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Everything posted by TheSignalEngineer

  1. That's almost a Rule 1 railway. Will try a bit of ID later but mat a quick glance I spotted an LMS non-corridor Lav Composite and Thompson 6-wheel brake (BGZ) along with various Collett, Hawksworth, Stanier and Bulleid stock, a Maunsell Van B and a Van C. Nothing Gresley yet but they were used as strengtheners on the S&D main line as well as regular use on through expresses.
  2. I remember seeing GE prefix coaches at Birmingham New Street on the Norwich/Lowestoft train which arrived just before 1pm and returned around 4pm in the early 1960s. Going off topic they were interesting servicse as prior to Mk1s various pre-nationalisation LNER stock appeared on them including GER and GNR rebuilds. Later a Cravens updated Mk1 prototype used to appear.
  3. Getting back onto original topic. it's about time someone produced a proper GWR 5 1/2 plank Open Wagon. https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/gwropenmerchandiseowv
  4. Nil Desperandum Carborundum....(etc) I've looked at the EP pictures and overall it looks like a Toad and I'm sure that the glitches can be ironed out, so my pre-order stands. I don't put things in glass cases and don't examine them under a microscope, I run them at a scale viewing distance of between 50 yards and 200 yards from my seat. You can do your damnedest to be accurate to the Nth degree but if bits are too flimsy it's not much use to those who spend our time playing trains building operational layouts. A large majority are quite happy running their models on 4' 1 1/2" gauge track but the standards in vogue at the time of Hornby Dublo had thicker wheels which were the prototype distance across the outside faces of the tyres. To my mind handrails and thin piping are two of the worst jobs in building a model. In cross section area terms 4mm scale is approximately 1/5800 of the 1:1 size. The handrail brackets would be about the thickness of the detailing parts etched in the brass used for detailing parts. In volume of material terms that makes a part having a volume of about 1/442000 of the original. The limitations of modelling in that scale mean that compromises are always going to have to be made if it is to be a working model let alone putting it together in the first place.
  5. LMS vestibule stock is sadly neglected. So far only the one many years ago from Replica Railways and latterly the Hornby Coronation Scot conversion. Something like a D1807 Period 2 Open Third would be nice, but I've already built one of those. Straightforward body and windows. Many P1 and P2 opens appeared in five different liveries from full panelled LMS to BR maroon and lasted around 40 years. The LMS Carriage Association has a fully restored P1 D1692 and a P3 D1999 partly restored.
  6. Spent a few hours in the building to the right. S&T stores and lineman's depot. The planking on the platform is on the bridge over the canal. One day I was working in Saltley Sidings box which stood between the main lines at the Derby end of the platform. The breakdown train was belled up and a Class 25 came along at the head, the crane was next. Someone had forgotten to lower the chimney and it hit Saltley viaduct, shearing off the hinge. The momentum propelled the chimney into the brickwork behind the platform stairs and it bounced back falling between the first and second vans. After ripping off the signal wire pulleys along the platform face it hit the girder of the canal bridge, emerged from between the second and third vans and cartwheeled along the platform. Fortunately nobody was injured, the only damage on the train was a couple of broken axlebox covers and a lot of soiled underwear. I got in a few hours overtime that day renewing the signal wire run. Although the station is long gone there is still a mark in the brickwork of the viaduct where the chimney hit it.
  7. The legendary man. He was on the committee of the BRSA club at Vauxhall which was alongside Lawley Street yard opposite Saltley shed. Our office cricket team used the BRSA ground that they managed. At one committee meeting c1975 the new Area Manager at Saltley was being introduced and when the secretary got to Stacker he said "This is Roy Steadman, also known as Stacker. If you want to know why his file is the thickest one in the cupboard. He's had a Number One for every offence in the book." Having known Stacker it wouldn't be for want of trying. It was on the Shunting Line in the Down Sidings at Washwood Heath No.4 box IIRC.
  8. A member of my mother's family served his apprenticeship at Bromsgrove wagon works.
  9. I was working on the S&T district that covered Saltley shed at the end of steam. We often drank at the pub used as the local ASLEF headquarters so met a lot of crews and blagged a lot of lifts on the lines between Camp Hill, Tamworth and Nuneaton. Sometimes the tender would have a high proportion of the artificial stuff and the firemen concerned didn't like it. Some batches seem to break down into slack and others clogged everything up. I don't know what is used for a binder now but over the years it has included clay, lime, molasses residue and oil or bitumen compounds. Those three could create a tarry mess in the grate without the correct air flow I would guess.
  10. 45596 Bahamas passing Peak Forest Cemex with The Jubilee Buxton Spa Express, 4th June 2022
  11. The compressed coal dust stuff got some now politically incorrect names in BR days. The oval lumps were not appreciated by the firemen in our area.
  12. I finally gave in and bought one, which will become 1621 from its Stourbridge days. The model has run well straight out of the box at all speeds after an initial squeal when power was first applied. I'm running DC using a Gaugemaster D. The only potential contact problem I've noticed is that the plungers on the centre wheels can lose contact at maximum pplay, but even on train set curves that probably wouldn't happen. I shortened the over-long couplings quite easily using Bachmann short NEM heads with the sockets cut back to the buffer bean, trimmed the legs to suit and superglued together. My thoughts about the model in general are that it looks nice but the parts are very fiddly. They've managed the usual trick of not putting a lamp bracket on top of the bunker, Also the brackets for spare lamps are designed to fit into a hole but I doubt it is possible to make one there so a bit of trimming and superglue will be necessary. The biggest criticism at the moment is that the small parts underneath aren't robust particularly in the area of the injector pipework and the back end of the brake gear. They would be fine in the display case but don't like handling.
  13. I found some in the shed but the bag isn't there so I can't identify it. IIRC it was from about 20 years ago and came in 10kg and 25kg bags at a DIY store. Probably a type you can't get any longer, it now seems to be all like what we used to give a very politically incorrect name to in the steam days.
  14. I just love summer in the Dark Peak, it's my favourite day of the year.

  15. It's crushed smokeless fuel. I can't remember the brand but I think there may be a bag in the shed, will have a look later.
  16. Paul's site is always a first port of call when looking for rolling stock pictures Click on the picture on the album page you have linked. When the individual page comes up click on the 'share' symbol, centre one of the three at the top. You can then get a shortcut link to that picture. Another option, I haven't tried myself as I usually prefer to use a link to other people's photos on the web, is that you can often get the BBcode for embedding. I think that depends on the person posting the photos.
  17. They had a bit of gear in the coal plant which came down on top of the wagon and shook it. Got the coal out but didn't do the bearings much good.
  18. Courtesy of the excellent Michaels Clemens Railways website this was in the Plymouth 1957-8 Freight WTT Engine Restrictions table. The site may be able to throw light on some of the other locations mentioned previously. http://www.michaelclemensrailways.co.uk/?atk=572
  19. Simon doesn't do things by halves. He will have a steam generator below the baseboard and water running down the insides to cascade off the bottom into the big pool underneath.
  20. The Cross City service when it was first introduced did get the better sets. Tyseley fitted gangways to the 116 motor coaches and the trailers were replaced mainly by Lav trailers from BedPan and Merseyside, although a few got other types.
  21. Towards the end of first gen DMUs at Tyseley there were sets with maps of virtually the whole of BR. Getting a set with three different classes on three different liveries was not uncommon in the 1980s. There were a few services in the West Midlands which ran as stoppers and then continued on to other places but not always advertised as through trains. Some substitution of loco hauled sets did also occur, I have a picture of a 47 arriving at Moor Street with a local from Dorridge.
  22. I had the pleasure as a ten-year-old of looking down on that from Proof House Junction signal box. My Grandad was signal lineman for that district covering from the tunnel mouth to Vauxhall and Adderley Park. Summer Saturday morning visits were the best of all, bus into town then walk down to Banbury Street, through the gate next to the Proof House and up the steps to the box at the top of the bank.
  23. The various lines of my family mostly moved to Birmingham in the second half of the 19th century, although I have traced one connection back to the time of Oliver Cromwell's mates having a bit of a scrap at Camp Hill. Three of my grandparents had railway in the family so it was I suppose inevitable that I followed on, eventually spending almost fifty years directly or indirectly earning a living from it. My earliest railway memory was just before my second birthday. I had a great aunt who was married to a Monument Lane driver. My Dad took me down to New Street to get the tickets for our holiday trip to my Mom's ATS friend who lived in Brighton. He arranged it to coincide with a particular train that our relative was booked to work and I was lifted up onto the footplate. My earliest memory is of being held aloft to pull the whistle cord to acknowledge the Guard's whistle before being handed back down to the platform. The next memories of the railway were trains running along the embankment between Selly Oak and where University station now stands, then when we got allocated a new house we used to catch the bus near Stechford station. That was where I saw my first Stanier Pacifics on Sunday diversions, We also walked up to the old airfield where Castle Vale estate now stands to visit the British Industries Fair and Battle of Britain displays. In those days if you were lucky you might catch a Garrett on the long coal trains into Washwood Heath. Growing up a bit and moving to a better house after my sister was born and it was train spotting at New Street on a regular basis before Snow Hill was discovered. I had been there before to catch the night train to Cornwall on a busy Friday in summer, a big adventure for a lad of about four at the time. Talking of model shops, I often used the one in Burlington Arcade, but mention of Bearwood Models brought back a lot of memories. Before the shop in Constitution Hill they had one on The Parade at the bottom of Summer Row which was close to where my Dad worked. I still have the Hornby Dublo 3-rail stuff which came from there in the 1950s, and it still runs perfectly.
  24. As far as I remember there was no switching of the OLE at Piccadilly. The DC was cut back to the bays at Oxford Road and the AM4 units initially worked Crewe to Oxford Road as 25KV then later through to Altrincham when that section was converted.
  25. True even the buffers were painted brown on the white ones, but then very little of the livery complied with the Corporate Identity Manual. Plain blue DMUs originally had blue solebars.
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