RAILWAY MANIA Ep.9 - 'Great Model Railway Challengers (with Callum Willcox and Adam Ashford)'

Discussion in 'Photography Sites, Blogs & Videos' started by Corbs, 7 May 2019.

  1. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Hello RailForums members, my name is Corwin but people usually call me Corbs. Been a railway enthusiast for as long as I can remember.
    I've been working on a project called RAILWAY MANIA, which is a podcast (basically a radio show you can listen to whenever you like) aimed at railway enthusiasts of all kinds. I am intending to cover any and all topics of railways, from history to current operations, models, specific technical information, etc.

    View attachment 62627

    The first episode is now online, this deals with the real Railway Mania of the 1840s and provides a little insight into this early development period.
    It's around 12 minutes long.

    Click here to listen to/subscribe to it on AudioBoom (on this method you can subscribe so it appears in the Podcasts app on your smartphone)
    https://audioboom.com/posts/7252153-railway-mania

    Alternatively, click here to go to the channel on YouTube, where there is also the option to subscribe:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDKWSFhIOtjqEMjZix6yRGw
    View attachment 62626


    I would love to hear thoughts, suggestions and feedback. Most of all, I hope it is entertaining.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Last edited: 23 Jun 2019
  4. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    'evenin all

    In between podcast releases I'd like to fill up the gaps with more videos.This one's actually a re-release but I hope if you haven't seen it before, you enjoy it! It's from back in 2014 at The Great Goodbye in Shildon.

    I mixed a bit of classical music in with Joe Duddington's retelling of the steam speed record attempt.

     
  5. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  6. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Episode 4 is out now!

    WAR. Conflict is at the heart of this episode, which focuses on the US Army Transportation Corps and the War Department's railways during the build up to the invasion of Normandy in 1944, and the challenge of how to land hundreds of trains in hostile territory, ready to roll.

    Click HERE to listen to Episode 4 on Audioboom

    Click HERE to watch Episode 4 on YouTube

    For the first time I have added imagery to the YouTube version as a visual aid for those who prefer watching on that channel.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Episode 5

    Edward Thompson, Hero or Villain?


    Every story from history has its 'goodies' and 'baddies', but how much of our perception of these events is influenced by the storytellers? Today I'm joined by Simon A.C. Martin, who is working on a book about the engineer Edward Thompson, who took over from Sir Nigel Gresley as Chief Mechanical Engineer on the London and North Eastern Railway at the height of World War Two. Thompson has often been criticised for his designs and decisions, but how much of this is justified? Simon is looking to set the record straight using contemporary reference material.


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    Click HERE for Audioboom link

    Click HERE for YouTube (has the added extra of images to show what we're talking about)
     
  8. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    This is a very interesting podcast, and Simon Martin has done some fascinating research.

    Bbut I do wonder if you've not hyped it up a bit too much, starting with the title - does ET have only a binary choice? (Can't he be something other than a hero or villain?)

    Perhaps the villification of ET has gone up* since I last considered the subject, but certainly when discussing the man with engineering friends way back (both of whom were Gresley/LNER fans, but not in a partizan, blnkered kind of way) I seem to recall we all thought that ET had a tough job and that wartime conditions meant changes were necessary.

    * Interesting - reading the Wikipedia page on ET, this may well be the case. It really reads quite unpleasantly, as if written by ES Cox after a night in the pub.

    Also, early on Simon Martin stresses the "constant bombing" (quote from memory) of the war years, and it's sad that ET's own home was bombed (I didn't know that), but I wonder, was it really THAT bad? Certainly outside June 1940 - end 1941, I'd have thought the loss of, was it 57,000 maintenance staff (did I hear that right? It sounds an incredible number for the LNER alone) and production facilities such as foundries crippled loco and general maintenance of all knds far more than enemy bombing.

    Anyway, Mr Martin does a good job at putting the record straight on ET. He very much should be credited with the B1s, I agree there. And he makes a good case for the rehabilitation of the A2/1 and A2/2 - except, of course, he dodges one fact: these were the first of the ex-LNER pacifics to be withdrawn, PDQ in 1960 after the early EE4s were delivered to the ECML. Not only that, these locos were said to be (and from photo evidence, this appears true to me) largely confined to fast goods works as drivers did not like them on express passenger turns.

    Is this just more of the anti-Thompson myth built up over the years? Were these withdrawals based only on the fact that these locos were small, non-standard classes, or is it true they were not well liked, even if they did have decent availability statistics?

    Finally, Corbs, you say something like "Gresley was all about design" versus Thompson who was "pragamatic". (I think that was it, apologies if I've not got the quotes right exactly. I don't have time to listen again.)

    ie you seem to be falling into the trap of assuming the word "design" means only "aesthetic" design (as seemingly TV channels like CNN think), and implying that Gresley was more into form over function.

    I suspect you didn't really mean to imply this, but it is telling that this kind of thinking has influenced even your (otherwise well thought-through) background and interview technique.

    The above, however, are small quibbles compared to the overall job done here. Fascinating stuff, and fascinating that Simon Martin has taken up this subject and invested so much energy into it. Thank you to both!
     
  9. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Hmmmm. I've since been reading the more technical critique of Thompson's work on Wikipedia. This appears more balanced than the scathing section on his character. Part of this reads:

    "Despite roundly criticizing the Gresley motion, his Pacific rebuilds were not the best designs. They retained three cylinders, but with divided drive and 3 independent sets of Walschaerts valve gear. Thompson attached great importance to having the connecting rods equal in length, which was in fact unnecessary. As a result, the outside cylinders were placed behind the front bogie with the inside cylinder well forward. This gave the engine an unnecessarily long wheelbase, created long exhaust channels, generated vibration and encouraged flexing and fracture of the locomotive frames. All of his Pacifics were particularly prone to wheel slip owing to the high power output of the engine in relation to the adhesion factor. The engines were effective, and the design had materially less maintenance demand on the centre valve gear[citation needed] than the conjugated locomotives, but the positives were outweighed by the problems, which were of such significance that Thompson's engines were withdrawn and scrapped before many of their Gresley-designed forerunners. The Thompson Pacifics were ultimately more maintenance-intensive overall than the Gresley engines. Thompson omitted the "banjo dome" that had featured on the Gresley Pacifics since 1928. However, Thompson's successor, Arthur Peppercorn, revived the feature on the remaining batches of LNER Pacifics."

    That would appear to be in direct contradiction to Simon Martin's conclusions.

    "From a technical standpoint, a number of the features of the Thompson design were not considered as acceptable or reasoned principles, as they did not follow established locomotive consideration. Divided drive, although it did reduce the total stress/strain on the centre crank axle, did not lend itself to frame integrity, especially coupled with connecting rods of equal length, as the greatest point of rigidity in the frame structure itself, the cylinders, were no longer lined up. Locomotive frames are flexible to handle side-to-side twist, and even axial twist along their length, but fore-and-aft motion between the frames leads to bearing and joint failures. To maintain connecting rods of equal length required the inside cylinder to be placed as far forward as possible, and even so the outside cylinders were behind the rear axle of the front bogie, which was not LNER practice, and subsequently resulted in a very long wheelbase."

    Simon Martin did not refer to this aspect in his talk, from memory. It seems a perfectly well-argued reasoning behind the Thompson A2s' troubles.

    "The front bogie itself was common with that on the B1, but was not sufficiently strong to control yawing of the Pacific classes, nor to straighten the engine out after a curve, and the Thompson A2s all had a poor reputation for being unwieldy, especially for rolling and yawing."

    Nor was this criticism voiced or dealt with, IIRC.

    All in all, one wonders if the decent availability statistics of Thompson's A2s could be attributed to their being sidelined by clerks at sheds in preference to using other pacifics or V2s for jobs as they came up?

    One other small point: in your sub-titles, Corbs, you repeatedly refer to various K classes as 2-6-2s. A mind-typo, I'm sure, but Ks were 2-6-0s in the LNER classification system.
     
  10. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Hello, 70014IronDuke, firstly, thank you so much for listening in and your comments on the subject.
    I admit I did wonder if I'd gone in too hard with the title, but really it's a bit tongue-in-cheek as it should be clear that ET was probably neither, as with so many characters from history, however it seems to have had the desired effect of reeling listeners in (which must make me guilty of 'clickbait') ;)
    Regarding referring to the K1s as 2-6-2s - you're absolutely right and it was not until after I'd published the video that it got spotted! Unfortunately YouTube does not allow me to change the video file without breaking the link, so I've opted to just try and use the blur function to scrub out the erroneous numbers.
    The genesis of this podcast episode was a long-running thread on National Preservation on the subject, upon which the conversation has evolved as time goes by, mainly due to Simon's contributions. My personal knowledge of the subject is quite small, so I'm afraid I can't answer your more technical questions, but the link to the thread is here if you want to have a browse:
    https://www.national-preservation.c...cussion-2012-2019.35938/page-160#post-2502931

    On 'Gresley was all about design', I think I was trying to find a shorthand way of saying the Gresley understood how important aesthetic design was to the PR of his day, his work on streamlining was not only based in science, but also served to make the LNER appear as modern as any of his contemporaries. I think the point I was trying to make was that both CME's loco aesthetics reflected the 'fashion' trends of the time, which is why we made a comparison between Thompson's locos and Ivatt's Pacifics and Caprotti Black 5s, which were all quite utilitarian in appearance.

    I think that at some point Gresley will deserve a podcast episode of his own, but this was such an interesting take on someone who many do not look upon kindly, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk to Simon about it.
    Many thanks again and I hope you stay tuned for more :)
     
  11. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Episode 6
    100mph Tornado (with Huw Parker)


    In 2017, 60163 Tornado made history by being the first steam locomotive to officially hit 100mph in the UK since 1967. Huw Parker of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust tells how this came about, what it was like on the night, and what's been going on since the speed run.


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    Click HERE for AudioBoom audio-only version

    Click HERE to watch on YouTube
     
    Last edited: 22 Jul 2019
  12. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Are you sure of that year? The only loco in service capable of reaching 100 mph in 1968 was 70013. And it had very few runs in 68.
    I know of only one reliably recorded occasion when a Brit reached 100 mph (and that was in 1958, IIRC).

    I suspect you mean 67, when a number of Bulleid pacifics were reported to have hit 103 - 105 mph between Basingstoke and Surbiton in the last weeks of steam haulage on Waterloo - Bournemouth line.
     
  13. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    You're absolutely correct there, I just checked again and I'd written the wrong year down, it has been duly corrected.
    The last 100 mph steam run in the UK I've seen reported was 35003, which did 105mph on 28th June 1967.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jul 2019
  14. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Episode 7

    Best Job in the World? (with Will Stratford)

    RMPod-Ep7-SMALLSQUAREHeader1.jpg

    Steam railways are often run by armies of volunteers, but some people can be paid for it! Today we're talking to Will Stratford, who has been working on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways (often branded as 'best railway in the world') on his day-to-day experiences.

    Click HERE to watch the enhanced version on YouTube:


    Alternatively click HERE to listen to the audio-only version on AudioBoom
    https://audioboom.com/posts/7338391-best-job-in-the-world-with-will-stratford

     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2019
  15. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    That's right everyone, it's time for another episode of RAILWAY MANIA.


    Episode 8

    Making a Scene (with Gordon Gravett)

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    Episode 8's special guest is expert modeller Gordon Gravett, who joins us in this episode of Railway Mania as we discuss scenery on model railways, how to construct a scene, good methods and tips, what to do when a project goes wrong, among many other topics...

    YouTube:



    Audioboom
     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2019
  16. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    RAILWAY MANIA PODCAST
    EPISODE 9

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    Season 2 of Channel 5's Great Model Railway Challenge has drawn to a close. The show has been divisive amongst enthusiasts, with some lauding the appeal to the general public while others criticise the format, but what is it like to be part of such a programme and what do the contestants think of it? I sat down with Callum Willcox and Adam Ashford of The Railway Video Division, runners-up in Season 1, to find out.


    Audioboom version here!
     

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