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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Preserved -> Heritage on: May 14, 2020, 07:58:10 pm
Agree, "preserved" does imply preserved in substantially original condition. The fitting of replacement parts is often unavoidable, but these should be reasonably close facsimiles of the originals.
Many steam locos can reasonably be regarded as being preserved in substantially original condition.

However considering the West Somerset Railway as an example, the infrastructure is definitely "heritage" and not "preserved"
Electric lights, and concrete sleepers, and other features are appropriate on a working railway even if not original.

Err..... The GWR had electric signal lights, motor points and concrete sleepers in the 1930s, so I think they qualify as 'Preserved'..... Tongue

Yes, but I doubt that such modernity was much seen on the Minehead branch.
I have heard that some intermediate stations did not get electricity until a few years before closure.
One station still has a small hand operated winch intended for hoisting a Tilley lamp aloft after filling and lighting at ground level.
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Preserved -> Heritage on: May 13, 2020, 11:45:54 pm
Agree, "preserved" does imply preserved in substantially original condition. The fitting of replacement parts is often unavoidable, but these should be reasonably close facsimiles of the originals.
Many steam locos can reasonably be regarded as being preserved in substantially original condition.

However considering the West Somerset Railway as an example, the infrastructure is definitely "heritage" and not "preserved"
Electric lights, and concrete sleepers, and other features are appropriate on a working railway even if not original.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Report - packed public transport and road in London. How are GWR trains? on: May 13, 2020, 01:19:29 pm
Are London bound suburban rail commuters still crowding at the front of the train,  so as to be first through the ticket barrier?
The saving of a minute or two must surely outweigh social distancing concerns.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Report - packed public transport and road in London. How are GWR trains? on: May 12, 2020, 03:58:26 pm
I expect the APCOA enforcement staff have all been furloughed!

Perhaps they have been re deployed to check for;
People buying Easter eggs.
Exercising for 61 minutes.
Allowing children to play in a front garden.
People lying down in public parks.
Barbecues on private property and only for one household.
Sunbathing on private property.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: May 11, 2020, 04:59:09 pm
An interesting and favourable review, thanks.
And so far as I could see, the review of the Pullman contained not one factual error, unlike some.

I hope that all the Pullmans will return when times are normal again but remain concerned about the long term future of restaurants and the sleeper. Nothing like a crisis to bring in temporary downgrades that then become permanent.

And yet again I observe that it is not just me who considers IETS to be a backward step.

As regards tipping, when I was a fairly regular Pullman customer I generally gave 10% of the bill plus another £5.
So on a bill of £80, about £13. More if I felt that the crew had gone above and beyond the normal high standards.
6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / News, Help and Assistance / Re: Home railways - scale models, toys, garden, even 1:1 scale [DotD 6.5.20] on: May 05, 2020, 11:24:19 pm
Has anyone ever built a large model railway/garden railway with a WORKING overhead electrification scheme ? It should be entirely doable using a non dangerous voltage a bit higher than a table top model layout.
50 volts DC perhaps ?
10 amps at 50 volts is over half a horsepower which sounds enough for large models.

Up to 120 volts of smooth DC is in theory regarded as safety extra low voltage, but I would be a bit wary of more than about 50 volts if within easy reach.
7  Journey by Journey / London to Kennet Valley / Re: Lost and found on: May 05, 2020, 12:30:01 am
I recall an episode in my then local pub in southeast London.
At about 01-00 a baby was found abandoned in the pool room. This put in the landlord in a quandary, since the pub should have closed at 23-00, and any child found before that time or shortly thereafter could have been reported to the police. Cant really call the police at 01-00 though.

Some time later the owner of the child came back asking if they had left it in the pub. The offhand reply by the landlord was a classic "Oh, was it yours, no one wanted it so we threw it away, sorry"

For clarity is should be explained that the unfortunate infant was not actually thrown away or otherwise maltreated, but was being looked after by a female employee.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Rail programmes FRIDAY 1st May on: May 01, 2020, 11:36:29 pm
I watched the channel 5 programme at 20-00 tonight.
Quite an interesting view of the Scottish Highlands, and some proper trains, including one in FGW livery.
Near the beginning we saw an HST departing with white lights at the rear ! minor error by driver ? or stock footage of a train ARRIVING with correct white lights at the front, shown backwards to simulate a departure ? You cant expect a TV producer to understand such fine points.
9  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Improved services - as part of restarted / improved life? on: April 30, 2020, 05:27:27 pm
One specific change that could be implemented in public transport vehicles is disinfection by ultra violet light.
Special ultraviolet lamps are available that kill most micro organisms.

The light from such lamps is dangerous to skin and eyes but may be safely applied in two ways.
Air may be passed over such lamps before being heated or cooled and blown into the passenger accommodation. This is an established technology in food and pharmaceutical factories, but could perhaps be applied to vehicles.

Alternatively such lamps could be installed within the passenger saloon, but only lit overnight, or at other times when the vehicle is empty.

Also applicable to underground railway stations.

BTW, back in BR days, ultraviolet light was used to sterilise the water supply in catering vehicles. A very small spyhole allowed simple visual confirmation that the lamp was lit.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Ryanair refunds - vouchers now or cash in a year on: April 30, 2020, 01:25:33 pm
A cynic like me would suspect that Ryanair don't have the money to issue refunds.
I consider it possible that legal action may force them to refund money, they can then blame the subsequent insolvency on "ANOTHER unreasonable and disproportionate imposition by government"

BC there were growing concerns about the environmental impact of air travel with some people choosing to fly less, and others calling for greater taxes on air transport.
Add to this the virus induced reduction in demand, and I expect many airlines to bust over the next year or two.

There seems little public support for a government bailout of airlines, airports and related businesses.
11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: Sweden set to be within easy reach of London by sleeper train on: April 29, 2020, 03:20:41 pm
Sounds a good idea, but better still would a through sleeper between Sweden and London, and perhaps other places in the UK.
Changing trains is disliked, and for good reasons involving missed connections, cancellations, and the second train being overcrowded.

It is often stated that sleeper trains are less needed these days on account of the greater speed of day time trains. This may be partially true if considering only existing or recently closed sleeper routes.
We should however consider the opportunities for NEW sleeper routes, perhaps for journeys previously considered too long for a single night.
Sweden to the UK is a good example.
12  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: UK Discontinuous Electrification on: April 28, 2020, 03:01:04 pm
Despite the negative views expressed, I can see the merits of discontinuous electrification.
One significant problem is the perceived need to lower and then raise the pantograph. This I would solve by making the overhead physically continuous, but with a dead portion under the low bridge. The dead portion needs no electrical clearance to the bridge structure.
Each lowering and raising of the pantograph carries the small but real risk of a fault or failure, eliminated by my proposal.

The train could easily coast for the modest distance under a bridge. No question of lowering the pantograph up to a mile in advance so as to allow a margin.

For longer problematic locations such as the sea wall at Dawlish, an auxiliary power source would be needed. I have long held the view that all new electric trains should have a diesel engine or a battery for when the wires come down, and for places like Dawlish.
For reasons given elsewhere, I don't think much of the IETs, however the inclusion of a single engine in the electric versions is IMO an excellent idea.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Your least used possession at present? [DotD 11.4.2020] on: April 25, 2020, 02:20:26 pm
Until last week, I would have listed overalls as seeing no use. Have been wearing them recently whilst digging a large trench as a soakaway for waste water. (lest anyone considers me too fat and unfit to go digging large trenches, I did use an excavator)
14  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Your least used possession at present? [DotD 11.4.2020] on: April 25, 2020, 02:13:56 pm
My Iron.  That's five work shirts a week I now leave hanging in the wardrobe.

Until recently I did not posses a clothes iron. I last ironed a shirt for a job interview 20 or more years ago. I did not get the job, thereby proving the futility of ironing, and gave my iron away to the deserving poor.
I think that I posses one now, but only by inheritance after Mother past away. Don't know where it is.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Daimler/Volvo JV on Hydrogen Fuel Systems for HGVs on: April 23, 2020, 05:12:43 pm
IMO, Hydrogen power for trucks OR trains is a rather silly idea and arguably more of a political fashion than a sensible engineering solution.

Hydrogen is inherently expensive, bulky, explosive, hard to store and transport, and has little to commend it.

Bulk or long distance transport of goods should be by rail, not road. Preferably by electric railway.
Road transport is often unavoidable for part of the journey, and this part should be by electric road vehicle.
Battery technology has advanced very considerably and is now viable for a daily range of at least 200 miles.

Many urban centers could benefit from trolleybuses for passengers, and the same infrastructure could power electric delivery vehicles thereby not just conserving battery charge, but actually re-charging the battery.
It might be worth equipping some major roads with overhead electrification for both buses and trucks.

Calls for more research into, or tests of hydrogen power is IMHO often a crafty political way of avoiding doing anything about pollution from road traffic.
"lets ban older and more polluting vehicles" Cant do that it might hit the poor.
"lets ban all fuel burning vehicles" Cant do that, much too radical.

"Call for research into hydrogen" Sounds good, and postpones doing anything much.
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