Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
steve roberts

Model Railway

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Triple.H. said:

The Great Central Railway is almost forgotten about these days, but was really ahead of its time. It's unfortunate that it was seen as surplus to requirements upon nationalisation and run down before closure, yet ironically would have been ideal for a high-speed rail link. Indeed, part of its route is being used for HS2. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I used to live in Northamptonshire in the 90's and it was mooted that plans were afoot to resurrect the line as an eventual link from the north to the Channel Tunnel as well as reconnecting the towns and cities along the way with a mainline service. I believe it was actually discussed in Parliament around 1995, and with most of the bridges and tunnels  sound and still in existence it would have been a cost effective expansion to the networks, but nothing materialised until the current exorbitant waste of money that is HST2.

Brilliant model by the way in the Beeb article and video.

 

Edited by jrs
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/8/2021 at 12:01 PM, Humphrey Appleby said:

The Great Central Railway is almost forgotten about these days, but was really ahead of its time. It's unfortunate that it was seen as surplus to requirements upon nationalisation and run down before closure, yet ironically would have been ideal for a high-speed rail link. Indeed, part of its route is being used for HS2. 

It probably was ahead of its time as a concept but had to compete with the Midland which served the same centres and the Metropolitan in the London suburban area. In the 1950’s it was said to be the most profitable line in Britain in terms per ton of freight carried and per passenger. However by the late 50’s British Railways was increasingly in the hands of time serving jobsworths who dreamed up every possible excuse, it seems to throw in towel and close lines, instead of trying to increase traffic, although that was the era when the utterly corrupt Ernest Marples was Transport Minister doing all he could to move traffic onto the roads to justify the building of more motorways which surprise, surprise were being built by  Marples Ridgeway , nominally owned by his wife but in reality his company. Figures showing the profitability of the Great Central line were allegedly suppressed by those proposing Beeching type policies for more and more line closures, so the Great Central line fell to the axe.

Nationalisation of the railways was a sound idea in principle, and could have been a great success as part of an integrated transport policy but there were some dreadful people given managerial responsibility .

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, E I Addio said:

It probably was ahead of its time as a concept but had to compete with the Midland which served the same centres and the Metropolitan in the London suburban area. In the 1950’s it was said to be the most profitable line in Britain in terms per ton of freight carried and per passenger. However by the late 50’s British Railways was increasingly in the hands of time serving jobsworths who dreamed up every possible excuse, it seems to throw in towel and close lines, instead of trying to increase traffic, although that was the era when the utterly corrupt Ernest Marples was Transport Minister doing all he could to move traffic onto the roads to justify the building of more motorways which surprise, surprise were being built by  Marples Ridgeway , nominally owned by his wife but in reality his company. Figures showing the profitability of the Great Central line were allegedly suppressed by those proposing Beeching type policies for more and more line closures, so the Great Central line fell to the axe.

Nationalisation of the railways was a sound idea in principle, and could have been a great success as part of an integrated transport policy but there were some dreadful people given managerial responsibility .

Not sure the Great Central ever intended to compete in London, as its origin was as a northern and midland railway. Indeed, it originally ran over the Metropolitan Line to gain access to London (which is now the line to Aylesbury), before building a link to the Great Western's Wycombe line (which is now the Chiltern Main Line) and running over that to Marylebone. 

I do think it was inevitable that much of the railway network was going to have be closed, as it was - and indeed still is - quite dense, duplicatory and serving population centres that even today can't justify a rail link. You only have to look at all the multiple rail lines that served North Buckinghamshire where the Great Central, Great Western and Metropolitan all competed, and it was ridiculous for a largely rural area that doesn't have a big population even today. 

IMO, the big mistake was that the trackbeds should have been retained in case they were needed in future - in particular for when the populations of towns grew or patterns of commuting changed. After the initial culling of redundant and unprofitable routes in the 50s and then 60s which had a fair degree of justification, BR seemed to spend much of the 70s and 80s running down everything except mainline services, and trying to close as many remaining branch lines as possible; not least in Greater London which I'm not sure was ever justified. The Chiltern Line is a case in point, which even though it never actually closed, has been one of the big successes of the modern railway era after being completely run down and nearly closed in the 80s. 

Definitely in hindsight, the Great Central was a missed opportunity as it would have increased capacity which is now needed on north-south routes and could have been used as higher-speed route years ago. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

The Chiltern Line is a case in point, which even though it never actually closed, has been one of the big successes of the modern railway era after being completely run down and nearly closed in the 80s. 

Definitely in hindsight, the Great Central was a missed opportunity as it would have increased capacity which is now needed on north-south routes and could have been used as higher-speed route years ago. 

Ive not been on a train for years but I travelled on the Chlitern Line about 13/14 years ago and at that time it had the best time keeping record in the country. The Chiltern Line and Hull Trains before they were taken over were small well run outfits at the time with good managerial skills sadly lacking in British Railways by the late 50’s , and indeed it seems lacking in some of the larger privatised railways these days.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, E I Addio said:

Ive not been on a train for years but I travelled on the Chlitern Line about 13/14 years ago and at that time it had the best time keeping record in the country. The Chiltern Line and Hull Trains before they were taken over were small well run outfits at the time with good managerial skills sadly lacking in British Railways by the late 50’s , and indeed it seems lacking in some of the larger privatised railways these days.

The railways are gradually being re-nationalised by stealth. A number of franchises have effectively been taken over by local authorities or returned to their national governments who are now operating them. 

Possibly not much longer until the towel gets thrown in on all but a handful of the profitable routes. The Chiltern Line though, seems to be one of the success stories of privatisation though. 

Share this post


Link to post

I guess that my OO Model Railway is more or less complete...next project will be in N gauge which will be a whole new learning curve for me. Any advice greatly recieved!

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

I guess that my OO Model Railway is more or less complete...next project will be in N gauge which will be a whole new learning curve for me. Any advice greatly recieved!

Victoria Sponge and cup of tea before you start.:t:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

I guess that my OO Model Railway is more or less complete...next project will be in N gauge which will be a whole new learning curve for me. Any advice greatly recieved!

Why not go for OO9 scale and add a narrow gauge industrial railway to the diorama? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

Why not go for OO9 scale and add a narrow gauge industrial railway to the diorama? :D

Unfortunately every available space has been taken up but would have been a good option!

Edited by steve roberts

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/3/2021 at 10:10 PM, steve roberts said:

I guess that my OO Model Railway is more or less complete...next project will be in N gauge which will be a whole new learning curve for me. Any advice greatly recieved!

 You mean like this ? _

 

 Amazing Ashburton Model Railway Layout - Bing video

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/4/2021 at 6:36 AM, steve roberts said:

Unfortunately every available space has been taken up but would have been a good option!

OO9 and HOe is actually quite an interesting scale. One of the problems of HO/OO scale is that it really requires a lot of space to build prototypical layouts, which is impractical for most British homes. N scale though, is a bit too small and fiddly as your eyesight deteriorates, so 009/HOe represents a good compromise between the two. 

Narrow gauge railways had tighter curves and smaller loading gauges in real life, so their models don't look so ridiculous if you want cram something into a 2 x 1.5 ft baseboard. :D

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I seen to recall a massive N gauge layout called "Chiltern Green". An unbelievable thing! More scenic than loco's.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/3/2021 at 10:10 PM, steve roberts said:

I guess that my OO Model Railway is more or less complete...next project will be in N gauge which will be a whole new learning curve for me. Any advice greatly recieved!

Good luck Steve it should be an enjoyable journey learning along the way.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy