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Found 75 results

  1. It's a while since I've posted many photos, so I thought it is time to have a new ongoing thread. The photos were, as usual, all taken by either Dad or I from the early 50s to the present day. The quality will vary depending on the condition of the original slide, the camera and film used. I'll try to avoid ones I've used before. Some are taken from my sets on flickr, others are ones I am still working on having scanned some years ago. The locations will probably be fairly random. Other threads of my photos include: Dad's black and white photos: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/69274-dave-f-more-photos-added-21-june-from-1947-to-1955ish/ This is a newish thread covering France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark etc (or at least it covers bits of them!): http://www.rmweb.co....-19th-may-2015/ A short thread: http://www.rmweb.co....h-january-2014/ My own black and white photos: http://www.rmweb.co....-30th-december/ I'll start today with a few from the Lune Gorge etc and Shap. Dillicar troughs LMS Class 5 down goods Aug 65 J308.jpg 298.2 kB Low Gill Class 47 Manchester to Glasgow April 68 J1265.jpg 253.93 kB Beckfoot Class 50 D402 Euston to Glasgow, work on M6 in background April 68 J1258.jpg 342.69 kB Beckfoot Class 50 D405 Glasgow to Manchester April 68 J1264.jpg 307.92 kB Greenholme 37379 & 37373 down cement 24th Aug 90 C15316.jpg 342.94 kB David
  2. Hello all, Revolution Trains are offering the powerful Class 92 electric locomotive as our next model. image (photo courtesy Tom Smith) This project has been in development for some time and we have secured the cooperation of Brush Traction, who have already supplied us with complete drawings and other assistance. image1 (10) The Class 92 is a logical follow on from our Pendolino, class 321 and has even hauled our TEA tank wagons. 92032 23/08 by wetbag, on Flickr These locomotives were originally built by Brush Traction for Channel Tunnel freight and sleeper trains in the early 1990s, and while some of the traffic did not materialise, in the years since they have proved to be stalwart performers on intermodal, steel and general freight traffic both in Britain and abroad. image (photo courtesy Tom Smith) Some have recently been introduced onto Caledonian sleeper services. Brush have advised us on minor alterations being made to the class for this and where appropriate these will be incorporated into the model.. IMG_5701 (photo courtesy Tom Smith) We have in place permissions and licences from all major operators and we are proposing models in original Railfreight, EWS, grey with EWS branding, DB Cargo red, GBRf and Caledonian sleeper. Details about the specific loco identities, and why they have been selected, are our website. Images are shown below, but these are illustrative artwork only and not to scale. The model will feature an injection moulded body with, where appropriate, etched components, detailed poseable pantographs, working switchable lights, flywheel drive, DCC Sound and DC options and some exciting and new additional features that will be revealed in due course. /Having seen deliveries begin this week of the UK's first crowd-funded models - the Revolution TEA tankers - and with progress well underway on our Pendolino, KFA flat among others - we feel we have proved that our crowd-funding methodology works and that Revolution Trains are best placed to deliver a high quality model in a timely fashion. We will be opening the order book in the next few days, and are investigating a staggered payment system as feedback is that this will help our supporters and will give more information on this, and the expected prices, in due course. We will be attending this year's Warley National Model Railway Exhibition with Rapido Trains and look forward to meeting supporters and discussing our plans there. cheers Ben A
  3. I am currently building a small slice of Italian coast (see: "Lockdown Liguria") and would like to use Dapol catenary as some cost effective OHLE. If anyone has a pack (eg: https://railsofsheffield.com/products/14584/Dapol-ncat1-n-gauge-mk3-high-speed-catenary-mast-pack-of-10-?gclid=CjwKCAjw5cL2BRASEiwAENqAPqOcQgICRr0gwti2rH8-5mnZHT8Y523f6eal-6YgCfSju7eZk_tWsRoCEowQAvD_BwE) hanging around that they don't need, please let me know - I think 10x single masts should be sufficient (I am modelling a section of single track line).
  4. 'The Reality' Christleton would have been a relatively inconspicuous village south east of Chester, had it not been for an anti-railway landowner on the outskirts of Chester in the late 1840’s. Lord George Scott unintentionally created a future mecca for train spotters in the North West. Following the completion of the Crewe to Chester Railway and the onward link to Holyhead, the Birkenhead, Lancashire and Cheshire Railway sought to decrease the Manchester to Chester journey time and cut out the need to travel via Crewe. The original intention was to run directly from Warrington to Chester, and many current maps incorrectly reflect that route. Lord Scott’s refusal to sell land, and his influence with the city council, led the BL&CR to build the route and join the Crewe lines just south of Chester. Despite numerous proposals, the connection could not be made to get a direct lead into Chester station and so they settled for a Warrington to Crewe connection, leading to the creation of a station at Christleton with reversal platforms to allow trains to run from Manchester to Holyhead. Of course in the early days of railways, a loco change half way between Manchester and Holyhead was positively welcomed and only in later days did it become something of a nuisance. In the Heyday of steam it became a must visit spot for school boys keen to see black 5s, patriots and jubilees coming and going, particularly on the summer holiday trains from Yorkshire and the North East. The South to North connection had another advantage; the Christleton loop became a diversionary route for the West Coast mainline and was often used to relieve pressure on the main line. Cross country services from the South coast to Scotland became regular callers at Christleton to allow better connections from Holyhead to the North. In the late 60’s the loop was included in the West Coast electrification programme, although the mooted wiring onward to Holyhead never happened, so the terminal platforms and yard were never electrified. In the summer of 1986, Christleton was still a favourite with enthusiasts keen to see the last days of the Peaks reversing on the trans-pennine services, watching the electric to diesel loco changes on the Euston – Holyheads, the varied traction heading for the North Wales coast and the plethora of trains diverted off the West Coast. Reduced to being a sub-shed of Crewe at this stage, the stabling points for both diesel and electric were nevertheless still firm favourites for loco fans, being just off the platform ends. The real surprise is that it hasn’t been modelled before… The Model The layout has been a long time coming and is the result of several years of being a background rmweb reader. Having renovated a Victorian house over the last 10 years, planning permission was received last year for a railway in the cellar, which put an end to 20 plus years of model railway wilderness. They say plagiarism is the highest form of complement, so there should be a number of flattered authors on rmweb. Essentially I’ve stolen all the bits I like about other people’s railways and combined them into my own plan. I want to model the transitional years from blue and grey to sectorisation, running the diesels and electrics I remember from my youth. An 85 on intercity and a 45 on trans-pennine wasn’t an easy combination to mix, but eventually the idea for Christleton Junction formed into a sort of believable concept. With the cellar renovated and the sub-boards built, I decided it was finally time to open the rmweb closet door and step into the light. Before I move on to the next stage, which I think is to start cutting wood for baseboards, I thought it would be useful to gather some views from the rmweb community and gain from the benefit of the combined experience of others. I have drafted the first track plan using Anyrail based on Peco pointwork, although it is my intention to use Marcway or handbuilt track for the scenic areas. I’m currently thinking templot may be required. The backstory has been developed to allow me to have a continuous run and a terminus in one. The station is entirely fictional although I have tried to design it in keeping with LNWR practice as subsequently modified by BR for electrification. I originally started with Huddersfield in mind, and some parts may well end up along those lines, although I’m not sure Yorkshire stone is right for Cheshire. I’ve designed the layout against the following operating possibilities, with a specific period of September 1986: Euston – Holyhead intercity services. Aircon mk 2s in blue grey and intercity, with traction changing from electric (85, 86, 87) to diesel (47) and vice versa. Some services may change traction at Crewe to allow testing of locos from Crewe works. Anglo – Scottish interregional services, mixed mk 2 con blue grey rakes, with the odd intercity coach, hauled by 85s and 86s. Transpennine services, reversing in the terminal platforms, hauled by 45s and 47s. Mk 2 non-air con, with the first of the trans pennine livery coaches appearing, plus the other random liveries that Heaton used to put out. And a first real modelling challenge to create some sealed beam class 45s! Cardiff / Crewe – Bangor / Holyhead services, mk 1s, class 33 and 47 hauled. Did these occasionally get 25 or 31 hauled? Manchester – Holyhead loco hauled relief services, mk 1s, 47 hauled. Reversing in the terminal platforms. Stoke – Llandudno loco hauled, mk 1s, 47s and maybe D200! Crewe – Warrington EMU local service, a chance to build some 305 / 310 kits. Parcels trains have various options and can be 25, 31 or 47 hauled. I’m not sure if Newspaper trains would be an option in 86? A couple of DMUs should also be able to potter around. On the freight side there are a number of through freights, including MGR, steel, tanks and freightliner with haulage by 20, 25, 31, 45, 47 plus some electrics. I’m not sure 37s or 56s would be appropriate? The layout allows for some speedlink and permanent way train shunting, so 25, 31 and 47 again, with the bonus of an ex 40 in the shape of a 97. As well as an 08 or two, I think the Chester area was one of the last to have 03s – it is certainly going to be! My draft layout plan is below, together with a few iphone shots of the room. The sub-boards go most of the way around, no additional legs should be needed. On the future station site, the first rolling stock and some Marcway templates are laid out to give me an impression of how it will look. I welcome your thoughts before I make any regrettable mistakes! Andy General view of the station area. The station, with a class 40 in the bay and the 37 on the down main. The station area again. The BG sits in what will be platform 5, with some speedlink wagons in the yard. An overview of the fiddle yard area, where the Warrington and Holyhead lines come in. The other end of the fiddle yard. The area where the through lines will be. I may need a couple of baseboard legs here.
  5. Morning All - I am trying to compile, for my own reference, a list of what options are available for the modelling of all SR EMU Types and some of the BR Types. I have got so far, and have yet to complete it by a long stretch, but here is what I'm up to so far: Any help in completing this to its fullest extent would be very much appreciated. SR and BR(S) EMU Modelling SR 2-BIL Hornby RTR (From >£70) Ian Kirk Plastic Kit – (£45 - Requires Wheels and Power Unit to complete) Ajay Models Resin Kit (£135 Unpowered, £184 With wheels and Power Unit) SR 2-HAL (Also 2-PAN) Hornby RTR from >£80 SR 2-HAL (‘Tin HAL’) Ajay Models Resin Kit (£135 Unpowered, £181 With wheels and Power Unit) SR 2-NOL Roxey Mouldings – Etched Brass (£129 Per Unit, Requires Wheels and Power Unit) SR 2-SL Rue D’etropal 3D Print SR 2-WIM Rue D’etropal 3D Print SR 3-SUB Roxey Mouldings – Etched Brass (£189 Per Unit, Requires Wheels and Power Unit) Rue D’etropal 3D Print Ajay Models Resin Kit Previously Available. Possible home 3D Print? SR 3-SUB (ex-LSWR) Roxey Mouldings (Etched) Rue D’etropal 3D Print Possible home 3D Print? SR 4-BUF BSL/Phoenix Kit - Aluminium SR 4-COR Silver Fox Models Conversion (Approx £80, excluding Bachmann Bulleid Coaches) Marc Models RTR (£950 – Kit slightly cheaper) BSL/Phoenix Kit - Aluminium SR 4-DD Ajay Models Resin Kit SR 4-GRI BSL/Phoenix Kit - Aluminium SR 4-LAV Ajay Models Resin Kit Previously Available. SR 4-RES BSL/Phoenix Kit - Aluminium SR 4-SUB (4101-4110) Some parts available through No Nonsense Kits. SR 4-SUB (4111 Onwards) Ajay Models Resin Kit Previously Available. Some parts available through No Nonsense Kits SR 5-BEL Hornby RTR Available (>£250) Golden Arrow RTR Previously Available. Wrenn RTR Previously Available. SR 6-CIT Cabs available from Silver Fox. SR 6-PAN Cabs available from Silver Fox. SR 6-PUL Cabs available from Silver Fox, Pullman could be from Hornby BEL. SR W&C 1940 Stock (Class 487) Roxey Mouldings kit previously available. BR MLV (Class 419) Bachmann RTR >£50 DC Kits Plastic Kit - £12 (Body Only) Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available BR 2-EPB (Class 416 – Bulleid) Some parts available from No Nonsense Kits. BR 2-EPB (Class 416 – BR) Bachmann RTR >£100 Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available Replica Railways Bash BR 2-HAP (Class 414 – Also Class 413 4-CAP and Class 418 2-SAP) Forthcoming Bachmann RTR >£150 Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available Replica Railways Bash BR 2-HAP (Class 414, Bulleid) Ajay Models Resin Kit Previously Available BR 4-CEP (Class 411) Bachmann RTR >£150 Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available Replica Railways Bash BR 4-EPB (Class 415 - Bulleid) Some parts available from No Nonsense Kits. BR 4-EPB ( Class 415 – BR) Bash from 2x Bachmann RTR Motor Cars and 2x Bachmann Suburbans. >£250 Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available Replica Railways Bash BR 2H (Class 205) Bachmann RTR >£100 Southern Pride Models Kit MJT Etches and Castings Available Replica Railways Bash
  6. EASTOKE - A terminus station on the Hayling Island branch - if it never closed. So, the real history behind the line is this: The Hayling Island line was opened by the LBSCR for goods on 19 January 1865, and for passengers on 16 July 1867, running from Havant, across Langstone Harbour, to Hayling Island station. SR was handed over operations by the LBSCR at Grouping, and BR took over the line from the SR in 1948. In late 1962 BR decided that the wooden swing bridge over Langstone Harbour would need replacement sooner than later, and despite the line operating at a profit, took measures to close the line by the winter of 1963. The last train left the Hayling Island terminus for Havant on 2 November 1963. Now, what if the SR had extended the line to the southeast, towards Eastoke? What if holiday maker traffic increased to the beach and caravan park on the southeast corner of the island? What if, instead of closing the line, BR replaced the bridge, and upgraded the PW infrastructure? And [a very big "what if"], what if the MoD had built housing for the families of Royal Navy personnel on the east side of Hayling Island? Well, plenty of passengers would travel the line. There would be some goods traffic for the shops and households too, along with a bit of a parcels service as well. So let's say that BR kept the line south to the Hayling Island terminus, and also onwards to the fictional station at Eastoke. Thus we come to the period of 1968 - 1972. BR green is beginning to give way to BR blue, older 2-HAL's and 2-BIL's take the passengers, and Class 33's alongside Class 73's grumble along with the goods traffic. The line should give decent profit for another 5 or 10 years. The older steam infrastructure still lingers here and there, but third rail rules(bearing in mind of course, that the original line was run only by A1x and the like due to loading restrictions - Rule One applies here). Here's a quickly marked up screenshot of Google maps with my idea - original LBSCR line in orange, fictional BR(SR) line in red. (railmaponline.com has a much better view of the original line, if anyone cares to look). We shall imagine it's a sunny summer Friday, a few goods trains are being shunted together, the MLV arrives with some parcels, and the EMU's are starting to bring people out from the city to their homes and holiday caravans for the weekend and bank holiday. An electro diesel may be stabled overnight, ready to take an early morning train back to Havant and the main line. That's the picture I'm trying to create, with plenty of Rule One invoked, but enough prototypical basis to prevent it from seeming too far fetched. On to the practical side of things: I was planning on building a small 38"x16" BR(SR) diorama to showcase my collection of Southern Region stock, but then somehow the track plan morphed into a terminus station, and the baseboard grew! So, I am going to have a 48"x18" scenic board with a 30"x18" fiddle yard - dictated by the sizes of plywood and lumber in my garage. Track is Peco Code 75 for the scenic section, with electrofrog points, and code 100 for the Fiddle Yard, left over from my previous layout's FY. The fiddle yard style will be either traverser or turntable type. Track plan is pictured below, and is set in stone, so to speak, because those are the only points I have, and I'm not buying any more! Point operation will be by wire-in-tube with SPDT switches to change frog polarity. Control will be traditional analogue with a Gaugemaster panel mounted controller, partly to keep costs down, and partly because DC common return wiring is what I'm most familiar around and enjoy messing with, even in my day job. (Plan not to scale, but a good idea of what I want to achieve - the other end of the run round loop is off-stage). Of course, this is all purely an excuse to use up my remaining scenic materials, ballast, wire, already-built-kits, bridge, platform pieces, a random SR signal I had, etc., etc.. My parents are actually quite pleased I can get rid of stuff from both the garage and basement by building it into a layout. I've already sold off a fair bit of my London Midland Region stock, whilst keeping my favourites, to fund the extra bits and pieces needed(as well as another, non-railway project, but that's another story). There won't be much in the way of updates yet, at least until I get the baseboards built(this week, hopefully), but I'd already asked for some advice regarding signalling elsewhere on here, so thought a new thread would be a good way to get the axles rolling - no pun intended, of course. Here's a planning picture or two to get a feel for the idea. Obviously, I won't be using this baseboard - too small! Cheers, Will P. S. Does just "Eastoke" sound alright, or should it be something like Eastoke Road, or East Oak, or Hayling East or something?
  7. The next book in the series has been returned after proof reading. This is the cover, miles better than the ER one, in fact my favorite so far. This should be out in July.
  8. Silly question but is Sarah owned by TfL or is it an 'arrangement'? She's not listed on the museum's collections list.... http://www.ltmcollection.org/vehicles/type/type.html?IXtype=110&_IXSESSION_=QmhX1LU51Qo
  9. Many of you may be following the building of this in the blog http://www.rmweb.co....elewes-project/, and some may have seen the entry in the erstwhile Showcase and Featured Content sections, but we (John/Re6/6 and myself) are bringing it into the main forum for those who may have missed it so far; and also to see if the interaction is different. This won't repeat everything that's gone before - see the blog for that - but will summarise mainly in photos where we are now and take it on from here. So this is a model in 4mm scale of the whole Ouse Viaduct (or Ouse Valley Viaduct, or Balcombe Viaduct) on the Brighton main line north of Haywards Heath in Sussex - all 37 arches worth. The viaduct alone in that scale is about 20ft long. The master plan is eventually to connect the viaduct with models of Balcombe station to the north, Lewes to the south and possibly onwards to Eridge which is being built independently. This will all be in P4, and based in the 1950s/early 60s. To give an idea, here is a diagram of the master plan, and a few select photos to give a random flavour of the real thing.
  10. Just came across a nice old postcard showing a long train of the Los Angeles and Pacific cars off loading at Venice Beach. Eventually these cars became the fully enclosed Pacific Electric 950 Class, and repainted in PE Red.
  11. Hi, Well it's been a busy few weeks since the last update and Heworth was shown officially for the first time at TINGS in September. Network Rail Building One of the last bits of work we did prior to going to TINGS was to make some small changes to the centre board. We'd planned to have a few small buildings either side of the Main Line, to the rear of the layout there would be a small shunting frame and at the front of the layout, there would be a Network Rail building containing switch gear and signalling equipment for the Main Line. The problem we had was that there really wasn't any defined way that this building could be accessed, so that meant that we'd have to install a track to provide access for vehicles. We also decided that we'd place the building far enough away from the side of the main line so that vehicles could be parked outside. As the existing terrain sloped gently down towards the edge of the running lines this meant that we'd have to cut away some of the banking and install some small retaining walls. Main ground works done and base colour applied Blended in a little more, some scatter and weathering applied to the track Bushes and crash barrier added Point Heaters To add a bit more detail to the track side, heaters have now been added to the main line points (circled in red) Back Scene One of the things that Heworth has been lacking for a long time is any kind of back scene for the layout. The main problem that we had here was what to do with the curved boards. Pretty early on, we'd discussed the pros and cons of having either an angled or curved back scene and it was always our preference to have one that followed the curves. This does provide for an interesting set of problems, first of which is what material do you use. Standard ply is OK, but you're pushing the limits of it's flexibility and you don't get a great finish to either paint or fix something to without allot of extra work. Flexible ply works quite well, but again, the surface would need allot of work. Flexible MDF seemed to be a great compromise, you could easily form the curves and it had a nice surface to work with, but it was almost impossible to work with once it was cut to size. Any trimming or shaping that needed to be done would just end up destroying it. In the end, we decided to use Hardboard as a compromise because it's flexible, has a decent finish and you can work it with hand tools without making a complete mess. The downside is that we'd need to be very careful with it once fitted as handling and moisture could be problems in the future. The pictures below show the hardboard being fitted to the modules and being test fitted. Once the back scene was fitted to the modules, it was time to take it all off again so that it could be decorated. We'd originally decided to paint the sky line, but somebody had seen a diorama that had used a sprayed back scene which had looked really effective so we decided to give that a go. Initially the boards were sprayed with a mixture of blue tones, then white was sprayed over for clouds. This gave us a really effective back scene, but when we fitted the first board to the first module, we found that it was way too bright. After a bit of head scratching and various pictures taken and shared of real sky / clouds, we decided to spray the underside of the clouds with primer to darken them up a little. This worked really well and just lowered the bright colours that we had previously enough to tie them into the rest of the layout. Curtain Something else that Heworth had been lacking was a Curtain to hide the underside of the Scenic Boards. We'd decided to use a vinyl banner for the curtain, as it could be easily printed allowing us to design our own signs for the layout. As we'd chosen to paint the front of the layout in BR Blue (RAL 5020), we thought it would be a nice idea to have the layout name printed as if it was a loco nameplate. After a bit of searching around on the web and questions on the forum, we found a font which could be used for the lettering and found the prototypical colour used for the background of the nameplate. We had a little problem getting the artwork ready as it needed to be sent in a 'ready to print' format, but with a bit of tweaking it was OK and was sent off for printing. As part of the production process the company we used fitted eyelets so we could easily mount it to the front of the layout. Fitting the banner to the front of the layout Left hand side complete All done Cheers, Mark.
  12. Hi, It's been just over a month since the last update and we're in the middle of a mad dash to be presentable for our first public outing. Shows Middleton Railway, Model Railway Show - 27th / 28th June (12 Days) - http://www.middletonrailway.org.uk/ TINGS 2015 - 12th / 13th September 2015 (3 Months) - http://www.ngaugeshow.co.uk/ Storage Boxes Not too much progress has been done on these as we are concentrating on other work, but the inner frames have been assembled and are awaiting cladding in 6mm ply. Signals The signal controllers have been added to the Scenic Modules. Each module can control 8 addresses as they are currently configured, but by using the Arduino devices, we can expand on this if we needed to in the future as we haven't used the full capacity. The modules need a DCC feed to listen to the DCC Bus and a 12v DC supply which we use to power them and run the Signal LEDS. As the Arduino only runs from a 5v supply, we are regulating the 12v on the module. Going Green By far, most effort over the last month has been put in on the scenic modules, putting down a base layer of scatter material and then starting to build on it to create a more realistic looking model. We are tending to use the excellent Woodland Scenic scatter and clumping material. I for one have been quite surprised how easy it is to apply to the baseboards, we are basically painting a watered down mixture of PVA onto the boards and then covering in a layer of Scatter. Once this has dried and then the excess has been removed, we then start to add highlighting scatter and clump foliage. When we started adding to the base layer of scatter we'd been using another diluted PVA mix with the highlighting scatter, but this ended up being a bit hit and miss. So we then tried some WWS Layering Adhesive, which seemed to work much better for us. We've found it much quicker to apply and you can also direct the spray a little better, so you can work in tighter areas. We still have a long way to go though, but it's quite amazing what an hour or two does for the overall look. Cheers, Mark.
  13. Evening all! On Monday, I finally was able to submit to my long-prepared plan for tweaking the Renfe Series 252 electric which I originally presented in this thread. To refresh your memory: This is what I started with – 252-049 with the "Grandes Líneas" livery, which railfans sometimes refer to as the "Danone" livery, and billboard "Arco" lettering on the body sides... …and this should highlight those items I am planning to address: But, in fact, I already deviated from that plan slightly! Having checked the remains of a cannibalised Roco Schunk WBL85 pan from my scrapbox for possibilities of fitting, I noticed that Roco's pan represents a slightly different version with one straight control arm – the part connecting the front of the base frame to the upper arm ahead of the knuckle joint – in lieu of the Y-shaped control arm as utilised on the variant chosen by Renfe. So, I remembered the pantographs being provided on the various Bombardier TRAXX models by Italian producer ACME having become much more prototypical over the years the company has been active – and that ACME do, in fact, carry the correct Schunk pantograph variant. They do, however, not carry a version readily outfitted with the head used in Spain. Yet, I decided I could modify the Polish version easily enough to resemble the Spanish pan head... …so I ordered a set of Polish Schunk WBL pans from them. You can see that out of the box, the Polish pan heads have downward-curved guide horns which makes them easily recognisable. However, the Spanish Schunk pans have straight, downward-angled guide horns, as evidenced by, for example, this photo: Estrella 252-023 Renfe by Juanjo Rodríguez, auf Flickr And for comparison, a closer look at the factory-fitted pans, which not only are devoid of any recognisable prototype but quite clunky as well: Pretty much all further modding work on this model is better carried out with the body shell removed. You can tell that the Mehano 252 really is a fairly simple model out of the box. Most recently, I found myself considering fitting the loco with coupler extension mechanisms in lieu of the simplistic "drawbar" style coupler pockets attached to the outer ends of the bogies. To that end, I can tell I'd have to furnish an attachment base plate of some description. These would have to be glued in place on the outer ends of the chassis, below the outriggers holding the headlight PCBs in place. I do think this should be doable... The rooftop element actually is an insert held in this recess by three screws, and must be unfastened in order to remove the pantographs. I had already realised that I would have to relocate the lateral attachment arms on the pantographs' base frames a bit to match the supporting insulators, which are arranged in a triangle with the centre apex pointing towards the loco's centre. The rear end of said frames would, as I decided, go directly on top of the inner insulator. I determined that the lateral attachments would have to be shifted towards the cabs by 7 mm. Now, another reason why I chose ACME pans paid off: The base frames are actually made of plastic, so the attachment arms could be removed with a razor saw easily enough, and glued back on with CA. Any possible gaps would be filled by the glue itself, and sufficiently concealed by a bit of aluminium paint. I then drilled small holes in the top sides of the lateral supporting insulators, widening them further by way of wiggling the drill bit slightly and the tip of a scalpel. I had noticed it would be easier to first glue the lateral attachment arms to the insulators and only then basically "insert" the pan for fine adjustment. Only after that did I glue the pan to the attachment arms, relying on capillary action for the CA to seep in. I don't claim to have been able to adjust the pans with micro-millimetre accuracy which I guess will barely be possible in any case, but I think good enough is good enough. So, that would, basically, have been the first bits of modding I carried out on this model. Further additions are likely to follow in a while, so do stay tuned for follow-up postings!
  14. Afternoon all! Our topic for this article shall be a locomotive which – while having been withdrawn from revenue service in reality – appealed to me sufficiently to claim modeller's freedom in order to justify procurement, and which also is, once again, illustrative of the multitude of influences Renfe embraced during its history. Aiming to speed up replacing the older types of electric locomotives in service at the time and to obtain high-powered locomotives especially for heavy passenger and freight service, Renfe ordered – essentially in parallel – two separate batches of locomotives as the 1980s approached. Already covered in my earlier article "EF66's Big Sister," Mitsubishi, in conjunction with CAF and MACOSA as licensees, provided the thirty Series 251 locomotives as a derivative from the Japanese Class EF66. With a similar operational profile in mind, Krauss-Maffei and a consortium of BBC, CAF and La Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima, or MTM for short, proposed a different twelve-wheel mixed traffic electric locomotive which technically can be understood to be distantly related to the Class 120 electric locomotives which at the time were in operational evaluation. Thirty were ordered initially. 250-006 en via 3 de Sant Vicenç esperando via libre para salir hacia Tarragona. by enric436, on Flickr Papelero en La Gornal by javier-lopez, on Flickr Papelero en Fayón by javier-lopez, on Flickr With the first five of these locomotives, designated Series 250, having been built in Germany and the rest in Spain proper, they were introduced beginning in 1982 and lasting into 1985. As originally configured, they utilised rheostatic power regulation, though a second batch of five 250s – designated Series 250.600 – with thyristor choppers was introduced in 1986, with introduction lasting into 1988. Owing to their significantly different traction control equipment, the 250.600s went through a lengthy operational evaluation phase but were found to not offer sufficiently significant advantages to warrant any additional procurement. The 250s were originally allocated to the Can Tunis depot in Barcelona, and put to work on both passenger and heavy freight services. Originally designed for a maximum speed of 160 kph, they were restricted to 140 kph in 1988 due to their six-wheel bogies having been found to cause excessive roadbed wear at high speed. However, they were also cleared for working Talgo services at that time. In the early 1990s, the entire class was relocated to the Fuente de San Luis depot in Valencia, and also soon displaced from passenger workings by the Series 252 locomotives which entered service at the time. As the first decade of the 21st century ended, the class was put up for withdrawal as maintenance had been found to become increasingly laborious due to difficulty in obtaining spare components. The last revenue workings provided by 250s took place in late April, 2010. It’s at this point that for my purposes, I would like to invoke artistic freedom and claim that, due to a solid economic upturn having generated a steady increase in rail freight traffic, Renfe had decided to reactivate those 250s it had found to still be in sufficiently good condition, and in fact to modernise these locomotives with thyristor choppers based on those of the 250.600s but incorporating necessary improvements. These refurbished 250s should, as per requirements for the reactivation programme, be fit to remain in service for at least an additional 15 years. While a number of 250s would have been needed to be broken down for spares and some had been found to no longer be in acceptable condition, 24 would have been earmarked for refurbishment. As originally built, the technical specifications for the 250 could be said to begin with an all-welded, self-supporting body and running frame principally made of steel, with the body’s outline bearing some resemblance to that of the German 120, especially concerning the cab faces. The windscreen is split vertically into two panes, while five head and tail lights are provided on each cab face. The central upper headlight is, again, configured as a two-lens high intensity headlight. The bufferbeams carry standard UIC draw gear, buffers and brake pipes. As the 250s were originally outfitted for air and vacuum train brakes, they used to carry a vacuum brake pipe on each bufferbeam as well, which but was deleted when the last vacuum braked stock on the Spanish railways was phased out of revenue service by the mid-1990s. Access steps are provided on each end of the bufferbeams, as well as tread plates above each buffer, to permit safe access for shunting and maintenance staff. Furthermore, snow ploughs and ETS sockets are attached beneath the bufferbeams. Internally, the body is divided into three sections, which would be the cabs and the engine room. The cab interior very closely followed German design practices, with the control desk being especially similar to the Unified Cab principle as originally implemented on the German Class 111 and 120 electrics. As the majority of the Spanish railway system is built for right hand running, except for the lines originally built and operated by the „Norte“ railway which continue left hand running, the cab is, as has long been standard for Spanish motive power, configured for the driver to be seated on the right. Access doors are provided on both sides and open into the cab spaces proper. The locomotives are not outfitted for MU working and have the usual combination of vigilance control and the ASFA automatic warning system for safety. The body flanks carry four engine room windows as well as twelve ventilation grilles per side, with eight of the grilles being offset towards Cab 1. The rooftop is split into three panels, with the centre panel carrying two box-shaped, rectangular fairings for the braking rheostat ventilation. The single arm pantographs, which are the common Faiveley AM 18 derivative used on numerous Spanish electric locomotives, are set on the outer panels, with the knuckles facing inwards. Power regulation on the basic Series 250 locomotives is made through rheostats and variable series/parallel connection of the double traction motors, while the 250.600s were factory-fitted with thyristor choppers. Compressed air reservoirs and a pair of battery boxes are hung underneath the running frame between the bogies. As mentioned further above, vacuum braked freight stock was still widely spread when the 250 was introduced, so the locomotives were dually outfitted with one primary and one auxiliary compressor for the air brake and auxiliary pneumatic circuitry, as well as an ejector pump for the separate vacuum train brake. The bogies are of a similar design to that used on the German 120s, but with three wheelsets which are held by single-sided lemniscate levers. Helical springs with auxiliary hydraulic dampers are installed at the open ends of the bearing levers to provide primary suspension, while Flexicoil springs, hidden from view by the solebars, provide secondary suspension. There also is one pair of horizontally attached yaw dampers per bogie while traction bars attaching to a pair of low-reaching bearings to the inside of the bogies are provided for force transmission. As on the Japanese-designed Series 289, 269 and 251, the bogies are designed with one large central distribution gear and one large BBC-designed double traction motor each, with both motors, designated 6 EDO 8146, having two electrically separated rotors on one shaft. The distribution gears also were configured with two switchable ratios of 3.66:1 and 2.29:1 for freight and passenger service originally. The locomotives are outfitted with double-sided tread brakes with indirect train brake and direct locomotive shunting brake controllers, acting on all wheelsets and blended with the rheostatic brake. Technical characteristics Length, width and height – 20 m, 3.13 and 4.28 m Wheel diamater – 1.25 m Service weight – 124 tonnes for basic Series 250; 135 tonnes for 250.600 Configuration – C’C’ Power output – 4,600 kW As for models of the 250, there are two choices in H0 scale: Vitrains and Roco. From what I know, either one seems to be a good choice, though I ended up deciding in favour of the Roco due to my experience with their models generally having been very good thus far. Far as I was able to determine, there have been at least the following releases of Roco's model: #62410A/B – 250-001 and 250-004 in original blue and yellow livery #62412 – 250-601 in "Estrella" livery #62418 – 250-013 in yellow and dark grey "Tracción" livery with older "Cargas Renfe" logo on cab sides #62420 – 250-011 in yellow and dark grey "Tracción" livery with newer "Mercancías Renfe" logo on cab sides #62422 – 250-603 in "Estrella" livery I elected to obtain #62420 as I thought this variant would most closely match the appearance of these locos if they had indeed been returned to revenue service in recent times. The 250's visual appearance as a whole is, to my mind, very much typical for the 1980s, and connoisseurs may indeed be able to spot the cues taken from the German Class 120 in the cab area in particular. Overall, the model gives an impression of high fidelity to detail, and is painted and lettered crisply. The add-on parts bag contains a full set of brake pipes and faux couplers, a pair of bufferbeams without cutouts for the coupler pockets, and another set of rear view mirrors in the "extended" position. The technical lettering on the solebar next to the small running number comprises the following information, from left to right: Maximum speed of 140 kph and clearance for speed range "A" Distance between bogie pivots of 10.20 m Braking data: Charmilles brake valve with settings G and P Braking weights of 84 tonnes on G and 132 tonnes on P Service weight of 124.5 tonnes Handbrake weight of 30 tonnes I suppose properly printing the billboard style running numbers across the ventilation grilles is a challenge in its own right but has, to my mind, been done just right. Note the "Mercancías Renfe" stickers on the right hand cab sides. The Mercancías sector as it exists today was, in fact, formed out of two predecessors: Cargas for general freight and Transporte Combinado. The headlight arrangement on the 250 is quite similar to that on the Japanese-built Series 289 and 269 which preceded the 250. While the parts bag also contains a pair of vacuum brake pipes, I elected not to attach these as in my imagination, the resurrected 250s would have had all possible remainders of the vacuum braking equipment removed. The top-down view reveals the arrangement of four independently removable roof panels, with the rooftop equipment being remarkably symmetrical. Note how each pantograph has its own busbar, with the busbars not being physically connected across the entire length of the roof. Together with the frontal view, this image also illustrates how the horns are installed with a protective fairing ahead of their openings. And for the usual closing note, a triple of Youtube videos with 250s hard at work: Thank you for reading!
  15. And a good morning once again! I admit that the decision for purchasing the model we’re going to look at today was, first and foremost, made on the basis of my having been strangely intrigued by an operational practice introduced by DB Regio on several RegionalBahn (stopping service) lines covering areas of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia over the past few years. This involved pairing up Siemens ES 64 U2 type locomotives – in ÖBB service, and officially only there, known as „Taurus” – with „y” Stock coaches – also known as Halberstadt type regional coaches with central vestibules, thus creating a strange but intriguing contrast of old and new. I therefore wanted to assemble one of these train formations, using a suitable ES 64 U2 type locomotive – known in Germany as class 182 – from Roco, and „y” Stock coaches from Brawa and – for the driving trailer – Roco. For the coaching stock, Richard „Taigatrommel” Bucknall of this parish came to the rescue by offering me just those coaches I'll require, while for the locomotive, Roco came forward with an interesting variant earlier this year. This model, marketed with reference #73534, represents one of the small number of MRCE Dispolok ES 64 U2s still wearing the original silver and sulphur yellow livery. The coaches will be described on this blog in a couple of weeks after receiving them and getting their lettering updated! In order to mention this up front, I should like to refer you to my background posting, „Eurosprinteristics,” for more information and technical descriptions of Eurosprinter type locomotives. Among the total of 437 ES 64 U2 type locomotives, there are sixty which are owned by stock lessor MRCE Dispolok – formerly a Siemens subsidiary called Siemens Dispolok, unsurprisingly, and then merged with Mitsui Rail Capital Europe per 1 April 2008 – and meant to be hired by whichever TOC might be in need of modern motive power but not prepared to buy them. Therefore, Dispolok took care to prepare their locomotive fleet in a neutral livery which could be easily adapted to any particular wishes a customer might desire. The silver and yellow original livery has mostly disappeared from the MRCE Dispolok fleet, and been replaced with an all-over black livery offering an equally neutral appearance. Of course, customer so inclined can also specify MRCE locomotives to be repainted, especially for long-term contracts. It’s also interesting to note that Austrian operator Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo, who have had a number of MRCE ES 64 U2s on long-term lease, have modified the original Dispolok livery to match their own corporate identity, replacing the yellow with cream white and the silver with dark blue. Also, fifteen of MRCE Dispolok's locomotives have been fitted with the „BosporusSprinter” equipment package between 2005 and 2008, enabling them to operate more or less throughout the Balkans. Specifically, these locos are certified for Austria, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, and therefore probably the farthest-reaching electrics on the European continent. These locos carry a third pantograph with a 1,600 mm head, utilising an additional mounting position provided in the ES 64 U2’s design. Originally, a batch of ÖBB 1116s carried a 2,060 mm pan on this position which at the time was required for compatibility with the Hungarian OHLE before it was matched to the Austrian/German geometry, while several Dispolok ES 64 U2s are also known for being fitted with a 1,450 mm third pantograph for Switzerland. Technical specifications Length, width and height – 19.28, 3 and 4.25 m/63.3, 9.8 and 13.9 ft Service weight – 86 tonnes without and 88 tonnes with ETCS onboard equipment/84.6 and 86.6 long tons Power output – 6,400 kW/8,583 hp Initial tractive effort – 300 kN Maximum speed – 230 kph/143 mph The model we’ll be looking at now is one of those more or less recent variants which Roco have provided with a redesigned chassis, featuring coupler extension mechanisms and LED lighting. As previously mentioned, this model is offered with reference #73534, representing 182 595, or ES 64 U2-095, in the original silver and yellow livery and with the Swiss equipment package. Undoubtedly (at least to my mind), the ES 64 U2 series is among the most visually attractive locomotives to have been rolled out around the turn of the 21st century. The silver-and-yellow Dispolok livery, while fairly straightforward, does, in my opinion, not diminish that fact a bit. 182 595 was built in 2002 with works number 20784 and put into service on 8 July that year. The lettering seen here on the Cab 1 end indicate the locomotive to have had its last revision completed at the Deutsche Bahn workshops at Dessau (abbreviated LDX) on 18 August 2010, and to carry the designation 182 595-9 for operation within the LZB cab signalling system, which cannot handle locomotive numbers like "ES 64 U2-095". Also note the small silhouette of Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the cab flanks, representing the countries this specific locomotive and her similarly outfitted sisters can operate in. In addition, you can make out the ETCS transceiver suspended from the loco's running frame just ahead of the transformer, which is one of the modifications carried out by Roco on this recent release of their long-running ES 64 U2 model. I did highlight the PZB magnets, mounted at the bottom of the bogie frames, with some aluminium paint, though of course, these devices become dirty fairly quickly. On the Cab 2 side, there are the usual service weight and braking weight indications. There also is the NVR number, reading as 91 80 6182 595-9-D-DISPO. The braking weights read as follows: R+E 180 t P+E 100 t R 140 t P 67 t G 67 t FspBr 25 t – this being the spring-loaded parking brake, or "Federspeicherbremse" in German. In between the transformer and Bogie 2, you can see the suspension framework for the Integra-Signum magnets and ZUB 121/262 balise readers to make the locomotive compatible with the classic Swiss train protection systems. The trackside Integra-Signum magnets are always set in pairs, with the device set to the left of the left hand running rail being a transmission magnet and the one on the track's centreline an exciter. The corresponding magnets on rolling stock are the exciter magnet aligned with the trackside exciter magnet, and the pair of receiver magnets outside the running rails. The ZUB balise readers are set inside to align with the trackside balises, also available as a pair like the Integra-Signum receiver magnets. Note that I highlighted the visual brake indicators, just next to the inner wheelset, with dots of green paint, indicating the brakes to be released. It is interesting to note that among the originally liveried Dispolok ES 64 U2s, 182 595 is peculiar in having had the frontside body panel, which originally was the same shade of silver as the body flanks, painted over in what trainspotters tend to describe as a whitish-silvery light grey. This paint was applied around the existing lettering for unknown reasons, leaving the original silver colour in place underneath the frontside lettering. I suppose you can take this as proof that even on highly standardised modern locomotives, there can yet be a multitude of peculiarities. Also note the left buffer shroud displaying only "SIEMENS" as a cutout, whereas earlier ES 64 U2s had shrouds with a "SIEMENS KRAUSS MAFFEI" cutout. The right buffer shroud has an integrated grille, behind which the horns are located. This top-down roof view shall highlight the arrangement of three pantographs on 182 595, with the narrower Swiss-spec pan being on the inner mounting position. The circuit breaker is located towards Cab 2. On the rooftop, I highlighted the busbar attachment clamps with some aluminium paint. Thanks for reading and have a good day!
  16. Hi, We've had a few working sessions on the run up to Christmas and we have been making good progress on the scenics. The Plaster bandage which we have used to form the basic terrain has been covered with a layer of textured artex. This is simple enough to brush on and when dry leaves a nice surface to paint with base colours. The Bridge continues to make headway. We have been discussing various options over the last week or so, such as resin casting parts of the structure. If we choose to use this technique, then we will be able to use the moulds to re-produce repetitive items like the brick piers, which we are currently building individually. The Catenary is coming along and 15 out of the 20 2 track portals have now been completed. Once the final 5 are done, attention can turn to the remaining 3 track portals which require register arms fitting. But most importantly, we found time to have a little run on the layout before the year ended, so here's a little video showing the movements. The last two sections of the video are taken with a train cam and are trips around the layout. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Cheers, Mark.
  17. Morning all! As I just let on in "To Mod a Modding," I was thinking that some restructuring of earlier content in this space would be due in order to reflect partings and new additions. I'd especially wanted to make my technical profile of the class 140 electric – which in many ways also addresses the line of Deutsche Bundesbahn's Einheits-Elektrolokomotiven as a whole – available again, having spent quite a bit of time for research. As there is rather a lot of literature relating to the Einheitsloks' genealogy both on the Web and in printing, I guess a fairly short summary should be sufficient at this time. The severe damage dealt to the German railway infrastructure and stock inventory during World War II naturally required a rather major rebuilding effort, which began in the late 1940s and spawned a number of designs which experts continue to laud as both innovative and reasonable, relying on proven technology where required but also introducing new approaches were appropriate. The fact of significant numbers of locomotives, wagons and coaches from the Bundesbahn era continuing to be used in everyday service will most likely be the most impressive bit of testimony to the soundness and quality of these designs. Of course, the so-called "Einheitsloks" - constituting a set of newly designed electric locomotive types following identical design principles and even sharing a significant number of standardised parts - may be considered one of the most prominent pieces of innovation introduced during this period. These included the class E 10 express passenger locomotives; the closely related class E 40 freight locomotives, a smaller and lighter mixed traffic and branch line capable class known as E 41, as well as the class E 50 heavy freight locomotives, which also were a Co'Co' design as opposed to the three previously mentioned Bo'Bo' types. In 1950, the Bundesbahn Board of Engineers decided to procure two basic types of newly built electrics, which were to supplement and eventually help replace the various pre-war electrics left in operational condition. These were specified to be a Bo'Bo' configured locomotive initially known as E 46 and loosely based on the pre-war E 44, and a Co'Co' configured heavy freight locomotive. However, these plans were eventually changed, resulting in the previously mentioned four types to emerge from an identical set of design principles. Technical description Being highly standardised designs, the class 110 and 140 locomotives – known as E 10 and E 40 before 1968 – were fundamentally identical, with those differences which do exist mainly concerning their different roles. As previously mentioned, this had, in fact, been an explicit design goal in order to facilitate maintenance and spare-keeping just as much as driver qualification, and would also prove to offer an additional advantage in that it allowed a fairly easy conversion of individual locos from one class into the other. Consequently, the following descriptions will describe common features just as much as differences. As is the case on all Einheitsloks, the body is fully welded and has an integrated frame consisting of longitudinal and transversal beams, two of the latter also comprising the bogie pivot pins. Originally, the head-end transversal beams doubled as bufferbeams, but later-production 110s and 140s – specifically, 140 797 through 879 – were fitted with separate bufferbeams known in German as "Verschleißpufferbohlen" in order to offer an additional layer of impact protection and thus reduce the risk of body and frame damage at shunting speeds. Locos thus equipped were also prepared for conversion to the standardised UIC knuckle coupler, which, as many readers will most likely know, was but never introduced. However, a small number of 140s were equipped with AK69e knuckle couplers as also fitted to the Faals151, Falrrs152 and Falrrs153 type iron ore wagons, used for iron ore workings from Rotterdam and other North Sea ports to the steel works in the Saarland and at Salzgitter, in order to serve as backups for the equally small number of 151s also equipped with knuckle couplers. The body sides comprise a varying number of ventilation grilles and – usually – one centrally located engine room window per side, the exact number and style of grilles having changed over the years and constituting major distinguishing features of this loco family. The 140s in particular originally had six horizontally slotted grilles per side, which in turn were replaced with vertically slotted grilles on locos built from 1960 onwards. Beginning in the 1980s, most locos were then converted to another type of vertically slotted grilles known as "Klatte grilles." On the 110, the "Crease" bodied locomotives were originally built with specially styled grilles, which, though also having six separate openings per side, appeared as if they were one uninterrupted band for aesthetical reasons. However, most "Crease" 110s were later converted to the set of individual Klatte grilles as well. Also, some 110s had the engine room windows replaced by a seventh grille on both body sides, making things even more complex for the casual observer. On the "Brick" bodied 110s and the 140s, several other modifications were carried out through the production run and during revisions in later years. As designed, the cab faces had large, integrated lower lamps, which housed both the head and tail lights. However, beginning with 140 163, cluster lamps with vertically aligned separate lenses for head and tail lights were used. Also, the 110s and 140s were originally built with rain gutters running around the circumference of the entire roof, which but were omitted from 140 631 through 634 and 140 673 onwards. These gutters were also removed from existing locomotives during major revisions, partly due to these drains having been found to badly suffer from corrosion. Likewise, the full-width horizontal grab rails on the cab faces were removed in later years, and replaced with much smaller, vertically aligned grab handles located near the UIC sockets only. The roof is split into three panels above the engine room in order to facilitate internal maintenance and part removal, with the central panel – which is located above the transformer/tap changer assembly – taking the shape of a raised fairing and differing in various details between the 110 and 139 on one hand, and the 140 on the other. On the 110 and 139, the braking rheostats are also located under this fairing, requiring larger ventilation grilles than on the 140. The cabs feature a largely standardised control desk on both types, with a wheel-shaped power controller located in front of the driver, who in keeping with German standards is sat on the right hand side. Train protection equipment consists of the usual alerter, as well as the Indusi/PZB 90 suite. In addition, several 140s were also fitted with LZB cab signalling devices on top of the standard PZB suite. Also, the last batch of E 40s – usually referred to as 140.8 from 1968 onwards – was equipped with push-pull and MU controls. These locomotives could often be seen on stopping and semi-fast passenger workings, mainly in suburban environments. Push-pull capable 140s were also used during the initial phase of the S-Bahn system in the Ruhr area, which was phased in during the early 1970s. Meanwhile, the bogies also are all-welded assemblies, using Flexicoil springs on the secondary suspension stage and helical springs for the primary stage, with the bogie frames featuring vertical slots for the axle boxes. The 14-pole WB 372 type single phase AC traction motors are also integrated into the bogies, using a Siemens quill drive and reduction gearing for power transmission. Transmission ratios are 2.89/1 on the 140 and 2.11/1 on the 110. All wheels are tread-braked, with the 110 having larger brake shoes due to their higher top speed. The braking gear is a self-lapping unified Knorr type with settings G and P on the 140, and G, P and R on the 110, and includes both indirect and direct brake controllers. As designed, the 140 was intended for a 100 kph (62 mph) maximum speed, but was cleared for a slightly higher 110 kph (68 mph) in 1969 in order to improve their suitability for passenger workings. Addressing the electrical components, the 110 and 140 are classic single phase AC locos. The transformer, set in the middle of the engine room, is connected to a primary side tap changer with 28 power notches, weighing in at about 12 tonnes. This had been a BBC N28h type with mechanical diverter switches originally, but was replaced with the thyristor-assisted Siemens-Schuckert W29T type on late-production locos, with several mid-production 140s also having a W29 variant without thyristor assistance. One significant difference between the 110 and 140 had been the fact that the latter were lacking the dynamic brake installed on the 110, which had been considered unnecessary for the 140's lower maximum speed. However, operational experience demonstrated that various steeply inclined stretches of mainline – including the famous Höllental Railway in Baden-Württemberg, which had been worked with rack engines till 1933 and later served as a test route for 50 Hz electrification – would, in fact, justify procuring a batch of 140s with dynamic brakes. Consequently, an initial number of 31 140s were thus refitted beginning in 1959, creating a subtype initially designated as class E 40.11 from 1961 onwards, and 139 under the computerised numbering scheme introduced in 1968. These locomotives essentially represented "Brick" bodied 110s with the differently geared bogies of the 140. Interestingly, an additional eighteen 139s were, in fact, created by mating "Brick" bodied 110s with bogies gathered from retired 140s, which happened between 1993 and 1995. Rooftop equipment on either class includes an air blast circuit breaker and one pair of DBS 54a diamond pantographs. However, many locos – mainly those equipped with LZB cab signalling – have since been converted to DSA 200 type single arm pans, which also are equipped with pneumatic contact integrity detectors and auto-drop circuits to prevent OHLE damage. In total, 879 140s were built, of which 49 were converted to 139s. While Deutsche Bahn long refused to directly sell any retired locos to private TOCs and loosened this position only in recent years, various 139s and 140s have since found their way to a number of other operators. Most notably, Lokomotion – in which company DB Schenker are holding 30% of shares – have acquired a total of six 139s between 2004 and 2006, which were then treated to the company's rather striking "Zebra" livery. Three 140s were passed on to RBH Logistics, who are affiliated with DB Schenker as well. In addition, 139 287 was sold to BayernBahn; five 140s were passed on to Eisenbahngesellschaft Potsdam; two 140s were sold to Pressnitztalbahn and given their current light blue livery; and three 140s were sold to Mittelweserbahn. In addition, 140 128, which had largely retained its original appearance with the 1960s dark green and black livery, has been declared the heritage loco for this class, and is preserved at Deutsche Bahn's Railway Museum at Koblenz, again wearing its pre-1968 running number E 40 128. Over the years, the 140s wore all standard Deutsche Bundesbahn and DB AG liveries, beginning with the 1950s/60s dark green and black for all electrics with a top speed not higher than 120 kph. In the 1970s, many locos then received the controversial ocean blue and beige, which in turn was succeeded by oriental red with white frontside warning panels in the 1980s. Today, most remaining 140s in DB Schenker service feature the standard traffic red and grey livery, though 140 423 has retained ocean blue and beige. Technical specifications Length, width and height – 16.44, 2.95 and 4.49 m/54, 9.7 and 14.7 ft Power output – 3,700 kW/4,962 hp Initial tractive effort – 275 kN Service weight – 83 tonnes/81.7 long tons Maximum speed – 110 kph (68 mph) And for a suitable closing note, haver a look at this selection of videos showing 110s, 139s and 140s at work: 140s working ECS services of freshly overhauled passenger stock out of Leipzig Central Station. 140 423, the one remaining loco in ocean blue and beige. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqkTnuMmmGE 140 716 departing Lehrte with tap changer noise and typical 16.7 Hz motor growl. 139 312 departing with a charter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tXAIZjShd8 Cab ride on a 139 from Kufstein to Munich. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFAPEoyc2jY Engine room view of a 139 with tap changer shifting up and down and arcing rather nicely. A look at the tap changer mechanism on 110 343.
  18. Morning all! As you will have noticed, this is the first new entry on this-here blog after my move to Leipzig, and fittingly, we'll be looking at a class 143 locomotive connoisseurs of the German railway scene will know to have originated in the former German Democratic Republic. Furthermore, the model we'll be looking at depicts a 143 owned by Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn – abbreviated as MEG – , who are a freight TOC headquartered at Schkopau, located 11 kilometres south of Halle and therefore almost halfway between there and Leipzig. Edit – 9 April 2014 Due to some fleet restructuring measures, I parted with the "old" DB Regio 143 a couple of months ago, and will be replacing it with a modified model which Roco are to release this summer. So, let me just copy over the general loco profile for the 143 so that you can still look up this information. So, as usual, let me begin by outlining the development and technical background for this class, which since German unification has proven to be a valuable pillar of Deutsche Bahn's regional locomotive inventory – though several locos have since found their way to private operators as well. Overall, the story of the family of locomotives now known as classes 112, 114 and 143 is quite complex, and also very much reflective of the political workings in the former East Bloc, in which context they need to be seen. History and development The first electric locomotives to have been designed and built in the German Democratic Republic were the classes E 11 and E 42 – known as 211 and 242 from 1970 onwards as well as 109 and 142 after reunification – whose prototypes appeared in 1961 and 1962. These were Bo‘Bo‘ configured, 2,740 kW locomotives with a top speed of 120 and 100 kph (75 and 62 mph) respectively, with the E 11 having been meant primarily for passenger work and the E 42 having been more of a mixed traffic loco with slower gearing, but higher tractive effort. However, they were rather simple designs even for the standards of the time, and not really up to par with West German designs like the hugely successful E 10/E 40 family. Nevertheless, 96 and 292 units were built respectively and many of these were indeed carried over into the unified DB AG inventory, but retired until about 1999. A couple of either class survive in service of a number of private TOCs. The remainder of the 1960s then saw significant indecision on the side of the GDR's political leadership where the future of railway development was concerned. The big question at the time was how the large inventory of Deutsche Reichsbahn's steam locomotives should be replaced. Around 1966, the points were set, so to speak, towards dieselisation initially, which but meant that it was necessary to procure large mainline diesels which could not be produced in the GDR proper. This was due to COMECON obligations on one hand as well as the fact that the GDR loco builders – much like those from West Germany – were specialised in diesel-hydraulics, which could not yet be built with a power output of about 3,000 kW at the time. Thus was created the V 300 family of Co‘Co‘ configured diesel-electrics, which included the class 132 (232 after reunification), built by the Lugansk Locomotive Works in the Soviet Union. Of course, the availability of cheap oil from the Soviet Union was another contributing factor in favour of dieselisation. However, the situation changed by the early 1970s when both the Western world and the East Bloc began to be permanently affected by rising oil prices in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, meaning that the GDR had to deal with reduced crude oil imports. As a result, further electrification was back on the agenda by about 1976, with the lines radiating from Berlin having had priority, closely followed by those in the brown coal mining country in the Lausitz. As the class 211 and 242 locos had since proven to be less than optimal for heavy passenger and freight trains – even in MU formation – a new generation of electric locos needed to be designed, the first of these being the famous class 250 (redesignated 155 in 1992) Co‘Co‘ locomotive first presented in 1974 and put in production from 1977 onwards. These were to be complemented by a new Bo‘Bo‘ type, the first specifications for which were brought forth by the Engineering Research and Evaluation Centre (Versuchs- und Entwicklungsstelle Maschinenwirtschaft, VES-M) at Halle in the summer of 1973. These defined a platform from which both a 160 kph/100 mph capable express passenger variant as well as a 120 kph/75 mph mixed traffic variant could be derived, which were provisionally designated as classes 212 and 243 respectively. In September 1973, the sketches were forwarded to the People-Owned Locomotive and Electrical Engineering Works “Hans Beimler” (LEW) at Hennigsdorf near Berlin, who were the only factory to have remained specialised in electric motive power and had evolved from a former pre-war AEG production facility. There already were a few design changes at this early stage, such as the inclusion of a LEW-designed quill drive with conical rubber suspension elements which was also part of the 250's design. You can find an earlier blog post about Roco's rendition of the class 155/250 electric here: The East is Red. What followed next was a brief dispute about which of the two variants defined in the original proposals was to be built. While VES-M (renamed, quite simply, to Railway Institute/Institut für Eisenbahnwesen, IfE in 1979) and LEW insisted that their design was perfectly safe for use at up to 160 kph and could be built without hesitation, the Reichsbahn‘s technical directorate maintained that a top speed of 120 kph was sufficient for the GDR‘s railway network, and would eventually prevail in light of the fact that it had political backing. However, it would, of course, turn out that allowing for a top speed of 160 kph during the design stage had been a wise decision several years later when the 160 kph capable class 112 locos were, in fact, procured shortly after reunification. In early 1982, the prototype for the new locomotive was presented, called 212 001 at the time. After it had been exhibited at the Leipzig Spring Fair, the loco was first powered up at the Jüterbog depot on 5 July, and then transferred to the Halle depot under its own power, there to begin its trial phase. As the loco was, for the moment, fitted for 160 kph, Halle was a logical choice insofar as several sections on the Halle – Bitterfeld – Lutherstadt Wittenberg line were capable of handling that speed. The trials were specified to include the following stages: measuring phase, operational tests, depot level servicing tests, repair works level servicing tests, including a full disassembly and the rebuild to the 120 kph top speed intended for the production locos. The last stage commenced in September 1983 when the loco was transferred to the Dessau repair works, there to be stripped down and given a slower gearing as planned. From that point, it was designated 243 001 and resumed its route trials from the Dresden depot. The first batch of twenty production locomotives was delivered in 1984, followed by eighty in 1985, 100 in 1986, 110 in 1987 and 114 in 1988. The last class 243 loco, designated 243 659, was delivered on 2 January 1991, bringing the total number to 646. One thing which should be pointed out was that the running numbers were not strictly sequential, with the numbers ranging from 001 through 370, 551 through 662 and 801 through 973, and these sequences not being uninterrupted either. The following years then saw large numbers of the class – redesignated 143 from 1992 onwards – transferred to what used to be West Germany, where they quickly found a new home in several regions. Most notably, they began to take over suburban services in the Ruhr area from the Bundesbahn class 111 locos, which at the time happened to have reliability problems as a consequence of their operational pattern of frequent acceleration and braking from and to a full halt, for which they had not been explicitly designed. Other locos were allocated to Baden-Württemberg where they took over regional workings in the Black Forest, and to freight services around Dortmund. After the creation of DB AG in 1994, they spread even further. On Nuremberg‘s suburban network, which has been operated with loco-hauled sets of the same „x“ type coaches also found in the Ruhr area and is currently being converted to class 442 EMUs, they replaced the original class 141 locos – which were even older than the 111s, had no electrodynamic brake and which – according to various sources – even were the target of complaints by residents along the lines who disapproved of the „popping“ noise from their low voltage tap changers. In a parallel development, the class 212/112 express locos with their 160 kph top speed were procured from 1991 onwards, intended as a stop-gap measure to augment the DB and DR motive power inventories for use on the increasing number of IC and IR services from the old states to Berlin and other major cities in the new states. In total, 128 class 112 locos were built in two batches, with the first batch eventually being transferred to DB Regio and redesignated as class 114, and the second batch – also known as class 112.1 and fitted with LZB cab signalling – by 1 January 2004. Another plan called for upgrading significant numbers of class 143 locos to a top speed of either 140 or 160 kph, so as to replace older ex-Bundesbahn class 110 electrics. 143 171 was thus chosen as the testbed for the 160 kph upgrade, receiving modified gearing, strengthened windscreens, new SSS 87 type pantographs with carbon damage detectors, rotational motion dampers and augmented braking equipment as well as modifications to its train protection suite and being redesignated 114 101. Likewise, 143 120 was given the less extensive 140 kph upgrade which did not require modified gearing and yaw dampers, and redesignated 114 301. The cost of both upgrades was calculated to be around 300,000 € per locomotive for the 160 kph package and 40,000 € for the 140 kph package. The latter was thus considered sufficient, but only a small number of locos have actually been rebuilt. At this time, either upgrade has been put on hold. Meanwhile, 112 025 had been allocated to the Central Engineering Department (formerly known as VES-M/IfE) in 1992 as a departmental loco, later to be redesignated accordingly as 755 025, and then anew to 114 501. Of all 143s to have been built, around eighty have been withdrawn over the years due to various accidents. Many of these withdrawals were related to the fact that the loco‘s body is easily deformed even by light impacts, usually folding immediately behind the cab which almost inevitably constitutes an irreparable damage. On the other hand, twelve locos have been sold to two other operators – both of which are DB AG subsidiaries – with 143 041, 069, 186, 191, 286 and 874 having been transferred to RBH Logistics and 143 179, 204, 257, 344, 857 and 864 to Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft (MEG). Also, the prototype 143 001 remains in service till this day, now being property of Arcelor Mittal and having been brought largely to the same standard as the production locos. While the first scheduled withdrawals of 143s commenced in 2008, all three classes from this family remain an important part of Deutsche Bahn‘s motive power inventory, the 143s usually working regional express and stopping services on lines where their 120 kph top speed is not a problem. Also, significant portions of suburban services in the Ruhr area remain in the hands of the 143 for at least the next few years. Technical description The 112/114/143 – I will use only „143“ in the remainder of this article for easier reading, unless there should be differences specific to one of these classes only – are Bo‘Bo‘ configured locomotives whose bogies have a wheelbase of 3,300 mm and a welded steel frame consisting of two longitudinal beams, one central transversal beam and two auxiliary transversal beams at both ends. The central beam also carries the bearing for the pivot pin, while the outer transversal beams facing towards the bufferbeams are depressed in the centre in order to allow sufficient clearance for the draw gear and axle load compensator. Between the bogie and the locomotive body, helical Flexicoil springs provide primary suspension and also serve to centre the bogie after curves. Rubber pads prevent the bogie frame from colliding with the inside of the running frame. Primary suspension also consists of helical springs which are augmented by hydraulic shock absorbers. As previously mentioned, an axle load compensation device is installed as well, consisting of a pneumatic cylinder which provides a downward force to the outer end of each bogie while accelerating from a stop and thus reduces the risk of wheelslip on the leading wheelset. Similar mechanisms, though also based on cable pulleys, have been used on Swiss locomotives such as the BLS Re 4/4. The wheelsets have cylindrical roller bearings which are sealed against dirt and moisture while the suspension arms are attached such that both lateral and longitudinal movements and shocks are absorbed. The wheels have a diameter of 1,250 mm in new condition and a permitted minimum diameter of 1,160 mm. They consist of disks which are pressed onto the axles and have separate tyres. Flange greasers are installed on the outer wheelsets of both bogies and are actuated though a speed-controlled mechanism. Likewise, sanding units are present as well, also acting on the outer wheelsets only. As previously mentioned, power is transmitted to the wheelsets by way of a LEW-designed quill drive with connecting rubber elements and gear wheels on both sides. These rubber elements also carry part of the traction motors‘ weight, the other sides of which are connected to the bogie frames themselves with another set of rubber elements – the rubber suspension ensuring the motors being insulated from shocks, thereby preventing damage. The locomotive‘s body is based on a welded running frame consisting of two main longitudinal and transversal beams each – the latter of which double as bufferbeams – and a number of additional longitudinal and transversal supports, including those holding the pivot pins located above the bogie centres, as well as those located under the transformer. The pivot pins themselves extend to a height of 600 millimetres above the rail heads. The body itself is a welded assembly consisting mainly of steel, with the cab fronts, roofs and sides, the engine room bulkheads and sides as well as the four engine room roof elements being principal subassemblies. The engine room sides are corrugated, adding distinctiveness to the locomotive‘s appearance, while each of the roof segments – consisting of aluminium rather than steel – can be removed independently as required for internal maintenance. Rooftop walkways are provided, while the ventilation grilles in the pitched roof planes are fitted with dirt interceptors. The cab sections had an angular transition to the roof plane up till 143 298, followed by a rounded transition beginning with 143 299. The loco‘s pneumatic braking gear consists of eight brake cylinders in both bogies, acting on two-sided tread brakes, and are complemented by a mechanical handbrake acting on the 2nd and 3rd wheelset. Brake controls include a multiple-lapped indirect brake valve and a direct shunting brake valve. In addition, the pneumatic brake is blended with the rheostatic brake, which in turn is dependent on OHLE power to be available for excitation. The pneumatic brake offers four settings – G, P, P2 and R – , with the P2 and R settings offering speed-dependent brake force adjustment. The „high effect“ setting is activated from 70 kph onwards, and deactivated when decelerating below 50 kph. The brakes also provide wheelslip control during both acceleration and braking. One main compressor and one auxiliary compressor are provided, the latter being capable of running under battery power when the locomotive is completely powered down, and provides sufficient air for actuating the circuit breaker and pantographs. The main compressor provides 124 cubic metres of compressed air per hour and feeds two main air reservoirs, which have a capacity of 400 litres and operating pressure of up to ten atmospheres each. Other pneumatically powered systems include the windscreen wipers and washing nozzles, sanding units, flange greasers, and various switches. The cab interiors are one of the most innovative elements of the 143. While the control desks were designed to mirror the same general dimensions and instrument placement also found on all other post-war DR electrics, they were also set up such as to also allow for easier handling and better workplace ergonomics than on previous classes. Improved ergonomics had been considered especially desirable in light of planned electrification projects which would increase the locomotives‘ operational radius even further. Design work for the cabs was carried out in a joint effort by the Bureau of Industrial Design, Railway Institute (IfE) and a collective of external design experts titled „Shape and Society“. This was an ongoing project which was even supported by constructing wooden cab mockups and placing these on flatcars, which were then propelled over numerous lines the locomotives were to work on in order to evaluate the suitability of the numerous suggestions which were entered into the process. Among the numerous new items to be implemented on the production locos were indirectly lit instruments for good readability at night, and a driver‘s seat which included a mechanism to automatically move it backwards by about one foot upon the driver getting to their feet to work from a standing position, such as while shunting. However, the single most innovative feature was the loco being equipped with a power control suite built around a sophisticated speed control device. While this system was fundamentally similar to the AFB suite which had first been introduced on the West German class 103 and 111 electrics and later installed on a wider variety of newly designed motive power, it was explicitly intended to not just be an extra, but the standard operating method for the class. In the most general terms, the 143‘s control suite allows the driver to set target values for running speed and maximum tractive effort, with the controls then automatically governing the tap changer and dynamic brake as required. With the 143‘s control circuits being based on a logic board-based computer which had been fairly advanced for its time, the power control suite also provides various supplementary operating modes to suit different route and timetable profiles which the standard mode is not completely suitable for: „Freier Auslauf“ (roughly: „Free Power-Down“) can be triggered to manually shift the tap changer to idle, with the automatic brake governor also being disabled so as to allow the loco to coast along with neither power nor dynamic brake force applied. „Bedingter Auslauf“ („Conditional Power-Down“) is intended for maximising acceleration for tight timetable situations or short distances between stations. To this end, the tap changer will remain powering up till just before reaching the selected target speed, after which the control suite will automatically switch to „Freier Auslauf.“ In this mode, the wheelslip control circuit will allow a greater percentage of „creep“ as well to maximise adhesion by way of allowing the tap changer to shift up to two notches higher at any point during the acceleration phase than in normal mode. Consequently, it is recommended for the driver to manually order a power-down ahead of time by way of the provided „Delete“ key as required because the loco might else exceed the selected speed. „Nur Fahren“ („Power only“) is intended for uphill gradients, and has the controls disregard the dynamic brake altogether. In other words, using this mode, speed is controlled only by powering up and down, relying on gravity and friction to slow the train as required rather than engaging the dynamic brake, for which purpose the tap changer must have shifted down to idle, usually leading to an unnecessarily large speed loss due to the time required to run down to idle and power up anew. „Nur Bremsen“ („Braking only“) is the opposite to „Nur Fahren“ and is intended for longer downhill gradients, preventing the tap changer from powering up, with speed being governed only through the dynamic brake. The same system was also used on the class 156 locomotives, which but never left the prototype stage and whose only four examples are now in service of Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn. As I also have a model of this loco, you might also have a look here: Mega-Trabbi: Gützold's rendition of Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn's class 156 electric. On the electrical side, the 112 and 143 were the first DR locos to be factory-fitted with single arm pantographs – prototypes for these having been tested on various older locomotives, including a pre-WWII class E 18. These pantographs are known as the VSH 2F2 type – with the later class 112.1 160 kph locos having been fitted with improved versions, called VSH 2F4 and 2F5 – and feature double carbon heads to allow the loco to operate with only one pan raised. The supporting insulators were designed for a tension of 25 kV, though the locomotive was meant to operate under 15 kV only. The VSH 2 pans consist mainly of aluminium, provide an upward force of eight kilonewtons and require 12 to 16 seconds for raising, and five to seven for lowering. On the 143 and 112.0, two pantograph cut-off switches were provided on the roof, enabling each pan to be electrically separated from the busbar. These switches were deleted on the 112.1, however. The busbar is supported on 25 kV insulators like the pantographs, but at a distance sufficient for 15 kV only. The circuit breaker is an air blast type and located on one of the inner roof segments, towards the Cab 1 end. The oil-cooled transformer is located in the centre of the engine room and weighs in at 11,400 kilograms. It has a maximum output of 3,820 kVA for the 31 traction taps, and 95 kVA for the auxiliary taps. The ETS tap is fed with 996 V AC at 16.7 Hz and allows for a maximum current of 840 A. The transformer is coupled to an electrically powered, thyristor-assisted tap changer designated as LNSW 12, providing 31 power notches. Maximum motor voltage is reached on the 28th notch, with the remaining three notches being configured with different input/output ratios and intended as „booster“ notches to be used in low OHLE voltage situations. The thyristor modules are intended to allow for what is basically stepless motor voltage control. The single phase AC traction motors were developed from the type used on the class 155 freight locos and were designed to be interchangeable with these, though an adaptor would have been required. They have twelve rotor poles and are forcibly ventilated, and attached to two-sided LEW-designed quill drives. The motor blowers draw air from a settling chamber inside the roof, with the coolant air then being routed through the motors and back into the engine room in order to augment air circulation there. The rheostatic brake utilises an array of rheostats stacked inside a forcibly ventilated cooling tower inside the engine room and is available only as long as all four traction motors are functioning. The 143 has a rated power output of 3,720 kW, or 4,988 hp. All auxiliary devices – which term includes the previously mentioned primary compressor; traction motor, tap changer and transformer blowers, as well as coolant oil pumps for the transformer and tap changer – are fed from a 380 V/50 Hz three-phase grid, which in turn is supplied from a rotating inverter located centrally under the locomotive‘s frame. In addition, all control instruments and systems are fed from a 110 V DC circuit. All class 112.0 and 143 locos were factory-fitted with a DR standard push-pull control suite, utilising a 34-pole control cable with upward facing sockets in a pair of outriggers extending straight down from the bufferbeams at the body‘s corners. On the batch of 143s known as the 143.8 series, this system was expanded in functionality in order to also allow multiple working. Moreover, those 143s assigned to suburban services with „x“ type coaches on the Ruhr and Nuremberg networks as well as all class 112.1 locos were given the West German time-multiplexed push-pull control package known as ZWS, or the frequency-multiplexed variant known as FMZ. As of today, however, the majority of all remaining 143s as well as all 112s utilise the time-multiplexed ZDS system for multiple working, with ZDS, ZWS and FMZ all using the 13-pin UIC command cable. All locomotives from the 112/143 family are equipped with a dead-man‘s device, which works on a randomly set time interval, as opposed to the standard West German variant which is based on a fixed 30-second interval. All class 112.0 locos as well as the majority of 143s are fitted with an Indusi train protection suite – in the shape of either the East German PZ 80 system or the West German I 60 R variant. With its original programming, the PZ 80 system offered braking curve and speed checks for the full speed range up to 160 kph, but spaced at 10 kph intervals. Conversely, the West German Indusi software offers only three larger speed ranges known as „O“, „M“ and „U“ and calibrated for thresholds of 160 kph, 120 kph and 100 kph. However, those locos with PZ 80 instruments were converted to the same PZB 90 type software found on all other German locos in the meantime. Additionally, all class 112.1 locos and a small number of 143s are equipped with LZB cab signalling, coupled to the common PZB 90 system. Externally, the 112 and 143 have appeared in a variety of liveries over the years. In the GDR, all of the then-243s wore a variation of the DR standard livery for electric locomotives, with the body being maroon with a narrow white stripe across the lower headlights and along the lower sides, the frame being dark grey and the bogies and other underfloor equipment having been light grey – which of course quickly attracted dirt and made these sections look like anthracite or even black. After German unification, the 143s soon started to appear in the oriental red livery with light grey frontside warning panel inherited from the late Bundesbahn, with the 112s having been given that livery from the factory. Additionally, many of those 143s detached to suburban services in old West Germany eventually appeared in what then was Deutsche Bundesbahn‘s common livery for suburban trains – light grey with a broad orange and narrow yellow stripe, located horizontally right below the lower edge of the windscreens, with dark brown bogies. Eventually, all 112s and 143s were given the standard traffic red livery with light grey frontside warning stripe, dark grey frame and black bogies. However, the prototype 212 001 was initially presented in what was considered a rather striking livery by GDR standards – this featuring a white body with two broad orange stripes, running from either end of the loco to the centre of the body and then angling up and down respectively, and with the frame and bogies being black. Meanwhile, those 143s now owned by RBH wear the company‘s silver livery with dark blue cabs and logos, grey frame and black bogies, while Arcelor Mittal‘s single 143 now has a bright orange body with grey frame and black bogies. Those 143s sold to MEG retain the standard DB traffic red as the base, though with MEG logos and running numbers as well as differently set light grey warning stripes around the headlights and lower fronts added. The model In recent months, Roco have announced a number of limited runs of various class 143, or Deutsche Reichsbahn class 243, locos to be released throughout the following year, marketed as a commemoration of the 243's 30th anniversary. The model we'll be looking at right now is one of these special releases, offered with catalogue no. 73421 and produced in a series of 150 examples. It depicts MEG's #601, also known as 143 179. In 2006 and 2008, MEG obtained a total of six 143s from their parent TOC, DB Schenker. These were numbered 601 through 606 internally, the numbers corresponding to the following national running numbers and works numbers: MEG 601: 143 179 – 18928 – built 1986 MEG 602: 143 204 – 18953 – built 1987 MEG 603: 143 851 – 20301 – built 1988 MEG 604: 143 257 – 20140 – built 1987 MEG 605: 143 344 – 19586 – built 1988 MEG 606: 143 864 – 20314 – built 1989 As you can see, MEG's livery is not much different to Deutsche Bahn's. Their 143s are frequently set up as MU pairs, either among themselves, with the company's class 156 Co'Co' electrics, and indeed the three locos from MEG's stock of class 155 locos which have been upgraded with 143-type cabs and controls, and been made MU capable. Funnily, MEG 143s have occasionally been hired back to Deutsche Bahn, actually working stopping services in the Halle/Leipzig region, as a matter of fact. It's also interesting to note that Deutsche Bahn themselves no longer use any 143s in freight service, whereas MEG, RBH Logistics and Arcelor Mittal (who now own the prototype 143 001) still do on a daily basis. Roco's 143/243 model was first released in 1994, and been treated to a few gentle updates in this recent release. Specifically, it has been updated with one pair of UIC cable sockets on both cab faces, whereas earlier releases had been equipped with only one socket per cab, reflecting the earlier standard for this class. In addition, I noticed the windscreen wipers – while still moulded on – have been coloured black. As the wipers have been set to a vertical resting position on the "big" 143s, this would have been another sensible update for Roco to have carried out. I might yet think of a way for representing this particular detail... As 143 fans will be aware of, all locos beginning with 143 300 were built with a slightly modified body with a more rounded outline to the cab roof sections. However, the model of 143 179 correctly reflects the original body style with angular cab roof planes. As per the revision grid, 143 179/MEG 601 had her last revision completed at the Dessau works (LD X) on 8 November 2007. The model also features the expanded braking weights table, reading as follows: R+E 126 t P+E 118 t R 95 t P 81 t G 67 t Handbrakes: 2x 13 t As you will be able to notice, I already treated the loco to my rooftop detailing routine... ....replicating the flexible cable connectors across the busbar maintenance gaps with bits of thin brass wire, fixed in place with tiny dots of CA glue and highlighted with aluminium paint. Similarly, I highlighted the circuit breaker casing with Revell #378 Dark Grey, which is a very close match to the RAL 7012 tone used for solebars and rooftops on DB motive power nowadays. And the following pair of images shows MEG 601 set up as a pair with MEG 801, the first of the company's four class 156 electrics which I also featured separately in my posting, "Mega-Trabbi." Thank you for reading!
  19. Hi, Just a quick update as we had an evening working session last night to finish attaching the front fascia panels. As all of the front fascia's are now fitted, we now need to profile them so that they follow the terrain. Cheers, Mark.
  20. Hi, We have continued to make good progress with the scenic work and since the last blog entry have managed to fit in two working sessions. 06/06/2013 After our work last time on the final curved board, we now had the remaining two straight boards to build terrain on. As these two boards lead into our curved loops, then it's necessary for us to try and blend out the terrain on the scenic boards and match it to the end loops as seamlessly as possible. Again we were using our now tried and tested scenic methods, so extruded foam high points, packed in between with paper, then a covering of mesh prodded into an interesting shape and finally a covering of plaster bandage. Here are some pictures: The finished terrain on the board which will be furthest to the left. You can also see one of the timber profiles we have been cutting to provide protection for the scenic's and to ensure they mate correctly when the boards are erected. The same board again but looking to the joint with the curved board. There is no timber profile here as the terrain comes down to board level, possibly to provide an access track for a signal box for the main running lines or line maintenance. A look at the board which is furthest to the right. Here you can see both timber profiles, and the blocks of extruded foam, which have been glued to the board surface. We have used a surform file to round some of the edges of the blocks and when we fill in between the blocks, this should give us some nice rolling terrain. 08/06/2013 As today was a YAG DCC meeting, we were able to spend practically the whole day working on the boards and decided that the best use of our time, was to tackle the front and rear board fascias. Not a job I had been particularly looking forward to, as to be honest my woodworking skills haven't really progressed much past the heights of secondary school. However, there was a good turn out from our build team and between us and advice from others more skilled in the black arts, we made a start. Our plan was to install a rear fascia for the layout which would be 5" high and a front fascia that would be a maximum of 6 1/2" high and would be profiled to follow the terrain on the boards. We started on the centre board, making sure it was nice and level, then we measured up and installed both the front and rear fascias. Once they had been secured, we carefully squared up the ends to ensure that when the boards are brought together, we don't have any gaps in the fascia and vice cersa, to make sure that the fascias didn't create any gaps in the board surfaces. We decided to work on the rear fascia first as this would be the easiest to fit and we had noticed from fitting the front fascia on the centre board that we needed to tidy up around some of the scenic work as we had small amounts of mesh and plaster bandage on the edges of the baseboards that were preventing the fascias from fitting square. So using the centre board as a datum, we gradually added board after board, each time making sure that the fascia was nice and square where the boards would meet. We also made sure that in relation to the boards the fascia sat horizontally square. This is very important to us as, while we have been adding all the terrain, we have been losing our ability to tell if the boards are level when erected. We can now use the rear fascia as a guide for left / right level and by holding a level to the underside of the board ends we can tell front / back level. Here are some pictures: Centre board with front and rear fascias fitted. A shot showing the height of the rear fascia from the board surface. We chose to have the height at 35mm because we have stock running close to the outside of the board and we didn't want to have any chance of it being knocked off the layout or damaged accidentally when somebody was leaning across. If we find this is too high, then as my Granddad says "You can always cut it off, but you can't always cut it back on" Cheers, Mark.
  21. Hi, It's been a very long time (six months) since the last blog entry was posted, so what on earth has been going on! Following the last entry we had just operated the layout at our Clubs annual Open Weekend and we were just trying to finalise our ideas for the Scenic portion of the layout. We had rough ideas of what we wanted to do, but it was time to sit down as a group and discuss in detail what we wanted to achieve. Track Our original decision to use Wooden Sleeper Track for Heworth was taken before we had a firm idea of the era's which we had intended to run and the more reference material we looked at to support what we were going to do scenically, the easier it became to see that it was the wrong choice. The problem was, the track was down, wired and working. Replacing the Main Lines on the Scenic Boards with Concrete Sleeper track, was probably one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make as a group and it has meant that Scenic work has had to be put on hold. However, while we were discussing our signalling scheme for the layout, we discovered that some of our track blocks were not in the correct places and this did give us the opportunity to re-work things slightly, so that the layout could be worked more prototypically. Signalling Our intention is to eventually have working signals on the layout and our original thoughts had been to use 4 aspect signals. However, when we received some feedback on our signalling plans, it was clear that we were trying to cram too many signals / blocks onto the scenic section. We asked for advice on the signalling forum and with other's help came up with a revised signalling and block plan. Looking at this new plan, we discovered that the layout would probably be more prototypical with 3 aspect signals. Scenics Our plans for the layout are quite simple, the left hand side of the layout would have the main running lines at the front, further back the on-scene sidings and providing the break to the off-scene area would be an embankment which once used to be a branch line, now dis-used. The embankment would have earth banking on the far left and as it approaches the centre board, would transition into a brick retaining wall. The centre board would have something like a plate bridge to provide the access to the off-scene sidings. This bridge when the embankment was still in use by the branch line, would have continued over the main lines. However, the bridge over the main lines has been removed to allow for electrification, but the embankment on the far side of the lines is still in place. On the right hand side of the layout, there are a small number of industrial units towards the back of the layout and these may incorporate some low or half relief buildings attached to the back scene. The back scene will run along the entire length of the layout and will be around 12" high. I'll close the post with a few pics showing our current progress constructing the base structure of the embankment on the left hand side of the layout. Cheers, Mark.
  22. Hi, As readers of the this blog may remember, our Group held its Open Weekend on 27/28 October 2012 and we were in attendance with Heworth Sidings. Although very little has been done scenically, we were hoping that we would still be able to put on a good show. It was also a great chance for us to 'feel our feet' with the layout and get some experience working with it and understanding how to operate it. Please note the structures seen on the layout are only temporary and intended to give a feel of the real scenery. Saturday 27th The day started with what was really a mad dash to fit some additional point motors to one end of the Fiddle Yard and to complete some wiring under the boards so that we could have 6 lanes running each way for storage. We finished this at about 11:30 and then had another mad dash to setup the layout as the doors were going to open to the public at 12:00. We weren't quite there for the doors opening, but by around 12:30 we had stock moving on the layout. We had had some teething issues the last time out with the layout and I think this was because our Digitrax Duplex network was clashing with one of the other systems in our meeting room, so we moved away from the default settings, resetting the Wireless channel and providing a new name for the Duplex Network. These changes seemed to do the trick and we had no operational issues with the Duplex throttles over the weekend. We encountered a minor issue towards the end of the day, as the Command Station started to give a 'Slot Max' error and the only way to clear this was to 'Dispatch' a loco before we were able to select another one. Again though, this is a default setting with the command station and easily changed. A minor interruption in the running soon had it fixed as the slot buffer was first purged, then the buffer itself increased from the 20 addresses to 120. We were also using a couple of LocoBuffer's to interface to the LocoNet, one was being used to provide JMRI WiThrottle access and the other being used to provide a Mimic Panel for the layout again using JMRI PanelPro. Here is a short video taken towards the end of the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J8jebnOo0U&feature=share&list=UUBvlPo8CarzfAayTIRL_ymA Sunday 28th With no setup time needed, we were immediately able to start running our locos and for me and one of our other members it was time to turn Heworth Sidings into Heworth Subdivision for a few hours and run some of our US stock. Having access to a large Fiddle Yard and quite a large layout (54') meant that we could have another go at running a prototypical US Coal train, which regularly run upwards of 100 Bethgons. In the end we managed 144 Bethgons pulled by 4 SD90/43MACS. Playing over with, during the afternoon we tried our hand at some more prototypical movements with the layout. One of which is caught in the video. All in all, I think it was a very successful weekend for the layout, we had very few issues and when we did these mainly fell into the operator error or problem stock categories. Here is a slightly longer video of the days activities. There is also a little section showing a layout called 'Peacehaven' an SR layout being built by another of our group members: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64h2F_jpnCI&feature=share&list=UUBvlPo8CarzfAayTIRL_ymA Cheers, Mark.
  23. Morning all. Recent events had kept me from actually posting the following article, which I had, in fact, prepared a while ago - based on an earlier version of it, which I would think some of you may remember from Old RMweb. In this earlier article, I had presented a DB Schenker class 155 electric in the now-standard traffic red and basalt grey livery, which but I have since exchanged for a different version of this trademark locomotive from the former East German Deutsche Reichsbahn. So, the model we shall be looking at today is Roco's item 62437, representing one of two 155s still wearing the oriental red livery which had first been introduced on Bundesbahn engines in the late 1980s, and eventually been applied to numerous ex-DR locos as well. This variant of Roco's model was released only this spring, and while I believe pronouncing this livery to have been controversial may be a prize understatement, I did want to have more visual variety in my motive power inventory - which is why it suited me fairly well. Development and historic background After Germany had been split into two states in the aftermath of World War II, railway operations on both sides of the inner-German border continued under new names. In the West, the legal successor to the late Deutsche Reichsbahn was called Deutsche Bundesbahn, and created on 7 September 1949. Meanwhile, and perhaps a bit oddly, the East German state railways, which were created the same year, retained the name „Deutsche Reichsbahn“. There are several explanations for this detail, one of which being the fact that an Allied decree had mandated railway operations in West Berlin to explicitly remain in the hands of Deutsche Reichsbahn. As the GDR leadership felt it to be politically important to keep its hold on these services, it was feared that a possible name change would void their claim. This but is just one example of how differently the railways in both German states would evolve in the following decades, given the political situation of the time. The first types of electric locomotives to be newly designed and built in the German Democratic Republic were the classes E 11 and E 42. They were largely identical to one another, with the E 11 – first built in 1961 – being the passenger variant and the E 42, whose production began in 1962, the freight variant – much as was the case with the West German E 10 and E 40. Interestingly, the GDR had, in fact, attempted to obtain permission for licence builds of the West German E 10 and E 40, but been unsuccessful, resulting in the need for developing suitable locos domestically. Also, there appears to be a claim among railway historians that, assuming a reunification of the two German states in the near future, Deutsche Reichsbahn chose their class numbers – E 11 and E 42 – deliberately, so as to allow for easy integration of both railways' motive power inventories – with Deutsche Bundesbahn having procured classes like the E 10, E 40 and E 41 around the same time. In general terms, it should also be mentioned that the German Democratic Republic‘s Deutsche Reichsbahn was initially slow in adopting electric traction on their network, which in 1979 comprised a total length of 14,164 kilometres, of which only 1,621 were electrified. This, of course, also had much to do with both post-war reparations which had resulted in significant lengths of overhead lines and associated equipment in the Soviet zone having been dismantled, and numerous electric locos from the pre-1945 Reichsbahn inventory having been shipped to the Soviet Union along with it. However, much of this equipment was returned in the early 50s in an effort to stabilise the GDR economy, resulting in electric operations recommencing in 1955. In addition, economic obligations for the entire East Bloc set by the COMECON resulted in GDR locomotive builders having to concentrate on manufacturing diesel locomotives, and the GDR having access to cheap oil from the Soviet Union till the second oil crisis of 1979 also affected the Warsaw Pact states. Consequently, railway electrification was speeded up again by the early 80s, obviously also generating a large demand for suitable electric locomotives in order to replace the fleet of pre-war class 204 (E 04), 218 (E 18), 244 (E 44) and 254 (E 94) locos, as well as augment the GDR-designed class 211 and 242 Bo‘Bo‘ and 250 Co‘Co‘ locomotives. In addition, a replacement for the class 251 Co‘Co‘ electrics used only on the 25 kV AC Rübeland Railway was also considered desirable. However, let us turn our attention back to the 1960s for the moment. By the middle of the decade, rail traffic in the GDR had increased to a degree which began to exceed the capabilities of both the E 11 and E 42 – especially in freight service. Operational experience showed that even multiple units of these classes was not always sufficient, so it was soon accepted that a Co‘Co‘ electric locomotive would have to be procured, in order to handle both heavy passenger and freight trains. Initial plans for a Co‘Co‘ configured locomotive had, in fact, been made in parallel to those for the Bo‘Bo‘ classes E 11 and E 42, but could not be implemented immediately as production capacities were insufficient at that time. While the new Co‘Co‘ locomotive was given the preliminary designation of E 51 during the design phase, the changeover to computer-formatted numbers – which Deutsche Reichsbahn implemented in 1970 – led to the production locos being designated as class 250. As those of you knowledgeable in the field of German railways may know, Deutsche Reichsbahn had reserved the 200 range for electric locomotives and EMUs, and the 100 range for diesels and DMUs, whereas Deutsche Bundesbahn used the 100 range for electrics and 200 for mainline diesels, with separate ranges – 400 and 600 – being used for EMUs and DMUs respectively. Three prototypes, designated as 250 001 through 003, were presented in 1974, and production began in 1977. A total of 270 production locos was built until 1984 – the prototypes visibly differing from the production locos in having significantly larger windscreens and the centre headlight above these rather than below. These three locos thus became known by the nickname of „Granny“ (German: „Oma“), while the production 250s are usually referred to as „Container“, „Suitcase“ („Koffer“), „Tin Loaf“ („Kastenbrot“) or „Pan Loaf“ („Kommißbrot“) by railfans – owing to their boxy and unadorned appearance. Like all GDR electrics, the 250 was designed and built at the People-Owned Locomotive and Electrical Engineering Works "Hans Beimler" at Hennigsdorf near Berlin. In terms of its technological level, it could be said to be a kind of forerunner to the famous class 243 Bo‘Bo‘ electrics, now known as class 143. After reunification, the class was redesignated as 155 in 1992, and became part of the DB AG motive power inventory in 1994. While 155s could be seen working passenger services during the early DB AG years – much as they had often done in the GDR – they were later allocated to the freight branch now called DB Schenker, at which point passenger operations for this class ceased altogether. In the early 2000s, a number of 155s was plagued by material fatigue around the bogies, leading to the entire class being temporarily restricted to 80 kph (50 mph). However, as the 155 remains an important part of DB Schenker's inventory – being frequently used for container, chemical and coal and steel services – a good number of locomotives remains in service until this day. Revisions are carried out at the Dessau repair works in Saxony-Anhalt, one of DB AG‘s principal repair facilities, which are now also open for locomotives owned by other operators. Technical description The 155's body and frame are welded steel assemblies, with the frame consisting of two longitudinal beams, two transversal end beams doubling as buffer beams, two primary inner transversal beams also carrying the pivot pins, and several auxiliary beams for reinforcement. The bufferbeams were prepared for installation of the standardised UIC automatic coupler which was planned to be introduced in the late 1970s, but then postponed indefinitely. The production locos were also fitted with snow ploughs located below the buffer beams. The body is a self-supporting structure and consists of three subassemblies, namely the two cabs and the engine room section. Additional strengthening beams and braces are provided throughout, and the engine room sides are corrugated to also provide additional structural strength. The engine room roof consists of three independently removable panels for better maintenance access. As is common on East German electrics, there also is a rooftop hatch, allowing personnel access to topside equipment from inside the locomotive. Large ventilation grilles are placed in the upper half of the engine room sides. Inside the body, there are a primary and secondary corridor through the length of the engine room. Four outer doors permit access to the cabs, which in turn are laid out with control desks located on the right-hand side. The power controller is wheel-shaped and placed centrally in front of the driver, with Cab 2 also containing a small fridge and sink for the driver, located to the left of the footwell and in the rear bulkhead respectively. An overview of the cab. Note the TFT screen, which is for the electronic working timetable, also known as EBuLa. This 155 here would appear to have retained the cab instruments from the original GDR-designed PZ 80 train protection set. This system is, of course, compatible with the standard trackside RLC circuits used in all of Germany as well as Austria, but as delivered was different in offering braking curve monitoring based on maximum speed settings at 10 kph intervals. By contrast, the West German Indusi I 60, I 60 R and PZB 90 devices offer only three speed ranges: U, M and O, calibrated for maximum speeds of 100, 120 and 160 kph respectively, and with different speed check thresholds. Meanwhile, those ex-DR locos which still have the PZ 80 onboard devices have but been given the common PZB 90 software, as this is now a standard requirement. Interestingly, the PZ 80 cab instrument – which is the one on the supporting arm in the right-hand corner of the desk – also includes a digital speedometer, thus eliminating the need for a standard analogue instrument. To the left and slightly in front of the power controller, the reverser is located, with the handle being removable and only one handle per loco being provided as a safeguard against both reversers possibly being set separately by accident. In fact, the handle is removed in this view. Image taken and uploaded to Wikipedia by user „Solaris2006“ under the terms and conditions of the GNU Free Documentation Licence 1.2. As such, re-use in this article is subject to the same terms and conditions. Meanwhile, the bogies feature a welded steel frame with two longitudinal and four transversal beams – three of which carry the traction motors – and a pivot pin bearing. There is an inter-bogie coupling assembly, for the purpose of the bogies steering each other through curves. The three wheelsets per bogie are spaced asymmetrically, with the distance between the outer and centre wheelsets being larger than that between the centre and inner wheelsets. The axleboxes are held by levers which are attached to the bogie frame, and supported by two helical springs per bearing. The outer wheelsets also have vertical shock absorbers, while the centre wheelsets have ten millimetres of lateral motion to both sides for better curve running. As a whole, the bogies are suspended from the frame by way of four double helical springs per bogie. The transformer is an oil-cooled three-core design with a high voltage LNSW 12 type tap changer, which has thirty-one power notches spaced at 500 V intervals and is assisted by thyristor modules for bridging notches and more accurate power control. There also is a background tractive effort monitoring function, whereby each power notch has a tractive effort target value assigned to it. Notches 29 through 31 are designed as reserve notches for low OHLE voltage situations. In case of malfunctions, the tap changer can also be operated in an „impulse“ mode without tractive effort monitoring, notching up and down for as long as the controller is held in the corresponding position. Additional transformer taps for auxiliary systems, ETS and dynamic brake excitation are provided as well. The traction motors are a nose-suspended twelve-pole design, utilising a variation of the double-sided LEW quill drive for power transmission. They have a gear ratio of 1 : 2.72 and provide a maximum rated output of 900 kW each. The motors can work in dynamic braking mode, with each motor having one rheostat allocated to it. These are located in a cooling tower inside the engine room. In braking mode, they have a maximum continuous output of 2,500 kW and a maximum continuous braking force of 159 kN. The dynamic brake is blended with the pneumatic brake, which takes over below 35 kph (22 mph). Rooftop equipment includes two pantographs, which were VM 28-31 type diamond types originally, but have been replaced by Stemmann DSA 200 single arm types on most of the remaining 155s. Also, two manually operated pantograph cut-off switches are provided – which were a common feature on GDR-built electrics – , as is a measuring voltage transformer, air blast circuit breaker and current limiter. Safety systems include a distance/time-based alerter („Sifa“) as well as the PZB train protection system, though several 155s also have had LZB cab signalling fitted. The GDR Sifa variant is set up differently from the West German variety, in that it performs vigilance checks at random intervals up to a maximum duration of 30 seconds, so as to avoid the issue of drivers often getting so used to the fixed 30-second interval of the West German Sifa that they unconsciously trigger the alerter pedal, possibly reducing the system‘s effectiveness. Auxiliary systems are powered by a 380 V/50 HZ three phase AC circuit, and include one 125 kW inverter, one 12 kW main compressor, one 14 kW braking rheostat blower, six 6 kW traction motor blowers, one 3.5 kW coolant oil pump, two 2.2 kW transformer heat exchanger blower, and one 500 W blower for the tap changer thyristor elements. The pneumatic brake is multiple lapped with direct shunting brake valve, and has the common settings G, P and R. Driver‘s brake valves are DAKO BS-4 types, while the direct brake valves are BP types. There are two brake pads per wheel. And this is what all these paragraphs describe in dry, technical prose: There can be no doubt that aesthetics played a fairly minor role in the 155‘s design. Like most other Roco models, their 155 – since released in a variety of guises, including DR maroon, DB traffic red with both single arm and diamond pans, and indeed the prototype variant – is finely detailed all around. As mentioned further up, this model is distributed with catalogue number 62437, and represents 155 214, one of the two 155s in DB Schenker‘s fleet still wearing the oriental red livery. Interestingly, both 155 214 and 219 combine this livery with single arm pantographs. On the 155, the handrails around the cab doors are actually made of metal, which appears to be a new standard on several recent Roco models. As usual, a small bag of add-on bits is included, containing the PZB receivers (which have to be slid on a retaining pin at the right rear of each bogie) as well as brake pipes and fake UIC couplers. Right side of the Cab 1 end, with the following inscriptions: last revision completed at the Dessau repair works (LDX) on 27 March 2007; Knorr-Einheitsbremse with settings G, P and R and direct brake valve; operating weight of 123 tonnes; braking weights: R 143 tonnes P 124 tonnes G 106 tonnes The Cab 2 end with several additional inscriptions, including the owner's inscription (Railion Deutschland AG, Berlin) above the second wheelset. The bogie frames are just as finely detailed as the rest of the model. Looking into the cab, you can see that Roco actually highlighted the control desk details with fine touches of paint, which has not been common on most of their other models of electric and diesel locos thus far. Large, round headlights like those installed on the 155 were actually fairly typical of GDR motive power. Also note the horn being attached vertically to the cab face. And finally a look at the roof - the circuit breaker being located between the air reservoirs and the central superstructure. I believe I will yet see to amending the busbar here and there, much as I did on my 181.
  24. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/15/solar-powered-trains-uk-india-renewables-tracks-electric Valid proposal, though anyone spot the image error? Cheers, Steve. (sorry if already posted)
  25. MIDLAND RAILWAY OUTPOST: Lancaster - Morecambe - Heysham by Martin Bairstow ‘Well worth it. Superb books’ ‘Highly recommended’ ‘Loads of superb colour photographs of old trains and boats/ships in the area’ 'Beautifully bound and presented, Willowherb Publishing’s latest themed books are a joy to devour and reflect upon.' A nostalgic look back at the railway and shipping operations in the Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham area, including its pioneering and unique electric trains. In 1904, Heysham gave the Midland Railway a more direct route to Belfast, which it had been seeking for over 50 years. Coverage begins at Wennington where trains from Leeds were split into Morecambe and Carnforth portions. We then continue along the Midland’s main line through Hornby, Caton, and Halton to Lancaster Green Ayre, Morecambe Promenade and Heysham, before featuring a variety of ships on services to Belfast and the Isle of Man. The post-1966 route via Carnforth is also followed to the much-changed former Midland Railway outpost at Heysham. This full-colour album will bring back many memories for those who travelled by train to Morecambe for their holidays - or ventured across the Irish Sea from the Port of Heysham. Cover Photo: A three-car electric unit seen here having arrived at Morecambe Promenade in the 1960s from Lancaster and is awaiting its next turn of duty. Photo by DJ Mitchell. Other Photo: The view along Platform 2 at Heysham in 1960 with an Electric Multiple Unit at the Morecambe end. Photo Peter Sunderland Available now from https://www.willowherbpublishing.com/ Full-colour hardback 112 pages (189mm x 240mm)
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