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  1. To many, the smokebox door is the face of a locomotive, perhaps just a personal observation or by pleasant childhood exposure to the works of the Rev Awdrey. In “real” terms, the fittings that adorn the front of an engine can have a markedly visual effect on the whole ensemble. Taking the ex LNER Pacific (excluding A4 for obvious reasons) and V2 classes as examples, the requirement in later BR days to lower the top lamp bracket led to the change in positions of the handrail and numberplate. I’m uncertain on which works visit this occurred for the individual locomotives and when, but retrospectively the result gives a much improved visual balance. This perception becomes more apparent when the locomotives are viewed from a distance or as nowadays we scrutinise them in photographs. It is hoped that Hornby will make these distinctions when theIr forthcoming Thompson engines.
  2. I make no apologies for the "lash up" that I use. It's not pretty, but it works. Locomotives are stored on cassettes made of wood with Plastikard sides with power provided via brass bolts and 2.5mm copper wires at both ends to allow turning if required - a cop out turntable I hear you say! A track power LED indicator on each loco cassette is strung across - see pics. Rolling stock is stored on similar 36" cassettes (without power pick up). Ideally they could be longer but 3ft is easier to manipulate. These can hold up to three coaches or a corresponding length in goods vehicles. The cassettes reside in open shelving for ease of access. As can be seen, the baseboard here is obviously lower to facilitate the traverser (in the background) and the cassettes.
  3. Similar history as that of IKB's Royal Albert Bridge for the GWR over the Tamar at Saltash.
  4. The drawbar (coupling) does tend to flop about when trying to couple the tender on these engines, but a permanent fixture is hardly necessary. Invert both loco and tender on a soft surface, with a piece of foam block along each side to prevent them rolling onto their sides (unless you have a servicing cradle). Offer the tender up to the engine, and with tweezers, guide the drawbar through the slot in the front of the tender frame until the hole aligns with the post on the tender.
  5. Recommendations pertaining to the Do's and Don'ts, Pro's and Con's of using Isopropyl Alcohol for track/wheel cleaning purposes continue to roll on. Having great respect for those who, for various reasons choose not to utilise the product, I can only offer guidance from my own experiences. For very many years, I have had no problems whatsoever when using 99% pure IPA carefully on trackwork and rolling stock wheels. (The OP's video does refer to the 70% strength, the water content of which slows evaporation, making it more effective for disinfection purposes and furthermore much less suitable for electrical applications.) The railway (DCC) continues to function perfectly even some time after cleaning when a light conductive tarnish appears on the railhead.
  6. Very true, and not forgetting the bogie and trailing truck wheels of steam locomotives. The wheel backs also can accumulate a considerable amount of grime which will need removing. I was just recently checking over a Pacific, cleaning the drivers and tender wheels with cotton buds dipped in IPA (the non drinkable kind - unless you're desperate!). The bogie and trailing truck wheels looked shiny and clean; nevertheless I gave them a wipe and was surprised at the dirt deposited on the cotton bud.
  7. Longhedge, of course. Silly me; got myself tangled up in the Battersea maze. Thanks Ian.
  8. There are illustrations of the Devon Belle observation car being "spun" on the turntable at Ilfracombe, preparatory to attachment for the return working to London. However, my queries are: After arrival at Waterloo, was the stock washed and berthed at Clapham and which turntable or "triangle route" was used to turn the stock/observation car? One imagines the "fun and games" involved in detaching an individual vehicle, shunting onto a 'table, uncoupling the shunter, turning, hooking back on, returning to the train and reattaching, in the busy London area. To avoid this performance, perhaps the empties were routed onto the WLE line to Latchmere Jnc with a reversal back to Factory Jnc?
  9. Interesting topic and some really informative replies. May I please extend the OP's query to include engine changes on long distance and inter-regional freight workings throughout the steam era post WW2.
  10. Have a look on the Expotools.com website under spanners and nut soinners
  11. In addition to the other suggestions, a fine dab of paint applied with the end of a cocktail stick or fine wire can sometimes be all that is required to effect a bond for very small items.
  12. When it comes to assistance, we all have something to give, and yet there will always be something for us to learn. It is those unusual and sometimes hitherto unanswered questions which will crop up during our modelling enterprises that can pique the interest of many and, when answered positively, contribute to the camaraderie of the forum. OTOH, queries of a, dare I say it, more obvious nature to some, should not be immediately dismissed as irrelevant; an intelligent response will always be well received. Tracking down an online solution, whether generally by Search Engine (pun intended) or the RMWeb, can seem a laborious and time consuming exercise; the temptation to just ask without looking will always be there - I know, I have myself been guilty. A concise, easily navigated index to all our queries would be very nice indeed, but hey we already have one - the membership! Whenever I can offer useful advice, some might consider it comes from a seasoned veteran. However, when I'm the one seeking help regarding a particular issue then I'm unashamedly in the same boat as those new to the hobby.
  13. Here's a scanned image of a refurbed Kent Coast unit arriving at Falmer on a Brighton bound working.
  14. Albeit, just an annual steam working from the South Coast, I remember travelling with my father from Brighton to North Camp on the Farnborough Air Display specials in the years '59-'62. On one occasion, "Winchester" worked to Redhill, where ""Rugby" hooked on the rear and hauled us over the North Downs for the remainder of the journey. (Highlight for a young Me was seeing the Guildford pilot, a B4 0-4-0T in the shed yard.) Another year, we just about managed to catch the train (as the bus was late) and grabbed seats in a rear coach with minutes to spare, meaning the hitherto mandatory visit to the front of the train to view the loco wasn't possible! Airing this disappointment as we pulled out, Dad, who was by that time a Motorman, remarked that the engine was a "West Country". I remember at that age, being somewhat amazed that an engine could be identified by its sound, but hey, Dad had worked on them since their introduction. The coach surged momentarily and he remarked "Sounds like this bloke wants to get there before he's started!", doubtlessly referring to the engine's antics as it lost its feet over the pointwork. Arriving at Redhill, the uncoupled engine ran back past us to the Loco and it was indeed a Pacific, but one of Brighton's "Battle of Britains" at that time, "Fighter Pilot" or "Biggin Hill", the exact one evades me. I do not recall further details of the onward journey from Redhill on that occasion. As for many lads, the journey by rail to the air display was an "opener" to the main event but the last year we went, the occasion was "marred" by the fact that the train comprised a Hastings DEMU! As an aside I've attached one of my schoolboy attempts at photography of "Dulwich" taking water in the up loop at Haywards Heath.
  15. Yes, the Cull of December '62 (sounds like a song title!) What may, within today's even more cost concious society seem astonishing, was the fact that amongst the many ageing veterans that had been operating past their "sell-by date" in 1962, but also condemned were examples which were not that many months out of shops. The economics prevailing hastened the withdrawal of as many engines as practicable, seemingly irrespective of their condition. Accordingly, perfectly operational locomotives which had received relatively recent overhauls at considerable expense to the taxpayer were withdrawn; a practice that was set to continue in many quarters without question.
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