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Ravenser last won the day on January 5 2011

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  1. I believe American modellers sometimes use a carfloat (functioning as a detachable cassette fiddle yard) for a compact urban "shelf-switcher"
  2. My efforts in rebuilding one of these are here: Ratio GW 4 wheeler part one Ratio GW 4 wheeler part 2 I used Hornby coach wheels and the MJT compensation etch and whitemetal Mansell inserts. You will need a piecing saw to cut off the pin-points , but a piercing saw is a useful tool, so it would be no hardship buying one In my case the coach was originally built with polystyrene cement and this broke down easily when Model Strip was applied. Much would depend on how well the kits were originally built - if they were crudely assembled then dismantle and rebuild might be necessary to get a good job [Minor aside - blog posting 2 has half the views of blog posting 1. Still can't quite see why - did the new software have such a devastating effect on blog viewing???]
  3. So what reopened old railway line relieves the pressure on the southern end of the WCML??? The LSWR between Exeter and Plymouth?
  4. Unfortunately the main justification of the Humber Bridge was to link the East Riding and Lincolnshire. The demand doesn't justify it, and never did Both my parents came from Hull: we lived in Lincolnshire during the 1970s and 80s. In 1970 it was a 4 hour drive round to Hull, which eventually came down to about 2.5 hrs with the M180, M18 and M62. Or you could take the New Holland ferry . I do not recall it being a serious difficulty getting a place for the car on the poop deck of the paddle steamers, and at the end the ferry was down to a one-boat service. That didn't seem to be a serious issue locally. With a good run it is now just possible to be in the centre of Hull in an hour. Almost 40 years after it opened the Bridge is still not busy. The reality is that people in Grimsby have limited need or desire to go to Hull, and vice versa - prior to 1980 "limited need" was "no real need". The fake county of Humberside was invented to manufacture a reason to justify the Bridge - it was universally disliked and eventually, thankfully, abolished after being arguably one of the worst education authorities in Britain
  5. I really struggle to believe that the Olympics had "a huge social and economic cost". What was mainly in the way of the Olympics was Thornton Fields carriage sidings, Stratford International Freight Terminal (which I think was more or less defunct) and Stratford works. I'm not aware of any significant discontent in the area arising from the Games - and as it happens during the period of the Olympics I was working in Docklands on an 8 month contract, so I would have expected to pick up such vibes. Stratford got a substantial upgrade to the station, the Olympic park with substantial new sports facilities for the whole city, a new stadium for West Ham , new walking access routes, and significant additional housing to a decent standard. I don't believe that the claim that the Olympics damaged East London can be made to stand up. I've literally never heard anyone claim before that any social problem in East London has been caused by the Olympics. Opponents of the Olympics claimed at the time they would inflict harm on the rest of the country - that manifestly didn't happen As for "huge economic cost" - are you suggesting it shaved a measurable fraction (even 0.1%?) off the size of the economy??? "Huge economic cost" is the sort of phrase used by opponents of Brexit , some of whom suggested this might equate to as much as an 8% reduction in GDP in a worst case scenario. Plainly it would be absurd to suggest the Olympics caused significant damage to the economy. They were certainly a "big ticket item" but that's completely different to saying they caused economic damage. I didn't mention the Millenium Dome (which rather lost any purpose when the Blair Government decided they didn't really want to celebrate Britain) , but my point about the Tunnel and CTRL stands - does anyone today really think it would have been better if they hadn't been built?? Not every project is justified - the Humber Bridge is largely pointless (for most of it's history it's been coned down to one lane each way to minimise wear on the tarmac) and it was built simply as an election bribe offered by Barbera Castle to win a critical bye-election in Hull in the mid 60s. Kevin Macnamarra has the largest and most expensive personal monument in British history - not even Caligula and Nero were so extravagant But here there are clear capacity issues that need some kind of solution
  6. That report costed reopening to Ashington at £50 million . A couple of years ago, Network Rail costed that scheme at £230 million If you put schemes down at 20% of their best estimated cost , and other schemes down at 125-200% of estimate , you can "prove" whatever you want
  7. I am merely paraphrasing the fundamental position of an opponent of HS2 in the quotation given . He is indicating he is opposed to any project to expand rail capacity between northern and southern Britain, as being economically unsound and socially destructive. (I'm not clear that he would support any project to develop rail infrastructure , even in the North - the argument seems to be that all rail projects, and arguably all transport infrastructure projects, are fundamentally unsound, and should not be allowed). He might simply be an anti-rail commentator. But if you don't supply rail capacity , then you need to provide capacity in some other transport mode - meaning either road (=motorways) or air (= new runways/terminals). But the quotation doesn't suggest either - there's a complete absence of alternative proposals, merely falling back on the suggestion that better transport links between south and north would be socially and economically undesirable and therefore shouldn't be built . That also seems to me a fair summary of your own comment: I think that position is bizarre - but it does seem in several places that opponents of HS2 are now arguing that better transport links and more capacity are actually socially and economically undesirable, and hence the project should be cancelled I should point out that "areas north of Watford" includes all those places served by Euston outer suburban services severely restricted by the current lack of capacity on the southern part of the WCML, not to mention those places on the Trent Valley where services are also restricted by capacity . There's a reason why Polesworth is in the 10 least used railway stations - most of its services were axed because there isn't enough capacity on the Trent Valley line , even after 4 tracking , to provide more than a vestigial local service The campaign against HS2 is now starting to remind me , more than a little, of the campaign to cancel the London Olympics. That campaign with hindsight was badly misguided, but some of the arguments being used against HS2 are remarkably similar. It's also worth remembering that similar arguments were used to oppose the Channel Tunnel and CTRL, and actually succeeded in cancelling the first version of CTRL. Again, those arguments now look unsound. I remember a few years after opening the BBC produced a documentary attempting to argue that the Tunnel was a failed project in its own terms , since the shareholders weren't getting a dividend. I doubt if many people now would dare to argue that the Tunnel is a failure A final point is the very long life of such infrastructure. Robert Stephenson's London and Birmingham will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of its act when HS2 opens south of Birmingham. Even then, the existing route will be earning its keep. The same goes for the Grand Junction north of Birmingham. You shouldn't be expecting the same level of annual return you would demand on an asset that has a working life of just 30 years
  8. That is a tissue of negative speculation. "Think of a number . Double it. Double it again . Throw in an arbitrary fiddle factor you've plucked out of the air. Add a bit on for luck and to further discredit the project" There is now some evidence that the figure of £106 billion is not - and never has been - in the Ockervee report, and has been "introduced" from the hostile Berkeley Report by the project's political opponents. And his overspend factor is in cash terms (after inflation) , not real terms. The Humber Bridge looks particularly affected by that - it was built in an era (1973-80) when inflation was running at 20-30% per annum. Of course the final cash spend was far higher than the 1974 estimate I agree with the (implied) comment that 240mph is excessive in terms of the current draw. But the logic is that scaling back to 190-200mph - similar/slightly higher than TGV Nord/CTRL - brings this down to about 20MW and allows you to use proven OHLE and trackwork, removing a large slice of risk. At least he concedes that the last upgrade of the WCML ran wildly over budget and "failed" - so much for the "upgrading the existing routes" theory. But these are elegantly phrased counsels of despair, claiming that nothing should ever be done to build anything. If he dismisses increased rail capacity - in any form - which seems to be his real position, is he proposing we double the motorway network instead, to accommodate traffic growth on road? Or that we build extra runways in the South East and the North and accommodate traffic growth by air? I seriously doubt that is what he means . I'm no friend of the Greens but even I have to concede there are serious potential problems , at least politically, in planning for a large increase in fossil-fuelled internal combustion engine transport as the solution to the country's future transport needs. And at least he flags that electric cars aren't a serious credible means of transportation outside major cities The underlying argument seems to be that travel between the southern and northern parts of Britain is socially undesirable , and all transport projects of all kinds are simply a waste of money and should always be blocked. Give me strength. If those are the fundamental arguments against HS2 - rev up the bulldozers
  9. 1. Monthly repayments? - lots 2. If they are smart in selling gilts to funds it , you should get 25 years at 0.5% pa finance 3. Probably. But so will the NHS and Brexit 4. No, but Boris' home might be 5. Will your garden take 1:1 scale Pendolino?
  10. Ravenser

    Some time later....

    A substantial improvement can be made by fitting replacement etched walkways/ladders. AI Models used to do them - I suspect someone like Shawplan might also. Brass Oleo buffers are a useful upgrade as well
  11. Everyone, by the look of it. It's all very well taking franchises off TOCs . Who takes the network off NR when they screw up? Amid all the talk about HS2 being cancelled or radically cut in favour of "upgrading existing railways" nobody mentions that we've already tried upgrading the MML - but the project has completely collapsed because NR proved incapable of delivering it.... More of the same, in a milder form, affecting the North West electrification schemes seems to be part of the problem here
  12. No location given, but the fencing and glimpse of a signal box on the far right suggest an ex MR line to me
  13. Again , in principle they might well have done under Common User arrangements. LNER Wagons includes photos taken at Stewarts Lane ex SECR in 1937 and Dunbar in 1946 There were 3200 of them left in 1938, and 2700 left in Dec 1947
  14. The East London line is your friend Seriously - the SR generally supplied only a modest proportion of the vehicles in its own goods trains, thanks to the Common User arrangements. A common type of van on the LNER (the second largest wagon fleet in the country) would certainly have ended up on the SR, especially as the London docks were basically served by the GE
  15. If there is any kind of demand out there, a logical step would be to push Charlie Petty to reintroduce relevant parts of the DC Kits range. But he said that he let the range lapse because the kits just didn't sell any more. With the Replica RTR chassis available , the problem of motorisation is eased
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