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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/)

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  1. It is quite possible that a single pit will survive to supply the heritage market - and the industry would do well to act collectively here - but Welsh Coal doesn't suit all locomotives. The article is over-simplistic to suggest that it's just down to the closure of collieries supplying power-stations; the output from many of those was unsuitable for steam locos anyway (too fine). With the exchange rate only likely to get worse for the foreseeable future, imported coal costs for preserved railways are going to rise steeply.
  2. In so many (railway) disasters/accidents, there are examples of incredible professionalism and presence of mind: 1. The driver of DP2 who knew he was about to have a BIG accident and having made a full brake application, opened the drivers door before bracing himself behind the engine room bulkhead, because he knew that way the door couldn't be jammed shut after the crash and he'd be able to escape.... 2. The crew of the burning petrol train in Summit Tunnel who took the time to separate the undamaged wagons from the burning wagon and drew these clear, which hugely reduced the amount of fuel available for the fire. 3. The driver of the Virgin 47 whose engine governor failed, so the engine speed went stratospheric and he knew it would self-destruct. Rather than just stopping anywhere, he deliberately stopped the loco under a major road overbridge so that any components "thrown" would be constrained by the bridge, while also allowing passengers to be evacuated via the access steps up to the hard shoulder where road coaches could be safely stopped. (Hopefully I've remembered those stories right).
  3. Bodmin did carry freight from Fitzgerald Lighting for a while - the MD was also on the Board of the railway IIRC - but I think the Nene Valley was linked to the main line via Fletton Brickworks, but didn't actually carry that traffic. The surviving freight to the quarry West of Yarwell ceased, allowing the preservationists to take over, so they didn't run at the same time. but the track remained in place for them. This applies to many preserved railways; the Severn Valley took over most of its route which had survived to serve Alveley Colliery and the British Sugar factory at Kidderminster. But very few have continued to run commercial freight once operating as a preserved railway. Peak Rail has never carried freight; the stone trains from Peak Forest which reverse at Buxton are running over part of the route Peak Rail eventually want to reopen to passengers.
  4. The East Lancs is a superb railway and a credit to all concerned. However, am I fooled that this is the 1980s? No; the locos shouldn't have the single headlights but the main reason is ITS ALL TOO CLEAN! I remember coming back from travelling on trains in the blue/grey era and always needed to wash my hands immediately. Actually this is likely an under-estimate. The vast majority of layouts are expanded train sets that go no-where near exhibitions. Most of these will run a selection of stock based on what the owner likes and that is how it should be. Occasionally one or two of these sorts of bitsa-everything layouts do get exhibited, but they aren't the layouts that draw the crowds so don't get booked.
  5. This is exquisite. There was an active thread a while ago - which I think you contributed to - on why very few people model preserved lines, while those that do are usually just a justification for having too much stock from too many periods. "Ropley" shows that preservation schemes are about so much more than the trains running; it is all the backstage activity that makes them different from the "real" railway, which you are capturing brilliantly. Look forward to seeing more.....
  6. On the subject of Italian steam, perhaps someone can confirm this: Italian railways (FS) has never formally stopped using steam traction. It has retained some usable examples which are available for "preserved" operations, with all other operations converted to diesel or electrified, but there was never an actual plan to abolish it altogether.
  7. One of the all-too-rare sensible tax measures and it was introduced with very little fanfare. A really good clear-out on car boot sales and eBay etc., can raise £1000 over a year, especially if clearing an estate, for example, but you're unlikely to be doing that EVERY year. It made complete sense for the IR to say he would ignore this. If you are making more than a grand a year, every year from this sort of selling, it can reasonably be argued you are at least partially, making a living from it, so it deserves to be taxed as income. I have seen any number of people who are car booting every weekend; it is clearly their living (tax free).
  8. A non-nationalised LMS would surely have built a production series of 10000-10100 (at least) and by the end of the run, EE would had realised the engine could produce 2000hp reliably, so existing locomotives would have been uprated; if not to 2000hp, to whatever the traction motor insulation could safely cope with. I agree about the various fleets too; we would have seen a lot less variety, particularly the spectacularly unsuccessful types which BR built where the government wanted to create employment/buy votes (delete as appropriate) rather than where the expertise existed to build them. The private companies would also have been undertaking the same route/depot closure programmes as BR by the late 1950s, but unlike BR would NOT have built fleets of trains for services they were trying to extract themselves from at the same time. That was perhaps the biggest waste of the Modernisation Plan; building slightly newer versions of stock to handle traffic being hemorrhaged from the railways and which had no likelihood of returning.
  9. Not photographic masterpieces but three wintry DMU scenes scanned from my 110-format photos, taken as a teenager. The first two are from February 1985; first a Coryton service waits to leave Bute Road terminus in Cardiff. Having changed at Heath - walking from Low level to High Level, we arrived at Rhymney. Twelve months later I was visiting relatives in Hertfordshire; here's my Mum and young cousin at St. Albans Abbey, waving to the DMU as it burbles off back to Watford Junction. Nostalgia aside, the railway generally offers a more welcoming environment for passengers these days! I think this is what Sir Peter Parker had termed "The Crumbling Edge of Quality".
  10. The second shot show something I've never noticed before, Tony; the neutral green colour you have painted the layout edge (on the fiddle yard side at least). If that were painted black like a lot of exhibition layouts are, it would draw your attention to the edge. Being green your eye it tricked into thinking it's part of the scenery.
  11. If you were in the train, I suspect most of that black was from bus, taxi and truck fumes and not the small amount from the trains. Emissions legislation for automotive diesels was somewhat more relaxed 25 years ago.
  12. I suspect Penrith-Keswick is one of those routes that fall into the category of, "Should never have closed, but will never justify the cost of reopening". From friends who regularly walk in the Lakes, what is noticeable is how a few locations have a disproportionate amount of the walkers. One said about 90% of the people he saw in walking gear never seemed to get beyond the end of Ambleside's main street. Another frequented the area around Keswick and Buttermere precisely because there were far fewer tourists there. The problem is that for part of the year, too many people drive into the Lake District to walk instead of using public transport. If you want to address that issue, electrification of the Windermere branch with an hourly service from perhaps Stockport and through Manchester (to maximise the potential interchange opportunities), would probably achieve multiple times the modal transfer at about 1/50th of the cost.
  13. Yes but a boiler is under internal pressure, so the circumferential forces are in tension. A fire tube inside this boiler is under external pressure, so the forces are compressive, where materials like steel are MUCH stronger (eventually they buckle). I don't know enough about water tube boilers to explain why they're different.
  14. It's over 25 years since I studied this, but I think that would be less effective because of the grain structure. On an extruded tube the greater tensile strength is lengthways, whereas for a pressure vessel you want the maximum strength to be circumferential. That's why boilers are made from sections of plate rolled into rings.
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