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Hello all, you know I probably shouldn't keep indulging this 'what if' habit of mine, I'm starting to loose track of things and the families getting scared. But anyway this thread is based off of this one.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/14790-imaginary-locomotives/

 

And in the spirt of things I have a couple of ideas for completely fictional railways, both based on the Callender to Oban railway, my erstwhile local. I don't recommend it, the service really went downhil after 1965.

 

1. Crainlarich to Fort William. Crainlarich is a lovely little village in the mid-Highlands, marred somewhat of late by the large bypass from Glasgow. Enthusiasts will know it best for the large brige that dominates the town carrying the West Highland on its journey to Fort William, the West Highland is of course the North British route, but it was the NBRs rival, the Caledonian railway, whose line from Callender to Oban that reached the town first, the later construction of the west highland lead to Crainlarich, a tiny remote village, boasting two stations in a classic piece of British eccentricity. But... what if the Caledonian decided that it wanted Fort William as well as Oban? The existing C&O would provide a good base for just this venture, so in this scenario Crainlarich would become a junction for a route into the Highlands and to the Isles.

 

Of course I can only speculate as to what this would look like in practice, it would be fairly sharp split at the junction itself and it's possible that the line would start climbing immediately after leaving Crainlarich, I imagine a banker would probably be put on here and double heading would be the norm as on the real life west highland. Still it would give the Caledonian access to two West coast ports and keep the WHR from draining the C&O of traffic.

 

2. Killin to Aberfeldy/ Ballinuaig to Killin. This is a two part idea, the Callender to Oban contained a small branch line to the village of Killin at the head of Loch Tay, there's was for a while even a steamer service along the length of the loch. A similar such route existed from Ballinuaig to Aberfeldy on the Highland Main Line, so the obvious thought is linking the two towns, I'm in two minds, on the one hand, the Caledonian could simply extent the Killin Branch along the north shore of Loch Tay, then along the Tay to the west side of Aberfeldy. Or the Highland Railway could push further into Breadalbane by building its own route to Killin. I like the latter idea, if a connection was later built with the C&O it would give the Highland a, very circuitous, route to Glasgow.

 

Of course this is all fantasy and frankly the terrain on Tayside is so mountainous that the line would in all likelihood not be worse the expense. Still it's fun to discuss.

 

Please feel free to leave your ideas for your own railway, large or small. And remember this is all make believe and the purpose of it is to have fun and possibly learn something in the process, so be kind to each other.

 

Yours in waiting

ScR

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Just supposing the LBSCR had joined up with the LCDRand SER grouping, we would have had the 'London, Brighton, Chatham, Dover and south eastern coast railway' what a mouthful! They would really have had trouble fitting all that onto the side tanks of their smaller engines! :D

I think it was in the summer and autumn 1968 editions of 'trains illustrated'that I read a fantastic history of the fictitious South British Railway, which I strongly reccomend anybody read should they have the opportunity

Edited by Killian keane
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I have long had my own private concern going by the name of the ‘Glamorgan Railway’. I wanted to find a use for some of the miscellany of locos and rolling stock I had collected which did not fit in with my general GWR and LNWR outline models. I decided to create a fictional Welsh line to compete with the likes of the Taff Vale and Barry concerns but with a back story that the company was entirely owned by a very wealthy family of old nobility – in the case an un-named Earldom. The head of the family is usually simply referred to as the 4th Earl or 5th Earl etc. or sometimes just by their first name e.g. Earl Robert.

 

My timeline of the company goes from the early 1830’s to 1913. The exact location of the line is not clearly indicated in my ‘history’ but it would have ended up as a fairly long system before financial pressures caused the closure of the line just before the Great War. The subsequent disposal of the assets in a mad grab by other railway companies is still to be written.

 

For each loco I have allocated to the Glamorgan Railway I have a short history of acquisition, rebuilding and disposal. This takes the form of excerpts from Ewan Husami’s seminal history “The Rise and Demise of the Glamorgan Railway”. An example is given below about the start of the line.

 

Chapter 3: The Lines Are Laid

 

It was shortly after the series of unfortunate and highly unusual events (some have even said “suspicious”) outlined in the previous chapter that the new 4th Earl travelled to his estates near Manchester with his young bride. There he had his first personal experience of the new wonder, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. His predecessor in the title had voted against the construction of the line in the House of Lords much to his nephew’s chagrin.

 

Earl Robert immediately saw the possibilities that steam locomotion could provide for his growing business concerns in the coal and iron industries. He immediately contacted George Stephenson in Liverpool in regard to purchasing a locomotive. Stephenson was not really interested until a substantial sum of money was mentioned. George wrote to his son Robert in Newcastle-upon-Tyne the very same day. Unfortunately this correspondence has been lost to history but what is known is that Robert quickly completed a Northumbrian type 0-2-2 engine he was building for the L&MR and dispatched it by sea to South Wales within a fortnight of receiving the letter. The 0-2-2 locomotive was replaced by the new 2-2-0 type “PLANET” which was allocated the number 9 in the L&MR roster.  

 

The 0-2-2 that the Earl had purchased was of course the famous “VULCAN” which was to do so much in the initial construction phase of the railway. It also introduced the basic colour scheme used for the bulk of the existence of the line, namely the blue painted locomotives with red wheels.

 

The new engine was slightly different from ………………………         

    

 

Dave R.

 

edit for bad spelling

Edited by Devo63
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An interesting 'maybe' is if Parliament had allowed the merger of The GN, GE and GC in 1907. Who would have run things on the loco and C&W sides, for instance?

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Imaginary railways? I've built thousands of them ....... well, I've imagined thousands.

 

My current insanity is a railway running from Bellmullet, in the west of Ireland to Paris (well, just short; it couldn't afford to actually get there!), in a sort of straight line, although it meanders a good deal, with train ferries across the seas, as a sort of crackpot way of shortening the transit time to NY.

 

It avoids all reasonably populated and prosperous places, is single-track, and the journey takes absolutely ages, in fact, cycling is definitely quicker. Passengers surrender all hope of arriving at the destination, and simply enjoy the slowly-changing scenery. When they, eventually, get to Bel mullet, they discover that the intended enlargement of the harbour couldn't be afforded, so the nearest they get to a ship across the Atlantic is to see one one distant horizon.

 

It's really just an excuse to have one imagined railway linking lots of places that I like!

 

K

Edited by Nearholmer
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When I was a kid, I planned out an underground system for my, then, home town.  Since this was the seaside resort of Southport in Lancashire, it is, perhaps, hard to think of a less suitable place for such a venture.  Sadly, I have lost the plans that I drew but I remember that it was interesting to see how the underground routes often followed different paths from the surface routes and so linked areas of the town which, otherwise, seemed disconnected.  I can't remember if there was a station to serve the Royal Birkdale Golf Course - could have been useful during the Open :)

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A truly imaginary railway, to my mind, would step away from reality and into a fictitious but believable time and place - maybe mild steampunk or Game of Thrones stuff, for example. Not quite as extreme as this though...

 

steampunk-train.jpg

 

Take the unique atmosphere of Yakub Rozalski's fantastic paintings, for example...

 

https://www.artstation.com/artist/jakubrozalski

 

The problem for me is the trains. Other than some C19 French, German etc stock I am struggling to get any real inspiration.

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One thing I dabble in is the idea that the mainline pregrouping companies actually had narrow gauge sections that mirrored the standard gauge system but were, well, narrow gauge. On16.5 is the basis, coupled with OO chassis of the Nellie or Desmond persuasion. As a result prototype tank locos are modelled, but sized down to 040s of about W&L earl and countess size. The line happens to be in the parent systems domain, but no real places are involved, and the layout will be a circle with a couple of spurs. So far, the Highland Rly is getting a makeover, which might appal a lot of folks.post-26540-0-22903100-1500662945_thumb.jpg

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I have an old Model Railway News from 1959 which has an article discussing the railway geography of Barsetshire - drawing on both Trollope and Angela Thirkell. It's fairly clear that the main line is Great Western. It's debatable whether the South Western gets a look-in but there is the hint of a north-south line which suggests a Midland finger in the pie.

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I've occasionally thought that an imaginary Midland Railway line to Grantham would make a good subject for a model, as it's the one East Midlands town that they didn't manage to serve. 

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When I was a kid, I planned out an underground system for my, then, home town. Since this was the seaside resort of Southport in Lancashire, it is, perhaps, hard to think of a less suitable place for such a venture. Sadly, I have lost the plans that I drew but I remember that it was interesting to see how the underground routes often followed different paths from the surface routes and so linked areas of the town which, otherwise, seemed disconnected. I can't remember if there was a station to serve the Royal Birkdale Golf Course - could have been useful during the Open https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

As a bored adult in work one day I sketched out a route for a monorail around Cardiff City centre using a Google Earth screengrab and MS Paint.

 

I might still have it saved somewhere.

 

As a teenager I concocted a fictional preserved line in mid-Shropshire that included a preserved narrow gauge railway system in the old lead mines at Snailbeach.

Edited by Jongudmund
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I wonder if the Caledonian would have pushed a line over Rannoch Moor from Crainlarich?  Had they constructed it before the NB came along, suspect they would have extended the Ballachulish branch from Connel Ferry further up Loch Linnhe to reach Fort William.  Much flatter and several settlements along the way.  Could even have extended it up the Great Glen to meet the Highland at Inverness!

My line is imaginary, although based on a real proposal that even got its Act of Parliament.  Imaginary part is that the GWR didn't get cold feet and carried on supporting the East Gloucestershire railway so that it got built.  Would probably have saved the GWR quite a bit of bother and expense had they carried on with the project.  Any northern extension of the M&SWR would have been quite different.  Would also have had the old Cheltenham St James station being a through station which would have saved considerable expense later when the line to Stratford from Cheltenham was built.  With more flights of fancy, the GWR could have saved itself all that expense and bother  with a tunnel under the Severn estuary, spending the money on upgrading the East Glous line!

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I wonder if the Caledonian would have pushed a line over Rannoch Moor from Crainlarich?  Had they constructed it before the NB came along, suspect they would have extended the Ballachulish branch from Connel Ferry further up Loch Linnhe to reach Fort William.  Much flatter and several settlements along the way.  Could even have extended it up the Great Glen to meet the Highland at Inverness!

My line is imaginary, although based on a real proposal that even got its Act of Parliament.  Imaginary part is that the GWR didn't get cold feet and carried on supporting the East Gloucestershire railway so that it got built.  Would probably have saved the GWR quite a bit of bother and expense had they carried on with the project.  Any northern extension of the M&SWR would have been quite different.  Would also have had the old Cheltenham St James station being a through station which would have saved considerable expense later when the line to Stratford from Cheltenham was built.  With more flights of fancy, the GWR could have saved itself all that expense and bother  with a tunnel under the Severn estuary, spending the money on upgrading the East Glous line!

Well marching on Inverness was the original plan, its all a fictional idea so it only needs to acknowledge reality if you want it to. Nice idea on your end as well.

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As a bored adult in work one day I sketched out a route for a monorail around Cardiff City centre using a Google Earth screengrab and MS Paint.

Somehow I feel the need to post this.....

 

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I myself have a particularly love of island rail systems and that scenario is wonderful.

 

The idea of a small system, standard gauge, but self-contained and physically separate from the national system, really appealed.  The only way to do this in the UK in the 1900s, with the national rail system approaching its greatest extent, was to locate the line on an island.

 

Rather than an offshore island, I thought about an inland one! 

 

I did not build this in the end, because I plumped for the equally fictitious West Norfolk Railway, which relies on imaginary towns and villages in a sort of Expanded Norfolk, though this one connects with real railways (GER and M&GNJR), which serve real places.

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During the GWR's expansionist phase, narrow gauge railways were built on the Channel Islands, and connected to the mainland by a fleet of company owned ferries.

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During the GWR's expansionist phase, narrow gauge railways were built on the Channel Islands, and connected to the mainland by a fleet of company owned ferries.

 

I think the Germans did this in their expansionist phase, for moving shells around the gun emplacements...

 

Presumably, had the GW done it, they'd have based the stock on Vale of Rheidol or Welshpool and Llanfair practice.

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The great thing about imagineering is that one can have slightly different options: if we imagine that the GWR was in the CI early, it might have had 3ft gauge locos, had d on the two eccentricities that the Bristol & Exeter built!

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The great thing about imagineering is that one can have slightly different options: if we imagine that the GWR was in the CI early, it might have had 3ft gauge locos, had d on the two eccentricities that the Bristol & Exeter built!

One ideas I had on this line is what would happen if the UK mainline gauge was built to 5ft 3in same as the Irish, the cross traffic alone would be interesting, and we could even proch the idea of bridging the Irish Sea.

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I myself have a particularly love of island rail systems and that scenario is wonderful.

As a bored back row member of 3B during double German we would play a game in our ''jotters'.

 

First you  drew a squggle with your eyes shut, opened them and completed it as an island/islands before passing it on to the 2 or 3 that were also in on the game.

They would pass you their archilpelago in return and you had to mark where your first landing was as an explorer seafarer.

You would also mark where you had selected as a capital in relation to a 3D  relief you'd concocted - then passed it on via some bored girls playing out some other group. phantasy.

 

By hometime you might well have progressed to a totally urbanised main island with all manner of industries, quarries and rail systems plus bridges and train ferries to the adjoinung islands.

 

I never did master 'cases' and word endings in German and failed the O level.

dh

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Isn't there an imaginary "Southern" railway today where hopeful commuters turn up every day in the hope that there will be a train?

 

steve

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Isn't there an imaginary "Southern" railway today where hopeful commuters turn up every day in the hope that there will be a train?

 

steve

 

Surely the prototypical 'Southern Trains' commuter hopes there will be a train ....

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