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    Royal Wootton Bassett
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    I'm lucky in having a converted loft for my modelling, room enough for a roundy roundy, but instead there's a few half finished layouts on shelving round the room. I work in O scale, as I like the bulk, but not the cost, so everything gets done on the cheap, mainly scratch building with very slow progress.I tend to model things I've never seen, old pre-group British Isles, 1900 European, and transitional American "fallen flags". You'd be right in thinking I've got too many interests, I'm just very fond of railways all round, and always have been. (All my working life was with BR) Since joining RMweb I'm really enjoying seeing different persons all doing fascinating work with their take on modelling. A bit like being in a really good model show and club in the comfort of your own home, but more basic than that, it’s the people you get to know through this web, which I value.
    One of these days I’m going to finish a layout that I’m happy with, looks good, runs well. One of these days....

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  1. But not wagons, which stayed the same until the 1950s. With dieselisation, there was a spate of “plain line” derailments, and the virtues of what we then called “Continental” suspension started to be appreciated.
  2. Do a mix, the smallest amount of yellow added to some black will give you a good match.
  3. Some general comments on old French goods wagons. Generally they were iron framed, and early ones could have very noticeable axleguards with the diagonal braces splayed very widely. Spring suspension was noteworthy in having the leaf springs ending in short swing links, rather than ending in plain shoes under the solebar like British wagons. Some extra clearance was allowed for between the axleguards and axleboxes, and this gave an easier ride. You could see a similar arrangement on GWR brake vans, for the same reason. Plank widths could vary quite widely, some wagons having quite narrow planking. One distinctive feature on NORD wagons was having diagonal planking, and this was done to a lesser extent on OUEST wagons. You can see it on the ETAT wagon drawing for just the side doors. Side doors on open wagons were normally cupboard type, rather than drop, as on English wagons. Vans were constructed with apertures in the upper part of the sides, which could be closed by shutters, either hinged or sliding, on the inside or outside of the body. I would think this was to give dual purpose usage, either for general merchandise or cattle transport. The majority of wagons had no brakes of any kind. There is a video showing loose shunting in sidings where slippers were placed on the rail, and these were squeezed along the rail by the wagon wheel, retarding it. Fourgons had brakes applied by a screw, but these were marshalled at the head of the train, like a passenger train, rather than at the rear as in Britain. The rearmost vehicle was a goods wagon fitted with screw applied brakes, with a small box for the brakeman to shelter, and he would keep the train stretched to avoid snatching, and look after breakaways. similar vehicles were scattered along the length of the train, and presumably manned depending on the speed and terrain. I’ve tried to estimate the proportion of braked to unbraked wagons, looking at photos of sidings, and it seems around one in four, to one in five. I’m fond of their appearance, and running short trains, I end up with nearer one in two. It would appear that brakes applied by a side lever appeared in the twentieth century, but were not universal. Air braking also started to be applied from roughly 1890, and new wagons with airbrakes also had longer bodies, higher capacity, but also longer wheelbase, to improve track running for higher speeds. Freight train operation could then be classed as “RA” (regime accelere) for fast services, and “RO” (regime ordinaire) for slow unbraked trains, with older designs of wagons. I cobbled up some drawings for EST wagons, using the Denis Allenden ETAT drawing as a basis, and working off various photos, so you’ll appreciate they’re not exact by any means, but gave me a basis to work off, so here’s some opens (tombereau), vans (couvert), and brakevans (fourgon)
  4. The plastic might expand and contract a bit more than wood, especially if your loft insulation isn’t that good. Then again, your track rails will do the same, so it might be better than wood in the long run?
  5. Reference the GOG chat, I’m a member, but the politics of how the Guild is run tends to wash over me. I retired early, fancied trying out O gauge, and went to a Telford show something twenty plus years ago. I liked the set up and the gauge, and it went on from there. I needed the show to pick up useful bits from, and a lot of my buying is from the bring and buy, or the executor and trustee. Then you got a discount from Slaters, until there was some politics over stand charges, and we ended up with the creation of the ALSRM, which I joined, following my Slaters discount. Its a surprise to hear that the area groups aren’t pukka GOG, I always viewed them as such, and found the shows they did very good, the Bristol GOG, the Guildford Trade Fair at Reading, and the Winchester Am & Con. I stick with the GOG, mainly for news of events and trade products, although even before covid came along, I was missing quite a few of the favourite shows, either health or family getting in the way.
  6. He must have landed close to the third rail?
  7. Teddy Bears, that’s the railfan name, the drivers referred to them as “iron lungs” (visual appearance) or “tampaxes” (you used them once and threw them away)
  8. Should you worry about a particular area becoming “fashionable” as a locale for model layouts? When I first took an interest everything had to be looking like Ashburton, but that’s long gone, now. Somehow I doubt that the outlying bits of Cardiff will ever see a big upsurge, and that’s having spent a lot of time in the “Chinese” bits, Cathays and Canton.
  9. You’re not standing for a politician then?
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