Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon May 18, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi Tim, :)
Very interesting indeed. I was wondering when the Midland introduced their control system, which the NBR followed, being partners in crime as it were. The reason I am asking is that the idea of "Control" was applied to such as ballast trains quite early and certainly up in Scotland the ballast trains still worked to a form of direct "Control" up until BR days. Ladybank which was the junction at the centre of Fife had several ballast trains which ran to control orders. It struck me Tim that no-one I know ever seemed to model a stores train.

Some time ago I was asked to paint the NBR stores train visiting one of the Borders Stations. It was made up from a number of Passenger vans and in the case in point was hauled by a J35 in NBR days. The train traversed the whole system giving out all manner of materials and goods required for the running of stations. Maybe not a top priority , but always nice to have something different.

Allan :)

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon May 18, 2020 2:55 pm

Allan Goodwillie wrote:Hi Tim, :)
Very interesting indeed. I was wondering when the Midland introduced their control system, which the NBR followed, being partners in crime as it were. The reason I am asking is that the idea of "Control" was applied to such as ballast trains quite early and certainly up in Scotland the ballast trains still worked to a form of direct "Control" up until BR days. Ladybank which was the junction at the centre of Fife had several ballast trains which ran to control orders. It struck me Tim that no-one I know ever seemed to model a stores train.

Some time ago I was asked to paint the NBR stores train visiting one of the Borders Stations. It was made up from a number of Passenger vans and in the case in point was hauled by a J35 in NBR days. The train traversed the whole system giving out all manner of materials and goods required for the running of stations. Maybe not a top priority , but always nice to have something different.

Allan :)

Oh dear .... now we are going to have to take a step backwards! What is Control and a control system?
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:04 pm

At a basic level Control offices supervise the signal boxes and decide priorities when out of course working is needed. One of the omnibus telephone circuits linked all the boxes to Control. IIRC there was a fairly detailed article in one of the Midland Records. I'll see if I can find it.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon May 18, 2020 7:55 pm

Actually two of the Midland Records.
Bob Essery wrote up the original Midland Control system, introduced beween 1907 and 1909, in Midland Record 2. The meat of the article are reproductions of a Midland Instruction of 1908 and then an edited version of an LMS document of 1925 descrbing the system they inherited and used for the whole LMS. NB there were district controls at Rowsley and Gowhole.
The second article is in Midland Record 8. This is by Jack Farrar and describes the evolution of the Control system from 1923 to 1948.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon May 18, 2020 8:06 pm

Thanks Kieth .... I think I have a copy of Midland Record 2 (fingers crossed) I will have a look tomorrow. :thumb
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon May 18, 2020 9:11 pm

Hi Tim, :)
I am no expert on this, but my understanding was that the control system was to allow for an overall vision of what was happening on the railways as it happens. In more modern times TOPS was a modern computerised version of this. It would allow changes to be made and alterations to the day to day working of the railway where necessary. My friend Richard Hollingworth who you may know of as Parkside Dundas, sadly no longer with us, used to work in Burntisland Control offices and was the person who originally suggested we build Burntisland as we would need to build the building he used to work in.

Apart from the ballast trains having different destinations each day there would also be extra coal trains particularly in a coal working area such as Fife, also seasonal traffic like seed potatoes, etc. It was also a gathering point for traffic information, to help traffic management and wagon resources.They had direct contact by phone with loco depots and key points throughout the system,so if something should go wrong they were able to deal with it swiftly.

One visual change firstly on the Midland, but shortly after on the NBR was the change over to large reporting numbers on the locomotives. Apart from that there is little to effect your modelling, just interesting to know about.

Keith has done well to track down the articles, which I am sure will be interesting and give an insight as to how a railway was run day to day.

Allan :)

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat May 23, 2020 8:27 am

This may be familiar to people but I just stumbled across it .... reworking of old film footage from 1901 giving colour and adapting the speeds to make it more realistic. Interesting for the atmosphere and dress of the period .... Wierd robotic voice over excepted :shock:

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Guy Rixon » Sat May 23, 2020 10:04 am

That is interesting, Tim. Two things struck me, apart from the weird, mask-like faces (an effect of the colourisation, presumably): all the women wearing shawls and very few of the men smoking. If that has been, say, 1930s footage I think there would have been cigarettes all over. And we need more period figures with shawls.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Noel » Sat May 23, 2020 11:10 am

Smoking in Victorian factories was often banned, as it was in coal mines, for safety reasons, and even carrying smoking materials or matches would be grounds for dismissal, so you would have to leave them at home. The second sequence shows people walking across a weighbridge, so these are very likely to be workers leaving a factory, and the crowds in other sequences are probably also mostly workers going home [they are more relaxed than workers hurrying to clock on in time would be]. Clay pipes would possibly still be more likely than cigarettes [mostly restricted to the middle and upper classes] among the relatively poor at that time - there is one visible at one point.

There are no overcoats visible, so not winter; probably coats would be too expensive anyway, even for winter wear. The men have jackets, and often waistcoats, for outdoors, which can be removed once at work, so the women's shawls are their equivalent for outdoors.

Not everywhere was the same; there were regional variations in dress, as well as variations over time and variations between industrial towns and country areas. Whilst they are interesting, the complete lack of context limits the usefulness of such shots, whilst the colours are, of course, not reliable at all; whilst clothing colours were mostly dark [which, of course, showed the dirt less than pale colours, which again were mostly restricted to the middle and upper classes, although white pinafores were popular for girls not yet old enough for industrial work], and prone to fading over time, blues, reds and greens were available for clothes, as well as black, browns and greys. The outfit at top right of the still clearly has stripes in it, so probably was not grey...
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat May 23, 2020 11:35 am

The thing which struck me most was the numbers of children ... I recall that my grandfather Born 1903 started work just befor his 13th birthday at Firth Browns in Sheffield. Were there many children at work on the railways?
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Noel
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Noel » Sat May 23, 2020 2:46 pm

They were vanguards, messengers, clerks, porters, loco cleaners and assistants to various tradesmen in sheds and works at least, plus some premium apprentices in works. None of the relevant staff actually present on duty in 1876 when the Radstock accident on the S & D occurred was over 18 [so were legally all children at the time], apart from the controller who was remote from the site and only able to communicate, ineffectually, by telegraph, although this was not regarded as acceptable, albeit more because of lack of training and adequate supervision, plus bad management, rather than age per se.

School leaving ages legally were 11 from 1893, 12 from 1899, 14 from 1918.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat May 23, 2020 3:08 pm

so presumably we should be modelling our period stations etc etc witha fair few minors at work? Would they have worked on such things as track gangs etc? Interesting ;)
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Andy W » Sat May 23, 2020 9:06 pm

Many of those small lads would have been caught up in the horrors of WW1.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Noel » Sun May 24, 2020 10:58 am

Le Corbusier wrote:so presumably we should be modelling our period stations etc etc witha fair few minors at work? Would they have worked on such things as track gangs etc?


The railways were no different in principle to any other employer of the era in their recruiting. There were some age related restrictions imposed by law, which changed over time, and railways would have minimum ages for some jobs, such as loco fireman. Otherwise, all employers would make pragmatic decisions about a candidate's ability to do the job, especially if it entailed heavy manual labour. Currently the school leaving age is 16 and the age of majority is 18, but with 16 as an intermediate status. In 1900 the ages for school leaving and adulthood were much further apart, so most people would expect to have been at work for several years before reaching the age of 21, as it was then, and legal adulthood; many would be married and parents themselves by then. The relationship between being a minor and working, potentially in a responsible job, was very different then to what we see now, where in many ways childhood has been greatly extended.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun May 24, 2020 1:22 pm

Thanks Noel .... food for thought, and interesting to boot :thumb
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Thu May 28, 2020 9:12 pm

Following on from Noel :)

When I had my model railway museum during the 1980's I had a visitor one day who was brought in by his son and stayed all day. His son asked if it was OK if he left him with us and he would be back at tea time, he mentioned that the gentleman was in his 90's but would be fine and had worked on the railways. Not entirely sure about the idea as I was worried he might not be interested in what we were doing, but it was one of the most interesting and stimulating days I had there.

It turned out that he had started life as an orphan in London in the days of the Midland Railway. He lived near St.Pancras and at the age of 8 years he and a friend ran away from the orphanage and lived off the streets and slept at nights in the huge Beer cellar underneath the station. (as seemingly did many other waifs and strays.)They lived like that until he was12 and taught himself how to read, he went upstairs and joined the railway as a boy porter. I cannot remember whether he continued to live under the station. He lied about his age, however he was given a job and then started to work his way up through the ranks until he became an assistant GM on the LMS during the war period and had quite a distinguished war. It was quite an eye-opener Tim.

At this time everything happened at a much younger age - my grandfather and grandmother .were married at 16 - quite common in Scotland at that time :)
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu May 28, 2020 9:40 pm

That's quite the story Allan ... would make a good novel :o
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:05 pm

Having had the spring and summer away from Railway modelling ..... the mind turning to summer things and the great outdoors as far as spare time was concerned ;) .... I finally got the chance to do a little modelling over the weekend :thumb Strange that unlike many of this manor I have had less rather than more time for such things as a result of Covid :( . Anyway, I got back to work on the 1F.

My main task was to work out a switching mechanism for the protocab system. Their switching system is developed for plastic rather than brass locos with a copper pad fixed to an appropriate internal suface such that it can be activated by the proximity of a suitable finger on the outside. Unfortunately having the whole bodywork metal rather negates the effect. My solution is to sleave with shrinkwrap a suitably bent length of 0.9 wire with an exposed end poking through to the outside at an inconspicuous location (in this case it emerges from the boxing to the seat on the left of the cab interior - all but invisible). I can then touch the exposed end with a matching piece of wire held in thumb and finger and this switches on the LCU.

I then had to get all the gubbins (battery/LCU/motor & gearbox) fixed up within the tanks and boiler such that they cannot be seen. At the same time I balanced the weight distribution over the centre wheels with lead in the firebox. It was then a case of fine tuning everything to get things running smoothly prior to the final dismantling and trip to the paint shop.

I promised a video of it running under battery power - somewhat amateur I'm afraid :? .....



amateur it may be, but it takes no prisoners ...... must get on with the test track which hasn't moved on for at least a couple of years :D :D :D :D
Last edited by Le Corbusier on Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Will L
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Will L » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:39 pm

That seems to work very well Tim. Looks like you've cracked it. What's the slow running like?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby DougN » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:22 am

Tim, don't be so hard on yourself!
The 1F looks to run very nicely and the test track is doing its job.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Highpeak » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:45 am

I would strongly second Doug's remarks. The video showcases a lot of hard work that is turning out well, especially in what I think for most people is something of a pioneering area, battery power.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:34 am

Will L wrote:That seems to work very well Tim. Looks like you've cracked it. What's the slow running like?

The slow running as far as I can assess is pretty good. A criticism I have is that it takes a certain amount of oomph to actually turn the motor and this sets things in motion at a certain speed (slow but not creeping). Once started with touch you can knock it back a little but you need to be careful not to stall. This is unrelated to the freeness of the running ... more to the weight of the loco. I don't recall this issue using track power ....

I will see if I can post a video to show this ... perhaps I am being overly critical?
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby davebradwell » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:59 am

I've noticed that videos from the r/c fraternity have hurried past the difficult slow speed bit. The electronic motor drive is fairly basic with no feedback (on the spec sheet referred in a link) and I suspect it's a small 3 pole motor. Try to get the wheels revolving about once in 5 secs. It's this bit of the speed range that absorbs much time and cash but I suspect you're limited by the hardware. It's also the speed at which any tight spots in the chassis show up.

Anyway, you've made a fine thing and you built it for yourself and nobody can take that away. Shunt the wagons over the crossover to reverse the order and decide if the r/c system meets your expectations in performing this basic task. You'll also find out if 3 link couplings are gong to drive you nuts.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:47 am

davebradwell wrote:I've noticed that videos from the r/c fraternity have hurried past the difficult slow speed bit. The electronic motor drive is fairly basic with no feedback (on the spec sheet referred in a link) and I suspect it's a small 3 pole motor. Try to get the wheels revolving about once in 5 secs. It's this bit of the speed range that absorbs much time and cash but I suspect you're limited by the hardware. It's also the speed at which any tight spots in the chassis show up.

Anyway, you've made a fine thing and you built it for yourself and nobody can take that away. Shunt the wagons over the crossover to reverse the order and decide if the r/c system meets your expectations in performing this basic task. You'll also find out if 3 link couplings are gong to drive you nuts.

DaveB

Morning Dave,

With the protocab system I am very much in their hands as far as how it works (it being a package rather than an assemblage of parts). The motor is a Mashima 12v offering .... it may be that I need to consider lower voltage units? Revolving the wheels once in 5 secs I suspect will be a big ask. Attached is a short clip ... there may be a whiff of a tight spot but I don't think it is the main issue. You will note that it starts at a certain speed, it is then possible to knock it back a certain amount, but if you go too far it stalls. It definately seems to have a limit as to how slow it can go.

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:30 pm

Hi Tim, :)
First time I have been on here for a while, like you I have been busy with a whole number of projects, however this is looking very good indeed. This is one area - battery powered locos - that I have no expertise on so unable to help.Although I do have a couple of friends who have built them and managed to get them to work smoothly, so I will try to persuade them to maybe reply to the thread. In days of yore on conventional models you could put a spare motor running parallel or a bulb into the circuit which allowed for a much softer take off - not really practical in your case. (Boy that really shows up my age!) However a lovely piece of work and as the others have said do not be too hard on yourself. I am sure there will be a solution - how about the makers? They may have some suggestions.

Allan :)


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