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  • Location
    Shropshire, UK
  • Interests
    Coaching stock, LNER and BR Eastern Region, BR Southern Region, electric traction, Lincolnshire railways.

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  1. Deeply saddened to learn of Stuart's death. I first met him back in 1977 when we were both Eastern Region Management Trainees, and kept in touch with him over the next few years. From 2011 until I left Network Rail in 2014, he was one of my main contacts at DfT in developing the East West Rail project, and we met regularly to discuss scope, costs and timescales before EWR was adopted as a committed scheme for Control Period 5. We didn't always agree about these issues, but I never doubted Stuart's absolute commitment to doing what he believed was best for the railway. He was a good railwayman,
  2. If you can get hold of a copy, Michael Harris' "LNER Carriages" (page 18) has a drawing and photo of the articulated coupling arrangement, which consists of a steel casting riveted to each headstock, one of which has a cup into which a dome-shaped bracket on the other casting fits. The bogie pivot goes through the centre of both the cup and bracket, creating a single axis around which the bogie can rotate and the coach bodies can bend relative to each other. I normally use a similar single-pivot arrangement on 4mm artic stock, with separate brass plates attached to each coach under
  3. Yes, I joined the Junior Section in 1968. Brockswood was still the club layout; it featured in the October 1967 Model Railway Constructor, where there are couple of photos including club members of that time, none of whom I can name now. Maybe your dad is one of them? The Junior layout was a spectacular 4-track continuous run featuring practically every product ever made by Triang-Hornby and Minic Motorways, largely financed by Leonard Willesdon, the club President, whose loft in Brockswood Lane housed a huge 3-rail 0-gauge layout, again seemingly featuring examples of everything m
  4. I agree with Michael. The O4/7 is beautiful - here's mine awaiting weathering. The boiler / cab unit fitted perfectly, and the whole conversion took, I guess, no more than about 8 hours work. I too hope the O4/8 isn't far away. During lockdown, I've also built an LNER Dia 244 Lavatory Composite using Mousa brass sides on an Ian Kirk kit, which I am really pleased with. You need to publicise more, Bill - these are quality products by anybody's standards. Bernard Hulland
  5. Yeah, it's a mirror image - I suspected it might be something to do with copyright. I don't subscribe to Britbox, but I imagine The Avengers will be available there.
  6. "The Avengers" episode "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station", from Series 5 made in 1967, was re-run on ITV4 last week (sadly, the day before Diana Rigg died). The plot is as mad as usual in the later series - a conspiracy to plant a bomb on a train carrying the Prime Minister, masterminded by an evil ticket collector, who is somehow able to set up a command centre, complete with control panels covered in flashing lights, a plotting table and a big red button to set the bomb off, in the brake van without anybody noticing. But hey, guys, it's The Avengers - you have to
  7. A great idea and I'd love to see it, but a lot of work would be required to make it feasible. I think it's safe to say there would be no chance of obtaining permission for use of wood-framed stock such as the 4COR or 2BIL, and derogations would be needed for pre-1948 or Mark 1 all-steel stock, which does not meet current crashworthiness standards. Then there are all the add-ons now needed for operation on the national network - central door locking after 2023, toilet retention tanks, internal door handles and locking droplights, TPWS, event recorders, cab secure radio, high intensity headlight
  8. Thanks, Paul. It's sometimes been difficult to keep track of the movements of the stock from the former ERM at Baginton over the last 3 years, so your update is very welcome. A shame about the scrapping of S10400S, although not entirely surprising given the extent to which it had been rebuilt for departmental use and it's likely condition after 10 years or so of open storage. Still, it's yet another loss to the field of electric traction preservation, which has been woefully neglected and undervalued, probably due to a) nervousness about the liabilities of mixing high voltage elect
  9. I didn't understand why Flossie Harrington said she was "travelling from Paddington to Plymouth, changing at Bristol" when she was actually going to Bristol. She didn't get off there as she told her maid she had "business in Taunton". At least the scriptwriters got the sequence of stations right. The loco is "King Arthur" 777 Sir Lamiel - the number is clearly visible in some of the closeup shots. The green MK1s were crudely "backdated" with what are clearly self-adhesive stickers on the doors showing "First", "Third" and "Guard" in large, old fashioned, gold lettering. The same se
  10. Just picked up this post about Chuffs, which brought back some memories. The Central Hall exhibition you mention was probably the Model Railway Club's Easter show in 1971 or maybe 1972 - after nearly 50 years, I am not absolutely sure. Welwyn Garden City MRC were exhibiting Jim Armstrong's Richmond (Yorkshire), as we didn't have a club layout at the time, and Chuffs had a trade stand. "Count Dracula" and various other characters would wander round the hall all day, sounding air horns, jumping out at visitors and, as you say Eddie B, sometimes taking the joke to excess, to the exten
  11. That was the "AutoBuffet", converted from SK W25189 in 1962. One of the compartments in the centre of the coach was fitted with 9 slot machines (2 for soft drinks, 1 for cigarettes and 6 for sandwiches, confectionery and other food). The coach was finished in chocolate and cream to match the rest of the Cambrian set, and the only external changes were the blanking out of the compartment side window with a blue panel lettered "Autobuffet" and listing some of the products available beneath, and an "Autobuffet" sign in the corridor side window. There is a another thread on the CCE her
  12. That would have been Wrestlers Bridge at Hatfield, which collapsed on 20 February 1966 while the Up Fast was being excavated in preparation for laying continuous welded rail. As you say, Stewart, a train had passed on the Down Slow shortly before, although luckily it was the eastern arch over the Up Slow which actually fell. The accident report is at www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/MoT_Hatfield1966-2.pdf
  13. Yes, up to 6 power cars could be coupled in multiple. The engine start buttons / indicator lights were arranged in six groups of three - one for each engine (2 per power car) and the centre light confirming air pressure for the throttle and gear change controls. As I recall, up until 1977 the Cravens units were usually run in 2- or 4-car formations whether on inner or outer suburban diagrams, which is why the longer trains used in the run up to electrification were notable. The extra units had of course been released after full electrification of the inner suburban services in Nove
  14. This thread has brought back some memories. In September 1977 I started a new job at the Divisional Operating Managers department at Liverpool Street, and commuted every day from Welwyn Garden City to Moorgate. By then, some of the outer suburban loco-hauled turns had been replaced by 6- or 8-car formations of Craven DMUs, which were somewhat past their best, to say the least. I have a vivid memory of tearing through Hadley Wood and New Barnet one morning at some quite ungodly speed in a DMBS which didn't seem to be able to get out of third gear - the engines screaming and a blue haze rising u
  15. Yeah, Blunts was my local shop too during the '60s and early '70's. Les Binge was the manager, memorable for the brown dust coat he usually wore. The shop was small, but well stocked, especially with Triang-Hornby and Airfix, and Les was always willing to order stuff, including spare parts and other small items. Les had been made an honorary member of Welwyn Garden City MRC, and members were supposed to to be entitled to a small discount at the shop, but I remember usually being refused for various reasons. Over the years I must have spent most of my pocket money, and later earnings from my Sa
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