Friday, January 30, 2009

Railway Magazine 1893

Railway Magazine 1893
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
At the model railway club last night I was perusing an old copy of Railway Magazine. In an article discussing whether Brunnels broad gauge, which had recently been converted to standard gauge, was a mistake I found this fascinating section:

Background - on the day of the gauge changeover, broad gauge wagons were to be stopped at a particular time and unloaded. Those belonging to the railway company were sent o the works for conversion or disposal. Any belonging to private concerns were returned to their owners to be dealt with.

In connection with the private wagon question which had caused some little trouble, a somewhat amusing incident occurred. An important freighter, owner of several trains of wagons, declined to remover them or provide sidings in which they could be placed; meanwhile, the engineer was waiting with his men to narrow the company's sidings upon which the private wagons were standing.

What was to be done ? The engineer could not allow the work to be delayed while the dispute was settled. Luckily for him, the freighter in question was also owner of the fields adjoining the sidings on which the wagons stood, the weather was dry, the soil was hard, the fence easily removable, and it was speedily found that by slewing the end of the siding into the field, and going at it with a run with a powerful locomotive pushing behind, the wagons could be shunted over the end of the siding and forced a considerable distance along the surface of the grass before their wheels cut in to a sufficient depth to stop them. After disposing of ten or a dozen wagons in this way, those remaining on the siding were drawn back, the siding slewed into a different position in the field, and another run taken - these operations being continued until the whole of the wagons had been disposed of in the shape of an enormous fan on the owners freehold.

Fantastic. Not sure how it could be modelled though...

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