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  1. Could it be for curling stones? It's not far from Duddingstone Loch. Allan F
  2. Recently discovered these amongst my archives. Marchioness of Graham approaching Whiting Bay in 1957. Not a happy ship as described by Richard M Orr ("The Marchioness of Graham: a Purser's Log"). This, with the "Caledonia", was the usual boat awaiting us at Ardrossan for our annual sojurn to Arran from 1956. Then about 1960 we visited Oban, and met the "Lochinvar" -- loading cars by cargo net! About the same time I was able to walk across the Forth Bridge (THE Forth Bridge!) and was able to get this view of the ferries. No idea which they were. Allan F
  3. I was privileged to see Mike Sharman's layout at New Lanark in 2002, and it could only be described as mind boggling, not only for the weird and wonderful collection of locos and stock, but also for the absolutely perfect running over some of the most complex (mixed gauge) trackwork I've ever seen. He even had baseboard joins running through the middle of the pointwork! I believe Mike doesn't exhibit now, which is a great shame. Allan F
  4. Circumstances alter cases, and the nature and location of a trap would depend on local circumstances. So It could be a full turnout leading to another siding or perhaps to a headshunt. Or it could be a single or double switch which would dump the runaway in the ballast -- hopefully on the side away from the main line! Occasionally there might be a double sided switch which simply dumped the stray in the four foot without diverting it to either side. This was to be found at Perth where the Dundee bay had up and down lines with a siding between them, so they didn't want the runaway diverted to either side. The intention always was to ensure that a runaway could never access the main running lines. Incidentally, a train trailing through a switch set against it might well damage the switch mechanism, but it won't be stopped or, probably, derailed. Allan F
  5. This seems to have been quite a common arrangement at small wayside stations, certainly on the Caledonian. Allan F
  6. I have always understood that where horses were used for shunting, it was necessary to cover the sleepers with ballast to avoid the animals tripping up. Allan F
  7. I've been using solvents and fluxes for more than 40 years. In my early days I used a rust curative which was in fact 66% phosphoric acid as a flux, and it generally worked quite well. The fumes became quite addictive........ For plastic welding I used cellulose thinners for many years. Nowadays I use Butanone, and the various C & L fluxes, because they're easier to get, and I can afford them now. I've lost neither my life or my sanity, I claim. But that isn't a recommendation for anyone to use these things -- as has been said they are nasty stuffs, and carelessness can have nasty consequences, in the short and long term. If you have a sensitivity to them I recommend card buildings and school glue. Allan F
  8. A few points made have resonance for me. I was much involved in our "Bonnybridge" layout many years ago. The main lines were ballasted with (I think) some granite stuff; but the goods yard was presumed to have been ash ballast laid about 30 years previously. I got some coarse "Pollyfilla" or equivalent, well diluted with water, and coloured with powder paint, and sploshed it around with a 1" paint brush, which left the sleepers visible, but virtually flush with the ballast. (This was an impecunious secondary line built in the 1880's). A bit of paint detailing finished it off. On my own layout I used (on someone's recommendation) 5mm camping mat as underlay, mostly laid with carpet adhesive. It is very prone to permanent deformation, eg by a careless elbow, and it gives no improvement in sound insulation. The track is fixed down variously with carpet adhesive, PVA, and Copydex, and a few sections are only pinned loosely down. Interestingly these latter are the only bits which don't transmit any loco noise, and the difference when a loco is running along is most striking. Allan F
  9. MJT units, sold for compensating RTR vehicles, work inside the wheels, and allow the axle to rock without affecting the dummy axleguards / axleboxes / springs. I have designed and had etched a unit to provide full springing for these vehicles with outside axleguards, but you need to be fairly obsessive about springing to be bothered with it....... Allan F P S My etcher is also doing cosmetic axleguards in brass in a number of different shapes. These are of course entirely non - load - bearing and are attached with cyano to the plastic solebars.
  10. I took my son on the Keighley and Worth Valley a wee while back. We travelled in a compartment coach -- a thing he couldn't believe. I was able to show him how, with just two of us, we were able to make it look to inlookers as if the compartment was full, discouraging further entrants, a skill I learned on the Cathcart Circle trains, travelling to school! And we didn't smell of horses, though I couldn't claim we were squeaky clean. Allan F
  11. There is somehere a photograph of the main street in Kelty (a small mining village in Fife). There is a shopfront advertising, inter alia, Black Powder and Dynamite. Now, I understand that in those days (pre 1900) it was the practice for firemen (who fired the explosives in mines and quarries) to provide their own explosives. I also know that in at least some mines and quarries there was a magazine, at a distance from anything else, in which explosives were stored. My knowledge of this field is very sketchy, and may be quite wrong. In Scotland, and I understand in England too(!) there were many hundreds of mines, most of which used explosives; but I doubt if any of them needed a van full. So how were the explosives transported, distributed, and stored? I except military material, which I'm sure was a separate subject Allan F
  12. My logs show frequent maxima of 80+ behind standard or Fairburn class 4 tanks, often on the Joint line to Paisley, or on the line beyond there to Kilwinning.The Aberdeen expresses also used to achieve this, often on the Forfar to Perth run, with an A4. Most exciting was 83mph on the Kirkudbright branch with a Fairburn tank going bunker first. My first 90 was on the descent from Neilston to Barrhead behind a class 40 diesel with a relief London express, in 1963. Of course those were the days of rail joints! Allan F
  13. Recently rebuilt to add another station. A number of us are very privileged to run it once a month. Running trains along a single track railway where not every station has passing facilities, and communication is by bell signals can be enlivening. Readers are recommended to read "The Irish RM" by Somerville and Ross to get the flavour of it. As an aside, my first view of the original Castle Rackrent in the 70's at the Glasgow show was life changing -- a real rural Irish scene, with the very old train emerging from under the bridge making proper noises, and in 7mm scale real mass and ponderousness. Allan F
  14. Quite alarming when you see it. This train has come from Edinburgh and will have to negotiate a crossover to get to the down platform. Allan F
  15. in 1990 I was able to achieve the ultimate ambition of driving my ship under a steam hauled train crossing the bridge. No money changed hands; not mine anyway! Allan F
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