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O, G & other large scales Large scale model railway topics


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Old 24-12-2017, 03:45 PM   #1
Mountain Goat
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Default The Sound of Buffers!

The sound of clonking metal against metal is an aspect which I liked when I briefly tried SM32. This is an aspect I have when using metal central buffers in 0-16.5. It is why I prefer solid buffers (Made from drawing pins... Or thumb tacks for USA readers) rather then sprung type. I simply like the sound. It may not be loud, but its there.
It is only really from 7mm scale and up where one can hear this quality in both standard and narrow gauge forms, and is something I used to hear as a child as we probably had one of Britains last unfitted regular freight trains going through our village twice daily which were triple headed by class 03's. We could hear the clashing buffers as the train came to a stop at its destination over a mile away in the next village.
One could replicate these sounds in a smaller scale via the excellent DCC sound decoders but, like a loco with sound which is not synchronised with the movement (Which can be very difficult to get it just right and I've not quite succeeded with my class 37 yet!) Hearing a sound of buffers which dont come from the buffers themselves or are timed differently just sounds and looks all wrong where one would not have noticed if there was no sound there in the first place.
But real sound from clashing buffers is priceless. It is so impressive that one is tempted to shunt as roughly as possible just to hear the sound they make.
I'm not quite sure if O gauge sprung buffers clash with a noise like unsprung ones do as my only experience with O gauge were on a clubs layout where I didnt listen much at the time.

Probably the large metallic rolling stock of the large scales with metal buffers give the best effect in sound.
Anyone else love the sound of buffers clashing or is it just me?
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Old 24-12-2017, 06:37 PM   #2
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Having worked shifts in a large marshalling yard and also carried out loose coupled shunting for real I have also to admit a fondness for the sound of banging buffers.

As a child I lived fairly close to the local station and between 2:30 and 3:30 am the goods yard was shunted. The chuffing of the shunting loco and the clatter of the mineral wagon buffers was a kind of lullaby should I wake during the night. Modern goods trains don't quite do it for me.
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Old 25-12-2017, 11:46 PM   #3
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I dont quite go far enough back to have lived in the steam days of British Railways. My earliest recollection when I was in a pram was watching a western diesel arrive with a passenger train and I went in the guards van to the next stop. It was the only time I recall ever watching a western which was in regular service (Not a preserved example) and I only later knew what it was via the slope it had at the ends. Most of what I saw of a child were 03's, 08's, 37's, 47's and DMU's. We later saw 33's at the end of the B.R. period along with the odd 50 and 56 on the oil trains (Had normally been a 47). On rare occasions we would see a 25 but only on ballasting duties. No local depot drivers signed them. HST's were also seen but only at night or early morning, both of which were either too early or late for a kiddie to watch, though summer evenings we did see them while it was still light and we were still up.
It was the coal trains which were pulled by the 03's which were unfitted. These were the ones. Due to the line being an old canal it was almost a constant flood the triple headed 03's would plough through. (Triple headed one direction and double headed with the banker at the brake van end the other direction). Everything about this train movement was impressive to watch and hear. The clanging buffers we could hear in the distance when it reached its destination. The squeel (Very loud. Could be heard four miles away) of every, or every other wagon which had no grease left in its axle boxes due to the flooded line. (Every wheel of the 50 or so wagons would be greased before each trip and every wheel would need doing again after the train returned. The flooded waters carried a constant oily look!)
My mum remembered the steam locomotives before the 03's were used. There was relief when the 03's came as the steam locomotives would sometimes be stranded with flooded fireboxes. Often the last two miles were reached on the return trip with no fire. Just the reserve of steam left in the boiler to limp home.
Another character of this line was that at its return destination of Burry Port there was a track which would be used to re-rail any wagon which had left the track. The sleepers (Those which were visible where it wasn't flooded) were full of slice marks where derailed wagons would be dragged. It was fairly common practice at one point to be pulling the odd wagon which was off the rails. They would just keep going. I was told by a train driver who used to be a guard on the line that as long as they would keep the couplings tight, they would be OK and would make it to Burry Port to deal with the offended wagon. There's a prototype for everything I guess!

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Old 26-12-2017, 08:45 AM   #4
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The BP&GVR was a remarkable line, I carried out a review of the new Oakwood Press history a year or so ago and was enthralled. It made me regret I have never seen it.

I feel very fortunate to have experienced steam on BR first hand and for anybody who hasn't, including my kids and grand kids, I feel considerable disappointment.

The railway today is very different to that pre-Beeching, and in my opinion much of the fun has gone out of it.
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Old 26-12-2017, 10:08 AM   #5
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Well there have been miracles since in that some of the class 03's still survive. My friend owns one and he is hoping to reopen the line.
Here is where more miracles have happened. He on e had a phone call. A well known museum happened to have a loco with connections to the railway which they didnt have the time to restore. It had been with them in the back for many years out of the publics view. My friend didnt even know it existed as he was trying to trace the old locos to get the line up and running again. (The bottom part of the line to Burry Port is a cyclepath but the top half has rail access to Kidwelly though it has become overgrown). He found the loco was one which was built in 1900 for the line and it was sold into colliery service around 1915 as the railway needed more powerful locos instead. (It is an Avonside saddle tank loco). Though it needs restoring, it is in remarkable condition having had a new boiler fitted by the national coal board prior to it ending up in the museum.
Another miracle then tool place in that it was missing its piston rods. There was talk of casting some new ones from the old engineering drawings. Then one day my friend happened to be at a certain preserved railway to get a part for his class 03. Someone there had bought a job lot of GWR parts and with the GWR, all parts were standard lengths and sizes. However some parts were of different sizes and he took my friend to show him. Well, the very parts which were the odd size were the ones that were missing from my friends locomotive!
I've not seen him for over a year so I'm not sure if there has been any progress on the loco. When they moved it out of the museum the only access was by rail and EWS was supposed to send a low loader wagon but instead they sent a standard flat wagon. Some quick thinking and the cab and chimney were removed, so the last time I saw the loco it was looking something like one of my narrow gauge donor locos after surgery and before making new cab and chimney!
There have been quite a few local stories of the line. The bottom half still floods in the winter even though the cycle path has been raised around the tunnel. Above the tunnel is a footpath which a very early tramway once ran to take coal from Stanley's Pit to Pembrey Harbour. There was another line joining Burry Port to Pembrey Country Park where the Nobels Explosives works used to be.

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Old 26-12-2017, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LC&DR View Post
I feel very fortunate to have experienced steam on BR first hand and for anybody who hasn't, including my kids and grand kids, I feel considerable disappointment.
The railway today is very different to that pre-Beeching, and in my opinion much of the fun has gone out of it.
Slightly off topic I can remember wandering round Chalk Farm Roundhouse as a schoolboy during lunch and early evenings. I cannot remember ever being sent away although I was once warned to keep a few yards away from a moving loco.

Peter
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