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Paint for Oil Hand Lamps

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by sem34090, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Old Wusser and Wusser

    Old Wusser and Wusser New Member

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    I have several different types of oil lamps that I use to provide background illumination while I watch telly with the lights off-you get a better picture that way. For some time I've used Clear Lamp Oil that I get from everybody's favourite online auction site and it seems to be quite bright and has no smell. Alternatively you could try the outdoor torch lamp oil that you can get from most of the garden centres, although it's not quite so smell free as the clear lamp oil.

    nb. I have no connection at all with the seller of this lamp oil apart from that of a satsified customer.
     
  2. matt95

    matt95 New Member

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    I'm a guard that also owns and likes to use a traditional oil tail lamp, unfortunately the signalmen on the railway concerned are used to seeing the overly bright tail lamps that have been provided by the railway that have had the inner workings converted to LED, there hasn't been a single shift, during daytime hours, where I haven't been informed by a signalman that my lamp is out, only for me to go and check and find it burning away nicely.
     
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  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    When I eventually qualify (should have passed by now if it weren't for the shut-down) I shall be doing the same Matt, eventually they might catch on!
     
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  4. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Unless your line has tunnels, why would your Rulebook require the tail lamp to be lit in daylight?
     
  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Our line does have a tunnel, 693 yards long! :)
     
  6. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Fair enough. (Your previous post didn't mention which railway you volunteer on, I find it hard to keep track of who goes where and I just gloss over signatures as they are greyed out)
     
  7. matt95

    matt95 New Member

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    There is a tunnel, so technically it only needs to be lit for that section during daylight
     
  8. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    On the MHR I think we only use oil tail lamps, including at night. From Medstead, on a clear night, we can see a down train's tail lamp until it disappears round Wander's Curve about a mile, possibly more, away. The lenses are pretty effective.

    Headlamps and handlamps don't have the same range, but they have plain bullseye lenses or just flat glasses (I assume that's the reason?).

    Also, tail lamps have larger burners which produce a larger flame (than a handlamp). I've fitted one of my handlamps with a tail lamp burner (because it's all I had) and it's noticeably brighter.

    Better than a Bardic!
     
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  9. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    We are talking heritage here, my railway uses modern flashing tail lamps and has ridden itself of Edmunson tickets, thin edge of the wedge. Next it will be DMU's Doh, too late!!
     
  10. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    Tickets are a whole other debate (personally I prefer Edmonsons, but can see the practicalities of ditching them), but on a heritage railway I really don't see why, if an oil tail lamp is deemed unsuitable, an L.E.D. lamp can't be placed in the oil lamp case.

    Mind you, who cares other than us? And for Swanage I'm guessing that part of the reason for changing to the modern variety is to enable trains to pass over NR metals into Wareham?
     
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  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh I think you do yourself down there - haven't you said before that your own oil handlamp attracts interest from passengers? Most railways have an educational aspect as well, and many people have probably never seen a working oil lamp before. Why bother to get it wrong when it's just as easy to get it right? (Certainly for LEDs in oil lamp cases of not oil burners themselves!)

    Oh, good tip putting a tail lamp burner in a hand lamp, I might just try that. We must have some spare ones somewhere having ripped out the guts of several BR tail lamps to fit LED innards.
     
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  12. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    Hand lamps are somewhat more noticeable to passengers than the tail lamp, although I've seen some ask the guard if it's a real oil lamp when he's walking down the platform with it.

    I agree with you, though.

    The only slight drawback with the tail lamp burner is that you'll probably need to adjust the height of the reflector to cater for the increased height. It also has a tendency to make the top of the lamp case very hot, more so than with a hand lamp burner.

    I'm not sure how much more effective it is, but when I first restored my two lamps I put them both at the other end of the platform and the LSWR one, with its hand lamp burner, was considerably dimmer than the SR-Pattern one with a tail lamp burner.

    I have an empty tail lamp and hand lamp case on my shelf here (which, like the others, were acquired very reasonably when the MHR was having a clear-out) so I may stick LED innards in those and use them as decorative pieces at home.
     
  13. Martin Adalar

    Martin Adalar New Member

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    Not lighting the oil lamp doesn't save on lamp oil bills because even if you blow it out the parafin will just evaporate anyway and in any case the BR rulebooks said that the tail lamp should be lit at al times and so should the marker lights at the front for that matter, although i have seen quite a few that were not lit for some reason on heritage railways.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  14. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    When I worked for BR, that was not the case. The Sectional Appendix had a table showing sections of line where tail lamps were required to be lit at all times. Mainly this was lines which went through tunnels or deep narrow cuttings.
    Any train which passed over any such section of line was required to have the lamp lit throughout the journey.
    Paraffin lamp-oil tends not to evaporate at the normal low temperature found in this country, especially within a sealed reservoir. The wick will dry out, but any evaporation is much slower than the burn rate.

    Example: Signal lamp reservoirs tend to be sized for long burning to allow for continuous use over a seven day period. Spare lamps left in the lamp room with full reservoirs can still be found full several weeks later, although of course it is not best policy to store lamps with full reservoirs.

    Modern Network Rail rule books I believe do now require head and tail lights to be lit at all times.

    The earliest types of battery-electric tail-lamps introduced on BR were designed to only illuminate in poor light, that's why a test button was provided to check battery state.
     
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