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fiftyfour fiftyfour

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  1. The drawgear/no drawgear thing comes down to aesthetics vs the occasional operational convenience. The chaps on the depot managed to put up HST drawbars with no fuss in 30 seconds, but I accept its different for someone doing it for the first time ever in real life in a pressure situation out on the mainline where underfoot conditions are less than ideal. The HST to HST bar is actually far easier, so we would always prefer a back-to-back pair as rescue locos vs a 47 or whatever. The original Blue Pullman was an unmitigated disaster. What happened inside the carriages delivered by uniformed staff has nothing at all to do with the technical quality and reliability of the train. You could fit tables of four and a kitchen area in a Pacer, but you've still got a Pacer, albeit one with tablecloths and a priority limited stop pathing....
  2. They have moved on a lot since those days, by understanding how cooler groups needed to be maintained (after some false starts) and then later inventing the Brush cooler group to replace the original Marston units which took them to the top of the learning curve. You are comparing what existed in the 1970's and 1980's with what exists now, which in engineering terms is like saying "I'm not buying a 2015 Ford Focus because my 1975 Ford Cortina used to break down a lot". What the HST power cars in the LSL fleet probably will suffer from most is lack of regular use (we shall see if the Staycation performs better) and being divorced from Neville Hill, which had become very good at what they did (GWR depots should stop reading now) rather than bodge it up and kick it out again. They were helped by a healthy spare power car availability, and by the ability to limp home on one- not an option for LSL and especially not when a mountain stands between you and home as it did on Saturday. Putting buffers on simply to replicate "the Blue Pullman"? Why not just replace the whole cab if you are that fussed about it. I'm still bewildered as to why you would want the most successful diesel train ever built to look like the least successful one because the passage of 50 years has dulled the memory, but its their money. Lastly modern locos with drop head buckeyes (class 66, 67 etc) need the adapter fitting to attach to HST, it was standard kit on the ECML ones and every single one of those bar 43208/239/290/299/302 is currently parked in a field somewhere so there should be about 25 of them doing nothing much!
  3. and ruin the classic Kenneth Grange front end? I don't agree.
  4. The early NSE one is just as scarce, I've been on the look out for one. So even just a different number on the large logo and on the NSE would probably sell very well and require little effort by Hornby. Just not a sodding faux celebrity or survivor though please, I know that we can't have an anonymous un-named one for obvious reasons. My three (having 54 is mental!) have all been modified with red lights isolated as I never run light engines, and those stupid bright red rad fans painted black along with the surrounding brilliant white gubbins. I'm sure they only did the fans red so we could see their willy waving pointless feature!!
  5. Well that will do one socket, what about everything else?! I need to see first hand as well, extra jumpers would sound like the only way of doing it, and some sort of switching device so that the power car ETS can still feed the caterers if the gen set doesn't work/overheats/runs out of fuel or whatever.
  6. And what does that weigh, because if it's over 0.8 tonnes (which it obviously will be) then its too heavy for the luggage van and they would have to go through assorted vehicle acceptance hurdles which are not easy to overcome. Also interested to see how they have wired it in, you cannot just add a diesel generator as a supplementary into the three phase ETS supply.
  7. and a vent thing on the roof for whatever is in there. And a new cut out facing the carriage with another grille in the place where the original guards van windows were. There are a lot to detail differences now unique to this train.
  8. The Staycation HST is on the prediction list for 2022, as is the EMR combo of 43102 (IC Swallow) and 43274 (revolting purple) and absolutely nothing of any relevance to anyone modelling pre 2020. A "Deerstalker Express" with a 67 and Scotrail Mk3's would probably inspire more modellers...
  9. You are right, the barrier to entry for bidders is too high in that respect, so in many ways it no advance on franchising. The likes of Abellio and DB can afford to lose money on UK rail as their largess or errors are bankrolled by the state back home, much as the piles of profit they stand to make reduce the subsidy back home. It's been a long standing joke that only UK based state owned entities are barred from bidding for UK franchises, and by the same extension they will not be able to bid for concessions.
  10. OfQ was the obvious privatisation model. So that was ditched for a fragmented blame culture mess instead, obviously.
  11. and given the hysteria surrounding the real life 43102 (and to a lesser extent 43274) such a pack should do well- and they will need the reflective birdies for 43102 as the real one carried the correct stick-on ones as they were trying to replicate "record breaking" condition! And yes, Railtec is worth the wait when a wait is what it takes- I waited for the stuff I needed and I'm very happy with it.
  12. And that is the trouble. After 40 years of right wing indoctrination as soon as anyone talks about an employee owned business which has partners instead of staff people say "Lenin" before they say "John Lewis". I feel I need to ask, how many self employed people do you think go on strike?! There is efficiency in an employee owned model as long as it doesn't become a top heavy, inefficient lumbering organisation that just wastes money and leeches off profit, and the employee owned (and possibly union offshoot organised) structure is a whole world away from nationalised, but Thatcher (and Major) have told you that private is good/public is bad so many times and for so long that you've forgotten that a badly managed, under funded and generally neglected utility became the norm here but the exception elsewhere in Europe, notably in Germany where state owned railways became a beacon of efficiency.
  13. You've totally missed the point then. If the operator was run as a not-for-profit by a collective of workers (under the overall umbrella of an arms-length company created by a trade union) you'd never, ever have a strike and other key indicators like sickness and staff turnover would be exponentially better. The collective/co-operative could employ its own management team based on their ability and with a genuine financial incentive in the success of the company rather than being on the management-go-round conveyor belt of people who foul up somewhere and then move onto the next company. It was tried with considerable success by some of the privatised bus companies back in the day (the largest was Yorkshire Rider) but their model was to make all the staff shareholders and ultimately they took the bag of silver dangled by a large plc and sold out to them. Trouble is that it's all too "non-tory" for the current government to contemplate or for those who have spent the last 42 years living under right of centre governments to begin to understand.
  14. Yes, I should have replied earlier as I fell into the trap of being quick to complain when something goes wrong and slow to say when something has been done well. Steve has created a very useful new pack C4708 which gives you three "INTERCITY" wordings for swallow livery and you choose your own number, which the pack suggests must start with 47 but he did numbers that started with 43 just as happily when I ordered. This means that we can replicate the best livery ever to grace our rails once again when combined with Shawplan etched swallow birds as the old pack 1540 with its reflective birds hit production snags, and the cast birds are right for all but a couple of Class 43's post 1991 anyway. Along with other items ordered at the same time I've cleared the backlog on the area beyond the workbench, and got a pair of IC Swallow power cars without paying £550 (start price on a Hornby pair listed on eBay yesterday)!!
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