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Graham R

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  1. I passed Thornton Junction about a month ago and was disappointed to see the undergrowth as thick as ever on the track descending towards Cameron Bridge and Methil. However it seems the project is not dead: Network Rail feels confident enough to make a press release that the vegetation will be cleared to allow survey work to start: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/news/vegetation-clearance-heralds-start-of-work-to-get-levenmouth-reconnected/ That can only be good news, and hopefully the Scottish government will keep the pressure up (and the budget available) beyond the election next May. Regards Graham
  2. Hi Jim, That is a nice wee detail. I remember there was a cart track like that up Union Street in Dundee, from the West station towards the jute mills. Unusually, it had attractive red granite slabs. The cart way seems to have been removed now in favour of a nice (for cyclists at least) smooth tarred surface but the slabs have been re-used to delimit parking spaces on the same street, as you can see in Streetview here. regards Graham Seems like the link only puts you on the right street, but does not point you the right way! You need to turn round and look to the street side ...
  3. I was sorry to see in today's (Dundee) Courier that the wee 10¼" railway at Arbroath is to shut down next month after 85 years, due to lack of custom. I used to look forward to a run on it as a bairn visiting Arbroath to see relatives, but I am as guilty as anyone in not taking my own kids more than once or twice, and not having stopped off for a look for years now. Does anyone know more about the line's future ? Graham
  4. Indeed ... here is a more recent shot of Dyce ... Catch ‘em while you can ... Graham
  5. My memory is that most wooden boxes on the Highland in the early to mid 1970s were painted light cream wood planking with mid grey framing and stair handrails, white window frames, and light red corrugated-iron roofs. I thought that suited them very well. By the start of the 1980s some had been repainted towards a starker colour scheme of off-white wood planking with black framing and white window frames, which grew more prevalent through that decade. Most brick boxes in east lowland Scotland at the time had mid-grey woodwork on upper stories or porches/toilets and stairs, and white window-frames. However, when I tried to back this up with a quick and unscientific trawl through photos, there were many exceptions to these rules, so as usual (if you care about it) you are best to find a dated colour view of a particular box and follow that. I don't suppose that's really much help! Sorry ... regads Graham
  6. I asked the same question to a former West Highland line signalman, and his view was either fuel as you have said, or else to get a snowplough-fitted loco back to where it was needed for the Fort William - Crianlarich section across Rannoch moor.
  7. Hi Bob, The Great North of Scotland Railway Association publishes a good book on the Macduff branch which, at £8.50, should be your starting point. It has a number of good photos. More details here. All the GNSRA books are well researched. The NLS map library site already mentioned is your best source for maps. The 1929 1:2500 survey is generally accurate for track and building positions but has two layout errors: the loco release crossover from the main platform is missing and the goods shed siding led off the platform loop, not the yard siding. These errors are obvious from photos. Unfortunately, by the time the survey was revised and 1:1250 maps published in the 1960s, the track had been lifted so they don’t add much. If you are a member of a Scottish line society you should be able to get online access to the FSLS photo archive which includes the GNSRA collection. It contains many excellent detail photos of structures at Macduff and is more or less essential if you want to make an accurate model. There are few drawings of Macduff layout or structures in public archives and what exists is of minor details only. However the two main structures -the loco shed and the station offices/train shed/goods shed complex - are still standing in relatively unchanged condition and can (if permitted by the usually very helpful owners, Seaway Group) be visited and measured up. I have not been there since the fishing net business which previously used the buildings and station yard was replaced by a cafe and shop, “The Platform”, but the new business seems very aware of the building’s history and well worth a visit. I am slowly trying to build Macduff in 2mm finescale but have not progressed beyond baseboards and Templot yet (and have taken longer to do that than it took the Victorians to build the whole line). I have gathered a fair amount of information though. If you are seriously interested in modelling the station let me know by PM and maybe I can help with details. Hope that’s of some interest and good luck with your model if you decide to make one. regards Graham
  8. Hi Nigel, you're right, I did not stop to think about the small matter of wheelsets . Nick Tilston seems to stock pinpoint bearings (item 23818, not sure about the profile) and a range of buffers. I suppose it would be feasible to make 12.25mm axles from rod to accept wheels from modern commercial N wheelsets. Easier just to join the 2mmSA. But the OP was a request for modern rolling stock kits and Stephen's range reflects his own interest of the 1970s, so may not be the answer in any case. regards Graham
  9. Stephen’s kits are available to anyone as far as I’m aware, you don’t have to be a 2mmSA member. See his listing and contact details here. They are beautifully designed kits in my view, but they are detailed and require decent soldering skills to produce a clean result. There is no shame in learning on the job, as my many early attempts show! Of course there is no reason to join the 2mmSA unless you want to, but you get a very nice magazine, access to the Association shops, and if you choose to, support from the area groups. £20 to try it out for a year is not a big risk ... regards Graham
  10. My next-door-neighbour-but-one hails from Banff and is of the right age to remember the passenger service, so when I saw him digging his flower bed this afternoon I asked him about the longer platform. He confirmed he’d never seen it used for departing trains. However he also mentioned that summer Saturdays could see trains of up to seven or eight coaches from Glasgow, often behind a D40, “Gordon Highlander” being the one which stuck in his memory; and Caley 0-4-4T 55185. He’s going to consult various older relatives for other memories so I’ll pass on anything of interest. Good luck with your project regards Graham
  11. Here are diagrams, kindly supplied by Robert Dey from his collection, for the boxes between Carnwath and Ravelrig Junction (except the Midcalder boxes and Linhousewater) at various dates, which might answer your question. You'll see that there are both discs, raised discs, and short arm semaphores in use. Camps Junction: If you find out anything more on your specific location, it would be interesting to hear back in due course. Regards Graham
  12. It depends if your siding is controlled from a signalbox or is simply connected to the main line between block posts. Isolated sidings on the Caley were typically controlled from a ground frame which, in addition to the siding points and the siding exit signal, controlled a home and distant on the main line which protected the train working the siding. The ground frame was usually padlocked and the signalbox in the rear had its section signal locked by a train staff which accompanied the train working the siding. A porter or brakesman went with the train to bring the staff and padlock key back to the box in the rear after replacing the signals and points and locking the ground frame, and the train would advance through the section. The train was sent by the box in the rear under regulation 8b (ballast train working in section) and accepted under regulation 5 (3-5-5, section clear but station or junction blocked) by the box in advance. The whole procedure is explained in detailed in the Caley sectional appendix. On the Edinburgh-Carstairs section, the only place this happened was at Kames Quarry between Ravelrig Junction (where the country end of the Balerno branch rejoined the main line) and Camps Junction, where an oil shale branch led off. Ravelrig did not lock its section signal with a train staff but provided a "porter-signalman" to go with the train, who had to return to Ravelrig afterwards with the key by "the most expeditious means possible". The arrangements at Kames lasted until the 1960s. All the other sidings and mineral branches between Midcalder Junction and Carstairs (and there were a few: Harburn Lime Works, Wilsontown, Cobbinshaw, Tarbrax Oil Works) had individual signalboxes in Caley days so sidings were worked from the box concerned. (Even Kames Quarry had a knee frame in a hut rather than a ground frame open to the elements). The actual signal controlling exit from the siding was usually a Stevens flap signal in Caley days. Many of these lasted until the early BR period, and ground disc signals replaced them as wear and tear required. It was common to elevate them on a short post for sighting reasons, as The Statiomaster mentions above. The Caley did use short arm home semaphores, but more commonly for movements from a loop to a main line or from a main line to a siding than for a siding exit. However photos show there were exceptions to the rule. Hope that's of some interest regards Graham
  13. Hi Angus, There's a nice album of photos of the BACo Burntisland plant online, which includes a shot of a Presflo there on 9 April 1964 , and it looks like the lettering is "Presflo Alumina", with the first word spaced over the top row of four "panels" between the main side stanchions, and the second word spaced over the second row, one letter per "panel". There's also a nice detail shot of the Presflo roofs, a shot of an ICI caustic soda tank on the same day, and an LNER-era shot of the wooden hoppers in use before the Presflos. No excuse not to post a photo of the completed wagon now :-) Regards Graham
  14. No, it's just awkward. The problem is getting leverage on the chassis to slide it out of the body. The body is retained at the correct height on the chassis by three ridges on each side, one above each bogie and one above the fuel tank. These locate into shallow slots in the chassis block. What you have to do is gently disengage the ridges from the slots. Once you've got the bogies and baseplate off, place the model roof down on a soft surface like your trouser leg to avoid scratching it. Use your your fingers to gently spread the body next the fuel tank. This eases the ridges away from the slots. Use a jeweller's screwdriver or similar slim object held parallel with the length of the chassis to find one of the slots and gently lever the chassis upwards out of the body. Once it starts to move, all the other ridges will pop out of their slots as well. A photo probably helps. The slots are outlined in red. To reassemble, just place in position (making sure the suppressor capacitors etc are in the right place to locate in the fuel tank recess), and gently press back in. Pop, and it locates back at the correct height. Hope that help, Graham
  15. There was word of renovation three years ago: see the Council's press release: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/20819/Council-approves-agreement-with-SEC-to-support-redevelopment-of-bridge-to-Finnieston and a press report: https://www.scotsman.com/news-2-15012/transport/5-million-upgrade-for-hydro-footbridge-1-4381367 As you say it's past time for an upgrade. But filthy or not, it's better than no bridge at all, with the weather the way it was this weekend ...
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