 1980's he soon, as a resident of Purley, had the original 1970's Gatwick Express stock replaced because of the dreadful noise they made. The Mk2 carriages used were constructed for the WCML with its deep ballasted tracks which as I found at Wolverton, ran with little track noise emitted. Coming on to the Southern's much reduced level of ballasted track, the carriages became track sound generators.
  3. Phil, Jim maybe able to recall, with past changes/renewal to the pointwork at East Croydon and Reeves Corner junctions I spoke to Dutch engineers engaged on the works. There was no adverse comment on the methods being used. In fact the change to the pointwork layout was in line with comments I made when the first track layout was installed as to wrong handed points in relation to travel and the 'attack' factor track has to bear.
  4. Sounds as though it is first generation practice! Reminiscent of practice I found on several European systems they rebuilt/regauged/extended in 1958/9 when I delved into 'roadworks' to see how the track was constructed from the soil up.
  5. Keith, I appreciate from where you are coming from. Yes, I would have expected UK to continue following recommendations from Europe. In a recent T&UT magazine there is a review of what UK Trams and the Centre for Excellence had been doing. The impression it gave me was that UK was adding its own thing to European findings, recommendations and implementation. I believe the whole article was to be published in two parts. I wish you well in finding your answers, Colin.
  6. I can assure all that Jim speaks with a lot of experience from tramway construction through to operational maintenance thereafter of my home system. I only wish that the original management had implemented all that he had recommended to them.
  7. Steven, great view - only another eight Janus's to go for a full set!!! PLA never had end-tipping wagons but loads of secondhand mainline mechandice ones. Then there were the vans, few brakes only at Royals plus Breakdown vans. In Janus days there was a fleet of ex-BR Pallet Vans one of which is preserved on the Bluebell. PLA did finally sort out its wagons/vans into A, B and C prefixed numbers as the one one the Bluebell. There is another RMweb thread with much detail of the wagon/van fleet. Keep up the good work, Colin.
  8. Just doing my weekly supermarket order and see 16 rolls of Andrex Classix down from £8.95 to £6.50!!!
  9. I do not recall a London layout so named but the title suggest it to be of a northern system. Was Rob a member of T&LRS and could the articles have appeared in "Tramfare"?
  10. Thanks, Ian, for the background. Certainly I was not aware of its existence in the fifties. I assume you used the daily Rheindahlen coach from/to Bruggen. I used to get to/from the Rheindahlen model shop in my lunch times by hiding under the cloth covered table in Bruggen's postal van! Yes, Bramley is short of detail but my records show no army brakes, vans or wagons being allocated to that depot. Colin.
  11. I have checked the numbers of the 4 wheeled brakes, vans and wagons between "LMR Part 3" and my 'Bicester records' and set out those further vehicles that have been allocated to Longmoor. AD 46054 10t. 5-plank open ex-LBSCR ARMY 46182 10t. open ex-LBSCR diag.1369 47027 ramp wagon (there seems to be a number problem here} ARMY 47872 10t. non-vent. van ex-MR diag. D360 49013 ex-SR diag.1579 finally allocated to FIBUA Longmoor 49024 This appears to have been the allocated number for listed 13139 in the 1956 renumbering but the 1956 Palmers Ball accident wrote it off beforehand.
  12. Unfortunately, KMRC are not doing an army version. I pre-ordered mine when first announced but cannot recall in which century! I was either going to use it on my Wenford Mineral or repaint for Longmoor. Times change and I got fed up waiting so cancelled. Now if an army version was to be released then I will again be amongst the first to place an order now that I am purely RTR.
  13. Of which Longmoor brake, van wagon prototypes are there reasonable RTR models? Bachmann/Invicta's 37-537X provide the LMR 'standard' brake van. Strangely van ARMY 47555 was chosen by Bachmann for 37-806. That may have been chosen deliberately as no record can be found of the prototype's allocations!!! So why not make it a Longmoor van. Dapol do have moulds for some diagrams of vans which the army purchased. Large amongst these were batches of BR diagram 1/208 for general allocation with Longmoor receiving a batch. Maybe a future candidate for Wessex Wagons. When it comes to wagons, Wessex model No.345 is a 'dead ringer' for LMR's 24t. hopper AD 82692. Nice if this could be repeated but as AD 82691. Their models Nos. 246, 314/5 show a very good decoration for WD 46276 and 46299 can only be affixed to Dapol's 4-plank 'merchandice' body as there are no 'dropside' ones available for true accuracy. With so many model RTR Longmoor locos, it is a pity that there are so few vans and wagons to add to the brake van to make a reasonably Longmoor freight train. So what more can be done? There are not even transfers available to easy renumber undecorated bodies. Geddi had a good try with the artwork he produced but a technical hitch in preparation bought that to an end.
  14. Interesting point with WD 12 as its home depot being Bramley which would have been an easy transfer to Longmoor via Borden if major attention or need was required. Roger Hateley's "Locomotives of the Ministry of Defence" shows "Bramley No.1" (WD 74553) has new to Bramley and seen there in 4/52 and 6/52. Next seen at Long Marston on 3/55 and 1958 but was disposed off in 1959. I can find no reference to WD 12 (WD 74553) being at Longmoor in "LMR - Part 3". As David R said to me after Part 3 was published he and Mike C could not guarantee that every piece of army rolling stock based at Longmoor was included. Have any books been published that refer to operations at Bramley?
  15. My next review of available RTR LMR stock is of carriages. Many years ago I considered the Bachmann Mk.1 Suburban stock for 400 but as TonyA posted years ago beware of the colour of these carriages in relation to the livery on the 2-8-0s. Length of train then became a consideration not to proceed so I was very pleased with the Invicta release. On my current layout I can only manage a one coach train - perfect! Next will be vans and wagons.
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