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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. I have very good running (perfection is for none but Allah), using mostly 6-coupled all wheel pickup RTR rigid chassis, carefully but by no means perfectly laid track, and insulfrog turnouts. I clean track, wheels, and pickups only when problems arise, and believe (with no evidence) that frequent running in a heated and ventilated dehumidified domestic environment is the underlying cause of my success this matter.
  2. But I want my life to be dull... And long.
  3. Perhaps. This is back to the 'open information' point; we want honest and accurate info from H, and I agree that this is a very important part of the relationship between the company and it's customers, but there has to be a balance. H are as entitled as anyone else to a degree of commercial privacy as a fair part of competing with rivals, and don't want to disseminate info that might compromise this, and we are not really all that interested in what project has been moved to which factory/assembly facility, or when. What we want to know is reliable and accurate info about when the model will be available to buy in the shops. or dispatched from the warehouse if we've pre-ordered. I have the impression that my view on this, that companies should honour expected delivery dates to the best of their ability, and be prompt and open when these dates cannot be met, may not be shared by the companies themselves. I know that they may themselves be in the dark on such matters but they shouldn't be. H are by no means the only offender or the worst in this regard. It smacks of contempt for your customers on an Apple Corp. level, and of dishonesty; perhaps delivery estimates of the 'Q3 2020' sort are being used mendaciously to deter or otherwise manipulate the competition, and raises our expectations only for them to crash and burn. We plan to buy these models, and money put aside that has to be kept aside is not available until later for other projects; to take myself as an example, I'm hanging on to cash for a Baccy 94xx which I have prioritised to the detriment of my plan to buy more Comet coach kits. And I've been doing so for a while now...
  4. This is probably further evidence of 'cogging'; the motor stops temporarily while it builds sufficient electro-magnetic force (EMF) to overcome friction. and vibrates, causing the hum. Heat builds up during this period. Once sufficient EMF to move the motor has built, the commutator moves one segment at a time and then stops as the next segment aligns with the magnet, and the process repeats itself. The reason it doesn't happen at higher motor speeds is the inertial weight of the commutator, sometimes helped by a flywheel. You probably won't do your motor much harm with this practice, but you certainly won't do it any good! Cogging is an indicator of good pick up and efficient transmission, but is not true smooth realistic controlled slow running.
  5. You almost certainly can't 'fill' a lorry with catalogues. Paper is very heavy in bulk, being basically highly condensed wood, and you'd overload it. When I were a lad, and everything was still in black and white (colour was invented by the Beatles in 1963, as everyone knows), the local newspaoer was printed in a building opposite Cardiff's old main Post Office in Westgate St. Every morning, a BR Scammel mechanical horse flatbed would turn up at about 9.30 with 3 huge rolls of paper from Ely Paper Mill. The basement trap doors were opened, and the rolls pinchbarred off the flatbed to drop about 20 feet to the floor. This was a very impressive thing to watch, as the whole street shook when they impacted with a massive thud. If anyone were to have been underneath it, there wouldn't have been much left...
  6. If I have got it right, it’s purely by accident and I deserve no credit, Ms P! If this is the reason, why not just ignore them and let them get dirty?
  7. The trackbed north of Bridgnorth Tunnel has been redeveloped as a housing estate AFAIK, so extending the SVR from Bridgnorth to Ironbridge or connecting with the power station branch is sadly unlikely.
  8. I suspect the heady heights of 20mph are a bit aspirational even with empties; the loco is a trainlength up the branch and half way through Coalbrookvale before the last wagon's off the bridge and you can open up! It is a railway with a huge amount of heritage potential, though the proximity of the Severn Valley might hamper it customer-wise.
  9. Yes, as were many classes, but not as built new. Even if you extend the definition of 'Peaks' to the spotter's one of classes 44/5/6, they were all built between 1959 and 63 in green livery with cantrail stripe; the later builds would have had syp from new, but no 'Peak' was built new in blue livery with or without small or large yellow warning panels!
  10. I was told during my time as a freight guard at Canton in the 70s by a bloke who generally knew his stuff that booking offices are instructed to route passengers by the fastest permitted route in order to arrive at the earliest possible time; of course, this varies according to the time of day according to the destination. And, in days gone by, to the tide... Back in the pre-grouping days, it was alleged, you could book a through ticket from Cardiff to Paris. The usual route would be London-Dover/Folkestone-Calais/Boulogne-Gare du Nord, but it varied different times of the day and might involve Newhaven-Dieppe, or Southampton-Cherbourg. There was, though I doubt anybody would have ever had the endurance for it, a possibility at certain times of the day and states of tide, of routing Cardiff (Riverside)-Barry Pier, Barry Rly steamer-Burnham on Sea-(S & DJ)-Bournemouth change LSWR-Poole, steamer-St Malo-Gare du Montparnasse. 2 steamers and 4 trains, at least 3 of them without toilet facilities and stopping everywhere! The more I learn about the Victorians, the madder I realise they were...
  11. I think what Dibber was getting at was probably that BGs, along with GUVs and other NPCCS, were preferred when you were working with BRUTES because BSKs, BSOs. BCK's etc had cages in which items could be locked. In the case of a BG with corridor connections, the entire coach was locked when the guard was away from it (and sometimes when he was inside it if he wanted a bit of peace and quiet). The lack of the caged area meant that there was more room to handle the BRUTES, and you could get more in. Depended on whether they were in regular passenger rakes or circuit working (Express Parcels, Newspaper, or similar brandings); pool vehicles in parcels service could and did end up anywhere and everywhere.
  12. Might it be a Collett instruction? I suggest this because the first locos to appear from new without them was the Collett 56xx. It probably saved time in fabricating the cab front sheet, but that doesn't answer why the effort was made to plate over previous existing ones. They are very high up, though, and even with the GW's high set cab floors couldn't have been much use for seeing out of. A similarly puzzling piece of Collett logic is why the ventilators are 'handed' on the bowended suburban stock. On gangwayed stock it is to have the vent in the centre of the compartment roof, as the corridors were handed, but there is no sense in having it offset on the suburbans, never mind having the offset handed! Everything on a railway is done for a reason, even if it's a daft reason, but this one, discussed to death on the Hornby Suburban Bowenders thread last year, is a mystery, to which the porthole question must be added. As they used to say on QI, 'nobody knows...'
  13. The transition period means roughly 1958-68, the first of the modernisation plan diesels being delivered in '58;. Lined maroon for gangwayed stock was introduced in '56, replacing crimson/cream, and unlined maroon for non-gangwayed stock and pool NPCCS, replacing unlined crimson. Those liveries had been introduced in the May of 1948, and the WR incorrectly applied crimson/cream to auto trailers until 1950, when apparently Mr Riddles saw one at Paddington and wanted to know what his best main line livery was doing on such a lowly vehicle... The varying periods between repaints means that some coaches 'jumped' a livery, so a big 4 liveried coach painted in late '47 might be repainted in 1957 in the 1956 livery without ever carrying the 1949 livery, or a 1949 liveried coach painted in late '55 might survive in that livery until repainted in 1966 corporate blue/grey. A change occurred in 1958, when all vehicle types previously painted plain maroon began to be painted in lined maroon, and regional autonomy after a management restructure (always a sign of desperation, just before the rebranding) allowed WR sets allocated to named trains to be painted in a chocolate/cream livery (not GW, the lining was different and there was a chocolate band at cantrail level) and the SR to paint all it's passenger rated stock in malachite green. As well as the odd green passenger carrying visitor, SR NPCCS in green livery could be seen anywhere, including Scotland. So, for the OP's purposes, depending on how late the layout is set in the transition period, there will be a diminishing presence of crimson/cream, crimson, and unlined maroon stock and an increasing one of lined maroon until 1966, when corporate blue begins to appear. NPCCS is not painted as frequently as passenger coaches, and I remember seeing pre 1956 liveried stock in the early 70s, under a thick covering of crud. The RB Buffet Cars, Sleeping Cars, and CCT/GUV vans were not introduced until after 1958 and never carried any livery earlier than lined maroon or malachite green, despite the use of crimson/cream for RBs on heritage lines. Named trains got the latest stock and it was renewed as soon as the next type or livery was introduced, so one would expect such a train in Scotland to be entirely lined maroon stock by the start of 1959. The WR's choc/cream sets were broken up in 1963 and were fairly rapidly repainted into lined maroon; I don't recall seeing any after 1965. NPCCS went into rapid decline with the introduction of dmus, largely complete by about 1962, and such as was retained for excursion or spare use was the recently overhauled stuff in lined maroon; the KX/Moorgate suburban services were the exception, lasting into the blue period. Big 4 passenger carrying stock was steadily withdrawn during this period, and replaced with mk1s or mk2s post '66. GW Colletts were gone by about '62 and Hawksworths by 67; I rode in one from Manchester to Crewe in the summer of '66 (and it bounced around a bit behind a 100mph AL6!). LNER Thompsons were mostly gone by '66 as well; I rode in one that year Doncaster-Selby behind DP2, steady as a rock in the high 90s...). Gresley Buffets lasted into the 70s in blue/grey, but I think other Gresleys were probably gone by '65 or so. On the Southern, Maunsell stock seemed to be all gone by '64, the last going with the Kent Coast electrification I think. Bullieds lasted until the end of steam on the Bournmouths and Exeter services, Warship hauled west of Salisbury. I don't think much of the LMS Period 1 stock lasted into the 60s at all, though some suburbans may have survived longer in the North West. Staniers, which were built post nationalisation in large numbers by BR and were common everywhere, survived into blue/grey livery but were probably all gone by '69. Staniers, Gresleys, and Thompsons were common in Scotland, and other regions' stock might turn up as strengtheners or on excursion work. The last crimson/cream coach I remember seeing was an LMR mk1 in, I think, 1965. All rules are off for NPCCS except for the WR's few choc/cream mk1 BGs. These were constantly being borrowed and not returned by Clapham Jc from Old Oak to work with the LSWR route Pullmans, as the SR's Pullman brakes were amongst the oldest stock in the country. Post '63 you might see one on a parcels train in Scotland, though. The upholstery changed in mk1 coaches in about 1961, along with minor alterations to the window frames. If you paint your interiors, use dark red for second class and mid grey for first class on coaches built or overhauled before '61 and a green (non smoking IIRC) or red for 2nd and dark blue for 1st after that. A refurbishment program began in '66 when selected coaches were given 100mph bogies, Commonwealths or B4s, and the interiors refurbished in light formica. The wooden corridor handrails were replaced by aluminium and flourescent lighting was installed, and aluminium luggage racks similar to those in mk2 stock replaced the previous netting that trainspotters used as hammocks. Unrefurbished coaches kept their B1s and were kept for excursion and secondary use, restricted to 75mph running. This leads to bogies on mk1s. The initial standard was the B1, developed from the Stanier bogie. There was a B2 heavy duty version for catering and sleeping vehicles and B3 for multiple unit use. The B1 was found to be unsatisfactory at high speed and was found to 'hunt' uncomfortably. From 1959, new stock for specific use such as catering and sleeping vehicles was given the 'Commonwealth Pattern' bogie, replacing the B2, adding 2 tons per vehicle to overall weight, but they ran well at speed. The B4 was introduced in '61 on the WR, and became standard from 1964 on new vehicles. A 1961 Swindon built set for the Bristolian in choc/cream had them. I do not believe any BGs received B4 bogies before 1966, when some were fitted for use with mk2 stock on the WR, which was not allocated mk2 brake vehicles. These were in regular workings on the WR and would not have been seen in Scotland. AFAIK they were at that time the only BGs in blue/grey.
  14. Rope for fenders doesn’t have to be serviceable, and was one of many uses for worn and broken old rope. So long as it could be knotted in sufficient thickness it would do the job, and there were far fewer used tyres around in those days. More to the point, they were rubber and would perish.
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