It Was To Be he Future Of The Railway!

fbb is not sure how the irrelevant horses gor into the picture – poor editing maybe?  The gas turbine propulsion was soon abandoned and a more conventional power system was used and the revised train was launched with due ceremony on the West Coast main line. It look impressive!

But it didn’t work very well and was heartily ridiculed by the press. Even Private Eye put in on their front cover …

… complete with jokey speech bubbles. The train (as usual) was delivered late …

… and breakdowns were common, even on the trial runs with “volunteer” passengers.

There was even a feeble joke at the expense of the technology.

As least the “Eye” used a genuine photo!

The tilt technology was sold to the Italians and then the UK had to buy it back for the Brit version of the Pendolino!

The APT project was soon cancelled. The press trumpeted about “failed technology” and “poor build quality” but the cancellations was for simple commercial reasons. It was calculated that passengers would be unwilling to pay a premium fare for super high speed. 
Trains that all went fast would be better economically.
Hence the HST – which was hugely successful, both technically and commercially.

What helped was its visionary but very simple technology. Take a rake of “ordinary” coaches, have a powerful diesel loco on each end and “sapristi” the High Sped Train! Literally “seemples”!!

For wealthy railway modellers, probably collectors rather than layout builders, Rapido Trains has produced (a k a got mmthe chaps and chapesses in China to produce) the four car experimental gas turbine version.

If you want to be really daft, you can buy one in the yellow, blue and grey livery of the HST – which never existed on an APT! The blue/grey version is accurate!

Hornby has produced the version that ran with passengers and sets are available (at a price) on the pre-owned market.

You may still be able to buy extra cars to extend the model to the full 14 coach version; far too big for most OO layouts!

But it will look nice gathering dust on s shelf.
The problems were eventually solved and the trains quietly reintroduced in 1984 with much greater success. By this time the competing High Speed Train, powered by a conventional diesel engine and lacking the APT’s tilt and performance, had gone through development and testing at a rapid rate and was now forming the backbone of BR’s passenger service. All support for the APT project collapsed as anyone in authority distanced themselves from what was being derided as a failure. Plans for a production version, APT-S, were abandoned, and the three APT-Ps ran for just over a year before being withdrawn again over the winter of 1985/6. Two of the three sets were broken up, and parts of the third sent to the National Railway Museum where it joined the APT-E.

Windows 1945 To Present
Today, consumers shudder at the prices charged for model railway locos and rolling stock. The reasons are well rehearsed; escalating cost of plastics; increased transport costs; Mr Putin; profiteering model makers; loss of interest by children and teens leading to small production runs. etc etc.

Pre-war, and on into he immediate post WW2 era, Hornby Dublo coaches had printed windows …
… indeed, when fbb started his teenage modelling efforts, suburban coached from Dublo still had printed windows!

Then along came Triang with plastic and an upturned “gutter” of clear stuff which didn’t quite fit!

The plastic was poor, there was no detail and the bodies and roof warped.

Dublo had shiny metal bodies but with better fitted “glass”. But Triang’s design soon improved, but the thickness of the body side meant that the window “glass”

  wad unrealistically inset.

It was probably Kitmaster coach kits that started the revolution. As on Airfix buildings, the windows were individually glued into the openings and thus looked loads better – if you were skilled enough to paing the opening frames – which were clear plastic.

You could by kits for the interiors from other providers but you can see the separate window “glass” added from the inside.

Thr next development was to fix the opening frames on the plastic strip …

… which stil looked unrealistic but it was the best that could be achieved cheaply!

One trick for modern air conditioned stock with no opening windows was to make the coach body of clear plastic and simply print the body side on top …

… but you felt that just a teensy weensy bit of depth would be better.

It was Bachmann that first began fitting flush windows with correctly painted frames …

… soon followed by Hornby.

But, of course, as detail increases and production needs more skill and build time, so prices escalate. 

Compare the Coronation windows above with Hornby’s newly tooled but similar coaches.

One of those will set you back £60. Yikes. But the windows are accurate!

You pays your money …

High Quality Travel

There is still one of those cars around, from a slightly later batch …

… which comes out of retirement for special occasions as above to launch th latest in fast, quiet and smooth transit for Toronto.

Bus Priority Vectis-Style
fbb has received a whole host of pictures showing the much improved exit from Ryde’s too small collection of terminus bus stops. You cannot really call it a bus station, just four shelters, three of them on a new bit of roadway, the fourth in a layby off the Esplanade.

But, at last, buses leaving Ryde for Newport and points west no longer have to endure a double run via the Esplanade. Here is a selection of Alan’s photographic genius.

Leave stand and turn tight …

… brief stop at the lights …

… which turn quickly to green …

… and off up George Street the bus speeds.

Nice to help the buses on their way – it has only taken well over 70 years to make the change!

But Isle of Wight folk are not renowned for hurrying!

Forth Clyde Canal P S

Canal cruising at Matyhill – 1950s style/

Easy Puzzle Picture

But what is it?

Lacking Lovely Livery

Whatever happened to these trendy Peak Sightseer buses?

No one has yet posted a picture on line. There is, fbb is told, a matching leaflet. Again nothing in Stagecoach Chesterfield web site. Or if it is there it is VERY well hidden.

No new livery on 27th July as per picture posted in Twitter.

Please Note:

Today and tomorrow are our duplicate fellowship meetings with Micah the Old Testament prophet providing some of the content. (High level theology – NOT). Micah was the guy who prophesied in 700 BC that God’s Messiah (i.e. Jesus) would be born in a tin pot village (Bethlehem) rather than in the Temple City of Jerusalem. So there’s a Bethlehem Quiz coming up.

Thus tomorrow’s and Tuesday’s blogs may be reduced in length depending on mental and physical exhaustion.
 Next Portsmouth blog : Monday 7th August 
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