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  1. Who says I don’t have all the kit in hand, but not installed, to do this? (That said, straight DCC is more likely to happen right now. Tankie is all metal, and the body acts as a faraday cage with respect to radio signals.) As for the rail heads... With two trains a day, the running lines were reasonably polished, and from photos it appears that the sidings were, too. (Photo from my own collection.) Although of course you are welcome to produce your own model, using what you think happened rather than photographic evidence as a guide.
  2. Well, you are both right, but also at right angles to each other. Get a room, or a boxing rink!
  3. “Ya gotta lotta guts, lady.” Yes, spread all over the place after the sharks got in...
  4. This is very rough and very scruffy, but if you are up to building it, or heavily modifying a Peco “short” diamond crossing and adjoining point work to preserve the track centres, you could go for a very urban looking compressed piece of track involving a double-sided tandem, a diamond, a single slip and a double slip, plus a few other turnouts:
  5. One of those double slips (on the inner route) could be replaced by a single slip, which would look rather nice.
  6. Regularity


    Nice work on the corners.
  7. Hmm. Need to find an S scale "Eyeore".
  8. Incidentally, M1 and 14BA are more or less interchangeable, but use some threadlock (nail varnish also works) as the thread form is slightly different.
  9. At Biggleswade, a viewer commented on how having so much space around track made for a relaxing atmosphere. Also had a visit from the layout's builder, who approved of the backscene, and showed me the right place to put the lighting support pole, opening up the view. Also, some very nice comments here about the isolated, rural atmosphere. "Plus there isn’t one figure on the whole layout! Yet this works. It really does look like a neglected rural railway where nothing much happens and very few people travel." There is a driver in Tankie, and I have drivers and firemen on order from Modelu. I may run to one figure otherwise, but I am not so sure...
  10. There is a degree of optimism in the output of both layout designers: turnouts are often very short and rather acute. Assume that the plans will turn out longer (and wider, for oval schemes) or will involve a lot of very carefully constructed trackwork. Test with either Templot, or printed templates, before committing!
  11. A chain is 100' long in the USA. A bushel is 8 dry gallons in the UK and 64 pints in the USA, but a USA pint is not equivalent to a UK pint, so they translate differently. A US pint also has 20 fluid ounces, and a UK one has 16. A Swedish inch was bigger than a British inch, and the "foot" varied all over Germany. That's the whole problem with how you have defined a mile in "pre-grouping days": there were national differences and cultural biases underpinning the system, with chaos potentially ensuing - hence the creation of a unified system based upon (originally) the distance from the north pole to the equator, following a circular path based on the surface of the earth. It was 1/10,000,000 of this. It has been revised since, most recently in 1983 with reference to the speed of light in vacuum and the distance travelled in a second. The inch was defined to be 25.4mm as a way around this, but a mile was whatever a national government defined it to be until more recent times. It started with the Romans, but their mile was different to ours, being 1,000 yards (mille passus, or 1,000 paces) or 5,000 Roman feet. And a nautical mile is longer still... The definition of a "statute mile" as 8 furlongs is a late Tudor creation, and it was the surveyor's rod, not the chain, which was the key determinant of a furlong. A rod is, of course, 1/4 of a chain, and is 5.5 yards. Originally it was 5 yards, but the yards (and feet, and inches) were longer until 1593 when Queen Bess redefined them. The chain had been 20 yards, being a multiple of 5 yards, but when what was previously 15' long became 16'6" long under the new definition of a foot, the rod and furlong (and mile) maintained the same absolute distance, but were redefined in terms of their number of subsidiary units. (In case anyone is wondering, the "rod", also know as a "pole" and a "perch" is generally considered the be the longest length of pike that a footsoldier can use without difficulty. Since the aim of a pike is to put as much distance between the enemy stuck on the pointy bit and the pike-wielder, that is the usual length of a pike!) That this system was still in use in this country 300 years later is testament to the inertial power of any written standard. The base 10 nature of metrification is, yes, an extension of five digits on each hand, which was the basis for the Roman counting system (V is the shape between forefinger and thumb on an extended hand, X is one V on top of another which has been inverted) although as the Roman counting system didn't include the concept of zero as a place marker, that doesn't help much. Base 12 would have been so much easier, but our counting system is indo-arabic in origin, and they were counting on fingers. It was the lack of any agreed consistency amongst nations over weights and measures that made something like metrification inevitable. Base ten was also inevitable given the number of digits on each (normally replete) hand. The mile was internationally agreed to be 1,609.433m in 1959. This wasn't done to "suit the metricated", just to actually define the blessed thing consistently. As I said, I use whatever is convenient, but as I consider myself to be reasonably scientifically literate, and therefore happy with the SI units. Because of my interest in railways, I have had to learn a lot about "imperial" units, and view that as one of the many benefits of the hobby, without the need to prejudice myself against either system. Learning about other systems, and cultures, etc, only improves insight into the human condition: variety is the spice of life!
  12. They aren't "silly", just planet-centric rather than people-centric. You find them silly because you are used to something else: despite being a "child of metrification" (first mooted for this country in the 1870s) you were educated and raised by people taught in the imperial system, or possibly the CGS system of measurements. Can you visualise a "bushel of wheat"? I can't, but I can visualise a cubic metre of it. Also, we don't use the metric system in this country, rather the S.I. units and measures, which are very precisely defined (and yes, based on the metric system) to ensure conformity and consistency within scientific and engineering circles. Unless you work with NASA... And legally, as long as you can show that the pricing has been derived from say, a kilogram, you can still sell a "half-pound of butter", the price needs to relate to 0.229Kg of butter... An inch is defined internationally as 0.0254m, a mile, so a mile is defined as 1,609.344m: it has no other meaning. That said, I simply use whatever is convenient!
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