Duchess of Atholl returns

With every item of news, we seem to be returning to the  depressing  late 1940’s/ early 1950’s austerity and the divisive attitudes of that period.

The announcement that Hornby are to produce a 21st century model  of the LMS Duchess of Atholl locomotive, is brighter news, bringing back  some good memories of that time. Memories of the Hornby Dublo loco of the same name – one of the high points of my  model railway childhood. Together with Sir Nigel Gresley in LNER livery of Garter Blue, these were Hornby Dublo’s finest, even though the models themselves came out just before WW2. It would take H-D some years to produce them in British Railways livery.

Although I loved these models, I never saw the originals- it was a life of M-7’s and “Spam Cans” on my part of the real railway!

Diorama to form basis of Christmas Card

The on going diorama of “If the railway had come to the Milland Valley” is hopefully going to be used as the basis of my personal Christmas Card this year.

If finished in time the diorama will be photographed and used as an electronic Christmas card to those in the village & ex colleagues of the L&DMRC.

It was originally intended to use it as the clubs 2016 Christmas card.

Conventional cards may also be sent out, to those not e-wise!

Changed look

In the continued effort to separate the L&DMRC content from my personal pages, the club content has been grouped  and my own content now has been “moved up” in the contents side bars.

A changed look , with a postcard image of the grain elevators at Tugaske Sask. on the Canadian Pacific circa 1912, starts the process of splitting into two sites.

I have not heard of any definite progress on the L&DMRC new site recently. I would guess there will be little progress until after the club AGM in late January 2017.

Meanwhile the L&DMRC content on this site is unfortunately getting further out of date….

Koln Trip

The Liphook club made its latest (3rd?) biannual trip to the International Model Railway Show recently. Travelling out on Wednesday 16th November with an early start from from Liphook at 06.04. A total of 6 were in the party including one “other half” and a non-member (me)

We had a pleasant two hour lay over in Brussels using a taxi out & back to the centre of town where beer & chips were consumed.

We reached Koln around 4.00 pm local time with a short walk to our hotel.

Visited exhibition on the Thursday, followed by a trip to a local model shop. On Friday some returned to the exhibition; I got an all day tram ticket and travelled for 5 hours or so on mainly street running parts of the system plus a trip to Bonn & back by two different routes.

All evenings were spent sampling a different restaurant with different local beers.

Return departure  on Saturday 19th just before midday, with arrival at Liphook just gone 18.00hrs. (Eurostar  was a re-conditioned set)

Good trip with pleasant company. Perhaps one more time in 2018?


The press & railway terminology

Unfortunately on the extremely rare instances of railway accidents without or with fatalities,  press & TV reporters seem unable to use the correct vocabulary for railway related items.

They borrow terms related to motoring- the … came off on a sharp corner- rather than a curve in the track. Then the most inappropriate- “the …. skidded or swerved off the track”.

The term train tracks or rail tracks (that’s like saying rail rails!) seems to have crept into common usage, rather than the more correct railway tracks.

I’ve heard ballast referred to as shingle or gravel, the list goes on…. confusion between locomotives, carriages and multiple units.

Obviously we have reached an era when interest in transport systems  in ones youth, other than cars, passed the reporters by.

We won’t mention their lack of knowledge of railway safety systems or acknowledgement of the rarity of railway accidents & fatalities when compared to  motoring.

and some of them call themselves transport correspondents..

Day trip to Canute Road & back!

Saturday 5th November

The “Andover Fist” a railway trip out with a fellow railway modeller. Out at 7 am for a lift to Haslemere & a trip to pick up the Hertfordshire Rail Tours special at Woking. Have a leisurely a coffee & croissant  and cross to Platform 5

The 13 coach train arrives a few minutes late and we board coach J towards the northern end of the train, topped & tailed by Class 66’s in ES&WR liveries- owned by DB-Shencker

The first stage of the trip is a fastish run on the slow line to Basingstoke & then on through Winchester to Eastleigh- then slow as we take the approach to Northam past Southampton FC ground and onto the single line approach to Southampton Eastern Docks & the crossing of Canute Road.

A small jolt & then stop- we have been underway about 90 minutes.

An announcement of an “event”- then later further announcements that the front carriage has derailed (brake/ generator), then also the firont bogie of the second carriage (First dining car). The loco hasn’t derailed and there are no injuries.

Network Rail, BTP & other high-viz vests, appear from the north & some times the south. News that the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) are involved & that they are in control of the site. The decision is made after some time to break the train into two parts- the front leading loco & the two derailed carriages are to be detached & left and the remaining 11 carriages are to return north hauled by the second loco.

Passengers from the First Dining car are able to walk through their carriage to the next dining car. After the arrival of a second driver (& possibly a shunter) by taxi from Eastleigh  and then waiting for the RAIB to complete taking dimensions and photographs, we are able to proceed back towards Eastleigh where the train is terminated.

The train stops at Southampton Airport (Parkway) to enable faster train connections to be made than at Eastleigh. We take this opportunity and are back courtesy of fast train to Woking ( only stopping at Winchester) and good connection to Haslemere to be back there in just over an hour!

Arrived home in daylight.

All the passengers in our carriage on the special were good humoured- a few of them possibly professional railwaymen and the 4 hours or more it took to sort it, out passed easily.

Quick arrangements by the organisers had been made to allow our special tickets to get us back to Woking or Waterloo courtesy of South West Trains.

Thanks to all those involved in sorting out everything- Hertfordshire Rail Tours, Network Rail, DB Schencker, BTP etc- well done

We understand the two carriages were re-railed late Saturday evening and with the loco returned to Eastleigh.

Possible new dates for the tour- February or April 2017 are already being discussed- I hope we can make it.