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GWR57xx

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  1. There are several photos here: gwr.org that show the portholes open. Looks like I was wrong again - these all show the porthole hinged at the bottom and opening into the cab, not hinged in the middle. But they are definitely OPEN!
  2. Some photos show them apparently slanted open (pivoted horizontally in the middle with the bottom of the porthole outwards towards the chimney and the top backwards into the cab). Not just tank engines but Armstrong & Dean tender engines too.
  3. ATC perhaps? Although I think that came very slightly later, and not all engines had it fitted at this time period.
  4. I'd noticed that too and wondered the same. I also thought perhaps they were there to allow the crew to see something along the top of the firebox / boiler that would otherwise be unobservable while being driven? What would be behind them inside the cab? Would any additional pipework / gauges / controls etc have been added that would have necessitated their removal (I'd assume not because of 4566).
  5. Whatever the reason was, the policy of plating over appears to have been implemented very thoroughly and without exception. I haven't found any photos of any engines later than about 1935 that still have these portholes in place. This seems rather odd when compared to other upgrades that were made to these engines around the same period. Taking the early 45xx's as an example: 4500 to 4529 were built with straight drop ends, 4530 onwards with curved drop ends; 4500 to 4554 were built with inside steam pipes, 4555 onwards with outside steam pipes. Some of the early engines were later given outside steam pipes, some not. Similarly some were also given curved drop ends, some not. But none as far as I am aware escaped the plating over of portholes. The final batch of small straight-sided tanks (4555 to 4574 of 1924) were built without the portholes, which fits with Johnster's idea that it was a Collett instruction.
  6. I've tried without success to find any suitable information on why and when the GWR plated over the small porthole windows in the cab fronts of various engines. I have Vol 9 of the HMRS RCTS series, in which I can find no reference to these windows. From searches so far it appears that the plating over was done during the late 1920's / early 1930's, but I have not found any explanation as to why this was done. There must have been a very good reason, as the GWR would not have done the work unnecessarily. I had assumed that it must have been on safety grounds, but then these portholes have been retro-fitted to 4566 and 5239 in preservation so that can't be the reason. Does anyone know, or can anyone point me towards some relevant material (e.g. books, GW Journal editions, etc)? Thanks.
  7. The standard of all the entries is really high - it's difficult to choose just one to vote for as winner. I can't find any guidance on the voting system. In previous challenges I just voted once for my favourite entry, but wondered what the rules were and didn't query the rules. Are we allowed multiple votes? Can I vote for a number of different entries? Can I vote multiple times for the same entry? There appears to be nothing to prevent me voting multiple times, and the voting button works whether I am logged into RMWeb or not. If I vote multiple times will all my votes be (a) counted, or (b) disallowed?
  8. Noticed these in the schedules, thought they may be of interest: 25th: West Highland Railway; Quest; 6pm (Fort William to Mallaig) 29th: Flying Scotsman from the Footplate; BBC4; 8pm (along the Severn Valley Railway) 30th: World's Most Scenic Railways; Channel 5; 8pm (along the West Highland again) Merry Christmas everyone
  9. Looks good. I think most GWR branch line stations had smaller buildings, but you could have a look at stations on the Severn Valley Railway (e.g. Arley, Highley, Hampton Loade) for some inspiration. These were not branch line stations when built, but have a similar look to what you have in mind.
  10. Nice work. Backscene looks stunning - a real work of art.
  11. The back scene in the first image looks better to me. The reducing height of the tree line seems to draw my focus naturally into the distance and the two large trees in the centre nicely break up the uniformity of the distant hedgerow. But I can't paint for toffee and would be more than happy with either. Very nice work.
  12. Just stumbled across your thread. I clicked "Like" on the post above, but that hardly seems sufficient. This seems to me to be a really ambitious build, but you're making amazing progress and the quality of your workmanship is top notch. Thanks for posting such a detailed and comprehensive explanation of your methods and layout. Looking forward to further updates.
  13. A bit more progress with the cosmetic improvements: tie bar slimmed down, sleepers filled in and given a brush of sleeper grime. I'm happy with this as a first attempt. I think once painted, weathered and ballasted it should look ok.
  14. Thanks Andy, I'll have a look at those. I'm still undecided how to switch the points. Currently thinking of either servos or Cobalt iP's. If I go with servos then the autofrogs would be a good solution, but with the Cobalts I would probably use their internal frog switching.
  15. So the wiring mods I think I need to do are: Cut the two links marked in orange which connect the switch rails to each other and to the wing rails. Add the links shown in purple between the switch rails, check rails and stock rails. I've added extra links to the fishplates that connect the two parts of the switch rails because it doesn't look as though these fishplates will provide good long-term electrical continuity to the moving part of the switch rails from the fixed parts by themselves (they are quite loose when new out of the box, so with use they will only get even looser). Not forgetting to put insulating rail joiners at the ends of the vee rails (yellow). The power feeds are shown as blue & red (DCC bus) and green (frog/crossing vee).
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