And for next year….

Surely this must be on my bucket list for next year?  Perhaps an ESNG expedition???

And meet the builders….

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Happy Christmas!

From Facebook….

Christmas trees bound for Texas in November 1964. SP box cars loaded by conveyor at Kirk, Minnesota, Christmas tree grower. The company had 1,750 feet of rail spur and could load 32 cars. They used 180 railroad cars in 1964 to ship nearly 200,000 trees to Texas and other states. (Photographer Floyd Hoverter; Wisconsin’s Historic Natural Resources Photos; The State of Wisconsin Collection; University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.)

And a hint.  Please don’t lay track after a large festive (and fluid) lunch….

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A Victorian Christmas tragedy

From the Guardian:

Charles Dickens’s final Christmas turkey lost by Great Western Railway

Rediscovered letter records that 30lb bird was dispatched by train but transferred to a replacement coach service that caught fire.

Charles Dickens’s stoic response to the destruction of his Christmas turkey in a train fire has been revealed in a letter rediscovered at the National Railway Museum in York, in which the author says he “bore the loss with unbroken good humour towards the Great Western Railway Company”.

Dickens, whose love for the seasonal bird came through in books such as A Christmas Carol, was sent the turkey in Christmas week of 1869 by the manager of his reading tours, George Dolby. Dickens was often given a turkey as a Christmas present; according to Dolby’s memoirs, this particular bird weighed 30lb. The festive package took wing from Ross-on-Wye in good time to reach the author on Christmas Eve, but Dickens sent an urgent message to Dolby that day: “WHERE IS THAT TURKEY? IT HAS NOT ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!”

The turkey had been moved, along with other parcels, to a horse-box carriage in Gloucester, which had subsequently caught fire. The charred remains were later offered to the people of Reading, for sixpence a portion.


Perhaps Dickens should have gone to Tescos?

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ESNG meeting – 18 December 2019

Last ESNG meeting of the year, and I wasn’t expecting many to turn out on a cold, wet, night just before Christmas.  But there were 10 members present, including the Cha(I)rman, despite his early milk round the following day.  The festive season was duly marked by a large number of mince pies being eaten.

Derek was running both the Golden Arrow and the Night Ferry….

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Very minimum radii

Again trawling the Traction Facebook site. Volkmar Meier has some interesting 3D printed interurbans and streetcars on Shapeways.  But here he looks at getting the trolleys to go round in ever decreasing circles….

Tomytec drivers, have you ever wondered about the minimum radius, specially of the TM-TR01 and TR04 streetcar drives ? The smallest commercial available N scale radius is the Tomix track with R=103 mm (about 54 ft), and I never tried to go beyond.

But, in a hint of recklessness – and firmly decided to fail – I made a batch of trackbeds with decreasing radii. Starting with 86.5 mm (45.4 ft), down to 74.5 mm (39ft) and now 63 mm! (33 ft).
Bigger drives, like the TM21 still take the 86.5 mm curves. The smaller streetcar drives TR01 and TR04 are able to turn on 63 mm. Now, in a last attempt, I will go down to 59 mm (31 ft). I think that the TR01 will still go through, perhaps with a little tuning. Then I will stop …

To give a size: A common streetcar and Interurban radius in the US was 45 ft, Toronto has 36 ft curves, Philadelphia 34-33 ft, and some extinct networks as few as 30 ft

It’s interesting isn’t it – for most modelling, the radii on our layouts are way below those on the prototype – usually a generous minimum radius on the layout is about the same as the prototype minimum curve in an industrial yard.  But for traction, the opposite applies – it’s difficult to get the model to go around prototypically small curves.  This is presumably due to getting the drive from the motor onto the pivoting trucks.  Anyone for ‘N’ gauge axle hung trucks (it has been done in ‘O’ gauge.)

The prototype…. (From Jarrod Allan Henry’s post in ‎New York’s Railroads, Subways & Trolleys Past & Present.)

And a late addition…..

Less is more: with extreme radius curves, there is plenty of space for an entire return loop for city cars/small interurbans on a single 248 x 155 mm module (9.76 x 6.10 in)

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Two traction micros

A few weeks ago I posted a link to the little micro-layout of the Japanese Gakunan line.  I’ve included the track layout and another picture below…

I recently joined the Facebook ‘Traction Model Railroading’ group, that is full of inspiring pictures.  This included the a micro-layout of the Sacramento Northern.  A ‘pointless’ layout (with a traverser at each end), yet it accurately models the point where the SN transitioned from overhead to third rail – a bit like Thameslink but in the desert!  This is another very simple design, but a good background for interurban models.


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End of an era

After 43 years working for the same company, I paid my last visit to work today.  As I have been working part time and on zero-hours, I submitted my final invoice, and handed in my computer and door card.

Truly the end of an era, and it’s a case of, “So Long, and thanks for all the fish.”

On the whole, I’ve had a lot of fun and intellectual challenges, worked with some great people, and seen some interesting places.  I now have to get down to that modelling I never quite had time for!

My overseas work started with designs for the cross-drainage on the first motorway in the Hong Kong New Territories…..

And went on to look at drainage through much of Hong Kong…..

Widening out to irrigation and water resources in Thailand…..

And rivers in Indonesia….

The last 15 years included visits to pre-ISIS Syria, looking (believe it or not) at flooding and potential washout of gas pipelines…..

And in the mountains of Georgia (ex-Russian version.)

And that’s just the edited highlights!!!  In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead, “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”

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