Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Somerset & Dorset

BR Class 5 '73051' passes Cole with the Up Pines Express on 3 February 1962.
This was the Centenary Year of the S&D as well as being the last year that
the Pines ran over the line.
BR Class 8F '48737' stands on Templecombe Shed on 5 May 1965.
 BR Class 4MT '80081' also on Templecombe Shed on 5 May 1965.
The same loco is here seen leaving Cole on 17 April 1965 with
the 13:10 Bath to Templecombe train.
BR Class 9F '92238 approaches Cole with a Warwickshire Locomotive Society special
from Paddington to Bournemouth.
It has been a while since I published some of the many photographs that I have that were taken by John Day during the 1960s. 
So, since my previous post concerned the Somerset and Dorset Railway, I thought that I would follow up with five of John's excellent photos taken at Templecombe and Cole in 1962 and 1965.
If only it were possible, today, to travel from Bath Green Park to Templecombe and, then, on to Bournemouth West.
This was an important route between the North & Midlands and the South Coast. It was a useful link then and would still be today had the decision not been taken to close it.
The day may yet come when it might reopen, in part if not in its entirety. But that day is a long way off and would take a major change of heart on behalf of the Government. 
Until that day arrives we must content ourselves with looking at the many wonderful photographs we have of the line, such as those above, and thank the many dedicated photographers, like John, who went out and captured this very special railway on film.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Serene & Delightful S&D

Living, as I do, in Wincanton I have great affection for the much-missed Somerset and Dorset Railway, which ran from Bath Green Park to Bournemouth West. 
It also had three branch lines that ran from Evercreech Junction to Highbridge & Burnham on Sea; from Glastonbury & Street to Wells Priory Road and from Edington Junction to Bridgwater North.
The Wells and Bridgwater branches closed in 1951 and 1952, respectively, while the rest of the S&D closed to passengers on 6th March 1966.
I was a regular traveller on the line and even rode on the last service train between Wincanton and Templecombe on Saturday 5th March - a very sad day indeed.
Some time ago I acquired seven colour 35 mm slides taken of the S&D and, the other day, I scanned them and, now, present them on this blog for others to see.
I have no idea who took them so, alas, I cannot credit them. I also do not know the dates on which they were taken but must assume they were all captured during the 1960s.
The first two photographs here were taken at Bath Green Park with the first of these showing a Class 2P 4-4-0 Nº 40564 at the head of a train in the middle road at Bath.
In the next photo a BR Standard Class 4MT 75007 is standing at the arrivals platform with what I believe is a train for the S&D rather than one for Bristol TM.
Moving down the line to Combe Down tunnel, we have next a BR Class 4 75073 double-heading a down express as the train emerges from the southern portal of the tunnel. The train engine is not very clear but looks like an S&D 7F 2-8-0.
Travelling down the line a little further we arrive at Radstock North where we see a Class 3F 0-6-0 'Jinty' (Nº 47316) heading northwards with a coal train.
The final three photos were all taken at Midsomer Norton with the first of these being another 'Jinty' (Nº 47275) at the head of another coal train. The last two pictures show south-bound passenger trains calling at the station. The first is an unidentified and somewhat grubby BR Class 9F 2-10-0 while the second one is a BR Standard Class 5, Nº 73073 - I think.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

G&R Wrenn - Golden Arrow Coach

Continuing from my previous post, where I take a look at some of the many model railway items that have been in my possession, here is the G&R Wrenn Golden Arrow coach, in blue and grey livery.
These coaches were actually ex-Hornby Dublo models and were based upon vehicles that were built in 1928 for the LNER.
In the 1950s the prototypes were then transferred to steam-hauled services on the Southern Region.
Now, I must be honest here and say that I am not a big fan of Wrenn rolling stock although, I know, they do have a large following and can demand huge prices for rare or highly sought-after models.
That said, I have owned several Wrenn locomotives and quite a few wagons plus one or two of their coaches, including the one featured here. 
All have long since moved on to railways new but I will feature more of my ex-Wrenn items in future posts as I continue to look at vintage items that I own or have owned. 
As far as this Golden Arrow coach is concerned, it's Catalogue Number is W6005, the Running Number is S301S and it was produced between 1979 and 1980 and, again, between 1990 and 1992.
I believe that the coach came with either brown tables or white ones and that, for the collector, it is the white tabled version that tend to attract the higher price. 
Therefore, it is important to make sure that the tables have been painted white at the factory and NOT by someone else subsequently!

Tri-ang Lineside Buildings

This selection of old Tri-ang Lineside buildings all date from the 1960s.
They are, from left to right, back row:
R76: Single Track Engine Shed
R61: Signal Box (one of two)
R75: Water Tower
And, from left to right, front row:
R62: Waiting Room
R60: Ticket Office
R66K: Porters' Room with Kiosk
The removable chimneys often went missing from those buildings in this range that began life with them and, as can be seen in this photograph, this is indeed the case with the Waiting Room, Porters' Room and one of the Signal Boxes. However, it is nice to see the Ticket Office still has both of its canopies since these, too, were prone to being lost or damaged.

A Ballasted Long Time

With not much happening on the layout over Christmas and during the first month or two of the new year it has been a while since I have posted anything. 
However, with quite a bit work having recently taken place on the central section of the northern half of the layout, I thought that it was high time for an update.
So, to begin with, the first photograph above gives a general view of the area around Carswater, with the station now fitted with lights and name boards and, yes, even some potential passengers!
The adjoining lake has yet to be filled with water but it already has a couple of climbers scaling the hill behind, courtesy of my nephew and his girlfriend. I will include a photograph of the climbers in a future posting.
Once atop the ridge, these climbers will be afforded a 'wonderful' view of the ballast yard which is just starting to take shape. 
There is now a small shed in the far left-hand corner in which the Sentinel locomotive will be housed when not in use. The ground has also had a few coats of stone scatter applied to it and we are pleased with the way things are progressing.
The long chute between the hill and the building will obviously be cut, once the building has been fixed in place. This chute was made purposefully too long becaue, when it was constructed, we were not too sure how long it needed to be.
I will post more close-up photographs of the ballast yard as it progresses.
We plan to build a small hut or 'bothy' on the hill at the far end of this area, just beyond the ballast yard, for walkers and, yes, climbers too, to take refuge. 
We also wanted to make it possible for them to walk across all of the hills, from one end to the other. However, to be able to do this, bridges were going to be needed to allow walkers to cross the railway (twice) and the road (twice). 
Well, an old Tri-ang brick bridge already spanned one of the road crossings and, now, two more bridges have been added at the far end, as seen in the third photograph above. 
This just leaves one more bridge needed to cross the railway for a second time at the bottom of the first photograph.
Finally, for this time, I have included a photograph showing Class 50 50011 'Cenurion' calling at Carswater station with a special train consisting of Orient Express Pullman coaches. 
It is not intended that this station will see too many express trains, with local services and semi-fasts being its more usual visitors - together with the occasional ballast train, of course!