Thursday, 26 November 2020

Every Picture Tells A Story (1)

Wheel On Rail

Just the tiniest area of contact which means this ...
... a freight train at one of the platforms at Kings Cross.

It is the Network Rail rail-head treatment train, spraying off the gunge ...
... so that minuscule point of contact is as squeaky clean as possible. Then the wheels will roll smoothly and the train will set off without wheelslip. If the wheels slip badly either the wheel will be damaged (flats) ...
... or the rail will be worn away.
Neither is good for rails, wheels or passengers and their safety or comfort.

Two More Gone - For Ever?
It is a pattern repeated all over the country.
And in Worcestershire ...
The company also operates a few school bus routes as well.
There is personal tragedy as well as business sadness. One of the directors of a defunct Isle of Wight coach company is having to sell her house to pay off the debts which will not be assuaged by income from bookings. Hundreds of similar states of anguish are repeated nationally. The government doesn't seem interested as coach trips and holidays are not deemed to be essential.

What And Where?
Upon close inspection, it looks like the cauldron of a molten iron atop a wagon is pouring its rather warm contents across the path of a Pacer passing in the dark.

Seems a cruel thing to do a Pacer.

In a sense, that is what you are seeing. 
Fortunately the molten slag isn't real but the Pacer is, number 144 017. And you can have a go at driving it.

Each experience   will  consist of about 2 hours driving the train  around the  internal system of British Steel  Scunthorpe ,departing from and  returning to  Frodingham platform

the  following dates  and  times area available  for  booking - Each experience we  request a  donation  of £200  for  one  person to  drive the train or  £300  for  two  people  to share  the  time  driving the  train  - this  is  to cover  the  running costs  and  to  maintain the  unit.

It all happens at the Appleby Frodingham Railway Preservation Society.

Appleby Frodingham was a ginormous steel works at Scunthorpe.
Much of the railway remains, despite a huge reduction in the scope of the works; and it is on these tracks that the Society does its stuff.

There is a web site - but it is a bit rough, being under improvement and construction in various parts.
It all looks rather splendid, and VERY different from the typical heritage line meandering through bucolic prettiness.

And they did empty tubs of slag for real.

Esoterica Par Excellence
Even if you know nothing about railways, you might just recognise the above as a brake van. In the days of what were termed "unfitted" goods trains, there would be brakes on the engine, hand brakes on each wagon non-operative as the train rolled along. At the back of the consist would be a brake van where the guard would have to use all his skill and a screw=down handbrake to help the driver keep his train under control.
In fbb's youthfulness, he, like any other modeller, was reminded in many an article that all good trains had to have a brake van.

But early models were crude from Trix, all tinplate ...
... crude from Hornby Dublo, but slightly better ...
...and from Triang, a plastic body that was as crude as the tin ones!
But, you know, we didn't care - it was a brake van and the regulations were satisfied.

Then along came Airfix in 1962 with a well-detailed accurate brake for just two bob.
Hornby Dublo developed a range of plastic bodied so-called super detailed wagons, but on crude and ancient chassis. But these models (branded SD6) we so much better that a teenage fbb bought the brake van.
It cost fbb six shillings, a kings ransom in pocket money financing terms.

Hornby Dublo died in '63 but Triang Hornby, which became just Hornby, realised that better models were required, and so more detailed brake vans appeared.
The very latest offerings from Hornby have full interiors and full glazing, plus excellent underframe and brake gear.

And you can't SEE the interior detail!

Not to be outdone, competitor Bachmann has just released details of its latest brake van models ...
... and hyper splendido they are. Of course you have noticed that the version above has right hand duckets (that the side peep hole for the guard).
But, of course, the modern modeller is not satisfied with just one brake van model. He may well want two. 

So Bachnann have produced an alternative model WITH LEFT HAND DUCKETS.
ONE of these will cost you a mere £36. (OUCH and OUCH again.) Rails of Sheffield are offering a fiver off for advance orders.

Inflation would push the original Airfix kit up to £2.15. Today's Airfix Kit (produced by Dapol) would cost you over £9 but it does have improved wheels and couplings. The latest Hornby van will cost you £25.

But it would be a difficult choice for fbb. Left hand duckets, or right hand duckets - how to choose? Fortunately fbb will be choosing neither - he has three milk tank wagons to add to his collection.

It's a rich man's game, these days.
Readers will be THRILLED to hear that the new modem/router arrived yesterday and with the help of No 3 son it was installed and used for this very blog.

The clever thing is to make the little plastic frisbee ...
... think it is the same as the busted one. Clever Eh and achieved thanks to no 3 son. Thus the fbbs don't have to fiddle with two laptops, two mobile phones and a connected TV. The modem is utterly deceived!

 More Photo Stories tomorrow : Friday 27th November 

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