The Wonder Engine!

10800 was a diesel (despite he retailer’s heading!) and a one off. In the modern craze for offering (and presumably selling at a nice profit) obscure locomotives to a seemingly insatiable demand from old wealthy old loco collectors. (both “old”s apply).
The real thing was designed by Henry Ivatt for the London Midland and Scottish Railway but built and delivered to British Railways in 1950.

Our Henry wanted to know how well a diesel loco might perform hauling trains on “secondary” lines when compared with steam. The answer for 10800 was, not very.

Here is the original at Rugby.

The loco gained its nickname “Wonder” from the oft thought but spoken in frustration, “We wonder whether it will work today!” It was not successful.

But it did lead to two BR diesels in limited production, later known as Class 15 …

… and Class 16.

They weren’t particularly successful either. But the well known Type 1, later Class 20, was ubiquitous!

More often than not they ran in pairs, offering the bonus opportunity that the driver could see where he was going.

Loco 10800 was eventually bought by Brush of Loughborough and used as a testbed for AC traction, the good old DC beginning to be inadequate for newer and heavier trains.

Nevertheless, you can have your own OO scale version of 10800 …

…for about £220.

Nice at a price!


The Timmy And Siddy Show Is Back

Actually Series 3 of Secrets of the London Underground is well on to Episode 7 of 10 and fbb had not noticed. 
For those that missed series 1 and 2, the idea is that the “stars”, Tim (I’m so excited) Dunn and Siddy (I have the keys) Holloway go gallivanting round abandoned tunnel’s and dark places that were once part of London’s Underground network.
fbb has “binge-watched” the first six episodes c/o UKTV Play and, frankly, is disappointed. Once you have seen one dusty foetid tunnel or lift shaft, you have seen them all. Once Siddy has slobbered over sumptuous tiles you do tire just a little.
And what had the man who makes fearfully strong sauce from veg grown in his station garden have to offer – apart from an fbb determination never to taste such a thing!
But, Episode 5 did enlighten fbb somewhat. It took us to West Ashfield Underground station!

It looks a bit odd and that bookstall looks rather, well, flat! 

We need to step back a bit.
Remember Earls Court exhibition halls? Well, it ain’t there no more.

It used to be in and around a triangle of Underground lines travelling west from Earls Court station (above upper right). Off to the top left is the Lillie Bridge Underground depot.

Above, top left and standing next to Cromwell Road is Ashfield House. 

And below is he who gave house and station their names, one Lord Ashfield, a k a Albert Stanley.
Stanley’s talents became well known. In 1907, the executives of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) approached him to become head of the great combine of tubes and buses. Appointed General Manager, Stanley found the company in a state of near bankruptcy. His tough and forceful leadership style was necessary to fix the situation. Stanley is said to have likened his entrance into the UERL to that of an electric eel being let loose in a tank of sleepy fish. 

Heading straight for the bank, Stanley persuaded them to give the company the capital to advertise his new underground lines. Meanwhile, he gave his senior managers six months to turn the company around. 

Stanley’s plan to effectively eliminate competition by bringing competing companies into the Group proved effective, and ultimately there was no need for the bank loan he had secured. 
Lord Ashfield rescued and effectively created London Transport.
So on the third floor of Ashfield House, Timmy and Siddy found North Ashfield Station.

It is the London Underground Training School, complete with …

… a bit of a real station on which to experiment with rescue and recovery etc.

There is an S Stock cab and simulator in which both Timmy and Siddy had a go. They were so excited even though there were no tiles for Siddy to enjoy.
There is also a model railway …

… on which to practice and understand the signalling system.

But it wasn’t working.

Timmy cried all the way home only partially comforted by a bag of toffees bought by Siddy. 
(Actually, on one of those highly staged fiddles beloved of TV producers) Timmy had supposedly brought a radio controlled battery model which the two children drove backwards and forwards a few times.)
Of course West Ashfield has ticket gates …

… and a line diagram!

Apparently the whole area, including Lillie Bridge depot and Ashfield House are due for redevelopment. 

This is the architects’ view looking due west …

… with the site of Ashfield House top right beside the Cromwell Road. There is a link to loco 10800.

The developers’ slogan!

And, also looking west, Earls Court as it once was. You can just spot Ashfield House top right.

Terrific : Tram Triplication
The Seaton tramway runs a 20 minute frequency for most of its season these days, but on busy days duplication it is often necessary. Yesterday, whilst enjoying a lunch on the Colyton Station platform, the fbbs were able to observe |
THREE trams departing at the same time.

Two were in service and well loaded; the third, with Dinosaur Tram on the blinds, was working back “light” to pick up a pre-booked party.

 Cardiff Cutbacks blog : Monday 28th August 

Add Your Comment

Generated by Feedzy