Thread: Heaven: The SoF Railway Enthusiasts' Thread Board: Limbo / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
From the "nerd thread":

quote:
This thread is going down an interesting track; some might say it threatens to go off the rails.

Perhaps we should have a "The Ship Railway Enthusiasts' Thread"?(note that I put the apostrophe in the right place, clever little moi.)

quote:
Originally posted by Agent Smith:
You know you are a nerd when someone on TV rattles off a four figure number similar to 4498, and you sit there thinking that sounds like an A4 Pacific, and trying to work out which one. [Snigger]

(and yes I did go and look it up)

Its more of a nerd thing when Agent Smith is a girl. [Hot and Hormonal]

Oliver Cromwell is in Boiler licence atm, (and I have riden behind it, as well as Tornado and Sir Nigel Gresley!) [Eek!] [Big Grin]




[ 02. March 2011, 20:33: Message edited by: Belisarius ]
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
So, suiting the action to the word, this thread is for all you/us railway-loving shippies, for discussion, serious or otherwise, of things that go down chuff, chuff, brrrrm, brrrrm, or just hummmmmmmmmmmm down the iron road.

I wish there were a smiley for *blows whistle and waves green flag*.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
My history as an enthusiast dates back to 1969 when my parents made the mistake of talking me to the local station (in the Sunderland area) to see ‘Flying Scotsman’ race trough northwards. I was hooked!

I then proceeded to acquire books, models and information, with a first trip behind steam on the Dart Valley Railway in 1972 or ’73, IIRC.

A landmark was a trip to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in about 1977 via the Settle-Carlisle line. It is not too much exaggeration to put my current West Yorks. abode down to that trip. Their 4F, 43924, hauled me.

On the main line I have ridden behind ‘Evening Star’, K1 No. 2005, ‘Green Arrow’, ‘Duchess of Hamilton’, several ‘Black 5’s’, ‘Bahamas’, and most recently ‘Leander’.

I did like diesels and electrics once as well! More later.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
I'm a sort of enthusiast. I don't do the "Ooo that's a ...." but I prefer travelling by train to most other methods of transport and like doing journeys by train to odd places. As you can see from the "week in the UK" thread that gives me quite a bit of knowledge of lesser know railway routes in the North of Britain.

Jengie
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Sadly I fail the test. I thought 4498 was Mallard. [Hot and Hormonal]

AG
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
Hi, my name's Marvin and I'm a HUGE rail enthusiast.

By which I mean I'm very enthusiastic, not that I'm fat.

Not that there's anything wrong with being fat, of course!

But anyway, my grandfather used to take me to the local station to watch the Peaks and 47s go past when I was but knee high to a Jinty. I saw the last ever Deltic go out of New Street. Since then I've been completely hooked.

I proudly own the title of spotter, and love both heritage lines and the national network.

I'm a keen amateur railway photographer as well [Big Grin]

Oh, and I've not only ridden behind Tornado, I've cabbed her as well [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Oh, and I've not only ridden behind Tornado, I've cabbed her as well [Big Grin]

Presumably firing something that size is good practice for Hell? [Devil]

AG
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
Er, me again.

I caught the train bug largely from my grandfather, who had worked as a shunter for the GWR before going off to the First World War and leaving a leg in Northern France. He then came back and was found a sedentary job by the GWR, and remained at Reading station for the rest of his working life.

My mother's first job after school was with the GWR at its head office in Paddington, where she met my father, whose first job after National Service had been with the LMS at Watford Junction station. I often think of them when standing outside the Praed Street entrance, looking up at the windows from which they once had a grandstand view of King George VI's funeral cortege arriving on its way to Windsor.

I went to a primary school that had a view of a railway line on the other side of the road running past the front gate. The trains were mainly London Transport electrics and BR dmus out of Marylebone and Baker Street, but there were a few steam engines on parcels trains.

We used to go over to Reading to see my grandparents quite often, and my grandfather would seize the opportunity to get out of the house and down to his railwaymen's club near the station. He would take me with him and leave me on the station for some time to watch the trains (still some steam in those days - this was the late Sixties) and would later collect me and take me to the club, where I, aged 10-ish, would be treated to cider as a reward for showing the old railwaymen how to work the jukebox.

Family holidays often involved trains, although neither of my parents were enthusiasts as such. At various times, I ended up going on the Bluebell Line, the Keighley and Worth Valley, and the Dart Valley railways, not to mention the main Welsh narrow-gauge ones (we once stayed in a holiday flat with a view of one of the stations on the Festiniog).

I am a member of the Great Western Society at Didcot; although I live too far away to do any volunteering, I make a point of visiting several times a year and buying stuff, incl. the home-made jams, all of which goes towards keeping the show on the road. Or rails, as the case may be.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Oh, and I've not only ridden behind Tornado, I've cabbed her as well [Big Grin]

Presumably firing something that size is good practice for Hell? [Devil]

AG

Ha! I drove this engine with my cousin, when I was 15...or younger, thanks to being a member of the W&LLR thanks to a family member being the ex-chairman!

I started out on the enthusiast ride as a baby when my mum forced me onto a train at the W&LLR, a decision she has rued ever since [Big Grin] I have been known to make excuses to make long train rides...indeed I am going to Oldham at the end of the month during which I plan to travel by Pendolino, as it is a train I haven't ridden on, though I do find the Marches Line tempting, due to the Loco Hauled Stock in use! [Razz]
My Father, Grandfather and Myself spent a week, last year, in N. Wales riding on the Railways. This year we went to Scotland, for a few days, where we travelled on the West Highland Line before heading to the Lake District, to ride the Ravenglass and Eskdale and Coniston Steam Yacht!

Rob

><>

[fixed code]

[ 02. September 2009, 17:34: Message edited by: jedijudy ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Going back a little further than you guys (above), I was bitten by the bug as the result of a trip to visit my grandfather in 1952 - steam-powered from Winnipeg to Montreal, steam-powered ship (Cunard's Ascania, for the marine equivalent of the anoraks) to Liverpool and all-steam to Burnham (near Maidenhead). GF lived three doors down from the GWR mainline, so I spent the whole month lineside, learning to trainspot. Can you guess why I might think Churchward is The Big Name?

Various trips Winnipeg-England before the jets killed proper transport confirmed this. I can still identify the various incarnations of Hall/Grange/Manor at a glance.

But steam died in Canada in 1960 (April 25, to be precise - U1d class 4-8-2 #6043 on last run - and I was there!)

And then the same happened in the birthplace of steam. Not that the Dart Valley or whichever are to be sneezed at but It. Is. Not. The. Same.

But I lucked in, and for seven happy years was a fireman and driver on a museum line in the village where I now live, 2000 miles from "home". (for the anoraks, CN #1009, CP #29 and S&L #42, as well as diesels CN 8245 and 1754 and S&L 201) Low revenue and the insurance industry killed it, but it was fun while it lasted.

I have to thank all sorts of people for putting so much on YouTube, particularly my current preference 6024 (come on, you know which King!)

[ 02. September 2009, 18:07: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Hi, my name's Marvin and I'm a HUGE rail enthusiast.

By which I mean I'm very enthusiastic, not that I'm fat.

Not that there's anything wrong with being fat, of course!

But anyway, my grandfather used to take me to the local station to watch the Peaks and 47s go past when I was but knee high to a Jinty. I saw the last ever Deltic go out of New Street. Since then I've been completely hooked.

I proudly own the title of spotter, and love both heritage lines and the national network.

I'm a keen amateur railway photographer as well [Big Grin]

Oh, and I've not only ridden behind Tornado, I've cabbed her as well [Big Grin]

As I said, I used to like diesels and electrics, too. Strictly speaking I still do, but on the national network it’s just not the same any more. I was there at Newcastle on the Last Day of the Deltics. I got Class 45 haulage in the period 1984-88 when I made journeys from Leeds (Uni) to my home in the North East. Then the Peaks went and the 47s took over on the Trans-Pennine expresses (at least the Newcastle-Liverpool trains, as poxy Sprinters went onto the Scarborough workings).

Some South West to North East workings were still 47 hauled in the 90s and I was lucky enough to be able to use them (sometimes) between Wakefield and Leeds.

The last throw of the die for proper diesel traction was when they put a 37 at each end of four Mark 2 coaches and used it for one Leeds-Settle-Carlisle working a day, then an evening Leeds-Knaresborough service. It just so happened that this train was just the one I usually used for the last stage of my journey home (to Horsforth) from work! Bliss!
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
Real trains don't need no steenking locos!

Southern Electrics rule! OK? Since 1926.
 
Posted by aumbry (# 436) on :
 
There are still the occasional steam trains out of Victoria. Sir Nigel Gresley occasionally leaves with the Orient Express to the South Coast and there are a number of others doing the same job.

This Saturday there is in fact a steam train called The Spitfire (it is sponsored by Shepherd Neame) pulling some old coaches down into Kent to the Hop Festival at Faversham.
 
Posted by aumbry (# 436) on :
 
Here are the details, the train is actually called Tangmere and not Spitfire.
 
Posted by daisydaisy (# 12167) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
There are still the occasional steam trains out of Victoria.

And out of Waterloo - the Cathedrals Express takes a route that includes where a certain reverend would have had early inspiration.
Close by is a level crossing that is popular on steam days with enthusiasts.
 
Posted by aumbry (# 436) on :
 
Also it would appear that this year Tangmere will not be leaving Victoria for Faversham but London Bridge Station.

For those of a romantic disposition there is also an excursion from Faversham to the mysterious Isle of Sheppey.

I see that the return journey covers more or less the whole of Kent for the pure delectation of Kentophiles.
 
Posted by georgiaboy (# 11294) on :
 
Here in the States there's little opportunity for rail travel of ANY kind, but I try. My travel agent says that she thinks I visit the UK and Europe 'just to ride the trains.' Well, she's almost right.
Best trip ever in US: Santa Fe Chief from Chicago to the Coast in pre-AMTRAK days.
Best trip in UK: Kyle of Lochalsh (sp?) to Inverness with the rhododendrons in bloom along the way.
Best trip in Europe: perhaps Venice to Vienna (which I boarded with 45 seconds to spare because of traffic on the Grand Canal) and with a prolonged security stop at the Austrian border, which seemed like something out of 'The Third Man.'
 
Posted by aumbry (# 436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
Here in the States there's little opportunity for rail travel of ANY kind, but I try. My travel agent says that she thinks I visit the UK and Europe 'just to ride the trains.' Well, she's almost right.
Best trip ever in US: Santa Fe Chief from Chicago to the Coast in pre-AMTRAK days.
Best trip in UK: Kyle of Lochalsh (sp?) to Inverness with the rhododendrons in bloom along the way.
Best trip in Europe: perhaps Venice to Vienna (which I boarded with 45 seconds to spare because of traffic on the Grand Canal) and with a prolonged security stop at the Austrian border, which seemed like something out of 'The Third Man.'

Or possibly "The Lady Vanishes"
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
We were lucky to have Class 37 hauled trains up our valley until 2 years ago, and now Arriva have left us with DMUs [Waterworks]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
I should not have found this but for those who hunger for steam on the mainline then this website may be useful.

Jengie
 
Posted by Molopata The Rebel (# 9933) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
Best trip in Europe: perhaps Venice to Vienna (which I boarded with 45 seconds to spare because of traffic on the Grand Canal) and with a prolonged security stop at the Austrian border, which seemed like something out of 'The Third Man.'

Obviously, I'm partial on this one, but a trip up over the Albula pass from Chur to St Moritz over ravine-crossing bridges and past unique mountain scenery (interrupted by 30-odd short black-outs short tunnels), followed by a second leg over the glacier-surrounded Bernina pass at 2200 m a.s.l., to finally wind your way down a steep valley through 360° tunnels and across full-circle viaducts to the Italian town of Tirano at around 400 m a.s.l. has got to cut it!
Rhätische Bahn
Pictures
Pictures

PS: If you ever do it, grab a window seat on the right hand side!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
One manse where I lived backed onto CN's mainline through New Brunswick, and as a five-year old it was terrific to watch the trains go by. I rode the Ocean a couple of times in the sleepers, back when VIA still ran the old CN cars.

As a train nut it was wonderful to see the miracle of organization and capitalism that was the Conrail breakup.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I lie awake at night replanning the rail network. Nerdy or what? But though I love the smell of steam engines and admire things like the Great Western Castles and LNER Pacifics, I'm not really a trainspotter, or an antiquarian. I just want to see a modern, efficient and high speed network in this country, and soon. (BTW did anyone see Steve Bell's latest 'IF' strip this week in the Grauniad?)

Meanwhile I'm happy to study maps and timetables, and marvel at Victorian railway engineering and architecture. It's amazing when you think that the present network was completed, more or less, in twenty or thirty years, and it's taken that to upgrade to average European standards just one main line.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
Today myself and Darllenywr went on the Brecon Mountain Railway...tomorrow we visit the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
I do like trains, but the only passenger one in this hick town is a light rail which runs down the centre of the street and is barely faster than the buses.

I miss the train to LA, walking up through the cars to first class and cadging a free breakfast, or at least stealing some orange juice as the sun comes up...

The US is now talking about 200 mph trains: I'll believe it when I see it.
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
Best trip in UK: Kyle of Lochalsh (sp?) to Inverness with the rhododendrons in bloom along the way.

Dunno about that: we've only taken two train journeys lately. In 2007 we enjoyed Paddington to Penzance more than we liked the route from London to Bristol a week later. Next time, we'll skip Bristol and just go straight to Bath. I'll never drive in Bristol again: it's worse than LA and I was born there!
 
Posted by St. Gwladys (# 14504) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Kevin:
quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
Best trip in UK: Kyle of Lochalsh (sp?) to Inverness with the rhododendrons in bloom along the way.

Dunno about that: we've only taken two train journeys lately. In 2007 we enjoyed Paddington to Penzance more than we liked the route from London to Bristol a week later. Next time, we'll skip Bristol and just go straight to Bath. I'll never drive in Bristol again: it's worse than LA and I was born there!

 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
Glasgow to Mallaig beats the Inverness line I think! The real competion would come from Glasgow to Oban.

If we are sticking to Britain, yes, the East Coast Main Line is great north of York (totally boring south of that). And the line that goes along the Devon coast. And don't knock the south of England - the Arun Valley route is beautiful.

Outside Britain - well I did travel by rail from Nairobi to Mombasa once. There is something to be said for watching zebras and giraffes out of a dining car window [Smile]
 
Posted by St. Gwladys (# 14504) on :
 
Sorry, pressed the wrong button. What I was going to say was that we went from Cardiff to Penzance by train a few years ago, and in parts, it's wonderful - I'd like to do it again.
 
Posted by amber. (# 11142) on :
 
Beautiful steam trains are wonderful.

Cattle class modern commuter trains? Arrghhhhh!

So impressed with the group who've just built the Tornado. Now that is a worthy obsession indeed. You can even download its whistle as a ringtone (preferably for a donation to the cause) [Axe murder]
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:

If we are sticking to Britain...the line that goes along the Devon coast.

That's the one we took: I think it was on the Great Western.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Yes its on the Great Western and I drove my son mad last weekend when he visited and I commented every time we heard the whistle. We've had the Tornado on that line as well this summer.
My husband is a railway enthusiast- but he 's into historic societies particularly the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society. We spent our last holiday viewing any remaining structures!! That said the scenery up beyond Clitheroe was amazing.
Jante
 
Posted by georgiaboy (# 11294) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Glasgow to Mallaig beats the Inverness line I think! The real competion would come from Glasgow to Oban.


I did enjoy Galsgow to Mallaig (on same trip), but was too tired after Glasgow to properly appreciate.

Another beautiful trip was Hereford to London, on a perfect morning during Three Choirs Festival.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by amber.:
Beautiful steam trains are wonderful.

Cattle class modern commuter trains? Arrghhhhh!

So impressed with the group who've just built the Tornado. Now that is a worthy obsession indeed. You can even download its whistle as a ringtone (preferably for a donation to the cause) [Axe murder]

Now I want to replicate the effort on this side of the Pond with a Canadian Pacific Class H1 Royal Hudson
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Georgiaboy , an even better trip is Vienna to Venice. That way, you get the Alps in the morning freshness. In the afternoon, when you're feeing a bit sleepy, there's the crossing of the lagoon, with Venice emerging from the haze - simply magical, and what an intoduction to Venice!

Another great trip is the Glacier Express. To cross from the Rhine to the Reuss via the Oberalp Pass, and look down to Andermatt below is stunning and never to be forgotten.

[ 06. September 2009, 04:24: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by TheMightyMartyr (# 11162) on :
 
I can't say I'm an enthusiast, but my father and grandfather were both dispatchers for Great Northern Railway, which became Burlington Northern, and then Burlington Northern Santa Fe!! I've been on the Royal Hudson more times than I can count, and I have taken the Rocky Mountaineer a few times...now that is an amazing experience!! [Yipee]
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
When I was a wee kiddie in the 70's, British Rail used to run all sorts of special excursion trains that we used to take as a family. We went from Reading to Welshpool, York (V. Early HST), Iona (+plus steam ship) and that's just what I can remember. This remains my idea of a perfect awayday.

As another poster said. I would rather travel by train than any other way. That includes the daily trek to Moorgate. You can't say Morning Prayer when you have to keep an eye on the road ahead.

To be honest, I don't really care about the steam thing. I spent a chunk of my youth firing and cleaning boilers for a steam museum. Steam means some poor soul cleaning the soot and ash. I've been there. Its not at all romantic.

The real nostalgia for me is the old style compartment coaches. They use these at the Nene Valley Railway. Bliss.
 
Posted by Low Treason (# 11924) on :
 
Like so many Brits of a certain age, I could claim the railways are in my blood. A grandfather spent all his working life of the GWR (of Blessed Memory) ending up as station master of a very minor station on an even more minor branch line. (More of a twig line, in fact)

Also an uncle who became something big in the civil engineering side and built bridges and suchlike and strived to instill a suitable fascination with all railway things mechanical.

However I have to say that any love of railways I ever had has been thoroughly beaten out of me by 10 years of daily commuting on slow, packed, filthy trains for the 'priviledge' of which I pay a fortune....
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
I'm not so much an enthusiast, as an appreciator of rail travel. While in England last year, our party traveled almost exclusively by rail, and enjoyed it so very much!

My favorite train, however, is the Alaska Railroad. What a great way to see parts of that majestic state! Traveling between the mountains, we were treated to glimpses of Dall Sheep, moose and bald eagles. And bears. Oh, my. We also saw Denali in all its glory!

When you get to Alaska, I very much recommend the Alaska Railroad as an easy, and pleasant way of getting around.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
From my early years, I've loved the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. 13 miles or so on 15" gauge and wonderful Pacific locomotives. Whereas these days the steam engines on most railways don't have to work particularly hard, on the Romney they are worked seriously, and at respectable speeds. Small is beautiful, at least in this case.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
My earliest "train memories" are of the branch line to the ferry over the Humber to Hull and of the three-foot gauge on the Isle of Man. I also remember the sound of trains on the mainline into Hull drifting across the river on summer evenings. Deltics were immediately identifiable, as were Class 20s "Whistlers."

Personally I think decent trains disappeared in the early 1990s. I have found memories of runs from the time frame 1987-1994

1. My first trip to Inverness in a steam-heated Mk1s hauled by a MacRat
2. Slogging over the S & C in a rake of twelve Mk 1s hauled by an ailing class 45.
3. An absolutely smoking York to Hull run behind another "Peak."

My all-time favourites were a run behind a Peak on the ECML in which the peak had eleven on the hook and a HST on its tail. A "Peak" in reasonable nick is good for 102mph south of Thirsk according to my stop watch! The other was "cabbing" a grossly overloaded Cl.31 on a Scarborough-Liverpool train sometime in the late 80s. We went over Stanedge at 11mph with just about everything overloaded! The only other locos I knew that would stand that level of abuse were the old re-engined Metro-Vicks on CIE.

PD
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Which is your favourite ‘preserved line’ (you may call them ‘heritage railways’,: I prefer not to)? And do say ‘why’.

Mine would be the North Yorkshire Moors Railway: 18 miles long, plus on most days a further six into Whitby; scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Esk Valley; the line dates back to 1835; 1 in 49 gradients particularly between Grosmont and Goathland; probably the best collection of ex-LNER locos (including Sir Nigel Gresley and an NER 0-8-0) and coaches on any preserved line; stations like Goathland and Pickering…

Beat that!
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Mine would be the North Yorkshire Moors Railway: 18 miles long, plus on most days a further six into Whitby; scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Esk Valley; the line dates back to 1835; 1 in 49 gradients particularly between Grosmont and Goathland; probably the best collection of ex-LNER locos (including Sir Nigel Gresley and an NER 0-8-0) and coaches on any preserved line; stations like Goathland and Pickering…

Beat that!

How about the Severn Valley? 16 miles through the wonderful Worcestershire/Staffordshire countryside, two banks (Highley and Erdington) that tax the locos even now, a fabulous selection of GWR and LMS motive power, a full set of Gresley teak coaches as well as full rakes of GWR, LMS and BR ones as well, beautifully restored and kept stations including Arley, Highley and Bewdley, two tunnels, six viaducts, and a safari park - if nothing else, it must be the only standard gauge preserved railway in the country from which you can guarantee to see gazelles, bison and elephants!

Throw in some fabulous real ale served in the buffet cars and the new Engine House which holds the line's reserve collection of locos in a museum-like environment, and I think it beats the NYMR into a cocked hat [Biased]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Eeh lads - what abaht t'Keighley and Worth Valley? Not as impressive in length or pretensions to mainline status, I agree: but heroic gradients, atmospheric stations, and a lot of weather. Not to mention the literary associations. Branwell Brontë yet liveth.

But for curiosity value it's hard to beat the Isle of Wight. Idiosyncratic steam engines and ancient rolling stock on a preserved line running through an archetypal English countryside, together with a 'main line' [Killing me] served by pensioned-off Bakerloo line tube trains which are nearly as old as me. And a terminus half way across the Solent.

[ 07. September 2009, 14:53: Message edited by: Angloid ]
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
I love the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - the scenery is wonderful and the Locos are made to work hard, just like on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway! Sorry for the shameless plugs, as I am a member of both lines [Big Grin]

I love the Isle of Man Railways (Steam and Electric) and Snaefell Mountain Line.

Whilst it is not a preserved railway, the Pecorama Miniature Railway/Beer Heights Railway is well worth a visit. The Brecon Mountain Railway is nice though a bit short - I know it fairly well as it is the closest Steam Railway to home! [Smile]

I agree with Marvin, regarding the Severn Valley....though one has to go into Bridgenorth to ride the Funicular to gain all the thrills [Razz]

Rob.

><>
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Can we include Street Railways, er, Streetcar Lines in this? My favorite is Halton County Radial Railway. They have a wonderful collection of old streetcars from across Ontario, in particular Toronto Transit Commission Peter Witt's and PCC Cars.

I [Axe murder] streetcars.
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by booktonmacarthur:

I love the Isle of Man Railways (Steam and Electric) and Snaefell Mountain Line.

Me, too! A magnificent ride! Unfortunately, my photo of the engine did not come out well, but I got this shot of the beautiful car we rode in.

When Daughter-Unit was five y-o, we went on the Gettysburg Railroad. Unfortunately, D-U got a cinder in her eye, and I spent a large part of the 16-mile ride helping her to get it out.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Mine would be the North Yorkshire Moors Railway: 18 miles long, plus on most days a further six into Whitby; scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Esk Valley; the line dates back to 1835; 1 in 49 gradients particularly between Grosmont and Goathland; probably the best collection of ex-LNER locos (including Sir Nigel Gresley and an NER 0-8-0) and coaches on any preserved line; stations like Goathland and Pickering…

Beat that!

How about the Severn Valley? 16 miles through the wonderful Worcestershire/Staffordshire countryside, two banks (Highley and Erdington) that tax the locos even now, a fabulous selection of GWR and LMS motive power, a full set of Gresley teak coaches as well as full rakes of GWR, LMS and BR ones as well, beautifully restored and kept stations including Arley, Highley and Bewdley, two tunnels, six viaducts, and a safari park - if nothing else, it must be the only standard gauge preserved railway in the country from which you can guarantee to see gazelles, bison and elephants!

Throw in some fabulous real ale served in the buffet cars and the new Engine House which holds the line's reserve collection of locos in a museum-like environment, and I think it beats the NYMR into a cocked hat [Biased]

Marvin, I only went to the SVR once, back in about 1987, and it was very good (it was on an enthusiasts’ weekend, so a lot was running, including ‘Black 5’ No. 5000). Its stations were actually better than the NYMR’s, though the latter have improved since. But it didn’t have the steep gradients, or the wild scenery. It didn’t have any NER locomotives! It had lots of Brunswick green things with copper and brass bits stuck on top! [Razz] So not the BEST preserved line, maybe runner–up (if it has a Stanier or Ivatt 2-6-0 running on my next visit!).
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Oh, and I’ve just noticed you refer to the ‘wonderful Worcestershire/Staffordshire countryside’. Shurely you mean ‘Worcestershire/Shropshire’?
 
Posted by Tea gnome (# 9424) on :
 
Much like Jengie Jon above, I prefer to travel by train rather than being what you might call an enthusiast. Although I do like all the madeness of them, especially the old machines where it feels as if even the tiny parts have been made with pride and care.
This websites getting me all unnecessary at the moment - planning! I loves it! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
I, too, love streetcars - or trams as we call them here in Britain. As a student I lived in Lisbon, Portugal during the late 1970s/early 80s and they had a magnificent, if slightly decrepit system, all on the narrow gauge. Some of the cars were nearly 80 years old, complete with cut glass in the clerestories and proper lampshades.

The system still exists; even as a shadow of its normal self it is well worth a visit. When, about 10 years ago, they decided to replace some of the cars in the Old Town with newer ones, I believe there was an outcry. Result: the cars are brand new mechanically but reuse bodies which are now over 70 years old - great stuff. (There are some new ones as well).

There was also an interurban system running from Sintra, near Lisbon: it lay closed and decaying but has now been revived as a tourist line.

For real tram heaven try Budapest in Hungary - a large system expanding again after some years of contraction.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Oh, and I’ve just noticed you refer to the ‘wonderful Worcestershire/Staffordshire countryside’. Shurely you mean ‘Worcestershire/Shropshire’?

Yes, of course I do.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I, too, love streetcars - or trams as we call them here in Britain. As a student I lived in Lisbon, Portugal during the late 1970s/early 80s and they had a magnificent, if slightly decrepit system, all on the narrow gauge. Some of the cars were nearly 80 years old, complete with cut glass in the clerestories and proper lampshades.

The system still exists; even as a shadow of its normal self it is well worth a visit. When, about 10 years ago, they decided to replace some of the cars in the Old Town with newer ones, I believe there was an outcry. Result: the cars are brand new mechanically but reuse bodies which are now over 70 years old - great stuff. (There are some new ones as well).

There was also an interurban system running from Sintra, near Lisbon: it lay closed and decaying but has now been revived as a tourist line.

For real tram heaven try Budapest in Hungary - a large system expanding again after some years of contraction.

Time for a rant: why, o why, did British local authorities close down so many magnificent tramway systems in the 1950s? It's taken half a century for us to realise that they are the most efficient method of urban transport, and though a few places have managed to re-invent their tramways (and technologically they are vastly superior) they are all much smaller in extent than their ghostly predecessors. And several cities have been refused funding by our short-sighted government to build new systems.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
True, but not all schemes are good ones. The West London tram project would have caused huge disruption with little gain. After spending zillions on planning it, it was (in my view rightly) scrapped. What it really needed was an underground line but that is even more expensive!
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
I believe that parts of the SVR are actually in Staffordshire....in particular the bit around Arley, though whether I am correct or not I have yet to find out!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Thanks to Toronto the Old Fashioned, the TTC kept most of its system intact. In fact that's a problem now. The TTC is a true Street Traction system, not a Light Rail line. Streetcars are about the same size as buses and negotiate the same curves. The tight radii mean that the next generation of streetcars which Toronto is now buying have to be customized. In particular Toronto uses trolley-pole lines rather than pantographs.

St. Clair Ave. and Spadina Ave. have received streetcar upgrades, and the city plans to expand the system. In fact a traffic study showed that King St. is actually a streetcar route that happens to have automobiles on it, rather than a public street with tracks down the middle.
 
Posted by Lilly Rose (# 13826) on :
 
I enjoy riding on a train pulled by a steam engine, but I'd much rather stand on the platform watching the engine living and breathing. As a photographer, I love taking photos of steam engines.

Some enthusiasts only seem to like one type of engine, usually the local one that they knew as a child, but I like all sort of shapes and sizes.

I went to Leicestershire to see Oliver Cromwell when he was back in steam after restoration. Wow! He seemed so huge!!

My very favourite engine is 7802 Bradley Manor. I've had the priveledge of being invited onto the footplate while she was at Arley station. It was fascinating! (and hot!)

It's when I'm taking photos that the drivers start talking to me, and then they invite me up into the cab. My camera club friend says it's because I'm a woman and they're just flirting with me! Who cares, as long as I get to climb up into the cab. My friend's just jealous because he didn't get invited!!

[Smile]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Oooo! You said big. [Razz]

I therefore introduce you to Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 Challenger #3895. She's the largest operational steam locomotive in the world.

Her sister, Union Pacific 4-8-4 Northern 844 is the only steam locomotive in North American never to be retired by a mainline railroad. She has remained operational as property of the Union Pacific Railroad in revenue service since 1944. She is been part of the company's Steam Program since 1960.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
As a matter of interest, SPK, how active is the preservation movement on your side of the Atlantic?

I have always tended to assume that the vastly grander scale (and therefore cost) of North American locomotives would have made amateur preservation almost impossible ~ goodness knows, it is enough of a problem financing repairs to UK locomotives, trying to repair something that weighs in the region of 300 tons must present difficulties of a sort that only ship enthusiasts encounter in this country.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Despite Canada being collected together in order to have a railway that went coast-to-coast (or, as it later turned, three of them), the preservation movment is barely visible. There are no operating tourist lines east of, I think, Ottawa, although the Orford Express diner run might qualify, since it uses vintage diesel cars.

The Maritimes, in the steam era, had nearly one-third of CN's locomotive stock, but the opening of the Seaway and the demise of the ocean liners effectively killed most of the work at just about the time of the end of steam. I can think of three actual railway museums in New Brunswick, none with operation, and a few miles of track deep in the woods where a few of the guys with "speeders" (work trolleys) play. PEI has a couple of display pieces. Nova Scotia also has three railway museums, plus a motel which uses several cabooses as accomodation and a a dining car used for meal service.

There is an operating Swedish (inside-cylinder!) 2-8-0 operating near the Nation's Capital (our tax dollars at work?) and an operating line just west of Toronto, with a CP 4-4-0 and a CP 4-6-0. Static museums at Smiths Falls and just south of Montreal, and incidental display pieces scattered lightly around.

Not much better out west. The Prairie Dog Central has operated just west of Winnipeg for decades, the Central Western operates near Stettler in Alberta and there are a couple of operating lines in BC, no longer including the Royal Hudson run.

The Montreal museum has the best collection - about 45 locomotives in various states of repair - but is poorly located and has very little usable space.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The problem, as Horseman Bree alluded to is the fact that North America has such a diversity of railroad companies that market forces made preservation very difficult. Preservation of each class from each road is impossible.

This is worse in the US than in Canada since we only have two national railways: Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. The US had 30 or so Class I or mainline carriers, each with different management, operating philosophies and financial circumstances. Bankruptcy was extremely common for US railroads until 1980. Each locomotive class for each road was custom-built.

Dieselization began in the 1930's and was seen as the future, but the railroads didn't begin wholesale scrapping of their steam locomotives until after 1945.

For example, the Southern Railway was a prosperous road covering most of the South-East. It dieselized early in 1953 and a number of its locomotives are well-preserved. It had a popular steam excursion program until 1994. However the Louisville & Nashville and the Atlantic Coast Line, the two other main roads in the South left almost no locomotives to preservation.

The situation is worst with the Northeastern mainlines, the Baltimore & Ohio, the New York Central, the Erie and the Pennsylvania Railroad. All faced deep financial difficulties after 1945 and every line except the B&O collapsed into bankruptcy by 1970 and had to be nationalized under Conrail. There are almost no preserved locomotives at all from the New York Central and nothing larger than a Pacific from the Pennsy.

The western railroads were generally more prosperous, dieselized later and have the best-preserved examples. The Union Pacific still owns two of its own locomotives for steam excursions, and 844 has been operational since 1944 without retirement. The Western US has the best mainline fleet with the two UP units, a Southern Pacific Daylight GS-4 Northern, a Santa Fe Northern and a Milwaukee Road Northern.

Most preserved locomotives are static displays. Typically there are at most five engines from each road. Only 10 or so mainline, post-1930 "Superpower" locomotives are operational. These are the Hudsons, Mountains or Northerns that most people think of when you mention steam locomotives. Of the huge compound or Mallet locomotives, only the UP Challenger is operational. The rest are static displays, including the Big Boys. The other compounds of note, the

Aside from a few 10-mile loops, the best preserved operational railways are the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec Senic RR, both narrow-gauge lines which are fully operational. SP Cab-Forwards, only 1 survives in static display.

There really is no equivalent of the National Collection or National Railway Museum.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
To read what Horseman Bree and SPK have written regarding the preservation situation in the USA and Canada makes me realise how lucky we are in Britain. I have main line steam running past my back garden three days a week in summer, for goodness sake (not that you can see it very well due to the amount of trees and bushes in the cutting)!

I found SPK’s ‘…nothing larger than a Pacific from the Pennsy’ amusing as Pacifics are pretty much the largest locos preserved in Britain (apart from BR 9F 2-10-0s of course).

In Ireland there’s nothing larger than a 3-cylinder 4-6-0. This is No.800 Meadhbh from the Great Southern Railways, and despite her working life being spent between Dublin and Cork, she is preserved at Cultra near Belfast in N. Ireland! Sadly it is unlikely she will steam again as her axle loading would preclude her working over most of the routes where steam is allowed in Ireland. I would dearly love to ride on Irish main lines behind any of their preserved locos, but a Great Northern Railway 4-4-0 in blue livery (it would have to be 171 ‘Slieve Gullion’ as the ‘V’ class compound, ‘Merlin’, is no longer operational AFAIK) would be particularly nice.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 Challenger #3895.

Gorgeous [Big Grin] . I can only dream of seeing beasts like that running over here. I bet it could take the Lickey with 20 on, full and standing.

Backwards.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Only if you demolished the platforms at Bromsgrove first ...
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Agent Smith (elsewhere):
You know you are a nerd when someone on TV rattles off a four figure number similar to 4498, and you sit there thinking that sounds like an A4 Pacific, and trying to work out which one. [Snigger]

Just browsing, thinking "Look, trainspotters!". Then realised that I knew 4498 is Sir Nigel Gresley's number without having to look it up. [Hot and Hormonal]
(Mitigation: That fact comes from having travelled on a BR-run special up the Cumbrian coast, not long after it was restored, and living near Carnforth. Honest.)

One of the scariest evenings (in the paranoid sense) I ever spent was at Warrington Bank Quay station, waiting for Dr-Mrs-Spouse-to-be to arrive on a delayed train from Euston. There were a couple of people on the Northbound platform doing the same thing but lots of people on the opposite platform. Then some goods train thundered into view and out came the sound recorders and video cameras. Like I said, very, very scary. Though I did almost feel sorry for the guy who missed 'his' train because it got re-routed through a different platform!

I do like train travel, though. Especially modern long distance trains, having just come back from circumnavigating Sweden and Denmark courtesy of InterRail. I would much rather sit on Eurostar or TGV at 300Kph than rattle along at a tenth of that speed going nowhere in particular. Though older trains do sometimes have their appeal - Paris to Rome by sleeper was fun, with compartments that would not look out of place in scenes from a spy thriller.

Favourite heritage railway? Well, for family reasons I have to get in a plug for the Corris Railway in mid-Wales. Keeping the mid-Wales theme, Vale of Rheidol has the best views and Talyllyn is the most unpronounceable to an English speaker.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
Ting a ling is easy to pronounce! [Big Grin] Try Dduallt or even Cyfronydd. Glyndyfrdwy, Llanuwchllyn and Penrhyndeudraeth are just us Welsh taking the mick out of English speakers [Razz]

Rob

><>

PS. My Railway atlas came in handy in this post!
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
OK, wiseguy. But if it's unpronounceable you're after, try "Ynysybwl". Granted, the station there is long gone ~ maybe Enlish inability to pronounce the name is why it has gone ... [Confused]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Who'd want to be a train announcer at Shrewsbury, calling out all the station names for the Central Wales line? (It's presumably easier for the folk at Swansea making the announcements for the return journey).
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
OK, wiseguy. But if it's unpronounceable you're after, try "Ynysybwl". Granted, the station there is long gone ~ maybe Enlish inability to pronounce the name is why it has gone ... [Confused]

At the risk of perpetuating this tangent (I know I started it [Two face] ), England also has its share of local dialects at places like Mytholmroyd and Slaithwaite...

(And no one's mentioned Pwllheli or Llwyngwril!)
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
...I found SPK’s ‘…nothing larger than a Pacific from the Pennsy’ amusing as Pacifics are pretty much the largest locos preserved in Britain (apart from BR 9F 2-10-0s of course)...

North American Railroads basically standarized on the 2-8-2 Mikado for freight and 4-6-2 Pacifics for passenger work by the 1920's. However given the increasing train loads for passenger and freight trains in the 1920's, many railroads started to look for bigger power. Enter the 4-8-2 Mountains, 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, and 2-10-4 Texas types.

The late 1920's and early 1930's saw the Superpower generation of locomotives, which used superheated steam. These locomotives were meant for power at speed. This is the era of the 2-8-4 Berkshires, 4-6-4 Hudsons for passenger trains, and 4-8-4 Northerns.

The Northern type is the pinnacle of North American locomotive development: fast, powerful and useful for both freight and passenger service.

Of course many railroads also used Mallet or articulated locomotives like the UP Challenger. These were ususally railways with steep grades or mountain profiles like the Baltimore & Ohio or the Union Pacific. The Union Pacific always had a thing for giant locomotives. They even ordered massive 6600 hp DDA-40X diesel locomotives in the 1960's to the same work the Challenger did: haul massive trains over the Rockies.
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
What I find curious, SPK, is that, although the countries are of comparable sizes, Canadian locomotives seem to have been smaller than their US counterparts and Canada never seems to have gone in for gigantic freight locos comparable to "Big Boy" and the like. Any reason for this?

I have to say that the Canadian steam locos of which I have seen photos are also more elegant.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
We did have a 4-6-4 in Britain, the LNER W1 No. 10000. It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as an experimental water-tube boiler locomotive, then rebuilt in the 1930s with a conventional boiler and an A4-type front-end. It would have been an impressive machine, and had a grate area I think higher than am other British loco except I think the LNER’s U1 2-8-8-2 ‘Garrett’ built for the Worsborough incline banking duties.

Stanier on the LMS also might have produced a 4-6-4 that was basically an extended ‘Coronation’ 4-6-2 and would probably need to have been mechanically stoked due to its huge (by British standards!) firebox. But WW2 prevented such developments.

Anyone interested in Russian steam? They had, I think, the world’s largest non-articulated loco, with 12 coupled wheels. My favourites are the ‘S’ and ‘Su’ class 2-6-2s, but then my British favourite class is Gresley’s V2 2-6-2.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
I stand to be corrected on this one, but it sticks in my mind that, during the Stalin era, the Russians tried building a 4-14-4, with the inevitable track-straightening problems such a long fixed wheelbase brought in its wake. In spite of having several (I think 3) wheelsets flangeless, it was extremely competent at mashing pointwork, when it stayed on the track, that is.

There is also a picture in my collection of the one Garratt locomotive that Beyer Peacock built for Russia. At first sight, it looks fairly ordinary, until you realise the height of the chimney above the boiler is misleading. Then you realise that it must have been amongst the physically largest Garratts ever built (though not the most powerful).
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Sorry to double post, but memory was correct ~ this should take you to information on the engine in question.

Incidentally, for those of us who are impressed by vain human endeavour, Douglas Self's Museum of Retrotech (from whence comes the information) is fascinating ... [Eek!]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
Sorry to double post

... totally a myth, and no apology necessary.

Chocolates, on the other hand, could purchase lasting absolution [Two face]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Canada's population is far more spread out than the US, in the sense that the present 30 million Canadians occupy a land area that is about the same as the US, which is nearing 300 million. In the late steam era, the population was less than 15 million.

So the trains were correspondingly smaller and/or slower and/or less frequent. Moncton, for example, had the central shops for the Maritimes, and sat at the focus of the through Main Line from Halifax westward, the NTR line also westward, the Saint John connector and connections to at least seven branch lines. But the public timetable only showed 28 passenger trains a day at most (not counting extras). Some of those only ran two or three times a week.

CN inherited a huge network of trackage, almost all of which was lightly built - the main lines were often only 85 lb. rail, so CN had to have fairly light locomotives spread out along the track. Their Northerns (4-8-4) were among the lightest of their group (Ontario Northland had the lightest, ISTM), with an axle-loading of 30 tons max. CP had better mainline track (they had a 20-year head start) and could haul the same loads with Pacifics and Hudsons.

Out west, the flat Prairies allowed Pacifics to haul 70 freight cars or more.

And CN had the easiest crossing of the Rockies, so fairly light 2-10-2s could handle full trains. CP had two much steeper climbs (Kicking Horse and Rogers passes) but still manged with 2-10-4s that were the biggest locomotives in the British Empire but which were fairly small by comparison to Challengers and Big Boys.

The British influence probably contributed to more "style" in visual design, some of which was actually rather unattractive. But the average look was tidy and reasonably well-proportioned (ignoring oddities like CPs D4g class or the rebuilds like #29)

I offer CN 5703 marred by an unfortunate smoke deflector, and CN 6200


Of course, given our weather , looks may not matter!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
I stand to be corrected on this one, but it sticks in my mind that, during the Stalin era, the Russians tried building a 4-14-4, with the inevitable track-straightening problems such a long fixed wheelbase brought in its wake. In spite of having several (I think 3) wheelsets flangeless, it was extremely competent at mashing pointwork, when it stayed on the track, that is.


It's a monster isn't it. All the other best oddities are on this site, including the Listowel & Ballybunion Railway, which used the Lartigue monorail system. Amazingly, a part of that has been restored and is run most of the summer and by arrangement outside the season.

[ 11. September 2009, 22:38: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chiltern_hundred:
What I find curious, SPK, is that, although the countries are of comparable sizes, Canadian locomotives seem to have been smaller than their US counterparts and Canada never seems to have gone in for gigantic freight locos comparable to "Big Boy" and the like. Any reason for this?

I have to say that the Canadian steam locos of which I have seen photos are also more elegant.

British locomotives were known for their clean lines and for keeping their equipment inside; furthermore they didn't have knuckle or Janney couplers or headlights. Also ISTM that British railways didn't go in for 'gadgets' like North American lines did. Boosters, cow-catchers, brake pumps, headlights, generators and feedwater heaters.

North American locomotives tend let all the equipment "hang out", a feature we're known for in comparison to Britain. The CPR went in for semi-streamlining in the 1930's which combined with their maroon on black accent scheme for steamlined steam gave their locomotives a very British look.
This picture shows a non-streamlined CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk from 1929. It's typical of large North American locomotives with a booster. This image shows the streamlined version of the Selkirk. to my eyes it looks very British.

In contrast to Canada, the Union Pacific has a 3-track mainline through Nebraska to Salt Lake City on the Overland Route, the original Transcontinental Railroad. This line diverges at Salt Lake City to Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, so it has always been heavily trafficked. Hence the penchant for Challengers, Big Boys and other monster power. The other railways to operate Challengers and other similar articulated designs were Western transcon haulers like the Northern Pacific and Southern Pacific with heavy grades through the Rockies, or eastern coal lines like the Chesapeake & Ohio or Norfolk & Western. They ran heavy coal trains though the Appalachians.

The Southern Pacific which operated the Overland Route west of Salt Lake City over Donner Pass and had a good number of tunnels and snow sheds on the line. They used Cab-Foward articulated steam locomotives so the crew wouldn't suffocate in the enclosed spaces.

Like Horseman Bree said, the Canadian lines were more lightly trafficked than the American ones. CN's Yellowhead Pass is the lowest trancontinental rail crossing in either country; CP's in the highest. Railways that favoured articulated locomotives generally wanted to haul heavy trains over tough grades without paying for double-heading. Thus the choices of the N&W, Chessie and Union Pacific.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
I'm thinking that the 'clean lines' of British steam locomotives had more to do with a lack of available space than anything else ~ the restricted British loading gauge meant that there was never the room for mounting things like feed water heaters and steam turbo-generators, which is why they saw very little use in this country.

There was also the Victorian predeliction for hiding things out of sight, which had dire implications for maintenance. Consider the implications of oiling-up the inside big ends of a typical Victorian British 4-4-0, a wheel arrangement widely used on Express Passenger work. Almost all British 4-4-0 classes had inside cylinders, frequently with Stephenson valve gear. Count the obstructions on the crank axle ~ that's two cranks and 4 eccentrics. Add the axleboxes to that and you have a very crowded axle. It's getting difficult to allow adequate bearing surfaces in the space available. It is also unavoidable that you need a pit between the rails just to reach the oil cups. Not a happy state of affairs. It is small wonder that certain classes of British locomotive were notorious for hot bearings.

And the problem became more accute as loco's grew bigger. Anybody who has seen King George V at the National Railway Museum and has gone down into the pit will know what I mean ~ that crank axle is very congested. And that is with Walschaert's valve gear and only one eccentric per cylinder. I now understand why the GWR 4 cylinder locomotives all had Walschaert's gear where all the other GWR engines used Stephenson ~ there simply wasn't the room for the eccentrics on the crank axle.

Now, if Churchward and Collett had done as Stanier did with his 4 cylinder locomotives and used outside valve gear, the problem would have gone away. But outside valve gear was all but unacceptable in Churchward's day, and tradition spoke against it by Collett's, with the results we see.

But, it is interesting to speculate upon how things might have turned out had the GWR main line been built in 1830, not 1835. Had the broad gauge become established that much earlier, would other Engineers have adopted it? Just think how different British locomotive engineering practice might have been had we had the larger loading gauge associated with the broad gauge.

Such a pity ...
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
<snip>

But, it is interesting to speculate upon how things might have turned out had the GWR main line been built in 1830, not 1835. Had the broad gauge become established that much earlier, would other Engineers have adopted it? Just think how different British locomotive engineering practice might have been had we had the larger loading gauge associated with the broad gauge.

Such a pity ...

Ah, if onlies . . .

About 30 years ago I saw an "if only" model railway of a 1930's Great Western main line as if it was still broad gauge (7’ 0½” gauge). The stock was of similar overall dimensions, just a little broader, but the point that sticks was that with the extra stability, higher speeds would be almost routine! You wouldn't have to break conjugated valve gear to travel at 126 mph, just devise a mechanical stoker to shift enough coal to a much wider firebox that in turn provides heat for a boiler that could heat a small town.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Horseman,

Something I really have to ask, are you sure about that maximum axle load of 30 tons? It seems immensely heavy (OK, by UK standards) for 85lb rail. Point is, at the time indicated, the Bridge Stress committee had just reported in this country and, as a result of their work, it was agreed that the maximum permissable axle load could be raised to 22.5 tons, but only for well-balanced, 4-cylinder locomotives ~ which led to the introduction of the Kings on the GWR.

At the time, most of the railways in this country observed an axle load limit of 20 tons, frequently less. Significant parts of the old Cambrian system would only accept locomotives up to 16 tons axle load (Mid-Wales route through Llanidloes and Rhayader to Brecon). Admittedly, it was found that certain classes of locomotive imposed far greater dynamic loadings on the track ('hammer blow') than their static load would suggest ~ the George V class of the old LNWR were particularly notorious in this respect: 19 tons static axle load, 33 tons at 60 mph.

Given that UK main lines in the 1930's were laid on rather heavier rail than many, the idea of 30 tons on 85lb rail seems anything other than light. Or are we just talking light-by-North-American-standards?

Sioni

As you said, ifonlies! The notion of a broad-gauge GWR in the 1930's poses the question whether Collett would have introduced a locomotive with a trailing truck of some sort to carry the sort of firebox you suggest. It would appear that he thought a Pacific superfluous to the needs of the GWR (hence his conversion of The Great Bear) and Hawksworth, though there is evidence that design work was started on a Pacific, never built one either. But, had there been the need for a wide firebox, one cannot help wondering whether they would have leaned towards a Pacific or a Hudson?

Idle speculation, all of it! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
As you said, ifonlies! The notion of a broad-gauge GWR in the 1930's poses the question whether Collett would have introduced a locomotive with a trailing truck of some sort to carry the sort of firebox you suggest. It would appear that he thought a Pacific superfluous to the needs of the GWR (hence his conversion of The Great Bear) and Hawksworth, though there is evidence that design work was started on a Pacific, never built one either. But, had there been the need for a wide firebox, one cannot help wondering whether they would have leaned towards a Pacific or a Hudson?

Idle speculation, all of it! [Big Grin]

I am definitely going to have to build a time machine to "correct" history!

Rob

><>
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I'm pretty sure about the 30-ton axle load. Bridges wouldn't be a problem; the railways routinely overdesigned their bridges by massive amounts. Hence live-loads have never been much of a problem in North America.

Even the Delaware & Hudson in upstate New York owned Challengers.

Are you sure that some of the light loading is not a result of the UK use of vacuum brakes? North America standardized on Westinghouse air brakes in the 1870's.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Interesting question, SPK. I think, though, that the restricted maximum axle loads in this country had more to do with inadequate formations and poorly laid (for which read, 'cheap') track than the braking systems used. Whilst the 3 of the Big 4 companies (post 1923) used vacuum brakes, it is worth bearing in mind that a number of pre-grouping companies used Westinghouse (or similar) brakes.

Could the pattern of rail used be of greater significance? Until relatively recently, most of the UK railway system was laid in bullhead rail, which required chairs to hold it upright and a high level of regular maintenance if the track was not to disintegrate, but which did not lend itself to high localised loadings anything like as well as flat-bottomed rail. Am I right in thinking that most of the railways in North America were laid using flat-bottomed rail? This might be why high axle loads were acceptable.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Flat-bottomed T-rail is standard in North America, with the rail held to the cross-ties by spikes. This method has been standard since the 1850's, so we likely have an answer.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I suspect that the bull-head rail was actually quite flexible, since the web (the vertical bit between the head and the base) of British bull-head was somewhat thicker than the North American standard, presumably to compensate. The rounded base was needed because of fitting into the chairs and was only about 2.5 inches wide, while the flat base of 85-lb Candian rail was 5.2 inches - and that was supported full width of tie rather than just in the chair. So a lot of the weight went into preventing wriggle, rather than supporting imposed weight.

Once the money crunch eased up in the 1960's, bull-head was totally replaced by flat bottom in UK.

BTW, you also have to remember that the trains were/are hugely different in trailing weight - a big passenger train in England is 400 tons. A steam-era 18-coach Ocean Limited would run at about 1500 tons plus 300 for the loco, and would require steam heat from the locomotive - hence the larger firebox (84 sq. ft. on a CN Northern). No question about mechanical stokers! Speeds not that great - 24 hrs. for 840 miles, Halifax to Montreal - but all single track with passing sidings and all movements/meets coordinated by telegraph and written orders. Another reason for the big, infrequent trains.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
OK, so that makes it possible (and more than possible) that CN were operating a 30 ton axle load, but you described this as light. What on earth was 'heavy' on this footing?

I was aware of the fact that train loads were significantly heavier than we were used to in this country but then, as you said, how else could trains be operated on what was predominantly single track? You either have to run light, frequent trains with short distances between passing loops or, if this is impractical (which, with the distances involved, it has to be) you have to run infrequent, seriously heavy, trains.

In this country, the heaviest trains were mostly coal trains, running to about 1000 to 1200 tons, hauled by 2-8-0's (mostly), loose coupled and unbraked, which meant that speeds were low. Braking on coal trains is a modern phenomenon in this country. In the 1930's, the train crew would have had the brakes on the engine and the Guard's brake van. Any other braking they required was available only by stopping the train and pinning down the brakes manually on individual wagons. In turn, this meant stopping at the top of any significant incline to pin down brakes, then stopping again at the bottom to release them.

Add to this the fun implicit in loose coupling of the wagons, and the trains must have been a real nightmare to operate. From that perspective alone, it is small wonder that we never operated seriously heavy trains in this country.

And, in case anybody should ask why, the reason was the scourge of the Operating Department, the Private Owner Wagon. A large proportion of the coal trucks circulating the railways in this country belonged to the colliery of origin. No colliery was going to go to the expense of fitting power brakes to its wagons if it could get away without them ...

Which has a lot to do with why the Railways in this country were found to be uneconomic in the aftermath of Nationalisation. Granted, it wasn't quite that simple ~ government restrictions on how the railway companies could spend their money had had a lot to do with it and the lack of restrictions on road hauliers completed the picture.

I shall have to stop there before I start to rant. [Mad]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:

Once the money crunch eased up in the 1960's, bull-head was totally replaced by flat bottom in UK.

Not totally by any means. There is plenty of it still around. IIRC the London Underground has a lot of it.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
No one has yet mentioned that oddity among railways, the funicular railway, which features two cars that operate in tandem to asend and descend steep hills.

One of the most famous is the Angels Flight in Los Angeles, which operated during the first half of the 20th century, was abandoned in 1969, reconstructed and reopened in 1996 as a tourist attraction, closed again in 2001 after a fatal accident, and so far as I know remains closed (I haven't been to L.A. in a while).

Angels Flight was special in that it used a single three-railed track which parted in the center of the line so that ascending and descending cars could pass each other.

Pittsburgh, once the site of dozens of funicular railways, retains two that (again, so far as I know) operate to this day: the Monongahela Incline and the Duquesne Incline.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
I [Axe murder] streetcars.

Yes indeed! San Francisco still has "old style" working streetcar lines (with tracks in the traffic lanes) and employs the original lovingly restored cars from abandoned lines in many cities.

And, of course, there's New Orleans.

Philadelphia was one of the last cities to abandon "old style" lines. These are all gone now, although I believe in some cases the tracks and even the overhead wires remain in place. I understand the Girard Avenue line recently reopened. I don't know if it remains open -- I haven't been to Philadelphia in ages.

Many cities are seeing a rebirth of streetcars in the form of light rail, but the cars run on right-of-way segregated from the street traffic lanes. San Diego and, most recently, Phoenix are examples. Fun, but not the real thing in my mind.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
No one has yet mentioned that oddity among railways, the funicular railway, which features two cars that operate in tandem to asend and descend steep hills.

On this side of the pond, there are two in Scarborough that I remember from a very young age. Bridgnorth in Shropshire (terminus of the Severn Valley line) has one too, between the lower and higher town.

Italy has lots. There are several in Genova (aka Genoa) including one that goes up for miles out into the suburban countryside.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
On an ecclesiastical note, Mont St Michel used to have a funicular: the slope can still be seen (and very steep it is too: more like an outdoor lift).
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
So are cable cars de riguer here?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Darllenwyr: The preference was always for heavier, longer trains, to reduce the number of meets on single track, especially in the telegraph era, when messages about changes of plan had to be telegraphed to the local station and written out in triplicate, so that copies could be handed up to the engineer and the conductor (guard). Another complication was that the track switches were operated by the crew of the train - no central control on most lines until quite recently - so the process of moving into the siding was slow.

But, again, the population was thinly spread. In the first 600 miles out of Halifax (equivalent to London - Inverness), the total population anywhere near the Main Line was much less than one million, and most were engaged in scratch farming or other pursuits which didn't allow for much travel. So a few big-name trains could handle the through traffic to the ports.

The rairoads that had the big traffic used much heavier rail, up to 132 lb in the 1920's.

"Heavy" is relative. A Norfolk & Western class J 4-8-4 weighed 494000 lb, compared to a CN U2's 383000 lb. The tenders were, respectively, 379000 lbs and 281000 lbs, both on 6 axles, which means that the "small" CN tender weighed more than most locos + tenders in England.

Angloid: the advantage of bull-head and chairs is easy rail changes, which is a huge advantage in the Tube lines (where axle-load isn't the problem)
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
I [Axe murder] streetcars.

Yes indeed! San Francisco still has "old style" working streetcar lines (with tracks in the traffic lanes) and employs the original lovingly restored cars from abandoned lines in many cities.

And, of course, there's New Orleans.

Philadelphia was one of the last cities to abandon "old style" lines. These are all gone now, although I believe in some cases the tracks and even the overhead wires remain in place. I understand the Girard Avenue line recently reopened. I don't know if it remains open -- I haven't been to Philadelphia in ages.

Many cities are seeing a rebirth of streetcars in the form of light rail, but the cars run on right-of-way segregated from the street traffic lanes. San Diego and, most recently, Phoenix are examples. Fun, but not the real thing in my mind.

Toronto's system is classic street-traction operation like San Francisco's and Philadelphia's. The TTC's streetcars are the size of a bus and operate in the same fashion in a stop-and-go manner with a pull rope to request a stop.

When Toronto replaced its PCC streetcars (the kind Philadelphia has) with newer units, it tried to get a joint deal with Boston and Philly going. It didn't work out and it went alone and built the CLRV's in the late 1970's. The articulated ALRV's came along in the early 1980's.

Toronto just ordered the next generation to replaced the CLRV's. Bombardier is making the cars.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
The Norfolk and Western J class mentioned by Horseman Bree was a magnificent locomotive. It used lots of devices to make the life of crew easier, and which also prolonged the useful life of the locomotives themselves. Further, it was serviced in modern facilities, and thus could be turned around in little longer than a diesel. With coal a major freight for Norfolk and Western, it is no wonder that the J class had useful life.

Finally. it looked superb.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
On the subject of funicular railways/tramways, my favourite has to be the Great Orme Tramway, in Llandudno, north Wales.

It may not be quite as steep as the others mentioned, but it's more scenic and even features street running [Smile]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
The Lynton/Lynmouth cliff railway is pretty good - like going up and down in a green ferny cavern. Mind you, it's not so good for exciting trainspotting: they sell a card locally which shows a man writing down on his pad "This one ... that one ... this one ...".

For excitement travel in the front of a Docklands train going into Bank. You think you're going into Tower Gateway, then suddenly you lurch to the left and go over what seems like a precipice into the tunnel ... You got that going into Queen Street (High Level)in Glasgow, too, at least when they had trains you could see out the front of!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Sioni Sais says: On an ecclesiastical note, Mont St Michel used to have a funicular.

So does St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, although it's never been a passenger line and runs mostly in a tunnel.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Horseman: interesting your mention of the signalling methods used ~ I doubt that any other method would have been practical, though it is of interest to note that the same method was implicated in a head-on collision in this country.

This link (Thorpe accident ) gives some information on the incident, which was written up in detail in LTC Rolt's book "Red for Danger". The gist of it was that the mistakes were made at shift change time. The procedure was for Inspectors to give written instructions to their Telegraph Clerk regarding train movements. These were communicated to the next stations in each direction. The significant point was that no instruction was to be transmitted until the Inspector had signed it, and the signature was transmitted by the Telegraph Clerk as proof of his authority.

On the day in question, the one Inspector, Parker was still on duty (for some reason) when the other Inspector (Cooper) gave the instruction for the Mail train to be sent on from Norwich to him. Unfortunately, Parker had just given the driver of a train at Brundell the authority to proceed. Now, here is the interesting part. Cooper had not signed his instruction, but the Telegraph Clerk transmitted it as "Signed B. Cooper"

One very loud bang near Yare Bridge.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
It's a funicular that has the widest gauge in Britain, if not the world, at 7ft 6inch [Hot and Hormonal] It is located in Scarborough and is the St Nicholas Cliff railway.

Information courtesy of the Railway Magazine issue for Seeptember 2008! According to the same article the St Michael's Mount line is 2ft 5.5in gauge....Does anyone know what is the widest gauge in the world?

Rob.

><>
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I'd be betting on Brunel's 7-ft. GWR, unless you include odd specialties like the Chignecto Ship Railway (never completed) or the gadget used to move stuff at Cape Canaveral.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
The widest gauge in the world? Probably depends, as Horseman Bree has said, on how specialised you want to be. The mobile cranes on the dockside at Bristol run on rails. Goodness knows what the gauge is, but it is certainly more than 7 feet. But I doubt that this counts.

It sticks in my mind that LTC Rolt made mention of locomotives built for (I think) a railway in Buenos Aires on a gauge of 11 feet 10 inches ~ something he observed during his apprenticeship at Kerr Stuart. I guess it needs somebody with better Googling skills than I to track that down.

On the whole, I concur with Horseman Bree ~ where it comes to serious, main line, usage, Brunel's 7 foot gauge is likely to be the widest.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I've said some of this before.

Two differences between a railway enthusiast and the rest of the world.

1. A railway enthusiast thinks Brief Encounter is spoilt by all that love stuff.

2. A railway enthusiast thinks Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic backdrop for a station.

More seriously though, when I read recently a 50th anniversary report of the RCTS trip to Doncaster in 1959 when 60007 did 112 down Stoke on the way back, I was sad to realise that because I was a youngster and most of the other passengers were much older than me, there's probably not all that many other people alive who were on board.

Going back to the discussion about cliff railways at Lynton and elsewhere, no one seems to have commented that they are driven by water. The cars have tanks underneath them. The tank on the upper car is filled, and the bottom car's has been emptied. The extra weight in the top car means it is heavier. So when it descends, the extra weight pulls the other one up.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

2. A railway enthusiast thinks Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic backdrop for a station.

A real railway enthusiast thinks Edinburgh Castle is a locomotive (although he might be a somewhat esoteric enthusiast, i.e. not Great Western)
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
There wasn't an 'Edinburgh Castle' was there? I assume all of the Castle Class were named after castles in GWR territory (more or less) so Welsh castles and West Country/West Midlands castles? (I quite like 'Castles' even if they were GWR engines!)

I think an LNER 'B17' or two had 'castle names' e.g. Raby Castle. We're taking B17/1s of course as B17/4s were 'Footballers'!

I used to like going to Edinburgh before I was 18 (well I still like it now, but not for this reason so much). Standing in Princes Street Gardens watching Class 26s, 27s, 47s, even the odd 'Deltic'...brilliant! Wish I could have been there in say 1963 and watched 'A2s','A3s', A4s, 'V2' etc. Or 1938 and seen the 'P2s' (my Dad once saw 'Cock o'the North', I think at Newcastle Central, before Edward Thompson did terrible things to it [Waterworks] ).
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
There wasn't an 'Edinburgh Castle' was there? I assume all of the Castle Class were named after castles in GWR territory (more or less) so Welsh castles and West Country/West Midlands castles? (I quite like 'Castles' even if they were GWR engines!)

You need to think more recently. One of the GNER/NXEC Class 91s was named "Edinburgh Castle" until all their names were removed this year.

[ 17. September 2009, 09:16: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
I had a feeling that one of the smaller Scottish railways had a 'Castle' class, but I can't recall which one - the Highland??
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Yes, it would be the Highland Railway. AFAIK the GNoSR only named a small number of its 4-4-0s (the batch that included ‘Gordon Highlander’), the Glasgow & South Western didn’t name anything, except one 4 cyl. 4-4-0, and the North British was fairly keen on naming but had ‘Scott’ and ‘Glen’ 4-4-0s and its named ‘Atlantics’ (e.g. ‘Midlothian’). Not sure about the Caledonian (it had at least one named 4-6-0), but the Highland had various named 4-4-0s and 4-6-0s (the ‘Castles’ would be the latter).
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Incidentally the Northern Counties Committee of the LMS in (Northern) Ireland had its own ‘Castles’: the 'U2' class 4-4-0s and I think some older 4-4-0s and 2-4-0s. ‘U2’ No.74 ‘Dunluce Castle’ is preserved, and there is chance that the RPSI could return it to steam in lieu of the GNR 4-4-0 ‘Merlin’.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
Since we are on the topic of 4-4-0s I must say that I think the Schools class was the Southern's, finest, gift to the universe - of course being a GWR fan I must admit to preferring the City Class! 3440 is magnificent!!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The Schools' appearance was spoiled by the antique form of smokebox. Why did so many British railways insist on using something that was found to be unsatisfactory about the time of the Great Exhibition?
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
Nah! I disagree! It is the Cab that spoils the look of the Schools, due to the restricted loading guage on the Hastings line.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Would you believe it, I had never noticed the antiquated design of the Schools smokebox? I just went and reviewed my photographs from the National Railway Museum and discovered that not only did Maunsell use that design for the Schools (and, incidentally, the S15 class as well), Bullied perpetuated it on his Q1 class 0-6-0's ~ quite extraordinary. And I am not certain that the same design was not also used on the original Merchant Navy's and West Country's.

You would have thought that, by 1943, every designer knew that a wrapper-type smokebox was just an open invitation to leaks?

E.T.A. And I guess this makes me a candidate for a brand new anorak ... [Big Grin]

[ 17. September 2009, 17:41: Message edited by: Darllenwyr ]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
On my last visit to the NYMR in early August I had a good run behind 'Schools ' class 30926 Repton from Pickering to Levisham, and 'S15' No. 825 from Grosmont to Pickering (unfortunately interrupted by a long stop at Goathland whilst an ambulance arrived for a sick passenger ('twas the Air Ambulance!). It was almost as Southern that day as the Bluebell! (I did also have Std. 4MT No. 75029 from Levisham to Grosmont.)
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Everything that was unsatisfactory about the Schools was a consequence of the restricted loading gauge on the Hastings line*. This is illustrated by comparing the Schools to the LNER D49/Hunt class which is all but identical in appearance save the cab and smoke deflectors! Change those and you have much tidier and elegant locomotive (although most 4-4-0s look good).

*the diesel trains that replaced steam on the Hastings line were really nasty: noisy, cramped and unreliable.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Two years ago I had my first-ever run behind a 'D49' [Smile] when Morayshire made its first visit to England in ages (I think it was also its first visit where it actually hauled coaches, as its previous journey south in preservation was, AFAIK, to 'Shildon S&D 150' in 1975). It was on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway, a nice line, though a bit tame in gradients compared to the nearby K&WVR , which I have been a menmber of for years.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
But even the D49's had a smokebox that was far too short. This made for problems with circulation inside the smokebox. It also gave the engines a very "stuffy" look, as if someone was walking with his shoulders hunched up, and had a severe cold - about to sneeze.

Churchward/Collett/Stanier at least understood the point about smokebox circulation, and this gave their engines a more eager look. The USRA locomotives of 1918 in the the States were generally regarded as "good-lookers", particularly the Mikados and Pacifics, and they show the benefit of a proper smokebox.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
One of the oddest little railroads in the history of railroading has to be the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway, which ran for a short time in Texas. It was better known as the Wobbledy, Bobbledy, Turnover & Stop. At one time its rolling stock consisted of specially outfitted motorcars pulling carriages. The difference between first and second class, I assume.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
One of the oddest little railroads in the history of railroading has to be the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway, which ran for a short time in Texas. It was better known as the Wobbledy, Bobbledy, Turnover & Stop. At one time its rolling stock consisted of specially outfitted motorcars pulling carriages. The difference between first and second class, I assume.

I guess this is as close as we get to your specially outfitted motorcars. The Railcars were infamously uncomfortable, according to one author, but kept Railways open.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
And here is the Canadian equivalent, with a couple of pages of write-up

I understand that the Newfoundland Railway actually had Sentinel steam cars at one time.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Shipmates who are attracted to this thread will probably enjoy the account in Today's Railways (UK), October edition, of a pilgrimage to all 29 cathedrals of the southern province, undertaken by train (with the obvious exception of Wells).

I should point out that I have no financial interest in this magazine!
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by booktonmacarthur:
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
One of the oddest little railroads in the history of railroading has to be the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway, which ran for a short time in Texas. It was better known as the Wobbledy, Bobbledy, Turnover & Stop. At one time its rolling stock consisted of specially outfitted motorcars pulling carriages. The difference between first and second class, I assume.

I guess this is as close as we get to your specially outfitted motorcars. The Railcars were infamously uncomfortable, according to one author, but kept Railways open.
Captain Howey, who owned the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway concerted his Rolls Royce Silver Ghost into a locomotive for winter traffic. The famous radiator grille was very prominent. Apparently it was capable of high speed but since the vacuum exhauster was directly driven one had to coast through level crossings with the accelerator down to avoid the train brakes coming on if the speed dropped below a certain level.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
I understand that the Newfoundland Railway actually had Sentinel steam cars at one time.

Here's a link:
http://www.railways.incanada.net/Circle_Articles/Article_Page03.html
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
The London and North Eastern in Britain had quite a fleet of Sentinels between the worlds wars.

What about the Rio Grande Southern's "Galloping Goose" railcars? (Look them up on Wikipedia) The RGS followed the same model as the County Donegal in Ireland and the French Reseau Breton (all narrow gauge), who used railcars from the 30s: railcars for the regular passenger services,steam for freight and special passenger trains.

The RGS and Donegal both went in the 50s, the Reseau Breton hung on till 1967 (a bit of it still exists, albeit converted to standard gauge).
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Demonstrating to all shipmates that I am the saddest nerd on board, I've checked and the Highland Castles did not include an Edinburgh Castle. They all seem to have been called after castles in the highlands.

For shipmates who are seriously disturbed, some of them had slightly longer smokeboxes and three of them had 6' driving wheels in stead of 5' 9". Not many people know that, and those that do, wish they didn't.

I've always wanted to see a steam railcar, but never did. I believe one of the preservation societies has an Egyptian Sentinel one in bits. The LNER certainly did have some, and at least one of the other sort with a miniature engine at the front was still active in Lancashire in 1948.

I did travel in a four wheeled BR diesel railbus in the 1950s.

I don't really think a D49 and a Schools were in the same leaque. BR put a D49 in class 4 and a Schools in class 5. Rumours have it that D49s rode badly, weren't 100% successful and a Director (in class3) probably had the edge on them.

I always had a fondness for Compounds, also in 4, which even in late years could give you a fast and energetic run if they had a chance to get going.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
The Schools were a bit different from the average run of 4-4-0 ~ I don't think there were many 3 cylinder simple expansion 4-4-0's ever built in this country and certainly none with the boiler power of the Schools. They were built specifically to produced the maximum power achievable within the limitations imposed by the Hastings line ~ I think that one can reasonably say they succeeded. It is beyond question that they were Maunsell's most successful design. Yes, I know the Lord Nelsons were bigger, but it took years to sort out the drafting and they were always a little shy for steam. Some have argued that this had to do with the crank settings giving 8 exhausts per revolution instead of the more normal 4; personally I'm more inclined to think that the boiler ratios were not quite right. Bullied's fitting of multiple exhausts improved matters, but I doubt that anybody would ever claim that they steamed as freely as their opposite numbers, the GWR Castles.

So, chalk one up for Maunsell ~ a thoroughly good design, even if its aesthetics do offend some eyes.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
'Walking man's totty', Julia Bradbury, is doing her 'Railway Walks' again on BBC Two, or on iPlayer. Enjoy!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Diesel Rail Cars or RDC's from the Budd Company were common in the later years of private passenger services before Amtrak and Via. Canadian Pacific ran an RDC on the Peterborough line and then VIA ran it for years until the service was cut in 1990. We're trying to get GO Transit to run trains here.

The problem is the track is in terrible condition.

However we now have GO Bus service to Peterborough, though the Greyhound is faster and actually cheaper.

I think that GO trains will be coming to Peterborough in the near future, though more as a bonus. CP's Havelock Subdivison which runs to Peterborough goes right through the Pickering Airport lands. Thus GO trains to Peterborough conveniently augment that federal project. Which explains why our federal MP has been pressing for rail service to Peterborough.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
The Budd RDCs were an excellent basic design and were well engineered into the bargain. They did suffer from corrosion problems after many years of use, but if modern metallurgical principles had been known when they were designed, these issues would not have arisen. A great advantage was their flexibility in seating and goods arrangement to suit the varied needs of a range of users.

In Australia, the Commonwealth Railways used them to provided a local service on the Trans Australian railway - local in a very idiosyncratic sense. The New South Wales Govt Railways ran some in multiple as the South Coast Daylight Express; not exactly a fast express though. For this, there was a buffet as well as the usual first and second class seating. Having each car separately motored gave a flexibility lacking in the home designed DEB sets, which ran in units of 3 or 4 carriages.

The Pichi Richi Railway, running north from the SA Peterborough, had its Coffeepot - boiler and cab of a steam loco, body of a narrow gauge carriage. It's been restored, and I understand runs on the line. Tasmanian Railways had a Sentinel or 2, and they were reasonably successful on a small railway

[ 20. September 2009, 05:39: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:

The Pichi Richi Railway, running north from the SA Peterborough, had its Coffeepot - boiler and cab of a steam loco, body of a narrow gauge carriage.

A sort of ferrovian centaur?
 
Posted by Helen-Eva (# 15025) on :
 
Tangent: I'm sure all on this thread are aware of the Peppercorn engine recently built new in the UK at fabulous cost as (I believe) no example existed in preservation. When I'm (very very) rich, I'm going to build an engine. What shall I build? PS This is not gonna be any time soon...
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Well put Angloid. If you go to linky there's a picture of the Coffeepot in the header of the home page, making its way through the Flinders Ranges. I might try to make that my wallpaper, it's so evocative of times past. The whole site is worth a visit.

[ 20. September 2009, 10:38: Message edited by: comet ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Not a double post but an apology.... The comma at the end of the hyperlink should be deleted. Can a host attend to this please?
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
Tangent: I'm sure all on this thread are aware of the Peppercorn engine recently built new in the UK at fabulous cost as (I believe) no example existed in preservation. When I'm (very very) rich, I'm going to build an engine. What shall I build? PS This is not gonna be any time soon...

I don't want to be a bore but:

In Britain we have plenty of steam locomotives and the major problem is keeping those that are preserved in working order: some will always be static exhibits but if a locomotive can be put into running order, it should be and it should be kept that way.

We are however also missing a many of the lot of pre-nationalisation and especially pre-grouping rolling stock. I'm sure it would be better to have replica coaching stock to accompany the many pre-nationalisation locomotives; BR Mark 3's don't really go with steam.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I take Sioni Sais's point about replica coaching stock, but not everyone is turned on by coaches. Helen-Eva, if you get the money and want to build an engine, go for it. As for ones that are missing, how's this for a selection?

- Scot with the original parallel boiler.

- LNER Mikado in original form.

- Any passenger engine from the LNWR. A George V is probably the best bet.

- A North British Atlantic.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
How about Locomotives that were never built? I offer you a Great Central Railway Balwin 2-10-2 and the Hawksworth Pacific, as well as a Barry Railway 2-6-2T
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
If it's loco's that never existed that you're after, what about the Swindon proposal for a heavy 2-10-2 tank based around the standard No 7 boiler? It would appear that quite considerable work was done on this proposal before it was dropped.

That 2-10-2 tanks are feasible was amply demonstrated by their use on the narrow gauge railways of Germany ~ I would love to see a UK equivalent.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
If we're allowed to advocate loks that were never built, I don't think anything could beat the LMS 4-6-2 - 2-6-4 Express Garratt with 6' 9" wheels. Algeria, though had some real express Garratts.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Thank you Comet for fixing my error.

The Algerian Garratts Enoch mentioned arrived at the wrong time. WW II meant that proper maintenance went by the wayside, and this the machines did not perform as they would otherwise. The designer provided all sorts of assistance for the crew, but that simply added to the maintenance needs.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
Tangent: I'm sure all on this thread are aware of the Peppercorn engine recently built new in the UK at fabulous cost as (I believe) no example existed in preservation. When I'm (very very) rich, I'm going to build an engine. What shall I build? PS This is not gonna be any time soon...

I don't want to be a bore but:

In Britain we have plenty of steam locomotives and the major problem is keeping those that are preserved in working order: some will always be static exhibits but if a locomotive can be put into running order, it should be and it should be kept that way.

We are however also missing a many of the lot of pre-nationalisation and especially pre-grouping rolling stock. I'm sure it would be better to have replica coaching stock to accompany the many pre-nationalisation locomotives; BR Mark 3's don't really go with steam.

I was against building the replica ‘A1’ 4-6-2 as we have so many ‘Pacifics’ already preserved in Britain. If I had been told at the start how much it was going to cost, I’d have been VERY against it. But its publicity value for railways in general and steam in particular has been huge. And it looks very good (I’ve yet to see it running, however).

The only replica I think should be done, and it wouldn’t cost too much compared to ‘Tornado., is one of the GER 0-6-0T ‘tram locos’ as used on the Wisbech & Upwell tramway. Build a proper replica, run it say on the North Norfolk Railway and yes, hire it out to various steam lines when they have a ’Friends of Th*m@$ ‘ event and need a ‘Toby the Tram Engine’. Because we need a new generation of enthusiasts and we need them to have ‘real steam’ and not the plastic-coated diesels that e.g. Drayton Manor theme park now has, over which the Rev. W. Awdry must be turning in his grave!

Sioni, they should build a rake of replica coaches as used on the LMS streamlined trains in the 1930s to go with ‘Duchess of Hamilton’ as she looks superb re-streamlined, and MUST be returned to working order!
 
Posted by Helen-Eva (# 15025) on :
 
I have to say I rather like the idea of a 2-10-2 in whatever form. I'm a rather uncultured steam engine enthusiast who has a nagging feeling somewhere along the line (no pun intended) that big is best... [Smile] *going to look for pictures*
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The problem with running steam locomotives today is that they wear out. The Union Pacific sustains its 4-8-4 FEF-3 Northern 844 by salvaging spare parts from a non-running sister, 838. 838's boiler and running gear are in significantly better condition due to 844's extensive and continuous use since 1944.

The beautiful thing about Tornado is that it can be run up and down the country in excursion service without having to worry about destroying an actual preserved locomotive. The Pacific arrangement was probably chosen as it could go anywhere and be able to pull a decent set of passenger cars.

Let Tornado take the brunt of providing a running steam experience and spare the museum pieces!
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
Does anyone else agree with me in thinking that Modern Traction would look much better in pre-grouping liveries....imagine a DMU in Stroudley's improved Engine Green, fully lined of course! Imagine a HST in this , or even this livery [Axe murder]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
If we're being totally fictional, on this side of the pond I'd like to see what would have happened if passenger operations had been able to survive in private hands. Things were looking pretty grim in 1970, but the Staggers Act in the US was on the way in 1980. Since the mainline Class I's have consolidated into the Big Six (Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific) it would be interesting to see how private passenger trains would work with that corporate environment.

I'd also like to see passenger service on the Kansas City Southern and especially the Florida East Coast Railway. No passenger trains on the FEC is just wrong from a route and market POV.

Chicago would still lose a number of passenger stations. Dearborn and Union Station would likely have survived. The others, likely not.

On the subject of fantasy routes (which will in fact be built) a tunnel between Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. Finally.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by booktonmacarthur:
Does anyone else agree with me in thinking that Modern Traction would look much better in pre-grouping liveries....imagine a DMU in Stroudley's improved Engine Green, fully lined of course! Imagine a HST in this , or even this livery [Axe murder]

Mmmmmm - nice! [Smile]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Of course, that's been done before - eg BR lined black back in the 50s was basically LNWR livery.

But I know what you mean. I'm not sure I'd want to see the Gatwick Express in Billington's chocolate brown though! (Do you treat multiple units as locos or carriages, anyway?)
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
The leading/trailing ends are locomotives, the rest carriages. Obviously! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
The leading/trailing ends are locomotives, the rest carriages. Obviously! [Big Grin]

Not obvious at all. Aren't the motors dispersed throughout the train?
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
The leading/trailing ends are locomotives, the rest carriages. Obviously! [Big Grin]

Not obvious at all. Aren't the motors dispersed throughout the train?
Paint the Motors in Loco colours, whilst the rest of the train is painted in Carriage colours [Razz]
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
When you say "motors", do you mean the engines themselves, or the carriages that carry them?

It's an important point ~ we need to get these things right. [Razz]
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
About 30 years ago I saw an "if only" model railway of a 1930's Great Western main line as if it was still broad gauge (7’ 0½” gauge). The stock was of similar overall dimensions, just a little broader, but the point that sticks was that with the extra stability, higher speeds would be almost routine! You wouldn't have to break conjugated valve gear to travel at 126 mph, just devise a mechanical stoker to shift enough coal to a much wider firebox that in turn provides heat for a boiler that could heat a small town. [/QB]

I remember that model as well - I think you will find that most of the locomotives on that layout had huge single drivers - ie no coupled driving wheels.
If I remember rightly the model was built by Mike Sharman who was a leading light in The Broad Gauge Society and who went on to develop Scalefour Standards for broad gauge wheels. However when I googled for Mike Sharman and broad gauge I got
frogs instead. [Eek!]
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
When you say "motors", do you mean the engines themselves, or the carriages that carry them?

It's an important point ~ we need to get these things right. [Razz]

The engines....duh! Blinking Sais!
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Why en't you say so, 'en?
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Sorry to double post but I have only just discovered this thread, having been elsewhere.
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
How about the Severn Valley? 16 miles through the wonderful Worcestershire/Staffordshire countryside, two banks (Highley and Erdington) that tax the locos even now, a fabulous selection of GWR and LMS motive power, a full set of Gresley teak coaches as well as full rakes of GWR, LMS and BR ones as well, beautifully restored and kept stations including Arley, Highley and Bewdley, two tunnels, six viaducts, and a safari park - if nothing else, it must be the only standard gauge preserved railway in the country from which you can guarantee to see gazelles, bison and elephants!
Throw in some fabulous real ale served in the buffet cars and the new Engine House which holds the line's reserve collection of locos in a museum-like environment, and I think it beats the NYMR into a cocked hat [Biased] [/QB]

This sounds like a good excuse for a shipmeet.
How about at Easter 2010 Marvin?
Perhaps we should start a thread in the new year as I am sure you are far too busy to think about this right now!
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
Why en't you say so, 'en?

Poor teid....the Cat is still scared of him [Razz]
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Geroff,

Sounds like a good idea, a Shipmeet at the SVR. Reasonably accessible from all quarters, good ride, interesting railway, good company. All we have to do is remember to resurrect the idea rather nearer the time ...

Worth a try.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by booktonmacarthur:
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwyr:
When you say "motors", do you mean the engines themselves, or the carriages that carry them?

It's an important point ~ we need to get these things right. [Razz]

The engines....duh! Blinking Sais!
Maybe I'm showing my technological ignorance and hence revealing that I'm on this thread under false pretences, but I understood that the engines/motors of a DMU or EMU were slung underneath the carriages themselves: hence it would be very odd to paint them any other colour than black. I know that high speed trains have a more powerful engine up-front.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by geroff:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
About 30 years ago I saw an "if only" model railway of a 1930's Great Western main line as if it was still broad gauge (7’ 0½” gauge). The stock was of similar overall dimensions, just a little broader, but the point that sticks was that with the extra stability, higher speeds would be almost routine! You wouldn't have to break conjugated valve gear to travel at 126 mph, just devise a mechanical stoker to shift enough coal to a much wider firebox that in turn provides heat for a boiler that could heat a small town.

I remember that model as well - I think you will find that most of the locomotives on that layout had huge single drivers - ie no coupled driving wheels.
If I remember rightly the model was built by Mike Sharman who was a leading light in The Broad Gauge Society and who went on to develop Scalefour Standards for broad gauge wheels. However when I googled for Mike Sharman and broad gauge I got
frogs instead. [Eek!]

I remember Mike Sharman's articles - irreverently witty as well as informative - and the pictures of his amazingly fine models, both broad and standard gauge. I wondered if it were he to whom reference was made. (Good grammar, eh?).
[Big Grin]

[fixed code-can't fix trains]

[ 22. September 2009, 23:32: Message edited by: jedijudy ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Angloid's understanding of the HSTs : I know that high speed trains have a more powerful engine up-front. is almost right. The motorcars contain the engine, driving cab, and a compartment for a guard. Little difference between that and an ordinary loco.

Much more difference with the DEMUs which the Southern Region used run.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
If you check this link which was given on the previous page, BTW) you'll see an HST done in proper GWR green, with the guard's compartment marked separately in, obviously, chocolate&cream. So the motive power is visually separated from the rest. (And a fine suggestion it is, too!)

Unfortunately, checking back just a few years (say 100 or so!), you will find that there several passenger vehicles which looked quite ordinary outside, but which concealed a full steam locomotive with a vertical boiler and usually a 2-2-0 motive system (some were 0-4-0 s where it mattered). These were known as "steam railmotors", thoroughly confusing the language.

GWR version here

LNWR version here I hadn't realised that the LNWR ran to Cambridge, BTW. Silly me, thinking that Cambridge was somehow east of London.

And who would have thought that Rowland Emmett would have designed something that actually ran in Australia?

Here is the Canadian equivalent on the Grand Trunk Railway, used internationally (across Niagara Falls) at that. But this one is called a "self-propelled steam car"

The maintenance people hated these cars, because the works were incredibly difficult for access, and there were huge battles between roundhouse and passenger-car staff - the rounhouse just wanted to work on the locomotive and the car people wanted a relatively clean car (one that carried coal and a live boiler!)
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Double-posting to apologise to the hosts for putting so many links in. I'll try to behave.

With any luck, there is a host who is actually interested in some of this stuff!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Actually it can get quite complicated. HSTs have non-passenger-carrying power cars at the ends. So do Eurostars, but they also have them in the middle.

The old "Blue Pullmans" had power cars at the ends, but they had passenger compartments at the non-driving ends (and those bits were painted to match the rest of the carriages, as were the guards' compartments on the HSTs when they were in Intercity colours).

And the Swiss have (or used to have!) electric motor coaches with all the motors, pulling the rest of the train. Basically they are locomotives - but they are passenger-carrying vehicles.

Even with MUs it's not strictly clear. Today most trains have the motors slung under every carriage. But that's not always been the case: most older MUs are a mix of power cars and trailers. The old Bournemouth line REPs had a 4-car unit (including 2 powered cars) pulling or pushing up to 8 trailers in separate units ...

PS I see other people have put in posts while I was writing this!

[ 23. September 2009, 06:19: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
This is probably the best looking diesel railcar of all time. Even the later more angular ones really look good. This wasn't just a styling exercise either, the shape was developed in a windtunnel. The interior is pure 1930s car design. Brilliant.
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
As well as being good-looking, it was probably one of the more successful designs of railcar, once the GW had got around to fitting two engines (they were a bit underpowered with just the one).

From memory, the railcars were used on cross-country services like Birmingham to Cardiff, essentially as a toe in the water to see whether there might be a demand for the service. In the case of the Birmingham to Cardiff service, the railcars quickly generated more traffic than they could handle, hence my remark about their being successful.

Also from memory, I am sure that I saw Car No 4 at Bewdley (on the Severn Valley Railway) many years ago ~ we are tallking 1969 here ~ before services were running from Bridgenorth to Bewdley (let along Kidderminster). Does anybody happen to know what has become of it since?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
It's at the Steam Museum at Swindon (seems a bit of a misnomer in this case!)
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
They might not be everyone's idea of beauty but the DeutschBahn 601 Class are very impressive pieces of work.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
According to the same website it is preserved at the Steam Museum Swindon.

Jengie
 
Posted by Darllenwyr (# 14520) on :
 
Thank you, Jengie and Baptist Trainfan. I recognise that I now stand to be chewed out for claiming to have seen it at Bewdley in 1969. In mitigation I plead that I was only 8 at the time and memory may be at fault. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I also saw banana No 13 at the old Ironbridge station which was on the same line (or one of them as other lines also once radiated from Bewdley) but north of the preserved part of the SVR. If the link Jengie has given is correct in saying it was withdrawn in August 1960, this would have been quite late in its life. It was in the old red and cream coach livery.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
While doing some wandering in the websites linked above, I was reminded of the odd situation in Dartmouth, which had a proper railway station, but no track whatsoever, just a ramp down to the ferry that linked to the trains at Kingswear.

Were there any other stations that were not connected to their railways, but still functioned as stations?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Lisbon in Portugal had the "Sul e Soueste" (or "Terreiro de Paco") station on the River Tejo. From there boats took you across the river to Barreiro from where you took trains to the Algarve. The boats were 2-class and the journey took nearly 30 minutes.

The station still exists, however since 1993 it has run under the aegis of the "Soflusa" ferry company. Barreiro station is now served almost entirely by suburban trains as long-distance services run across the river from Lisbon using the relatively new rail deck on the Tejo bridge.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
With any luck, there is a host who is actually interested in some of this stuff!

[Snore]

On the other hand, chocolates have been known to restore interest ... [Biased]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
They might not be everyone's idea of beauty but the DeutschBahn 601 Class are very impressive pieces of work.

Did anyone else look at the link and immediately chant "Trans-Europe-Express" to themselves in a robotic German accent? You didn't? Oh dear, It's obviously just me.

AG
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Actually I found those DeutscheBahn TEEs to be bulbous, heavy-looking and rather pompous in expression. Rather like hippopotami. IOW, no, I don't like them.

Very few fixed-trainsets look like anything but a bunch of coaches with something shaping the end.

The Burlington Zephyr was an exception. I don't like it a lot, but it at least had a memorable style.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
The GWR railmotors certainly had style, but I'm one who prefers the Zephyrs and the Union Pacific M 1000 series.

The DB TEE set is very attractive, save for the metal exhausts on the nose. Other great TEE sets include the SBB diesel-electrics which they designed in concert with the Dutch, and used on the Arbalete service to Paris amongst others; and also the SBB electric multi-voltage sets used on the Gottardo to Milan. They just glided effortlessly up to the tunnel, then the double corkscrew alignment down the southern side. The interior of the dining car let them down though.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
A lot of the early diesel railcars and diesel multiple unit with mechanical transmissions were a little underpowered. The usual prime mover for DMUs was one or two horizontal bus engines. c. 1935 were in the region of 100 to 150hp. I think the GWR Railcars, and the early Irish GNR cars had 125hp engines which gave them a power to weight ratio of a little under 4hp/ton, which made for slow acceleration and poor hill climbing. Bulleid's DMUs for CIE overcame this problem by having two gear boxes so that you had a choice between a 50mph top speed and rapid acceleration and an 85mph top speed but slower acceleration. The former setting was used on stopping trains, especially the Dublin and Cork suburbans; the latter on the mainline expresses.

BR learned its lessons with DMUs the hard way. The early ones were nearly all a little underpowered, but the Cl.116 "Derby Heavyweight" units were the worst examples. They were supplied with 2 x 150hp for a two-car set weighing 62 tons. They used to stall of long gradients and were quickly re-engined with 2 x 185hp engines, which turned them into useful members of society.

The most powerful DMUs on British Rail were the Caldervale and Transpennine units. By the time they were built in the early 60s 230hp horizontal-6 Rolls-Royce bus engines were available. Both classes had a whopping 920hp for a three car set. The Intercity "Transpennine" sets were eventually replaced by Class 31/4 hauling four Mk2s, which had an adverse effect on timings as the "31/4s" only had about 1100hp available for traction giving them a worse power to weight ratio than the DMUs they replaced. However, the short loco-hauled sets were more comfortable. The Caldervale DMU sets hung around until the Class 155s appeared, by which time they were worn out.

Probably the most useful of the first generation BR DMUs were the Metro-Cammells. As built they were a little bit underpowered - especially the two-car sets - but once they were re-engined they were pretty much the "go anywhere" unit. They were used on the steeply graded lines out of Whitby until their closure in 1965.

Given that I grew up in a town whose train service was close to the bottom of British Rail's totem pole I got to be an expert on DMUs - particularly the "pre-scrap models" issued to Humberlink!!! The only time we got anthing decent was when there was a strike and units ended up in the wrong place.

PD
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Which is your favourite ‘preserved line’ (you may call them ‘heritage railways’,: I prefer not to)? And do say ‘why’.

Mine would be the North Yorkshire Moors Railway: 18 miles long, plus on most days a further six into Whitby; scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Esk Valley; the line dates back to 1835; 1 in 49 gradients particularly between Grosmont and Goathland; probably the best collection of ex-LNER locos (including Sir Nigel Gresley and an NER 0-8-0) and coaches on any preserved line; stations like Goathland and Pickering…

Beat that!

The North York Moors line is my favourite English preserved line. The wife and I were fortunate enough to take a trip from Whitby to Pickering courtesy of the NYMR a couple of weeks back. Southern Railway 4-6-0 850 hauled us from Whitby to Grosmont where it was replaced by the NER 0-8-0. A Ivatt 5MT hauled us back to Grosmont, then, thanks to a broken fishplate at Danby, they top-and-tailed the last tran into Whitby with a Class 25 on the business end and SR 850 on the tail. The "Rat" was in fine voice as it accelerated out of the various speed restrictions on the line into Whitby. It reminded me of my bashing trips to Scotland in the 1980s when the "MacRats" - Classes 26 and 27 - were still holding down passenger diagrams around Perth and Dundee.

One thing I had forgotten was just how tight the curves are on the old Whitby and Pickering. Travelling in the NYMR's old Mk1s you got a sort of "hum" going around the tighter beds; later in the week in a Cl. 156 that hum became a scream as flanges bit into the rails on the tightest curves. The reason for the different of noise is that the BP Mk1 is "C1" - 64'6" in length whilst the class 156 is "C3" - 23 metres or roughly 74'11" long, so the bogie centers are further apart on the "156."

The NYMR trains into Whitby are seven coaches long - the most the platform at Whitby will hold. They have also got the art of pushing back, running round, and setting back at Whitby down to a fine art; which they need to do when they are dropping and picking up anything up to 260 passengers with each train. It is a good job that they retained a carriage siding and a runround at Whitby when the place was "rationalized" in the late 1980s.

PD

[ 28. September 2009, 05:45: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by amber. (# 11142) on :
 
We might be going to York by steam in the next few months [Yipee]
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
One of these days, I'd really like to take the coastal Amtrak route from San Diego to San Francisco. The scenery is incredible but it's too steep and windy to both sight-see and drive on CA Pacific Coast Hwy 1.
 
Posted by booktonmacarthur (# 14308) on :
 
I would love to travel from London to Thurso, via the West Coast Main Line!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
A few years ago my wife and I travelled from Shrewsbury to Crianlarich by catching the sleeper from Crewe. There is a lot to be said for waking up just after Helensburgh Upper to the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Two years before that we travelled to Perth via the Settle and Carlisle, and Edinburgh. This was an exercise in avoiding engineering works, but with the added bonus of wonderful scenery once we got far enough out of Leeds. Otherwise we usually go up to Scotland on the ECML, which only becomes scenic north of York. My favourite stretches of the ECML have to be around Durham, and then north of Morpeth up to the outskirts of Edinburgh.

In 2000 we travelled from Los Angeles to Salem, OR on Amtrak and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The run up the southern coast is done in daylight, the dreary stretch between Sacto and Dunsmuir is overnight, and then it is daylight again for the scenic ride through the mountains into OR, and up to Seattle. However, timekeeping is not a strong point on that route as the line between Santa Barbara and Oakland is a secondary route. Southern Pacific and later Union Pacific have the arrears of maintenance build up on that route since the mid-1980s. This has forced Amtrak to pad the LAUPT to Oakland schedule from 10hrs 30mins in 1985 to little over 12 hours today. This allows for reduced speeds in the Salinas Valley which seems to be slack infested. Even then the Coast Starlight can run into LAUPT a couple of hours late. Northbound there seems to be less of a problem, as there is ample opportunity to recover time morth of Richmond, CA. This usually takes care of any arrears built up south of Oakland.

PD
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Posted by PD:
quote:
The North York Moors line is my favourite English preserved line. The wife and I were fortunate enough to take a trip from Whitby to Pickering courtesy of the NYMR a couple of weeks back. Southern Railway 4-6-0 850 hauled us from Whitby to Grosmont where it was replaced by the NER 0-8-0. A Ivatt 5MT hauled us back to Grosmont, then, thanks to a broken fishplate at Danby, they top-and-tailed the last tran into Whitby with a Class 25 on the business end and SR 850 on the tail. The "Rat" was in fine voice as it accelerated out of the various speed restrictions on the line into Whitby. It reminded me of my bashing trips to Scotland in the 1980s when the "MacRats" - Classes 26 and 27 - were still holding down passenger diagrams around Perth and Dundee.

Pedant alert!
I thik you'll find that the Southern 4-6-0 was S15 825, as 850 is the eponymous first member of the 'Lord Nelson' class (and hasn't, AFAIK, ever visited the NYMR)!

There's no such thing as an 'Ivatt 5MT'! Well, apart from some of the Stanier 'Black Fives' that were modified by Ivatt, and the only one of these preserved is 44767 'George Stephenson'. This has been an NYMR loco (and probably will be again at some stage) but it is not currently on the line AFAIK. The railway does have a BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 (75029) running this year (as I have been hauled by it early last month, alomg with 825 and 30926 'Repton').
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Rivet-counter alert!

You would note the significant feature of 44767 ~ the only member of the class to have Stephenson Link valve gear. And, I think, the only British locomotive to have Stephenson valve gear mounted outside the frame. Does give rise to a somewhat cluttered appearance to the motion.

I believe Ivatt built it as an experiment to determine the benefits of the variable lead characteristics of the Stephenson gear, a characteristic that was exploited by the GWR 4-6-0's (in particular) which actually had negative lead when in full gear.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Posted by PD:
quote:
The North York Moors line is my favourite English preserved line. The wife and I were fortunate enough to take a trip from Whitby to Pickering courtesy of the NYMR a couple of weeks back. Southern Railway 4-6-0 850 hauled us from Whitby to Grosmont where it was replaced by the NER 0-8-0. A Ivatt 5MT hauled us back to Grosmont, then, thanks to a broken fishplate at Danby, they top-and-tailed the last tran into Whitby with a Class 25 on the business end and SR 850 on the tail. The "Rat" was in fine voice as it accelerated out of the various speed restrictions on the line into Whitby. It reminded me of my bashing trips to Scotland in the 1980s when the "MacRats" - Classes 26 and 27 - were still holding down passenger diagrams around Perth and Dundee.

Pedant alert!
I thik you'll find that the Southern 4-6-0 was S15 825, as 850 is the eponymous first member of the 'Lord Nelson' class (and hasn't, AFAIK, ever visited the NYMR)!

There's no such thing as an 'Ivatt 5MT'! Well, apart from some of the Stanier 'Black Fives' that were modified by Ivatt, and the only one of these preserved is 44767 'George Stephenson'. This has been an NYMR loco (and probably will be again at some stage) but it is not currently on the line AFAIK. The railway does have a BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 (75029) running this year (as I have been hauled by it early last month, alomg with 825 and 30926 'Repton').

Thank you for keeping me straight. I am really a diesel nut, so I can be very hit and miss with non-LNER steam. Unfortunately for me I had to go south again before the Diesel Gala started, though I did see a Cl.52 laying a generous smokescreen at Grosmont on the Friday.

While I was there the NYMR had both 4MT 75029 and a large BR Standard Mogul 76079 in steam. Rather enjoyable for me as I rather like the look of the BR Standards.

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
YouTubing last night, I watched clips of Oliver Cromwell, Tornado and King Edward, amomg others.

I was struck by the contrast. Tornado has a very small smokebox, with side deflectors and double chimney; Cromwell has a huge heavy-ringed smokebox, deflectors and single chimney. The King's smokebox is between the other two in size, and has no deflectors. But the King had the least smoke/steam trailing over the cab at any speed that I could see. Is this something to do with the flat plate front end of the other two, compared to the free-standing circle on the King?

I have to add that I found Cromwell to be very heavy-looking across the front compared to the other two, sort of hunched-up in the shoulders, rather like Churchill in his old age.

On balance, I still prefer the King.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I think you will find that the King's chimney is marginally taller than those of the other two, at least in relation to smokebox diameter if not in actual fact. Because of the high centre line of the boilers on Tornado and Oliver Cromwell, there isn't much room within the loading gauge for a tall chimney, hence the problems with drifting steam and smoke. From memory, both pacifics had boiler diameters around the six foot mark at the front end, appreciable larger than the King (with its significant taper) ~ this only serves to exascerbate the problem of clearance, resulting in short chimneys. You would note that no GWR locomotive was ever fitted with smoke deflectors, even after the fitting of double chimneys with their reduced blast.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
LNER Pacifics other than the A4s had a problem with smoke hanging around the top of the boiler and reducing the driver's visibility. The Thompson A1s received smoke deflectors when new as a "pre-emptive strike" against this problem. IIRC, the Gresley A3s received smoke deflectors in the 1950s when they received double chimneys.

The GWR never seems to have had less trouble with smoke hanging along the the boiler top. It was less of an issue anyway thanks to most major GWR routes were equiped with ATC cab signals. ATC gave an audible indication of the signal aspect. Unlike BR's AWS, ATC relied on physical contact being made between the ramp and the shoe on the locomotive. This made it more expensive to maintain than AWS and I seem to think ATC was phased out in favour of AWS c. 1965.

The larger BR standards - the Britanias, the Clans, and the 9F's - were all prone to steam and smoke handing along the boiler tops and mostly received deflectors when built. Their boxy appeared at the front end it due to the need to keep the steam passages from the cylinders to the exhaust as "straight" as possible, and acommodate a large superheater. This pushes valve chest and cylinders well forward on the frame a feature emphasized by the "leaning wall" between the buffer beam and headstock and the running plate of most BR standard designs.

Draughting was a major issue for steam locos with some designs having major problems. Most Victorian designs did not pay enough attention to this problem and were very hit and miss. One well known example were the convoluted steam passages of the Midland Compounds (1902) which used to become very congested at high speed seriously reducing their efficiency at anything above 55-60mph. However, this did not matter on their usual routes. Most GWR Churchward and Collet designs had good draughting, but the single chimneys on the Castles and Kings limited their power output at high speed. This led to their being fitted with double chimneys in the 1950s. This enabled the Western Region to accelerate its princple passenger trains - fore example "The Bristolian" even before it got its Diesel Hydraulics into fleet service in 1958/9. As redraughted a WR "Kings" were very close to a double chimney LMR "Duchess" in all out power. The Castles also got a little extra "edge" out of the deal.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
The big attraction of double chimneys (and multiple exhausts in general) was that they reduced the back-pressure in the cylinders during the exhaust stroke: 10 psi typical in a single-chimney design could be reduced to 5 psi or less, without compromising the smokebox vacuum and therefore the draught on the fire. Any reduction in back-pressure translated into more power available to do useful work, important at any significant speed.

The downside to the equation (there's always one of those) was that the exhaust pressure, being that much lower, didn't eject the smoke and steam from the chimney as forcefully, which lead to it being caught in the vortex that forms around the rim of the smokebox at any significant speed. The A4's were not prone to this problem because of the streamlining, but the Bullied 'spam cans' had quite serious problems when first introduced. Does anybody know whether the streamlined 'Coronations' were affected or not?

Because of their taper boilers, GWR locomotives had smaller smokeboxes and taller chimneys (by comparison) than their LNER counterparts (with their parallel boilers), with the consequence that, even with the softer blast, the smoke and steam were ejected above the influence of the smokebox vortex, hence the lesser problem on the GWR.

In regard to GWR AWS, I think it was thought that a physical contact system was not compatible with the higher speeds then being envisaged ~ one hesitates to contemplate what would have been the consequences of a GWR ramp and shoe making contact at 225 km/h ...
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
The big attraction of double chimneys (and multiple exhausts in general) was that they reduced the back-pressure in the cylinders during the exhaust stroke: 10 psi typical in a single-chimney design could be reduced to 5 psi or less, without compromising the smokebox vacuum and therefore the draught on the fire. Any reduction in back-pressure translated into more power available to do useful work, important at any significant speed.

The downside to the equation (there's always one of those) was that the exhaust pressure, being that much lower, didn't eject the smoke and steam from the chimney as forcefully, which lead to it being caught in the vortex that forms around the rim of the smokebox at any significant speed. The A4's were not prone to this problem because of the streamlining, but the Bullied 'spam cans' had quite serious problems when first introduced. Does anybody know whether the streamlined 'Coronations' were affected or not?

Because of their taper boilers, GWR locomotives had smaller smokeboxes and taller chimneys (by comparison) than their LNER counterparts (with their parallel boilers), with the consequence that, even with the softer blast, the smoke and steam were ejected above the influence of the smokebox vortex, hence the lesser problem on the GWR.

In regard to GWR AWS, I think it was thought that a physical contact system was not compatible with the higher speeds then being envisaged ~ one hesitates to contemplate what would have been the consequences of a GWR ramp and shoe making contact at 225 km/h ...

I remember reading somewhere that the steamlined Coronations did have problems with steam hanging around the spec plates. I would imagine this was a side effect of the Coronations' streamline casing having a rounded front rather than the "wedge" of the A4's. The latter would be appreciably more effective at throwing the exhaust up clear of the cab spec. plates.

IIRC at the time the decision was taken to scrap ATC was taken before BR started seriously contemplating speeds over 100 mph. The GWR had already proved that ATC ramps could be hit safely at that speed, but that the maintenance costs for the equipment were high when regularly abused in that way. On the other hand, I wouldn't fancy hitting an ATC ramp at 125mph either.

FWIW, the LNER classes most prone to steam hanging around the front cabs (Green Arrows and A3s) also had tapered boilers, bt short chimneys and round topped Wootton Fireboxes. However, I think you are right about chimney height working in favour of the GWR designs.

PD

[ 30. September 2009, 02:41: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I have just realized I made a very silly typo a couple of posts back. The second paragraph shuld read:

quote:

The GWR seems to have had less trouble with smoke hanging along the the boiler top. It was less of an issue anyway thanks to most major GWR routes were equiped with ATC cab signals...

Ooops!
PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Having a taper boiler on its own wasn't enough to prevent steam drifting. Rebuilt Scots and Patriots suffered badly from it. I've read somewhere that the smoke deflectors fitted to them as standard from the early fifties were fairly useless, except for Gordon Highlander which had a different pattern more like a Britannia, which worked.

Unrebuilt Scots and unrebuilt Patriots must have had the same problem as they all had deflectors, whereas Jubilees, with the exception of the two that were rebuilt with class 7 boilers, were not.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Having a taper boiler on its own wasn't enough to prevent steam drifting. Rebuilt Scots and Patriots suffered badly from it. I've read somewhere that the smoke deflectors fitted to them as standard from the early fifties were fairly useless, except for Gordon Highlander which had a different pattern more like a Britannia, which worked.

Unrebuilt Scots and unrebuilt Patriots must have had the same problem as they all had deflectors, whereas Jubilees, with the exception of the two that were rebuilt with class 7 boilers, were not.

The "Jubilees," 8Fs, and the "Black 5s" were heavily dependant on GWR practice. I suspect their blastpipe arrangements gave the exhaust a "good send off" reducing the problem of steam around the spec plates to an acceptable level.

Stanier had done his time at Swindon, so when he went to Crewe he incorporated some Swindon ideas into his designs for the LMS, but also embraced the best of the Crewe tradition. He also had the opportunity to work in an environment which was a bit less conservative than Swindon. Basically under Churchward's leadership the GWR had got itself about fifteen years ahead of the game in terms of British locomotive design. This created a design tradition that lasted from c.1910 to 1941. Things only began to move forwards again with Hawksworth's work in the mid-1940s, by which time their standard designs, whilst still very good, were not quite cutting edge anymore.

As a tangent...

Bulleid's work on the Southern and with CIE is always interesting and innovative. OTOH, I get the impression that he always managed to included one technical innovation into his basically successful designs that turned into a nightmare sooner or later. Then there is the Bleeder - oops - "Leader," which would have worked had Bulleid been around to tweek it. However, by that time he was away to dieselize CIE.

PD
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
One of these days, I'd really like to take the coastal Amtrak route from San Diego to San Francisco. The scenery is incredible but it's too steep and windy to both sight-see and drive on CA Pacific Coast Hwy 1.

Doesn't the train cut inland at the most scenic part of Highway 1 north of San Luis Obispo?

I've done the southern section (San Diego to LA) and the part between Solana Beach and San Clemente is certainly interesting as the train hugs the coastline. From there it gets boring through Irvine and Anaheim into Los Angeles as the train does the northern loop into Union Station - but worth it for the station building itself.

Looking at the map, I'm sure the section along the coast through Santa Barbara is worth doing though, but I think if I had the time I would do it by car - preferably as a passenger!
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
I have just realized I made a very silly typo a couple of posts back. The second paragraph shuld read:

quote:

The GWR seems to have had less trouble with smoke hanging along the the boiler top. It was less of an issue anyway thanks to most major GWR routes were equiped with ATC cab signals...

Ooops!
PD

Taller chimneys on GWR express locos have been alluded to. Whilst there may be some truth that the taper boilers helped make this possible, the main reason was a more generous loading gauge on GWR main lines, probably a legacy from 'broad gauge' days.

Someone (I think it was Horseman Bree) commented on the A1 ('Tornado') having a smaller smokebox than e.g. a 'King'. Look again! Look at the sheer length of the thing! When Thompson rebuilt 4470 'Great Northern' in about 1945 to make the prototype 'A1/1' he gave her a much longer smokebox than a Gresley A1 or A3. And Peppercorn gave a long smokebox to all his production 'Pacifics' (A1s and A2s), and tidied up the cylinders and valve/gear/rods considerably (how awful, by comparison, Thompson's Pacifics looked!)
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I'm a bit surprised that the rebuilt Scots would have had the problem, given their nearly-Swindon profile. The unrebuilt ones would have had the huge, ugly wrapper smokeboxes, larger diameter than the boiler, with a complete ring of vortex creation just abaft the chimney.

I don't know what the excuse is for the Britannias, but designers never really understood the concept. When CN tried streamlining 4-8-4s in 1936, the casing ("wind-tunnel tested"!) proved less effective than the "normal" outline of locomotives. CP, OTOH, had a pleasantly-styled design for their Royal Hudsons that worked well at smoke clearing. The original twenty, normally-profiled, had to have deflectors added, once the feedwater heaters were applied. (scroll down the linked page to near the middle for comparative photos)
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
It is interesting (well, I think it's interesting) to reflect that part of the logic of the spam can casing on Bullied's Merchant Navy class was to clear drifting smoke from the cab windows (the other part of the logic was that the loco could be passed through an automatic carriage washer), hence the curious vent arrangement around the chimney. As we all know, the spam cans were notorious for their problems with drifting smoke (considered by some to be a contributory factor in the Lewisham accident) so one can say fairly safely that this was not a particular design success.

Again and again we seem to come to the same conclusion ~ the chimney had to be tall enough to escape the smokebox vortex. With the loading gauge restrictions on three of the Big Four (particularly the Southern), this was always going to be a problem. Introduce the soft blast characteristic of multiple exhausts and you are in deep doo-doo.

On the issue of taper boilers, whilst it is true that the LNER pacifics had taper boilers, the taper was nowhere near as pronounced (in relation to boiler diameter) as that of GWR passenger locomotives. Also, examine the question of clearance between the top of a Gresley boiler and a tunnel invert ~ there was precious little room. Gresley chimneys had to be short; there was no room for them to be otherwise.

On the issue of Edward Thompson's pacifics, one has to ask what on earth he thought he was doing, extending the chassis in the way he did? The huge gap between the leading bogie and the front coupled axle is inexplicable and could hardly have done anything to improve frame rigidity. It has been suggested that his rebuilding of Great Northern (the original Gresley pacific) was a matter of pure vindictive spite ~ it has to be admitted that it was the oldest of the pacifics and thus an 'obvious' candidate for rebuilding, but even so ...
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The GNR/LNER pitched their Pacific boilers much higher than any other railway. The boilers themselves were relatively small diameter, but the centreline was considerably higher than would be the case on any railway influenced by Churchward (Collett, Stanier, Bulleid...)

This forced the chimney to be very low above the smokebox.

And, yes, when you add the weird conversion of the first Pacific, you get a humongous empty space that served no purpose other than to increase the wheelbase and weaken the frame.
 
Posted by Trisagion (# 5235) on :
 
Oh the joy at discovering this thread!

As a child I had pictures on my bedroom wall of GWR Modified Halls on the Cambrian Coast Line. This summer, 35 years on, I rode from Machynlleth to Pwllheli and back behind BR Standard Class 4 76079. It was a delight.
 
Posted by Trisagion (# 5235) on :
 
Actually, I suspect that what I had in the photos as a child were Manors. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I must confess this thread has been an education, since I'm not terribly familiar with British locomotives.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
And, yes, when you add the weird conversion of the first Pacific, you get a humongous empty space that served no purpose other than to increase the wheelbase and weaken the frame.

Aah...that would also explain why they might slip on Portobello Sands!
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Trisagion:
Actually, I suspect that what I had in the photos as a child were Manors. [Hot and Hormonal]

Oops!

We'll forgive you, Trisagion. Unless the locomotive number is visible, identifying the class of the various 2-cylinder GWR 4-6-0's is not the simplest passtime ~ they were quite similar.

Horseman, am I right in assuming that you are speaking from a transatlantic perspective when you describe the LNER pacifics as having "small diameter" boilers? By British standards, Gresley's pacifics had some of the largest diameter boilers ever rolled (maximum diameter, above the firebox throatplate exceeded 6 feet in some cases), hence the tight fit within the loading gauge. I guess that, by American standards, this is pretty small, but for us it was large. I think you will find that Gresley boilers were probably only exceeded in diameter (in this country) by that fitted to the U1 Garratt built during his jurisdiction for the Worsborough incline.

I stand to be corrected on this one, but I thought Bullied was more influenced by Gresley than Churchward ~ wasn't he Gresley's personal assistant? Granted that Gresley was influenced by GWR practice where valve travel was concerned, I would have thought the GWR influence in SR practice was more via Maunsell.

SPK, glad to be of service. The same is true from this side of the pond ~ my ignorance of North American practice is legendary. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Actually, I suspect that what I had in the photos as a child were Manors.

I think you're probably right as they were the only GWR 4-6-0s that were blue rather than red, or in the case of the Kings, double red. Perhaps someone who is even more disturbed than I am could tell us whether Manors were allowed on the northern section to Pwllheli or just the main line from Welshpool to Aber?


Reverting to Scots and smoke deflectors, the rebuilt ones certainly had taper boilers but the taper wasn't as pronounced as, say, a Castle. The Cities and Duchesses all end up with smoke deflectors, whereas the Princess Royals did not. Until well into the fifties, the ones that had been de-streamlined had a shaved off bit at the top of the smoke box where the streamlining had been removed. I don't know whether that had any effect on smoke drifting.

It was said to be more a symptom of when the engine wasn't working very hard. Hard work produced an emphatic draft that pushed the smoke and steam out of the chimney.


On big LNER locs, much though I'd like to have seen on in P2 form, reminiscences in the 1950s of those that had driven them suggest that although they could pull anything stuck behind them, they burnt coal at a phenomenal rate even with light loads. The load made no difference; the fire just burned. Also, the eight coupled wheels squealed badly going round some of the tortuous curves on the line to Aberdeen that they normally ran on. The number of different permutations of A2s suggests the blend may not have been quite right.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
The GNR/LNER pitched their Pacific boilers much higher than any other railway. The boilers themselves were relatively small diameter, but the centreline was considerably higher than would be the case on any railway influenced by Churchward (Collett, Stanier, Bulleid...)

This forced the chimney to be very low above the smokebox.

And, yes, when you add the weird conversion of the first Pacific, you get a humongous empty space that served no purpose other than to increase the wheelbase and weaken the frame.

FWIW, the boiler diameter on the Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics was 6'5" at the firebox ring.

The frames on the Thompson Pacifics were adapted from those of the P2s of they were rebuilds. These were a only little longer than those of the Gresley A3s, so the empty space at the front of the frame was due to the outside cylinders being placed relative far back. This allowed for the recycling of the short drive rods from the P2s.

Thanks to the decision to abandon Gresley's conjugated valve motion, the Thompson Pacifics had divided drive. This meant that the inside cylinder drove the front axle and a its own valve gear. As Thompson liked to keep his driving rods of equal length this led to the inside cylinder being placed a log way forward. Visually this is unsatisfactory, but there was no evidence that it unduly weakened the frames.

Peppercorn's development of the A1 and A2 designs reverted to Gresley's positioning of the outside cylinders and made the outside drivng rods longer than that of the inside cylinder. This allowed him to keep the divided drive and avoided the long empty space at the front that was characteristic of the Thompson version.

The Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics had some labour saving devices such as a rocking (or self-cleaning) grate. Generally speaking they were a modernized and simplified version of the Gresley Pacifics.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I'm reasonably confident (as in, 80+ percent) that the Manors ran to Pwllheli ~ they were designed with former Cambrian routes in mind. I think the only Welsh mainline route from which they were barred was the old Mid Wales line through Llanidloes and Rhayader to Three Cocks Junction and Brecon, much of which was Yellow restriction.

I believe you are right about the P2's ~ their wheelbase was just that bit too long for the Aberdeen route and their coal consumption was legendary, though for all the wrong reasons. But I think it is fair to say that Thompson's rebuilding did nothing to solve the wheelbase problem and didn't do a great deal for adhesion either, hence Lord P's rather delphic remark above.

And, yes, I am almost certainly, as you say, 'disturbed'!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I stand to be corrected on this one, but I thought Bullied was more influenced by Gresley than Churchward ~ wasn't he Gresley's personal assistant? Granted that Gresley was influenced by GWR practice where valve travel was concerned, I would have thought the GWR influence in SR practice was more via Maunsell.

I think you're right. Bulleid certainly came to the Southern from Doncaster.

The legend is that Gresley was persuaded in the 1920s to test his pacific in its original form against a much smaller Castle and was amazed that the Castle beat the pants off his lumbering monster. The secret was partly in the valve gear, partly in the higher calibre engineering - the first time the pacific went from Exeter to Plymouth the curves shimmed some of the wheels and bearings - and partly possibly in the boiler design.

The secret of long travel valve gear may have been passed on by Holcroft who at different times worked with Churchward, Gresley and Maunsell. They seem to have reached the LMS (or at least Derby rather than Crewe) by 1927, but were not always followed.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
And, yes, I am almost certainly, as you say, 'disturbed'!

This is a thread for the seriously disturbed. It should have a health warning 'if you are enjoying this - it's too late'.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Well, count me in.

To the person who asked about Amtrak between LA and Santa Barbara, there is a short run along the beach south of Santa Barbara, but the line moves inland just east of Ventura. If you go north of Santa Barbara, there is a great Pacific-side stretch until you move inland at San Luis Obispo.

Operating steam in the US is a difficult proposition because the Class I railroads still haul a lot of freight. There are some smaller branch lines that enable enthusiast runs. One of the best is headquartered in Owosso, Michigan, the Steam Railroading Institute. SRI operates a Berkshire (2-8-4) built for the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1941. Thus summer, SRI hosted a four-day steam festival that featured not only 1225 but also a sister Berkshire, 756 (built for the Nickel Plate in 1944) and, best of all, the incomparable 4449, a GS-4 Daylight in her original Southern Pacific colors. My family rode behind 4449 on an all-day excursion through the Michigan countryside and it was fantastic. This locomotive is actually owned by the City of Portland, Oregon and is operated by dedicated volunteers. Steam Railroading Institute
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
I'm reasonably confident (as in, 80+ percent) that the Manors ran to Pwllheli ~ they were designed with former Cambrian routes in mind. I think the only Welsh mainline route from which they were barred was the old Mid Wales line through Llanidloes and Rhayader to Three Cocks Junction and Brecon, much of which was Yellow restriction.

I believe you are right about the P2's ~ their wheelbase was just that bit too long for the Aberdeen route and their coal consumption was legendary, though for all the wrong reasons. But I think it is fair to say that Thompson's rebuilding did nothing to solve the wheelbase problem and didn't do a great deal for adhesion either, hence Lord P's rather delphic remark above.

The P2s were a mixed bag. The basic concept was a 2-8-2 version of the A3. On the whole they were moderately successful, but...

1. The pony truck perpetuated the K3 design which did not allow enough sideplay. This led to problems with the crank axle and some less than satisfactory riding on the tightly curved Aberdeen line. FWIW, the same type of truck, fitted to the "Green Arrows," was a contributory cause to a serious derailment. As the Green Arrows were otherwise a total success, and Gresley was still alive, the unsatisfactory pony truck was redesigned and the ride problem eliminated.

2. Gresley used first loco of the series - 2001 Cock o'the North - to test the Lentz rotary motion. Strangely 2001 had many of the same problems as the Caprotti fitted Duke of Gloucester twenty years later. The valve events were slightly "off" leading to excessive back pressure and high coal consumption. Earl Marishal, the second loco of the series, had conventional valve gear and was a lot lighter on coal.
3. The soft blast from the Kylchap cowls led to steam hanging around the boiler. This was eventually fixced by giving them A4 style wedge fronts.

O. S. Nock described the P2s as basically satisfactory locomotives, and discussed them at some length on British Steam Locomotive Performance. Apart from Cock o'the North in her original form their coal consumption was not that much higher than that of the Pacifics that replaced them. In the end one has to conclude that Thompson rebuilt them because their riding qualities were suspect.
Thompson was also an advocate of standardization and s were small class of specialized locomotives just did not fit in with his plans for the LNER locomotive fleet.

Thompson was quite determined to standardize the LNER locomotive fleet, but he was somewhat hampered by the fact WW2 was in full swing. He therefore adopted a policy of rebuilding small groups of locomotives as test beds for his new standard designs. The P2s succumbed to this policy as did 4470 "Great Northern." Thompson also had plans to rebuilt the other surviving Gresley A1s (A10s after 1944) to class A1/1, but in a reversion to pre-War policy under Peppercorn they were rebuilt as A3s instead.

FWIW, Thompson was not a member of the Gresley fan club, and believed that HNG had built too many small, specialized groups of locomotives. His contempt for his predecessor's policies made him unpopular with railway enthusiasts at the time, and I suspect still colours opinions when it comes to his designs for the LNER. That said, some of his designs did leave a bit to be desired in the areas of aesthetics and ride quality.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Memory insists that, in the comparative trials (in around 1925/1926) between the Gresley A1's and the Collett Castles, the significant points were:

1. Significantly lower coal consumption per unit of useful work done by the Castle ~ something like 2/3 the consumption of the A1
2. Considerably better performance at starting ~ the Castle could get a train out of Kings Cross much better than the A1

Gresley apparently analysed the results quite carefully and, as a result, made a number of modifications to the A1's, giving the A3's. Major changes were:

1. Valve gear modified to increase the travel.
2. Valve-head diameter increased.
3. Boiler pressure increased from 180 to 220 psi.

As I am sat at my desk in work I cannot quote the specific figures for the valve gear improvements, but the changes were considerable. One unfortunate consequence of increasing the valve travel was the problem subsequently noted as speed increased of centre valve over-travel. Because of the inevitable play in the conjugated motion, the inside cylinder valve tended to travel rather further than the outside valves, leading to the inside cylinder doing much more than its fair share of the work. This was a contributory factor in the failures of inside big ends (particularly on the A4's). Thompson's solution to the problem was to replace the conjugated drive with separate valve gear.

The better starting characteristics of the Castles were attributed to its wheel arrangement ~ the absence of a trailing truck gave better adhesion at starting than a Pacific could have. There was not a lot could usefully be done about this, as reverting to the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement would negate the biggest advantage the Pacific had ~ a large firebox above a deep ashpan.

There was another factor in play: the Castle had a maximum cut-off in full gear of 75%, the A1 only 65%. The reduced cut-off of the Pacific was the consequence of the over-travel problem (see above) ~ if the cut-off were allowed to exceed 65%, nasty noises could be heard coming from the front end which were the consequence of the inside valve striking the valve chest ends.

You would note that, after Nationalisation, Kenneth Cooke was transferred from Swindon to Doncaster. On his arrival in Doncaster, he noted that the LNER built its engines at tolerances and clearances at which Swindon scrapped theirs. One of his more momentous decisions was to replace the big end bearings on the A4's with one of Swindon pattern. This, whilst it upset the traditionalists and purists, largely cured the A4's hot big end problems.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
On a tangent, anyone else like Don Bilston? (it's a Myspace pace, but it's the most interesting one I found on a quick search).

AG
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
The 'Castle' that worked so well on the GN main line out of King's Cross, and it was in 1925 btw, was 4079 'Pendennis Castle'. It is now preserved and is under restoration to main line working order at the Great Western Society's Didcot home, having been successfully repatriated from the Hammersley Iron Railway in Australia(!) a few years ago.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
On a tangent, anyone else like Don Bilston? (it's a Myspace pace, but it's the most interesting one I found on a quick search).

AG

An interesting find, Sandemaniac. I haven't come across him so far, but can I direct you to Dave Goulder ?

The reason I mention him is that I have an album of his which is exclusively his steam railway songs. He has an impecable pedigree as a writer of songs about steam railways, in that he was a steam fireman with BR based in the Nottingham area. He is also of interest to me as he came to our folk club in about 1988, so I heard him live in a proper pub atmosphere. Sadly the folk club folded in 1989 ~ can't have everything, I guess.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
An interesting find, Sandemaniac. I haven't come across him so far, but can I direct you to Dave Goulder ?



You most certainly can! From the few bits I've had a mo to listen to he sounds very similar in idea to DB (and I think the Knotweed might get a surprise when she looks at the friends and musicians on the Myspace paGe!

AG
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
A somewhat belated reply to PD, who wrote that:

quote:
The P2s were a mixed bag. The basic concept was a 2-8-2 version of the A3.
IIRC, it was the P1's - the first Mikados, used only on freight - that had an A3 boiler on top of a different chassis. The P2's seem to have been completely different beasties.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chiltern_hundred:
A somewhat belated reply to PD, who wrote that:

quote:
The P2s were a mixed bag. The basic concept was a 2-8-2 version of the A3.
IIRC, it was the P1's - the first Mikados, used only on freight - that had an A3 boiler on top of a different chassis. The P2's seem to have been completely different beasties.
Yes, there were two P1s, 2393 and 2394 IIRC, and they were indeed 2-8-2s with A3 boilers, and I think the same cylinders and cabs also. They were built to haul enormous coal trains on the GN main-line (Peterborough New England yard to London). Although capable of prodigious feats of haulage, they were only economical with loads so heavy that the train lengths could not be accommodated in the existing goods loops, giving them no advantage over 2-8-0s like the O2s, and explaining why they were scrapped in the mid 1940s.

The P2 boiler was a much larger affair than an A3 boiler. Its 6'2" wheels were of a size suitable for express passenger work.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
A slightly late answer to Darllenwr and others, re: the boiler of LNER Pacifics.

Looking over the various pictures I can find, I realise that the boilers were actually about the same size as those on Stanier's Pacifics. But Stanier's locos LOOKED much heavier, while the LNE ones looked very tall and spindly, with visually smaller boilers perched above fully-exposed wheels. I suppose this relates to the heavy running plate, deflectors and smokebox ring of the Staniers, compared to the openness of the A1s and A2s.

Minor question: why did the Princesses never have deflectors, while the Coronations all had them? Is it the effect of the double chimney?

Major question, tangenting off: why were the English so obsessed with inside cylinders? All 0-6-0s, including Bulleid's, almost all 0-8-0s and most shunting tanks. More puzzling, most 4-4-0s, which is a wheel placement that allows for the cylinders in a well-balanced location. Did the designers have total contempt for the maintenance people?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chiltern_hundred:
A somewhat belated reply to PD, who wrote that:

quote:
The P2s were a mixed bag. The basic concept was a 2-8-2 version of the A3.
IIRC, it was the P1's - the first Mikados, used only on freight - that had an A3 boiler on top of a different chassis. The P2's seem to have been completely different beasties.
Funnily enough, that rather illustrates what Thompson hated about Gresley's locomotive policy. Gresley had a habit of building small classes of highly specialized locomotives. Part of this was due to the LNER being skint, and part of it was due to Gresley's desire try new ideas. It does not matter which it was, it was still a running shed foreman's nightmare.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Major question, tangenting off: why were the English so obsessed with inside cylinders? All 0-6-0s, including Bulleid's, almost all 0-8-0s and most shunting tanks. More puzzling, most 4-4-0s, which is a wheel placement that allows for the cylinders in a well-balanced location. Did the designers have total contempt for the maintenance people?

I think the answer to the second question was 'yes'. The same applied to those that designed Jaguars in the fifties.

But I think there was also the view that the drive should be onto axles that were supported at both ends by frames.

There's still a lot of people about even now who seem to be oblivious to what I'd regard as one of the most basic design principles - start by asking oneself, 'how will I repair this?' Anyone who says 'my machinery or software won't break down' is revealing themselves to be a fool.


Also, on an 0-6-0 or an 0-8-0, outside cylinders don't look very stable in front of driving axles with no leading axle. With inside cylinders they can be above the front driving axle - even though they're impossible to get at. I'm fairly sure the big North Eastern 0-8-0s did not have continuous brake fittings and so would have been restricted to slow mineral use. Industrial 0-6-0 tanks with outside cylinders used for passenger trains on preserved lines do seem prone to imparting a to and fro effect to the carriages behind them.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
One of the objections to outside cylinders on 4-coupled engines (ie, with a short fixed wheelbase) was the way that the locomotive swayed around the vertical axis in response to the piston thrusts ~ the outside cylinders had a greater moment of inertia than their inside equivalent, with consequent rough riding.

It goes back to the earliest years of steam in this country: consider 'Rocket', probably the simplest chassis you could devise, 0-2-2. Outside cylinders (albeit in a rather curious location) and a classic rough rider. When Stephenson introduced his 'Planet' design, he put the cylinders inside the frames and close to the centre line, thus improving the ride, even though the engine still only had 2 axles. I think that many designers took the view that Stephenson knew best, and just followed the received wisdom in fitting inside cylinders, even though crank axles were known to be a weak point and fracture was far from unknown.

There was also the Victorian predisposition for hiding 'the works' from view as though they were somehow indecent.

It seems to me that American designers adopted leading trucks very early on in Railroad history ~ was that, as has been suggested, in deference to indifferent track quality? The presence of a leading truck tends to suppress the oscillations that British designers used inside cylinders to avoid. Because they had dealt with the oscillation problem, American designers decided that they didn't need the hassle of crank axles, so why use inside cylinders? Good thinking.

Saying all of that, it is hard to understand why Bullied used inside cylinders on his Q1's unless it was to reduce weight ~ it is possible that using the cylinder block to brace the frame meant that he could allocate more of his maximum weight elsewhere, specifically to the boiler. As his objective was to build the most powerful locomotive possible on a 6-wheel chassis, and the boiler is the key to steam locomotive power, one can understand a desire not to add any deadweight that was avoidable.

Don't know ...
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
[Eek!]
.
.
.
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.

Phew
.
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[Snore]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I can't think of an inside-cylinder loco built for North American service after about 1850. OTOH, almost any loco used outside the yard had a lead truck, so the oscillation and front-overhang problem wasn't there.

So why the obsession with 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 designs for road service? (Not just in England, but in places with poor track like the Khyber Pass, where i.-c. 0-6-0s were in use within the last generation)

Sorry, Zappa. How much chocolate do you need?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
A slightly late answer to Darllenwr and others, re: the boiler of LNER Pacifics.

Looking over the various pictures I can find, I realise that the boilers were actually about the same size as those on Stanier's Pacifics. But Stanier's locos LOOKED much heavier, while the LNE ones looked very tall and spindly, with visually smaller boilers perched above fully-exposed wheels. I suppose this relates to the heavy running plate, deflectors and smokebox ring of the Staniers, compared to the openness of the A1s and A2s.

Minor question: why did the Princesses never have deflectors, while the Coronations all had them? Is it the effect of the double chimney?

Major question, tangenting off: why were the English so obsessed with inside cylinders? All 0-6-0s, including Bulleid's, almost all 0-8-0s and most shunting tanks. More puzzling, most 4-4-0s, which is a wheel placement that allows for the cylinders in a well-balanced location. Did the designers have total contempt for the maintenance people?

I am 99% sure the single blastpipe on the LMS Princess class was a factor in their not being fitted with smoke deflectors.

As for inside cylinders...

British locomotives, with the odd exception, had plate frames rather than bar frames. Plate frames are more flexible than the bar frames used in the USA, Germany, and elsewhere. If plate frames are not properly braced they are prone to fatigue cracks. The two main reasons why British designers favoured inside cylinders are...

1. Outside cylinders exacerate the problem of fatigue cracks in plate frames.
2. In short wheelbase locomotives - 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s - they result in a pronounced "waddle" which can become very dangerous at speed.

Churchward built some big outside cylinder 4-4-0s - the County Class - for the GW/LNW joint line south of Shrewsbury. Compared to his 4-6-0s, the Counties were notoriously bad riders. Furthermore, by the 1930s they were suffering from frame cracks which led to their withdrawal c.1935.

FWIW, the GWR was the first exxtensive UK user of locomotives with two large outside cylinders for express work when the Saints, appeared in 1902. Most other railways still favoured inside cylinders for express work, and that was to continue until 4-4-2 and 4-6-0 locomotives took over the bulk of express passenger work in the 1920s. Railways with a small engine policy - e.g. The Midland - ended up with very few outside cylinder engines. The only large class of Midland locomotives I can think of with outside cylinders were the compounds, and they had three anyway, thus eliminating the stress fracture and waddle problems.

PD
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
I can't think of an inside-cylinder loco built for North American service after about 1850. OTOH, almost any loco used outside the yard had a lead truck, so the oscillation and front-overhang problem wasn't there.

So why the obsession with 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 designs for road service? (Not just in England, but in places with poor track like the Khyber Pass, where i.-c. 0-6-0s were in use within the last generation)

Sorry, Zappa. How much chocolate do you need?

0-6-0s were cheap to build and very robust. Also freight train speeds were low - around 20mph for loose couple freight trains (i.e. those without continuous brakes). In short, there was no incentive other than increasing tonnages to move on to something more complicated for freight.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I think that you would find that another reason for building inside cylinder 0-6-0's was that no weight was wasted on non-driving axles ~ a concept very dear to Bullied's heart, in particular.

The idea of having all axles driven was one of the factors that drove the building of his 'Leader' class. I suppose you could say that the 'Leaders' were typical Bullied locos ~ some very good ideas terminally overshadowed by a number of glaring flaws. One, in particular, has to be the use of sleeve valves. OK, so I can understand why he used them; it enabled him to fit three inside cylinders onto the power bogie and still be able to fit a fully enclosed body above the bogie and stay within the loading gauge. Pity it didn't work ...

Probably another driving factor relating to the use of inside cylinders has been mentioned already ~ reduced overhang. Inside cylinders can be mounted above the front driving axle, outisde cylinders have to go ahead of it. This is not a problem if you have a pony truck or similar, but otherwise leads to a substantial overhang. This, in turn, leads to rough riding. Consider the GWR 15xx class, the only 0-6-0 PT class built with outside cylinders. Notoriously rough riding at any speed.

Of course, this does not explain the use of inside cylinders on an 0-8-0 chassis.

And, thanks, PD, for the observations about plate frame cracking ~ I had overlooked that point. Though one should also bear in mind the use (in Victorian times) of 'Sandwich Frames' which were essentially two layers of iron plate with timber in between. The idea was that the extra flexibility would reduce the probability of cracking. From the fact that sandwich frames were not used in the 20th Century, one may infer that the idea was not that brilliant.

Of course, at the opposite extreme were the monolithic cast steel frames used by the later Beyer Garratts.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
The 0-8-0 classes that I can think of were all built as coal haulers, usually in succession to a series of big 0-6-0s. They were the logical next step.

With loose coupled freight trains adhesion weight is a factor both for getting the thing moving, and for braking. Basically all you had to stop with was the weight of the loco brakes and a twenty ton brake van on the rear. Rapid braking of any description resulted in a mess to clean up. Rapid acceleration before all the couplings were tight had the same result too.

The loose coupled freight train also influenced Western Regons decision to build some of its diesel hydraulics with a standard underframe negating the weight savings possible by using hydraulic in place of electric transmission.

Leading pony trucks for freight locomotives were only customary in the UK once fitted (with continuous brakes) freights became heavy enough to outgrow the 0-6-0 concept - usually in the Edwardian era. The Jones Goods 4-6-0 on the Highland Railway, the 28XX and the "Aberdare" 2-6-0 on the GWR, and the Fish Engine and Black Pig 4-6-0s on the GCR were all early examples of British locomotives with pony trucks or leading bogies for fast freight work. Unlike loose couple freights, the fitted freights were schedule for speeds of up to 50mph making a leading truck a neccessity on the larger locomotive. After 1914 most fitted freight work in Britain eventually ended up in the hands of 2-6-0, 4-6-0, and 2-8-0 locomotives with 5'3" or 5'8" driving wheels. The slower loose couple freights remained in the hands of 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 locomotives, though increasing tonnages eventually made small wheeled 2-8-0s very popular for the heaviest freights. The GWR, the GCR, and the LMS all developed very successful 2-8-0s for moving 1000 ton loose coupled freights. The GCR examples bought by the GWR were described as "the one hundred pound locomotive" because they were so cheap to maintain.

One note on frames. Although plate frames suffer from fatigue tracks, bar frame also have their faults. Bar frames tend to distort "out of square" unless very firmly braced, and need careful maintenance to avoid rough riding. The limited numbers of bar framed locomotives imported into the UK during the 1890s all had fairly short lives dues to rough riding, non-standard design, and their need for relative frequent maintenance. The American solution for frequent maintenance was to make everything easily accessible so that repairs could be make easily, quickly, and cheaply. This is very sensible given the nature of the American railway system, and the relatively limited supply of skilled labour.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:

It seems to me that American designers adopted leading trucks very early on in Railroad history ~ was that, as has been suggested, in deference to indifferent track quality? The presence of a leading truck tends to suppress the oscillations that British designers used inside cylinders to avoid. Because they had dealt with the oscillation problem, American designers decided that they didn't need the hassle of crank axles, so why use inside cylinders? Good thinking

In a word, yes.

There were a few really experimental early units, the Baltimore & Ohio's first loco come to mind, but by 1850 the 4-4-0 American was the standard locomotive in North America. The first railroads in the U.S. Northeast which later became the New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore & Ohio each replaced a parallel canal, and their traffic patterns and building histories look very British. Most other US and almost all the Canadian railroads, especially the Western ones were built with Land Grants. Track was built very quickly to meet a construction deadline to enable the railway to take possession of the land grants given to it in its charter by the government. The 4-4-0 with a leading truck allowed a locomotive to run over often poor track and/or tight curves at speed.

Many early roads were speculation when they started.

As Horseman Bree said, any road locomotive in North American had a least a 2-wheel leading truck.

In contrast to British practice, North American railroads tended to focus on better counterbalancing to minimize dynamic augment. The Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 J class were so perfectly counterbalanced that there is record of a J class being run at 79 mph (track speed) using only one side powered, the running gear on the other side having been wrecked in an accident. This was reported in TRAINS magazine but I don't have the issue to hand right now.

Another reason that leading trucks were used is that after 1870 all freight cars were fitted with Westinghouse air brakes and Janney knuckle couplers. The absolute economic imperative for car interchange means that all freight cars with some very, very rare exceptions meet common standards published by the Association of American Railroads. To North American eyes, the British habit of running unfitted trains with minimal braking behind underpowered locomotives is sheer madness.

In North America we load 'em up or run 'em fast, or both.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
One advantage to the American method of operation is that you did not have to cope with the loose coupled freight train. The blasted things were a relic of the early days when colleries provided their wagons and built them cheap. Although there were improvements over the years - like springs, sprung buffers, decent handbrakes - the average coal wagon was primitive. It was a four wheeler with a ten foot wheelbase holding 10 or 12 tons. Later, in the 1950s, the British Rail standard coal wagon was either a ten foot wheelbase wagon that held 16T, or a fifteen foot wheelbase wagon holding 24T. I do not recall either as having continuous brakes.

Various railways tried to introduce 24T, 30T and 40T bogie wagons - notably the GCR and the GWR. However, the colleries were set up for the 10 foot wheelbase ten ton wagon, so the new larger wagons were unpopular and ended up used either for locomotive coal, or for ballast. The mines also owned much of the wagon fleet which doubtless doubled their resistance to any attempt to introduce large bogie wagons for coal. With a major sector of the freight market resisting more modern equipment, the railways tended to tinker around with the basic 10 ton on four wheels format for the rest of the goods fleet.

As a kid in the early seventies I remember lines of loose coupled 16 ton coal wagons clanking along behind aging diesels delivering domestic coal. When British Rail decided to modernize the coal distribution network in the early 1980s very few coal merchants could afford to invest in the equipment necessary to handle the new 40T wagons. The result was that house coal went from rail to road transport.

Since the 1970s, all surviving freight traffic has migrated to either 228,000lb bogie wagons, or long wheelbase four wheelers of up to 114,000lbs. Air brakes have been standard since the 1970s. Even today freights have to be less than 1600 feet long, so as not to foul up the signalling system. This, together with the need to provide adequate power to keep out of the way of passenger trains keeps the maximum size of UK freight trains to between 2000 and 2500 tonnes. The Foster Yeoman aggregate trains can reach 2750 tonnes, but that is over the relatively level GWR main line from Taunton to Paddington. At present the heaviest oil trains out of Immingham are 22 TEAs, roughly 2255 tonnes behind a class 66, compared with 1989 when the largest trains were 12 TEAs, 1230 tonnes either single headed with a class 37 or 56, or double headed by a pair of 31s.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
PD, the great British loose-coupled freight train has a great deal to answer for, but the design of the WR D600 class, although in deference to loose-coupled freight, was no part of the WR Management plan ~ it was forced upon them by the British Transport Commission who held the purse strings.

The intention of WR management was to eliminate the loose-coupled, unbraked, freight train, which would make a heavy locomotive (purely for braking purposes) unnecessary. Hence their call for a 2200 hp locomotive weighing 80 tons (the D800 class). What they got was a 2000 hp locomotive weighing 117 tons (the D600's). This was because the BTC had not the foresight to accept that the unbraked freight was an annachronism and was designing 2000 hp diesel-electric locomotives weighing 133 tons (the D1's). The BTC's view was (approximately) "what's good enough for us is good enough for you", which led to the insistence upon a heavy-weight locomotive built on a strength underframe; the D600's. By contrast, the D800's used stressed-skin construction (as did the D1000's) to minimise weight.

What is hard to comprehend is why neither management had the foresight to abandon vacuum brakes in favour of air. Granted the Mark 1 carriage fleet argued in favour of vacuum brakes, but the Mark 2's, with air brakes, were just around the corner. The fact that the WR diesel-hydraulics presented major problems when conversion to air braking was required was a significant factor in their early demise.

That and the fact that BTC had never liked them in the first place.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
There were very few benefits from running loose coupled goods trains, but there was one.

This is that a small engine with sufficient power to keep one trundling along at 15 mph could get one into motion. The slack in the couplings meant that on starting the engine only had to overcome the inertia in the first five or so trucks. It then picked up the weight of the rest of the train once it was already moving. When stopping, it was important to make sure the trucks buffered up to each other so that all the couplings were hanging slack.

That is more of a problem on an incline where unless the guard got his braking right, on stopping the trucks would run back so that the couplings were stretched.

One thing which will puzzle non-UK enthusiasts is that there was a middle range of freights than ran partially fitted, with a fitted head of say 10 wagons, and the rest loose.

Incidentally, I've long suspected that the Jones Goods was influenced by the sort of thing the Scottish manufacturers were by then building for the colonial market.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
PD, the great British loose-coupled freight train has a great deal to answer for, but the design of the WR D600 class, although in deference to loose-coupled freight, was no part of the WR Management plan ~ it was forced upon them by the British Transport Commission who held the purse strings.

The intention of WR management was to eliminate the loose-coupled, unbraked, freight train, which would make a heavy locomotive (purely for braking purposes) unnecessary. Hence their call for a 2200 hp locomotive weighing 80 tons (the D800 class). What they got was a 2000 hp locomotive weighing 117 tons (the D600's). This was because the BTC had not the foresight to accept that the unbraked freight was an annachronism and was designing 2000 hp diesel-electric locomotives weighing 133 tons (the D1's). The BTC's view was (approximately) "what's good enough for us is good enough for you", which led to the insistence upon a heavy-weight locomotive built on a strength underframe; the D600's. By contrast, the D800's used stressed-skin construction (as did the D1000's) to minimise weight.

What is hard to comprehend is why neither management had the foresight to abandon vacuum brakes in favour of air. Granted the Mark 1 carriage fleet argued in favour of vacuum brakes, but the Mark 2's, with air brakes, were just around the corner. The fact that the WR diesel-hydraulics presented major problems when conversion to air braking was required was a significant factor in their early demise.

That and the fact that BTC had never liked them in the first place.

It is a comfort to know that the D600s were the BTC's fault, because otherwise the WR Diesel Hydraulics were reasonably successful - apart, that is, from the "half a D600" Bo-Bos built by NBL for local passenger and freight work.

I think British Rail's XP64 prototype was the first time they fitted a whole passenger train with air brakes. IIRC some early batches of the Mk2 fleet were ordered with either vacuum brakes or dual brake. The switch to air only came with Mk2b/c around 1966.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
PD, I don't know whether it is your 'bag' or not, but if you are interested in the WR diesel-hydraulics, "The Western's Hydraulics" by J.K.Lewis (ISBN 1-901945-54-5) makes interesting reading. Originally published in 1977, it is a reasonably thorough overview of WR traction policy in the late 1950's, the interaction with BTC (who were, it seems, interested in crushing the enterprise being shown by WR management) and the consequences.

One can say with reasonable assurance that the D600's and D6300's were all killed by the same problem: the MAN L12V18/21S engine. Reliability was always an issue.

Saying that, the Maybach-engined D1000's, D800's and D7000's didn't always fare much better, though the problem in their cases would seem to have had more to do with inadequate maintenance rather than intrinsic shortcomings to the engines themselves. It seems to me that the maintenance staff couldn't quite get their heads around the fact that they were running high-stress engines that needed just that little bit more attention than the big Sulzer engines in the D1's. They could have learned a few lessons from the guys who maintained the Deltics.

And all this from an avowed steam man. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:

Sorry, Zappa. How much chocolate do you need?

[Killing me]
Actually, to be honest, I'm remembering my late father - he died in 1974! - who lived for rail, resented electrics and diesels but still lived for rail. He was a Signal and Telecommunications engineer in Kenya and Ghana ... his eyes would light up when he saw a steam engine ... I was still a child, though when he died, and didn't grab the bug.

I'm sure there will be steam trains in heaven.* My own faint memories of locos pulling into some London station were memories of awe.

*And a celestial de-poluting device!
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:

I'm sure there will be steam trains in heaven.

Will be? Where do you think most of them are already?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Well, some designs were clearly unheavenly, especially when one considers the language used by the maintenance guys to describe them.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There were very few benefits from running loose coupled goods trains, but there was one.

This is that a small engine with sufficient power to keep one trundling along at 15 mph could get one into motion. The slack in the couplings meant that on starting the engine only had to overcome the inertia in the first five or so trucks. It then picked up the weight of the rest of the train once it was already moving. When stopping, it was important to make sure the trucks buffered up to each other so that all the couplings were hanging slack.

That is more of a problem on an incline where unless the guard got his braking right, on stopping the trucks would run back so that the couplings were stretched.

One thing which will puzzle non-UK enthusiasts is that there was a middle range of freights than ran partially fitted, with a fitted head of say 10 wagons, and the rest loose.

Incidentally, I've long suspected that the Jones Goods was influenced by the sort of thing the Scottish manufacturers were by then building for the colonial market.

Sorry, I don't see the benefit.

North American trains all have knuckle couplers with draft gear. The couplers provide a foot or so of slack, which can add up to 30% of the train length. This is how we manage to run such massive freight trains.

It's considered poor train handling to take up slack by braking the locomotive and not the train. Stretching the slack on startup generates an increasing force along the length of the train, and by the time the caboose started (when we still had cabooses) the conductor and trainmen could get knocked to the floor. Letting the Independent Brake take care of the train alone would make things very rough in the caboose. Proper handling is to brake the train using the train air brakes and take up slack on startup.

Passenger trains have reduced slack couplers for easier rides.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
PD, I don't know whether it is your 'bag' or not, but if you are interested in the WR diesel-hydraulics, "The Western's Hydraulics" by J.K.Lewis (ISBN 1-901945-54-5) makes interesting reading. Originally published in 1977, it is a reasonably thorough overview of WR traction policy in the late 1950's, the interaction with BTC (who were, it seems, interested in crushing the enterprise being shown by WR management) and the consequences.

One can say with reasonable assurance that the D600's and D6300's were all killed by the same problem: the MAN L12V18/21S engine. Reliability was always an issue.

Saying that, the Maybach-engined D1000's, D800's and D7000's didn't always fare much better, though the problem in their cases would seem to have had more to do with inadequate maintenance rather than intrinsic shortcomings to the engines themselves. It seems to me that the maintenance staff couldn't quite get their heads around the fact that they were running high-stress engines that needed just that little bit more attention than the big Sulzer engines in the D1's. They could have learned a few lessons from the guys who maintained the Deltics.

And all this from an avowed steam man. [Hot and Hormonal]

It is interesting to realize know that the WR got it right fairly early on with diesels. The horsepower outputs of the 1700hp "Hymeks", 2200hp "Warships" and 2700hp "Westerns" were more in line with the reality of rail operation once diesel replaced steam. The rest of BR piddled around with 1200hp and 2000hp units until the 37s and the 47s arrived in bulk in the late 60s!

The Irish also had an interesting time with modernisation. It is a little known fact that Bulleid planned the dieselisation of the CIE as their CME from 1950-58. Of course, he did tinker about with a peat burning version of Leader, but he also put together a modernization plan that replaced CIE patch work quilt of small classes of locomotives with three standard types of mainline locomotives and a railcar fleet.

The diesel railcars built with BUT and ACE equipment for secondary passenger services in the mid-1950s. Had two sets of gear combinations - one for suburban and local work that limited them to 45mph, and a second for express passener work that allowed them to run at up to 85mph.

The also commissioned three classes of mainline diesel.

Sixty "A" Class locomtives of 1200hp for express passenger and freight trains. These materialized from MetroVick as Co-Cos with a 1200hp Crossley engine.

The twelve slightly smaller Class Bs were kind of accidental, but were intended for less demanding mainline passenger and freight duties. These were a follow-on from two 915hp, Sulzer engined and Inchicore built machines that CIE produced c. 1950. CIE had bought additional Sulzer engines for an express locomotive project which had been abandoned. The redundant prime-movers were used as the basis of the 12 960hp A1A-A1As built by BRC&W. They had a remarkable mechanical similarity to the 1160hp Type 2s BRC&W built for British Railways.

Lastly there was the 34 locomotives of the C Class which were intended for branch line mixed trains and local freights. They arrived in the form of a 550hp Bo-Bo built by Metro-Vick which also bessed with Crossley engines.

Bullied avoided one bugbear of early British diesels by refusing to fit any of his with train heating boilers. The steam generators were consigned to a compartment in the four wheel luggage vans that accompanied the Park Royal stock built in the early 1950s. Thus they generators could not have their usual malign effect of locomotive availability.

After Bulleid retired things went badly pear-shaped. The "A" Class and the "C" Class were electrically sound, but the Crossley main engines were a disaster. Once they got some mileage on them they suffered a lot of fractures ranging from fuel and coolant pipes through to crank-cases. Tomake matters worse, the fleet of 600hp 0-6-0 transfer and shunting engines that were designed to replace steam on freight and transfer work turned out to be unsuitable for speeds over 25mph, even though they had been designed for 60mph. This left steam in charge of local freight for another few years.

The "B" Class was a modest success, but there was simply not enough of them togo around. The quick fix was to buy American with EMD road switchers in the form of the B121 and B141 classes. At 875hp these were approxiately the same size as the successful B101s.

The B121s allowed the elimination of steam on freight work, whilst the B141 class provided a cushion against the unreliability of the Metro-Vicks. The B181 initially took over local passenger work from the worn out railcar fleet, but were soon used in pairs on principle expresses as a replacement for the "A" class which then took over intermediate passenger duties. These three classes arrived in 1961-67.

CIE's dieselization was complete in 1963. The As and the Cs were eventually re-engined with EMD 645 series units and were totally transformed. The new power units in 34 "Cs" were of 1100hp and thus C201-C234 became B201-B234. They lasted until 1984/5, mainly on Dublin suburban trains. They were made redundant by the electrification of Howth to Bray service, and the arrival of the 071s. The bulk "A" Class soldiered on as freight and intermediate passenger locomotives until the early 1990s when they were withdrawn as life expired. The heaviest and fasted passenger trains had first been reassigned to pairs of B141/181, and then to the 2500hp 071 class that arrived in 1977/8. The "Bs" with their non standard Sulzer enines were withdrawn in the mid-70s, and were lined up at the back of Inchicore Works as a sound barrier for the neighbouring housing estate.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Is there any freight still moving on the rails in Ireland?

[ 04. October 2009, 11:13: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Not much, but there is some.

The Norfolk Line container trains operate 3/4 time a week between Waterford and Ballina reversing at Kildare.

When the bridge at Malahide has been repaired the Tara Mines trains from Tara Mine near Navan to Dublin (North Wall) should restart.

There is still some cement traffic out of both Drogheda and Limerick including a three times a week bulk cement train for Limerick to Waterford over the old WL&W mainline.

Last time I checked there was still some shale traffice between Silvermines (near Birdhills) and Limerick, but that may have gone by now.

Recent freight-flow casualities have been

Timber from Sligo and Westport to Waterford, which ceased in the summer of 2009, but may restart.
Palletized Keg Guinness (2007)
Fuel Oil between Dublin-Sligo (2007).

Given the short distances between a port and anywhere in Ireland it is very difficult for rail to compete. Ireland has what is essentially a local delivery orientated freight market. That said, there is enough freight traffic still around for Irish Rail to refurbish its fleet of sixteen Cl.071s and repaint them in the new grey and black freight sector livery.

On the other hand, some of the newer 201s have been stored in working order due to decline in the number of loco-hauled passenger workings. As far as I can work out the requirement now is for eight locomotives for the hourly Dublin-Cork service, and three for the Dublin-Belfast service, with perhaps five locomotive available for Thunderbird duties. This means about half the 201 fleet is unemployed.

PD
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Well, here's a picture to gladden the heart of any rail enthusiast!

And, FTR, there's at least one host enjoying this thread! I might not have the knowledge, or the enthusiasm, shown here - but I have always enjoyed looking at/riding behind steam locomotives. Most recent ride was on this line. Four hours of nostalgia and wonderful mountain scenery too...
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Nice picture, TonyK!

PD, since it obviously interests you, there's another book in my collection that might capture your attention: "Diesel Pioneers" by David N. Clough, ISBN 0-7110-3067-7. I bought it because it contains information on the Fell engine, No 10100, but it essentially traces the stories of all of the original Modernisation Plan diesels in this country, in other words, all the 1950's classes of Types 1, 2 and 4, plus 'Deltic', 'Falcon' 'DP2' and 'Lion'. From it I learned that the CIE 'Crossleys' were very closely related to the D5700's in this country, also variously known as 'Crossleys', 'Metro-Vicks' or 'Co-Bo's'. They also suffered exactly the same faults, with serious crankcase cracking of the engines. The curiosity of it is that the D5700's were not a facsimile copy of the CIE locomotives (on 6 axles) ~ why this should have been seems to be a mystery. Possibly BR were not prepared to pay for 6 axles if they could get by on 5?

A total of 20 were built during 1958 and 1959. One can gather a lot about their success rating from the fact that all had been withdrawn for scrapping by September 1968, although one survived as a carriage heater (!) until January 1980. Reputedly this one was ultimately acquired for preservation (D5705) ~ does anybody happen to know what has become of it?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
No idea where it is now, but it was lifeless in Swindon and visible from the main line for many years.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Nice picture, TonyK!

PD, since it obviously interests you, there's another book in my collection that might capture your attention: "Diesel Pioneers" by David N. Clough, ISBN 0-7110-3067-7. I bought it because it contains information on the Fell engine, No 10100, but it essentially traces the stories of all of the original Modernisation Plan diesels in this country, in other words, all the 1950's classes of Types 1, 2 and 4, plus 'Deltic', 'Falcon' 'DP2' and 'Lion'. From it I learned that the CIE 'Crossleys' were very closely related to the D5700's in this country, also variously known as 'Crossleys', 'Metro-Vicks' or 'Co-Bo's'. They also suffered exactly the same faults, with serious crankcase cracking of the engines. The curiosity of it is that the D5700's were not a facsimile copy of the CIE locomotives (on 6 axles) ~ why this should have been seems to be a mystery. Possibly BR were not prepared to pay for 6 axles if they could get by on 5?

The front design of the CIE locomotives was influenced by Bulleid. You'll see a certain family resemblance between the Cl. 70 electric locomotives and experimental diesels Bulleid built for the Southern and the CIE "A" and "C" classes. Another influence on the design was the relatively low axle loadings permitted on some Irish branchlines lines. IIRC the "A" class had a maximum axle load around 14T.

British Railways did not need to be anywhere near so restrictive. The 1200hp Crossley engine with all the attendant electrical gear was a little too heavy for a four axle locomotives. However, why Metro-Vick went for the assymetrical arrangement rather than build a light axleload Co-Co I cannot speculate.

So why did the CIE rebuild its Crossley locomotives, rather than replace them as BR did? The "A" and "C" classes were a major chunk of CIE's fleet there was therefore an incentive to try and sort them out. The electrical side was sound, so what they needed was a prime mover that did not crank-up or catch fire.

CIE initially tried a Maybach engine in a couple of the "C" class, which was better, but still not good. Eventually, after a certain amount of arm twisting, CIE got EMD to sell them enough 8- and 12-cylinder 645 series engines to rebuild the "A" and the "C" classes. The rebuilt locomotives were almost as reliable of the CIE GM fleet. The re-engined "A" handled most long distance passenger trains in the 1970s and early 1980s, and again between 1989-1994 when CIE figured out that double heading with 121/141 locomotives was an expensive way of running a railway. Most of the rebuilt "As" were governed down to 1360hp though theoretically they could produce 1650hp. The "Cs"
had their horsepower doubled to 1100 by rebuilding, and they became the mainstay of Dublin suburban trains after the railcars were de-engined and turned into push-pull sets.

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Waiting for the one passenger train of the day recently, I was somewhat startled to see the local switch run out the few industries east of town come by with TWO 4400 HP locomotives hauling exactly TWO cars of scrap.

CN has been trying very hard to become a low-operating-cost line, which has meant clearing out every bit of old stuff, so there are, apparently, no switch locomotives left. But this seems like a bit of overkill.

Of course, management would like everything to be containerised and have all local work done by truck. TBF, they are dropping/picking up literally hundreds of boxes in Moncton for the 600 miles or more to Montreal, and then onward. The number of cars to be shunted dropped off enough that the hump has been gone for many years, leaving the "new" yard (only 40 years old) a weed-grown desert.

Train lengths are up, too - typically 6000 to 8000 feet but often more. Kind of interesting for the engineer to consider that his train is actually going in several various directions at the same time.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
A company I used to work for was persuaded to switch to piggypack trailers to ship electrical transformers to BC. It was cheaper that way.

Local switching has been in terminal decline (no pun intended) for forty years now. In Peterborough only Quaker Oats, Canada Malt and GE ship by carload anymore. Quaker receives hoppers full of raw materials. The boxcar is looking increasingly to be a thing of the past. Which maybe a good thing, as it seems intermodal is better for everybody.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TonyK:
Well, here's a picture to gladden the heart of any rail enthusiast!

Yes indeed!

However, the caption describes Tornado as the first steam locomotive to have been built in Britain for fifty years. Surely that's not quite true?

'Norfolk Hero', on the Wells & Walsingham Railway (a 10 1/4 gauge 2-6-0+0-6-2 Garrett, no less!) was built in 1986. It was designed in Britian and presumably built there too.

http://www.wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk/

I bet there are a few others....
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Presumably either "mainline" or "standard gauge" was supposed to be included.

Obviously, there have a significant number of...what's the polite term?...miniature? narrow gauge? locomotives built by individuals over the years.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
this thread exists just to torture hosts, doesn't it?

be honest, you aren't really discussing anything, just talking gibberish and giggling behind your hands imagining us turning our heads one way, then the other, like a dog watching Rocky the Flying Squirrel on TV.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
this thread exists just to torture hosts, doesn't it?

be honest, you aren't really discussing anything, just talking gibberish and giggling behind your hands imagining us turning our heads one way, then the other, like a dog watching Rocky the Flying Squirrel on TV.

It amuses us as much as others are enthralled by threads on whisky/whiskey, beer and wine, or those on X Factor, Pop Idol and Strictly Come Gardening On Ice or whatever it is this week.

Comparisons about tractive effort and the merits of Swindon's front-end design against Doncaster's variations are no more esoteric than your average post in Ecclesiantics. And +Eric Treacy was a noted railway photographer: heck, railway modelling used to be the done thing amongst Anglican clergy!
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Strictly Come Gardening On Ice

careful or someone will steal your idea!

[Killing me]

[eta: to be fair, I think that last "enthusiast" thread I started was on soap. so by all means, carry on!]

[ 05. October 2009, 17:57: Message edited by: comet ]
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
....heck, railway modelling used to be the done thing amongst Anglican clergy!

When they got home from their masonic lodges (see thread in Hell) [Devil]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
+Eric Treacy was a noted railway photographer

So much so that he met his Maker on the platform of Appleby station.

But this thread is seriously weird. I like trains and might have even dared (once) call myself an 'enthusiast': but I've not come across anything in Ecclesiantics quite so determinedly jargon-filled and impenetrable to outsiders as this. I suppose it depends where you're coming from though.

But don't let me stop the fun.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Comet, would you feel any better about this if I told you there was an engine called Comet, and also an express called 'the Comet'? The engine was 45735 and was one of only two Jubilees rebuilt with 7P boilers. The express ran from London to Manchester.

Not many people know that, and it's evidence of serious insanity to want to.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
[Yipee]

I dont know what that all means, but it sounds good!
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
a picture of one of the trains he is talking about.

Jengie
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
quote:
+Eric Treacy was a noted railway photographer ...
and the Thomas the Tank Engine books were written by an Anglican clergyman, who set them in Sodor, the less visible part of the Diocese of Sodor and Man.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Comet, would you feel any better about this if I told you there was an engine called Comet, and also an express called 'the Comet'? The engine was 45735 and was one of only two Jubilees rebuilt with 7P boilers. The express ran from London to Manchester.

Not many people know that, and it's evidence of serious insanity to want to.

Also 5735 'Comet' (and her sister 'Phoenix') were, along with several other 'Jubilees', named after very early steam locos, I think from the London & Birmingham Railway (and the Liverpool & Manchester).

We've had some good stuff on Irish diesels. What about Irish steam? Anyone else a fan of the three B1a 4-6-0s? Very Like the rebuilt 'Jubilees' or 'Scots' to look at, except their boilers weren't actually tapered, but the boiler cladding was built up to achieve that look. I'd love to see the preserved No. 800 'Meadhbh' blasting out of Cork bound for Dublin but alas! this is unliklely to ever happen again! [Waterworks]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Tangential question: How does one sound out the "dhbh" of "Maedhbh"? And why does it work that way?

It looks like a rather rude noise made by a small boy.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Her name is pronounced "Mave" and usually rendered Maeve in English. All steam locomotives are female, like ships. In this respect the Rev Awdry was wrong.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Her name is pronounced "Mave" and usually rendered Maeve in English. All steam locomotives are female, like ships. In this respect the Rev Awdry was wrong.

Maeve is a part Anglicized version of the name. IIRC the Irish alphabet does not have 'v' among its characters.

The three members B1a class were built for the Dublin-Cork mail trains just before WWII. I seem to remember reading that the top brass at GSR wanted to accelerate the Cork Mail to three shours for a 165.5 mile run. This needed something with a lot more power than the existing GSR 4-6-0 hence the construction of the three B1as. They only had one or two seasons to show what they were made of, and they proved to be very competant locomotives. However, conditions during "the Emergency" and in the Fuel Crisis of 1945-48 did not allow them to show their paces, and by 1950 (the first real post-War season) dieselisation had started. 800-802 were therefore left to lug the heavy, but now much slower, mail trains between Dublin and Cork.

Another interesting pair of designs for an Irish railway were the GNR "Compounds"of 1932 and their three cylinder simple cousins built in 1948. The latter were the last 4-4-0s built for mainline running in the UK and Ireland. Both classes were very fast and reliable runners with the pre-1939 Dublin to Belfast expresses - with three stops - taking about 2hrs and 15 mins. This was similar to the timings offered by NIR/CIE on the Enterprise service before the Dublin to Dundalk section was upgraded in the mid 1990s. After WW2 with the track in worse shape and heavier loads, the best Dublin-Belfast timing was 135 minutes on the non-stop "Enterprise."

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The post about Irish train speeds jogged my memory to remind me that I have a 1944 timetable (the "Official Guide of the Railways" for North merica, no less!)

At that time, the Maritimes, particularly the ports, were a big deal on CN, since everything going overseas went through those ports in winter, when the St. Lawrence froze. But still only three through trains a day, each way, with extra sections for overloads. (Not to mention all the freights and extras like troop trains)

Typically 5 hours for 187 miles, Moncton to Campbellton (4h50m for one), with 4 stops, including one for coal and water. BUT this is with at least 12 cars, and up to 18, or 1000 to 1500 tons, and the loco had to provide steam heat at -20.

AND on single track with passing sidings. Passenger trains took precedence over freight, and westbound over eastbound. But the speed differential couldn't be too high.

It actually says a lot that the stopping train, that did all the mail and parcels for the other 19 stations on the way only took 2 hours longer!

The fact that the present-day one-train-a-day Ocean Limited service does the run in 4h30min, using diesels with twice the horsepower of the 4-8-4s and second-hand Nightstar stock, indicates how little anyone cares about passenger rail here.
 
Posted by Strangely Warmed (# 13188) on :
 
quote:
I've not come across anything in Ecclesiantics quite so determinedly jargon-filled and impenetrable to outsiders as this.
I've long maintained that Anglo-Catholicism is the ecclesiastical equivalent of train-spotting. I mean that in the very nicest possible way, as a devotee of both.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Strangely Warmed:
quote:
I've not come across anything in Ecclesiantics quite so determinedly jargon-filled and impenetrable to outsiders as this.
I've long maintained that Anglo-Catholicism is the ecclesiastical equivalent of train-spotting. I mean that in the very nicest possible way, as a devotee of both.
Well quite. I'd defy anyone to tell the difference (assuming they swapped costumes) between the volunteer crew of a preserved steam railway and a branch of the Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary. Actually, it could well be the same people. [Biased]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I know of at least one United Church of Canada minister who was buried with a model of Canadian Pacific diesel in his casket. He was a good friend of mine.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
The post about Irish train speeds jogged my memory to remind me that I have a 1944 timetable (the "Official Guide of the Railways" for North merica, no less!)

At that time, the Maritimes, particularly the ports, were a big deal on CN, since everything going overseas went through those ports in winter, when the St. Lawrence froze. But still only three through trains a day, each way, with extra sections for overloads. (Not to mention all the freights and extras like troop trains)

Typically 5 hours for 187 miles, Moncton to Campbellton (4h50m for one), with 4 stops, including one for coal and water. BUT this is with at least 12 cars, and up to 18, or 1000 to 1500 tons, and the loco had to provide steam heat at -20.

AND on single track with passing sidings. Passenger trains took precedence over freight, and westbound over eastbound. But the speed differential couldn't be too high.

It actually says a lot that the stopping train, that did all the mail and parcels for the other 19 stations on the way only took 2 hours longer!

The fact that the present-day one-train-a-day Ocean Limited service does the run in 4h30min, using diesels with twice the horsepower of the 4-8-4s and second-hand Nightstar stock, indicates how little anyone cares about passenger rail here.

Somewhere around 40mph seems to be the international average for traditionally worked single track railways. CTC/Track Circuit Block does speed things up quite a bit if there is not too much freight traffic around. The Amtrak service between Bakersfield and Oakland manages to average around 50 mph on the single track, CTC controlled BNSF mainline. This is comparible to what Irish Rail manages on the largely single track and CTC controlled routes to Galway and Westport. In both cases the relative or total absence of slow freight traffic assists average speeds. There is little or no freight to Westport and Galway, and BNSF seems to despatch the slow stuff overnight between Oakland and Bakersfield. In daylight hours the line seems to be home to only intermodal trains and Amtrak.

On double track lines you are not messing around waiting to make meets (cross trains coming the other way). This makes other (slower) traffic, line speed, curvature and the other physical characteristics of the route the main determining factor of average speeds.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Typically 5 hours for 187 miles, Moncton to Campbellton (4h50m for one), with 4 stops, including one for coal and water. BUT this is with at least 12 cars, and up to 18, or 1000 to 1500 tons, and the loco had to provide steam heat at -20.

That's a very good timing for steam on single track without troughs. UK comparables are a bit difficult as main lines were only single track in hilly areas.

Typically, though, looking at a 1950s timetable (it says something about a person's sadness quotient that they should have access to such a thing) with tablet catchers but without CTC or train orders, boat trains were allowed 1 hr 6 minutes north and slightly longer going south for the 38 miles from Stranraer to Girvan, and a minimum of 2 hours for the 73 miles from Dumfries to Stranraer. The Pines on weekdays was allowed 2 hrs 8 minutes for the 71.5 miles from Bath to Bournemouth but with 4 stops and some sections of double track. That included 57 minutes for the 26.5 miles from Bath to Evercreech Junction which included a really horrible climb. All three of those routes were hilly but might just about have been done with a full tank of water.

All of these are trains that other trains waited for at passing loops.

I didn't bother to check the Highland main line from Perth to Inverness because not only did it have two major summits, but even the expresses stopped everywhere.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Oh dear. My arcanicity seems to have reduced this thread to silence. Would it get anything going again, or arouse any interest if I mentioned that the Jubilees (see above) included sets of engines named after the provinces of Canada, the states of Australia and a lot of interesting princely states in India? Also, some famous admirals, sea battles and ships.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I've just come across this image on a new (to me) site.

It shows the Ocean Limited on the line I was discussing.

Incidental note, going back a page or so: I notice it is running lightly, so that the steam is not jetting up strongly, but there doesn't seem to be much issue with smoke drifting low, despite the feedwater heater ahead of the stack. I've seen more drift on locos with deflectors. This one shows that the deflectors do help.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Gasp.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Oh dear. My arcanicity seems to have reduced this thread to silence. Would it get anything going again, or arouse any interest if I mentioned that the Jubilees (see above) included sets of engines named after the provinces of Canada, the states of Australia and a lot of interesting princely states in India? Also, some famous admirals, sea battles and ships.

OK then, what is everyone’s favourite locomotive name (steam diesel and electric allowed)? And say why.

Mine is ‘Green Arrow’ (V2 No. 4771). It suggests speed and sounds great, and of course the loco spent most of its life in green livery (LNER apple green being of course the best livery it carried).

Runner up would probably be ‘Wolf of Badenoch’ (name carried by a P2 2-8-2, which was rebuilt as an A2/2 ‘Pacific’, then carried many years later by a Class ‘87’ electric). It sounds so evocative, and very Scottish.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
If you want evocative Scottish names carried by locomotives then the NBR 4-4-0's of the D29 and D30 classes, which carried names of characters in Sir Walter Scott's novels are fine examples.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Enoch: was the "gasp" for the impressive coal smoke display, or something else?
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
If you want evocative Scottish names carried by locomotives then the NBR 4-4-0's of the D29 and D30 classes, which carried names of characters in Sir Walter Scott's novels are fine examples.

Yes, some great names there, e.g. 'Cuddie Headrigg'! I like the NBR 4-4-0s - I wish 'Glen Douglas' would be returned to working order.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
It was an expression of general admiration.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
It was an expression of general admiration.

Indeed. You don't often see a hedge balanced on a locomotive (that's what it looks like to me).

[ 08. October 2009, 13:07: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
People tend not to remember just how smoky and generally dirty it was to have everything moved by burning coal.

When you're working an open throttle, it is all too easy to have some of the small stuff lifted off the grate by the draft. I'm not sure how quickly one could adjust the coal feed from the stoker if you got the balance wrong, getting the kind of smoke you see in that picture. (I've only hand-fired small engines with grates of about 24 sq. ft. on a short tourist line) I'm quite sure that there was enough coal around on an 84-sq.ft. grate to give that kind of cloud for a significant amount of time, particularly if one accelerated suddenly from coasting. And, on a warm day, the steam wouldn't be visible to mask the smoke.

Tangent: Up to the 1960's, ladies wore white gloves to show they were "dressed up". But once we got rid of coal-fired trains, and home heating changed to relatively clean fuels, everyone was "clean" all the time, so white gloves didn't matter any longer (or, at least, not as much)
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
I've just come across this image on a new (to me) site.

It shows the Ocean Limited on the line I was discussing.

Incidental note, going back a page or so: I notice it is running lightly, so that the steam is not jetting up strongly, but there doesn't seem to be much issue with smoke drifting low, despite the feedwater heater ahead of the stack. I've seen more drift on locos with deflectors. This one shows that the deflectors do help.

Beautiful. The train has just passed my old house, the Campbellton Manse. [Smile] [Axe murder]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I always thought that the North British Railway had some interesting locomotive names. A real mix of history, Sir Walter Scott, and local interest. They also built some extremely good looking Atlantics for their stretch of the ECML none of which - unfortunately - survived into preservation.

The Highland Railway used to have fun with names as well.

The GWR built some extremely handsome locomotives, but got into a rut on the names after 1914. The Saints and the Stars had an interesting variety, but when it got to the Castles, Halls, Granges, and Manors, the system was taking over. One of the last batch of Halls - admittedly completed after nationalization - ended up as "Burton Agnes Hall" which is in the East Riding of Yorkshire - a long way from GWR territory!

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Or the non-existent Welsh one, Bwgyr Hall.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Ahem. Individual North American locomotives typically don't have names.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Sorry to backtrack ~ been away for a few days with no computer access ~ PD, on the subject of the BR D5700's, I think the main reason that BR scrapped rather than re-engine was down to the small number of locomotives involved, and the decision to reduce the number of "non-standard" classes. On a number of heads the D5700's could be deemed "non-standard" which made them easy candidates for elimination. I think that their Irish equivalents were built in sufficient numbers to make it uneconomic to simply scrap them, hence the decision to rebuild.

On the subject of locomotives names, has anybody come across "Bachelor's Button"? I believe that name was carried by an LNER A3 pacific, presumably named after a racehorse, as many of them were. The name appeals because of its apparent eccentricity ~ if you don't know about the racehorse connection, many LNER names seem very odd indeed (how about "Grand Parade", another A3?).
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Ahem, ahem. With the notable exception of the Dominion Atlantic, which ransacked the list of names associated with the story of Evangeline for their locos in the steam era.

The list is here Note that the locomotives pre-CP tended to have names of local significance (places, people), while the CP era gave names from the story of Evangeline.

An interesting case of a British-financed railway built in Loyalist territory using the names and story of the group that the British invaders (abetted by the intolerant Yankees) expelled forcibly to romanticise and sell a tourist operation. (Not that the Acadians were actually on display in that operation!)

They get serious credit for making Nova Scotia a well-known tourism destination, aided later by displaced Scot Alexander Graham Bell and his connections to the National Geographic magazine.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Dallernwr,

I think you'll find that Batchelor's Button is the common name given to a small flower, which was often used as a buttonhole flower. Many days have passed since then.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Sorry to backtrack ~ been away for a few days with no computer access ~ PD, on the subject of the BR D5700's, I think the main reason that BR scrapped rather than re-engine was down to the small number of locomotives involved, and the decision to reduce the number of "non-standard" classes. On a number of heads the D5700's could be deemed "non-standard" which made them easy candidates for elimination. I think that their Irish equivalents were built in sufficient numbers to make it uneconomic to simply scrap them, hence the decision to rebuild.

I think you'll find that I tacitly acknowledged that fact when I wrote:

"The A and C classes were a major chunk of CIE's fleet; there was therefore an incentive to try and sort them out."

The clear implication of that sentence is that that the BR Metro-Vicks were not similarly circumstanced and warranting a sort out.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Fair point, PD ~ apologies for missing the obvious. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
... On the subject of locomotives names, has anybody come across "Bachelor's Button"? I believe that name was carried by an LNER A3 pacific, presumably named after a racehorse, as many of them were. The name appeals because of its apparent eccentricity ~ if you don't know about the racehorse connection, many LNER names seem very odd indeed (how about "Grand Parade", another A3?).

My favourite A3 name is 'Royal Lancer' (BR no. 60107). There was also 'Robert the Devil' (60110). And there was 'Gay Crusader' (60108). But we don't want to get into Dead (Race)Horses territory!!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Even allowing for my GWR preference, I found the names of the LNER B1s a bit mystifying, until I worked out that there was a schoolteacher thing going on: obviously locospotters should learn the names of 40 diferent species of antelope

But then how to explain the presence of "Ralph Assheton" (1036) in the midst of these four-footed lion foodstuffs?

The further addition of 17 more LNER directors just complicated things more: why should people who are being booted out of office get to have their names driven all over the country?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
While on the subject of Members of the Board of Directors getting their names on engines, there is a slightly wicked story about C.B. Collett, with his known socialist sympathies. It seems that one of the GWR board (an Earl) was keen to have his name on an engine, so Collett complied by telling said distinguished gentleman that his name could indeed appear on the latest class of locomotive to emerge from Swindon, along with a range of other distinguished Earls.

What Collett conveniently omitted to tell our self-satisfied (and no doubt delighted) Earl was that the "latest class to emerge from Swindon" was by no means a new locomotive being, in fact, an amalgamation of two Victorian classes, using components from scrapped "Duke" and "Bulldog" locomotives to produce an outside-framed 4-4-0 for use on the ex-Cambrian Railway network ~ a class of locomotive that, in spite of emerging from Swindon in the mid 1930's, was very obviously Victorian.

It is said that the Earl in question was so irritated by what transpired that he managed to get the names removed from the 'Duke-dog' class locomotives, to re-appear on run-of-the-mill Castles coming from Swindon under the standard building program. It seems that Collett was highly amused by the whole business.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I reckon Peter Poundtext, another D30, is a striking name. I wish I'd remembered it when I'd been choosing my own handle for this site. Or, how about from the Scottish Directors, Baillie MacWheeble. And who was Butler Henderson? Well done thou good and faithful servant.

It's not just the LNER. Who were E Tootal Broadhurst, and E C Trench? And from the GWR, Hyacinth, Marigold and Primrose don't quite convey the majesty of the mighty iron road.

I've heard it alleged that for some of the more obscure personal names, directors and such like, that they were people named after engines.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
[Utter Tangent]

We've overtaken the Beer and Ale thread (289 vs 281).

Just thought I should mention that in case any Hostly types consider that railway matters are of insufficient interest to attract postings ... [Big Grin]

[/Utter Tangent]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
While on the subject of Members of the Board of Directors getting their names on engines, there is a slightly wicked story about C.B. Collett, with his known socialist sympathies. It seems that one of the GWR board (an Earl) was keen to have his name on an engine, so Collett complied by telling said distinguished gentleman that his name could indeed appear on the latest class of locomotive to emerge from Swindon, along with a range of other distinguished Earls.

What Collett conveniently omitted to tell our self-satisfied (and no doubt delighted) Earl was that the "latest class to emerge from Swindon" was by no means a new locomotive being, in fact, an amalgamation of two Victorian classes, using components from scrapped "Duke" and "Bulldog" locomotives to produce an outside-framed 4-4-0 for use on the ex-Cambrian Railway network ~ a class of locomotive that, in spite of emerging from Swindon in the mid 1930's, was very obviously Victorian.

It is said that the Earl in question was so irritated by what transpired that he managed to get the names removed from the 'Duke-dog' class locomotives, to re-appear on run-of-the-mill Castles coming from Swindon under the standard building program. It seems that Collett was highly amused by the whole business.

Is this one of the Earl's in question?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Yes.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Butler Henderson is Robinson's D11 class for the GCR which were known as Directors. The first two batches had the names of various important fgure associated with the GCR. The final batch, built for the Scottish lines of the LNER with cut down boiler mountings lapsed into "Sir Walter Scottishness."

One of the little puzzles about J. G. Robinson is that he built some very fine 4-4-0s and 4-4-2s, but his 4-6-0s varied between medicore and poor. I suspect that with the 4-4-0s he hit on a successful formular whilst still at the Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway and stuck with it. His 4-4-2s had well laid out front ends and deep fireboxs, so nothing to inhibit free steaming there either.

His 4-6-0s all had something slightly wrong with them. In the case of the "Sir Sams" (B2) it was a shallow firebox that made them poor steamers. This meant that in terms of sustained output the 4-4-0 Directors were probably the stronger engines. For obvious reasons, the "Sir Sams" were favoured on the Woodhead Route because of their higher adhesion factor. The Black Pig (B9) four cylinder mixed traffic class had a decent boiler but convoluted exhaust steam passages making them "tight" in the front end. A tight front end in a steam locomotive means that exhaust steam does not flow rapidly enough from cylinders to exhaust. This is usually the result of poorly designed steam passages, and can be made worse by short travel valves of inadequate diameter. This "tightness" results in high coal consumption, and - at higher speeds - a loss of power.

Robinson's four cylinder 4-6-0s seem have had large enough ports, but they had short travel valves, and the steam passages were sometimes a bit convoluted. This compounded the problems created by the long narrow firebox and shallow ashpans of most of his 4-6-0s.

Far be it from me to suggest that the GWR's 4-6-0s were less than perfect, but they were sensitive to poor coal partly due to the design of the ashpans and mainly due to the design of their blastpipes. As the GWR had easy access to Welsh steam coal they rarely had to deal with the problems caused by poor coal before WW2. Hawksworth, the last CME of the GWR carried out some very successful experiments with blastpipes 1943-1947 which largely cured the problem.

Oddly, the Robinson 2-8-0s on the GWR (30xx/RODs) had a reputation for being able to burn anything and still get the job done. Mind you at 25mph coal sensitivity is less of an issue. GWR crews alternately loved and hated the Robinson 2-8-0s. The love side came from the fact they always got you home, and were not fussy about fuel. The hate came from the fact that riding one was like standing on top of a spin drier, and the fact the fireman never got to use the seat that JGR had thoughtfully provided!

PD
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
[Utter Tangent]

We've overtaken the Beer and Ale thread (289 vs 281).

Just thought I should mention that in case any Hostly types consider that railway matters are of insufficient interest to attract postings ... [Big Grin]

[/Utter Tangent]

Oh, we've noted the postings and interest! [Razz]

It's just the foreign language y'all speak.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Away from the GWR, until the 1920s a lot of CMEs seem to have problems designing a decent 4-6-0. The GCR ones weren't as effective as the Directors. Cardean looked impressive, but it is said was not really much more effective than the 4-4-0s that worked most of the trains. The Claughtons were very touchy and difficult to get the best out of and the original LYR 4-6-0s, rather than the later Hughes version I believe were pretty well useless. Likewise, Drummond's lumbering monstrosities.

I've heard it alleged that for most purposes even the small LNWR ones were less effective than the George Vs. I've got a theory that too many of them may have been a 4-4-0 with a 4-4-0 firebox and an elongated boiler. So the heating surface was too much tubes and not enough the back and top of the firebox. So you get a big boiler, more water and not enough direct contact between heat and water to generate steam fast enough.

There should be less of a problem with an Atlantic as there's more room underneath and to the side of the firebox and less temptation just to elongate a 4-4-0 boiler.

It's also possible, but this is heresy, that the Compounds might have owed their success not to compounding (they had old fashioned valve travel) but to the size of their fireboxes.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I can see where you are coming from with that. Robinson certainly tinkered with the design of the boilers on his 4-6-0s and they were only indifferent, not completely hopeless. They did, after all, last until 1947-50. My Grandad remembers them working local services in Northern Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire in the late 40s before the Thompson B1s arrived.

For the larger Robinson 4-6-0's weakness seems to have been valve gear. Gresley rebuilt a couple of them with Caprotti valves in the 1930s and their fuel consumption dropped 16-18%. The Imminghams, and the Fish Engines (two outside cylinders) seem to have been successful if heavy on coal. Least said soonest mended on the Sir Sams.

Oddly, the one railway other than the GWR that had 4-6-0s figured out was The Highland Railway. The Jones Goods (1895) had a larger than normal firebox and plenty of large diameter tubes. The "Rivers" and the "Clans" also seem to have avoided being "stretched 4-4-0s." However, there is a caveat. The Highland 4-6-0s were designed for lugging not running running. I doubt if any of them ever hit 60 mph other than going down hill. This means their front end design was never really tested to the full.

The Midland Compounds were also "luggers." According to O.S. Nock they did their best work with heavy trains timed at 50 to 55mph. The Leeds/Bradford - Carlisle, Derby - Bristol, and Derby - Manchester mainlines were happy hunting grounds for them; less so the southern portion MML (St Pancras to Sheffield) where their weakness at higher speeds would be exposed. A definite plus for them on the more steeply graded routes was the fact that they could be started as three cylinder simples then switched to compound expansion as speed picked up. High strating tractive effort is a definite plus on the S & C!!!

I have a strong suspicion that prior to about 1925 the fact that the Midland Compounds were not happy at high speed did not really matter. St Pancras - Leeds was timed to about four hours for 198 miles with four stops. This required the Compounds to run mile after mile at 55mph which was something they could do very efficiently.

What really exposed the Midland Compound's one weakness was the acceleration of services on the LNW and Midland Mainlines after 1925. At 60mph plus their tendancy not to clear exhaust steam fast enough would show itself. The GNR(I) produced a long travel valve version of the Midland Compound front end for their V class 4-4-0s for the Dublin-Belfast mail trains in 1932. They proved to be capable locomotives, regularly topping 75mph. The one area that did give trouble - the boiler - was one area were they did not follow Deeley's design. After WWII they received Belpair fireboxes which eliminated their tendancy to wolf coal at high speed with loads of 300 tons plus.

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The problem with the Ten-Wheelers was that Churchward had done his homework before 1906 in getting a good proportion for the draughting, particularly in the blast-pipe and smokebox, and in getting appropriate piston-valve arrangements BUT none of the other designers would take the research seriously.

Even something as simple as making a proper smokebox (a cylinder mounted on a saddle rather than the wrapper smokebox that leaked and cracked) wasn't tried on most other lines for another twenty years.

Getting the boiler and valves right first, and then putting them on various wheel arrangements, made more sense than fiddling around with incompetent boilers and poor valves, however pretty the locomotives may have been.

The fact that Churchward didn't have enough superheat at first didn't matter much until after 1945, and then it was fairly easy to increase the superheat and double the chimneys, and the Swindon products were back at the top of the heap again - with designs that were already forty years old!

If Churchward had gone to Walschaerts motion in 1906, he'd have had the Black Five and the B1 sorted out before WW1.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Churchward was one of the few English engineers who could take De Glenn seriously, and had the brains to sort the wheat from the chaff. There was no secret to the formular - long travel piston valves, moderately high boiler pressures, unobstructed steam passages. The catch was that other engineers tended to be too pragmatic. For example, Ivatt, Worsdell, and Robinson all used piston valves on some of their locomotives, but retained short travel thus loosing much of the benefit of the technology. OTOH, Robinson cottoned on to the advantages of superheating faster than most.

Frankly, most British railways did not worry too much about coal consumption until the 1920s provided one bloke could shovel enough to feed the beast. The GCR Atlantics managed about 40lbs/mile on express workings - high by later standards, but not bad for a locomotive with no superheater and slide valves. Undoubtedly long travel piston valves and superheaters would have improved their fuel consumption, but for a railway that straddled the South Yorkshire coalfield that probably was not a high priority in 1904-6. Certainly the later superheated and compound varieties of Robinson Atlantic used less coal.

As I have said before the GWR had got themselves about 25 years ahead of the curve when it came to express passenger locomotives. However, some of their key concepts - such as the four cyclinder simple express locomotive - were of limited use on railways with tighter loading gauges than that of the GWR. Robinson would probably have been better off experimenting with three cylinder simple 4-6-0s than the four cylinder designs Gorton built just before and after the Great War.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I think it was Prof. W.A. Tuplin that suggested that the principal problem to be overcome with a 4-6-0 (as opposed to a 4-4-0) was where to put the ashpan.

With a 4-4-0, the position of the firebox, and therefore the ashpan, is simple enough; you just drop it between the coupled axles, which makes giving the ashpan sufficient depth not to strangle the fire easy enough. On a 4-6-0 designers tended to put the firebox above the trailing coupled axle, which led to them adopting very shallow ashpans to clear the axle. Tuplin pointed out that the function of the ashpan was more than just the collection of ashes ~ it was also to control the air supply to the fire. In the early part of the century, only the GWR seem to have understood this and allowed a deep ashpan by wrapping it around the axle, and adopting 4 dampers rather than the more usual 2. This guaranteed a satisfactory supply of air to the fire under all normal running conditions on the GWR, ie, no more than 240 miles non-stop.

Breathing was also a contributory factor. The one Churchward boiler that never worked well was that installed on "The Great Bear", his only Pacific. From memory, the tube length was something like 23 feet. Unfortunately I cannot remember the bore, but the evidence was that the boiler did not breath freely and hence was never an entirely satisfactory steamer.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Darllenwyr is absolutely right about Tuplin, who suggested that the poor performance of several early 4-6-0s ,such as the "Experiments" on the LNWR, was also due to firemen not really knowing how to cope with a longer, shallower firebox. On the "Precursors" they had just basically dumped in the coal, but the 4-6-0s were more choosy!

Tuplin also suggests that even BR's last locos, the 9Fs, did not have sufficient ashpan air. As is well known, they could run at up to 90 mph, which had not been anticipated (but suggests good clearance of steam through the passages). This was far faster than they needed to run in normal service, and Tuplin's view is that, had this outstanding performance been known before they were built, the 9Fs could have been fitted with 4'6" drivers instead of 5', which would have allowed for a better ashpan design.

Of course, by this time L.D. Porta in Argentina was experimenting with his radically different "producer gas" system whioch very carefully regulated the ingress of air into the firebox. This gave excellent combustion and efficiency (no more "hedges" along the tops of biolers!) but one wonders if it might have been too complex for the hurly-burly of ordinary life. I believe the South Africans had some Porta-system locomotives: does anyone know what they were like in service?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Good Heavens! I was citing Tuplin in the first place (so I should give the credit!) Although, as a GWR fan, I would prefer to publicise Churchward, wouldn't I?

I'm afraid that I can't see much "beauty" in most of the 4-4-0s, largely because the front ends were so gaunt and top-heavy with no cylinder mass visible. Sort of like trying to run with your elbows tied to your sides.

There were excellent reasons for the fact that most of the world (including the GWR) had locos with two cylinders outside the frames and directly in line with the chimney, and "proper" smokeboxes.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Whoops, sorry! I didn't read right back through the thread.

I agree about some of the 4-4-0s, although the South Eastern & Chatham ones were surely things of beauty. The GWR of course had their "Counties" and the combination of outside cylinders and four coupled wheels made them wiggle around somewhat on the track. Strangely, I have never heard that about the Southern "Schools" but didn't they have three cylinders anyway?

Some of the Drummond inside-cylinder 4-4-0s got extended smokeboxes when they were superheated, which made them look very nose-heavy. On the other hand, the LNWR inside-cylinder 4-6-0s definitely looked as if something was "missing" at the front beneath the running-plate. (The ones with outside valve gear and inside cylinders - and there were a few - looked absolutely ridiculous!)

I'd love to have seen a Midland "Spinner" in action, especially starting off. No rods, motion or visible means of propulsion to be seen anywhere - just a big single driving wheel!

[ 12. October 2009, 13:45: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The County engines, both tender and tank, were not among the best-looking of that company, because the proportion of wheel to body was seriously off.

And, yes, outside cylinders tend to swing the body sideways on short engines. (The Schools were 3-cylinder, so the loading was different) But American 4-4-0s were capable of major haulage feats, including the Empire State Express on the NYC, running at "English" speeds, and didn't seem to have the problem.

I note Tuplin's comment that some of the British Atlantics had no side-control in the trailing axle, and showed the same wiggle problem. This was one reason the GWR converted them all to 4-6-0s - that and the useful adhesive weight. (Why on Earth would one put a trailing axle under a big locomotive, if the firebox was narrow?)

There is a Swedish 2-8-0 running on a branch north of Ottawa. It has inside cylinders, and looks incredibly silly - just a connecting rods going around, no other visible drive features.

And the driver has to climb into the space bewteen the frames to oil the moving parts. At least there is enough space on this one. How does one get to the parts of an inside-cylinder plate-framed loco? Why?

(Speaking from experience of a 1912 bar-framed 4-6-0 with Stephenson motion. There were 58 oil points to check, but only ten of them were actually where you could barely see them. I'd hate to try with the connecting rods, crossheads and valve spindles in there as well)
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Well, beauty lies supposedly in the eye of the beholder and I rather liked the Swedish locomotive! There are only a couple of similar locos I can think of in Great Britain: the Great Eastern B12 on the North Norfolk Railway (4-6-0) and a 2-6-0 in Ireland (built without a pony-truckI believe, which was added later as the loco was nose-heavy).

The point about accessibility is of course much more significant than looks, which is why the BR Standards all had outside cylinders (except for "Duke of Gloucester", which needed an inside one to provide enough power with the loading gauge. And, of course, that has a boiler which has only steamed well in preservation!) The Stanier "Pacifics" and GW 4-cylinder locos, while achieving good balance of moving parts, were very tricky for maintenance, with little space to get in. There was also difficulty in providing big enough bearings on the crank axles.

Of course, you could always go for conjugated valve gear, as on the Gresley Pacifics and Southern 2-6-0s, with inside valve events derived from outside valve gear. (I think some Irish 4-cylinder 4-6-0s tried it, too). That gave you more space between the frames - but the Gresley locos, at least, soon got "out of beat" due to wear. Often this led to overrun in the inside cylinder, sometimes with unfortunate results!

[ 12. October 2009, 16:51: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I'd love to have seen a Midland "Spinner" in action, especially starting off. No rods, motion or visible means of propulsion to be seen anywhere - just a big single driving wheel!

I'd prefer the Dean variant,being a GWR fan after all! [Razz] I think that Dean and Armstrong built some of the finest, aesthetically speaking, locomotives that the GWR built...I include the Dukedogs and Cities in this, as they were very much similar, in look at least, to the Dean and Armstrong locomotive. The Victorians built their loco's to have a grace and elegance that has been lost, I feel...have you seen this for example? [Help]

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Well, beauty lies supposedly in the eye of the beholder and I rather liked the Swedish locomotive! There are only a couple of similar locos I can think of in Great Britain....

You could probably include this in your list...
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Tuplin is right about the ashpan's on 4-6-0s. It is the trickest part to get right - as so many British locomotive engineers proved by getting it wrong! It was certainly the Achilles' heel of the GCR's express 4-6-0. Apart from the initial pair as built, the GCR Atlantics had narrow fireboxes and deep ashpans which promoted good steaming. The 4-6-0 version which had essentially the same boiler, but with a shallower firebox and ashpan they were shy steamers.

Of course one drawback to the big two cylinder locomotive was the hammerbow they inflicted on the track. Among the worst were the LNWR KGV 4-4-0s whose axleload plus hammerblow at 60mph was well over 30 tons - those being real tons not short or metric ones! British experiments with three and four cylinder locomotives were often as much about reducing hammerblow as getting more power within a elativel restricted loading gauge.

The Americans approached the whole hammerblow differently with by balancing of the reciprocating parts, and more rigid rails. The bullhead profile rail used in England until the 1950s has more "give" in it than flat-bottom rail of the same weight.

On a related point; I would be interested to discover if the American habit of staggering rail joints made a difference to track maintenance schedules, as dropped joints and broken fishplates were a constant source of trouble on heavily used mainline in the UK until the introduction of CWR.

When it came to oiling around, all British locomotive shed seemed to have a pit, but you still had to crawl over the top of the motion to get at some of the oiling points. But if there is no pit then you have to climb in among the motion as best you can. As the railways got more aware of maintenance costs they began to move to outside cylinders and motion, and/or high pitched boilers to make the motion "get-at-able." IIRC, the GWR 94xx 0-6-0PT is one of the classes where it is easy to get at the inside motion from the running plate, rather than having to crawl underneath.

PD

[ 12. October 2009, 18:34: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Was there any significant difference between Walschaerts and Stephenson motion?

Just about everything built in Canada or the US after 1910 had Walschaerts or some other external gear. ISTM that the maintenance cost of the outside gear would be measurably lower, let alone the construction problems inherent in 4 eccentrics between the frames.

The effort of changing the cut-off is certainly less for the Walschaerts, since you're only moving one rod each side, rather than the whole sliding-dieblock, and the stress on the reverser is much lower at all times.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
From a technical point of view, the most significant difference between the gears is the lead characteristics. Walschaerts gear has a fixed lead, whilst Stephenson gives variable lead, the lead becoming greater as the gear is linked up. Churchward took advantage of this characteristic to endow his 2-cylinder locomotives with negative lead when in full gear, which gave a particularly free exhaust when starting from rest and is thought by some to be the reason for the "gun-shot blast" of GWR locomotives.

The other obvious difference is the number of eccentrics / return cranks required to drive the gear, but you knew that anyway.

The issue of sliding joints, and the lubrication difficulties that these can introduce, was the reason for the development of Baker gear, extensively used in the USA. There are no sliding joints in Baker gear, everything being achieved via pins and bell cranks. The snag with Baker gear is that, apart from one or two positions, linking up the gear frequently involves literally lifting the entire weight of the valve gear. If you are using power reversing gear (as many US locos did) this is not a problem, but it presented difficulties for screw activated gear, which probably explains why Baker gear saw very little use this side of the pond.

Going back to my rude remarks about "The Great Bear", now that I can check my source books, I see that she had fire tubes that were 2 1/2" bore by 23 feet length. This was of some concern to Churchward, because in a paper read to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1906 he said:

quote:
"The ratio of diameter to length of the tube undoubtedly has a most important bearing upon the steaming qualities of the boiler and upon the efficiency of the heat absorbtion. This is more particularly noticeable when the boilers are being worked to the limit of their capacity. If 2 in. tubes, say, are employed in barrels 11 or 12 feet long, when the boiler is being forced the length is not sufficient to absorb the heat from the amount of gases that a 2-inch tube will pass, and overheating and waste result."
One should note that the tube length in the Star class was only 14 feet. Granted, Churchward used only 2 inch tubes in this boiler, so the increase for "The Great Bear" was quite a significant percentage. Sadly, the engine's performance suggests it was not enough. One should note that when Gresley built "Great Northern" he not only used a shorter boiler barrel, he also extended the firebox forwards into the barrel, thus bringing the tube plates closer together. I think that the tube length on "Great Northern" was something like 19 feet, but I stand to be corrected on this one.

"The Great Bear's" firebox was a very simple shape, essentially just a flared box. "Great Northern's" was much more complicated. Tuplin thought that Churchward's experience with the extended firebox on the "Kruger's" was the reason why he did not use this feature on "The Great Bear", which is unfortunate. Had he done so, the locomotive might have justified its construction.

On another issue, as has been said, Churchward did his homework. As well as De Glehn, an important influence was Prof. Goss of Perdue University (I hope I've spelled that right) who had done extensive research into the proportions and dimensions necessary to achieve a satisfactory smokebox. Churchward's blastpipe designs were based upon Goss' figures. As has been said, under the conditions in force at the time, the numbers worked. Later on (in Hawksworth's time and later) as conditions deteriorated, the numbers had to be revised. That they were satisfactory in the 1920's was amply demonstrated by the comparative trials with the LNER A1's.

E.T.A. And if this doesn't have certain Hostly types crying, "speak English, man!" I shall have to really try harder!

[ 12. October 2009, 19:48: Message edited by: Darllenwr ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
With inside cylinders, there are the downsides of inaccessibility and cranked axles between the frames. The upsides though is that the exhaust goes directly up into the smokebox, the revolving forces generated by the drive are supported by the frames, the cylinders to not have to be completely forward of the driving wheels and with 4-4-0s particularly, you get a steadier ride. Although Riddles went for two outside cylinders wherever possible, that did mean cylinders that were sometimes very large, and he had to break his own principle with Duke of Gloucester.

As has already been mentioned, there is a preserved Black 5 which is very unusual in UK practice in having external Stephenson's motion, so that you can see the eccentrics revolving. I think it can be experienced sometimes on the Mallaig extension. I can't offhand think of any examples of internal Walschaerts.

I've heard that the US often used a variant of Walschaerts called Baker valve gear, but I don't think that was ever tried in the UK.

The LNER conjugated valve gear was dependent on consistent and high quality maintenance and they had trouble with the central motion getting out of synch under wartime conditions. However much this may have been coloured by personal feelings, Thompson did have a genuine point in turning against it.

Inside cylindered 2-6-0s were a bit unusual. Most were goods engines, front heavy 0-6-0s with an extra axle. The Caledonian and the GSWR had some as well as the Irish ones.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
All GWR 4-cylinder locomotives used inside Walschaerts gear, with rocking levers (deliberately cranked) to transfer the drive to the outside cylinders. Each set of gear thereby drove 2 sets of valves.

The only exception to this was No. 40 "North Star" as originally built, which used "Scissors" valve gear, in which the drive for the left-hand gear is taken from the inside right-hand crosshead and vice versa.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Apologies for the double post ~ missed the edit window.

Inside cylinder 2-6-0's ~ a prototype of the "Aberdare" class (No. 33) appeared in August 1900 on the GWR. Whilst this is during the Dean period, the evidence indicates that it was actually a Churchward design, though with its double frames and inside cylinders, it looked more like a Dean locomotive. The give-away was the raised Belpair firebox. The "Aberdares" ultimately became a system-wide design of freight locomotive, though they were effectively superceded by the 43xx outside cylinder 2-6-0's.

Churchward also built the "Kruger" 2-6-0's, though in small numbers. The original locomotive was turned out as a 4-6-0, but subsequent class members were built as 2-6-0's with inside cylinders. The significant class characteristic (as alluded to above) was the firebox extension into the boiler barrel, the so-called "combustion chamber" that was to become the norm in all Pacific designs (other than "The Great Bear")

One should note that the Krugers were condemned by all and sundry as plug-ugly (rather like the new class 70's!)
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
One historical oddity is that the Irish 4-6-0s designed by E A Watson for the GS&WR in 1922 were such a disaster. Watson had come to Inchicore from the Great Western c.1914, so he should have known something about four cylinder 4-6-0s! To look at the "400" Class were Stars with parallel boilers and outside motion. In theory they should have been excellant locomotives but if the GSR's subsequent rebuildings are anything to go on there was something wrong at the front end. Some received Caprotti valves c.1929, most of the rest were rebuilt with two big outside cylinders. As the 2-cylinder 4-6-0s they were apparently reasonably successful as they were still around in the late 1950s.

The Irish Railway system with its light loads and some fairly restrictive axle loads on secondary routes tended to stick with agricultural equipment in the form of 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s. Some 4-4-0s had extremely long lives. Some of the Aspinall 4-4-0s constructed in 1887 were still around in the 1950s!

The only successful modern classes on the GSR were the Maunsell 2-6-0 K1a, the B1a, the rebuilt B2a, and the 670 class 0-6-2T. However, that disguises the fact that the GSR kept repairing and rebuilding its unholy relics. With low train weights 4-4-0s remained adequate for passenger services on the lines to Waterford and Tralee into the 1950s.

One of my favourite pictures of the Irish system is of a pair of 4-4-0s heading our of Dublin Kingsbridge for Cork with heavy (11 or 2 car) train in 1954. The brake compo behinf the locomotives is a six wheeler, the next vehicle is a new (in 1954) steel panelled coach, then there are a couple of Edwardian arc-roofed numbers, and most of the rest of the train is 1930s steel panelled stock! A couple of years later this train would have been a Class A diesel hauling a mix of Bullied and Park Royal stock.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Sorry to break the loco tangent, but a question comes into my head.

A while back we discussed how many freight cars on British railways were owned by the shippers themselves, a practice that was relatively more rare in North America. Given how much more relative coverage British railways had of a given route (especially the Big Four) than North American ones have, how common were interchange shipments on British railways and how were they handled?

Chicago grew into the centre of the North American railroad universe for both geograhic and rate reasons, but was there an equivalent in Britain or were single-line hauls more the norm?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Most companies looked to get a single line haul whenever they could, but for long distance freight, say from the West Country to the North of England their were usually several alternative routes. Certain railways had well established partnerships - for example the Great Central with the Great Western - for inter-regional freight.

Take, for example, a shipment of steel from Sheffield to HM Dockyard Devonport (Plymouth). The two main alternatives would be Midland(LMS)/LSWR(SR) or GCR(LNER)/GWR. The former alternative would usually route the shipment via Derby, Birmingham, and Bath to the LSWR/SR west of England mainline at Evercreech Junction (IIRC); then via Exeter and Okehampton to Plymouth. The latter would ship it via he GCR mainline to Woodford Halse then transfer it to Banbury to go via Didcot or Reading down to Plymouth on the GWR mainline.

The Railway Clearing House collected the shipping charges for inter-railway shipments and divided the receipts on the basis of mileage. At one time it was pretty common for railways to have agreements as to where they would exchange traffic. For example, the GCR and the GWR could have exchanged traffic at either Woodford Halse/Banbury, or High Wycombe, but most traffic went through Woodford Halse/Banbury.

Due to the large number of possible exchange points, the British Railway system never developed a Chicago or a St Louis. On the other hand there were some major junctions - Birmingham, Crewe, Sheffield, Bristol - when an awful lot of traffic changed hands between the major systems.

In British Railways days, and to some extent under the Big Four, freight traffic became a hub and spoke operation. For example, freight from South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire was concentrated at Tinsley before being humped and sent forward to one of the other hump yards - e.g. Tees Yard (Middlesbrough), Carlisle, or Whitemoor (March). This system for handling freight has left some marks on the British rail system even today. For example, that of the four lines into Whitby that from Middlesbrough survived was entirely due to the fact that the survving pick-up goods (way freight) ran from Middlesbrough Tees Yard, not York.

The big hump yards built in the 1950s were usually sited where the lines of several (former) systems ran close together. Tinsley was sited just north of the former GCR mainline and was easily accessed from the ECML via Retford or Doncaster; the Midland mainline from both Chesterfield and Rotherham, as well as from most of the local feeder routes.

Most wagonload freight would have been worked to the nearest major yard by a local pick-up freight. It would then be hump shunted into the appropriate through (long distance) freight and forwarded to the correct major yard. After being humped again, it would be tripped to its destination. This system effectively reduced the number of exchange points between the six BR Regions to about a dozen, and the number of times most wagonload freight shipments had to be shunted enroute to two.

PD
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
[TANGENT/]

I am sure I just heard a 37 (maybe 2 - Top 'n' Tailed) go through Bargoed. We are quite lucky as we have a really good view of the railway going over the Viaduct from the back of our house...sadly night has fallen!

[/TANGENT]

[ 13. October 2009, 20:09: Message edited by: Lord Pontivillian ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
So, are you excited because it was Type 37 (which is, admittedly, pushing on the dinosaur stage), or are you excited because a train ran at all?
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
So, are you excited because it was Type 37 (which is, admittedly, pushing on the dinosaur stage), or are you excited because a train ran at all?

Sorry!

Our line was one of the last, in Britain, to have Class 37 hauled passenger trains on a daily basis, up until about 4 years ago...since then I haven't seen one in our valley. Hence my excitement at seeing and hearing them!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Going back to the freight operation comments, some years ago, and I can't remember where, I saw a list from before 1923 of points on the GCR where one could hand over wagons to various other companies and which ones were recommended, and which only for use in necessity.

One thing that was clear was that for an outgoing wagon, one going off your system to someone else's, the object was to hand it over as late in the journey as possible, irrespective of convenience to the consignor. That way, one got the maximum proportion of the mileage rate. On the other hand to return an empty company owned wagon, you delivered it to the nearest point and dumped it on them so as not to have to transport it further than necessary.

So, I assume, a wagon load consigned at Dunford Bridge (near Woodhead), to go to, say, Tring on the LNWR, might be worked to Verney Junction and handed over there, whereas a wagon received from Tring, would probably simply have been worked down to somewhere like Guide Bridge and given to the LNWR there.

In later years the big four had common user arrangements with several ordinary types of wagon, but not specialist ones.

I don't know what the arrangements were for private owners to be charged for returning empty wagons. I think virtually all colliery wagons were made common owner at the beginning of the war (1939, that is, not 1914).

In the Railway Clearing House a clerical army received all the passenger and freight tickets waybills etc for all inter-company movements and calculated how the charges were to be divvied up between the various companies, all by hand with no calculators, using ready reckoners and a currency which was in £. s. d. with each d. containing halfpennies and farthings, and by miles and chains.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
In North America, everything works according to the Association of American Railroads Car Service Rules. Simply put, empty cars must be returned to their home districts by the route they travelled. It's designed to minimize car hire bills.

Short-hauling is a more complicated subject, but since the 1960's most roads have actively supressed the practice. The Southern Railway under Bill Brosnan was famous for squeezing every cent of profit possible out of its lines, and short-hauling was forbidden. Southern loads had to take the continuous Southern route until interchanged.

Cars may also be "confiscated" or hired when empty on a foreign road if the route is in the direction of the home road.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
But the owner gets a per diem rate when the car is off the owner's line. Obviously, this roughly balances with other cars in the opposite direction.

The idea was to prevent other lines from just borrowing cars at no cost.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
It would seem that the Private Owner Wagon had a lot to answer for on Britain's railways ~ unbraked, loose-coupled trains for a start, not to mention persistent hot box problems, a major headache with "return empty to ...", the list goes on.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of infrastructure associated with the classic British coal wagon, both at the collieries and at the docks, and neither the mine owners nor the dock operators saw any good reason to want to throw away their investment. In other words, they wanted to stick with what they had, rather than modernise. Quite apart from anything else, the colliery that modernised its wagon fleet did not gain any direct benefit to its bottom line. Or, perhaps I should say, no immediate benefit to its bottom line. Possibly maintenance costs would fall but, for as long as other collieries still ran the old-type wagons, very little benefit would acrue to the owners of new-type wagons. Say you fitted continuous brakes to your coal wagons. How did that benefit you? Sure enough, the railway company liked it, but they were unlikely to reduce the mileage rate, so how were you any better off?

Vested interests saw to it that Britain's railways stayed essentially Victorian until, one could argue, the 1950's. In consequence (and there is a lot more to it than this) road haulage gradually took away the traffic, with the results we see today. And there is a lot more to it than this, but antiquated methods of freight handling certainly didn't help.

Possibly the railway companies should have taken a stronger line with the wagon owners, forcing them to modernise? The trouble with this is that, with the government controlling freight tariffs in many ways, the railway companies had few legitimate means of applying carrot and stick theory to the problem. Realistically, I doubt that the railways ever had sufficient influence to be able to enforce freight handling modernisation until relatively recent times.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
What you needed was a Bill Brosnan. His reforms on the Southern Railway System kickstarted the renewal of Rail Freight in North America.

It all started with debt. The Southern had a 1906 General Mortgage Bond due in 1956. They didn't have the money to pay. Bill Brosnan, a mixture of visionary and despot, went after costs without mercy. He mechanized track maintenance, doing away with Gandy Dancers. He eliminated steam locomotives and firemen, cutting crews to four. The Southern became the industry's most profitable Class I.

Then in 1962 he created the Big John Hopper, a 100-ton car built to haul grain from the South to St. Louis. The Southern had seen grain traffic slip away to trucks and wanted it back. (Hoppers are loaded from the top and unloaded from drop doors underneath the car. They are now the standard for grain, coal and any other bulk commodity). The new cars allowed the Southern to cut its rates. The truckers howled and complained to the Interstate Commerce Commission. After two trips to the US Supreme Court, the Southern won.

The Big John case set the standard for the future. The Southern merged into Norfolk Southern and the ICC no longer exists.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
About 25 years ago I heard an interesting, and I believe, true story. The source was a sound one.

There was an extensive private siding network from which 2-3-+ train loads of PO wagons per day came out onto what was then still BR's network. The wagons then went off to various destinations round the country, were emptied and returned.

The charging was done by the simple expedient of counting them, checking their waybills as they emerged onto the BR system and then billing their owners according to their destinations. As they all went out and back, then unless any failed to reach their destinations at all, that meant the bills should be correct.

However, a snap check, followed by some more snap checks, revealed that consistently there were more of these wagons out and about the system than had ever been counted as having come onto it, i.e. some of them were free loading.

I don't know whether it was ever discovered how this was happening.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Car control was the reason for the railways to become immersed in computer technology as soon as any form of computer was possible. CN was heavily investing in punch-card machinery and the programming of same way (complete with the uber-geek terminology that goes with the machinery) back in the dim mists of time before I went to university.

The railways maintained huge stocks of spare cars because they couldn't tell where the cars were at any given time,or where they would need the cars at any time later.

Once they discovered how little most cars were doing, there was a huge incentive to get rid of the lightly-used branchlines and the pick-up freights that basically cost more than they earned.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Car control was the reason for the railways to become immersed in computer technology as soon as any form of computer was possible. CN was heavily investing in punch-card machinery and the programming of same way (complete with the uber-geek terminology that goes with the machinery) back in the dim mists of time before I went to university.

[/Tangent]

Has anyone played SimSig?

[/Tangent]
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Speaking of computerization and railroads, the first industrial use of the barcode was on the Boston & Maine in 1961, with most freight cars on American roads being labelled by the 1970s.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
What you needed was a Bill Brosnan. His reforms on the Southern Railway System kickstarted the renewal of Rail Freight in North America.

In effect we got that with Nationalisation of both Coal and the Railways in the late 1940s. With the colleries now owned by the National Coal Board it was possible to make a move to larger capacity wagons. Initially the steel 16T, 10' wheelbase wagon were introduced to replace the ten tonner, then the steel 24T, 15' wheelbase wagon. I remember long strings of the latter clanking along between South Yorkshire and the Power (Electricity Generating) Stations at Keadby and Lincoln in the late 1970s. The bigger and newer Power Stations were fitted up for the larger HAA merry-go-round hoppers in the early 70s. The HAA were usually coupled into fixed formations of 36 wagons weighing roughly 1800T usually hauled by a 47, 56, or 58 class locomotive. Today's coal trains are about the same weight, but trains can vary anywhere from 12-20 bogie hoppers depending on the capacity of the chutes at either end.

Long wheelbase four-wheeler with a gross weight of 44 to 51 tons became the norm in Britain in the 1970s replacing the various 10' and 15' BR standards of the 1950s. For certain traffics, such as petroleum and ammonia a 102 ton tank wagon became the norm. In my neck of the woods we used to see a lot of the TEA type on Petroleum trains from Immingham to Nottingham, Bitmingham and Luton. They were usually marshalled in rakes of twelve hauled by Classes 31X2, 37, 47, or occasionally 56. Once the class 60s became available train length increased to 21 or 22.

PD

[ 16. October 2009, 22:44: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Just in case it is of any interest, we have seen something of a resurgence of freight on the Rhymney Valley Line.

A number of years ago, there used to be a regular (3 nights a week) aluminium coil train went up the valley somewhat after midnight. We were very aware of its passage because our bedroom window looks out onto Bargoed viaduct, which would seem to be the start of the bank to Brithdir and (eventually) Rhymney. In the early 90's the train would be hauled by 2 class 37's ~ you can imagine the racket. In the course of time, these were replaced by a single class 66.

Unfortunately, American Can (to whom the shipment was going) closed their Pontlottyn plant some years ago and the traffic ceased. There is now no freight on this line north of Ystrad Mynach.

On the other hand, the line through Ystrad Mynach to Cwm Bargoed has seen a return to traffic. There are now at least 2 return workings on that line every weekday, usually 20 to 22 bogie hoppers headed by a class 66. These constitute the regular working between the Ffos-y-fran open-cast colliery and Aberthaw power station. I gather that the operators of Ffos-y-fran were instructed that no coal may leave the site by road ~ this was one of the conditions of being allowed to operate at all ~ mainly in an attempt to appease local residents who were not at all happy with the idea of a procession of lorries coming and going from the site at all hours. Trains, it seems, are far more socially acceptable.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Just in case it is of any interest, we have seen something of a resurgence of freight on the Rhymney Valley Line.

A number of years ago, there used to be a regular (3 nights a week) aluminium coil train went up the valley somewhat after midnight. We were very aware of its passage because our bedroom window looks out onto Bargoed viaduct, which would seem to be the start of the bank to Brithdir and (eventually) Rhymney. In the early 90's the train would be hauled by 2 class 37's ~ you can imagine the racket. In the course of time, these were replaced by a single class 66.

Unfortunately, American Can (to whom the shipment was going) closed their Pontlottyn plant some years ago and the traffic ceased. There is now no freight on this line north of Ystrad Mynach.

On the other hand, the line through Ystrad Mynach to Cwm Bargoed has seen a return to traffic. There are now at least 2 return workings on that line every weekday, usually 20 to 22 bogie hoppers headed by a class 66. These constitute the regular working between the Ffos-y-fran open-cast colliery and Aberthaw power station. I gather that the operators of Ffos-y-fran were instructed that no coal may leave the site by road ~ this was one of the conditions of being allowed to operate at all ~ mainly in an attempt to appease local residents who were not at all happy with the idea of a procession of lorries coming and going from the site at all hours. Trains, it seems, are far more socially acceptable.

Do you know if the Ffros-y-fran trains run in the night?

We are getting quite a few Railhead Treatment Trains up the Valley at the moment, powered by 66's top 'n' tailed....seems a trifle waste of power to me, seeing as there is a run-round loop at Rhymney and Cardiff.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Re: Ffos-y-fran ~ no idea.

Re: Rail treatment trains ~ fixed formation train: Rhymney is unusual in having run-round facilities ~ no such facilities exist at any of the other Valleys Lines terminals, which is why the loco-hauled trains only operated between Canton Shed and Rhymney.

[ 18. October 2009, 21:17: Message edited by: Darllenwr ]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Re: Rail treatment trains ~ fixed formation train: Rhymney is unusual in having run-round facilities ~ no such facilities exist at any of the other Valleys Lines terminals, which is why the loco-hauled trains only operated between Canton Shed and Rhymney.

According to my Track Diagrams there are loops at Hirwaun, Abercomboi and Mountain Ash, on the Aberdare Line, Merthyr Tydfil has a loop, as does Treherbet, although none of these, apart from Abecwmboi and Mountain Ash are used by passenger services.

From my own observations, Merthyr Vale is also on a loop, but this isn't shown on my diagrams, which date from 2005

[ 18. October 2009, 21:26: Message edited by: Lord Pontivillian ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
More on rail freight in Ireland.

Timber from Ballina to Waterford restarted in September, and seems to run twice a week. These trains reverse at Kildare and run via the Lavistown curve.

There is also a container service running from Dublin (North Wall) to Ballina for IWT.

The other regular freight workings are

Kilmenstulla Siding to Limerick cement works - three times a day for shale.

Limerick Cement works to Cork and Waterford - generally three times a week

Waterford to Ballina Containers usually three times a week.

The Drogheda Cement works trains and the Tara Mines traffic are not running due to the collapse of a viaduct north of Malahide.

At present there is no regular freight trains Cobh to Cork; Mallow to Tralee; Limerick to Ennis; Birdhills to Ballybrophy; Waterford to Rosslare; Rosslare to Dublin; Dublin-Sligo; and Athlone to Galway. There is no freight traffic north of Drogheda on either IE or NIR.

Interestingly, IE is storing the 3200hp Class 201 Co-Co as their accustomed passenger workings dry up, but the older 071 Class are being kept reasonably busy with freight and departmental workings. I have a suspicion that the 100mph Class 201s, which are from the same stable as the British Class 66, take a much heavier hit mechanically than their slower sisters.

I am glad to report that a few Class 141s built in the early 1960s are still kicking around as P/W hacks, and as pilot locomotives at Heuston and Connolly. I am not altogether sure what there is for them to do these days except when a Crazy Frog or a 22K goes belly-up.

In the North, the procession of CAF 3K DMUs is relieved only by the Enterprise Expresses, and the periodic appearences of 111 or 8113 on the Gatwicks or P/W trains. Additional "real engine noise" is provided by the two remaining English Electric 4SRKT powered 80 Class "Belfast Thumper" DEMUs and the nine 450 Class "Shopping Trolley" DEMUs which still do the bulk of the work on the Larne line. Northern Ireland sounds as though it will be all DMU by 2012/3 apart from the Enterprises to Dublin. OTOH, if the rumours are true loco-haulage on the Enterprises may not last much beyond that. The tale is that a derivative of the 22000 Class DMUs will replace 201 locos and De Deitrich hauled stock as these sets are somewhat unreliable.

Like South Wales, Ireland has a growing passenger rail system. The Cork to Midleton line reopened last month, and the trackbed of the rest of that line to Youghal is safeguarded. (Limerick) Ennis - Athenry (Galway) is due to reopen "Late 2009." Rumour has it that the line from Athenry to Tuam will reopen 2011, but the Irish Government is having cold feet about Tuam - Claremorris - Sligo. My hunch is that Tuam - Claremorris will reopen, but Claremorris - Sligo will fall by the wayside - for now. Work is also advancing on the first section of the Clonsilla to Navan line as far as Dunboyle.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
PD

I am fascinated ~ where do you find all this information about Irish Rail? Particularly given that you are on the other side of the pond!

I should add that I find it very interesting.

Total non seq: the rail-head treatment train has just gone up the valley ~ 1 wagon in the charge of 2 class 66's, top and tail. It started something of an argument between Lord P and myself. My essential point was that tying (I think) 6500 bhp to 100 tons of vehicle is a ridiculous waste of resources, and why isn't the thing self propelled, like a ballast tamper or similar? This led Lord P to remark that he was sure that freight multiple units (as in, DMU's but for freight, rather than passengers) are in service. I was fairly convinced that this could not be economic, putting an engine on every vehicle in a freight train sounds like a recipe for a maintenance nightmare.

What does the team think? Do such things exist, and, if so, how practical are they in day-to-day service?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Fixed-formation trainsets are virtually unheard-of, largely because wagons rarely need maintenance, unless the problem is major enough to need that wagon to come out of service. No-one wants to shut down a freight operation because one wagon needs a wheelset changed.

Passenger MUs tend to work in small sets, so that any one set can come out of service easily - but these are in situations where there are enough sets to keep "rotating the stock"

Why would you go to the expense of wiring and motoring a lot of cars that could just as easily be hauled by a loco, which has only one set of wiring and controls?

Freights over here often have "divided power" - a large diesel on the head-end, and a pusher somewhere in the middle of the train (actually at about two-thirds of the length, so that all the cars are similar distance from the power and brake control) This gets 6,000-ton trains up the Kicking Horse Pass (2.2%) and through the Spiral Tunnels, so it could probably work in miniature in England if necessary!

I suppose there might be a reason to try if you could find a totally-fixed consist that would operate entirely in one electric region (third-rail or overhead 25 KV) which would avoid the need for large lumps of diesel engine to travel with the train. But I doubt that kind of load exists.

Even the Chunnel shuttles are loco-hauled, and that's a pretty fixed consist!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Just to open a bit of a tangent: for the Brits, in particular, have you ever thought about how to name a town (or other location)? Europe has been pretty thoroughly walked on for thousands of years, but the New World was actually opened up and settled amazingly quickly. As an example:

Between 1890 and 1915, the west of Canada received the second major railway (actually several companies, later folded into Canadian National by 1922) During that time, at least 830 places were named, given that they were to have railway stations, and those stations needed names for the telegraph operators, if nothing else (and in a few cases, there was nothing else!)

So, included in the list, there was an alphabetic procession of stations along the mainline from Portage la Prairie to the Rockies, four times through the alphabet list here and explanation here

Another mild oddity was the "grain line" south from Sioux Lookout, where 12 of the stations had five-letter names, only Graham being the exception. All of these were telegraph outposts, and just about all of them disappeared at the end of the telegraph era.

The desparation to come up with names shows at Hemaruka, named after the four daughters of a railway official (Helen, Mary, Ruth and Katherine)

But very few were difficult to spell (since they were designed for the telegrapher) unlike, say, Illecillewaet on the CPR.

[ 20. October 2009, 00:15: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Fixed sets like that are impractical in North America due to our use of large locos hauling heavy freights and frequent switching and interchange of cars. Even if nowadays there are only 6 Class I railways, most trains still need to be made and broken.

The closest thing we have is that some intermodal cars are actually 6-car sets with common trucks. This saves weight. The outfit is still locomotive hauled.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Like South Wales, Ireland has a growing passenger rail system. The Cork to Midleton line reopened last month, and the trackbed of the rest of that line to Youghal is safeguarded. (Limerick) Ennis - Athenry (Galway) is due to reopen "Late 2009." Rumour has it that the line from Athenry to Tuam will reopen 2011, but the Irish Government is having cold feet about Tuam - Claremorris - Sligo. My hunch is that Tuam - Claremorris will reopen, but Claremorris - Sligo will fall by the wayside - for now. Work is also advancing on the first section of the Clonsilla to Navan line as far as Dunboyle.

PD

That's good to know. Travelling by train feels even more civilised in Ireland than it does in some other places.

A frivolous addition - they've rebuilt and are operating a little bit of the Listowel and Ballybunion Railway. Nothing else like it in the world!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
PD

I am fascinated ~ where do you find all this information about Irish Rail? Particularly given that you are on the other side of the pond!

I should add that I find it very interesting.

Total non seq: the rail-head treatment train has just gone up the valley ~ 1 wagon in the charge of 2 class 66's, top and tail. It started something of an argument between Lord P and myself. My essential point was that tying (I think) 6500 bhp to 100 tons of vehicle is a ridiculous waste of resources, and why isn't the thing self propelled, like a ballast tamper or similar? This led Lord P to remark that he was sure that freight multiple units (as in, DMU's but for freight, rather than passengers) are in service. I was fairly convinced that this could not be economic, putting an engine on every vehicle in a freight train sounds like a recipe for a maintenance nightmare.

What does the team think? Do such things exist, and, if so, how practical are they in day-to-day service?

I still read a couple of Irish Railfan Yahoo groups, the Irish Railway Record Society newsletter, as well as IE and NIR's press releases. Couple this to a very retentive memory, and "Bob's your uncle!"

For comparison with the Cl.66s on Sandite trains in the Valleys; the NIR Sandite train is top and tailed by a couple of class 80 power cars. Total horsepower - 1100! Much more efficient.

I cannot think of any fixed formation freight vehicles other than the various DMU and EMU vehicles used for Mail and Parcels. However, the Ulster Transport Authority hit on the idea of using pairs of specially adapted DMU powercars called MPDs for hauling freight.

The MPD - for Multi -Purpose Diesel train - were an interesting concept. They were rebuilt from old LMS(NCC) carriages as rather beefy DMU powercars. I seem to recall that they had a 275hp Rolls-Royce engine and a two step transmission that enabled them to "moonlight" as what were effectively small diesel mechanical locomotives. In "passenger mode" they could haul one or two of trailers and reach 70mph. A typical Belfast to Derry train of the mid-60s was two MPDs, for through-wired trailers, and a third MPD. The second, lower, set of gear ratios limited their top speed to 40mph, but in that mode they were capable of hauling 150-200 tons. I have seen several pictures of them hauling conflats between Belfast and Larne and on the old NCC mainline.

PD
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Just to open a bit of a tangent: for the Brits, in particular, have you ever thought about how to name a town (or other location)? Europe has been pretty thoroughly walked on for thousands of years, but the New World was actually opened up and settled amazingly quickly. As an example:

Between 1890 and 1915, the west of Canada received the second major railway (actually several companies, later folded into Canadian National by 1922) During that time, at least 830 places were named, given that they were to have railway stations, and those stations needed names for the telegraph operators, if nothing else (and in a few cases, there was nothing else!)

So, included in the list, there was an alphabetic procession of stations along the mainline from Portage la Prairie to the Rockies, four times through the alphabet list here and explanation here

Another mild oddity was the "grain line" south from Sioux Lookout, where 12 of the stations had five-letter names, only Graham being the exception. All of these were telegraph outposts, and just about all of them disappeared at the end of the telegraph era.

The desparation to come up with names shows at Hemaruka, named after the four daughters of a railway official (Helen, Mary, Ruth and Katherine)

But very few were difficult to spell (since they were designed for the telegrapher) unlike, say, Illecillewaet on the CPR.

Our town was named by the Railway....before the Railway came I would've lived in Charlestown. The Rhymney Railway, in effect, caused the town to grow, as coal was found after the Railway came, and the Hamlets of Pont Aber-bargoed and Charlestown were merged to form Bargoed, named after the Station.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I don't think there is anything in the UK quite so clear as the example cited of Railways naming locations purely to suit operating convenience, but there is the phenomenon of settlements building up around a railway station and adopting its name, hence Cemmaes Road (which grew up around the Cambrian Railway station of that name, which was the nearest the railway came to the established village of Cemmaes) and St Columb Road in Cornwall (same logic). These are the two examples I can think of right off the cuff, but I am sure there are others. In each case, the station was built adjoining the road to the existing village (in the case of Llanbister Road station, I think the distance in question is over 5 miles, so the name merely denoted that the station had been built next to the Llanbister Road ~ the nearest settlement to the station is actually Crug).

I doubt that the railway companies in this country ever had to dream up names for operating locations ~ I don't think we have ever had the situation of (as Terry Pratchett put it) 'MMBU' ~ and having typed that, I am hoping I have remembered "Fifth Elephant" correctly.
 
Posted by Aethelstan (# 3502) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Do such things exist, and, if so, how practical are they in day-to-day service?

They certainly exist (picture, Wikipedia entry) but don't seem to have been too successful in the freight role for which they were originally conceived.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
It was always said that any station name with Road in it, like Cemmaes Road, could be taken as a warning that it was even further than usual from the place it claimed to be serving.

On places called after stations, I've heard that that is true of Crewe, which I don't think existed until geography put a junction near the country house of Lord Crewe.

There used to be a station in the junctions where the line from Derby to Nottingham crosses the line from Leicester to Chesterfield which had no proper road access. There was no community there and it was called Trent after the river.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
I don't think there is anything in the UK quite so clear as the example cited of Railways naming locations purely to suit operating convenience.....

Quite, nowadays "Parkway" is the giveaway.

I don't know if it is exactly what you mean but in southern-central England there is an Isfield and an Ifield. The former on the line to East Grinstead while the the other between Crawley and Horsham. I believe the spelling of one was altered to avoid difficulties.

Further north there is a Reepham (pron. Reep-ham) in Norfolk and a Reepham (pron. Reefam) in Lincolnshire. Not sure how that helped, but there's a Reedham too, to complete things!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
But those places were named in the times when people rarely moved more than, say, five miles from home.

The complication came with the change of transport technology. Realistically, the introduction of the railway and the telegraph caused a larger change in attitude/thought than the whole comuterisation thing recently.

No wonder that there were confusions about placenames that no-one before had realised were matches (subject to dialect in speech)
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Actually suburban train stations can be pretty far from their namesake.

The nearest train station to Burnage is Mauldeth Road (there is no place called Mauldeth as far as I know, it is named after a big long road* which it happens to be near), it is actually in Ladybarn. There is however another station called Burnage but that is in East Didsbury, while Didsbury Station is at Parrswood! You get the picture.

Jengie

As far as I have traced it Mauldeth Road goes from Chorlton (starting by the University playing fields) to Moor Top which is near Stockport (south of Heaton Moor)
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There used to be a station in the junctions where the line from Derby to Nottingham crosses the line from Leicester to Chesterfield which had no proper road access. There was no community there and it was called Trent after the river.

Parallel instance in Wales would be Dovey Junction ~ where the Cambrian line divided to Aberystwyth (to the South) and Pwllheli (to the North). As at Trent Junction, there was no road access and (to this day) no visible settlement. It was just the point of junction.

Ironically, passengers are encouraged to use Machynlleth as the interchange point. When I say 'encouraged' I mean by more than just the timetable ~ Dovey Junction has to be about the bleakest railway station platform I have ever seen, you really would not want to have to wait for a train there on a typically Western Welsh November day. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Dent station on the Settle and Carlisle line is about four miles from the village of that name. When a visitor asked why the station was so far away he was told, 'Appen they wanted it near't trains.'

Hassocks in Sussex was I believe, ecclesiantically, named after the tufts of grass in the surrounding fields which resembled church kneelers. The settlement was built up around and took its name from the station.

Rice Lane station in Liverpool was originally ( until ten or so years ago) called Preston Road. It is on the road which leads to Preston but which has never been called that officially – at least, not for many years: its name is Rice Lane.

Many years ago (when I was nobbut a lad) we lived at Brompton, near Scarborough in North Yorkshire. There was, just (it closed in the very early 1950s) a station there called Sawdon. Brompton was (and is) a small village, but Sawdon is no more than a few houses and it is several miles away from its station and Brompton. Similarly on the Wirral, the sizeable village of Willaston used to have a station called Hadlow Road (I don't even know if Hadlow exists).
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
In Ireland, Limerick Junction has long been notorious, not only for being nowhere near Limerick (in fact, in a different county, if I remember correctly), but for the complicated reversing procedures necessary to enter and leave it. It's not quite so labyrinthine these days, but still odd.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
There's also quite a difference in altitude between Dent and Dent station. You could build a railway from Settle to Carlisle or Settle to Dent, but not to all three.

I've never been to Limerick Junction but I've seen some years ago a diagram setting out how trains arrive and depart, which was very complicated.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I seem to remember reading about one of the Dorchester stations at which all London-bound trains had to first run past the station and then shunt backwards into a siding alongside the main platform. I can't believe that this procedure still takes place.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Yes, it was the LSWR/Southern one. I don't know when it was sorted out but probably somewhere around the end of steam. Something similar used to happen, and may well still does, at Killarney. When there used to be a line from Scarborough to Whitby, because of the way the line approached the station, there was an odd arrangement for working the trains in and out of the platforms.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Near Canora, SK, a north-south line crosses an east-west at grade. The only station was about a mile away on the "east" line, so every N-S passenger train had to use the curved link, going North far enough to back towards the station, or, when southbound, entering the station and then backing out up the North line. This probably wasn't much complication with one train each way daily N-S!

Hamilton, ON is some miles south of the line to London/Windsor, so Toronto-London trains had to back to or from Bayview Junction, until someone got smart and set up a bus link from Dundas.

Brandon, MB's CN station was a stub terminal, north of the through line, so trains passing through had to back one way.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I think the Canadian regulatory system must have been more tolerant than ours, which generally has not liked passenger coaches with living passengers inside them being propelled without either an engine or a driver in a push-pull compartment at the front. So these reversing movements have been a bit of an exception.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:

Hamilton, ON is some miles south of the line to London/Windsor, so Toronto-London trains had to back to or from Bayview Junction, until someone got smart and set up a bus link from Dundas.

Brandon, MB's CN station was a stub terminal, north of the through line, so trains passing through had to back one way.

I used to live in Hamilton, Westdale to be exact so I lived near that wye. Due to the Niagara Escarpment (The Mountain) there's no other way to route a railway.

Though CN's old station on Barton Street is quite large, the main station in town is now the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo's station on Hunter St.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by daviddrinkell:
In Ireland, Limerick Junction has long been notorious, not only for being nowhere near Limerick (in fact, in a different county, if I remember correctly), but for the complicated reversing procedures necessary to enter and leave it. It's not quite so labyrinthine these days, but still odd.

Limerick Jct was originally called just "Junction" or "Tipperary Jct" as it is just about 2 miles from Tipperary. It lies just south of the diamond crossing which takes the Waterford and Limerick mainline over the Dublin to Cork mainline. There is a south to west curve linking the "Cork Platform" at the north end of the southeast face of the platform with the W & L line. The station consisted of a single 1200 foot island platform to the west of the mainline. The strange laout was due to the phobia early railways had about facing points(switches), which they avoided wherever and whenever possible. As a result of this, the four platforms clustered around Limerick Jct's island platform were all effectively bay platforms. The north end of the east side of the platform was "The Cork Platform." The south end of the east face of the platform was the "Dublin Platform;" the west face of the platform at the north end was the "Limerick Bay" and the south end of the west fact of the platform was the "Waterford Bay." The station building lies between the buffer stops for the Limerick and Waterford Bay platforms, and is accessed by a level crossing and a footbridge as there was a line running around the back of the station to access the Waterford Bay's headshunt. The Waterford Bay was accessible only from a headshunt south of the main station.

So grab your partners for the Limerick Junction square dance.

Here goes.

Dublin - Cork trains ran through the station and then reversed into the Cork platform (latterly #1, IIRC) then they departed the normal way.

Cork - Dublin trains ran through the station then reversed into the Dublin platform (latter #3?), and also departed in the normal way.

Limerick to Waterford trains ran behind the station - mind the pedestrians! - into a headshunt and then reversed into the Waterford Bay (#4?) which was south of the main building. To depart trains pulled forward into the headshunt, then reversed to Keane's points before running forward again over the flat crossing to Tipperary and Waterford.

Waterford - Limerick trains reversed into the Limerick Bay (platform 2), then departed the normal way.

The Limerick Junction to Limerick shuttled used the Limerick Bay which had a run round loop.

In 1967 a new North to West curve was installed which allows through running from Dublin to Limerick.

2. A passing loop was created (north)west of the flat crossing. The Cork Platform became a bi-directional loop off the mainline, whilst the Dublin Platform became a loop off the "up" mainline. This eliminated reversal for Dublin-Cork and Cork-Dublin trains.

3. By the time I travelled through there regularly in the late 1990s most through trains used the old Cork Platform which was now bi-directional, and the Waterford Bay (4) was rarely used. The late afternoon Limerick-Waterford-Rosslare train using the Limerick Bay (2) instead, but they still reversed to gain the W&L mainline. The only time I saw the old Dublin platform used when two mainline trains were books to call at Limerick Jct within a few minutes of each other. It reduced the chaos on the platform a little to send Dublin bound passengers down to the south end of the station.

Earlier this year (2009), the Waterford Bay was taken out of use so that all trains on the W&L mainline now use the north end bay.

There has been talk of building a southbound platform opposite the present main platform on the site of the old engine shed, but nothing has happened about this yet. It would have the advantage of eliminating the "wrong line" running and a hefty speed restriction on the main to main cross-over that gives acces to the Cork Platform for southbound trains. This would save about several minutes of running time for southbound trains by allowing a quicker entry and exit from Limerick Junction, but it would involve a the construction of a lengthy foot bridge, new waiting rooms, and make the change from Dublin to Cork into Limerick-Limerick Jct Shuttle trains and Waterford workings a more difficult proposition.

There are some other oddities. Tralee-Mallow trains have to reverse to gain the platform at Killarney, and Mallow-Tralee trains have to reverse into a headshunt to gain the Tralee line. It can be quite entertain when two passenger trains are booked to pass at Killarney. When everything was loco-hauled it was usual for the shorter Tralee-Mallow-Cork train to run out onto the mainline and reverse into the bay platform. Then the longer Dublin-Mallow-Tralee ran into the main platform. The Cork would then depart, and the Tralee would push back onto the headshunt before departing to Tralee. Freight and P/W trains, "NunEx" and GAA specials that do not call at Killarney can run past the station without reversal due to a new crossover installed c.1970.

More conventional reversals occur on Portadown-Belfast-Bangor trains (at Belfast Great Victoria Street), and on Dublin-Waterford trains (at Kilkenny). Limerick to Galway will also require a reversal at Athenry when they restart later this year.

PD
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I should perhaps add that when the station was built there was no central control of points, or interlocking of points and signals. Therefore the northbound mainline platform was placed at the south end of the station, and the southbound platform at the north end. Then ensured that all reversing moves on the mainline took place under the supervision of the stationmaster whose bay window was right by the points in the middle of the station.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I think the Canadian regulatory system must have been more tolerant than ours, which generally has not liked passenger coaches with living passengers inside them being propelled without either an engine or a driver in a push-pull compartment at the front. So these reversing movements have been a bit of an exception.

Yes, and it's a North American thing. North American passenger cars are built heavier and more robustly. They are meant to be more crash-worthy to permit extensive reversing and switching. The latter was common pre-Amtrak and Via. Many long-haul trains had set-out sleepers that were switched in or out at intermediate stations, or had sections where the consist was broken in two and continued on as separate trains.

CP/VIA's Canadian split into two sections at Sudbury, one for Toronto and the other for Montreal until 1990. Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited still splits at Albany, New York. The main section continues to New York City and the other goes to Boston.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I have always wondered whether the trains from Scarborough, Yorks, to Middlesbrough via the Esk Valley held some sort of reversal record. From 1958 to 61 the 58 mile route was as follows:

Back out of Scarborough Central Station to Falsgrave Jct then reverse to access the Scarborugh to Whitby railway.

Reverse at Whitby West Cliff to use curve to Whitby Town.

Reverse at Whitby Town to follow Esk Valley line to Battersby where the train reversed in order to get to Middlesbrough.

The old working timetables for that line had an extensive appendix dealing with propelling moves when trains were loco-hauled. For example, if the train consisted of five or fewer carriages they could reverse out of Scarboro' Central provided the Guard was keeping lookout and had a brake valve to hand; otherwise they had to run round at Falsgrave Jct!

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Enoch's comment is probably correct.

I am rather amused, in light of PD's description of the various changes of direction, that many railways, particularly the GWR, would let individual carriages loose on the mainline, to coast towards a destination - the "slip" coaches.

This presumably meant that there was a shunting engine somewhere near to clear the mainline before the next train at speed came through. And another man had to be on board to get the braking right (with vacuum brakes at that, not much reserve for adjustment). Pretty expensive way of bending the rules, particularly with no means of direct coomunication.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Enoch's comment is probably correct.

I am rather amused, in light of PD's description of the various changes of direction, that many railways, particularly the GWR, would let individual carriages loose on the mainline, to coast towards a destination - the "slip" coaches.

This presumably meant that there was a shunting engine somewhere near to clear the mainline before the next train at speed came through. And another man had to be on board to get the braking right (with vacuum brakes at that, not much reserve for adjustment). Pretty expensive way of bending the rules, particularly with no means of direct coomunication.

Slipping coaches was much more common on the GWR than any other system, but it was a very efficient and safe practice. I don't think any accidents were ever caused by it. Slip coaches carried their own guard to work the brakes. Some trains carried a number of coaches to be slipped at various destinations.

Of course, the GWR had the best safety record of any British railway anyway, because of the automatic train control system.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
The aversion to facing points that has been mentioned above was well founded. In the early years of railways, with no centralised control of points and no facing point locks, the possibility of a point moving under a train was a very real one, as was the possibility of a point simply being misplaced in the face of an approaching train. At least a mis-set trailing point was unlikely to cause a major accident.

I guess that it was only with arrival of the signalman's cabin and the interlocking lever frame, complete with facing point locking, that railwaymen came to accept that facing points could now be safely permitted in the layout.

One has only to consider the ease with which a point could be accidently left set the wrong way if its lever was 50 yards from where anybody was working to see that the early railwaymen had a good point.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Remember that we're talking single-line, written-train-order system here.

In the steam era, at least 95% of the "points" were operated by the train crew involved in the actual movement. An upright standard was connected to the lever that moved the points, rotating to show red (for "curve") and green (for "straight" or "normal"). The mechanism had a positive lock, opened by a key, and closed after each movement of the switch.

The standard could be seen from quite a distance, as it was at least six feet high. And it had a kerosene lamp with coloured lenses for nigh-time.

So the crew that could be in the accident were directly responsible to make sure the accident didn't happen.

Once the idea of standard rules was accepted (which took a while, admittedly) the system worked well, if slowly. Effectively, a train had to stop if any change was to be made in the direction of the switch.

But the problem of facing points was never a problem once the blade type of switch was adopted, during the 1880's, I believe.

"stub" switches were another matter altogether.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Sorry, Horseman, you've lost me there. What are 'stub' switches? They're not a mechanism I have ever come across; can you point me to some diagrams/illustrations?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
There's a lot of differences between UK and Canadian practice here. Traditionally in the UK train movements are controlled by signals from signal boxes. Signals and points are interlocked and controlled together. Train crews only throw points (switches) themselves in sidings. Crews drive trains and signalmen control them. The normal principle is that only one train is moving or stationary in one section of track at a time. So this is very different from Canadian practice.

On single track, trains may not enter sections without carrying (or in some cases being shown) a token, staff or metal ticket issued from the signal box at the entry to the section. This is issued from a machine which is interlocked with the one in the box at the other end of the section.

There is a modern radio controlled version of this.

I don't know whether it can actually be said that train orders have been unknown, but if it was ever allowed anywhere, it was very rare indeed.


I think a stub point/switch is one where the in stead of blades moving within the track formation, an entire short section of track swivels. I don't think they were ever - or least not after the earliest days - permitted on track that passenger movements might ever take place on.

They must have given a very rough ride.


UK rules have been that any point that passenger workings go through in a facing direction must have locking bars or equivalent. On most lines the locking bars were worked by a second point lever in the signal box, but on some lines, the lever threw the lock as well as the point. But either way, the lock is included in the interlocking. The signal cannot be released until the points are all set up for the road the train is to follow.

If a passenger train for any reason has to use a set of points that would normally be a trailing one, they have to be locked manually using clamps. An example is where there is wrong line working for track repairs.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Here is a Stub Switch.

There were common before 1880 or so in North America, but gave way to pointed switches. With a stub switch you literally "Bend the Iron", which is RR slang for throwing a switch.

In Timetable and Train Order operation, a train passes between stations were train orders may be picked up. Such stations had a telegraph operator an a signal to indicate that train orders were at hand. One train occupies one section of track between stations at any one time. A train has superiority or right to pass based on class, direction, timetable and train order. When trains meet, the inferior train has to take the siding.

Orders were often "hooped up", strung by string on a hooped or wyed stick and snatched by the engineer while on the move.

It is an low-volume method of operation, as Bree has said before.

In many cases this was superseded by Centralized Traffic Control, which puts the switches and signals under the direct control of a remote dispatcher. CTC was rolled out on the New York Central in 1927 and is now the norm.

Interlocking Towers are common enough in North America, but are mainly seen in high-density areas where interlocking machines are necessary. The largest tower in North America is Zoo Tower in Philadelphia which controls the extremely complex junction between the North East Corridor, the trackage to 30th Street Station and the Pennsy Main Line.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Timetable and Train Order was used early on in the UK, but disappeared very rapidly after a series of "corn field meets" c.1870. After the Armagh disaster in 1886 passenger carrying single lines had to be either "one engine in steam" or Electric Train Staff (ETS).

The most spectacular ETS
installation I ever saw was at Athenry in Ireland. There were no less than six ETS instruments on the shelf, each with its own distinctive staff profile so that there was no possiility of the staffs getting into the wrong machines.

The six machines were:

1. Athenry - Galway
2. Athenry - Ballinasloe
3. Athenry - Tuam (short section)
4. Athenry - Claremorris (long section)
5. Athenry - Gort (short section)
6. Athenry - Ennis (long section)

There was also a series of electrical switches to ensure that there was no possibility of long section and short section staffs being switched in at the same time.

Another little tick of the ETS system is the intermediate block instrument and the Annett's Key. This allows a train to be locked in a siding (spur - US speak) while traffic passes through the block section. The Fertilizer plant siding in my home town was worked this way. The locomotive and train would be locked into the sidings and the single line token laced into an intermediate ETS machine to allow the hourly passenger trai to make its trip down the branch. These days with no freight and a Thatcherised passenger service, a wooden staff controls the single line to my home town.

The old combo of intermediate ETS instrument and Annett's key also makes it possible for the NYMR to run into Whitby.

Speaking of single line staffs...

Staff and Ticket remained the norm on the single track Isle of Man Railway until at least the 1990s. Perhaps they are still at it today. It always caught my eye when on departure from Douglas the Stationmaster handed the Driver both the Douglas-Port Soderick, and Port Soderick-Ballasalla staffs. They were both two foot long batons with brass plates namng the sections, but they were different shapes and colours. Apparently in IMR practice the staff was painted the same colour as the ticket for that section.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Yes, that looks like what I thought a stub point was.

As far as I know, there's never been any precedent here for the idea of particular types of train or one direction having an automatic priority. Trains are normally booked to cross each other at particular crossing points which are marked in the working timetable. Goods and shunting workings though are more likely to wait longer and not be allowed to get in the way.

Usually, at crossing points, trains take the left hand loop. I'm fairly sure that there's a line in Northern Ireland where this was altered so that expresses could go through on a straight run, and stopping trains could be put in the 'wrong' platform so they could do this. PD you might know more about this.

PD, your description of Athenry has lifted a very ordinary Friday.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
If everything is planned in advance, so that the various people along the line expect particular trains at particular times, how do you insert extra workings.

The whole point of the telegraph-and-written-order system was that it allowed for adding or cancelling trains easily and for "what to do when it breaks" scenarios, such as broken-down locomotives.

The "Main Line" in New brunswick was able to shift from Depression-era traffic to full-out wartime carryings without any major changes beyond some larger locomotives. Just about all freights trains ran as extras, i.e. not formally timetabled, for just that reason - times and numbers of trains had to be changed just about every day, and then you add in the troop trains, multiple sections of regular trains to match ocean liner movements, maintenance-of-way equipment moves...

How did the guy out in a remote signal-box, with just his timetable and bell code, know what to do? For that matter, how did the drivers know what to do?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Horseman, I think that the answer to your question has to do with the fact that, in this country at least, signalboxes were between three and five miles apart on average (on the GWR main line, for example) and were connected on the box-to-box telephone line. This was a 'bus' line, so that (potentially) every signal box on a section of line could be talking to every other signal box on that section simultaneously. As an example of this, all of the boxes in the Vale of White Horse (between Didcot and Swindon) were on a single bus circuit (supplemented by individual box-to-box lines) and thus could freely exchange information (including gardening tips ...). In this way, information about extra trains could be quickly passed to all the signalmen on a section of line. The bus line was also the means by which the signalmen calibrated their clocks ~ the time signal was passed on the bus line at eleven o'clock every morning (at least, this was true between Didcot and Swindon ~ other times may have applied on other sections) and recorded in the train register, along with any alterations made to the signalbox clock at that time.

Another point to bear in mind is that working timetables often included "Ghost Trains": trains that did not appear in the public timetables and might not actually run, but existed as 'place-holders' in the timetable to allow extra trains to be run if required.

I guess you could say that it is an entirely different approach to working trains, geared to a railway system where no great distances are being covered, where stations are close together and trains run at relatively high frequencies. It would be unworkable in a North American context, outside of short-distance commuter services.
 
Posted by windsofchange (# 13000) on :
 
Thought you might enjoy this video I took of Angel's Flight, a little funicular railway in downtown Los Angeles, CA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFLLfA6ZMBU
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Yes, that looks like what I thought a stub point was.

As far as I know, there's never been any precedent here for the idea of particular types of train or one direction having an automatic priority. Trains are normally booked to cross each other at particular crossing points which are marked in the working timetable. Goods and shunting workings though are more likely to wait longer and not be allowed to get in the way.

Usually, at crossing points, trains take the left hand loop. I'm fairly sure that there's a line in Northern Ireland where this was altered so that expresses could go through on a straight run, and stopping trains could be put in the 'wrong' platform so they could do this. PD you might know more about this.

PD, your description of Athenry has lifted a very ordinary Friday.

The line you are thinking of is the former NCC mainline from Ballymena to 'Derry. At its peak, the non-stop Belfast-Portrush expresses in the later 1930s took 73 minutes non-stop for 65 miles. This included 35 miles were single track. Until CTC was installed in the 1990s it was usual for trains calling at Ballymoney to use platform 1 next to the main building. The only time 2 was used was when north and southbound passenger trains crossed there.

Actually it is pretty common in Ireland for loops to be signalled bi-directionally, and to be aligned to gie a fast line and a slow line. When the GSR singled most of its secondary mainlines in the 1920s, they usually arranged it so that the fast line was the one closest to the main station building and the slow loop served the other platform.

Other stations on historically single track sections, such as that between Mallow and Tralee, were altered to conform. This allowed express schedues could be maintained after singling, or improved on existing single lines.

Until about 25 years ago most Irish locomotives regularly used for passenger trains had tablet catchers fitted to the cabsides. One of the few exceptions were the GSR 4-6-0s which, due to their weight, rarely strayed from the double track Dublin-Cork route. Most of the Dublin suburban tanks also lacked tablet catchers.

PD

[ 23. October 2009, 19:27: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The signalling situation in North America is more varied, as each railroad had a different situation. Western roads like the Santa Fe used Absolute Permissive Block signalling. When a train enters a block, it causes all other signals to be set to their most restrictive. For instance, when the San Fransico Chief traversed the single-track Belen Cutoff, it caused all other signals between passing sidings to move to "Stop". Yes, this is a low-density solution, but most main lines outside of the Northeast were single track, with the exception of a few main lines in and out of Chicago from the west.

Starting in the 1920's, most railroads moved to Centralized Traffic Control, which puts the dispatcher directly in charge of signals. CTC includes track occupancy circuitry which feeds back to the dispatcher. The switch and signal interlocking mechanism is directly controlled by the dispatcher, and trains run by signal only. Timetables in this case are for dispatchers only.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
At its peak, the non-stop Belfast-Portrush expresses in the later 1930s took 73 minutes non-stop for 65 miles.PD [/QB]

That's pretty fast. Even today, when a lot of the road is motorway, it would take almost that to drive from Belfast to Portrush. In the thirties, the train would have had an enormous advantage.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by daviddrinkell:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
At its peak, the non-stop Belfast-Portrush expresses in the later 1930s took 73 minutes non-stop for 65 miles.PD

That's pretty fast. Even today, when a lot of the road is motorway, it would take almost that to drive from Belfast to Portrush. In the thirties, the train would have had an enormous advantage.
They ran pretty hard to maintain that schedule. The W class Moguls were not very large locomotives. They had 6' driving wheels, so you probably had to push them hard to maintain anything much over 70mph for any length of time. Add to that 35 miles of single track, ETS worked mainline after Ballymena and it becomes an even more creditable piece of running. I bet those single line tokens must have really been thumping up against the cab side. I remember being told that you had to make it from York Road to Coleraine in less than 65 mins start to pass in order to arrive at Portrush on time.

The present NIR service takes roughly 80-82 minutes from Yorkgate to Coleraine with five stops. This is an equivelent to 65-67 minutes start to pass for the York Road to Coleraine run. However, NIR has the advantage of CTC, and high horsepower DMUs.

PD

[Edit: Code.]

[ 27. October 2009, 17:34: Message edited by: Zappa ]
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by windsofchange:
Thought you might enjoy this video I took of Angel's Flight, a little funicular railway in downtown Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for that - it is funny that no one else has commented on it as they are mainly obsessed with comparing speeds of particular steam locomotives.
I notice from other films on that youtube page that this is considered the shortest railroad in the world. I am not sure that this counts as a railroad - these used to be quite common at seaside resorts in the UK. This one being possibly the best and the most eco friendly as it is powered by water.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
You might like to note that the Lynton and Lynmouth funicular is not the only water-operated cliff lift in the UK. There is a similar funicular at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Pantperthog, Machynlleth, in mid-Wales.

Have a look at this to get some idea ~ unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any video footage, but the web site implies that it is still working. The lift is used as the access route from the carpark to the exhibition level.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
How about some unusual equipment?

Most snowplows in Canada were "single-ended" , so they had to be turned. We have one of the four steel-bodied plows that were double-ended . They weren't much use, because they didn't have the "wings' needed to push the snow back away from the line - but they survived in use for 50 years anyway!

(More variations on that theme here )
 
Posted by Benny Diction 2 (# 14159) on :
 
I'm new to this thread.

I'm not the kind of train enthusiast that can name different types of locos etc. But I like trains. And enjoy travelling by train whenever I can.

I got a huge kick recently to travel to the village I grew up in (Crosskeys in South Wales) because they have re-opened a passenger service after almost 40 years.

And as if by a spooky coincidence Songs of Praise is on in the next room and a Gospel singer is singing "This train"!
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
You might like to note that the Lynton and Lynmouth funicular is not the only water-operated cliff lift in the UK. There is a similar funicular at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Pantperthog, Machynlleth, in mid-Wales.
The lift is used as the access route from the carpark to the exhibition level.

I am sure if we try we can make this thread as obscure as some in Eccles - The question is when does a railway become a lift?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Possibly when its gradient exceeds 1 in 3?

I have no idea, though I am sure that there is some expert out there who could give me a hard and fast definition.

I have tended to think of cliff railways as lifts more or less for as long as I can remember, but I could not tell you why. But I guess than anything that needs a special trolley to make its carriages habitable is stretching the definition of "railway" to pretty extreme lengths.

The Great Orme tramway in Llandudno, North Wales, uses conventional carriages on a gradient of 1 in 4 (on the lower, street, section) and is rope hauled. I would say that makes it a railway. The funicular on Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth, on the other hand, has its carriages stepped, which tends to disqualify it as a railway to my mind. I cast myself on the mercy of the court, m'lud!
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Ah well, if it's steep railways, I have travelled on the Flåmsbana.

I would have to say, the Fløibanen does rather outdo Constitution Hill, particularly the downward trip. Hurtling towards the Bergenfjord a tad more exhilarating than Marine Terrace.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Ah well, if it's steep railways, I have travelled on the Flåmsbana.

I would have to say, the Fløibanen does rather outdo Constitution Hill, particularly the downward trip. Hurtling towards the Bergenfjord a tad more exhilarating than Marine Terrace.

I'll add my vote for the Fløibanen. Apart from the fabulous views, I saw the only red squirrel I've ever seen in Europe at the top of it.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Possibly when its gradient exceeds 1 in 3?

I have no idea, though I am sure that there is some expert out there who could give me a hard and fast definition.

I have tended to think of cliff railways as lifts more or less for as long as I can remember, but I could not tell you why. But I guess than anything that needs a special trolley to make its carriages habitable is stretching the definition of "railway" to pretty extreme lengths.

The Great Orme tramway in Llandudno, North Wales, uses conventional carriages on a gradient of 1 in 4 (on the lower, street, section) and is rope hauled. I would say that makes it a railway. The funicular on Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth, on the other hand, has its carriages stepped, which tends to disqualify it as a railway to my mind. I cast myself on the mercy of the court, m'lud!

Would the presence of rails determine this?

Then again, I'm not sure anything cable hauled is a true railway, as it doesn't rely on adhesion (whether it is plain or cog/tooth assisted). I'd hesitate to call San Francisco's cablecars lifts though!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
This thread now has just about all of the characteristics needed for Eccles: highly-specialised jargon, ritual reenactment of older forms of worship, serious and intricate debates about the significance of colours, mildly weird equipment, schisms and unitings, and now a debate about what is a REAL railway!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
This thread now has just about all of the characteristics needed for Eccles: highly-specialised jargon, ritual reenactment of older forms of worship, serious and intricate debates about the significance of colours, mildly weird equipment, schisms and unitings, and now a debate about what is a REAL railway!

We have hardly started. Hasn't anyone mentioned Rule 55 yet?

You can't run a railway without Rule 55 (in Britain anyway). It's the ultimate way of letting control (the signalman) knowing you are there. I suppose genuflecting, the one-arm hug and signs of the Peace are the Ecclesiastical equivalents.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Everyone in Britain knows that the Cathedral of railways is, of course, dedicated to St. Pancras (except High Church Great Western enthusasts, who believe that it's Paddington - but can you imagine a Cathedral dedicated to a bear in a dufflecoat!)
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
This thread now has just about all of the characteristics needed for Eccles: highly-specialised jargon, ritual reenactment of older forms of worship, serious and intricate debates about the significance of colours, mildly weird equipment, schisms and unitings, and now a debate about what is a REAL railway!

We have hardly started. Hasn't anyone mentioned Rule 55 yet?

You can't run a railway without Rule 55 (in Britain anyway). It's the ultimate way of letting control (the signalman) knowing you are there. I suppose genuflecting, the one-arm hug and signs of the Peace are the Ecclesiastical equivalents.

Okay ... rubrics, too. But where is the Real Presence™?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Could the Real Presence have anything to do with Isambard Kingdom Brunel?
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Let us consider the way in which the Coal and the Water are transformed in the fiery furnace to become the Body of Steam! Surely Steam! is the Real Presence?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Would the presence of rails determine this?

Then again, I'm not sure anything cable hauled is a true railway, as it doesn't rely on adhesion (whether it is plain or cog/tooth assisted). I'd hesitate to call San Francisco's cablecars lifts though!

No, I don't think adhesion is essential. Otherwise, the atmospheric wouldn't have been a true railway. After all, what is an atmospheric if it isn't a sort of pneumatic wire? And what about the Cromford and High Peak which had cable and adhesion sections?
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
[QUOTE]Okay ... rubrics, too. But where is the Real Presence™?

That's is times like when an nearing retirement d engine driver was called out one evening to get a main line train across the Carlisle-Settle line and then onto Preston in the middle of blizzard. He did it the whole way by going to the next signal, sending the guard out, to negotiate with the signal man the train passage through the next section.

We were still six hours late, but as the previous train was still stuck on Shap when we arrived in Manchester we weren't grumbling!

Jengie
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
My phrase "ritual reenactment of older forms of worship" was intended to cover such activities as standing at the lineside to adore/venerate the passage of steam-powered trains. In that case, I suppose Steam! could be taken as a manifestation of the Real Presence, since the act does uplift and unite the devotees.

Or am I actually describing the Spirit?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Presumably the Shekinah Glory is actually made visible in some of those amazing 1950s photos of the Norfolk and Western made by Ed Link, all taken at night with flash ...

[ 27. October 2009, 21:23: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Jengie when you were going over Ais Gill and Ribblehead in a blizzard was it in day light? That should have looked impressive, whereas alarming at night.

Changing the subject, there's a thread elsewhere called Lost in Translation on different words used in different countries for the same thing. There's been quite a lot of examples on this thread. I'm not sure I've understood them all. Is there anyone who can tell me whether I'm correct or not?

Car - we use carriage or coach for a passenger one and truck or wagon for a freight one - or van for one with a roof on it. Am I right that an open truck is a gondola and a refrigerated van is a reefer? (that means something else here. It's an old fashioned word for a spliff).

Tower - signal box?

Switch - points

Consist - we haven't really got a word for that. If it means the particular assembly of carriages for a passenger train, either rake or formation are the nearest. Consist would be a useful word. But which way is it stressed? Is it 'consist or con'sist? In UK English consist is a verb and is con'sist. So if consist were a noun it ought to be 'consist. Is it?

Ties - sleepers?

Despatcher - ? Is that a station master, a signalman or someone who works in control? Interesting.

Streetcar - tram.

There's doubtless lots of others. Are there any words we are using on the east side of the Atlantic which are mystifying those on the west, or any that are different in other parts of the English speaking world? Dmu for example, pronounced to rhyme with emu (and there are emus as well) which stands for diesel (or electric) multiple unit.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
You're pretty close on most of those.

In the Canadian/US context:

"con'sist" (n) is the particular set of cars in the train, whether passenger or freight or mixed.

All of the individual wheeled vehicles in trains are "cars" - passenger cars, dining cars, sleeping cars, baggage cars, boxcars, tank cars, flat cars. The tail-end car, equivalent to the guard's van (freight) in England is a "caboose", not a "caboose car" and some others - hopper, gondola - don't usually appear with "car" tacked on.


A gondola is an open-topped rectangular bin on wheels. A hopper has the added feature of doors that open downwards for discharging the load.
"Coach" over here usually means "daycoach" - just seats for passengers, while a "sleeper" would have overnight accomodation with some bed arrangment, whether in "sections", "rooms", "roomettes" or whatever. The "diner" is obvious, the "parlour" maybe less so (soft chairs set individually). The need to differentiate becomes more obvious when you realise that it is quite possible to spend four days on the same train, so a lot of services are needed.

Telegraph era: (the terminology outlasted that system)
Given the need for flexibility on long single-track sections (16 passing sidings on the 138-mile Allanwater Subdivision, for instance, handling most of the traffic on CN between the Prairies and Ontario), there was a huge need for a central office which could figure out what was happening. So each divisional point had a despatcher to work out the sequence of events, and to issue the telegraph instructions to the "operators" at each station. The "train orders" were written out in triplicate, and copies were a) kept by the operator, b) handed up to the engineer (=driver), c) handed up to the conductor (=guard). Note the separate copies for the crew - the conductor couldn't talk to the engineer, even though he was legally in charge of the train!

Another note: the entire railway was diveided into -duh! - "divisions" which were operating units. The spcific sections within the division were "subdivisions", separately controlled. A branch line would be a subdivision (more than one if long enough) and the main line would be many subs, averaging 125 miles or so.

A train also carried two "brakemen" who did nothing much with the brakes except to connect the hoses and check the brake operation during the brake test. Their principal job was operating the switches (= points) as needed and directing the switching (= shunting) moves as the "eyes on the ground"
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Jengie when you were going over Ais Gill and Ribblehead in a blizzard was it in day light? That should have looked impressive, whereas alarming at night.

It was night! We had not left Edinburgh until about 2:00 pm (we'd missed the 1pm train because the Fife train was delayed due to snow).

Jengie
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Car - we use carriage or coach for a passenger one...

In the UK "car", "coach", and "carriage" are used on different railways to mean the same thing. Which is confusing. I think of "carriage" as the default but both the other words are used sometimes.

I think that "truck" and "wagon" mean different things, but I'm not sure what!

[ 28. October 2009, 15:44: Message edited by: ken ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
It seems some translation is in order:

First off, yes Tower = Signal Box. [Smile]

Switch = Points.

Tie = Sleeper.

Truck = Bogie

Streetcar = Tram.

Car - Generic word for any unpowered train-hauled vehicle, whether freight or passenger.

Gondola - An open car with sides without drop doors in the floor.

Hopper - A car containing drop doors in the floor and hatches in the roof (if closed) for drop-loading of bulk freight, particularly coal or grain. May be open or closed.

Consist - Pronounced CONsist when used as a noun. Refers to the cars contained in the train, exclusive of the locomotive and caboose. Most rulebooks define a train as: "An engine or more than one engine coupled, with or without cars, displaying markers."

In later years with multiple-unit diesels, consist also came to refer to the set of locomotives hauling a train.

Locomotive or Engine may be used interchangeably, depending on the road in question.

Caboose = Brake Van (aka Van, Buggy, Waycar, Crummy, Cabin depending on the road in question)

Dispatcher - General Traffic Controller of a section of railway, typically a Division. Under Timetable and Train Order, Dispatchers issue train orders to stationmasters and/or tower operators by telegraph to modify or annul parts of the timetable or to create extra trains. Stationmasters will pass train orders to the conductor.

Switches on single-track lines were often thrown by the trainmen carried on the train.

Under Centralized Traffic Control, a dispatcher controls the interlocked switches and signals himself, and thus directly controls trains by toggling electronic switches. CTC allows dispatchers to work remotely.

Remember how meets work under train order. Each train has a class and right. Rights are conferred by the dispatcher through train orders, class is determined by direction and timetable. Right is superior to direction. Under this system when any two trains meet it is always clear which one takes the siding.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Thanks. That's really interesting. The description of how you manage single line working is quite different from ours. As has already been mentioned, ours is controlled by issuing tokens or tablets that are part of the interlocking system.

With paper train orders, what is the safeguard against a despatcher forgetting or not knowing that there is a train approaching in the section ahead, and issuing a train order he shouldn't?

Also, our meets (crossings) don't work the same way. There's no system of priority. You do what the timetable says, except that if the train you're supposed to cross hasn't arrived yet, you wait. The machine won't let your token/tablet/staff be taken out and given to you until the other one (or quite likely the same one) has been handed in. Until then, the signals cannot get pulled off.

On double track, trains are only moving in one direction, but if the line carries passenger trains, no train can enter a section until the previous train has left it (absolute block). On single track no train can enter a section in either direction until the previous train has cleared.

Just to confuse everyone, on some double track freight only sections there has been something called permissive block, where one train can be allowed into a section at a very slow speed before the previous one has cleared. Goods trains could end up queued one behind the other.

I like all the names for a caboose (guard's van or brake van here). We haven't had brakemen. On a goods train, in the bad old days when they were unfitted, braking was a major part of the guard's job. Goods guards reckoned the life of a passenger guard was a doddle. However a large part of a passenger guard's job was taken up with luggage, mail bags, packages, bundles of morning or evening papers and other things that travelled on passenger trains, and had to be put out at the right stop, including sometimes unaccompanied dogs.

Where do brakemen go when the train is in motion? Do they go on the engine or in the caboose?
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
There were two brakemen during the steam era, one at the head end in the locomotive and one at the rear in the caboose. The rear brakeman was also known as the flagman.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
One might wish to add that there are double (or multiple) line sections in Britain which are signalled for reversible working. This helps if there are any hitches on one or other line, although I suspect that the speed allowed on the "wrong" line is slower than on the "right" line.

There are no tablets or tokens involved - control is done centrally from the switch panel in the signalling centre, and through the lineside signalling with approach control (i.e. signals stay at read to slow a train down before it crosses to the other line, then turn to green). Does anyone know if drivers also get advised by radio if they have to change lines?

Radio control block for single line working (used on the East Suffolk Line, also in Wales ands Scotland) was first pioneered on the narrow-gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. This uses "virtual" tablets, obtaained by the driver stopping at block points and phoning for permission to proceed. But a new system is now superseding it, certainly in Wales.

Talking of permissive block: a couple of stories from Hungary a few years back, both with passenger trains on double-track electrified main line. At one station, the power was off with maintenance being carried out. A diesel banker drew up to the rear of the train without coupling up, horns were sounded, the diesel set off pushing. When the electric loco got back onto a powered section, there was more hooting and the diesel simply slowed down to let the train proceed.

In another place, single line working was in force for track renewals. The ploy was to wait for three or four passenger trains to arrive and then send them through all together, buffered up but not coupled. Presumably the first train (which I was on) continued into the next section and the others would then let the signalling sort them out!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Enoch:

Dispatchers have a complete timetable and list of every train order issued. Train orders were issued in triplicate and repeated back to the dispatcher to ensure correctness. Everything was written down and logged multiple times.

A Dispatcher would have every order issued with respect to his territory in front of him.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
ISTM that accidents related to the dispatcher's work were extremely rare. Problems due to failures out on the line (broken rails, sun kinks, locomotive failures, hot boxes...) would complicate things, hence the availability of men who could go out along the line to set flags and fusees to alert oncoming traffic. And someone could go up a pole to connect a telegraph key to alert the dispatcher if needed.

But you had to work with what you had in that era, and that demanded that everyone get their act together and that the rules were totally enforceable, or the whole system stopped.

Oh, and BTW, the track crews had to have copies of the orders as well, so they knew when there was enough time to do their jobs. I've no idea how they learned about changes in the plan once they were out on the line.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Obviously the Dispatcher system worked, because one would hear about breakdowns of the system fairly quickly (mostly in the shape of one very loud bang). However, I don't quite see how traffic requirements in North American were incompatible with some form of electric staff / electric tablet control, such as the Tyer's Patent system in this country. Essentially, the system combined the telegraph with the train staff, connecting together what were effectively tablet magazines at either end of a section of single line. Only one tablet could be out of the two magazines at any one time, but that tablet could have been taken from either machine and could be replaced in either machine. Provided the train in the section was carrying the correct tablet, the possibility of collision was eliminated.

Of course, that assumes that the rules were observed. The Abermule/Abermiwl collision on the Cambrian Railway demonstrated what could happen if rules were not observed. On that occasion, the driver of a train that had just arrived at Abermule had the token from the previous section returned to him through an oversight, even though he was heading onwards, not back. Contrary to the rules, he did not check that he had been issued with the right token and proceeded into the next section, where he met (and was killed by) the train coming from the other end carrying the correct token.

And, as I commented earlier in the thread, train orders were not infallible ~ vide the Thorpe accident. In fairness to the individuals concerned, that incident was not down to anybody forgetting about a train, but was, once again, down to rules not being obeyed.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I think the best way to think about it is there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not that I have been looking at the Cats thread or anything. [Biased]

In counterpoint, Darllenwr, I simply cannot fathom the fact that British timetables did not specify train superiority by class, right or direction. To me that is the fundamental starting point for controlling train traffic. It's just like the rules of the road. What do you do when two trains need to meet? Who gives way?

In North America with low traffic densities and long distances, train orders worked well. Trains had enough crew in the head and rear ends to ensure safety. The conductor and engineer could establish what was coming by the timetable and train order they had, and there were enough trainmen to protect the train with flags, lights and fusees*. Essentially we accepted that trains would have to meet each other and ensured that each train crew had enough information to act appropriately and safely according to the timetable, train orders and rule book.

With long distances and low densities, the key question is to what to do when the timetable needs to be varied due to inevitable delays.

Also, when we say single-track, that often means a 300 mile stretch of track with nobody living on it with five passing tracks. In places like Northern Ontario that is often the case. Trains do need to pass one another, but all traffic is still in the same direction. Trains don't exit and leave the main line except at the end of the Division.

*Small explosives places on the track to alert a train that the track up ahead was blocked.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Your "fusees" are "detonators" in UK.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Translation: Fusees = Detonators

I take the point about skinning cats. Part of the answer to your implied question about timetabling was a fair amount of built-in slack. Taking the Cambrian line as a case in point, with crossing points about every five miles, if a train was running late, it would simply cross at a different point to what the timetable said. This would be sorted out by the signalmen on the ground on an ad hoc basis, within the provisions made by the operating rules. I guess the key difference is distance. If a single line is essentially broken into five mile sections, then ad hoc operation is feasible. On a single line of the sort with which you are familiar, it really is unworkable, and one has to introduce the criteria of which you speak. In this country, the criteria would have been seen as superfluous: a late running train would be held at an earlier crossing point to prevent it causing delays to other services. Unless it was an express, in which case it might be given priority in the hope that lost time might be made up. To some degree, local knowledge could be important ~ if the signalmen knew that the crew of the late-running train had a reputation for regaining lost time, they would be given a clear run. As I said, very ad hoc and only possible on the sort of line where everything is packed close together.

E.T.A. Cross-posted

[ 28. October 2009, 22:17: Message edited by: Darllenwr ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Thanks Darllenwr. I don't think I've seen the Welsh spelling of Abermule before.

I think it's fair to say that the people writing the timetables would normally time all other trains to wait for an express passenger, two lamps one over each buffer, 4 bells, and most other trains to wait rather than hold up a stopping passenger, 1 lamp below the chimney, 3-1. And a class C, lamp over right buffer and in middle, shouldn't be held up by some wandering unfitted or a shunter/trip/pick-up or whatever the local phrase was. But I've never encountered any suggestion that trains in one direction automatically had priority over the other.

I get the impression from the various posts that one of the big differences between UK and North American practice is that in the UK trains move only because signalmen tell them they can. Drivers know where they have got to go to, and when they've got to get there, but they aren't responsible for deciding whether they can start or not. They have to do what the signalman tells them - and particularly on passenger workings also can't start until the guard blows his whistle and waves his flag (or modern equivalent)

So it isn't a question of one train giving way to the other. The one that arrives first has to stop and wait anyway.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
In North America, the following is common:

A scheduled merchandise freight (boxcars full of manufactured wares) moves over a 50 mile eastbound distance from the last station and siding and meets another merchandise freight travelling in the opposite direction (westbound), also 50 miles from the last station and siding. For the sake of argument let us say they are both of the same class, in fact according to the timetable they are Trains 113 and 114, each having the same route in the opposite direction.

There is one passing siding to the left of the line. There is nothing else around. No stations or signals.

According to the rulebook, Eastbound trains are superior to westbound trains of the same class. Therefore Train 114 which is westbound takes the siding. It stops and its brakeman muscles the switch for the siding, and the train moves in. Once in the siding the switch is muscled back into the through position. The trainmen hop out and place fusees and torpedoes. (My bad. A fusee is a flare, a torpedo is a detonator).

The eastbound train passes the westbound one (as the timetable says) and no other trains are scheduled to meet. The trainmen muscle the other switch into position and the train continues.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
One of the famous diferences between Britain and North America, in railway terms, was that in Britain, the drivers normally did not carry watches - they just went on at the "usual" pace on the assumption that they would get the time right. At stations, the guard would control the start time.

But, over here, the engineer and the conductor HAD to have watches, so they could observe timetable times and progression times to be sure they would do the meets smoothly.

Everything was done by the train crews, the telegraph operators being just communication devices.

In my example above, Allanwater Sub. in northern Ontario, 138 miles, 16 passing sidings with telegraph operators at each station, the only signals were semaphores used to tell the traincrews whether there were orders to be picked up or not. There were no signal crews or boxes. But a typical day would see 14 trains total.

The crews operated the switches, which had colour-for-route indicators built in, and it was the crew's responsibility to ensure that they didn't come to grief.

Once one train stopped, the crew had to check the other train as it passed for mechanical problems - again, personal responsibility to make sure things worked.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Ok, an engineer not carrying a watch? That blows my mind. Speed control is central on North American rails.
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
I think the best way to think about it is there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not that I have been looking at the Cats thread or anything. [Biased]

I should hope not! [Biased]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Thanks SPK and HB. That's a tremendous help in understanding how this works. It's a quite different way of doing things.

Drivers did usually have watches, particularly in later years, but the thing that will surprise you is that very, very few UK steam engines ever had speedometers. It was assumed that drivers knew by experience how fast they were going. This though did mean that speed restrictions on some lines were a bit erratic.

Cabs also had no lights - after all, you don't drive with the light on anyway. So at night what you couldn't see by the light of the fire when the firedoors were open, you couldn't see.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
On the GWR, at least, the driver was required to have a watch, certainly in 20th century days. The driver had a log book to fill in, booking the passing times at significant points along his route, and other pertinent information, such as where he slipped coaches. These log books were maintained for evidential reasons ~ if somebody were to be run down by a train, for example, drivers logs would be examined to determine which train had been responsible and whether any further action should be taken.

For further information on this subject, refer to the books by Harold Gasson, a former GWR fireman. A driver was lost without his watch.

Also on the GWR, only the 4-cylinder 4-6-0's ever had speedometers (Stars, Castles and Kings). On all other classes of engine, the drivers had to work it out for themselves.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
I simply cannot fathom the fact that British timetables did not specify train superiority by class, right or direction. To me that is the fundamental starting point for controlling train traffic. It's just like the rules of the road. What do you do when two trains need to meet? Who gives way?

You may have got the wrong end of the stick there - UK trains most certainly are split into classes. They range from Class 1 (express passenger) to Class 8 (slow freight).

BUT - as UK trains use the timetable to determine where and when they will pass, train class only has an effect when a signalman has to decide which of two trains to prioritise in the event of one of them running late. This is generally only an issue when the trains are going in the same direction, as most of the UK is double (or more) track anyway.

There's also not the issue at passing places on single track lines of which train has to go into the siding/which crew has to operate the points, as passing loops in the UK are effectively short lengths of double track with left-hand running, and the points are controlled by the signalman.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Most locomotives over here didn't have speedometers either until 20 years ago. Railways felt they were unreliable and prone to breakdown. Given the decrepit state of repair that many railroads were in, this was true. Speed was monitored by timing the train between mileposts and calculating the result.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
‘Can you get your head in, please?’

Last Saturday I went to the Keighley & Worth Valley annual beer and music festival. It was the first time I have been to this, and I mostly enjoyed it (even Eddie Earthquake and the Tremors playing hits from the 1950s & ‘60s were surprisingly good! [Eek!] ).

But as I went downhill on my last run of the day I was leaning out of the window as we slowed, I think for Damens loop. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned, expecting to have my ticket checked. No, the man was not in uniform, and he said something to me which I asked him to repeat ‘Can you get your head in, please?’

I was somewhat shocked, having travelled many hundreds of miles with my head out of the window [Eek!] , a good number of which have been on the K&WVR. So I said ‘Why?’ He mentioned something about danger if another train was to pass. But I was on the left side of the train! Even if I’d been on the right, I am so experienced at doing this, and the speed is a maximum of 25mph, that there would be a negligible risk. I did bring my head in, but only till he’d gone. He did pass later and ordered me to get my head in again. I didn’t oblige [Devil] and he didn’t follow it up. Good job, as I was close to a ‘train rage’ incident!

I can only assume that insurers or health & safety zealots have made this railway (and others) have some poor, unfortunate bugger of a volunteer go up and down the train ‘enforcing’ this policy.

The irony is that at least three coaches in every Worth Valley set are compartment stock and he couldn’t have done this in those! Which is why I moved carriages at Ingrow West!

But what a worrying sign of the times! I would rarely want to travel behind steam if I couldn’t lean out of the window at least some of the time.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
What do you do when two trains need to meet? Who gives way?

In the old days I think the signalman decided. Based on the timetable.

Of course there were rules when the timetable doesn't specify. Local variants I think, but in general they are obvious ones - goods give way to passenger traffic, mainline to branch line, slow trains to express. In the morning up trains take priority, in the evening down trains. (Directions in British railways traditionally are not things like "east" or "west" but "up" or "down" - that is towards or away from somewhere - almost always London!)

These days I suspect all that is scrapped in most places. Rules will be decided by agreement between train operating companies during the long and absurdly expensive negotiations that lead up to the production of the timetable.

And in practice decisions are made centrally in real time in the interests of keeping the service running. If a train has to get somewhere in time to make another journey it might be given priority, or even turned round early and have its passengers stranded on a platform waiting for the next train - its much more like The Taking of Pelham 123 than it is like The Railway Children!
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
I would guess, Alaric, that since the man was behind you and you were on a bend, that he may have been wanting to take photos (with his head out the window!) without a head in them. His prob, though, not yours [Snigger]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Enoch likes Cabooses. So do I. [Smile]

There were three varieties of the North American Caboose: Cupola, Bay-window and Extended Vision. Bay Window cabooses had no cupola and were single level. EV cabooses were a hybrid of the first two types.

Roads like the Baltimore & Ohio, Northern Pacific, New York Central and Milwaukee Road preferred bay-window cabooses.

I particularly like the Northeastern sytle Caboose
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
In Britain cabooses were more prosaically called "brake vans". They were often fairly rudimentary affairs but then distances are far shorter than in North America.

Most brake vans were double ended but the Great Western type - known as a "Toad" - only had a verandah at one end. I can only think of one type of van which was on bogies, the Southern Railway "Queen Mary" which was intended for fast goods traffic. Both these date back to the 1930s (the "Toad" in its variants goes back further than that). I suppose if your train was all loose-coupled four-wheelers, then you didn't need a more sophisticated brake van!

Passenger brake vans often had a little ducket sticking out of the side enabling the guard to see along the train. This disappeared with the new British Railways coaches in the 1950s. Some stock in southern England in the late 19th/early 20th century had a raised section of roof a little bit like the American caboose - these were often known as "birdcages". Many BR Southern Region guards vans - certainly the Kent Coast electric stock of 1959 and possibly some later - had a periscope to let the guard look fore and aft.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Oh, dear, SPK, symmetrical cabooses?

PROPER cabooses have the cupola offset towards one end. I offer this photoset for comparisons. 14, 15 and 24 as you scroll down give the best images of proper cabooses, although I always thought that CP's cupolas were too tall.

Here is a well-restored example.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:


And in practice decisions are made centrally in real time in the interests of keeping the service running. If a train has to get somewhere in time to make another journey it might be given priority, or even turned round early and have its passengers stranded on a platform waiting for the next train - its much more like The Taking of Pelham 123 than it is like The Railway Children!

Either turned round early, or ordered to speed through and omit scheduled stops in order to make up time (and avoid fines for the operators): no thought to those hoping to get off at Little Minimarket instead of being swept along to Bankers City. Let alone the rainsodden crowds waiting at Cloudburst Halt.

But let not this hellish glimpse of modern reality stop this wonderful nostalgiafest.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Good Heavens! As if symmetrical cabooses weren't bad enough, now we have the outright heresy of a train leaving the station before the advertised time! Is nothing sacred?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Priority when passenger trains crossed was decided by local custom. Most systems had some sort of classification system, so the Irish have "A" for expresses; "B" for local passenger; down to "X" (IRC) for departmental trains.

In the event that two passenger trains of the same rank crossed, the usual practice in ETS days was for Dublin bound trains to take precedence in the morning and Country-bound trains in the evening. This was a matter of convenience.

In Britain, the usual situation is that the working timetable governs who goes first when trains of the same class cross. Thus if 1A36 and 1A37 meet on a single line, it is the working timetable that decides; though if things go pear-shaped the signalman, or in extreme cases divisional control makes the decision.

With ETS, it usually takes 2-4 minutes for two trains to cross. In the days of token catchers you could have quite a long wait if an express was due and you were riding the slow train.

1. Your train would arrive from A, give up the token covering the section A to B.

2. The A to B token is restored to the machine to release the A end signals.

3. The token would then be withdrawn placed in a pouch and put in the land-based tablet catcher.

4. The express would dump its C to B token into a net and collect the B to A token in the cab side apparatus. The signals at the A end of the station would then be returned to danger.

5. The token for C to B would then be restored to the ETS machine, releasing the signals at that end of the station allowing the route to be set and the starter pulled off for the train departing for C.

6. The C to B token is withdrawn, placed in a pouch and handed to the driver of the stopping train.

7. The stopping train could then depart, and after that train has departed the signals at the C end are returned to danger.

This process was quite cumbersome, leading to some extended station stops for slow passenger trains on single track routes with express passenger services. However, it was pretty idiot proof. What went wrong at Abermule was firstly that the ETS instrments were not in the signal cabin, but in the station building, which meant the people other than the signalman handled the ETS. In theory, the ETS machines were the responsibility of the stationmaster, but in practice whoever was handy dealt with the ETS. Secondly, the driver of one of the trains failed to check that he had been given

On single track routes with heavy passenger traffic, ETS has been all but totally replaced by track circuit block where the locking is done electronically, or by full blown CTC. A few ETS installations survive, but several of them ae operated by train crews under the supervision of a remote signalman. For example, the ETS instruments at Battersby, Glaisdale, and Whitby, and the intermediate block instrument at Grosmont are all under the control of the signalman at Nunthorpe.

PD
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
Is this where we play Mornington Crescent [Confused]


[Devil]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
This thread is going to get sent straight to Eccles next H&A Day. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Think² (# 1984) on :
 
NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!

*collapses into a sobbing heap*
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
Pats Think² on the back

Kid, how could you? ITTWACW! [Disappointed]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I thought this was a Car website? [Two face]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
I thought this was a Car website? [Two face]

I hadn't realised the Antichrist had struck [Devil]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Huge news: Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway just bought the entire Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for $34 Billion.

Article here.

Wow.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
At least in North America you can buy a railway. Here you can only get a short term operating lease on someone else's track. If you want your own railway, all you can have is a model one.

You can though have a collection of engines and hire them out to operators who are short of them.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
I have read something today, that has made me [Killing me] and [Disappointed] .

Five enthusiasts were overheard arguing about the appropriate colour of hi-vis jackets, to be worn by Photographers, for a railway setting, on the Isle of Man. Apparently they were incensed that two photographers were wearing Yellow, rather than Orange, vests.

Amazing.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Lord Pontivillian , what is the correct colour for the Isle? Is it like blue stoles at Royal Peculiars, or does it depend on the time of the year? Perhaps this thread should go to Eccles for a full exploration of all the issues involved.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
At least they were incensed. I trust in proper hierarchical order (ie Fat Controller first).
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I guess I'm my usual self then, being partial to the Diesel Reformation.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Speaking as one planted firmly in the Old Order, I would have to say that you simply aren't on a Real Train if there isn't Steam present!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Pontivillian:
I have read something today, that has made me [Killing me] and [Disappointed] .

Five enthusiasts were overheard arguing about the appropriate colour of hi-vis jackets, to be worn by Photographers, for a railway setting, on the Isle of Man. Apparently they were incensed that two photographers were wearing Yellow, rather than Orange, vests.

Amazing.

Gee, what is the world coming to - the Isle of Man Railway using high-vis vests. In my day it was strictly an oily boiler suit operation for those at the smokey end, blue uniforms for the staff, and "watch yerself" for railway enthusiasts taking photographs. Mind you, the IMR of the late-1970s would have sent mainland HSE people nuts - staff and ticket operation, few full height platforms (actually few of any sort), no continuous brakes on passenger trains running at up to 40mph, and some distinctly "wobbly irons." As the IMR is regulated by Tynwald not Westminster, the 1889 Railways Act does not apply there, yet inspite of their archaic working practices they have had very few accidents and even fewer serious ones.

One old truism on the IMR was that with the small boiler Beyer Peacock locomotives was that you had a choice of steam heat, or continuous brakes - neither if the engine was steaming badly! Nowadays they do use continuous brake - vacuum bakes were installed in the 1920s, but were often not used as there is no statuary requirement for them - but I think it is still a staff and ticket operation.

PD
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
PD , is what you are setting out the Traditional clothing, or is it Dearmerite? And the oil - has it been properly blessed?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
HB, you have authority behind you. This might get us forcibly transferred to Kerygmania, but what about Is 6:4:-

"And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house [of the Lord]was filled with smoke".

Also, the warhorse in Job 41:-

"Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes".

It's obvious what sort of engine is a true engine.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
What is everyone's favourite Station. I personally love Cardiff Central for its variety, though Temple Meads and Manchester Piccadilly are amazing architecturally.

I like Cardiff Central because you have a massive range of trains.
You get everything from Class 142 DMUs to top'n'tailed Class 67s on the Holyhead services. One also often sees some kind of Freight going through the Station, usually hauled by a Class 66 although there is currently a Class 57 in the station throat.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I like Temple Meads, though it would be better if the terminal platforms with the hammer beam roof were still in use. I also like Paddington, St Pancras as it was, York and Newcastle. There's a pattern there. They've all got imposing roofs, some of them have imposing frontages and they're all busy. One less well known one was Buxton where fifty years ago there used to be two matching stations next to each other, but one of them is long gone and the other is dull on its own.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Stations: St Pancras surely takes the crown. Enoch's comment 'as it was' presumably expresses regret at the crappy extension, shoving the Midland main line out the back; hard to fault the restoration of the main station though (except for the naff and cheesy statue of the embracing couple).
Otherwise: Newcastle Central beats York in my opinion: similar sweep of the main train shed, but a beautiful classical building, and a genuine mediaeval castle almost engulfed by the tracks.
Huddersfield is another classical gem.
For sheer incongruity the prize ought to go to Hammersmith (Hammersmith and City terminus): it wouldn't be out of place in some Wiltshire market town, instead of at the end of a busy metro line in the biggest city in Europe. [Is London that still, or does Berlin or somewhere beat it now?]
Modern stations: in Britain the new Leeds is impressive (and they've nicely restored the Art Deco ex-LMS concourse). Holden's Underground stations - definitely modern even if they date back to the 30s - are iconic, as are some of the recent Jubilee line stations. But I doubt if any of them are as heart-stoppingly exciting as some of the new German and Spanish stations, which I have only seen on paper. And in Italy of course there is S Maria Novella in Florence and Rome Termini - again dating from the 1930s.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Remebering my loco-spotting days lo! these many years ago (1956), I can remember Temple Meads as an exciting place - great curving trainshed with far too much platform and all the "other" tracks/platforms where one went because one could see the roads into the engine servicing area.

Not to mention the sudden appearances of Midland-powered trains in or out of the old station - usually when one was too far away to cop the numbers...

And the tantalising views of goods trains on the avoiding line, always much too far away for a number...

All wreathed in fog and coal smoke

Desperately unmodern, but fun.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Hmmm, favourite stations.

Hamilton's Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Station. One of the rare examples of Art Deco railway architecture in Canada. The TH&B is elevated through downtown Hamilton, so the tracks are on the second level.

For sheer Art Deco grandeur there is of course Cincinnati Union Terminal. One of the last Union Stations built, it was a bit of a white elephant, but grand.

Ottawa Union Station was classically grand. [Smile]
 
Posted by amber. (# 11142) on :
 
Favourite? Damems, the tiniest station in the country.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by amber.:
Favourite? Damems, the tiniest station in the country.

Good one. Neighbouring Keighley, though by no means the smallest, being a four-platformed junction, is a beautifully-preserved example of a real station. The half that is owned by the KWVR has been restored extremely well (but inaccurately, in that the BR-style signs are in Midland maroon rather than North Eastern orange, as they would have been in BR days), and Northern Rail have had a good go at doing up the main-line half to match. I love the wooden ramps (instead of stairs) to the platforms, and the Edwardian balustrades.

And of course it's one of the few stations where you are likely to catch a glimpse of electric, diesel and steam traction all at once.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Well for views of those I have been to Crianlarich is pretty hard to beat. They have a cafe there which serves a good coffee. If you are going to Oban and the Wester Isles, this is where you get off the sleeper to get the first train from Glasgow to Oban.

Jengie
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Winnipeg's Union Station is quite decent, in a rather ageless style - at least, the main building and concourse. Like almost all Canadian stations that have one, the trainshed is rather mean and cramped (The station is "Union" since it was built as a joint venture of Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific, with daily service from Northern Pacific and Great Northern)

I'd have to put Paddington at the top of my English list of big stations - an excellent mid-Victorian design that has adapted well to the 21st century.

Taunton was always nice - a rather "country" station with surprisingly large amounts of traffic, lots of room to move about and a calm presence. Probably not as much fun since all four branch lines are gone.

And Totnes has quite a bit to recommend it - through trains at speed with good visibility on the centre tracks as well as stopping trains at the platforms. Pity the Dart Valley doesn't run in.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Well for views of those I have been to Crianlarich is pretty hard to beat.

The link above now appears forbidden to me as well but if you want a view from Wikipedia of the same
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Small stations:

Crianlarich - nicely maintained West Highland Railway "Chalet-style" station, with, last time I was there, an active freight yard.

Barnetby, Lincs - still semaphore signalled with a lot of freight. Used to be nicer when the old footbridge and island platform buildings were intact.

Medium Sized:
Killarney - attractive wooded setting with original buildings. The reversal of trains in or out of the station make it rather more interesting than most.

Lincoln - busy station, with lenty of through freight and its original Victorian Tudor buildings. More interesting a few years ago when it was semaphore signalled and had definite up and down sides.

Stirling - plenty of traffic; nice Edwardian buildings.

Major City Stations:
Edinburgh Waverley - big and busy, and not totally wrecked in the 1970s.

York - The fore-buildings are a bit disappointing, but the curved three arch roof is a treat. Very busy with a wide variety of TOCs.

Washington Union, DC - a union station in the grand style that is still busy enough to feel like the real deal.

I also have a certain fondness for Dublin Connolly, London Marylebone and King's Cross, Glasgow Central, and Bristol Temple Meads. The old Douglas (IMR) terminus was also pretty impressive before it was reduced in size to make way for the bus garage.

PD
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
China seems to be the place for trains these days. Not only the new monumental railways stations like Beijing West , but, as we drove through a town in Shanxi Province, there were still steam locomotives hauling to and from the local industrial plant.

Before that, I think the last time I saw a working steam train - other than preserved railways, or the West Highland line - was in about '89 or '90 - a few months after the opening of the border between the two Germanies - when they were still using them in the East.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
Doncaster station is great for spotting - east coast expresses mixing with little locals and plenty of goods, and the Wabtec works right next door [Smile] . I also like Clapham Junction for the sheer volume of traffic. And Crewe is fun.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
The best small stations on preserved lines are Oakworth on the K&WVR (yes, I know it is the ‘Railway Children’ cliché station, but is still their best) and Goathland on the NYMR. On the national network I like Wetheral on the Newcastle & Carlisle line, and Dent on the Settle & Carlisle, though so many S&C stations are good.

Medium sized: I think Durham is very good, and would be even better if they hadn’t modernised the southbound side. I used to love spending an hour or so at the viaduct end in the 1970s when there were still ‘Deltics’ departing on ECML expresses. Huddersfield (medium to large) is also good (as Angloid noted) on the outside, but the inside is a bit gloomy (as I will be reminded again at around 5.15pm today!).

York is the best big station. Newcastle, as someone has noted, is very good, but the ‘modern’ black ticket office spoils it somewhat and should not have been built.

I used to like King’s Cross best of the London termini but it may have changed for the worse??
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
On this side of the pond we have Los Angeles' Union Station, the last grand old-style railroad station ever built in this country. The outside resembles A cathedral in the Spanish Mission style, with the interior looking like the Art Deco version of a way station on the route to Outer Space.

And there's New York's "old" Pennsylvania Station, torn down in the 1960s and replaced with a monstrosity not even worthy of being photographed. The old station was modeled on the Roman Baths of Caracalla. Here's the interior. The destruction of this masterpiece is an act for which old-time New Yorkers will never forgive the City.

And no consideration of New York is complete without a consideration of Grand Central Terminal, built to look like an Italian Renaissance palace. After years of neglect and seediness, the interior has now been beautifully restored.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Ottawa Union Station's Departure Hall is a half-scale duplicate of the lost one of New York's Penn Station. Both were Beaux-Arts and based on the Baths of Caracalla. Ottawa Union Station was replaced by a characterless suburban station in the 1960's and is now a government conference centre.

It's only a block from Parliament Hill on the other side of the National War Memorial.

The National Capital Commission has purchased most of the buildings on Wellington Street including Bank of Montreal's Ottawa Main Branch, a classic Main Branch building and IIRC the last major Commercial operation on Wellington Street. The current watchword is security, and that branch was right opposite Parliament Hill.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Thank you Miss Amanda . It was always said of Euston that it was a gate from the city to the country beyond, and vice versa. Harold Macmillan's Govt ruined that. It may have got the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty right, but this was an error. Penn and Grand Central Stations served the same purpose, and the loss of Penn is gbhhfj. Beijing West is another example of the concept.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (not Station!) was pretty much forced on SP, UP, and ATSF by the City Fathers. By the mid-1930s, when construction began, passenger numbers were in decline and they really did not want to fork out the big bucks to build a new terminal. It is a beutiful building, and since the advent of Metrolink, reasonably busy, but it is an operating nightmare as it consists of ten (formerly sixteen) terminal platforms. The lack of through platforms makes through running from Orange County to Chatsworth/Santa Barbara or Santa Clarita/Palmdale time consuming. There is periodic talk of a bridge across the 101, and making four or five through platforms, but so far it has only been talk.

Washington Union Station is an interesting mix of terminus and through station. In my wandering I have only ever used the "Virginia" side of the station. Amtrak always seems to take an inordinate amount of time to change locomotives at Washington. 20 to 30 minutes seems excessive compared to the 6-8 minutes that was customary at Carstairs before the old Caley route from Carlisle to Edinburgh was electrified in the mid-1990s.

Richmond (Main Street) is another interesting station, and I hope that will be used more in the future, being close to down town. I don't know the railway geography of Richmond that well, but I would assume that the Silver Service trains on the former ACL mainline could use it too, that would leave just the four terminating workings from New York/Washington at the Amshack* in the 'Burbs.

PD

* "Amshack" - an Amtrak station of modular construction; usually of 1970s vintage.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
One of the problems in the US is that the private railroads favoured stub-end terminals over run-through designs for Union Stations and other big city terminals. This made reuse by Amtrak which prefers run-through operation harder. Grand Central is a stub, as is Chicago Union Station*. Penn Station was made run-through for use by LIRR and New Haven connections, but Broad Street Station in Philadelphia was a stub.

*Chicago Union Station was served by the Pennsylvania Railroad from the East and the Milwaukee Road (Chicago connection for Union Pacific after 1955) and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. The layout is a double-ended stub with one run-through track. One lonely connection between the isolation of Eastern and Western railroading.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
It was always said of Euston that it was a gate from the city to the country beyond, and vice versa. Harold Macmillan's Govt ruined that. It may have got the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty right, but this was an error.

Unfortunately, for those of us that remember it, the Doric Arch was very impressive. So was the hall, though the decor was as scruffy as the clientèle by the time I remember it. But the rest of the station was a typical LNWR grubby mess. There were clusters of platforms with nondescript pitched roofs over them, jammed in where they could be fitted over the years, and separated by two sets of goods bays. The two original 1830s platforms were stuck in the middle, but not connected to either side.

Whether it would have been possible to fit a decent station on the site without removing the arch and hall, I'm not sure, but there is nothing that could be said in favour of the old Euston as a station rather than as an architectural monument.

When I commented on stations earlier, I too thought of Huddersfield, which has a magnificent frontage to the street. Then I remembered the nondescript station behind it. But at least the platforms are reasonably well arranged. The old Euston did not even have that. It was a place passengers could get lost in.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Given that it would appear to be the function of a station to get the passengers into/out of their trains, Euston was a total disaster.

I know that the appearance of some irrelevant part is terribly important to those who visit, but I would have to agree that, for passengers, the old Euston was a place to get lost in (and to get quite dirty in, as well).

Possibly the arch could have been reassembled in some appropriate place - Knock Fyrish already has a nice set of pointless gates, for instance, so a Doric Arch would just add piquance.

But I cannot remember any part of the actual train/person interface at the old Euston that was faintly attractive.

Paddington, OTOH, has no particular "street" appearance, but works well as a station (and a train-spotter's location, to boot), Marylebone has charm as street frontage and as a station, St. Pancras has a grogeous street frontage, and an impressive trainshed, leaving Kings Cross as a rather dirty but functional place. The jury is still out on Liverpool Street. Oh, yes, Fenchurch Street is quite attractive (or was, in my memory)
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
As an example of how to renovate and modernise a major terminus, Manchester Piccadilly stands out. Unlike the mess at its sister station, Victoria.

North America did a very good job of grand terminals - all the ones I've visited are impressive: Grand Central in New York, the VIA terminal in Toronto and Union Station in LA. The Santa Fe depot at San Diego is an attractive mission-style building with lots of tiling.

Others that come to mind-
Keeping to the Spanish Mission theme, an interesting use of an old station: La Jolla United Methodist Church (yes, it really was originally built as a railway station)

Ginormous station building in a tiny village: the former Italy-France border station at St Dalmas-de-Tende in the South of France.

[ 10. November 2009, 12:35: Message edited by: Mr. Spouse ]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Yes, Manchester Piccadilly, and the railway lines out of it, are the best things about Manchester! [Two face]
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
the decor was as scruffy as the clientèle by the time I remember it.

Mid-sixties: 3 teenagers making a rather unplanned journey from Germany to Ireland. Fetched up in Euston Station late at night - no trains until the morning - and we had no money (or idea) for accommodation.

There was a Ladies Waiting Room that stayed open all night. Despite the facilities being no more than a dozen or so hard chairs, strip lighting and a large mirror, the place was oddly bustling. I remember thinking somewhere in the small hours, of some girl backcombing her beehive before the glass, that a white pleated microskirt was such an impractical garment for travel.

I was glad when I heard it had been rebuilt. I don't even remember an arch.

[ 10. November 2009, 13:10: Message edited by: Firenze ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Who are all these philistines who don't seem to care that one of the greatest and earliest monuments to the railway age (ie the Euston arch) was destroyed in a wanton attack of vandalism? It could easilu have been incorporated in a redesigned terminus with a minimum of
architectural imagination. Instead we're stuck with the blandest of bland corporate monsters which one wouldn't recognise as a station apart from the logo outside and the bewildered travellers falling over each others' luggage.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
I should of course have referred to All Saints Anglican Church in Canberra. This originally started as a mortuary station in Sydney. The train would be loaded at the city end with the deceased and (in separate carriages) the mourners; then the last journey to the cemetery, some 15 or so km away, where there was another gothic station. Separate funeral processions from there to the graveside.

The mortuary station was carefully demolished, stone by stone, and transported to Canberra. It was then rebuilt (windows filling side arches, sanctuary etc added) and has been the parish church there for 40+ years now - time from memory. It makes a delighful church.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Until Amtrak, Chicago was served by a plethora of stub-end stations. In addition to the aforementioned Union Station, LaSalle Street Station served the NYC and Rock Island, Dearborn Street served the Santa Fe, Grand Trunk and Wabash, Central Station served the IC, Northwestern served the CNW (and for a brief period the C&O and B&O) and Grand Central served the C&O, B&O and the Soo Line. All but Union Station have been demolished, though I think that the Dearborn Street station building still remains. Suburban services (Metra) run out of the new Northwestern and LaSalle Street Stations (which are located under modern office buildings), as well as from Union Station and Millenium Station (formerly Randolph Street Station), the Metra electric (formerly IC) line.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The NYC also stopped at Illinois Central's Central Station. The Michigan Central used this depot as it was semi-independent of its owner the New York Central. When NYC merged the MC out of existence in the 1950's it consolidated the MC trains at La Salle Street Station.

One question I have never been able to answer is how through cars from the Pennsy and New York Central were forwarded to the Santa Fe. The Chief and Super Chief carried through sleepers from the Broadway Limited and 20th Century Limited in the 1950's. How were the cars handled between La Salle/Union Station and Dearborn Station?
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
Wasn't there some talk a while ago about salvaging the stones of the Euston arch (from the bottom of a canal, was it?) and rebuilding it?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
The River Lea in east London, I think it was.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Who are all these philistines who don't seem to care that one of the greatest and earliest monuments to the railway age (ie the Euston arch) was destroyed in a wanton attack of vandalism? It could easilu have been incorporated in a redesigned terminus with a minimum of
architectural imagination. Instead we're stuck with the blandest of bland corporate monsters which one wouldn't recognise as a station apart from the logo outside and the bewildered travellers falling over each others' luggage.

I agree with you about the arch, but not about the station design. As an example of good 1960's design it still works, especially now they have removed some of the obstacles (aka retail opportunities) that removed the sense of space. I still find leaving the underground platform areas and arriving in the foyer space uplifting. No, bland it isn't. That title should go instead to the monstrous office blocks outside. Hopefully, the planned redesign will open up the space from Euston Road and make it clearer that there is a major terminus station there.

PS Information on the Euston Arch here.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Who are all these philistines who don't seem to care that one of the greatest and earliest monuments to the railway age (ie the Euston arch) was destroyed in a wanton attack of vandalism? It could easilu have been incorporated in a redesigned terminus with a minimum of
architectural imagination.

Well, parts of the old entrance are now in use as a Lesbian bar...
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Spouse:
I agree with you about the arch, but not about the station design. As an example of good 1960's design it still works, especially now they have removed some of the obstacles (aka retail opportunities) that removed the sense of space. [/URL].

No, its a rubbish station. Far less user-friendly than any other major London station - even London Bridge (which is cobbled together from bits of what look like lego) or Victoria (which has to handle well over twice as may passengers in not much more space)

A couple of years ago I wrote down my reasons for not liking Euston on a blog linked here I don't think its improved much.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Who are all these philistines who don't seem to care that one of the greatest and earliest monuments to the railway age (ie the Euston arch) was destroyed in a wanton attack of vandalism?

Hey, at least the big terminus building at the other end of the line still exists [Smile]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Who are all these philistines who don't seem to care that one of the greatest and earliest monuments to the railway age (ie the Euston arch) was destroyed in a wanton attack of vandalism?

Hey, at least the big terminus building at the other end of the line still exists [Smile]
OK Marvin, excuse my ignorance, but is that (station) building in Birmingham? Liverpool? Glasgow even? Holyhead [Eek!] ?? 'Cause all of those could claim to be at the other end of the line from Euston!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
It's Curzon Street in Birmingham, because the original line from Euston was the London and Birmingham. Of course it amalgamated with all sorts of other railways such as the Liverpool & Manchester, the Lancaster & Carlisle, the Chester & Holyhead, and the Grand Junction to become the London & North Western with its northern terminus at Carlisle.

Because of the L&M link, the LNWR used to call itself (somewhat naughtily) "the oldest passenger firm in the business"!
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
It's Curzon Street in Birmingham, because the original line from Euston was the London and Birmingham.

Yep.

Curzon Street station lasted only 16 years in regular passenger use (1838-1854), after which New Street took over the passenger traffic and Curzon Street was relegated to a goods depot, in which form it lasted until 1966. There have been recent calls to reopen it to passenger use in order to relieve the pressure on New Street, but its out-of-the-way location and the associated difficulty for passengers trying to make connections between it and New Street/Moor Street/Snow Hill mean that's never really going to happen.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Yes, Manchester Piccadilly, and the railway lines out of it, are the best things about Manchester! [Two face]

Careful... But it's reminded me of Manchester's most impressive station - Liverpool Road, the first ever railway station. Now a museum, with a very good tableau in the former first class ticket office.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
SPK: I don't know how the through cars were transferred, but there was probably some interchange in the yard trackage south of Dearborn Street/LaSalle Street stations that would serve the purpose. Also, thanks for the tip on the Michigan Central.

Of these Chicago stations, my most vivid memories are of Grand Central (where the C&O trains to my home town departed)and Northwestern Stations. I recall that LaSalle Street Station was sort of a dump, a vivid contrast to Grand Central Station at the other end of the 20th Century Limited's run.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
For most beautiful North American stations not currently used for passenger service, I would nominate St. Louis Union Station (magnificent Romanesque station building and the largest train shed in the US, now used to cover a shopping mall) and the P&LE station in Pittsburgh (now an upscale restaurant).
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
And as for New Street - its the only large station in the UK that is less pleasant than Euston [Mad]

There are some pictures of it here and here and here's a reather fuzzy one of Moor St next door
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LA Dave:
The P&LE station in Pittsburgh (now an upscale restaurant).

Not to mention Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Station, which still serves the railroad via an Amshack out back. The original waiting room is now rented out as a banquet hall, and the hotel that originally topped the station is now an apartment building. Miss Amanda lived their briefly a few years ago. What a thrill it was to look out my window and see trains snaking their way across the bridge that spans the Allegheny River and wending their way through the station.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
And as for New Street - its the only large station in the UK that is less pleasant than Euston [Mad]

There are some pictures of it here and here and here's a reather fuzzy one of Moor St next door

Ken... your blog comments about Euston are spot on. As you imply, it wouldn't be so bad if it predominantly catered for short-distance commuters instead of long-distance travellers, many with luggage, many slightly bewildered by London crowds and rush, most of them dying for somewhere to sit down. If you want to eat anything there's a choice between a crappy food court like something from a 1960s Arndale Centre, or the slightly less crappy pub which is up two steep flights of stairs.

Victoria is much more 'like a station', and user-friendly, despite the monstrous first-floor shopping mall. But I prefer Waterloo: apart from the (now temporarily abandoned) Eurostar extension, it's hardly changed since the 1920s when it was not just a massive commuter terminus but also the (or a, with apologies to GWR enthusiasts) gateway to the South-west and the Atlantic coast. It still looks and feels like a real railway station, without being in any way inefficient. (Though I have to say it's a couple of years since I've used it and things like ticket barriers etc have probably sprung up since.)

But Birmingham New Street is the pits. I had the misfortune to change there the other day; I managed to find an escalator to reach the concourse; discover (and double-check) the platform my train was leaving from, struggle down a long flight of steps to it (there would have been a lift but it was not worth the hassle of searching for it), then with less than ten minutes to departure be told 'platform alteration'. This time there was no escalator and not enough time to find the lift. Moor Street just down the road is a beautiful contrast: almost like a heritage line restoration in vintage GWR style.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I never really knew the old New Street, but I do remember Snow Hill when it was a fully functioning main line station. It was a really pleasant place to be, friendly to the passenger, clean, airy and well laid out.

Waterloo is well designed and Edwardian. There was a previous horror on the same site which was even more of a ramshackle mess than the old Euston. There was even a connecting siding that ran across the concourse and into the side of the SECR station next door.

I'm not convinced about Victoria. It's still really two stations. About 40 years ago a journalist was able to recount with pride how they'd been quoted two different prices to go to the same place, one from the ticket office on the Brighton side and the other from the one on the Chatham side. The last laugh though was on the journalist who, not being a nerd, didn't realise the historical reason why there were two ticket offices, or that the trains were going to the same place by different routes.

Even now, London Bridge is fairly confusing. Unless you know a bit about south London railway history, it's difficult to guess which part of the station is the best bet to get to where you want to go to. Last time I was there, the next train indicators for the different sections seemed to be completely unaware of each other and not cross referenced in any way.

At one time there was an extra section in the middle of the Brighton part of London Bridge,which was not connected internally to the two sections on each side. So even within the Brighton side, you had to go out into the street to get between different platforms.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Miss Amanda: What a lovely station. When I was kid, my family often visited Pittsburgh because that's where my grandparents and uncle lived. I remember Penn Station as a grimy dump (though with a neat rotunda entryway). Glad to see that, cleaned up, it retains its Victorian elegance.

There was a third station in Pittsburgh, a 1956 building that served the B&O, located along the Mon at Grant Street. It has been demolished.
 
Posted by Benny Diction 2 (# 14159) on :
 
I quite like Marylebone Station. It's not too big and is still fairly "oldie worldie". Though the concourse has been blotted with various portakabin type shops.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Didn't John Betjeman compare it to a public library in Nottingham? It was about as quiet as that for much of its history, though it seems to be having something of a revival. And it is probably unique in being the only London terminus served exclusively by diesel trains.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'm not convinced about Victoria. It's still really two stations. About 40 years ago a journalist was able to recount with pride how they'd been quoted two different prices to go to the same place, one from the ticket office on the Brighton side and the other from the one on the Chatham side. The last laugh though was on the journalist who, not being a nerd, didn't realise the historical reason why there were two ticket offices, or that the trains were going to the same place by different routes.

Hmmm, I was at Liverpool Street a few years ago and was quoted two different prices to go to the same place (Colchester) by the same route but in stock belonging to different operators.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
In fact Victoria is almost 3-and-a-half stations. A platform (8? IIRC) has been strpped put between the Brighton side and the Chatham and Dover side for the Gatwick Express and ordinary passengers aren't allowed through it (though I think that situation is soon to change) And on the Brighton side, the South London suburban trains o from the main bit, platfroms 9-14 I think, and the Brighton Line trains are all platformed up at the far end at 15-19. So if you kn ow where you are going you can go to the right section in advance of any announcement.
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
Back in 1981, a friend (now a priest) who used it to visit me remarked that it was the only London station where he'd ever heard birds sing.

Even though they're drowned out by the incessant public announcements these days, it's still a decent station. I am in the fortunate position of using it every working day.

Further to what has been said about the others, Euston is depressing and Kings Cross worse. Even though the environs have been cleaned up a bit, it's far too small for the number of people who use it. St Pancras, next door, is terrific, as is London's other seriously modernised station, Liverpool Street.

quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Didn't John Betjeman compare it to a public library in Nottingham? It was about as quiet as that for much of its history, though it seems to be having something of a revival. And it is probably unique in being the only London terminus served exclusively by diesel trains.


 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
And as for New Street - its the only large station in the UK that is less pleasant than Euston [Mad]

I disagree - at least there's somewhere to sit while waiting for your train at New Street.

quote:
There are some pictures of it here and here
The second of those is of the signalbox, not the station.

More pictures of New Street: one two three four five.

quote:
and here's a reather fuzzy one of Moor St next door
Some better ones of Moor Street: one two three
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
But Birmingham New Street is the pits. I had the misfortune to change there the other day; I managed to find an escalator to reach the concourse; discover (and double-check) the platform my train was leaving from, struggle down a long flight of steps to it (there would have been a lift but it was not worth the hassle of searching for it), then with less than ten minutes to departure be told 'platform alteration'. This time there was no escalator and not enough time to find the lift.

So without the platform alteration you'd have been fine? Hardly a major condemnation.

By the way, all the escalators are at the B ends of the platforms, and the lifts are at the A ends. There's plenty of signage around the place to direct those who aren't familiar with the station. But sometimes I think people just like to have a stick to beat it with. It's the fashionable thing to do...
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
Marvin, I've decided after viewing your photos to take a trip up to Brum just to experience Moor Street.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
So without the platform alteration you'd have been fine? Hardly a major condemnation.

Perhaps not. But nearly every time I've had to change there something like that happens.

quote:
By the way, all the escalators are at the B ends of the platforms, and the lifts are at the A ends. There's plenty of signage around the place to direct those who aren't familiar with the station. But sometimes I think people just like to have a stick to beat it with. It's the fashionable thing to do...
I may be wrong, but my recollection is that not all the platforms are served by escalators (or they only go up, not down, which is fine unless you've got heavy luggage). It's all very well to say 'look for signs' but even a railway nerd like me finds it difficult to orientate myself in such places, and the confusing icons used on signs these days don't make it easy (does a stick figure in a box mean lift or loo?). When the platform is crowded and most people know where they are going, a stranger easily gets bewildered especially if they have luggage, or small children, or wheelchairs to look after. And talking of loos, there don't seem to be any at platform level: they are up on the concourse and charge 30p a pee. Leeds, which is a similarly complex and busy station, has free ones on several platforms.

Having passed through Brum several times, I've often wanted to stop off and explore the city, but the experience of New Street just makes me want to get away from the place ASAP.

Having said all that, I'm sure any visitor to Liverpool would be put off by the Northern Line platforms at Liverpool Central. Only two of them, and only serving local destinations, but I have to admit the experience of using them makes New Street look like state-of-the-art planning and customer-friendly efficiency.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:By the way, all the escalators are at the B ends of the platforms, and the lifts are at the A ends. There's plenty of signage around the place to direct those who aren't familiar with the station. But sometimes I think people just like to have a stick to beat it with. It's the fashionable thing to do...
I may be wrong, but my recollection is that not all the platforms are served by escalators (or they only go up, not down, which is fine unless you've got heavy luggage). It's all very well to say 'look for signs' but even a railway nerd like me finds it difficult to orientate myself in such places
You should look at National Rail's Stations made easy map (with photos). According to that only platforms 1 and 12 aren't served by escalators but there is only one per stairwell so presumably are up only. All the platforms have lifts but accessed from a subway except for 6/7 and 8/9 which are in a corridor off the main concourse.

If you don't mind stairs, the overbridge from Victoria Square isn't a bad place to hang around and react to last minute platform alterations.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
So without the platform alteration you'd have been fine? Hardly a major condemnation.

I disagree. Not being able to run a station without changing your mind at the last minute - after you've announced where a train is going to depart from - is a major condemnation.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Birmingham New Street can be very confusing on acquaintence, but it really isn't that bad apart from two things.

1. It is over capacity in terms of the number of trains it handles, which leads to a lot of platform alterations. Also since the Midland and LNWR sides have been merged it an be hard to find your train sometimes.
2. It is very unappealing at platform level.

On the plus side, it has twelve platforms not the 17 of Leeds, neither does it have the convoluted layout of the merged "New" and "Wellington Street" stations. The up side to Leeds is that it is not buried under a shopping centre, and the platform allocations are fairly predictable.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
One station that I really like is Kansas City Union Station. A large Union Station which served 12 different roads, including the Union Pacific and the Santa Fe. Excellent mix and well designed. Plus the restaurant was run by Fred Harvey.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
I'm really tempted to push this over the line to another page. Because I can. And because soon it will catch up with the friggin' OZ/NZ thread in All Saints and the All Saints' hosting crew will give us heavenly types hell. [Frown]

But of course I won't. Never. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Marvin thank you for the link to the photos. The contrast is very telling between New Street - the late Osbert Lancaster's Even More Functional but without the gas masks - and the sympathetic retro refurbishment of Moor Street.

The first one, of the freight working, brings out very well the place's speleological quality. In stead of looking up at a nice overall roof, or even a LNWR train shed, there is just darkness.
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
Good thread, everyone. I like the description of Birmingham New Street in the caption of the first photo Ken links to.

Would it be an appropriate use of this thread to ask if anyone knows of any clubs or societies for children interested in railways? A few months ago I was visiting some friends whose son was 7 at the time (now 8); his father is something of a railway enthusiast and one of his grandfathers very much of one (and even his mother takes some interest), but they said that he feels the lack of fellow enthusiasts of his own age. I think that some of the preservation societies have junior sections, but a) these are linked to specific railways and b) I get the impression that they're more aimed at teenagers who are or soon will be old enough to start volunteering on the railways in question. Any ideas? (they live just outside Cambridge if that makes a difference).
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I can't answer Shubenacadie's question I'm afraid, but I just wanted to keep this thread on page one.

To slightly change track on the stations theme: what about remote halts with no road access and hardly any trains? I've never been to any of them but I know there are a few: Berney Arms in Norfolk is one I believe.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I can't answer Shubenacadie's question I'm afraid, but I just wanted to keep this thread on page one.

To slightly change track on the stations theme: what about remote halts with no road access and hardly any trains? I've never been to any of them but I know there are a few: Berney Arms in Norfolk is one I believe.

Yes, I was taken as a very small child on the train to Berney Arms and I remember the windmill and the Norfolk Broads. The train was a little diesel rail-car (or possibly a DMU), with a memorably staccato exhaust note.

How time flys - this would ave been about 1962....
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I've not caught or got off a train at Berney Arms, but I have been in a train that stopped at it. As a child I've quite often stopped at Blackwell Mill, which isn't even on most railway atlases, and seen people get off there.

Trent also (see earlier posts) had no road access, but was quite large and busy.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Not exactly a station story, and there is a road:

I remember riding the Dayliner (a large self-propelled DMU-equivalent) on the Dominon Atlantic line out of Halifax, NS. About 20 miles into the woods on the way to the Annaplois Valley, the engineer sounded the horn, twice. Usually, there is a four-blast signal for level crossings, but this was just two short notes.

When we approached the next level crossing, a sandy backwoods road, there was dog at trackside. The engineer threw a copy of the day's newspaper towards the dog, which picked it up and ran back out of sight along the road.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I can't answer Shubenacadie's question I'm afraid, but I just wanted to keep this thread on page one.

To slightly change track on the stations theme: what about remote halts with no road access and hardly any trains? I've never been to any of them but I know there are a few: Berney Arms in Norfolk is one I believe.

Dovey Junction fit the bill?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Possible candidate ~ Dovey Junction (see earlier postings). No road access, back of beyond (estuarine mud flats, if that is your idea of scenery), no shelter worth the mention, a topography that funnels all the winds going straight through the station; ie, lovely place for a November picnic ...
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
I remember riding the Dayliner (a large self-propelled DMU-equivalent) on the Dominon Atlantic line out of Halifax, NS.

Are you referring to what were also called Beeliners, or Budd cars after their manufacturer?
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
Thankyou for rescuing the thread, Angloid -- I was worried I'd killed it.

Corrour on the West Highland Line in Scotland is a good example of a station without road access. I think it's now linked to the outside world by a private landrover track, but the nearest public road is several miles away in another direction. Despite the minimal local population, it's sometimes quite busy, as it provides access for hill walkers to mountains that are hard to reach by any other means.

Wikipedia lists several more UK stations without road access, mostly on preserved railways; Smallbrook Junction is the only one on the national network that hasn't been mentioned here yet.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
That's the one. They were called "Dayliners" in Canada - streamlined day coaches, I guess. CN's, at first, had end panels which were a deep green with two yellow curved V's, while CP's did have striping, but the stripes were alternately Tuscan Red and Yellow, so neither looked much like a bee.

The proper name, according to the builder Budd Co., was "Rail Diesel Car" or RDC
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
The Budd cars were an excellent design. Each had its own power, and also ran its own auxiliaries such as lighting and airconditioning. The independent power meant that the performance of a train was consistent, no matter how many cars were added or subtracted; it also facilitated splitting a train en route, to serve different destinations. The construction in stainless steel contributed to longevity. Layout could easily be altered to suit the particular needs of a railway for freight or passenger use first or second class seating, buffets or dining cars etc. In Australia they saw use on the NSW state system, and also Commonwealth railways, including a "local" on the Nullarbor line.

The NSW DEB sets were similarly useful. Designed around a Warren Truss, rather than a conventional chassis frame, they were lighter than the HUB/RUB loco hauled sets, and still turned in a good performance. Like the Budd cars, each set had its own power, lighting and airconditioning. They did lack the versatility of layout which was such a feature of the Budd cars.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Not being able to run a station without changing your mind at the last minute - after you've announced where a train is going to depart from - is a major condemnation.

It's not great, I'll admit. But I'd say that if a late-running (or, perish the thought, failed) train is occupying the platform it's better to divert trains behind it into other platforms than to make them all late as well.

They don't just do it on a whim, you know.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
I see they are going to spend £50m on the worst stations.

Do you agree with their choices? Why so many in the North West? Manchester Victoria used to be great, a real period-piece, till the Metrolink reduced its status/no. of platforms and the MEN Arena was plonked over it (yes I am a hypocrite in that I went to see 'Rush' play there a few years ago!).

Lord Adonis decrying Wakefield Kirkgate is something I agree with (Me, agree with a Labour politician?? [Eek!] ) If only it had been maintained, as it's potentially a nice station, and must have been great in LMS days.

Normanton, just up the line, is a very sad spectacle, if you know anything of its history as a once-important station. Enormous expanses of (mainly 'former') platform, with now only a bus shelter-type structure (albeit a fairly big one) in the middle. I remember the massive buidlings it used to have, but they were derelict even when I first saw them in about 1973 on a passing Plymouth-bound NE/SW express.

[ 17. November 2009, 15:23: Message edited by: Alaric the Goth ]
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Do you agree with their choices?

Crewe? Preston? Are they having a laugh?

Both of those are lovely old stations with genuine atmosphere. I dread to think what might be lost if they bring in "improvements" - bulldozing the history in order to put in bland concrete and plastic, most likely.

Clapham Junction is certainly too small for the amount of traffic it gets in rush hour, but there's not much they can do about that is there?

And yeah, Manchester Victoria is a dump.

I'm not well enough acquainted with the other stations to comment.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
I was surprised to hear that Preston is in the list, though it is a bit grim on Platforms 1&2 - they were supposed to be getting upgraded anyway, so I wonder if this work is included in the new announcement to make it sound good? The Government are very good at making pronouncements which turn out to be variations on something previously decided (e.g. '1300 new trains', etc.).

As for the other NW stations, Wigan NW is a dire place on a wet and windy day and Warrington I guess has seen better days. But then I go to stations to catch trains, not to enjoy a 'retail experience'. [Confused]
 
Posted by Hugal (# 2734) on :
 
Preston station is fine. The cafe and shops have reacently been done over. It needs a spruce up maybe but it is not that bad.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
I see they are going to spend £50m on the worst stations.

Do you agree with their choices? Why so many in the North West? Manchester Victoria used to be great, a real period-piece, till the Metrolink reduced its status/no. of platforms and the MEN Arena was plonked over it (yes I am a hypocrite in that I went to see 'Rush' play there a few years ago!).

Lord Adonis decrying Wakefield Kirkgate is something I agree with (Me, agree with a Labour politician?? [Eek!] ) If only it had been maintained, as it's potentially a nice station, and must have been great in LMS days.

Normanton, just up the line, is a very sad spectacle, if you know anything of its history as a once-important station. Enormous expanses of (mainly 'former') platform, with now only a bus shelter-type structure (albeit a fairly big one) in the middle. I remember the massive buidlings it used to have, but they were derelict even when I first saw them in about 1973 on a passing Plymouth-bound NE/SW express.

I think many of the worst stations are in the North West because, as someone has already mentioned, the old railways up there didn't invest a lot in passenger facilities: look at the LNWR: superb permanent way, state-of-the-art locomotive design (even if Webb's compounds did odd things at times) but passengers were regarded as a nuisance. That was the leading railway and the others hardly needed to compete.

Clapham Junction was designed for trains and does that job well. The passengers were an afterthought and some platforms are narrower, in proportion, than on a space-starved train set.

Luton station is doomed. The only way to improve it would involve moving it at least four miles north or south [Frown]

(I too remember seeing Normanton from a SW/NE express in c1971 : what a gloomy place I thought)
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I don't know who came up with that top ten "worst stations" but I did not see many of mine on the list. I would agree with them including Clapham Junction, Liverpool Central, and Warrington Bank Quay, but I don't think there is much you can do about any of them.

My own personal British Railway hellholes are:

1. Meadowhall - a modern 4 platform station serving the eponymous shoppig mall on the northside of Sheffield. SYPTE likes you to change trains there when travelling from say Doncaster to Barnsley. I have never been so cold...

2. Wakefield Kirkgate - an attractive station, but badly neglected. Closer to the city centre than Westgate, it could be developed as a major local transportation hub.

3. Halifax - last time I was there it looked like the Apaches had hit it. Lousy disabled access.

4. Birmingham New Street - mainly due to the gloom at platform level. I wish they had built over the station throat not over the public part of the station.

5. Habrough, Lincs. - I change there on the way to my mother's. Used to be a nice manned station with a heated waiting room. All now demolished and replaced by two mildly vandalized shelters. Good excuse to hide in the pub.

6. Dundee - unattractive 60s rebuild of the old Tay Bridge Station. Thankfully it is to be rebuilt. I just wish I did not have the feeling that when they are finished with it, it is going to be even more ugly and inconvenient.

7. Forres - Beeching era remnants for the former triangular junction station. Badly needs a facelift.

I should perhaps also add my ten favourites.

10. Edinburgh Waverley - still retains quite a lot of its atmosphere despite all the modernisation.
09. Stirling - usually very well kept.
08. Lincoln Central - nice medium sized junction.
07. Birmingham Moor Street - very pleasant;far more so than either New Street or Snow Hill.
06. Shrewsbury - nice pseudo Tudor station that no-one has ever bothered to mess around with too much.
05. Bristol Temple Meads
04. York - great overall roof; but I liked it better before electrification.
03. London Marylebone - the only terminus in London where the atmosphere is not suppled by the tannoy.
02. Cambridge - convenient when you have luggage. Unusual survival of an arhaic layout.
01. Glasgow Central - clean and bright these days, and remarkably easy to find your way around for a big terminus.

There are some near misses for the top ten list. Hull Paragon is a transformed character now that it incorporates the bus station. Newcastle Central's mid 1990s refurbishment improved it considerably. Also I have always been very fond of St. Pancras.

PD
 
Posted by Chris P. Bacon (# 15262) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Shubenacadie:
Thankyou for rescuing the thread, Angloid -- I was worried I'd killed it.

Corrour on the West Highland Line in Scotland is a good example of a station without road access. I think it's now linked to the outside world by a private landrover track, but the nearest public road is several miles away in another direction. Despite the minimal local population, it's sometimes quite busy, as it provides access for hill walkers to mountains that are hard to reach by any other means.

Wikipedia lists several more UK stations without road access, mostly on preserved railways; Smallbrook Junction is the only one on the national network that hasn't been mentioned here yet.


 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Getting back to North America, the Budd cars, or "RDC cars" as we called them, were rough-riding. I remember as a lad taking a two or three-car RDC lashup from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. and it was a pretty rocky ride through the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
 
Posted by Chris P. Bacon (# 15262) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Shubenacadie:
Thankyou for rescuing the thread, Angloid -- I was worried I'd killed it.

Corrour on the West Highland Line in Scotland is a good example of a station without road access. I think it's now linked to the outside world by a private landrover track, but the nearest public road is several miles away in another direction. Despite the minimal local population, it's sometimes quite busy, as it provides access for hill walkers to mountains that are hard to reach by any other means.

Wikipedia lists several more UK stations without road access, mostly on preserved railways; Smallbrook Junction is the only one on the national network that hasn't been mentioned here yet.

Riccarton Junction was a station without road access. Since the closure of the Waverley route in the 1960s it has been without rail access as well, so the only way to get to it is to walk along the track bed!
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
I loved St Pancras when I saw it (on my way back to Euston - now there's a dump if ever there was one)
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Further to Gee D's post on the "Budd cars." My family was in Victoria, British Columbia a few years ago, and VIA Rail Canada still was operating a two-car RDC train from Victoria north to Courtenay, along the Straits of Georgia. A gorgeous run in some very old (but still usable) equipment. I just checked the VIA website, and that train remains on the schedule.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I think many of the worst stations are in the North West because, as someone has already mentioned, the old railways up there didn't invest a lot in passenger facilities: look at the LNWR: superb permanent way, state-of-the-art locomotive design (even if Webb's compounds did odd things at times) but passengers were regarded as a nuisance.

The permanent way, yes, and the stations were dreadful. Gaunt, drafty and ramshackle. I've already commented on the old Euston once one got beyond the arch and the Great Hall. Rugby was bleak, Crewe a jumbled mess. A lot of L&Y ones weren't much better. Does anyone remember the old Liverpool Exchange?

I wouldn't agree with you about state-of-the-art locomotive design. I'm not a GWR person, but Churchward made some very pertinent remarks to the GWR about why his engines cost a lot more to build than the LNWR ones. LNWR engines were cheap and basic. That's why their last passenger engines only just made 1948 and never got their new numbers. They rattled to pieces.

The Super Ds lasted well into the 60s, but I've heard they were right pigs to drive or fire.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LA Dave:
Getting back to North America, the Budd cars, or "RDC cars" as we called them, were rough-riding. I remember as a lad taking a two or three-car RDC lashup from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. and it was a pretty rocky ride through the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

That would be the Baltimore & Ohio run, right? Sure it wasn't the poor right of way on the B&O? Good road, excellent attitude to passenger service for an Eastern carrier, but never awash with money until it merged with the Chessie.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
LAD: the RDCs you rode on must have been starved for maintenance, since the air-supplemented suspension was quite good for secondary track. The CPR service I mentioned, for instance, was using cars that were, even then, 20 years old, and that rode pleasantly on light rail laid on sand-ballasted trackbed.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
I used to take a Budd car every afternoon between Poughkeepsie and Croton-Harmon on the old New York Central, before it became Penn Central. In Croton-Harmon I changed to an electric train for the remainder of the trip to Grand Central.

I remember the Budd cars as glamorous from the outside but not so much on the inside. They were rocky, as L.A. Dave said, and reeked of diesel fumes. And they were noisy. The smoking section was partitioned off behind plexiglass paneling.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
the stations were dreadful. Gaunt, drafty and ramshackle. I've already commented on the old Euston once one got beyond the arch and the Great Hall. Rugby was bleak, Crewe a jumbled mess. A lot of L&Y ones weren't much better. Does anyone remember the old Liverpool Exchange?

Crewe is depressing. So is Chester (though I think it was a joint GWR/LNWR station). I remember Liverpool Exchange only in its final dying days, and it was gloomy and neglected, but it looked as if it had been magnificent.

As for the stations on the list for refurbishment. Clapham Junction is fascinating (actually it is two stations) just because of its incredible busy-ness. Which is what causes the problems. Its difficult to see what could be done about it except perhaps rebuild and enlarge the subway and improve access to it.

Wigan and Warrington are similar: 1970s designs that have outlived their usefulness. They are draughty and exposed because of their geographical position, but that could be fairly easily put right by better platform facilities and much better approach to the platforms and public 'concourse' space.

I don't know any of the others well enough to comment, except Liverpool Central (Northern line). Though much smaller than Clapham, its main problem is undercapacity for the large numbers of passengers, which is exacerbated by being a sub-surface station only slightly adapted from its days as the terminus of the pre-loop Wirral line. The escalators are in the wrong place; the platforms are too narrow, there is almost no passenger seating except at the extreme ends of the platform. The 70s decor mentioned in the BBC report is not the issue, apart from the chewing-gum spattered rubber floors which are long overdue for replacement. It's difficult to see how it can be much improved since the site is so constricted. I suspect if train frequency was increased from every 15 to every 10 minutes on all routes, the build-up of passengers would be less and it would be more pleasant. As would a bit of lane discipline on the part of escalator users, but, hey, these are scousers we're talking about.

This is turning into a long post and almost a hellish rant (though they wouldn't understand it down there): but I need to moan about Pacers. (Class 142 I believe). You know, the train that thinks its a bus, looks like a bus, smells like a bus, rattles like a bus... I travelled on one today: a 15 mile journey that took 45 minutes. They were designed as an economy model that used a pre-existing bus body design, plonked on a rudimentary four-wheel chassis. (Most of the buses built to this design were retired years ago). Like a bus, they cram in far too many seats and like a bus, there is only one door at the front of each vehicle so that it takes an age to disgorge and embark passengers. They are slow and noisy, and when they try to go slightly faster they are bone-shakingly uncomfortable.

They were intended for rural branch lines, but of course most of these had been closed by the time they were built, so instead they have been deployed on suburban routes and long-distance trains (for example, the Morecambe/Lancaster to Leeds service which takes well over 2 hours). Fortunately the line I've just travelled on is about to be electrified, but anywhere else in Europe this would have been done 50 years ago.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
This is turning into a long post and almost a hellish rant (though they wouldn't understand it down there): but I need to moan about Pacers. (Class 142 I believe). You know, the train that thinks its a bus, looks like a bus, smells like a bus, rattles like a bus... I travelled on one today: a 15 mile journey that took 45 minutes. They were designed as an economy model that used a pre-existing bus body design, plonked on a rudimentary four-wheel chassis. (Most of the buses built to this design were retired years ago). Like a bus, they cram in far too many seats and like a bus, there is only one door at the front of each vehicle so that it takes an age to disgorge and embark passengers. They are slow and noisy, and when they try to go slightly faster they are bone-shakingly uncomfortable.

They were intended for rural branch lines, but of course most of these had been closed by the time they were built, so instead they have been deployed on suburban routes and long-distance trains (for example, the Morecambe/Lancaster to Leeds service which takes well over 2 hours). Fortunately the line I've just travelled on is about to be electrified, but anywhere else in Europe this would have been done 50 years ago. [/QB]

Pacer is a dirty word in my vocabulary too. They were the result of someone being foolish enough to answer the question "what happens if you put a Leyland National bus body on a souped up coal wagon chassis and stick an engine under it?"

There are actually three classes of the bloody things - 142, 143 and 144. The 142, with Leyland bodies are the worst; the 143 and 144s with Alexander Barclay bodies are slightly better.

Like a lot of BR's least popular rolling stock they were built for one job and ended up on another. They were built for short commuter runs such as Leeds-Skipton; Manchester-Oldham; Newastle-Hexham; and for rural branches such as Cleethorpes-Barton, Wrexham-Bidston and Oxenholme-Windermere. However, they also ended up on jobs for which they were unsuited - e.g. Leeds-Lancaster-Morecambe.

Their career on my local line ended when the 153 single cars became available. By that time the 142s had a reputation for breaking sleepers and spreading the gauge on the tighest curves. They now only appear if absolutely nothing else is available.

The one oddity of the local branch is the first train of the day is provided by a relatively heavyweight Cl 185 Transpennine Unit, then the Cl.153 strats its steady plod back and forth for the other eight round trips.

PD
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Sorry about the DP, but I forgot a bit.

The prototype for the Pacers were the Cl 141 Metrotrains which were built for West Yorkshre in 1984 and are now thankfully gone. They worked OK for things like Harrogate-Leeds. However, they brought with them both a more frequent service and increased ridership so they soon got to the point where they were no longer tolerable.

When I was a student I used to wrack up some fairly serious amounts of time on the blessed things because they operated most of the short distance trains out of Leeds. I think the worst trip though, was on the way to Ireland when I was stuck with 142s all the way from Sheffield to Llandudno Jct.. If I had had my wits about me I would have changed at Chester, as the connecting service was Euston-Holyhead boat train of Cl.47 hauled Mk2s! However, I had not fancied almost an hour in the cold at Chester.

PD
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
This is turning into a long post and almost a hellish rant (though they wouldn't understand it down there)

Who wouldn't? [Big Grin]

On the subject of Pacers: as an enthusiast I like them, because they look different and in this modern age of conformity difference is good. As a passenger, I hate them for all but the shortest journeys. Fortunately we don't get them round here [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

On the subject of Pacers: as an enthusiast I like them, because they look different and in this modern age of conformity difference is good.

If I were a bus enthusiast, I might like them too. They might one day (when there are only two or three left in captivity) look as quirky and unusual as some of the strange hybrid vehicles one sees in vintage photographs of old branch lines.

They might. But to me they will always be crap, look crap, smell crap and sound crap. Boggler, boggler, as Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell would put it onomatopeically.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
They might one day (when there are only two or three left in captivity) look as quirky and unusual as some of the strange hybrid vehicles one sees in vintage photographs of old branch lines.

But they already do! Like it or not, they're part of the history of railways in this country every bit as much as A4s or HSTs.

And when it does come to preserving them, I think there are many lines that could use one or two. Lines like the NYMR, SVR and WSR could provide a genuine year-round local service as well as their heritage trains if it weren't for the huge cost - Pacers could enable them to do so cheaply, and at the same time help to take more cars off the roads [Smile] .

Yeah, it's a dream. But just imagine the possibilities...
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
NYMR will probably pass on them due to the number and severity of the curves on that route. The decibel output of a Pacer going around a sharp bend has to be heard to be believed!

I cannot believe the change there has been on the British Railway network since the mid-1980s when I first started travelling large swathes of it. Much of it has been for the better in terms of rolling stock and timetabling, but there are certain things that I miss. Pretty high on that list is the etwork of mail and newspaper trains that used to operate in the dead of night - usually with one or two Mk1. carriages for anyone who wanted to travel at that hour of the night. The bench seats of a BR Mk1 carriage were a handy place to doss down for a few hours whilst the train wandered its way across country. I also miss some of the weird through workings the timetable could throw up before sectorization. For example, Hull - Birmingham - Oxford - Paddington; or my own personal favourite - Newark Northgate to Sheffield via Barnetby and Gainsborough.

Another one that got a cheer from me was the daily Cleethorpes to Blackpool. I also used to get a kick out of the Edinburgh - Scarborough - Edinburgh train that operated every summer.

PD
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


And when it does come to preserving [Pacers], I think there are many lines that could use one or two. Lines like the NYMR, SVR and WSR could provide a genuine year-round local service as well as their heritage trains if it weren't for the huge cost - Pacers could enable them to do so cheaply, and at the same time help to take more cars off the roads [Smile] .

Fair point. If they are suited to anything, these 'trains' are better on rural branches than anywhere else. What they are not suited to is intensive commuter services or long-distance travel.

You're lucky if there are few of them left round your way. My local line, fortunately, is electrified but many other services here in the north-west rely on them almost totally.

I feel another rant coming on: diesel trains running 'under the wires' for the greater portion of their journeys. Either because penny-pinching governments have left short but strategic sections of track unelectrified, or because train companies have more diesel trains than electric ones (cf Virgin Trains (or maybe Cross=country now, I'm not sure) services from Birmingham to Glasgow and Edinburgh, which should be worked by electric trains not diesel ones.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
NYMR will probably pass on them due to the number and severity of the curves on that route. The decibel output of a Pacer going around a sharp bend has to be heard to be believed!

I cannot believe the change there has been on the British Railway network since the mid-1980s when I first started travelling large swathes of it. Much of it has been for the better in terms of rolling stock and timetabling, but there are certain things that I miss. Pretty high on that list is the etwork of mail and newspaper trains that used to operate in the dead of night - usually with one or two Mk1. carriages for anyone who wanted to travel at that hour of the night. The bench seats of a BR Mk1 carriage were a handy place to doss down for a few hours whilst the train wandered its way across country. I also miss some of the weird through workings the timetable could throw up before sectorization. For example, Hull - Birmingham - Oxford - Paddington; or my own personal favourite - Newark Northgate to Sheffield via Barnetby and Gainsborough.

Another one that got a cheer from me was the daily Cleethorpes to Blackpool. I also used to get a kick out of the Edinburgh - Scarborough - Edinburgh train that operated every summer.

PD

Heaven forfend that the NYMR should ever get a 'Pacer'! They are indeed terrible to hear on curves: the curve just south of Crimple Beck Viaduct near Harrogate is one of the worst, if you are unlucky enough to get a 'Pacer'! Thankfully my first train of the day, boarded at a station further south but on the same line, is usually a 153+155 3-coach 'Sprinter' these days. You still get some off-peak services worked by 'Pacers' on the Harrogate line, though. [Disappointed]

I agree entirely as to the sad loss of more interesting workings. In about 1980 we returned from our Cornish family holiday on a through (summer Saturday) Newquay to Newcastle train (Mk 1 stock, and IIRC a Class 40 up front [Smile] ). It took a lot longer (>6 hours) than if we had changed at Par onto a SW-NE 'HST!

[ 18. November 2009, 15:07: Message edited by: Alaric the Goth ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Interestingly enough, National Express East Anglia are thinking about this "diesels under the wires" business. They run Turbostars between Liverpool Street and either Peterborough or Lowestoft. Not only does this include London-Ipswich which is electrified, but the trains are only 3 cars and can get very crowded (not to mention poor use of an intensively-used line).

From December next year the plan is to start these trains at Ipswich, possibly running them more frequently. The problem is that this involves changing at Ipswich, which people don't like doing, although we are promised existing lifts as well as the existing footbridge.

Many of the freight trains down to Felixstowe from the London direction do change between electric and diesel; those that go north towards Ely have to reverse but maintain diesel traction.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Re. unusual workings: there used to be a Saturday Poole-Sheffield train which travelled via Addlestone, Feltham, Brentford and Dudden Hill, changing from a class 33 to a 47 at Brent. It was non-stop for passengers between Basingstoke and St. Albans.

When I tried to use it, I was told at Southampton that I couldn't buy a single to St. Albans! I got one in the end, but it was no surprise to find the train virtually empty. We got signal-stopped at Mill Hill (my local station) - that was great, so I got off. The guard wasn't pleased!

I think this stopped in 1973.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
My favourite odd train journey was the Edinburgh to Harwich boat train that went via Manchester.

No I am not making that up, travelled on it several times. It was the only direct train from Edinburgh to Nottingham in the day back then and cheaper than going East Coast mainline.

I also have a direct train from Sheffield to the nearest station about 100 yards from a church I used to attend (unfortunately have to change at Manchester Piccadilly on the way back which blows going to the evening service regularly).

Jengie
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
That was the "North Country Continuental". But are you sure it came from Edinburgh and you didn't change at Manchester?

Today the furthest places you can get to direct from Harwich are Bury St. Edmunds and Cambridge - not even Ely any more!

By the way, it was only a few years ago when my wife wanted to travel from Liverpool to London one Sunday. The WCML was closed due to engineering works - but there was a regular Liverpool - Paddington train. Does that still run? (You had to be cunning in timetable-reading to detect it!)

[ 18. November 2009, 15:32: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
If they are suited to anything, these 'trains' are better on rural branches than anywhere else. What they are not suited to is intensive commuter services or long-distance travel.

Heartily agreed.

quote:
You're lucky if there are few of them left round your way.
Not "few", "none". And it's not "none left", there never were Pacers in Birmingham, we've always had Sprinters instead. The nearest Pacers to here are those used on the Valley Lines in South Wales, barring the odd one that finds its way up to Worcester on the local from Bristol.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
I don't know who came up with that top ten "worst stations" but I did not see many of mine on the list.

It turns out that the list is not the top ten "all time" worst, but the bottom 10 of the 66 'regional interchange' stations. The list makes a little more sense to me now.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

By the way, it was only a few years ago when my wife wanted to travel from Liverpool to London one Sunday. The WCML was closed due to engineering works - but there was a regular Liverpool - Paddington train. Does that still run? (You had to be cunning in timetable-reading to detect it!)

I'm pretty sure it doesn't. But what they don't tell you when the WCML is blockaded, that it is often quicker (and cheaper*) to get a train to Birmingham (London Midland semi-fast), and pick up a Marylebone train from Moor Street. Far better than piling onto a slow and cramped bus at Nuneaton or somewhere.

*because when the regular timetable is abandoned, so are the cheap advance fares which are tied to particular trains. So you pay twice as much, or more, for an inferior service.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
You're lucky if there are few of them left round your way.
Not "few", "none". And it's not "none left", there never were Pacers in Birmingham, we've always had Sprinters instead. The nearest Pacers to here are those used on the Valley Lines in South Wales, barring the odd one that finds its way up to Worcester on the local from Bristol. [/QB]
You are so lucky.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
The last time I rode an RDC was between Detroit and Ann Arbor, on pretty good Penn Central roadbed. I don't recall the ride as being terrible, but the interiors were clearly not of the standard of Pullman-Standard or Budd locomotive hauled cars.

Speaking of the latter, my favorite coaches/chair cars were those built for C&O by Pullman-Standard in the early 1950s. Instead of having all of the seats in a long tube, there was a curvy partition separating the two sections of the car, making it feel much more intimate.

On a steam excursion this summer, some of the rolling stock included cars built by Budd for Pennsy's 1952 "Congressional." Very nice cars, extremely quiet and good riding on pretty marginal track.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
{Drags back the subject of Pacers}

As an every-day user of the services between Bargoed and Ystrad Mynach (Rhymney Valley) I can tell you that, in one particular respect, the dreaded Pacers (classes 142 and 143) have an advantage over the more civilised Sprinters (class 150) ~ better bicycle accomodation.

OK, it isn't exactly brilliant even then, but at least there is room for bicycles at both ends of a 142/143 ~ round here the 150's only have space at one end, and then you have to share it with push-chairs!

It's a far cry from the days of the 4VEP's and 2SUB's on the Waterloo to Reading line in the early 1980's, when I was regularly taking my bikes on the trains. At least in those days there was a guards van with proper space for bicycles &c.

I suppose we cyclists just have to be grateful for small mercies ...
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That was the "North Country Continuental". But are you sure it came from Edinburgh and you didn't change at Manchester?

I got off at Manchester that being where my parents lived, but yes it started in Edinburgh and went through to Harwich. We are talking 1984-1988 vintage now. St Andrews students got the train Leuchars to Waverley, bordered this one at Waverley (it was deemed better to do that than wait Haymarket, however on the way up you always changed at Haymarket), this train whose final destination was Harwich. It left about 3 p.m. in the afternoon irc definitely afternoon but may be 2 p.m. or 4 p.m.. Oh I once did the Manchester Harwich leg. That was early August/September 1987. So yes I am sure.

Jengie
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That was the "North Country Continuental". But are you sure it came from Edinburgh and you didn't change at Manchester?

I got off at Manchester that being where my parents lived, but yes it started in Edinburgh and went through to Harwich. We are talking 1984-1988 vintage now. St Andrews students got the train Leuchars to Waverley, bordered this one at Waverley (it was deemed better to do that than wait Haymarket, however on the way up you always changed at Haymarket), this train whose final destination was Harwich. It left about 3 p.m. in the afternoon irc definitely afternoon but may be 2 p.m. or 4 p.m.. Oh I once did the Manchester Harwich leg. That was early August/September 1987. So yes I am sure.

Jengie

I remember the North Country Continental was originally a joint Great Central/Great Eastern train. Originally it time ran via the GN/GE Joint line between March, Spalding and Lincoln Central and over Woodhead. It was diverted via the Hope Valley in 1971, and via Nottingham sometime later in the 1970s. IIRC it then ran into Sheffield "the back way" to avoid reversal in Sheffield Midland.

I also have a dim recollection of either the NCC, or the Nottingham-Glasgow train running over a little used spur in Adwick into Manchester Vic, rather than Pic in pre-Windsor link days before continuing forward to Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow/Edinburgh.

Until the March-Spalding line closed in 1982, Lincoln Central was a good place to stake out on a Saturday. The 1980-81 WTT shows a number of Saturday only loco-hauled trains:

Yarmouth-Newcastle
Yarmouth-Manchester
Skegness-Derby
Skegness-Leeds
Skegness-Manchester
Yarmouth-Leeds
Yarmouth-Sheffield

They all had southbound balancing workings. The peak time for this long distance trains was around 1pm. My recollection of those trains was that they were mainly Cl.47 hauled Mk1s, but there was always the chance of something more interesting like a Cl.40, or a pair of 25s. Even after the Yarmouth trains disappeared, the Skeggy to Everywhere trains kept going until after sectorization, but as time passed they were increasing routed via Barkston and Nottingham, rather than Lincoln. I am sure that that story can be repeated for just about every major seaside resort in the UK.

PD
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Oh golly gosh ... having turned from deciphering this thread yesterday, I opened the paper and what did I find?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
The Boat Train has a long history. I think it goes back to about 1885. It used to bring a Sandringham into Sheffield Victoria in the fifties. I've travelled short distances in it in the 60s as part of a contorted journey from Norwich to Rugby, and later from Sheffield to Manchester over Woodhead not long before it closed.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Just the way of the world, Zappa.

The number of people who will actually pay to ride on a nostalgia train is a small fraction of the tourists or locals who might be around. Another small fraction like taking pictures of siad nostalgia train, but too many of them will not pay anything towards the cost of the photo-op.

And, in my own experience, the combination of aging equipment, with no useful source of parts for same any longer in existence, plus the waning enthusiasm (aging, dare we say it?) of the volunteers, plus the general apathy of too many people about "old stuff", plus the huge increase in insurance cost all add up to "Sorry, mate. No trains".
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
In the UK, the preservation movement seems to keep on expanding. I think there is some concern about recruiting new volunteers (perhaps when the generation who were trainspotters in the 1950s die off it will be time for me to stop being an armchair enthusiast who occasionally visits preserved railways, and get my hands dirty helping run one!), but so far, although various schemes have failed to get off the ground, there have been few if any failures of well-established operations. Perhaps it's to do with population density -- more potential volunteers and more potential customers than in Canada or New Zealand.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The population thing is certainly one factor. The Maritime Provinces (NS, NB & PEI) have about 1.8 million people in an area that is within 2% of that of England (not the whole UK). Given 51 million and change, you have about 28 times as many people, with a transport infrastructure to match.

There is precisely one train each way, only 6 days a week, that runs through from Halifax across central NS and up through one side of NB - not a practical device to deal with much traffic - so little present attention is drawn to trains. We often only see two mainline freights each way (up to 8000 feet long, admittedly) daily

In the steam era, there were, at best, perhaps four trains a day on any major line. And virtually all the branch lines and local services disappeared in the '60s, with the feeder passenger services gone by '91.

Most of the population rarely if ever, went anywhere much by train, so there is little nostalgia available.

The infrastructure which might have helped us in the museum was totally removed by the mid-80s.

The killer was 9/11, though. Our insurance rate went from $4000 to $50,000 in one year at that time - they really did not want our business and said so.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Diesels under the wires are just about inevitably, but seem to be more common than usual in the UK due to a couple of factors.

1. Electrification of the mainline rail system has never been completed.

2. What electricification there has been North of London was driven by the traffic patterns of 1960, 70, or 80 - not what prevails now.

The biggest source of new diesel haulage under the wires is the fact that locos have been abandoned in favour of glorified EMUs and DMUs. This prevents one changing traction when going off the wires and means that you have to run diesels under the wires from destinations such as Holyhead and Aberdeen. As a result, trains that used to change locos, such as the old Glasgow-Bristol via the WCML and London Euston -Holyhead now run diesel all the way.

One way of reducing the amount of milege under the wires might be to exploit some alterative routings. For example, London to Holyhead could run into Marylebone rather than Euston, but there is usually a time penalty involved.

In the current UK context it is difficult to find relatively discrete high density operations that would be worth electrifying. The only two that make sense to me are:

1. Midland Mainline from Bedford to Sheffield and Nottingham.

2. The Glasgow-Edinburgh-Aberdeen/Dyce triangle. There's probably a strong public benefit argument for throwing in the Fife Circle into that project.

After that, the next most plausible candidate is probably the North Trans-Pennine route from Liverpool to York via Manchester Pic, Huddersfield and Leeds. However, there is a lot of "marginal mileage" at the East end of the route which undermines the economic case for the project. Though you could certainly electrify a lot of local train services if you opted for Liverpool, Manchester to Leeds, York and Hull

The difficult system to electrify is the former GWR out of Paddington. Paddington to Bristol and Cardiff (Swansea?) would probably be the best bet, but this would leave the Worcester/Hereford; Gloucester Cheltenham, and Exeter/Plymouth services still diesel.

All of this forces me to conclude that apart from local projects (e.g. Airdrie-Bathgate-Edinburgh) there probably is not going to be any further electrification in the UK until there is a major change of attitude on the part of the politicians.

Also, I think there is a case for a new High Speed route from London to Manchester via something close to the the old GCR route. This would allow Birmingham trains to branch off the HSL at Rugby, and serve Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Manchester directly. However, I think the politicians will screw that one up.

PD
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
All of this forces me to conclude that apart from local projects (e.g. Airdrie-Bathgate-Edinburgh) there probably is not going to be any further electrification in the UK until there is a major change of attitude on the part of the politicians.

One change of attitude, coming right up [Smile]

They're going to electrify the Great Western main line, and Liverpool - Manchester. Not before time, too!

[ 20. November 2009, 10:43: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
All of this forces me to conclude that apart from local projects (e.g. Airdrie-Bathgate-Edinburgh) there probably is not going to be any further electrification in the UK until there is a major change of attitude on the part of the politicians.

One change of attitude, coming right up [Smile]

They're going to electrify the Great Western main line, and Liverpool - Manchester. Not before time, too!

Lord Adonis is the only politician for yonks who has understood railways. Much as I am suspicious of New Labour, fearful of the Tories, and cynical about politicians who change sides, I rather hope he'll defect to Cameron if the latter wins the next election. At least there will be somebody in authority who knows what has to be done.

The Midland main line is at least as important as the GW, so I hope that will be next. And not just the Stephenson route from Liverpool to Manchester, but the one via Warrington needs to be done. Plus Manchester-Leeds-York. Then we might get fast through trains again from Merseyside to Tyneside, instead of DMUs to Scarborough.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Regarding "nostalgia trains."

In Michigan, a state with 15% unemployment, a steam festival this summer involving two Berkshires and a Northern drew tens of thousands of visitors. The rides behind these locomotives were sold out months in advance. I personally met with a number of young people (in or barely out of their teens) who were as excited about steam as the older of us. (I know, because I had to fight them to get vestibule space.)

During the Christmas season, a "Polar Express" run behind the locomotive that served as the model for the locomotive in the Tom Hanks film also is sold out months in advance.

I liken steam trains to traditional liturgy. When Compline services at Seattle's Episcopal cathedral are full of young people on Sunday nights, it augers well for the preservation of live steam.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Spouse:
I was surprised to hear that Preston is in the list

Its already been upgraded a lot. It could do with pedestrian access from the river side but apart from that Preston's fine. Looks better than a lot of stations that have been "modernised", like Brighton, which is full of the same old boring franchises now and has lost most of its distinctive character. (Though to be fair it does have to handle four times the number of boardings in a much smaller space than Preston)

Preston's a nicer station to be in than Swindon or Reading (or even Hayward's Heath - which is, belive it or not, busier!)

Now, if the government was going to spend out tax money on a revitalisation of the railways of the north-west of England centred on Preston, re-opening some old lines, putting more trains on little-used lines, and building new stations in residential areas, in a serious attempt to take commuter and shopping traffic off the roads - that would be good news. But prettying up stations that already have inadequate local train services does no-one much good other than the suppliers of corporate branded plastic shopfronts.

quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

On the subject of Pacers: as an enthusiast I like them, because they look different and in this modern age of conformity difference is good.

If I were a bus enthusiast, I might like them too. They might one day (when there are only two or three left in captivity) look as quirky and unusual as some of the strange hybrid vehicles one sees in vintage photographs of old branch lines.

They might. But to me they will always be crap, look crap, smell crap and sound crap.

DMUs were always a bad idea. Every penny spent on them is a penny taken away from neccessary electrification. Light suburban and short-distance inter-urban rail (that the north-west of England is full of) ought to be electrified on tram principles.

Where there is no electricity (sad, sad, sad) use diesel electric when you can afford it and little locos if you can't. Yes, real rural railways will lose money. We know that. We just need to pay for it. What's better, subsidising a rural line by a million pounds a year for a crap service no-one wants to use, or two million for a decent fast service that supplies hundreds or even thousands of passengers a day to the main line?

It can be done. The East Suffolk line works, its sometimes even overcrowded, it is used for local traffic in the Ispwich/Woodbridge area as well as tourists and commuters to London. And there are plans to extend the service.

OK, its served by DMUs, so maybe my rantlet above is mis-aimed. But they are decent clean DMUs that look like proper electric trains! (Class 170 for the longer journeys, 156 for shorter ones) But half of it runs on single track and it goes through areas with much lower population than some bits of the North than have to put up with pacers.


quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I'm pretty sure it doesn't. But what they don't tell you when the WCML is blockaded, that it is often quicker (and cheaper*) to get a train to Birmingham (London Midland semi-fast), and pick up a Marylebone train from Moor Street.

Tell me about it! When the engineerign works were at their worst a few years ago the Virgin instructions on one journey I made were to get off at New Street bound for London, get a rail replacement bus to Airport, then a train to Milton Keynes, then another train to London. So I just walked over to Moor Street and got a direct train.

Another time, northbound to Preston just before Christmas, Virgin were advising passengers not to travel because of works ar Rugby and Crewe and that evil bridge over the Mersey (or is it the Ship canal?) . So I took an almost deserted train to Birmingham, intending to go via Manchester. But there were a couple of Preston trains advertised - so I got one anyway. Not many people did. Even if there had been no through trains the worst case might have been Manchester Airport, then one of the central Manchester stations, then somehow through Wigan or even a local bus from Bolton - it was obviously doable.

The rail companies try to act as if they were airlines and we had no other choices.

quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:

It's a far cry from the days of the 4VEP's and 2SUB's on the Waterloo to Reading line in the early 1980's, when I was regularly taking my bikes on the trains. At least in those days there was a guards van with proper space for bicycles &c.

You can still take bikes free on trains in and around London - you stand with them in the doorway - there are rules against taking them in the rush hour but they are often broken. I've always been amazed at the fuss some other rail systems make about bikes - all my life I've been used to just being able to wheel them on to the train without any fuss.

If we can handle it in the South-East of England, which is the most complex and intensive regional passenger rail network in Europe, why not in the rest of the country?
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
that evil bridge over the Mersey (or is it the Ship canal?)
Both.
quote:
You can still take bikes free on trains in and around London - you stand with them in the doorway - there are rules against taking them in the rush hour but they are often broken.
Merseyrail actively encourage people to take bikes. Even in the rush hour.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
The rot set in with the local branchline when the "Maggie Thatcher memorial timetable" was introduced in 1989/90. The service dropped from hourly to nine trains a day, and at the same time a lot of the onwards connections disappeared because those services were already two-hourly. This cut patronage by about 35% on a service that was already under used.

Just to add insult to injury, the County Council subsidized a bus service which departed at the same times as the former trains, but took far longer - 70 mins instead of 40 minutes, because they were ideologically opposed to subsidizing local train service. The usual problem with branchlines isn't so much the fact they don't make a profit, but that the bean counters rarely see them as an asset, but rather as a problem to be contained, and if politically acceptable, eliminated.

The train service is a permanent mess in that area due to the fact it is served by three different TOCs each operating a relative handful of trains. East Midlands operates 8 trains a day; North TransPennine 16, and Northern 9. Personally, I think the North TransPennine franchise should be reintegrated into Northern, which would eliminate half the chaos locally. In former times all the local routes north of Lincoln were Great Central, and later LNER. This two or three different operators business is new to us - an unwelcome farce caused by Privatization.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Going back (yet again) to the sorry subject of the Pacers, I probably didn't make my point very clear. It is not that I cannot take my bike on the train; I can, and I don't have to pay extra for it. My gripe is that, if a class 150 rolls in, I have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it will be a reasonably comfortable ride, on the other, I may get ordered to the other end of the train to park my bike. The problem is that it is not immediately obvious (from the outside) which end of the train has the bicycle / pushchair / wheelchair accomodation. This can lead to an undignified scramble to get the bike to the right end of the train before the Guard's patience is exhausted. At least with the old Southern EMU stock I mentioned, the location of the Guard's van was instantly visible (the double door was a give-away) and there was always plenty of room in there. It is a pity that modern designs seem to offer no such provision.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Free carriage of bikes was something that began in the 1970s when the decline of mail, parcels and newspaper traffic basically made the van sections of DMUs and EMUs redundant. That happy fault led to a sweet deal for bikes. Unfortunately, when the old Multiple Unit fleet was replaced from 1985 onwards Thatcherite penny pinching struck and the new fleet replaced the old on the basis of two new vehicles for every three old ones withdrawn. It also marked the end of van sections on MU stock, which wasn't so great for cyclists. However, at least we have not had the apocalyptic scenario that was toted in the late 1980s - the virtual disappearence of free cycle accomodation on trains.

The two big criticismd I have of the DMU replacement programme is that they did not build enough Cl.150s for suburban work, and did not got with a new generation of DEMUs for services like Edinburgh-Glasgow, Liverpool-Newcastle, etc.. The underfloor engine noise on the 158s used to get quite wearisome on the three and a half hour trip from Newcastle to Liverpool.

PD
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Free carriage of bikes was something that began in the 1970s when the decline of mail, parcels and newspaper traffic basically made the van sections of DMUs and EMUs redundant. That happy fault led to a sweet deal for bikes.

I'm pretty sure bikes were free long before that on the old southern electrics. But then I'm from Brighton - at the end of the only main line in the UK the have been third rail since the 1920s. Despite being born in the 1950s I don't remember steam trains from childhood because where I lived there weren't any. And the only diesel was goods.

[This is a Real Train Note the flat nose with a door in the middle of it so you can make corridor trains of any length. With guards vans of course.

And despite the lack of streamlining and the old-fashione motors they could still do 100mph approaching Hayward's Heath from the north.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Free carriage of bikes was something that began in the 1970s when the decline of mail, parcels and newspaper traffic basically made the van sections of DMUs and EMUs redundant. That happy fault led to a sweet deal for bikes.

I'm pretty sure bikes were free long before that on the old southern electrics. But then I'm from Brighton - at the end of the only main line in the UK the have been third rail since the 1920s. Despite being born in the 1950s I don't remember steam trains from childhood because where I lived there weren't any. And the only diesel was goods.

[This is a Real Train Note the flat nose with a door in the middle of it so you can make corridor trains of any length. With guards vans of course.

And despite the lack of streamlining and the old-fashioned motors they could still do 100mph approaching Hayward's Heath from the north.

Yes, I remember those Southern EMUs going like the clappers, as did the equivalent flat-nosed jobs on the lines out of Liverpool Street.

As for steam, I was also born in the 50s, but I have a number of steam memories. In particular, as a very small child, being taken on the back of my mother's bike and waiting east of Colchester Station (where there was a pedestrian level crossing over the main line) to see the 'Norfolkman' come through, always behind a Britannia, usually 70005 'John Milton'.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
I was born in Grays in 1949 and so have memories of the steamers on the line out from Fenchurch Street to Sarfend. I also remember being terrified of the noise and smoke in Fenchurch Street Station.

We left there in 1954 and moved to Ealing where my dad had an easier commute into The City along the Central Line to Bank.

A year later we moved to Cheshire and I vividly remember the steamers from Oxford Road to Chester going past the end of the school playing fields. Occasionally a train of hoppers for ICI would be steam pulled but mostly there were diesel.

Over here I have been steam pulled twice, once from Coonoor down to Mettupalayam on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway [the Ooty line which uses rack and pinion] and once on the Darjeeling Mountain Railway. I am hoping one day to get to the Neral - Matheran line.

Last week we did the Guruvayur - Aluva run, just a little local passenger - though with a dozen or more bogeys hardly that little but then mainline expresses are often 24 or 26 bogeys long.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
My memories of steam running in revenue-earning service are rather thin on the ground. My family moved to Stourbridge (10 miles west of Birmingham) in April 1961, when I was just 2 weeks old. Whilst Stourbridge had been GWR prior to nationalisation, I know it was subsequently transfered to the London Midland region ~ I couldn't tell you which it was in 1961, but steam was definitely waning.

I can just about remember my mother taking me to see the auto-train which operated the shuttle service between the Town and Junction stations ~ the existing Stourbridge Junction station is rather more than a mile from the town centre. The Auto-train was usually a 14xx Class 0-4-2 tank plus one carriage.

Sadly, I have no recollection of Snow Hill in steam days. My mother told me that we did make that trip once or twice, but my memories only extend to DMU trips into New Street. Snow Hill was just a pile of rubble by the time I was old enough to remember such things. It seems ironic to me now that Snow Hill has had to be re-opened, albeit on a far smaller scale ~ everybody was so confident that New Street could handle the traffic in the 1970's; damp, dark, claustrophobic hole that it was and remains. It just goes to show that we should not simply accept everything that The Planners tell us ~ they can be wrong too ...
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
I can just about remember my mother taking me to see the auto-train which operated the shuttle service between the Town and Junction stations ~ the existing Stourbridge Junction station is rather more than a mile from the town centre. The Auto-train was usually a 14xx Class 0-4-2 tank plus one carriage.

Now they have Parry People Movers, when the dang things are working. I think I prefer the auto train.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
My memories of steam are all associated with the Isle of Man Railway in the last couple of years before the Island's steam railway was nationalised. The IMR has always had a funny status in that Tourism has always been a large part of its business. Even now it is pretty much a preserved railway, it is operated by the IOM Department of Tourism and Transport, who have nvested some fairly serious amounts of cash in modernising the track, stations and level crossings.

The one thing that would be a disappointment to me today would be going to Douglas Station. I remember it when it had four long platforms with umbrella canopies, a large carriage shed, and a fair sized freight yard adjacent to the passenger station. At its height the IMR's three-foot gauge trains handled 1.2 million passengers a year, and Douglas station handled 60-70 trains a day. By the time I got there in the mid-1970s it was more like ten trains a day and 150,000 passengers a day. You really got an uncanny feeling of rattling around in a terminus which was built for much larger passenger numbers.

Today Douglas station has been pushed to the northside of the former station site. Two platforms have been demolished, the cariage shed has been relocated, and the canopies have gone. Instead of three tracks - the headshunt, the South line and the Peel line - leading out of the station, there is just one. It is rather a shadow of its former self.

Manx trains were always formed of high capacity compartment stock - usually six cars hauled by oe of the neat little 2-4-0T engines built by Beyer Peacock. The ones in service in the mid-1970s were 4, 10, 11, 12, and 13. 4 dated from 1874 and was rebuilt in 1909; 10 to 13 were delivered 1905-10 to replace the old Manx Northern fleet. They had a fair turn of speed. On good track 45mph was not uncommon - not bad for an unsuperheated engine with 45" drivers.

PD
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
By the time I got there in the mid-1970s it was more like ten trains a day and 150,000 passengers a day.

Now that would be crowded [Smile] Almost as many passengers as Victoria or Waterloo on three narrow-gauge platforms...
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
By the time I got there in the mid-1970s it was more like ten trains a day and 150,000 passengers a day.

Now that would be crowded [Smile] Almost as many passengers as Victoria or Waterloo on three narrow-gauge platforms...
LOL - I meant 150,000 a season, which averages out at about a thousand a day. The first train out of Douglas used to be very busy with day-trippers to Ballasalla, Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin. In the late 70s it would often load eight or nine cars - 400-500 passengers - and be banked up to Keristal. The banking locomotive would then drop back to Douglas and follow with a relief train - a six car set - about forty minutes later. That was TT week which was sort of organised Bedlam on the Manx railway system. These days the loadings do not seem to peak so sharply, and the Tourist season is longer. Usual practice seems to be three/four cars on most trains; but there is usually a pair of spare carriages handy at both Douglas and Port Erin in case loadings exceed expectations.

PD
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
I have never been to the Isle of Man. Sad, really, as I would love the railways, especially the Beyer Peacock 2-4-0Ts. (I also like coastal scenery, castles and things Celtic and Norse, so it's inexplicable that I haven't been there yet!)
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
I have never been to the Isle of Man. Sad, really, as I would love the railways, especially the Beyer Peacock 2-4-0Ts. (I also like coastal scenery, castles and things Celtic and Norse, so it's inexplicable that I haven't been there yet!)

There is still a boat train to Heysham for the IoM ferry if you feel so inclined. A lot of people seem to fly these days and there is a halt near Ronaldsway Airport. There is quie a bit of information about the Isle of Man Railway at http://www.iomsrsa.com and the timetable is posted on the IOM Transport website.

The Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T design has a long history. The Manx design is a variant on some 2-4-0T built for a 3'6" gauge system in Norway. They also bear a strong resemblance to the standard gauge 4-4-0Ts Beyer Peacock built for the Metropolitan Railway in 1863. The Manx version of the design came in three versions and fifteen of them were delivered between 1873 and 1926. A fair amount of rebuilding went on over the years, mainly of the small boiler locomotives some of which were rebuilt with larger boilers from 1908 onwards. The oldest locomotive in service - No. 4 Loch - is one of the rebuilds. They are neat little locomotives, and were adequate for the Island systems needs. The only time they considered anything larger was in the late 1940s when they asked Beyer Peacock to prepare 2-6-2T and 2-4-2T designs, but none were ordered once traffic returned to pre-War levels.

PD
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
I have never been to the Isle of Man. Sad, really, as I would love the railways, especially the Beyer Peacock 2-4-0Ts. (I also like coastal scenery, castles and things Celtic and Norse, so it's inexplicable that I haven't been there yet!)

Dear me! Drop everything, book today!

On second thoughts, I don't think this is the best time of year to experience the Isle of Man railways. A Bank Holiday in the Spring is great, because then you get the added bonus of the Groudle Glen Railway.

But you should definitely go! It's a great place. Some excellent eating places too - especially if Howarth's at Ballasalla is still there.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I'll add my endorsement to David's comments, with the rider that you should not expect a cup of tea and a bun at any of the tourist traps on the Island. When we were there in 2007, we were very suprised by the way that it contradicted one of my father's dictums on running a successful tourist attraction. He agreed with the comments of a W & LLR colleague who once observed that, to run a successful tourist attraction, all one needed was a car park (preferably free), a tea room and toilets. The attraction itself was purely a bonus!

Be that as it may, (and there does appear to be some truth in it; dad was chairman of the W&LLR for 35 years and it doesn't appear to be doing too badly on it) the Isle of Man doesn't appear to have got hold of the idea. Very few of the tourist destinations have anywhere that you can get a cup of tea or, indeed, refreshments of any sort. We were startled to find that The House of Manannan, in Peel, the Island's newest tourist attraction in 2007 (it had only opened that Easter) had no cafe / tea room of any description. Given that it had been purpose-built to be amongst the island's premier tourist attractions, the omission of a tea room seemed gross in the extreme.

So, go prepared! The railways are fun (particularly the Manx Electric Railway, if you get into conversation with the Motorman, but that's another story!), but tea and buns hard to come by.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
I'll add my endorsement to David's comments, with the rider that you should not expect a cup of tea and a bun at any of the tourist traps on the Island. When we were there in 2007, we were very suprised by the way that it contradicted one of my father's dictums on running a successful tourist attraction. He agreed with the comments of a W & LLR colleague who once observed that, to run a successful tourist attraction, all one needed was a car park (preferably free), a tea room and toilets. The attraction itself was purely a bonus!

Be that as it may, (and there does appear to be some truth in it; dad was chairman of the W&LLR for 35 years and it doesn't appear to be doing too badly on it) the Isle of Man doesn't appear to have got hold of the idea. Very few of the tourist destinations have anywhere that you can get a cup of tea or, indeed, refreshments of any sort. We were startled to find that The House of Manannan, in Peel, the Island's newest tourist attraction in 2007 (it had only opened that Easter) had no cafe / tea room of any description. Given that it had been purpose-built to be amongst the island's premier tourist attractions, the omission of a tea room seemed gross in the extreme.

So, go prepared! The railways are fun (particularly the Manx Electric Railway, if you get into conversation with the Motorman, but that's another story!), but tea and buns hard to come by.

Maybe the reason is that there are still a fair number of old fashioned tea-shops dotted around, in the towns anyway. I remember nice ones in Ramsay and Castletown, and of course Douglas is in many respects a 1960s seaside resort caught in a time-warp (and none the worse for that).
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
That's a fair point, David, but I fancy that my observation still stands.

I suspect that it has something to do with many of the major tourist attractions on the Island being virtually government departments. There seems to be that lack of enterprise that one tends to associate with the Civil Service in this country. Yes, I grant you, there are places that one can get tea and a bun within a few minutes walk of the tourist traps, but you would expect a tourist trap on the mainland to want the tea and buns revenue to go to them, not some other teashop. Clearly government departments don't have to worry about making money.

Symptomatic of this (at least in 2007) was that the cafe in Douglas station actually had no links with the IoMSR at all; it was simply a private operator that happened to occupy part of the station building. And wasn't open at weekends ...
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
<snip>
So, go prepared! The railways are fun (particularly the Manx Electric Railway, if you get into conversation with the Motorman, but that's another story!), but tea and buns hard to come by.

But I do remember having some really nice ice cream at the Douglas train station! [Smile]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
I've never been to the IoM. But I believe that The House of Manannan is, in fact, the old Peel Station building.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
You've got to have a tea shop. Otherwise there's nowhere to leave the women and they'll grumble about it being cold, wet, and why does anyone want to look at a load of dirty, smoky and oily engines when they could go shopping.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I've never been to the IoM. But I believe that The House of Manannan is, in fact, the old Peel Station building.

Somehow, I think not. The building that we visited in 2007 gave every impression of having been completed in the last 12 months (ie, modern materials, etc ~ the presence of scaffolding was a bit of a hint, as well). It may well stand on, or very close to, the old station building, but I am 95% certain it was purpose designed and built to house the new attraction.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I've never been to the IoM. But I believe that The House of Manannan is, in fact, the old Peel Station building.

Here you are! Sorry the important bit is at the bottom
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
That's a fair point, David, but I fancy that my observation still stands.

I suspect that it has something to do with many of the major tourist attractions on the Island being virtually government departments. There seems to be that lack of enterprise that one tends to associate with the Civil Service in this country. Yes, I grant you, there are places that one can get tea and a bun within a few minutes walk of the tourist traps, but you would expect a tourist trap on the mainland to want the tea and buns revenue to go to them, not some other teashop. Clearly government departments don't have to worry about making money.

Symptomatic of this (at least in 2007) was that the cafe in Douglas station actually had no links with the IoMSR at all; it was simply a private operator that happened to occupy part of the station building. And wasn't open at weekends ...

I'm sure you're right. On the Isle of Man, a further consideration might be that since it's such a small place, the people in government might also have an interest in the aforesaid tea-shops.

I too remember the cafe at Douglas Station being closed just when I needed it. Nice when it was open though....
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Pontivillian:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I've never been to the IoM. But I believe that The House of Manannan is, in fact, the old Peel Station building.

Here you are! Sorry the important bit is at the bottom
Hey ho! Wrong again. I ought to be used to this by now.

Apologies, BT.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
No apologies required!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
The Isle of Man Railway's ancillary operations have declined seriously since Tynwald took over. I remember Douglas Station in 1977 as having a cafe, gift shop, and a significant amount of parking. Motorcycles tended to be parked under cover on the old Peel line platform, and cars disappeared somewhere over in the direction of the former freight yard.

Unfortunately since nationalisation Douglas station has been heavily rationalised without much thought being given to its main function. Loosing the freight yard first to bus parking then to the supermarket was probably the greatest misfortune. However, the removal of the platform canopies, the butchering of the old booking hall interior and various other horrors have not benefitted the railway. The management that was in place 1979-94 was not preservation orientated, and there was another glitch of that nature in the mid-00s.

The old Douglas Station was too big, but they made a right mess of rationalising it. The biggest cock-up has been the loss of car parking. I am sure this has had a negative effect on passenger numbers. Surely it would not have been beyond the wit of man to have incorporated more car parking into the redevlopment of the carriage shed and frieght yard sites, but it seems that making best use of the railway as a tourist attraction was a pretty low priority to both DTT management and the developers.

In fairness, I should point out that the track, locomotives and the fifteen or so carriages still in use are in better shape than they used to be. However, the atmosphere, if not the actual historical structures of many of the surviving stations have been seriously altered if not actually lost.

PD

[ 03. December 2009, 04:10: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
I would have to say that I was quite taken aback by what we found at Douglas when we visited in 2007. Having seen some of Ivo Peters' footage of the IoMR dating from the 50's and 60's, I had a pretty fair idea of what Douglas station had been like. Seeing the butchered remains came as quite a shock.

Whilst we were there, my father, my son and myself discussed the predicament that the railway finds itself in. A volunteer preservation outfit of some sort is not really viable, given that the population of the island is clearly not large enough to supply all the voluntary labour that would be required, which means that volunteers would have to come from the mainland. It isn't the sort of thing you can easily do as a day trip ...

We also considered whether there was any possibility that parts of the railway system might be re-opened and concluded that the realistic answer was "No". Without a function as a freight carrier, there could be no justification for re-opening lines and it seemed to us that carriage of freight by rail was simply not going to happen. Mines traffic has ceased and, again, one cannot envisage that returning. Road transport is the 'in' thing these days and that seems unlikely to change in the short term. And tourism alone could never justify the capital expenditure that would be needed.

Which is sad, because it seemed to me that the Northern route had a lot to commend it scenically ~ I would have loved to be able to ride on the coastal stretch on the west of the island heading for Ramsey. I guess I will just have to dream.

One particular omission comes to mind ~ one could not obtain a satisfactory history of the railways of the Isle of Man anywhere, not even in the Railway Museum. I know that Middletown Press published a number of volumes of history of the railways on the island, but I understand that these have all been out of print for many years. Can anybody tell me where I could obtain anything on the history of any part of the Isle of Man railway systems?
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
....one could not obtain a satisfactory history of the railways of the Isle of Man anywhere, not even in the Railway Museum. I know that Middletown Press published a number of volumes of history of the railways on the island, but I understand that these have all been out of print for many years. Can anybody tell me where I could obtain anything on the history of any part of the Isle of Man railway systems?

In 1993 at Port Erin, I bought 'Isle of Man Railways - A Celebration' by Richard Kirkman and Peter van Zeller, which gives accounts of all the railways which are or were on the Island, including the Douglas Horse Tramway, the Steam Railway, the Electric Railway, the Snaefell Railway and many others, now defunct (such as the
Douglas Southern Electric Tramway and the Ramsey Pier Tramway). Only 100 pages, but it contains a lot of interesting stuff, and lots of pictures. It was published by Raven Books, Ravenglass, Cumbria and the ISBN number is 0 9521624 0 7.

[ 05. December 2009, 03:37: Message edited by: daviddrinkell ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Slight diversion on the last two posts, but I've a fairly clear recollection of seeing a set of photographs of a model of the IoM system. This would have been sometime in the sixties I think, and it may have been based in Manchester.

Obviously it did not replicate the entire island in 4mm scale, but it was built to the basic geography of the system as it then was. The main stations had the same layouts as their prototypes and all the key structures were modelled. Sadly, although I've seen the IoM now from land, sea and sky, I've never actually landed on it. But my memory of the model of the four platform station with imposing buildings has stuck, particularly in its contrast with the typical narrow gauge stations elsewhere in Britain.

From the photographs, it was an impressive model, and one wonders how long it survived and what happened to it. It stuck in the memory partly because of the quality, and partly because of the idea of a model of a self contained system, with its own branches etc. The only systems comparable in the British Isles were on the Isle of Wight or possibly the Donegal.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Almost certainly right, the person in charge seems to be Jim Lawton (scroll down) and the year was 1964, however there appears to be another attempt on the go right now.

Jengie

[ 05. December 2009, 13:12: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
I would have to say that I was quite taken aback by what we found at Douglas when we visited in 2007. Having seen some of Ivo Peters' footage of the IoMR dating from the 50's and 60's, I had a pretty fair idea of what Douglas station had been like. Seeing the butchered remains came as quite a shock.

Whilst we were there, my father, my son and myself discussed the predicament that the railway finds itself in. A volunteer preservation outfit of some sort is not really viable, given that the population of the island is clearly not large enough to supply all the voluntary labour that would be required, which means that volunteers would have to come from the mainland. It isn't the sort of thing you can easily do as a day trip ...

We also considered whether there was any possibility that parts of the railway system might be re-opened and concluded that the realistic answer was "No". Without a function as a freight carrier, there could be no justification for re-opening lines and it seemed to us that carriage of freight by rail was simply not going to happen. Mines traffic has ceased and, again, one cannot envisage that returning. Road transport is the 'in' thing these days and that seems unlikely to change in the short term. And tourism alone could never justify the capital expenditure that would be needed.

Which is sad, because it seemed to me that the Northern route had a lot to commend it scenically ~ I would have loved to be able to ride on the coastal stretch on the west of the island heading for Ramsey. I guess I will just have to dream.

Strangely, the Peel line just won't quite die. The trackbed is safeguarded, and once in a while the idea of relaying it comes up. The only major missing stucture is the bridge at the west end of St. John's. The bus service between Douglas and Peel is one of the most intensive on the island, so my hunch is that the passenger traffic is there, but would it be enough to justify the investment?

The Ramsey line, although highly scenic between St John's and Michael/Ballaugh, was really surplus to requirements after 1958. The MER's direct route up the coasttook the bulk of the Douglas-Ramsey traffic, and buses handled the Peel-Ramsey traffic once walking fell out of favour.

The Port Erin line was always the busiest, so it was logical to retain it. However, I suspect it would benefit from a clearer vision of what it is actually there to do. DTT alternates between treating it as a tourist attraction, and as an integral part of the Island's transportation system. On the whole it has to be said that it is primarily a tourist attraction, but it can (and does) have a public transit function. Ideally the railway would operate all year round. The diesels would take care of a limited winter passenger service - after all Tesco is right next to the station in Douglas - operating primarily from Port Erin, Port St Mary, and Castletown into Douglas, Steam would work the more intensive Easter to October tourist service.

To achieve this the railway needs to finish the rebuild of the railcars - the former CDRJC 19 and 20. (BTW, the diesel locomotives are unsuitable as they have no train heating equipment.) The management also needs to have about 21 carriages in good condition for peak season loadings.

Lastly, there needs to be a greater appreciation of the heritage side of the railway from the Department of Tourism and Transport. Douglas station was in poor shape the last time I saw it, and Port Erin, although substantially intact needed a repaint and a general tidy up. Also, when the opportunity arises, the management really does need to start undoing some of the damage at Douglas. A good start would be reinstating the old bothy - the grounded body of coach N41 - in front of the works. The installation of a platform fact along the new southern edge of the station would help tidy that side of the station up too. The removal of the canopies was really unfortunate. To have kept them would have made the loss of platform six and the old freight yard less visible. The old carriage shed was full of holes as long ago as 1979, so its removal, and the construction of a new one was probably inevitable. The resiting, whilst unfortunate, did allow the construction of a much needed central maintenance facility for the Island's buses.

On the other hand, when I have finished moaning, at least the railway is still open. There were times in the 60s and 70s when it looked as though the Isle of Man Railway would not make it.

A final not on volunteers. When the railway company was still in charge, volunteers were welcomed and given not safety related maintenance jobs to do. That source of extra help disappeared with Nationalization in 1978 and the subsequent unionisation of the work force.

PD
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Something for you guys here - should you venture to Japan: "Hotels woo train spotters". [Biased]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
How does one book?

Perhaps in the lift the different floors are
1
O
S
HO
TT3
N
Z
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
Something for you guys here - should you venture to Japan: "Hotels woo train spotters". [Biased]

When I lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, my apartment overlooked a stretch of old Baltimore & Ohio track that carries CSX freight and Amtrak passenger traffic and that runs parallel to the Washington, DC Metro Red Line. I spent many a glorious afternoon trainspotting out on my balcony. I had no trouble sleeping either.

And as I previously mentioned, my apartment in Pittsburgh was in the old Pennsylvania Station and overlooked the bridge on which tracks crossed the Allegheny River and led into the station.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Perhaps in the lift the different floors are
1
O
S
HO
TT3
N
Z

Not in a British hotel. The middle floor would be 00. Mind you, if it was a posh boutique hotel, it would be EM or even Scalefour.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
I guess the rooms on the Z floor might be somewhat on the smallish side. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Perhaps in the lift the different floors are
1
O
S
HO
TT3
N
Z

Not in a British hotel. The middle floor would be 00. Mind you, if it was a posh boutique hotel, it would be EM or even Scalefour.
You could have 16mm/foot narrow gauge at the top (using 32mm or 45mm gauge track) and T Gauge which is about half the size of Z at the other end!

(sorry, can't find a non-commercial link for T Gauge)
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
I guess the rooms on the Z floor might be somewhat on the smallish side.
Not necessarily. The rooms could all be the same size - which means you could get a complete town in the Z gauge room and only one chair in the Gauge 1 room. If rooms are all charged at the same rate, that would make the "per person" rate much cheaper in the Z gauge room.

But - would the guests book and check-in according to scale? And we all know that HO/OO stuff is cheaper than the smaller and bigger scales!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I was assuming this was a Japanese hotel.

In the UK there's the question whether P4, Scalefour ,EM and OO are different floors or different price levels on the same floor, with OO definitely the budget rooms without breakfast. Perhaps like various varieties of Presbyterians, the proprietor will have to conceal the existence of each other from the P4 and Scalefour guests.

But I was also assuming it's the views of the trains that are the different scales, not the sizes of the rooms.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
ha ha ... call me an imbecile and juvenile nay infantile if you like but I'm enjoying this. If we must have an incomprehensible thread, at least I can top the page each time [Razz]

(now, back to playing with my Hornby Type 36 ... )
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
Something for you guys here - should you venture to Japan: "Hotels woo train spotters". [Biased]

When I lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, my apartment overlooked a stretch of old Baltimore & Ohio track that carries CSX freight and Amtrak passenger traffic and that runs parallel to the Washington, DC Metro Red Line. I spent many a glorious afternoon trainspotting out on my balcony. I had no trouble sleeping either.

And as I previously mentioned, my apartment in Pittsburgh was in the old Pennsylvania Station and overlooked the bridge on which tracks crossed the Allegheny River and led into the station.

The Manse the Preacher Family lived in in Campbellton, New Brunswick overlooked CN's Intercolonial line. It was down the bank from our back yard, through some bushes and scrub. There was a perfect view from my bedroom window and the family room. I haven had a CN Engineer's cap. Sometimes the engineers would discretely whistle when they saw me, I was the little tyke who liked trains. Who wouldn't when you live on a main line?

Though the Intercolonial Line has been sold to a short line now.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Minor correction, SPK: CN has bought the three connecting lines back recently. Speculation is that the NTR, which goes diagonally acroos the empty part of the province may be downgraded or closed and the old Main Line will have all the traffic. The huge bridge up near New Denmark is the probable culprit.

The quality of track maintenance under the NBEC was also questionable, as were their operating practises. Absent-mindedly diverting the Ocean Limited into a siding full of freight carsdidn't help!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Oh, BTW, Enoch, you've left out one of the larger scales.

quote:
Perhaps in the lift the different floors are
1
O
S
HO
TT3
N
Z

G presumably would have to be the Ground Floor, with 1 being the next one up (? British rather than US/Canadian terminology)

This would make Z the top floor, giving a rather pyramidal structure.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
call me an imbecile and juvenile nay infantile ............ at least I can top the page each time

Yes Zappa, you are imbecile, juvenile and infantile.

Oh, BTW, Enoch, you've left out one of the larger scales......G presumably would have to be the Ground Floor, with 1 being the next one up

Really good idea HB. I hadn't thought of that. We who are daily becoming sadder salute you.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Oh, BTW, Enoch, you've left out one of the larger scales.

quote:
Perhaps in the lift the different floors are
1
O
S
HO
TT3
N
Z

G presumably would have to be the Ground Floor, with 1 being the next one up (? British rather than US/Canadian terminology)

This would make Z the top floor, giving a rather pyramidal structure.

This tangent makes me think that we haven’t discussed what we have/like in terms of model railways!

I have a continuous-running double track ‘OO’ gauge layout in my loft. It is supposed to be a secondary main line, somewhere in northern Cumberland, built as a joint line by the North British, North Eastern and Midland railways to link the Settle-Carlisle with the ‘Waverley’ route without going through Carlisle. So I run LMS and LNER locos on it, including a B1, J39, ‘Black Five’ and 8F.

It is set around 1945-48, though not entirely consistently as I like my ‘Wrenn’ diecast metal wagons, some of which are in 1950s BR livery!
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I'm modelling in HO, set in the late steam era, mainly Canadian National. Surprise! I'm relating to the era and locale when I became aware of trains.

Diesels are very nice and relatively clean, but the diesel era has been all big trains, virtually no passenger service and little personal interaction in the way that used to be the norm even on main lines.

My problem is that it is incredibly difficult to give any sense of Prairie railroading in a space that is only 25 feet long - about 2200 scale feet. A simple station, passing track and elevator siding was normally 3000 feet long, dead straight and set in "big sky" space with no hills to break the horizon (or to hide staging tracks!)

I've started some modules in 4 foot lengths, which may help. They could be moved to shows where they can be integrated with other scenes to give the illusion of real distance.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
(Really just making sure that this thread doesn't drop off page 1 ...)

I had a railway layout as a child and, by the time I headed off to University, it had grown quite extensive. Unfortunately, whilst I was away my parents and I discovered that (a) my sister coveted my bedroom and (b) she was prepared to take direct action about it. I came home one vacation to discover that all of my stuff had been summarily evicted from my room and that my sister had taken it upon herself to dismantle the railway board.

Everything went into boxes and there it has stayed these last 30 years. Periodically, I think of it and start dreaming of building aloft layout. But it has only ever been a dream. Either there is not the time, or there is not the money, or both. Maybe one day ... [Tear]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
That must have been a traumatic experience. I had a similar one, coupled with the fact that I then went to a (railway-less) country in West Africa for five years!

Did a sad thing on Tuesday: watched "Tangmere" (steam loco) coming through ...
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Yes, I'm in much the same situation, a lot of bits but no railway. I've even got a die cast Gem pannier tank which must be nearly 60 years old now. It used to be incredibly powerful by model standards but it's years since it even turned a wheel.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
If it's sad you're into, I reckon I must be high on the list. There are models in my roof-bound collection that have never so much as turned a wheel ~ they were bought during my college years and there has never been any track to run them on. From memory, the Dean Goods and the Hawksworth 94xx fall into this category. And I cannot remember whether the Collett 2251 ever ran; I think not. Glancing up from the keyboard, my gaze lites upon a Hornby class 2721 open-back cabbed pannier tank model which has never been out of its box, and which has adorned the bookshelves in my study ever since it was purchase, more than 10 years ago. Now that is saaaaad!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Attention all of you who do not have a room or a railway. Carl Arendt is your inspiration! Some of these schemes are a little contrived, but it shows that a working railway is possible on a bookshelf.

Now get building! You have no excuse.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Some neat ideas there. Tends to work better in the smaller scales (N, Z etc) ~ you don't get a great deal onto a shelf in OO.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I have always been an HO/OO type. However, my wife has started some serious mischief - she suggested I have a G scale layout in the yard. Then again, it may be a plot to get me interested in gardening...

PD
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
I've had HO/OO as a kid. Though I always very much preferred N scale, my family seemed to have got advice from a model rail shop, and so I received the larger scale set.

It's all been put away many a moon ago, and I wonder if I'll ever start again - but then in N quite certainly. The reason being that I don't just like the wee liddle trains, but want to see them in a somewhat realistic context and doing landscaping would be just as important, or perhaps even more (sacrilege? [Paranoid] ), than running a model railway only. I guess it's the context and overall picture I'm interested in.

Tiny little details you could create there too, on a generous layout - people doing their gardening, having a chat with the neighbours, hanging their washing on the (washing, not train!) line. Trees and hedges in all shapes and sizes, a pond here and there, ducks, dogwalkers, a stream, kids playing... - so in a sense creating your own little ideal world, in little scenes, for your own and your friends' enjoyment. Others would write a book or compose music or paint, or do acting or real-life gardening. I think it could turn out to be quite artsy, really. [Smile]

[ 12. December 2009, 08:01: Message edited by: Wesley J ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
I have always been an HO/OO type. However, my wife has started some serious mischief - she suggested I have a G scale layout in the yard. Then again, it may be a plot to get me interested in gardening...

PD

I hope that if you do, you will transform your little bit of Arizona into North Lincolnshire! [Smile]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
I've had HO/OO as a kid. Though I always very much preferred N scale, my family seemed to have got advice from a model rail shop, and so I received the larger scale set.

It's all been put away many a moon ago, and I wonder if I'll ever start again - but then in N quite certainly. The reason being that I don't just like the wee liddle trains, but want to see them in a somewhat realistic context and doing landscaping would be just as important, or perhaps even more (sacrilege? [Paranoid] ), than running a model railway only. I guess it's the context and overall picture I'm interested in.

Tiny little details you could create there too, on a generous layout - people doing their gardening, having a chat with the neighbours, hanging their washing on the (washing, not train!) line. Trees and hedges in all shapes and sizes, a pond here and there, ducks, dogwalkers, a stream, kids playing... - so in a sense creating your own little ideal world, in little scenes, for your own and your friends' enjoyment. Others would write a book or compose music or paint, or do acting or real-life gardening. I think it could turn out to be quite artsy, really. [Smile]

In view of your screen name, quite appropriate, too. The world is your parish indeed, all on a table top.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
[Killing me]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
In the context of modelling something to look like a realistic landscape surrounding the trains themselves, the layouts at the Pendon Museum (roughly between Didcot and Oxford, UK) are well worth seeing.

The purpose of building the main layout was to record for posterity a landscape and a way of life that was disappearing. In this context, the railway appears within the model because it happens to feature in the prototype, which is the Vale of White Horse in the 1930's. The model is not a strict scale model of the Vale, clearly that would take far too much space, but is a sort of archetype of it (hope I've got the right word there), in that the modellers have taken representative buildings and scenes and reproduced them in the model. The end result is quite fascinating. Trains run through the model from time to time, but are not intended to be the main focus of attention, just another part of the overall scheme of things.

As I said, if you are in a position to visit, it is well worth seeing. Have a look at this for more information.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I'd endorse that. It's well worth seeing. It's also not far from Didcot. So you can go there too.

When I was last there, I suggested to them they ought to include a scale model of John Betjamen as one of the Vale's most celebrated residents, and almost the right period, but got the distinct impression the person I said this to hadn't a clue what I was talking about.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
It was my childhood dream to have a model railway. More recently I spent hours in front of the one at the Museum of Science and Technology in Chicago (thanks to mamacita, who alerted us to that museum's brilliance), and that has rekindled my childhood dream. Hmmm ... but where to start?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Look up what there is about "modules" or "modular layouts". These are small sections, usually of the order of 4 feet long by two feet wide, that can be connected with others of the same specification to make working layouts. "Fremo" or "freemo" layouts are becoming quite popular, now that digital control allows for realistic train movements.

Building a module allows for you to be as detailed about the scene as you can manage, while still keeping it contained in a manageable, storable space.

You'll have to ask around as to who is doing similar work somewhere near you, so you can comsult as you need to, and you can then bring the modules together for large operating sessions.

We have a loosely-organised club with members scattered over three provinces, who agree on a particular style of operation. About a dozen gathered a couple of months ago in the local high school, and set up a layout that came out over 100 feet long, plus a branch line. Not the highest level of modelling detail, but a good time running trains there and back, all under DCC, so that passing trains while the local switcher keeps on working is all possible.

Report here, just for interest

Obviously, you deal with people who suit your style! (just like church!)
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
My father's angle on railway modelling was that you had to decide what you wanted out of the model? If you were mostly interested in the running aspect, then the most appropriate layout was what he called the "loop and fiddle yard" ~ essentially a number of sidings laid out to enable trains to be formed and re-formed without encroaching on the running line, plus a loop of track on which the assembled trains can be run around for the benefit of an audience. Before I went off to University (see above) my layout had developed into this model, with two distinct shunting yards and a loop in between.

On the other hand, if it's modelling that is your thing, the track layout itelf becomes secondary to the scenery. You might want to think about putting the track on a shelf that is only slightly wider than the track, whilst the baseboard is at a lower level. This gives you scope to model embankments, cuttings etc. And, of course, if you have an exhibition layout in mind, you need to distinguish between the 'public' and 'private' areas.

A layout designed for shunting poses more interesting control problems (though I guess many of these only apply to the 'traditional' systems of power control) but gives scope for more interest to those running the layout.

At the end of the day, your budget will determine what you build ~ have fun and remember to post us some photographs.
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
Apparently the real Orient Express (as opposed to the better-known Venice-Simplon Orient Express) made its last-ever run last night; see here, with a link to more information.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Attention all of you who do not have a room or a railway. Carl Arendt is your inspiration! Some of these schemes are a little contrived, but it shows that a working railway is possible on a bookshelf.

Now get building! You have no excuse.

Thanks for that link - I've just wasted an awful lot of time looking through it! [Smile] now casting eyes on books-shelves, one of which has an OO9 steam tram and stock standing on it....
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Angloid, I am fortunate that I live in the mountains so the native flora of our yard is pine trees and small oak trees. What does not thrive here is grass.

I have a long term fascination with Manx and Irish Narrow Gauge for which 'G-20.3' is ideal. However, there was once a proposal to build a narrow gauge roadside tramway (a la the Tralee and Dingle Light Railway, the Cavan and Leitrim - Arigna Branch, or the Clogher Valley Railway) from Brigg to Lincoln. That may well end up being my inspiration, especially as I will be using mainly Anglicized U.S. stock.

As a railway modeller I am an operations man, so I like end to end type layout best. I think that with G gauge I should be able to use a real rather than notional staff and ticket system to control the single line. Of course the times between loops will be unrealistically short, but what the hey!

One thing that irritates me about G gauge is that most equipment marketed as 'G' can be to any one of five scales all running on 45mm gauge. I wish they would adopt a gauge and scale way of marketing stuff - for example

G20 for 1:20.3
G22 for 1:22.5
G24 for 1:24
G29 for 1:29 (or "American" Gauge 1)
G32 for 1:32 (or "true" Gauge One)

By the way, G20 represents 36" gauge; G22 metre gauge; and G24 Cape (42") Gauge. G29 and G32 are both intended to represent standard gauge with "29" being for slightly overscale and 32 finescale.

PD
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
I'm afraid this thread appears to have been an inspiration - I've just purchased my first N size engine ever, I think, from an online auction site. As I don't have any N track at the moment, I had it run for a few moments on a 9V battery, for testing purposes.

Interesting memories from years gone by: I appear to have missed the smell of tiny running electric motors, the little sparks when the wheels touch an electric contact, and also of course the nice, regular purring of the miniature motor. Those wee machines, especially at 1:160 scale, are real pieces of art and craftmanship I'm beginning to think, not unlike a wristwatch would be.

Must say I'm quite happy now with my initial purchase and really believe that N is the right gauge for me - especially as I haven't got any pets at the moment, as in 'darling, the cat just ate your £500 train.' (Mind you, the new old loco now was considerably cheaper!)

I wonder how I'll be looking at and thinking about those liddle trains now, after a trainless decade or more. I'm hoping for a more relaxed, poised and serene modus operandi by myself - but who knows how long I'll stick to it, and populate my place with miles of tracks and hundreds of trains. Would that mean spending less time online? Oh dear. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
[Complete non seq]

Given that it's the season (and if somebody doesn't take action pretty soon, this thread is going to drop off page 1!) has anybody been on any reputable, steam-hauled Santa Specials this year? I overheard a number of colleagues discussing Santa Specials on the Brecon Mountain Railway today and concluded (from what they were saying) that this was one to which I would give the miss. But there might be others that were worth the effort ...?

[/non seq]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
You are too late for it but these apparently are worth the visit.

Jengie
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
I've missed the Santa Specials, and anyway my eleven year-old would moan that he's 'too old for that sort of thing'. But I might try the Keighley & Worth Valley's Mince Pie Specials one day the week after Christmas. You get a free mince pie! (You used to [Disappointed] get a free drinkie as well: a small amount of sherry, but it is in Yorkshire and they must have decided
“Can’t be ‘avin drinks fer folks where they ’ave ter pay nowt! What dost tha think it is , Christmas or summat?”

[ 18. December 2009, 09:03: Message edited by: Alaric the Goth ]
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
The Santa Specials on the Severn Valley are pretty good.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
I was once on a Santa Special on the Kent & East Sussex Railway from Tenterden - all very jolly and festive. My niece, who was little at the time, thought it was great, but the real reason for going was to indulge her father and uncle....

The K&ESR is a nice little line - one of Colonel Stephens's enterprises before it was resurrected by a preservation society. It passes near Bodiam Castle (Swamp Castle in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' - 'One day, lad, all this will be yours'), and is beautifully kept and run.

I find, personally, that it's less fun chugging along at a slow rate behind an 'Austerity' 0-6-0 pannier tank than bumping up to 40mph on the 15" gauge of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch (which also has Santa Specials, of course). Each to their own....
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
I'd imagine that Santa specials on the Ravenglass and Eskdale are quite fun. Then again you could always go to Llanfair Caereinion! I'm sure that you would find a great Santa there!!
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:

Given that it's the season (and if somebody doesn't take action pretty soon, this thread is going to drop off page 1!)

Yeah, right! [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Ahhh, go on, you love it, really! [Biased] [Biased]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Well, my first batch of G scale equipment arrived a couple of days ago - a cheap secondhand trainset, so I can dip my toes before I take the plunge. No scale given on the boxes (#$@&!), but some use of the tape measure on componants such as doorways convinced me that it is either 1:22.5 - not the kindest scale for folks who like to work in imperial measurements; or possibly 1:24 - which would make things a lot easier. Some general diamensions for a full size D&RGW Baldwin T-12 would help to give me a reasonable idea of scale, but I have not ound any online. Oh well, it is library day tomorrow.

PD
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Well, my first batch of G scale equipment arrived a couple of days ago - a cheap secondhand trainset, so I can dip my toes before I take the plunge. No scale given on the boxes (#$@&!), but some use of the tape measure on componants such as doorways convinced me that it is either 1:22.5 - not the kindest scale for folks who like to work in imperial measurements; or possibly 1:24 - which would make things a lot easier. Some general diamensions for a full size D&RGW Baldwin T-12 would help to give me a reasonable idea of scale, but I have not ound any online. Oh well, it is library day tomorrow.

PD

I am consumed with envy......

There was an ad on Ebay yesterday for a Mamod O gauge LIVE STEAM set - loco, wagons and an oval of track - bidding had got up to US$147. I was very sorely tempted.

Have fun!!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by daviddrinkell:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Well, my first batch of G scale equipment arrived a couple of days ago - a cheap secondhand trainset, so I can dip my toes before I take the plunge. No scale given on the boxes (#$@&!), but some use of the tape measure on componants such as doorways convinced me that it is either 1:22.5 - not the kindest scale for folks who like to work in imperial measurements; or possibly 1:24 - which would make things a lot easier. Some general diamensions for a full size D&RGW Baldwin T-12 would help to give me a reasonable idea of scale, but I have not ound any online. Oh well, it is library day tomorrow.

PD

I am consumed with envy......

There was an ad on Ebay yesterday for a Mamod O gauge LIVE STEAM set - loco, wagons and an oval of track - bidding had got up to US$147. I was very sorely tempted.

Have fun!!

I find live steam tempting too, but I have gone with electric here for convenience sake - it gets quite hot and very dry here.

BTW, I eventually found a drawing of a D&RGS caboose and determined that the set is 1:22.5 scale. Now I am trying to convince myself that converting feet to inches and then dividing by 22.5 (without the aid of a pocket calculator) is not the pain in the behind it seems at first glance.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The Rio Grande Southern was a Narrow Gauge, 3 Foot Road. Did you figure this into your calculations?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
The Rio Grande Southern was a Narrow Gauge, 3 Foot Road. Did you figure this into your calculations?

Being part Irish (at least, that is what I blame it on) I am a bit of a 3-foot gauge nerd, so yes, I factored it in. I wanted to know whether I was dealing with scale metre gauge, three foot, or Cape Gauge. I can mix 1:22.3 with 1:24 equipment, but I would shy away from mixing 1:20.3 with 1:24 as they are a little too far part. Thankfully most G scalers are "Broad Church" so such discreprencies don't cause a meltdown.

[Yipee]

PD
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:

from PD

BTW, I eventually found a drawing of a D&RGS caboose and determined that the set is 1:22.5 scale. Now I am trying to convince myself that converting feet to inches and then dividing by 22.5 (without the aid of a pocket calculator) is not the pain in the behind it seems at first glance.


Perhaps a simple Excel spreadsheet with a column for feet and another for inches and then a calculation for the size in 22.5 scale would simplify it.

Jengie
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Now I am trying to convince myself that converting feet to inches and then dividing by 22.5 (without the aid of a pocket calculator) is not the pain in the behind it seems at first glance.

PD

What are these feet and inches of which you speak?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
For feet and inches, you have to go to the Measurement Museum of the World, known as the USA. Just about everyone else uses the common system of measurement known as "The Metric System", but they are determined to hold on to the old.

Must be something about being a young country, except that didn't work in Canada's case.

Or maybe it is just a socialist plot for someone to get world domination. Haven't figured out who yet.

It isn't as if they knew how big a gallon is!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Now I am trying to convince myself that converting feet to inches and then dividing by 22.5 (without the aid of a pocket calculator) is not the pain in the behind it seems at first glance.

PD

What are these feet and inches of which you speak?
For railway modelling purposes, unnecessary conversions into metric are a royal pain because they introduce another step into the process when modelling any British/Irish/American railway equipment built before about 1973. The surviving drawings are usually in Imperial or US measure, so converting everything to metric is just a heap of unnecessary work. When scratchbuilding your own rolling stock it is easier to deal with the raw diamensions - whether metric or Imperial (US is irrelevant here) - and divide by the scale. The fewer steps you make, the less chance there is of making an error when scaling down.

The three versions of G scale for narrow gauge trains run at 15mm:foot; 13.56mm:foot: and half inch:foot respectively. The middle scale - favoured by LGB, has the most support from manufacturers, and is close enough to the old half-inch scale used by military modellers that you can hijack some of their stuff too. Thankfully "G" gauge is a rivet counter free zone.

PD

[ 19. December 2009, 15:41: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
It isn't as if they knew how big a gallon is!

A gallon is 4.5 litres, as God intended. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
For feet and inches, you have to go to the Measurement Museum of the World, known as the USA. Just about everyone else uses the common system of measurement known as "The Metric System", but they are determined to hold on to the old.

Must be something about being a young country, except that didn't work in Canada's case.

It's a funny thing, but although Canada has been metric for years, people still refer to Imperial units like miles to travel, inches of rain, pounds of cheese....
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by daviddrinkell:
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
For feet and inches, you have to go to the Measurement Museum of the World, known as the USA. Just about everyone else uses the common system of measurement known as "The Metric System", but they are determined to hold on to the old.

Must be something about being a young country, except that didn't work in Canada's case.

It's a funny thing, but although Canada has been metric for years, people still refer to Imperial units like miles to travel, inches of rain, pounds of cheese....
I find I can still swap fairly easily between Metric and Imperial even though I have been living in the USA for ten years. Thankfully where the US measurements are weird - liquid measure and their "ton" - I rarely need to deal with them.

My basic problem with metric is that I was brought up using Imperial at home, metric was something you used at school. So when I am eyeballing something I think - that looks about 6" not that looks about 150mm.

Initial survey work on the garden - otherwise called wandering around out there while the dogs take care of business - revealed a nice, fairly level shelf through the rocks where I can place a model railway. The "rule of 4" applies to G scale apparently - no grades steep than 4 percent and no curves tighter than 4' radius. That does not work so well in metric. [Biased]

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
4% is metric-only? Who'd a thunk it?

And 4 feet is close enough to 1.25 m. (actually 1.22) that I doubt it would make any difference in the "eyeball" stage.

But, sure, I use "English" units all the time in my carpentry, despite the plywood coming in "metric" sizes, because too many of my plans come from that Great Repository of Englishism to my South.

Remember Trudeau's "elephant&mouse" comment? We can't avoid paying attention to our neighbour.

Where else would you have the joy of interpreting "a fifth" to mean 26 oz, (1/5 of a bastardized gallon at 132 oz.)?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
If it is any consolation, I earn my living as an engineer here in the (metricated) UK. Which doesn't stop my Machinist colleague and myself cheerfully referring to 'millimeters' and 'thous' (1/1000 inch) quite interchangeably. It's careless of us, no doubt, but we seem to manage. I find that one uses that units that are convenient at the time.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
[completely un-rail-related tangent] A man called the other day to measure up our bathroom for new fittings: he very happily chuntered on in measurements of 'feet', 'inches', 'millimetres' and unspecified units that could only have been tenths of metres (decimetres?). And a local flooring company have given up using metric units (though all their stock is measured in such) because it 'confuses the customers' [Confused] Despite no-one under 100 not having learnt the metric system in school, and no-one under 60 having learnt the 'imperial' one.[/competely un-rail-related tangent]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I cheerfully admit to being from the "if you can't fix it with a hammer you've got an electrical problem" school of thought. To me a "thou'" is a mythical unit of no relevance to me. However, I can identify with the cheerful shuffling between metric and imperial on the basis of whatever is most convenient.

With railway modelling you have some shuffling of scales to suit metric or imperial measure. American "O" is 1:48 or 1/4 to the foot in the USA; European O is 1:43 or 7mm the foot. However both run on 32mm - 1.25" track. Gauge One had a similar compromise between the UK's 1:30.5 scale "Ten Milly" and the rest of the world's 1:32 scale. However, from what I have read the UK is moving towards 1:32.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Aren't 7mm to the foot, 4mm to the foot, 3mm to the foot and 2mm to the foot in theory inconsistent even though they work OK? What must be really peculiar to people outside the UK is that the track gauges do not fit. 16.5 mm does not = 4' 8½". 18 mm and 9 mm are both 4' 6"". Hence Scalefour, and 9.5mm.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
We sang hymn 51 from 'Hymns Ancient and Modern' ('Lo, he comes with clouds descending') today and I felt greatly inspired:

quote:
Thousand thousand saints attending / swell the triumph of his train / Alleluia!

 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
ISTM that OO scale was redefined as "4 mm to the foot, but with HO track, so that the British models would "bulk up" a bit on the smaller track.

Using the readily-available HO track allowed for the sale of 4 mm scale British models in the US, where HO was the "normal" scale.

4 mm is 1:76
3.5 mm is 1:87

O scale is 1:48 (1/4 inch to the foot), so HO was supposed to be 1:96 or 1/8 to the foot. Somewhere along the way, the 3.5 mm thing became the norm. No idea when - it was long established when I first knew anything about it in 1958
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
And people used HO with other models for human figures and scenery built to 1:72 - but wargamers used what we called 25mm figures - though there were 21mm around as well
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Aren't 7mm to the foot, 4mm to the foot, 3mm to the foot and 2mm to the foot in theory inconsistent even though they work OK? What must be really peculiar to people outside the UK is that the track gauges do not fit. 16.5 mm does not = 4' 8½". 18 mm and 9 mm are both 4' 6"". Hence Scalefour, and 9.5mm.

Rather a silly game, I admit, but here's the hits and misses for standard gauge modellers. Standard gauge although officially 1435mm (formerly 4'8.5" or 1438mm) actually ranged between 1435mm and 1440mm depending on country and railway. For example, French standard gauge railways were laid to 1440mm.

Anyway, here is a list of well-know scales and gauges. The format is Scale name (country of use) - scale/gauge = actual gauge multiply the model scale by the model gauge to give full size equivelent.

Z - 1:220/6.5 = 1430mm
N (Int) - 1:160/9 = 1440mm
OOO - 1:152/9.5 = 1444mm
N (UK) - 1:148/9 = 1332mm
TT (Eur) - 1:120/12 = 1440mm
TT (UK) - 1:100/12 = 1200mm
HO (Int) - 1:87/16.5mm = 1435.5mm
OO (UK) - 1:76/16.5mm = 1254mm
EM (UK) - 1:76/18.2mm = 1383mm
P4 (UK) - 1:76/18.82mm = 1430mm
S - 1:64/22.5mm = 1440mm
O (US) - 1:48/32mm = 1536mm
O (Euro) - 1:43/32mm = 1376mm
Gauge 1 (Euro) - 1.32/45mm = 1440mm
Gauge 1 (UK) = 1:30.5/45mm = 1372.5mm
Gauge 1 (US trainsets) - 1:29/45mm = 1305mm
Gauge 1 (US) - 1:29/45mm

Z, Int N, Euro TT, HO, P4, S, and Euro 1 are pretty close to correct in terms of scale to gauge relationship. English TT and OO are pretty close to awful.

Narrow Gauge modellers have a different problem. By definition their gauge is non-standard so they have to make some decisions. In the UK 009 is the most popular - 4mm scale running on 9mm gaue track, and it represents scale 2'3" gauge. However, OO9 is used to represent everything from 1'11.5" through to 2'6" guage. OOn3 is used from Irish and Manx narrow gauge as it correctly represents 3' gauge. Among three foot gauge modellers 5.5mm scale or 1:55.5 has a following as 16.5mm gauge wheel sets and mechanisms are cheap enough and plentiful.

The garden gauges have their national characteristics. Britain has SM32 and SM45. "SM" I assume stands for "sixteen millimetre" with 32mm gauge used for 2' gauge railways, and 45mm for 3' gauge railways. I have already alluded to the situation with "G scale" in the USA above. Basically, if you model narrow gauge trains, unless you model a railway that complied with one of the well stablished scale:gauge relationships you get used to fudging a bit.

Of course there are some off the wall members of the model railway fraternity who model such things as Irish Broad gauge in 4mm scale. Hand building all that 21mm gauge track must be a real bear. Same goes for the odd bod who fancies Brunel's broad gauge.

PD
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
We sang hymn 51 from 'Hymns Ancient and Modern' ('Lo, he comes with clouds descending') today and I felt greatly inspired:

quote:
Thousand thousand saints attending / swell the triumph of his train / Alleluia!

We sang 'At the Name of Jesus', which includes the lines:

'Brothers, this Lord Jesus
Shall return again,
With his Father's glory,
With his angel train'

Probably Great Western (as opposed to King's Weston, which is the tune we use). [Smile]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
This is probably better than the Norwegian State Railways, which will happily take you to Hell (every 30 minutes during the peak hours!)

Fortunately, I think that return tickets are available.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
This is probably better than the Norwegian State Railways, which will happily take you to Hell (every 30 minutes during the peak hours!)

Fortunately, I think that return tickets are available.

I was in Hell with Belfast Cathedral Choir a number of years back - I think it's near Bergen.....
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
From what little I can remember, Hell is where you choose to go towards the Arctic or merely to Sweden.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
This is probably better than the Norwegian State Railways, which will happily take you to Hell (every 30 minutes during the peak hours!)

As opposed to Virgin XC who would happily strand you there! But we do not want this heaven thread to take Purgatorial turn.

I took a look at the yard today and found a suitable "wife-approved" route for the model railway. Perhaps when we have a life again after Christmas I can get to work. I am very intrigued by this model trains outdoors business.

PD
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by daviddrinkell:
We sang 'At the Name of Jesus', which includes the lines:

'Brothers, this Lord Jesus
Shall return again,
With his Father's glory,
With his angel train'

Probably Great Western (as opposed to King's Weston, which is the tune we use). [Smile]

Angel Trains. [Biased]
 
Posted by virtuous sloth (# 15364) on :
 
I confess to being a railway enthusiast. I want to experience the world's greatest trans-continental rail voyages, such as the India-Pacific rail trip from Sydney to Perth and the Canada Line from Toronto to Vancouver, and others - crossing as many continents as possible.

I confess that I experience an occasional temptation to travel by hopping freight trains.

I confess that I enjoy taking long walks along railway tracks.

I confess that the call of a freight train in the night is probably my favorite sound.

I confess that I have long held a fascination with model railways.

And lastly, and most embarrassingly, I confess that for most of my life, I have wanted to undertake the engineering and creative challenge of building an upside-down (and fully functional) model railway suspended from a ceiling.
 
Posted by virtuous sloth (# 15364) on :
 
Additionally, I confess that I have chosen where I want to live motivated, in part, by a desire to get around town by tram instead of by horseless carriage.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
If it's confession time, I have (though it was many years ago) taken advantage of the complete shut down of the entire network on Christmas Day to walk through a normally working tunnel, and on another to walk over a bridge.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I have always been intrigued by roadside tramways. They were never that plentiful in Britain, but Ireland, the Netherlands and France had quite a few. Unlike urban Trams which were electrically powered and usually in the street, these were steam driven and ran on a road side reservation. In the mainland UK context, where there was a handful of them, they look like one of those good ideas that never took off, I suspect because of the legislative structure imposed on them - The Tramways Act 1870 -which allowed for county/municipal buy-outs after 21 years. The Tramways Act (Ireland) 1883 gave the proprietors more security, hence the litany of tramways there:

Dublin and Lucan
Dublin and Blessington
Clogher Valley
Schull and Skibbereen
etc.

What confuses the issue a bit in Ireland is that a lot of the Irish Tramways renamed themselves "Railway" after they went broke the first time! Or hedged their bets by calling themselves "Light Railway and Tramway."

Unfortunately I am far too young to remember any of them with the exception of a couple of industrial light railways. The one between Grimsby and Immingham that at one time had parallel electric tramway, is the only one I remember with any clarity. The drivers on that line all used to swear that they were going to start painting little cars on the side of their engine cabs if they hit many more cars. Car drivers had this strange notion that a 50 ton class 08 shunter can stop on a sixpence and used to cut in front of moving trains - with occasional unfortunate results. Thanks to the 15mph speed limit no-oe was ever injured, but quite a few cars were written off! I assume this perennial hazard was one reason a lot of the old tramways closed.

PD
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
I have always been intrigued by roadside tramways......Unfortunately I am far too young to remember any of them with the exception of a couple of industrial light railways. The one between Grimsby and Immingham that at one time had parallel electric tramway, is the only one I remember with any clarity. The drivers on that line all used to swear that they were going to start painting little cars on the side of their engine cabs if they hit many more cars. Car drivers had this strange notion that a 50 ton class 08 shunter can stop on a sixpence and used to cut in front of moving trains - with occasional unfortunate results. Thanks to the 15mph speed limit no-oe was ever injured, but quite a few cars were written off!...

PD

Does the Manx Electric Railway fall into the same category? I remember being told, by a driver, that a manager had once told him "when an accident happens(and it will) and there is nothing you can do to stop, just put your feet up and enjoy the ride". The tram always comes out best, we were told, unless the car takes out the brake cylinder(I think that is the article that got taken out, anyway)!

ah good times!
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Along those lines, I am reminded of a tale told to me by one of the drivers on the Manx Electric Railway when we visited in 2007. He was talking about his training as a driver and I had made some remark about car drivers failing to understand that trams cannot stop dead. His reply went something like this:

"I'll never forget something the guy who trained me said. He said, "The first time you hit a car, and you will, everybody does, there will come a point when you realise that there is nothing more that you can do, collision is inevitable. When you get there, just sit back and enjoy the bang!"

I don't know that the motormen ever considered painting cars on their trams, but one could certainly understand it if they had.

There is something about level crossings, particularly on narrow gauge railways, that brings out the idiotic in certain car drivers. They always assume that a narrow gauge locomotive is a small thing and slow, therefore it cannot hurt them. Try explaining that to the locomotive drivers on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, for example. A collision with one of their engines will certainly write off the car, but there is a fair probability that it will also kill the train driver ~ certain motorists don't seem to understand that point. [Mad]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Apologies for the cross-post with Lord P above ~ same episode, different narrators.

Our internet connection is playing S.B.'s tonight on a grand scale, hence the cross post. It took 5 attempts to post it, and then it appeared twice. Irritating, or what?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
There used to be one that ran along what I think is the A1101 out of Wisbech. I never saw anything moving on it, but always hoped to see what would, I suppose, now be called a Toby.

There were also quite a lot of urban tramway sections around. There was a goods one worked by a diesel shunter through the streets of Great Yarmouth to the docks, and Bristol had a line that crossed the Floating Harbour and ran between the A4 and the docks and into a goods yard at Canon's Marsh.

Wantage and Stoney Stratford both had passenger ones, but they are long gone and I never saw either.

Another oddity that I never saw was that Ashby-de-la-Zouche once had a conventional electric tram with tramcars, which ran through open country, not through streets. Does that make it an inter-urban?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There used to be one that ran along what I think is the A1101 out of Wisbech. I never saw anything moving on it, but always hoped to see what would, I suppose, now be called a Toby.

There were also quite a lot of urban tramway sections around. There was a goods one worked by a diesel shunter through the streets of Great Yarmouth to the docks, and Bristol had a line that crossed the Floating Harbour and ran between the A4 and the docks and into a goods yard at Canon's Marsh.

Wantage and Stoney Stratford both had passenger ones, but they are long gone and I never saw either.

Another oddity that I never saw was that Ashby-de-la-Zouche once had a conventional electric tram with tramcars, which ran through open country, not through streets. Does that make it an inter-urban?

The "apply the brake and wait for the bang technique" was also common on the Tralee and Dingle and the Cavan and Leitrim. The T&Ds alarming habit of serving across the road to maintain the grade (it had long stretches of 1 in 29/30/31; 3.2% to 3.5% to Americans). Thankfully cars were rare enough on the Dingle peninsular that they did not score too many. A situation probably helped by the fact that regulat traffic on the T&D finished in 1947, leaving only the monthly cattle specials until 1953. The C & L in more prosperous Leitrim had far more difficulty with stray motorists.

According to my lights, the Manx Electric Railway is more like an American style interurban - an electric tramways running largely on its own right of way or a roadside reservation. The Ashby-de-la-Zouche and Isle of Bute lines were similar to the MER. None had any significant freight traffic, which is what to my mind puts them different into a different category to lines like the Tralee and Dingle, GSR/CIE Arigna Branch, and the Wisbeach and Upwell Tramway. The latter were really cheaply built feeders for the mainline railway systems. They were precursors of the "Light Railway" rather than true urban/interurban tramway systems.

Speaking of the Wisbeach and Upwell, it was indeed the origin of Toby the Tram engine. "Toby" was based on the J70 0-6-0 tram locomotives used on the line from c.1906 through to the 1950s. In the original drawings you could tell that Toby was meant to be a J70 because he had the three cab steps of the J70 rather than the two of the older Y6. The J70s and Y6s were also used on Yarmouth Docks, and a few other places where the GER/LNER needed tram locomotives. They had a go at replacing the J70s with Sentinal Steam Tractors, but that did not work out too well as it had insfficient water capacity.

The W&UT was built in the mid-1880s as a feeder to the GER system. It was an agricultural feeder line, and would have been built as a Light Railway had it been planned in the late 1890s. The line lost its passenger service in 1927, but stayed open until 1966 for freight. Until the late 1950s it used to handle some serious quantities of freight, mainly agricultral produce, but when that traffic deserted rail for road its viability was undermined. It hung on, mainly for coal traffic until 1966, then closed. FWIW, the diesel locomotive "Mavis" in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories was based on one of the Class 04 shunters sent to replace the tram engines in 1952. Apparently, the Rev W. Awdry lived that way on in the early 1950s.

Tram locomotives were originally required to have twin cabs, enclosed motions, bells, cowcatchers, and some method of silencing the noise of the safety valves. This tended to produce something that looked like a self-propelled brake van (caboose). Eventually the regulations were relaxed but the Wisbeach and Upwell's steam locomotives carried sideplates and twin cabs right up until closure. Other UK lines eventually used conventional locomotives continued fitted with cowcatchers and side plates. In Ireland the tram style features disappeared apart from the cowcatchers. The large expanses of frame at the front of many Irish narrow gauge locomotives were relics of the twin cab regulations.

PD
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
[snip] - I think we'll assume that the select band following this thread will have read the immediately preceding posts, and it is therefore not needful to quote them in full - Firenze, Anti-Scrolling Host
I think the Clogher Valley Railway in Ireland ran by the side of the road for much of its length.

I remember shunting taking place in the streets by the harbour in Great Yarmouth. My home town of Colchester also had lines along the quay, but I don't remember seeing a train on them. One of the ringers from St. Leonard's Church, where I was organist, used to get his bike wheels stuck in them on his way home from the pub of an evening.

Yes, the Manx Electric Railway has much of the look of an American tramway. It carried a little goods and had the mail contract until one winter when it closed and the mail went by road.

Revd. W. Awdry was Vicar of Emneth, Norfolk, which was on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway - hence Toby.

For roadside tramways, the Belgian 'Vicinal' is an interesting study. The trams ran through the streets of towns, but in the country occasionally took off through the fields.

[ 23. December 2009, 09:13: Message edited by: Firenze ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Prior to its closure by BR in 1956, the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway used to run through the streets of Welshpool, tramway fashion, in the sense that the railway did not have its own, fenced-off, reservation. The section known as 'The Narrows', where the railway ran over the top of the Lledan Brook before emerging between two shops to cross Church Street, must have been a particular hazard, as there was nothing to stop local residents using the boards as a shortcut from the Seven Stars to Church Street. Pictures of this length show lines of washing within 10 feet of the passing steam locomotives ~ cannot have been too popular with the local housewives!

The road crossing on Church Street was a recognised hazard ~ the railway emerged from between two shops (both 2 storey structures) crossed a (fairly narrow) pavement, and was straight onto the road. OK, so when the line was opened in 1903 this was not too much of a problem. By the time it closed in 1956 it had become a serious issue, not least because Church Street was also the A458 / A483 ~ the Shrewsbury - Mallwyd and Newtown - Oswestry roads respectively. This was the major reason that the local council refused the Preservation Company the use of the Town section when the line was re-opened, apart from a very few trains in 1963. From 1964 onwards, the line was truncated to Raven Square, which is its terminus today.

Saying that, from time to time, the council makes noises about inviting the railway back into the Town ~ they know a good tourist draw when they see one. Given that the Welshpool bypass has turned Church Street into a mere sideroad, the major objection to the Railway has disappeared. Whether the 'noises' will turn into anything substantive remains to be seen. Watch this space!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Some other roadside lines:

1. The Sintra-Atlantico near Lisbon, Portugal. This is a genuine tramway with vintage cars, starting in Sintra and running about 10 miles to the coast. It closed for some years in the 70s and looked very sad, however Stagecoach reopened it when it came to them in a job lot of newly-privatised bus companies. It is now owned by the local Council. It has been relaid and upgraded recently and runs for tourists, at weekends and probably more often during the summer.

2. The Sibiu-Rasinari tram in Romania. Again, a genuine tramway. This is the last relic of the Sibiu tramways, it closed some yearts ago but opened again in 1994, using ex-Geneva cars (not repainted and still with the original advertisements!) When I saw it a few years back it looked totally derelict and overgrown - imagine my surprise when I saw a tram coming along it! The cars are single-ended and turn on a Y at both ends. The service has steadily decreased and is now a rush-hour only service I believe. It can't be long for this world.

3. The Kecskemet lines in Hungary - not a tramway but a NG railway, much of it running along the roadside. Again, due for closure any time soon though there are hopes to sell it as a preserved railway. When I saw it about 8 years ago it still had freight, I believe it is passenger-only now. Trains on this and most Hungarian NG lines consist of a diesel shunter and one carriage. The timetable is weird with trains running at about 4 am. Some years ago a part of the line was relaid so it could cross a motorway!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Some years ago a part of the line was relaid so it could cross a motorway!

Is that on the level? I like the idea of traffic being stopped on a motorway for a tram to cross.

Back in the days before motorways, there was a level crossing on the A5 (Watling Street) where the line from Leicester to Rugby crossed it. That was the Midland one, not the Great Central. A train crossing during daytime could generate a queue of over a mile.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
That's what I can't remember, I'm afraid! I suggest looking on G**gle maps and following the line south from Kecskemet, it's not far. I can't do it as my Internet is very slow just now.

There are a couple of interesting crossings on preserved lines in Britain - the Mid-Norfolk in East Dereham has an unguarded crossing on a major intersection under a flyover; there is also a crossing on the Ring Road around Wallingford. And I'm sure a Dutch steam line crosses a dual-carriageway on the level. Sorry not to be more precise.

Near us in Melton the East Suffolk line crosses a main road on an unguarded crossing on a sharp bend. Trains stop at the station so are only travelling very slowly. I don't know if the speed limit applies to the weekly nuclear flasks train from Sizewell - though one of those hit a car near Leiston on the Aldeburgh branch a year or two back. How can you run into a train which only runs once a week? Presumably the driver thought the line was closed.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Some years ago a part of the line was relaid so it could cross a motorway!

Is that on the level? I like the idea of traffic being stopped on a motorway for a tram to cross.

Back in the days before motorways, there was a level crossing on the A5 (Watling Street) where the line from Leicester to Rugby crossed it. That was the Midland one, not the Great Central. A train crossing during daytime could generate a queue of over a mile.

Until Pelham Bridge was built (1957?) Lincoln would come to a complete standstill as there was a level crossing to the immediate east and west of Lincoln Central station. To make things more interesting there was an umpteen way junction at the eastern end (plus lines to Ruston's and Robey's) so the city was cut in two regularly and often.

If you think level crossing can be tricky for road traffic, have a look at Gisborne Airport (third picture down).

[ 23. December 2009, 12:47: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The old Midland Railway of Canada/Grand Trunk/CN line through Peterborough ran right up the middle of Bethune Street with no reserved right-of-way. This was a standard-gauge main line, or rather branch line, but still full service.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Cleethorpe* Road in Grimsby was pretty hellish until the fish traffic declined and the fly over was built in the late 1960s. With fish trains off the docks, shunting moves, and 50-70 passenger moves a day in/out of Cleethorpes the signalman must have been built like Popeye. To add to the fun, until the late-20s Grimsby and Cleethorpes Tramways crossed the GCR on the level at the same point. As is usual with British transport planning the flyover was built just at the time fish traffic was going over to road transport in the 1960s.

The roadside tramway that sticks in my mind is Wexford Quay where Dublin-Rosslare trains pick their way down the road at 5mph six times a day.

The Tralee and Dingle had a 12 mph speed limit when roadside and 25mph when it took to the fields. Similarly, the Wisbeach and Upwell trams were limited to 12ph, but were allowed disengage their speed governors when on reserved track. However, they tended not to bother as their line was almost entirely roadside.

One major problem for the roadside tramways once road transport took off was the speed limits imposed by the Board of Trade. Most were limited to originally 8, but later 12 mph when running on the roadside, which gave the early bus operators a tremendous advantage.

PD

* not a spelling mistake. The "s" was added to the name of the town c. 1875, the street in Grimsby retains the old spelling.

[ 23. December 2009, 16:38: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
This has reminded me that boat trains with passengers in them used to be worked through the streets and along the dockside in Weymouth.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
According to one trainman, the shunting run up the street one street in, I think, Lindsay was blocked by the car owned by a guy who went into a local bar for his lunch. The crew went in to talk to him, and his answer was "I'm staying. You can move it if you want to" (witnessed to by the bartender)

So they used the locomotive to push the car out of the way. I'm told that CN sued the car owner for damage to the loco.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Brilliant! [Killing me]
 
Posted by virtuous sloth (# 15364) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
I have always been intrigued by roadside tramways. They were never that plentiful in Britain, but Ireland, the Netherlands and France had quite a few. Unlike urban Trams which were electrically powered and usually in the street, these were steam driven and ran on a road side reservation. In the mainland UK context, where there was a handful of them, they look like one of those good ideas that never took off, I suspect because of the legislative structure imposed on them - The Tramways Act 1870 -which allowed for county/municipal buy-outs after 21 years. The Tramways Act (Ireland) 1883 gave the proprietors more security, hence the litany of tramways there:

Dublin and Lucan
Dublin and Blessington
Clogher Valley
Schull and Skibbereen
etc.

What confuses the issue a bit in Ireland is that a lot of the Irish Tramways renamed themselves "Railway" after they went broke the first time! Or hedged their bets by calling themselves "Light Railway and Tramway."

Unfortunately I am far too young to remember any of them with the exception of a couple of industrial light railways. The one between Grimsby and Immingham that at one time had parallel electric tramway, is the only one I remember with any clarity. The drivers on that line all used to swear that they were going to start painting little cars on the side of their engine cabs if they hit many more cars. Car drivers had this strange notion that a 50 ton class 08 shunter can stop on a sixpence and used to cut in front of moving trains - with occasional unfortunate results. Thanks to the 15mph speed limit no-oe was ever injured, but quite a few cars were written off! I assume this perennial hazard was one reason a lot of the old tramways closed.

PD

Interesting! In Melbourne, Australia, trams are a primary means of public transportation. According to Yarra Trams' website:

quote:
* Melbourne has the biggest tram network in the world with 249 kilometres of double track.
* There are more than 1770 tram stops across the network.
* Yarra Trams operates 27 tram routes and the free City Circle tourist tram:

from: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/desktopdefault.aspx

Most of them run on rails going down the middle of streets. Some lines are partitioned off from traffic in most places (like a median strip with trams running on it), while some lines (especially the older ones) seem to simply occupy a couple of tram-specific lanes right beside the lanes for cars.

Yes, they do hit cars on occasion, but I suspect it's usually the driver's fault. There are tram-specific traffic lights that give drivers plenty of warning about approaching trams, and the trams move a lot more slowly and predictably than the cars. But occasionally, a driver will ignore the signs of an approaching tram and / or try to dangerously "out-run" a tram as it is turning a corner. I've seen a couple of collisions like this. But the tram system seems to be designed well in regard to drivers who obey traffic signals and don't engage in reckless behavior.

quote:

* Around 80% of Melbourne’s tram network shares road space with other vehicles.
* The average speed of a tram is 16 km/h. Within the central business district this drops to 10 km/h.

More facts and figures on this part of the website:

http://www.yarratrams.com.au/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-47/74_read-117/

The trams are one of my favorite things about Melbourne.

[ 24. December 2009, 15:50: Message edited by: virtuous sloth ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Virtuous Sloth,

Britain also had a lot of electrically driven street tramways in the cities and larger towns. Even rural Lincolnshire, where I grew up had two systems - one in Lincoln, the other in Grimsby-Cleethorpes - but very few survived into the fifties and none survived beyond 1962 other than Blackpool-Fleetwood.

The sort of tramway that we were short of was the road side, interurban, steam drive, and freight hauling variety. They were reasonably plentiful in Europe and in Ireland, but not in Britain. I believe the legislative framework had something to do with this. The Tramways Act of 1870 allowed compulsory purchase by the City or Borough after 21 years; and then in 1896, the Light Railways Act passed which gave a cheaper and easier way of building railways and without the threat of local municipal buy-outs. Indeed, a some of the later street tramway construction in GB was done under Light Railway Orders rather than Tramway Orders because it was cheaper and easier.

PD
 
Posted by chiltern_hundred (# 13659) on :
 
Thank you for that information, virtuous sloth - Australia seems an even more appealing destination than it did already.

I have spent much of Christmas Day watching some of a boxed set of DVDs I bought ages ago about steam railways in Ireland, a subject on which PD has had a certain amount to say in the past.

The one on the narrow gauge was particularly interesting - an evocation of another age, almost another world. I find it extraordinary that some of these lines were so long and their locomotive power so large. The Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway must have been fascinating to ride on.

The terminus of one of the lines in the West of Ireland was a town where one could see, in the streets, the occasional nun, several ponies and traps, but no motor vehicles. This was sometime between the 30s and 50s. Like I say, another world.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
This has reminded me that boat trains with passengers in them used to be worked through the streets and along the dockside in Weymouth.

The Weymouth tramway was worked by Cl.03 shunters IIRC apart from the Boat Train which was a Cl.33 gig. I hear tell that the Boat Train was preceeded by a posse of burly railway employees to remove obstructions from the track. I am told that they once pick a Citeron 2CV up bodily to get it out the danger zone.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
In the context of electric tramways, I was wondering whether anybody know a bit more about the Kinver Light Railway, in particular whether there is anything published (and currently in print) about this unusual system. Built on (I believe) 3 foot 6 inch gauge, this was a street tram system for most of its length (it ran, I think, from Wednesbury to Kinver via Dudley, Brierley Hill, Stourbridge and Amblecote) but took to the fields for the last 3 or so miles from Amblecote to Kinver via Stourton.

In spite of having been dragged up in Stourbridge, I know next to nothing about the trams. I believe that they were taken out in the 1930's ~ certainly I cannot remember my father ever mentioning anything from personal memory about the trams, and he would have moved to Stourbridge (from Bristol) in 1936 or 37. Can anybody add any pertinent information?
 
Posted by Metapelagius (# 9453) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
This has reminded me that boat trains with passengers in them used to be worked through the streets and along the dockside in Weymouth.

The Weymouth tramway was worked by Cl.03 shunters IIRC apart from the Boat Train which was a Cl.33 gig. I hear tell that the Boat Train was preceeded by a posse of burly railway employees to remove obstructions from the track. I am told that they once pick a Citeron 2CV up bodily to get it out the danger zone.

PD

In an earlier age, when I enjoyed seaside holidays in Weymouth, the motive power was a Churchward outside cylinder pannier tank, fitted with a bell. Less problem with cars - there were far fewer of them.

Roadside tramways - would the Wisbech and Upwell count? There three rival forms of transport ran in parallel - road, rail and canal, though even when I first saw it the canal was derelict, and Outwell lock in the last stages of decay (c. 1964)
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
Roadside tramways - would the Wisbech and Upwell count? There three rival forms of transport ran in parallel - road, rail and canal, though even when I first saw it the canal was derelict, and Outwell lock in the last stages of decay (c. 1964)

To me the Wisbeach and Upwell is one of the archetypal roadside tramways. The canal had been ailing even before the W&UT was built. For a few years coal delivered by Tram and transhipped to be taken further into the Fens helped the canal to survive, but by 1916 it was a dead duck.

The other two public roadside tramways that I know of in England were the Alford and Sutton in Lincolnshire (2'6" gauge) and the Wolverton and Stony Stratford (3'6" gauge). Though there were plenty of industrial/private ones - including two in the parish I grew up in.

As I pointed out above, Roadside steam Tramways were more plentiful in Ireland where the 1883 Tramways Act (Ireland) did not include the 21 year Local Authority buy-out clause that made the English legislation unattractive to investors and promoters.

PD
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Legend has it that the Toronto Transit Commission's predecessors the Toronto Railway Company and the Toronto Civic Railway chose their unique streetcar gauge of 4 feet 10 7/8 inches so that standard gauge freight cars could not be operated in city streets.

Nobody knows if this is true, but Toronto never allowed its streetcar operators to run freight on city streets until very late in the radial railway era.

However Toronto's streetcar system still uses its unique gauge. This is one of many design considerations for the next generation of Toronto streetcar, the Bombardier Flexity Outlook. The intial order will be for 204 cars, and the final fleet will probably come in at 500 once the fleet fills out and proposed new lines are built.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Conversely, the street tramways in Glasgow, Paisley, etc were built to the strange gauge of 4'7 3/4" to allows standard gauge wagons to run along the tram lines. The short wheelbase two-axle wagons favoured by British railways did fine on the tramways, and Glasgow Corporation Tramways had quite a sieline in delivering wagons of freight to various places around the city. To faciliate this they had a small fleet of electric locomotives with standard British drawing and buffering gear rather than the usual Tramway link and pin, or "Norwegian" couplers.

Glasgow also plays host to a four foot gauge subway system that was originally cable hauled. When Strathclyde PTE's livery was orange and black it was predictably referred to as the "Clockwork Orange." Mabbe still is for all I know.

PD
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
I also understand that Lisbon's street tramways (and there are still 5 lines running, hurrah, though not a patch on the system when I lived there in the late 70s)!) were regauged from standard gauge to 900mm early in the 1900s as the horse-bus operators had found they could run along the top of the rails and cream off their traffic. Their buses were too wide for the narrower gauge. (Presumably the rest of the road surfaces were pretty awful!)
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I've a sort of recollection of reading many years ago that back in the 1930s, a through sleeping car was regularly worked between two Paris termini in the middle of the night by taking it via an urban tramway route that took it round the Arc de Triomphe. Does anyone know whether there might be any truth in this?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
I have no idea but it sounds far-fetched, especially as Paris was equipped with not one but two "Ceinture" lines around it (Petite and Grande).
 
Posted by Sacred London (# 15220) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I've a sort of recollection of reading many years ago that back in the 1930s, a through sleeping car was regularly worked between two Paris termini in the middle of the night by taking it via an urban tramway route that took it round the Arc de Triomphe. Does anyone know whether there might be any truth in this?

I do not think there would be any need to do that as the Paris termini were/are linked by a 'ring' line anyway. Through trains (at least international ones) regularly arrived at one station and departed from another.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
According to Wikipedia, the Petite Ceinture, which was mostly in a cutting, closed in 1934. There have been ideas to revive parts of it as a tramway, other bits are used for a RER suburban line. But the PC itself was a heavy rail system.
 
Posted by Metapelagius (# 9453) on :
 
The Petite Ceinture ran round the outer edge of Paris, and was linked to the various lines leading to the terminal stations, so that it would have been possible to move a train from one terminus to another easily. The passenger service, apart from a suburban service from Saint-Lazare to Auteuil (roughly the nw quadrant of the line) was withdrawn in the 1930s, as passenger numbers dropped to an uneconomic level. The impressive Viaduc du Point du Jour - a double deck structure carrying both road and rail - was demolished in the early 1960s, replaced by a road only bridge, breaking the complete circle. The service to Auteuil disappeared when the link from the PC to Invalides was resurrected as part of the RER.

This is a useful site for the history of the railways around Paris.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I am afraid my interest in French railways has never ventured far beyond the Breton Metre Gauge systems that disappeared in the 1960s. It looks as though I may have to broaden my horizons a little.

PD
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Visiting Brittany this summer, I was surprised to discover that there was once a large number of long-defunct metre-gauge "departmental" lines that were not part of the better-known Reseau Breton. Most of them succumbed before the War. Some of them (eg Rosporden - Chateuneuf-le-Faou- Landivisiau - Plouescat were very lengthy and crossed the central mountainous spine of the area.

If you can get hold of the earliest "Railway Roundabout" videos (they have recently been reissued on DVD) there is a short section on the Cotes-du-Nord line and a long bit around Carhaix, Chateaulin and Camaret on the Reseau Breton. What a wonderful preserved line this would have made!

[ 30. December 2009, 15:47: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If it's confession time, I have (though it was many years ago) taken advantage of the complete shut down of the entire network on Christmas Day to walk through a normally working tunnel, and on another to walk over a bridge.

Some people make that sort of thing an annual event! (Went this year, and very interesting it was too.)

Changing the subject, did anyone see the repeat of the 1995 BBC Great Railway Journeys yesterday, where Victoria Wood travelled from Crewe along the Cumbrian Coast, through Scotland and back via Whitby, the NYMR and York? (available on iPlayer - in the UK - for the next week)

Interesting to see the last days of Regional Railways and the running down of the system and stations. I found the section on Carnforth particularly fascinating. She was discussing with a former extra in Brief Encounter how tourists would enjoy coming to the station if it could be revived. That was the year before the Carnforth Railway Station Trust was formed, which in turn led to the construction of the visitor centre and 'Brief Encounter' cafe, which I have visited several times and recommend most highly. [Cool]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Mmm, but that was all legal and above-board - which I suggest Enoch's jauntings weren't!

Mind you, I several times walked through Highgate Tunnel (Great Northern and Underground, but never used as such and closed since the early 1970s). And I nearly killed myself exploring the derelict Glasgow Botanic Gardens station, again in tunnel, in 1976. I was walking through it, in the dark, without a torch, and no-one knew where I was. At one point I tripped - if I'd fallen and broken my leg, the consequences aren't worth thinking about!

One point: is the network truly shut down on Christmas Day, or might one suddenly encounter an engineering train? Could be awkward!!!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Your suspicions are correct. Nor did I pay anyone £15 + £2 for parking.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
For those (I suspect few) who are taken by such things, there are a number of railway tunnels around these parts that can be explored without having to worry about passing trains. The Morlais tunnel (on the old LNWR Heads of the Valleys Railway) on the edge of Merthyr is, apparently, passable without any special precautions ~ I say 'apparently' because I met one of the locals whilst walking near the lower tunnel mouth who told me that he regularly used it as a short cut from the Pant area to where we were walking (near to Cefn Coed). Obviously, there are no trains around (line closed and lifted in 1964 ...)

Similarly, the Croespenmaen tunnel near Blackwood can be walked without concern. The line through that tunnel was closed more recently (around 1988). Other examples abound.

Sadly, the Blaenrhondda tunnel is, as far as I am aware, impassable. I believe the one end is blocked, possibly by a landslide. Perhaps somebody can fill in extra details?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
There's one on the Bristol to Bath cycle path which uses the former Midland route out to Mangotsfield, that you can ride through and is lit. There is also another on the cycle track along part of the old line from Yatton to Cheddar. It's just south of Winscombe.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
There's a good cycle tunnel on the C2C route from Plymouth to North Devon. It has a kink in the middle and a very uneven floor, so if you walk or cycle it you need bike lights or a torch. That's unless they've finally got around to lighting it permanently. It would ruin the atmosphere if they did. Going through that tunnel was a favourite family outing when the boys were young.
 
Posted by Garden Hermit (# 109) on :
 
I'm just waiting to play with God's train set in the sky.

Love trains especially the ones that break down. Was on the first Gas Turbine on the Great Western which broke down at Swindon 1953 and had to be replaced by steam.

And travelling across Europe when suddenly the Conductor's comments are no longer translated into English because he doesn't know what 'cracked axle' is in English...although we all know what sounds like Kaput means.

I always travel First Class, - its the only way to travel whatever it costs.

Pax et Bonum
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Spouse:
Changing the subject, did anyone see the repeat of the 1995 BBC Great Railway Journeys yesterday, where Victoria Wood travelled from Crewe along the Cumbrian Coast, through Scotland and back via Whitby, the NYMR and York? (available on iPlayer - in the UK - for the next week)

Interesting to see the last days of Regional Railways and the running down of the system and stations. I found the section on Carnforth particularly fascinating. She was discussing with a former extra in Brief Encounter how tourists would enjoy coming to the station if it could be revived. That was the year before the Carnforth Railway Station Trust was formed, which in turn led to the construction of the visitor centre and 'Brief Encounter' cafe, which I have visited several times and recommend most highly. [Cool]

Somewhat depressing as a film I found, but an interesting documentation as such, as you're saying. Thanks for the hint!

What was most disturbing however is that it seems they blew it up to 16:9 when the original was clearly filmed in 4:3, resulting in rather distorted images. [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Well, slightly nutty model railway activity was on the cards for New Year's Day! I spent the afternoon getting a start on the roadbed for the "G gauge" railway the missus is encouraging me to build in the garden. Most fun I have had in ages - especially when it comes to engineering considerations like where to relocate the muck to when you dig a cutting! Thankfully I have a couple of bridge approach embankments and abutments that will absorb the spoil.

My neck of the woods had a three-foot gauge line over the mountains to Jerome until the 1920s. I am wondering whether that might prove tobe sufficient prototype inspiration or whether my beloved Manx and Irish narrow gauge will get a look-in too.

PD
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
I always travel First Class, - its the only way to travel whatever it costs.

Due to the vagaries of ticketing on our beloved National Express East Anglia, first class sometimes works out cheaper than standard! But it's not very special, I'm afraid - you still have to pay for your coffee.

I once went to Brighton on the old Brighton Belle - now that was proper first class!
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Well, slightly nutty model railway activity was on the cards for New Year's Day! I spent the afternoon getting a start on the roadbed for the "G gauge" railway the missus is encouraging me to build in the garden. Most fun I have had in ages - especially when it comes to engineering considerations like where to relocate the muck to when you dig a cutting! Thankfully I have a couple of bridge approach embankments and abutments that will absorb the spoil.

My neck of the woods had a three-foot gauge line over the mountains to Jerome until the 1920s. I am wondering whether that might prove tobe sufficient prototype inspiration or whether my beloved Manx and Irish narrow gauge will get a look-in too.

PD

Why not be eclectic, Father? Though it is slightly worrying that a bishop should be building a model railway: parish priests have the wonderful excuse that it's the only patch in their parish that they can control. Surely your diocese is not so lawless that you need to take refuge in such an activity? Though seriously, it seems like a great project and I hope it goes well.

I wish our garden was big enough (and the slugs smaller!).

[ 02. January 2010, 14:16: Message edited by: Angloid ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
I have never travelled first class in the UK, though I used to make an effort to bag a seat in the declassified first class section of the old DMUs if I was on a long cross country journey. e.g. Grimsby to Stoke on Trent via Lincoln and Derby. It must be my inner Lutheran coming out.

OTOH, I have taken the sleeping car in both the UK and the USA. Usually for pragmatic reasons - I did not want to loose a day going up to Scotland, or Los Angeles to Austin, TX is a long time to be in Coach.

PD
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I have - perhaps twice in 40 years - travelled 'weekend first', when for the payment of a (comparatively) small fee you are allowed to occupy one of the seats that the 'business community' monopolise Monday - Friday; usually a small proportion of these seats are out of bounds to all but those who pay the full fare. Alan Bennett writes of sitting in one of those seats and being told off by the conductor for 'not being proper First Class', which of course he would be the first to admit that he isn't. In that sense, despite being a first class dramatist and National Treasure.
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I have - perhaps twice in 40 years - travelled 'weekend first', when for the payment of a (comparatively) small fee you are allowed to occupy one of the seats that the 'business community' monopolise Monday - Friday; usually a small proportion of these seats are out of bounds to all but those who pay the full fare.

I think the proportion available as advance tickets is better now than it used to be, particularly on the West Coast line that I use most frequently. First isn't quite the good deal it used to be though, now that you can buy off-peak standard tickets on Virgin for half the return fare.

Dr Mrs Spouse and I travelled First only last week - Leamington Spa to Birmingham: £6.80 standard, £9 first. No refreshments on the 30 minute journey, but I did blag a free newspaper!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Well, slightly nutty model railway activity was on the cards for New Year's Day! I spent the afternoon getting a start on the roadbed for the "G gauge" railway the missus is encouraging me to build in the garden. Most fun I have had in ages - especially when it comes to engineering considerations like where to relocate the muck to when you dig a cutting! Thankfully I have a couple of bridge approach embankments and abutments that will absorb the spoil.

My neck of the woods had a three-foot gauge line over the mountains to Jerome until the 1920s. I am wondering whether that might prove tobe sufficient prototype inspiration or whether my beloved Manx and Irish narrow gauge will get a look-in too.

PD

Why not be eclectic, Father? Though it is slightly worrying that a bishop should be building a model railway: parish priests have the wonderful excuse that it's the only patch in their parish that they can control. Surely your diocese is not so lawless that you need to take refuge in such an activity? Though seriously, it seems like a great project and I hope it goes well.

I wish our garden was big enough (and the slugs smaller!).

For me building a model railway has something to do with stress levels, and a lot to do with the need to do something creative and my love of trains.

3' and metre gauge was used so extensively for secondary railways in Ireland, Europe and the USA that there is almost too much prototype material out there. Undoubtedly I'll freelance it, but there is bound to be a main prototype lurking in the background somewhere. The oft repeated line from garden railway publications is "X is based on Y that used to run on the West Clare Railway." A general principal of garden railways is that it should look right, not keep the rivet counters happy!

PD
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Fascinating series on BBC2 this week: Michael Portillo armed with a 150-year-old edition of Bradshaw's Railway Guide is crossing the north of England. He's getting a much better reception than he would have when he was a Tory politician... but then he seems like a different person. Much about how the railways have shaped Britain, its cities, and its way of life (for example fish and chips); much hopping off and on the execrable Pacer trains in tactful silence.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
Well, slightly nutty model railway activity was on the cards for New Year's Day! I spent the afternoon getting a start on the roadbed for the "G gauge" railway the missus is encouraging me to build in the garden. Most fun I have had in ages - especially when it comes to engineering considerations like where to relocate the muck to when you dig a cutting! Thankfully I have a couple of bridge approach embankments and abutments that will absorb the spoil.

My neck of the woods had a three-foot gauge line over the mountains to Jerome until the 1920s. I am wondering whether that might prove tobe sufficient prototype inspiration or whether my beloved Manx and Irish narrow gauge will get a look-in too.

PD

Why not be eclectic, Father? Though it is slightly worrying that a bishop should be building a model railway: parish priests have the wonderful excuse that it's the only patch in their parish that they can control. Surely your diocese is not so lawless that you need to take refuge in such an activity? Though seriously, it seems like a great project and I hope it goes well.

I wish our garden was big enough (and the slugs smaller!).

For me building a model railway has something to do with stress levels, and a lot to do with the need to do something creative and my love of trains.

3' and metre gauge was used so extensively for secondary railways in Ireland, Europe and the USA that there is almost too much prototype material out there. Undoubtedly I'll freelance it, but there is bound to be a main prototype lurking in the background somewhere. The oft repeated line from garden railway publications is "X is based on Y that used to run on the West Clare Railway." A general principal of garden railways is that it should look right, not keep the rivet counters happy!

PD

Shipmates may like to see this recent photo of, I assume, PD, which i found online....


[Smile] A railway bishop

[ 06. January 2010, 12:32: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
I did go on the K&WVR, on December 31st. The Standard ‘4’ tank (80002) was working the ‘Mince Pie Specials’. It was a very cold day, but I still leaned out of the windows!

I paid a visit to the Fleece Inn in Haworth, which now does the most wonderful pub lunches as well as six ( [Yipee] IIRC) different Taylor’s beers.

I also paid a visit to the model railway shop which is along from Haworth station and succumbed to buying an LNER teak sleeping car.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:


I paid a visit to the Fleece Inn in Haworth,

I trust the name alludes to its comfort on a cold day, rather than the prices. [Biased]

Re the previous post, has there ever been a better feelgood movie than The Titfield Thunderbolt?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Eric Treacy, the photographer, was a real railway bishop and died on Appleby station.

I'd like to have a 14XX that I could drive along the roads.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
I'd like to have a 14XX that I could drive along the roads.
Mmm, but I don't think it was a real one in "The Titfield Thunderbolt" [Disappointed]

And how would you steer it? It's like a guided busway in reverse!

[ 06. January 2010, 22:27: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
I'd like to have a 14XX that I could drive along the roads.
Mmm, but I don't think it was a real one in "The Titfield Thunderbolt" [Disappointed]

And how would you steer it? It's like a guided busway in reverse!

The railway line to my home town was never intended to terminate there, and ended rather abruptly with a buffer stop right by the fence that separated the road from railway property. Anyway, a few times over the last 160 years some poor unfortunate on the branch train has misjudged his stopping distance and come to rest in the middle of the road. A ten years ago Railtrack installed a new buffer stop about a carriage length further up the line than the old one complete with all sorts of retarders in the hopes that the next one won't get as far as the fence and be easier to drag out!

PD

[ed. for silly typo]

[ 07. January 2010, 16:32: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Conversely, the late David Smith in his "Tales of the Glasgow & South Western Railway" told of a siding at a wayside station which had no buffer-stops. Over the years so many trains had over-run that they had established a nice set of grooves on which the shunter could place several wagons.

One day a driver was in a bit of a hurry when drawing trucks out of the siding, the wheels of the wagons at the back didn't mesh with the ends of the rails, and they ended up demolishing the side of the goods shed!
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Sidings (spurs to the US contingent) often do not receive as much attention as they should. I remember being at Santon, Isle of Man about thirty years ago watching a train crew tentatively fishing a couple of ballast wagons out of a siding using a couple of flat wagons as their fishing rod. I was somewhat bemused by the whole operation, and, being nosy, I asked them what they were up to. They informed me that they were afraid that the weight of the locomotive would spread the track as the sleepers were rotten.

Thankfully almost all of the IMR has been relaid since then. The worst humiliation, for a railway that used to pride itself on some pretty smart running, was the 20mph speed limit temporarily imposed in the early 1980s. 25 years of minimal maintenance had finally caught up with the track! I remember the IMR's passenger trains running fairly quickly for a narrow gauge operation. 30-35mph was fairly common between Castletown and Port St Mary. This was quite a contrast for the rather ginger approach coming down Port Soderick bank into Douglas, where the handbrakes would be rubbing all the way. There was no continuous vacuum/air brake in use at the time as Manx Law did not require it!

PD
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Conversely, the late David Smith in his "Tales of the Glasgow & South Western Railway" told of a siding at a wayside station which had no buffer-stops. Over the years so many trains had over-run that they had established a nice set of grooves on which the shunter could place several wagons.

One day a driver was in a bit of a hurry when drawing trucks out of the siding, the wheels of the wagons at the back didn't mesh with the ends of the rails, and they ended up demolishing the side of the goods shed!

There were several occasions when the Buffer-stops were not enough to stop trains on the Stourbridge town branch....the picture that I have seen is quite impressive, sadly I have no link to it as I cannot find it online.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Because the various narrow gauge lines in England and Wales were often light railways, we're not used to the idea of high speeds on them or their having big engines. But in South Africa, full sized engines pulled huge trains at express speeds on 3' 6" track.

I'd like to have a 14XX that I could drive along the roads.

If I'm not allowed to dream of that because of the steering problem, can anyone give me a Sentinel steam lorry or a Doble?
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
English narrow gauge railways tended to be small and local. The Lynton and Barnstaple was the longest - 19.5 miles - but geography and gauge militated against fast running.

Ireland got closer to the idea of regional narrow gauge networks with the County Donegal and the Lough Swilly Railways. The Donegal's trains certainly managed some decent speeds. I have seen the CDRJC Class 5 2-6-4T quoted as being capable of hauling a 230T train at an average of 35mph - which was respectable speed gven what secondary standard gauge lines in Ireland were doing at the time. No doubt the only occasion they got to do this was hauling the Hibernians or the Orangemen to 'Derry.

The Isle of Man Railway could manage some pretty fast running as they felt it necessary to impose a speed limit of 45mph - which suggests that the Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T were capable of more. I once clocked No.4 Loch at 37mph - not bad for a (then) 105 year old locomotive, with 45 inch drivers and no superheater.

However, the basic problem with British and Irish narrow gauge was that it never got mainline enough for all out speed and haulage to be a real issue. The three foot, metre and "Cape" Gauges all offer the possibility of heavy haulage and considerable speed. In the case of the 36" gauge White Pass and Yukon, they did a pretty credible job as a heavy mineral hauler in the 1960s and 1970s using modern diesel locomotives. They also had some pretty brutal looking Mikados - like the D&RGW narrow sections. The D&RGW K37 2-8-2s got their classification because their power output was 37,000lbs - roughly midway between a GWR 28xx and a BR Standard 9F. The biggest narrow gauge engines in Ireland were the 4-8-0 tender and 4-8-4T owned by the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, which put out something over 21,000lbs of tractive effort. However, the trip to Burtonport was a slow one!

PD
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Although not quite on the scale of the American operations being described, the Portuguese metre-gauge system out of Porto (Trindade) must have been quite impressive. I only knew it in diesel days, and now it's become a standard-gauge light rail system. But in its heyday it was a fairly intensively-worked commuter system, with large Henschel 4-6-4T locos pulling trains of bogie stock. They went around 1970 I think.

Very different from the bucolic Portuguese branch lines!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Sorry, 2-8-2Ts instead!
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Instead of '3rdFooter', I have taken to ending my post '3F'.

While not the original itention, I have associated myself with this locomotive

I feel quite pleased about this association. It seems appropriate for a christian and an ordinand.

3F
 
Posted by Balaam (# 4543) on :
 
The 30th Jan Yorkshire meet will be including the National Railway museum.

Just so you know.

Talking of the Railway Museum, I preferred it when Locomotion was not in there, but on the platform at Darlington Station. Heritage should be out where the people have access, not shut away in museums, even if they are free.
 
Posted by Mr Clingford (# 7961) on :
 
Is it OK to mention the TV programme Top Gear? Last night BBC2 showed again their '1949 Race' with the Tornado. It was very enjoyable, especially the blackened Jeremy Clarkson shovelling coal. The locomotive was fantastic.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
English narrow gauge railways tended to be small and local. The Lynton and Barnstaple was the longest - 19.5 miles - but geography and gauge militated against fast running.

Ireland got closer to the idea of regional narrow gauge networks with the County Donegal and the Lough Swilly Railways. The Donegal's trains certainly managed some decent speeds. I have seen the CDRJC Class 5 2-6-4T quoted as being capable of hauling a 230T train at an average of 35mph - which was respectable speed gven what secondary standard gauge lines in Ireland were doing at the time. No doubt the only occasion they got to do this was hauling the Hibernians or the Orangemen to 'Derry.

The Isle of Man Railway could manage some pretty fast running as they felt it necessary to impose a speed limit of 45mph - which suggests that the Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T were capable of more. I once clocked No.4 Loch at 37mph - not bad for a (then) 105 year old locomotive, with 45 inch drivers and no superheater.

However, the basic problem with British and Irish narrow gauge was that it never got mainline enough for all out speed and haulage to be a real issue. The three foot, metre and "Cape" Gauges all offer the possibility of heavy haulage and considerable speed. In the case of the 36" gauge White Pass and Yukon, they did a pretty credible job as a heavy mineral hauler in the 1960s and 1970s using modern diesel locomotives. They also had some pretty brutal looking Mikados - like the D&RGW narrow sections. The D&RGW K37 2-8-2s got their classification because their power output was 37,000lbs - roughly midway between a GWR 28xx and a BR Standard 9F. The biggest narrow gauge engines in Ireland were the 4-8-0 tender and 4-8-4T owned by the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, which put out something over 21,000lbs of tractive effort. However, the trip to Burtonport was a slow one!

PD

What a shame that none of the Swilly monsters survived! (Or, indeed, the system iteslf).

With regard to length and speed, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch still puts up some respectable performances over its 15 mile length - and operates Pacifics and 4-8-2s. In Captain Howey's day, there were some dark tales to be told about demon driving. He once raced Sir Henry Seagrave, the world land-speed record holder, on parallel tracks from Romney to Hythe. There was less road traffic around then, of course, and fewer level crossings! He also had what was described as a motorised roller skate, upon which he once managed Hythe to Romney at an average speed of 60mph - which must have involved periods of over 70.

[ 11. January 2010, 17:10: Message edited by: daviddrinkell ]
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Speed shouldn't be an issue with narrow gauge railways within reason, as the South African experience shows. Train stability should be handled more by camber than by width between the wheels. In some respects narrower guages should be better because the bogie will be lighter, so less nearly unsprung mass. (I know, only the wheels/axles are completely unsprung). Less energy bouncing the mass about means a faster train. [Yipee]

Thank Stevenson that Brunel didn't get his way with 7'. Although I thin the Indians used 5' in some places.

Am I going to get a GWR Hell call for this?

3F
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Although people may be more familiar with the 4F that the LMS adopted and built in bulk, there was also a 3F which was a tender engine numbered in the 43*** series, and a 2F that eventually ended up being renumbered in the 58*** series.
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Angloid wrote
quote:
Why not be eclectic, Father? Though it is slightly worrying that a bishop should be building a model railway: parish priests have the wonderful excuse that it's the only patch in their parish that they can control. Surely your diocese is not so lawless that you need to take refuge in such an activity? Though seriously, it seems like a great project and I hope it goes well.
Get your diocese or parish under control. Have one of these.

Here is the inside.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 3rdFooter:
Angloid wrote
quote:
Why not be eclectic, Father? Though it is slightly worrying that a bishop should be building a model railway: parish priests have the wonderful excuse that it's the only patch in their parish that they can control. Surely your diocese is not so lawless that you need to take refuge in such an activity? Though seriously, it seems like a great project and I hope it goes well.
Get your diocese or parish under control. Have one of these.

Here is the inside.

Ooh, I do hope PD incorporates one into his layout. Though probably with High Church Protestant liturgical arrangements. [Biased]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 3rdFooter:
Speed shouldn't be an issue with narrow gauge railways within reason, as the South African experience shows. Train stability should be handled more by camber than by width between the wheels. In some respects narrower guages should be better because the bogie will be lighter, so less nearly unsprung mass. (I know, only the wheels/axles are completely unsprung). Less energy bouncing the mass about means a faster train. [Yipee]

Thank Stevenson that Brunel didn't get his way with 7'. Although I thin the Indians used 5' in some places.

Am I going to get a GWR Hell call for this?

3F

The Russians use 5 foot gauge, which they appear to have gotten from the southern USA somehow. India uses 5'6" as do most mainlines in Spain and Portugal and parts of South America. The Irish use 5'3" as do parts of Australia.

The limit on camber is whether or not vehicles in a train that is stopped on a curve will fall over. There are stories of the 2' gauge Festiniog Railway overdoing the super elevation and having covered wagons overloaded with flour falling over when they stopped on curves. Certainly some of the old photographs from the 1870s show some significant super elevations.

With steam locomotives there are some mechanical limitations involved. With saturated steam, 250rpm was considered about the economical limit. After that coal and water consumption and maintenance costs would begin to go through the roof. With superheated steam, this rises to 300rpm. By the end of steam they were bilding locomotives that could run long mileages at 350rpm without too many ill effects. For example, an LNER A4s, GWR Castles, and Stanier Pacifics would all run long mileages at 85-100mph - or 350-400rpm. "Mallard" running at 125/6mph would have been running at 520 rpm. This is distinctly in the thrashing category.

Taking this into the narrow gauge world. The Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway had some 2-4-2T with 54" driving wheels which would have been flyers on a suitable route. Mathematically speaking the saturated version should have been capable of sustaining speeds of 40-45 mph. If they had properly designed ports and passages, and superheating that rises to 50-55 mph without excessive coal and water consumption. At a theoretical 350-400 rpm that becomes 56-60mph. That is getting up towards the sort of speeds seen with 42" gauge steam in South Africa.

The Isle of Man Railway's Beyer Peacock engines, which are essentially an 1866 design. Moreover, they have some archaic refinements such as short travel valves and Allen Straight Link motion, which are not be an advantage when running flat out. However, they do have a very well designed "front end" - a fact that would tend to promote fast running. That said, the rumours of them hitting 60 mph on ambulance trains during TT week back in the 1930s, do seem exaggerated to me, as it pencils out to 450rpm. i.e. a performance equivelent to that of an A4 Pacific with modern valve gear, lubrication, kylchap cowl, superheating, and all the other refinements made between 1866 and 1935. However, I am quite prepared to accept 45-50mph absolutely flat out on good track with a light load as this would be comparable in mechanical terms to the performances put in by the saturated steam Aspinall "Atlantics" in the 1899 - which regularly ran atsppeds around 360-380 rpm on the Manchester-Liverpool forty minute expresses. However, with their bigger wheels they were running at 90-95mph.

PD
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 3rdFooter:
Speed shouldn't be an issue with narrow gauge railways within reason, as the South African experience shows. Train stability should be handled more by camber than by width between the wheels. In some respects narrower guages should be better because the bogie will be lighter, so less nearly unsprung mass. (I know, only the wheels/axles are completely unsprung). Less energy bouncing the mass about means a faster train. [Yipee]

Thank Stevenson that Brunel didn't get his way with 7'. Although I thin the Indians used 5' in some places.

Am I going to get a GWR Hell call for this?

3F

I fail to be convinced that the victory of Standard Gauge was not a Pyrrhic one in the end. A number of collisions in the early days demonstrated beyond doubt the greater stability of the Broad Gauge and safety in a collision. Broad Gauge trains were less liable to telescoping (where the buffers / couplings are overridden and one carriage slides inside the next) than their standard gauge equivalents and it is noteworthy that broad gauge trains tended to pull up with carriages in a straight line (the 'desirable condition', usually achieved these days by the use of buckeye couplings or similar) following a collision, where their standard gauge equivalents would be scattered into an untidy heap. Injuries were also significantly lower.

OK, so that is largely anecdotal evidence, but I think you would find that Engineers would sooner adopt a wider (rather than a narrower) gauge for high speed running, given the choice. In this context, consider the Japanese high-speed lines, which are built on standard gauge, whereas their original railway system was (is?) on a narrower gauge.

Narrow gauges come into their own where there are tight bends to be negotiated. Hence Brunel recommended the standard gauge for the Taff Vale Railway, a line whose route was always going to preclude high speeds, but which was also going to be highly curved. Brunel recognised that the broad gauge was not appropriate in this case, even though the Taff Vale would interconnect with his own South Wales Railway.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
3. The Kecskemet lines in Hungary - not a tramway but a NG railway, much of it running along the roadside. Again, due for closure any time soon though there are hopes to sell it as a preserved railway. When I saw it about 8 years ago it still had freight, I believe it is passenger-only now. Trains on this and most Hungarian NG lines consist of a diesel shunter and one carriage. The timetable is weird with trains running at about 4 am. Some years ago a part of the line was relaid so it could cross a motorway!
Sadly, this line (and another) closed on 12th December, leaving just one short narrow-guage line in Hungary run by MAV (the State Railways), although there are still a few forestry railways offering passenger services, especially during the summer, and also the Budapest Children's Railway.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Narrow Gauge railways in a mainly standard gauge environment do not tend to fare well once road transport begins to become widely available, and the area's roads are improved. Even if freight traffic does not move completely to road transport, it is trucked to the nearest standard gauge railhead which eliminates the narrow to standard gauge transhipment costs. Transporter waggons - to carry standard gauge wagons on the narrow gauge - reduce, but do not eliminate transhipment costs.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
On the news from Hungary, it's sad to hear about yet another example of something interesting coming to an end. I never managed to work out from Google earth whether the motorway crossing was on the level. I like to think that it might have been.


On transporter wagons, the Leek and Manifold had them. I don't remember it. There aren't many people around now who do. My late father knew it well and often talked about it. Unusually, in stead of the narrow gauge wagons being loaded onto standard gauge ones, standard gauge milk tanks were loaded onto narrow gauge wagons, that functioned therefore rather like trolleys. Stability wouldn't have been as alarming as it sounds as even by narrow gauge standards, speeds were very low.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:


On transporter wagons, the Leek and Manifold had them. I don't remember it. There aren't many people around now who do. My late father knew it well and often talked about it. Unusually, in stead of the narrow gauge wagons being loaded onto standard gauge ones, standard gauge milk tanks were loaded onto narrow gauge wagons, that functioned therefore rather like trolleys. Stability wouldn't have been as alarming as it sounds as even by narrow gauge standards, speeds were very low.

The Leek and Manifold was the only UK example of narrow gauge transporter wagons on a common carrier railway. The stability issues with the technology usually limit them to around 15mph on 30" or 75cm gauge railways. They can go a little faster - 20mph - on metre gauge lines without stability becoming a headache. On the L & M the speed issue was a dead letter as it was built as a Light Railway which limited them to 15mph anyway.

PD
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I'm not sure how genuine the light railway speed obligations really were, or how rigidly they would have been enforced, bearing in mind that steam engines did not normally have speedometers. Also query whether at that period there was all that effective a method of policing speed on railways anyway. Having to stop frequently to pick up passengers by the railside, open and close gates or proceed across ungated roads at walking pace must have been a more effective restraint.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The Newfoundland Railway had change-of-gauge operation at the ferry terminal in Port-aux-Basques. Standard gauge cars arrived from the mainland and were remounted on 3' 6" bogies for movement on the 500-mile line. Sometime in the '70s, they decided to go to containers for as much of the traffic as possible, but the line was totally gone in the '80s, so that didn't help much.

The diesels were actually standard-gauge as well, running on 3'6" bogies.

All the passenger equipment, as well as all the freight cars that didn't go off the island were built to 3'6" profiles.

Both the PEI railway and the D&RGW ran a lot of dual gauge trackage, although on PEI this was only for a few years until everything was "standardised". The laying-out of rails, points and frogs for a wye (= triangle for turning around) was fascinating, since somewhere in all of it the third rail had to change sides.

But I doubt this would be practical for transfer to smaller gauges.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'm not sure how genuine the light railway speed obligations really were, or how rigidly they would have been enforced, bearing in mind that steam engines did not normally have speedometers. Also query whether at that period there was all that effective a method of policing speed on railways anyway. Having to stop frequently to pick up passengers by the railside, open and close gates or proceed across ungated roads at walking pace must have been a more effective restraint.

Light Railway speeds were enforced largely on the honour system. That said, light railways were careful to publish timetables that conformed to a rate of progress compatable with the 25mph speed limit for standard gauge and the 15 mph speed limit for narrow gauge. For example, the Barton and Immingham Light Railway scheduled its trains between Goxhill and Immingham Dock at roughly 20mph.

PD
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
The Newfoundland Railway....

All the passenger equipment, as well as all the freight cars that didn't go off the island were built to 3'6" profiles.

I didn't know that. There are bits and pieces preserved all over the island, including a diesel locomotive and two passenger cars by the Railway and Coastal Museum (the old station) here in St. John's. I'm going to nip out and have a look right now. I'd never noticed before that the loco might have been to a larger scale than the carriages.....
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
At the newsagent in the big town (we’re still at the beach) I noticed a magazine called Garden Railways, directed towards larger gauge modellers. I can't recall the publisher, but it was something like Atlantic Publishing.

A very interesting line was constructed in NSW from the main western line, towards the western side of the Blue Mountains, travelling some 32 miles north to Newnes. Newnes was the site of shale mining, oil being extracted from the shale. Gradients of up to 1 in 25 were needed, with 5 chain curves, to negotiate the steep cliffs and descents to the floor of the Wolgan Valley. In about 24 miles, there is a drop of 2200 feet, without any spiral/corkscrew tunnels. No metric specifications are available, sorry. To ensure easy running onto the main line, standard gauge was used, but with Shay locomotives.

A good site is : http://www.infobluemountains.net.au/rail/upper/wolgan-1.htm, (I can’t do hyperlinks, I’m sorry) which has a paper by one of the engineers involved. It describes in detail the difficulties involved. The line was closed when the extraction of oil from shale became uneconomic. Although only 86 miles from Sydney, the location is desolate and extremely rugged.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
The Link is coming up as an error notice, I'm afraid.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Try this:

http://www.infobluemountains.net.au/rail/upper/wolgan-1.htm

A comma seems to have crept in to the earlier address. I can cope with Technology to do research, draft documents and so forth. More needs Dlet, 'otherwise engaged' for the evening, or my secretary. If this does not work, google in Newnes Railway, and the site is the top of the list. The Wikipedia site has very little information
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
________________________________________
I never managed to work out from Google earth whether the motorway crossing was on the level. I like to think that it might have been.
________________________________________

Sadly, it wasn't - the track was simply realigned through a new road junction.

For a fascinating video, taken last summer on what was clearly a railway festival day, go on to Youtube and search for: Bugaci kispöfögés 2009 (I can’t get the link to work, I’m afraid).
There is some fascinating "rolling stock" on display! Sadly, the service trains were nothing like so busy - there is a glimpse of one early in the video. The bit under the motorway is the section of track which is markedly better than the rest.

[ 17. January 2010, 08:19: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
DD: the locomotives were an adaptation of the EMD (General Motors) standard locos of the time, largely the GP9. The walkways would still have been full width, since that much width was allowed for the standard-gauge boxcars coming over on the ferry, but the height had to be reduced. Still quite a bit more than the passenger cars, as shown here The side skirting was unique, at least for North America, and I think anywhere.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Double-posting to add that the skirting may have been necessary to stiffen the frame, since the centre framing would have had to be reduced to allow sufficient space for the diesel, while reducing the overall height. They weren't going to design a whole new diesel for a small order!

And don't forget that the NF-110/210 design was a late entry. The first diesels were built to GM's metre-gauge standards, the same loading gauge as the passenger cars, to allow for use on the branch lines. But I think all of the G8's have been scrapped.

The 1200-hp NF110 1nd 210 were only used on the main line.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Some sad news for shipmates. I understand the Rev Peter Denny - Buckingham Great Central - died shortly after Christmas. This name may not mean anything to railway enthusiasts outside the UK or who are only interested in the full size and not the model version, but he was one of the ablest modellers of his generation, who both wrote and exhibited since the beginning of the fifties.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I haven't seen that name since I used to read the Railway Modeller as a teenager. His models were impressive (at least in print). That's one justification for large vicarages.
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Some sad news for shipmates. I understand the Rev Peter Denny - Buckingham Great Central - died shortly after Christmas. This name may not mean anything to railway enthusiasts outside the UK or who are only interested in the full size and not the model version, but he was one of the ablest modellers of his generation, who both wrote and exhibited since the beginning of the fifties.

[Votive] I remember reading about his layouts. Wonderful stuff!
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Peter Denny was a real pioneer of model railways. He started out in 00 in 1945. Without people like him smaller scale model railways may not have got off the ground.
I am not sure whether he was Revd Peter then. But it goes to show how much time clergy had when they had single parishes and possibly staff...
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
Here's a story from the Telegraph about a couple of familiar voices to anyone who has travelled by train in the UK (with short audio sketch):

Britain's most apologetic couple
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
There is a great poem by (the Christian) poet Steve Turner called "British Rail Regrets" - find it on
http://annedroid-annedroid.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html. (I hope the link works - I can't do hyperlinks).

By the way, the late Gerard Fiennes, the manager of BR Eastern Region who got sacked for telling the truth (but who kept our beloved East Suffolk line open), tells of a day in the late 1940s at Kings Cross station when everything was coming in an hour or more late, and the announcer going overtime with "We regret to announce" messages.

He went up into her eyrie, seized the microphone, and announced "We regret the late arrival of the at platform 1. This is due to managerial incompetence". He rushed back downstairs and mingled with the public to hear their reaction, hoping that they would be saying, "At last, the truth!" or something similar.

But there was no reaction at all.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Baptist Trainfan

I think this works better. I've used preview post and seems to anyway.

Jengie
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Thank you.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Of course, there was the Bristow cartoon.

Bristow arrives at the station on a beautiful spring morning to be confronted by a sign:

British Rail regrets the will be no trains due to lambs gambolling on the tracks.

[ 19. January 2010, 04:46: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
And there was a letter to the "Times" about ten years ago in which someone heard the announcement that trains would be delayed due to leaves on the line "and furthermore to those leaves still being attached to their trees".
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Of course, there was the Bristow cartoon.

Bristow arrives at the station on a beautiful spring morning to be confronted by a sign:

British Rail regrets the will be no trains due to lambs gambolling on the tracks.

That could well be a real scenario. The problem is not the lambs while they are gambolling but what happens if the train hits them. I believe blood on the track is a problem.

I have been held up due to "Sheep on the line".

Jengie
 
Posted by Mr. Spouse (# 3353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
I have been held up due to "Sheep on the line".

I'll see your sheep and raise you a "cow on the line" [Big Grin]

What irritates me most about the current apology messages are the attempts at making them personal. "I'm very sorry..." just doesn't work when you know it's a recording.

[ 19. January 2010, 08:37: Message edited by: Mr. Spouse ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Thst reminds me of three things.

1. Cash machines (ATMs) which say, "Please wait while we count your momey" - giving the impressions of dozens of Munchkins behind the slot licking their fingers as they count out wads of notes.

2. Radio 3 announcers who say, "As there is a short time before the next programme, I shall now play you some music", and then follow it with a recording of an entire symphony orchestra.

3. Buses that go past empty saying, "Sorry, not in service". If they were REALLY sorry, they'd stop and pick me up!
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Can I just say this thread is straying dangerously near general interest.

What happened to the discussion of coupling flanges on the Class IV tenders of the north-east division of the Ahoghill to Skibbereen line in 1954? eh? eh?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Don't be silly. Everyone knows that was in 1956, not 1954.

PS Couplings are couplings and flanges are flanges but I hope they never meet.

[ 19. January 2010, 10:35: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
We're hard, according to comet!
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Pontivillian:
We're hard, according to comet!

Well there's the summit of earthly ambition reached then.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Can I just say this thread is straying dangerously near general interest.

What happened to the discussion of coupling flanges on the Class IV tenders of the north-east division of the Ahoghill to Skibbereen line in 1954? eh? eh?

I should be very wary of making comments of this sort ~ I am now seriously contemplating starting a discussion of the virtues of Grondana couplings (as used on the Welshpool and Llanfair) as opposed to the Norwegian 'Chopper' type (used by the Ffestiniog) or the Admiralty Pattern link and pin (various examples; the Sittingbourne and Kemsley comes to mind). It won't take much to set me going ... [Razz]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
On the standard gauge, you could argue the virtues of 3-link, Buckeye and Instanter (with or without side-chains) ... not to mention the semi-permanent couplings in EMU and Freightliner sets ... and then there's Dellner ...

But are any of them flanged? That is the question.

[ 19. January 2010, 21:00: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

Keep it coming ~ we'll soon scare off the sad types who are just 'generally interested'!
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Ah, normality.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Another curiosity is that on the GWR, followed by the Western region, the lower link on the coupling on the front of an engine was normally hung on a hook on the buffer beam, just next to the left (nearside) buffer. As far as I know, the other three railways did not provide this hook. It seems to have been more usual with them to put the lower link back over the upper one, and attach it to the hook.

Either way, I get the impression that it was regarded as slightly bad form just to let it dangle - a bit like not washing ones milk bottles before putting them out for collection.

But do any shipmates have actual technical knowledge on this important subject? And does anyone know whether BR Standards allocated to the Western Region had this extra hook?
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Spouse:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
I have been held up due to "Sheep on the line".

I'll see your sheep and raise you a "cow on the line" [Big Grin]

What irritates me most about the current apology messages are the attempts at making them personal. "I'm very sorry..." just doesn't work when you know it's a recording.

And when I was traveling on the Alaska Railroad, I understood that the train would hit a moose on occasion.

Do I win?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
On the museum line on which I used to drive, we quite often stirred up pheasants, particularly along the stretch near the sewage lagoon for some weird reason. But the silly things would run in front of the train (we were only doing 10 mph anyway) for as much as half a mile, before they would suddenly remember that they were birds and could fly away to the side of the track.

One time, I went onto the front platform of the diesel and counted 6 of them running in front of us - a rather peculiar form of herding, I guess.

Talk about bird brains!

But we never actually ran one down, ISTM.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Coupler nonsense!

The One True Coupler is the Janney Knuckle, fully automatic, provides ample space for the brake line and able to tolerate variations in installation.

It can handle mile-long trains with ease.

If necessary it may be fitted with an anti-climbing device for passenger work.

North American has used it since 1873 and it is standard for interchange, which means it is standard, period. No other coupler need apply.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
And when I was traveling on the Alaska Railroad, I understood that the train would hit a moose on occasion.

Do I win?

on occasion nothing. it's called The Great Alaska Moose Gooser for a reason. a friend of mine who drives the thing was particular sad when he took out a mama bear last summer.

(and yes, I do watch you all, with some sort of freakish fascination that I probably need serious therapy for.)
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Coupler nonsense!

The One True Coupler is the Janney Knuckle, fully automatic, provides ample space for the brake line and able to tolerate variations in installation.

It can handle mile-long trains with ease.

If necessary it may be fitted with an anti-climbing device for passenger work.

North American has used it since 1873 and it is standard for interchange, which means it is standard, period. No other coupler need apply.

Overkill for Welsh Narrow Gauge!

Saying that doesn't detract from the value of the coupler for serious load hauling.


That's an interesting point you raise, Enoch, and has set me wondering about coupling design in general. I have gone back to a class of book I don't usually bother with ~ books of photographs. These make it clear that GWR locos (post Churchward) were fitted with a screw-link coupler which was part of the drawhook. A picture of 9F 92220 (built at Swindon) shows the coupling just dangling (ie, not even tidied up onto the drawhook) which suggests that the answer to your question about Western Region BR Standards is probably, 'No'
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
North American narrow-gauge lines simply used a scaled-down version of the mainline Janney design. Same principles but not interchangeable. Though not a problem since the cars weren't interchangeable either.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
What about the D&RGW dual-gauge lines? ISTM that I recall trains actually hauled both kinds of cars across the flat land, on occasion.

And on The Rock, were there idler cars with a coupler of each size, one at each end?

In the PEI case, the two kinds of stock didn't matter, since it was known that the dual-gauge era was to be just a few years.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
North American narrow-gauge lines simply used a scaled-down version of the mainline Janney design. Same principles but not interchangeable. Though not a problem since the cars weren't interchangeable either.

Now here is yet another example of my ignorance ~ I was not aware that North America had much in the way of narrow gauge. Logical that the Janney coupler should have been used; if it ain't broke, why fix it? Seen from that perspective, the variety of couplers used on British narrow gauge is completely illogical. I cited just three types, all of which use a centre buffer of some description. The Tal-y-llyn Railway (possibly the best-known British narrow gauge line) is different again. Uniquely (as I understand) for British (and possibly any) narrow gauge, they use side buffers and link couplings.

From what I have seen, variations on the link-and-pin theme seem to be the most common system in use on narrow gauge in this country. Lord Pontivillian tells me that the Grondana system (used by the W&L) is not used anywhere else in the UK, which seems extraordinary given the advantages that it has. It seems that we (as in, Gloucester Carriage & Wagon) built rolling stock for export with these couplers, but never used them ourselves. Daft, or what? [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
What about the D&RGW dual-gauge lines? ISTM that I recall trains actually hauled both kinds of cars across the flat land, on occasion.

And on The Rock, were there idler cars with a coupler of each size, one at each end?

In the PEI case, the two kinds of stock didn't matter, since it was known that the dual-gauge era was to be just a few years.

Narrow Gauge lines with dual-gauge capability are a separate category. A narrow-gauge car usually can't be interchanged without changing the trucks, in which case the coupler can be changed too. This presumes that the draft gear can support standard-gauge loads.

In reply to Darllenwr, there were the Cape Gauge Newfoundland Railway and Prince Edward Island Railway in Canada, and a number of Three Foot roads in the US. The Denver & Rio Grande Western had the largest of these, in fact as Bree noted it built many of its lines in narrow-gauge first and then standardized them. This is connected with the fact that the Rio Grande was a mountain railroad meant to bridge the passes through the Rockies. However the Rio Grande always had a selection of pure narrow gauge lines, notably the line which became the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge RR. These lines were mineral haulers and were never standard gauged.

There is also the White Pass & Yukon RR, the other railroad in Alaska (also British Columbia and the Yukon Territory). It's now a tourist line but it runs trains over the White Pass up to Bennett Lake, the start of the Klondike Trail.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Quite apart from questions of coupling compatability and strength, and drawbar height, surely one problem with running mixed-gauge trains comes with points (switches).

On plain line dual-gauge railways usually use two rails on one side and a common rail on the other, though on the DRGW I think the narrow-gauge sometimes went in the middle. (There is certainly a photo like that in Beebe & Clegg's "Narrow Gauge in the Rockies", though that may have been on the South Park or the Colorado Southern and I'm not going up into the loft to look at the book!)

But points are a different proposition, and usually tend to revert to using three rails as this needs fewer switch rails. That would slew the NG stock to one side or the other of the centreline of the SG stock - could cause problems.

However I do think that some mixed-gauge shunting (switching) did take place. And I think some shunting locos had two or even three sets of couplers!

In Portugal near Trofa a metre gauge line came from Povoa de Varzim to join the single-track main line north of Porto, stayed in between the rails for a bit and then swung off the other side to go on to Guimaraes. No points involved, though. Today the line from Povoa is closed but the line to Guimaraes has been relaid to standard gauge (actually broad gauge, because that's what is used in Portugal).

I believe that there were some triple-gauge stations in Sweden! Never seen them though I did see a dual-gauge one back in the early 70s.

NB I don't know if the Paris-Lisbon "Sud Express" still runs, but the bogies were changed from standard to broad at the French border. The same happens at the border between Romania and the Ukraine and (I think) between Russia and Mongolia.

[ 20. January 2010, 22:08: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Most UK standard gauge steam engines had screw link couplings. I think they were only given three link ones if they were not vacuum or Westinghouse fitted - which on most lines meant some shunting engines and a few very basic goods engines only.

I'm not aware of anywhere in the UK where it was normal in the modern era to operate mixed gauge trains. The GWR used to have many miles of dual gauge track, but I've a recollection there was a ban in later years on combining both gauges of stock in the same train or using one gauge's engine to pull a train in the other gauge.
Unless in the whole system, one used either four rails or kept the common rail on the same side and turned every engine and wagon to fit, I would have thought it was almost impossible to manage.

For passenger working, the common rail needs to be on the platform side at each station.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
only if you have full-height platforms. Most North American platforms were set low for cheapness and to allow for snowplow operation.

I think Montreal Central is the only Canadian station I have been in where the platforms are at car-floor height.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Even with lower height continental style platforms, I'd have thought there were problems about people getting on and off trains if there is another rail in the way, right where they are going to step down. There would have, at least to be a section of tramway style track so that the rail heads were flush with the ground.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
North American narrow-gauge lines simply used a scaled-down version of the mainline Janney design. Same principles but not interchangeable. Though not a problem since the cars weren't interchangeable either.

Now here is yet another example of my ignorance ~ I was not aware that North America had much in the way of narrow gauge. Logical that the Janney coupler should have been used; if it ain't broke, why fix it? Seen from that perspective, the variety of couplers used on British narrow gauge is completely illogical. I cited just three types, all of which use a centre buffer of some description. The Tal-y-llyn Railway (possibly the best-known British narrow gauge line) is different again. Uniquely (as I understand) for British (and possibly any) narrow gauge, they use side buffers and link couplings.

From what I have seen, variations on the link-and-pin theme seem to be the most common system in use on narrow gauge in this country. Lord Pontivillian tells me that the Grondana system (used by the W&L) is not used anywhere else in the UK, which seems extraordinary given the advantages that it has. It seems that we (as in, Gloucester Carriage & Wagon) built rolling stock for export with these couplers, but never used them ourselves. Daft, or what? [Ultra confused]

British narrow gauge systems were generally small and local, so they did not have to worry about interchange - as opposed to transhipment. In Ireland, on the 3' there was universal agreement on use of the Norwegian Chopper, but no-one bothered to standardize coupling centre heights.

In the USA several systems were contiguous. The one that sticks in my head, living in the Southwest is the Denver and Rio Grande, which linked p with the Silverton RR, and the Denver and Rio Grande Southern. Further west, if they had not have kept running out of money, the Nevada, California and Oregon and the Carson and Colorado might have been connected using a third rail over the Virginia and Truckee! If the N-C-O had gotten beyond Lakeview, OR, the Sumpter Valley planned to extend to Prineville, OR, to connect with the N-C-O which planned to pass through there on its way to the Columbia River at The Dalles.

The mileage of three foot gauge in the USA was quite considerable between about 1880 and 1915. Most were standardized in the 1910s and 20s, but some hung on quite remarkably late - the East Broad Top, the Denver and Rio Grande NG mainline from Antonito to Durango together with the Silverton and Farmington branches, the remnant of the old Carson and Colorado between Keeler and Laws, CA.

Moreover NG could crop up in some strange places - for example, one of the commuter serving Boston, MA was 3' gauge! However, it was a relatively early victim of bus competition (1934).

PD

[ 21. January 2010, 05:57: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I wouldn't call the Rio Grande a "System", it all became part of the Denver & Rio Grande Western RR. In typical North American fashion local roads were taken over by a larger concern, or were used as "front" companies to get a charter and build the line, after which they would be merged into the main road corporation.

When I say interchange, I mean narrow gauge cars could not be simply rolled onto another road and eventually sent across the continent without modifying the trucks and the couplers. The presumption in North American is that any car is suitable for such interchange. That's the lifeblood of railroads here.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The White Pass & Yukon was one of the early users of demountable containers, partly because of the gauge problem (plus the ocean being in the way!) There were all sorts of car ferries running on both coasts and in the Great Lakes, but there was no point in running narrow gauge cars onto a ferry if they couldn't be run off on to the tracks available at the other end.

In Newfoundland, they opted for changing the trucks on standard-gauge cars, because the clearances existed all the way to the paper mills at Grand Falls and Corner Brook, the only question then being the coupler size. I believe the NF110/210 locos actually had full-size Janneys.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
It is probably most accurate to call the Denver and Rio Grande in its predominately narrow gauge days a "regional railroad" like the Newfoundland. The Marshall Pass and Tennessee Pass routes were both originally 3' gauge, so when you start adding up the various bits and pieces completed between between 1873 and 1889 when the D&RG started standard gauging its system in earnest, they must have laid close to 800 miles of three foot gauge railroad.

As late as 1960 they were operating 300 miles of three foot gauge railways, and with just the San Juan "mainline," Farmington and Silverton branches still open. IIRC,the Marshall Pass route closed as late as the early 1950s with the remnants being standard gauged.

Another "IIRC," the Denver and Rio Grande Western name originally belonged to a railroad in Utah, and was adopted by the D&RG after either its 1909 bankruptcy, or absorbing one the minor systems in the Denver area. The D&RG(W)'s corporate history is so convoluted that I have never really mastered it.

PD

[ 22. January 2010, 05:36: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Aye, the Denver & Rio Grande Western name originally applied to the Utah Division, but the name was first used in 1909 after their first bankruptcy, and was used again after the 1921 bankruptcy. That company went into receivership in 1935 and emerged from bankruptcy in 1947, though they kept the name.

Bankruptcy was extremely common for most North American roads until 1980. 60% of American railroad mileage was bankrupt at one time or another, and this was before Penn Central. Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett's mentor cut his teeth investing in railroad bonds. He had numerous words of sage advice on the subject in "The Intelligent Investor". He had a set of capitalization rules designed to filter out junk roads so he could focus on worthwhile bonds and consistently earned a good return doing so.

Also, bankruptcy lasting decades was not unusual for railroads before 1980. The New Haven Railroad was the most famous of these. It went bankrupt in 1935 and emerged in 1947. It was a short-haul road in New England and unusually dependent on passengers, so it was the first road to weaken in the 1950's. It went bust in 1961, was taken into Penn Central in 1968, and finally wound up in 1980
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
The Bishop's Castle Railway in Wales opened in 1865 without having being approved by the relevant Government inspector. It failed to make a profit, the money soon ran out and the line was never extended.

In January 1867 the railway went into receivership and never left it until it closed in 1935, over 69 years later.

Unlike the Rio Grande etc., it was only 9 miles long!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
The London Chatham and Dover was in receivership for a time, but 69 years must be a record, not just for the railway sector, but for the whole of the Companies Register.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
With many American railroads often being built in what was effectively frontier lands, they were often under capitalized and financed construction cost over runs with borrowing. In many cases railroads were heavily indebted on opening day. As a result some lines had to be a run away successes almost from day one in order to avoid receivership. In many cases, they lost the race.

The Denver and Rio Grande, considering its high construction costs did well to stay out of bankruptcy as long as it did. It also had to deal with the costs of converting much of ts system from three foot gauge to standard gauge. However, it had the immense advantage of being fairly well capitalized, and of having heavy flows of mineral traffic almost from day one. This kept the wolf from the door until it became part of the Gould empire at a time when it was trying to create a coast to coast railroad.

This coast to coast strategy pushed the D&RG over the edge because it resulted in the D&RG advancing large sums for the construction of the Western Pacific. Although brilliantly surveyed (by a Scot, of course) the WP had some significant cost overruns, and was slow to attract enough traffic to make it pay. The Rio Grande was liable for a fair proportion of the debt, so it went bankrupt and evitably the WP went with it. However, the WP was far cheaper to work than the SP route over Donner due to its 1% ruling grade. Donner by contrast has long stretches of 2.5%. The WP eventually proved itself as a route for heavy oil, mineral, and general merchantize trains, as well as being the original route of the California Zephyr.

The D&RG restructured and survived quite well until the Depression when railroads far more prosperous than the D&RG were going over like nine-pins.

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
The description of the D&RG as being well capitalized and having a heavy flow of traffic parallels the description of the Canadian Northern, which did well so long as it stuck to its Prairie empire, and then fell apart when the builders (Mackenzie and Mann) decided to compete with the Laurier government in building two complete transcontinental lines.

CNor's eastern extension was reasonably practical, apart from the Nova Scotian bits, the western one less so, while the NTR/GTP simply overloaded the market, albeit with a much better actual line.

But the Edwardian success potential was undermined by WW1 and the related cost increases, not to mention the popularisation of the automobile.

I've seen good arguments that, if the building of the railways had boomed a mere ten years later, about half of the Prairie branch lines would not have been built - but that's another story.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I have always had a soft spot for the Western Pacific. It's recent corporate history has been full of turnabouts and fun.

For our British visitors, the Western Pacific and the Southern Pacific parallel each other from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. This is the original western leg of the Transcontinental Railroad. As PD said, the SP goes over Donner Pass at a 2.5% grade and the place has snow sheds. Passengers trains were stranded in snow there as late as 1947. The WP was built much later in the early 1900's and had much better grades by going through Feather River Canyon.

The SP's main connection was the Union Pacfic and the WP relied on the Denver and Rio Grande Western and its connections, mainly the Rock Island, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Missouri Pacific.

The UP and SP originally tried to merge in 1913. This was disallowed. In 1980 the UP purchased the Western Pacific and the SP's route was run down. However UP bought the Southern Pacific in 1998 as part of the mergers towards the Big Four. Traffic has been so heavy that both routes are in use and the SP line is being upgraded to take relief. Burlington Northern Santa Fe has trackage rights on both lines now as part of the merger deal to preserve competition.

Like many historic routes its part of the Cinderella story of revival in North American railroading.
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
NB I don't know if the Paris-Lisbon "Sud Express" still runs, but the bogies were changed from standard to broad at the French border. The same happens at the border between Romania and the Ukraine and (I think) between Russia and Mongolia.

According to last September's Thomas Cook European Timetable, and to seat61.com, there's still a train from Paris as far as Madrid. I think this and the other trains across the French-Spanish border are now all worked by Talgo stock with variable-gauge wheelsets (Wikipedia may have something on this). I seem to remember looking at a Cook's timetable in the 1980s which showed a Moscow-Madrid sleeping car, which must have changed gauge twice.

There are several places on the borders of the former Soviet Union where bogies are changed, both in Europe and in the Far East (as Baptist Trainfan says, the break of gauge on the trans-Mongolian railway is on the southern side of Mongolia, as the Mongolian railways were built under Soviet influence). At the two locations where I've experienced this, passengers remain on board while the carriages are lifted. On the Polish-Belarussian border, the couplings were also replaced; my diary of the trip says 'from screw to buckeye', and I see that if Wikipedia is to be believed, I was almost right (apologies to coupling enthusiasts if I wasn't quite).

There's also a Russian-gauge line that runs well into Poland. According to Wikipedia there are also now some variable-gauge installations on the eastern borders of Poland.

There are still a few places in Europe where transporter wagons are used to convey standard-gauge wagons on NG lines.

And to pick up another subject mentioned above, Cuba has (or used to have) two level crossings on a motorway. A few years ago I went on a railway enthusiasts' package holiday to Cuba and we even had a steam-hauled freight train doing runpasts for us across one -- Cuban motorways have very little road traffic!

SPK: Which of those routes does Amtrak's Chicago-Oakland service use?
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Acoording to Wiki, the California Zephyr under Amtrak runs thusly:

quote:
West of Salt Lake City, the route operates on the Western Pacific track (now part of the Union Pacific Railroad) to Wells, Nevada. From Wells to Winnemucca the CZ can operate on either the Western Pacific track or the Southern Pacific as directed by the modern owner of both tracks, the Union Pacific Railroad.[3] West of Winnemucca the modern California Zephyr follows the route of the former City of San Francisco on SP track.
Union Pacific has consolidated the former Central Pacific and Western Pacific lines as one route. The Central Pacific's line over Donner Pass is preferred for passenger trains as it has the heavier grade and is far more scenic. Heavy grades, mountain lakes, snowsheds, Donner Pass has it all. Passenger trains are far less grade averse than freights.

The Santa Fe went so far as to route most of its freights over the low-grade Belen Cutoff through Texas while most of its passenger trains used the original route through Raton Pass in Colorado. This was both more scenic and allowed connections to Denver at La Junta.

The Central Pacific was merged into the Southern Pacific, but the name persists as the route was separate and quite distinct from the rest of SP's operations, which arced from Seattle to San Francisco and then east to New Orleans.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
The Tweesie which was partly dual gauge had a couple of switchers with "three-centre" couplers that could be moved to line up with both standard gauge and narrow gauge couplers. The East Broad Top's standard gauge switchers had both standard and narrow gauge couplers. Given the way in which the EBT's couplers were arranged their Switchers could only switch narrow gauge cars if facing (IIRC) North.

PD
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Tweesie? Is this the "East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad", perchance?

The problem with the EBT couplers sounds like when Tri-ang and Hornby model trains amalgamated in the 1960s. They made a goods truck and a horse box with different couplers at each end. But I'm sure 90% of the time they faced in the wrong direction, necessitating "crane shunting" by hand. You can't do that in real life (yes, I know about coal and ore tipplers, but that's different!)
 
Posted by Strangely Warmed (# 13188) on :
 
quote:
I think Montreal Central is the only Canadian station I have been in where the platforms are at car-floor height.
Gare du Palais (Quebec City) also has high platforms.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Thank you. Didn't know that.

"You can't there from here" by train (I live in Moncton). Can't even get to the ferry at Levis by train any more.

Hence my comment about "stations I have been to"

[ 26. January 2010, 21:37: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Tweesie? Is this the "East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad", perchance?

The problem with the EBT couplers sounds like when Tri-ang and Hornby model trains amalgamated in the 1960s. They made a goods truck and a horse box with different couplers at each end. But I'm sure 90% of the time they faced in the wrong direction, necessitating "crane shunting" by hand. You can't do that in real life (yes, I know about coal and ore tipplers, but that's different!)

Yes, the Tweetsie is the East Tennessee and Western NC.

The East Broad Top's standard gauge switchers had narrow gauge couplers on both ends, but they were to one side of the standard gauge couplers. IIRC to the right as you faced the the front of the loco and to the left at the rear, as the yard was three rail with (again IIRC) the common rail on the west side, and separate 3' and standard gauge rails on the east side. Because the couplers were fixed the switchers had to operate "smoke stack North" when switching narrow gauge cars, so the front and rear narrow gauge couplers aligned with the centre of the narrow gauge cars, which was a little to the west of centre for standard gauge cars. This wasn't too much of a problem as most mixed gauge operation was within the confines of Mount Union Yard.

PD

[ 28. January 2010, 00:31: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I hope it's not considered junior hosting to copy the following from the Northern (England) thread in Purgatory, but I didn't want to reply to it there and derail (almost literally) the debate.


Originally posted by PD:
quote:
Actually Manchester-Sheffield, via the Hope Valley, is in pretty good shape and has an half-hourly service. The present journey time from Man Pic to Sheffield is 52 minutes which is pretty similar to the Man Pic-Leeds via Huddersfield timing.


and I replied
quote:
52 minutes for not much more than 30 miles for either journey is lamentable though. The criminal closure of the (electrified) Woodhead route should be rectified asap.


PD said
quote:

The old main road over Woodhead was 41 miles city-centre to city-centre. The two rail routes from Manchester to Sheffield were 41.75 miles (Woodhead), and 43.75 miles (Hope Valley line). Of the two Woodhead had the sharper curves and steeper gradients. The best Man Pic to Sheffield Vic time was 55 minutes. To reopen Woodhead would involve reactivating Sheffield Vic, a new two level Station at Nunnery Jct, an expensive North to West curve at the same location, or a time consuming reversal into Sheffield Midland. Couple that to the loss of easy connections to trains to Birmingham, Cardiff, Crewe, and the Potteries at Stockport and the case for reopening Woodhead just does not exist other than as part of a High Speed line based on a revival of the old Great Central mainline between London and Manhester - which I would be all in favour of.

However, the Hope Valley line could be improved with modern signalling, and the elimination of some pinch points such as the single lead junctions at Dore and Hazel Grove. Given that the Manchester-Sheffield service alternate between Liverpool to East Anglia, and Manchester Airport to Grimsby/Cleethorpes trains, electrification - other than as part of a massive regional wiring - would serve no useful purpose other than isolating the route from the rest of the system at the east end. That lack of an electrified connection at the east end was a contributory factor to Woodhead's demise.

PD

[ 30. January 2010, 14:31: Message edited by: PD ]



I bow to your greater knowledge of the rail systems in Sheffield and district (and the distances! I should have said 40 miles not 30).

Perhaps instead it would be better to electrify the Hope Valley Line, especially as there are plans to electrify the Midland main line from St Pancras to Sheffield, and (more immediately) from Manchester to Liverpool - albeit via Newton le Willows rather than Warrington which is the current route for transpennine trains.

Maybe this is relevant to the discussion in Purg: there will soon be virtually no main lines out of London unelectrified, while the major secondary routes like Manchester to Sheffield and Leeds still rely on noisy and polluting diesel units. So either the trains serving these will be cut back (as was the Orient Express) to a rump service, or extended at either end 'under the wires' which is a horrendous practice too often done (see how many trains on the ECML consist of DMUs).
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Since we are on the subject, which railway lines would you like to see reopened/rebuilt and why?

I'll open the bidding with the stretch of the B&M (Brecon & Merthyr) between Caerffili and Machen. And, before anybody comments, I know that the stretch in question is nowhere near either Brecon or Merthyr ~ in spite of their name, most of the Railway's revenue came from the section of railway between Newport and Dowlais. In point of fact, the section from which the railway took its title was very nearly never built at all, but that's another story entirely.

My reason for wanting to see that piece of line rebuilt is that it would open up the possibility of travelling to Newport (and therefore to all points East) without having to go through Cardiff, a station that can be very busy. There would also be considerable commuter potential on the route from Caerffili to Newport. There has been talk (at a local level) of the line being reinstated, but talk is all it has been so far. Much of the route still exists as a freight-only route, serving Lower Machen Quarry, whilst the formation of the remainder is largely intact.

One can but hope ...
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I'd settle for a resumption of the old Atlantic Limited route through Saint John, but that would depend on having some faint rationale about transit across Maine. The American border has become an absolute rat's nest of paranoia, so it ain't gonna happen.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I want restoration of service on the CP mainline out west.

Mr. Flaherty's Gravy Train will be nice if we can get it in Peterborough. Of course that is really just a cover for building the Pickering Airport.
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
Trouble is that the UK is close to the point of running out of lines with the traffic density to be electrified in isolation. By the time they have done Paddington to Bristol/Cardiff and the Midland Mainline you are left with Edinburgh - Glasgow via Falkirk, and some add on electrifications such as Sheffield to Leeds via Doncaster, the Matlock branch, which would be relatively cheap to do. The next batch of electrification projects are going to be complex, and require some major restructuring of traffic patterns. Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Dyce probably has the best economic case, followed by North Trans-Pennine. The fly in the former ointment is whether or not there is an economic case for electrifying Stirling to Dundee via Perth. NTP will require some route restructuring, which may be unpopular, and a very benign financing regime to come to pass.

PD

[ 30. January 2010, 23:16: Message edited by: PD ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Might I point out two things. please?

1. Electrified lines are not "non-polluting" unless the electricity is generated by hydropower or a renewable source. (Some might add nuclear into that list - that depends on how you define "pollution"). Otherwise all they are doing is moving the pollution from the train to the power station.

Admittedly the latter is probably a more efficient source of power than on-board diesels, and electric trains may also be lighter and simpler (=less power required), on the other hand they need infrastructure which will create pollution as it is built.

2. On our line here in Ipswich (Great Eastern) many of our problems are due to catenary failure. Some of it - at present being replaced - was originally built by the LNER just post-War and for 1500 DC, a lot of the rest dates from around 1960. Some people here would prefer diesel traction, I suspect! (This also applies to the East Coast mainline where the electrification, though much newer, was done "on the cheap" and isn't as reliable as it should be, or so I understand).

[ 31. January 2010, 13:44: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Lines to be re-opened or lines that should never have been closed? Even if one accepts that the network was over-luxuriant in the 1950s (which I only half do, but can see the reasoning) and that nobody had ever tidied up a lot of inconveniences that did not make sense when there weren't lots of separate companies any more (which I do accept), there's quite a few glaring omissions from the current network.

Everyone has their own favorites but here's some which strike me as uncontroversial.

Uckfield to Lewes - obvious.

Bangor to Afon Wen - again obvious, but I suspect closed on the assumption that the line to Pwllheli wasn't going to survive either.

Stratford to the junction with the OWW east of Honeybourne - but not on from there to Cheltenham which probably shouldn't have been built in the first place.

Bodmin Road to Padstow - assumed to be two different lines.

Matlock to Buxton and Peak Forest - London-centric assumption that this was just a surplus line from London to Manchester rather than a link between the East Midlands and the North West; now sadly almost impossible to reinstate becasue of the objections there would be to putting a low bridge across a trunk road.

Edinburgh to Hawick - I hope that gets rebuilt, but I don't think there's much case now for the line on from there to Carlisle.

Pickering to Malton - again obvious.

Norton Fitzwarren to Bishops Lydeard with regular through running - track still in place, but resisted with excuse of an agreement with bus unions where the drivers affected must have all retired long ago.


Lines to be electrified - I put Bristol to Doncaster and Leeds ahead of a lot of the others, and also some solution - either high speed loco haulage or high speed electrodiesel to the distasteful sight of fuel guzzling diesel units running under wires with current in them.

If I was doing that I'd also extend Lichfield to Burton and reopen to passenger traffic the link there which is only a mile or two long and used for diversions etc.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
I take your point about electrical power producing pollution in its generation. However, it is possible for less-polluting sources to be used (as you point out), whereas a train which carries its (polluting) fuel and engines around with it is never going to be environmentally friendly. Also electric trains are cleaner (at point of use), quieter and quicker. And I hate diesels!

PD's point about stand-alone electrification schemes is important. At present, for example, North Transoennine runs from Liverpool to Scarborough (presumably because there aren't enough paths on the ECML to go to Newcastle, which would be much more useful for more people). Electrification of Liverpool-Manchester via Warrington (as well as the already-agreed L&M line), Manchester to Leeds and York, could both be justified by traffic density. But York to Scarborough wouldn't be justified on its own.

However, the alternatives would be a York-Scarborough diesel shuttle, or expensive dual-mode trains, or diesels running under the wires for the greater part of the journey.* Whereas in most of mainland Europe, the equivalent trunk routes would have been electrified years ago, and a comparable route to York-Scarborough would be unlikely to remain a diesel service.

It's a sad culture we've got ourselves into in this country. Why are we so behind compared to the French, Germans, Spanish and even the Italians? Don't even mention the Swiss.

*Or of course, as also happens in other countries, loco-hauled stock which can switch from diesel or even steam to electric when necessary.

[cross-posted: this is a reply to Baptist Trainfan)

[ 31. January 2010, 14:05: Message edited by: Angloid ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Replying to Enoch:

Skipton to Colne (active pressure group working to reinstate this: it's a comparatively short stretch of line but a vital link between Yorkshire and East Lancashire)

The Burscough curves linking Southport-Wigan to Ormskirk-Preston: a serious proposal has been made but how soon if ever it might go ahead is the question.

The Liverpool -Edge Hill to Bootle line via Tue Brook and Walton: at present carries freight traffic to the docks but could also be a valuable urban commuter line. It would be a better use of resources than the proposed (but still clinging-on-for-life) Merseytram scheme.

Two Yorkshire towns which could be reconnected to the rail system are Otley and Ripon. I'm not sure how much infrastructure survives in either case, but if either of them were in the South East they would never have lost their trains.
 
Posted by FreeJack (# 10612) on :
 
I don't think you can assume they would never have been closed if they were in the South East (outside London.)

The iconic missing 'South East' / South Midlands / East Anglia route is the Oxford-Cambridge and East-West related lines.

Some progress in the pipeline. Chiltern Railways, who are part-owned by the German railways and therefore seem to be able to actually get things done, are proposing to take over Oxford-Bicester and link to the line to Marylebone via High Wycombe. They have also built Aylesbury Vale Parkway, a first step towards reopening the line to Bletchley / Milton Keynes.

There's also the Milton Keynes platform that was supposed to take the Bedford-Bletchley lines.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by FreeJack:
I don't think you can assume they would never have been closed if they were in the South East (outside London.)

You may be right. I wondered if that was a bit of unjustified northern prejudice on my part. Though I can't think of any towns of comparable size in the SE that have been completely removed from the rail network, as opposed to being deprived of useful connections. Wells of course is the southern counterpart of Ripon: a small cathedral city ten miles from the nearest station. But that's in the south-west, well away from London commuting distance.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Curiously, when I was doing my list, I very nearly included the missing bit of the Leeds Northern on from Harrogate through Ripon to Northallerton, but felt I didn't know enough about traffic demands in the area to comment. I would have thought Otley also makes good sense.

Round here, there's a long running argument as to why if Portishead now has heavy freight, it can't ahve a passenger service too, particularly as the line goes virtually through a motorway junction which would be an ideal site for a Park and Ride. I also think keepings a bus shelter like stub down to Clevedon would have made sense, and possibly the other way as far as Wells, even if keeping the rest of the circle might not have done.

There was a proposal in the sixties to turn the line from Oxford to Cambridge into part of an orbital freight route. BR built a very expensive fly over at Bletchley. When the passenger service did exist, it was slow, and like so many services in those days the connections were never much good. At Bedford, of course, it wasn't even the same station.

I don't know how much of the formation east or west of Sandy could be retrieved now.

There also used to be quite a good cross country link from Peterborough to Rugby and then Birmingham, which was quite fast.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Putting back Otley’s railway link does indeed make good sense, but where would it go? The problem is that the formation was used to build the A660 main road (bypass) south of the town. You could perhaps put a line from the former junction at Arthington (on the Harrogate line) through Pool and to a station by the roundabout on the aforementioned road just south-east of the town. Alternatively you could build a shorter link to the electrified Ilkley branch to a site by the roundabout south-west of the town You’d be really stuck, though, if the aim was to have a station anywhere near where Otley station used to be.

There are similar problems, particularly at Ripon, if an attempt is made to put back the Harrogate-Ripon-Northallerton route. My former boss has been involved, since retiring, in trying to achieve just that! I agree with his friend the author Martin Bairstow who reckoned (see his 'Railways around Harrogate' books, one of which is co-written with my ex-boss) that if that route had stayed open it might have been wise to use the Ripon-Thirsk route rather than the Ripon-Northallerton bit.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
I think there are a few lines in the southeast that should not have closed. (Finsbury Park) - Highgate-Alexandra Palace was going to be part of the Underground but the war intervened and did it close. The proposed arrangement would have been a timetabling nightmare but the Highgate-Ally Pally bit should not have been closed.

In the same area Palace Gates - Seven Sisters might have ben useful, though less so - I think it was really a Great Eastern attempt to muscle in on Great Northern territory. Both these lines were run down by BR into a most unattractive service (peak-hours only).

Of course there are lines which, when they were closed, were in places that seemed unlikely to attract traffic but, since then, have experienced a lot of development. One that comes to mind are the Buntingford branch which, had it survived, would undoubtedly have had a revival as at Braintree. Also the Hurn branch at Bournemouth and possibly the old "Corkscrew" line through Ringwood.

And what about Watford-Rickmansworth?

[ 01. February 2010, 10:35: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Another Yorkshire example is the Wetherby-Leeds route, which branched off the Leeds Selby/York line east of Crossgates. Loads of folk would be likely to commute to Leeds by train from Wetherby and intermediate stations were it still open. In fact I'd be very tempted to live in Wetherby myself if it were still rail-connected. Part of the route may indeed reopen, but only a couple of miles. Again the problem of subsequent building on the trackbed rears its ugly head.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
Some lines I'd like to see reopened:

Birmingham Snow Hill - Wolverhampton Low Level (in place of Midland Metro). A valuable diversionary route, as well as serving Black Country towns. Won't happen though, due to development on the site of Wolves LL and the aformentioned Metro.

Stourbridge Junction - Walsall via Dudley. Would be a key freight route if connected back into Bescot yard (whiuch would only require a few lengths of rail to be relaid), and Dudley is one of the largest towns in the country with no rail connection.

Kings Norton - Birmingham. Already a key freight and diversionary route, but it runs through some major Birmingham districts that would benefit greatly from improved transport links.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
To which I would add Auckland - Whangarei - but maybe that's not quite so strategic. The scenically stunning North Island passenger route, the Overlander, stops at Auckland, alas, and freight only travels north.

NZ used to have fairly efficient rail car links (enthusiasts' details of NZ rail)* but some short-sighted government axed them years ago. My dad would roll in his grave.

(*Phew: TinyURLed from 394 characters to 26!)
 
Posted by FreeJack (# 10612) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

And what about Watford-Rickmansworth?

The lines are still there and electrified and in use. Mostly to move trains in and out of the Watford (Met) branch into the sidings at Rickmansworth. It is used in passenger service for a couple of these trains at about 5.45am and 12.45am at the start and end of passenger service for connections.

While changing at Moor Park might be irritating the overall frequency makes it bearable. I would guess that reinstating and extending the half-length bay platform (for steam train changeovers originally?) at Ricky would be necessary for a regular service to be convenient for signalling.

More use will be the proposed extension from Croxley to Watford High Street and Junction.

And the regular straight through trains from Chesham are an improvement too.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
There was a passing reference to Pickering and Malton upthread.

In Canadian terms, this is just a reminder that we have no rail access to any Canadian airport. In the Toronto case, whether it is the pie-in-the-sky Pickering, or the present chaotic jumble at pearson or the old Malton which was usefully close to the city, there is no worthwhile public access that doesn't involve miles of driving around. For Montreal, Dorval has two main lines across the south end of the airport, but the terminals are miles away, and Mirabel is still basically nowhere. And so it goes across the country.

If you don't drive or use specially-expensive shuttle busses, you ain't gonna fly - which might be a good thing if you choose not to do it!

Not that passenger trains are particularly in evidence in Canada in the first place - that's SO 19th century, doncherknow?

Who said anything about energy or climate anyway?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

And what about Watford-Rickmansworth?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The lines are still there and electrified and in use.

I don't think we are talking about the same lines - I'm thinking of the LMS line from Watford High Street to Rickmansworth. This was ewlectrified under the LNWR "New Line" proposals and in fact the LMS bought some proper tube stock to run it. I'm not sure how long the electrification lasted but it closed in 1952.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
My apologies HB, but I was referring to a quite different Pickering and a quite different Malton. Malton is about half way between York and Scarborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire. A few miles outside it, a line used to turn left to go north to Whitby which is further up the coast. Pickering is on that line. At a place called Grosmont, another line comes in from the left which eventually after quite a lot of wandering goes to Middlesborough. That line is still there, but it means Whitby is only fairly easy to reach if you are in Leeds, York or Hull and haven't got a car, you've a long journey.

The section from Grosmont to Pickering is a particularly attractive preserved line, but Pickering is now a dead end.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Actually, that was me going on about the Pickering (Ontario) Airport. Most town and county names in Ontario are named for the Old Sod, Toronto being an exception.

Canadian Pacific's Havelock Subdivision, the remnant of the old Ontario & Quebec Railway runs smack dab through the middle of the Pickering Airport lands.

The Hon. Jim Flaherty, MP for Whitby - Oshawa was all hot to trot last budget about spending money to reinstate passenger service on the Havelock Sub through north Durham to Peterborough under the auspices of GO Transit. Transit is not a federal responsibility, but airports are. The plans for the Pickering Airport clearly show a GO link. The one big change in Pickering Airport planning was that the 407 was built as a toll highway. The 407 was always going to be the Pickering Airport's main road access, so GO Train access would mollify opposition to relying on a toll road.

Dean Del Mastro, the MP for Peterborough has even had his staffers out making the rounds of community meetings trying to get support to reconnect the full Ontario & Quebec route from Peterborough to Ottawa. On the claim that the Grand Trunk route by the lake is full.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I know that Pickering and Malton are deeply embedded in that upper-middle part of England, but, as SPK has pointed out, the names show up over here as well (the joys of Empire, however faded) and the association was irresistible.

You guys can talk endlessly about very minor lines being used with some intensity, and we can't get train service as much as once a day in most of the country. (One train each way, six days a week in the entire land mass east of Quebec City, and, I believe, only three days a week in the whole space between North Bay and Jasper)

And under the leadership of He Who Must Be Obeyed, there won't be anything much more, since the use of trains won't increase the demand for tar sands oil. Flaherty and the poodle from Peterborough haven't got a chance.

[ 01. February 2010, 23:51: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
But building the Pickering Airport surely will drive up oil demand. Which is what the Gravy Train is meant to catalyze. The fact that Peterborough may see a benefit is merely incidental.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
I'd love to see Bargoed and Merthyr Tydfil reconnected, as it would save me from an hour on the Bws [Mad]

I would also like to see the line that crossed Crumlin viaduct reopened, though the chances of this happening equals zero....The Heads of The Valleys line also would be nice!

Swansea to Hereford, via Brecon, would be handy as one could then reopen the Mid Wales railway and have a direct(ish) route from South-North Wales. Extending the Gwili Railway North and South, in a major way, would provide a link between Carmarthen and Aberwyswyth, which would be good, but the Vale of Rheidol would need to find a new Station!
 
Posted by FreeJack (# 10612) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

And what about Watford-Rickmansworth?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The lines are still there and electrified and in use.

I don't think we are talking about the same lines - I'm thinking of the LMS line from Watford High Street to Rickmansworth. This was ewlectrified under the LNWR "New Line" proposals and in fact the LMS bought some proper tube stock to run it. I'm not sure how long the electrification lasted but it closed in 1952.
The old tracks are now a cycle path, except that you can't get to the old Rickmansworth station - I had forgotten that one ever existed.

The proposal I was talking about uses the Croxley Green branch of the same line. Potentially much more useful in the region. We don't really need two railways from Watford to Rickmansworth.

Croxleyrail!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I can see very good Plaid reasons for rebuilding Carmarthen to Aber, but I don't think it ever paid even when rail was the only form of transport. I believe it took the executors of the major owner years of persuasion to get the GWR to take it over.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I can see very good Plaid reasons for rebuilding Carmarthen to Aber, but I don't think it ever paid even when rail was the only form of transport. I believe it took the executors of the major owner years of persuasion to get the GWR to take it over.

Aye, that figures. It hardly runs through densely populated areas and it is hard to see how its construction was ever justified (let alone paid for) in the first place. I am guessing that it was a mania period railway. If not, I really cannot imagine how it ever came to be proposed in the first place, never mind built. There can never have been any serious traffic, even in the heyday of railways in Wales.

Even so, it would be nice to see it re-opened. Like the line from Wrexham through Dolgellau to Barmouth. Though there might be issues with the Bala Lake Railway people, who have built their toy railway on the formation ... [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
One line that I forgot about is the section between Coryton and Tongwynlais....this would serve a practical purpose, I believe, for commuters into Cardiff, as well as giving the English another word to struggle with! [Two face]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Is that the line that never opened because the Taff Vale wouldn't allow coal trains to use the junction at the top end?
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
That's the one.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Sounds a bit like the Caledonian's Spireslack branch. It was completed and fully signalled but never opened as the Glasgow & South Western would have demanded running powers over it. (You'd have thought the CR would have known that from the outset!) It had 3 viaducts which I believe were used for bombing target practice in WW2.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Is that the line that never opened because the Taff Vale wouldn't allow coal trains to use the junction at the top end?

The majority of the line did open, up as far as Rhydfelin halt. There was a viaduct leading to the junction with the Taff Vale, at Rhydfelin, but it was only used once, on opening day.

The Cardiff Railway were trying to copy the Barry Railway and failed. The best they managed was when Nantgarw Colliery opened next to their tracks.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
The closest parallel I can think of in North America is when the Denver & Rio Grande and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe had a "war" between armed work gangs over possession of Raton Pass and the Royal Gorge Route in Colorado. The Santa Fe got Raton Pass and became a transcontinental line, traditionally the longest in the US. The Rio Grande got the Royal Gorge Route and turned into a Colorado mineral hauler and bridge route.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Pontivillian:
The Cardiff Railway were trying to copy the Barry Railway and failed. The best they managed was when Nantgarw Colliery opened next to their tracks.

For the benefit of those for whom this remark is just a little too obscure, the Barry Railway were unusual in South Wales in that they were the same company that owned the docks to which the trains ran. Previous to the Barry system opening, all the railway companies had run trains down to docks that were owned by other companies and therefore had to share their profits with the docks companies. Obviously, the Barry Railway and Docks Company kept all of its profits in house, a situation reflected in its dividends on Ordinary Shares which, IIRC were never less than 10% throughout its independant existence.

The Bute Docks Company (ie, Cardiff Docks) recognised that here was a business model that they could use ~ if they conveyed the coal on their own trains ... So they built a railway line from Heath Junction on the Rhymney Railway and attempted to tap into the Rhondda coal being transported down the Taff Vale Railway to Cardiff Docks at Rhydfelin by lifting the traffic from the Taff Vale. Naturally enough, the Taff Vale were not keen on this idea and managed to block any traffic leaving their system to enter the Cardiff Railway by a legal technicality (which I believe was down to careless drafting of the Cardiff Railway's Act of Parliament). Thus the Cardiff Railway's attempt to emulate the Barry Railway failed.

It was not the only example. The Alexandra and Newport Docks and Railway Company (also known as the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway) attempted something of a similar sort as did (IIRC) the Port Talbot Railway. The P,C&N were impressive if only for their spectacular cheek. They actually owned very little railway line, less rolling stock and no locomotives ~ they got other people to do everything for them. Which probably explains why the venture did not turn in the huge profits they were expecting.

As for the Port Talbot Railway ~ well, had you even heard of them before you read this post? Says it all, really.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
For the sake of accuracy, Lord P. just stopped by my desk and pointed out that the Barry Railway dividends actually dropped to 6% at one point, but that there was hell to pay at the share-holders' meeting, whereafter dividends never again dropped below 9%.

So now we know. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
A propos an earlier post, according to the Wikipedia entry on the line from Carmarthen to Aber, the Manchester and Milford also included a section of line that never really opened, from Llanidloes to Llangurig, which was to have connected to the rest of the line with a line over Plynlimon - or more likely, under, but never did.

According to the entry, it received one train.

Which is even more remarkable than the two stations between Towcester and Olney, which received passenger trains for four months in 1892-3, although that line did continue to carry freight.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Down here in Suffolk we have the erstwhile Mid-Suffolk railway's branch to Debenham - built (but not finished) in 1906 or thereabouts, a few goods trains did run but the line was never officially opened. Track was lifted by 1912.

Strangely, this branch has left one of the few tangible remains of the "Middy" in the shape of some bridge abuments a couple of miles north of Debenham on the road to Eye.

There has been a recreation of the railway on the site of Brockford station - well worth a visit and the only full-size steam railway in the county. (The East Anglian Railway Museum is just over the border in Essex).
 
Posted by Metapelagius (# 9453) on :
 
The Manchester and Milford - a prize example of Victorian exuberant ambition that got no nearer to Milford Haven than Carmarthen, no nearer to Manchester than Penpontbren, with a large gap between the two blocked by the Welsh massif central...

Another short lived line that actually did get some use but is now long forgotten is the Great Chesterford and Newmarket Railway - effectively a 'Cambridge by-pass' branching off the Great Eastern main line . Opened in 1848, much of it closed in 1851 when an alternative line to Cambridge was completed - a more useful destination for passengers from Newmarket.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Another forgotten line in East Anglia is that what eventually became the M&GN originally ran from Fakenham into King's Lynn itself instead of to South Lynn.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
There are a number of American airports linked to central cities by rail. O'Hare and Midway Airports in Chicago are linked by the Chicago Transit Authority subway/elevated cars. San Francisco International is linked to downtown San Francisco through the BART system. Atlanta Airport is linked via the MARTA system. Philadelphia International Airport is linked via the SEPTA system. (I am sure that I am missing some, but all of these links have terminals within the airport, as opposed to a terminal requiring a bus/shuttle train connection, as is the case with JFK and the Airtrain in New York, which does not go directly to Manhattan.)
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Airlink in Newark, NJ links Amtrak with Newark International Airport -- but why did they make the cars so tiny? At least JFK's Airlink did it right.

One of my favorites is getting to Washington's Reagan International via the Metro. It stops almost right in the terminal itself!
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
Glasgow Prestwick - almost a time-warp from the 60s with very few flights - nevertheless has a railway station of its own.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Last night, too late for me to post, I got a letter from my aunt by email. She mentioned construction work on her trip to Pretoria. She also happened to mention it was for the Guatrain and I thought people on this thread might be interested.

Jengie
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Thanks Jengie. That's interesting.

Unlike the rest of the South African system, it appears to be standard gauge.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Amanda: Thanks for reminding us about the Metro line to Reagan National. Very convenient.

There is talk of extending the Green Line in Los Angeles to LAX. Unfortunately, when the line was built in the 1990s, it ended short of the airport, requiring a shuttle bus. That also was true of the Blue Line of the CTA, which was stopped a few miles short of O'Hare for years. I think that the Taxi lobby may have been behind that. It is a wonderful alternative to the Kennedy Expressway.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
They are trying to get a rail link to Toronto Pearson from Union Station, the main issue is getting trough the congested West Toronto Junction. That diamond is being refitted into a Flying Junction. CP's main line will go over GO Transit's Weston Subdivision.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LA Dave:
There is talk of extending the Green Line in Los Angeles to LAX. Unfortunately, when the line was built in the 1990s, it ended short of the airport, requiring a shuttle bus.

One could almost start a thread of its own about mass transit projects being stopped short of the airport. In NY, plans were drawn to extend the N subway line from its terminus at Ditmars Boulevard out to La Guardia Airport -- a distance of maybe 7 or 8 miles -- but the residents of the area vigorously opposed it and it was never done.

[ 10. February 2010, 19:09: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Coming back from church today, we saw a special being double-headed by a couple of restored diesels - a Class 44 and a Class 45. The carriages seemed to be Southern Aurora stock, built for the standard gauge connection to Melbourne in 1962.

Both diesels are Australian made, using Alco motors, with a Co-Co wheel arrangement. The Class 44, introduce in 1957, looked rather like an early GM diesel, but with a blunter nose. It used GE electrics. The Class 45 was introduced in mid 1962. It, too, used an Alco motor, but had AEC electrics. The estyle was what I understand US enthusiasts would call a cab body.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Very nice, too.

Here in Britain the class 44 and 45 are vintage "Peak" class diesels, which I used to see every day on my way to school on the Midland mainline.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
This might be of interest to those who have access to the BBC iPlayer online:

"Snowdrift at Bleat Gill":
quote:
Produced in 1955 and part of the British Transport Films collection, this short film follows the heroic actions of railway workers who rescue a snowbound train in the north Pennines.
ETA: Available until 8.09pm, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

[ 14. February 2010, 16:26: Message edited by: Wesley J ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
One of the highlights of the British Transport film unit.

The line is long closed, of course - shame!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Coming back from church today, we saw a special being double-headed by a couple of restored diesels - a Class 44 and a Class 45. The carriages seemed to be Southern Aurora stock, built for the standard gauge connection to Melbourne in 1962.

Both diesels are Australian made, using Alco motors, with a Co-Co wheel arrangement. The Class 44, introduce in 1957, looked rather like an early GM diesel, but with a blunter nose. It used GE electrics. The Class 45 was introduced in mid 1962. It, too, used an Alco motor, but had AEC electrics. The estyle was what I understand US enthusiasts would call a cab body.

Looks like a GM! Looks like a GM! [Disappointed]

No, no, no, with that blunt nose and flush-mounted headlight, it most definitely looks like an ALCO PA unit.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Mild interjection to say that the Class 44s were, in fact, ALCO-design "World Units" based on the freight version,the FA . The nose is too snub to be a PA.

Just establishing my non-steam geekdom.

And, oddly enough, the British Type 44s had a nose that was not that far from the same shape.

[ 14. February 2010, 20:58: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
The 42 Class were GM based.

Definitely not the PA unit shown on:

link

and also looks a bit different to the FA unit I've been able to trace - the headlamp is not the same, and the corners of the bonnet look more rounded. Another difference is the wheel arrangement. The 44 class were Co-Co's whereas as far as I can pick up, the PAs aere A1A-A1A. Can't get any details for the FA.

The bonnet is a lot shorter than the UK Class 44, and of course, the NSW had only 1 bonnet.

[Fixed link-hope that's the page you wanted!]

[ 15. February 2010, 00:29: Message edited by: jedijudy ]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Sorry, I must have misread Wikipedia
which says :

quote:
ALCO's "World Locomotive" the DL500 (introduced in 1953) originated as a newly designed demonstrator based on the FA-2.
And the Australian manufacturer and various railfan sites asy the same thing.

I daresay the actual metal body-stampings weren't precisely identical to US production machines. The buffers do kind of get in the way!

And my comment on the British type 44/45 was just a passing resemblance, not an exact twinship. You can hardly say that they were modelled after the EMD slant-nose!
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Now had time (amongst earning an honest living) to find this on Wiki:

Variants of the ALCO "World Locomotive" saw service in Australia where it was built under licence by A.E. Goodwin Ltd. A two cab design went into service on the standard gauge New South Wales Government Railways as the 44 class,[3] and both a single cab and double cab design went into service on the 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge South Australian Railways as the 930 class.[4]

But the 44 has a different wheel arrangement to both the FA and the PA. The 2 cabs did not mean 2 bonnets. The B end was bluff.

The 42 has the GM EMD slant nose, and was very stylish. The 44s seemed to see rather more use though. By the time of the 422 and 442 classes, the bodies look the same - a semi-French style, with slantback windows for sun shelter. I appreciated your comments about the UK 44 and (no doubt) the 45 class as well. To an untutored eye, they are identical.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
This might be of interest to those who have access to the BBC iPlayer online:

"Snowdrift at Bleat Gill":
quote:
Produced in 1955 and part of the British Transport Films collection, this short film follows the heroic actions of railway workers who rescue a snowbound train in the north Pennines.
ETA: Available until 8.09pm, Wednesday, 17 February 2010
That was quite splendid, especially seeing the snowplough at work. I was watching a Ivo Peters video today, it was also splendid as it was looking at the Narrow Gauge railways I know and love.
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
Yes, our Canadian Alco enthusiasts, SPK and HB, are correct about the Class 44 being Alco derived. For me, it was the windshield framing, identical to the Alco PA and FA units.

And, speaking of trains stranded in snow, I doubt that British Rail ever had a job as tough as did the Southern Pacific in extracting the passenger train City of San Francisco from a Sierra Nevada blizzard in January 1952.

The train was trapped for six days in the Donner Pass. For those non-Californians who may not know the story, the Pass is named for the Donner Party, which had the misfortune to spend part of the winter there. When the food ran out, members of the party had to partake of their fellows.

Fortunately, the passengers on the City of San Francisco were rescued before they had to resort to cannibalism.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
There's never been any doubt that the 44s were Alco based, but there was rather more local design content than in some other places. Wheel arangement is one example.

The NSW Govt Railways and its successor, the State Rail Authority, for many years ran parallel classes based on GM and Alco - later MLW - designs. This policy spread the available work over local manufacturers, located in different areas. Kept the owners and the unions happy. The classes could run in multiple, regardless of original design, although this was uncommon practice. Only the electric locos, and of course the diesel-hydraulic shunters, were unable to do so.

In my last post, I should have said that the class 44 and 45 UK locos appeared identical to my untutored eye, to make my meaning less ambiguous.
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
...
Just establishing my non-steam geekdom.

And, oddly enough, the British Type 44s had a nose that was not that far from the same shape.

I can do non-steam too!

The British Class 44s were the original ‘Peaks’, all 10 being named after British mountains. I never saw them when still owned by British Rail, but have seen one or two as preserved locos. The numerous 45s were also referred to as ‘Peaks’, and so were the 46s. These latter were 56 diesel locos allocated to Gateshead (nr. Newcastle) and Plymouth Laira, and in their heyday were for the North East – South West express passenger services, though I also remember them from Sunderland station when they worked the ‘Brian Mills Catalogue’ parcels trains (sometimes it would be a ‘45’ or even a Class ‘40’). Classes 40, 44, 45 & 46 were all of the 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
I'm just about old enough to remember Peaks rushing through Northfield while I was watching with my gradpa. They were soon replaced by 47s and 50s though.

I do love being able to see them at preserved lines though. My mother can't understand why I want to go to diesel-only gala events, but for me those were the trains of my youth! I have the same connection to "tractors", "choppers", "peaks" and "hoovers" as my dad has to "lizzies", "jubes" and "streaks" [Smile]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Yes, the original Peaks were numbered in the D1 series. Both sets of Peaks in the early years were linked with the Midland Division.

The 40s were numbered in the D200 series. I saw a brand new D201 go through Peterborough light on its first journey to London in April 1957. Before it was electrified, they were used quite a lot on the Western Division, as was the original blue Deltic, which had quite different shaped noses from the later East Coast ones.

One thing that might surprise US shipmates, is that apart from shunters and 20s, UK practice has usually been to have cabs at both ends. The system just is not designed round single ended diesels that have to be turned, and slave motor units that can't be drive at all.

I'm really a steam person myself, but does anyone else remember the Fell engine?

The line in the snow clearing film had a magnificent spindly iron bridge high up in the Pennines, which sadly I never saw in the flesh, only in picture.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Why the change since steam engines were single-ended?
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Making locos double-ended got rid of the need for all those turntables and the running of light engines out to wyes, and sped up the turnaround of trains in stub-end stations.

Even in Canada, most freight lash-ups are run with a cab at each end of the group. VIA is almost the only operation you see running elephant-style, and that is because a) the runs are so long, and the second unit may have to be placed as lead unit somewhere in between the terminals (since the units are so decrepit) and b) the whole train, loco and all, is run around a loop (Halifax) or wye (Vancouver) to go back again.

Sorry, forgot to add that Bulleid's Leader class were built double-ended for the above reasons - getting rid of the tender allowed for quick reversals - not that the leaders were actually much good at running in the first place!

[ 16. February 2010, 19:55: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Metapelagius (# 9453) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Why the change since steam engines were single-ended?

Except for the ones which aren't .....
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
The line in the snow clearing film had a magnificent spindly iron bridge high up in the Pennines, which sadly I never saw in the flesh, only in picture.

Do you mean Belah viaduct? I have a picture of it in front of me! Sadly it was demolished after closure of the line. Have you seen Meldon Viaduct near Okehampton, it is quite similar.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Not to mention Crumlin, which must be somewhere near yourself.

Another one I'd like to have seen - though smaller it was in a very fine setting - was at Staithes in north Yorkshire.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Making locos double-ended got rid of the need for all those turntables and the running of light engines out to wyes, and sped up the turnaround of trains in stub-end stations.

Even in Canada, most freight lash-ups are run with a cab at each end of the group. VIA is almost the only operation you see running elephant-style, and that is because a) the runs are so long, and the second unit may have to be placed as lead unit somewhere in between the terminals (since the units are so decrepit) and b) the whole train, loco and all, is run around a loop (Halifax) or wye (Vancouver) to go back again.

Sorry, forgot to add that Bulleid's Leader class were built double-ended for the above reasons - getting rid of the tender allowed for quick reversals - not that the leaders were actually much good at running in the first place!

Here in the Corridor we now get GE Genesis units mostly.
 
Posted by Lord Pontivillian (# 14308) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Not to mention Crumlin, which must be somewhere near yourself.

Aye. I used to go under where it should be, when I was in college. At least Hengoed viaduct still stands, sadly it doesn't carry trains unlike the one below my house. It must have been amazing crossing the valley on Crumlin Viaduct [Frown]
 
Posted by LA Dave (# 1397) on :
 
SPK: On Amtrak, the practice in some areas has been to use a de-engined FP40 at one end of the train with active controls to the locomotive. This provides the crew with better protection in the event of a crash (as compared to a crew cab in a passenger car). In addition, the FP40 has room for baggage.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I've sometimes wondered what the speed limit was on Crumlin and whether it swayed when trains went over it. I think it had a passenger service until somewhere around 1964.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Going back (briefly) to the discussion of mixed-gauge track, I offer this somewhat overloaded train in Pakistan.

Is the wider gauge "standard" or 5'3" im Pakistan?
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
[...] in Pakistan. [...]

Bangladesh, Sir. Says so if you scroll down. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
OK, wrong side of subcontunent.

Now, 4'8.5" or 5'3" ?

And, tangentially, why was 5'3 chosen anywhere? Doesn't seem to offer any useful advantage over standard gauge.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Most Subcontinental railways are Broad Gauge, 5' 6". Wiki says this was chosen in the 1800s as it was thought better for stability in monsoon winds. As the rail system on the subcontinent doesn't interchange with any standard gauge lines, this isn't an issue.

The inner tracks are not Standard Gauge but Metre Gauge, the most common narrow gauge. Again the subcontinent has lots of these lines, built on the cheap during the Raj. In India itself Indian Railways has had a policy of converting metre-gauge lines to broad gauge for years.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
OK, so how did the railways of India/Pakistan/BD come to be metre gauge instead of 3'6", which was the Empire standard for narrow gauge in all sorts of places, particularly Africa (while giving the obligatory nod to Newfoundland and the Yukon).
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Double-posting to add that the expereince in Nfld. was that a train COULD be blown off the track by serious winds. There was actually a railway man stationed at, I believe, Gaff Topsails, with orders to stop all trains if the wind blew at more than a specified speed in that area.

And, no, the winds were not related to the monsoon! Storms coming in off the North Atlantic were quite adequate for the destruction of trains, thankewverymuch.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
I believe that cost was an overriding factor in choosing a gauge, and Metre Gauge was cheaper than Cape Gauge.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Indeed trains can be caught by serious winds. As Scotland's second greatest poet immortally wrote.

"Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879.
Which will be remembered for a very long time."

I have heard that the bridge at Staithes (see above) had an anemometer, and services would be suspended if the wind got to powerful.
 
Posted by Shubenacadie (# 5796) on :
 
According to 'Narrow Gauge Steam' by P.J.G. Ransom, the committee set up in 1870 to advise on the gauge of secondary lines in India was divided between the merits of 3'6'' and 2'9'', so the Viceroy chose 3'3'' as a compromise, and then 'since the introduction of the metric system to India was supposedly in prospect' changed it to the almost identical 1 metre. A quick glance at the rest of the book suggests that 3'6'' wasn't yet an established standard at that time (and also that the metre gauge was established in East Africa in the 1890s so that Indian equipment could be used).

As for 5'3'', 'The Victorian Railway and How it Evolved', by the same author, quotes the Board of Trade inspector who recommended it as saying that he regarded Brunel and the Stephensons as too committed to their favoured gauges, and that the other engineers that he consulted favoured 5' to 5'6'' ('for the convenience of the machinery... or for speed or safety'). I think an Irish engineer may have been responsible for the use of 5'3'' in Australia.

I seem to remember reading that the 'Indian' gauge has now reached its first contact with the standard-gauge world, with the opening of a link between the Pakistani and Iranian systems in the past few years. (I wonder if they'll ever link up with China -- a trans-Himalayan railway would be an interesting feat of engineering, although I suspect there might be too much tunnelling for it to be a very scenic journey).
 
Posted by daviddrinkell (# 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Indeed trains can be caught by serious winds. As Scotland's second greatest poet immortally wrote.

"Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879.
Which will be remembered for a very long time."

I have heard that the bridge at Staithes (see above) had an anemometer, and services would be suspended if the wind got to powerful.

I don't know how widely the term 'wreckhouse wind' is used, but Wreckhouse is a place in Western Newfoundland that is prone to high winds. In the days of the Newfoundland Railway, the conductors used to consult a local farmer who apparently had something of a sixth sense when it came to forecasting foul weather. One day, the conductor neglected to consult the Oracle...and the train was blown off the line.

[ 19. February 2010, 03:01: Message edited by: daviddrinkell ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
There was also the incident at Owencarrow on the Irish narrow gauge, when a train was blown off the rails as it crossed a viaduct. One of the carriages ended up upside down on the valley floor, something like thirty feet below rail level. The episode is recorded in the same chapter of "Red for Danger" by LTC Rolt as the Tay Bridge disaster.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Up in the North-East of England I believe there were a number of turntables with walls (usually made of sleepers) around them. These were in place because the wind could get hold of a locomotive nicely balanced on the turntable and spin the thing!
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
The most famous was that at Hawes Junction, now known as ‘Garsdale’ on the Settle-Carlisle line, where the engine that had come through on the Wensleydale branch from Northallerton (NER) or Hawes (MR) was turned. A North Eastern BTP 0-4-4 tank engine was being turned one very windy day (think it was late 19th century), and in this exposed location the wind caught it and spun it round at high speed! So a curtain of old sleepers was put round the ‘table to stop it happening again.

The turntable in question was saved by the K&WVR and moved into the old Keighley turntable pit some years ago. Alas it has no wall of sleepers around it now! I will go past it this evening on my first train home.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
It wouldn't need even to have been spinning very fast. Could any of us manage to stop a turntable with an engine on it, that had even begun to have trundle round fairly slowly?

Turntables had to be well balanced. Although some were driven by being connected to the engine's vacuum pump, quite a lot were pushed round by hand. Some even had little brick ridges round the edge of the pit to push against with the feet.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Double-posting to add that the expereince in Nfld. was that a train COULD be blown off the track by serious winds. [...]

Happens in Europe too, as shown here: Train blown off track in Switzerland.

From what I gather, it was in a valley known for, what they call, occasional 'rotating winds', whatever that may be. Luckily, the train was empty at the time and the driver in the leading motor coach, which, as heavier, remained on the track (1 metre narrow gauge).

On a funnier or just plain weird note, I've recently stumbled across some rather strange images, here and here. There appears to be a 2010 Geneva International Circus Festival, and so they redesigned one of the ICN intercity tilting trains; this particular unit seems to be named 'Grock', after an apparently famous Swiss clown [Paranoid] , and looks slightly less threatening here (dunno why the pic's got an 'https' URL, really.)

I think they should've given it a thorough cleaning before showing it off - and not just the snout. But perhaps their sense of humour has its limits. Literally.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
My MacAfee gave me a security warning when I tried to click in on your last link.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Could it be that the site hasn't got a valid https security certificate? Sorry about this - I'm investigating. [Confused]

[ 20. February 2010, 14:25: Message edited by: Wesley J ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
The faces look like something from the Rev Awdry, 'Grock the Swiss Engine.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Speaking of Rev. Awdry, he did write a story where Gordon got blown around on the the Turntable. [Smile]
 
Posted by PD (# 12436) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Replying to Enoch:

Skipton to Colne (active pressure group working to reinstate this: it's a comparatively short stretch of line but a vital link between Yorkshire and East Lancashire)

The Burscough curves linking Southport-Wigan to Ormskirk-Preston: a serious proposal has been made but how soon if ever it might go ahead is the question.

The Liverpool -Edge Hill to Bootle line via Tue Brook and Walton: at present carries freight traffic to the docks but could also be a valuable urban commuter line. It would be a better use of resources than the proposed (but still clinging-on-for-life) Merseytram scheme.

Two Yorkshire towns which could be reconnected to the rail system are Otley and Ripon. I'm not sure how much infrastructure survives in either case, but if either of them were in the South East they would never have lost their trains.

The line from Starbeck to Ripon was considered a feasible reopening in the late-1980s when I lived in Ripon. My list of idiotic closures would be a follows:

Oxford-Cambridge
Carlisle-Hawick-Edinburgh
Peterboro-Boston-Grimsby
Harrogate-Ripon-Northallerton
Beverley-York
Sheffield-Banbury via the GCR
The LSWR line between Plymouth and Exeter
Carmarthen - Aberystwyth
Malton-Pickering-Whitby or Scarborough-Whitby

PD
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
I told you, SPK, those Brits don't realise what they're talking about!

Malton - Pickering - Whitby makes quite good sense for GO trains, if they'd just extend it westward to Pearson.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Presumably they'd have to build a tunnel under the North Sea, join it to railways in Europe and ultimately the Trans-Siberian. But what happens between Vladivostock and Vancouver?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
I know this is an unpopular view, but I've never been convinced by the claims of the Great Central London extension. It was a splendid achievement, but it was the last main line to be built, it didn't go through any much after Leicester, and Nottingham and Leicester had perfectly good lines already. The part of the Great Central that there's a better claim for is the former electrified route over Woodhead. I would add the line round east Lincolnshire to the list, and possibly March to Sleaford as well.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Baptist Trainfan: If you check the map of Ontario, you will see that there is an almost straight line between the old Toronto airport at Malton, and the towns (in that order) of Pickering and Whitby. Joining them by a commuter-rail line would make a certain amount of sense, and extending that line across northern Toronto to Pearson International Airport would make a lot more sense.

Not that it's gonna happen.

Just pointing out that name-lists can have their confusions, thanks to those Empire-builders a cenury-and-a-bit ago.

Sorry, forgot to add that Scarborough-Whitby exists already.

[ 22. February 2010, 15:10: Message edited by: Horseman Bree ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Well, I guessed something like that. But I thought it was more fun to start at Whitby (England).
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Ah, the North Toronto Line. [Smile]

Most GO lines except the Lakeshore East and Georgetown Lines run on CN tracks, which CN doesn't use much as they prefer to route their trains around Toronto rather than taking them down to the lake. GO has its own tracks east of Pickering as that's CN's Grand Trunk mainline to Montreal and the Maritimes. The Georgetown line runs on CP.

CP's mainline, OTOH runs through the middle of Toronto. It's still a heavy freight line. Before they agreed to use Union Station, they built North Toronto Station on Yonge St. near Summerhill.

The station is currently the flagship store for the LCBO, the provincial liquor monopoly. GO has had plans to turn the station back into a real station since the 1980's and the latest provincial transit plan has included this option.

Besides, it would be logical link in a Pickering Airport - Pearson rail line.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
ISTM there was some group or other which had a synod at Whitby as a foundational event. Not sure that starting at Whitby is a Good Idea!
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Does that explain British train services, they decided they were all to be done on the Italian model irc.

Jengie
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
That precedent would leave you the choice of the Irish or the Italian style!
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Does that mean that if the trains run on time it's a fascist takeover?
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Does that explain British train services, they decided they were all to be done on the Italian model irc.

Jengie

And Cuthbert stood forth at the Synod and said “The holy Gauge shall be 5’3”, or into the western hills around Gefrin in can be 3 foot, the narrow gauge that leads to life. Thus was always the permanent way of the Saints”.

And Wilfrid rose and cried “No! The North Eastern shall be only 4 feet and eight-and-a half inches, for ‘tis the measure between the wheels of the chariots of Rome. Ye shall not have the unclean abomination of 5’3”, let alone the three foot!”

And Oswiu sat in doom and he said “I will have one gauge in Deira and Bernice, and shall it be the gauge of Rome, as I foretell that a Saint George of Wylam shall want it thus, and a Frankish man, Isambard, shall not overcome with his seven-foot iron roads, thought the West Saxons heed his folly for a while”.

Thus all across Northumbria and beyond even into the land of the Mercians did the Roman gauge prevail.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Thus it was, as it ever shall be, that those who come from the centre of power shall have their way, speaking the immortal words

"This is the way WE have always done it".
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Alaric

Magnificent! [Killing me] [Overused]
 
Posted by Aethelstan (# 3502) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Thus it was, as it ever shall be, that those who come from the centre of power shall have their way, speaking the immortal words

"This is the way WE have always done it".

- Yeah, this is me right: my train is 5' 3" gauge. And this is them: you can't run it cos our railway is 4' 8½" gauge.

- No way!

- Fo sho, blud.

- That is like massively disrespectful of your wheelsets.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
But ... according to Wikipedia, the Spanish Alvia trains find change of gauge no restriction:

quote:
There are also other series of trains that are considered high speed, but don't run under the AVE name. They run under the brand Alvia, and are variable gauge trains. They can run on High speed lines at a maximum of 250 km/h (155 mph), and can also change between standard and Iberian gauge lines without stopping.
Does anyone know anything about these? It's quite different to changing the bogies/wheelsets at the French/Spanish border, which used to be done (and may still be done) with sleeping cars. (Doesn't sound very restful).
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
They're Talgo trains. The wheels are not joined with an axle across the car floor. The train slows to 10 mph on a special section of track which runs for a 1/4 mile, and it narrows/broadens from Standard to Spanish gauge and vice versa.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
Thus spake Alaric:

quote:
Thus all across Northumbria and beyond even into the land of the Mercians did the Roman gauge prevail.
Did this refer to the English tribe or was it that then-unknown trans-pondine group known as 'Mericans ?
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Tribe? Tribe! The Kingdom of the Marc was composed of many tribes: the Hwicce, the Magonsætan, the Peocsætan, the Middle Angles, etc. What are these uncouth ‘Mericans’ of which you speak?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
There are the Alcoites, the Baldwinians and the Limaens, for a start ... not forgetting the Electromodivs in more modern times.
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Not to mention the Pennsiites, who didn't conquer other tribes but were content simply to keep their own territory and multiply.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
And the sad case of the Milwaukeians, who simply rolled over onto their backs, stuck their legs in the air and died. Should never have de-electrified.
 
Posted by Horseman Bree (# 5290) on :
 
There are other tribes beyond the Great Ocean, who can scarce countenance that there are Real Railways with loading gauges larger than not-quite-big-enough.

And these tribes are divided by their loyalties to their temples, whether those temples are in the form of great cavernous trainsheds named after Saints or Bears or in the form of mystical places from whence came brass-bound smoke-breathers. The differences between the Swindonites and the denizens of Crewe and Derby are relatively minor, but the Doncasterites, and the factions grouped around Ashford, Eastleigh and Brighton are not in communion with others - some have even gone heretic with live rails that lie near the ground!

And then there are the Tractors, Whistlers and Hoovers, not to mention the Hymeks and other hydraulics, in confrontation with the 66&67ers.

All of whom rarely speak to the MU, whether they be of the D or E faction.

None of which is a language to be understanded of the people on other continents!
 
Posted by Sober Preacher's Kid (# 12699) on :
 
Whereas the various tribes on this continent show a greater proclivity to be in Union with one another, frequently forming a Terminal Company to be neutral keepers of the sacred Temple for this purpose.

Though the tribes of Chicago were in but imperfect communion with one another, being divided between the Dearborn Use and the Union Use, with some wayward folk keeping to the LaSalle ways and the Central Ways, which pleased nobody.

Manhattan was the fiercest disagreement of all, there being a firm divide between the Grand Central path and the Pennsylvania tribe. Never the two shall meet, even in their electrification could they not agree on a common tongue. Though it is the highest law in Manhattan that fumes not be emitted from locomotives. The FL9 adheres to letter of this law, though often not the spirit, it being compromise and often deviates from orthodox doctrine in operation.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Horseman Bree , surely this practice

quote:
some have even gone heretic with live rails that lie near the ground!
is condemned in the highest wrtitings as an abomination. Are not people who engage in such practices worse than heretics?

[ 24. February 2010, 20:27: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
Nay, for their current be clear and direct, rather than pusinallimously alternating, and their catenary never falleth.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on