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eggshaped
158966.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:46 pm Reply with quote

Flash said:
Quote:

Eton College forbade the Great Western Railway to build a station at Slough, but the company got round this by having the trains stop there even though there was no station. Tickets were sold in the pub.


I don't remember anyone explaining why this would be the case, but according to IKB's biog by Adrian Vaughan it was because the school was worried that a simple connection between Eton and London would encourage the boys to visit the capital's brothels.

 
MatC
158998.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:55 pm Reply with quote

By contrast, see post 52702

 
eggshaped
159088.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:55 am Reply with quote

One of the oppositions to the Great Western Railway was by Dionysius Lardner who claimed that a train travelling in an inclined tunnel would use up so much oxygen that there would not be enough for the passengers to breath.

IKB - Adrian Vaughan

 
Gray
159102.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:25 am Reply with quote

Brunel's Great Eastern was a bit of a filure, until it ended up laying some serious cable under the Atlantic.

It did for Brunel too, who died 'of stress-related illness' during its construction.

 
DELETED
159104.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:28 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
eggshaped
159210.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:35 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Before leaving the subject of the Box Tunnel, a well known myth should be corrected. The legend is that on 9 April, Brunel's birthday, an observer on the track, looking through the tunnel from the west end would see the sun rise and fill up the bore as it cleared the horizon and long before it cleared the top of Box Hill. This is not quite true.

Donald Stuart of Edinburgh calculated that the sun would shine through the tunnel at dawn on a four year cycle. [...] On 15 April 1968 between 6.37 and 6.38 a.m. he saw the sun through the tunnel. On Brunel's birthday it would not have been visible.


s: ibid

 
Flash
159229.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:51 am Reply with quote

Ibid, eh? WTF does he know?

Quote:
There is a story which states that Brunel deliberately aligned the tunnel such that the rising sun is visible through it on April 9 each year, his birthday. Opinions vary widely as to whether this is true. R. Angus Buchanan writes in Brunel: The Life and Times of Isambard Kingdom Brunel ISBN 1-85285-331-X (p.269, n.48):

Quote:
The alignment of the Box Tunnel has been the subject of serious discussion in the New Civil Engineer and elsewhere. I am grateful to my friend James Richard for making calculations which convinced me that the alignment on 9 April would permit the sun to be visible through the tunnel soon after dawn on a fine day.


On the other hand, it is asserted that it impossible to guarantee the effect on a particular calendar day, because the angle at which the sun rises on a given date varies slightly with the cycle of leap years. This is true, but the sun subtends an angle of about half a degree, which is more than the year to year variation, and more than the field of view through the tunnel, so it quite possibly seems to fill the tunnel every year.

It is also asserted that Brunel failed to account for atmospheric refraction and the effect is visible a few days too early.

Buchanan concludes (ibid., p.226):

Quote:
...I have found no documentary evidence for the often-repeated story that Brunel aligned the Box Tunnel so that the rising sun shone through it on his birthday, even though careful examination shows that it could indeed do so, and it is certainly a good story.


It is tempting to think that with a suitable vantage point, the effect (if not Brunel's intentions) can easily be checked on 9 April. However, the appropriate point is in the middle of a high-speed railway line and is thus potentially very dangerous. Photographs of the effect have reportedly been taken with appropriate assistance from railway officials.

wiki

 
Gray
159232.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:51 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Donald Stuart of Edinburgh calculated that the sun would shine through the tunnel at dawn on a four year cycle.

This jarrs slightly with what remains of my dwindling celestial mechanics knowledge - the point of the yearly cycle is that it marks the time when the sun and stars rise at the same point on the horizon at the same time each year. Barring equinoctial precession, of course, but that happens over many thousands of years.

I'm damn well going down there to have a look myself. Even if it takes me another three years...

 
Gray
159241.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:59 am Reply with quote

I've sent them an email asking to go down there in a few weeks' time...

 
eggshaped
159243.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:03 am Reply with quote

9th April is a monday, anyone fancy holding that week's meeting on a high-speed railway line?

 
Molly Cule
159246.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:05 am Reply with quote

Its the day the picture researchers start, we could ask them to spend their first day on the job filming the miraculous event...

 
eggshaped
159248.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:07 am Reply with quote

 
Molly Cule
159253.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:11 am Reply with quote

I hoped that would be one of Garricks moving photos and the light would come shining through the tunnel.....

 
eggshaped
159255.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:11 am Reply with quote

Virgin regrets that the 6.50 to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed due to an elf on the line.

 
DELETED
159261.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:25 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 

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