Interim model railway update

Phoenix Yard (Mark 1)

With the success of the recent Great Model Railway Challenge TV programme, as aired on Ch 5, together with the upcoming Warley Model Railway Show at the NEC I decided to build a very simple “shunting plank” layout to try to draw visitors to the SLS stand. Have it available so that they can see what can be done and have a go. Whether they want to take on the whole shunting puzzle exercise is immaterial, ideally yes but even a trial go will be progress.

We can sell the Society and our published material if the passing visitors stop and engage. The hardest part getting that break of step for the initial pause as they walk by.

The fact that it also gives me an option for a small portable fun layout for home use too is the bonus. The final choice of base is a simple 4ft x 1ft piece of shelf timber I had in stock. In the build I had tried the Plum Hollow base, useable but with issues, and adapting another piece of existing potential layout board (a recycled DIY table top). The latter almost made it, as a folding version, but with a slight modification for use as the fold would have been through a point. It was only the time for the extra woodwork for the hew half that killed the idea. A Mark 2 iteration with full scenery may well appear for Alexandra Place and York.

Why Phoenix Yard? The reason is almost everything on it is recycled from other projects. I have taken the basic “Inglenook” 8 wagon (5-3-3) format for the scenic side and added two small sidings in to a  hidden section. This allows for a single coach workmen’s train to appear. It also allows alternative locomotives to be swapped in/out.

The longest spur, for the 3 wagons plus locomotive, can accommodate engines up to a Bo-Bo diesel or an 0-6-0 tender locomotive. As the shorter locos would allow cheating with 4 wagons a moveable velcroable buffer stop may be incorporated.

As a comparison with the GMRC project of 24 hours of building, the track is partially down as I write this. Time spent, excluding pre-planning, about 3 hours to paint the base, juggle the track until I was absolutely satisfied with its position, and fixing it down.

Draft view of the layout
The track laid out before the board was painted. To the left the public area/ working zone, on the right the hidden/fiddle area.

Plum Hollow

As part of the above exercise the base earmarked for Plum Hollow project was manoeuvred around the house and tried in the car. This indicated that the project will have some issues in moving it around if proceeded with but will just fit round the corner in the staircase. It was this problem that led to evaluating the folding base for a larger version of the Phoenix Yard build.

New cars

Our old Zafira developed an engine problem that meant we had to change it quickly. We now have much smaller Vauxhall Corsa. One immediate issue for Plum Hollow will be working out exactly how high the scenery can be. The board will fit (just) as a bare carcass if the rear seat is down flat but with the rake on the back of the driver’s seat any added height will be critical.

With regard to new cars as always there is progress and regression, as examples, the DAB radio is excellent for sound but requires more retuning than older FM sets to switch masts to get local radio as you travel cross-country; there is no CD option, and most importantly, the supposedly anti-dazzle rear view mirror is useless at night, the old flip type worked these don’t!!

 

Plum Hollow – a sort of update

Plum Hollow, minor progress

Picture of the kits
Test build on paper of the trial hut and 2 of the 5 sheets for the next trial project.

For a variety of reasons the Plum Hollow layout project has had almost nothing done on it for some time. That was not a case of out of sight out of mind, simply a case of other workload intervening.  The scenic side is the next step, hence today’s test kit build. The aim was to see if a  printed paper/card kit scaled down from the originally intended HO (1:87) scale to US N scale (1:160) would either (be 1) too fiddly to construct or (2) not look good enough after completion. The test suggests both answers are negative, the outcome therefore is positive and therefore a run printed onto card-stock is worth trying. This simple build with unreinforced paper prints suggests constructing the kits will be manageable with card-stock backing.

As progress since the last update the polystyrene blocks have been bought as has the 4mm scale Dapol signal gantry kit I intend to use as  lattice girder railway over river bridge.

There is a possibility that the existing base boxes may get re-purposed into another project and replaced for this one.  If that happens an update will be posted. If it does it will be for a quick build project for the Warley (and onwards) shows; with this one it will be time that determines the outcome.

As a final point the scaling experiments for this exercise indicate that the ratio of printing the pdf plans at 54.4% is correct.  Although they are not currently accessible to check when I’d made the buildings for Reindeer Landing (N Gauge side) they always looked too small; it is possible they had been printed at 25% (The area reduction) rather than 54.4% which gives the necessary shrinkage in each linear dimension.

SLS Workload

This is one of the reasons for the delays mentioned above.Situations Vacant adverts are included in the current Journal going out to members in the hope of filling some of the vacancies. Once that gets delivered to members the adverts for those vacancies where open recruitment will be possible will also be circulated to non-members. In the meantime several officers are doubling up, even tripling up, on roles to keep us going. The trouble with being a volunteer – you tend to volunteer whenever crisis looms.

 

SLS Website

main Plum Hollow page

 

 

 

Gales, garage and gunge

Cropped Screen Shot showing the, to me at least, pointless changes to Google.

Gales, garage and gunge

Garage

As part of the ongoing tidying and fixing of the garage it became apparent that the roof was leaking. Closer inspection indicated that almost the whole of the edge strip where the roofing felt bends over the edge had split. On getting onto the roof I also discovered that the original installation in several places had left voids and the local gulls had pecked holes through. All these edges now patch fixed but I think we may need a replacement garage roof next year, part of the problem is some  sagging between the joists so that on a flat roof, the water simply puddles rather than running off. I have never liked felted, flat-roofs, this one is now 44 years old and showing its age.

Gales

The forecast threats of gales sharpened the mind to the need to get the garage roof fixed, or at least bodge-patched, rapidly. Stella and I got much of it done on Sunday. The finishing off work I did during Tuesday. It seems to have survived the gale; hopefully, it will last through to the Spring when we can see what needs to be done for  a proper re-roof. Ideally, I would hope to go for a change with some extra wedge shaped walling at the ends, new joists on a slope and the flat felted roof roof replaced with corrugated sheeting. The alternative is to have it re-felted and then put a sun-deck up there too. The forecast gale; when it arrived was less strong than many we have had recently. I think we escaped quite lightly this time around.

Gunge

So that brings me to gunge, despite wearing riggers gloves, and the oldest set of workwear I could find, the bitumen based roofing felt jollop gets through the tiniest of cracks. Yes it will scrub off, and needs to be as it is mildly hazardous, but how do you get it out from under finger nails?! Despite days of scrubbing there is still an un-shiftable layer underneath the finger nails.

Google, Facebook and changes

Cropped Screen Shot showing the, to me at least, pointless changes to Google.
Cropped Screen Grab showing the, to me at least, pointless changes to Google.

Google

Google have made, and are making further, changes. I can see the logic in the behind the scenes changes to how they are to index websites that are not structured in a way that is responsive to the device being used to access it. Technology has changed, Google needs to reflect that; yes it if forcing work onto web designers to ensure compliance but that is work that should be undertaken anyway to keep the websites current. What I really can’t see the point in though, and Twitter did the same thing recently, is the switch to round icons and rounded edges to search boxes etc. This seems to be just a design fad and change for change’s sake.

Facebook

The same can be said of Facebook’s annoying changes made recently (one example below); from a user’s perspective they are just annoying and are making social media, at least the FB aspect of it, more difficult. Shooting one’s self in the foot comes to mind, make it harder  to use and people won’t bother adding their content, less content less viewers, less viewers, less adverting revenue. This does not appear to require a genius to see.

Facebook no longer supports Publicise connections to Facebook Profiles, but you can still connect Facebook Pages. Please select a Facebook Page to publish updates to.

GDPR, was it pointless?

Now this is shaking down was it pointless? Today I startled one of the junk callers as they were clearly from the slightly more responsible end of this annoying trade. It was a human caller, not a recording, and obviously not expecting what she got. I definitely think my request that my details to be removed from their database under GDPR was not what she was expecting! Since doing that I have now decided I can use this regulation to my satisfaction. How? The next time someone rings I am going to ask them to supply me with my full details, as held under GDPR, and log their’s too so I can check compliance. On receipt of the info’ I will then add to their workload by asking them to remove it! Let’s annoy these blighters back!

Of course the counter problem is that regarding most of these annoying SPAM and Junk callers/emailers the GDPR is totally pointless – if you are spamming you are hardly likely to be operating within, or with a care for, the law or bothered about compliance with it. Very pleased though to note from the news that the regulations do have teeth and the first high-profile offender has been fined.

Writing and editing

Moving on from the G’s another SLS Journal done and published. All that needs doing now, and all is one of those words with a hidden meaning, is update the website with the latest contents. Why has all got a hidden meaning? The answer is simple, it appears to be an easy job, but in actuality is a lot of fuss and faff making changes to around a dozen pages to varying degrees of alteration. It will be done but may be delayed a bit.

Copy of SLSJournal cover
SLS Journal cover

 

My next published work

Cover ERC6

Early Railways 6  – Edited by Anthony Coulls

This book, Early Railways 6, for which this is the advance call for subscriptions, will be my next academically published work.

Cover of Early Railways 6
Cover of Early Railways 6 (Source & Copyright Six Martlets)

The series of Early Railways Conferences held its sixth gathering in June 2016 in the cradle of railway history that is Newcastle, with visits and events across Tyneside away from the conference venue. A full programme of papers showed that there is still a rich seam of research being undertaken into early railways across the globe. In this volume, a selection of papers cover that international aspect whilst others break new ground in terms of location and subject, always part of the excitement of the conference, where conversations over coffee turn up new research potential almost every minute. Dr Michael Lewis examines the very basics of early pointwork and track, John R New’s paper explores why the horse was displaced as motive power and Dr David Gwyn reflects on the first railways in Africa. Between the variety of other papers, the social, economic and technological history of early railways is covered. Given the amazing wooden waggonway discovery and excavations on Tyneside in the summer of 2014, the book begins with Discovering the Willington Waggonway which was the public lecture and sets the tone for the rest of the publication.

The papers

Discovering the Willington Waggonway: Archaelogical excavations at Neptune Yard on North Tyneside in 2013, R Carlton, L Turnbull & A Williams

Early Railways In The Bristol Coalfield,Steve Grudgings

Why Killingworth?,Robert F Hartley

Pointwork to 1830, Dr M J T Lewis

Why Displace the Horse? John R New

Early Locomotives of the St. Etienne-Lyon Railway, Miles McNair

Blücher and After: A Re-assessment of George Stephenson’s First Locomotives Dr Michael R. Bailey

Interpreting Sources for the operation of the Durham & Sunderland Railway 1836-56, Colin Mountford

Early Locomotive Performance, Peter Davidson

Penydarren Re-Examined Andy Guy, Dr Michael Bailey, Dr David Gwyn, Robert Protheroe Jones, Dr Michael Lewis, John Liffen, and Jim Rees

Two Early French Non-Railways, Dr M J T Lewis

Joseph Atkinson and the Early Images of the Tanfield Arch, Robin Adams

Plateways, Steel Road Rails, and Rutways in Australia, Dr Jim Longworth and Phil Rickard

The First Railways in Africa, Dr David Gwyn

When to Stop Digging: Assessing the Excavated Evidence, Helen Gomersall

Sierra Leone: Proposals for a Colonial Early Railway, Anthony Coulls

Publication

The book will be published by Six Martlets Publishing on behalf of the sponsors at the discounted price of £35 each plus postage and packing. To reserve a copy go to www.earlyrailways.org.uk or contact the publisher for an order form.

The postage and packing rates will be: UK, £3.50 per book. Europe, £9.00 per book. Other countries, £14.00 per book.

All subscribers will receive a copy of the book at the discounted price for advance payment and will have their subscription acknowledged in the preliminary pages. The subscription list will close on 1 October 2018 and the book will be published shortly after. This will be the only opportunity to obtain a copy at the discounted price. To order contact Six Martlets Publishing, c/o Better Prepared Ltd, 15 Diamond Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes MK15 0DU. sixmartlets@uwclub.net

ER6 was sponsored by The Newcomen Society, The Railway and Canal Historical Society, The Institution of Civil Engineers & The National Railway Museum. The Stephenson Locomotive Society also fully support the publication of this volume containing papers presented at the Conference by several SLS members. Although, as at the 2016 event date, the SLS, of which I am a Director, was not one of the official event sponsors the SLS has subsequently become actively involved in promoting the Early Railways Conference serial.

Notes

  1. More about the 2016 Conference was in my September 2016 blog post.
  2. List of all my published work.

 

April and June (Missed blog posts)

Steam loco

Missed blog posts (April & June)

This is a shortened rewording of what formed the Editorial to the most recent SLS Journal and Newsletter (J912 July/August), a bi-monthly magazine which I now edit and giving the reasons for my missing the task of making blog posts here during both April and June.

SLS stand

SLS Stand ready for show opening Easter 2018

Firstly my apologies for the fact there was no blog post made during either April or June. This was disheartening as I had been consistently managing one a month before then. However, during the run up to the expected dates I was ill and with my commitment to getting a Journal out, and attending the York Model Railway Show over the Easter weekend both as a Show Director and with the SLS display stand, all my spare time just vaporised.

Steam loco
MN Class 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. at the Cotswolds Festival of Steam

The illness continued through May, and as I had the next Journal to get out, together with taking the SLSL Stand to the Cotswold Festival of Steam and writing/presenting a paper to the Second Early Mainline Railway Conference in York during late June, of necessity, those were also prioritised. 

What I had thought it was initially, hay fever, it almost certainly was not and I therefore looked around for possible alternatives.It was probably not legionnaires disease as such but the symptoms were similar hence mentioning it in this post. Hopefully the illness’ cause has now been traced to either bugs coming through from the car air conditioning unit or bugs in the car screen washer system (both, obviously, now sanitised). I would certainly encourage anyone suffering any odd flu like symptoms to consider getting their car air conditioning unit and the screen washer system checked out. This illness has hit me three years running and I had not previously correlated it to warm weather and the first early season use of the car AC. Whilst the flu like illness may be unrelated to that it has not returned since the work was carried out on the car.

Both images by and copyright the author. NOT FOR REPUBLICATION.

April – the missing month

Why no April post?

Due to the increasing pressures of my SLS workload since taking on the role of Journal Editor, plus other work related to the new GDPR system there was no time to write and publish an April blog post for which I apologise.

I had content to write, just not the time to write it, therefore it became the first missing month in over two years.

 

March blog entry

Brief blog update

Another very brief blog post this month as whilst workload seems never ending time, sadly, is inelastic.

Railways – Three weekends out with events.

With a conference planning meeting for the Early Mainline Railways Conference (In York), The London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace and then back to York for the York Model Railway Show you can see where the time has gone.

Add into that mix, as I am now the Editor, getting The Stephenson Locomotive Society Journal out on time and you can appreciate the problems.

Another lunatic IT system design

Another really classic example of outright stupidity from the last few days. On checking my Nectar account I discovered I had not updated it when my last email address was deleted. After updating the link to the current one I discovered the change could only be stored by entering a validation code. Fair enough, except it gets sent to the obsolete email with no option offered for an alternative. Duh. What numpty did the systems check on that as a process.

Hopefully April will see two updates

I have content to write, so hopefully April will see two updates.

 

Non-stop editing!

Photo - dippy

A month of solid editing

I ended last month’s blog expressing hopefully “What would have been the January content will therefore appear during February when I get back home and resume normality.” Well that hoped for return to normality during February went well, or not! What it ended up as was a month of solid editing to get my second SLS Journal and Newsletter out on time. My problem; not the page layout et al, but all the catch up reading of back submissions to find the content ready to drop in. It is easing, the third edition will be a bit easier again from the experience gained from editing the first two. I am already planning content for the issues through to December.

Is there a lesson to be learnt by other Societies – yes – succession planning. That said, we did try, but no other suitably experienced member volunteered. My lesson learnt, if you know at the back of your mind that reality is you are going to get roped in regardless, give in early and take the longest lead in period you can get.

image of Journal cover
The March/April cover (C) SLS/AISLT with thanks to the A1SLT for permission to use the image.

The earlier editing job

Image Front cover NG & Miniature
Front cover NG & Miniature
Image Eclectic Electrics the front cover design
Eclectic Electrics the front cover design

 

As mentioned in the November blog post I was also Production Editor for the SLS in producing the first two volumes of material from The Stephenson Locomotive Society Archives.(Cover images above)

  • Narrow Gauge & Miniature (From The Stephenson Locomotive Society Archives Vol 1)
  • Eclectic Electrics (From The Stephenson Locomotive Society Archives Vol 2)

Sales went live on the Society stand at the NEC and copies will also be available from us at the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace and over the following Easter weekend at York Model Railway. They can also be ordered from me direct by post. The SLS Board has approved electronic selling but I have yet to get the system into place on the Society website.

PayPal and other computer gremlins

The most recent editing nightmare, a fault with the way the Google app on i-phones and i-pads interacts with the code we got from PayPal to sell tickets on the York Model Railway Show website. (I am Website Manager) The culprit is not Google Chrome, that is fine, but their search app. The app ignores the shopping cart it is supposed to open and tries to log directly into the customer’s PayPal account. This system has worked properly for eighteen months, why does the mighty Google feel the need to make changes that then b*****s up other systems that were working properly. Not good customer care by them, although I like to think our own response was better than the other customer care issue discovered recently – Apple repair fault logging and repair protocols (See next item).

Apple’s appalling customer care protocol

This final item is a bit of a rant and gives me another Victor Meldrew feeling about the sanity of some modern ways of doing things. Have organisations learnt nothing about customer care?

Scenario – I drop my Apple laptop it needs a fix as the display becomes intermittent. Oh yes I think to myself there is an Apple dealer in Bournemouth, I’m in Bournemouth tomorrow, I will drop it off for repair. Off I duly tootle to the said Apple shop (Solutions inc) who I have used before. To paraphrase –

“I’d like to drop this off for repair please.”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“No I just want to drop it off for repair.”

You can’t without an appointment.” (Duh thinks I – a shop that doesn’t want you to buy the service!!!)

“So I have to waste time and money driving home today, ring you, and then come back again? That’s madness and unacceptable!”

“But it is Apple’s policy Sir, no appointment, no drop off, no fix! (Shades of Jobsworth, or worse, me thinks)

At this point I got very firm and eventually a techie deigned to appear from the bowels of the shop, discuss my issue and take the lap-top in.

Dear Apple – Either the staff at your dealership are a complete bunch of numpties or your accredited repair logging system, they claim they have to use it, is the most ridiculous state of BAD customer care I have ever come across. How about this – It’s a shop and authorised repair dealer, you walk in with a repair job, they take the order and any due examination/inspection fee money and then a techie looks at the job later in the queue (customers are not stupid – we understand queues and waiting lists), it then gets fixed/can’t be fixed and the customer is rung and advised either it is ready or is bust beyond economic repair. How difficult is that?

Finally – Dippy the dinosaur in Dorchester

Despite the horrendous monsoon like half-term weather on the day over half term we had booked, and the car failing to start, we visited Dippy with the family. The outcome was two awed grand-children and four very impressed adults.

Photo - dippy
Dippy the dinosaur ‘on tour’ at Dorchester Photo: C) John New (Has had some minor digital adjustment/de-skewing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS A final note

It’s not that February was a hectic month or anything but this update for the month got posted almost at the deadline of midnight on the 28th. Final editing took place today, Thursday 1st March!

A literary month

Picture of the new books and SLS Journals

A literary month

Two connected, but disparate, sections to this blog post describing my literary month. The first a completed task and introduction to a new role as Editor of The Stephenson Locomotive Society Journal; the second related to local theatre productions.

Stella, my wife, stage managed Me and My Girl so a lot of work in the household went into that both in the months leading up to the show and in show week itself. To add to that drama connection the local Royal Manor Theatre here on Portland recently ran a production of Old actors never Die and as a consequence we got that title at Weymouth Writing Matters as one of our a prompts. Given it will soon be time to assist as a volunteer with the Weymouth Pavilion Panto prep’ time it seemed appropriate to also add my own small tribute to the thespian’s craft below.

A teaching day

The other generator of workload was an invitation to give a talk on the history of railways to a group of Polish exchange students staying over at Clevedon in Somerset. The students had come over to the UK to get experience of a range of topics and issues prior to selecting a career: one of those careers being the option of working on the railway back in Poland, hence this talk. Initially envisioning the usual hour to an hour and half of talking (as for a local club/society evening) it eventually turned out to be a four hour, full day. My recent BACOM experience and training at Bournemouth in presentation skills certainly came to the fore; it went well. A day’s teaching, a first for me, and an experience I found surprisingly satisfying.

Photo from the history talk.
An image used in the presentation. 150 years of progress in one picture. Left – The gas turbine APT – 175 mph in 1975. Centre – Iron Duke (Replica) 60 mph – 1840s. Right – Rocket (Replica) 32 mph in 1830. Image (C) John New

Editing time

Picture of the new books and SLS Journals
The final proofs for the two new SLS books. The final editions are perfect bound NOT wire bound. Images (C) John New.

Since coming back from summer holiday life has been hectic with book editing for The Stephenson Locomotive Society. A deep end start to the role I’ve also just taken on of Editor for the bi-monthly Journal; first edition will be January/February. But back to the books – launching at the Warley Model Railway Show at the NEC on 25/26 November the first two volumes of material from the SLS Archives.

  • Narrow Gauge & Miniature (From The Stephenson Locomotive Society Archives Vol 1)
  • Eclectic Electrics (From The Stephenson Locomotive Society Archives Vol 2)

On launch weekend they will be available on our stand (Hall 5, Stand D44) at £9.50 each (£7.50 to Society members). Postal sales will be available post-Show once the P&P situation is finalised. (When available generally it will be announced on my Twitter and Facebook feeds, the SLS Twitter feed and the SLS Publications page)

Old actors never die

They say old actors never die; like the ancient pagan gods they remain alive as long as they are adored, worshiped, remembered. Their old posters and fading photographs line the walls of musty corridors and theatre bars, slowly fading as the plays they starred in pass from living memory.

The ephemera of a craft, the passing of time, each show a snapshot, unlike cinema, where time remains frozen. The youthful face of the craggy old star shambling from Hollywood café to occasional TV studio appearance, their old movies endlessly repeating on obscure channels; a cruel reminder of past glories. The long legs dancing the kick line, the piercing smile of the male lead, forever captured, reality the decline, the baton passed to the new replacement.

Times change, tastes change, the star of yesterday’s western unnoticed in Wallmart, the silent queens of the silver screen, glorious in mono, passed over in colour. No more repeats of the Keystone Cops to entertain the kids at the Saturday flicks: 633 Squadron flies to face the deadly Hun no longer, the Eagles Dared but the Empire Struck back.

The house lights dim, the curtain rises, the new crop take the stage; from the wings the old look on, coaching, training, remembering. The words they spoke last the ages; for some their memory will be immortal, names spoken in reverent tones, their routines rehashed and recast, even perhaps immortalised as a new sweet desert, fruity, tangy, was Dame Nellie like that in life?

As they say in showbiz, another opening of another show. As the door closes for one for another it opens. For some, the very best, it will stay revolving, but sadly, for most, like a child’s spinning top the hum and buzz will gently fade away.

Copyright on all the above remains with the author – not released into the public domain.

Summer Review Part2

Blakeney Seals

A summer catch up (part 2)

Traveling

For my wife and I the spring and summer has been an eclectic mix that seems to have involved much traveling for us to and from Yorkshire, our knowledge of motorway snarl-ups increased several times. The trips have been for both business and pleasure/family reasons, and to this we also fitted in a brief visit to London and a holiday in Norfolk! Stella even managed a trip with the Quangle Wangle choir to Brittany. Although railways, large and small, have been the subject of several visits our summer has included many other activities; a veritable smorgasbord of activities.

Blakeney Seals
Seals at Blakeney Point, Norfolk (Taken from afloat). 6 Sep 2017 (C) John New.

 

A season of contrasting weather

33207 photo
On a day of torrential rain – 33 207 at Weymouth. 2 Aug 2017 (C) John New.

One of the drawbacks to event photography, in my case photographing rail tours, is that the event happens when it does; you get no choice in what the weather on the day brings. Rain or shine the event happens and you take what you get. This outdoor season has brought with it both extreme rains and days of sunshine so hot the tarmac was melting.

On the day the tar was melting unit 158 883 crosses the Harbour at Lymington, Hants. 5 July 2017 (C) John New

Add into that mix a day when the wind gusts at the Downs School Railway 90th anniversary gala were so strong and sudden we had to decamp the stand for safety reasons as the marquee in which our Stephenson Locomotive Society promotions stand was located took off and it has clearly been a memorable season weather wise . At least that was on the last day of the event creating the bonus of getting home about an hour and a half earlier than expected as we had to decamp the marquee for safety reasons!

Downs railway in rain
A day of rain and gales. Downs School Rly Gala 1 May 2017. (C) John New

The 50th Anniversary celebration of Southern steam

Image = The Belle
35028 Clan Line at Bournemouth with the return 50th Anniversary Bournemouth Belle excursion. 5 July 2017 (C) John New

Back in July 1967 the Southern Region of British Railways, as it then was, finally called the day on steam traction in its’ operational area. The newly completed electrification of the Waterloo to Bournemouth route took over with diesel traction elsewhere. Although steam traction lasted elsewhere in pockets until 1968; the last fully steam worked mainline in Britain went cold. Back then I lived near Shawford and watching the Bournemouth Belle had been part of my childhood. The growth of the modern steam hauled rail tour industry was unforeseeable back then, watching the reincarnation of the Bournemouth Belle run to mark that 50th anniversary run had to be done by traveling back to Shawford. That was the day the tar melted, very glad I wasn’t the fireman on Clan Line!

More to come next month

This month’s post is a shorter than usual for several workload reasons. Hopefully I will soon have time to make further posts.

Images – Copyright

These images remain copyright the author and ARE NOT released into the public domain.