Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

The postman knocketh

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As the railcar has progressed I’ve thought about how to fit out the interior. I want it to be a symbol of the “bold bright future” post WW2 for low season so it is being designed with a third class compartment and a first class compartment.

A few years ago when I lived in Australia, as part of a piece of work to look at how to improve services on the Traveltrain network in Queensland, I was asked to assess whether the Great Southern Pacific Express set could be used. This set of 21 carriages had been authorised by a rather eccentric Queensland politician who thought Australia should have something to rival the Orient Express. Unfortunately a) he used a lot of taxpayers’ money building it, b) the railways built the carriage bodies and interiors but then mounted them on old brake van bogies that were never intended for the weight or comfort requirements of passenger stock leading to the train having to be stopped over lunch to avoid soup in lap incidents, and c) it was a complete failure because it cost an arm and a leg.

Unfortunately the carriages couldn’t be reused but I’ll never forget the totally ridiculous opulence of the vehicles with inlaid walnut decoration, bar car with verandah complete with baby grand piano and quarter circle marble bar, and the complete “Titanic” feel of abandoned glory.

Here are some photos from the visit – apologies for the quality – phone cameras in 2010 were not what they are today.

I thought my railcar should have shades of that so I want to see if I can fit the marble bar in the first class compartment and I needed suitable seats for the “bright future”. I therefore contacted my good friend Rob of Bron Hebog and asked,

“Any chance at some point you could cast me 3x a mould worth as per you post “Rationing” and 8x bucket seats and tables as per post “comfy seats”?”

The response I got was along the lines of “can I have that in English?” but after a quick clarification, the deal was struck.

Basically the idea is to fit seats like a third class super barn into the third class compartment and fit first class bucket seats and tables into the first class area.

This morning the postman delivered me a box of Bryant and May matches. Normally I prefer my Bryant and May in a book but in this case the box had excellent innards in the shape of the cast seats. So now there is no excuse to get this thing finished off (not to mention the deadline looming).

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Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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