A note on the 38xx's return to service can be found under the rolling stock update tab.
It is circumstances such as these which afford us with the time to improve our railway modelling. Following a recent assignment by the Banbury Connections Managing Director to remove a crane from a break down wagon and relocate it to Shrewsbury goods yard, I was met with a small dose of scope creep! While the original intention was to paint the chipboard grey and settle for a concrete finish, further reflection resulted in the decision to add a lovely stone finish and accompanying stairs. Between the use of gap filler and multi-tone treatment of the stonework, I like to believe that the finished result was worth the extra yard!
A pair of Hymeks were spotted at the end of Chester General yesterday following a recent pickup in freight traffic.
The recent addition of diesel storage roads at Chester General have been put to good use as an army of BR plain green diesels await their next assignment.
In two separate incidents captured by both our Head Ganger and General Manager of Safe Working, a giant spider was caught terrorising Banbury Connections residents at the Chapel St stop on Gosport Tramway and James Vale Station.
GM Special Traffic took his own loco on an extensive tour of Banbury Connections starting at Marylebone and calling at Bradford and Chester.
Flying Scotsman, in its original LNER Apple Green, roars into Banbury at the head of three Teak Gresley carriages during a visit to Banbury Connections.
With management of the reversals required to traverse between Wrexham General and Birkenhead Woodside, 2 local services and significant goods traffic, Chester General is equipped with 2 double engine sheds and a substantial number of locomotive holding roads. Notwithstanding, some operators have experienced difficulty managing the large number of locos using Chester shed which includes more diesels as the modernization programme continues to gather pace. In particular, the diesel refuelling road was becoming very congested.
The decision was taken to construct an additional fuelling road adjacent to the existing facility as this could be accomplished with only minimal slewing of an adjacent engine road.
The new arrangement appears to have solved the loco stabling dilemma.
Reliable operations are a key priority for Banbury Connections with thousands of man hours dedicated to permanent way maintenance and improvements. A recent project involved the realignment of the DOWN main into Leicester Central where for reasons that remain unclear (the Head Ganger got it wrong) the down curve into Leicester had a tight reverse kink. When this deficiency was pointed out by the head of the Newcastle and Fassifern Railway who thought this type of arrangement added interest the Head Ganger was heard to comment that his cockles were up the creek (this is believed to refer to a station on the aforementioned layout named Cockle Creek which has this arrangement). Realignment went ahead accordingly and the new arrangement provides a much more satisfactory approach. The new alignment provides increased approach speeds and minimises derailments at a point which has proven problematic for the last few years.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you to all who make running this behemoth called Banbury Connections a joy. With all the recent permanent way improvements, the opportunity for a possession over Christmas and the return of our railway maintenance gnome (Chief Mechanical Engineer), 2020 should be a year of even greater operational reliability!
And for those who prefer the modern trains!
Technically the IEP is too modern, even for Banbury Connections 2012 mode!
The head ganger got to ride the new tram from Gungahlin to the City and admits he was impressed by the speed of up to 70km and the track quality and green wave signalling at intersections. Given the lack of road capacity and the real need to escape Gungahlin as quickly as possible the tram seems, after all, an excellent investment!
It is also somewhat reminiscent of the United States' inter-urbans.
On a recent visit to Aberystwyth, Operator Kirkwood, General Manager, Safe Working, noted the excellence of the Vale of Rheidol toilets, not to mention their superior GWR toilet roll holders. He has for some time been concerned about safe working arrangements at the BC toilet where vital equipment (the toilet roll) has not been safety protected from possible sudden and mission critical immersion! We are pleased to report that this issue has now been triumphantly overcome!
Occasional operator, Brian Jago, kindly furnished this print which now hangs behind the Pwllheli terminus where the similar model frequently makes an appearance.
Mrs Day Senior has returned to her position as SM Shrewsbury placing the previous temporary operator, Simon Knight, in the background where, against his will, he now generally finds himself alone in charge of the Old Layout component of the Banbury Connections empire!
The last of a triumvirate of new sidings has now been completed, this time located at Shrewsbury. The main task was to build up the land (extend baseboard!) adjacent to the existing sidings. The new facility is quite shortbut provides a storage road for up to 5 wagons that have been loaded in the goods shed and are ready for departure.
Details of two new wagon acquisitions can be found under the rolling stock update page.
Banbury Connections General Blog
The Banbury Connections blog looks at issues of significant interest involving the railway and its staff.