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Andrew

the Dorking Garden Railway

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19th February was a sunny day in Dorking so the railway was dusted off, a train was run and some video clips cobbled together. We see a BR Standard class tank loco making light work of a parcels train, whisking the stock slightly fast around Sycamore Curve onto Bamboo Curtain Straight, then across the Northern Viaduct for several shots on Foxdale Bank.

 

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Very nice.

It was good to see the trestle platform. It looks like you have some good space for expansion there.

Oh, and all the greenery, our winters get so brown here. I could do with some bamboo on my layout even if it's completely invasive stuff.

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Last week the sun was shining in northern Nevada(!) and a short train ventured forth on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_and_Truckee_Railroad).

trucks.jpg

Progress was halted by a serious obstruction across the track. At first the train crew feared a raid by notorious outlaw and train robber Jesse James.

leaces.jpg

But the perpetrators didn't wait around for the arrival of the train and were long gone. The local sheriff was summoned to the scene and scratched his head at the extent of the rubble across the track, which had clearly come from the side of the adjacent cutting. This looked much larger than a Jesse James job. A posse of local people gathered to discuss the obstacle, but opinion was divided about whether to blame the attack on the troublesome local Avians or Mammalians. Before work could be started to clear the obstruction, the weather changed and it started to snow, by which time the railroad management decided to retreat indoors and deal with the problem another day. But here at least is a better photo of the loco:

c27fc70a76236f26d7320d6e4ef552c0.jpg

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I love those old American class locos. On occasion I come across old photos of them during the civil war.

Thanks for the shots.

Some old shots from when they were being used.

http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/indloco/fbcivilwarcarfloat.jpg

A car float for a river crossing.

http://www.civilwar-pictures.com/g/albums/trains-railroads/ruins_atlanta.sized.jpg

A blown up roundhouse in Atlanta.

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Those are great period photos, thanks, Griff. Pretty good quality for pictures taken 150 years ago. No doubt Altanta looks a bit different now!

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Continuing the transatlantic theme, here are a couple of shots of a Florida East Coast boxcar caught in the northern March snow on the Bamboo Curtain subdivision of the DGRR, probably on its way back to the southern sunshine (judging by the open door which is an invitation to any hobo wanting to flee the winter).

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And a detail (note the JAX designation for Jacksonville):

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Sadly the train was unable to progress due to snow on the line:

e126f3d96c1698fd78781605b6fd70ae.jpg

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After the snow there was some sun, and the trains came out (and a few hesitant daffodils). Here are a few photos and video links. There is more video, but I need to get software to splice the clips together and do some real editing.

First, a couple of pictures somewhere in the north of England in the late 1950s, with Jubilee class loco "Hong Kong" hauling an express passenger train across Foxdale Bank, possibly bound for London.

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Further down the line, the train ran onto Bamboo Curtain Straight, and a short video clip has survived:

Half a decade later, the first (southern) section of the West Coast Main Line electrification was under way. The so-called London Midland Electrification was advertised as "Britain's New Railway". We see a London Midland express in the early 1960s hauled by an AL1 loco (later known as Class 81) running northbound from London (although the train seems to be slightly earlier than the overhead wiring team!):

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Video at:

 

 
The excitement of the project is well conveyed in this contemporary poster:

d18e698bf46d9bb8b5be0623fa21ce3c.jpg

Finally, here is Jubilee 45611 somewhere north of Crewe in the 1950s cantering past with an inter-regional express formed of rolling stock in 'blood and custard' livery.

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This isn't the first time I've seen it, but I do like those cheap ready made bridges screwed to the sides of baseboards. It really does give the effect of a bridge very quickly.

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A few pics from today, with video links later.

First, some shots of Jubilee 45611 on the Thames-Clyde Express, possibly taken around 1956:

a99f3af44d41f728568ca2f35c8f1efa.jpg

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Finally a couple of photos of a 9F drafted into service on a passenger train in the early 1960s:

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Spring weeds are starting to appear. At least they make the railway look greener.

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Lovely shots Andrew. The 'Thames-Clyde' used to pass our village, I remember the 'Jubes' being in charge of it before the 'Peaks' took over.

Ian R

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Yes indeed Andrew, really nice shots & it all looks so natural & could easily be climbing on the S & C which I fired over back in the 60's with Black 5's & 9F's on what was the longest (same crew) freight turn in the Country. 224 miles Brum to Carlisle........ We were quite glad to see the introduction of Peaks & 25's I can assure you :-)

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Thanks for the compliments, gents. Glad you like it. Thanks too for the personal recollections. Firing over the Settle and Carlisle; now that's real man's work!

I'm slowly getting the hang of YouTube editing. The home PC's not powerful enough to run video editing software. Here's a 'blood and custard' sequence with "Hong Kong" in charge:

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It's hard to believe that only back in July last year you were working on crossing that rocky slope with your railway and it looked an arduous, if not impossible, task. Now you come up with these photos making my moans about the little pile of unwanted rocks in my garden seem so insignificant in comparison. As Griff says, that long shot is superb and the rocks and emerging vegetation make it look so realistic. I bet you saw that particular photo yourself and thought wow! It's a great setting for your garden railway and your railway is an inspiration, showing just what can be achieved with little more than baseboard, track and good old nature itself. Excellent stuff!

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All those kind comments much appreciated, but I think the picturesque result is mainly due to the fortunate configuration of that part of our back garden.

Here's a slightly better edited sequence, this time with a heavy freight loco standing-in on passenger duties in the early 1960s somewhere in the north of England:

I found some video editing software had been bundled with our laptop when bought, so captions, fades, etc are much easier than working online on YouTube.

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It's clear that you have fully recovered from the winter and have been doing some good work! The videos are excellent and show the trains in their environment to good effect.

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Garden railways are susceptible to various problems as I keep discovering, but a new one presented itself today. With visitors expected for afternoon tea, this seemed like a good excuse to run some trains. But I hadn't bargained for the bird nesting box near the railway (and the operator's spot) being occupied by a family of young blue tits still receiving frequent feeding visits from anxious parents. Rather than risk disturbing the family, I decided to forego running trains for a while. I wonder how long before the chicks leave the nest.

The birdbox is screwed to the tree which gives its name to Sycamore Curve at the southern end of the railway. I usually try to use camera angles which exclude the birdbox from photos (although it appears in the odd video shot), and seem to have been so successful that the only photo showing it clearly is this one taken during the construction of the line.

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So instead of anything fresh, here's an earlier photo of a Southern Region train running off Sycamore Curve onto Foxdale Bank with a Redhill-based BR Standard Class 4 loco, immediately below the off-camera bird box.

b872f32f01c0f9b513d74b413dd5d9ec.jpg

And our visitors are running late as well...

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Given my ornithological problem with running trains at present, here is a nice video of blue tits in a nesting box (not ours). They do fly away, in the end. Thanks to neighbour Janet for the reference.

 

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