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  1. I've pre-ordered a Deltic with the small yellow nose. Supposed to be August, so will probably be June 2021!
  2. I always got the impression that Riddles and Bulleid disliked each other intensely. Of course, the final insults (rebuilding of the "spam cans" and cancellation of Leader) happened much later, after Bulleid had left for Ireland. I doubt BR would have gone for malachite across the passenger fleet in any case!
  3. Some of them end up in appropriate places. The one for BR Modified Hall "Saint Peter's Hall" is in St Peter's College, Oxford (which was St Peter's Hall before it became a full college). The one for Longworth Manor is outside Longworth Manor in Oxfordshire, although Google Street View has obscured the lettering: https://goo.gl/maps/fG7NJheN5gpd6Xwn8
  4. I gave the SVR a bung (I want them to still be there for the autumn steam gala!) but I do wish they'd have arranged it through the charity arm. They could have had Gift Aid then, which would have made the task a lot easier.
  5. DP2 was better than a Deltic, though. Didn't have the highly-strung smoky Deltic engine and, although it was a bit down on power, could keep sharper timings than a Deltic due to the anti-wheelslip control giving faster acceleration. When EE built the Class 50s they took a bit of a step backward by loading them with a load of extra electronics which did nothing for reliability.
  6. I think 2020 is basically cancelled as far as shows, exhibitions, concerts and similar activities are concerned. The average age at a model railway exhibition makes it a particular no-no. If you can clearly remember steam trains in regular BR service, you're at elevated risk. if you can remember the Big Four, you definitely need to batten down the hatches and avoid everyone else until there's a vaccine, or it miraculously disappears like SARS did.
  7. Standard gauge was used because it was already there, on industrial railways and tramways. Where it came from before that is a bit of a mystery. The best theory is probably that it was nominally 5 feet but measured to the outside or middle of the rails, not the inside (this would make some sense for a grooved tramway). Would 4' 1 1/2" be a nominal 4' 6"?
  8. Or smoke! I thought they were turbine-engined when I was younger, partly from the turbo noise but also because I knew APT prototype had a turbine. They'll always be 253s to me. I saw every last one of them (none had yet been written off, in the early 80s).
  9. I've been stranded behind too many failed Class 47s to have any love for them!
  10. There are practical considerations of heat affecting the rear wheel bearings which may dictate one layout over another. A 9F has a smaller diameter boiler and shallow firebox compared to one of Gresley's finest, and the wheels are smaller, so the rear drivers don't have their oil smoked out by the hot firebox.
  11. A 55 was in revenue-earning service quite recently. If we ignore prototypes (DP2 was, by most accounts, excellent and better than the final Class 50) then I'd say Class 29, just for the looks.
  12. Light grey smoke at the chimney indicates the best combustion. You need some excess air beyond the stoichiometric ratio, but not too much excess air, or you're just blowing extra air out of the chimney and it's cooler inside the tubes. Thinking on, some engines had the shovelling plate some vertical distance below the firehole. They were the worst to fire as every shovelful of coal had to be lifted. Also: 90% of the population would probably prefer to fire a RHD loco. Mime it and see.
  13. Bulleid Pacifics were notoriously heavy on coal. Imagine firing a MN on a fast boat train. At least there weren't many big hills on the SR. Firemen on preserved railways always seem a lot more careful with the coal load and the dampers. You rarely see black smoke from the chimney (if anything, they run a bit lean). Old photos often show a right sooty mess being thrown up. I suppose it's the difference between an amateur doing it for love and a professional doing it for money.
  14. As a former Sainsbury's worker, I can tell you the three produce items that are never refrigerated: Bananas Potatoes Monkey nuts (!) Heating or insulation is as much about stopping the bananas going black or rotting, as it is about ripeniing them.
  15. Zimo and Bachmann (rebadged) decoders have a useful brake function and slow running is good.
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