I’m making a start constructing some of the bits for Citizen 1’s railway. As I’ve said before I like the Metcalfe kits so I thought I’d use their goods shed as an engine shed. It’s smaller than their engine shed and provides a yard hut for the goods yard, not to mention being quite Thomas-the-Tank-esque if you remember Duck backing his carriages into the goods shed to keep them cool before Bulgy nicked his passengers. You don’t remember? Time to read them again then!
The goods shed kit is a solid construction like many of Metcalfe’s designs. It has several layers of cardboard making up each wall. Having glued the laminations together I needed to make sure they dry flat so I’ve deposited them under four of my eight volume set of “Modern Railway Working” from 1913-14. Of the eight volumes, seven volumes are assigned to UK practice, while the eighth looks outwards, particularly to “colonial railways”. It has this wonderful comment about Australian railways which is just as true today, although the figures are likely to have changes somewhat.
“…however, the diversity of gauge is much to be regretted. The inconvenience and charges due to transhipment (which amount to 1s. to 2s. 6d. per ton) must be felt more and more as traffic increases, and the unification of the gauges will probably have to be effected sooner or later, and will be more difficult and costly the longer deferred. In 1897 a conference of commissioners estimated that… to convert the 5-ft.-3-in. railways of Victoria and South Australia and New South Wales to the 4-ft.-8½-in. gauge [would cost] £2,360,500. Up-to-date figures would undoubtedly be very much in excess of these, and the problem of the 3-ft.-6-in. gauge lines, with their preponderating mileage, would still remain to be dealt with.”
I have to thank my good friends Bill and Sharon for finding Modern Railway Working in a second hand shop and acquiring the set for me. They said they thought it would be “my sort of thing”! It is a fascinating read, full of other great words as good as “preponderating” quoted above, and a good mass of paper to flatten the cardboard for the goods shed!