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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Chuffington

    Chuffington New Member

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    That is until you have accident because you haven't got the braking force to stop quickly enough!
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Is that Brunel-style baulk road in the 1900 picture?
     
  3. The first pic helpfully shows the Up platform at its "original" height. For the first twenty years or so, the line was single through Crowcombe. I have a long-held theory that Crowcombe's layout was similar to Stogumber, that is, the station building was away from the original and only platform (which I believe was the current Down platform). Ian Coleby's research (and documents he unearthed) suggests otherwise. Why then did Brunel lay the first rails on the current Up loop alignment, rather than the current, straight Down loop alignment. Or was it just remarkable foresight allowing for a future loop to be constructed at Crowcombe some thirty years after his survey/design work. If only I could track down a map covering the first twenty years of the railway...

    Steve
     
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  4. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    It does look like Baulk road with the tiebars but it seems to be standard gauge when compared with the later photos.
    Am I right in that thought?
     
  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes.

    It lasted until the late 1920’s here.

    Robin
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    I guess it depends whether you rub up to stock at speed then zero the brake or practice more defensive driving techniques.
    6619 ran at 21" with no problems and I think 5224 did likewise. If the loco is steam braked then it's academic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  7. I understood the gauge conversion on the Minehead Branch (and elsewhere?) was simply(!) the inward movement of rails and timbers on one side only, thus re-using the current materials. Interestingly, as the early pic shows, the new loop trackwork (installed some time after the conversion) was also laid to the same style .

    Steve
     
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  8. ikcdab

    ikcdab Member

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    Those maps are mine but I'm happy for them to be copied here.
    Ian Coleby
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  9. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    Yes I understand most of the narrowing of the gauge in the south west was done in the way Steve mentions. In that way lines west of Exeter and the branches were able to be completed in a week end.
    http://www.broadgauge.org.uk/history/pops/bg_pic_gauge_conversion.htm
    Bristol to Exeter - which would include the Minehead Branch was earlier. I think.
     
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  10. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Great photos. I especially like the first one as I've not seen a photo of Crowcombe in broad gauge days. On the last (small) photo, is it an optical illusion, or is the down line a long way from the platform edge?
     
  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    What about reinstating some baulk road?

    And yes, I gather it wasnt one of the great mans more successful ideas
     
  12. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    And what would the ORR think of that idea!!!!!

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it was still in situ and that was what the ORR was concerned about! :D:D
     
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  14. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Didcot already has. :)
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Brunel was a rotten railway engineer.

    There, I’ve said it. An economic visionary, and a notable civil engineer, but everything he did directly railway equipment related turned out to be an evolutionary dead end at best, and much of it (his own specified locos; the atmospheric railway) turned out to be outright disastrous.

    Tom
     
  16. K14

    K14 Member

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    As it was in use for over 50 years I'd say that qualifies as being moderately successful at least (& it's still in use at Paddington).
    Agreed he was pretty rubbish at mechanical engineering, & project management as well.
     
  17. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    I've often thought that in a way the atmospheric railway is the ancestor of today's modern electric locos. After all, on both the device that moves the loco is on the loco, but the power source is at the side of the track somewhere and is supplied by something the loco has to connect to.
     
  18. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    There was a broad gauge display on the Down platform at CH until a few years ago. For some reason, it was removed (not a good background for films, perhaps?) & is hopefully in storage.
    There was a plan to install it at Watchet, the original BG terminus, but there was to be a very expensive delivery charge, which I don't understand.
     
  19. D1002

    D1002 Well-Known Member

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    Heresy. Wash your mouth out!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  20. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    So, logically, third rail electric broad gauge would have been the way to go!
    (Just kidding).
     

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