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  1. Unfortunately I can't find my copy of O. S. Nock's book on Stars, Castles and Kings which describes some outstanding performances by Stars in the pre-War era. The following is from a far more recent source however:- "The Stars had proved that they were quite capable of handling heavy loads at speed, as demonstrated by Old Oak Common allocated No. 4013 Knight of St Patrick, with Driver Morgans on the footplate. On 8 April 1914, the Wednesday before Easter, it hauled the midnight Paddington to Penzance service, comprising nineteen bogie coaches, from Bristol to Exeter in even time. On the following Bank Holiday, Monday, 13 April, the same locomotive, again with Driver Morgans in control, hauled the 6.27pm service, comprising seventeen bogie coaches, from Weston-super-Mare to Paddington, again in even time." Waters, Laurence. Great Western Star Class Locomotives (Locomotive Portfolio Series) . Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition. I highly recommend Mr Waters' book. Picking up on NoDecorum's point..... "Who needs four cylinders anyway?" "Apparently, the GWR did. The Stars were reckoned one coach better than the Saints. There is also the question of Halls having to be driven without maximum cut-off and with regulators partly closed in order to avoid excessive vibration. " The Star and Hall used the same boiler, the Swindon Standard No1 which could be an outstanding steam raising unit. Unfortunately, I think it is widely agreed that the 'Hall' steam chest and passages didn't make optimum use of the available steam compared to the 'Star', 'Grange' or 28xx. The vibration you mention is the phenomenon of 'hunting', a two-and-fro pull at the drawbar causing a distinct shaking especially in the leading coach. It was quite common in the two cylinder designs (the 'Counties' were notorious for it) but not in the four cylinder machines (Stars, Castles, Kings). The 'Stars' may have only been rated at one coach more than the Saints 'on paper', but the operating authorities and loco crew knew the gap between them was great than that.
  2. That may be historically correct but it isn't particularly relevant! These products are intended to have separately lighting in the cab and vestibule, both of which are independently switchable. At the moment I have one Dapol auto coach which allows this, and another which doesn't respond to any switching of either set of lights. These are identical products with almost identical product codes. On paper, only the livery is different yet they are behaving differently! The suspicion I have is that this is one of the 'Lightbar only' models (ie Not DCC fitted) in a DCC Fitted box. I can't prove it though and the problem might be something else entirely.
  3. Hello Norman and Henk, Thank you both for your responses. Yes I'm aware that F1 and F2 work the lights - that feature works ob my original auto coach (7P-004-009D) but not the second, which seems strange. Henk - the reason I went to Dapol directly is that I asked some more detailed questions that I felt the retailer probably wouldn't know.........because they aren't answered in Dapol's product instructions or marketing literature!!! My questions were as follows:- These particular models are 'Lightbar and DCC fitted' - but I can find no reference to which DCC decoder is fitted (Dapol Imperium?), what interface it has (8 pin? 21 pin?) or where the circuit board is located. It seems strange to me that these details aren't in the instructions. The written response I received from Dapol didn't clarify anything. I see that Dapol have outsourced their servicing to DCC Supplies in Worcestershire I'll try them. In the mean time, any insights from RMWebbers will be appreciated.
  4. Dear RMWebbers, I would appreciate some guidance concerning the Dapol O gauge auto coaches. Several months ago I bought one of the 'Lightbar and DCC fitted' models. (7P-004-009D) The DCC fitted option simply allows you to switch on/off the lighting in the vestibule and the driver's cab using Function Keys on my DCC controller (NCE Powercab) It works well and I'm pleased with it. Last week I bought a second (7P-004-008D). This is also 'Lightbar and DCC Fitted'. However, this model behaves differently. The vestibule lights come on when DCC is applied and they remain on regardless of pressing the appropriate function key. The cab lights don't come on at any time whether the appropriate function key is pressed or not. I've contacted Dapol asking this and other technical details. Their response was frankly useless. So, it's over to you guys. Any suggestion welcome!
  5. According to the Wikipedia entry for Manchester Exchange, the answer is 'Yes'! :- "Between 1884 and 1943, the Great Western Railway operated a competing passenger train service from Chester General station via Frodsham, Warrington Bank Quay and Eccles to Manchester Exchange." I don't recall ever seeing any photographic evidence for this however.......
  6. As 'Blue' weight restricted locos they were barred from Routes that were classified as 'Yellow' or 'Uncoloured'. Yellow and Uncoloured routes made up 18% and 13% of the GWR's network respectively so that's nearly a third of the system off limits to them! In addition there were some route-specific restrictions. For example, they were not authorised to work Norton Fitzwarren to Barnstaple even though the line was clear for other 'Blue' classified locos. In practise the 'Manors' tended to be clustered in certain areas where there was work that could take best advantage of them. Before the war some were allocated to Banbury to work the 'Ports to Ports' Newcastle to Swansea inter-regional trains. From 1943 onwards they began to be allocated to the Cambrian Section, becoming that first 4-6-0s to work that extensive section of railway. In the 1950s several were allocated to the South West as pilot locos. They were according to the renown authority on all things Great Western, Bill Peto, always something of a rarity in the London area despite two having been briefly allocated to Old Oak Common 'from new'. Another notable outpost for the Manors was West Wales, were they worked the Carmarthen - Pembroke Dock leg of the 'Pembroke Coast Express' as will as the very rural Carmarthen - Aberystwyth line. Other Manor 'niches' included the Redhill line discussed earlier in the thread and the M&SWJR route from Cheltenham to Southampton.
  7. Some more pictures of Manors on Reading - Redhill for those of you interested:- 7813 Freshford Manor at Betchworth : https://www.rail-online.co.uk/p682368180/e315d4fc1 7817 Garsington Manor at Guildford : https://www.rail-online.co.uk/p682368180/ebdb01d85 7829 Ramsbury Manor at Dorking : https://www.rail-online.co.uk/p682368180/ede6e07dc
  8. If Hatton's have indeed 'jumped the gun' it's rather embarrassing for their normally very slick PR/Marketing Department.......
  9. Bloody Hell! (Am I allowed to say that?) Yessss!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. I would be happy to raise this on 'Dapol Digest'. Unfortunately this isn't a Dapol project - it's Lionheart's and I don't know how to contact them. If anyone following this forum wants to bring this to Lionheart/Richard Webster's attention then please feel free! I have no agenda here other than to get the best model possible.
  11. I dare say the need to accommodate both chimney types may be an issue here - both the 'parallel sided copper capped' early chimney and the 'cast, tapered' later chimney. However, using a turned metal chimney mid and top section has been done successfully in OO by Bachmann......though it did take them two attempts to get it right. Early releases of their 45xx/4575 were fitted with this offering in plastic:- Later issues of the model feature a turned metal component and is far superior (well, in my eyes anyway):- If Bachmann are able to produce this on a mass produced, inexpensive model in a smaller scale, I have no doubt that Lionheart with their track record of innovation, authenticity and overall excellence can at least match it. ....and finally as a reminder of what is the goal; the works drawing showing the definite taper of the central section and that the narrowing of the central section of the chimney is exaggerated on the Lionheart prototype:-
  12. I've just revisited the specification of the Lionheart 45xx on their website:- "Chimney, short and tall safety valve casings and whistles to be turned metal parts". Given that the chimney is a 'turned metal part' and not die-cast, it should surely be possible to produce a better version of the cast iron chimney that that seen on the pre-production models......even this late into the day? This is surely a matter of reprogramming the CNC lathe controller, which I cannot imagine is that expensive a task compared to tooling up for diecasting? I welcome the thoughts of those whose understanding of these matters is greater than mine.......I'm just being 'Devil's Advocate' here........
  13. I certainly don't want to 'Rain on Dapol's/Lionheart's parade' here - for the most part the model looks excellent and the paint job is particularly pleasing. But I have to say that chimney doesn't do the loco justice IMO. Here's a Swindon drawing: Here's the forthcoming model: To my mind there are four issues:- The central section is too narrow The central section doesn't seem to have the taper indicated in the works drawing The surface above the 'lip' is too flat Because it's a separately fitted component there's a very evident seam where it joins the chimney base Will this stop me buying the model? Certainly not! The model looks outstanding in so many ways and will be a welcome addition to the range of O gauge ready-to-run. I'll certainly be buying one. But if the designers were to rethink that chimney before production begins later this year they would hear no complaints from me......
  14. Overall I like the look of these......but I really don't like that clunky representation of the chimney. Any chance of giving us something closer to the Lionheart chimney?
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