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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.


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Everything posted by dibber25

  1. We did fold-out cards of both carriage roof boards and a huge array of signs and posters more recently in Model Rail. I don't have the dates of the issues concerned, though I did keep a couple of the sheets for my own use. I guess they were about 15 years ago. They were much more comprehensive than the MRC ones (although I'll readily admit that I copied the idea) and it took me ages to compile enough to fill the sheet. They were mainly 'OO' but there were some 'N' and 'O' examples, too. (CJL)
  2. And the Peterborough Arena has just won a major award for the best venue over 8,000sq.m for its Covid-related management of events. The garden railway show was a well-handled, well-spaced event but you're right PA isn't the NEC and the Garden Rail show is very different from Warley. It does give hope, though, that the right event in the right venue can work in spite of Covid. (CJL)
  3. Scale drawings (we shouldn't have called them 'plans') have always been a problem as far as I was concerned as an Editor. Firstly, you need a reliable, accurate, draughtsman to produce the drawing. Sad to say, many of them weren't. The notable exception were those from Paul Bartlett and his colleagues, which were always reliable. I had a drawer in my office, full of 'plans'. Some had been there for many years. They included the originals of the Roche drawings, all of which had been published in books, and the originals of the Bulleid coach drawings which subsequently appeared in a book. The Bulleid coaches were drawn on a type of film which was disintegrating with age and they were literally crumbling to dust. There were lots of others, on paper, that could have been used in MRC but their accuracy was in doubt. Occasionally I would publish one, only to have its accuracy shot down in flames by knowledgable readers, the moment it appeared in print. I recall some drawings of the Liverpool Overhead Railway stock. I particularly wanted to publish them but a quick look at some photographs showed obvious discrepancies. I don't think I ever used them. So, one came to rely on newer contributors whose work was known to be reliable. But, the budget never allowed for them to be paid the commercial value of their work. Basically, they had to have done the drawing for their own benefit and to be willing to accept whatever the mag could afford to pay for a one-off use. Of course, if the drawing had been commissioned and the copyright was owned, it could be repeated as many times as one wished. In the case of Model Rail's original fold-out drawings, they were part of the launch strategy and they were all by the late R.S. Carter, whose family had agreed to their use. We used most everything that was available but when the stock of drawings ran out, the fold-outs were dropped as commissioning new drawings was prohibitively expensive and willing, accurate, draughtsmen with the right research material were difficult to find. I hope this provides a bit of useful background. Editors seldom do things on a whim and there are good reasons why few drawings are now published - not least the fact that there are fewer and fewer scratch-builders who need them. I do still have a book of Midland Railway wagon drawings (GAs) that I acquired somewhere along the way. I've never published any because they don't carry enough detail for modelling use. I built one of my only two scratch-built locos based on a magazine drawing (not naming the mag or the draughtsman) but it was lucky I noticed that the drawn cab-door cut-out was the wrong shape before I started filing brass! (CJL)
  4. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. A lot has happened since the end of MRC - the original 1963 team are all still around but its sad that Steve Stratten passed away some years ago - he was 90-something, though. The 1963 team - David Percival, Alan Williams and Colin Gifford, and me, last got together way back when Colin's postage stamps were launched but I've corresponded with David since then in connection with Steam World. My Black Dog Halt layout, which I was building in the final issues of MRC is now, in truncated form, in Chippenham Museum, I believe. I tend to think of Model Rail as a continuation of MRC as I was able to do with MR many of the things I couldn't do with MRC. Times do move on, though, and sadly things like scale drawings are no longer practical in a monthly mag. In the meantime I've just built a OO9 circuit so I can test an L&B loco and complete a model of Bratton Fleming station. Who ever thought we'd see ready-to-run L&B locos and kits for L&B buildings? (CJL)
  5. This was taken quite a few years ago and I wasn't quite sure where I was so I'll caption it as what I think it is. A brace of Southern Railway of BC (Washington Group) switchers (SW900s?) head a long train of triple-deck auto-racks over the bridge to Annacis Island (over the Fraser?). From memory they approached across the street but I missed that shot due to having to change the camera battery at the wrong moment. (CJL)
  6. I don't think I said that an injection moulded model wouldn't be viable but if I did, that's not what I meant to say. Anything can be viable if you can get enough people to buy enough at a high enough price. That, I suspect is largely why most wagon models are now being sold in multi-packs - in order to squeeze a bit more margin. Tooling costs are now VERY high but there are ways they can be justified. A couple of years ago Rapido said that making freightcars was no longer viable due to manufacturing costs. However, later, they found that freightcars were a useful item to manufacture in the gaps between locos, when assembly lines would otherwise be idle. Costs have also been pushed up by the need to make a new chassis for virtually every model in order to satisfy the requirement for accurate detail for every variation. I wonder who will make the most from their model - a precise Iron Mink to 21st century standards with every detail spot-on, or the Hornby-Dublo/Wrenn/Dapol dynasty that put GWR gunpowder van bodies on a generic chassis, pretended they were Iron Minks and made them in every known livery and a few invented ones? (CJL)
  7. Having been inside it, there is nothing whatever inside the body - it could be made into quite a nice meeting room! The worst of the rust or rot, as might be expected, is in the lower sides and the rounded bottom 'edge' has largely disappeared and would need complete replacement with new steel formed to shape. I'm afraid it reminds my of my 1960 Hillman Minx - Rootes Rot - from which there was no recovery. But 18000 was made from rather thicker metal. I'm afraid, unless someone comes along with cash and manpower 18000 will quietly rust away. (CJL)
  8. In the end, you can only go on gut feeling and what the economics dictate. As I haven't undertaken a four-wheel van project I can't answer your questions but tooling and production costs for rolling stock are very high at present and that makes the 3D print process an attractive option.
  9. I photographed one in Kidderminster yard - approximately where the SVR ticket hall now is - in 1966 or 1967. From memory it had no markings on it and obviously hadn't moved for a very long time. If I can find the photo, I'll scan it. I wouldn't have done this as a limited production. Should sell like hot cakes and a much better bet than the (similar) gunpowder van, in my view. (CJL)
  10. Of course, there was the 'incident' in which the Class 33-hauled Fawley-Bromford Bridge was bisected by an LMR '8F' coming off Didcot shed. (CJL)
  11. I don't know of a preserved 121 or 117 in anything like original (or restored original) condition, particularly inside. They were refurbished - extensively - and pretty much everything inside got changed or painted over. The 122 at Buckfastleigh has, probably, the best external restoration, as all the later stuff, high-intensity lights etc has been removed. I don't know what its like inside. However, most preserved railways opt to retain the later fittings and work the old-style liveries around them. (CJL)
  12. Yes, that's pretty much how I remember them. Terracotta lino on the floor? Big dark green Loudaphone mounted on the side of the driver's seat. I think it got moved or removed later. (CJL)
  13. They were done by A.N. Wostenholme, who did a lot of work for BR at the time. I had some of his original artwork in a plans chest in my office at one time. There's a fabulous colour poster of all the 'new' BR locos in the 1950s - the Standards plus the gas turbines, 10000 etc which he also did. A personal favourite is the AC railbus he did for the Tetbury/Cirencester branch posters and flyers.
  14. The BSK weighs 830gm. I weighed one recently for a review. (CJL)
  15. Would be nice to have a ready-to-run 0-6-0 tender loco of some sort. Wasn't it the most common wheel arrangement in the UK? (CJL)
  16. Exactly! Unfortunately there's none so blind as those who WILL NOT see.
  17. That is awful. A while since I've been there and scarcely recognisable. Looks like the public footpath beside the railway south of the crossing has been obliterated. Those new-build apartments are on what was a used car lot. North of the crossing I guess the Heathrow fuel sidings have been disused throughout the pandemic as there won't have been many flights. I think the fuel trains only supplemented what went in via pipeline anyway. Here's a couple of Colnbrook shots to enjoy. The Colas 60 is assembling the empty tanks and was taken about 4 years ago from the A4 Bath Road bridge. The cab view was from an up train held at the signal, I think, to await crossing the down working of the morning through train to Paddington. (CJL)
  18. Had some slides scanned recently and couldn't resist posting this one, taken at Lillooet on the British Columbia Railway in 1981. The chop-nosed Alco and single passenger car formed the morning school train for indigenous children from Seton Portage. They would return home on the southbound regular passenger train. The coach (heated by a log-burner which w3asn't necessary in the 95deg heat when I was there) was named Budd Wiser, a gentle poke at the line's regular passenger RDCs. (CJL)
  19. The question of single cars or MBS/DTS combinations seems to have been as much down to date as anything else. Apart from GWR railcars (brought in because of a shortage of steam crews in the London area) the first DMUs were the Gloucester MBS - Class 122 (in 1958). Photos show them on the Staines branch either singly or in pairs of two MBS. The Gloucesters left circa 1960 once the Pressed Steel (121) cars were available. There are pictures of these running as MBS+DTS on the Staines branch and I certainly remember seeing them. However, they probably didn't last long as pairs because apart from the morning and afternoon runs that served the trading estate halts, that much accommodation was seldom needed. There was something very special about the ride across Staines Moor in the rain with the wet willow leaves slapping against the windscreen and the gentle rolling from side-to-side on track that was generally well maintained up to the end. It is impossible to imagine it now as gravel raising, the M25 and Heathrow airport have ruined the area. (CJL) Having said that, the first picture I find is a Gloucester MBS+DTS entering Staines West when the signal box was still staffed! The second is a Pressed Steel DTS+MBS at Staines West (Keith Jaggers picture). Now here's a teaser for you. Why did Staines West have Great EASTERN Railway canopy ironwork and valancing?
  20. There was certainly a weekday through 'commuter' train during my time (early 1960s) up in the morning and down in the pm. Looks like the afternoon return working went to Southall which is logical as that's where the DMUs lived. One of the oddities of the dieselisation was that some units had roller blinds with Staines West and other just had Staines. This was because around 1960 there was a plan to refurbish the wartime spur that linked the Staines branch to the SR Windsor lines and to run branch trains into Staines Central. The closure of the last half mile into Staines West would have eliminated the need for a bridge to carry the A30 Staines by-pass. However the SR reckoned they couldn't accommodate the trains at Central, so the scheme foundered but DMUs delivered during that time had blinds that hedged their bets. I think I've posted this elsewhere in the past but its a favourite picture and a rare one. (CJL)
  21. There is a book in preparation. It has been in preparation for a very long time but is now getting near to publication, I believe. I was involved with it initially but have been 'in and out' over the years, depending on other commitments. If you have specific queries, I can almost certainly answer them, as it was my local branchline from 1962 until it disappeared under the M25 some 25 years later. You'll find references above to my friend Keith Jaggers' website. Keith knew Staines West a year or two before I did. I've modelled Staines west in various scales over the years. This is the current version - in 'N' gauge. (CJL)
  22. It reminds me very much of my 1960 Hillman Minx - the rounded lower edges of the body are much like the sills on cars of that generation and have ended up being much the same - more holes, less metal. The Stationmaster speaks of rust but it's not so much the rust that's the problem as the holes where there is no rust, metal or anything else. It must be around 2-3 years since I went to Didcot to examine and photograph it before I commented on the first CADs that I'd been shown. I'd seen it previously at Crewe and Barrow Hill and been alarmed at its poor state back then. Sadly, although it is a very evocative shell, without its gas turbine 'innards' it is of little museum significance and is always likely to be a low priority for any serious restoration work. I hope I'm proved wrong. (CJL)
  23. The normal reason for 'non-standard' size is to get greater prominence on newsagents' shelves. (CJL)
  24. Didn't the UIC use it for some specific type of testing? Hence the changed bogie and suspension carve-up on one end. I'm afraid that the loco is in very poor condition - the body work is rusted into holes through most of its length, on the complex curved areas at the bottom of the sides. It is completely empty inside. As far as I'm aware it is not part of the GWS own collection, merely given a home by them, so it seems unlikely time or money will be spent on it. (CJL)
  25. Just wondered if any of the Canadian readers of RM web knows the current status of the equipment that was at Woss Camp on the Englewood Railway - the former Canadian Forest Products logging railway? The railway closed following a horrific accident when a cut of log cars ran away and five men were killed. Last I heard, the track was being removed and the trackbed turned into a logging road. The railway had three SW1200RS locomotives, two of which were recently re-engined. Has any of that equipment been preserved or sold, or has it all been scrapped? It was a very long drive beyond habitation to reach Woss Camp but I did it twice, most recently in 2014 when the railway was still operating. (CJL)
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