Any first person anecdotes of the APT

O L Leigh

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[off topic] I had a Hornby OO APT trainset. I'd seen it on Blue Peter and badgered my Mum about it, so I was very lucky to get it for Christmas. It wasn't a great model, though. Whether it was the 14V controller they included which was intended to make it faster or some other issue, but it burnt through two motors in short succession.

Never saw the real thing, though. *Sigh* [/off topic]
 
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Wapps

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For APT to run above 125mph, did they intend to install in-cab signalling or was C-APT the solution to that? If C-APT was the solution, why couldn’t that be used for the pendolino?
 

Journeyman

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For APT to run above 125mph, did they intend to install in-cab signalling or was C-APT the solution to that? If C-APT was the solution, why couldn’t that be used for the pendolino?

All C-APT did was display differential speed limits in the cab, and the APT tilt system was entirely passive. The Pendolino tilt balise system is much more sophisticated - tilt only takes place when specifically authorised by the system.
 

Wapps

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All C-APT did was display differential speed limits in the cab, and the APT tilt system was entirely passive. The Pendolino tilt balise system is much more sophisticated - tilt only takes place when specifically authorised by the system.
Thank you.

That being the case, how did BR plan for 155mph without in-cab signalling?
 

55002

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Had a run from Preston to Euston in 1981, remember wrote a little story about it that was printed in a railway society magazine somewhere
 

Simon E

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[off topic] I had a Hornby OO APT trainset. I'd seen it on Blue Peter and badgered my Mum about it, so I was very lucky to get it for Christmas. It wasn't a great model, though. Whether it was the 14V controller they included which was intended to make it faster or some other issue, but it burnt through two motors in short succession.

Never saw the real thing, though. *Sigh* [/off topic]
As O.P don't worry about going off topic some of my favourite threads on various forums are ones that go a little off topic.. you get some lovely random facts..

So let me get this right? Hornby put a higher voltage transformer than the standard 12V (after a quick google I see that they could run as high as 18V though) to make the train go faster! Yeah that's going to work well then and the big question is DID IT TILT?
 

WesternLancer

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As O.P don't worry about going off topic some of my favourite threads on various forums are ones that go a little off topic.. you get some lovely random facts..

So let me get this right? Hornby put a higher voltage transformer than the standard 12V (after a quick google I see that they could run as high as 18V though) to make the train go faster! Yeah that's going to work well then and the big question is DID IT TILT?
Hornby model definitely tilted, achieved by some sort of moulding in the body or on the bogies IIRC. But my set didn't have a power controller in it, just used the existing 12v controller on existing model railway. Never had any issues with the motor in the model.
 

O L Leigh

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So let me get this right? Hornby put a higher voltage transformer than the standard 12V (after a quick google I see that they could run as high as 18V though) to make the train go faster! Yeah that's going to work well then and the big question is DID IT TILT?

Yup. As outlined above, it had a very rudimentary passive tilt system that tilted the body as the bogie was turned.

Hornby model definitely tilted, achieved by some sort of moulding in the body or on the bogies IIRC. But my set didn't have a power controller in it, just used the existing 12v controller on existing model railway. Never had any issues with the motor in the model.

I guess you had the train pack rather than the full trainset.
 

WesternLancer

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Yup. As outlined above, it had a very rudimentary passive tilt system that tilted the body as the bogie was turned.



I guess you had the train pack rather than the full trainset.
That sounds correct, as I don't recall any track in the box either now I think about it. Of course the passive tilt operated at slow speed, or even if parked on a curve too, but then I guess the simplicity of that allowed Hornby to get it into frontline service rapidly:lol:
 

O L Leigh

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Of course the passive tilt operated at slow speed, or even if parked on a curve too, but then I guess the simplicity of that allowed Hornby to get it into frontline service rapidly:lol:

Um...

Well mine went back to the shop twice for a new motor and it would derail on 1st radius curves, so maybe mine was more prototypical than intended. :lol:

But then my pal who only had an InterCity 125 (2+1, natch) was still envious. ;)
 

dubscottie

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If I recall, the Hornby APT was higher geared so it could go faster (not a world record holder like Smokey Joe etc however).
It needed the extra volts/amps to get it moving without a shove.
I did read that some parts from the Hornby Eurostar are a direct swap and it greatly improves the old models running.
 

O L Leigh

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If I recall, the Hornby APT was higher geared so it could go faster (not a world record holder like Smokey Joe etc however).
It needed the extra volts/amps to get it moving without a shove.

Er, sort of.

I've just done a little googling and the gear train is identical between the APT and other models using the same 4-wheel bogie, such as the Cl25. The difference seems to have been in the armature (the only part with a different number) which reputedly has thicker wire and fewer turns than the standard motor which meant that it could run faster than the standard motor.
 

dubscottie

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I looked at my APT there but the sheet is gone. The amateurs from the newer models that have more poles are a direct swap. They also fit old Lima models I believe.
I need to look out the old Hornby catalogue as it gave an exact reason why it needed more juice.
 

O L Leigh

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I need to look out the old Hornby catalogue as it gave an exact reason why it needed more juice.

Yes please. I'd be very interested to know.

The amateurs from the newer models that have more poles are a direct swap.

Oh definitely, the more poles you have the better. The old Ringfields were a reasonable piece of kit but could easily benefit from a little tune-up.

[further off topic] At least they were better than the dreadful Lima (Lamer...?) pancakes. If you wanted a prototypically accurate model, get a Lima Cl50. Fantastic ex-works out of the box but quickly becoming unreliable and prone to failing after a relatively short amount of running time. [/further off topic]
 

dubscottie

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Massively OT but that is what I am talking about. The new Hornby bits fit old Lima and Hornby.
A model railway froum I was once a member of has some great tips on how to upgrade old models.
 

Spartacus

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Thank you.

That being the case, how did BR plan for 155mph without in-cab signalling?

I think it was released it would be a problem during development, it's noticeable that official literature suddenly stopped talked about 155mph, only 125mph. Probably another reason why it got knocked on the head. Flashing greens was the proposed solution on the ECML to enable 140mph running, but looking back it was never going to get signed off given the number of possibilities for a steady green to appear as a flashing one, with trains running faster than they should. Double greens might have had a better chance, any undetected issue would lead to 125mph running instead of 140mph running, rather than the reverse.
 

oldman

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Sadly the only time I saw it was when it had derailed (very tidily) just north of Carnforth. My southbound train was able to overtake it wrong line.
 

leezer3

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At the risk of wondering futher and further off-topic, higher voltage wasn't exclusive to Hornby and the APT.

Some of the early 90s Bachmann controllers went up to 17v
Mix that with an ex-Mainline split chassis, and you tended to get the magic smoke quite quickly.... (serious overheating problems, especially in smaller locos)

Nothing wrong with a Lima pancake either with a little TLC.
Check the main gears for flash on the mouldings and ensure the wheels are clean and you'll be fine.

Pickups are not so good, but the motors are fine.
 

IanH440

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Overnight before the Sept 1981 81A OOC openday a APT arrived from Willsden for display - after being left by its diesel pilot it was found it had to be moved again slightly.....
I think i can say i am one of a very small number of people who have hauled or shunted the APT by STEAM ..... 92220 did the honors... JGF and happy days. ;)
 

Simon E

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Overnight before the Sept 1981 81A OOC openday a APT arrived from Willsden for display - after being left by its diesel pilot it was found it had to be moved again slightly.....
I think i can say i am one of a very small number of people who have hauled or shunted the APT by STEAM ..... 92220 did the honors... JGF and happy days. ;)
an interesting story I'll try to squeze it in... I'm already 200 words over the 1800 suggested by the magazine so I'll just keep wroting and see what happens... can i ask JGF ? jolly good fun or is it a rail term... please forgive me my ignorance
 

Simon E

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Lucky you! I don’t know how many times I’ve been several hundred words short and the deadline looming.
Normally I'd say the same... I just don't want to cut anything out! I hope the magazine might consider 2400 words - 4 Pages!

Do you write then? what's your thing, articles, short stories ?
 

whoosh

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@Simon E
I don't know if you have seen this website, but there are memories (including from people involved in testing) and lots of information about the APT-P (Prototype) electric units on this here:
Some of those people may be contactable for quotes or interviews - so might be worth checking out if you haven't already.

There's also a site about the gas turbine APT-E (Experimental) on this other website: http://www.apt-e.org/aptindex.htm
 

Simon E

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@Simon E
I don't know if you have seen this website, but there are memories (including from people involved in testing) and lots of information about the APT-P (Prototype) electric units on this here:
Some of those people may be contactable for quotes or interviews - so might be worth checking out if you haven't already.

There's also a site about the gas turbine APT-E (Experimental) on this other website: http://www.apt-e.org/aptindex.htm
thankyou @whoosh I'll check those out
 

Trackman

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I've seen it at Euston few times, the last time was 'City Of Derby'.
I've also seen one at Warrington BQ at speed, and some speed too!
I was very impressed.

Also a bit of an ATP legacy- I remember when the extra Pendolino's came in (2012?) , there was a memo at NR saying they couldn't pass older Pendolino's for the time being because of insurance issues (or something like that).
 

Committee man

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My everlasting memory of the APT is, I'm afraid, not a good one.
Working on the railway and being interested in railway matters not associated with our department (S&T) the opportunity for staff to travel on it prior to it being put into revenue service (I think) was very attractive.
The chap I worked with was very clever and in to anything techy, so we decided to book some tickets, advertised through Rail News perhaps?
The two tickets duly arrived and we both took the day off, a Wednesday. The APT was a fairly reliable runner at this stage and, from memory, we would usually see it pass the depot area Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The week in question; It had run on the Monday so it was looking good for the Wednesday (18th), we got the service train to Preston only to see the screen saying that the APT had been cancelled! All we could do was take the next express to Euston to visit some places we had planned to. The unused ticket is below.
APT ticket front.jpg
APT ticket rear.jpg
 

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