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  1. Hi Paul, Unfortunately I can't post my Port Talbot collection online as most of the photos have been sent to me by a contact on the instruction that they don't want them published online as they are using them for a series of articles in Bylines. Cheers Alastair
  2. Hi Paul, Very interesting - thanks! My motley collection of photos of this type of bogie open at Port Talbot shows wagons by at least two different builders (Head Wrightson and Cambrian Wagon) with many detail differences (and indeed, similarities), so I guess it's entirely possible that one was supplied to Ravenscraig. By the time of your photo, of course, Ravenscraig and Port Talbot were both under British Steel's Strip Products Division, although I doubt wagons like these would be transferred between works, except perhaps on works closure or downsizing (as we know happened from Corby to Stocksbridge with Panzer wagons, for example). Cheers Alastair
  3. I believe there were some at Workington - is that where this pic was taken? I believe they were originally built for pigs from a pig casting machine, hence the massively heavy construction, and then subsequently used for cropped ends from the mills. There's a scale drawing and another photo in David Monk Steel's book 'Industrial Wagons - and introduction' published by the IRS. Cheers Alastair
  4. Hi Mark, Interestingly - that's the same wagon (2551) as the original prototype photo I posted. I presume the ends got damaged perhaps at one point - these things had a hard life. Looks like it's loaded with side trimmings from the cold mill. I'll PM you about getting hold of some prints. Cheers Alastair
  5. Thought people may be interested in a few pictures of my model of one of these wagons: They were used at the Steel Company of Wales (and successors British Steel Corporation, and then PLC) Margam works as general use wagons. They were used for iron and steel scrap, mill scrap, slab crop ends, hot mill scale, hot mill and cold mill scrap and transfer/storeage of rolls, in other words, heavy traffic that would give the wagons a bit of a bashing. This particular example was built by Cambrian Wagon & Engineering of Cardiff in 1959 - built as 60T capacity but soon uprated to 80T. They were introduced at a time when the steel works in Port Talbot was extensively modernised with the construction of the Abbey Works, heavily based on then state-of-the-art American steelworks. This extended to the locomotives and rolling stock - big (initially American Alco and then later Brush Bagnall) bo-bo diesel electric shunters, and much use of large bogie vehicles for rolling stock. I have a much better set of photos of the wagon (though not my copyright) from which I scaled the wagon and drew it up in Solidworks CAD, for 3d printing. The CAD can be seen below: I duly ordered the prints from Shapeways and sat and waited (with a quoted 4 week lead time) - I was pleasantly surprised that the prints arrived within about 4 working days! Initial impressions were good, except for the damage which can be seen in the image below on the buffer heads I fed back to Shapeways, in case this was a QC issue and the part was damaged before shipping. Shapeways, to their credit, immediately ordered me a free of charge reprint, before I had chance to tell them I could probbaly salvage the model anyway, so I may well build a second of these wagons in due course. The first stage was to thoroughly wash the wagon parts in warm soapy water, soaking them for 3-4 hours a number of times to remove the residue of the support wax which this particular rapid prototyping method uses. I then gave the body a quick coat of grey primer, to see what the finish was like (the material, being slightly transparent, is very difficult to properly see without a coat of paint). There was then some judicious use of high build primer, rubbing down, more primer etc to get the body to a reasonable finish. It wasn't bad to start with, but the layering caused by the printing method was noticeable on the sloped sides of the wagon. The damaged buffers were carefully sawn off, replacing them with some Lanarkshire Models which matched the photos I had of the prototype (code B050 looked very close). I think I will do the same on the second wagon, as I'm not convinced the plastic is strong enough to withstand use as buffers. The bogies, not having any large sloped surfaces, are a much better finish and have just been primed and sprayed. The bogies are mounted using an M3 bolt into a hole in the mounting point which I carefull tapped (the material taps well). I shamelessly nicked this simple mounting method off the etched kit I designed years ago for the large bogie wagons used at Workington steelworks. Brass pinpoint bearings were pressed into holes in the bogie prints (I got lucky - the sizes worked first time for a gentle press fit) and Gibson EM gauge lowmac wheelsets fitted. There is a bit more left to do - I need to add the ladders which can be seen in the prototype photo (sorry the quality is poor, I have some much better photos but they're not my copyright so I'm keeping them to myself). I also need to sort out the end plates on the bogies, and the brake linkages - the brake levers which can be seen in the prototype shot are actually only attached to the bogies, and have sufficient clearance between lever and wagon solebar that the bogies can swing. Quite if this will work in 4mm I'm less sure - we'll see! Since drawing the wagon from photos and ordering the prints, I've obtained a set of drawings..... which show my wagon is spot on in most dimensions, except the body is a scale 6" too tall. I think I'll live with it for now!
  6. Brian, This certainly isn't the case at the railway I volunteer at. We have enthusiastic volunteers across the age range, with a good proportion of youngsters. Some departments have age profiles more skewed towards the higher end of the range than others, but your statement certainly doesn't describe our situation, nor that at a number of other railways I'm familiar with. Regards Alastair
  7. Paul, As far as I can tell, the following locos have been used at the Margam / Port Talbot / Abbey Works complex, post-steam: 1) Brush Bagnall 0-4-0 Diesel Electric locos, numbered in the 5xx series. 2) Ruston 165hp 0-4-0 Diesel Mechanical locos, numbered in the 6xx series. These locos were used on construction of the Abbey Works and subseuqently on general shunting duties. Appear to be a standard Ruston product. 3) Brush 0-6-0 Diesel Electric locos, numbered in the 7xx series. These weren't overly successful due to their long wheelbase vs the tight curves at the works. 4) Alco Bo-Bo Diesel Electric locos, numbered in the 8xx series. Bought "off the shelf" from Alco as nothing suitable was available from British builders. Survived into the 1980s. 5) Brush Bagnall Bo-Bo Diesel electric locos, numbered in the 9xx and 95x series. The 9xx locos had 515 hp Mirlees engines, and were later re-engined with Rolls-Royce DV8 units, necessitating some modifications to the bodysides to accommodate the V engine. The 95x locos were built with 660 hp supercharged Mirlees engines, and were withdrawn by the end of the 80s. All of these locos were built in a number of batches, and there are a multitude of detail differences both between batches as built, and due to subsequent modifications over the years. 6) Barclay rebuilds of three of the Brush Bagnall 9xx locos (907, 908, 909) from the frames up. These were fitted with (I think) Caterpillar engines, and had completely new bodywork fitted. They were renumbered as 07, 08 and 09. 7) Trojan Bo Bo locomotives, built by Corus Northern Engineering Services in 2009/10. Relatively quickly, their cabs and control desks were rebuilt by LH Group / Hunslet. 8) Clayton Equipment Bo Bo hybrid locomotives - battery powered but fitted with a small diesel engine for charging purposes. Introduced over the last year. 9) GEC 6wh diesels - hired in within the last few years. I know no more about these other than having seen them at the works. Of the above, I have drawings of the Brush Bagnall 0-4-0s, Brush Bagnall Bo-Bos, Alcos and Trojans (as built) - if they're of any use let me know. In terms of steam locos, I'm aware of the following: 1) Bagnall 0-4-0 saddle tank locos, acquired between 1934 and 194, numbered 101-105 2) Barclay 14" 0-4-0 saddle tank locos, acquired between 1901 and 1935, mainly used on Port Talbot works (the original one, not what is now referred to as the Port Talbot Works) duties in the melting shop. Numbered 201-208 3) Avonside 0-4-0 saddle tank locos, delivered in 1919, numbered in the 3xx series. 4) Bagnall 0-6-0 saddle tank locos, delivered in 1951 (withdrawn in 1957). Numbered 401-403. When Abbey Works was built, the decision was made to use diesel traction from the start, but the Port Talbot and Margam works continued with steam traction initially. These locos were built in 1951 to cope with increased tonnages of hot metal from new blast furnaces at Margam, and incorporated what was then "best practice" in loco design - e.g. self-cleaning smokeboxes, rocker grates, hopper ashpans and rolling bearings in coupling rods etc. Withdrawn when the decision was made to dieselise across the SCoW works around Port Talbot. Thanks Alastair
  8. Hi Chris, Those are great, I'm fairly sure there will be many orders forthcoming for this! One query - on the prototype the lifting 'T slots' in the bufferbeam go all the way through the bufferbeam, whereas on the EP they appear to be blind. I fully appreciate this may be a limitation of the die-casting process, but will they go all the way through on the final model? No worries if not - easy enough to rectify! The engineer in me is also slightly intrigued by the chassis - are the frames plastic overlays on a die-cast block? Nice way of getting the details in, if they are. Cheers Alastair
  9. Porcy, Excellent - many thanks! Once I'd got the keeper plate off, the conversion was relatively straightforward! The loco is now running nicely in EM. I'm going to now paint the wheelsets, fit some etched coupling hooks and 3 links, add a driver and some weathering, and I don't think it really needs much more than that doing to it. What a delightful model!! Cheers Alastair
  10. Apologies to drag up an old question, but for those who have rewheeled or otherwise dismantled their Rustons..... a query! I've got the body off, straightforward. But how on earth does the keeper plate come off? I can't see how it's held on..... I've got some 10.5mm Black Beetle wheelsets here ready for an EM gauge conversion, and I'm completely stumped by getting the damned keeper plate off! Any advice gratefully received... Thanks Alastair
  11. Just a quick thanks to Steve - order for some Sentinel transfers delivered in a timescale that I'd be impressed with in non lockdown conditions, let alone the current situation. Thanks Alastair
  12. Absolutely fascinating insight! Was only the one of the big Hunslets rebuilt with new frames in the end? Alastair
  13. Just a quick vote of thanks to Eileens for keeping us all stocked - they dealt very well with my recent order and some complications caused by one item being out of stock and not going to be restocked this side of the end of lockdown. One very happy customer! Alastair
  14. Can I please add the Dean Forest Railway Society's appeal to this list? https://www.dfrsociety.org.uk/dfrs-emergency-fund OR https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dfrs-emergency-fund Many thanks Alastair
  15. I'll be very interested to see how this develops. Alastair
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