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Neil Phillips

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About Neil Phillips

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  • Location
    Close to 84B
  • Interests
    Main line = diesel hydraulics, with branch lines into Scottish and Southern territories. Cornwall's railways in general. Walks with a sea view.

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  1. Some interesting colour photos of the southern end of the MSWJR line before, during and after closure, appear in 'Impermanent Ways - The Closed Lines of Britain - Volume 3 - Wiltshire' by Jeffery Grayer (Noodle Books, 2012). This includes views of Cirencester Watermoor after closure, even though that was just over the border in Gloucestershire. These were of particular interest to me because from February 1985 until March 2019 I worked for a certain Japanese car distributor whose headquarters are (soon to be 'were' by the sound of it, thanks to Covid-19) located just yards from the site of the
  2. My usual initial action when faced with rolling stock wheels which won't quite roll is to simply grip the bogie or underframe between finger and thumb across the axleboxes and give it a squeeze. Sometimes it requires a good squeeze, possibly involving both hands for extra pressure if it's particularly stubborn! This usually does the trick by using the axle's own pinpoints to deepen the bearings a little. Just be wary of any surrounding detail like brake handles/wheels, footsteps etc which may be too close to the action for comfort.......
  3. 1 - It would appear that Doncaster outshopped the first two locomotives in blue with full yellow ends - Class 31 D5649 and Deltic D9002 - in October 1966. The following month the Brush Works at Loughborough released new-build Class 47 D1953 and Swindon outshopped Western D1048, Warship D864 and Hymek D7033, all in blue with full yellow ends. Doncaster may also have been the first Works to start applying full yellow ends to existing green-liveried locomotives too - D6888 5/2/67 is the earliest I've seen - but it wasn't long before others followed suit. By Easter 1967 they were 'getting abo
  4. Duck's Toy Shop right at the bottom of this list was in Marlborough. I bought my H&M Walkabout controller in there for £19.99 on 17th April 1982 (I have reason to remember the date, and I still have the controller with the price tag on the box!) Back in the late 60s/early 70s I could buy Tri-ang-Hornby stuff from three different outlets in Truro. More recently it was just a Toymaster store - now I'm not sure there is one at all, although on my last visit it looked like Toymaster is now embedded in a hardware store (where my aunt worked for many years). Given an opportunity I'll
  5. Yes, definitely blanking panels over the grilles - the 'welded completely flush' look started in the 1970s TOPS blue era, from memory one I recall seeing was 25101 at Stoke-on-Trent in early 1978 - I didn't realise this mod was being done until then. The photo of D7646 I referred to was in the one-off 'DIESELS' magazines which appeared in 1996 - photo is credited 'B. J. Swain/Colour-Rail' if this helps. I have two very early WR Class 25s, 5180 and D7657, in a c75% completed state, based on Bachmann models, and to get them both right I had to press out the blanking panels and grille
  6. It's not quite that simple, as a photo exists of D7646 at Derby, newly delivered from Beyer Peacock with D7645 behind, with a panelled-over boiler grille. Judging by the headcode (8M13) this was the photo Bachmann referenced for 32-405, although they had the grilles exposed on that. D7645 behind is the right way round, I'm not 100% certain as only a small portion is visible, but that one looks panelled too (Bachmann's first two-tone green 25 release of course - and the first real one I saw whilst circling London to reach Chingford for Gilwell Park behind D827 'Kelly' in the early hours of 25/7
  7. A-ha, good to know - some other manufacturers, when faced with a choice of two, have, er, 'not chosen wisely', but the Class 24 had the correct style so I'm not really surprised to hear this.
  8. Class 25 sub-classes confuse everybody it seems, particularly whether D7500-67 are 25/2 or 25/3 - I've just checked 4 sources and they were split down the middle! The true situation, as any Ian Allan combo of the period will confirm, is: D5151-75 (25001-25) = Class 25/0 D5176-5232 (25026-82) = Class 25/1 D5233-99/7500-97 (25083-247) = Class 25/2 D7598-677 (25248-327) = Class 25/3 Class 25/0 looked all but identical to Class 24 with headcode boxes. Class 25/2 therefore included both body styles (D5233-99/7500-67 = late, D7568-97 = early). The different
  9. Yep, D7611-23 (25261-73). No evidence that any were ever fitted with the equipment, in fact it wasn't long before they migrated south (to annoy spotters and LMR train crews.....!) D7623 was set to be Derby's final Class 25 until Beyer Peacock threw in the towel at D7659. I couldn't be 100% certain either but on the face of it D7599 should be suitable for conversion to one of these if one could face attacking such a fine model with drills and files........!!
  10. Yes, but there were two designs of red/white warning flash - the 1961 original (upward-pointing arrow head with single electrical flash below) and the c1978 update (two electrical flashes sans arrow head). SLW used the correct older design on their Class 24 (I just checked!)
  11. They look absolutely stunning - but (uh-oh)..... c1978-intro OHLE flash design on the green 'un....?
  12. I have blue D5331 (ref. 2602) and according to the parts listing for that the tablet catchers are part number 82. Hope this helps!
  13. Yes it is, I noted some JIA wagons in the docks while out for my not-quite-daily constitutional a couple of weeks ago. According to the Cornwall Railway Society website (Latest Input section) they were delivered by 66076. I really must make the effort to get down there to witness this move, I've lived just 10 minutes' walk away for the past year and a bit, this stretch of track right alongside the road has fascinated me since I saw Port of Par's 'Alfred' on it in 1966 and I'm pleased to see it's still there and in use, even if only occasionally. A pity the tall steel security fenci
  14. I am shocked and saddened at this news. I have known Geoff for a very long time - thinking back I believe we first met in 1987, at a transport convention at Avebury in Wiltshire. Cars and buses in the grounds, models in a marquee where his club was displaying an OO layout. I recall that the front cover of his forthcoming book, 'Westerns, Warships & Hymeks at Work', was on display, which was guaranteed to grab my attention. We got chatting and found we had this common interest. The book was published in 1988 and provided a level of detail rarely seen on the subject at the time. In spring 19
  15. In retrospect, does anyone else think the 'build quality' of the Heljan Western declined during its time in production? The newer examples are noticeably creaky with slightly curved bodyshells compared to the solid-feeling and perfectly straight original production. Nameplates were printed off-centre too. My D1030 was also an uncharacteristically noisy runner, I put this down to the two halves of each bogie gear housing being splayed apart exposing the gears, another fault not apparent in earlier models. When the opportunity to purchase a sub-£50 apparently mint but non-running D1041 in Mfy li
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