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34017Ilfracombe

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  1. Its a thought - I am old enough to remember riding on the 2-Wim units as a small boy with my mother on our way to visit my grandmother (West Byfleet to Wallington - 20 miles, four different Southern Electrics). I was particularly taken with their side-gangway layout and its scope for hide-and-seek en route. It would make a nice, quirky model and it could be done using a Hornby 2-BIL/HAL as a donor for the motor and other bogies but on the other hand the units were confined to a single route. Would it make a commercially viable model?
  2. Thank you for the kind comments. As you say, after the war these units were first made up from 3 to 4 cars with an all-steel trailer. Most of the other cars with pre-Grouping bodywork were later rebuilt as Southern-type EPBs (the Eastleigh production line ran until 1959) but these were not suitable so in about 1956 their all-steel trailers were replaced with a fourth LBSCR trailer from a scrapped unit and the re-formed survivors soldiered on for a few more years. Next on the stocks is a 1925 bull-nose Sub like the one in the NRM. This will have a 1941-type wide-bodied trailer - once I've worked out how to get the bodyside curve right.
  3. This is my first completed attempt at producing an unusual prototype using a combination of etched brass and 3D printing. The prototype is a Southern Railway suburban electric unit, a 1930 rebuild of LBSCR a.c. electric stock as a d.c. unit. The underframes of these former a.c. units were not standard and were therefore not suitable for the Southern’s post-war programme of rebuilding with all-steel bodywork. Some survived in their original form until about 1960. The units were electrically and mechanically compatible with the post-war fleet and their angular, panelled bodywork and low arc roofs looked particularly old-fashioned when running in multiple with a smooth-sided wide-bodied all-steel 4 Sub. I designed the model using CorelCAD but feel that so far I have only scratched the surface of this powerful vector graphics software package. There is a limit to how thin one can go with 3D printing so to make sure that the glazing is not too deeply recessed I had the coach bodysides etched on 0.4mm brass by PPD Ltd. The etching artwork consists of two layers, one where white shapes on a black background represent areas to be etched right through the brass to create window openings, etc, the other where red shapes are half-etched on one side only to represent panelling. PPD has an excellent website that explains in much more detail how to create suitable artwork for their etching process. CW Railways 3D printed the underframes, ends and roofs - their acrylic polymer prints have crisp detail and excellent dimensional stability and Tim, the proprietor, has been extremely helpful with expert advice. Motor bogies are the very smooth-running Hornby 2-Bil type and the trailer bogies are Roxey LBSCR plate-frame kits The trailing bogies of the motor coaches have DCC Concepts wiper-type pickups for additional contact. Close coupling between the cars is achieved with Keen delta-plate couplers. The assembled motor coaches are fairly light and I found that I needed to add ballast to improve adhesion - my layout involves some rather heroic gradients and tight curves behind the scenes.
  4. I first came across the Swindon Cross Country units on Cardiff-Portsmouth workings in the early 1960s. Typically a 4-cat Inter City unit would be paired with a 3-car Cross Country unit, thus making the IC unit's gangways pointless and making it a lottery whether passengers could reach the buffet (sometimes in the IC unit, sometimes in the CC and as often as not closed. In the 1980s i came acrss them again on Reading-Gatwick services.
  5. I can thoroughly recommend all of the books by Terry Gourvish for a thotough understanding of British Railways as a business. Likewise Michael Bonavia's books. Gerard Fiennes' book is a good read but anecdotal rather than an overview. In the same style, I recommend Sir John Eliot's 'on and off the rails'
  6. Southern England could also mean Southern rather than Western Region. If so, Bulleid and Maunsell stock would be used on both main line and local services. A typical short formation would be a '3-set' (BSK, CK, BSK), sometimes with a 'loose' SO or SK tacked on.
  7. Wimbledon? Buildings on a raft just west of the platforms.
  8. One other factor was that the crmson/carmine faded over time, almost to an orange shade.
  9. The newly re-opened Post Office Railway is well worth a visit, provide you are not excessively claustrophobic. A ahort ride through the tunnels and an interesting museum of this unique system. At Mount Pleasant, 10 minute walk from Faringdon station. Book ahead!
  10. As has been said, they were primarily freight locomotives but they did sometimes operate local passenger services. They were also often pressed into service on summer Saturday main line extras. These would generally be formed of older corridor stock so in early BR days low-window Maunsell coaches in crimson/cream with maybe one or two in SR post-war malachite would be appropriate.
  11. I think you are right. I was remembering an 8 HAP/4EPB combo that operated a Waterloo-Portsmouth peak service in the 1960s
  12. I think you are right. I was remembering an 8 HAP/4 EPB combo that operated a Waterloo-Portsmouth peak service in the 1960s.
  13. Worth pointing out that CEP/BEPs could work in multiple with HAPs without restriction. These 'express' units could, and did, also work with EPBs but there had to be a minimum 2:1 ratio of express to suburban stock, presumably because of different gear ratios. 4CEP/2EPB would therefore be a valid combination on your layout if you wanted it.
  14. You refer to 2H thumpers at Copnor, the units working out of Portsmouth at the time (from memory 1101-1112, 1123-1133) were 3-car units (3H). The first tranche (1101-1122) were originally 2 cars but were augmented in the late 1950s to 3 cars due to the surge of traffic from the much-improved service and subsequent builds were 3 cars from the outset. The extra car did no favours to performance however! 3-car units 1113-1118 were (I believe) on the Central section at the time. Units 1119-1122 were not made up to 3 cars. 1119-1120 were used on Ashford-Hastings services and 1121-1122 worked the Southampton-Alton line, where the steep gradients east of Winchester could cause a 3-car unit to slip to a standstill.
  15. Southampton Docks was still loading some fruit to BR fruit vans in 1968-9 but even then this traffic was increasingly moving to road hauliers who were seen as more reliable by the shippers.
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