As part of their quarterly British Railway Announcements for Winter 2023 Bachmann have announced the the SR Bulleid/Raworth Electric Locomotives CC1/20001 & CC2/20002 in their EFE Rail Range. I have developed these models in my role with Kernow Model Rail Centre for the Bachmann EFE Rail brand. The Refurbished CEP in the Bachmann Branchline range has been bolstered with a fourth vehicle to create a Refurbished 4-CEP.
By the late 1930s the Southern Railway’s electrified system had expanded beyond the suburbs sufficiently to consider using electrical traction on more than just multiple units. Accordingly, two experimental Co-Co mixed traffic electric locomotives were designed and constructed by Oliver Bulleid and Alfred Raworth (who was chief electrical engineer for the Southern Railway from 1938 until 1946).
To overcome the problem of ‘gapping’ when the gap between conductor rails is longer than the distance between the locomotive’s pickups the traction power from the 3rd rail was used to drive two motor generator sets with heavy flywheels. Thus, power to the traction motors would be maintained by the motor generator sets being driven by the flywheel when the traction supply was briefly lost. These motor-generator-flywheel sets were referred to as “boosters” which also became the nickname for the class (and sometimes “Hornby’s”). These locomotives were also fitted with a pantograph for tram style overhead pickup in sidings and depots where a conductor rail presented danger to staff.
The first locomotive numbered CC1 (renumbered to Nº20001 by BR) emerged from Ashford works in 1941. Until 1942 it ran in photographic grey livery with three horizontal lining stripes, two on the body sides, one on the lower part of the roof, which were extended round the cab front, rounded down, and brought to a point which in later years would be known as “speed whiskers”.
Being introduced under wartime conditions the front cab windows had metal protective plates added top and bottom to reduce the glass area, although these plates were soon removed.
The grey livery was replaced by malachite green livery with “Sunshine” Southern lettering and yellow lines at solebar and cantrail level. The second locomotive NºCC2 (Nº20002) emerged from Ashford in 1945 in malachite green livery. These two locomotives were used on both express passenger and goods trains.
Various modifications happened to these locomotives throughout their lives. MU jumpers were an early addition to CC1/2. Three sandboxes from each bogie were also removed to give just two per side. CC1 was built with a stencil headcode panel which was subsequently modified to be a boxed lamp / disc along with five other lamp / disc positions to allow route head signals to be shown (as per steam locomotives) but later converted to a roller blind headcode panel. CC2 (20002) was introduced with engine head signal lamps / discs and also received a roller blind headcode panel in later life.
They settled down to a productive but unremarkable life doing exactly what they were designed to do. They were closely associated with Victoria-Newhaven boat trains and Royal trains.
From 1949/50 they adopted the black and aluminium colour scheme chosen by British Railways for diesel, electric and gas turbine locomotives, however prior to this in 1948/9 Nº20002 carried an experimental light blue livery. From the late 1950s they carried green livery with a red and white line halfway up the side stopping short of the cab doors.
Nº20001 was withdrawn January 1969 in BR blue with full yellow ends, by which time it had also gained twin air horns on the roof. Nº20002 was withdrawn in December 1968 in plain green with full yellow ends.
The extensive KMRC / EFE Rail tooling suite allows for variations across and between CC1 (20001) and CC2 (20002) throughout their lifespan that includes: different cab fronts (route stencils, discs or roller blinds, MU pipework, lamp bracket positions, whistle and wiper positions), solebars, central steps, and bogies (sandboxes, fuse styles, flash guards and axleboxes).
The models feature a centrally driven five pole motor and flywheel driving all axles. A sprung pantograph is fitted that can clipped in the down position, and the buffers are also sprung. DCC is via a 21-pin decoder socket and a speaker is factory fitted. Directional lighting is included with either user fitted open or closed discs, alternative route stencils or roller blind numbers depending on the version.
The cab lights are switched on or off via a magnetic wand on DC or via functions on DCC. Third rail shoes are provided to be user fitted, via a simple clip on or off fixing to the shoe beam, for those with suitable clearances on their 3rd rail.
Initially five versions (RRP £184.95) have been announced:
- E82001 CC1 As introduced with head code stencil, wartime window guards in Southern Grey as running between 1941 and 1942.
- E82002 CC1 As modified to head signal lamps and discs in Southern Malachite Green with two yellow stripes as between 1942 and 1948.
- E82003 20002 with engine head signal lamps and discs and with MU jumper cables, whistle and wiper positions as in BR Black Silver as between 1950 to 1952.
- E82004 20002 with engine head signal lamps and discs in BR Green with red / white stripe, light grey solebar and window surrounds and late crest as between 1956 and 1964.
- E82005 20001 with roller blind box and roof mounted horns in BR Rail Blue with Full Yellow Front Ends as carried between 1968 to withdrawal in 1969. [Edit: Unfortunately the buffer beam on this E82005 BR Blue version should be BR Rail Blue (Railmatch 207), we/I are somewhat frustrated that this managed to get through the review processes. We are very sorry that this oversight has occurred, and we hope that this won’t detract from your enjoyment of this model of a very interesting prototype.]
Note: Pictures above are courtesy and copyright KMRC.
Bachmann Branchlines Refurbished 4-CEP
The 4-Cep is being released in BR Blue & Grey, the colourful liveries of BR London & South East Sector, affectionately known as ‘Jaffa Cake’ livery and also Network SouthEast livery.
- 31-421 Class 411 4-CEP 4-Car EMU (Refurbished) 411506 BR Blue & Grey
- 31-422 Class 411 4-CEP 4-Car EMU (Refurbished) 1512 BR Network SouthEast
- 31-423 Class 411 4-CEP 4-Car EMU (Refurbished) 1522 BR London & South East Sector
You can of course pre-order the SR Boosters, that are currently being shipped to the UK, and all their newly announced items, at retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre here.