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Posts Tagged ‘Southern Railway’

This months picture…

ex Adams 0395 class No. 3441, a Salisbury pilot locomotive rests between duties at Fisherton Sarum. She is built from a DJH kit.

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It is fifty six years to the day when Dr Richard Beeching’s report “The Reshaping of British Railways” was officially published on the 27th March 1963. This is a sneaky repeat post from six years ago on the fiftieth anniversary, buts its still spoken about, with many opinions to this  to this day, so my thoughts below are still relevant.
Beeching was at the time Chairman of the British Railways Board. The report identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure, 55% of stations and 30% of route miles, with an objective of stemming the large losses being incurred during a period of increasing competition from road transport (that also had the support from the then Minister of Transport Ernest Marples whom it appears had connections to the road construction industry and had also appointed Dr Beeching in the first place).

The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963 The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963

Many of the ex Southern Lines especially in the South West of England, already coined the ‘Withered Arm’ were closed as a result of the report.  A few protests resulted in the saving of some stations and lines, but the majority were closed as planned and Beeching’s name is to this day associated with the mass closure or ‘axe’ of railways and the loss of many local services in the period that followed.

One such line that was included in the report for closure was the Tamar Valley line, however due to the poor road links in the area some of the line was reprieved and survives to this day between Plymouth, Bere Alston and Gunnislake. In fact there is currently a growing movement and support for the line to be reopened north of Bere Alston back to the south end of Tavistock.

In addition to the main report there were a number of maps included within Part 2 of the report  that diagrammatically showed data such as : Density of passenger traffic, Distribution of passenger receipts, Density of Freight Traffic, etc. and of course the main outcome of the report the map of Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services. I have reproduced part of a couple of these maps in this post showing the Southern Region area.

Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts (click for larger version)
Map9 Map 9 of the report shows the Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services (click for larger version)

Map 9 Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services shows the almost total eradication of the ex Southern Railway lines in the South West as already mentioned above, and a number of other lines in the South of England identified for closure. Happily some of these lines have now since reopened as preserved railways such as the Alton to Winchester line that between Alton and Alresford now forms the Mid Hants Watercress line.

Although the Unions at the time released their own version of the report titled “The Mis-shaping of British Railways” a number of facts (although in some cases the basis of collection of some of these facts have been questioned) within the report appear compelling and it is perhaps not surprising that the conclusions reached were so wide ranging.
The report with respect to freight on the railways proposed the move to quicker, higher capacity trains, serving the main routes, transporting greater loads to hubs. Not with the then traditional wagons but trains loaded with containers. Does that seem familiar today?
Whilst Beeching is a much maligned name  for the passenger line closure section of the  report it is easy perhaps forget that this report dramatically modernised freight on the rail network promoting containerisation and long-distance freight haulage.

Who knows if the current growth and success of the railway network as it stands today would have been possible if some of the harsh decisions as a result of “The Reshaping of British Railways” were not taken…

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Regular readers of this blog will know, via its dedicated page here that I am shareholder in 35011 General Steam Navigation. The intention of The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society of course is to not only to return the Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation to steam but also back to her original ‘Air Smoothed’ condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements.

What she would hopefully return to looking like. 21C11 at Bournemouth Photo credit John Neve

I am pleased to advise a couple of great items of news,which are big steps in further establishing this as totally serious and well managed restoration project. The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society have been able to this week announce that locomotive will be soon moving to its new base of the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.  The locomotive will be based within a shelter and will be the first time since she was in service that she will  be undercover. She will be fully dismantled, which was not possible to carry out at its current location, and the boiler lifted allowing the rolling chassis to be moved into the railway’s main works where there is already room enabling the main restoration work to commence.

A Just giving page has been set up here to help raise funds for the cost of the move, perhaps you might be able to make a small donation to assist, as said, “every little helps”!

Another major tipping point in this project has also been reached and that is the fact that The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society  now has the necessary funds to cover the cost of the construction of the missing main crank axle that really demonstrates the progress and support that the project has achieved.

In addition many original parts have been recently sourced and or manufactured and machined  such as the spring beams for the bogie and trailing axle truck and the Kilinger Valves.

Hopefully this post and the progress being made might convince to join the Society, membership costs only £10 per year and full details on how to become a member can be found here.

Full updates on progress can be found on the 35001 Society website here.

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A reminder that Canute Road Quay’s next exhibition appearance is Saturday 16th March (also my Dad’s Birthday, so happy Birthday Dad!) at the AbRail show organised by the Abingdon and District Model Railway Club at the Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, OX14 1GG between 10am and 5pm. 

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I am pleased to advise that Canite Road Quay features in the latest issue of Hornby Magazine. Publication follows very pleasant day spent back in January with friend and Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild (albeit fraught with a few travel travel problems due to icy road conditions and dubious Sat Nav directional choices) nattering and taking a number of snaps of Canute Road Quay. his photographic results and my article can be seen and read about in the April issue of Hornby Magazine No.142 published today (although subscribers may have received their copy earlier this week).

Canute Road Quay appears in the April 2019 issue of Hornby Magazine

I open the article by setting the scene with a little history of the development of Southampton Docks, Canute Road and the many quays wharves alongside the River Itchen before describing the layout itself.

Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of Hornby Magazine it joins three other ‘compact’ also known as ‘cameo’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.

It is always fascinating to see the results of a different photographers eye and Mike photographs captures the look and feel I wanted to achieve with the layout and highlights the details and many of the little cameos I have included on the layout to demonstrate what can be achieved in quite a small space.

An extract of the article (text removed on purpose you will need to get a copy to read it…)

I hope that you can get hold of a copy and enjoy the read and Mike’s excellent photographs.

Canute Road Quay’s next exhibition appearance is on Saturday 16th March (also my Dad’s Birthday, so happy Birthday Dad!) at the AbRail show organised by the Abingdon and District Model Railway Club at the Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, OX14 1GG between 10am and 5pm. It will provide and opportunity to compare the layout from the photographs in the article to the layout in the flesh.

Another date added into the Diary of Canute Road Quay on the road is the The Hornby Magazine’s own show, The Great Electric Train Show at the Marshall Arena, Stadium Way, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST on 12th / 13th October this year.

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This month picture…

An ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0T No. 100 on the quayside at Canute Road Quay. The B4 is a McGowen white metal kit.

Canute Road Quay can be seen on the 16th of this month at  Abrail Abingdon and District MRC, Abingdon and Witney College, Wooton Road, Abingdon, OX12 1GG

PS. Happy Birthday to my Dad on the 16th of this Month…

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Sound fitted DCC controlled locomotives are being more and more popular, effective and cheaper, especially since the introduction of cheaper sounds chips such as the Hornby TTS range of sound fitted decoders. However whilst the sounds of the locomotive themselves are achieved with a few add on sounds such as doors closing and guards whistles, what such sound fitted locomotives emphasise is that the ambient sounds of people, machinery, birds, water or waves (where appropriate) and sounds of the rolling stock, buffering wagons and flange squealing that is missing.

For Canute Road Quay I wanted to provide an overall immersive experience for the viewer at an exhibition by providing a mix of sounds to include not just steam locomotive sounds but those of the rolling stock and other typical background sounds that you would hear at a working quayside. I also wanted it to be reasonable subtle.

Hornby have recently partially addressed these requirements with their R6925TTS sound fitted vent van this has 29 separate sounds that covers some of the above ambient sounds including steam, locos, wagons being shunted, flange squeal, birds etc.  However, this would not be suitable for use on Canute Road Quay for a number of reasons; firstly it requires DCC control requiring each sound to be activated, up to three at any time, using function buttons rather than just playing on a loop, , secondly it does not feature all the sounds I require such as Herring Gulls etc. and finally would really require the wagon, which is not quote the correct period for my usual 1946 to 1949 period to be located on the layout all the time which would hamper operation a bit.

I therefore having spent some time looking around for suitable sound clips to make my own file, came across a friendly and efficient small supplier called BigTrainSound.co.uk The guys here can supply a number of off the shelf sound files ranging from platform announcements to urban sounds from different eras and weather conditions including thunderstorms. Another service they provide is to produce bespoke soundscapes of either 30 or 50 minute duration tailored to meet a clients needs.
Paul at BigTrainSound.co.uk quickly gained an understanding of my requirements from looking at pictures of Canute Road Quay, reading this blog and from my own suggested required sounds. Within a couple of days I had a schedule of proposed sounds and timings for approval followed by a provisional sound file. By the end of the week I had the agreed completed 50 minute soundscape file, very efficient service!
The ambient soundscape file is built upon a base layer of breezes and lapping water sounds then with multiple other sounds layered over it at different times including the following: Herring Gulls, steam locomotives shunting at various times (actual sounds recorded of shunting at Bristol and Goole docks), wagon wheel squeals, ships hooters, distant fog horn, truck arriving and departing, conversations, unloading wagons, dogs barking etc.
Last month saw the first exhibition with the sounds being played via a Bluetooth speaker simply clamped underneath the layout. I was certainly very pleased with the overall effect and even though the locomotive / shunting sounds are not synced with the actual movements during operation, it became a bit of a fun challenge to try and get the movements to coincide, which we managed quite often so much so viewers often commented that they thought the locos were DCC Sound fitted!

The video clips above give a brief idea of some of the sounds. I can totally recommended the great service by Paul and his team at BigTrainSound.co.uk as a very satisfied client.

If you want to see Canute Road Quay and experience the ambient sound effect, Canute Road Quay is making an appearance this coming Saturday 23rd February at the excellent little RisEx exhibition organised by the Princes Risborough and District Model Railway Club.
The show is being held at the ,Community Centre, Wades Park, Stratton Road, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 9AX and is is open between 10.00 and 17.00

Canute Road Quay at RisEx will also be in the company of my friend Simon Paley’s Norwood Road Layout, set in the West Croydon area circa 2000‘s along with eight other layouts. Some say… the show is worth a visit for the cakes alone…

If you planning to pop along to RisEx, please make sure you to say hello.

PS. if you are wondering about the title its a sneaky reference to one of my favourite bands, their 17th album in fact..

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