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Ben B

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  1. It had a tidy and lick of paint a few years back, but was looking scruffy in feb when we went to see "Bahamas" run past. If they started running longer trains on the S&C (fat chance) they'd really need to tidy up the platforms. They either need weedkillers or more wild flowers in the old bays. Would also help if the parcel vans (owned by West Coast I gather) were scrapped finally; more grafitti than livery after a decade absndoned there...
  2. Hellifield is such a sad case, because it has so much potential; the passenger services are somewhat sparse (though better than it used to be, even if it is just a Sprinter every couple of hours)… maybe if there was a passenger service coming up the freight-only line from Lancashire to join with the Settle-Carlisle/Morecambe routes, and thus make it a busier junction/interchange it would be better. There's so much of the historical fabric of the station surviving, and steam-hauled portions of specials almost all start/end there (or at least stop to take on water). But what are you greeted with? Cracked and overgrown platforms, weed-strewn empty bays, rusty sidings, an unused metal shed with no doors and rakes of abandoned, graffiti-covered parcel vans. Compared to the Settle-Carlisle stations which retain their historical structures, or nearby Skipton which is kept in far better nick, it just looks like a wasted opportunity.
  3. Back to triangles, I know Shipley (West Yorkshire) isn't technically a depot triangle, but it has been used for turning locomotives from Haworth shed (Worth Valley Railway) in the past. Happened for example in the 70's for filming 'Yanks' with s160 'Big Jim' heading down and back under steam to turn. Doesn't happen these days given the intense traffic levels on Airedale line (and regs around preserved locos on main line) though gala visitor "Royal Scot" was turned their before heading back for Crewe last year or year before.
  4. I have a hazy memory that McAlpine (or some similar millionaire) used it as a personal salloon up there for a bit- think I had a railway mag with a shot captioned to that effect when I was younger...
  5. Whilst everyone else is enthusing over 0 gauge tinplate (of which I'm very jealous! I've spent too long looking at the wonderful 'Deliberately Old Fashioned 0 Gauge' thread and wishing I had the budget, time and space for tinplate), here's one for the later, 00 gauge clockwork starter set crowd. I'm sure it's not just me who loves these basic sets... one of my first exposures to train sets (it's definitely not a model railway), this Welsotoys tank loco of I believe 60's vintage, it must have been at least second or maybe third hand when it ended up in the toybox at my Grandparents house for me and my sisters in the late 80's. Ridiculously tight track (now missing a piece sadly, following a house move), bowed body and lightweight plastic mechanism which means it cannot pull stock. That said, still in perfect working order despite how much it was played with (and how many high-speed derailments it had off the edge of a coffee table). I dug it all out earlier in the lockdown whilst hunting for bits for another project, and set it going on some spare 00 track... an exercise which has now escalated into a mini layout for clockwork starter locomotives; dangerous thing, nostalgia. Just listening to the rattling of that mech as it races around took me back to sitting on the carpet in my grandparents house making cardboard-box scenery for temporary layouts. The noise, so evocative, in much the same way as an 80's Scalextric or Hornby mech is with the smell and roar of the motors
  6. Tender-first too! One for the "Prototype for Everything" thread?
  7. That is stunning, and exactly the sort of thing I'd have if I owned a mansion I've always fancied the signaller-training layout in the NRM, the one with BL equipment on the wonderfully ornate dark-wood tables, that's in the archives/stores. Given that area is going to be redeveloped into a kiddies computer room (some twenty years after that became the zeitgiest, good old Science Museum) and the Railway Museum seems to think displaying trains are somehow beneath them now, I'm tempted to offer them a tenner for it. Not sure my family would appreciate me knocking-through downstairs to fit it in though
  8. For real retro timesinks, I recently downloaded Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe onto my laptop. Forgot just how engrossing the game is
  9. "Collect all 250 issues to build your own perfect replica of this beautiful piece of railway heritage. Issue one only 99p, rrp £8.99 plus yearly Network Rail subsidy..."
  10. Just looked it up on google... yeah I see what you mean. A lick of white and blue paint isn't hiding the brutal metalwork...
  11. I love that shot of the railbus under the overall roof, very atmospheric!
  12. I don't believe it has been mentioned yet, so can I nominate Dudley Port? http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/dudley_port_high.php I haven't found my own pics yet, I think they're on a hard-drive in a box at my in-laws, so the excellent Rails Around Birmingham site should give a flavour of the place. Not that decrepit in terms of cracked paving or weeds, just constantly neglected... portacabin ticket office in a too-small car park, urine-smelling tunnel, steep steps up to the windswept and exposed island platform with a draughty bus shelter. Trains every half hour or so in between which you're buffeted by non-stop services racing past. I used to use this station when commuting up to Yorkshire to see my girlfriend back in the mid-2000's... By day the place was pretty unpleasant, but on a cold winters night the place could be downright terrifying, especially if the sole member of staff had gone home and the local youths had come up onto the platform. Going down the stairs in a rush from an arrived train always made me feel I was going to trip and fall too. Certainly didn't give a good impression to my other half; her local station, Bingley, still had most of its period Midland Railway features (including iron and glass canopies) and trains every 10-15 minutes. Can't imagine Dudley Port Station does much to encourage people arriving at the town, and that's before you consider the fact it's a 15-20 minute bus ride to the town it supposedly serves. I've heard that it's never had proper investment because the plan has always been to upgrade properly when/if the Metro (or light rail, or heavy rail, or monorail or maglev or horse tram or whatever else mad proposals existed for the mothballed low level part of the station) came to fruition. Maybe now the Metro is finally being put through, they'll do a proper rebuild. Though I doubt it.
  13. Very similar; I grew up in Langley Green in the mid 80's, its all very familiar. I think those wooden crossing gates at Langley were barriers when I was sat in my pram watching the DMU's with my grandparents, otherwise not that different
  14. Found the location I was looking for- if you google 'Fowler Shunter, Plasmoor' you'll see some images of the immaculate Fowler in industrial service at Great Heck on the ECML. Reported to be the last such loco by that manufacturer in industrial service, and would give your similarly vintage-styled Matchbox an excuse to still be running
  15. Apoligies for straying off topic, I just wanted to thank you for posting that mapping resource! Using the side-by-side function, I just discovered that a mineral line ran under the front garden of my childhood home until 1938
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