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.
Hornby have today announced their forthcoming range for 2021. The highlights from a Southern Railway perspective being new versions of the Merchant Navy’s with diecast bodies and Hornby Dublo branding, new Maunsell catering vehicles and a long awaited completely new tooled Ganywayed bogie luggage vans.
R30005 – K&SER A1 class 0-6-0T No.3 “Bodiam” in K&ESR Blue livery as carried between May 1901 and the early 1930s. [Q3]
R30006 – BR 0-6-0T No. 32646 A1X class “Terrier” in BR unlined black with British Railways with no coal rails in SR sunshine lettering (as gained on the Isle of Wight when numbered W8) and new BR number in Gills Sans as she carried after returning from the Isle of Wight in August 1949 until approximately December 1951. [Q3]
R30008 – BR 0-6-0T No. 32640 A1X class “Terrier” in BR lined black and early crest and no coal rails as she was following a general repair at Eastleigh in March 1951 and subsequently working on the Hayling Island branch. [Q3]
R3866 – BR 4-6-2 No. 34051 “Sir Winston Churchill” Battle of Britain class with cut down tender in BR lined green with late emblem and speedometer fitted. As she ran from January 1960 and into preservation. Railway Museum collection. [Q1]
R3861 – BR BR 4-6-2 No. 35017 “Belgian Marine” Merchant Navy class in BR Green and early crest, no front fairing and black nameplate as she ran between March 1953 and being rebuilt in March 1957
R3970 – Hornby Dublo – BR 4-6-2 No. 35016 “Elders Fyffes” Merchant Navy Class in British Railways Malachite Green with Sunshine lettering as she carried between May 1949 and April 1950 (although at this time she retained the front fairings) – Die Cast body [Q3]
Additional new tooled locomotives for 2021 include the LNER 2-8-2 P2 Class in both original and rebuilt form and a brand new BR 2-10-0 9F class. The A1 and A3 classes get an upgrade with die cast running plates. The only diesel or electric new tooling is a new industrial shunter in the form of the Ruston and Hornsby 88DS (the big brother to the previously released 48DS). The BR Standard 6MT “Clan’s” also reappear.
2021 sees new tooling for both the Maunsell Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds and their conversions in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons to Diagram 2658.
The SR Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van GBL (COR PMV as classified by BR), that has been regularly in the range since the days of Tri-ang has at long last been totally retooled to modern standards. These were introduced to Diagram 3099 built on ex LSWR 53’3″ chassis between 1929 and 1931. Thirty five were built to this diagram and most were withdrawn by 1960.
The BR MK1 range is also expanded with the addition of the Brake Corridor Composite (BCK) to Diagrams 171 and172 but not yet released in BR(s) Green.
We also see another set of the Bulleid 59ft ‘Shortie’ Coaches, see review here, in BR(s) green to make up set number 967 following repainting from crimson and cream in September 1957.
R40030 – SR Maunsell Third Class Dining saloon No. 7864 to Diagram 2652 in SR Lined Olive [Q4]
R40030A – SR Maunsell Third Class Dining saloon No. 7867 to Diagram 2652 in SR Lined Olive [Q4] [Edit 29/01/21] Hornby appear to have changed the running numbers of these to be their later Open Third guise, to be Nos. 1363 and 1366 respectively.
Additional new tooling for coaches in the 2021 are a range of BR Mk4 coaches.
Hornby are also releasing a range of 4 and 6 wheel coaches and 4 wheel baggage brakes, that appear to be generally based on a number of LBSC Stroudley designs. These are going to go head to head with, and no doubt compared to, the Hattons range of Genesis coaches they announced in October 2019 but are yet to arrive. They are being released in a number of livery options including 6 wheelers in SR lined olive, and 4 wheelers in LBSC and LSWR liveries. They are being offered with or without fitted lighting (lighting unit can be retro fitted to the non fitted versions. A number of the versions (GNR, BR Crimson and LNER) will be immediately available Q1.
R6992 – SR 14T 6 wheel Milk tank wagon United Dairies No. 4430 a representation of a Diagram 3161 tanker.
No new wagon tooling has been announced for 2021.
The Railroad range sees what appears to be the ex Thomas tolling (as Hornby no longer have the rights to produce Thomas the tank engine products) modified sans face R30039 in a pseudo SECR livery number 326 (that would have been H class) perhaps they would have been better to produce it in LBSCR livery as one of the extended tank E2 class?). The range also includes R3911 Class 71 electro-diesel as 73965 in GB Railfreight blue and orange livery.
Outstanding SR/BR(s) items
In addition to the four Merchant Navy pacifics the following iterms from previous announcements are still outstanding, and I do not have any available update, but are collated here for reference.
R3507TTS – BR 4-6-0 ‘30832’ Maunsell S15 Class, Urie style tender – BR Black early crest. 
R3731 BR 0-4-0T No. 31177 H Class in BR lined black with early crest, pull push fitted. 
R3732 – BR 4-6-0 ”Sir Walter Raleigh” No. 30852, Maunsell Lord Nelson Class in in BR Brunswick Green with early crest, Lemaitre chimney, smoke deflectors and high sided tender. 
R3733 – BR 4-6-0 ‘Robert Blake’ No. 30855 Maunsell Lord Nelson Class in BR Brunswick Green with late emblem, Lemaitre chimney, smoke deflectors and high sided tender. 
R3763 – SR 0-4-4t H Class No. 1552 SR black, with non shaded lettering but shaded number. 
R3862 – SR 4-6-0 Lord Nelson Class No. 864 ‘Sir Martin Frobisher’ SR Malachite Green. 
R3863 – LSWR 4-4-0 T9 Class No. 120 in LSWR Green as preserved. 
On Friday 2nd October 2020, the boiler of Ex-SR Bulleid Merchant Navy Class, 35011 “General Steam Navigation” was successfully lifted from its frames for the first time since 1959. The boiler was built by North British in Glasgow in January 1941 and has been attached for a total of 61 years since its last overhaul in July 1959.
The trailing truck was also removed from the frames, utilising the crane on site as this will soon be moving off site to be fully restored.
The smokebox, that would have been unusable if we were restoring to as rebuilt condition, was also removed. A new smokebox to the original design will be fabricated in due course.
As a trustee and Director of the project it is an exciting time for the project and it allows us to concentrate on the restoration of the chassis which on its own is a big project and will take several years to complete.
We are in the early stages in the process of the manufacture of a new centre crank axle (she had the crank axle swapped for a plain axle just after withdrawal) and also the middle cylinder will need to be replaced to return her back to Bulleid’s original condition.
We have been made very welcome by our friends at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway and I am very pleased to be able to advise that following the forced closure of the line due to COVID-19 it is re-opening to passenger services this Sunday 4th October.
Work has started in ernest to remove items that either need restoration or due to her be being restored in the Bulleid original condition are no longer required for this locomotive. Removal of the boiler tubes has also started prior to the boiler being lifted in due course to allow full restoration work on the chassis to commence.
She was suitably decorated for the day with a specially commissioned ‘Merchant Navy’ headboard and flying the Red Ensign flags for the occasion. The day started with a brief remembrance service at 9.30 am for members of the Merchant Navy Association, at Toddington station, before pulling the 10am departure for Cheltenham. I spent an enjoyable day as a guest on the train and also took the opportunity later in the day to photograph her from vantage points along the line.
Lastly, in the company of my parents spent a very enjoyable day travelling over 400 miles and 14 hours behind the splendid Merchant Navy pacific 35028 ‘Clan Line’ on the UK Railtours ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ that although it didn’t actually reach the coast, headed from Waterloo to
Exeter via Salisbury down the South Western, returning via Bristol, Bath and Westbury to Salisbury before returning up the South Western back to Waterloo.
35028 ‘Clan Line’ is a credit to the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society , and whose professionalism, superb condition, upkeep and operation is something that all persevered locomotive operators must aspire to. She performed fantastically well, unassisted with 12 coaches in tow, with some very spirited running regularly hitting 75mph for prolonged running and also topping Honiton Bank from a standing start at the end of Axminister loop in the rain (where we stopped to allow a up service to leave the section) at around 27mph, as well as looking great she sounded fantastic too!
I also admit that we travelled in first class dining so in addition to enjoying such Bulleid Brilliance we were extremely well fed and watered throughout.
My friend and fellow Bulleid fan Alex Clements captured 35028 at various locations, including climbing Honiton Bank, throughout the day and his excellent video can be seen below…enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this Bulleid Brilliance update, if you are able to get involved in any way with any of the Locomotive societies, you will be made more than welcome and every little helps and it is also very rewarding.
[Apologies for the inital draft post going live and emailed to subscribers before it was intended and fully proof read!)
The purpose of this post is to assist with the awareness and publicity of these wonderful locomotives, especially No.6 and No.11, you can tell I like them can’t you…
As can be read on my dedicated page, updated today, for 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co the evening of the 14th July 2018 was the annual members day event with a dedicated special train purely for members and shareholders of the 35006 Society.
No.6 had been in service on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway during the day and between here last service run and the private train she was coaled and positioned for viewing at Toddington, where even her nameplate received an additional polish.
She certainly looked as seen above splendid in the bright and hot summer sunshine.
Once coupled to the members train she ran non stop to Cheltenham racecourse station where she took on water.
Having run round she took the train tender first, again non stop, back past Toddington and on to the new extension, only opened at Easter this year, to the wonderfully recreated, Broadway station which looked fantastic in the evening setting sunshine. The 14 miles end to end gives a nice 28 mile round trip, and a couple of nice gradients thrown into the mix, with some great views across the Cotswolds.
The run from Broadway back to Toddington was certainly a spirited one, having spoken to the driver on arrival at Toddington about the likely speed, he replied with a grin on his face that the gauge didn’t go over 21 at any point (is it a co-incidence that the vacuum brake gauge would have been showing 21inches..?)
It was also great to be able to get up close to 35006 and hopefully some of the pictures illustrating this post shows the impressiveness of her and also the impressive level of restoration and maintenance that has gone into this complex piece of engineering Bulleid Brilliance (with a little bit of Jarvis thrown in, I will concede).
The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society was formed at the end of 2015 with the aim of taking over 35011 from her then owners and commence full restoration once a new location for this to take place can be found. The first major milestone of the new 35011 Locomotive Society of talking over ownership of 35011 took place in August 2016.
A number of working parties have already taken place at the current site, although a new site is required before more major work can be carried out. the boiler receiving a further coat of protective paint and work on the trailing truck (being the only surviving fabricated style trailing struck). Also a variety of components have been sourced and machined, including impressive new nameplates and also injector valve handles (to which I contributed to the fund to sponsor these items.
The Society have also acquired a brass lamp fitted with the bullseye lens, toggle switch to side and bulb holder inside (as per the one shown on 35006 pictured above). The lamp is reported to have come off Merchant Navy’ Class No. 35024 “East Asiatic Company”. Gaining the lamp is fantastic news for the project as the use of original components helps add character to the locomotive.
A new Society, The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, has been formed with the aim of not only restoring but more ambitiously returning Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation into original air smoothed condition. 35011 was introduced in December 1944, as one of the second series built (described and illustrated in more detail in model form here), and subsequently like eventually all of the 30 strong Merchant Navy class she was rebuilt in July 1959. The rebuilding entailed the removal of the air smoothed casing and more fundamental the replacement of the chain driven valve gear encased within an oil bath with a full set of standard Walschaerts valve gear.
Although the current preservation scheme is not all that short of Bulleid’s creations, such as number 35006 of which I am shareholder and whose restoration is nearly compete, however there is of course a missing link. The lack of an original air smoothed and chain valve gear driven Merchant Navy is an obvious gap in the preservation scene of Southern Railway locomotives.
This video below illustrates the aims of the Society more succinctly than I can put into words.