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Everything posted by HillsideDepot

  1. This came up on my Facebook this afternoon. Of course there are many, many products in their range, but engaging new production workers can only be a good thing, and hopefully good news for the bullhead range.
  2. Just to show that things are still progressing, albeit very slowly, a couple of quick snaps to show the current state of play. The baseboard is built, and the dairy sidings are laid. The track for the station hasn't been laid yet as that needs to be raised up, so better to do work on the sidings without that getting in the way. And, I've only just got enough flexi track for the passenger line, so that's another reason for not laying that just yet. As it is in the foreground I might use Peco bullhead there, where it will be more clearly seen, and as I have enough in stock. Wiring next... The speed of progress of this project reminds me of two of the milkmen in Chippenham in my childhood. One had a big, flash American car and was known as the "fastest milkman in the west" (after the song) while another used a battered old Bedford HA pick-up which rarely seemed to move much before midday. Inevitably, he was known as the "slowest milkman in the west".
  3. The 1 May 1972 - 6 May 1973 Section A WTT shows 1V34 07:45 Kensington Olympia to St Austell as Timing Column Reference G2 but I can't find an explanation of what that means. The 14 May 1979 - 11 May 1980 Section PA WTT shows 1V34 07:45 (public) 07:50 (WTT) Kensington Olympia to St Austell as D560.
  4. Two more gems there @Rivercider , to add to my knowledge base. Thank you.
  5. Rather than simply working out a way to produce a document that looks like a TOPS report I wanted something a little bit interesting. But first, what is a TOPS report like? What does it include? Fortunately, there are a few examples on-line, via Flickr and there are two British Transport Films productions which include shots of various reports. From 1974 comes "What's TOPS" which is on one of the British Film Institute DVDs while "Using TOPS" (1978) is available to view on BFI Player https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-using-tops-1978-online What comes apparent is that there are several different reports, and that things seem to have changed over time. And, whilst I could work out what some columns of figures were telling me, I couldn't decipher some of the others. Given this incomplete knowledge I decided that rather than try to replicate any one report I'd instead construct something that would look like a TOPS report but which would have the data I want when running Mortimore's Yard. The 1974 BTF film describes the file structure of TOPS And I opted to construct something similar. Rather than using Microsoft Word as on the Seaboard Central Rail Road I opted for Microsoft Excel as I didn't want to type everything from scratch each time, but can copy and paste various data fields. Just like TOPS I have a Wagon File (OK, it's a tab within the spreadsheet) A Locomotive File A Location File based on a STANOX list found on line- albeit not as old as I'd like, so with lots of closed places missing - with my own locations added (and colour coded by Region to help finding places) Rather than a Wagon Distribution File I have a Traffic Origin and Destination file. This includes the actual loaded flows and the return empties (which may not go back to where the loads originate from And finally my Train File where I construct the actual report by copying and pasting formulas (to preserve the cell formatting elements) There are some elements within the Train File which are calculated off other cells, such as the train length and counting the loaded and empty wagons. Each train has its own template within the spreadsheet tab, which I can then populate with the necessary details. My idea is that I will populate several days' worth of train lists, print them out and then work through them over a number of operating sessions. I'm sure that there are better ways of doing what I have here, and no doubt someone will be able to automatically generate the traffic rather than manually deciding "two of this, one of that, and three of the other", while some think the whole think is already over engineered when I could scribble things on scraps of paper but, for me, it adds something to running the layout.
  6. I've been researching van traffic in and out of Penzance for a possible layout (not really Penzance, but certainly inspired by it) albeit in the 1970s. Based on photos I came up with the following table, to see if there are any patterns. As it covers a number of years it is difficult to decide what has changed due to long-term changing traffic and what is just "random" (as in peak time for perishable traffic). The sample is probably too small to find any patterns, but there are some, such as the first vehicle on 4M05 was usually a BG, and the 4th was regularly a 4 wheeler. Likewise the empty "News vans" on 4A13, mid train until 1975, then at the front. It might be a bit simplistic, but I came to the view that the "early morning" vans conveyed traffic for the west, but the "mid morning Plymouth" probably provided whatever extra capacity Penzance/Cornwall needed for its outbound traffic which couldn't be met by the vans on hand. The other thing the table helps show is the variety of stock in my chosen era and has helped me refine my van fleet. Perhaps all it contributes to this discussion is that in the previous decade things didn't appear to be run to fixed diagrams, but were run to meet demand. But I'm eager for any more info, even if I'm using reality to inform the imaginary! It's all part of the fun
  7. Although I have, at exhibitions, happily spent two days at a time shuffling wagons around randomly I have always wanted to have a bit more order to proceedings, and to that end have spent quite a lot of time developing a working timetable for the layout. OK, such a yard wouldn't really feature in the pages of the actual Working Time Table, but would be covered by the Local Movements and Shunting Locomotive Notice. Kevin Redwood @Rivercider has generously posted pages of these documents in several topics, including this page from the Bristol area But, these trip workings need to link into long distance services, which I have based on reality so my wagons can reach various destinations, whether loaded or returning empty. So, that's the train service, but what about the actual wagons? Each flow was tabulated, and likely traffic levels decided. That, however, is where things have got a little stuck. I have looked at flow Wagonflow software, which seems to do what I want, but looks a little complex to set-up, and I am probably overthinking it by trying to convert its steam era nomenclature to TOPS type codes. Although I know little about American Railroading, I came across the Seaboard Central on YouTube and liked what I saw. In many ways it is similar to what I'm trying to achieve on Mortimore's Yard, but with more space than I could even dream of. Tim Garland the layout owner is an Engineer (Driver) on Norfolk Southern, so uses prototypical paperwork to run his trains, in particular Switch Lists. In response to comments under his videos Tim has said that he simply uses Microsoft Word to create his paperwork. That got me thinking...
  8. Something I've been playing with over the last few days... Not an exact replica, as I want different information (customer and commodity) compared to a railwayman (brake force, etc), and still a few tweaks to do, but hopefully it has the right "feel" to it.
  9. Yes Terry, it s, but slowly. I've built the baseboards, including the dropped section at the rear and was about to start track laying. But realising some of the dimensions will be tight I wanted to complete the section of station canopy and platform at the front before committing myself to positions. And then I got myself immersed into reproducing some TOPS style lists for my Mortimore's Yard layout, and that rather took over (replicating the green stripes on alternate lines of the old continuous fold computer paper is probably taking it too far, but hey, why not?). I'm afraid I'm like that, lots of projects on the go, each of which tends to go in fits and starts with generous helpings of pondering and thinking in between!
  10. The Gunnells converted from PGA hoppers had INTERCITY branding in silver on a maroon background, I used to have an unused sticker acquired at an open day, but don't have it any more. Photos of the branding don't come up readily in in-line searches. INTERCITY branding was also applied to some track machines. Going from memory (dangerous!) I think they funded some dynamic track stabilisers which allowed newly re-laid/ballasted track to be handed back at a higher speed limit than was previously possibly by simulating a weeks worth of traffic. I'm not sure that this is a stabiliser, but it has the branding. https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/tamper/e55814c4c Photo by Paul Bartlett
  11. Albeit a 1954 film, this shows the process from cow to door-step at Express Dairies https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-daily-round-the-story-of-milk-production-and-distribution-1954-online Pasteurisation occurs at the city bottling plant in this example, but the rural depot shown seems quite small, despatching by road tanker. The way the film is edited it implies that the rail borne milk is also pasteurised at the Morden South, but it doesn't specifically say that, and such detail is not really relevant to a publicity film. Maybe larger country dairies, which also had a local market to serve processed it locally, but smaller dairies didn't justify the equipment?
  12. Yes, Wiltshire is still dairy country, I can often hear cows mooing at night from home when other sounds are few. As well as Cricklade, Wootton Bassett and Melksham, both near here had rail served dairies, while my home town had a large Nestle factory which is now an office complex. It is another of the slight distortions with the model, the loco was an Express Dairies asset while Wiltshire United Dairies and Cow and Gate (later merged into Unigate) would be more appropriate for the supposed location of the model. But them Morden South was a bottling plant while South Morden is assumed to be a milk loading plant, although it could well serve its locality with dairy produce as well as sending milk to London. Thanks for the link, useful to keep in mind for other layout ideas, as I am quite wedded to the idea of a Morden-ish factory for this project.
  13. Thank you. I thought I was up to date with the thread as not much has happened to the model for the last fortnight as most evenings have been taken up with Scout Deputy District Commissioner (14-25) duties. But I realise that actually there is more to report. The main walls are now cut, after a few false starts. It is sometimes difficult to work out what photos are telling me, especially when the whole building isn't visible in one shot. Then there is the possibility that photos taken years apart are actually showing alterations to the buildings, and what I'm seeing at one end of the building isn't what is at the other end in a different photo. The corrugated building next to the chimney definitely had a window by the grounded tank, but the only photos showing the other side have a tree where the window might be. So, a second window or not? As the photo shows, I opted for two windows. I might yet hide it with a tree. Like the milk tank I used for heights next to the unloading shed, the grounded tank, being only fractionally taller than it would have been on its rail underframe, was ideally placed for calculating heights of the adjacent building. That and a photo showing a door into the building gave me some good references to estimate from. The long window in the other corrugated building caused me some difficulty. Different photos of the two ends of the window showed it close to the roof on the right but some distance away on the left. I puzzled over this for some time, thinking that the window had been altered at some point. Having cut the parts and not been happy I realised that the right hand roof came down lower on the left and so the recently cut sheet found itself reattached and the roof line continued down. It appears that at Morden there was once another third building in the sequence, but only the first part of the roof remains in a couple of photos. I think that I am going to ignore the truncated roof. The BFI film does give some glimpses of the interior of the covered area, which I have tried to do justice to. The detail isn't clear in the film, it being rather a dark area for a film camera, but as it won't be particularly visible on the completed model I'm happy for it to be a representation. There is a cylinder to go below where the pipes disappear through the wall (when I can get to an old layout and remove the casting I have in mind), a steel cupboard / locker type and a table /work bench to fit in too. The cable trunking and sockets are a great little Scale Model Scenery kit. That's about it. I really need to make the baseboard now as I intend that to be slightly wider than the A4 paper the plan is printed on, and whilst I know things will fit I now need the actual sizes to make the side walls of the background buildings. Yes, I could just add a strip of paper to the plan, but I'm finding it hard to visualise how the background buildings will look when they are set down at the correct ground level, so I think it is time to cut some wood. Needing to do the carpentry in the garden the heat beat me last week, and the showers have so far this week halted work.
  14. With the AnyRail plan printed out full size and laid across my dining table a few tanks were added, and various Wills Scenic sheets placed in roughly the right positions things started to take shape. As this could by no means be seen as a full-scale replica of the Express Dairies plant it was decided very early on that a few liberates would be taken. For example, the sheet material used extensively at Morden South had flat sections between the ridges, whereas I would be using the Wills Scenics corrugated asbestos. I did do an online search for suitable sheets but found nothing. To be fair there probably is something suitable in one of the American or Continental ranges, but some of these are so extensive its not always easy to discover what is available, and the Wills option has the advantage of being readily available. The various photos I had found on-line and a few screen shots from the film we examined in great detail, enlarged as far as possible to glean as much information as possible. Having photos on screen not only allows them to be enlarged, but they can also be lightened to bring out detail. Going back and fore between the various photos time and time again I gradually got the information I needed. One photo which keeps giving in terms of information is this one on Flickr Although not in the perfect position, the middle tanker is pretty close to the end of the unloading shed, close enough for me to get a fairly accurate estimate of sizes. It’ll not win any prizes for accuracy, but the initial scale of measurement was from track level to the horizontal bar across the end of the tank. By pasting the photo into a Word document and then enlarging and cropping to the right size I could then draw lines on it to find the sizes. By double clicking on the line Word shows its dimensions at the right-hand end of the top ribbon. The BFI film has some interior shots of the unloading shed, showing that it had posters on the wall. This seems a bit odd, especially as they seem more permanent than something installed specially for the film, but as a contributor to the Morden Milk thread recalls they ran public visits to the site for school children, and the film also shows housewives watching cooking demonstrations on-site so perhaps the posters aren’t so strange after all if a tour of the sidings was included in itineraries. Anyway, some research gave a likely size for the posters and from that another calculation could be made to confirm the initial one. The shed is quite tall but allows head room for staff standing on the tanks clear of the roof beams, probably not something I'd have thought of if I was designing the building myself. Copying the real thing, if only in spirit helps avoid these design errors. Working from these estimates the relative sizes of other buildings could also be estimated. A couple of complications are that the land drops away from the front to rear of the layout, with the rearmost buildings being about 8 feet below siding track level. This will be represented on the model, but isn’t on my dining table! I'm not saying the above offers the right way of going about modelling a real location, or even a good way of doing it, but it is how I do it. Sometimes, despite my best efforts to try to work out how something fits together, its only once the plastic is cut that something dawns and I can see what I've assumed isn't quite what is there - and that's after using paper templates and prototypes in some cases! But I fumble along, hoping I'm getting somewhere close, despite all my assumptions and alterations caused by selective compression.
  15. Following sb67 's comment: I thought it was time to put finger to keyboard, and let the world see my latest attempt to blur fact and fiction. The photo which prompted my interest was in Milk Trains To Mordon South 1970s and comes from Mike Morant's SmugMug site. The Mordon South thread went on to include several more photos of the site, and links to a wonderful film of the plant. I was hooked! My own on-line searches yielded some more photos; the possibilities for a layout were obvious. And that was before Hornby announced that they were going to produce a model of the shunter! Loco duly pre-ordered I had intended to get the layout built ready for Hornby’s release, but even with a slippage of several months in their delivery schedule I hadn’t lifted a finger when the model arrived. Eventually the time was right and serious analysis of the various photos began to see exactly what the project was. The film talks about the site being able to accept 14 rail tank cars at a time, with the yard suitably sized to match, and much bigger than my plan. I settled for a mere 4 tanks at a time in the shed and a similarly shortened yard, truncated even further by a bridge for the scenic break to bring the whole layout down to a manageable size. The idea of SR EMUs running alongside the sidings, like the real location, was attractive, but even a 2-car would be too long for this micro layout. But I do have an AC Cars railbus on my stock shelves, and with both GWR and BR single diesel railcars available RTR, a change of geographic location looked possible. And so Morden South became South Moredon a location on the Midland & South Western Junction Railway on the north western of Swindon, and in reality the location of a rail served power station. Was I stretching reality too far? Or could a believable layout result? The only way to find out was to get started with the build.
  16. As Rambling Rich says, been there, done that (thanks for the link to my topic ). It can be great fun modelling a real location, even if I chose to replace the timber yard at Hereford with something different. Not a "quaint goods yard" but my latest project is also the result of 1 photo and a good dig around the internet to find out more about the location. I should have enough to start a topic for the layout fairly soon.
  17. The overnight York - Shrewsbury was a combined passenger and postal train at one time, and one known for unusual motive power. On the Western the introduction of the HSTs, with their limited van space, led to a system of "Premium" parcel trains scuttling up and down to convey what the HSTs couldn't. At secondary school we always used to look out for the "2 o'clock" parcels, in the 1980s. It was initially a 31/0 and 3 vans, but later became a 37/0 with 4 vans, 2 GUVs and 2 BGs, often marshalled alternately to make a blue, blue/grey pattern (although I'm sure that wasn't the reason for the formation!). But it's fair to say even with that regular working, 37s don't really come to mind when I think of the parcel (or van) trains I saw in the 1980s/early 1990s era, 31s and 47s would be more common.
  18. I am doing something similar. I've looked at my current layouts, which are all designed to be transportable / exhibitable and therefore can be packed up and swapped over for home use, and decided that they still have quite a lot of enjoyment left in them, but that at some point I rather want to embark, as several have done on here, on my "last great project". Not being morbid or anything, but thinking that if I start that layout in 10 years time, and if it gives me 20 years enjoyment as my previous layouts will have done by the time I start on the last great project then something that lasts until I'm 80 might outlive me, or at least outlive sufficiently good eyesight or dexterity. Which is all a rather long way to say that I have been reading various carriage working books, working timetables and the like and as details begin to emerge have been on the look out for the necessary coaching stock (most of my focus has been on freight layouts). Whilst I think I have all the coaches I need, I don't think that they necessarily have the correct bogies for my era and location, so 2 of the RCTS Coaching Stock books have been found and purchased, but I'm still looking for the 1st edition to get the full picture of change over time. That data based on Bachmann's coach numbers is tabulated, but the Regional bias of the stock is wrong, so I need to research a joint re-numbering and re-bogieing programme based on proportions of each in the actual fleet, supported by whatever photographic evidence I can find (anything below the underframe being visible beyond the coach is a bonus). Likewise with parcels stock, and even more difficult here, as I haven't been able to find loading lists for the relevant time (if such things existed, I can only find one document, which is extremely interesting, for 10 years before my period). But as I am basing my parcel trains on several actual ones I regularly go hunting on-line for them hoping more people have scanned their photographs and uploaded them and tabulate, the best I can, the formation in the photo, hoping that a pattern may appear. And if no pattern emerges, then that is, in its own way, a pattern. I think my parcels fleet is about there in terms of purchases, but still has a long way to go in terms of correct detail for my chosen period. Of course, there is the possibility that within the next 10 years and me starting the big layout someone will have introduced a series of Mk1 coaches way ahead of the Bachmann ones now in my fleet. Too bad. I'm happy with what I have, they do the job for me. The roof ribs don't really worry me, but the correct bogies do. Off the top of my head I think the only items of stock I would replace if a better version came along would be the 6-wheel milk tanks and the Siphon Gs. But in both cases having done the research I know what I'd be looking for, in terms of number of vehicles and detail differences, should the manufacturers choose to produce. I'm also saving lots of on-line photos of interesting details. I try to include the date (if given) for anything I save, but tend to use the file name to indicate what it was that caused me to save it - often its obvious, but not always, and it helps with searches. I probably should tabulate the photo references, but haven't done yet, just using various folders for broad topics. I'll probably need a layout twice the size of the one I've got space for to include all the ideas I have, but better to have too much info than not enough. So less organised, in terms of spreadsheet use, and possibly laptop rather than armchair modelling, but you're not alone.
  19. As Jo says its the size of the rheo grids on the roof that is the visible difference. My quick way of identifying the GWR types is: 800/0 - White around the cab doors (short grids, but the white is the quick clincher) 800/3 - No white, short grids 802/0 - No white, long grids 802/1 - same as 802/0 until you can see 4th car from either end which is unpowered, so has no grid I think all GWR units have the larger fuel tank, certainly Flickr photos show that there are difference in the appearance of the underframe "boxes" on 800001 between when it was running as a white test unit and how it is now. It appears that initially the tank was behind a door, like the rest of the module, but now the tank itself seems to come out to the "door line" so it nearly, but not quite, matches the doors. The extra width would make sense as a way to give greater capacity. I've not studied any other operators' IETs so couldn't comment on their detail differences.
  20. I wonder if Great Western Railway will have restored the Pullman breakfast service by said date? Then again, I wonder how many months modelling budget the train fare and the meal would take?
  21. I'd have thought that it was much more likely to have been planned to coincide with the unveiling of 69001 in full livery by GBRf today. Bachmann were very slick at getting the word out (or embargoed until) just after the GBRf reveal of the real thing. Impressive stuff by the communications team.
  22. There certainly were fixed stock formations, laid out in the Passenger Marshalling Instructions, based on the Circuit Working of Carriage Sets. From research I've been doing of the 1970s Western Region documents (available via brcoachingstock.groups.io) they even specify detail such as which way round CKs should be, which end the kitchen should be in restaurant cars and that where two BSK, BCK etc are marshalled together the van ends should be adjacent. A train could be made up of several sets, and a set could be as small as one coach. Fascinating and very complex stuff, which I am hoping to replicate on my next layout. Of course not everything went to plan, such as the time a group of four of use travelling together were reserved seats around a table, but the coach used only had 3 seats around the table as the gangway took the space of the 4th seat to give space for the loo in the vestibule! @P.C.M those coaches look great, I especially like the orange curtains. May I ask how you did those?
  23. Just been looking at my railway room - Tier 2 and in danger of relegation, I think! It's probably best that my Express Dairies Ruston, which arrived yesterday, hasn't been allowed out to play yet. Seriously though, I think I can see what Hornby are trying to do, but the implementation has been poor (twice), and I think they are trying to hide the problem rather than addressing it (or, possibly, even recognising it). Thanks to @Phil Parker for getting the info, even if we, perhaps, don't like what Hornby say.
  24. Another vote for this - a great publication, and looking forward to it developing.
  25. And I doubt if the documents behind them answer any of the questions. They published 83 pages of National Bus Strategy on March 15th. Last week we got 38 pages of guidance on what they really want, and the promise in a meeting that 2 previous guidance documents (82 pages total) which the strategy largely comes from will be re-written and updated "soon". But they aren't adjusting the timescales for Local Transport Authorities to do our work; informed guesswork is the order of our days. . .
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