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Annie's Virtual Pre-Grouping, Grouping and BR Layouts & Workbench


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42 minutes ago, Northroader said:

I’ve had a ride in them, but it was daylight, and I never looked up. They do have a housing on the roof, presumably electric from somewhere?

 

This is the best I've got of the interior fitting, from the first class coupe of No. 17:

 

1556097023_P1010372crop.JPG.caee28ae50a6ba69d576975ac48e403d.JPG

 

Here scroll down to 14 Jan 2015 to see wiring being installed...

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On the subject of Thunderer, there's an interesting comment in the diary of G H Gibbs "The Birth of the GWR":

"12 MAY 1838 Hammond came for me to Salt Hill with Harrison’s engine [Thunderer] and I went backward and forward on it twice. ... Along the greatest part of the four miles the engine ran beautifully smooth and for some way we cleared sixty miles an hour.

 

Really! - I wonder if it was pulling anything?

 

Brunel seems to have been rather taken with T.E. Harrison, the designer of 'Thunderer'.  In a letter to him, dated 5th March 1838,he wrote: "... let me call your attention to the appearance - we have a splendid engine of Stephenson's, it would be a beautiful ornament in the most elegant drawing room and we have another of Quaker-like simplicity carried even to shabbyness but very possibly as good as engine, but the difference in the care bestowed by the engine man, the favour in which it is held by others and even oneself, not to mention the public, is striking.  A plain young lady however amiable is apt to be neglected. Now your engine is capable of being made very handsome, and it ought to be so.

 

What an extraordinary comment on an engine that was covered in large cogwheels and the like.

 

I wrote an article in the BGS magazine 'Broadsheet no.79', which includes a description of the valve gear of 'Thunderer'.  You might find it useful in detailing your model.

 

By all accounts, the engine was a complete failure and, although some might regard it as a brave attempt to meet Brunel's impossible specification, it was really 'sleight of hand' that enabled it to meet the stipulated  weight limits for the 'engine', by removing the boiler to a separate vehicle! 

 

Somewhere in the 'Imaginary Locomotives' thread, I once suggested that if Harrison had placed power units at both ends, he might have anticipated a 'Beyer-Garratt' :)

 

Mike

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1 hour ago, MikeOxon said:

Brunel seems to have been rather taken with T.E. Harrison, the designer of 'Thunderer'

 

T.E. Harrison was another whose real genius lay in civil engineering; as chief engineer of the York, Newcastle and Berwick and then North Eastern, he really gave that railway its distinctive architectural look. 

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9 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

I wrote an article in the BGS magazine 'Broadsheet no.79', which includes a description of the valve gear of 'Thunderer'.  You might find it useful in detailing your model.

Isn't it always the way, - I've only just sent off an order for a back number of the 'Broadsheet' so no.79 might have to wait until I put together another order after Christmas.  I do agree with you though that the likelihood of 'Thunderer' being in anyway successful is slim, but the steampunk adventurer in me can't help but like it.

I don't know what sources Steve Flanders used when he made his 'Thunderer' and 'Hurricane' models a good few years ago now.  He did do a basic refresh on them for TS2012 in 2016, but no substantial changes were made.  The YouTube video he made in 2018 is strange for not using a tender with either of the locomotives, but then on the other hand of the four tenders available none of them were close to being right and a match for the ones used by 'Thunder' and Hurricane'.  I should mention though that Steve has done a number of videos on his Trainz models, historical subjects and 3D modelling and they are well worth watching.

 

JgNowGB.jpg

 

videos

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I gave 'Hurricane' a run and I have to say it just looks so wrong with the way it tackled the climb up to Perranwell.  Both 'Hurricane' and 'Thunderer' are using a 'Firefly' engine spec which immediately makes me wonder how accurately the engine spec was put together, but I also think they might be both benefitting from the 'double their weight' bug that afflicts older Trainz locomotive models which would certainly help their adhesion when climbing hills.  I suppose the real test would be if I tried driving 'Hurricane' with the steam control set since the DCC setup in Trainz tends to fudge over the faults when it comes to incorrectly set up engine specs.

 

SRUpyds.jpg

 

 

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On 02/11/2021 at 09:06, Annie said:

Today's GWR cheer up picture:  The Slough Engineer’s Saloon coupled behind 0-6-0 pannier tank No 2026.  These particular engineer's saloons have fascinated me though as they are converted from Bristol and Exeter Railway carriages.  I would imagine a drawing survives somewhere at Didcot showing how the conversion was done and I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to see it.

 

dqEyKlz.jpg

The July 2021 issue of the HMRS Journal (Vol23 No.11) has an article on these inspection saloons and has this very photo on the front cover.  They were diagrams Q2-Q6.   The one in the photo, probably taken at Slough, was the London Division one to Dia Q4, originally GWR compo 6472, possibly converted to inspection in March 1892 and renumbered in 1921 as 80974.   The livery dates the photo between 1922 and  1927.

The conversion involved considerable rebuilding which included the provision to mount a (removable) forward facing seat in front of the buffers.  The objects on the roof are 'flare lamps' for tunnel inspections.  Some also had sideways facing lamps mounted at the corners just below the roofs and the Gloucester one had two roof lamps at each end.   Liveries seem to have varied considerably, not  just over time, but between vehicles.  Details of all the changes during their time as Inspection Saloons are too extensive to quote here.

 

Jim

 

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On 01/11/2021 at 18:07, DonB said:

Annie, the picture at the top of this page of the Van with outside framing made me blink. an optical delusion causing me to see the van sides to be dished inwards

The illusion is due to the 'strouters', which are the pieces that support the vertical framing from the horizontal joists across the chassis.  They are shown clearly in the following illustration, which is an extract from a contemporary engraving by J C Bourne:

1215942044_4whlBoxWagon_Bourne-col.jpg.2b456cc00b6b13cc7825f1a192ebe7f1.jpg

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5 hours ago, Caley Jim said:

The objects on the roof are 'flare lamps' for tunnel inspections. 

Ah, well that explains that then.  Thanks very much for shedding further light upon these interesting interesting inspection saloons Jim.

 

4 minutes ago, MikeOxon said:

The illusion is due to the 'strouters', which are the pieces that support the vertical framing from the horizontal joists across the chassis.  They are shown clearly in the following illustration, which is an extract from a contemporary engraving by J C Bourne:

Talk about a coincidence Mike, - I was just now looking at the BGS data sheet drawing of one of those open wagons.

 

To report back to further testing of the 'Hurricane' digital model, I tried it out under the Trainz steam control set and it struggled along with the same train of carriages from my earlier post for about two hundred yards at around 2 mph and then expired in a cloud of steam.  Some might say that was a completely prototypical performance. 

Anyway I've had my fun with these two historic curiosities so I'll put them back into my digital trainset box and get on with doing something constructive on my Broad Gauge layouts.

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28 minutes ago, Annie said:

To report back to further testing of the 'Hurricane' digital model, I tried it out under the Trainz steam control set and it struggled along with the same train of carriages from my earlier post for about two hundred yards at around 2 mph and then expired in a cloud of steam.  Some might say that was a completely prototypical performance. 

Anyway I've had my fun with these two historic curiosities so I'll put them back into my digital trainset box and get on with doing something constructive on my Broad Gauge layouts.

before packing up, it might be worth trying Thunderer and/or Hurricane 'light engine', to see if there's any possibility of achieving 60mph :) 

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2 minutes ago, MikeOxon said:

before packing up, it might be worth trying Thunderer and/or Hurricane 'light engine', to see if there's any possibility of achieving 60mph :) 

Yes why not Mike.  Make it a complete spot of research and all that.  :lol:

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Fun with my trainset:

 

Steve Flanders has made a new set of footplate crew figures for his early railways project so I 'borrowed' them for 'Thunderer' and 'Hurricane'.  TRS19 will try and substitute a scruffy looking lot of modern figures wearing hi-vis jackets for your own well chosen footplate crew figures if you stay with using the Trainz approved attachment point names so I change the names to the names I've given each of the footplate crew figures I use.  Anyone care to guess the name of the chap wearing the top hat?  The chap wearing the brown coat and cap is named 'Scott' just in case you are wondering.

 

One problem with the 'Firefly' engine spec that 'Hurricane' is using is that it's Trainz Classic 3 era and they do not like making steam in TRS19 when the engine is standing idle.  So I thought I'd take a look at it and fix that problem before giving 'Hurricane' a proper test run under the steam control set.

 

ZDZpsqZ.jpg

 

I've been repairing 'Sagittarius's' engine spec as well and I think I over did the boiler efficiency settings just a wee bit.  Easy enough to sort out though, - it was barely making any steam at all before I started work.  I know these rebuilt 'Leo' class engines were never considered to be great rice pudding skin influencers and they never would have been found up in the hills of Somerset, but I find it useful enough as my contractor's engine when I'm doing a layout rebuild like I'm presently doing on my Minehead layout.

 

 Vgcqn10.jpg

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I found a Trainz build 4.5 engine spec for 'Cornwall' which seemed to be about the most likely choice out of a very short list for 'Hurricane'.  Most older steam engine specs for Trainz made for build 3.5 and earlier simply don't work anymore in TRS19 and working up a functional engine spec from scratch takes a lot of work as I recently found out with my Foden geared locomotive. 

With steam in its boiler Hurricane' stalled before it could make it through the short tunnel at the western end of Truro station yard.  This was with the test train I've been using coupled behind its tender.  I thought 'Hurricane' might be able to make it to Chacewater along the WCR line since the gradients are fairly mild, but no luck.

I'll see how it goes with 'Hurricane' running light and then I'll pack both these old relics away.

 

q55tPkR.jpg

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My faulty brain remembered the WCR line to Chacewater as being near to being on the level, but it's not it's an uphill slog all the way.  'Hurricane' coped with dragging just itself along working fairly hard all the way.  I've been told by intelligent folk who understand terrain maps that all the gradients on the base layout I built my 1880 Cornwall layout on are modelled a lot steeper than they should be.  In some places they are considerably steeper than they should be.   That doesn't really come as any kind of surprise after spending so long trying to bash it all into some kind of plausible shape and now I'm wondering if I should just bin it since TRS19 has turned it all into a wreck anyway.

 

D8s4YFP.jpg

 

S9eHiXH.jpg

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4 hours ago, Annie said:

I know these rebuilt 'Leo' class engines were never considered to be great rice pudding skin influencers and they never would have been found up in the hills of Somerset, but I find it useful enough as my contractor's engine when I'm doing a layout rebuild like I'm presently doing on my Minehead layout.

Nice strouters on the wagon on the left of the picture :)

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25 minutes ago, MikeOxon said:

Nice strouters on the wagon on the left of the picture :)

Steve Flanders late friend Ricky Sykes originally made most of those early Broad Gauge wagon models and they are nice pieces of work.  Steve keeps the updated versions archived on his website so they remain available.

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10 hours ago, Annie said:

My faulty brain remembered the WCR line to Chacewater as being near to being on the level, but it's not it's an uphill slog all the way.  'Hurricane' coped with dragging just itself along working fairly hard all the way.  I've been told by intelligent folk who understand terrain maps that all the gradients on the base layout I built my 1880 Cornwall layout on are modelled a lot steeper than they should be.  In some places they are considerably steeper than they should be.   That doesn't really come as any kind of surprise after spending so long trying to bash it all into some kind of plausible shape and now I'm wondering if I should just bin it since TRS19 has turned it all into a wreck anyway.

 

D8s4YFP.jpg

 

S9eHiXH.jpg

I do hope you don't scrp your Cornwall layout. I for one admire your dedication to achieving a good representation of the Cornish lines.

 

I myself am trying to learn FreeCad to make 3d models but as it is a parametric program it would be possible to do both kind's of files, one for your kind of needs and one for 3d printing. Just having got a new job I apologize but I don't think that it will be anytime soon.

 

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I've put 'Thunderer' and 'Hurricane' away in my digital trainset box again and I've archived my 1880s Cornwall layout until I can make up my mind about it.  The Minehead branch is what I want to focus on completing and trying to sort out my Cornwall layout as well would only end up scattering my slender energy reserves too much so I'd get nothing worthwhile done.

 

Something I do need to do though is test how well some of the older steam engine e.specs  are working in the new SP4 version of Trainz.

Fortunately I had recourse to a scientifically devised test track to enable me to carry out this task.

I was fairly certain that the 14xx e.spec would work, but what I wasn't prepared for was the boost that the SP4 update patch had bestowed upon this small engine.  The boiler produced steam as if the firebox contained the fires of hell and with safety valves screaming the 14xx rocketed around my test track.  I think it could have taken the 'Cornishman' all the way to Penzance provided means could be found to satisfy its insatiable hunger for coal and deep thirst for water.  In the second screenshot it's doing 33 mph at 2% cutoff which is plainly nuts.

 

xwxN20B.jpg

 

Mch4OhA.jpg

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5 minutes ago, simonmcp said:

I do hope you don't scrp your Cornwall layout. I for one admire your dedication to achieving a good representation of the Cornish lines.

 

I myself am trying to learn FreeCad to make 3d models but as it is a parametric program it would be possible to do both kind's of files, one for your kind of needs and one for 3d printing. Just having got a new job I apologize but I don't think that it will be anytime soon.

 

I've decided against scrapping my Cornwall layout, - I was feeling a bit tired and despondent last night and I've learned the hard way not to make any important decisions when I'm feeling like that.   It's the Minehead branch I want to concentrate on though so for the meantime I've put my Cornwall layout away until I've at least completed laying the trackwork on the Minehead branch and have most of the stations laid out.

 

I wish you well in your efforts to learn to use FreeCad.  My own efforts only extend to using Sketchup 8 and then only in a very basic way.

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This afternoon I attended an appointment with our incredibly skilled local optometrist who not only confirmed that my vision was blurry mess, but was able to devise a spectacles prescription that will enable me to read books a lot better as well as continue with doing graphics texture work with reasonable success.  My present very nice wire frame spectacles that I very much regard as being a part of me and my essential character will still have a purpose in that they are still good for stopping me from bumping into parts of the interior of my house, but they will be joined by a super reading set of spectacles specially devised to aid maximum pixel harassment when I'm doing texture work.  It also means I can wear my auxiliary pair of spectacles on a cord around my neck like some of the fiercesome  lady teachers were wont to do during my high school days as a skinny slip of a schoolgirl.  Afterall if I'm getting old why can't I have some fun with it.

Edited by Annie
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I made scrambled eggs in our microwave oven this evening.  First time I've ever done that.  Achievement unlocked - level up!

 

After all the excitement of being down in the township yesterday I spent today mostly asleep, but after the scrambled egg experiments I returned to working on the Foden geared locomotive.  In the screenshot it's returning to Hopewood on Sea after dropping off a short train of 1 plank wagons at Bluebell Woods goods yard.  This is also an achievement as this is the first time the Foden has gone this far on its test schedule as it normally gets in a sulk at Bluebell Woods and refuses to make steam anymore.  

 

996P4oQ.jpg

Edited by Annie
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Continuing on with sorting out the Foden I could see that the problem with the boiler not wanting to steam was largely due to its small size, but possibly also because I hadn't described it properly with the right magic numbers.  So I carefully studied the engine spec written by one of the clever members of the creator group I belong to for a small Geo. England Ffestiniog engine.  I largely copied the boiler and firebox size and volume information over to the Foden's engine spec, but I used my own fairly well proven efficiency specs.  A quick test showed that the coal burn rate was just a touch too quick so I knocked it back a bit.

 

A problem I'd been having as well was that steam was surging through the steam chest passages which made the loco surge as well causing buffer clashing.  So I transferred the Geo. England steam chest specs over to the Foden's engine spec even though I thought they looked a bit restricted compared to what I'd been using, but as it happened they were fine and the surging problem was gone.

 

The next daring bit I wanted to try was properly describing the loco's crankshaft in radians.  The usual set up for a two cylinder steam engine was not right for a single cylinder steam engine like the Foden and according to the Trainz documentation I found the crank positions have to be described in radians.  Now I want you to be aware that I only just passed my 5th form end of year maths exam by the skin of my teeth and in the 6th form I completely crashed and burned; - but after a lot of staring at a helpful page on the interwebs intended for mathematics incapable folk like me I was able to figure out what the magic figures were that I needed.

 

With magic figures now working together in a harmonious fashion and not trying to do the impossible the Foden did sound nice and it was running better too.  However the one problem that single cylinder geared engines have is that they will occasionally stop in a dead spot and will not move no matter how much steam is admitted to the cylinders.  My little green Foden now perfectly replicates this behaviour too which is very annoying and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do about it.

Apart from that though it steams beautifully even at low speeds and if it has to stand a while while I go off to the kitchen to make a cup of tea the boiler maintains steam pressure while I'm gone.

 

Heading off to Bluebell Woods yard again.

2hVm3e1.jpg

 

And coming back with the small 4 ton wagons loaded with coal.  A 55 ton train which is the maximum load for the Foden.

chM1HOt.jpg

 

Approaching Downes Farm Halt.  After Downes Farm there's a fairly steady gradient up to Elgar Wood station, but after scaring all the sparrows out of the hedgerows for miles around the Foden did make it to the top of the climb.

57KzMg3.jpg

 

And Elgar Junction goods yard at last.  I wonder who it was who ordered that very special consignment of coal.

uxGERWz.jpg

 

Edited by Annie
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2 hours ago, Annie said:

Continuing on with sorting out the Foden I could see that the problem with the boiler not wanting to steam was largely due to its small size, but possibly also because I hadn't described it properly with the right magic numbers.  So I carefully studied the engine spec written by one of the clever members of the creator group I belong to for a small Geo. England Ffestiniog engine.  I largely copied the boiler and firebox size and volume information over to the Foden's engine spec, but I used my own fairly well proven efficiency specs.  A quick test showed that the coal burn rate was just a touch too quick so I knocked it back a bit.

 

A problem I'd been having as well was that steam was surging through the steam chest passages which made the loco surge as well causing buffer clashing.  So I transferred the Geo. England steam chest specs over to the Foden's engine spec even though I thought they looked a bit restricted compared to what I'd been using, but as it happened they were fine and the surging problem was gone.

 

The next daring bit I wanted to try was properly describing the loco's crankshaft in radians.  The usual set up for a two cylinder steam engine was not right for a single cylinder steam engine like the Foden and according to the Trainz documentation I found the crank positions have to be described in radians.  Now I want you to be aware that I only just passed my 5th form end of year maths exam by the skin of my teeth and in the 6th form I completely crashed and burned; - but after a lot of staring at a helpful page on the interwebs intended for mathematics incapable folk like me I was able to figure out what the magic figures were that I needed.

 

With magic figures now working together in a harmonious fashion and not trying to do the impossible the Foden did sound nice and it was running better too.  However the one problem that single cylinder geared engines have is that they will occasionally stop in a dead spot and will not move no matter how much steam is admitted to the cylinders.  My little green Foden now perfectly replicates this behaviour too which is very annoying and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do about it.

Apart from that though it steams beautifully even at low speeds and if it has to stand a while while I go off to the kitchen to make a cup of tea the boiler maintains steam pressure while I'm gone.

 

Heading off to Bluebell Woods yard again.

2hVm3e1.jpg

 

And coming back with the small 4 ton wagons loaded with coal.  A 55 ton train which is the maximum load for the Foden.

chM1HOt.jpg

 

Approaching Downes Farm Halt.  After Downes Farm there's a fairly steady gradient up to Elgar Wood station, but after scaring all the sparrows out of the hedgerows for miles around the Foden did make it to the top of the climb.

57KzMg3.jpg

 

And Elgar Junction goods yard at last.  I wonder who it was who ordered that very special consignment of coal.

uxGERWz.jpg

 

The replica of Trevithick's Camborne road engine (as in "coming up Camborne Hill going down, so called as it appears to be driven from the front in reverse) also has a dead spot and the only solution is to get a few strong people to push it over that dead spot. I suspect that's not a lot of use to you on your simulator though.

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7 hours ago, Annie said:

I made scrambled eggs in our microwave oven this evening.  First time I've ever done that.  Achievement unlocked - level up!

I once persuaded a friend to try “boiling” an egg in a microwave oven (must be nearly 40 years ago now).

 

I am not sure what was funniest: the explosion of the egg all over the inside of the oven, or his panic in case his mother came home before he cleaned it up. (I was no help whatsoever: too busy laughing.)

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