RAILDATE: the weekly newsletter of the Hursley Park Model Railway Society: http://www.ibmhursleyclub.org.uk/ss/hpmrs/


"Southampton's Quayside Steam" by Dave Marden

Southampton has long been famous for its docks, but the port also spreads along the banks of the rivers Test and Itchen. Here, lesser wharves have seen their share of rail traffic, and along the whole waterfront, cargoes were moved for over a hundred years by a varied assortment of steam locomotives working behind the scenes.

In this book, Southampton author Dave Marden has compiled a comprehensive record of the steam-operated locations within the docks, wharves and piers of the city's waterfront. Concise histories of each location combine with individual details of the locomotives, following their journeys from various builders' works to their ultimate fates. Also included are details of the many contractors locomotives that have been engaged in the numerous expansions of the docks.

The overall result is an extensive and detailed insight into the lesser-known, and certainly less-glamorous, steam engines that have worked along Southampton's quays.

Softback: 160 pages ISBN 978-1-905505-02-9 Price: £16.95

Full details at: http://www.kestrelrailwaybooks.co.uk

You can order copies *post-free in the UK* from:

Kestrel Railway Books PO Box 269 Southampton SO30 4XR


The March 2007 issue of West Somerset Express, the unofficial online newsletter of the West Somerset Railway is now available: http://trainsferriesbuses.co.uk/westsomersetexpress.htm

There is now a streaming webcam on the line's unofficial web site, it can also be accessed directly at http://wsrailway.camstreams.com/

An approach to signalling simulations together with several signal box diagrams (mainly Great Central Railway): http://www.lymmobservatory.net/index.htm

Another GCR box diagram of 1922 vintage from Markham Junction is here: http://www.shawnsanders.info/Markham_Jcn_72dpi.jpg

Project 62 - importing "Yankee" tanks from Eastern Europe (one on the East Somerset Railway and now one on the Mid-Hants Railway): http://www.project62.supanet.com/

The "Lyme Billy" project, which is (or was) a proposal for another West Country narrow gauge railway, this one being over all or part of the original Axminster to Lyme Regis trackbed: http://lymebilly.port5.com/index.htm

The much-heralded Top Gear train crash (staged to show the effect of a train ploughing into a car on a level-crossing) was aired last week. If you missed it, the video is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS9M88oA8XU

A Yahoo group for anyone interested in china clay branchlines: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/china_clay_branchlines/

Some historical information on the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway on the Chester Model Railway Club website: http://www.chestermodelrailwayclub.com/history.htm

For some reason, it appears that the Government is considering imposing restrictions on people taking photographs in public places. If you are concerned about this possibility, there is a petition on the Downing Street site: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Photography/

Remember, guidance on photographing railways is available at: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/passenger_services/guidelines_for_rail_ent husiasts.htm

Bodyside decal kits to convert proprietary coaches: http://www.electrarailwaygraphics.co.uk

A fascinating site, detailing several working environments, and including railways, mining, etc: http://www.workinglife.org.uk/index.html

An excellent video Leawood Pump in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdIgEQ-r0nU

Also a 360 photograph of the area: http://geoimages.berkeley.edu/wwp906/html/AndySavage.html

Spotted by Nick Wheat... street light spotting anyone...? http://northwestlighting.fotopic.net/

And finally - thanks to Ralph Rawlinson for spotting this:

GAUGING OPINION -Railroads are Rocket Science

Does the statement, "We've always done it that way," ring any bells? Well consider that the US, standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4ft 8½in. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge, then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel-spacing.

OK, but why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel-spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long-distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long-distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel-spacing. Thus, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4ft 8½in is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot, and bureaucracies live for ever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war-horses.

Now the twist to the story. When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the

main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory at Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass... and you thought that being a horse's ass wasn't important!


The RAIB interim report on the Grayrigg accident: http://www.raib.gov.uk/cms_resources/070226_I012007_Grayrigg.pdf http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6398299.stm

Network Management train recorded Grayrigg area before derailment: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6403573.stm

Devon Belle coach returns: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/6394617.stm http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/news352.htm

East Midlands Franchise fears: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/6397715.stm

Freight train derailed near Lincoln Central Station: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/6404335.stm Photos: http://ross.photobook.org.uk/c1220914.html

Escaped bull on Rugby station: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/6398173.stm

Level crossing accident at Whitland: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/6394109.stm

Fatal LC accident south of Norwich: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/6407025.stm

Man electrocuted on roof of train: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6406533.stm

Train service to Lakenheath Fen RSPB reserve: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/6402267.stm

Follow up report & links on bomb on Indian train: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6389307.stm

Wind problems in China: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6403959.stm http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article/2007/200702/20070228/article_307408.htm

(Spotters: Richard Buckby, Neil Kearns, Reg Nerps)

TV and Radio

Discovery's programmes are no longer included, but their daily schedules are here: http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/_listings/ and http://discoverywings.co.uk/_listings/
Sat Mar 03 0700-0100 (D+1) UKTV History 'Journeys to the Bottom of the Sea' All day...
Sun Mar 04 1900-2000 BBC4 'Wainwright: the Man Who Loved the Lakes' Profile of the man
Mon Mar 05 1930-2000 BBC2 'Nation on Film' Early flying in the 1920s
Mon Mar 05 1930-2000 BBC4 'Wainwright Walks' 1/4 Haystacks
Mon Mar 05 2000-2100 Five 'Monster Moves' Moving two large steam locomotives in the USA
Mon Mar 05 2030-2100 BBC4 'Wainwright Walks' 2/4 Blencathra
Tue Mar 06 0120-0150 BBC4 'Wainwright Walks' 1/4 Haystacks
Tue Mar 06 0335-0405 BBC4 'Wainwright Walks' 1/4 Haystacks
Tue Mar 06 1930-2000 BBC2 'Are We There Yet' Alternatives to the car
Tue Mar 06 2000-2100 Five 'The Amelia Earhart Conspiracy' Theories about what happened
Fri Mar 09 1930-2000 Five 'Mean Machines' A watercar and a hovercraft


See Mainline Steam Tours page for up-to-date info on many of these tours, and others, often with timings.

For up-to-date information on many of the tours mentioned in RAILDATE (and others) often with timings, see the Steam Tours pages at: http://www.uksteam.info/index.shtml
All details are correct to the best of my knowledge. No responsibility is taken for inaccuracies or changes.
Fri Mar 02 - Sun Mar 04 ? Mid-Hants Watercress Line: Spring Steam Gala http://www.watercressline.co.uk
Sat Mar 03 1030-1700 South Hants MRC Model Railway Exhibition - NEW VENUE
Crookhorn College of Technology, Waterlooville, Portsmouth 1030-1700 http://www.shmrc.co.uk
Sat Mar 03 1000-1700 Abingdon & District MRC Model Railway Show
White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon 1000-1700 http://abingdonmrc.org.uk/exhibition
Sat Mar 03 1000-1700 Northampton Model Railway Show
Moulton School, Pound Lane, Moulton, Nr Northampton 1000-1700 http://www.northamptonmodelrailwayshow.co.uk
Sat Mar 03 ? Midland Railway Society
The European Inn, Derby
A film show using footage from the LMS Film Unit by Nick Wheat 'Moving images along former Midland Lines 1930-1960'
Men of the Footplate (LMS, c.1936), filmed at Wellingborough
Passenger Trains of the LMS (extract, c.1933)
Scientific Research (LMS, c.1935)
Main Line Diesel (LMS, 1947) - Loco 10000 under construction
Fully Fitted Freight (BTF, 1957) - The 4.48 Bristol to Leeds
Blue Pullman (BTF, 1960)
Sat Mar 03 1030-1530 Stafford Railway Collectors Fair
GEC St Leonards Hall, St Leonards Avenue, Stafford 1030-1530 http://www.tobaz.co.uk
Sat Mar 03 ? Andy Firth Illustrated Talks
Coal Aston Village Hall, Eckington Road, Sheffield 'Booth and Fisher Buses' 1930-2115, Admission: £2.00, refreshments available
Sat Mar 03 - Sun Mar 04 1030-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) Romsey and District Railway Modellers Society Exhibition
Crossfield Hall, Romsey 1030-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun) http://www.hants.org.uk/rdmrs
Sat Mar 03 - Sun Mar 04 ? London Transport Museum Acton Depot Open Days http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/visiting/depot_open.shtml
Sun Mar 04 1000-1600 Romsey Signal Box Open Day 1000-1600
Admission free (donations welcome!)
Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
Car park in school grounds http://www.romseysignalbox.org.uk
Sun Mar 04 1100-1600 Basingstoke & District Model Engineering Society
Public Running Day 1100-1600 http://www.basingstoke-dmes.co.uk/
Mon Mar 05 1945 West Somerset Railway Association Taunton Group 'Steam Recreations: roving the UK' with Don Bishop
Great Western Staff Association Club (NE corner, Taunton stn)
Starts 1945 http://www.wsra.org.uk
Sat Mar 10 - Sun Mar 11 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1600(Sun) Basingstoke Model Railway Show
Aldworth Science College, Western Way, Basingstoke 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1600 (Sun)
Free classic bus from station http://www.hants.org.uk/bnhmrs
Wed Mar 14 1400-1715 Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History, York
Riverene Landscapes
Richard Coopey (University of Wales, Aberystwyth) River Severn
George Revill (Open University) William Jessop and the Trent
Light refreshments will be served. 1400-1715
Yorkshire Rail Academy, The Warehouse, NRM, Leeman Road, York http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/irs/
Sat Mar 17 ? Luton Model Railway Exhibition
Sat Mar 17 - Sun Mar 18 ? West Somerset Railway: Spring Steam Gala http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/
Sat Mar 17 - Sun Mar 18 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) Redruth MRC - West of England Model Railway Exhibition
Carn Brea Leisure Centre, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun)
Free vintage bus from Redruth and Camborne stations (Sat only) http://rmrc.pages.web.com/
Sat Mar 17 - Sun Mar 18 0930-1730(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) Nottingham East Midlands Model Railway Exhibition
Harvey Hadden Sports Complex, Bilborough Park, Wigman Road,
Bilborough, Nottingham 0930-1730 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun) http://www.nbmrs.freeserve.co.uk
Sun Mar 18 1000-1630 Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society Model Railway Exhibition
Ferneham Hall, Fareham 1000-1630
Sun Mar 18 ? Mid-Hants Watercress Line: Mother's Day http://www.watercressline.co.uk
Sun Mar 18 ? Bluebell Railway: Mother's Day Cream Tea http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/
Cheers, Howard. editor at raildate.co.uk (spam-proofed)
Previous issues of RAILDATE are at: http://uk.geocities.com/richardthetuba@btinternet.com/hpmrs/hpmrs.htm
This page includes a master catalogue of items that have appeared in previous editions of RAILDATE.
(C) Howard Sprenger and Hursley Park Model Railway Society 2007.
The external edition of RAILDATE may be freely distributed without permission as long as no changes whatsoever are made to the original document distributed by the Editor.

© HPMRS 1996,2007. All Rights Reserved