A railway modeller with a keen insterest in all things Southern Railway especially the 1946 to 1949 period.
I can often be seen on the exhibition circuit with my Layout Fisherton Sarum or assiting MIke Wild the Editor of Hornby Magazine with his layouts at shows.
I am also long time member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society
Finally for October, and not an exhibition as such, but Canute Road Quay has been kindly invited to be on display at the Southern Railways Group AGM at the Cornerstone Centre, Camphill Rd, West Byfleet KT14 6EH.
The Group was formed over 40 years ago to study and disseminate information about the Southern Railway, British Railways (Southern Region), its successors and minor railways in southern England. It is well worth being a member by anyone with an interest, both historical and or modelling in the Southern Railway.
If you are coming along to any of the shows, please drop by and say hello.
p.s. the title is once again a nod to a favourite band of mine…
Dapol will initially be modelling the as originally built locomotive, the rebuilt variant will follow in a later run. It appears that the tooling suite allows for variations in smoke deflector type and both original flat fronted and later modified ‘wedge’ shape cabs, safety valve position, with and without front fairings, along with high rave and cut down tender types (we are yet to see details of the tender capacities, being tooled for).
This will be their first N Gauge ‘Next Generation Steam model’, with entirely re-designed chassis and electronics. This model will also incorporate Dapol’s new locomotive mounted motor that they state “offers good slow running and pulling power with reliability and robustness”. The specifications include: Coreless Locomotive mounted motor,b electrical pick up from all locomotive driving wheels and tender wheels, die-cast chassis and locomotive body, injection moulded tender body, partial chassis compensation for smooth running and to aid electrical pick up, stainless steel running gear, standard NEM fitting N Gauge couplers, Detailed body and fittings, printed name plates and an accessory bag with etched nameplates and detailed buffer beam fittings.
2S-034-001 Battle of Britain ‘Fighter Command’ 21C164 SR Malachite Green, with two window wedge shaped cab, forward safety valves as she ran between december 1947 and May 1948
2S-034-002 Battle of Britain ‘Spitfire’ 34066 BR Green Late Crest, with cut down tender as she ran from March 1958 and December 1959 (when she was fitted with a speedo).
2S-034-003 Battle of Britain ‘66 Squadron’ 34110 BR Green Early Crest, forward safety valves, minus front fairings, as she ran between September 1955 and February 1957, although the artwork incorrectly shows her with a shield (34110 was the only Battle of Britain not to carry a shield), I have spoken about this with Dapol who will be correcting the artwork.
2S-034-004 West Country ‘Okehampton’ 21C113 SR Malachite Green, original cab, short smoke deflectors as she ran between October 1945 and June 1947.
2S-034-005 West Country ‘Watersmeet’ 34030 BR Green Late Crest, with cut down tender, rear safety valves, minus front fairings as she ran from September 1956.
2S-034-006 West Country ‘Exeter’ 34001 BR Green Early Crest, with original cab and minus front fairings as she ran between January 1952 and November 1954.
The proposed RRP for DCC ready versions is now £223.50, for DCC fitted £257.04 and for DCC sound fitted £368.88 or discounted at Stockists such as KMRC here, and delivery is expected to be Quarter 4 2024 at the earliest.
Hornby have released two versions of the Diagram 2658 Maunsell Composite Dining Saloon.
Firstly R40221 SR, as number 7844 to in SR green as she would have been between 18th November 1947 and approximately mid 1949 when the SR style lettering was likely to have been amended to BR style. She was outshopped Crimson and Cream livery 4th February 1955.
Secondly, R40222 BR, Maunsell Composite Dining Saloon S7842S to Diagram 2658 in Crimson and Cream livery as carried in between 7th December 1954 and being outshopped BR(S) Green 12th August 1957.
The model is of the same high standard of all their SR Maunsell coach releases with their excellent SR Standard 8ft bogies, good chassis detailing, sprung buffers, separately applied door grab handles , fine foot steps at each end and end handrails. Being unlined the decoration is plain and simple, but the lettering is neatly applied as we have come to expect from Hornby.
The inside is nicely modelled and decorated with the internal wooden partitions, seats (blue) and table tops (white) all being correctly coloured, although the colouring of the side of the tables the same as the seats is a little odd.
Just as with the Hornby Maunsell Diagram 2652 3rd Class Dining Saloons the lower panel vertical joints are modelled with a raised beading applied to them, whilst some beading might was added to these vehicles later in their life, (one of the pitfalls of using preserved prototypes as part of the model research) it certainly was not present during the period applicable to this livery.
This issue does detract slightly from the 3/4 side view of the model.
Supplied with the coach is an accessory bad that contains roof boards, Roco style coupling and a pair ‘Hunt’ style magnetic couplers that are a representation of the vacuum and steam heat pipes.
These Diagram 2658 Composite dining saloons numbered 7841-4 were paired on West of England services with Diagram 2659 Kitchen & Buffet cars numbered 7864/5/7 and 7999, that themselves had been converted from Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining Firsts. Modellers licence will be required as these converted Diagram 2659 vehicles have not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with repainted Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining Firsts instead.
Overall despite the slight issue with the raised vertical beading and the lack of the correct Diagram 2659 Kitchen & Buffet cars to pair them with, these Diagram 2658 Maunsell Composite Dining Saloons are a welcome addition to the Southern modellers fleet.
This is not only incredibly my 750th post on this here little part of the interweb Southern Railway related blogosphere, but more importantly today marks the 60th and Diamond Wedding anniversary of my dear Mum and Dad.
The last 18 months has been a huge challenge for all the family due to my Mum’s health, thankfully she fought off a frightening and emotional life threatening low point in time, and she is now being wonderfully looked after by the excellent and dedicated staff at the Hulcott Nursing Home, although her ongoing condition is still an emotional challenge to us. Dad has coped admirably with great compassion, strength and dignity to the change of life routines that has inevitably evolved.
I offer them both my most hearty congratulations, love and also thanks for sticking with it and coping with bringing up myself and my older Brother. Also of course it was Dad and his upbringing in Salisbury, where my Granddad worked on the railway, that gave me the interest in all things Southern Railway.
So in addition to the joining in matrimony of my parents Ken and Wendy, 1963 was a notable year for a number of other things, I won’t go into the politics of the time, dreams, or assassinations (as I definitely can’t remember where I was at the time as I didn’t exist!) however the following are railway related:
The year started on Monday 1st January when the British Railways Board took over responsibility for the running of the railways from the British Transport Commission’s Railway Executive.
On the same day all the Southern Region west of Salisbury, was transferred to the British Railways Western Region for the final time. This was really the first nail in the coffin of the old Southern Railway route to Exeter, North Devon and Cornwall.
1963 also started with the worst winter conditions since 1946/7 and I am sure many of you will have the footage of railway locomotives stuck in the snow across the network. For example on the 8th February snow totally blocked the old Southern main line route at Meldon and no doubt many other place over that period too.
On Saturday 31st March the Railway Clearing House (RCH) was disbanded after 120 years and its functions and staff transferred to the Chief Accountant’s Department of the British Railways Board. The RCH had been apportioning railway receipts between the British railway companies since 1842.
A more sinister event took place on 8th August with what has become known as the “Great Train Robbery” (although not so great for Jack Mills the driver), I used to drive past the farm they used as their initial hide out every day to and from my then place of work.
Metropolitan Railway Loco No.1, that so successfully returned steam to the UndergrounD ten years ago to celebrate the the Underground’s 150th Anniversary, was originally withdrawn from service in 1963 having taken part in the centenary celebrations earlier in that year.
In November the Bluebell Railway was just 4 years old when the line from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes was closed leaving them without a connection to the British Rail Network right up until ten years ago when the northern extension to East Grinstead was triumphantly reopened.
Finally: The Beatles released their first album “Please please me” and gained their first Number One with “From me to you” and later that year had Number One singles with “She Loves you” and “I want to hold your hand” all perhaps very apt for my parents starting their new stage of life together!
So to Mum (although she will not be able to read this) and Dad, I say with love, congratulations and many heartfelt thanks!
To regular readers of this blog, I thank you for your time taken to read my ramblings over the last 750 posts, I hope you found them to be informative and sometimes entertaining regarding all things Southern Railway.
I also thank you for the comments and messages received, I always try to respond to as many of them as I can.
Having been in the top 10 of various wishlist polls for many years, the S160 2-8-0 has been a regularly requested / wish listed models. With Rapido Trains UK being an offshoot of the North America (albeit Canada) it seems a bit of a no-brainer for them to make a model of an American-built loco that operated in the UK.
You may be wondering why it is being featured here, so read on…
These locomotives were a standard design used by the US Army Transportation Corps (USATC) and were within the UK loading gauge. Almost 800 were shipped to Britain between 1942 and 1943 ready for the Invasion of France in 1944.
Prior to the invasion, the first 400 were used by all four of Britain’s main railway companies, including the SR.
Numbers 1771, 1926, 1920, 2356, 2378 and 2590 were officially allocated to Exmouth Jn. However 30 went through Eastleigh works for final assembly and were run in on the SR before being transferred to their allocated depots. The later later S160s were prepared by USATC personnel at Ebbw Junction before being greased and stored ready for use after D-Day 6th June 1944.
After the Invasion of France the Ebbw Junction stored S160s were shipped out to France, then the S160s on loan to the railways companies were returned to the USATC and shipped out to France. Those allocated to Exmouth Junction were all transferred back to USATC by September 1944.
Due to the considerable variations of the members of the class, especially as different manufacturers were involved, the Rapido Trains UK plan is to produce models of the original locomotives ‘as built’, when they were seen across the entire country during the Second World War. They will also produce tooling to allow for several preserved examples to be modelled as closely as possible.
Rapido Trains UK have also announced their intention to produce the small industrial Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0, no Southern connection as such although some of the SR pre-grouping companies did operate sister classes of Manning and Wardles.
It should be noted that although announced today, it is slightly frustratingly, not a full announcement with any details of the actual variations and liveries being produced or pricing, so it is not actually possible to pre-order the models today, so watch this space.
There were ten standard open wagon designs produced for the SR under Maunsell, although these could actually be grouped into just three main types: an 8 plank open that came in eight versions, a 5 plank open and an 8 plank ferry train wagon.
The first and numerically the largest SR design is the Diagram 1379 eight plank open on a standard 17’6″ RCH underframe with 9’0″ wheelbase with a total of 7,950 built. The first 3000 built from 1926 were fitted with Morton brakes with the remainder with SR ‘Freighter Brakes. Production continued until 1933.
88 Diagram 1379 8 plank wagons were transferred to the Isle of Wight in 1948/9 receiving 278xx / 279xx numbers.
In 1935 the wheel base of the standard 17’6″ underframe was increased to 10’0″ and from August 1936 an unfitted version (similar to the Diagram 1379) was introduced and given Diagram 1400. Construction continued until November 1937 and conveniently 1,400 of this diagram were produced.
Rapido trains UK have incredibly produced 31 versions across the two Diagrams 1379 and 1400, as they have tooled Morton and SR ‘Freighter’ brakes and split spoke and disc wheels, RRP is £32.95 per wagon (although they can be purchased at a discounted price from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre).
940001: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29306, SR brown (pre-1936)
940002: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.30601, SR brown (pre-1936)
940003: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31458, SR brown (pre-1936)
940004: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31372, SR brown (pre-1936)
940005: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.32565, SR brown (pre-1936)
940006: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33333, SR brown (pre-1936)
940007: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36485, SR brown (pre-1936)
940008: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36759, SR brown (pre-1936)
940009: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.30004, SR brown (pre-1936) (As preserved on the Bluebell Railway)
940010: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29898, SR brown (post-1936)
940011: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29427, SR brown (post-1936)
940012: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31364, SR brown (post-1936)
940013: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31421, SR brown (post-1936)
940014: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33255, SR brown (post-1936)
940015: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33730, SR brown (post-1936)
940016: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36359, SR brown (post-1936)
940017: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36871, SR brown (post-1936)
940018: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.10939, SR brown (post-1936)
940019: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.11783, SR brown (post-1936)
940020: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.27363, SR brown (post-1936)
940021: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S30215, BR grey
940022: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S27915, BR grey (Isle of Wight)
940023: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S27930, BR grey (Isle of Wight)
940024: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.S31472, BR grey
940025: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S34301, BR grey
940026: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S36194, SR brown with BR lettering
940027: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S34745, BR grey
940028: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S10953, SR brown with BR lettering
940029: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S26782, BR grey
940030: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.S11530, BR grey
940031: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.DS719, Motive Power Department black
Look out for a future post where I will explain the different types of brakes used on Southern Wagons.
The Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR/SR Beattie class 0298 well tank was first produced back in 2011. Incredibly for a class that since the 1930’s had only three members, with a restrictive sphere of operation, albeit into the late 1960s, on the Bodmin and Wenford branch, the model has been extremely popular resulting in no less than five production batches, the last being under the EFE Rail brand as recently as November 2020.
Being by nature a very small locomotive, space within the cab is quite restrictive on the real thing let alone the model, finding loco crew to fit has always been a bit of a challenge.
After receiving many requests, my friends at scanning and 3D printing specialists, MODELU have now added a bespoke Beattie well tank crew to their Loco Specific Crew range.
These MODELU crew have been actually scanned on one of the preserved locos and then modified to specifically fit the footplate of the model.
This ensures the poses are both natural, realistic and can be easily fitted to the model.
The highly detailed and crisply 3D printed MODELU crew are supplied free of all sprues and ready to paint without the need for any fettling or primer. To aid painting I lightly glue the crew to a wooden string stick to make handling easier, I then firstly paint, nowadays using acrylic paints, all clothing matt black to act as a base and eventually give shadows within creases, folds and any inside edges.
Using matt acrylics, my prefered range is Vallejo, I apply the top colours using almost a dry brush allowing the black within clothing folds and inside edges etc. to still be visible to give the effect of darker shadows etc. and to bring out the exquisite detail within the 3D print.
I was able using tweezers and a small dab of UHU glue fit the crew into place without disassembling the model in any way and immediately bring the loco to life.
As part of their quarterly British Railway Announcements for Autumn 2023 Bachmann have announced the ex London South Western Railway (LSWR) / Southern railway covered vans to Diagrams 1410, 1406 and 1408 and the ex LSWR / Southern railway 56ft non corridor cross country sets as early formation four coach sets, in 00 gauge. Those of you who watched the announcement video may have seen a familiar or strange face depending on you point of view, as I developed these models in my role with Kernow Model Rail Centre on behalf of EFE Rail. Also appearing in the Bachmann Branchline range is the Refurbished 3-CEP and 4-TEP.
LSWR / Southern railway covered vans to Diagram 1410, 1406 and 1408
The numerous LSWR 10 ton covered vans were built between 1885 and 1922 to a few different diagrams as the design was developed. Different body styles were combined with either timber or steel chassis with two axle boxes types, Panter or Warner’s, and several different brake systems.
The low roof, sliding door Diagram 1410 covered vans were the most common vehicle with well over 1000 built. Brake gear varied from: single sided double block, ‘Morton Clutch’, the rarer for this diagram ‘Lift Link’ and most commonly what the SR called ‘Freighter’ that had independent brake gear on each side.
Ten covered vans to the Diagram 1410 were built for the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) they differed from the LSWR versions as they did not have the end vents and only single sided brakes. They later were absorbed into SR stock and had end vents fitted, becoming identical to D1410 vans.
In early 1912 the roof level of covered goods vans was increased in height by 7 inches and 110 vans were built with sliding doors on either timber (D1407) or steel chassis as Diagram 1406. Lift link brake gear was fitted to all covered vans to this diagram.
From late 1912 the sliding door design was superseded by a three-part hinged door design and used on covered wagons built from December 1912 until Grouping. The use of hinged rather than sliding doors allowed an increase in internal body width. Almost 400 were built on both timber (D1409) or steel chassis as Diagram 1408. Lift link brake gear was fitted to all covered vans to this diagram. The Diagram 1408 vans were originally built with roofs that finished flush with the sides, however, the SR modified the roofs to give an overhang at the eves.
Although many were scrapped or entered departmental use before Grouping many passed into SR ownership at grouping with a number, many in departmental use surviving beyond nationalisation.
The KMRC / EFE Rail tooling suite allows for four body types across the three diagrams, four brake types (single double block, Morton Clutch, Freighter and Lift Link), two steel chassis types (D1410/06 and D1408), two axle box types (Panter and Warner) and three buffer types (tapered, ribbed and fabricated).
The initial six releases by EFE Rail, that will be with retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre in the next two months or so, are as follows:
E87051 LSWR Diagram 1410 10 Ton covered van LSWR Brown livery – Morton Clutch brake, Panter axle boxes, plain tapered buffers.
E87052 SR Diagram 1410 10 Ton Covered van SDJR livery – no end vents, single sided brake, Panter axle boxes, plain tapered buffers.
E87053 SR Diagram 1410 10 Ton Covered van SR Brown Pre 1936 livery – Freighter brakes, Warner axle boxes, plain tapered buffers.
E87054 SR Diagram 1406 10 Ton Covered van SR Brown Post 1936 livery – Lift Link brake, Panter axle boxes, plain tapered buffers.
E87055 BR(s) Diagram 1406 10 Ton Covered Van BR Grey livery – Lift Link brake, Panter axle boxes, plain tapered buffers.
E87056 SR Diagram 1408 10 Ton Covered van SR Brown Pre 1936 livery – Flush roof, Lift Link brake, Panter axle boxes, fabricated buffers, three hole disc wheels.
LSWR / Southern railway 56ft non corridor cross country sets
There were 36 sets formed wholly of 56ft vehicles and these sets were generically called ‘Cross County sets’. They were constructed between 1906 and 1910 being built originally as 4 coach sets. These sets comprised of the following:
Brake Thirds, four compartment to LSWR Drawing 1446, SR diagram 124, 2 per set
Composite (1st / 3rd class), seven compartment, to LSWR Drawing 1298, SR Diagram 274
Third LSWR Drawing 1302, SR Diagram 17, 8 compartment, (The all Thirds were originally introduced as 2nd / 3rd Composites but rebranded to all Thirds with no structural change by the end of 1919)
The set numbers were in the ranges 130-151, 253-263 and 311-314. All sets were reduced to three coaches in the mid to late 1930s by the removal of the 8 compartment Third Diagram 17 coaches which became loose stock. At the same time the number of first class compartments in the Composite, Diagram 274 was reduced from 5 to 3 (not a physical alteration just reclassification and change in class banding on the outside of the compartments)
Despite the longevity of these sets, apart from the reduction from 4 to 3 coaches and the reclassification of some of the composite compartments there was no real physical changes to any of the coaches.
Withdrawal of these sets was completed during 1956/7 Brake Third number LSWR 1520 SR 2975 (ex set 63 / 146) survives and is operational service on the Bluebell Railway http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pics/1520.html and Composite number 5065 (ex set 134) survives on the Kent and East Sussex Railway awaiting restoration.
As was standard LSWR practice not all the coaches had full electrical equipment, i.e dynamo and battery boxes the others being through wired.
E86011 ex LSWR Cross Country Set – 4 coach set 63 – LSWR Salmon Pink and Chocolate
E86012 Ex LSWR/SR Cross Country Set – 4 Coach set 134 – SR Lined Green
The coach sets are currently at Bachmann and should be with retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre in the next week or so.
Note: All pictures above re courtesy and copyright KMRC.
3-Cep / 4-TEP EMUs – Refurbished
The Bachmann Branchline model has been refurbished with new bodyshells portraying the work undertaken when the real units were refurbished – most notably the fitting of hopper window ventilators and the relocation of the brake compartments from the two driving vehicles to a single trailer vehicle.
The first release to utilise this new tooling depicts Class 411/9 3-CEP No. 1199 in South West Trains livery and this is joined by a Blue & Grey-liveried Class 422/7 4-TEP – a unit formed of three refurbished CEP vehicles and an un-refurbished buffet vehicle from a BEP unit. The TEPs were formed to provide catering capacity whilst 4-BIG units were being refurbished during the 1980s. Both models require a single DCC decoder for use on DCC systems or can be purchased in SOUND FITTED format with a decoder pre-installed.
31-420 Class 411/9 3-CEP No. 1199 in South West Trains livery
31-420SF Class 411/9 3-CEP No. 1199 in South West Trains livery SOUND FITTED
31-424 Class 422/7 4-TEP Blue & Grey-liveried
31-424SF Class 422/7 4-TEP Blue & Grey-liveried SOUND FITTED