Something Must Be Done

Behind the photo galleries sits a database that controls everything, creating the links between the pictures and the text and ensuring the right images appear in the right galleries. It was fine when there were only a few hundred pictures but had been struggling to cope with the 5000+ images currently on the site. In particular, site updates were taking longer and longer and the process was regularly failing before it completed, requiring time consuming manual interventions almost every time it ran. Something had to be done.

The solution is a brand new database, set up from scratch, taking into account the lessons learned from the last one. Indications are that the new set-up is much faster and more reliable. The opportunity was taken to redesign the photo gallery pages at the same time, adopting a flexible layout that adapts itself to the size of the browser window. Whether you're using a phone, a tablet or a large desktop screen, pictures should display at an appropriate size in a layout suited to the window dimensions and orientation. The Austria, Cuba, Denmark and UK galleries have already been converted to the new format and are available to view. The new pages have been tested on Safari, Chrome, Opera and Edge browsers so, hopefully, will work for everyone. Smaller pictures, 750 pixels across have also been replaced with 900 pixel versions. More enhancements will follow once the remaining galleries have been converted.

go to Austria photos
go to Cuba photos
go to Denmark photos
go to United Kingdom photos

Cuba : Photo Gallery : minor update

No new pictures this time, just a migration of the existing pictures to the newer style of gallery and a split of images between two galleries for standard and narrow gauge locos.

go to Cuba photo galleries

Cuban Pictures Added - March 1996

I've been meaning to start adding pictures scanned from slides to the photo galleries for some time but it's proven difficult to obtain suitable quality results. I'm not entirely happy with the colours on some of these pictures but there comes a time to stop tweaking and get them published.

The big attraction in Cuba was the sugar cane harvest that took place in spring every year. Most mills had their own rail system to bring cane from outlying loading points to the mill and many of them still used steam locomotives right up to the end of the 20th century. An unbelievable variety of engines from the main US builders could still be seen at work in the mid 1990s, from diminutive 2-4-0s to main line 2-8-2s and most of them over 70 years old. There are 18 shots of Cuban sugar mill steam in this gallery, all taken on a March 1996 trip.

Cuba 1996 photo gallery