Bethesda Sidings

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Captain Kernow, 25 April 2017.

  1. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    I must admit to having been tempted, CK..despite my previous three unsuccessful attempts to secure a usable example.

    I reserve judgement but note that the reduced prices remain in place until the 31st December....

    Captain Kernow likes this.
  2. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I think it must be a question of time-dilation affecting the variable infinity matrix of the time-space continuum, Geoff.

    Personally, I blame the sprouts.
    Paul Cambridge and Geoff like this.
  3. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    I think it must be a question of time-dilation affecting the variable infinity matrix of the time-space continuum, Geoff.

    Now why didn't I think of that, I just knew there had to be a simple explanation Tim :rolleyes:

    Merry Christmas,
    PaulR and Captain Kernow like this.
  4. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    And a Merry Christmas to you, Geoff and everyone else on here.

    PS. The second Hattons/DJM 14XX is trying to trick me. It's pretending to run better.

    I don't trust it.
    AJC likes this.
  5. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    PS. The second Hattons/DJM 14XX is trying to trick me. It's pretending to run better.

    Are you going to blame the sprouts for that as well, or have you been taking something stronger? ;)

    simond likes this.
  6. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I think I'm going to have to issue a comprehensive denial of everything, but the 14XX did actually perform in a semi-civilised manner on my AMR slow-speed hand-held controller last night, which is the ultimate measure for me of how a loco runs.

    Sufficiently well, for the moment, that I have now put one of the Vale of Radnor Light Railway locos on the circle of track to run in, a Hornby Sentinel with outside rods purchased secondhand earlier this year.
    Geoff likes this.
  7. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I recently bought one of the Michael Clemens series of DVDs, based on his father Jim Clemens' cine footage shot in the 1960s. This one covered 'Rural Herefordshire' and showed the workings of the Kington and Presteigne branch goods in some detail. It was really good stuff and very inspiring, because these workings would have been extended through to Bethesda Sidings in my alternative reality.

    There was one thing that puzzled me, though. The branch was freight only by the early 1960s, when this footage was taken, but was otherwise 'fully operational'. Mr Clemens accompanied a typical working along the branch (and clearly visited by car on other occasions for 'infill' shots).

    The train in question seems to have run past Kington Jct signal box at Leominster without slowing down to accept the One Train Working Staff for the single line, but has then stopped just around the corner, clear of the main line junction, for the guard to lay three detonators 'to protect the train while it's down the branch'.

    On the return working, the train stops to pick the detonators up again and then slows at the signal box for the footplate crew to hand the One Train Working Staff over.

    Whilst I can accept that the OTW staff may have been handed to the crew in the yard at Leominster on the outward trip (although that's not too credible) and whilst I can also accept that Mr Clemens may actually have filmed the trip on separate occasions (ie. the returning trip was not the same as the outward one he filmed), what I don't understand is why it was necessary to lay detonators at the main line junction 'to protect the branch?'

    Surely the signal man has 'protected the branch' by handing over the OTW staff and can also use a reminder appliance in the signal box and make a note in the Train Register?

    Does anyone else know what was going on, please?

  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    I don’t know, but I can provide conjecture...

    Would there not (normally?) be a link (mechanical, electric?) between the OTW staff and the frame? In which case I imagine a second train “could not get in” to the section once the staff had been taken by the train (without some kind of override).

    And so I’d imagine that when it became freight only, perhaps the interlocking between staff machine and frame was removed, and the dets were then required to be placed as a precaution?

    Will be interested to hear more...

    Captain Kernow likes this.
  9. phileakins

    phileakins Western Thunderer

    Normally removing the staff from the 'system' would give a one-pull electrical release on the branch starting signal (ie in advance of the signal box) lever, as Simon says. Is there such a signal? If not it would explain the protection in its place as the brach would be operated as 'one engine in steam' and placing the dets are 'local practice'.
    Last edited: 11 January 2019
    simond likes this.
  10. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    You could be right, Phil.

    There certainly were/are (still) some freight-only locations where the One Train Working Staff is not linked to the clearing of the branch starting signal (Lostwithiel to Fowey, for example).

    The thing that has really puzzled me, though, is the use of detonators, which I have never come across in my railway career when not used in the context of engineering work or some kind of emergency/degraded working or incident management.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Well, the question provided some fodder for the chewing over last evening over a beer with some pals, one of whom is ex S&T, and another has something of a reputation for knowing about these matters.

    We came to no hard & fast consensus, however, there was considerable support for the idea that the block instrument and frame had been disconnected, leading to the thought that some other form of protection would be required.

    It occurs to me now that a rule 55 collar on the entry point lever would do nicely, but that doesn’t help answer the det question, indeed, perhaps the reverse. I guess you hinted at this in the original question.

    There was a suggestion that the dets were placed to warn the returning train that it had to stop, but I’d assume the driver signed for the route, so he’d know that already, there was presumably a signal, and he had to hand the staff in, so that doesn’t float my boat.

    They could be there to warn the signalman, presuming they were placed in his earshot, of a runaway vehicle, or indeed the whole train’s approach, because he’d have no other advice of its impending arrival. Quite like this idea. Does the gradient support it?

  12. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your thoughts, all very interesting. Your idea about runaways might have some substance, although I haven't checked the gradient yet. But that would probably only really apply if there was no trapping arrangement to protect the main line from the branch, so I'll have to have another look at the video to see if any is shown (unless someone has access to a signalling diagram for Leominster Kington Junction signal box for 1964?).
  13. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Just had another thought. Perhaps the AWS/ATC no longer functioned - so the dets could be a self imposed fog signal?

    Clutching at straws here :)

  14. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    I've had a look at the SRS site and there is a diagram for Kington Junc, predating the goods only time of the branch. More helpfully there is a dated list of alterations, the branch was worked by Electric Train Staff from circa 1907 until 1958, at which time the ETS was taken away and OES working substituted, additionally the normal lie of the branch facing points was changed and a trap point added, so I cant really understand the need for dets. Two possible clues, the approach to the junction is sharply curved and if there was the possibility of fog then train crews might have thought it prudent for an extra precaution, or since it is unlikely that there would have been any interlock between the OES staff and the signals there is nothing mechanical to prevent a second train being route along the branch and it was a safety measure. Frankly I discount this as it would have needed the contrivance of both the signalman and the driver of the second train.

    simond likes this.
  15. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    What I hope is an important step forward with the layout was taken this afternoon, in that I have finally braved the elements (nice, mild afternoon), gone outside and turned the heater on in the shed to warm it up and have sprayed the track on 'Bethesda Sidings', first red oxide primer and then (once dry) with a Precision track colour aerosol. Photos to follow.

    The Precision paint will form a base colour for further track painting and weathering, after which the ballasting (or insertion of grunge, gunk and weeds) can begin.
    Alan and Pencarrow like this.
  16. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    The painting process yesterday:

    First, point blade areas were masked off, to prevent paint gumming up moving/sliding parts (will be painted by hand later):


    The unmasked areas of track and baseboard were then sprayed with red oxide primer in the shed:


    When that was dry, a Precision track colour was sprayed on:


    When the precision track colour was touch-dry, the layout was taken back into the house and the paint allowed to harden further overnight. I then spent some time this afternoon, wiping the paint from the rail heads:



    I will let the paint harden off a bit more, then the painting and weathering of individual rail sides and sleepers can begin.
    allegheny1600, Simpas, fenman and 7 others like this.
  17. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    A necessary bit of rather messy work yesterday and today.

    The roadway to access the goods shed had to be installed, for which tile grout has been used.

    Some balsa 'guides' were installed first and a thin layer of PVA brushed on. An initial layer of tile grout was then applied yesterday afternoon and allowed to harden off until this afternoon.

    I then applied a further layer to bring the road way up to rail level. This will be sanded smooth when the tile grout has really hardened off and I am satisfied that it hasn't shrunk in such a way as to highlight the sleepers below (the main reason for two layers of grout):


    Geoff, AJC, Pencarrow and 3 others like this.
  18. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    A pair of Lanarkshire Models GWR buffer stops built recently for the layout (I've since added cosmetic chairs):


    A Scalescenes brick yard office also under construction (I've deviated a bit from the instructions, in case anyone else has built one of these):


    The building will be weathered when it's completed.
    Geoff, Nick Rogers, jonte and 6 others like this.
  19. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I test ran some locos on the layout for the first time since I spray painted the track this evening and found to my displeasure that some locos that had previously been OK, were now 'sticking' when running through pointwork.

    I found that the coats of red primer and track colour top coat had contrived to slightly narrow the flangeways on the points, so I cleared these out and all bar one of the locos are now OK again.

    The one exception is, you've guessed it, the second Hattons/DJM 14XX, the one that is still running on it's original chassis, because on plain track, it's actually just about OK.

    Where the other locos were much improved following the flangeway clearing, this one is still tight in some places and when I checked the back-to-backs, I found out why. The back-to-backs are almost 15mm, which in OO is really too wide for the sharp curves through one or two of the points on the layout.

    This loco has, therefore, moved one stage closer to having to have a replacement chassis built for it. The chassis will have to come out and the wheels will need to be removed, to see if I can narrow the back-to-backs by about 0.4mm, after which they ought to be alright.

    If that doesn't work, for whatever reason, it's going to have to be a Comet chassis for it and what with all the other work I need to do on the layout, it's not going to be a priority for a while.
    76043 likes this.
  20. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    It's a matter of historical record that some 14 LB&SCR A1s and A1Xs were sold out of service to various other railway operators. Some of these became relatively well-known, such as 'Deptford' and 'Shadwell', which were sold to the Edge Hill Light Railway.

    LB&SCR numbers 681 and 683, 'Beulah' and 'Earlswood' respectively were amongst a number of 'Terriers' that were sold to the Admiralty in 1918 and these two went to the naval refuelling station at Invergordon, where they worked on the internal railway system there for a few years.

    In 1923 both were bought by Col. Stephens for the impecunious Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway, where they became that railway's numbers 7 and 9 and were renamed 'Hecate' and 'Dido' respectively.

    The locomotives didn't work for very long on the S&MR and were photographed 'laid up' and partially dismantled in the early 1930s. It is likely that they would then have been scrapped in due course, had it not been for a chance visit by Joshua Cuthbertson, General Manager of the Vale of Radnor Light Railway to Kinnerley on the S&MR, on his way back to Radnor from a family visit in Lancashire.

    Cuthbertson was convinced that the two locomotives could be repaired and contacted a cousin of his, who occupied a senior position within the LM&SR at Crewe Works.

    A deal was done and the component parts of 'Hecate' and Dido' were subsequently transported from Kinnerley to Crewe Works in the summer of 1933. They were refurbished and re-assembled as part of an apprentice training programme. It seems likely that some of the cost of these works was born by the wealthy Cuthbertson family, who even then were propping up the ailing financial fortunes of the VoRLR. The two locomotives were worked under their own steam from Crewe to the GWR shed at Leominster, from where they were hauled to Capel Bethesda in the daily pick-up goods service by one of Leominster's Dean Goods.

    Once transferred onto the VoRLR, they were renamed 'Radnorshire' (the former 'Hecate') and 'Bethesda', (the former Dido) and were put to work on the light railway without further ado, where for some years they formed the only viable motive power, allowing the venerable Taffson, Evans & Jenkins saddle tank 'Rhondda' of 1878 to be sold for scrap.

    After the war, the VoRLR joined the newly-formed Association of Independent Light Railways in 1949, which allowed a limited exchange of motive power and other rolling stock between various railways and it is known that 'Bethesda' certainly spent a few years on loan to the South Polden Light Railway in Somerset in the 1950s.
    NHY 581, 76043, Ressaldar and 2 others like this.