Transacord Railway Recordings

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DerekC

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In my small collection of vinyl LPs I have a Transacord World of Railways disc just called "LMS". It contains some great tracks - Euston in 1955, an 8F on the Long Drag, Shap Summit in 1959. I love listening to them. In some ways they bring back the memories better than pictures. My absolute favourite is the last train from Abergavenny to Merthyr climbing from Govilon to Gilwern.

Does anyone else like listening to audio tracks like these? And what other records were there in the series? I just have the one.
 
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I posted this on 'The Clansman' thread in this section a few weeks ago.

 

UrieS15

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In the days when Gamages in Holborn had a cut-price record area in the basement I picked up two Southern Transacords. I think they were a purply-blue vinyl. I later managed to marry one to a sleeve from another source I remember it was Somerset and Dorset mainly Bulleid Pacifics and a lot of delightful platform chatter in Somerset tones. Because they had both originally been unsleeved the surfaces from Day1 were very dodgy and I let them go some years since. The other one was Southern but for the life of me I cannot recall the contents.
 

Heritage-DMU

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I have a Transacord CD called 'Diesels Through The Decades', it appears to have been a tie up with Rail Express magazine. If memory serves Peter Handford made most of the recordings while waiting for steam to turn up! There is some really good stuff on it - 10000 and 10001 up Shap, Claytons on the Waverley, Blue Pullmans, Westerns, a Baby Deltic but my favourite is a sequence at Stoke Tunnel - 3 Deltics, an HST and a 25.
 

Spamcan81

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In my small collection of vinyl LPs I have a Transacord World of Railways disc just called "LMS". It contains some great tracks - Euston in 1955, an 8F on the Long Drag, Shap Summit in 1959. I love listening to them. In some ways they bring back the memories better than pictures. My absolute favourite is the last train from Abergavenny to Merthyr climbing from Govilon to Gilwern.

Does anyone else like listening to audio tracks like these? And what other records were there in the series? I just have the one.

Still listen to them and I still make my own recordings. Here is a list of his records. https://www.steamindex.com/library/handford.htm Some were reissued under the ASV Transacord label and a few CDs appeared under the SPV label. These were mostly collections of previously issued and new material.

I used to have some Allan Vitty cassettes back in the day and would listen to Deltics from the comfort of my bedroom.

Alan Vitty - now there's a name from the past. I issued some steam tapes of my own as fund raisers for 34081, sold like hot cakes for a while. Still do sound CDs but they are much more of a niche market these days and I've made them available as downloads for those like to get their "music" that way.
 
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WesternLancer

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Peter Handford was a superb sound recordist and the catalogue list is quite extensive (as posted up thread helpfully!) - fully justified as being held in the NRM collection, the quality of the collection by him is perhaps unsurpassed in its range at least, and maybe in quality too? If I see the old vinyl discs in second hand shops I buy them. Good to see some you tube uploading - thanks for link!

However, I have always thought there would have been a market for these to be / have been issued on CD* - but I assume this never happened? I guess now digital download would be a cheaper method of making the collection accessible - but that hasn't happened has it?

Maybe it's not really 'core business' for the NRM, in the same way that say British Film Institute has made much of the equally superb BTF film collection they hold - both on DVD (VHS before that) and online freeview.

EDIT: *post crossed with @Spamcan81 - so I see some made it to CD - I've never seen any of them.
 
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Spamcan81

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Five years ago a web-site was set up to sell Transacord recordings as down loads.


Their online store is now closed. The entire Peter Hanford collection is now with the Science Museum Group

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/documents/aa110090603/peter-handford-archive and only accessable through the Search Engine at York

It's a great shame that Transacord Digital shut down their shop. I have all of Peter Handford's vinyl plus some tapes and CDs but being able to download albums was a lot easier than digitising your vinyl collection in real time.

Peter Handford was a superb sound recordist and the catalogue list is quite extensive (as posted up thread helpfully!) - fully justified as being held in the NRM collection, the quality of the collection by him is perhaps unsurpassed in its range at least, and maybe in quality too? If I see the old vinyl discs in second hand shops I buy them. Good to see some you tube uploading - thanks for link!

However, I have always thought there would have been a market for these to be / have been issued on CD - but I assume this never happened? I guess now digital download would be a cheaper method of making the collection accessible - but that hasn't happened has it?

Maybe it's not really 'core business' for the NRM, in the same way that say British Film Institute has made much of the equally superb BTF film collection they hold - both on DVD (VHS before that) and online freeview.
Couldn't agree more. Very little of Peter Handford's work ended up on CD. I think the NRM is sitting on a potential earner there but I wonder if there's the will to do it.
 
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WesternLancer

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Couldn't agree more. Very little of Peter Handford's work ended up on CD. I think the NRM is sitting on a potential earner there but I wonder if there's the will to do it.

Thanks - yes I suspect that is the issue. Probably felt that the sound tapes might need a 'digital remaster' or some such which would of course have a production cost associated with it - but once done, and suitably marketed, you would think there was indeed a good market for them. I imagine quite a few records (copies of each recording I mean) were produced back in the day but they seem unusual to find now so I guess many were just disposed of over the years.
 

Ash Bridge

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I've still got an Argo Transacord vinyl EP somewhere entitled "D" For Diesels - featuring Deltics, Class 40s, 52s, 10000/10001, Blue Pullman set and others.
 

Spamcan81

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Thanks - yes I suspect that is the issue. Probably felt that the sound tapes might need a 'digital remaster' or some such which would of course have a production cost associated with it - but once done, and suitably marketed, you would think there was indeed a good market for them. I imagine quite a few records (copies of each recording I mean) were produced back in the day but they seem unusual to find now so I guess many were just disposed of over the years.

A fair few turn up on eBay. It would be a dream job for me to go through all of Peter Handford's recordings at the NRM to find out what didn't make it onto vinyl or CD. The tapes would need digitising so as to produce a master CD for pressing unless NRM went the download route, in which case just digitising and uploading to a server. Costs involved though unless they have sound engineers in their ranks of volunteers.
 

Taunton

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Appropriate for today (15 Feb 2021), when I see that Bow Street station near Aberystwyth is reopening after 55 years, in the mid-1960s I was lent the recording of a WR 90xx 4-4-0 departing Bow Street for Llandre, next station then to the north. About a 6 minute run; it was on a single. Must be uphill as the loco was pulling all the way - as the rest of the family in the house, alas, soon discovered.

Anyone still got this one?
 

Beebman

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My Dad had a huge collection of vinyl records which one day I'll get around to sorting out. Although they're mostly music recordings he had some railway-related ones including some Transacord ones. I've just pulled some out of the collection, here are some xamples of both 7" and 12" discs:
 

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WesternLancer

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My Dad had a huge collection of vinyl records which one day I'll get around to sorting out. Although they're mostly music recordings he had some railway-related ones including some Transacord ones. I've just pulled some out of the collection, here are some xamples of both 7" and 12" discs:
Thanks for posting those - nice to see
 

Bevan Price

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Digitising from vinyl is not difficult, you can even buy home consumer equipment that will digitise to mp3 format, but you do lose some of the sound quality using that type of equipment.

The main problem is time, with around 20 minutes of sound on each side of a vinyl LP, many days or weeks would be needed to digitise the entire Handford collection. And I don't think there would be a sufficient market to put the full collection onto CD -- producing a few carefully chosen selections onto a few CDs (or DVDs) might be more sensible.
 

Taunton

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Isn't this one of the things that the NRM ought to do, and just put on their website or Youtube? They get a very substantial payment from the government through the Science Museum, but seem to think that all that should be spent on administrators' salaries, who write whingy articles about admission to the York museum being free.

It would also be useful for them to put some extensive set of their printed archives on the web as well. I believe they have a substantial coterie of volunteers who know what they are doing technically.
 

WesternLancer

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Isn't this one of the things that the NRM ought to do, and just put on their website or Youtube? They get a very substantial payment from the government through the Science Museum, but seem to think that all that should be spent on administrators' salaries, who write whingy articles about admission to the York museum being free.

It would also be useful for them to put some extensive set of their printed archives on the web as well. I believe they have a substantial coterie of volunteers who know what they are doing technically.
Indeed - just a question of resource prioritising surely - in fact it would have been a good lock down project - since it would create a genuine artefact that people could access without having to visit the location as well as being one that would give much pleasure long term to people unable to fully enjoy 3D artefacts or online image artefacts, for example those with visual impairments. NRM / Science Museum Group has of course done well to digitize a lot of their image library. I suspect they have suffered since the start of 'austerity' to be fair to them.
 

Spamcan81

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Digitising from vinyl is not difficult, you can even buy home consumer equipment that will digitise to mp3 format, but you do lose some of the sound quality using that type of equipment.

The main problem is time, with around 20 minutes of sound on each side of a vinyl LP, many days or weeks would be needed to digitise the entire Handford collection. And I don't think there would be a sufficient market to put the full collection onto CD -- producing a few carefully chosen selections onto a few CDs (or DVDs) might be more sensible.

And once you have all your digital tracks, there would be post processing involved. A lengthy process I agree but certainly a project worth seeking volunteers for IMO.
 
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