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Posts posted by Andrew

  1. Spring Greens

    After a month of cold and then wet, our weather hasn't been great until very recently.  So I needed to seize the moment in today's sunshine and decided it felt like a day for running Southern Region branch line trains, using the N Class and the BR Standard 2-6-4 tank.  Here are some of my many photos.




































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  2. Great video, Mick.  The layout has real atmosphere and all the details look just right.  Who said you can't run full-length trains indoors (me perhaps!)? 

    Nice to see all those EWS liveried 66s, and I love the way the signal aspect changes a few moments after the loco has passed it.  Well done.

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  3. Thomas and the snow

    Annie and Clarabel were delighted to see the snow, but Thomas wasn't so sure.  "I don't think we'll be able to get out of the carriage sidings" he said.




    Even when they turned round to face the other way, the enormous depth of snow defeated them:




    "If we try to move from here, we'll just get stuck!" said Thomas.




    Annie and Clarabel were very sad.  "Isn't there anything you can do, Thomas?" they said.

    So Thomas jumped everyone across to another track, but still the snow was too deep to risk.




    "It's no good" said Thomas.  "There's too much snow today.  We'll just have to stay at home."  So he blew hot steam into Annie and Clarabel's pipes to keep them warm and cheer them up.




    The Fat Controller told Thomas that the whole line was completely snowed-in, and even the girder bridge was impassable.  But as he said, things like that don't happen very often in Dorking, so we hope the trains will be running again soon.



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  4. New Video

    Tony has just mentioned a Class 66 in GBRF livery, and I hope his project runs smoothly for a Happy New Year! 

    By fortunate coincidence, a very similar loco appears in this new video.  It's my favourite Christmas present, and comes from Josh Barker who has just put together some excellent material from his visit to the DGR in August 2018 featuring British steam and modern image and German modern image trains.




  5. Isle of Man Railway 1967 & '68

    This week I used some of my old colour slides for a Zoom presentation to the Dorking branch of the Locomotive Club of Great Britain, so I thought it might be worth slipping a few in here too.


    Douglas station, with "Hutchinson" and "Maitland"




    "Maitland" arrives at Douglas with a train from Peel




    "Hutchinson" approaching St Johns with a train from Douglas




    "G.H. Wood" crossing Glen Mooar viaduct with a train for Ramsey




    "Hutchinson" at Ballavolley Halt (for the Wildlife Park)




    "Mona" arrives at Peel



  6. Autumnal Interlude

    Having waited a while for some decent weather, I decided to go for a running session today despite it being overcast, in order to get some autumn leaves photos.  Polishing up the track seemed to take a bit longer than normal, as it hadn't been used for such a long time.

    The new Class 66 was keen to have another stretch of her legs, and there was a new intermodal wagon to add to the rake.  I hope the pictures convey that autumn feeling (and yes, it was a bit cold).

    A video may be along later.



























  7. That cable stay bridge is looking great, Tony, after so much work on your part.  Well done on getting so far.  I hope you can get the main part of the layout ready soon.  Looking forward to seeing the first train running!

    By the way, i'm not clear why you posted that photo of a very different bridge which is nothing like yours.  Are you also working on a low-level pier bridge?

    All the best as the work continues, anyway.

  8. DGR does globalisation: first run of the intermodal train


    Class 66 waiting for work




    Bringing home a train of containers - literally all the way from China


















    Then it was time to form up another rake at Northdown container terminal:



    Before heading off again











  9. A new kid on the block

    The 1st October celebrations in Dorking and Beijing mark an important milestone for the Fat Controller and the People's Republic of China.  The date is also the anniversary of the opening of the DGR in 2012, and for all these reasons it frequently results in new stock arriving in Dorking.  This year was no exception, seeing the DGR finally escape from the steam age with the acquisition of our first diesel (about time too, I hear Mick say) and what should be a decent train of intermodal wagons to complement it.

    Getting the too-bright and shiny intermodals coupled up and running proved to be too fiddly and time-consuming for the limited time available, so the Class 66 made its proud debut towing just a modest pair of containers.  The loco is nicely weathered, so the pristine wagons will have to get theirs in due course.

    A longer train should be along soon.
















    And here are a couple of examples of the real thing a few years ago, also in Dorking:





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  10. Not the Night Mail

    Some old negatives recently came my way, courtesy of Julian, which look like photos from sixty years ago of the overnight mail trains that ran in both directions between Paddington and Penzance.  Presumably these are summer photos, taken when the train could be seen in daylight.

    The trains had originally been known as the Great Western Up and Down TPOs and that continued after nationalisation.  The Travelling Post Office vehicles are in the striking Post Office red livery used for the new Mk 1 mail train stock (1959 onwards) until their repainting into blue and grey livery from 1970.

    It's not clear whether these photos are of the Up or the Down train.  Several vehicles are fitted with mailbag exchange apparatus which would be on the nearside of the train, but they are marshalled with apparatus on both sides so that the stock would not need to be turned at final destination.

    As well as the TPO coaches, there are several ex-GWR Siphon G vehicles coupled at the rear which by this time were in parcels use and would be dropped off at various points on the Down service and reattached on the Up.

    Peter Johnson's book Mail by Rail gives a general introduction to this traffic.











    A computer generated colour rendition(!) to show the Post Office red livery, with a view of the mailbag exchange apparatus:




    And the same treatment for the first photo above:



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  11. Strange Cargo at Northdown Junction

    This curious object was recently seen on a Lowmac.  Is it perhaps a prototype Korean deep diving bathysphere?




    Nope!  It was of course Josh's 360 degree camera ready to record full details of the DGR circuit.  On the following video you can swivel the field of view by tilting your device or using the mouse.  Quite fun to give it a try:




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  12. Belmond British Pullman in the Surrey Hills

    In normal times this luxury day excursion train is often hauled by Merchant Navy class engine "Clan Line", lovingly polished into gleaming condition.  During periods of high fire risk, most of the tractive effort is provided by a Class 67 diesel running as the train engine, with the Bulleid sauntering along as pilot with little effort.  These photos were taken near Dorking on one such trip, although no-one attached the headboard that day.


    Northdown Junction




    Running along the Downs








    Passing a typical Surrey Hills residence (a.k.a.Palmer's Farm, the home of Anne Arden, William Shakespeare's mother)




    Heading back to London Victoria with passengers well wined and dined.



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  13. Virgin Trains

    When Virgin Trains used Pendolino electric units for their West Coast Main Line franchise they also had a full rake of MK3 coaches  including DVT as a standby set (known as WB64).  In 2011 Virgin Trains started hauling this set with Class 90 locomotives hired in from Freightliner, and this arrangement lasted until the operations ceased in late 2014.  More details here: http://www.class90electriclocogroup.co.uk/virgin_trains.html


    This is what it looked like (you have to imagine the OHL equipment):










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