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The Stationmaster

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The Stationmaster last won the day on January 10 2022

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About The Stationmaster

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    A long and catholic interest in railways but especially operations and signalling and not put off by over 40 years in or associated with the industry in Britain and abroad. Also enjoy photography, some DIY, gardening and travel.

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  1. Hmm - never say 'not'. Headlamps were of course required to be lit during daylight hours on trains passing through various tunnels. And, of course, they didn't stop to light them before entering the tunnel so they were lit , usually, for the whole of the journey that included a tunnel (or tunnels) where headlamps were required to be lit. So quite right and proper for the headlamps to be lit on many routes during daylight hours. But the rather more important thing was that usually the light from the lamps was in any case near invisible in daylight unless you could see the approaching train absolutely head on. And very often they weren't that much more visible even at night! Model railway loco/traction unit lights etc are already far too bright - let alone in many cases also incorrect - on non-steam traction and oil lamp light should be much less visible.
  2. Clearly you don't understand how water meadows work. A water meadow is (or rather was) a managed area of meadow where use was made of seasonal increases in rainfall and water flow in. order to get the grass into the best possible condition for the time of year when the meadow would be used for grazing and/or hay production. Normally a system of drainage channels - often natural streams with some alteration, and small sluice gates (and in. later years field drains) were used to ensure even distribution across the meadow of any excess water. An expert who really knew how to manage his water meadows aimed to minimise the depth of any water build-up to a level where it benefitted rather than ruined the grass. And a very important part of livestock management was to get animals out onto water meadows as early in the year as possible to avoid running out of hay - but the meadow ground had to be firm enough to take animals without being damaged. So doing it properly was something between a skill and an art and needed plenty of experience to get it right. Water meadows should not be confused with a river's flood plain which is a natural consequence of the way in which a waterway has devbek lopped over the centuries. I believe some parts of flood plain could be used as water meadow but it required far more in the way of artificial channelling ot water and control otf water levels. Hence most water meadow tended to be sited where the flood plain began to rise away from the river. Plenty of them seemed to have existed into the 1950s but vanished as farm labour forces were reduced and as a longer winter feeding period became possible due to easier production of silage. The last ones near where I live could still be seen - but clearly no longer managed - into the early 1960s but are now either gravel extraction pits or worked out pits with top soil returned but now flood because the water is no longer managed.
  3. Being a sometimes cynical person, especially when it comes to the machination of WCRC, I have wondered if their clearly intended use of vehicles without opening quarter lights and not looking like the 'Hogwarts Express' vehicles is yet another ploy on their part? Are they hoping that customer reaction to these 'modern' coaches will lead to demands to reinstate 'the old coaches' on the train. Or do they really think they have lost the battle? I could obviously be well wrong - but you never know with this bunch. The interesting thing about this Rule Book extract is that it very clearly refers to defective doors. You need to read both TW1 and TW 5 to arrive at a slightly more comprehensive answer but even then it allows a bit of rope for operators to make their own Instructions. What the Rule Book modules do not seem to say anywhere is that it is required to bar passengers from travelling in a coach which has locked doors - but only from one with locked defective doors. It is arguable, but not exactly stated as far as i could find when looking yesterday, that a coach not fitted with CDL amounts to the same as a coach with defective CDL. I would tend very much to regard it in that way (and would have done exactly that way back in the past when my job included ruling on interpretation of the Rules and Regulations
  4. I never came across the SCr version of Tokenless Block butI understand that it had a number of differences from the WR version (with which I was - at times unfortuantely - intimately familiar for 4 years of my railway career. WR Tokenless could be worked as 'open block' provided the 'box in advance turned its Acceptance Switch to 'Accept' (then Signalman could go off and do something else although in reality that never happened with the potential ultimate exception of Templecombe). So in that respect it too was like Track Circuit Block although how the Signalmen worked in reality was slightly different and trains were very often offered by rings on the box-tobox. 'phones and then accepted (provided they could be accepted of course). The use of either Direction Levers or - in earlier times Interlocking Levers (subtly different from an acceptance lever) was long established practice at larger stations with signalboxes at each end although on the Western it seems not to have been used for passenger trains on platform lines (I'm open to further information on this latter point)
  5. I agree with CCTransUk - I seriously wonder if a market even exists for a WD 2-8-0 from KR when compared with the existing Bachmann version. And `judging by their announcement video at that stage they didn't seem to have done much work at all - 'hard' or otherwise - on the project having somehow completely missed the simple fact that BR actually had a small fleet of them on their books for around a quarter of a century. By the time they 'announced' (via that video) ECT wereshowing 3-D prints which indicated they were already well advanced on their development of the models even down to certain individual detail diifferences.
  6. They definitely work well with an H&M Powermaster on full wave rectification (although people say they shouldn't).
  7. Many thanks for the quick reply - very useful to know should I ever decide to get rid of some of your foam packaging. Years ago (the 1970s) we had a tenant in the old goods shed at Frome and he was processing plastics for recycling including PET so hopefully things have become more widespread in the intervening 50 years.. If any one wants to know what they can recycle when and how to do it then look on the 'net and get a link to your postcode using the site linked below. Scroll down to the box where you enter your postcode. I have checked it against our District Council's recycling list and it is accurate for us so, hopefully, should be for others - https://www.recyclenow.com/how-to-recycle/what-can-be-recycled
  8. Regrettably the packing machinery and boxes couldn't handle square eggs so that was the end of that idea ...
  9. Bit of both John. the stuff originating from Barry and Avonmouth seems to have invarably started as trainloads - even if only to a local yard (in the case of Avonmouth). But places like the Geest depot at Lent Rise. Taplow could hardly accept a trainload - unless it was a very short train indeed - so either the through train to Acton detached at Taplow for them to be shunted to Lent Rise by the pilot or they were put off elsewhere and taken forward by the local trip (in its later years Lent Rise only handled two types of traffic - bananas and household coal) The empties invariably came out on the local trip and in some cases empties back to places such as Avonmouth were simply attached to ordinary part, or fully, fitted freights. I know one of teh Barry flows used to detach vehicles at swindon - pproablyly for an immediate local destination Lent Rise would hold no more than half a dozen vans, the very long gone former ripening depot at Vastern Road yard in Reading could only deal with a similar number and no doubt similar places existed elsewhere. So seeing Banana Vans in other than block trains was not exactly an unusual sight nor was seeing them in local freight trips. However I very much doubt there were any ripening depots at the ends of bucolic branch lines!
  10. As the man on the quality training course said you can only eat an elephant in bite size chunks so this initiative is a great istart. But I was interested to read that the foam inserts are recyclable as that is usually a very difficult area - what recycling code are they please? While I retain packaging as, one of the best ways of storing models not in use, one question which comes to mind is the impact of local capabilities for recycling different materials and I wonder if you have been able to try to take that into account? For example we can only put Codes 1,2, & 5 type plastics into our recycling bin and some of the other codes have to go to either the collection facility at Tesco or even landfill (in the case of all hard plastics (which I understand are very difficult and expensive to recycle). I fully realise you can't go round every recycling scheme in Britain, lat alone your wider markets, to establish who can/will recycle what but is there any thought being given to using the more widely recyclable plastics wherever possible and putting the recycling codes on things like clamshells?
  11. Paul I suspect the traffic normally sent in by rail has probably changed somewhat hence more frequent trips.
  12. Not necessarily that Phil. Their standard of journalism is now pretty low on many subjects - such as this one. They've got a story here which might conjure up what you said on the part of some readers but there was more to it than that (e.g. the MPs' letter, the economic effects, etc). But what the article lacked was an almost complete absence of background and balance apart from the DfT statement - which at least put the MPs and Ministers in their place with what amounted to a.veiled threat. But the rreal problem with the article was its lack of background and - like far too much modern so called journalism - the fact that it read more like a WCRC press handout that a decent bit of journalism. The same 'paper a while back told us that because Hattons were closing down and the Warley show at the NEC was ceasing that meant the end of railway modelling in Britain. They subsequently failed to failed to report the new style Warley club show or warners plans for a large show at teh NEC at the same time of year as the erstwhile Warley. So not so much political bias (of which there is some) but really third rate 'journalism' from poor reporters who can't even write decent English.
  13. Yo ucan forget Mk1 sleepers long before you even think about CDL etc. They are very unlikely to be made capable of current fire regulations as they lack smoke detection and alarm systems plus if they do catch fire internally they will produce more than enough very nasty gases from the various materials in them to do for some occupants long before they are even aware there is a fire. I've fired off a letter to the Daily Telegraph to let them know some of what WCRC didn't say. But I doubt they'll print it because surely they don't want WCRC's lovable steam trains shown up as not even bothering with their own safety mitigations!! Wandering partly off topic zero hours contracts are something of a curate's egg but I have to say that the one I was on in my consultancy days actually pays me a defined benefits final salary pension. WCRC's problem with such things was (is??) their seemingly total inability to properly manage safety critical staff employed on that basis - as graphically illustrated by the Wootton Bassett SPAD
  14. re highlighted text - NO! An Advanced Starting Signal as at a single line crossing station really served only as a very obvious reminder to a Driver making a shunt move into the section not to go any further (unless thesignal hab d been cleared or he had verbal ermission to pass it at danger) cleared). Thus advanced starting signals really serve no additional purpose so far as the arrangements, and Regulations, are concerned when it comes to occupying the single line for shunting purposes. The critical thing is that the Regulations were required to be applied for a movement into the single line section and that section ends at the Home Signal protecting the single to s double line connection.. Even provision of an outer home signal made. no difference because it is situated in the single section. And of course a token etc was not necessarily issued (or needed) and it was in any case impossible to issue a token if there was already a train in the section which had a token, or when shunts were being made from both ends of teh section at the same time. How do I know that? - I've done - and I shunted a 10 coach passenger into a section already occupied by a 3 car DMU (heading away from thestation where I shunted the 10 coach train) but I did have to borrow the signal box copy of the General Appendix and read the relevant parts of it to the. Driver before he would comply with my instructions to shunt into the section.) Don't take any notice of the practice on some preserved railways - they are not the way it was normally done in BR days. Little item to enlarge on something posted earlier - the GWR also used automatic token exchange equipment at certain crossing loops on the Minehead and Barnstaple branches following changes made in the 1930s to increase capacity on those lines.
  15. Yes - the latter is well worth a look at Companies House (as I did once again earlier today). The overall financial arrangements of the various William Smith companies almost put Richard Branson to shame in their financial complexity and intra-company debts and credits within the group. Mind you the LSlL associated companies' structuring isn't much different! Hornby is almost simple compared with this lot. Incidentally I see that WCRC had only four employees at its FY end in 2023, one person fewer than in the previous year.
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