Category: Trains

Rocket again

Only a couple of weeks after I'd posted my Rocket Rant, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has made their archive available on line. There's a section for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which contains a number of letters by George Stephenson and  lovely set of tinted prints by T.T Bury in 1831. While it's well … Continue reading Rocket again


When is a Rocket not a Rocket?

I must have been a precocious child. When small my heroes were the great engineers, men like Watt, Trevethick and Hackworth being held in similar esteem to that reserved by my peers for Superman, Batman and Rocket Robin Hood. The collective company of Stephensons or kingdom of Brunells were the gods themselves having taken on mortal … Continue reading When is a Rocket not a Rocket?

Bicentennial MHO -part 4: when is an MHO not an MHO?

Prototype I've been looking at the history of the original carriage. It seems to have been through nearly as much as my model. Originally built as MHO 1875 by Richie Brothers in 1948 under contract 15/43, as a 19.66m (65'6") 42t wooden-bodied brake van with a centrally located guard’s compartment and load capacity of 20 tonnes. Life was … Continue reading Bicentennial MHO -part 4: when is an MHO not an MHO?

Photo essay – LNER A4 4468 Mallard

Photo essay – LNER A4 4468 Mallard

On Sunday 3rd July 1938 between Grantham and Peterborough, LNER 4-6-2 locomotive No.4468 Mallard hauling seven coaches weighing 240 tons set the world steam record of 125.88mph over a distance of 440 yards. This post celebrates the 75th anniversary of the record that still stands. Mallard was in service until 1963, when it was retired, having covered almost one and a half … Continue reading Photo essay – LNER A4 4468 Mallard


This is another of those unplanned diversions that you sometimes grudgingly make and yet turns out to be a highlight.  We were travelling between Bristol and Lynton on our way into Cornwall and desperately needed to stop for diesel, so a detour via Minehead seemed the best option for a chance to refuel without losing too … Continue reading Minehead

A trip across the highlands

We were going from Inverness to Balmacara, which gave us a few different options about how to get there. My choice was to take the A832, which followed the Highland Railway and the Dingwall and Skye Railway* for a great percentage of its length. I had been influenced by some stories about the view from … Continue reading A trip across the highlands

Bicentennial MHO – part 3

Bicentennial MHO – part 3

So... the roof is finished. The canvas roof sheeting is made from some cigarette paper cut to a scale 3'6" wide and glued in place with watered down cross-linking PVA and the roof vents were some old ILM ones I had hanging around in the spares drawer. The gas heater pipe on the roof evaporated because … Continue reading Bicentennial MHO – part 3