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  1. Oddly enough if the 3rd rail was at Horsted Keynes that is something that even the 'Flat Earthers' couldn't object to.... there is actually a short piece at Horsted which is used for training purposes. 377s to Sheffield Park. And Bluebell already own a 4VEP.
  2. Lol. 6000 hp on 46 tons, wow. Pretty good off the mark, but not much top end....
  3. Yep sounds great. There hasn't been a loco stabling point on the Central Division since Three Bridges Yard closed. Horsted Keynes TMD anyone? Not too sure about the 142s though. Cheap and nasty from the outset and they haven't improved with age..... How about an HST set with short swing bogies, using BBR as a base for rail tours??? I suspect that the appearance of the two MK3 sleepers at BBR will have caused the 'flat earth brigade' to have burned their life memberships in protest! Before they become permanent static sleeping facilities it should have been possible to run a couple of special event over night sleeper trains using the air braked 09 and the one air braked mk1. Fill the mk1 with a bar / beer and I'd have definitely been there!!! Sadly the future for these two is static and almost certainly green paint will be involved! It seems that as long as it is painted green it won't matter as much. Imagine the same justification for painting a West Country class into Intercity Swallow livery....lol
  4. Haha yeah the line isn’t quite long enough to need sleeper trains. The sad thing is that unlike steam era preservation or even first generation diesel / mk1 / mk2 stock preservation, the preservation of MK3 sleepers / loco hauled mk3s are unlikely to see much real use on preserved railways. An given the ETH needs / compatibility etc there perhaps won’t be very many saved anyway. Just the odd few scattered around the country. It is probably fair to say that with the unit based railway the UK now has, hardly anything will be kept and more importantly run in the future as the era of loco hauled coaches really ended with the MK3. (Mk4s being almost fixed units).
  5. The new order arrives....and this is about as modern as it gets for Bluebell Railway anyway. Never thought I’d see MK3 sleepers in Sussex!!! Shame of it is they arrived by rail and remain main line certified but will never go back on the network again. Out will come the green paint and they will probably become static sleeping.
  6. Hi Keefer, thanks for the suggestion, sorry for the delay in replying. Looking back I believe that it was Monday the 12th January 1987. The reasoning behind this thinking is that the trip had been planned for a while and the week prior to the trip the snowy weather wasn't forecast to be as bad as it turned out to be. We had no way of getting in touch everyone on the day until they showed up at Brighton. In fairness we probably wouldn't have left Sussex had we known how bad it was going to turn out. But back then there was no 24 hour news, no mobile phones, no internet etc etc so no way of knowing. I know so little about class 45 workings especially around this area at this time. Is it possible that this was a 'scratch working' due to the bad weather? Or were there still scheduled 45 workings between Peterborough and Norwich? If it was a scratch service working then a 45 turning up at Norwich might have been recorded as an interesting event? Like I said it is so long ago and so little to go on. But a least I am fairly sure it was Monday 12th.
  7. In early 1992 the BRB sanctioned the building of a batch of coaches that could form the basis of a 'multi use non passenger carrying vehicle'. The end result was an adaptation of the BR MK4 coach body design, which was being built by BREL at the time. The main difference compared with the standard MK4 coach was as there was no requirement for 'Tilting', the body profile didn't need to be tapered and could therefore accommodate wider internal loading. They were in essence a full length coach and as a non passenger carrying vehicle it was trialed across the sectors of BR in various different roles. With the BR MK1 BG / Full Brake fleet showing its age and as BR never built any MK2 or MK3 BG/ Full Brake Coaches, they were used as Intercity Sleeper train support coaches / luggage vehicles. They were used for a similar purpose on loco hauled Intercity Cross Country services and also parcels / express mail services used them across the network. They utilised B10 bogies and had four sets of wide opening doors along the body side (the same type as used on the DVT) and had inward opening doors on both sides at each end. On the practical side of things, to get the end under frame detail to match the centre under frame detail required the couplings to be mounted on the body. But this created problems as the coupling still needed to move to accommodate curves and crossovers. I took a pair of standard Bachmann straight couplings and drilled two tiny holes through the flexible part at the back of the NEM pocket. Then super glued some 0.5mm brass wire through and into the under frame. Another piece of brass wire was fixed horizontally at each end, through the under frame detail and under the bottom of the coupling, to prevent the really irritating occurrence of 'coupling droop'. It is going to be re-painted in Intercity livery following various modifications to the body sides and the roof.
  8. My first ever Peak trip....At the beginning of January 1987 snow covered much of the UK. At the time I was a mere teenage lad on BR. My boss arrange for us trainees to take a trip from Brighton to York to visit the National Railway Museum. Taking charge of us from Sussex we headed up to Victoria then on the tube to a Kings Cross. Upon arrival we found that snow had shut the ECML north of Doncaster, with the remaining services out of the Cross hugely delayed. HSTs were turning up covered in ice and snow, having been sent back south. My boss’ view was we should get on the next north bound train and see what happened. Our HST crawled through driving snow as far as Peterborough and was then stopped as the line was blocked going north. Sitting in the far platform was a rake of blue and grey Mk2 pressure vented stock headed by a Class 45, advertised destination Norwich. As it was the only train that was apparently going to run and as it was about to leave, also so as not to waste the day, we all piled into to the toasty warm train. It made a spirited and very claggy departure, with us BR Southern boys marvelling at this foreign exotic traction. Window hanging was the order of the day for most of us, despite the snow and cold weather, helped by the fact that most of the windows had frozen in the down position. We got as far as the March area when we came to a stand in the middle of nowhere, with a failed Sprinter in front of us. Our train was still toasty warm as we sat for well over an hour with the 45 ticking over. Eventually as Class 31 ran passed us light engine, wrong road, and disappeared off. Finally dropping on to the failed Sprinter in the distance. With the obstruction gone we got under way. All this must have taken around two hours, so that when we set off the clagg was dark and of epic proportions, blanketing the train and surrounding area for some time. We must have had a clear run after this because most trains were cancelled. As I remember it we trashed along, with a few station stops, all the way to Norwich. At the time i only had a very basic camera and took so few photos, none of them came out very well anyway. We had a great day. Eventually taking five hours getting back to Liverpool Street behind a class 47, one of the only trains to make it through that day. Then a three hour extremely slow trip, in a scratched up train formed of 8 car EPB, out of Victoria to Hove as Preston Park to Brighton was shut. Walked home and got in at 06:00.....shattered but it was flipping marvellous. What I am most gutted about is I can’t remember the exact day or date, except that it was in early January 1987, and the lost notes means I don’t even know which class 45 it was. Especially gutted as it was the first I had ever travelled behind. Can anyone remember the odd workings around this time???? I realise that it is a massive ask with so little info.... cheers all Grizz
  9. Nearly done, both still need varnish. Can't decide if they need cant rail lines. Particularly like the Scotrail 25, it needs an additional fuel tank and possibly ETH......
  10. 25382 still needs Railfreight logos, OHLE warning signs and cant rail lines. 25501 still needs ScotRail logo, but I am quite please so far. Got to go transfer shopping though. The trouble with the class 25s is the body sides have various grills, windows and hatches and both sides are different. Not sure if the white ScotRail logo will fit on 25501, between the two windows on the side of the body shown, the other side is fine as there is sufficient length. Both then need varnish finishing. Also thinking of putting a white Highland Stag logo on 25502 on the raised panel on the body side, just behind the left hand drivers door???..... anyone got any thoughts?
  11. I've always liked the Scotrail Blue and White Duplex stripe livery, with my first memory of it, as a young man on BR, using my free staff travel hammering along in a MK2 behind a 'Shove Duff' towards Aberdeen. Sadly I never got any decent photos. But it how good would this have been. A Scotrail Class 25...... Again not quite finished but I am pleased with it so far.
  12. It Cheers Satans Goldfish. I did try to visualise how that step up would look but I came to the same conclusion as JDW regarding why the 26s had this. I spose if I'd used a 25/0 as the victim of this experiment then it would have worked better, although I would have had the same issues with the side windows being positioned lower. For the yellow bands above the windows I wanted to try to get around the impossibly small masking required. So using some water slide double yellow lining from a BR 1980s style Royal Mail 'Red' GUV set, I cut them I half down the length to produce a regular single yellow strip. It seemed quite promising, however no matter how I tried it, it was impossible to get it to settle down properly as it curved around the top corner of the cab windows. I will need to play around with it. At present it looks like a plain and simple Large Logo Grey 25/3 rather than the later style of Red Stripe used on the class 26s. It definitely needs something to break up the Black Yellow and Grey tones. Not sure though......
  13. 25382 Rail Freight Grey Large Logo. Still needs some work but I ran out of Rail Freight logos for a start.
  14. Getting there. As above it is a slightly difference livery configuration to the class 26 because of the window layout. Also it needs the yellow band above the windows, that is quite tricky as it is a complex shape with a very narrow band of tape. Next job is large logos on the body sides.
  15. I decided to vary the liveries on a couple of my Bachmann class 25s. I have chosen the Intercity executive/mainline style livery (not swallow) similar to the 'Ethel' photo below but with a slight difference. I plan that it is going to be numbered as a 25/5. So the story is, that unlike the Ethel, its traction motors have remained connected. Boiler removed and an extra fuel tank installed. It is used as a celebrity loco, also in regular traffic and rail tours / open days etc. Might even make it a Scotrail loco with the blue and white duplex stripes. Not totally decided on the final details. It has had the Intercity 'Light Grey' (buff) sprayed up and is now masked up ready for the dark grey. So it could be mostly like this but a 25/5 and possibly with Scotrail decals. The other 25 is going into Railfreight Red Stripe. It was inspired by the livery as seen on the class 26 below. The livery has had to be altered slightly as the cab side windows are positioned around 3mm lower than the front cab windows. So this has resulted in a deeper black cab window surround on the front windows. Which isn't an issue on the class 26 as all of the window bottoms are parallel. It is masked up having had the black satin applied. Next step is cover that up and remove the tape for the body and roof Railfreight grey. The class 25 is a difficult loco to work with because of the body side panels, grills and the difference in window heights etc. still nothing ventured as the saying goes. Had the class lasted longer into Sectorisation this might have have happen as every depot needs a pet....
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