Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Colour perception, especially with models, is an often debated topic especially when manufacturers occasionally, and some more than others, appear to get it wrong. There can be several reasons why colours on models do not always appear correct. In this post I look at some of the issues and reasons that can influence getting colours correct. I have been constructively critical in the past of some manufacturers attempts at getting colours / liveries correct and often try to get colours and liveries corrected, if possible, and have done so again only recently with some proposed SR locomotives (naming no names but fingers crossed they arrive OK).

Diagram 1530 Bullied Cattle truck in a close SR Goods brown livery

The ‘low’ a way too light milk Chocolate Hornby  Warner’s 20t Brake Van

Getting very much closer, Hornby’s subsequent Warner’s brake van release

A Bachmann SR Diagram 1579 brake van is a reasonable, perhaps slightly dark, rendition of the brown (although the sole bars should also be brown not black)

I will use LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown as a case in point; for example, Hornby have had multiple attempts to achieve the correct SR colour. Back in 2016 their excellent SR Diagram 1530, as per my review here, was released in a good, if not very slightly too dark, representation of the SR Goods Wagon Brown but by 2020 the colour on their ex LSWR Warner 20T SR diagram 1543 brake vans, as I highlighted here, was the wrong shade of chocolate. Perhaps the fact that the official name of the correct dark brown colour is “Chocolate Brown” they chose milk chocolate instead? Hornby have subsequent released further versions of this model in a darker version but is still slightly too light and lighter than the colour they used on the cattle truck!

In my day job I therefore, for my own satisfaction / reputation, had to ensure that the LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown on the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Diagram 1541 Road Van that I was responsible for producing was as close to the correct colour as possible. I undertook a lot of research to be able to provide the factory with the correct paint references, although this is not as simple as it sounds as I will discuss below.

The KMRC Diagram 1541 Road Van in what I believe to be a good representation of LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown

Following much historical research and checking many contemporary references I was able to provide the factory with a suitable British Standard paint colour reference, however even this is complicated by the fact that such a historical British Standard reference is now obsolete so not readily available for the factory to obtain! Careful checking and agreeing decorated samples ensured that I was happy with the factory’s interpretation of the colour to allow production to commence.

I am also only too happy to share my researched colour references with some other manufacturers, to try to achieve some consistency of colours for all Southern Railway modellers alike, including for example my good friends at Rapido Trains UK, and they specified with their factory my SR Goods Wagon Brown colour reference for their splendid ex SECR /SR open wagons.

The effect of the matt finish on the 5 plank open compared to the satin factory finished 7 plank open can be seen under the same lighting conditions

Another view showing the effect of the matt finish compared to satin

I did however note in my review here, that their factory interpretation of the colour appeared lighter. I also thought at the time of writing that the finish of the model may have also affected the perception of the colour as it was a satin nearly glossy finish rather than matt.
To demonstrate this, I have now given one of the Rapido Trains UK wagons a simple single spray coat of Testers Dullcoat matt varnish and when pictured alongside the KMRC Road Van and one of the original Rapido Trains UK factory finished wagons the effect of the type finish and its perception of the same base colour can be clearly seen.
I will now apply the same treatment too all my Rapido Trains UK wagons from this batch (and I have also shared the results of this simple change of finish with Rapido Trains UK ).

It should be noted that I have purposely taken the comparison picture under the same lighting conditions. Different forms and types of lighting either when viewing the prototype, for example bright sunshine or a cloudy day, or models for example under warm or cool white lighting (see my post here about white is white…) can totally change the visual perception of a colour. I am also of course aware that you will be viewing this post on different devices and screens that will also create different perceptions of the colour!

In addition to historical superseded / obsolete colour references and paint finishes there are several other factors that need to be considered when specifying and choosing the correct colour.

Firstly, care should be taken when using old colour photographs, or for that matter preserved rolling stock, as there are so many variables that can affect the representation / comparison of any colour. As well as the lighting conditions at the time the image taken the use of different film stocks at the time and variations in any subsequent printing can give different colour hues. Something published as fact, even repeatedly or copied is not necessarily always factually correct and can still include errors or subjectivity.

Another factor to take into account especially with models is that of colour scaling; our perception of colour does not scale and will vary depending on the distance at which it is being viewed and also the size and the area of the colour, for example if you painted a model with exactly the same paint as a full-size example the model will appear darker when look at in isolation. This is therefore also an issue when using a small swatch of colour as an original reference, and this has been the case, in my opinion, with a small number of colours as referenced in otherwise excellent and well respected livery reference books.
Sometimes a model manufacturer will sometimes need to counter this by using a colour slightly lighter on the model than the full-size prototype so it ‘looks right’ to the eye.

Go on try it… you know you want to…

The same loco and same lighting conditions showing the colour perception change due to the lining (and also the black flat top)

It should also be noted that adjacent different colours to our chosen colour will affect the perception the hue, see the example shown left.

This is often highlighted when initially painting a model for example compare a lined and unlined model that uses the same base colour.
For example, a splendid malachite green Bulleid pacific will look to be a darker green until the three horizontal lines are added as can be seen in the image to the left of my 21c11 before and after lining has been applied and photographed under the same lighting conditions.

Finally, one further complication for model manufactures is the process used to recreate the often-complex liveries on a model. This is often achieved by a mixture of both paint and print applications, whereas the prototype is more often than not painted (although some modern liveries are via printed vinyls) . Different specifications are used for paint and print colours. For example, paint colours are usually specified to British Standard (both current and obsolete) or RAL numbers; whilst printing inks are usually referenced Pantone colours. There are often no direct conversions between some paint and print colours and errors can creep into the process when conversions take place. For example, sometimes a paint reference could give multiple close Pantone references, and it can even be the case that when some are converted back, they end up as a different RAL number!
It is therefore imperative that such conversions between paint and print references during the process are checked and agreed at every stage. It is the reason that creating an approved set of livery artworks must then be checked and further approved at the decorated sample stage (actual physical sample not photographs from the factory!) before production. Skipping some of these steps in the process, usually for apparent cost reasons, can easily result in mistakes, such as has occurred with the production of some models in the past and therefore be a false economy.

I hope this little walk through the hues and lows of the processes involved in getting the colour / more importantly, the perception of colours as correct as possible has been of interest, perhaps the first of an occasional “Insider insights” series? As always, I welcome and enjoy reading and responding to comments.

 

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Rapido Trains UK first announced these 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons in May 2021 and they have now arrived at retailers.  These new models cover the Diagram 1355 seven-plank open and both the Diagram 1347 and Diagram 1349 five-plank opens built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway on the same Maunsell/Lynes steel underframe.

Graham asked:  “should this review be written in the style of a Rapido marketing email,?” but Muz replied: “Right! Stop that! It’s silly.” (with apologies to Monty Python).

A group of D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons from Rapido

A post 1936 livery D1355 7 plank wagon, one of the wonky self contained buffers can be seen.

A pre 1936 livery D1347 5 plank with tapered buffers

The 5 plank D1349 with self-contained buffers

I will let the photographs show  how good these wagons are and provide a welcome addition to any SECR / SR modellers fleet. I have only purchased some of the SR versions, but SECR grey and BR Grey and BR Departmental versions are also available (see the original announcement here for the full list).
Some people, without a full understanding of the manufacturing process and where production and overheads costs lie, might crawl away at the RRP of £32.95; and whilst there might still be other manufacturer’s wagons currently available at a cheaper prices the realistic market prices are certainly changing as all costs rise. The models can of course be purchased from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre at a slight discounted price.

The 7 plank open, later SR Diagram 1355, were the SECR’s most numerous wagon with 2,121 wagons built between 1915 and 1927. The SR later fitted a sheet rail. British Railways had over 70 wagons still in service in the 1960s and the last withdrawals were not until the 1970s.

The 5 plank opens utilised the same steel chassis as the 7 plank wagons, 550 were built between 1920 and 1925 with standard buffers that became SR Diagram 1347. A further 150 were built 1921/2  with the self-contained buffer type, as on the 7 plank D1355 wagons, and became SR Diagram 1349. They were withdrawn in the early 1960s.

The well detailed underframe of these Rapido wagons

All three versions of the models, sharing the same underframe, have accurate body detail, including nicely planked insides and now becoming much more common on wagon releases good underframe detail that includes both etched and wire parts.  They also feature nice split spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups, that along with a with a weight of 32/33g ensures very free running.

A 7 plank with the usual buffer incorrectly affixed

On my examples, as can be seen in the images,  a number of the self contained buffers were glued in at wonky angles, but being separately applied parts these can be carefully reaffixed.

An SR Brown comparison under the same lighting

The livery application is crisp and well printed. I know for a fact that Rapido have used the same paint colour reference for the SR brown as the Kernow Model Rail Centre used on their ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, although this appears to be a slightly lighter but still more than acceptable, interpretation of the colour possibly due to the more satin finish, (and even lighter with the lighting I have used in my studio), on these wagons.

The sheet rail parts for the D1355 7 plank wagon yet to be fitted (along with  another buffer to be reaffixed…)

Another group view of the D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons

The tooling allows for both taped plain and the self-contained buffer types for the 5 plank wagons. To achieve the 7 plank versions fitted with the sheet rail, a pre shaped wire rail along with its moulded mounting brackets for each end of the wagon have been supplied as separate parts for the use to fit (glue) into position (instructions on fitting is included with each wagon).
The holes in the mounting brackets for the sheet rail will need to be opened out very slightly to ensure a good fit. The one slight downside is that the rail can only be positioned in the upright position, as it would be when a sheet was covering the wagon and not, without some modification, in the sideways stowed position when no sheet was fitted.

A comparison of the same brown… the 5 plank has been matt varnished

[Edit 20/05/22] To demonstrate the effect that the factory satin finsih has on the paint colour as mentioned above, the picture left shows a comparison with one of the Rapido wagons given a coat of Testors Dullcoat matt varnish and brings the colour much closer to the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, and therefore looking much better.

The sensible choice of body and underframe combination by Rapido Trains UK provides SECR / SR modellers with three different wagon diagrams from one set of tooling and is an approach for choosing wagon types to produce that Rapido Trains UK are have also undertaken with their announcement in January of the ex SECR  Diagram 1426 covered van and the D1744 ballast wagon that also share a common underframe (hopefully with straight buffers…).

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Two new publications are hitting the shelves of good purveyors of books that are worthy of any Southern Railway historian and or modeller’s reference library.

Firstly, from friends at Pen and Sword Transport is “Alfred Raworth’s Electric Southern Railway.” by Peter Steer.

There have been many books that cover and detail the history and development of the widespread and successful Southern Railway programme of electrification, built on that started by the London and South Western Railway, resulting in ‘Southern Electric’  becoming the ‘The World’s greatest suburban electrification’. Books such as GT Mooney’s Southern Electric, David Brown’s New History of Southern Electric and the South Western Circle’s The Riverside Electric by Colin Chivers, all refer to the part played the by LSWR and then SR General Manager Sir Herbert Walker and his electrical engineer Alfred Raworth.
This substantial 340 page tome, with its 25 chapters, detailing  for the first time a biography of Alfred Raworth’s entire personal story and career; staring with working for his consulting engineer father John Smith Raworth, through to joining the railway, working for the LSWR and SR, the design for an electric railway, being responsible for the implementation of all its their electrification schemes,  becoming Southern Railway Chief Electrical Engineer, the Southern Electric at War, the electric locomotives and Raworth’s plans for the future.

Such schemes are much more than just about rolling stock and this book also provides a look at the infrastructure required that was often hidden behind the closed walls of sub stations etc. It also looks at the business cases, innovative engineering, and politics involved in the electrification of the railways between 1918 and 1956 especially where the Southern went its own way with the use of the third rail system.

A comprehensive and informative read, that contains a wealth of previously unpublished information interspersed with a number of both black and colour photographs, illustrations and drawings. It substantially fills many gaps in the background, lifetime and work of ‘electrification genius’ Alfred Raworth. Highly recommended.

The second, is a familiar but different new periodical “Southern Times, Issue 1: Spring 2022” from Transport Treasury publishing.  

Southern Times is the new quarterly periodical, edited by my friend Kevin Robertson, for followers of the Southern Railway, British Railways Southern Region, as well as the pre group companies; LSWR, SECR, LBSCR, and SECR. It is intended to be a quarterly publication.
If this sounds familiar, it will do, as it is effectively a replacement for the long established and enjoyable ‘Southern Way’ from a different publisher (whether Southern Way might continue under a new editor we will have to wait and see).
This first issue of Southern Times, follows the previous periodicals format of  80 pages of an eclectic mix of Southern related articles and images both black and white and in colour, many of which have been previously unpublished.
The great post war image of Schools class 905 in malachite at Eastleigh on the front cover must have been a late change as according the caption is Port Line leaving Victoria on the Golden Arrow in 1954!
Highlights in this issue includes: new light on the Joint LSWR/LBSC and LSWR steam railmotors, The Southern from the air, Stephen Townroe’s colour archive, David McKenna Chairman and General Manager, a photo feature on EMUs, Treasures from the Bluebell Railway Museum and more to dip into. If you were an ardent collector of the Southern Way then this latest incarnation Southern Times will be a sure winner.

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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.

New Tooling

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]

Coaching Stock

  • 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]

  • R40289 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 1st Class, 490, R40291 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 821, R40293 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 648, R40295 LSWR, 4 Wheel Coach, Passenger Brake, 82 (Generic) [Q3]

  • R40296 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 1st Class,  R40298 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 109, R40300 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 72, R40302 S&DJR, 4 Wheel Coach, Passenger Brake, 8 (Generic) [Q3]

  • R60090 – SR Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van no. 2467 in SR Maunsell Olive Green livery to Diagram 3099. [Q4]

Skaledale – South Eastern buildings

A nice range of SER buildings is included in the Skaledale ready to plant resin buildings range due to be available Q4,

The range includes:

  • R7362 – SER Station
  • R7363 – SER Station Building
  • R7364 – SER Platform Shelter
  • R7365 – SER Signal Box
  • R7366 – SER Footbridge

The full Hornby 2022 range can be found on the Hornby website here of the RMweb forum here and of course all items can be pre-ordered / purchased from our friends at the Kernow Model Rail Centre.

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I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to present the January lecture at The Model Railway Club on Thursday 13th January. 

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.

This is a hybrid lecture in person at Keen House and on Zoom.  Please complete the form here to indicate you are either coming or register for the zoom link .

 

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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! 

and finally…

A Pictionary carol, snapped in my locality, for more of my local photography check out my Twitter feed and use the hashtag #viewfromthecottage  

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If you so wish, wear your poppy with pride today, pause respectfully for two minutes at 11 am this Armistice Day and again this Remembrance Sunday remembering all those, both service and civilian personnel whom have given their lives for the freedom that we all enjoy today, and should you feel so inclined, support the sterling work of the Royal British Legion.

This post is written to not only commemorate the fallen service personal from any conflict, but it is also, as in previous years, dedicated to all Railway companies across the country and indeed the world that lost many staff; not only those drafted into the military services, but also those lost whom continued their duties on the railways keeping the networks up and running, we should honour and remember them all.

When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow,
We Gave Our Today

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Locomotive 333 was built originally by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, designed by Billinton, as an L class 4-6-4 ‘Baltic’ tank. She was given the name Remembrance and became the companies War Memorial engine and carried a plaque with the inscription:

“In grateful remembrance of the 532 men of the L.B.& S.C.Rly. who gave their lives for their country, 1914-1919″

In 1934, under the auspices of Maunsell they were rebuilt as Class N15x (an appropriate Brighton-style suffix) 4-6-0s, and fitted with standard Urie LSWR tenders along with smoke deflectors. Now number 2333 ‘Remembrance’ retained its name, plaque and status within the Southern Railway.

Inscribed on James Scott’s Victory Arch, at Waterloo station: “Dedicated to the employees of the Company who fell in the war.” and the names of those London and South Western employees who gave their life are honoured within the arch.

And just to end this post, as written by Paul Hunter – the poppy is more than a one time of a year symbol:, 

I am not a badge of honour, I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement, to be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament a token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory, Of a father or a son,
a permanent reminder of each and every one. 
I’m paper or enamel, I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you, To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy, a reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
will stand where heroes of all kinds fall.

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With this weekend being a bank holiday, with so far some typical overcast weather (at least it’s not raining yet…), I thought I would provide some light reading based on my trip away, with the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society last weekend, to some of Yorkshire’s railway attractions where I was able to find a Southern Railway related connection.

A Bulleid coach far from home

It was a pleasant surprise, seeing this excellently restored Bulleid Open Third at the wonderful Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, looking so great and nice to see in the BR Crimson & Cream livery that she carried when first introduced.
Coach number S1469 is a Diagram 2017 Open Third built at Eastleigh between October and December 1950 with the deeper 15″ window vents rather than the 10″ vents fitted to the SR built versions. They were introduced as loose vehicles, i.e. not allocated into a coach set.
Whilst many like to see the preserved Bulleid coaches in green livery, I think she does look very smart in the immaculate Crimson and Cream livery.

A Southern /  Bulleid connection to a BR standard 4MT tank

A trip on the splendidly scenic North Yorkshire Moors Railway saw a a BR Standard 4MT tank at the head of the service in a splendid LNER teak bodied Tourist Open Third.  An SR / Bulleid connection to a BR standard 4MT tank… you might ask?
The design, although based on the LMS Fowler / Fairburn tanks, of these locomotives, introduced from 1951 was completed and the first batch built at Brighton. The design was required to meet the the L1 loading gauge to give them a great route availability (such as working between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells West). They therefore have a continuous curved profile to the tanks and cab sides, (not to be confused with the overall loading gauge), that also matched the curve of the Bulleid locos and stock. There was even a discussion at the time about them being built with Bulleid-Firth-Brown style wheels.

Even the LNER coach has  Bulleid connection as before he left the LNER to become CME of the Southern Railway he had modernised the interiors of such open coaches with the use of the new synthetic leathercloth ‘Rexine’.

We did see some proper traction on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as Maunsell S15 4-6-0 Number 825 was also on services. 825 was built in April 1927 at Eastleigh works near Southampton and along with most of the class was allocated to Feltham. By the time of nationalisation she was based at Exeter Junction before moving to Salisbury in 1951 and remaining there until withdrawn in January 1964. No. 825 is one of three S15 locomotives owned by the Essex Locomotive Society, all of which are stabled at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

What’s in a name…

There are two Merchant Navy Class names plates on display at the National Railway Museum. With the Merchant Navy’s four plates were cast (the centre part disc was enamelled), two for the loco, one presented to the relevant shipping company and one circular part turned into a coffee table and also presented to the shipping company at the time of the official naming ceremonies (I have not yet managed to see any of the coffee tables, I wonder if any any survive and if so do the owners know the significance?)
The first is Channel Packet the first member of the Merchant Navy class loco, that also gave rise to one of the nicknames of the class as being ‘Packets’, this is one of the plates that was ceremonially given to the namesake shipping co. at the time of the loco naming

The Orient Line name plate is from the actual 21c8 loco, you can compare the difference in the wear and tear including the remaining thickness of the raised cast letters to tell the difference. The boiler currently being restored by the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, is coincidently the one that was first fitted to 21c8 when built.

The centre enamelled discs usually illustrated the shipping company flag and the plates were handed so that the flag always flew towards the rear of the loco, the only Merchant Navy plate that has a flag that flies forwards is 21c6/35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N.Co as it’s flag is part of the whole P&O company logo on the enamel plate so could not be flown the other way around on the right hand side so flies forwards.

We didn’t remove any parts honest…

Merchant Navy 35029 Ellerman Lines although preserved is displayed as a sectioned exhibit, originally she was mounted on rollers so that wheels and motion could be rotated to see it in action but she now resides on a section of plain track.
Whilst neatly sectioned and painted to show the inner workings of a steam locomotive I feel the Museum have missed a trick as there are no actual information board to explain the how it works part of the exhibit to visitors. Whilst photographing I did spend time to actually explain how it works to many visitors.

I’m sure it doesn’t need it’s crank axle really… with 35011 General Steam Navigation needing a new crank axle it would be nice to swap this now static exhibit with a plain axle to help get 21c11 / 35011 back in steam but I think the museum staff would have noticed if I tried to borrow it… The tender would be handy too…

Duck à le bleu…

The Bulleid connection to the well known steam speed record holder LNER A4 pacific 4468 ‘Mallard’ is his work with the French firm Bugatti on behalf of Sir Nigel Gresley, Bulleid spoke fluent French, after his spell working early in his career for the French Westinghouse Company as a test engineer. Initially he was investigating their ‘The Flying Hamburger’ that  was a high-speed diesel twin-coach railcar introduced in 1932 that was used for express passenger services between Berlin and Hamburg.
Developed using wind-tunnels, the train could travel the 178 miles between the two station in 138 minutes, at an average of 77mph.
This was considered to be an expensive option but led to Bugatti assisting Bulleid and Gresley with the A4 front styling and overall streamlining.
Mallard was also a visitor to the Southern Region a couple of times the first being for the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trails, where she failed at Salisbury with a hot middle big end, and again later in the 1960s on rail tour duty.

Doesn’t need a key… (sorry Stanier…)

The sole surviving austerity good looking* / ugly* (*delete as per your view) Bulleid Q1 class No. C1 built in 1942 has been an exhibit within the National Railway Museum since 2004 before which she had been restored and running on the Bluebell Railway. It is my understanding that she is not on the list for possible restorations to working order in the future.
When the class were first introduced under wartime austerity conditions in 1942 William Stanier was reported to have said “Where do you put the key” in response to the look of the loco.

I hope you enjoyed the read and the SR connections.

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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.

 

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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!

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