039/270: #Neasden – The Meatballs

The industrial area around Wembley and Neasden is punctuated by an enormous rail depot (the largest on the London Underground) and is bisected at its throat by the A406 North Circular Road. Neasden represents how easy it is for manmade infrastructure to completely isolate two neighbouring sections of land. Transport is supposed to mobilise a city, however the school you attend, your council and sometimes even your social standing, can all be defined and influenced by these arbitrary infrastructure boundaries.

Neasden station and Wembley IKEA are a mere 350 yards apart. You can see the store from the station, but you might as well be in Morden. Navigating between these two places involves a 20 minute 0.8 mile walk through dark underpasses, precarious walkways, and a stroll alongside a 6 lane expressway. It’s dirty. It’s smelly. It’s polluted, and it’s hardly any wonder that doing so is so actively discouraged by the sheer amount of time it takes and the awkwardness of the route. Transport should unite a city, but when it’s done badly, it breaks it in half.

All this for some flaming meatballs…

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

Review: Bachmann Class 20 – GBRf and London Transport

A special double review for you today – two Bachmann Class 20’s!

Overview

Image by Dave Hitchborne

228 Class 20‘s were designed by English Electric and built between 1957 and 1968 in Newton and Darlington. They were initially intended to service light mixed freight work and were fitted with the English Electric’s 8 SVT Diesel engines capable of producing 1,000 horse power and a top speed of 75mph. For today’s standards the Class 20 is unusual in the fact it has a single cab at the rear of the loco giving the driver poor visibility in the ‘forward’ direction. Despite this, English Electric’s design proved more successful than their competitors of the time: Both the Class 15 and 16 by Thompson-Houston and North British Loco Company respectively featured off-set central cabs giving poor visibility in both directions; and although the Clayton Class 17’s (of which I reviewed last week) had better visibility, their reliability let them down. BR therefore continued to order the ever reliable class 20’s coupling them nose-to-nose in multiple to solve the visibility problem. This practice effectively gave you 2,000hp of tractive power enabling the 20’s to be utilised in heavier freight duties. Some were also retrofitted with train heating and were deployed on passenger routes in the Scottish Highlands.

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