TINGS 2016 #3

Good show


The Black Diamonds group had a large modular US layout on display.  There was some criticism of this layout on N Gauge Forum, saying that the scenery was disappointing, there were too few trains that were too long, and that the trains went too slow.

The first criticism was probably fair enough, as some modules were works in progress.  But the others were not fair.  American goods trains are often long and often slow as well.  It was refreshing to see a goods train move at scale speed.  There seemed to be plenty of movement on the layout when I was watching, but they were operating under dispatcher control, so trains would be at realistic intervals, and not tail chasing.


The coal mine was impressive on size alone….


And the end loops gave some ideas for fiddle yards for ESNG in the future.  I liked the second one shown, where…

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The Peak District

Locksands Life

I like the Peak District so it was with pleasure that I turned my railway poster calendar to September and found a picture of this Derbyshire (mostly) area.


This poster, for the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway was first published in 1923 with art work by R S Wyatt

It features a viaduct with a train in LMS red passing over it.

I suspect this represents the viaduct at Monsal Head – now a walking/cycling trail. I snapped a photo of it in 2008 when I was in the area.


I note from what I wrote at the time that I was unwilling to pay to park near there so was unable to get a good photo but I can certainly find photos of elsewhere on the Monsal Trail.

image004It is a very pleasing area.


The Monsal Trail is clearly a former railway – once part of the third…

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Women & men have different body clocks


stick_figure_sleeping_1600_wht_5121If you are a woman and reading this in bed because you can’t sleep – well it’s not all your fault.

Women are going to bed later than they should and waking up later than they should because their circadian clocks are two hours ahead of mens’ but they feel they have to go to bed at the same time as their husbands or boyfriends (is that really true these days?)

So they are more tired at night but more alert in the morning and may be prone to insomnia (as women are 50% more likely to have sleep problems).

The circadian clock in our bodies regulates sleep-wake cycles and makes us feel alert or tired at appropriate times and is also responsible for jet-lag when we change time zones.

Humans can have different circadian rhythms and research on teenagers has led to some school starting lessons later to match them.

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It’s really nice down here



I walked the long familiar beach
where houses made of wood
formed from disused railway stock
against the weather stood
All are now long gone of course
but their garden walls remain
Reminding me that wind and sea
will always stake its claim

I walked on past Widewater
the lagoon blue as the sky
all the way to Lancing
with the sea just there close by
And it’s really nice down here today
now school holidays are done
Just me, the sea and solitude
and the warm September sun


Photo – Lancing Beach Green – Jempics

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Barwell blanks Shirley meeting to oppose house building

Inside Croydon

Has Croydon Central’s Tory MP Gavin Barwell given up on Shirley already?

Shirley shome mishtake: Housing Minister Gavin Barwell could be bricking it over house-building Shirley shome mishtake: Housing Minister Gavin Barwell could be bricking it over house-building

Shirley ward is ear-marked to be shunted out of the Croydon parliamentary constituency and annexed to Beckenham for Westminster election purposes under proposals released earlier this week by the Boundary Commissioners.

It’s all a little awkward for the career Conservative politician.

While Barwell lives in Sanderstead, his own constituency office is located in Shirley, on Wickham Road (handy for the nearby general store, where the MP became known for asking for a receipt for his expenses even on small items of personal spending, such as a packet of crisps. Every little helps…).

And Barwell was quick to jump on the Nimby bandwagon of the Save Shirley campaign, when residents’ groups moved to protect their properties and the essential character of the area against proposals…

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Mid Hants Railway (Watercress Line) August 2016

A good review of the Mid Hants

Loco Yard

On the 22nd August, I visited the Mid Hants Railway, which was my first time visiting the line, despite the links the railway has to the website. Starting at Alresford Station, which has been beautifully restored, and is a fantastic gateway to the Watercress Line.DSC01752The two locomotives that were in operation were925 – SR Schools Class ‘Cheltenham’ and41312 – LMS Ivatt Class 2MT, with the former being the locomotive pulling the first train to Alton station. DSC01761The railway is a 10 mile (16km) line, linking Alresford to Alton, stopping at Ropley andMedstead and Four Marks.The section of line from Alresford to Alton that can be seen today was purchased from British Rail in November 1975. Reconstruction of the line subsequently progressed in stages. The section between Alresford and Ropley re-opened on 30 April 1977. To provide engineering and maintenance facilities, the main locomotive shed and workshops were constructed at…

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