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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I realize there are a lot of questions in the following text, but ya gotta start somewheres!
Most of my modeling is related to Canadian and US prototypes. I am what is called a "freelancer".
Basically, you set up a railroad with your own name, and use all kinds excuses (many very sensible) and run whatever you wish.
I am new to the forum and basically joined to get proper info on British railways.
My father was a signalbox operator at Lostock Hall on the LMSR until we emigrated to Canada in 1957.
I follow the thought that you model what you grew up with. Since I prowled the signalbox as kid (I never could understand how he knew which telephone was ringing) and yard back then, my first love is steam.
But, in Canada I grew up with diesels, so they rank pretty close to steam.
I am not what we call a rivet counter and run locomotives just because I like them or because I like their paint scheme. As a freelancer you can get away with this.
Two things are still a little hard to understand when you are used to modeling Canadian/US prototypes: the goods yard and privatized railways.
First, most North American layouts are freight based. The intensity of passenger train operation as in the UK did not exist here.
From the books I have, the simple idea is that the goods yard was the place were all freight was delivered, and then distributed, or picked up by customers
Correct?
Plus you would have to incorporate some kind of passenger working into the layout.
Now, privatization.
My wife and I toured the UK in 1998. Boy, what a shock. Lostock Hall was a big overgrown field. Loved all the "pink" wagons (faded OBA's?), 80 mph from Holyhead to Bath behind a Class 37 with no lights in the passenger cars when you went through a tunnel. The joy of being on a HST as another load of people get on as their train had failed. Overall, as a model rail I loved it. Not so she who must be obeyed!
We also spend a lot of traveling on the bus, which had its advantages.
Now, the fun.
As a background, in North America, each railroad owns the right of way, the buildiings, the locos, cars, everything. They may lease equipment when needed.
So, we are in Manchester and I get talking to the fellow at the tourist booth. I let him know I am a model "railroader".
He precedes to tell that one company owns the tracks, a company or county or city or society may own the station, another company owns the locos and leases then to a railway or the railway owns the locomotives, freight wagons are owned by private companies, and a thing called a TOC runs the passenger trains!!
What??!!
Anyway, I did some research and found that Thatcher had decided to make all the government owned industries into smaller components as an attempt to get more investment from the private sector.
Thus all of British Rail was sold off as smaller component companies such as Transrail, Loadhaul and Mainline. Unfortunately, an American understood that the total revenue pool was not big enough to support the competition from three railways, and bought them out to form EWS.
From what I can figure out, the competition did result as evidenced the formation GBRf, Freightliner, (an original post BR company?) Direct Rail, Corus, and others I cannot recall. The passenger trains didn't seem to be as successful to me. In 1998 we heard all kinds of complaints from people. Some of the TOC's lost their franchises. To me they had a "captive audience". How do the regional carriers compete if they are the only operator of a certain line?
My favourite passenger story is thus: in Manchester we went to the station (I don't think it is there anymore) by the hostel/YMCA/some museum/Duke 76 pub . We were going to Manchester Central(?). We couldn't figure out how to work the ticket machine. So someone told us to get on the train and get a ticket from the conductor, but not to worry as we probably wouldn't be asked.
So, we take the railcar and I swear the operator shifted the transmission as we accelerated!!
We never did get asked for a ticket.
The biggest failure was the right of way. When privatization first happened, the government indicated that the right of way may not be a good investment. They even warned invesoers that if the system was renationalized, only the initial investment would be bought out, not any accrued value. As it turned out, when Railtrack was taken back by the Labour govenment, they did allow the accured value.
Initially, the Big Four were nationalized as the Labour party saw the railway as a "social necessity" and due to the projected massive amounts of money necessary to rebuild the rail system, especially the track.
I gather the same situation exists today as evidenced by take over of Railtrack by the Labour government.
Now to the fun stuff. I have a lot of Essery, Larkin and the like books, so I think I can do a 1945 to 1947 LMS layout. Pretty restrictive, I know.
Remember the freelancer idea. I love the 4F, 8F, Black Fives, Crabs, Stanier 2-6-2T's and Jinty's (I remember these last two from being kid) as well as LNER J39's. So the idea is to have a connecting line were LMS and LNER would interchange.
Freight cars would be vans, opens and mineral wagons. I once read an article in Railway Modeller were the author said that to accurately replicate a coal operation, you would need 300 coal wagons. Ohhkay. I build Parkside Dundas, Slaters, Ratio and Cambrian kits for this era. I plan on purchasing some RTR to get the wagon fleet bigger faster. So, what manufacturer has prototypes to match late LMS/LNER operation? After reading one of Iain Rice's book I am note sure how accurate some RTR models are.
What I don't have any idea about is the correct infrastructure. Lostock Hall wold have been part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. So, who makes signal boxes, goods sheds et al of this prototype railway?
Or, what would be a close replica of the L&Y structures?
Now it is impossible to freelance British Rail.
I wanted to do a modern northwest rail operation. After some reading and conversing with some British modellers, a Preston location in 1998 would be a Transrail stronghold with Rfd and Freighliner container trains running from Crewe Basford Hall to Garston, Liverpool. Also RfD ran the Connectrail service through Preston, but I don't know what the consist of any train would be. Res before the EWS buyout was also in the area.
Any locomotive would have to be numbered or "diagrammed" for this area. I like the Transrail paint scheme, but you couldn't run a Class 58 as they had none. Did the Class 60 make it to this area? I know they had Class 37's. But how about Class 31 in the area? If you do a loco in the Civil Engineers Dutch livery, did they exist at this time in this location?
Also, is it due to TOPS that no matter who owned a certain locomotive it always had the same number? A BR blue 37083 is a Sectoriization 37083 is a LoadHaul 37083. So who is controlling the locomotives and where they are stationed?
Also, is a trip working a locomotivie going to an industry to pick up or drop off some freight cars, and then take them back to the yard? From there trains are made up and "diagrammed" to go to a certain location? I always thought it odd that in photos from magazines and books, a 1750 hp Co-Co Class 37 would be pulling one or two cars and then on the next page an entire train.
Now lastly, my wife and I will be in London in early June for six days. Any suggestions for a hobby store that a tourist (who won't take his wife) can find easily?

Isn't this hobby fun?
Ian
 

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QUOTE So, who makes signal boxes .. for L & Y

First I suggest you try www.signalbox.org for a lot of information on the prototype. There is a also a gallery of photos which can be browsed by company. I don't have any experience of looking for L & Y prototypes real or model, but in my research on LNWR boxes for the model I am building currently, there is a lot of variation in the detail of boxes. The key identifiers for a box seem to me to be - the style of window frame and the roof style. The bases were either brick or wood and height varied according to location.

In the first century of railways, a lot of companies bought their their signalling equipment and boxes from a couple of specialists - Saxby & Farmer is one, I can't remember the other right now. If you can't find an L & Y Prototype to buy then maybe a Saxby & Farmer would do instead - I think there may be one available.

Hope this helps

David
 

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QUOTE (LMS nut @ 8 Mar 2009, 02:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. I plan on purchasing some RTR to get the wagon fleet bigger faster. So, what manufacturer has prototypes to match late LMS/LNER operation? After reading one of Iain Rice's book I am note sure how accurate some RTR models are.
..
Ian,

It is a real fun hobby!

For RTR wagons to suit the 1945 - 1947 scenario you need wagons liveried for all the 'big 4' private groups as they were mostly 'common user'. However, over three-quarters of the company stock should be LMS or LNER, the GWR and SR were far smaller concerns. The majority of Private Owner wagons (the typical 12T coal wagon) had already been effectively nationalised and were in common use, and in very tatty condition. It is quite a while since Iain Rice was writing at length about the UK scene, and since that time Bachmann's freight stock has transformed the picture. You can buy from their range confident of generally accurate models. There are good items in Hornby's range too, and happily one of them is the Stanier LMS brake van; but you have to pick and choose in the Hornby range to get the accurate models.
QUOTE .. What I don't have any idea about is the correct infrastructure. Lostock Hall wold have been part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. So, who makes signal boxes, goods sheds et al of this prototype railway?..
Good question. Metcalfe models offer a good range of card kits of generically typical UK structures in red brick and grey stone, the latter being typical of much L&Y territory.
QUOTE .. Also, is it due to TOPS that no matter who owned a certain locomotive it always had the same number? A BR blue 37083 is a Sectoriization 37083 is a LoadHaul 37083. So who is controlling the locomotives and where they are stationed? ..
Each class goes by its' TOPS code number no matter who owns it. The owners or leasers control the locos, and there are company and leased space yards dotted around the system for servicing, fuelling and stabling.
QUOTE .. is a trip working a locomotivie going to an industry to pick up or drop off some freight cars, and then take them back to the yard? ..
Trip workings were short movements from a shunting or marshalling yard either to another nearby yard, or to sidings both railway owned and private company owned, for the purposes of loading and off-loading.
QUOTE .. London .. hobby store that a tourist .. can find easily?
This site is pretty good for identifying model railway specialist shops. http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/county/Greater%20London Commercial rents are very high in London particularly near the centre, and consequently the relatively small turnover and margin specialist hobby shop has become a rarity there. I would commend 'The Engine Shed' as a best of breed example, quiite a long way out of the centre, but on the Underground network which makes getting there easier.
 

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QUOTE The Engine Shed

This is not to be confused with the Gaugemaster operation "The Engine Shed" at Ford near Arundel, West Sussex?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. I am thinking I should have asked a better question rather than the locomotive number query.
So, if EWS or another company wants to send a train from A to B, and the track is owned by Network Rail, what is the process for getting that train moving?
I am right in thinking that many trains are given a departure time and expected to arrive at their destination by a set time?
I am thinking that TOPS is used by Network Rail and it is a lot easier for a loco to retain its number than to have it renumbered every time it is sold as this would require the TOPS to be updated.
Ian
 

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Ian,

The current operational scheme is designed to put money into the pockets of financiers and lawyers, so a complex network of transactions are associated with every rail movement. The operator leases the schedule slot (track space for a specified period of time) for each movement. Essentially the whole network is a timed access toll road system.

Something I should have mentioned about LMS/LNER freight stock; unfortunately many common user wagon types from both these companies are not available RTR, so you will still need quantities of kits. For example, there are none of the very numerous standard opens for either LMS or LNE, no standard LNE vans at all, and selection of LMS types is limited. In RTR there is a Southern Railway open from Hornby, a good model but a relative rarity in reality, and from both Bachmann and Hornby multiple types of vans based on the SR and GWR types: these should be hugely outnumbered by vans of LMS and LNER design, and the only route to that is by kit building.

Because of the common user status of the standard open wagons and vans, these were 'mixed up' all over the network. What you would see in a typical train was 80% of the stock LMS or LNER, 15% GWR, 5% SR. A remark made at the time was that on the Southern railway quite often the only SR wagon in a goods train would be the guards van at rear.

QUOTE (dwb @ 8 Mar 2009, 16:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is not to be confused with the Gaugemaster operation "The Engine Shed" at Ford near Arundel, West Sussex?
Correct. This 'The Engine Shed' is in Leytonstone, North-East London.
 
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