Category Archives: Talking Stock

Bespoke footplate crew by MODELU for the KMRC Beattie Well Tank

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.

THE KMRC Beattie well tank 3314 with crew added

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 MODELU figures as supplied and a cruel enlargement following painting

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.

The fireman checks the road to the rear

If you have not had a look at the excellent MODELU range of people, loco crew, animals and details accessories such as loco lamps etc. then take a look here, or catch them at an exhibition and even get yourself scanned there and then to ultimately create a mini you figure in a pose of your choice to be part of a crew your own locomotive or feature elsewhere on your model railway.


Talking Stock #39 Catering for Southern travellers by Hornby

As we are talking Southern Railway catering vehicles it might be worth sitting down and having some light refreshment to go with the read as things are going to get a little confusing and complex!

The Southern Railway even with its relatively short distances involved, when compared with some of the other railway companies, still provided full dining services by pairing a Kitchen dining car with a dining saloon on many of its services such as Waterloo – Exeter, Waterloo – Bournemouth / Portsmouth and Weymouth, Southampton boat train services and the Brighton to Plymouth, and some Victoria – Dover services. They could also be found on the though Cardiff, Newcastle and Birkenhead services off the Southern. These paired vehicles would either be inserted within the middle of longer coaching sets, especially for the through services off the Southern; or within a train made up from multiple shorter coach sets, such as on the West of England line.

The Southern Railway (and subsequent the Southern Region) contracted out its catering services: on the South Eastern and Central Divisions it was The Pullman Car Co, and the South Western Division was originally Spiers & Pond (the LSWR contractor) superseded by Frederick Hotels in 1930.

Hornby Southern catering vehicles since 2018

The R4816 Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First

The first newly tooled Southern Railway Maunsell catering versions were first introduced in by Hornby in 2018 and the subsequent ‘A’ versions currently available from Hornby are:
R4816 SR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2656, No. 7869 and R4816A 7865 in unlined SR Green; and R4817 BR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2651, with post 1939 / 1939 modifications, No. S7861S and R4817A No. S7858S in BR(s) Green.

Read my review of these models here.

The Diagram 2656 cars were built in 1932 and a later batch built in 1934 and other than the cooking equipment fitted were similar in body style to Diagram 2650. Hornby have chosen to produce these models in unlined olive-green which is totally correct for post 1940s condition.

One of these 1932 built vehicles No. 7864 (not to be confused with the Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds R40030 Number 7864 with the earlier use of the number being produced by Hornby in 2021 see below) is preserved at the Bluebell Railway and funds are actively being raised for its full restoration see here for details on how to contribute. 

The Diagram 2651 in BR(s) green represents one of the six, originally built in 1927, coaches post rebuilding around 1935 to include the characteristic recessed double doors. There were some slight bodyside differences between these and the subsequent 20 similar cars built in 1929 and 1930.

These catering vehicles would usually have been paired in service with Maunsell Diagram 2005 Open thirds numbered 1369 to 1400 such as R4537 Number 1400 or R4833 Number 1375 in SR Olive Green and R40101 number S1338S in BR(s) Green.

Hornby 2021 releases

The Hornby 2021 range sees the introduction of new tooling for two more Southern / BR(s) catering vehicles.

A Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Third

[Edit] The as originally announced Maunsell Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds R40030 and R40030A as numbers 7864 and 7867 respectively representing them original condition in SR lined olive green. Six of these dining salon thirds were built in 1927 and they were in service actually paired with the first Maunsell Kitchen / Dining Firsts to Diagram 2651 that were also built in 1927 and numbered 7858-7863. Modellers licence would have been required  as this Diagram in original its 1927 form has not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.

The main difference between the two diagrams is that the earlier Diagram 2651 did not originally have external door or the vestibule at the dining saloon end and have smaller kitchen window adjacent to the double doors. The first batch of the Diagram 2651 were later modified to include the end doors and vestibule (although the smaller window remained) these and the subsequent later builds, with differing sizes of windows, were built with vestibules were confusingly all to the same diagram number.

The six Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds only lasted in this from until 1930 when they were reclassed as Open Thirds and renumbered in the range 1363 to 1368.
[Edit] Hornby advised at the end of January that the models R40030 and R40030A to be numbered 1363 and 1366 respectively to the longer and more flexible usage 1930 to wartime period.
During the war all except No. 1367 were converted for Ambulance Train use during WWII. (see comments below).

Just to add to the complexity and confusion with the SR catering vehicles the Diagram 2656 having been built post 1932 took over the numbers 7864 to 7869!

A Diagram Third / Composite Dining Saloon

[Edit] Four of six, now reclassified Open Thirds were converted in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons branded as ‘Restaurant Car’ to Diagram 2658 and numbered 7841-4 . These conversions have also been announced by Hornby as R40031 Maunsell Dining Saloon Third / Composite to diagram 2658 Number S7841S and R40031A Number S7843S in BR(s) Green.

These four were actually paired with the Kitchen / Buffet cars to Diagram 2659 that themselves were converted in 1947 from Diagram 2656 Kitchen / Dining firsts and not yet available in ready to run form. So therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2651 Kitchen Dining First in BR(s) green instead. The other two were now fitted with 48 loose  2 +1 chairs and classified as First Class diners and numbered 7846/7 were were paired with newly converted Diagram 2661 Buffet cars for use on the reinstated ‘Night Ferry” service.

S7841S, previously numbered 7841, 1365 and 7866, is currently surviving awaiting full restoration at the Bluebell Railway.

Also announced for 2021 are further versions of the Kitchen / Dining Firsts as R40029 to [Edit]  Diagram 2655 Number S7998S and R40029A to Diagram 2656 Number S7955S in BR crimson and cream livery. These would be suitable to be paired with the Maunsell Diagram Open Third R4835 Number S1346S in crimson and cream that was released by Hornby in 2018! This version is still, at the time of writing, thankfully available from retailers such as our friends at the Kernow Model Rail Centre.

Hornby 2022 releases

The Hornby 2022 range sees the introduction of new tooling for two more Southern / BR(s) catering vehicles.

Two more Diagram 2658 Composite Dining Saloons, firstly  R40221 SR No.  7844 in SR green as approximately between 18th November 1947 and mid 1949. She was outshopped Crimson and Cream livery 4th February 1955, however the SR style lettering was likely to have been amend to BR style before the end of 1949 .
Secondly,  R40222 BR, Maunsell Dining Saloon First [sic] (actually a Composite Dining Saloon), S7842S in Crimson and Cream livery as carried in between 7th December 1954 and being outshopped BR(S) Green 12th August 1957.
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 the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.

I did say it was a bit confusing, I hope this post has helped to clarify in some way…

Talking Stock #38 The Adams B4s the not so small 0-4-0 tanks

Due to the expansion of the many small yards and docks the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) required a number of small tank locomotives. First introduced by Adams in 1891 the B4 class of 0-4-0 tanks comprised initially of two batches of ten built at Nine Elms works and the first ten were completed by 1892.

No. 88 of the first batch of 10 B4s in early SR lined livery

When compared with other 0-4-0t of the time the B4 class, were quite large in comparison. Even with their enclosed slightly cramped footplate, limited coal space; were powerful and so became popular with their crews. This first batch entered service across the LSWR network and were numbered 85 to 94

Guernsey’ as first introduced in 1893 in original lined green livery and cutaway cab
No. 96 ‘Normandy’, repainted into post war condition. Note cab differences
No. 90 ‘Caen’ in Docks lined brown livery.

The LSWR absorbed the Southampton Dock Company in November 1892 and it soon became clear that more powerful shunting locomotives would be required after a trial with one of the first batch of B4s, the first two of the second batch of ten were assigned to the Docks. In keeping with the existing Docks engines they were constructed with cut away cabs with a single central circular window, and carried names ‘Guernsey’ and ‘Jersey’ rather than numbers (later 176 and 81 respectively) and arrived, painted in a lined green livery, in the ‘Docks in November 1983. Of the remaining second batch numbers 95 to 100, 102 & 103, two more were built with the cut away cabs for the Docks becoming ‘Normandy’ (96) and ‘Brittany’ (97).
Between February and April 1896 a further four B4s were transferred to the docks and therefore also modified with cutaway cabs and names these were No.86 ‘Havre’, 93 ‘St Malo’, 95 ‘Honfleur’ and 102 ‘Granville’
Four more B4s made their way to docks, retaining their enclosed cabs: No. 85 becoming ‘Alderney’ and 98 ‘Cherbourg’ in April 1900 along with No.89 ‘Trouville’ and 90 ‘Caen in March 1901.

The livery of the B4s within the Docks changed during the 1920s from the in essence LSWR green livery to that of Brown with red lining and this remained as such, even post Grouping, until they left the Docks in 1946 where they gained standard Southern Railway livery of the time as per their non dock counterparts.

One of the Drummond K14 class later to be reclassified B4 class note the cab roof profile and dome mounted safety valves

During 1908 a further five shunting engines were introduced by Drummond, seventeen years after the first Adams B4s, there were initially classed as K14s but were essentially B4s with Drummond style boilers (identifiable by dome mounted safety valves) , chimneys and a slightly different cab roof  profile. The first two were sent to Southampton Docks and named ‘Dinard (147) and ‘Dinan’ (101). The rest were numbered 82 to 84. they were soon reclassified as members of the B4 class.

No.89 Trueville Note the linseed filtrator behind the dome

During their lifetime a few changes were made such as those in the Docks being fitted with a linseed filtrator that was mounted on the boiler to counter issues with the use of the sources of water used at the docks between 1901 and the early 1940s.
During the 1920s those cutaway cabs had the drivers side front sheet filled in and also acquiring side sheets of various homemade designs. Proper metal front and side sheets were eventually fitted to all for blackout purposes during the war.
The Adams and Drummond boilers were interchangeable and therefore during their life time some Adams built versions carried Drummond boilers and visa-versa, it is therefore important to refer to records and or photographs when considering a chosen prototype and period.

Dols B4 No. 87 and K14 No. 30084 for comparison
Dapol No. 87 and 96 for comparison
Dapol cab rears showing different tooling
B4s No. 30089 and 30096 front comparison
A trio of the Dapol B4s

Those pictured on this post are based on the recent two batches of Dapol and some of its variations. Dapol have tooled for some of the variations for a number of variations including four cab styles, Adams and Drummond boilers, buffer head sizes and different chimneys, however some compromises have been made and therefore there are a few errors including: possibly the number of boiler bands, variation combinations not appropriate to the particular livery (such as buffer head sizes), missing injector, missing front middle lamp iron (as fitted to some prototypes at the base of the smokebox door) and the cab ventilation holes just under the roof line front and rear are raised mouldings rather than actual holes (a possible translation from CAD to tool issue).

I also note that on the BR livery version the smokebox door number plate is unusually completely a transfer rather printing on a moulded or an etched plate (although this may possibly be an advantage to those like me that are repainting into an earlier livery).Etched plates for all members of the class are available from 247 Developments run by friend and fellow modeller Brian Mosby.  

Electrical Pick ups are, as you would expect and indeed necessary, wipers on all the rear of four wheels with an open slew wound five pole motor (rather than now more common can motors) driving the rear axle via a flywheel and gear tower. The front axle being sprung.

It also features a firebox glow which is quite dim, especially at low speeds on DC but might appear consistently brighter on DCC. No separate items are supplied for the owner to fit, with the exception of a unique very wide replacement tension lock coupling bar.
It should also be noted that of the seven Dapol models I have purchased two were dead on arrival (due to a misassembled bearing and a broken cylinder mounting bracket) that I fixed myself, and on Guernsey the cab rear panel was not seated properly leaving one of the handrails loose, but easily rectified. No 87 has both rear sandboxes with pipes loose in the packaging so needed gluing in place.

Despite the above comments it is overall a good model, performs well and very much a welcome addition to the fleet for Canute Road Quay as seen in action below.

Talking Stock #37 The USA 0-6-0t, the yankees at the docks

The Southern Railway purchased 14 (plus one extra for spares) of these powerful, short wheel based locomotives from the United States Army Transportation Corps in 1946 for use within Southampton Docks to replace the ageing ex LSWR B4 0-4-0t.  They were built to US Army specification T1531, all bar one of the 14 were built by Vulcan Iron Works, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; whist one, that became SR No.61 was built by H K Porter & Co Pittsburgh.

USA Tank No. 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery and condition,  note: lack of side cab windows, porthole rear cab windows and coal bunker with coal rails. I use this Model Rail version as the basis of my No.71 below.

They were modified at at Eastleigh works to suit Southern Railway use including: adding steam heating, vacuum ejectors, sliding cab side windows, square instead of circular front and rear cab windows (which ironically gave them more of an American look than British but improved visibility from the cab), Ross ‘pop’ type safety valves, a whistle, additional lamp irons and new cylinder drain cocks.

Early condition No. 72 still with original cab front and rear windows and bunker but cab side windows fitted and weathered

Once the locomotives started to enter traffic, large roof-top ventilators were fitted, British regulators to replace the US-style pull-out one, extended coal bunkers increasing capacity from 26cwt to 30cwt, separate steam and vacuum brake controls and wooden tip-up seats.

No. 68 shows off the extended rear bunker, roiff ventilator and square rear cab windows

It should be noted that engines entered service before all these modifications were totally completed and some locomotives did not receive all the modifications into early British Railways days, the last being October 1948..

Later in British Railways days they were fitted additional hand rails and an additional flat fold down platform beneath the front of the smokebox that folded down over the buffers to assist staff cleaning out the smokbox.

A view of No. 68 suitably weathered on Canute Road Quay

Post 1957 thet were also fitted with wireless two way cab radios, a whip aerial on the drivers side cab sheet and a steam driven turbine generator to power them. These steam generators were in fact second hand having been previously fitted to the various T9 and L11 class locomotives that were fitted with them when fitted for oil-firing in 1947/8.

No. 30064 in later BR livery and condition showing revised handrails and fold down front platform

Six of the class were later transferred to departmental stock and could be found at locations such Guildford shed and Meldon Quarry. They were eventually replaced at Southampton by the Class 07 diesel shunters. Withdrawal of the class took place between 1964 and 1967. Foiur survive into preservation, along with one similar ex USATC locomotive from Yugoslavia that was never in SR /BR(s) service.

Another view of No. 68 on Canute Road Quay

Those pictured on this post are based on the excellent ready to run model commissioned by Model Rail Magazine by Bachmann. Dapol have produced the ex LSWR B4 0-4-0t that the USA tanks replaced and Heljan have now also produced the 07 Class diesels that displaced the USA from Southampton docks. All of which are very suitable for my Canute Road Quay layout. See my exhibition diary page here to see where Canute Road Quay can be seen next.

Talking Stock #36 The rebuilding of the Bulleid Merchant Navy Class and a touch of Workbench Witterings

This week saw the first of the new Hornby ‘Original’ Merchant Navy Pacifics hitting  the retailers, see my Talking Stock #35 post here for more details and also the full size ‘Rebuilt’ Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. steaming in public service for the first time in 2017 on the  Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) for the week of services allied with the Cheltenham Races Festival. With this in mind I thought it was time that firstly I finished my model of 35006 in her as preserved guise (being a shareholder), and also that I mentioned the Rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacifics on this blog, although they are of course out of my usual 1946-49 modelling period.

Rebuilding the Merchant Navy’s

21C6 in original condition on Fisherton Sarum

Although in general the Merchant Navy class as introduced were a success, proving to be powerful and very free steaming, one of the outcomes of the less than scientifically carried out Locomotive Exchange trails in 1948 and further performance and efficiency tests carried out at the Rugby Stationary Test Plant between March 1952 and January 1952, showed them to be costing a lot in: coal, water, oil and secondly maintenance when compared to other classes. These costs along with issues of leakage of oil from the enclosed motion oil baths and the reliability and accuracy of the steam reverser / cut off setting led to the Southern Region looking at options to improve the engines.  The option chosen as opposed to trying to overcome the individual issues was to rebuild the engines with more ‘standard parts’.

Rebuilt 35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway.

The task was given, in 1954, to R.G. Jarvis of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer’s Department at Brighton, his new design replaced the encased oil bath and chain driven valve gear with three sets of  more traditional Walschaerts valve gear, new style piston heads and rods, regulator and a screw-link type reverser. The ashpan and grate were also replaced and included hopper bottom doors and front and rear dampers. A new fabricated smokebox, superheater header and steam pipes were also fitted.
The frames, outside cylinders, boilers were retained along with the: Bullied-Firth-Brown wheels (although now needing balance weights to be fitted), axleboxes, the efficient ‘clasp’ locomotive brakes and the ‘Stones’ steam generator for electric lighting both for the engine headsignals and in cab lighting. The same tenders were utilised, albeit with the side raves cut down to ease water filling access and reverse running view. The drawbar between the loco and tender however was replaced.

Reflecting on  superb standard of external finish on 35006.

Externally the ‘Air Smoothed’ casing was removed giving the look common to the recently introduced BR standard classes, although the characteristic oval shaped smokebox door was kept. Sanding, from replacement sandboxes, was also added to the leading driving axle, whilst rearward application was incorporated to the middle driving axle and new mechanical lubricators were accessibly mounted on the running plate alongside the boiler.
In 1955 the British Railways Board gave authority for fifteen of the class to be modified and authority for rebuilding the remainder swiftly followed. In February 1956 Eastleigh works released 35018 British India Line in its newly modified form (35018 as the prototype rebuild remained unique to the rest of the class as the front sandbox filler position and injector pipework differed), by October 1959 all the class had been rebuilt.
Performance of the rebuilt engines was indeed successful, solving most of the maintenance issues, although one drawback was that they put greater loads on the track, than the largely self balanced originals, as a result of increased hammerblow, caused by the balance weights required for the Walschaerts valve gear.

My model of rebuilt 35006 as preserved

The release by Hornby in the year 2000 of the rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotive heralded a new generation of model steam locomotives by Hornby and was a step change of standard of models reactive to competition in the market place and gave us a new super detail standard featuring blackened finish handrails and wheels with etched brass valve gear, detailed cab interior, and a five pole motor housed and driving within the locomotive itself. Over the years a number of the class have been released with a few modifications to the tooling along the way, although as yet none of the first series engines as rebuilt have been released as the 5000 gallon style tenders they were paired with have not been tooled.

My model of 35006 in as preserved condition

As 35006 in preservation has been paired to a brand new built larger 5100 style tender I have used a Hornby R1038 35012 United States Lines (split from a train pack) locomotive as the basis for my model.
Firstly I removed the cabside number numbers via my usual method of soaking the Hornby printing in enamel thinners and rubbing off with a cotton bud and replacing with HMRS Pressfix decals.

A front 3/4 view of 35006 based on the Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy with detailing parts and etched plates from RT Models and Fox Transfers

New nameplates and smokebox door number plates were fitted along with an extched 72B Salisbury shedcode plate on the smokebox in the slightly higher position than usual, level with the lower smokebox  hinge, on 35006 which was a charactoristic of her when in service. All the plates were obtained from Fox Transfers.
I replaced the front steps as supplied by Hornby by the more robust lost wax cast versions, along with a set of the cylinder drain pipes to complete the front end look, obtained through RT Models, from his excellent Albert Goodall range.
As I am modelling 35006 in her preserved condition I want to to also represent her superb external paintwork finish with a reflective and classic oily rag polished hue and have therefore given the model a coat of Kleer floor polish to give a such a finish to the paintwork (and also seal in the decals).

More details of 35006 and the locomotive Society can be found on my dedicated page here.  Also it is worth mentioning the 35011 The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that was formed last year with the intention of not only restoring 35011 back to working order but doing so back in original air smoothed condition condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements to fill the gap in preserved examples left by the entire class having been rebuilt.

Talking Stock #35 Original Merchant Navy pacifics @Hornby initial variations in detail

As promised in my recent  Warley 2016 update post  this post is about the first four original Air Smoothed Bulleid Merchant Navy pacifics being released by Hornby due in the first quarter 2017. The main purpose of this post is to advise the exact condition and dates applicable to all these four versions which I hope will assist those wishing to purchase the correct version for their time period or those potentially wanting to renumber to other members of the class. General details of the 3 distinct Series of Merchant Navy pacifics can be found on my talking Stock #1 post here along with some additional information on the initial liveries and tenders for the some of the Series Three Merchant Navy pacifics on my Talking Stock # 24 post here.

Hornby livery samples of 21C1 and 21C3 together

So far as you can see below Hornby are releasing two Series One versions in early 1941 and 1941 to 1943 condition respectfully and two Series Three versions in early 1950’s condition. It is assumed that other style Series One, Three and hopefully Series Two versions and liveries will follow in subsequent years.

The details of the initial four releases of these models due are as follows:

21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ as modelled by Hornby in very early condition. Note this does not have the supplied detail pack added yet, such as cylinder drain pipes and steps etc.

R3434 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ only represents her very early condition from when first introduced in February 1941 and May 1941. She has the original front end design known as ‘Widows peak’ without smoke deflectors, the area around the chimney filled as first designed and the sliding chimney cover, that was supposedly to be used to cover the opening. The Smokebox door ‘Southerm’ roundel is the inverted  horseshoe (later changed to a full circle with addition of the engine build date due to complaints that such an inverted horseshoe was a sign of bad luck). She also is fitted with the cast gunmetal number and ‘Southern’ plates that she carried until renumbering to 35001 in September 1949 and has the front number plate position being on the sloping section. when not in steam. It should also be noted in this condition she had silver coloured cab window frames and only had front steps fixed to the front right buffer when looking at the front rather then both sides.
By May 1941 step cut outs  were added to the sloping face and the lamp irons and electric lamps moved to just above the vertical face on the front hence also the relocation of the cast number plate to the vertical face.
It should be noted that whilst number 21C2 also carried the gunmetal style number and ‘Southern’ plates until renumbering in January 1950, she did not have the same chimney and cover arrangement as 21C1, as a greater opening was present around the chimney.

Hornby  21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ in 1941 condition. Note this also does not have the supplied detail pack added yet.

R3435 No. 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ is as introduced in September 1941 condition again with the ‘widows peak’ style front end without smoke deflectors but with the opening around the chimney and the slot in the front face above the smokebox. She was painted in wartime black livery in May 1943 and gained the front end modification in September 1944. Numbers 21C3 to 10 of the first series of 10 differed from the rest as the side casing was made from Limpet board material to reduce wight and are identifiable by the overlapping seam running horizontally along the side, the position of middle yellow line when in malachite green livery was adjusted to run along the top of this seam.

Of the remaining 7 series one versions they received wartime black livery followed by the front end modifications as follows:
21C4 ‘Cunard White Star’ – to black July 1943, front end modification January 1944.
21C5 ‘Canadian Pacific’ – to black March 1942, front end modification March 1944.
21C6 ‘Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co’ – to black May 1942, front end modification April 1944.
21C7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’ – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification August 1944.
21C8 ‘Orient Line’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C9 ‘Shaw Savill’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C10 ‘Blue Star’  – introduced in black July 1942, front end modification April 1943.

This gives some options for renaming 21C3 into other members of the class and simply repainting into unlined wartime black if you model prior to August 1944.

A computer rendered image of R3436 35028 ‘Clan Line’

R3436 No. 35028 ‘Clan Line from the Third series of number 35021 to 35030 (being introduced post 1948 they never carried the Southern 21Cx numbers), is being released in BR Brunswick Green with early crest. She will be modelled without the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between June 1953 and December 1954 when the safety vales were resited to just in front of the fire box.

A computer rendered image of R3382TTS 35023 ‘Holland Afrika Line’ spot the differences between this and 35028

R3382TTS No. 35023 Holland-Afrika Line’ is also being released in BR Brunswick Green, early crest and will come fitted with Hornby’s DCC TTS Sound. She will have the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between gaining Brunswick green in March 1952 and the fairings being removed in  May 1953.

Details of all ten series three versions, to assist with any potential renumbering without repainting are as follows:
35021 ‘New Zealand Line’ – to Brunswick Green, from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in August 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35022 ‘Holland America Line’ –  to Brunswick Green from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in June 1956.
35023 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ – to Brunswick Green from malachite green in March 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1951, lost fairings in May 1954 and safety vales resited in November 1952.
35025 ‘Brocklebank Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in February 1955 and safety vales were not resited until rebuilding in December 1956
35026 ‘Lamport & Holt Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1952, lost fairings in January 1954 and safety vales resited in January 1955.
35027 ‘Port Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in November 1953, lost fairings in November 1953 and safety vales resited in November 1954.
35028 ‘Clan Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1953, lost fairings in June 1953 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35029 ‘Ellerman Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in July 1952 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35030 ‘Elder-Dempster Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in May 1953, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.

As stated above I hope that this information is of use for any readers wanting to either understand the relevant time period for the condition of each of the four Hornby releases and or assists with choosing possible candidates for renumbering and naming, so get pre-ordering now, you will not be disappointed by the model, not long to wait for them to arrive now!

Talking Stock #34 ex LSWR Ironclad coaches (also an earlier 1918 Brake Composite) and a tribute to Gordon Weddell

This Talking Stock #34 post about ex LSWR Ironclad coaches is published by way of a tribute to Gordon Weddell whom sadly passed away just over a two weeks ago and whose funeral takes place today.

Gordon was the authority on London and South Western Railway (LSWR) coaches and other rolling stock. He published a number of volumes of reference books on the subject which are a must have for anyone interested in or modelling LSWR rolling stock. I was lucky to have met Gordon on a number of occasions as he was one of the earliest members of the South Western Circle, and to all who had contact with him, he was very friendly and keen to pass on his expertise to all who sought his advice. Indeed it his book ‘LSWR Carriages in the 20th Century‘ that provides the main reference material for this post. He will be sadly missed.

A Drummond K10 class heads a rake comprising of the 1918 56ft Brake Composite with 1925 ‘Ironclad’ set 385 at the rear
The 57 ft ‘Ironclad’ stock was an LSWR design, so known because of the use of flush steel sheeting screwed to a wooden body frame with narrow metal strips protecting the joints and near flush windows giving a the appearance of smooth flush sides.
Previous LSWR designs had used wooden sheeting and panelling. Being built 9′ wide a characteristic feature of the the ‘Ironclad’ stock was the tapering in of the brake part of the coach, to 8’3″, to allow for a guards lookout within the loading gauge.

A view of 1925 built ‘ironclad’ set 385 with Brake Third on the left and Brake Composite on the right
The first sets of Ironclad carriages appeared in July 1921 and being the most modern design available to the SR in 1923, continued in production until January 1926. The Ironclads included a range of the usual coach types but also slightly more unusual types such as Pantry thirds, Pantry Brake Firsts and dining saloons.

A close up of ‘Ironclad’ Brake Composite 6564 of set 385
The Initial batch were formed into five coach sets for the Bournemouth Line (with some longer sets for the Central Section) and allocated to the most important services until superseded by Maunsell stock.
The original 5 coach formations as numbered by the Southern Railway were Sets 431-434 (the original LSWR set numbers were 1c to 4c) and 435-444.

‘Ironclad’ Brake Third 3213 of set 385
Two coach sets 381 -385 comprising of Brake Composites, SR diagram 416, paired with 6-Compartment Brake Thirds, SR diagram 137 were introduced in 1925 for use as branch line through coaches but these were converted to Pull Push sets between 1949 and 1952. General withdrawal occurred between 1957 and 1959 with many passing into departmental stock (although the Restaurant Cars were mainly withdrawn in 1947)

‘Loose’ 1918 built steel and mahogany panelled (pre ‘Ironclad’) number 6539
My models as pictured are built from ex BSL now Phoenix kits and represent two coach set 385 comprising of Brake Third No. 3211 and Brake Composite No. 6564 before their rebuilding into a Pull Push set. My two coach set is strengthened with a ‘loose’ steel and mahogany panelled 1918 56ft Brake Composite No. 6539, LSWR diagram 2362 (SR Diagram 411) and all three are finised in lined olive green livery, note that the lining was actually applied to represent panneling that did not in reality exist. They form a rake regularly seen on Fisherton Sarum.

Talking Stock #33 The five Urie H16 large 4-6-2 tanks

As I mentioned in my Talking Stock #26 post here about the four Urie G16 class 4-8-0T locomotives, I do indeed have a soft spot for large tanks and therefore this post is about Urie’s other large tanks the five H16 4-6-2Ts. The later Maunsell Z class 0-8-0T locomotives  were the subject of Talking Stock #19 post here, whilst Maunsell’s W class 2-6-4 tanks will soon also feature on this blog.

The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie H16 class of 4-6-2 tanks were introduced in 1921, and if you have read my Talking Stock #26 post, you will know already that this was the same year as their slightly smaller sisters the G16 4-8-0T class. The two classes sharing many common parts such as motion, bogies, boilers and fireboxes.

Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.

Both classes were built in association with the new hump marshalling yard at Feltham. Rather than the four G16s which were designed for working in the confines of Feltham yard the five  H16s were intended for cross regional goods traffic between Feltham and the North London yards of Brent (Midland) and Willesden (London North Western). For this duty they had  5’7″  driving wheels, larger than the G16s, larger water capacity and the extra large bunker was carried by a radial truck.   As they were also used occasionally on empty carriage stock working between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and on special passenger trains, such as during Ascot Race Week,  the H16s were initially given the standard Southern passenger livery of lined olive green unlike the black livery of the G16s, giving rise to their nickname amongst operating staff as ‘Green Tanks’. This changed to a plain black livery, in common with all Southern locomotives from 1940 due to watime constraints, and was retained during BR days until their withdrawal in 1962.

H16 number 519 viewed from the other side and shows off the powerfull looking nature of these tanks that appeals so much.

My model was built, with much effort, from a Jidenco etched brass kit; that owing to the quality of the kit design, thin etches and limited instructions, took a number of years of starting, doing a bit, getting frustrated and putting down again before finally getting round to finishing.  Certainly not a kit for the feint hearted. She is powered using a Portescap coreless motor along with quite a bit of lead weight added to provide adequate traction due to the lightweight thin etched brass construction of the kit with only the small dome, safety valves and chimney being white metal castings.

My usual excuse for an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum of an H16, as they were only allocated to Feltham, is on a running in turn from Eastleigh although that does not really explain her weathered condition, so perhaps she was borrowed for a freight trip down the West of England line?

Talking Stock #32 Kitting out the various brake vans

The humble brake van was an every part of the railway scene up until the advent of continuous brakes for most freight stock in the early 1970’s.  They initially served two purposes: to provide additional braking for ‘unfitted’ goods trains and of course somewhere for the guard to travel; later vans were also ‘fitted’ for working on such vacuum brake fitted formations. They were a weighted wagon equipped with a hand internally operable brake acting on all wheels they ranged from the 4 or 6 wheel type to sometimes 8 wheels and also bogie types. The ‘fitter’ versions having vacuum cylinders and able to operate the brakes on the fitted stock that make up the train (some vans were simply through piped to allow continuity of the braking system without being able to actually operate it, in such such cases just the hand brake was available for use.

The guard’s accommodation often included one or two verandas, or closed ends with windows and many also incorporated side lookouts or duckets to allow a guard to look forwards along the side of the train.

This post follows on from the announcement by Kernow models of their ready to run version of the ex LSWR 10T Road van to diagram 1541 and will look at a few kit built examples of brake vans that can be found running on Fisherton Sarum.

Dia 1545 Road Van

The ex LSWR 10T road van mentioned above was known as a road van as in addition to the guard’s accommodation and single veranda it has side opening doors on each side and the van could also be used the carrying of goods. This van is currently available in resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio.  To the left can be be seen my model of the  20T Diagram 1545 Road Van also a resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio. As well as being heavier that the Diagram 1541 road van  they were also larger, had a veranda at both ends and side duckets.

Dia 1543 ex LSWR 20T Brake Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being finished

Staying with the LSWR seen left is my model  20T brake van to diagram 1543. This is built from a Jedenco / Falcon Brass  etched brass kit. 75 of this this type of van were built between 1915 and 1921.  They were known to staff as ‘new vans’ a name which they kept well into the 1950’s!

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough Brake Van

Moving further east, I have a couple of ex SECR brake vans firstly is one that is perfectly at home on the ex LSWR metals as it is ex SECR 20T Ballast Plough brake van, diagram 1748, in the civil engineers fleet. The first lone prototype was built in 1914 with 3 more being built by the SR in 1932, a further 8 with slight detail differences were built in 1949.  In addition to the brakes it also had ploughs to rake freshly applied ballast from hoppers in the same train. These ploughs could be raised or lowered as required from inside the van. This particular model, also built from a Jedenco etched brass kit, has already featured on these pages here along with its companion rake of 40t Ballast hoppers.

Dia 1559 ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Finally for this post we see an ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ 25T brake van to Diagram 1559 First introduced in 1921., The SR built a further batch between 1923 and 1927 but these had deeper 15” instead of 12” channel underframes and were given the diagram number 1560. These vans gained the nickname ‘Dancehall’ due to the large amount of space inside them. They were long lived vans surviving, albeit modified, in departmental use right up until the 1970’s. This is built from a Cambrian Models plastic kit. 

There are of of course other SR related kits and ready to run brake vans available and some of these may well feature in future posts, although my review of the Bachmann RTR 25T ‘Pill box’ brake van can be read here. 

Talking Stock #31 my own thoughts on the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trials

I have now made two previous posts on this blog about the 1948 locomotive exchange trials, and my models of the locomotives that featured on Southern metals and would have passed through Salisbury and therefore can occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum. The first Talking Stock # 2 post focused mainly on  the Express Passenger and general purpose locomotive trials whilst the second post Talking Stock #30 focused on the less often referred to freight locomotives trialed. This post is by way of my own thoughts and conclusion about the actual trials themselves.

Ex LMS City of Bradford Heads past Fisherton Sarum onm an Exteter to Waterloo working. Note the WD tender fitted due to lack of water troughs on the SR.

These trials were not attempting to judge an overall winner but to gain an insight and comparisons of good design and practice that could be in theory carried across into the future design of new British Railways steam locomotives.

A number of observers are of the opinion that the trials should have been larger to encompass more locomotive varieties and that there are some notable missing classes.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Some of the missing classes that have been mentioned include: the Western Region’s Castle Class, the London Midland Region’s Royal Scots or Jubilees, the Eastern Region’s V2s and of course the Southern Region’s Lord Nelson; of which a direct comparison with the Royal Scot Class would have been very interesting due to similarity on the origins of the designs. Also as I mentioned in my Talking Stock #30 post the Southern did not put any freight locomotive forward so perhaps the design of the S15 whilst being a possible contender was considered to be too old.

ex LNER A4 Seagull heads towards Exeter.

One major inconsistency that directly affected all the recorded parameters, despite all the precautions taken, was with the locomotive crews. The method of engine control varied; from those crews trying to be as economic as possible, such as the London Midland crews, whom allowed timings to slip to the benefit of coal consumption; whilst others, especially the Southern Region crews,  were keen to show the best of what the engines could do performance wise including some extremely impressive hill climbs. Coal and water, but not oil, consumption’s were all recorded and compared along with horsepower outputs and overall efficiencies. These therefore varied considerably by the style of driving. Additionally; loads on each test run varied rather than being controlled to be something near constant and that on a number runs considerable signal checks were experienced rather than Control ensuring a clear run where possible.

Ex LMS Royal Scot Hussar

Also the Southern Region crews were not used to such prolonged running due to the relatively short maximum length of route available; 143 miles, between Waterloo and Exeter compared to runs on other regions ranging from 172 to 299 miles. The later being between Euston and Carlisle which was also longer than usually worked by the Eastern Region crews too.

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

As all locomotives were coaled with Yorkshire hard coal this immediately put the Western Region engines at a slight disadvantage as the drafting arrangements for these engines had been designed around the use of softer South Wales steam coal. Subsequent additional tests were carried on the Western Region with these engines on their more usual South Wales steam coal which did result in an improvement in coal consumption.

Due to the inconsistencies explained above it is very difficult to grade or score the performances of individual locomotives designs. In some cases locomotives were inconsistent on consumption, horsepower between runs or varied from route to route.  Some of the possible conclusions that can be drawn are as follows:

  • In the express passenger group it was a close run thing on efficiencies between the Eastern A4s and the London Midland Duchess Class.
    All of the Pacific’s were very consistent across all runs; however the results of the 4-6-0s varied more across the different routes.
  • In the general purpose engines group the Southern Region West County Pacific’s put in some brilliant and very impressive performances but these were at the expense of efficiency figures as already implied. The London Midland Region Class 5’s showed the best efficiencies of this group. The Eastern Region B1 class showed some considerable fluctuations in efficiencies between routes.
  • The greatest variation in overall efficiencies was experienced with the freight group with no engine type being consistent across all routes although the closest to this was the Eastern Region O1 class, but it put in a variable performance on the Eastleigh – Bristol route for an unexplained reason.
  • The widest variation of all in efficiencies and performance was seen with the Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 locomotives. In fact the 2-8-0s did not on the whole distinguish themselves very well at all.
  • Whilst the Eastern Region A4 class locomotives put in some fine performances they were marred by the fact that there were three failures during the testing attributed to the middle big end overheating on each occasion.

The data recorded and utilised in the final report was not generally seen by most as being fully conclusive, not helped by the fact that it took no account of the costs of construction or average costs of maintenance for each locomotive design.

Whilst it is also generally considered that future British Railways standard designs perhaps bore more resemblance to the origins of their designer, the trials were if nothing else a Public relations exercise for the newly formed British Railways as a show of unity between the now Regions.