Bachmann announced back in March 2015 they we to produce the 45T Ransomes and Rapier Steam Breakdown Crane based on the two that were supplied (procured by the Government) to the Southern Railway, four to the Great Western Railway and a further two to the Ministry of Supply / LNER under wartime conditions in 1940. These impressive models have now hit the retailers and can be seen in this post recovering a derailed B4 0-4-0t on Canute Road Quay.
The design was based on the 36T cranes supplied to the Southern Railway in 1937 with a modified carriage to suit the increased capacity.
The two supplied to the Southern Railway were numbered 1560S (later British Railway numbers DS1560 and ADRR95209) and 1561S (DS1561 and ADRR95210).
Number 1561S is preserved and is currently located on the Swanage Railway. The two Southern Railway cranes were prior to nationalisation based at Guildford / Nine Elms and Feltham.
Bachmann have initially produced four versions in SR (38-800), GWR (38-801), BR (38-802) black liveries and a version in BR Red livery (38-803).
The models incorporate the variations in the prototypes such as Jib Runner details, tool boxes (additional ones as per the SR version), open (as per the SR versions) and closed frame Relieving Bogies and chimneys.
The model is certainly impressive, and in my eyes is worth the approx £250 price tag and is by a country mile the best ready to run rail mounted crane yet produced for the UK market. It comes fully rigged and tensioned and whilst it is manual operation it can be fully posed with a range of moving parts.
The jig and hook can be raised and lowered with all the gearing moving, the piston and linkage and flywheel rotates when raising and lowering the hook, the crane body can be swung through 360 degrees, the outriggers pulled out form the chassis, the cab roof raised and chimney positioned for use or stowed when travelling.
The jib and hook operation is via a neat key that is inserted into the rear of the cab / boiler, having first removed the circular ‘manhole doors’ using the magnet on the opposite end of the key. It should be noted that these ‘manhole doors’ are not washout plugs, as stated in some reviews, but allowed access to the water space above the boiler tubes and to one end of the tubeplate.
Tension lock couplings are fitted in NEM pockets to the outer ends of the two Relieving Bogies and both ends of the Jib Runner. Accessories are provided to be fitted if required such as vacuum pipes and screw link couplings , should the tension lock coupling not be required. As well as the operating key a separate cab access ladder (removed when travelling), spreader bar and a set of exquisite etched brass painted nameplates (and there are a lot) to be fitted over the fine printed versions on the model if required.
My pictures left show, of course, the SR version, on Canute Road Quay, it must have been visiting the area for some other reason, it is also likely to appear on Fisherton Sarum, again it must have been visiting for some reason as the crane allocated to Salisbury was in fact a 36t version, but my rule one applies.
Whilst not perhaps fully practical for full operation or powered (imagine the costs if it were) it is certainly a beautiful model and will provide hours of fun especially for a range of photo shoots. Well done Bachmann!