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Author Topic: Smokey's Picture Quiz (with no pictures!!)  (Read 1293 times)
stuving
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2020, 02:14:29 pm »

I know my first train journey was in 1950, but can't claim to remember it due to my lack of years (i.e. none of them). It was a sleeper trip to Aberdeen, and back, which we did as a family every year until 1959 to see "grandma in Scotland". But from later years, I do remember those third class sleeper compartments, with four berths, which we occupied as a family until member number five got too big to be tucked in with someone else.

There was that lurid blue/purple light that was always on, and the hushed voices of parents strangely modified by the regular background noise (not really in the background, and of course with added irregular noises too). Me up in a top berth, with those to big leather straps holding it up and a wooden ladder to climb. And wasn't there a space above the corridor where some luggage could be put - though not very easily? Maybe not - but of course, for a family of five, with all the clothes there would be too much to handle on the tube to Kings Cross so a big cabin trunk went ahead as "luggage in advance".

I've had a look on line, but can't find a single picture of the interior of one of those compartments, neither a Mk 1 (which I may remember from the end of the 1950s) nor whatever hand-me-downs BR used before them.

And that in turn has reminded me; I recently came across some related old letters of Dad's, which I'm scanning - I think they would merit their own topic.
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RichardB
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2020, 03:14:59 pm »

The Royal Mail van turning up at Leatherhead with mail bags which would be put on a flatbed trolley, wheeled along the Up platform and then, when the train came in, lobbed into the guard's compartment of a 4SUB or 4EPB.  Happened at least a couple of times a day.  Then there were the empty pigeon baskets being returned and all the regular and Red Star parcels. 
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johnneyw
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2020, 06:01:38 pm »

Off course there are some vanished features on our railways that are unlikely to be missed. Few, if any would have shed a tear at the demolition of the Temple Meads GPO conveyor or waxed lyrical about it's form and beauty. To the contrary, it's removal has somewhat enhanced the vista on the approach to the station.
It was quite interesting to trawl through the later 2014 forum posts on the subject.
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smokey
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2020, 01:17:36 pm »

Something else I also miss, after years of shunting, the (to me wonderful) sound of Buffers singing in the yards whilst "fly" shunting took place.

Wagon buffers sang like bells, clang clang clang.

Three link couplings used to clunk when taking up the strain.
Lovely sounds.

A story of a Freight Guard who had a journey to hell.

A long "Unfitted" wagon train of around 70 wagons was in a yard.
The engine whistled when the ground signal came off, the guard released the hand brake waved his 2 foot ("600mm" for youngsters) square Green flag, and the train started, over the sound of the loco the guard didn't hear the first 20 odd couplings taking up, then he heard Clunk         Clunk      Clunk   Clunk Clunk getting louder and louder, but more worrying faster FASTER and FASTER.
The guard dived into the van to brace himself holding onto the hand brake wheel.

Stationary to 30mph in a nano second, the poor chap was flung to the back of the van, breaking his right arm very badly, the guard got to his feet and going back outside waved his even bigger Red Flag, freight guards had enormous flags the Red biggest of all.
The driver should have checked back for a green flag to indicate the train was in good order. HE DIDN'T

Now a freight guard didn't just sit at the back of the train drinking Tea he would apply the hand brake to keep the couplings taught when going down hill, release the hand brake on the level and going uphill and try to make his journey as jolt free as possible.
This poor chap was in no state to operate the hand brake so he sat there for 90 minutes being thrown about as the buffers met and when the couplings snatched. Only when the Guard failed to appear at the next stopping point did his distress come to light.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 01:58:44 pm by smokey » Logged
smokey
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2020, 02:15:19 pm »

Whilst on the subject of "Unfitted" freight trains who remembers the Diesel Brake tenders, built from old steam engine tenders, coupled to Diesel locomotives to increase brake force and could be in front or behind (or both) of the locomotive.

Any pictures out there, don't recall ever seeing a Diesel Hydraulic with a Brake tender.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2020, 02:18:58 pm »

It's one of those things that is a source of wonder to those of us non-railway people with an interest in railways that "unfitted" train where allowed to run so long. I don't know how long ago Smokey's story took place, but that poor guard was exposed to considerable danger by being stuck at the back of a long line of flexibly connected unbraked small goods wagons being hauled across country, up and down gradients and accelerating and slowing down. It should not have been allowed in the twentieth century.
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stuving
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2020, 02:40:03 pm »

Whilst on the subject of "Unfitted" freight trains who remembers the Diesel Brake tenders, built from old steam engine tenders, coupled to Diesel locomotives to increase brake force and could be in front or behind (or both) of the locomotive.

Any pictures out there, don't recall ever seeing a Diesel Hydraulic with a Brake tender.

A Google image search for "brake tender" brings up loads, including this from GCR about one that's been built from new as none survived being scrapped.
Quote
The Diesel Brake Tender
Published November 2, 2017 | By Andrew Morley

The forthcoming Lash Hurrah event on 18th/19th November will see the unveiling of a new and unique vehicle.

The diesel brake tender was one of those railway vehicles that no one paid any attention to until they had all gone. At the end of the 1950’s British Railways was pressing ahead with the mass introduction of new diesel engines to replace the steam engine, as well as a mass replacement of wagons. It was soon discovered that the new diesels did not have the same braking ability as the steam engines they were replacing and not all the new wagons had train brakes either. This resulted in British Railways converting a number of old carriages that were also being replaced into weights that could be used to assist the diesels when stopping these unbraked trains. By the late 1970’s when most unfitted goods trains had either been upgraded or replaced the use of these tenders was no longer required, so they fell into disuse and were scrapped.

The vehicles could be seen all over the country, with many being allocated to the Nottingham area for use on the many coal trains that operated from the regions collieries.

None survived into preservation, but a group of engineers from 'Railway Vehicle Preservations', based on the Great Central Railway, decided to build a new one to enable demonstrations to be recreated using the extensive wagon and diesel collections based on the railway. In exceptional cases they also saw use on passenger trains.

The new diesel brake tender is expected to work all weekend at the Last Hurrah and can be seen on goods trains and some passenger services.
Posted in Main Line Xtra

Theirs isn't such a good picture, and I'm not convinced they were made from carriages. But if they were old tenders, how are so many on two bogies? I thought most 8-wheel tenders were on four fixed axles - or is my limited memory at fault there?
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johnneyw
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2020, 10:27:06 pm »

Continuously Welded Rail may give a smoother, quieter journey but I sometimes miss the comforting rhythm made by the old tracks.
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smokey
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2020, 12:03:44 pm »

Now in these modern times, something I miss is the days when,

There were 4 Ticket Types

Being

1 Single

2 Day Return

3 Period Return (valid 3 months for the return journey I seem to recall)

4 Season
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2020, 12:05:59 pm »

Continuously Welded Rail may give a smoother, quieter journey but I sometimes miss the comforting rhythm made by the old tracks.

Not if you were travelling (i.e. bouncing around) in a PACER or SKIPPER unit, you wouldn't.... Roll Eyes
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smokey
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2020, 12:10:08 pm »

Now long gone not the Clickety Clack of the track, but the

Clickety Click Clack of passenger vehicles on 6 wheel bogies.  Cheesy
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2020, 12:21:05 pm »

Continuously Welded Rail may give a smoother, quieter journey but I sometimes miss the comforting rhythm made by the old tracks.

CWR short wheelbase 4 wheel wagons and diesel traction was the cause of many derailments in the 60s. At speed the wagons started ocsillating and jumped the track.

I remember we had to send out a notice to all sheds saying cool it boys no more than XXmph

(anyone remember?) even if wagons were fitted.
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smokey
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2020, 12:27:12 pm »

Unfitted freights were restricted to 25mph, but as Steam engines didn't have Speedometers (the later BR one did) the speed of a Unfitted Train was often around 40mph
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2020, 12:28:14 pm »

My early railway memories are mainly of watching, almost daily, the diesel-shunter crossing the road with a short train of wagons at Bridgwater.  What's now the siding used for nuclear flask traffic and not much else was a line that continued over the road, roughly where the Bristol and Bath Roads converge, and head past what's now Sainsbury's and on to the docks.  The present day Sainsbury's was a timber yard, George Hooper's, where my father worked.  We left Bridgwater in 1960, so I guess my memories would come from 1959/1960.  There were no level crossing gates.  The traffic on the roads was halted by a shunter on each side of the train (or possibly the shunter one side and the guard on the other)
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johnneyw
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2020, 01:38:20 pm »

Continuously Welded Rail may give a smoother, quieter journey but I sometimes miss the comforting rhythm made by the old tracks.

Not if you were travelling (i.e. bouncing around) in a PACER or SKIPPER unit, you wouldn't.... Roll Eyes

It would be the closest I'd get to a fun fair white knuckle ride these days!


BTW, had to look that up..... didn't know some Pacers were rebranded as Skippers.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 01:43:43 pm by johnneyw » Logged
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