Pictures by Walter

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All Change – Part 7 … Motive Power

Apart from Track, Signals, Rolling Stock a railway needs locomotives and model railways have a choice of them.  However, all is not as simple as it appears.  A true modeler will ensure that his / her layout is correct in every detail. To aid railway modelers in their quest for authenticity the companies devised an Epoch or Era Scheme:

Era 1: 1804 – 1875 Pioneering
Era 2: 1875 – 1922 Pre-Grouping
Era 3: 1923 – 1947 The Big Four – LMS, GWR, LNER and SR
Era 4: 1948 – 1956 British Railways Early Crest
Era 5: 1957 – 1966 British Railways Late Crest
Era 6: 1967 – 1971 British Rail Blue Pre TOPS
Era7: 1971 – 1982 British Rail Blue TOPS
Era 8: 1982 – 1994 British Rail Sectorisation
Era 9: 1995 onwards Post Privatisation

My preference is Era 4 and 5 with the odd Era 3 engine popping in, I can  say it is the between 3 and 4 waiting for British Railway branding.  The full breakdown of British Railway Eras

I currently have 14 steam outline locomotives:

Pacific Class 4-6-2

46242 City of Glasgow Ex LMS Coronation Pacific. Designed by Sir William Stanier

Stanier Coronation (Duchess/Coronation)

446242 “City of Glasgow” a Hornby Dublo metal cast model. Originally 46245 “City of London” introduced in 1959.  A good friend ( Paul James)  repainted and renamed the model to my favourite locomotive as I have found memories of the real engine.  City of Glasgow was one of three locos involved in the 1952 Harrow and Wealdston Rail Crash.  This is by far my oldest model locomotive.  Original loco was designed by Sir William Stanier and as designed were streamlined.

Gresley A4

Ex-LNER A4 60009 “Union of South Africa” Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley

No layout would be complete without one of the Gresley streamline locos or “Streaks” as they were known.  I have two only one is currently in use on the layout. Number 60009 “Union of South Africa” is one of six preserved A4 locomotives.  All rail enthusiast now that one of the class 4468 “Mallard” holds the world record for speed by Steam Locomotive.  The other A4 model I have is 60031 “Golden Plover” both Hornby models.

BR MT7 Standard, Britannia Class 70000 Britannia”

 B.R. Standard MT7 “Britannia Class” R A Riddles

Designed by R A Riddles incorporating the best features and modern (for that time) technology the Standard Class 7mt engine proved to be a success in nearly all of the BR Regions -The Western formerly GWR drivers and fireman were not impressed with them. North Eastern Region Norfolk drivers/firemen London Midland took them to heart. Once the Stanier pacifics were withdrawn they were the workhorse of the Scottish and London Midland region.  The first of the class 70000 “Britannia” and the subsequent 55 locos were known as “Britannias” or “Brits” for short.  70013 “Oliver Cromwell” hauled the 1968 15 Guinea Special on 11th August 1968 as the last rostered steam hauled service by British Railways. Both Britannia and Oliver Cromwell made it into preservation.

4-6-0 Class

EX LMS Stanier “Black Five” in later BR Livery

Stanier “Black Five

The 4-6-0 that is 4 leading wheels, 6 driving wheels and 0 trailing wheels was one of the more prolific in the railways of Britain.  British Railways inherited numerous examples and designs of this classification from the Big 4(LMS, LNER, SR and GWR). The most prolific 4-6-0 was the Stanier LMS “Black Five” of which  832 were built between 1834 – 1951.  RA Riddles design of the BR Standard 5 took the best features of the Stanier Black 5. I currently have three Hornby versions of the LM design.  One in LMS livery two in BR livery (early/Late crest).

G.E.R S69 (LNER/BR B12)

GER S69/LNER-BR B12. The last surviving member of a class of 71 locomotives designed by S D Howden and rebuilt by Sir Nigel Gresley. Hornby Model

The last surviving member of a class of 71 locomotives designed by S D Howden and rebuilt by Sir Nigel Gresley. My Triang modelo dates back to 1970 and is one of my original locomotives from my teenage model railway layout.

B.R. Standard Class 4 R A Riddles

B.R. Standard Class 4MT designed by R A Riddles and modeled by Bachaman

Built to provide services on secondary lines and to the universal loading gauge these class 4 MT engine had a higher route availability than the class 5 and 7 engines. 80  during the 1950s of these were built and used extensively in the LM,Western and Southern regions of BR.  Bachmann model is of the preserved loco on the Bluebell Railway.

B.R. Standard Class 5 R A Riddles

B.R. Standard Class 5MT. designed by R A Riddlesbased on LMS Black 5 with modern technology.

Designed to make life easier for the shed maintenance crews and the disposal at end of shift. R A Riddles based the Stanrdad 5 on the LMS Black 5 with modifications such as high running plate, slightly enlarged drivings wheels, self cleaning smoke boxes, and rocking fire grates.   I have two versions by Bachmann – one early and one later crest.

LMS Rebuilt Patriot Class – Sir Henry Fowler

Stanier rebuild of Fowler Patriot “REME”. Model by Bachmann

The Patriot Class was a class of 52 express passenger steam locomotives built for the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The first locomotive of the class was built in 1930 and the last in 1934. The class was based on the chassis of the Royal Scot combined with the boiler from Large Claughtons earning them the nickname Baby Scots. 18 were rebuilt between 1946 and 1948; the remaining 34 unrebuilt engines were withdrawn between 1960 and 1962. Modelby Bachmann with early BR Crest

EX LMS Ivatt Class 2-4-2T

Ivatt 2-6-2T designed to replace elderly LMS 0-6-0 engines

Model by Bachmann in early BR blacklining with early crest

0-6-0 Class

More prolific than the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement the 0-6-0 was a very versatile arrangement for small freight engines.  Various variants of a tendered and non tendered locomotives were built.   I have three variants on my layout:

Ex NBR D (J38)

Fowler Class 3f “Jinty” Ex LMS

Ex LNER designed by Sir Nigel Gresley

BR Standard 2-10-0

Evening Star 92220

Last steam locomotive built by British Railways in 1960. She was withdrawn in 1968 – after 8 years running life. Model by Hornby


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North to Alaska

Departure – Canada Place, Vancouver

We took a break from our Canadian Adventure to go on a 7 day (There and Back again) cruise to Alaska via the “Inside Passage” departing from Canada Place Vancouver.  Our ship was the Holland America line “Nieuw Amsterdam” (New Amsterdam).  We had arrived earlier and as a result we had to wait, but the good news we were one of the first to board, the bad news it was a long wait for our luggage.  I shall say right off I will never sail with Holland America again. The cabin was fine, the food was excellent and the crew very polite.  However, what you pay is not the final price, they add on hotel service charge, and a service charge for a drink.  We are used to all inclusive with complementary drinks with meals, no hidden surcharges and gratuities left for us to decide on.  It did not help that they confiscated my dress  sgian-dubh (ske-an do) an imitation knife which is part of my highland dress outfit and the KILT pin.  As this was my formal dress my partner and I felt reluctant to attend the two formal evenings.  As a result of that we ate our meals in the Lido Restaurant and had a great selection of meals around the world.  Really loved those salads.

Our fist night cruising allowed us to explore the ship, the shops and go to a show (the only one we did go to).  The show team were very talented, but the volume was deafening.  I do stage photography and am used to shows, but this really was loud and yes it was colourful.

Juneau

The first port of call was Juneau – the State Capitol City.  (Following from Wikipedia) Juneau, Alaska’s remote capital, sits in the state’s panhandle, at the base of 3,819-ft. Mount Roberts. It’s a popular cruise-ship stop, reachable only by boat or seaplane. A tram carries visitors 1,800 feet up Mount Roberts to an alpine area with hiking trails, wildflowers and views of Gastineau Channel. This is also the site of the Juneau Raptor Centre, dedicated to local birds.  A port that has four cruise liners in is going to be busy.  While nearly all passengers headed for the Mount Roberts Tramway or other tourist attractions we opted to explore the city and visit the museum, which was very interesting on local history.  We wandered around the town making our way back to the dock plaza and the Mt. Roberts tramway station.  It takes about 5 minutes to get to the station at the 1,800 foot point. Feeling hungry we partook of lunch – very nice it was too.  Making our way to the Ranger Station we asked if there was a circular trail that would take about an hour to walk.  There was indeed, and we were advised to take the right hand as that would be easier for us going down the large flight of stairs rather then climbing them.  (We were glad we took that advice).  The views at that level we good, they got even better as we climbed up the trail.  The Ranger had given us a map and there was a point marked “Father Brown’s Cross” which was a 1/2 mile up from the Alpine loop trail we were on. In for a penny in for a pound, we plodded up that extra 1/2 mile.  Those kind souls coming down gave encouragement to stick to it as the view was worth it.  I’ll let you decide if it was.

We thought it was, and very pleased we were to have taken the time and energy to get there.

Skagway

Our next stop was Skagway: Skagway is a compact city in southeast Alaska, set along the popular cruise route the Inside Passage. It’s home to gold-rush-era buildings, now preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad runs vintage locomotives past the famously steep Chilkoot trail and offers sweeping mountain views during its climb toward Canada.

If it was not for the modern traffic I would have thought we had stepped back in time.  As the blurb above states “gold rush era buildings each one with its own story.  Even new builds have to comply with “the look”.  Gateway to the Chilkoot trail Skagway had an unsavoury reputation thanks to one Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith II.  We strolled up and down “Main Street” like many tourists and the spirit of “Soapy Smith” lives on with retailers enticing customers into shops with free charms.  Two routes to the Klondike Goldfields originated from Skagway – The main being the Chilkoot Trail, the other the White Pass Trail (aka The Dead Horse Trail).  Each have their own bloody history and tales of woe.  It was at Skagway  the second highlight of our adventure occurred, again it involved a train journey up the White Pass on the White Pass & Yukon Railway.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

The second highlight on the cruise – Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a vast area of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage, a coastal route plied by cruise ships and other vessels. Stretching north of the town of Gustavus, the bay is flanked by high peaks, including Mount Fairweather, and glaciers like the huge Grand Pacific Glacier. Bartlett Cove is the starting point for forest and riverside trails. Wildlife includes humpback whales and puffins.

On our Canadian Adventure we walked over a minute part of the Athabasca Glacier here we stood on a ship looking at nature in the raw. In fact we saw 3 active glaciers out of the seven: Margerie GlacierGrand Pacific Glacier and Johns Hopkins Glacier.

We stood on the deck listening to the sound of silence being disturbed by the groans and creaks of the living glaciers as the slowly moved their way to the sea. On 4 occasions we heard a deep rumble vibrate through the air.  We later found out from a passenger on another ship that was the Margerie Glacier Calving. Alas we never saw a calving.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan is an Alaskan city facing the Inside Passage, a popular cruise route along the state’s southeastern coast. It’s known for its many Native American totem poles, on display throughout town. Nearby Misty Fiords National Monument is a glacier-carved wilderness featuring snowcapped mountains, waterfalls and salmon spawning streams. It’s also home to rich wildlife including black bears, wolves and bald eagles.

According to Wikipedia: Ketchikan has the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles, found throughout the city and at four major locations: SaxmanTotem Park, Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, and the Totem Heritage Center. Most of the totems at Saxman Totem Park and Totem Bight State Park are recarvings of older poles, a practice that began during the Roosevelt Administration through the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Totem Heritage Center displays preserved 19th-century poles rescued from abandoned village sites near Ketchikan. We never saw any of them due to the fact that it lived up to its title as “Rain Capital of Alaska”.  We did enjoy a light snack as we wandered around the city before returning to the ship for our journey back to Vancouver.

Alaskan Adventure Video

 

 


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Cultural Cities of Northern Europe-Helsinki

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Helsinki sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. Its central avenue, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions including the National Museum, tracing Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Also on Mannerheimintie are the imposing Parliament House and Kiasma, a contemporary art museum. Ornate red-brick Uspenski Cathedral overlooks a harbor

Cultural Cities of Northern Europe (September-October 2017)

We departed Copenhagen later Wednesday  heading for our next port of call  – Helsinki.   We arrived in the early hours of Thursday and would have six hours to explore the city before setting sail for St. Petersburg.  We elected to have the city tour and set off to see the touristic sites and monuments.

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Helsinki Central Station is the main station for commuter rail and long-distance trains departing from Helsinki, Finland. The station is used by approximately 400,000 people per day, of which about 200,000 are passengers

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Alexis Kivi, born Alexis Stenvall, (10 October 1834 – 31 December 1872) was a Finnish author who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language, Seven Brothers (Finnish title: Seitsemän veljestä). Although Kivi was among the very earliest authors of prose and lyrics in Finnish language, he is still considered one of the greatest.He also died alone in a mental hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tour took us to the Sibelius Monument and Bust.

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The Sibelius Monument by Eila Hiltunen is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The monument is located at the Sibelius Park in the district of Töölö in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland (Wikipedia)

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Marja Leena Suvela – Keraamikko Ceramicist , Helsinki

On returning to the ship we spent some time in the Finish market at the dock – of course we bought some souvenirs, one stall in particular interested us.  Susan was delight that the objects were made by the stall holder  Marja Leena Suvela – Keraamikko Ceramicist , Helsinki

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Click for Gallery of 41 images of our visit to Helsink

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Road Trip – Killin 6-7th May

20160506-_K504564-EditMy partner Susan is into Am-Drama in a big way. She is involved in committees, costuming, organising for the Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA). I am slowly getting sucked into supporting the SCDA, but not without a fight – rear guard action it may be but it is still a fight. As we were going away for two days  I turned off all my computers on Friday morning and we set off for Killin for the two day “Killin Komedy Festival”.  It was a greyish day as we set out – but brightened up as we headed north to the Highlands.  We did not stop at our usual break point at the first car park at Loch Lubnaig due to the legendary mirror stillness of the loch waters being disturbed by a wind shift.  Instead we stopped at the next rest spot which by happenstance had a take-away cafe.

We arrived at Killin at 2:45 just in time to book into our room and go for a stroll up to the old bridge which crosses the River Dochart and the Falls of Dochart. Usually the falls funnel a large surge of water through the two arches of the old bridge. At these times not only can you hear the roar of the water and feels the force of it as it thunders beneath the arches of the single track bridge.  We discovered that our visit coincided with one of these rare occasions when the river flow was abated and the underlying rocks, boulders which cause the river waters to froth, tumble and roar were uncovered and one could walk out to the main channel leading to the first arch.

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Even with this reduced water flow the river still roared its merry way to Loch Tay.

 

 

 

 

 

Video “Lubnaig, Dochart and Tay” by Susan Wales (C) May 2016. Pictures by Walter Hampson ((C) PicturesbyWalter May 2016)