Under Construction - Birmingham UK

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Hi All

A pic of my work in progress model of Birmingham New Street Station (united Kingdom) More on my site. Let me know your thoughts as I am interested in how UK modelling is perceived by others.

Jim

FXrats.jpg
 
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Your Cantenary and Trackwork is Astounding, and commendable to the ABSOLUTE HIGHEST Degree! :)

(Just My Opinion, please take light-hearted ;) :D ) I Cannot imagine why a country who poineered steam locomotive design, and captured it SO beautifully (A4 Mallard and "Black Fives" are my Favorites) Would produce what has to be the UGLIEST Diesels known to mankind! I mean look at that thing!? Did the British Industrial Designers take style cues from a loaf or BREAD?! Yuck! ;)

Perhaps it's my Bias of Southern Pacific Diesels that sets me so strongly against foregin diesel designs!

Here's what I'm talking about!
http://espee.railfan.net/nonindex/sd09_photos/5339_sp-sd9-don_jewell.jpg
http://espee.railfan.net/nonindex/sd09_photos/5402_sp-sd9-rob_sarberenyi.jpg
http://www.trainweb.org/chris/SAC41.jpg
 
Looking at that track again, I'm astounded! Multiple Double slip switches, three-way turnouts, and all woven together like a master craftsman! Truly Stellar work! :)
 
Hey there! Those "ain't" American! Those are those "Kraut"(Krauss-Maffei) German Units, built in Germany..see, Case in point about foregin (non-North American) locomotives..Beautiful Steam..ugly diesels! Those Germans produced some of the most intricatly fascinating steam locos...but just try to LOOK at that "thing"! Yuck.
 
Yes, but those GE U25's were permanently marred by frame and body modifications necessary to fit a SWISS diesel (Sultzer) Engine! Another case of Foreign ideas polluting our fine face of North American Diesels, SP "eSPecially." ;)
 
Would produce what has to be the UGLIEST Diesels known to mankind! I mean look at that thing!?
Hi

These are not to bad - the first version of these locos were even more scruffy!

A lot of early diesels in the UK were produced in a panic as a reaction to the modernisation plan. Mass withdrawal of steam for replacement by diesel. The diesels themselves were only supposed to be a stop gap while full electrification was undertaken. The money didn't come and we were left with diesel locos sometime 2 or 3 times past their design life still struggling on.

The steam loco's you mention were essentially designed by an individual while diesels were effectively designed by committee

CRW_4565.jpg
 
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Hi All

Thanks for the kind comments. Do people build track over that side of the pond? I assume they do?

All of the overhead is scratchbuilt as there is nothing available here. What is is European in origin and a bit chunky (it has to be so that they can sell it).

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There are also no modern high spec electric loco's so we have to use 30+ year old models with replacement chassis (salvaged from more modern models) to get something good.
 
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Steve B

Firefighter
Heck Jim, thats fantastic work, i don't know anyone who would not like your work, outstanding,,,, and 25's, fantastic stuff, any plans to sound chip them with Howes chips.
 
Hi Steve

Nope - because they both already have South West Digital sound chips and a pair of speakers each. ;)

Jim
 
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Hi All

The more finished stuff you see is what I call the plank and is not part of my layout proper. Its is essentially a programming track and a test bed for my scratchbuilt overhead. This is the first time I have tried building it and i wanted to see 3 things. 1 - can I build it as close to scale as possible? and 2 - would it work? and 3 - will it last?

So far it seems the answers to all 3 are yes - its surpisingly strong once complete. The actual contact wire is to scale being 0.25mm diameter. The catenary wire is slightly smaller (0.2mm) this is prototypical. I could have built the test using just simple masts but that's not really how I do things so at the right hand end is a full 4 track portal (pictured pre wires). The only bits I am not really happy with are the insulators and they are the only bits not scratchbuilt. I have persuaded a manufacturer I know to do some proper ones! :) Pictures of the OLE under construction are on my site if you want to see more.

Jim

finished-portal.jpg
 
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Jim, That's a fantastic tidbit of info about British diesels, and now it makes perfect sense! Thank you for the insight. :) What's a modern british "shunter" look like?

I have to agree with your comment about them being built by a committee..much like the worlds more ugly modern Automobiles, not the follow-through that one person's design would have, but a lumpy mess of metal designed for the same purpose as the more beautiful industurally-designed masterpieces you see on the road and in museums today.

Why was the Modernization plan even brought up, if England kept their steam for so long anyways? Wouldn't it just have been better to keep it? When did it take place?

I really enjoy your catenary! This is masterful work, and I look forward to more updates! :) So what you suggested in you last post is that you're going to run your trains off the overhead once complete? Wow! How do you go about doing that?
 
:) What's a modern british "shunter" look like?
Hi

If you dont like class 25's you wont like 08's! :D

These are the only shunters in current use, their design is over half a century old.

http://www.railphotoarchive.org/rpc_zoom.php?img=0200020398000

Why was the Modernization plan even brought up, if England kept their steam for so long anyways? Wouldn't it just have been better to keep it? When did it take place?
The modernisation plan was introduced in 1955. Essentially because we were falling behind the rest of the world. A lot of this due to getting the system running again after WWII. Some think that British railways pretty much won the war by keeping supply chains running - in Europe at least.

More here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail

I really enjoy your catenary! This is masterful work, and I look forward to more updates! :) So what you suggested in you last post is that you're going to run your trains off the overhead once complete? Wow! How do you go about doing that?
It wont be powered but in all other respects it will be like the real thing. the pantographs run on the wires and it is all tensioned with springs - Interestingly Birmingham station is below the speed limit required for tensioned overhead but the model needs it to keep things straight.

If it were powered the fiddleyard would have to be too which would mean 800+ feet of track. For the UK that's a lot - probably nothing to you guys though. :D

Jim
 
Actually, Jim, I really like the Class 08's! :) It looks more like a locomotive and less like a Rolling Loaf of bread! ;) The steam-era drivers, all coupled by siderods give it an interesting look, and it just looks "right" (as a locomotive should) I asked because I didn't believe they were still in service! But I shouldn't be too suprised, there's 50+ yr. old Diesels still working in america, Like EMD SW7/NW2's, GP7's and SD9's.

Yikes! 800 ft of track, not to mention all the fancy work you'll have to wire under switches! :shock: I like that your using tension on the wires, that'll look pretty neat as one of your electrics flys down the line!

The Modernization makes sense, but it seems like it took a long time to transition..didn't it all end in 1967?
 




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