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seraphim

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  1. Pretty much spot on. There was a naive belief within Porterbrook that this could be a proper commercial transaction. In essence, D9000LL were loaned a significant sum of money to renovate 9016, and then they couldn't repay. So Porterbrook (specifically, me) repossessed the loco (as the agreement permitted). Porterbrook was then the proud owner of an incomplete loco. The subsequent engine fire at Loughborough meant the company then owned a single-engined, barely complete loco. This is what is know as a bit of a problem. One day, the whole story will get written down, but not yet. The tragedy was that D9000LL's main person (I'm sure you all know his name) was a decent man, but prone to taking poor advice; he died - relatively young - not long after this episode.
  2. Drophead buckeyes as fitted to Mk1/2/3 coaches can couple to the fixed-head Alliance coupler on the HST trailer. However, the couplers are slightly different, and this combination is prohibited in public service. An HST barrier is simply a coach with a drophead buckeye at each end; the barrier therefore runs with the drophead lowered at one end- exposing a standard drawbar which can be used with a normal loco screw coupling, and the drophead raised at the other, which can couple to the Alliance. All of this came to light in a memoreable debacle at Oxley depot in the 1990s with a trailer knocked out of a passing HST set and a series of efforts to return it to Neville Hill.
  3. As we wander into reminiscence mode, the 3 BFO 17173-5 saved the West Coast when parts started to fall off the MkIII DVTs in the early days of push-pull operation. The railway was scoured for brake vehicles, leaving the BFOs as the only half decent 110 mph capable brakes. They had a peculiar hydraulic parking brake, each different from the others. A maintenance exam on a BFO would guarantee a visit to the depot by the local Pirtek van to fix some bespoke hose or another.
  4. Arguably the biggest conversions have been the various loco-hauled MkIIIs which became HST trailers for Grand Central. The prototype HST trailers were the donors for most of the NMT coaches; they were markedly different from production trailers and a bit of a pain in the neck. It also went the other way - some HST caterers became loco hauled caterers (102xx cars). One UK HST coach (40513??) became a Snack Car for Irish Rail and nearly bankrupted the company doing the conversion.
  5. To the best of my knowledge, these narrow gauge BDs were all new to MoD depots. I wrote an article for Moseley Matters on these locos (we have loco 3756). In summary, the first batch were works numbers 3698 to 3701. Ordered in 1973 for delivery in 1974, these four locos were built to 24” gauge. They were new to the Chilmark depot in Wiltshire. In the late 1980s, all four transferred to the Eastriggs depot near Carlisle. These locos were rated at 60hp, and had a Brockhouse transmission. Visually, they are markedly smaller than the later locomotives, with a much lower bonnet line. The second batch of locos followed on. Locos 3751-56 (excluding 3754) were five 30” gauge, 60 hp locos. All went to the depot at Trecwm, in West Wales. 3751-3 were new in 1980, 3755 & 6 were new in 1981. All five went to the Dean Hill depot (near Salisbury) in 1994. 3775 and 3776 followed on in 1983, but were built to 1000mm gauge for the depot at Royal Navy depot at Milford Haven. Otherwise, they were identical to 3751-56. In 1990, these locos moved to Dean Hill for storage after Milford Haven closed. The final batch were seven more powerful locos. These had the Perkins engine pushed to 99hp, and were fitted with a Twin Disc transmission. They are visually similar to the preceding locos, except that they have three removable doors per side, whereas the earlier locos had two such doors. 3764 was new in 1983, followed by 3779 & 3780 the same year, and 3781-4 in 1984. All were built to 30” gauge and all were new to the Trecwm site.
  6. The railway certainly operated for a period using a pair of fairly modern Motor Rails, and a couple of pretty awful coaches. Annoyingly, I never went for a ride on the one time I visited and it was running. I was unaware that there was a balloon loop - presumably at the far end. Perhaps this was added after my visit, as the train was top'n'tailed and just shuttled back and forth. As said above, the locos went to Carlton Colville. The coaches ended up at Chasewater and were for sale not long ago. I don't know how long the railway last in operational condition - "not long" seems to be the consensus. The two WW1 locos were still on display in the Land Warfare hall last time I visited. The "leave to Apedale" comment is ironic; we contacted IWM about the railway, but it all foundered because the railway track is within the "airside" area of the active airfield; working to recover the track in that area fell firmely in the "all too difficult" box. I strongly suspect that is why the track remains, albeit cut-off from the main musuem.
  7. I'll add a little to this, as I knew Teddy Boston well - he's the Fat Clergyman who lands on the loco, and Wilbert Awdry distantly. It was always stated that all the stories in the books were based, to a lesser or greater extent, on real events - with the exception of this episode, which was completely fabricated. For some reason, I have a recollection that the story (of the loco found in the jungle) was inspired by Mike Satow's discovery of Rishra in India. Duke the Lost Engine was published in 1970, and Rishra returned to the UK, having been restored in India, in 1971. Therefore, news of Mike's discovery would have been current at around the time of the book's publication. Not conclusive evidence, but it fits my recollection.
  8. The key point is in the name - it was a test car, and hence "owned" by the Mechanical & Electrical Engineering department - as distinct to a Lab Coach which belonged to BR Research. Correct, arguably the best-known use was for acceptance testing of new vehicles. I spent a lot of time in it on the Class 60 project. Essentially, the loco would be instrumented to the nth degree, and then the cabling brought back to racks of instruments in the vehicle. This would only be done for type approval of the first of each type - not for each individual loco.
  9. The book was British Military Railways Overseas. The launch was by Mainline and Maritime - see https://www.mainlineandmaritime.co.uk/ - but the book has been produced by the British Overseas Historical Railway Trust. I suggest M & M is the best source, but it doesn't seem to have made it onto their website yet. I bought a copy, and it looks good.
  10. Forgive a dual posting, but here goes.... Not one but two WD Hunslet 4-6-0Ts will make their debut at Tracks to the Trenches this year! In addition to the War Department Locomotive Trust running No. 303 for the first time, Accucraft UK Ltd. will unveil their 1:19 scale, live steam locomotive. Hunslet produced 155 of these 2 foot (60cm) gauge locos during WW1 for service behind the trenches in France, sharing their duties with Baldwins and Alcos procured for the same role. After the war they were scattered to the four winds, examples ended up in South America, Australia and Palestine as well as England and Scotland. In 2005 The War Office Locomotive Trust repatriated No. 1215 (No. 303) from Australia and its restoration is now complete. A percentage of the retail profit from each UK sale will be donated to this locomotive, a greater percentage if ordered directly from Accucraft (UK) Ltd. The model is internally gas fired and has slide valve cylinders. The boiler is fitted with a water gauge with blow down valve, lubricator with drain and pressure gauge. It will be available in either 32mm (gauge 0) or 45mm gauge (gauge 1), the latter as per the 3’ gauge locos supplied to Balfour Beatty in Scotland. The model will only be available in satin black (with no running number) and will carry a UK RRP of £1950.00. They will carry item numbers S19-29A (45mm gauge) and S19-29B (32mm gauge).
  11. Not one but two WD Hunslet 4-6-0Ts will make their debut at Tracks to the Trenches this year! In addition to the War Department Locomotive Trust running No. 303 for the first time, Accucraft UK Ltd. will unveil their 1:19 scale, live steam locomotive. Hunslet produced 155 of these 2 foot (60cm) gauge locos during WW1 for service behind the trenches in France, sharing their duties with Baldwins and Alcos procured for the same role. After the war they were scattered to the four winds, examples ended up in South America, Australia and Palestine as well as England and Scotland. In 2005 The War Office Locomotive Trust repatriated No. 1215 (No. 303) from Australia and its restoration is now complete. A percentage of the retail profit from each UK sale will be donated to this locomotive, a greater percentage if ordered directly from Accucraft (UK) Ltd. The model is internally gas fired and has slide valve cylinders. The boiler is fitted with a water gauge with blow down valve, lubricator with drain and pressure gauge. It will be available in either 32mm (gauge 0) or 45mm gauge (gauge 1), the latter as per the 3’ gauge locos supplied to Balfour Beatty in Scotland. The model will only be available in satin black (with no running number) and will carry a UK RRP of £1950.00. They will carry item numbers S19-29A (45mm gauge) and S19-29B (32mm gauge).
  12. OK, you got me. DISC = Drivers's Indicated Speed Control. Essentially cruise control - driver sets a speed, loco accelerates to and sits at the speed. It was isolated in DVTs on West Coast because it was suspected of causing tapchangers to hunt around notches on Class 86 & 87. I THINK it was re-instated on Anglia when it became 100% Class 90, but can't recall.
  13. The traction motors on the older AC locos are, as said, series motors - ie the field windings are in series with the armature. They depend on the OLE supply to provide field excitation - hence the loss of rheo when passing through a neutral. To answer a couple of previous questions, braking energy is dissipated in large resistor banks which are force-cooled. The energy being dissipated in these resistors is substantial, so the blower motors must be proven to be operating before rheo can happen. Failures in this area have accounted for a good number of AC loco fires. It is worth noting that the power density of an AC loco can be quite scary; the one-hour rating of a single Class 90 traction motor is greater than the output of an HST power car. Get the cooling wrong and expect to call the fire brigade. The roof circuit breaker can be opened with the tap changer in any position, but opening it on-load is bad, as it will burn the contacts; hence (as commented above) drivers are expected to run-back the loco approaching a neutral. Class 90 are SEPEX motors, so the fields are fed seperately from the armatures. This is largely a wheelslip control thing, and became the in-thing after trials on a Class 58 in the 1980s. If memory serves, when a loco is in Rheo, the output from the motors is connected in series. On older locos, this meant no rheo with a motor out. Class 86 & 87 on WCML expresses would eat brake blocks at a phenomenal rate in such circumstances, and would be diagrammed for a nightly block check. Never worked on Class 91, funny Eastern Region things.
  14. I think that description is pretty good. I cannot remember if anything happened as a consequence of the brief loss of rheo when the loco passed through a neutral section. One clever feature of Class 90 was the ability to continue Rheo braking even through a neutral. DVT plus Class 90 could have brake operation at both ends, similar to HST; the DW3 unit on the loco (or DVT, if loco leading) could be controlled via the TDM system. However, I recall that in practice, this wasn't really used and the DW3 units on the DVTs were left isolated. This was to ensure a consistent feel of the brake - saving the driver having to recall if there was a Class 90 or an 86/7 ten coaches behind him.
  15. East Coast HST power cars now have (following MTU conversion) a Brush cooler group - I believe that this has the roof cowl divided by a tranverse bar. Great Western cars have a Voith group, which has a longitudinal bar. So, 43311/43114 - which are East Coast cars - should have a different configuration to FGW cars. 43002/003 are (presumably) representing the Valenta era, in which case they will have either a Serck or Marston group - and I'm sorry, I honestly cannot recall what either looked like from above.
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