Announced as part of the Hornby 2021 range, the Gangwayed Bogie Luggage vans have now arrived at retailers. An old version of these vans with a Triang heritage has been in and out of the Hornby catalogue for some time and were very much something of a comprise (and it is not even worth comparing it with these new models). These newly released models are totally new tooling from the ground up and are a very welcome addition to the range.

The line up of Hornby GBL versions
Copyright & Courtesy Kernow Model Rail Centre

In total 120 of these bogie luggage vans were built between 1930 and 1931 utilising ex LSWR underframes and bogies surplus from the bogie block set coach bodies having been converted to electric stock. They were built in three batches, two different body lengths and three different bogie centres, that resulted in three initial diagrams:

  • Diagram 3098, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2331-54 & 2482-90
  • Diagram 3099, 27 ton 53’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2355-70  2461-81
  • Diagram 3100, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 34’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2281-2330

The Southern coded all these vans as ‘GBL’ (Gangwayed Bogie Luggage) and later COR PMV (Corridor Parcels Miscellaneous Van) by British Railways. They we utilised mainly on Southampton Docks and other South Western Section trains and also the various overnight newspaper and mail trains.

30 of the GBLs were converted for use within casualty evacuation trains as stretcher vans. Most of these had received droplights in the centre pair of doors and when returned to the SR in 1945 these and a small number of other vans were allocated new diagram numbers as follows:

  • Diagram 3096 for the 17 ex Diagram 3098 51’3” GBLs
  • Diagram 3097 for the 16 ex Diagram 3099 53’3” GBLs

The Hornby R60021 2362 in SR Olive livery

A view of R600231A S2467S in BR Crimson Lake livery

Another view of 2362

The end view of 2362 showing the detail and exquisite lettering

They were initially introduced in SR Olive Green livery, a very small number gained malachite. Under British Railways they were in crimson, with as few as six gaining BR(s) Green.

All were withdrawn during 1959 and 1960 with twelve lasting to 1961 for  pigeon traffic. A few entered departmental use and two have been preserved. Number S2464S was painted in Pullman car livery in July 1962 and stored in readiness to be used  as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

Hornby have initially released five versions of the 53’3” Diagram 3099 / 3097 vans

  • R60020 – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2362 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery (it should be noted that 2362 was one the vans that received centre door droplights and reclassified to Diagram 3097 in 1945, so is modelled by Hornby in its pre-war guise)
  • R60020A – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2471 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery
  • R60021 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2477S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60021A – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2467S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60057 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2464S to Diagram 3097 in Pullman livery as used as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

A side view of the end, the LSWR 8ft bogies and the underframe steel flitching plates are clearly seen.

These models capture the prototype extremely well and dimensionally accurately matches the the drawings that I have available. The heavy ex LSWR underframe is well represented, including the steel flitching plates and their retaining bolts at each end where the extension pieces for the original frames were fitted. The underframe also includes the battery boxes, dynamo and the brake vacuum cylinders, rods and V hangers, although the pull rods to the bogies are omitted.

The bogies are a well detailed recreation of the LSWR 8 foot bogies that were used on these vehicles. They are fitted with steel disc wheels, it should be noted that prior to 1945/48 these vans ran on Mansell wooden cantered wheels.
The NEM coupling pockets are mounted on close coupling cams. However, the tension lock coupling fitted already extends beyond the buffers by approximately 4mm and although the cam allows the coupling to pivot in a arc and is sprung it is hardly driven by any bogie movement except at the very extremes of bogie swing. Even on the short radius turnouts and tight curves of Canute Road Quay the coupling and cam hardly moved, so I will be fitting a shorter tensions lock coupling in mine.

A close up of the middle section of the van.

The models contain a wealth of detail and separately applied parts that includes: wire handrails, flush glazing with the protective mesh behind each window, all door handles, lamp irons, starboards, delicate foot steps on each corner of the chassis, sprung metal buffers, brake handrail and pipework.
The roof mounted torpedo vents are also be separate parts and sit well alongside the moulded rain strips and the roof board mounting brackets.

A side on view of S2467S with the chalk boards in place overlapping the first and second planks under the outer of the pair of middle windows.

Supplied within an accessory pack are steam heat and vacuum pipes that can be fitted into the buffer beam at each end if you are not using the tension lock coupling. Also supplied are the oval chalk boards that should be located under the outer window of the pair either side of the centre doors.  These would have been fitted to the vans from new, however at least one of the preserved vans and also S2464S  as the hearse van does not have them fitted. This is I assume is why Hornby have not included these as part of the body moulding or factory fitted them.

Livery application is to the standard that you would expect from Hornby with the shaded numbers and letting on the SR version clearly well reproduced and includes the extremely small by legible “Distributed Load 10 Tons”, the end lettering and data panel, sole bar cast number plate (although the plate on the crimson version still shows the ‘R’ of ‘SR’ whereas under BR only the ‘S’ would have been picked out in white) and brake wheel notations.

These GBLs give Southern modelers another excellent luggage van to work alongside the Bogie Van B and 4 wheeled Van C previously from Hornby (or Ratio and Parkside kits) and the 4 wheeled PLV and Van U from Bachmann (or Parkside kits). 

 

This months picture…

Adams T1 Class 0-4-4T No. 10 shunts the stores wagon across the turntable at Fisherton Sarum

 

A brand new quarterly ‘bookazine’ from Warners called ‘Smoke & Steam’ is published on 30th April.  It features some of the most famous – and not so famous – routes, featuring locomotive legends. With in-depth articles, including a few Southern related, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.

The contents include:

  • Following the Flagman – Dover’s seafront railway – Paul Isles
  • Forgotten Railways – The Peak District mainline – Graham Nicholas
  • Iconic stations: Exploring Salisbury – Graham Muspratt
  • Travelling in style: The Cornish Riviera Express – Adrian Vaughan
  • Mallard: A Pictorial Journey – Tony Wright
  • Semaphore Signalling – Why the GWR was different – Mike Romans
  • There’s only one Edinburgh Waverley – Ian Lamb
  • Restoring an SR Merchant Navy – Graham Muspratt
  • Goods locomotives of Buckingham – Tony Gee
  • Moving Into BR – the GWR becomes the Western Region  – Mike Romans
  • Modelling coal and how to weather a locomotive – Phil Parker

Available digitally or on high-quality paper, Smoke & Steam should make an ideal coffee table companion.

It will be on sale from 30th April – you can pre-order your copy here. Initially, this bookazine will only be available mail order, but once things start to return to normal in the news trade, it should be appearing in good newsagents.

Despite including my articles, having had the opportunity to review some of the excellent other contributors articles from which I have already learnt new things (everyday is a school day) I think it will be a cracking publication.

 

First announced in October 2019 and following amendments to the first livery samples, examples of all seven versions of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway D Class 4-4-0 from the Dapol production line have been received by Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield. These have now completed extensive running trials and final checking. Following approval, shipping from the factory can now commence.

Six versions are available to Pre-order through Rails of Sheffield:

  • 4S-027-001 Wainwright D Class SECR Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.488 (Pre Grouping Silk Finish)
  • 4S-027-002 Wainwright D Class Southern Lined Maunsell Olive Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1730
  • 4S-027-003 Wainwright D Class BR Sunshine Black 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31731
  • 4S-027-004 Wainwright D Class BR Lined Black Early Crest 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31574
  • 4S-027-005 Wainwright D Class SECR Grey (Scraped Beading) 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.726
  • 4S-027-006 Wainwright D Class Southern Sunshine 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1734

The preserved example No. 737 is currently on display at the National Railway Museum, York. This locomotive has been produced exclusively for Locomotion Models, which is part of the National Railway Museum.

On the whole these look very good and I am looking to receiving my SR Sunshine version (although I will be renumbering as the numbers size shown above do appear to be slightly too large). Definite improvements have been made since the initial livery samples were shown, especially with the colour rendition of SR Olive and the toning down of the bright handrails on some versions (although strangely not the BR lined black version). The only other issue that has been noted is also with respect to the BR lined black version in that the cycling lion early emblem is facing backwards on the right hand side, at the time these emblems usually faced forwards on both sides as it does on at least one photo I have seen for 31574. As these are production samples it is likely to be too late to amend this.

 

The daffodils are in bloom this Easter as LSWR B4 ‘Guernsey’ in early Southampton Docks lined green livery shunts at Canute Road Quay.

May the angels protect you, may the sadness forget you, may goodness surround you and may your God always bless you. The budding trees, the new flowers, and birds that sing, whisper to me that it’s Easter,  and that the supermarkets full of chocolate of all shapes (many irrelevant), sizes and special offers!

Here is wishing a warmth in the firebox of your soul on Easter & always!

This months picture…

USA Tank meets SR USA 0-6-0 tank N. 72 .

It was back in February 2015 when Hornby announced that they were to produce an original air smoothed Bulleid Merchant Pacific as part of their 2016 range, however they were then moved into the 2017 range. These first three R3434 21c1 ‘Channel Packet’, R3435 21c3 ‘Royal Mail’ and R3436 35028 ‘Clan line’ arrived in March 2017, see my review of 21c1 here.

Since then the high seas between China and the UK have been devoid of Hornby ‘Merchant Navys’ despite further versions being announced in the following years.

The right hand side view etched plates fitted

In 2018 R3632 35024  ‘East Asiatic Company’ in BR Blue was announced (the subject of this post as she has now arrived) followed in 2019 by three more versions: R3649 3502 ‘Ellerman Lines’ in BR Green, R3716 35022 ‘Holland America Line’ in BR Green and R3717 21c7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’  in SR Wartime Black. Included in the 2021 range is R386135017 ‘Belgian Marine’

Hornby advised in January 2020 that the delay was due to one of factories that they use being unexpectedly at very short notice closed, due to a compulsory purchase of the land by the Chinese government! This impacted the production of the new Merchant Navy pacifics, versions of the Peckett industrial tanks, the Class 800 Azuma units and the GWR 61xx large Prairie tanks locomotives. Work to move the tooling to another factory appeared to take longer than had been hoped, however the backlog is slowly being cleared and 35024 should hopefully now be the first of the overdue excellent Merchant Navys to arrive.

Rear RH 3/4 view, the lamp lens are yet to be toned down at the rear

35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ was the first Merchant Navy to appear in the Express Passenger Engine Blue for the newly formed British Railways. Whilst in Eastleigh works in March 1949 for Minor ‘D’ examination she was first painted in a dark blue (note: not recorded as being the experimental purple seen on some other non SR loco classes, including the wheels with three horizontal crimson bands and a hand painted early emblem on the tender. She however re-entered service in what was to become standard express passenger blue with two horizontal black bands with white lining, following inspection of the livery by members of the Railway Executive at Brighton Works.
The blue paint of the time wasn’t very practical in practice, due to the elements and the heat from the engine causing the paint to discolour and fade quite quickly hence the change to BR Green for all Passenger Locos only a couple years later.

Hornby have released 35025 in the condition in which she first ran for a while in this livery from Exmouth Junction, as she does not carry the later BR shedplate (72A) it would have been fitted sometime before May 1949 when she was also fitted with the battens on the smoke deflectors to carry the ‘Devon Belle’ wing plates.

The left hand side view, although I’ve painted out the silver lamp lenses I might make the lens itself gloss.

I wont repeat my full review of 21c1, as that can be read here, and all the positives are also on this model such as: the powerful 5 pole motor with large flywheel, all wheel pick up, the excellent coupling rods, the loco and tender brake rodding being factory fitted. Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes.
As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky.
The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.

Rear LH 3/4 view

The paint finish, whilst a slightly different hue to the printed box not that it maters, I think captures the drabness of the BR Passenger Blue well.
If the carpet crawler YouTube reviewer is to be believed this should along with the flat casing top be a stain finish just because another manufacturer has done so on a totally unrelated model, he also claims the nameplates are etched but printed, and that the brass cab side window frames are wood (to be fair they are wooden on the Light Pacifics). For the record whilst the blue could perhaps be only slightly more satin for an ex works condition, the casing tops should be matt black.

The excellently detailed cab interior, even down the the gauge dials, has been supplemented by some crew by Masterpiece Figures.

I only have two niggles are firstly the nameplates, whilst separately applied plastic parts are printed with none of the casting relief and I have already replaced these with etched plates from Fox Transfers.
Secondly the characteristic electric lamps that in reality are hung from the underside of the swan neck style lamp iron and also had electric conduit attached. However, on the model the lamp is attached via a perpendicular lug on their back into holes on the sloping front casing them to point upwards slightly and the very fragile plastic lamp irons to lean backwards.
I have replaced these three lamp irons with etched brass versions so they are stronger and correctly face forwards, this in itself helps trick the eye away from the lamp angle. The lamps are correctly black (the lamp casing were black painted brass on the front and body livery colour painted steal casings on the tender). Each lamp has a silver blob to represent the lens, however in reality these lens appear black unless the lamp is actually lit. I have touched away the sliver and again it helps disguise the incorrect angle of the lamps.

For anyone wanting to renumber and rename to one of other the third series Merchant Navys in blue (for details of the differences between the third series read my first ever Talking Stock post here) then the candidates to choose from are 35021/2 and 35025 to 35030, as 35025 is one of the three members of the class along with 35014 and 35011 (currently being restored back to original condition) not to gain the Blue livery.

Little niggles aside, I stand by my earlier review these models have raised the bar, capturing splendidly the front face and overall look and details that Bulleid intended. Along with the excellent smooth running powerful drive system and chassis we can look forward happily to adding other versions to the fleet when then arrive, with hopefully more versions from the tooling suit that Hornby have produced to cover most of the potential variations.

 

 

 

It is fifty eight years to the day when Dr Richard Beeching’s report “The Reshaping of British Railways” was officially published on the 27th March 1963. This is a sneaky repeat post from eight years ago on the fiftieth anniversary, buts its still spoken about, with many opinions to this to this day, and currently in connection with the proposed reopening of some lines (including Exeter to Okehampton), so my thoughts below are still relevant.
Beeching was at the time Chairman of the British Railways Board. The report identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure, 55% of stations and 30% of route miles, with an objective of stemming the large losses being incurred during a period of increasing competition from road transport (that also had the support from the then Minister of Transport Ernest Marples whom it appears had connections to the road construction industry and had also appointed Dr Beeching in the first place).

The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963

The Reshaping of British Railways report published on 27th March 1963

Many of the ex Southern Lines especially in the South West of England, already coined the ‘Withered Arm’ were closed as a result of the report.  A few protests resulted in the saving of some stations and lines, but the majority were closed as planned and Beeching’s name is to this day associated with the mass closure or ‘axe’ of railways and the loss of many local services in the period that followed.

One such line that was included in the report for closure was the Tamar Valley line, however due to the poor road links in the area some of the line was reprieved and survives to this day between Plymouth, Bere Alston and Gunnislake. In fact there is currently a growing movement and support for the line to be reopened north of Bere Alston back to the south end of Tavistock and even through to Okehampton to complete the Northern route to counter the issues sometimes experienced along the ex GWR coastal route via Dawlish.

In addition to the main report there were a number of maps included within Part 2 of the report  that diagrammatically showed data such as : Density of passenger traffic, Distribution of passenger receipts, Density of Freight Traffic, etc. and of course the main outcome of the report the map of Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services. I have reproduced part of a couple of these maps in this post showing the Southern Region area.

Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts

Map 3 of the report shows the Distribution of Passenger Traffic Station Receipts (click for larger version)

Map9

Map 9 of the report shows the Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services (click for larger version)

Map 9 Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services shows the almost total eradication of the ex Southern Railway lines in the South West as already mentioned above, and a number of other lines in the South of England identified for closure. Happily some of these lines have now since reopened as preserved railways such as the Alton to Winchester line that between Alton and Alresford now forms the Mid Hants Watercress line.

Although the Unions at the time released their own version of the report titled “The Mis-shaping of British Railways” a number of facts (although in some cases the basis of collection of some of these facts have been questioned) within the report appear compelling and it is perhaps not surprising that the conclusions reached were so wide ranging.
The report with respect to freight on the railways proposed the move to quicker, higher capacity trains, serving the main routes, transporting greater loads to hubs. Not with the then traditional wagons but trains loaded with containers. Does that seem familiar today?
Whilst Beeching is a much maligned name  for the passenger line closure section of the  report it is easy perhaps forget that this report dramatically modernised freight on the rail network promoting containerisation and long-distance freight haulage.

Who knows if the current growth and success of the railway network as it stands today would have been possible if some of the harsh decisions as a result of “The Reshaping of British Railways” were not taken…

I am pleased to advise that Canute Road Quay makes an appearance in the April 2021 issue of BRM Magazine available now for digital subscribers and next Thursday 25th March for the printed version.

I open the article by discussing; how although I usually model the 1946 to 1949 Southern Railway time period but to allow for additional interest and how I have purposely built Canute Road Quay without having any fixed item that dates the period modelled or really identifies the area modelled.
This allows a wider range of rolling stock to be used giving a range of different locomotive traction, classes and livery choices that would be still be applicable to such a quayside location. I then continue to describe the layout itself.

The article, similar to some of my “Making Quay Changes” posts,  covers time periods from the mid 1920s through to the 1960s starting with Southampton Docks liveried Adams B4 0-4-0t  through to the USA 0-6-0 Tanks, industrial locomotives and the Class 07 diesels.

Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of BRM Magazine it joins two other ‘compact’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.

Due to the current Covid restrictions rather than being able to enjoy the company and a new pair of eyes photographing layout, I provided all the photographs myself to go alongside my text.
I have used my Canon G7x camera along with my set of studio lights and spent some time one weekend in January utilising the camaras ability to automatically take a series of ‘Focus Bracketed’ images, i.e. multiple shots from the same position but with slightly different focus point, and then combining them in post processing into one image to give an increased depth of field. Hopefully you will enjoy the article and the accompanying photographs.

As a surprise bonus the April edition of BRM TV that is available for digital subscribers of the BRM magazine this month has Fisherton Sarum as its main layout feature (remind me to teach Howard how to pronounce Sarum..).
It includes video footage, that to be honest I had forgotten had been recorded, from the appearance of Fisherton Sarum at the Doncaster Festival of British Railway Modelling way back in 2012 and also includes another look at some of the images that accompanied the article about the layout in the February 2021 issue of BRM Magazine.

Following on from the excellent Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics is the next title provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing being Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works .  This follows the same wide landscape format and contains 208 pages often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.

Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works features every one of the Merchant Navy Pacifics in both original and rebuilt condition, together with a photograph of every one of the forty Q1s and all three of the Leaders that were built. Also included are some of Bulleid’s other works including his diesel & electric locomotive designs.

The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail, Rail photoprints ,  Anistr.com,  Rail-Online.com and the Transport Treasury so will not be new to many of us, there are also a number of photographs from other sources such as Strathwood‘s own library, that are not so familiar and many that I have not seen before. The selection of photographs covers details and variation in liveries and naming and shows the locomotives in action, on shed and in close up. The benefit is that the they are all nicely reproduced in the one book and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.

It is of course good to see pictures of my favourite Merchant Navys 21c6/35006  ‘Peninsular & Oriental SN Co’ and 21c11/35011 ‘General Steam Navigation’ included with again some images new to me.

As well as the Leader, the book includes a few examples of: Bulleid’s drafting improvements with Lemaitre multiple-jet blast pipes and their associated large diameter chimneys, his 500hp 0-6-0 shunter 11001, the 350hp 0-6-0 shunters, the 10201-3 main line diesels and also the Bulleid/Raworth electric locos 20001-3.

By covering each locomotive in turn and including images from different periods of their working life it provides a great reference for railway historians and modellers alike, a welcome addition to my library and wholeheartedly recommended.

 

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