Sunday, 18 July 2021

Sunday Variety

 Be More Realistic ...

... When building a building!
fbb is always ready to embrace new technologies for his Model Railway; so was interested in this product, new to the market and made in Spain. Moulded in plastic, coloured, flexible and self adhesive, the product was worth a scond look. The idea of not having to paint seemed attractive.

But, there is a snag. PRICE!

One Redutex sheet (40 square inches in the old money) would cost £8.50 - plus postage because PECO do not stock it.

The alternative is from Wills. 
It is not painted, not flexible and not adhesive. But four sheets totalling 60 square inches would cost only £4.15 - and fbb could buy a pack from Peco, just along the road at Beer. But you do need the paint and glue, although you might choose to have a slightly shiny grey wall with no variations in colour and save on the paint!


Back in the days of fbb's long lost youth you only had brickpapers.
Nowadays you download and print your own. An A4 sheet costs £1.99 which equates to 90 square inches. But it is very flat!

If, in the good old days, you waanted texture, you covered your wall with a thin layer of modeller's plaster ...
... and you scribed the stonework with a little pointy thing. Then you painted it. That's what they do at Pendon Museum!
Or you could buy one ready made and ...
... and just plonk it on the layout! £24.75 please!

Actually, by the time you have bought the walling, the tiles, brick for the chimneys plus winfows, doors, glue and paint to make your own, £24.75 is not that bad a deal. The downside is that you accumulate a load of leftovers which you may never use.

Not A Road Map
Probably the phrase "road map", often used to describe a political stategy, is signularly inappropriate for plans for the rail industry. Hence this headline.
The advance notice of the "Pipeline" is not full of detail.
Maybe we should wait for a definitive plan (a fully plumbed pipeline?) before getting too excited. Everybody knows that we need a rolling programme of electrification of almost all of our current rail network, but in practice schemes are planned, postponed and abandoned according to short term political will.

Of course, the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be.

The Midland Main Line creeps elelctrically to Market Harborough; the Great Western doesn't quite spark as far as the small communiy of Bristol.

And whatever happened to the electric "spine" that we were promised a few years ago?

Is our government really serious about decarbonisation?

Grand Prix Is French Fot Big Price!
Alan has been looking at the cost of getting to Silverstone. (click on the fare table for an enlargement)
In 1963, the return fare from Northampton was four shillings and a penny (20p). Today the return fare on route 88 is £9.50 and there are just six buses each weekday.
If inflation had inflated smoothly, the fare today would be £4 return. With today's fare being nearly twice what it should haver been, it is maybe no wonder that rural bus travel is declining.

Sadly, the 88 will not get you to the Grand Prix circuit without a long walk. But fear not, Stagecoach are running special buses for the whole weekend from Northampton as service N1.
Stagecoach tells us there will be a "regular" service, by which they mean "frequent". One bus a year is "regular" but not very frequent!

A similar service runs from Milton Keynes (guess what, numbered MK1).
But the fares are a bit higher than even route 88! From Northampton ...
... and even more from Milton Keynes!
Seems like a good earner for Stagecoach, but fbb guesses that a mere £20 bus fare pales into insignificance compared with the cost of  a day at the Races.

Talking Of Illiteracy ...
Rails of Sheffield, write out "SCENERY" 100 times. fbb did email the company to suggest a change, but nothing much has happened!

It's On-Line So It MUST Be Right
Are you sure?
What about this one?
Or maybe this, trialed on the West Somerset Railwasy ...
The road wheels provided the drive leaving the rail wheel to guide the bus along the track,
Note the planks for use of the rubber tyres! After the deomstration run, it was never seen again.

This vehicle (below) represents the results of over two years' experimental work. The first production model was delivered to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. It was in the form of a twenty-six seat passenger coach, and complied with the Ministry of Transport's Regulations, as well as those of the railway authorities. Large capacity double-deck passenger vehicles can also be built.
This development was in 1931/1932 and the bus was operated (briefly) on the line between Stratford-upon-Avon and Blisworth.

Changing from rail to road and vice versa, made use of high technology - namely a big spanner!

The following is the method employed in this ingenious car for converting the wheels from the pneumatic road type to the steel-flanged railway pattern. Flanged rail wheels are fitted to the vehicle's axles ; on the outside of these are placed pneumatic-tyred road wheels, each of which is mounted on eccentrics fitted to an axle extension through the rail wheel. When on the road, the road wheels are locked concentrically to the rail wheels, which, being of smaller diameter, are quite clear of the road.
The big spanner was actally a big lever.

For road to rail transference, the "road-railer" is driven on to the rails at any place where the road has been made up level to the rail tops. Then, with the rail wheels directly over the lines, it is driven forward a few yards until it reaches a point where the made-up road is tapered off. The rail wheels now gradually come into contact with the rails, and take the weight of the machine off its road wheels. The road wheels, which are mounted on an eccentric device, are then raised above rail level by the action of the driver, who rotates them on their eccentrics and locks them to the chassis frame by means of a pin. The road wheels, therefore, do not rotate when the vehicle is moving on the rails.

Lever and pin are shown "in use" above.

It is not clear whether the bus ever carried passengers on the road - but it was deemed less than satisfactory! There was never any sign of the promised double deckers!

So, Japs, you are only 90 years late!

Light Spillage
As it gets really dark, anf sinilar to the buildings on the retaining wall, light "spills" frrom the bright decorations on to the white cycloramam backing. In this case, baffles are impracticable, so something has to be done to absorb the spillage.

So fbb has planted more pine trees ... seen above behind the castle. They are examples of the well known family of foliage, the Pinus Panscrubbus. With a little teasing of the edges and a dab of paint they dont look too bad.
The trees have been roughly "posed" for the above snapshop - where they end up will depend on the lights and the onset of darkness.

After a very hot day, your elderly blogger decided bed was more useful that taking pictures of Castle illuminations. So our excited readers will have to wait and see.

Transport Personality
A twitterer caught this wave at Newquay a few days ago. It looks just like the god Nepstune, he twittered.
As Roman gods have only a minor claim to reality (in terms of their appearance) we might challenge the photographer's view. 

fbb thinks that the sea is replicating the well-known visage of Richard Branson!
Perhpas Mr B is a reconstituted Neptune?

 Next Book Review blog : Monday 19th July 


  1. The LMS ro-railer of 1932 did carry passengers from Blisworth to Stratford-on-Avon LMS station by rail, then on by road to an LMS-owned hotel just outside of the town. The LMS actually had a Road Service Licence for the station - hotel section.

    Passengers were few, however. The LMS surrendered the Road Service Licence after less than 3 months, and the vehicle itself broke an axle on the railway around that time. Why they chose a Karrier when they could have got something much better (such as a Leyland Tiger or an AEC Regal) we shall probably never know, but perhaps no road vehicle would have been suitable for running on a railway in those days.

  2. ...and here is the German version from 1958:-

  3. Fbb, write out "railway" 100 times!