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The Johnster

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  • Location
    The mean streets of inner-city Cardiff
  • Interests
    Railways of course, especially those of South Wales, Photography when I can get out to do it, Latin American percussion, beer, ranting about stuff that winds me up and being a miserable old git.

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  1. In 1985, as part of the GW150 shennanigans, 9466 spent a week at Radyr prior to appearing at Cathays Workshop open days on a weekend. It was used for the daily Radyr-Cathays trip several times and a halt not called until, in order to deliver a wagon the correct way around it was routed via the Quarry (City Line) and through Cardiff Central and Queen Street. I was in those days a member of a model railway club that exhibited at this event, and had a chance to put a round of coal in the firebox of Iron Duke on the Friday evening as we were setting up; the loco was being driven back
  2. I’m sure not all are bad, and that HR can be used as whipping boys by bad managers, but those in Cardiff’s main Royal Mail sorting office are beneath contempt for the way they treated people. Sorry to have been the cause of setting your anxiety off, Blandford; sounds like you are as much a casualty of the system as I am, and I sympathise. Hey, a guy called Blandford on a forum, what’s not to like?!
  3. When I retired on medical grounds from my last job, Royal Mail HR bless 'em, representing my employer in such matters, had tried to sack me on poor attendance grounds despite my illness. The union, UCW, successfully fought for me to be medically retired; my pension was at stake. The union's national rep was on the way down from London on the train when they decided to grant me the medical retirement; I was due in the office for the final interview with the union rep accompanying me at 11.30 in the morning, and had been told I would be clearing my locker. At 11.00 am a mail van turned up ou
  4. That Shanghai-Nanking loco has a lot of the Midland look to it and anyone wanting to see what an outside cylindered Johnson/Deeley single might have looked like needs look no further. The resurgence of singles in the UK in the 1880s and 90s gave us some stunning loco porn. It was very much related to an American development, steam sanding. Singles with big driving wheels in the early days 3 or 4 decades before, which was when the late Victorian CMEs cut their teeth, were a sensible way of achieving fast running speeds with the low piston rates and bearing revolution speeds that the
  5. Leds can be run on a lower voltage than rated as well as the coat of acrylic tip mentioned. They emit less heat than GOW bulbs and the decorative strings of them can be obtained very cheaply on that inter netty thing from Amazon. These are available as battery powered sets but can be easily connected to a mains psu that gives suitable output voltage. You want the smaller bulbs without the various globes, stars, santas and wotnot, but these plastic coverings can be removed and binned. They are available as warm or cool lighting, often with all sorts of fancy flashings and pulsings you don’t
  6. Not dressing it up, Andy. If (Laconians again) you read what I have written my meaning is clear enough; as a Mod you should not need me to tell you this. Discussion is clearly pointless and I choose not to engage with you further on this matter; I don’t feel a necessity to explain myself further and am happy that I have not accused anyone of overcharging or profiteering, very much the opposite in fact, and that full reading of my posts will vindicate this opinion.
  7. I buy Bachmann stuff more than any other manufacturers’, but this is nothing to do with brand loyalty and plenty to do with modelling a South Wales coal mining branch set in the 1950s. I have a Hornby 42xx and a much worked up 2721, but the bread and butter 57xx, 8750, 45xx, 4575, 5101, 56xx, 94xx and BR Standard 3MT tank are not available from Hornby (the Triang Hornby 8750 does not, IMHO, count, nor does the Triang 3MT, as a ‘serious’ model and the 2721 is pushing things a bit!). The most essential item, the 16ton mineral, is only available from Bachmann as an RTR model if you require, as
  8. I think it has a connection to the final days of steam on the Settle-Carlisle, the enthusiasts descending on the bleak and remote moorlands with notebooks and cameras looking from a distance like so many grouse waiting for the glorious 12th, and the plural of grouse is, in any sensible universe, of course ‘grice’. Which makes for a singular grain of rouse…
  9. But an essential part of 1953-64 modelling for South Wales. These trailers, admittedly not stylish but no worse than HALs or EPBs to my mind, were converted from Collett flat ended brake third compartment coaches in connection with the Cardiff Valleys ‘regular interval’ timetable introduced in 1953 and the genetic ancestor of the current timetable, which introduced a lot of auto working in the area compared to the previous timetables. A number of C66 thirds were given auto linkage to run with them as well. At the same time a number of 4575 small panniers were fitted with auto gear for the n
  10. As I’ve said before, I think they could get away with raising prices without much affecting sales. Comparing them with Bachmann is probably not really comparing exactly like for like, but I would suggest that, in terms of their ‘hi fi’ products, H are producing stuff comparable in quality and detail to B, and knocking it out at about 20% cheaper. The very basic level of market research and public perception I encounter talking to non-railway chums up the pub is that they regard RTR model railways as very expensive, an outraged ‘how much?!!’ being the usual reaction. A Smokey Joe t
  11. And it will always be 'The General' in my mind, to differentiate it from Queen Street. It was changed to Central as were all the ex-GW 'Generals' in order to conform with BR's naming policy. The GW, always individual, used 'General' in a station name to indicate that this was a station at which connection to other railways' services could be made, such as the Barry and Taff Vale at Cardiff or the LSWR at Bodmin, in other words a station that served that town for all railways in general, but was owned by the GW. One might say that the description was superfluous after the grouping in the cas
  12. The length of the block trains depended on the permitted load for the booked locomotive over the route, which was limited by the ‘ruling gradient’, the steepest along that route. Diversionary routes were set with this in mind. Block TEA trains were one of the staples of my 1970s career as a freight guard at Canton; we relieved the crews at Canton Sidings and worked them to Hereford, Gloucester, or Swindon for relief, or the empties downline to Llanelli for the various Milford Haven refineries, or to termination at Llandarcy. Liveries were not mixed and a common feature was one clean tan
  13. This can be used as a fuel or oil storage facility for a number of different situations; diesel storage for a locomotive depot, marine bunkering fuel for a large harbour, a large factory or steelworks, fuel/oil distribution depot, airport, industrial estate, maybe even for a military facility. It could contain diesel, heavy oil, petrol, naptha, almost any oil or petroleum product you can think of.
  14. The big LSWR terminus was not the only Waterloo in the UK, it had a namesake on the Brecon & Merthyr southern section's Machen-Caerphilly branch. It was a little different from the better known Waterloo, consisting of a couple of sleepers to mark the edge of the 'platform', a gate, a lamp post, and a nameboard. It was a request stop served by auto trains on the Newport-Pontypridd service, in one direction only. Pontypridd-Newport trains served Fountain Inn, another ground level halt about 20 yards away, because the up and down lines ran on separate formations here in order to ease the g
  15. As were the 4 aspect MAS Newport and Cardiff schemes. I believe this was the national standard for such schemes at that time, and the ‘original’ normal arrangement the Mike refers to, which I couldn’t tell you the date of but I’m sure he can, had been superseded. The double yellow aspect was the uppermost of the two yellows.
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