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Andrew last won the day on August 2

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  1. Moving away from the Southern Region... and from much further afield is this DB Class 216 diesel: Josh's sound fitted Class 66 looked and sounded good but his intermodal wagons were a bit of a handful to keep on my erratic track: Finally, in the absence of any conductor rails to clean, it was time for a bit of weedkilling:
  2. Two lovely videos - a real summer feeling. Great to see those grimy locos, esp the 56 and 37. It must take you a while to put all those wagons onto the track. And the flowers are superb, a fine show.
  3. Once you're home again Tony, everything will look better and you'll have some great ideas for the railway. Get well, and I hope they let you home very soon. Here's an old Lima NSWGR loco especially for you:
  4. That looks like a great railway, with quite a long run. Well done for getting all that track laid. You'll have to watch out that the plants don't grow up and start to grab the trains...
  5. Continuing with the Southern theme from Geoff and Josh's visit, here's a Class 73 on what looks almost like a Gatwick Express: Never mind about the absence of a conductor rail. After which we move to the Uckfield branch where this Turbostar, having left Victoria far behind, cruises through the Kent countryside on the single track section near Cowden:
  6. Back on the DGR It's spot the difference time: OK, the real thing was running with black nameplates that day, whereas the model has red ones. And the Peco track doesn't look anything like real track.
  7. A great day out Lots of fun today at the Bluebell Railway's "Road meets Rail" working steam festival deep in the Sussex countryside on a scorching hot day at Horsted Keynes station (and that's not me covered in coal dust on a traction engine):
  8. Update Geoff and Josh came over yesterday, as usual bringing a whole range of exciting models to run. Here by way of a foretaste is a shot of Josh's very detailed (and high quality sound fitted) "Clan Line" on one of the Surrey Hills excusions that are once again coming through Dorking every few weeks:
  9. Hello Tony, I see from your message on Thomas's thread that you are still in hospital. I'm very sorry to hear that. Of course all of us here send you our very best wishes and hope the doctors will let you go soon. I'm sure you will get better much quicker once you are home again. So all the best to you - and keep on moving ahead! Andrew
  10. Locomotive failures Robert came to visit this week with a couple of new engines, the first (continuing with our theme of 0-4-0s) was a B4 LSWR shunter. She was a good-looking lady as these photos of her shunting at Weymouth Docks show. Sadly, despite being almost straight out of the box her performance was abyssmal and she will soon be wending her way back to Dapol's agents for repair or replacement. Staying with the Southern, we then ran resident Hornby West Country Ottery St Mary, seen here in a traditional pose on Foxdale Bank: But it wasn't her day either, as the second axle on the front bogie kept derailing. Closer inspection showed that the metal tyre had separated from the plastic wheel insert: so that probably needs careful application of superglue. Last up here is tender-drive A4 Bittern, again by Hornby. She ran very well but also had minor problems with one front bogie axle on which the plastic inserts seemed to have difficulty remaining in true alignment, although this didn't affect the ability to stay on the track. First photo shows her with an express on the East Coast Main Line near Peterborough: After that we submitted to the inevitability of the implausible fixed headboard sticker and ran her on the Tyne-Tees Pullman, although in some photos she seems to have wandered off the ECML into the wilds of County Durham or beyond: In the interests of accuracy, it's only fair to point out that the tender drive didn't actually have sufficient adhesion to haul nine sluggish coaches all the way round the layout.
  11. A glimpse of Dorking limeworks Operating pictures of the standard gauge vertical boilered "Coffee Pot" engine that arrived at Betchworth near Dorking in 1871 are few and far between, so we are fortunate to have these which have just come to light, courtesy of Julian. The engine was built on Teesside by Head Wrightson and spent the first 80 years earning its keep with the Dorking Greystone Lime Company Ltd. It later found its way back to the North East where it has been lovingly restored at Beamish, the venue for celebrating its 150th birthday this year. See: http://beamishtransportonline.co.uk/2009/01/1871-coffee-pot-no-1-rebuild/ The second photo suggests that the Greystone company was probably very particular about buying its coal from a reputable source, and on this occasion the fuel seems to have been delivered along the North Downs line from Reading by a suitably gleaming GW Pannier tank engine. The Coffee Pot driver has probably gone off for a quick ciggy while the Pannier pops the coal wagon into the exchange siding. Both crews would be hoping the foreman is having lunch so they can then chat in the sun for a bit. Happy Birthday dear Coffee Pot!
  12. Goodness. Yes, Tony is a mainstay contributor here, and his updates habve been missed. So all good wishes to him for a quick and full recovery.
  13. Today's activity Better to take the photos in historical order, although there's a story about the C21st images below. So, we begin in the 1950s with the Jubilee taking its train through some idyllic parts of northern England in high summer. Listen to the birdsong! First, passing Throstlebeck Sidings Crossing Foxdale Bank Coasting across the girder bridge and romping down Bamboo Curtain Straight Moving on, the twentyfirst century proved to be most frustrating as the Bachmann intermodal wagons are particularly demanding in terms of track quality. The aged and warped timber which constitutes the DGR trackbed really is not to their liking. It proved impossible to get the rake to do anything like a complete circuit of the line without derailments left, right and centre. There seems to be very little play on the bogies, so any vertical twisting of the track just sees several bogies bouncing along on the sleepers. Having tried things in both directions, eventually I gave up trying to run the intermodal train and just took photos of it. At least they don't indicate the extent of the aggrevation. Then, for consolation, out came the Jubilee and nine coaches - which somehow seem to ride much more successfully than those container flats - so the day provided some enjoyment after all. We start with the Class 66 making an adjustment to the rake at Throstlebeck international container depot: Then heading away down Bamboo Curtain Straight towards the coast Powering across Foxdale Bank and rattling the furniture in Foxdale Carr Hall and crossing the Northern Viaduct (really must add those fiddly hoses onto the front) Having reached the port, the loco duly retraces its steps with another train of containers for Throstlebeck Last seen returning across Foxdale Bank, soon to be home:
  14. All safe in New Zealand (the models, that is) A very helpful reply from Alan at the New Zealand Model Railway Guild explains that the locomotives and rolling stock models have survived and were sold to the NZ Government Railways by Frank Roberts in the 1950s. The models are now in the possession of Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand and appear on exhibition from time to time. He confirms that the models are G gauge (which in the 1930s would presumably have been called gauge 1). Given NZ's 3'6" track, the scale is 1:24. The Wikipedia page I've found on Frank Roberts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Roberts_(model_maker) has a link to the NZ museum where there are photographs of the models which show their superb detail. https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/631 Frank lived from 1882 to 1963. A book called Vintage steam: stories by Frank Roberts, edited by Gordon Troup was published in 1967. Then a book by Frank Roberts' daughter was published in 1976, covering his life, his workmanship and love of steam power and the making of the garden railway with the aid of his brother, George and friend, Bill Stewart. It's good that this pioneer of garden railways has a place in history.
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