The 1948 locomotive exchange trials took place from April though to September 1948 with Waterloo to Plymouth being one of the chosen routes and utilised during may and June 1948. I was keen to introduce some of the locos that ran on the Southern during the trials into the locomotive fleet on my Fisherton Sarum layout as it is based on Salisbury and as such was a stopping off point for the trials.
To provide a little background; in the immediate aftermath of the formation of British Railways the newly formed Regions were generally allowed to continue the locomotive build programmes that had already been approved and put in place by the previous railway company up until the end of 1950. In the meantime it was decided to compare a number of engines from the previous big four in order to ‘supposedly’ consolidate designs and good practice for the future locomotive development of the new organisation after 1950. My own views on the success or otherwise of the trials may well form the topic of another post in the future.
The exchanges were to trial locomotives in three categories: Express Passenger, General Purpose and Freight Locomotives. Locomotives and their crews from each region had a small number of runs on each route, the week before, to gain limited route knowledge (although generally recognised as not enough) prior to the main test runs for which dynamometer cars were attached.
Hornby have already produced a limited edition model of Bulleid West Country Class No. 34006 Bude with a Stanier tender and complete with the correct extra long smoke deflectors. The three Light Pacifics so fitted only did a couple of test runs on the Southern in this form which is a good enough reason to run Bude.
I have also matched a renumbered and named Hornby ex Bude and paired her with a standard 4500 gallon Bulleid tender as 34004 “Yeovil “as she ran on return from the trials.
Ex LNER A4 class No. 60033 “Seagull” took part in the exchanges on the Southern Region and was created by renumbering and naming a suitable Bachmann model which also involved the fitting of a replacement white metal double chimney from 247 Developments. I also modified the tender as those tenders fitted to the A4s on trial had the raves cut down at the rear to allow clearance for the water cranes at Euston Station.
Once Hornby produced a version of their Duchess class in LMS lined black of the ‘Semi’ variant (i.e. a de-streamlined version) I used this as the basis for City ofBradford. For this conversion I renamed and numbered Hornby “City of Manchester” and coupled it to a slightly modified Bachmann 2-8-0 WD tender.
I have also created a model of the Rebuilt Royal Scot class locomotives No.46154 “The Hussar” that also took part in theWaterloo–Exetertrials utilising one of the recently introduced Hornby LMS lined black models suitably renamed and also fitted with a suitable WD style tender in the same way as above.