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Posted (edited)

Dr D has it right. Its an old Keyser plastic kit. Its HO scale and was made for the Spanish market apparently. I think they're from the 1980s. They are called "Mataro" coaches and are supposed to be copies of the original 1840s coaches that ran with the locomotive of that name, the first in Spain I believe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalonia_Railway_Museum#/media/File:Tren_del_centenari_1848-1948.JPG

Two coaches come in each kit, a first and a second class and I was lucky enough to pick up 2 kits on e-Bay last year. There are some images on the interwebs of them being made up into British-looking ones:

https://srmg.org.uk/victorian-4wheeler

My plan is to take the Eastern Counties coach that survived post-WWI as well as similar examples from the S&M and the K&ESR and make up a train. I was going to just use 3 of them and make the fourth one a grounded crew bothy but they are so nice I think I'll have all four in service.

 

Dsc00830.jpg.f5cc4328e93ca8cd86bf4a876945d8d8.jpg

The injection mouldings are pretty ropey so lots of cleaning up but they have potential. I'll be dragging them into the early 20th century with different buffers, couplings, oil lamps and possibly other details, plus metal wheels of course as the kit ones are really only useful for a static model.

Edited by Martin S-C
EDIT: Dr Duncan replied before me - so acknowledgement.
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Posted (edited)

Today we built the gradient that carries the main line east from Puddlebrook to Snarling. It rises on a pretty stiff grade in a tunnel under the stop block ends of both Green Soudley and Nether Madder. The string came out to play again and was very useful. The red track beside the gradient is the hidden circuit which will split into an up and down storage loop under Armisford Mill, with a third, centre, through road.

The embankments that take the main line from Puddlebrook past Witts End were also put in and some progress was made on the higher board (+5") of Green Soudley. Due to a massive cock-up with gradients and levels by yours truely, we had to make a major engineering alteration to the Wye & Aight Canal at Green Soudley. It will all come out in the wash but I really should do proper maths when designing model railway layouts instead of sketching things and hoping they'll work. Twit.

Here's where we are today:
1018324919_TodaysArea26-3.png.fb3784db81e9cdb70691fb6bb7d249dd.png

 

String, wooden blocks and ...the hand. I let him out of his cage now and then for a bit of exercise round the garden. The raised wobbly-edged bit of ply in the foreground is the edge of the Green Soudley goods yard. There will be a steep wooded slope here dropping down to Witts End village (where it says "Tin Chapel").

Dsc03300.jpg.15a9f61180f71b47d15eef5670d36569.jpg

 

String and blocks sans hand. Due to my muck up with basic mathematics this gradient is a bit of a naughty one. Still, I'll just have to roster the correct power rated loco to my trains now which is an extra layer of fun. I think.

Dsc03302.jpg.01a2d5ad6751703d73b7b8f7d037f0d0.jpg


Legs for the embankment over the River Aight. This is where the Maldon Line/River Blackstone inspired wooden trestle will go.

Dsc03303.jpg.bf54be216f35c5361f706878db2d793b.jpg

 

Embankment tops going in.

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13029 playing "scrape my roof" again. The hand is back.

Dsc03307.jpg.f30e5397d63ba33296da0625c81f0c25.jpg


Seems to fit... just. An embarrassingly steep gradient visible in the background.

Dsc03308.jpg.78bac0e5ad7800d2c9d1a09182d55743.jpg


I hate straight track. Where there's a wiggle, there's a way.

Dsc03309.jpg.3692abe233be85438277d8fb01b43487.jpg

 

Dsc03310.jpg.b425745fc506f08c717db0050338a56e.jpg

 

View from the other side. The higher board carries the gradient up to Snarling, the lower one with loco goes to the circuit/hidden loops.

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Dsc00830.jpg

Edited by Martin S-C
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It’s all ok I’m out of the cage and sat comfortably with a cold beer in hand.

 

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Great stuff Martin.  The layout is very much taking shape now.  A stiff gradient can be quite an interesting operational feature and can be a good excuse for having some ancient monster of an 0-6-0 saddle tank around to play the role of a banking engine.

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Posted (edited)

Oh dear, Annie. Suggesting that I need another engine is very dangerous ground. Very Dangerous Indeed. When the words "banking engine" get mentioned I start to go glassy-eyed and slack-jawed and think of 8-coupled monsters.

Things like this pop into my head.
GNR_Class_L1_0-8-2T.jpg.9b51229dfcaa5a2986fba72483a9bcf9.jpg

Or this!
2022385325_HUGHES_LY_0-8-2T.jpg.d063a275662b21e4c7aeefa06d77c3d5.jpg

 

Aha! More wheels! Moar!

GCR_Robinson_Class_S1_0-8-4T.jpg.c1cf1f824bc13b5a658abdc51a19b79f.jpg

Muahahaha!
GER_Class_A55_0-10-0T.jpg.c53e2a956c9d4b501106057393ea606a.jpg

Er, yes, well. There were some nice meaty smaller things about. The Welsh railways had plenty of chunky 0-6-2Ts and its not unreasonable to think one could have been bought prior to the GWR nabbing them all in 1923.
Rhymney_Railway_0-6-2T.jpg.8610fb66b5d7d3dee44c16ee60ef24e1.jpg

But if I try to resist the urge to spend money on a whole new engine just to run backwards and forwards up and down a 12 ft length of sloped track pushing things, I could use one I already have, the LBSCR E4 for example which is classed as a "big tank engine" in my stock list.
671998330_LBSCE4Class0-6-2T.jpg.3975bf1345a8f597ea2b3d62ad1b6bdd.jpg

I also have a couple of smaller models in my "kits for a rainy day" box. An NLR Park 0-6-0T and a GWR 850 class 0-6-0ST. I've always thought the GW 850s were terribly pretty engines.

LNWR_ex-NLR_Park_Class_3F_0-6-0T_02.jpg.4d693654c2cdcddf79441f072a86ed5b.jpg

 

1828986827_GWR850Class0-6-0saddletank01.jpg.bf474f0ac27651d72f0cd813a593c417.jpg

The NLR Park was rated a 3F so moderately beefy for its size.

 

I also have this and she may be the one.

1899577163_Brecon__Merthyr_0-6-0ST_01.jpg.bd9a50ce91c5d75958134d9c15533eb1.jpg

A pretty rare model and having the three most desirable features of any steam engine: saddle tank - check; open cab - check; outside frames ...mmm... - check.


At least having a banker or pilot is easy with DCC. I'll work out what my "standard" weight train is - I already know the maximum freight will be 8 wagons plus brake, though of course that still allows a big variation in weight, and the passenger will be no more than 3x 57' bogie coaches at most and more likely 2x 50 footers plus a van or two, in some cases only 2x 4-wheelers plus van/horse box/etc and I'll set to work driving various trains up t'hill and work out which are my tough engines and which are the wimps. I'll then allocate a range of power ratings to the fleet and the wimps will get the light trains or need a banker. Or go into the works to see if we can stuff some more lead into their boilers.

There isn't anywhere to put a banking engine at Puddlebrook though. A quick scribble on the plan shows some potential locations for banker sidings however. #1 and #2 are my preferred ones - the gradient is at that end. The other end is the lifting flap and is already crowded.

Puddlebrook_Banker_Siding.png.3ca51075558720f0ee2fb003fecfc7c3.png

If I go for location #1 I get this kind of thing. Nicely placed right outside the east signal box. The banker can drop off at the next station along the line and run back down hill easily enough. I'll do some train weight/load testing before I decide if I want to eat into the real estate of the Forest Stone Co's workshops.

Puddlebrook_Banker_Siding_01.png.a0fcb2a2cf630fd264e29fcde0a336d1.png

Edited by Martin S-C
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Today was also Finish Off My Half-Dozen Lime Wagons day. They are only the basic Dapol ones but add an extra nice mucky traffic for the line.

Clan_Afon_Lime_Co_Mold_Roofed_9-Plank_No_11.jpg.d90d48b5c5df91f7e2922aeda3424938.jpg

 

Crawshay_Brothers_Cyfartha_Roofed_9-Plank_No_134.jpg.57f2c9d144f939c3851a5e4d3de9e1c2.jpg

 

Llynclys_Lime_Wks_Oswestry_Roofed_9-Plank_No_124.jpg.9ecab4db4dc4c1757129071a611d908b.jpg

 

Minera_Lime_Co_Wrexham_Roofed_9-Plank_No_125.jpg.5aa032cbccc429c6f7a80832705c146e.jpg

 

Porthywaen_Lime_Co_Oswestry_Roofed_9-Plank.jpg.0492b087677bf2a34448a0bad6af245e.jpg

 

Whitecliff_Lime_Co_Coleford_Roofed_9-Plank_No.6.jpg.89b4de82f6a9b4bcaf3413db00b82097.jpg

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Posted (edited)

“only the basic Dapol ones” ....... I still think that pettifogging details like brake types, and even 10ft vs 9ft wheelbase, will ‘disappear’ in a well developed system layout of this size. 

 

Tiny details are the thing on a 6ft plank layout, viewed at nose-length, but here the thing is the broad sweep (a stout fellow who cleans chimblies).

Edited by Nearholmer
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Hi Martin. I love the idea of having your own miniature version of the Lickey Incline, with Big Bertha's little sister sitting in steam at the bottom to push trains up it (maybe with a big electric headlight on the front). Am I stating the obvious in saying that you'll need to include a water tower at either Puddlebrook or Snarling to replenish the engine and save it a run back to the sheds for more water? Especially if you can find an A55 - that huge boiler meant a well tank which cut down on its water capacity. 

 

On the "only the Dapol" matter, they look great and to see that little string of wagons chugging round the layout will be a real treat. Someone once gave me a Hornby Transfesa ferry van as a present. As my layout at the time was set in the 1930s, and they were only introduced into Britain in the 1960s it didn't really fit in, but with a repaint in grey with a white roof and "SR" lettering it just looked enough like a long wheelbase box van for my uncritical eye and fitted in a treat.

 

Not being the kind of modeller who would look at and engine and say things like "But the lamp brackets were 6" lower before 1932" I'm a great follower of the "If it looks right run it" approach. 

 

Judging by the amount of stock you've shown us in the previous pages, when you get some track down you'll have plenty to put on it.  Looking forward to seeing some. 

 

Regards

 

Cam

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That Brecon & Merthyr saddle tank would indeed be just the thing Martin and would very much fill the bill for a banker.  And as you say it ticks all the boxes for being a highly desirable steam engine.  With a name like 'Hercules' or 'Titan' on brass plates on the sides of its saddle tanks and standing ready in its siding at the base of the gradient your engine drivers will have no fear to face the 'hill' with any train they might have coupled up to their engine.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone. I often get twitchy about not doing "proper" modelling to actual prototypes and knowing not very much about wagons (except for knowing what I like). In times of stress I go back to my library of Madder Valley images and look at things like this to reassure myself that a fantasy railway can run some odd vehicles and still be coherent.

Dsc00293.jpg.33b67725c9045b46e07ecd93538173e1.jpg

 

Pendon_Gammon_End_Halt.jpg.7fa94917ce58fed52cfa8e75395673cc.jpg

Regarding watering facilities I was going to have a water crane or two at either the ends of the Puddlebrook platforms or the Snarling ones. This develoment means the decision is now taken on it being Puddlebrook. The introduction of the circuit into the plan makes more sense for the latter location as well so that circulating engines can take water between roundy-roundy runs. So after coasting back down the hill the banker will need to trail back into a platform road and spend a few minutes topping up before it creeps back into its "hole". More opportunity for playing trains.

Edited by Martin S-C
EDIT: Thoughts on siting water cranes added.
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On 26/03/2019 at 18:12, mason said:

It’s all ok I’m out of the cage and sat comfortably with a cold beer in hand.

 

If you've time to sit about slurping beer, you could have stayed under the baseboards screwing bits in for longer! ;)

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Hi Martin. Here's a philosophical question.  What is the prototype for a fictional or fantasy railway? If you aren't modelling a specific company and location your main question over the layout is "Does it look right?", not "Does it match the prototype?" As long as your engines, rolling stock and buildings tell the same story you have modeller's licence to do what you please. Your current loco roster and vehicles seem firmly rooted in the pre-grouping era and work together incredibly well. Stick with it.

 

As far as the Madder Valley goes, it wasn't just the wagons of the Madder Valley that went a bit out of the ordinary. I'm sure I've seen pictures (posted on this thread as well as in other places) of a standard-gauge version of a Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway tank loco. Now, I know that John Ahern was a bit vague about where the Madder Valley actually was, but I'm sure it was closer to the Forest of Dean than West Bengal.

 

Regards

 

Cam

 

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Those little GER luggage vans are an interesting prototype and delightfully cute with it.  You've made a really nice job of your one Martin.

I have a digital model of one that's had a bit of Cinderella existence on the Hopewood Tramway since it's so markedly small compared with my other vans, but I should make more use of it since the Hopewood Tramway has low platforms and it would be a lot easier on the station staff's backs not to be lifting parcels, bicycles, prams, suitcases, trunks, potted palms & etc into a normal height van on the passenger trains.

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Congratulations Martin on completing these projects - luggage van and coaches both, great stuff. I think I know how you feel, certain projects drag on but finishing them becomes an imperative and it's a great relief and sense of achievement when they are done.

 

Looking forward to seeing them lined up with the luggage van (no loco pressure!) :) 

 

 

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Martin,

 

Those two coaches look superb! Your persistence and patience have definitely paid off. Well done for getting there in the end, it sounds like it was a long and frustrating road, but the finished articles show it was clearly worth the effort! They will be perfect for the new layout.

 

David 

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On 28/03/2019 at 09:44, Martin S-C said:

Oh dear, Annie. Suggesting that I need another engine is very dangerous ground. Very Dangerous Indeed. When the words "banking engine" get mentioned I start to go glassy-eyed and slack-jawed and think of 8-coupled monsters.................

At least having a banker or pilot is easy with DCC. I'll work out what my "standard" weight train is - I already know the maximum freight will be 8 wagons plus brake, though of course that still allows a big variation in weight, and the passenger will be no more than 3x 57' bogie coaches at most and more likely 2x 50 footers plus a van or two, in some cases only 2x 4-wheelers plus van/horse box/etc and I'll set to work driving various trains up t'hill and work out which are my tough engines and which are the wimps. I'll then allocate a range of power ratings to the fleet and the wimps will get the light trains or need a banker. Or go into the works to see if we can stuff some more lead into their boilers.

There isn't anywhere to put a banking engine at Puddlebrook though. A quick scribble on the plan shows some potential locations for banker sidings however. #1 and #2 are my preferred ones - the gradient is at that end. The other end is the lifting flap and is already crowded.


 

Martin,

 

awesome progress here since my last visit. Not wanting to pour any cold water on good ideas but one thing I've wondered about and never seen comment on are these questions:

 

Under DCC does a Double header deliver more effective pulling power than the single original loco? and if so how much?

 

I can't get my mind around the issue of load sharing and how this might be achieved. My simplistic take on this is that the front loco has to retain tension on the rear loco at all times, does the consist algorithm control both engines' motor rotations to achieve this?

 

Colin

 

 

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5 hours ago, BWsTrains said:

Under DCC does a Double header deliver more effective pulling power than the single original loco? and if so how much?

 

I can't get my mind around the issue of load sharing and how this might be achieved. My simplistic take on this is that the front loco has to retain tension on the rear loco at all times, does the consist algorithm control both engines' motor rotations to achieve this?

 

Yes, very definitely you'll get more pulling power as the physics involved are exactly the same as in full scale. How much extra power you would get I cannot say and I'm sure it would depend on the motors, gearboxes, weights of the engines and the speed you drive at.

You can double head or bank. You can double head in DC if you wish, still getting more pulling power, as long as the two locos gearboxes drive them at fairly closely agreed speed. With DC you will draw more power so in theory any two locos would both lose some maximum speed, and you can in fact add several if you wish until the current drawn trips the controller. But its definitely possible in DC. You could attempt banking with DC but you have no control over the separate engines of course, something you need for a banker as it must drop off the train at the top of the gradient. There was a big exhibition layout in the 70s that appeared in the MRC which had a banker engine that was the Triang-Hornby Class 76 running off overhead catenary wires up the incline to the marshalling yard, therefore giving a completely separate power system.

In DCC you have a choice. You either consist two or more locos together via the programming track and the computers drive the two motor/gearbox sets as one locomotive setting the running speed the same for the two engines. All handled by the computer chips that sit between the power pick up wires and the motor. Clever stuff. Or you can do it the old-skool way and use two separate controllers and (preferably) two people driving and they drive at as close to the same speed as possible. The consist approach is intended for multiple locomotives as train engines as the Americans are wont to do, where some long heavy trains have multiple diesel units; frequently a pair in front, a pair in the middle and another pair at the rear. For British banking and double heading operations its a lot less useful since a banker must assist every passing train up a grade so you do not want to digitally consist it with another engine as you don't want the pair to be identified by the system as one engine. If you do consist two or more engines together they both carry the same address so if they are separate on a layout and you select the consist address, they'll both move. Not ideal and also no good for allowing a banking engine to drop off the rear of the train when it's done its thing.

For banking you should aim to get the couplings slack in the rear half of the train so that each loco is handling half the weight and here things get trickier because you really do need to drive the pair of engines very close to identical speeds otherwise if the train engine is moving faster it will put tension into the whole train and end up dragging the banking loco as well (if it has couplings fitted). If it isn't coupled up it'll just be left behind. Conversely if the banker is moving more quickly there's a strong chance of the train derailing as the vehicles all get pushed up against the train engine.

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I banked trains up the Vulpafaukangulo (the AFK's big bank) for years without too many problems using DC.

Some trains are still banked from the rear.

 

Problems only occurred when SG wagons on transporters were included in the consist. The transporters are coupled onto the train using poles rather than standard buffing gear.

The poles unfortunately slewed sideways if the rear banker ran faster than the train engine and the train then derailed.

 

Trains containing SG wagons are now piloted.

 

The practice of dropping off from the rear as the train pulled away depended upon local regulations.

In many places these stipulated that the train had to come from a stand before the rear engine was detached. 

The recent book Operating the Caledonian noted that if the train engine slipped after the banker had detached it was not unknown for it then to catastrophically ram the train from the rear.

 

In any case I assume that you will be banking on a single line which then causes problems if the train engine drops off because there are now two trains in  the section.

It was possible to get around this by using a banking engine staff but this then became an operational and technical palaver.

Most lines opted for the simpler of approach of leaving the banker on to the next stop, presumably the next block point.

 

As I recall, from working in boxes, the bell code for "train in" became 2-2 in these circumstances rather than the standard 2 beats.

There might be some awkward questions to answer if the assisting engine was not on the rear at the next box!

 

Ian T

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Thanks Ian, I need any and all comments I can get. I agree that coupling quality as well as consistency is important. Its never wise to mix coupling types in model trains, even on the flat. You can multiply the problem several fold when banking. Vehicle weight will matter here as well, as much as engine driving speed. I can envisage some of the longer and lighter wagons like empty Lowmacs, LWB opens or bogie bolsters may cause problems, but I can always add additional weight under any troublemakers or write my own rulebook about how such wagons must be marshalled. All part of the fun of inventing your own railway company.

The plan for now is to first assemble a train of known weight and maximum length allowed by the rulebook. I'll start with a longish passenger and a loaded coal train which will probably be my heaviest trains. Then try a test run with every loco expected to work on that traffic type up the bank. If they all get up we are fine. If any do not, they'll get sent to the company workshops to see if we can add any weight to them. If we can, we do so and test run them again. If we cannot we'll stand them aside and conduct a managment review on them to include answers to questions like: 1) do we really like this engine? 2) can we do without it? 3) is there another engine similar we can use instead? 4) what's its second-hand value? and so on...

If we find that the answers are:

1) yes
2) no
3) no
4) quite low

Then the trains hauled by that engine will enter the "banking experiments" stage of the problem.

I think banking is fun but it would be nice to not have to do it very often. I think the fun factor of these model railway diversions can quickly turn into a chore factor. This opens up the possibility of having an early diesel or battery loco as the banker if it might sit there all day and only be used once or twice.

On real railways certain gradients had every train banked and/or certain trains had engines of enough power allocated. With my eclectic stable of engines and irrational desire to run pretty small locos I will no doubt have to bank some trains some of the time but I would wish to avoid banking all trains all of the time.

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Martin

 

what is your date-line? I ask, because I have a penchant for pre-WW1 internal combustion (not Diesel at that stage in the UK) and electric machinery, and might be able to contribute suggestions ...... probably more than you want!

 

kevin

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The place I knew for banking in steam days was Llanvihangel, just north of Abergavenny on the Hereford line. There was a 52xx 2-8-0T living in a neat little oneroad stonebuilt shed (subshed of PPR) just south of the Monmouth Road station, and West to North (Plymouth- Manchester) expresses, usually with a Castle on the front, came to a stand in the station. The banker would come off the shed, cross the main lines on to the back, not coupled, then when the train was ready to leave, the banker would “crow” on the whistle (there was a slight curve, and the train engine was on this) then the train engine would give a crow back, and both engines would start to move. You had a grind for something like three miles, wiki says 1in 82, to you reached the summit at Llanvihangel station, where the banker just shut off, and dropped off the back. Back through a crossover and down to Monmouth Road, and I would expect it also performed on goods trains heading north. The scene was complicated by Abergavenny Junction, half a mile or so north of Mon Road, where the ex LNWR route came in (heads of the valleys these days) This had a larger shed, and goods trains would need help in both directions from here, such locos as LNWR 0-8-0 and 0-8-4T hanging about. Come diesel days, and the bank was still tricky, although banking had ceased, especially in autumn when leaf fall was happening, and class 47s had a struggle with adhesion.

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27 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Martin

 

what is your date-line? I ask, because I have a penchant for pre-WW1 internal combustion (not Diesel at that stage in the UK) and electric machinery, and might be able to contribute suggestions ...... probably more than you want!

 

kevin

Hi Kevin

I am in 1919. I know there were experimental internal combustion machines around on the railways then but I think these were primarily passenger railbuses to combat the road buses and not so much goods engines to combat the lorry (which became an issue in the next 5~10 years).

 

I am in an alternative timeline though so enjoy some flexibility.

 

28 minutes ago, Northroader said:

The place I knew for banking in steam days was Llanvihangel, just north of Abergavenny on the Hereford line. There was a 52xx 2-8-0T living in a neat little oneroad stonebuilt shed (subshed of PPR) just south of the Monmouth Road station, and West to North (Plymouth- Manchester) expresses, usually with a Castle on the front, came to a stand in the station. The banker would come off the shed, cross the main lines on to the back, not coupled, then when the train was ready to leave, the banker would “crow” on the whistle (there was a slight curve, and the train engine was on this) then the train engine would give a crow back, and both engines would start to move. You had a grind for something like three miles, wiki says 1in 82, to you reached the summit at Llanvihangel station, where the banker just shut off, and dropped off the back. Back through a crossover and down to Monmouth Road, and I would expect it also performed on goods trains heading north. The scene was complicated by Abergavenny Junction, half a mile or so north of Mon Road, where the ex LNWR route came in (heads of the valleys these days) This had a larger shed, and goods trains would need help in both directions from here, such locos as LNWR 0-8-0 and 0-8-4T hanging about. Come diesel days, and the bank was still tricky, although banking had ceased, especially in autumn when leaf fall was happening, and class 47s had a struggle with adhesion.

 

Banking was a real art and there were many fascinating places where it happened. I feel a bit lucky in that my heights/distances maths planning is so crap that I now find myself with a gradient of around 1 in 30 on my main line and hence this discussion.

Another option is to divide heavy trains at Puddlebrook and send them up to Snarling in two portions.

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