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  1. A great resource is https://maps.nls.uk/ which has historic OS maps. The highest resolution maps will give you individual tracks, so you can check what was there in the 1930s.
  2. The Henley on Thames branch might be a suitable location: double tracked, Castle class on direct London trains etc.
  3. If your desire is London area, twin tracks and 4 coach trains wouldn't you be looking at suburban traffic, and probably 61xx power? And hence for inspiration look at the secondary lines in the London area?
  4. Yes, I was struck a while back by these odd looking 19thC GWR rebuilds which started life as 0-4-2T. They had a lot of weight on the rear drivers, enough in fact to reduce their route availability. But now I consider the valve gear/ashpan clearance then the configuration starts to make sense.
  5. Sudden enlightenment... I have in the past vaguely wondered why many of the micro locomotives used for rail motors at the turn of the century used outside Walschaerts valve gear, but those creations have given me a clue - how much their ash pans must be reduced in size to allow for the eccentrics between the frames and the difficulties that must be experienced keeping the abrasive ash from where it will do great harm.
  6. Would fruit vans also have been used for more general merchandise outside the fruit seasons?
  7. Well, I've covered all the main Barry classes in varying levels of detail as my fancy and my sources permit. The other absorbed lines won't be nearly as simple - the Barry Railway was founded late and had a particularly organised and disciplined locomotive policy. There are some obvious books on the Barry Railway locomotives for those who wish to learn more. My main references have been "The Barry Railway Diagrams and photographs of Locomotives Coaches and Wagons" by Eric R Mountford, Oakwood Press 1987, ISBN 0 83561 355 9, Russell's "A Pictorial Record of Great Western Absorbed Engines", Oxford Publishing Co, 1978, and RCTS Part 10 - Absorbed Engines 1922-1947, 1966. I haven't been able to justify to my self purchasing the Welsh Railway Circle's Barry Railway Drawings, but its companion volume Rhymney Railway Drawings is an excellent publication, and I imagine this one is just as good and much more readily available than the older volumes. The drawings are to a larger scale too which is always a good thing. There are also on line sources for photographs, almost too many to mention, search engines being your friend, but this flickr collection by Nick Baxter and the 813 fund's collections deserve a plug. For those who haven't tried the exercise of interpreting drawings and photographs, this page covers how I go about it. The sketches are strictly representative. Unless you have a full works general arrangement drawing its difficult to have much confidence about a inch or sometimes three here and there - weights diagrams aren't nearly as accurate as one might hope - and the minefield of locomotive condition against date, not to mention the problems of understanding what you are looking at, means nothing is truly set in stone. In general when I haven't understood something I've omitted it. Pipework and inside valve gear especially. In answer to the always vexed question of liveries, drawing out lining is a royal pain in the neck and doesn't in my opinion add very much to the legibility of the sketches, so I don't do it! I've given rudimentary colours to the sketches because it looks prettier than grayscale, and the contrast between the pre group and GWR green helps make it obvious which is which.
  8. A class of five small lightweight 0-6-0T, numbered 781-5 by the GWR. Two survived to join British Railways but were gone by 1950, whilst three went to industrial use in the 1930s and lasted to 1958/60. Only one received a really major GWR rebuild, which included a non standard Swindon designed boiler as well as GWR style cab and bunker. There are complexities around the E class bunkers! 781, 783 and 785 had an upward extension of the bunker with coal plates in Barry days, but 782 and 784 did not - or at least had lost it in their GWR time. I've drawn it in the Barry sketch. There are various problems with the GWR weight diagrams. Diagram A82, which was purportedly the locomotives as received shows the wrong shape cab entrance and the bunker too low. Diagram B5 ,which only applied to 782, shows a GWR shaped bunker that was never fitted. The locomotive appears to have had a new bunker at that rebuild, but it was a plain rectangle, taller than the Barry bunkers and about the same height as the extensions. 783 had a more major rebuild for Diagram B21 and did have a GWR style bunker. Another feature is balance weights on the wheels. I often leave these off as being tricky to manage accurately, but in the case of the E class only 782 appears to have had them. The generous supply of handrails seen on the Barry sketch may not have been present on every locomotive. They had quite an array of pipework behind the safety valve cover which I haven't managed to understand well enough to reproduce.
  9. And do it with better kit and better tech ability than me too. Agreed, little point in taking photos unless you have a particular reason.
  10. Built by Sharp Stewart, the C class originally comprised four small 2-4-0T, without the standard boiler used by most Barry Railway classes. In 1898 two were converted to 2-4-2T, and the other two, one also converted to 2-4-2T, were sold to the Port Talbot Railway. Both the Barry locomotives were gone by 1928, even though one received a major rebuild with a Metro boiler.
  11. Not to mention spectacularly expensive!
  12. The smaller wheeled classes tended to be a tad lower on the whole, unsurprising I suppose. I've just been through Russell starting to compile a table of cab heights, but by the time I got half way through looking at the drawings of locomotives against loading gauge it became evident that more often the cab roof eaves are closer to the limits of the GWR gauge than the centre of the roof, so the centre value was of dubious usefulness and I stopped. No doubt 56s and 42s also had to take into consideration the various loading gauges on the absorbed lines.
  13. I'm not sure. The story seems complicated. I've got an 1899 gauge diagram which is 13'3, and a mention of a new gauge in 1908 in the GWR magazine. There's also a drawing in the NRM archive of a proposed gauge made a few years later which I haven't seen. It needs more detailed research than I've been able to do from my desk I suspect.
  14. These ten locos, built in 1914, discarded the old Barry standards and were a bigger loco overall with a much bigger boiler and a very large bunker. They were generally considered successful with the exception of a serious and strange flaw. When running forwards the rear coupled wheels had a tendency to switch points as they passed through them, sending the trailing bogie down the other branch. In reverse, they were fine. Naturally this resulted in an immediate derailment, and this was usually coupled with a fracture of a main water distribution pipe. This lost all the water, meaning the fire had to be immediately thrown out. On absorption, they were numbered 1347-1355 and 1357 and given diagram B. Four were rebuilt in 1922 with Standard 4 boilers, the first Welsh class to receive such a major change. This was allocated diagram C. In 1926, with the loss in traffic resulting from the General Strike, it appears the GWR lost patience with their reluctance to stay on the track and all were scrapped in short order. 1356, by the way, was allocated to an 0-6-0T locomotive that had been built for the Severn and Wye Railway, had been taken over by the GWR in 1895, rebuilt by the GWR in 1896, sold to the Alexandra Docks and Railway Co in 1912, and then resumed its 1895 number when it came back to the GWR at the grouping.
  15. The GWR standard loading gauge changed from 13'2" to 13'6" height in the centre about 1908. I imagine it took some time for that to be universal round the majority of routes, and some branch lines never even made the 13'2 figure. By and large the extra height was only made use of for 4-6-0s, 2-8-0s and the like, with most other classes staying pretty much within the old limit. However going through Russell I see cab roofs on 2221 and 31/5111 in their original form were fractions of an inch over 13'2, as is diagram A13 for the new 3100s. The 5101s, 6100s and 8100s OTOH were a good deal lower, under 12'8 as were the 5111s in their final diagram. Below 13' is within reach of the vast majority of the pre group gauges, whilst the Met widened lines were 12'8".
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