Gosport Corporation Tramways has recently been responsible for a number of injuries amongst the Banbury Connections operating crew. The tramway's masts at the Anchor Inn end of the line have small steel protrusions where the steel rod for holding the electric wire goes through the far side of the pole. Whilst, prototypical in design, they have proven a hazard. This has resulted in a number of blood drenched operators. In response, Banbury Connections has installed a number of plastic "insulators" to protect our valuable operators from future harm.
Here is a picture of some of the brass gantry masts in place at Sheffield Victoria before they were permanently installed.
In an attempt to bolster economic activity during these difficult times, Banbury Connections management has made initial investments into electrifying the mainline between Sheffield Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly.
Following many years of diesel operation, electrification was not only seen as a means of boosting realism but improving (or complicating) the operating experience for Sheffield operators who are now required to undertake an additional locomotive change.
Overhead masts donated to Banbury Connections many years ago were supplemented with a number of lengths of donated catenary. A donated locomotive has its wheels changed to run on fine scale track and an additional four pickups added. This enabled scoping works to be undertaken regarding the feasibility of electrification.
Following the success of the first locomotive, a second locomotive was acquired at a favourable price and modified to run on fine scale track. While the second locomotive had a damaged body, it turned out to have an excellent mechanism. With eight pickups and fine scale wheels, the locomotives have performed admirably on the railway and are a testament to the quality of model trains built over 50 years ago.
A video of test runs and pictures of initial catenary installations can be found below. More updates will follow with the catenary at Sheffield completed using a combination of original Triang and brass masts. I'll upload another video and some pictures once the electrification project has been completed.
Banbury Connections General Blog
The Banbury Connections blog looks at issues of significant interest involving the railway and its staff.