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
Rapido Trains UK have announced today that they are producing two new ‘OO’ gauge South Eastern & Chatham Railway wagons, the Diagram 1426 van and the Dia. 1744 ballast wagon. These vans were introduced in 1918 and they lasted well into BR days, setting the standard for future Southern Railway vans. They shared the same 9ft 6in wheelbase with the five and seven plank open wagons that Rapido Trains UK announced in May last year.
The Diagram 1426 covered van sports the following features: Two types of rain strip: curved and straight, separately-fitted end ventilators, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed body and under frame.
There are eleven Diagram 1426 covered vans being produced:
927001: No. 15782, SECR grey
927002: No. 16737, SECR grey
927003: No. 45784, SR brown (Pre 1936)
927004: No. 47162, SR brown (Pre 1936)
927005: No. 45779, SR brown (Post 1936)
927006: No. 47159, SR brown (Post 1936)
927007: No. S45819, BR grey
927008: No. S47144, BR grey
927009: No. DS47182, Departmental black
927010: No. DS776, Departmental brown
927011: No. 15750, SECR grey (preserved)
The SECR used the same underframe for the two-plank ballast wagon. It introduced the first in 1919 and 120 were built over the next four years. Incredibly, BR didn’t withdraw the last until 1971. The Diagram 1744 two plank ballast wagons feature: Two floor versions: curve-ended planks and straight-ended planks, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed bodies and underframes.
There are eleven Diagram 1744 vans being produced:
928001: No. 567, SECR grey (preserved)
928002: No. 11835, SECR grey
928003: No. 1789, SECR grey
928004: No. 62454, SR red oxide (Pre 1936)
928005: No. 62398, SR red oxide (Pre 1936)
928006: No. 62371, SR red oxide (Post 1936)
928007: No. 62466, SR red oxide (Post 1936)
928008: No. 62444, SR red oxide (Post 1936)
928009: No. DS62402, BR Departmental black
928010: No. S62433, SR red oxide with BR(S) number
Rapido Trains UK have also confirmed that they are going to produce the ‘OO’ gauge LBSCR ‘E1’ 0-6-0T, that was first mooted by Model Rail magazine. They have not yet confirmed what running numbers or liveries they are going to produce, although I am advised it will cover as number of variations throughout their lifetime and geographical working area, but I will post the details as soon as further progress is advised.
In my Westhill Road Ramblings#1 post here, I discussed my thought process for selecting the style and type of signal box for my new little modelling venture Westhill Road. This post looks at my scratch build of the chosen ground level signal box based upon the LSWR Type 3B design.
As with many of my scratch-built buildings, even if they are not to be exact replicas of an original prototype, I like to use as much research as possible to ensure that the characteristics and proportions of such a building look correct. In this instance I wanted to make use of some nice proprietarily laser cut windows from Proses Hobby Shop, therefore using these fixed dimensions, and of course standard door sizes, I started by quickly drawing out the design, to scale, referring back to reference photographs at every stage.
The use of these laser cut windows and their dimensions are therefore a slight compromise but by adjusting the dimensions of the rest of the building to suit it maintains the proportions and the overall effect that I am wanting to achieve.
The construction of these LSWR signal boxes was basically a wooden frame and wooden clapperboard structure and I’ve replicated this using Wills 213 clapperboard for the main structure.
From my drawing I cut the wooden floor, from Wills 201 wood planking, to size to give a square base for the clapperboard walls to be built around it.
I mitred the edges of the walls before filing back the outside of the cemented corners at 45° and adding 2mm x 2mm triangular plastic strut upright, see picture left. The use of the triangular section on the building corners creates the corner framing and also completely hides any joint.
Additional plastic microstrip is then used to create the other wooden framework, both externally and internally, and to create the windowsills etc. (remember to include the thickness of windowsills, door frames etc when cutting out the apertures). Plastic microstrip and Plastrut square section was used to built up the framing across the tops of the walls, along with roof trusses.
The side porch is made from a mix of plasticard, planked plasticard and another Proses Hobby Shop laser cut window. It was made as a separate assemble to make paining easier.
The ground frame sites on a low brick-built foundation, that includes the opening for the point rodding and signals wires to exit with a small piece of microstrip added to represent the steel beam supporting the bricks above the opening.
As ground level signal boxes do not have an interlocking room under the floor, they used a ‘Knee Frame’ with short levers that was higher off the floor to allow interlocking directly beneath the levers. I have used a modified Ratio 224 signal box interior kit for the interior details. I mounted the lever frame base on a piece of plastic I beam and shortened every lever, to represent the 10 lever frame in accordance with the signal box diagram I have already created.
The hipped roof was made using Wills 203 Slates with thin card ridge tiles added. Guttering is added around the bottom edge using Ratio 300 gutters and downpipes. The stove pipe chimney has been fashioned from plastic rod and turned at the top to represent a cowl, and lead flashing asses from very thin plasticard.
The internal working lamp and its shade have been made using a suitable shaped plastic part, I think an old wagon kit, found in the scrap box, with a Layouts4u.net 0805 12v Nano SMD led (prewired) glued to it. It’s affixed to the ceiling truss and the fine wires passing down the wall behind the stove and its chimney.
The external paint colours are SR Buildings Cream and SR Middle Chrome Green from Precision Paints.
I will wait until Westhill Road is ready for its signal box to be planted before I weather it to tone the colours down to suit the tone of the rest of the layout.
Hornby have today announced their forthcoming range for 2022. Although no tooling from a Southern Railway perspective modellers, the highlights include new versions of the Class 423 4-VEP EMUs, a new Dublo version of the original Merchant Navy and new LSWR and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway liveried ‘generic’ coaches.
Hornby’s new tooling for 2022 moves away from the SR this year with a brand new LMS Black 5, LMS Princess Royal Class ‘The Turbomotive’, a revised HST power car and Mk3 coaches, the larger Sentinel industrial 0-6-0 diesel, LNER Coronation coaches and ‘beaver tail’ observation car, Class 755/3 & 755/4 ‘Flirt’ electric and bi-mode units and the GWR Loriot Y machinery well truck. A Limited Edition version of the LNER A4 also enters the Dublo range with a cast metal body.
Locomotives and EMUs
Although technically no new locomotive tooling for Southern modelers; however we see the re-introduction of the Class 423 4-VEP EMU, Hornby are listing this as new tooling, but it is the original tooling with only minor corrections such as to the front cab area, the first class internal partitions now having windows, improved inter coach coupling and power transfer, 5 pole motor bogie and now is also 21 pin DCC ready.
R30106 – Southern Class 423/1 4-VEP EMU Train Pack – final condition as between 2003 and 2005 – Unit Number 3514 [Q4]
R30107 – South West Trains Class 423 4-VEP EMU Train Pack – post refurbished condition as between 1996 and 2004 – Unit number TBA [Q4]
R30122 – Departmental A1X ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0 D.S.680 in lLancing Works shunter livery as carried between March 1952 and withdrawal on 4th June 1962. [Q4]
R30140 – BR M7 Class 0-4-4T 30244 in British Railways (Gills Sans) malachite green livery as carried between September 1948 and January 1952 and allocated to Nine Elms. [Q4]
R3434 – SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ a reintroduction as originally released in 2017 (delayed from 2016) in as when introduced condition with widows peak and horseshoe smokebox door plate as between in June1941 and August 1941. A limited run of 500 models.[Q4]
R30129 – BR Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34072 ‘257 Squadron’ in early BR malachite green livery with British railways in Sunshine lettering as carried between her introduction in April 1948 and April 1952 when she gained BR Green. [Q4]
R30114 – BR West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 ‘Braunton’ in BR Green livery and high rave tender with early emblem as she an between Jan 1954 and June 1957. [Q4]
R30112 – Hornby Dublo – Merchant Navy 4-6-2 Lamport & Holt’ BR Green livery with early emblem as carried between June 1952 and July 1955. Limited Edition of 500 models.[Q3]
R30153 – BR Class 50 Co-Co 50044 ‘Exeter’ in Network South East livery as carried from April 1982. New 21pin DCC socket [Q2]
R30154 – BR Class 50 Co-Co 50042 ‘Triumph’ in BR large logo livery as carried from May 1982. New 21pin DCC socket [Q3]
Other Train packs
R30123 – K&ESR Terrier 150th Anniversary Pack – A1 No. 70 Poplar in LBSC ‘Improved engine Green as running prior to sale to K&ESR in 1901 and A1X 2678 in SR Sunshine black as currently preserved. A Limited Edition of 500 numbered train packs.[Q4]
R3961 – Isle of Wight Central Railway, Terrier Train Pack – Era 3 A1X No. 11 and three ‘Generic’ 4 wheel coaches (Composite, Brake Third and Full Brake) [Q4]
R40221 SR, Maunsell Dining Saloon Third [sic] (actually a Composite Dining Saloon), 7844 to Diagram 2658 in SR green as approximately between 18th November 1947 and mid 1949. She was outshopped Crimson and Cream livery4th February 1955, however the SR style lettering was likely to have been amend to BR style before the end of 1949 .[Q4]
R40222 BR, Maunsell Dining Saloon First [sic] (actually a 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. [Q4]
My presentation is titled “Where the sunshine comes soonest! Modelling the Southern” Illustrated with my own models I will explore my reasons for modelling the Southern, my own time period of 1946 to 1949, provide a virtual tour of both Fisherton Sarum and Canute Road Quay and provide thoughts and ideas how the complexity and variety of the Southern can be modelled.
The lecture starts at 7.30pm, but doors open at 6.30. The Model Railway Club licenced bar has a range of beers, wine, spirts and soft drinks plus snacks.
Guests are welcome, there is no need to book, but please note that there are stairs to the lecture room, and anyone with concerns about accessibility should contact The Model Railway Club in advance. There is a voluntary collection, with a suggestion of £3 for non members.
Doors open at 10:00 am and close at 5:00pm. Entry prices are £6.00 for Adult, £3.00 for Child (under 14) and £12.00 for family (2 + 2).
Important Covid Advisory Information. In light of the latest government guidelines all adult visitors to the January exhibition will sensibly be required to wear masks and will require evidence of at least double vaccination or proof of a recent negative Lateral Flow Test to gain entry to the Surrey Sports Park buildings.
My good friend, excellent modeller and proprietor of 247 Developments Brian Mosby has advised me that he now has produced in his vast etched range Golden Arrow headboard and Arrows that adorned either Rebuilt Bulleid pacifics or BR Britannia 70004. He has also produced the rectangular style headboard used when Bulleid 1Co-Co1 diesel 10202 was used during 1954 on the prestigious Pullman service.
The famous ‘Golden Arrow’ name was first used in 1929, although the origins of the service dates back as afar as 1882 and the final service ran on 30th September 1972. Unlike the ‘Night Ferry’ service passengers would travel by ferry from Dover or Folkestone to Calais where they boarded a similarly prestigious French train under the French name Flêche d’ Or. Ten all-new Pullmans were built from 1949 and entered service as the “Festival of Britain Golden Arrow” on 11th June 1951.
Before WWII the “Golden Arrow” was usually worked by Lord Nelson class locos, For the resurrected post war service the first locomotive used was 21C1 Channel Packet, although though from 1946 a Bulleid light pacific. When in original form as well as the headboard a large arrow was carried on the side of the casing.
A smaller arrow was used affixed to the smoke deflectors of rebuilt Bulleid light pacifics. Although between 1956 and 1959 No. 35015 Rotterdam Lloyd was the only rebuilt Merchant Navy to be used and and for a while in the early1950s, BR Britannia 70004 William Shakespeare. Light pacific 34100 Appledore hauled the last steam worked Golden Arrow on 11th June 1961 when electric traction took over with what were to become Class 71 locomotives.
In addition 247 Developments stock other SR named train headboards, numerous BR(S) smokebox door number plates for many ex SR classes, dated smokebox door roundels for the Bulleid pacifics and SR Engine Head Signal route discs. Brian’s products are of excellent quality and I can wholeheartedly recommend them.
Welcome to the first of my Westhill Road Ramblings as I think thoughts (or why isn’t that thunk?), yes dangerous I know, to develop the concept in my mind / imagination and start to make actual physical progress on my new little scenic diorama type layout. To read my introduction to Westhill Road click here. As the layout progresses my imagination, vision , concepts and ideas board will be covered via such ramblings posts, whilst more details on some of the physical items will be covered in my Workbench Witterings series.
Now on to the main subject of this post the signal cabin. The original thought in my mind I had for Westhill Road, with its small level Crossing and minimum signalling and only one point (plus a co-acting trap point) for the siding, was to utilise one of the lovely Kernow Model Rail Centre LSWR ground frame cabins.
However upon developing the concept for the layout further and looking at signal Box diagrams for similar locations on the Southern, and having created a signal box diagram for Westhill Road that required a 10 lever frame, I soon realised that such a ground frame and cabin would actually be too small.
I initially thought about using my scratch built model of Hawkhurst signal box that I built from scratch many years ago now, when still a teenager, but feel that using such signal box at this location would possibly also be out of character for a small wayside halt and crossing location as Westhill Road and maybe affect the balance of buildings I intend to have on the layout, as it will located directly in front of the roadside combined station masters house / booking office.
I decided to take a look at the idea of using ground-based signal box. The LSWR have a number of different types of boxes, as the design involved throughout the years, small ground versions of the signal cabins were quite common across the network at smaller locations such as level crossing gates and small stations and these could either be directly mounted on the ground or onto a station platform. I therefore settled on the idea of an LSWR type 3B signal cabin as these were used at similar crossing gate locations.
These Type 3B boxes were introduced in 1889 and were generally located in and around Plymouth and also on the Ilfracombe line in North Devon, including wonderfully named locations such as Stoney Mill Gates, Vellator Gates and Duckpool Gates. Unlike the earlier Type 3 and 3A boxes they did not have toplights (replaced with weatherboard or any ornamental valances. As these ground level boxes did not have an interlocking room beneath the floor they utilised a raised ‘knee frame’ with shorter levers.
This slightly more plain style is, in my thinking, ideal for Westhill Road as it gives a slightly more general and not to area / company specific appearance. I have therefore knocked up a quick scratch built version of such a ground box, that is internally detailed, complete with a knee frame and each individual short lever, coloured to match the Westhill Road signal box plan, and illuminated (as will all the buildings I build for Westhill Road). I will detail the build process in a near future Workbench Witterings post before you ask, and although I do not yet have the actual layout built to plonk it on, I already feel of the three options it will look the part.
I have been advised that the Stafford Railway Circle Exhibition that Canute Road Quay was due to attend on 5th & 6th February 2022 has been unfortunately cancelled.
The show organisers have advised: “In view of the rapidly worsening Covid situation caused by the Omicron variant, Stafford Railway Circle has decided that it is not possible to proceed with this exhibition. We deeply regret that we have to cancel it and hope that our exhibitors, traders and would-be customers will understand why this decision has been taken. Our sincere apologies but hopefully you understand.”
Unfortunate but understandable, I hope to be there in 2023.
Canute Road Quay is also scheduled to be at the Astolat Model Railway Circle exhibition in Guildford on Sunday 16th January 2022, I am aware that the organisers are monitoring the current situation and will advise further in due course.
Merry Christmas to you all, fill up your life with love, compassion, tolerance, peace, happiness and perhaps hopefully some time for modelling.
Who knows what the next few weeks or even months might continue to bring, please make the time to contact your friends and family, especially those whom might be alone, and not able to be in the company of others during these still most unusual of times. It is good and OK to simply ask “Are you OK?” and likewise it is “OK not to be OK” and reach out for assistance. The one good thing, if anything, this past 18 months has been the kindness and generosity of others to help and support each other, and long may this continue.
As the festive season and New Year break is upon us, I just wanted to say many thanks to all of you whom have taken the time to read my ramblings over the past 12 months. I hope you have found such ramblings interesting and informative. I have always enjoyed corresponding with many of you that have made contact me via email or the comments field on my various posts. I look forward to corresponding with you again in the New Year and maybe, hopefully, in person at an exhibition…
A further flurry of activity will be taking place at the start of the new year with Hornby (January 10th) announcing its 2022 range followed a few weeks later, at the beginning of February, by Bachmann making the next of their now quarterly range announcements. I will as always bring you all the Southern Railway / Southern Region related news on here as soon as their announcements are made.
Seasons greetings, whatever your faith or beliefs, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (or Nadelik Lowen ha Blydhen Nowydh Da! from the boss’ side of the Tamar) to you all!