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The Architecture The Railways Built - Series 3 starts 13 September on Yesterday


Paul.Uni
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On 01/09/2021 at 18:45, Paul.Uni said:

Series 3 starts 13th September at 8pm.

 

Looking forward to seeing this.

 

I hope some further series get commissioned - both of this and the London Underground themed spin-off.

 

Somehow, I doubt if there'd be any shortage of topics to feature in these programmes.

 

Also, a key point about series like these (and also unconnected series like "Abandoned Engineering") is that they help to encourage people to get interested in the rich history of buildings, infrastructure and machines they might encounter.

 

 

Huw.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Viewed it tonight.

Another excellent selection of items.

 

I was intrigued by the funicular that carried rail vehicles and pedestrians.

In the US there were several funiculars that carried tramcars (trolley cars)

 

In Trieste there is a tram line where the tramcars are pushed up a funicular by a dumb carriage

 

Edited by melmerby
Brain said Trieste, fingers typed Turin!
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Once again proof that time speeds up, an hour watching the first episode went far to quickly, and if you saw @timdunnenthusiastically  live on Twitter from the old London Bridge power signal box just before hand,  the series is again ten episodes and with a good looking eclectic mix of subjects throughout the series. Here's hoping for a series four already.

 

Like Keith the funicular was wonderful as was the drone footage of the Ballochmyle viaduct with the autumnal colours setting of the reddish stonework of the viaduct gloriously.

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9 hours ago, melmerby said:

Viewed it tonight.

Another excellent selection of items.

 

I was intrigued by the funicular that carried rail vehicles and pedestrians.

In the US there were several funiculars that carried tramcars (trolley cars)

 

In Turin there is a tram line where the tramcars are pushed up a funicular by a dumb carriage

 

Just to set that straight it's actually Trieste.  

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Just now, Edwin_m said:

Just to set that straight it's actually Trieste.  

Yes

I don't know why I typed Turin as I searched for the video under "Trieste":scratchhead:

Brain & fingers not talking to each other - again:jester:

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1 minute ago, melmerby said:

Yes

I don't know why I typed Turin as I searched for the video under "Trieste":scratchhead:

Brain & fingers not talking to each other - again:jester:

No problem.  

 

Does the funicular in Thuringia still swap loads?  Tim mentioned it doesn't carry wagons any more, and the coach looked as if it might now be a permanent fixture to increase passenger capacity.  I hope the coach has good brakes or is securely chocked/welded to the rails, otherwise I dread to think what might happen if it stopped suddenly on the way down!  

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16 minutes ago, Edwin_m said:

No problem.  

 

Does the funicular in Thuringia still swap loads?  Tim mentioned it doesn't carry wagons any more, and the coach looked as if it might now be a permanent fixture to increase passenger capacity.  I hope the coach has good brakes or is securely chocked/welded to the rails, otherwise I dread to think what might happen if it stopped suddenly on the way down!  

According to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberweißbacher_Bergbahn

"In normal day to day passenger service, the flat bed vehicle is loaded with a dedicated passenger car carrying the Oberweißbacher Bergbahn branding. Passenger access to this car is provided at the terminus"

 

They can also use this as an alternative:

image.png.7914a8eefa320fe2a65d1b8e38a81fec.png

Edited by melmerby
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8 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

No problem.  

 

Does the funicular in Thuringia still swap loads?  Tim mentioned it doesn't carry wagons any more, and the coach looked as if it might now be a permanent fixture to increase passenger capacity.  I hope the coach has good brakes or is securely chocked/welded to the rails, otherwise I dread to think what might happen if it stopped suddenly on the way down!  

The connections are all still there but they use a separate electric motorcar and trailer on the 2.5km flat upper section  I imagine that on heritage days they send a wagon or two up and down the section just to show how it was done (rather as heirtage railways run demonstration goods trains during festivals) and possibly to take the stock for major overhauls.

  I assume that of the two (open and enclosed ) SG passenger vehicles that sit on the transporter on the funicular section, the one not in use  is kept in the depot at the upper funiicular station as there appears to just be sidings at the lower end with one running on to the turntable.

There is a turntable beyond the funicular at the top onto which vehicles carried on the transporter can be run. The upper section train passes over this tunrtable so there could be no danger of a miss-set point sending the train crashing down the funicular. 

This personally made documentary shows the working of the line and the arrangement of fixed turnouts that puts the two funicular vehicles onto their appropriate tracks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMda8a3f7

It is actually rather clearer on this than the railway's website https://www.thueringerbergbahn.com/bergbahnland/attraktionen/rundgang360/

From the dicumentary it's clear that vehicles on the transporter wagon are held by pretty formidable mechanical locks and chocks. Obvioously necessary especially if there is any slight variation in gradient on the funicular section. 

Edited by Pacific231G
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10 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

 

This personally made documentary shows the working of the line and the arrangement of fixed turnouts that puts the two funicular vehicles onto their appropriate tracks.

It's a standard funicular arrangement as used at passing loops.

One vehicle has double flanged wheels on one side, the other vehicle has the flanges the opposite side. The other wheels are flangeless.

The outer rails are continuous, the inner rails have gaps at the frog and at the fixed "blades" and for the cable, the flangeless wheels just roll over these gaps, the outer rail guiding the respective vehicle.

image.png.d0beed9db3df2d7a0c805c7c107343d0.png

 

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I assume a similar arrangement also guides the transporter vehicle into the turntable siding at the bottom, where the "sloping" passenger vehicle goes into the equivalent sloping platform.  There didn't seem to be an equivalent at the top - I assume there is a level platform one side to board the coach on the transporter, and a sloping one on the other.  

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1 hour ago, Edwin_m said:

I assume a similar arrangement also guides the transporter vehicle into the turntable siding at the bottom, where the "sloping" passenger vehicle goes into the equivalent sloping platform.  There didn't seem to be an equivalent at the top - I assume there is a level platform one side to board the coach on the transporter, and a sloping one on the other.  

That picture is of the arrangement at the bottom of the incline.

The straight track goes to the TT, the curved one to the passenger "station"

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8 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

I assume a similar arrangement also guides the transporter vehicle into the turntable siding at the bottom, where the "sloping" passenger vehicle goes into the equivalent sloping platform.  There didn't seem to be an equivalent at the top - I assume there is a level platform one side to board the coach on the transporter, and a sloping one on the other.  

Yes, from the documentary whose URL I posted yesterday you can see that, at the top,  there seems to be a typical funicular staggered step platform on the left hand side (looking up) and a flat platform on the other side for accessing the carriage on the transporter wagon.

 

BTW a couple of the funiculars in Lyon had an arrangement where passenger  and goods trains (a flat car that, until 1962, a horse and wagon could be driven onto) could alternate. One of these, built in 1862 was the world's first funicular railway.  These were both double track lines (suggesting that theyhadn't yet figured out single track funciculars with a passing loop) but with four platfrorm faces at the lower end. This would have involved changing the cable from one to the other (so each line had its own winch rather than a single cable with a car on each end though the winches were connected to balance the up and down loads) and on one of the lines they ran three-car all passenger trains at weekends and trains with a single car and a flat wagon during the week. Looking at contemporary photographs of these, they seems to have had points that needed to be swtched for the central or side platforms on each side  but their design suggests that the vehicles had double flanged wheels. The cable pulleys were higher than the rail so there was no need to leave a gap in the rail for the cable. 

1426472024_LyonficelleCroix-Rouge.jpg.25d711e47db89f80017af56b19d08ddc.jpg

 

 

If you're interested in funiculars and rack railways, the five lines in Lyon have had a fascinating hstory. One line, St.Jean-St.Just, started life in 1878 as a funicular but a rather bizarre one. The slope was greater at the lower end than at the upper end of the line so the load on the steam engine that drove the winding drum would have been unbalanced as one train was on the steeper slope and the other on the shallower. Each train consisted of a passenger car with 1 enclosed 1st class compartment and four semi-open 2nd class compartments and a flat car that could carry horses and carts or other loads and could be fitted at one end with a passenger body, for mostly standing passengers . As well as being connected to the main cable, the passenger car also carried a cable drum that, as it travelled from the lower St. Jean station to the middle Les Minimes station, paid out a cable connected to a "compensator" car that waited at the lower station.  When it left the mddle station to complete its ascent the cable was all out so it pulled the compensator car up to the middle station which was as far as it went. As it made its descent from the upper to the middle station, the compensator car  travellled to the lower station at St. Jean  and, as the train continued its descent  the cable connecting it to the now stationary comensator car was wound in. The compensator car had three semi open 2nd class compartments  so giving a more frequent service up to Minimes- the site of important Roman remains, but was mainly there to balance the ascending and descending trains. 

That funicular was  replaced in 1902 by a possibly unique urban rack railway system using metre gauge electric locomotives with passenger carriages and self-propelled goods flats (that seem to have carried as many commuting workers withe their bicycles than actual goods)  Originally, tramcars were going to be taken up and down the rack section by the locos and the line was connected to tramways at both ends. Unfortunately the weight of a tramcar was too much on the steep gradient -proved by a spectaclular but serious injury free runaway- without it being fitted with rack brakes but when they tried those they fouled on the rather rough roads which the tramway followed so the idea was dropped.

In 1958 the rack railway was in turn replaced by a conventional (so far less interesting) modern funicular, single track with a passing loop at Minimes and which, with more powerful modern winch motors and lighter rolling stock has no trouble with the change of gradient (The other line that ran from St. Jean always was and still is a funicular) By way of compensation, while one of Lyon's funiculars was turned into a road tunnel and another closed  the funicular that once ran from Croix-Paquet to la Croix-Rousseline was incorporated into line C of the city's Métro system making it AFAIK the only such railway in the world to incorporate a rack section! 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Thoroughly great series for the enthusiast and non enthusiast.  And the bonus of seeing places many of us have visited in our own travels.  Mrs.Ardbealach even following Tim on his Instagram account.  Thank you Tim for a bright spot in the week. (Alisdair)

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5 hours ago, melmerby said:

They look like stub points and complete with the associated switch at the crossing would allow conventional single flanged wheels

I couldn't though figure out why, with single flanged wheels, they'd have used such a complex turnout with the crossing also having to be switched.  I think I've now found the explanation in a description of the automatic braking system of the first St.Jean-St.Just funicular, which had no turnouts,  that refers to it being the one developed for the Croix Rouge funicular, which did. In the event of a cable break a pair of pulley brakes mounted in the centre of the car between the two axles and normally held off by thr weight of the car on the cable would drop onto the rails. These had movable sides that tightened over the head of the rails very powerfully and could bring the train to a complete stop in four metres. To work,  the brake had to grip both sides of the rail so a conventional switch and crossing would have been impossible. Looking at a plan of the chassis of one of these cars, the four carrying wheels are indeed conventionally single flanged so I'd assume that those on the two funiculars that did have points were the same. It sounds vaguely similar to the system that Otis invented for lifts and demonstrated by standing in a lift a good way off the groud while an assistat cut the cable.

The only original funicualr in Lyon to have had a single track with a passing loop half way was the St. Jean-Fourviere line (1900-1970) and that used the same arrangement as the Thuringen line with each car having a flangeless wheel and a double flanged wheel on each axle. It was rebuilt in 1970 but AFAIK still uses the same system.

 

Thanks for the run down of the season Tim. I am looking forward to all of them but next week looks particularly interesting as both the Three Bridges and the  Wharncliffe Viaduct (both in Hanwell) are in my neck of the woods so I know them both well- but undoubtedly not as well as I will in a few days time!

Edited by Pacific231G
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Thank you Tim for a very special programme for me. My family live in Low Fell and I am indeed a “frequent flyer” into Central Station,courtesy of XC Trains. You really did the grandeur and intricacy of its design and architecture proud.  Newcastle is a beautiful city and entering it over the KE Bridge is I think spectacular.Going out the other way on the HL Bridge by bus is a somewhat different experience. The station architecture keeps pace with the city’s other fine streets and buildings. One of our most beautiful stations…both inside the train shed and outside arriving by taxi.

 

The start of another wonderful series and one of the better programmes on our screens. Full of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm. 

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Many thanks to Tim for yesterday evening's excellent programme on the Wharncliffe Viaduct and the Windmill Bridge. I know them both quite well but sometime I really must visit Lisbon!

 

I used to drive past the Wharncliffe Viaduct and over the Windmill Bridge a couple of times a week at least and,at one time, it was on my daily commute but, from the road, you don't really appreciate either. For the Windmill Bridge it's s worth dropping down to the canal towpath where the Hanwell flight of locks is also fascinating.   Knowing that the programme was coming up I did walk down to the Wharncliffe on Saturday from the Brent River Park, not for the first time, and it is magnificent. I think the reason it's not better known is largely because it's so well hidden by trees. imagine Stonehenge in the middle of forest. From the hilly ground to the north, where you would expect to have a good view down on it, you can only see a couple of arches as the rest are totally screened so you're not really aware of it until you're paractically walking under it.

Unfortunately, the trees have grown a lot higher since this photo was taken, looking from the bandstand now (which is still there though not in great condition) you can probably see just the arch the loco is crossing and part of the one to the right (I'll check that next time I'm there)  

Viaduct_hanwell.jpg.5ae0c85dbf546aa959138f994b3c5243.jpg

 

From the south, there's a good view of it from some of the upper level wards in Ealing Hospital (which I discovered when a friend was in there)   but you still can't see the full length of the viaduct. Otherwise you're looking up at it from Brent Meadow (the field behind the viaduct in the postcard) and you only get a clear view of five of the eight arches.   From the train, you're not really that aware of it at all unless you know it's there.

It woild be good to see the Brentford branch reopened to passengers, not least because Brentford could do with an extra transport link but, for Greater London, it also passes through some attractive scenery. I had no idea so much of the trade from the London Docks went via Brentford but it makes sense given how many ships were discharged into barges rather than onto the quayside.

Edited by Pacific231G
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Oh dear. Can somebody tell the Portuguese lady George Stephenson DID NOT invent the steam locomotive.......

Cheers Mr Trevithick. 

Edited by Co-tr-Paul
Spelling autospell ! But if Trelawney was alive at the same time...... !!!
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