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Should there be a minor independent standard gauge and SG light railway forum?

Standard-gauge Light Railway forum-of-sorts Poll  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Should there be a forum for Standard-gauge Light Railways and similar backwater railways (i.e. modelling; prototype questions; etc.)?

    • Yes
      27
    • No
      6
    • Don't really care either way...
      3


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Hello all!

 

[Np. By "Standard Gauge Light Railway" I also mean to include railways of a similar nature that were constructed before the 1896 Light Railways Act was implemented (i.e. Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramway, North Sunderland Railway, Wantage Tramway, Brill Tramway etc.), but not including railway lines that were built to Light Railway Acts, but were in essence ordinary branch lines operated by the Big Four or large predecessor companies]

 

It's come to my attention that RMweb doesn't seem to have a single specific area where Std. gauge Light Railway content is centralised. There are already many specific forums, but it seems there is not one for this sort of content, where there seems to be lots of people who would contribute to such an area...

As well as the poll, here are a few questions I've put forward for discussion:

1. Would you be interested in a Std. gauge Light Railway forum?

2. If you are interested, how would you structure such a forum?

3. If you are not interested, what is the reason?

4. If you are a Forum Moderator, what are your thoughts?

 

I am looking forward to your responses!

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Alex

:D

 

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27 minutes ago, Hando said:

4. If you are a Forum Moderator, what are your thoughts?

 

Have you looked to quantify if such a subdivision would be viable? Any idea of the number of pre-existing topics which could populate it?

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16 hours ago, AY Mod said:

 

Have you looked to quantify if such a subdivision would be viable? Any idea of the number of pre-existing topics which could populate it?

I reckon it would go in the Special Interests section of the main forum.

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2 minutes ago, Hando said:

I reckon it would go in the Special Interests section of the main forum.

 

That would be the best place but have you been able to quantify anything before I spend time on the mechanics of it all?

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2 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

That would be the best place but have you been able to quantify anything before I spend time on the mechanics of it all?

I'd wait it  to see the opinions of everyone else - I think it'll need a little more support, before it happens. I can't be the only person with ideas!

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A “weak yes” from me, because it might make such interesting things easier to find.

 

I don’t model SG LRs, but have always found them more interesting than ‘run of the mill’ lines.

 

You could get caught in an immense swamp of debate about definitions, of course, in that some of the lines you cite weren’t LRs at all but tramways of one of multiple kinds, and if you admit tramways, where do you draw the lines(s)?

 

And, why exclude LRs built by the big companies? They shared a great deal in common with the independents, and include a few that neatly illustrate the point that not all LRs were built under the 1896 Act or its successors.

 

There are already several relevant threads, or have been in the past, if you go hunting for them.

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I can see the logic of this.  These small independents, "minor standard gauge railways"  as Kidner categorised them, span the conventional divisions, such as Grouping and pre-Grouping, and, as such, will be spread over the different areas of the forum. 

 

The topic also spans prototype models, prototype-based might-have-beens and freelance schemes and, perhaps, together, these could conveniently form a Special Interest topic.

 

As to whether worthwhile numbers would want this, I think that is yet to be seen.  

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Personally I would like to see a l/r specific section. I've always had a soft spot for Col' Stephens type lines. 

Also agree that some of the big company's built some bucolic branch lines, my own 7mm layout Thaxham is based on the Elsenham and Thaxted light railway that was built by the GER and lasted into BR ownership. It was never intended to be a major line but has many interesting parts that would be rewarding to build.

 

Cheers, Pete.

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I think it would be useful to have a light railways section. If only to bring all of the information together library style. I have long been interested in the likes of the Bishops Castle Railway, who were often given a hand up by the GWR and LNWR, but all approaches to them for a takeover were declined. They might have lasted a bit longer had this happened and I doubt that the line would have been profitable enough for the investment necessary for a total transformation.

Which brings me to the point; where exactly do we draw the line? The Garstang & Knott End Railway was an independent that found itself under the wing of the LMS at grouping. But that extended to little more than a new coat of paint on the locomotives. The GKER retained its shall we say, unique charm to the very end.

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Perhaps rename the SG Industrial to SG Industrial & Light Railways? Thinking of the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire which was both at points in its life

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*I did intend to include all minor independent standard gauge railways, so in some ways I should have given a name to this thread that better conveyed my proposal.

  • On the question of where is the line drawn in terms of the scope of such a forum... Personally I would include the G&KER and the BCR, however I probably would not include the E&TLR; as in my opinion, it was more of a general branch line that just more cheaply built, since although it was owned by an independent company, its trains were still run by the Great Eastern Railway using their rolling stock thus, in my eyes it was less independent and was not of the same factor of other local lines like the Mid Suffolk Light Railway and the Southwold Railway.
  • @ianb3174's idea of merging such content with the SG Industrial forums is not a bad idea, yet I feel that if a separate forum existed then ideas like those of @MrWolf's library section could be explored. Of course- such things could also take place in the SG Industrial forums.

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Would you consider the Wisbech and Upwell  tramways in this category? It was the pioneer for the light railways even if it was owned and operated by the great eastern rly.

 

Marc

 

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6 minutes ago, Furness Wagon said:

Would you consider the Wisbech and Upwell  tramways in this category? It was the pioneer for the light railways even if it was owned and operated by the great eastern rly.

 

Marc

 

Yes, due to its very distinctive rolling stock and its nature of being a part-roadside tramway, part-railway

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I'm interested in this and it would be good if the section could also include the modelling of standard gauge light railways, especially the very obscure and outrageously improbable ones.

 

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Yes, this is a good idea for a topic because light railways are, a) something eminently modellable, b) more likely to fit into the sort of space the “average enthusiast“ has available, c) something that has a better prospect of being finished by an individual than, say, the ECML or the WCML that some would attempt and d) light railways in model form are like the prototype, less expensive to build since locomotives and stock tend to be smaller.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hando said:

Yes, due to its very distinctive rolling stock and its nature of being a part-roadside tramway, part-railway


The W&U was a tramway, pure and simple, not a railway.

 

The distinction is that a railway operates some form of block working, whereas a tramway operates on ‘line of sight’.

 

Edited by Nearholmer

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:


The W&U was a tramway, pure and simple, not a railway.

 

The distinction is that a railway operates some form of block working, whereas a tramway operates on ‘line of sight’.

 

Whilst I agree that could be said, many of the light and independent railways had only a tenuous grasp on signals and block working. Quite a few had signals and didn't use them, many working "one engine in steam ' thereby avoiding the need for block working, telegraph etc.

As for the W&U, once the wooden tram engines wore out, they were replaced with diesel shunters fitted with rudimentary skirts. The rest of the stock was no different to mainline stock, so I would vote for it to be included. Otherwise we might question the industrial or military locomotives that powered the other minor railways, putting them in a different category.

Quite a few also ran converted tramcars and colonial coaches that don't really sit well with the 'true railway '. As for the Ford and Wolseley Siddley railbuses / lorries that ran on many lines, your guess is as good as mine!

I suspect if we simply say: If it at some point in its existence carried passengers, was external or internal combustion powered and standard gauge, it's in.

That should stop us becoming bogged down in semantics.

Edited by MrWolf
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10 hours ago, MrWolf said:

many working "one engine in steam ' thereby avoiding the need for block working


OEiS is a form of block working.

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To show that, despite my pedantry about definitions, I have no prejudice against rural tramways, here is a thread that could be included under whatever amorphous heading emerges from this:

 

 

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This one is probably of interest to readers here too

 

 

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13 hours ago, Nearholmer said:


The W&U was a tramway, pure and simple, not a railway.

 

The distinction is that a railway operates some form of block working, whereas a tramway operates on ‘line of sight’.

 

Would the W&U still be included in the forum, and by your definition, was the Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho! Railway was a tramway?

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Personally, I would include both LRs and rural tramways, but you’re the boss.

 

TBH, I can’t remember which the BWH&A was, a LR I think.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Hando said:

Would the W&U still be included in the forum, and by your definition, was the Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho! Railway was a tramway?

I remember exploring the trackbed of the BA&WH! with my Dad during a family holiday in Bideford. Though it ran for about 300 metres along Bideford Quay the rest of the line was on its own fenced (not very well apparently)  trackbed and it was signalled. The very short amount of street running didn't obviate it from fully enclosing the motion of its locos but reading the 1870 tramways act it seems that local authorities could impose bylaws on the operators of tramways.

 

I'm not sure about tramways not using block working. Urban ones generally didn't if they were double track and ran on sight but single track sections often were.

 

Trying to define precisly what is or is  not a tramway is probably going to be impossible as the distinction gets very fuzzy around the edges.

The Bideford, Appleford and Westward Ho! Rly. was not built as light railway as the Light Railways Act was enacted in August 1896 after the railway had been incorporated but it was run under a Light Railway Order which allowed for simplified signalling without distant signals  (but not no signalling) 

Edited by Pacific231G
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3 hours ago, Nearholmer said:


OEiS is a form of block working.

Agreed, but that wasn't quite the point I was making. Many of these minor lines ran trains in such a way that would never have been tolerated on the main lines.

I think it is a pretty brave thing you're doing to try and define a tramway, especially when so many of the original operators couldn't seem to decide either, such as the Selsey Tramway. Did the definition somehow allow them to operate outside of the regular railway rules as did the light railway act?

It seems many had a foot in both camps.

If I think tramway, the first thought is some horse drawn plateway, followed by electric powered mobile Victorian conservatories. ( I actually like them, I would definitely use public transport if we still had those things)

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