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Trains without brake vans.


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1 minute ago, jim.snowdon said:

From a purely engineering consideration, having two different rules for passenger rated vehicles and freight vehicles makes no sense. It's the continuity of the brake pipe that matters, and making certain that any piped vehicles are inside the consist.

 

So what was behind there being two rules?

 

 

Stability and maximum speed!

 

Fitting a vacuum brake to a 9ft 4 wheeled van or mineral wagon doesn't improve its riding characteristics or magically make it less likely to jump off the track at high speeds, etc. Thus the overall maximum speeds of such designs remained low regardless of whether they were fitted or not.

 

Passenger and parcel trains used bogie or long wheel base designs which rode better and could travel at express passenger speeds.

 

Milk tanks, although technically wagons, had 6-wheel underframes and good riding characteristics (or otherwise the milk would have ended up as butter when it got to the other end of the journey) and so were considered express passenger rated vehicles.

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21 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Stability and maximum speed!

 

Fitting a vacuum brake to a 9ft 4 wheeled van or mineral wagon doesn't improve its riding characteristics or magically make it less likely to jump off the track at high speeds, etc. Thus the overall maximum speeds of such designs remained low regardless of whether they were fitted or not.

 

Passenger and parcel trains used bogie or long wheel base designs which rode better and could travel at express passenger speeds.

 

Milk tanks, although technically wagons, had 6-wheel underframes and good riding characteristics (or otherwise the milk would have ended up as butter when it got to the other end of the journey) and so were considered express passenger rated vehicles.

 

However you could have 10ft Wheelbase XP rated vehicles as tail traffic in passenger and Class C trains IIRC was only allowed to carry XP stock. Or perhaps im getting confused :scratchhead:

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20 hours ago, Paul H Vigor said:

"In 1968, the requirement for fully fitted freight trains to end with a guard's van was lifted, and the guard was allowed to ride in the rearmost locomotive cab, giving a good view of the whole train. 

 

Donning my best spotter's anorak - I can recall the national press reporting on this at the time - at least two papers had broadside photos of locos with 'driver goes here and guard now allowed to go there' type messages with arrows pointing to..........well, you get the idea. The locos were Class 31 D5520 in Gfye livery with arrow logos and Class 47 D1529 also Gfye with its unique 3-part fixed radiator louvres (vertical instead of horizontal). How can I remember the identities over 50 years later? No idea, I just do! Taking off best spotter's anorak.

 

5 hours ago, doilum said:

From ancient memory the first trains I recall  without a traditional gaurds van were the freightliners and the MGR  workings to the power stations. There will be others as detailed above but this has stuck in my memory.

 

And yet there were BR standard brake vans carrying the legend "TO WORK WITH MERRY GO ROUND TRAINS ONLY" (e.g. B954886 in brown/bauxite, on @hmrspaul's site) while Hornby's B954779 (R6510) displays the longer "FOR USE WITH MERRY GO ROUND AIR BRAKE TRAINS" on Railfreight Grey (with top red stripe and the yellow side and end panels, very colourful), and also "RETURN TO DERBY" with "Caution narrow step board" warnings at each entrance - this one may or may not be legit, it looks convincing but I couldn't find it on Paul's site. Were such vans employed on MGR propelling moves?

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13 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Stability and maximum speed!

 

Fitting a vacuum brake to a 9ft 4 wheeled van or mineral wagon doesn't improve its riding characteristics or magically make it less likely to jump off the track at high speeds, etc. Thus the overall maximum speeds of such designs remained low regardless of whether they were fitted or not.

 

Passenger and parcel trains used bogie or long wheel base designs which rode better and could travel at express passenger speeds.

 

Milk tanks, although technically wagons, had 6-wheel underframes and good riding characteristics (or otherwise the milk would have ended up as butter when it got to the other end of the journey) and so were considered express passenger rated vehicles.

Well yes, up to a point, I think.

 

Certainly the 9' wheelbase 4-wheeler was not accepted as a competent vehicle at anything like passenger speeds, but if the application of XP markings is anything to go by, 10' wb was. I appreciate this might have been optimistic, given that the LNER increased the wheelbase of its fish vans to 12'. Equally, I appreciate that in that day and age, very little of substance was known about why vehicles would become unstable at high speeds; in fact it appears to have been something of a non-issue until certain BR 4-wheel wagons in particular started to routinely derail at high speed on long welded plain line that anything serious was done about finding out why.

 

Either way, the rules say that two four wheel vehicles with at least 10' wb could be coupled behind the brake van and, if XP classified, run at passenger train speeds. Stuck at the tail end of a train, the riding qualities of the last vehicle(s) weren't really affected by the number of vehicles ahead of them, with the only restraining factor being any frictional damping across the faces of the buffers. If any vehicle was going to have a sufficiently unrestrained ride to derail, it will be the last one, and derailment is derailment. On that basis, I'm yet to be convinced.

 

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7 minutes ago, Neil Phillips said:

 

Donning my best spotter's anorak - I can recall the national press reporting on this at the time - at least two papers had broadside photos of locos with 'driver goes here and guard now allowed to go there' type messages with arrows pointing to..........well, you get the idea. The locos were Class 31 D5520 in Gfye livery with arrow logos and Class 47 D1529 also Gfye with its unique 3-part fixed radiator louvres (vertical instead of horizontal). How can I remember the identities over 50 years later? No idea, I just do! Taking off best spotter's anorak.

 

 

And yet there were BR standard brake vans carrying the legend "TO WORK WITH MERRY GO ROUND TRAINS ONLY" (e.g. B954886 in brown/bauxite, on @hmrspaul's site) while Hornby's B954779 (R6510) displays the longer "FOR USE WITH MERRY GO ROUND AIR BRAKE TRAINS" on Railfreight Grey (with top red stripe and the yellow side and end panels, very colourful), and also "RETURN TO DERBY" with "Caution narrow step board" warnings at each entrance - this one may or may not be legit, it looks convincing but I couldn't find it on Paul's site. Were such vans employed on MGR propelling moves?


There seemed to be an initial feeling that vans were required if a fully fitted working had to be shunted or run round. I have a picture of Albion-Waterston tanks (air braked 100 ton tank cars) with an air piped van at either end. My understanding is these were thought to be necessary when the train ran via Worcester as to arrive at Albion facing south a reversal was required; initially this was at Wednesfield where there was probably not much infrastructure or on the ground staff by this time. The train was rerouted to run via Bescot where there were much better facilities and the vans were no longer used….

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16 minutes ago, Neil Phillips said:

And yet there were BR standard brake vans carrying the legend "TO WORK WITH MERRY GO ROUND TRAINS ONLY" (e.g. B954886 in brown/bauxite

 

I have seen images of Steam locomotives hailing MGR trains so presumably this dates back to then?

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1 minute ago, Aire Head said:

 

I have seen images of Steam locomotives hailing MGR trains so presumably this dates back to then?

 

I can see the logic in that........although, how were such trains braked? Dual-braked steam locos (which types and how many) are outside my diesel-oriented sphere of knowledge! :)

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14 minutes ago, Neil Phillips said:

 

I can see the logic in that........although, how were such trains braked? Dual-braked steam locos (which types and how many) are outside my diesel-oriented sphere of knowledge! :)

 

The locos were 8Fs, 9Fs and WDs so I don't think any of them were Air-braked :scratchhead:

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18 minutes ago, Neil Phillips said:

 

I can see the logic in that........although, how were such trains braked? Dual-braked steam locos (which types and how many) are outside my diesel-oriented sphere of knowledge! :)

Very rare movement from works, or if there has been a total failure of the relatively rare air braked diesels of those times. Not known in traffic use - unless someone knows different. They couldn't be braked by steam locos of that period. 

 

The brake vans were for propelling moves, to accompany hazardous loads etc. There were plenty of brake vans around, many nicely maintained, for another 20 years or more. 

 

Paul

Edited by hmrspaul
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2 minutes ago, hmrspaul said:

Very rare movement from works, or if there has been a total failure of the relatively rare air braked diesels of those times. Not known in traffic use - unless someone knows different. They couldn't be braked by steam locos of that period. 

 

The brake vans were for propelling moves, to accompany hazardous loads etc. There were plenty of brake vans around, many nicely maintained, for another 20 years or more. 

 

Paul

post-4474-0-14804600-1492798964.png.e9f8863ea9d784ff5a3f89a0eb9bef36.png

 

This is showing a Class H headcode indicating a Through Freight probably unfitted the hoppers appear to be empty so could be delivery as you suggested.

 

F04D05F9-9E8B-4E24-A05E-DE3B386EB0A3.jpeg.274a094c24e128dfb8240e9a52d1826e.jpeg.2d411539ecc69b20ca2855702be60022.jpeg

 

This one has loaded hoppers and is running under a Class J headcode indicating an unfitted mineral train.

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49 minutes ago, Aire Head said:

 

I have seen images of Steam locomotives hailing MGR trains so presumably this dates back to then?

The wagons predate 1968 but did true MGR operation with , in theory, non stop loading and discharge have to wait for the class 47 with a crawler control?

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7 minutes ago, doilum said:

The wagons predate 1968 but did true MGR operation with , in theory, non stop loading and discharge have to wait for the class 47 with a crawler control?

 

I've heard a WD did get sent through but hit ash damaged the conveyor.

 

It's not really my area as my main interest is the 1950s where it was all still done pretty much the same as in 1890.

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There was in later Southern Railway and early BR days an example of a goods train being regularly operated without a brake van and that was on the (to all intents and purposes level) Bembridge branch in the Isle of Wight. Although no mention of it appears in the IoW Sectional Appendix, the practice was sanctioned by the Assistant (to the General Manager), Isle of Wight, apparently dating back to Macleod's days in the post.

"In reality the goods train was the first arrival of the day, having started out from Ryde and being propelled from the junction at Brading (where reversal was necessary). It shunted St.Helens Quay en route where the brake van was left, so that it arrived at Bembridge with just the wagons which were shunted into the two sidings. The loco then picked up the carriage set which had been stabled in the platform overnight and worked the day's passenger services. At the end of the day, it left the carriage set in the platform, picked up empty wagons from the sidings, then called at St.Helens Quay to pick up wagons and the brake van, and continued to Sandown where the wagons and van were left to be worked to Medina Wharf via Merstone the next day, the loco finally working back light to Ryde. Only if there were no wagons for St.Helens did the brake van reach Bembridge for stabling, something that was rare pre-WWII but which became much more commonplace thereafter."

The guard rode on the loco footplate between St.Helens and Bembridge in each direction.

 

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2 hours ago, Neil Phillips said:

 

Donning my best spotter's anorak - I can recall the national press reporting on this at the time - at least two papers had broadside photos of locos with 'driver goes here and guard now allowed to go there' type messages with arrows pointing to..........well, you get the idea. The locos were Class 31 D5520 in Gfye livery with arrow logos and Class 47 D1529 also Gfye with its unique 3-part fixed radiator louvres (vertical instead of horizontal). How can I remember the identities over 50 years later? No idea, I just do! Taking off best spotter's anorak.

 

 

And yet there were BR standard brake vans carrying the legend "TO WORK WITH MERRY GO ROUND TRAINS ONLY" (e.g. B954886 in brown/bauxite, on @hmrspaul's site) while Hornby's B954779 (R6510) displays the longer "FOR USE WITH MERRY GO ROUND AIR BRAKE TRAINS" on Railfreight Grey (with top red stripe and the yellow side and end panels, very colourful), and also "RETURN TO DERBY" with "Caution narrow step board" warnings at each entrance - this one may or may not be legit, it looks convincing but I couldn't find it on Paul's site. Were such vans employed on MGR propelling moves?

The use of air-piped brake vans (TOPS code CAR) on MGR trains has been discussed before.

Loaded MGR trains for Fiddlers Ferry arriving at Warrington from the north were required to reverse/propel back in order to gain the route west to Fiddlers Ferry so for a while CAR brake vans were attached to the rear of these trains.

 

The branch to Denby included a number of level crossings operated by the guard, so MGR trains over the branch included a CAR brake van at the rear for the guard, this may explain the CAR lettered for Derby,

scan0201.jpg.66feb29bec3f38f8d64a912e1314b088.jpg

47178 working a Denby to Willington MGR train approaches Derby, the CAR brake van is now behind the loco on the return loaded working, 16/11/82

 

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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4 hours ago, Aire Head said:

 

I have seen images of Steam locomotives hailing MGR trains so presumably this dates back to then?

there was a photo on here a while ago of an LNER Q6 (I think) pulling a train of brand new MGR hoppers circa 1966. Not sure if it had a brake van on the back, that end of the train wasn't in the picture. But a good prototype for everything move.

 

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Similar situation with the Blaenant-Aberthaw MGRs, which had an air braked brake van attached to the rear at Jersey Marine, where the train reversed direction and the loco ran around on arrival from Aberthaw with the mts.  The van had air brake pipes connected and a travelling shunter from JM aboard.  The MGR loading hopper at Blaenant Colliery was on a loop off the running line, and could accommodate 3 MGR hoppers at a time.  On arrival. the train pulled up past the top points, with the loco out of sight around a bend in heavily wooded country.  The train then dropped slowly down the gradient controlled by the travelling shunter in the brake van, until about half the hoppers were loaded at which point proceedings became visible from the loco.  Once all the hoppers were loaded, the loco drew the train back into the loop and ran around, while the guard remained at what was now the rear to attach the tail lamp and perform the brake continuity test.  Once he had done this and walked back to the locomotive, it was right away Jersey Marine, where another run around movement, and brake test, were done and the van dropped off for use by the next working.

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Or, the final years of the Garforth branch when a class 56 had to reverse 30 MGR wagons almost a mile from the junction at Castleford to to the loading point at Allerton Bywater. The gaurds van was fitted with a warning bell and radio communication to the driver.

Edited by doilum
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21 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The Swansea Docks flow odfficually lasted into the 1990s and was one of three remaining unfitted freight flows on BR in 1993.  Hence when we were asked in 1992/93 to give up the Class 9 headcode for Eurostar use we (i.e TLF operations management) objected because we still used it.   However we were told Eurostars had to have Class 9 so having first being asked to give it up we were then instructed to give it up.   (Oddly I subsequently went to a senior operations job in Eurostar and thus found out why they had need the Class 9 headcode on BR metals as it meant international had  visually the same appearance of number throughout their journey although it was seen differently in Britain and on the European mainland.  On BR/Railtrack/NR lines the headcode was/is numeral- alpha - numeral - numeral, e.g 9I34;  but in, say, France it was wholly numeric, e.g. 9134).

 

Mike, what did you end up running your class 9's as then please?

 

Andy G

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19 hours ago, BernardTPM said:

Amendment to Rule 153 dated 28th September 1968 adding clause (c)

"153(c) A freight train on which the automatic brake is operative on not less than 90% of the vehicles, may be run without a brake van, provided the train is piped throughout and the last two vehciles are fitted with the automatic brake in working order."

Thanks for that, saveda lot of delving.  The amendment is, of course, in my Rule Book  but as usual it is trimmed down to just the relevant words and we never bothered writing in the date of the change in the 1950 book.  I don't think I have all the individual Rule Book supplements in their unused state for the 1950 book although ido at least have both printed issyes of it.

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15 hours ago, Aire Head said:

 

I really wish I knew perhaps @The Stationmaster has the answer?

 

15 hours ago, Aire Head said:

 

However you could have 10ft Wheelbase XP rated vehicles as tail traffic in passenger and Class C trains IIRC was only allowed to carry XP stock. Or perhaps im getting confused :scratchhead:

 

15 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

Well yes, up to a point, I think.

 

Certainly the 9' wheelbase 4-wheeler was not accepted as a competent vehicle at anything like passenger speeds, but if the application of XP markings is anything to go by, 10' wb was. I appreciate this might have been optimistic, given that the LNER increased the wheelbase of its fish vans to 12'. Equally, I appreciate that in that day and age, very little of substance was known about why vehicles would become unstable at high speeds; in fact it appears to have been something of a non-issue until certain BR 4-wheel wagons in particular started to routinely derail at high speed on long welded plain line that anything serious was done about finding out why.

 

Either way, the rules say that two four wheel vehicles with at least 10' wb could be coupled behind the brake van and, if XP classified, run at passenger train speeds. Stuck at the tail end of a train, the riding qualities of the last vehicle(s) weren't really affected by the number of vehicles ahead of them, with the only restraining factor being any frictional damping across the faces of the buffers. If any vehicle was going to have a sufficiently unrestrained ride to derail, it will be the last one, and derailment is derailment. On that basis, I'm yet to be convinced.

 

A complex area and one of change over the years.   Standing aside, for now, the XP arrangement we really start off with the difference between Passenger rated traffic and Freight Rated Traffic and Milk, in particular, and some other agricultural commodities were passenger rated (and some agricultural products and animals could be either Passenger or Freight Rated as could Fish depending on how the stuff was consigned).  But basically Mails, Milk, and Newspapers together with the movement of some animals were Passenger Rated so ran as passenger traffic albeit in the case of milk with vehicles such as the tank cars (Miltas) subject to restrictions of speed - which varied over the years.

 

That's the easy bit (honest).  The next bit is the vehicles used to transport those various commodities/items and various of those were separately subject to restrictions of speed although all of those dated from the post WWII era (the 1946 restriction is the earliest I can find)   Thus because of those restrictions of speed there was also a situation (which definitely began pre WWII) where particular or vehicles of a particular wheelbase or number of wheels (non-bogie vehicles of either 4 or 6 wheels) were banned from being attached to certain stipulated passenger trains mainly because of the effect their speed limit would have on the timing of the train.  The restrictions of speed basically related to the risk of derailment although occasionally other factors came in.   To go through all the restrictions and how they changed over the years would need a lot of research but I think I have most of the information to hand albeit in a large pile of publications as far as general restrictions are concerned.  Individual passenger train restrictions are another matter entirely

 

Now to XP rated.  this system was clearly introduced in order to bring some sense and discipline to the attaching of freight vehicles (in particular) to passenger trains as tail traffic although the XP branding was also eventually applied to most - if not all - non-bogie Non Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock (NPCCS).     The XP system was introduced (on the GWR at any rate) from 30 September 1938 and applied to all freight and NPCCS vehicles with a wheelbase of at least 10ft and under 15ft equipped with oil axleboxes, automatic brake or through pipe, screw couplings and long buffers and a minimum tare weight of 6 tons..  Additionally until 1 June 1939 LNER Fish Trucks with a wheelbase of 9ft 11" were allowed to be considered as XP vehicles although whether or not they were branded as such I don't know.  Originally the XP marking was to be painted on the right hand corner of the vehicle solebar.  

 

From June 1939 the minimum tare weight restriction was amended to allow container wagons provided that they were loaded witha container (which could be other loaded or empty).  Additionally it is clear from that amendment that vehicles with a wheelbase in excess of 15ft were being given the XP marking.

 

Effectively what the XP Instruction and arrangement did was to prohibit the earlier situation in which any suitably equipped (as noted above) vehicle from being attached t a passenger train although vehocles witha wheelbase of less than 9ft had been prohibited from being attached to Class A passenger trains.  Initially there was no restriction of speed for XP vehicles bi ut from October 1946 a maximum speed of 60 mph applied to XP vehicles with a wheelbase of less than 15ft if there were marshalled in a passenger, ecs, parcels, newspaper, milk, horsebox, or pigeon, train or any fish, meat, fruit or perishable train not signalled as a fitted freight train.  Additionally on the GWR only vehicles running in the trains in the first part of the list I have just given were restricted to a maximum load not exceeding 6 tons.

 

So there you have it up to the years immediately prior to nationalisation, later nukerous s restrictions of speed were applied which meant that mnay passenger traons could no longer convery XP vehicles with a wheelbase of less than 15ft or could not conver y any 4 or 6 wheeled vehicles at all..  And don't forget that while freight vehicles marked XP were the only freight vehicles permitted to be attached to a passenger train any freight vehicle could be marshalled in a Mixed Train unless it was specifically barred from such trains on account of its type or the load it was carrying 

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1 hour ago, uax6 said:

Mike, what did you end up running your class 9's as then please?

 

Andy G

Logical question.  Officially we had no option but to call them Class 8 plus Instruction by notice etc that they were permitted to run loose coupled although I suspect that in reality they were still being regarded locally as Class 9.  Because all three instances remaining in 1993 were on what amounted to fairly short distance, self contained freight only, routes there was very little chance of them being confused with a Eurostar bound for Paris or Brussels so no problem calling them a Class 9 in the local situation.

 

The amusing bit was that when the BRB wrote to TLF to get agreement to changing the Class 9 usage they seemed not have the faintest idea that there were still Class 9 freights actually running on BR and it didn't go down too well when we initially refused to agree to the change - hence then being 'instructed' to agree.

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On 28/09/2021 at 20:50, bécasse said:

There was in later Southern Railway and early BR days an example of a goods train being regularly operated without a brake van


Was this a propelling move? If so, it was by no means the only case where a loco was permitted to propel wagons ahead of it, with no van; there are several cases mentioned in SR sectional appendices where that was allowed in order to shunt facing sidings en-route.

 

I’m struggling to see how it can have been other than propelling, because with the passenger set in the platform, it would be difficult to run round the wagons ….. mind you, didn’t one goods siding face each way? Gravity? Rope/Chain?

 

Answers on a postcard to ……

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It was effectively a station (St.Helens) to station (Bembridge) move (albeit within the one OES single line section), propelling at start of the service day, pulling back at end of service day. The connections to both Orchard siding and the goods siding were facing to arriving trains, the latter via the loop. At the end of the day after the arrival of the last passenger service, the loco had to run round the carriages via the turntable before it could pick up the empty wagons from the two sidings (and the points had then to be reset to the mainline by the guard before the OES staff with its Annett's key could be released from the frame in the box enabling the loco and wagons to precede along the branch). In the morning the arriving propelling move had to wait at the station throat while the guard used the AK on the staff to unlock the frame and hence work the points for the sidings, once the wagons were safely deposited the points were reset for the mainline and the loco was able to immediately couple up to the stabled carriages in the platform. Then the regular day's routine - arrive, run round via the turntable, depart - set in, broken only if a PLA (passengers' luggage in advance) van had been added to the branch train at Brading, in which case it was necessary, after the run round, to shunt with the whole train to deposit the van in the goods siding (or to pick one up for taking back to Brading). I think that the PLA van movements were normally confined to Fridays for arrivals and late in the day on Saturdays for departures. The PLA van was normally unloaded and loaded in the platform (most of the luggage would belong to patrons of the Royal Spithead Hotel just across the road and their staff would help) and stabled empty in the goods siding.

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