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Jeremy C

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    : Northwest. No, not there, further north than that. And further west

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  1. Blenkinsop may disagree. Adding a rack does not in itself make any difference to linear forces along the rail; it merely changes which rail transmits them. However, the whole purpose of adding a rack is to allow greater forces (steeper gradients or heavier trains), and this is the reason rack railways require better anchoring than adhesion-worked railways.
  2. No, they're red, and the sun's reflecting off the ventilators. They're the same three vehicles we see at 5:40. The leading one is the "new" number 1 van (now 51), and the other two are probably 3 and 4, since I think 5 had by then been withdrawn, and 6 (now 2) was a semi-open.
  3. Lest this be misunderstood, the locks were all in the same direction: 58 of them, each lifting the canal a few feet towards the elevation of Birmingham. This ascent is needed whatever route is taken, and the question for a railway surveyor is how long a distance you spread it over. For a canal, it doens't make a great deal of difference unless you use staircases (which the Worcester and Birmingham Canal didn't).
  4. And I am sure this was true. The 1970s are a little before my time, but I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times Prince (the same size as Palmerston) was used on an ordinary service train during the 1990s (and I don't recall Palmerston being used at all), not including galas and specials. Prince could haul 6 carriages, and the general view (and, indeed, the practice) was that if you only needed 6 carriages, then there weren't enough passengers to justify a steam locomotive. The timetable was based around this, running fewer trains when there were less people around, and putting a diesel on the more lightly-loaded trains. Although the standard sets were 6 carriages, it was relatively rare for a steam-hauled service not to have at least one extra, and more often than not there would be two. Extra carriages were added or removed for each individual train, depending on expected loadings, and although, where possible, sets would be kept the same throughout the day, locomotives wouldn't pull extra carriages around if there weren't passengers to justify them. Anything over nine carriages required a Double Fairlie. The usual maximum train length was twelve carriages, and double heading of service trains was unusual. I imagine all this is rather different from the standard gauge railways being asked about in this thread.
  5. Surely this answers the wrong question. Did their presence distract the driver? Probably not. However, did they influence the actions of the driver? Quite likely. Having one superior and two juniors in the cab could add quite a lot of pressure, and I can easily imagine the driver thinking that he had to do everything "properly", and to act with confidence. The strange thing to me is that the driver should change driving positions; he apears to have had far better visibility where he was, and all he would need would be for one of the other people present (presumably the fireman) to relay the signal indication to him. If there were just the two of them, then perhaps the driver would have crossed over to see the signal indication for himself, but it is natural that he wouldn't with two other people standing in the way. Perhaps the rule is to always use the controls for the direction of travel, but this seems to me to be unnecessarily restrictive for shunting moves. It is not at all like needing to use the forward cab in dual-cab locomotives, which is a sensible requirement.
  6. Quite a lot of railways were excluded from nationalisation (although not nearly as many as were excluded from the Grouping). Of course all the Big Four were nationalised, and all the joint lines owned or operated by the Big Four, but only four fully-independents were included: East Kent, K&ESR, the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway - these three were all former Colonel Stephens railways - and the Mersey Railway. The most notable exclusion was probably the Liverpool Overhead Railway.
  7. There were a large number of light railways that were not absorbed at the Grouping. Most of Colonel Stephens's railways remained independent, for example. I don't think any narrow gauge lines were actually grouped, as such. Only the Lynon & Barnstaple went from being fully independent to "Big Four", but it was purchased by the Southern and wasn't part of the 1921 Raiwalys Act. The Welshpool & Llanfair was already being operated by the Cambrian, as was the Leek and Manifold by the North Staffordshire, and the Vale of Rheidol was already fully owned by the Cambrian. The Corris was part of a later purchase by the Great Western, as already mentioned, and apart from works lines, I think all the other narrow gauge railways remained independent. The Corris survived into Nationalisation and was operated by British Railways, but only until 20 August 1948. It would almost certainly have closed even without the flood damage.
  8. 16 would be worked off 15, as you seem to have realised by 16 being spare. For FPLs, you've missed the down side of 14. [Edit: Sorry, I meant the up side. I see from your note to 21 that down is away from your station]. I wouldn't have thought 25 would want to be an outer home since you are unlikely to want to use the down line for shunting. If the next box is close enough to use the same post for its starter, this may affect what you do with 10. Does the existance of all those platform shunt signals on your prototype indicate that the next box is indeed only a short distance away, the platform starters are the section signals, and your 10 is in fact the next box's home signal?
  9. This is not an exception. A facing point lock locks facing points, but because "facing points" is being used as an adjective to describe the lock, it is singular. I don't think that "points" in the railway sense is ever singular when used as a noun on its own or the head noun in a noun phrase, not traditionally, at any rate. However, there appears to be a modern trend away from plurals for what are clearly singular objects. I haven't yet heard "scissor", but I have heard "trouser", and "scale" for a weighing device.
  10. These examples are just how the English language usually works. In each of these phrases, (Independent Point Switch, Hand Point one, point lever), "point" is an attributive noun (a noun functioning as an adjective), and attributive nouns are usually singular, even when they clearly refer to more than one thing. There are plenty of exceptions, such as sports shop, accounts department and scissors crossover. There are even a very few which use either a singular or plural noun depending on number, such as woman driver/women drivers. However, these are all very much the exception; by far the majority of attributive nouns are singular. A switch is certainly a singular item. If you want to use American terminology, you can just use switch and forget about points altogether. If you want to use British terminology, then a switch is merely one component of a set of points, and most points have two of the things.
  11. The Ffestiniog did. The earliest rail was wrought iron rolled fishbelly, then wrought iron T, then wrought iron double head, steel double head and finally steel bullhead. Flat bottom was only used in the preservation era. Other narrow gauge railways in North Wales also used chaired track. The Nantlle Raiway used rolled fishbelly (I wonder if it was ever replaced), Dinorwic Quarry used double head (as did the Padarn Railway, it seems) and Penrhyn used bullhead. Flat bottom only really came into its own after steel displaced wrought iron in the 1860s (in wrought iron, the foot needs to be quite thick so it doesn't laminate, but this adds nothing to strength), and it is only really railways that were built after this time that used flat bottom, in Britain at any rate (in North America it wasn't so easy to get chairs cast, which tipped the balance towards rails that didn't need them). Existing railways built with chaired track mostly continued using it.
  12. Would late nineteenth century practice have had such interlocking between block instruments and signals? The starter may well have a line clear release (in step 3, Red sets line clear which allows Blue to pull off his starter signal), but that would be all, surely? Red can pull off his home signal at any time the route is set so far as the interlocking is concerned, and he can pull off the distant as well, if the home is clear, although the distant won't show clear because of the slotting, not till Blue clears his starter. Red won't set his home to danger till the train has passed over the points (or he shouldn't do, at any rate - I expect this was in the rule book, at least in respect of facing points), and there is no reason for him to set the distant to danger till he is ready to set the home to danger. He will (or ought to, and it is difficult to imagine why he might not) set the home to danger before sending out of section and setting the instrument back to normal, but there is no interlocking to enforce this.
  13. They can negotiate tighter curves (horizontal and vertical) and worse track that an equivalently-powered rigid locomotive. Running costs are less than two engines because of only needing one crew, but maintenance costs are higher than a single rigid engine. In practice, this means that fast lines (which of necessity need good track and gentle curves) tended to go for large rigid-wheelbase locomotives, whereas more lightly built, slower railways often perferred articulation if they wanted to run heavy trains. However, even the best-laid railways had limits for the maximum size of boiler that could be carried on a rigid wheelbase and still negotiate the curves, and the greatest cylinder area that could be fitted within the loading gauge. Articulation allowed more cylinders and longer boilers.
  14. I clearly recall the sub-classes, and the different classes for trailers and driving trailers in the Ian Allen books of the mid-1970s (although I couldn't tell you what any of the trailer classes or sub-classes were), but I have no recollection at all of classes 102 and 106 for different-engined variants. Did these disappear before the general reorganisation?
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