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    Camberley, Surrey
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    St.Davids - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/130320-st-davids/?hl=davids
    Basic Upgrades for Cheap Models - https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/144034-very-basic-detailing-for-cash-strapped-modellers/
    Modelling for Cheapskates (https://e3054.wordpress.com/)
    Railway Photography Portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?

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  1. Interesting though this thread is, is does seem to repeatedly cycle through what-ifs based on swapping standard GWR/Stanier components and/or and extra axle or two. But..... has anyone (with the exception of @Clive Mortimore) actually built any imaginary locomotives of the Big Four or British Railways? @Corbshas produced some freelance stunners for the Isle of Sodor, shown on his thread. My apologies to him but I've forgotten the username of the modeller of some superb planned-but-not-built LMS types for the far North of Scotland. Even simpler, has anyone renumbered any locos to fictional numbers, to represent planned batches that weren't built? Examples could be the Std Cl.4 4-6-0, for which a batch of ten (75080-89) were intended for the Eastern Region.
  2. Hear hear on your post above. While not the WCML North of Preston, I've wondered about how the ECML could be speeded up, in three sections North of Darlington, where the average speeds drop significantly: Darlington - Newcastle, straight-lining (perhaps using something close to the Ferryhill route) that section could help, Over the Border; what time could be saved North of Berwick if the line was diverted inland with a fairly straight route towards Dunbar? A beautiful area but much lower population to complain and protest than in Bucks/Oxon/Warwicks, it would also have the long-term benefit of moving the railway away from the retreating cliffs around Burnmouth. Diverting the railway around Morpeth to avoid the painfully slow curve on a high-speed link. However, as with extending HS2 into Scotland, I'm not sure that a Nationalist Scottish Government would be keen on funding transport links that help people to leave the country more quickly.
  3. For ease of recall, the American comic Dave Barry wrote that all historic events took place on October the 8th.
  4. In my defence, my off-topic comments below refer to the aging of our population. Older people are more likely to be uncomfortable using the private car for long journeys. This therefore demonstrates a growing potential demand for long distance travel, which HS2 will make easier.....
  5. Much of what you've described was a symptom of there being a much higher proportion of people in work compared with those not yet in work*, or drawing a pension. The retired now make up a much greater proportion of the population and as people now live longer, they are susceptible to more illnesses that are expensive to treat or manage (like dementia, very rare in the under-70s). You can't get an appointment at a GP because the population has grown and aged, but the system hasn't grown to cope. It's the same reason why final salary pensions are so out of fashion now; the maths only work if you have a large and growing number paying into the scheme compared to those drawing from it. *For those that worry about these things, for the Europeans who came to the UK in the last 20 years, the proportion in work is much, much greater.
  6. Very belatedly, I learned today that Mel Munday, "Chairman Mel" of Knightwing International, passed away earlier this year. A visit to their website confirmed this and the short message says that as a result it appears they are not taking orders until further notice. Sadly I hadn't spoken to him for about ten years, but actually got to know Mel nearly 25 years ago in the early days of the AC Locomotive Group. Through the company, he bought 85101 to help keep the collection of the four Old Ladies together, and 85101 stands with them at Barrow Hill Roundhouse thanks to his involvement. His passion for preserving trains and buses always came across, as did his enthusiasm for creating the models under the Knightwing name. RIP Mel and my condolences to all the Knightwing family.
  7. The lack of the right skills impacts many things, railway preservation is one. There have been a number of loco preservation groups which quickly fell by the wayside (fortunately, most before they bought anything) when they had, for instance, ten members volunteering to produce the website but no-one with welding or any other useful mechanical skills. Or quite often, any knowledge of fund-raising. @rockershovelmakes a worthy point about skills shortages; this impacts all sorts of construction, not just HS2. I tend to laugh when I hear political parties trying to trump each other over how many new homes they would build, considering that anyone in the UK who has construction skills, appears already to be working in construction. I'm not sure who is going to build all the extra homes, or what those already working are going to stop working on, to do so. The solution of course is to allow more people with the right skills to come from Europe (without which most major projects in the UK would simply stop altogether), but the parties seem reluctant to suggest that.....
  8. To an extent I agree, although as a denser-populate country than almost any other in Western Europe, there are usually more people in the way of anything we want to build in this country. The speed at building things in the UK though, seems to have declined in inverse proportion to the growth in the number of Project Managers.
  9. As a result of buying too many eBay job lots which included spare bodies over the years, I have 15 of these to practice on. I won't achieve this standard - certainly not straight away - but thanks for giving me something to aim for, absolutely superb.
  10. OK well that's certainly not my intention. I didn't help myself by writing, "it often is..." intending to write describe one thing then wrote another; what I meant was, "One example might be.....". I think the examples might be layouts which are, "based on the ECML North of York in July 1963", but are of a fictional location which doesn't actually look like the landscape North of York. Not so long ago there seemed to be a few present day era layouts based on, "A non-electrified loop off the WCML in the Warrington area"; this read to me as wanting to model all the interesting WCML freight services but not bother with the catenary, which has been an obvious feature of the WCML North of Crewe for 50 years. I admire any modeller with a dedication (sometimes lasting decades) to get their model right; it is the obsession with getting one aspect of it 99.999% right, while other aspects of the model are (to my eyes) perhaps 50% right, that I find hard to relate to, that's all. At the end of the day, it's their layout and getting my approval won't be any part of their motivation, not that I would ever even drop the hint that their work didn't appeal to me. If it's at an exhibition, I would congratulate them in my head for their efforts in creating something and exhibiting it, smile or say hello if they saw me and move on quietly to the next layout.
  11. This is going to sound like a cop-out but I probably couldn't name any. Not out of a wish to avoid embarrassing anyone (though I wouldn't want to do that anyway, it would be unforgivably rude to insult someone's personal work on here) but more that the names of these layouts didn't stick in the memory when I saw them in magazines or at exhibitions. I guess that in the same way as Tony immediately spots missing lamps, my eye is jarred by unrealistic geographical features, like when I see a train exiting a tunnel with a pub built about 3' over the portal, or a river that isn't the lowest point on the landscape...... I can however, always remember the names of the layouts that were "just right": Wibdenshaw, Chee Tor, Copenhagen Fields, Chiltern Green, Clutton (I did just have to check the name of that one), to name just five. I'm sure there are faults with all of them, but any I've spotted are so trivial compared to what is right with them. I've not seen LB in the flesh, but from the images Tony's posted on this forum it would certainly be amongst the very best layouts, those that just get everything to a consistent (and very high) standard.
  12. What you've said above perfectly describes why some layouts "work" and some, even if they are fastidiously accurate in many features, do not. It is often that the builder has been obsessive in ensuring that the locos and rolling stock are exactly right for a specific Wednesday in July 1963 and they are operated to the timetable of that day and that day only. The problem is when that railway runs in a landscape - the big picture, which is what you first see approaching the layout - which looks like nowhere on Planet Earth.
  13. I've previously argued on here that dieselisation should have taken place much earlier in the UK, but others have rightly pointed out that the country didn't have the financial ability to purchase so much foreign oil. With the lack of proven, reliable and powerful enough diesels, the building of the larger Standards was perhaps inevitable. However, you are completely right about BR building locomotives for traffics and roles that another BR department was planning to close. It's not as if secondary and branch lines weren't already closing in big numbers by the mid-50s (the 1st Beeching report basically just proposed accelerating what was already happening). There is no way any steam shunting locomotives should have been built by BR; all the Pannier tanks were a complete waste of resources; the EE 0-6-0DE has already successfully demonstrated itself by then. Although similarly, as they ended up disposing of huge numbers of them at less than 10 years old, BR should have stopped building diesel shunters a lot earlier as well!
  14. Well yes there's a few weeds on the disused down platform, but otherwise that's hardly decrepit. It's probably better than Narberth, sometime in Spring '86. Note the lack of signs or lighting away from the building itself; it would have been quite a step down from a DMU after dark.
  15. Not that far to the South, I've often thought the former USAF base at Upper Heyford should have become a new London airport.
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