As well as announcing their plans for the next 18 months at the annual trade model and hobby show last week Bachmann also had on display some of the pre-production samples of the work in progress of models announced last year.
One such model on display and of particular interest to Southern Modellers is the much awaited ex SECR C Class 0-6-0. These locomotives were designed by Harry Wainwright and built between 1900 and 1908. They were designed primarily for freight duties, although occasionally they were also used for passenger trains. They operated over much of the South East of England with some also known to have ventured to Nine Elms and Feltham on the western section.
107 examples entered service with British Railways in 1948. Withdrawals began in 1953, but accelerated after the Kent Coast electrification in 1959-1960. Three examples (31271, 31280, 31592) remained in Departmental stock as shunters at Ashford Works until 1966. 31592 was preserved and has seen regular use on the Bluebell Railway.
Bachmann have announced three initial versions:
31-460 as 592 SECR Lined Green as preserved on the Bluebell Railway
31-461 1256 in prewar Southern Railway Black
31-462 31086 BR Black Early Emblem
I was not at the event so have not yet had a chance to see the models in the flesh , from the photographs they appear to have captured the look and character of the prototype nicely, although there are, as one might expect at this stage of the design and development process, a few inconsistencies between the two samples such as pipework and details and on one version the quite prominent front guard irons are missing.
With the models at this pre-production stage I would not expect them to hit the shelves until the autumn at the earliest.