A Story of Overwhelming Generosity

A big thanks to the management team for adding 3 bonus points to all of my previous activations :wink:

However, this seems like a database error…

Mike 2E0YYY

Hey, 2nd in G now, and 5th in the whole world. What a great idea!


In reply to M1EYP:

Pass my congratulations to Jimmy on his double MG.



In reply to M1EYP:

Hey, 2nd in G now, and 5th in the whole world. What a great idea!

I’ve shot up about 100 places, so I’m not complaining :wink:

Mike 2E0YYY

Well that came as small surprise. I suppose I’d better fix it now.

Hint to future administrators: when you test something locally it’s a good idea to check how many rows the update processed not just the check query after. That way I’d have spotted the slight difference between 5 and 71106 and wouldn’t have done it on the live database!

Andy, MM0FMF
Databodger extraordinaire!

In reply to M1EYP:

And the Database Manager said “let the recalculation of all the activator scores begin”. And there was a recalculation. The Database Manager saw the recalculation proceed. And the Database Manager saw it was a good recalculation.

And the Database Manager learnt a valuable lesson to be more humble when writing SQL that modifies the efforts of 4174 SOTAists and 71140 activations.

Actually it was Gary, the original designer, who reminded me there was a recalculate system. Well he reminded me when he finished laughing after I’d told him what I’d done.

Sorry about that. Everything should be OK now. My own score is correct, OM activation scores are correct and Tom is once more listed below Richard. It was my attempt to correct the 5 OM scores that broke everything.

At this point I will go and have a large glass of malt whilst I consider how much worse it could have been.


Oh well, it was good while it lasted. I still think the sort order when level on points is wrong though (seeing as you reminded me of that most thorny of issues Andy).


In reply to M1EYP:

There may be some gremlins lurking still. Some bonus scores may be wrong. No worries, it will be sorted over the weekend.


Mine recalculated correctly Andy, FWIW. (Not wishing to initiate and avanlanche of similar posts of course!).


In reply to M1EYP:

It will be mainly US scores which may be inflated.

Andy, M0FMF/P
(Near York on a Deltic)

In reply to MM0FMF:

Enjoy your visit to Lincoln, Andy. I hope 55022 keeps you on-time.

Les, G3VQO

In reply to G3VQO:
We arrived on time Les. The driver gave a good show of clagging in Lincoln Stn. ! Musical exhaust tones all rhe way.

Andy, M0FMF/P

In reply to MM0FMF:
Not trying to spoil their fun but for anyone trying to understand the jargon http://www.royalscotsgrey.com/railtours.php
Saw this one on the Carlisle to Newcastle line recently.
73 Jim g0cqk

In reply to G0CQK:

Quite a beast! I got up close & personal with RSG at Bury a couple of years ago, it was only running on one engine at the time.

Personally I always preferred “Whistlers” Hi!


Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Oh dear, I must be getting old. I can’t feel much for these smelly beasts - the wrong kind of exhaust for me, but then I have had the priviledge of standing on a few footplates in my time and spent some time at the controls as well. Fortunately got my experience on a Black 5 at Tyseley before the cost went sky-high. :frowning:

73, Gerald G4OIG

Oh go on, if you insist I might find a soft spot in my heart for a Brush Type 4… Class 47 to all you youngsters. In BR Green of course. :slight_smile:

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald,

I was honoured to be invited onto the footplate of 6201 while she was waiting to depart from Ramsbottom a couple of years ago. I was only there briefly & took a few photos which I edited into a video to go with a song I wrote sometime later which was inspired by BR Standard 4 76079 hauling a Cotton Mill express over Copy Pit. 76079 ran out of steam just short of the summit of the line which runs between Todmorden & Burnley. I spoke to the crew while they dropped the fire & took on water at Blackburn & they only ran out of steam due to the modern day speed restriction in place near Todmorden at the time for track works.

Seeing that little 2-6-0 pulling 7 or 8 coaches, fully laden with keen photters was very impressive indeed. I doubt that a class 4 would ever have been expected to pull such a train over that stretch of line when “kettles” were still the main mode of motive power here.

I have a lot of respect for Robert Riddles.

I like “Whistlers” as I they were the most impressive locos to pass on the line near my house when I was younger. There was a regular goods train that passed through at about 2AM every morning heading from Blackburn towards Clitheroe & Hellifield. A lot of the time it would be hauled by double headed class 37’s or 33’s but quite often by a single Class 40. There is something quite special lying in bed listening while the guard walks the length of the train making sure all the wagons were ready for the short climb to Wilpshire tunnel followed by the long descent to Whalley viaduct. Then once they have a green from the signal just north from Daisyfield,the driver puts the reverser in forward, releases the brakes & increases the throttle. Just enough to hold the train at first on the slight gradient between the signal & Daisyfield, then increasing the throttle to start the train moving.

I then got a whole three minutes of the glorious sound of a class 40 accelerating then levelling off shortly before passing under the bridges at Brownhill where it went out of hearing range. In the early 1980’s D200 was a regular on this route, both at night & during the day & I remember one afternoon while walking home from school D200 came past & I was quite upset. At that time, it was believed that the whole class was going to be scrapped.

Thankfully some weren’t, including D200, & I can well understand the fondness that those who grew up in earlier times have for steam traction, & the sadness & anger that many have for its sudden & rapid demise, at least in the UK. Some of us grew up with Diesel & even electric locomotives, which, far from having the relative sanctuary of a “friendly” scrap yard in south Wales, were & are more often than not scrapped & cut up before you could probably get the paperwork you need to buy things like that together nowadays.

Diesel? Electric? They are the new Steam!

Actually, I almost thought I was somewhere else as we have deviated so far from the original topic! Although as it was Andy that mentioned Deltics, I blame him Hi!

Just for Gerald, here is the video I made to go with the song inspired by 76079 & featuring footplate photos of 6201 in the middle. The loco at the start is 5690 Leander departing from Heywood on the East Lancs Railway, which features in many shots.

This video is on my “other” Youtube channel that I use for my music & other things, so what you find there may not be everybody’s cup of tea. I have checked & there are no comments that could cause offense attached to this particular video, however some of my more “popular” videos on this channel have attracted some dodgy comments, so if you are young or easily offended, it would probably be better not to view some of my other videos.

Sorry I missed you last weekend on 70cms Gerald. I did listen, I tried my dual band vertical & heard nothing. I even waved a 5 element Yagi around in your general direction, but still I heard nothing. I don’t know if you tried CW but I think the brief bit of Morse I thought I detected might just have been in my head. I did not send anything on 70cms , but in any case I hear you had locasl QRM, so it is unlikely you would have heard me anyway.

Apologies for taking this thread even more off topic than it already was.

My score is correct Andy :slight_smile:

Thanks & best 73

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Whist the subject is still diverted to rail, I live five minutes walk from the local station and there are regular “steam specials” running to Stratford on ye olde Avon, it is nice to hear the whistles and the distant chuffing whilst I work in the garden!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Right, first things first. I believe the database is now back to the “pre-enhanced” state it’s been in for a few days. All of this was the result of trying to tweak the OM bonus period and to rescore the few activations that lacked their bonus points. The correct way would be to change the dates in the OM data files and reload the data followed by a recalculate of the scores. We have a controlled way of doing that. The wrong way is to let me loose without thinking as I thought I could tweak things and be done with it in a few minutes. I did test it on my database at home. I didn’t check the results carefully, I checked the things that should changed had changed and that the things which shouldn’t change hadn’t.

So we ended up with every one getting bonus points for everything and many associations having the wrong bonus point dates. D’Oh!

A recalculation of the scores was done within a few hours and that at least got most of the bonus points assigned correctly. Fixing the bonus periods was a bit harder due to the sheer number of different bonus periods. Anyway, most of the European bonus periods were fixed on Thursday but I USA had to wait till today as I was out playing Friday. (See below). I’ve finished undoing what I broke earlier this afternoon. Now the bonus periods have been restored to what they were on November 27 2011. So if they are still wrong they were probably wrong then!

The nice thing is that nobody had to delete logs and reenter or doing anything. They just had to wait for the idiot (me) to put his big wooden spoon away and clean up the mess that he’d caused. It took me longer to split W5 into all it’s different bonus periods than anything else. But it should be all sorted now. This wasn’t hard to fix but did take some thinking so I shall be more circumspect in future when it comes to making a quick tweek.

Now trains. Or in particular The Royal Scots Grey 55022 (D9000). This loco is the same age as me. The class 55 used the Napier Deltic engine. A bizarre engine with 3 crank shafts and 6 cyclinders/bank arranged in a triangle. The result was the 1st diesel engine capable of sustained high power, high speed running. 2500bhp max from 87ltr volume. Or 1875bhp in train use. It was also very compact and light weight compared to other diesels of the day. Two such engines in the class 55 made it, for a long time, the most powerful and fastest diesel loco in the world.

Then there’s the sound. 2x 18cylinder 2-stroke opposed cyclinder diesels have what can only be described as a musical exhaust note. Not at all like other big diesels used in trains. That,a distinctive shape and a production run of 22 made the Deltic special. If you lived on or near the East Coast Main Line they were common from 1961 to 1981. I grew up on near the West Coast Main Line where we had different locos, class 47 but the WCML was electrified so lots of class 82 and 87 locos. So I never saw one running and then they were replaced by the HST trains which were faster and cheaper to run. (Fuel consumption at full load and full speed the Deltic drinks 3/4gallon of diesel / mile.)

But such an amazing beast was hard to kill and 6 ended up preserved. 2 are qualified for mainline use nowadays and run regularly pulling railtours. “Ride on a Deltic” is on my bucket list (list of things to do before you die). Me and Brian G4ZRP have a friend who was a train driver and in a conversation somehow Deltics were mentioned. This year one of the train companies was short of an engine and a preserved Deltic was hired and put back into commercial service 30 years after being scrapped. Ironic. That’s when I found out there were regular runs on trains pulled by Deltics and so ended up on a trip to Lincoln. The Lincoln Christmas Market was the destination but I also wanted to see J. Birkett’s emporium. (You either know of Birkett’s or you don’t.)

The Lincoln Market isn’t as good as the Edinburgh Christmas German Market. Sorry but it isn’t though I did get some swag for the family. I did visit Birkett’s too. After the Deltic, best was Lincoln Cathedral. Make an effort to see this example of 900 year old engineering. Worth the trip alone. Also I got a good photo of The Lincoln Imp!

Lest I be considered a train spotter, no not at all. This was a chance to knock something off the BL, and do some other things and I have some holidays to use. I did think I had become famous and was being chased by the paparazzi. This was due to the number of photographers snapping away all day. Once daylight, just about every bridge, level crossing and station we passed at speed had people with cameras and tripods waiting for a shot of a Deltic. The number of photographers at the ends of the platform at the stations we stopped at was well into the hundreds. The sheer numbers out at all times to get a Deltic photo did impress. There’s many more sadder than me!

For Gerald:
We had a class 47 tagged on the end of the coaches. Taken as insurance in case something broke. It was there to push us clear of the mainline and then pull us home. It wasn’t needed this time but was towed 492miles there and back idling.


In reply to MM0FMF:

Now trains. Or in particular The Royal Scots Grey 55022 (D9000).
This loco is the same age as me.

You kids! Now I’ll show my age! The first Deltic I saw was the blue-and-silver prototype. It was the star of a railway-modernisation exhibition at Battersea Park in 1955 or 56. I even got to enter the cab.

Over the years I managed to ride behind quite a number of Deltics, between Kings Cross and Doncaster/York/Newcastle. The last one I saw in regular service was at York in May 1980 when it was sitting in the bay platform of York station at the head of a Kings Cross semi-fast. Sadly, circumstances meant that I had to take the earlier, and faster, IC-125. The head ruled the heart!

These days, even the once ubiquitous 47 that you towed there and back is virtually a museum piece. Still, I never really liked them anyway - not as pretty as a 33.

Now, back to radio and summits …

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to MM0FMF:

… The class 55 used the Napier Deltic engine. A bizarre engine with 3 crank shafts and 6 cyclinders/bank arranged in a triangle. …

This post prompted me to do some internet search. I found an animation of a Deltic engine here: Napier Deltic - Wikipedia

Must be a real beast!

73 Heinz