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Guy Rixon

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  1. Reversing the engine for emergency braking was common in the 19th century. A lot of the accident-investigation reports read like "on seeing the obstruction, the driver reversed his engine but was unable to stop in time". (Note the selection effect: where the driver did manage to stop by reversing the engine there was no enquiry and we don't hear of the incident.)
  2. The springs look plausible to me. MR stock did have very long springs. Have you checked the wheelbase?
  3. The SECR had a number of mineral wagons that are thought to have been permanently allocated to Cory's coal traffic and operated like PO wagons. The 12-ton wagons bought in 1910 and 1911 may have been allocated this way. The traffic would possibly have been from the coal wharves at Erith rather than directly from collieries. I would welcome confirmation or disproof of this idea as I have only hints and suggestions in favour. Thirlage seems to be a principle in Scottish law concerning milling of grain under feudal arrangements. Was there a different word for the arrangement in England?
  4. Quite. I've just stumbled upon a photo of a train loading fruit at Bexley. It's three PBVs and, I think, one grand vitesse PLV. Bexley-fruit-train.pdf BTW, the SECR had very few passenger-rated good-vehicles. It had rather more that were rated "express" meaning springs, journals and wheels built for speed but no vacuum brakes. The presumption (for which I've never seen proper evidence) is that these express vehicles allowed selected goods-trains to run from Dover and Folkestone at perhaps 30mph with few or no stops.
  5. FWIW, some of the Wainwright-period vans did have roof ventilators. I have no evidence that these were used for fruit, but it seems reasonable. One might also wonder how the SECR moved milk to London.
  6. The SER, LCDR and SECR didn't get much fruit traffic from Kent, because the growers preferred to send their produce by road. The method was to load up a horse-drawn wagon in daylight, drive to London overnight, sell the stuff off the wagon as soon as the buyers showed up, between 04:00 and 05:00, and be either off home or in the pub by daylight. There is exactly one, precious photo that I know of showing an SECR vehicle being loaded with Kentish fruit (or possibly Fruit of Kent) and it's almost certainly a grand-vitesse luggage van. I have a print somewhere.
  7. Interesting photo. Those are not the ex-SER or SECR-built grand-vitesse luggage-vans, which are the most-logical vans to see on this traffic: we know this because they have single-arc roofs. Neither are they the ex-LCDR equivalent as the roofs are too high and too curved. They look most like MR vehicles such as D418. One supposes that the train is loading to go outside SECR territory.
  8. Having cleared away some projects, I now have space to begin building my siphon kit. Not that I'm shipping milk to Strand, mind you, I want this for the strawberry traffic. This is a K's kit for an O1 (6-wheeled) siphon that I won on eBay a couple of months ago. For a late-'70s kit it's actually quite good (c.f. the earlier, all-whitemetal version of this kit which was not worth building), being about right in all major dimensions and having the moulded detail, where present, in the right places. Where it goes a bit wrong is the roof and ends. The roof is much too thick, as it's not really feasible to mould it to a scale 1" thick. The designer of the tooling has compensated for this by reducing the height of the ends, but has forgotten to adjust the width of the roof. It comes out jug-eared, sticking out by about a millimetre too far at each side and looks silly. Clearly, I shall have to make a new roof, probably of brass, and I shall have to alter the ends to bring them back to the right height. Therefore, I'm proposing to alter the model to diagram O2, the earliest, 6-wheeled siphon which had a single-arc roof. This is, in fact, a more appropriate subject as four of the O2 vans were fitted specifically for carrying fruit. Of these, one was a different height and two were allocated to strawberry traffic from Cheshire, which seems a little out of catchment for London. I want my siphon to carry express strawberries from the Channel Islands (via Weymouth), so that leaves me with exactly one vehicle, no. 623 of lot 268, to model. The cast stepboards will have to go, because they are too soft to stay in shape, and also the cast axleguards (because suspension). I may try to salvage the springs and axleboxes. Most of the moulded detail can stay, but I'll re-do the door handles and the lamp irons. I confess to an absolute fetish for brown vehicles, so this is going to be fun.
  9. Massively net-positive. I've seen, in Mumbai, meat handling in a traditional, local and unregulated market and it nearly made me a vegetarian.
  10. Sides butting to solebars is a common problem in wagon kits, due partly to the solebars being moulded over scale thickness and partly to the brass axleguards being spaced a little too wide. If I had back the time I've spent thinning solebars from ~2mm to ~1.5mm .. then I'd have built a couple more wagons, I guess. IIRC, in a low-capacity wagon such as this, the crib rail is butted against the solebar. If the wagon sheeting is 3" thick and the crib rail is 4" thick, then the sheeting is only spaced out from the solebar by 0.33mm in 1:76.2 scale. It's the 8'-wide wagons where there's a big gap between sheeting and solebars.
  11. c.1875, according to the local historians.
  12. March makes sense, as most of the rail-borne coal on the GER went through there, off the joint line. No sure why Ipswich; was it sea-borne coal?
  13. I've thinned Railmatch acrylic varnish with Tamiya acrylic thinners and it worked fine. That's propanol with (IIUC) some butanol added as a retarder, so particular good for spraying. For brushing, there is little need of a retarder, so IPA would be fine and is much cheaper.
  14. I finished some Mousa kits for D4 wagons, which had been slouching around the stock shelf mocking me. These are printed bodies from Bill's own printer and date from the period last year when the printer was giving grief (it's fixed now, apparently). They were not top-quality prints, having one good side and one that looked a bit melted about the corner plates, with some deep grooves in both side and both ends. At first I thought I could fix up the defects (no, I couldn't). Then I thought of displaying them good side to audience only. Finally, I gave them permanently-fixed sheets, which hides the problems. What I should have done is sent them back to Mousa for replacement, but by the time I'd realised this I'd had them for a year and tried to fill the printing grooves, so I didn't feel good about returning. Anyway, let this stand as a warning to inspect printed parts when received. There are some other problems in these specific kits. The brake parts come as a set that include variants never fitted to D4, but only one of each type. This makes it harder to fit brakes on both sides, and this was one diagram where the second set of brakes was added quite early, as the wagons were overhauled. The buffer height is about 0.5mm too low. It's not really feasible to pack the axleguards to the right height because the springs and axleboxes, which are printed with the body, don't allow enough clearance. If I were to build more of these kits, I think I might replace the axleboxes and springs with the no.2 boxes from Coastline Models and do the wagons as the 10-ton variant (D9 IIRC). But I have enough LNWR high-sided opens for now. The sheets are based on the information on the LNWR-wagon-sheets thread of this forum. I've accepted the consensus that the earlier sheets, with the serifed lettering, had a white cross. I've speculated that the later, longer sheets, with the sans-serif lettering, had the hypothetical red saltaire and this is why no cross shows up in the period photos (because red does not photograph on early emulsions). Sheet 654, on the left, would be brand new at the period of Strand, which makes it doubly embarrassing that some clod has put a hole in it already. Worse, these wagons went through rain on their way to London (there are modelled puddles in the hollows of the sheets) and the load under sheet 654 is an electrical generator. Some rather sharp letters of complaint are in post...
  15. You have a dinosaur skeleton to display?
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