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Everything posted by TheSignalEngineer

  1. I think Grouping was just part of the regular flow we see through the years in many businesses. Companies merge to form bigger companies partly to corner someone else's market share. They get greedy, diversify and become an unmanageable conglomerate. From there the paths are usually demerge or fail. Circumstances such as wars or the business being essential to the national wellbeing may also intervene leading to the Government to take control. A political shift then demands denationalisation ( later renamed privatisation) which leads to selling off the assets cheaply to their mates on some spurious promise or other of a quick buck for the national purse. A few larger groups gather in all of the services so you have a handful of big companies running things but they got their sums wrong and it all unravels and the Government has to step in again. Grouping was just a step along the way in a process which had started with mergers like those forming the Midland Railway in 1844 and LNWR in 1846. All just another spin of the Magic Roundabout.
  2. Every cross rod is different, and it is difficult to handle single rods of sufficient length to cross under more than one track, so they still have to be joined using either a scarfed or barrel joint. Making them to the correct set and length also requires a certain amount of blacksmithing skill and was quite entertaining when you try to do it trackside on a portable forge in the dark and rain when putting in a complex layout and the end of the possession is nigh. (Yes, I did get the metaphorical T-shirt). The main tools needed to put in channel rodding were a pway bar, shovel and punner for the stools, hacksaw for cutting to length, punch making bolt holes, and spanners foe the nuts. A hammer is always useful as well. The proper spanner for the channel rod bolts is a Tee handle square head box spanner which is about 32" long. Just right for tightening from a standing position. The square nut should be left square with the channel rodding when tightened so you can easily tell of it is working loose on maintenance visits. This is a joint for channel rod to crank, 3" upset. The length including the fishplate end is 28.5". This one has an insulation which is required on electrified lines for preventing the rodding run and thus the point levers becoming part of the traction return path on electrified lines by accidental contact between the rod and return rail. (Image linked from Unipart Rail catalogue) It is possible to make rods in many different configurations such as channel connection at each end for upset/downset or sideset and longer rods with barrel adjustment for point drives from the adjusting crank.
  3. The Warwickshire coal is the same as that mined at Daw Mill and I think Kersley (Coventry Colliery), both of which supplied Didcot. Around the time that the South Warwickshire Prospect was being developed BR was involved in another possible mine which was on the route of the abandoned GNR line near Stafford. There was a nice thick seam but deep down and it was too corrosive for use in boilers. I don't think it ever got past a few test borings that demonstrated the extent of the seam. It may have been of use to the chemical industry but nobody wanted it at the time when other cheaper sources were readily available. Cannock Chase coalfield was closer to the surface and geological action meant that some areas were suitable for opencasting power station coal. When were were laying the cables from Bloxwich for the interlocking to control the access to the Distribution Point at the site of the old Essington Wood sidings the machine being used to bury them was actually cutting coal just below cess level as it went along.
  4. There is a massive seam passing under most of Warwickshire which has hardly been touched. It stretches all the way from the Burton area as far as Banbury. It was mined in the north of the county around Coventry, Nuneaton and Kingsbury with the last mine being at Daw Mill. Many years ago I was involved in the South Warwickshire Prospect project which was intended initially to expand production at Daw Mill, with reinstatement of the railway from Whitacre to Hampton in Arden then on to Berkswell with reinstatement of the line from there to Kenilworth Junction and redouble to Milverton. A new pit was to be sunk at Berkswell to take over from Daw Mill but the good Burghers of Solihull were a bit miffed to say the least. A further pit was proposed at Southam with a new link to the Leamington - Banbury line near to Harbury. Proposed production was enough to run Didcot Power Station flat out for 365 days a year and more. The Thatcher - Scargill war effectively killed the idea.
  5. I remember seeing full trainloads heading north through Snow Hill going to the steelworks at Bilston. Not all works had their own coking capability or were able to balance the coke output and furnace input levels. Coke is difficult to store as with repeated handling it turns to dust so there was a certain amount of import and export between works and also supplies from specialist plants like Orgreave or Avenue to equalise the requirements. There was a lot of discussion about coke movements back around Page 5 of this thread.
  6. Thanks for posting that, it's just what I needed to get me going on my Palethorpes vans.
  7. Well, a number of TKs were transferred to the M&GN in 1937 and outlasted the ones which remained on the LMS. One TK was pictured in a cross-country train at New Street in 1952. It is available on Warwickshire Railways. It's worth reading the notes on the page as it gives some details of their final years written by Philip Millard who did the original notes for the Ratio kits. https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrbns_br1823.htm Slightly wandering off topic, some similar LNWR 50ft non-corridor stock lasted on the Lichfield City locals until the DMUs took over. A Push Pull Driving Trailer apparently escaped being condemned until 1958.
  8. At the danger of drifting into politics Joseph's eldest son, and Neville's half-brother, Austen was the one who was meant to become Prime Minister. He was Balfour's choice to take over when the latter resigned but withdrew from the contest when it became apparent that there would be a bloody civil war in the Conservative and Unionist factions if the contest took place so withdrew and persuaded others to unite behind a compromise candidate, Bonar Law. He held various high government posts including Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House and was briefly Leader of the Conservative Party in the early 1920s. He was also an outspoken critic of the failure to re-arm in the 1930s. In the 1920s he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on reconciliation between France and Germany with the Locarno Agreements. He died a few weeks before Neville became PM in 1937.
  9. When I looked at using one for a conversion I found that the underframe appears to be about 2mm too wide.
  10. The bridge in the background does have an air of GWR about it. Including constituents there must have been about 500 signal boxes with 'Junction' in the name on the GWR. I can't think of one that could be mistaken for Stalybridge. On top of that I can't think of a location near to Stalybridge where a GWR train with a stopping train headlamp would be seen.
  11. Colour Rail has 5104 in lined green late crest at SPM dated 8/2/1959 https://colourrail.co.uk/api/image/thumb/92f8fc75-e0ac-49de-bd9d-0ef66bb99c8f
  12. I think that they would be more likely to stay close to home. They were allocated for local suburban duties in the main and gernerally were transferred away or a few were retained for peak loco hauled extras or trip freight when DMUs took over. Bath Road closed to steam after the Summer 1960 timetable IIRC. The only non-local one I have seen recorded on the web at at a Bristol shed in your era was a Swindon one at 82B, but don't know the liveries. Later there were records on ShedbashUK of two from Severn Tunnel Junction at St Phillip's Marsh. Anything fro Leamington would have been very unlikely although I would think Gloucester or Taunton could have been in range if there were suitable trains for them to work.
  13. For a layout I model a Black Country line, secondary as far as passenger is concerned but a wide variety of freight. My timescale is somewhere after the introduction of the late crest but before yellow panels on diesels so around 1957-61. I have two weaknesses in my collecting which are small tank locos and a love for West Country lines from holidays around that time. For the out of context locos in the collection I have a number of excuses. 1 - Stafford Road Works got a lot of small tanks from other areas, including the West Country and Wales, even 15xx and 97xx from London. They often appeared on local workings to test begore sending home. 2 - Local sheds got diesels on loan for crew training. 3 - Dudley Zoo got a lot of special excursions especially school visits. 4 - six football league clubs generated specials particularly for FA Cup matches. 5 - a lot of small tanks got into industrial service. There were USA and LSWR B4 tanks used in the area. If all else fails run a Crankex visiting soon to close lines hauled by a near-extinct loco class borrowed from another region.
  14. Interestingly despite the price of the tickets I noticed in a news item from the NYMR last week that the 0920 from Pickering to Whitby was sold out last Friday. I think it was running seven Mk1s including a brake second and buffet, so about six full seating coaches equivalent.
  15. That should take a bit of heat out of the present situation.
  16. Morecambe and Wise had a punch line to fit that question. Apologies to those too young to understand this reply.
  17. This is "One I made Earlier" Mainline or early Bachmann body with chassis cobbled up from Parkside bits and Dave Franks buffers.
  18. There was a discussion on lowfits here Unfortunately most of the pics are missing at the moment but lots of info on body and brake gear variations. I've found a picture of my version which I will post later. Paul Bartlett has plenty of pictures of them on his site.
  19. Red Panda do a kit RK01 IIRC for the BR Lowfit diagram 1/002. The Bachmann ex-Mainline version has a BR Diagram 1/001 body which is like the LNER one but has the wrong chassis, which should be an LMS 8-shoe brake variety. I did one using a Mainline body and parts from a Parkside chassis kit. I posted it some time ago but I think pics are missing at the moment. I will see if I can find them.
  20. Is ita problem that the LEDs used by Dapol are too white? Real life spectacle glasses are thw colour they are because the oil lamp behind them burns yellow. To use the 'proper' colour would need an LED with a colour temperature of 2050 to replicate a flat wick paraffin flame. A warm white LED is about 3000 and a daylight one would be about 5500-6000. The signal linemen that I worked with would wipe the arm with a paraffin rag on each maintenance visit. Back in those days our local lampmen would wipe the spectacles clean every week when they changed the lamp.
  21. On mine the tender chassis was OK but the loco chassis was out of square and the back end was prone to climbing the outer rail on left hand curves. Agreed, my T9 and M7 took a lot of tweaking originally to get them to run reliably. Then the T9 became victim of cracking of the bits holding the motor in place and off it went again. OK since Hornby overhauled it.
  22. Yes, I was replying to Jonster's comment. The last GWR locos at LMR exGWR sheds were probably the panniers 4646, 4696 and 9774 which lasted to November 1966 at Tyseley.
  23. Even better is to find a photo of something almost unbelievable and reproduce the event on the layout. When they start to whinge produce the photo. I'm not familiar with your period in the north but at the time in the Midlands we used the get 3-car DMU sets comprised of three different classes in three different liveries. I'm sure we could have sent one there, after all I did get to York on a Class 116 with WM logo subbing for a failed HST.
  24. Croes Newydd was probably the last, its final workable locos being transferred out around May or June 1967. My last sighting of a 'regular' steam working south of Birmingham was a light engine from Banbury to Saltley on the first Saturday of March 1967. Saltley closed to steam two days later.
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