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If Colonel Stephens was around today; what rolling stock would he use on his light railways?

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I've decided to start a discussion based upon a letter I read from a back issue from Railway Modeller (vol. 66 to be specific), the writer, Ross Shimon of the Colonel Stephens Society explained that in the late 80s, AC cars railbuses ran a short-lived service between Bodiam and the now closed Dixter Halt on the KESR. He speculated that had Colonel Stephens still been alive, he would probably have used such railbuses on his 'empire'.

 

My question extends from his death in 1931 right up to the present day meaning that a wide variety of rolling stock is up for debate... even pacers!

 

I look forward to seeing your submissions,

Thanks, Alex

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For starters, I would nominate the BR Class 139 Parry People Mover, which currently runs on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line. It is ideal for small-scale passenger services and would have worked well on a Colonel's light railway, owing to it's low price, lightweight nature, limited maintainence and relative cost-effectiveness

Parry_People_Mover_139_002_leaving_Stour.

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would he have approved of the pacer? or just the single car prototypes like LEV-1

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sir douglas said:

would he have approved of the pacer? or just the single car prototypes like LEV-1

In terms of both- probably, even if the pacer is an absolute shambles of a DMU, but for both of them: the appeal is there; being cheap and cheerful. I reckon he would definitely have saved some from scrap.

I think the Chasewater Railway is thinking of preserving one or two, presumably as a cautionary lesson in public transportation :D.

 

 

 

We will remember the lessons of the past and say;

 

 

 

 

Never again...

 

...shall we try to turn a bus into a train.

Edited by Narrowgaugebeginner
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Um. Interesting as this is - and the answer is that the Colonel would have run whatever was cheapest, with as little regard to safety as he could get away with - what has it to do with pre-grouping railways?

 

I know that we frequently veer off topic with threads, but this is a topic that is already OT.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Regularity said:

Um. Interesting as this is - and the answer is that the Colonel would have run whatever was cheapest, with as little regard to safety as he could get away with - what has it to do with pre-grouping railways?

 

I know that we frequently veer off topic with threads, but this is a topic that is already OT.

You appear to be the only one who has mentioned pre-grouping*...

Perhaps if it starts off topic, it will veer on topic? Bit of reverse psychology?

 

*Unless of course the thread has been moved without leaving any trace of its former location

Edited by Talltim

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Posted (edited)

Really, unless he looked abroad, his lines would be using whatever DMU type vehicles that the mainline railways had finished with. So as you say in the OP, the various 4 wheel railcars, possibly replaced by first generation DMUs as they were made redundant. The nature of his lines means that the bubble cars would be the obvious choice, but there weren't that many and they seem to have stayed in use quite late. Possibly a DMBS would have been modified with a second driving position creating a new variety of bubble car?

Of course reaching the present day presumably the PRM TSI requirements would apply to his railways to so Pacers wouldn't really suit. 

I would have thought for freight it would have either gradually disappeared, needing no stock, or if there was a large industry, probably run through locos and stock from BR/FOCs

Edited by Talltim

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25 minutes ago, Talltim said:

You appear to be the only one who has mentioned pre-grouping*...

Perhaps if it starts off topic, it will veer on topic? Bit of reverse psychology?

 

*Unless of course the thread has been moved without leaving any trace of its former location

Yes, it was moved.

You can ask for your post to be deleted, if you wish.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe this experimental vehicle from 1980 would have found favour and been developed?

 

Lucas Aerospace Workers Road-Rail Bus, Bishops Lydeard, WSR 27.7.1980

photo by "Gillett's Crossing" on Flickr. 

Edited by HillsideDepot
to add missing word
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2 minutes ago, Narrowgaugebeginner said:

Regarding the thread placement, Tim - I know it's not really that suitable, but I mentioned in the description that:

-So the time period that the thread can contain in terms of rolling stock from any time between know and 1931.

The reasoning behind why I put this thread into Pre-grouping is because firstly; the majority of Light Railway Enthusiasts tend to reside here (if you don't include those in the Industrial Standard Gauge forum (* I decided it would be best to put this thread in here because that thread is not specialised on passenger railways)). Secondly; I thought it was a better fit, putting this thread into the Pre-grouping forum, because most of Col. Stephen's Railways were constructed before the grouping

 

Thanks,

Alex

So, other than being about what would have happened 8 years after the Grouping Act took primary effect, and your postings concentrating on more recent decades (about 50+ years after 1923), this was a pre-grouping thread?

On that basis, most of the forum belongs there...

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1 minute ago, Regularity said:

So, other than being about what would have happened 8 years after the Grouping Act took primary effect, and your postings concentrating on more recent decades (about 50+ years after 1923), this was a pre-grouping thread?

On that basis, most of the forum belongs there...

 

It's a very confused idea, I'm afraid sir!  :wacko:

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He'd have converted the lines to roads and run buses on them. 

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2 minutes ago, Narrowgaugebeginner said:

 

It's a very confused idea, I'm afraid sir!  :wacko:

So it would seem.

There is a logic behind it: you are talking post 1931. The 1921 Grouping Act took effect mostly on 1 January 1923. 1931 is 8 years after that, so this is not pre-grouping.

Most existing railways were originally built before 1923. Using the argument that most of “Col. Stephens’ lines” were built in the pre-grouping era simply puts most of the forum discussions into the pre-grouping part of the thread, which would be silly.

Can’t understand what’s problematic about that.

 

When struggling with logic, I always advise my staff to sit down, and engage the following mantra:

Think

It

Through.


Or you could simply accept that the thread was in the wrong place and was moved (obviously a moderator agreed, otherwise it wouldn’t have been moved) and concentrate on your question, rather than arguing about a decision that has already been enacted?

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6 minutes ago, HillsideDepot said:

Maybe this experimental vehicle from 1980 would have found favour and been developed?

 

Lucas Aerospace Workers Road-Rail Bus, Bishops Lydeard, WSR 27.7.1980

photo by "Gillett's Crossing" on Flickr. 

 

The LMS experimented with this sort of thing quite a while earlier in 1935-

 

The LMS Ro-Railer Bus was intended to connect rural villages and towns without railway stations with railway connections, with larger junction towns; where the railway started, the bus could adjust itself to travel along the rails on the railway line to the final destination; to serve the stations along the line as well.

 

It was tested on the SMJ (link here) --> https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lms_ro-railer.htm and also on the Nickey line (Hemel Hempstead Branch).

It didn't quite catch on however...

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Sadly, the answer is that the lines would have closed and he would be running buses.

 

They might be quite interesting conversions of old Ford Transits with space for goods as well as passengers.

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The two events that changed everything was the end of the wars with the resulting surplus equipment!

 

Had these railways survived to the 1950’s I would have expected them to look like either the Derwent Valley Light Railway and/or the North Sunderland Light Railway.

 

The early BR railbusses would be potentials and a 141 later?

 

Freight would have behaved as it had till the customer closed or Speedlink was withdrawn. It would be rather like an American short line had they survived?

 

 

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Fascinating question (and answers). I often wonder what would have run on the Southern Heights Light Railway if it had been built.

I guess in the 1930s he might have tried to buy some of the steam rail motors (GWR / LNWR / L&Y etc) that were being sold off by the Big Four. The Southern Railway's Sentinel railcar might have appealed to him:

2135082810_SentinalrailcaratTheDykeStationin1933.jpg.d5cffd8213fa84e1292d2f7b7caf6e49.jpg

 

Or he might have concluded that rail motors were too inflexible and used light tank engines with push-pull driving coaches.

I think the use of buses converted to rail use would have appealed to him, e.g. this example from the GNR(I):

 

 

298962830_GNR(I)railbus.jpg.d1e6b0d4cc0bf5a9f3f9837093dbfb35.jpg

 

I suspect @rue_d_etropal's website would throw up other ideas as well.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have sympathy with the original placing of the post, as of course the Colonel Stephens lines were not grouped and therefore remained pre-grouping. I had the same problem deciding where to post a thread about our new club layout which is based on a branch that didn't get built (though authorised) of a line that didn't get grouped BCR, so not one of the Colonel's, in fact he refused it when offered..

Anyway back to the topic, any mileage on vehicles based on the Unimog for either passenger or freight? And I too thought of the LMS experiments. We could look too at France's rural railways, both standard and narrow gauge for inspiration. de Dion railbuses perhaps?

Jonathan

PS I had forgotten Ireland, yes very likely as a source of inspiration.

Edited by corneliuslundie
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He could still be running the Ffestiniog (it was part of his empire) so you can still see the stock he would have run ...

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If The Colonel was still running his railways in the present I would find it fairly believable if he had not had some dealings with Viva Rail.

The class 230/ D trains could be entering squadron service as we speak. Though I'm not sure he would have bothered with the refurb. maybe ;)

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I agree it will be D230s. The design is of the diesel engines being Ford based, so not requiring specialised knowledge, and can be changed with very little effort, ie at the sort of repair facilities the Colonel might have on one of his lines. 

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3 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Sadly, the answer is that the lines would have closed and he would be running buses.

 

They might be quite interesting conversions of old Ford Transits with space for goods as well as passengers.

a90276849dbad591228c78d80bd1d0d1--rail-c

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Joking intended, I think he'd still be using Terriers and four wheel coaches... ;)

 

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