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Gwiwer

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Everything posted by Gwiwer

  1. Not only with reference to Dawlish-resilience. The seats (even the supposedly-better ones on the 802s) are still woeful and have forced at least the two of us to abandon the use of IETs for travel between London and Cornwall. The lack of catering facilities on a journey of up to six hours - disregarding the Covid-effect for now - is also offputting. There could have been proper provision as on the LNER units but instead there are largely redundant kitchen areas occupying half a car and a trolley if you're lucky for both classes. The chance of finding anything as substantial as a sandwich is pretty remote and the hot water doesn't last more than a couple of hours though could be replaced from the kitchen - which in our experience it isn't. So you can bring your own or go without. Not an attractive offering in any way I'm afraid and somewhat short of fitness-for-purpose.
  2. One problem over an extended period of time is that the UK has largely lost its ability to design and build trains for its particular needs and circumstances. When the Warship class was redesigned from a perfectly good German design it failed to live up to expectations in the UK. But the products of York, Swindon and Derby (with honourable mentions to other locations) generally worked and did so well for long periods of time. The global marketplace has seen off most of our skilled train construction. We assemble these days, or we import. Many hundreds of perfectly good class 66 locos cane from Canada. Most multiple units of recent times have come from Germany or Spain with some local assembly and fitting out. Would we have better “Dawlish Resilience” had British engineering designed and built for British conditions successors to the hugely-successful and largely Dawlish-proof British HSTs?
  3. The reconfigured sea wall is doing what it says on the tin - wave return. There is far less of the main wave coming over now. It's mostly spray though a lot of it today. What remains unacceptable is the length of time these modern "Dawlish-resilient" trains sat down for. It has been a day of severe weather but I suspect steam and Mk1 stock would have got through. Locomotive-hauled trains in the diesel era have generally managed to get through including the overnight sleepers. Even the much-maligned Pacers have got through. But costly pieces of electronic kit with vulnerable parts exposed to poor conditions ..... Did we really need such expensive and technology-packed trains? Safety systems are essential. But do we really need all the other bits and bobs? Some we do - maybe not all. What we need are trains which can cope with the conditions they are likely to meet on a fairly frequent basis. We already have a more resilient railway along the sea-wall and are in no danger of getting an inland route any time soon. So make the trains fit for purpose.
  4. In short the 80x class are not "Dawlish-proof" as had been suggested despite today's event being a significant storm making for dreadful conditions along the sea wall.
  5. You may know those base units supplied with Peco PL-11 surface point motors. They aren’t always needed and might be consigned to the recycling bin. But slice the ends off and you have handy little cable troughs ready-made with four-pin fixing which can be used to manage or conceal surface wiring where needed. Cut off the ends to give a through-run for your wires Sorry it’s sideways but it shows that wiring is visible through the backscene And now covered over. If the board joint here hadn’t resulted in a gap the cover would butt up against the motor. As it is there is nowhere for two pins to purchase so it’s slightly offset. I can now add some ground cover to this area.
  6. Again I don't have experience of that exact product but do have several IKEA units which have all given good service. They look OK but they also "look like IKEA" which is perfectly acceptable to most of us I'm sure. They don't look top-end quality because they are not solid wood but chips, glue and laminate. If sustainability matters to you then I suggest probing deeper into IKEA's specifications before purchase. Shipping can be costly but you are paying for someone - usually two someones - to load, drive, unload and in some cases also assemble your product and remove the waste. All packing waste is recyclable in most areas. If you collect it yourself be sure to check the box dimensions against your vehicle's ability and remember that larger flat packs might fit inside but may not always go in through the doors! I haven't tested my IKEA units to destruction (!!) but am wary of how much weight in on the shelves. They're not solid wood and are only held by tiny bits of metal. That said they safely hold a library of research material so they are at least decently robust despite appearances. My only problem has been that the corners and edges chip really easily; as that exposes the glued wood chips of the material I'm not keen on the look of a few areas after a few of life's knocks and one house removal.
  7. After a long wait the final piece of backscene is finally going in. This is a test-fit. The idea is that it curves slightly behind the bridge to give depth rather than being a straight line stuck to it.
  8. I suspect Bridestowe could be by-passed on a new alignment. Unlike Lydford which is constrained very tightly by the local geography. If we are talking re-purchase of lands then the cost of a new alignment may not be much different. I don't expect intermediate stations to re-open meaning Bridestowe would potentially be re-purchased without much reason.
  9. GWR Hitachi IET cracks much worse than previously thought ..... Found on GWR Instagram feed along with other "Christmas" goodies. Hmmmmmm.
  10. I was driving one of the back-road bus routes one day - the sort which a handful of isolated folk rely on but which demand enough skill to drive along roads where the hedges brush your mirrors on both sides - up around Dingdong behind Penzance. Anyone who's been there in a car will know it's a tight enough fit with numerous blind corners. Having been delayed, in good Cornish fashion, by the herd being led out across the road for milking back on the moors I was keen to be on time for my next trip. Despite seldom exceeding 15mph through the narrows I was patted on the back upon arrival in Penzance by a local with the words "You'm bin goin' like flop out back Tommy's 'effer" Tommy being a local farmer whose bovines were apparently renowned for having fast and prolific bowels!!!
  11. Cornish : any term of endearment will do. Typically “My c0ck, duck, luvver, ansum, beauty” though others are used. “My lover” does not refer to one’s lover because that would be confusing
  12. It seemed to depend who you met and what sort of day they were having. In diesel days it was much harder to "bunk" a depot than it had been during the steam era but even then you could be thrown out on your ear without warning. A few unlucky spotters also had their notebooks taken though that seemed to be very much the exception. Stratford depot in London was famously difficult to get into; the official route was a subway beneath the station which almost always had someone walking through who would march you smartly out before you got anywhere near anything. What was less well-known was the Temple Mills Lane gate which wasn't always locked (though should have been) and which required you to cross "live" running lines to get into the depot area but which was much closer to the interesting stuff. That way you stood at least a small chance ..... Much the same was true of bus garages. Some companies turned a blind eye, some required written permits, some had an absolute no-entry policy and some actually made you a cup of tea!
  13. A quiet weekend has allowed some modifications and progress to the street-to-station steps. An intermediate landing has been fitted, upon which a lady in blue is standing, to break the long flight which in turn necessitated changes to the brick abutments to incorporate a horizontal area With that done cap stones have been fitted where needed. The steps themselves require painting then final detailing and fitting will see this piece become integral with the road bridge.
  14. And still do to this day on SWR class 455 units. Indeed. It was EPB stock which used those series. SUB stock was numbered variously in the 8xxx, 9xxx or earlier 1xxxx series though some vehicles were later rebuilt and renumbered and some were swapped between SUB and EPB units as well. A comprehensive history is on the Blood & Custard Website The push-pull fitted class 33s were originally assigned class 34 which explains why that number has not apparently been used in the locomotive series. Class 33 was then re-designated 33/1, 33/2 and 33/3 as John says but fell into line with the rest of BR quickly in becoming 33/0 (standard locos), 33/1 (push-pull locos) and 33/2 (Slim Jim "Hastings" width locos). BR and the Big Four had usually started class numbers with 0 or 00 such as D9000 for the Deltics and 26000 for the prototype LNER electric "Woodhead" loco. Computer systems could not, at the time, assign a "value" to a zero-number; in binary 1 "is" and 0 "is not" meaning D9000 could not become 55 000 (using the space as in early TOPS days) as it would suggest Class 55 but not a locomotive. Class leaders were therefore typically renumbered as the highest in the class if none was missing following withdrawal otherwise they were slotted in as the lowest otherwise-vacant number. So D9000 became 55022 and D9001 became 55001. That accounts for some of the "random" renumbering but again there were exceptions. Of the class 33s D6502 had been an early accident victim, D6500 became 33001, 6501 became 33002 and 6503 became 33003 filling the gap. Class 03 was renumbered taking the last three digits of their previous number despite many gaps so D2018 became 03018 despite most of its earlier sisters having been withdrawn some time previously; the high-number batch were 033xx for the same reason. Holyhead Breakwater locos D2954/5 became 01001/2, the then-unique (on BR) class 05 on the Isle of Wight became 05001 from D2554 but the vast numbers of class 08 shunters were numbered consecutively meaning D3018 became 08011 and towards the top end D4174 became 08944. Had there still been 1000 or more (996 were built to the class 08 configuration) in service we might have had a problem! I understood, but am happy to be corrected if necessary, that the entirely random renumbering of some other main-line classes was connected with rebuild programs either in progress or authorised such that Peaks were split into class 45/0 and 45/1 according to heating provision, class 47 into several sub-classes again based upon equipment (such as the no-heat class 47/3) and whether or not long-range fuel tanks were fitted and class 86 subdivided according to suspension and other technical differences with the 86/2 being fitted with Flexicoil kit for top-link passenger work. As such the numbers were assigned as locomotives went through works or classified overhaul rather than based upon the original BR numbers. When multiple units were renumbered into their TOPS classes much the same occurred; the SR 4-CIG units for example being subdivided into 421/1 and 421/2 carrying numbers 11xx and 12xx to begin with though more changes were made later. .
  15. Ah those were the days. Some of use were unaware of the impending changes and were more than somewhat surprised and confused to be presented with locos bearing their new numbers. The ABC "Combine" was of course the spotter's bible at the time and took a couple of years to start catching up. Those of us who needed to know (but who may not have had access to official records) had to await news in the Railway Magazine or similar before we could translate sightings into underlinings As TOPS was rolled out across the fleets so many DMU cars were renumbered to avoid clashing with already-allocated locomotive numbers (E56001 and loco 56001 for example) though iirc the remaining 52xxx cars retained their numbers rather than make way for the class 52 "Westerns" which were not themselves to be renumbered though were identified as 520xx on TOPS. Then the coaching stock was done as required, largely the Mk1 CK and SK fleets the latter of which occupied the 24xxx - 26xxx series required by diesel loco classes 24 - 26. Quite why the CKs needed doing escapes me now; they were 15xxx and 16xxx which series were not required for anything else at the time but were renumbered into the 7xxx series. How does the system cope today? Six-digit carriage numbers are now common. Many of those duplicate unit numbers either in history (but within TOPS purview) or extant such as the 42x xxx series used on the class 387 Electrostars. Has TOPS the ability to distinguish now? Or has it archived the units concerned which then raises the question of how it identifies extant 4-Vep 423417 among others.
  16. The post-and-wire fence is in. It still requires a bit of weathering and there’s more greenery to go down. A young lad waits to get a view of the railway action. That action included a newly-purchased trio of wagons from our friends in Camborne which have been loaded with Woodland Scenics “Medium Talus”. And a goodly helping of PVA!
  17. Not a contender for overall honours but in recent times Workington North was open for just over 10 months (30/11/2009 to 8/10/2010) despite pressure in some circles to make it a permanent station.
  18. I have never come across gates other than white although it bears saying that "white" came in many shades of dirty. The appearance on approach however was still basically of white gates (both structure and, where fitted, mesh) with the large red circle which was often half on one gate and half the other forming a circular "stop" marker when the gates were closed to road traffic. Even the humblest occupation or footpath crossing required the gates to be painted white and not creosoted. Something which is still true today where such things exist and of course booms and barriers are also white (alternating with red on the booms themselves) with white skirts for full barriers.
  19. I have a significant collection of Heljan items, not all locomotives, and have never had a problem with manufacturing quality. There are occasional issues arising from bumps and knocks in transit. Despite the packaging which is arguably excessive though exists to protect delicate models they may have come through storms at sea, rough loading and handling and bumps / knocks in store or in the mail. The only issue other than design faults (such as the early 33/0 ) I now have with Heljan is the well-known “coupler droop” which can be mitigated by the modeller. Early models had brass wheels which tarnished dreadfully but were easily exchanged and haven’t been used for some years now. Cracking / bits falling off are not issues I associate with Heljan at all.
  20. A little more progress. Access between the road bridge and station will be via a flight of steps. Part-complete in this view these are built from offcuts of card and foamboard with spare brick-print paper from the Scalescenes download stuck on. The steps themselves will be formed from spare pieces not used for the concrete footbridge at the other end. And a gratuitous shot of some wagons under the loading gantry
  21. I find settling on cheese scones tends to squash them
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