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Saturday, 20 June 2009

1960s Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) Summer Train Formation

The ACE departed Waterloo at 11am until the final run of this named train on September 5th 1964. Whilst the destination of the engine was Exeter coaches ended their journey at either Ilfracombe, Plymouth, Torrington, Padstow, Bude, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Exeter or Seaton (the Seaton coach was discontinued after 1957) . The east Devon and Exeter coaches were taken off at Salisbury to continue the journey behind a Salisbury engine. In summer, coaches were split between the 11 am and an extra 11.05am service, e.g. for Plymouth, Padstow and Bude.

The composition of the ACE was complex and varied depending on the time of year and passenger demand for the service. My interest is the early 1960s and the train as it would have been seen running through Somerset to and from the west.

A representative makeup of the down 11.am ACE .
14th July 1962 as shown in 'Portrait of the Atlantic Coast Express' by Stephen Austen:

Acceptable coaches are Bullied 63' or BR MK1 or a mixture of both for later years .

1. Merchant Navy class engine
2. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
3. Composite Corridor (CK) - Ilfracombe
4. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
5. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Torrington
6. Restaurant 2nd (RS)
7. Kitchen Buffet (KB)
8. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Padstow
9. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bude
10. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Plymouth
11. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exmouth (Detached at Salisbury)
12. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Sidmouth (Detached at Salisbury)
13. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exeter (Detached at Salisbury)

Up ACE departing Exeter Central 12.30pm.

1. Merchant Navy class engine
2. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Padstow
3. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bude
4. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Plymouth
5. Restaurant 2nd (RS)
6. Kitchen Buffet (KB)
7. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
8. Composite Corridor (CK) - Ilfracombe
9. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
10. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Torrington
11. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exmouth
12. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Sidmouth

00 gauge (4mm scale) Model Sources:

Merchant Navy Class Engine - Hornby
MK1 Brake (BSK) - Bachmann, Lima
MK1 Composite Corridor - Bachmann, Lima
Restaurant - Bachmann, Lima
Buffet MK1 - Hornby, Bachmann
MK1 Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bachmann, Lima
Bullied 63' composite corridor and 2nd Brake Corridor/Open - Bachmann

No one produces a RTR (ready to run) Bullied BCK* but the Bachmann 2nd Brake Corridor/Open is a close match and could be converted by applying the yellow 1st Class banding above the two windows nearest the guard/luggage area - post 1963 era, or a yellow 1 (one) on the coach door - before 1963, which is also relavant post 1963.

*Postscript: Partial Self Assembly Mk 1 BCK  is available from Replica Railways.

Monday, 8 June 2009

How to be a Great Ebay Seller

The average Ebay Seller from my experience as a Bidder show very little customer care. Zero communication, late shipping and even shipping to the wrong customer is what winning Bidders can expect at some point. The trouble is many Ebay Sellers are not in business for a living. If they were they would soon realise that customer care is of paramount importance in order to survive. But, the point is they are handling a commercial transaction, whether trading once or frequently and should always give the customer due care and attention.

1. In your listing always describe the product condition, declaring any defects present, and use a decent camera capable of close up shots for smaller items.

2. Soon after the auction closes (I mean within minutes) send your Ebay invoice to the winning Bidder. Include a congratulatory message. Reiterate your payment terms and state where you will be sending the item when payment has cleared.

3. Send a reminder if payment has not been received within the expected timeframe. For PayPal transactions send a reminder a few days before your deadline with an explanation of what measures you will be taking if payment is not received by the due date.

4. If they are paying by cheque notify them when you have received it. If they paid instantly via PayPal confirm that payment has been received and state when you will be sending the item. Ship as soon as practical after payment has cleared.

5. Use sensible packaging to protect the item and include a print of the order details in the package.

6. Where you have multiple items to ship to different customers within the same time frame take care not to mix up the orders. Carry out all paperwork and packing for one customer before moving onto the next.

7. Always leave feedback after you have shipped the product taking care to leave the right feedback for each customer.

With these measures you should have happy customers and your feedback will remain positive.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Catch The Bus - Part 1

I have been searching for a model bus that fits the place and period of my model railway and I think I have found it. First I had to find out which bus service operated in Crewkerne in the 1960s and a route that included the station, because it is at the station I want to position the bus.

The bus service that fits the bill was Safeway Services of South Petherton and the bus I fancied is the AEC Reliance with Burlingham bodywork, registration 200APB. Pictures shown on the web site about Safeway Services placed this bus in the early 1960s and in fact it eventually went into preservation in the 1990s and can be still seen at bus shows today.

I spent a long time searching for an 'off the shelf' Safeway Services model bus of the 1960s to no avail until I came across TiNY Bus & Coach Kits who are planning to introduce a 4mm scale kit of this very bus during 2009. (What a coincidence!) Tiny responded very quickly to my email about its availability and price. It is planned to be available later this year.

I will need to supply my own decals for the model, not an easy thing to make. I started looking into what company logo Safeway had used on this bus in the 1960s. Photos of the bus from that period show an indistinct shield emblem that did not seem to match other Safeway logos from later years. It was only after researching the bus history that it dawned on me what was going on. This bus was originally owned by the bus company Safeguard Coaches of Guildford but was sold to Safeway in 1962. Safeguard had a shield type emblem and what I think Safeway initially did was paint over name details on the shield, which is why the shield in the Safeway pictures looks blocky. I still don't know what logo they applied to the bus before 1965 but I came across another photo of the bus from the period that shows no logo at all! So that could be a blessing for me as I will not need to create an intricate logo for the side of the bus.

Catch The Bus - Part 2
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