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Pacific231G

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Everything posted by Pacific231G

  1. Quayside tracks were of course once commonplace and tend to hang round rather longer than tracks in other sorts of roads but this one has long intrigued me. I took this picture in about 2000 and the quay is at Pointe de Grave on the southern side of the mouth of the Gironde where the car/passenger ferries from Royan arrive. What is really odd is the arrangement of track on the left hand side where the points lead to a siding that shares a rail with the siding it branched off from and there is no normal frog. Looking more closely it's not quite the same rail. The other inset track on the quayside uses rail with a lighter check rail (possibly "Broca" tramway type grooved rail) but the common rail is actually a double rail with each siding using the other's running rail as its checkrail. This quay seems to have been part of an extensive system of lightly laid railways owned by the Port of Bordeaux that transported stone etc. to its various coastal defence on the duney peninsula between Pointe de Grave and Soulac-sur-Mer. Movement of that peninsula would have compromised the entrance to the Gironde which provides Bordeaux and other ports on the estuary with access to the Atlantic. The railway did though serve other purposes including the transport of buoys to and from from the port authority's workshops not far from this quay to the vessels that maintained them. I don't know whether the extra displaced siding was just to bring wagons closer to the quayside for loading stones discharged from ships or barges or were something to do with moving buoys around. In either case though why would they have needed both lines. They couldn't have shunted wagons on both sidings simultaneously so I can't see why this arrangement was adopted. The port authority railway crossed the electrified SNCF line from Bordeaux to Pointe de Grave a few hundred metres from its terminus and, just before the crossing, there were the remains of a small interchange yard. From there it took a sinuous route between the SNCF line and the coast as far as Soulac with various sidings leading to coastal defence workings. That is now a tourist railway using draisines (mororised gangers trolleys) but the once extensive trackage on the Gironde side of the SNCF line had all been lifted apart from this quayside section.
  2. It's a thread well worth revisiting Kevin and I'm still fascinated by the once very real prospect of a GCR/Met terminus at no 8 St. Clements High Street Oxford, even though it would have destroyed the Mesopotamian peace of Parson's Pleasure and Dame's Delight (But it was more close to having really existed than Peter Denny's direct trains from Oxford to the cathedral city of Buckingham). Were I into British modelling I think that would be my "Minories". I also rather liked Peter Denny's reason for choosing the GCR. It was apparently because the MRC was full of GWR enthusiasts who'd instantly and noisily criticise any departure he made from the prototype but few people then knew anything about the GCR so he could develop his modelling of it in peace. It also had solid rather than lattice signal posts which would be easier to model. On such small matters are great works founded.
  3. Interesting. Comparing thus with photos of the Rochers Noirs viaduct it appears that it would be entirely possible, with a bit of bashing, to turn this into a shorter span Gisclard suspension bridge that would be eminently suitable for a railway.
  4. I've recently been admiring the Wharncliffe Viaduct (which is just about within walking distance of my house) and it looks almost archaeological - like some ancient temple. When it was widened from two (originally BG) to four tracks there must have been a temptation to build a more modern and presumably cheaper structure alongside Brunel's original - fortunately the GWR's aesthetic sense must have prevailed (It's only just struck me that Maidenhead Bridge would also have been widened at some stage) BTW Isn't Verney Junction somewhere near Grandborough Junction ? I've seen a rather nice model of that!
  5. Yes, despite his reference in his paper to it being a contradiction, he actually titled the paper "a new type of rigid suspension bridge". you can read it here. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6125610/f216.image
  6. This one on the Cerdagne line and the viaduc de Rochers Noir are both examples of Gisclard rigid suspension bridges*. They're a bit of a hybrid as the actual deck is suspended by vertical cables coming from the two main sets of cables but these are in turn supported by stay cables from the opposite tower. This isn't immediately obvious from photos as the vertical cables are actually supporting the deck from below but you can see that if you examine this photo of it closely https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Viaduc_des_Rochers_Noirs-1923.jpg The two main cable sets are also firmly coupled at point O on this diagram so making for a far more rigid structures than a traditional suspension bridge or a simple cable stayed bridge. I've been over both viaducts - though unfortunately, for the Rochers Noir, only by car and, when that was no longer allowed, on foot as I was twenty two years too late to cross it by a train of the Tramways de Correze (the last of France's many public steam tramways to close) Since 2005 you haven't even been allowed to cross it on foot. These were both metre gauge viaducts and I don't know if Gisclard's design was ever used for a standard gauge railway. *In his paper in Annales des Ponts et Chaussées in 1899 Albert Gisclard does appear to refer to a rigid suspension bridge as being a contradiction though clearly his system was rigid enough.
  7. Looking at it again more closely , I'm certain that you and others are right and it's definitely not Reading Southern station. Apart from anything else, the platform, as can be seen from the people seen between the two pillars, is too wide and I think the second carriage is chocolate and cream. It might be Reading General but, if it really was a wartime image, the Ministry of Information were probably trying to obscure its location. I have found the same image from the IWM who describe it as "A PICTURE OF A SOUTHERN TOWN: LIFE IN WARTIME READING, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK, 1945 A busy scene on platform 1 at Reading railway station." https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205202162 You can clearly see the platform1 sign. However, when I knew Reading General (and Reading Southern) in the mid 1960s the main down platform was no. 4 with bays at the down end. Did the GWR number platforms differently from British Railways or is this really somewhere completely different? I'm also not convinced this is a wartime image. Nobody is carrying a gas mask case (though by 1945 maybe few did) but, more significantly I can't see more than perhaps three or four men and no women in military uniform (including the American officer with his girl in the foreground which suggests it's not pre-war) Even after VE Day, this relative lack of uniforms seems very unlikely before the final end of the war. There are destination (or train name) boards above the carriage windows but, even looking at the zoomable image on the IWM site, I can only make out Paddington- on the nearest one so we know it's a down express on the GWR. None of this of course reduces the value of Reading Southern .
  8. Reading Southern, which adjoined the eastern end of Reading General, was a very attractive compact terminus with two Island platforms (for platform faces) and definitely worthy of consideration in a Minories context. There are plenty of images of it online including here http://disused-stations.org.uk/r/reading_southern/index.shtml and this 1945 wartime image of it very crowded. I used it a few times on shedbashing trips to the Southern from Oxford when it was a lot quieter than this and it did make a very nice contrast to Reading General. Unfortunately, I left my small case on a train there once and it never turned up.
  9. There does seem to be a (hopefully temporary) glitch with Peco's website just now. I've used their contact form to let them know that as these are particularly useful, especially as they include a ruler to confirm that your printer is not distorting their size. XtrackCad is definitely available for the Mac and I've certainly used it to produce full size plans (admittedly for a small layout) It has a steeper learning curve than AnyRail but is more flexible and you can try out train movements with it. Templot is really for designing your own trackwork rather than for assembling ready to lay track such as Peco's. BTW does anyone know of track planning software that has Tri-ang TT-3 (type B) in its database? I need to draw a trackplan for someone's layout that's based on it and I was thinking I'd have to do it with Setrack and rescaling
  10. Given its green livery and the two fourgon doors, I'd say that it's a representation of a "fourgon D" (i.e a passenger fourgon) rather than a "fourgon M" which were normally grey, brown or red. These were normally at the head end of passenger trains (but could be at both ends)
  11. I'm curious to know how many people are using these in preference to the tension-lock. I use Kadees which have the same virtue of being able to lift a vehicle out of a train without any swearing. Tri-ang adoped the tension lock to avoid having to pay royalties for any of the patented couplers. This was a rather thuggish version of the LaNal coupler invented by Eric Lanal (the pen name of Dr. Alan Lake Rice) in the USA in the 1930s and possibly developed from the coupler devised by H0 pioneer (though both 3.5mm/ft and 4mm/ft were then called 00) A.R. Walkley in 1925. I went over to Tri-ang TT-3 from HD as a youngster and can remember being distinctly unimpressed by the enormous couplers that seemed as determined to get tangled together at any opportunity as the wretched hinged loop NEM standard coupler (the coupler not the coupler box) I have come across the Pritchard coupler fitted to Hornby Acho and even some Jouef stock though in both cases it could easily be unscrewed and replaced wth the hinged loop type.
  12. Is that the Really Useful Christmas Tree Box? I use RUBs a lot to store stock and books etc. so using a couple of them to store a layout has definite attractions.
  13. I just want to thank and congratulate Andy and the other organisers and contributors for an excellent effort over the weekend (and obviously for weeks and perhaps months leading up to it) The layout articles and videos were of high quality, there were more demos than I think you'd get at almost any exhibtion and it was interesting to hear about Dapol's repatriation moves. Special congratulations to Andy for some superb layout photography- I've never seen the Madder Valley so well imaged.
  14. No doubt with a separate guard as well somewhere else in the train- I don't know if the SNCF's "cocotte-minute" steam heating vans required someone to operate them. The joke of all those guards and assistants leaning on the safety rail was that SNCF's "Standard" fourgon M was specifically designed with a "lobby" at one end with stable (i.e. split) doors on each side (it's on the left hand side of the plan view in the 1960 documentaire precisely so that the guard would not need to lean, somewhat dangerously, on the safety bar in order to keep a look out. Looking again at Loco-Revue's "100 Compositions" hors serie there are ,from the 1960s, a block train of coal from Nord-pas de Calais coalfield for the Paris power stations hauled by a 141R from 1967 with no fourgon, several general goods trains with fourgons mostly steam but also diesel and mixed trains (MVs) both with and without a fourgon M and those without didn't have a fourgon compartment in their passenger section (often just one coach). So, there doesn't seem to have been a definite cut-off date nor any obvious rule about which trains did or did not require one.
  15. Thanks. That's a likely Christmas present for someone I know.
  16. Ahh but how many of those imaginary places, apart from one or two on the Isle of Sodor, could support a compact main line terminus with three platforms? Going back to that, something I'm conscious of in CJF's original plan was the road overbridge that effectively concealed how short the station really was (See Geoff Ashdowns Tower Pier for visual evidence of how effective this can be added to by a short overall roof) but I've not seen many other of the many Minories based (or Minories inspired) layouts that have done this. Has anyone seen other examples of this technique, perhaps using other view blockers, and how effective have they been?
  17. I discovered something similar when creating authentic looking station name boards for my French layout. I managed to get hold of a truetype version of SNCF's early official typeface (used for signage and rolling stock lettering that had been mandated for all railways some years before nationalisation) This is a very geometrical "drawing office" typeface but even so I found that it just didn't agree with what I was seeing on the side of actual stations (mostly closed ones so unaffected by modern branding) with Rs and Qs in particular notably different, or even on images of the lettering on rolling stock. I soon realised that "police SNCF" (police means font in this context) was actually based on the printed fonts that had been used to create things like timetable sheets. The display versions used for larger lettering were significantly different even though following the same basic letterforms. I think this does also echo another question which is whether scaling alone will produce a model that looks convincingly like the real thing. Colour scaling is well known and if you scale a texture the light will strike it differently but does this apply elsewhere and is this where the aesthetic skill of a model designer really comes in?
  18. We need to be a bit cautious about this as a digital font, like this TrueType example, will simply scale itself to any desired size whereas a human designer, like those who worked for British Railways, will optimise the weight and style of a typeface to produce a specific font for a particular size. I'd be interested in what any graphic designers amongst us have to say about this, but the same basic typeface optimised for the printed page will be rather different from a display size font used for painting on the side of a locomotive or tender. Most of us using computers (starting with Apple) tend to use the terms font and typeface interchangeably but there is a real difference. The typeface is the design whereas the font (from the French fonte meaning cast in metal) was, in traditional letterpress printing, the specific type at a particular point size. A computer can take a font in vector form and simply reproduce it at any size you like but it will only be optimal for a small range of sizes when printed or displayed.
  19. Meanwhile, the Paris Métro has an increasing number of lines- some of them new- with driverless (and completely unstaffed) trains and they're rapidly expanding the network. Perhaps it's all paid for by the profits RATP (the Paris transport authority) makes from running buses for TfL in London but I very much doubt it. I accept that London and Paris are not exactly comparable. Quite a lot of the London Underground actually carries out a similar job to the RER in the outer suburbs though rather more slowly and the Métro, with far more closely spaced stations close to the surface, does quite a lot of what buses do in London. Nevertheless- driverless and uncrewed trains don't seem to cause too much of a problem and, in Lille, I've experienced completely automatic Métros that because they don't have crews have a very frequent service almost 24/7.
  20. I can only speak for myself but I have a car and I also have a London Freedom Pass. The net effect of the latter in pre-covid times was that I made far fewer local journeys around London using the former which, as they are normally off-peak means that I'm occupying a seat that would otherwise be empty on the tube or (less often) on the bus instead of adding to London's pollution and traffic snarls. If every public transport journey was going to cost me a fiver or so then the marginal cost of using my car (a pound or two for the same journey) would make that very tempting. if the Freedom Pass was removed then I'd simply end up making far more journeys by car which would probably cost London far more. If you work in a high rise office block nobody expects you to pay to use the lifts. They are simply an essential service that the building has to have to be viable. You could very easily make the same argument for public transport in large cities.
  21. Hi Bernard It wouldn't have come into German hands in 1945 as that was when France (and Belgium) was busily repatriating its own stock that had ended up in Germany and also absorbing a good number of DRG coaches. Presumably this one had ended up in the Russian sector after the war and never returned home. interesting as I've seen no reference to any of these being "lost" Looking at my Encyclopedie des Voitures SNCF it's definitely one of the Nord métalliques (sometimes known as torpilles - torpedoes) which became the backbone of the C.F. du Nord's express fleet in the 1930s (They were also used by Nord Belge - the Nord's operation in Belgium pre SNCB) This type had a door for every two compartments or seating bays and were designed for expresses that made a number of stops. Most of them, delivered 1928-1936 were C11s -i.e. 3rd class (which would later have become 2nd class when 3rd class was abolished) with 11 bays/comparments and five sets of doors. This one appears to only have ten 2nd class compartments/bays and just four doors so may have lost a compartment (or at least one of the central compartment's windows) next to the central WCs so may have been adapted or possibly was one of the Nord Belge coaches. This is the closest model to it from LS but it is a B11 https://gibitrains.pagesperso-orange.fr/en/train/voiture_nord_express-b11-ls_models.htm This is a real example, Nord C11 24896, with all five doors, preserved by the Chemin de Fer Touristique Limousin Périgord in Thiviers (Dordogne), photograph by Didier Duforest July 2015 (Creative Commons) They lasted with SNCF until about 1980 and I think about the same with SNCB so it would be interesting to know when the DR example dates from.
  22. Well we know that East Anglia was a region cut off on three sides by the sea and on the fourth by the Great Eastern Railway so, by the time Holmes and Watson got there, the guilty would have escaped and the innocent already hanged.
  23. There are a good few from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories but I notice that, though they've got the BBC's Borchester (and Ambridge) in a fairly likely place, they've not got Frank Dyer's Borchester and I'm not seeing Charford or Grandborough Junction. Also I think Barchester is too far east as we know from Trollope's books that it was on the old coach road to Exeter and on a GWR branch with the GW main line through Silverbridge twelve or fifteen miles to the north Trollope of course made it very clear that it was standing in for somewhere else. The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of ––––; let us call it Barchester. Were we to name Wells or Salisbury, Exeter, Hereford, or Gloucester, it might be presumed that something personal was intended; and as this tale will refer mainly to the cathedral dignitaries of the town in question, we are anxious that no personality may be suspected. Let us presume that Barchester is a quiet town in the West of England, (The Warden) I always reckoned that it was a place very much like Salisbury but, to be in GWR territory a bit further north (possibly in a Britain without Salisbury plain) It's good fun and an excellent job though and must have taken ages to put together. Fictional Britain is a very very crowded island!
  24. Having been dragged up in Oxford (town not gown) I was intrigued by the idea of the GWR's terminus having almost been close to where I went to school (rather than near Folly Bridge where it was built) so delved a bit further. Liz Woolley has posted a very interesting article, complete with original maps, on her award winning South Oxford history site. https://southoxfordhistory.org.uk/interesting-aspects-of-grandpont-and-south-oxford-s-history/the-coming-of-the-railway-to-oxford You'd also, as Brunel did, probably have had trouble with the good residents of Iffley which was why his terminus eneded up in Grandpont. Further up the thread I think we also discussed the Metroplitan Railway's plan to build a terminus in St. Clements, a couple of hundred yards north of yours (between St. Clements Street and the river Cherwell) , for their proposed extension of the Brill branch from Quainton Road. Presumably, by connecting Oxford with Baker Street, they had something a bit grander than a bucolic former tramway in mind.
  25. I went via Reading (Southern) a couple of times on school railway society shed bashing trips from Oxford and alway thought the compact terminus a thoroughly delightful station. Maybe it just made a change from God's Wonderful but I was very sad when it was replaced by platform 4A at Reading. Less delightful was the thumper we travelled from there to I think Guildford though ISTR that we used an electric train from there to get to Waterloo to travel on the still steam hauled Bournemouth Belle. I assume the teacher who led the group didn't fancy wrangling a bunch of schoolboys between London terminals.
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