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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am pleased to advise that Canite Road Quay features in the latest issue of Hornby Magazine. Publication follows very pleasant day spent back in January with friend and Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild (albeit fraught with a few travel travel problems due to icy road conditions and dubious Sat Nav directional choices) nattering and taking a number of snaps of Canute Road Quay. his photographic results and my article can be seen and read about in the April issue of Hornby Magazine No.142 published today (although subscribers may have received their copy earlier this week).
I open the article by setting the scene with a little history of the development of Southampton Docks, Canute Road and the many quays wharves alongside the River Itchen before describing the layout itself.
Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of Hornby Magazine it joins three other ‘compact’ also known as ‘cameo’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.
It is always fascinating to see the results of a different photographers eye and Mike photographs captures the look and feel I wanted to achieve with the layout and highlights the details and many of the little cameos I have included on the layout to demonstrate what can be achieved in quite a small space.
I hope that you can get hold of a copy and enjoy the read and Mike’s excellent photographs.
Canute Road Quay’s next exhibition appearance is on Saturday 16th March (also my Dad’s Birthday, so happy Birthday Dad!) at the AbRail show organised by the Abingdon and District Model Railway Club at the Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, OX14 1GG between 10am and 5pm. It will provide and opportunity to compare the layout from the photographs in the article to the layout in the flesh.
As the inspiration for the layout was mainly due to the release of the Model Rail commissioned USA tanks, for which I provided their team with a small amount of assistance, it was therefore only right that first published article about the layout was in Model Rail Magazine.
As a slight departure from other model railway publications the article is in fact written by the Model Rail in-house staff writer Mike Harris, following a telephone interview rather than the layout builders own words.
I did however provide some written text before the interview to ensure that much of the content that I wanted to be included got suitably covered.
I have therefore tried to ensure that information such as Tim Horn’s excellent baseboards, the LCut Creative laser cuts building components and how I created the inset track work and other details have been duly included within the article.
Although a small layout (only 4ft x 1ft) Chris as ever has managed to find and capture a few new angles with his cameras and many of the little cameos I have included on the layout were duly snapped.
I hope that you can get hold of a copy and enjoy the read and Chris’s excellent photographs.
It has been just over a month since Canute Road Quay made its first proper public exhibition appearance at the excellent Exe Model Railway Society’s exhibition so I thought a little update might be in order. It certainly made a change taking a layout to an exhibition where I could firstly see out of the rear window of the car and secondly, unload, be set up and operational within 20 mins of arriving at the venue. Fisherton Sarum takes up the whole of the rear of the estate car (seats down and floor to ceiling) and on average takes about an hour to set up!
One of the advantages of taking a layout to a show a distance away is the opportunity to see layouts that I do not usually get to see and also it’s a chance catch up with friends (some of whom even had a play) and acquaintances from the area that I don’t often get to meet up with and this show did not disappoint on either count.
From an operational perspective I was ably, and with thanks, assisted for the weekend by friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley and we found that operating the layout on an hour on / hour off basis worked exceptionally well and kept the operational interest up on what at the end of the day is just a little shunting layout.
Also the operating position purposely located at the front left hand end enabled pleasant and easy interaction with the viewing public. I was very pleased with the positive reaction and comments from the visitors to the show, especially my little bit of cheating with perspective for the terraced houses on the backscene that can be read about here. I also picked a few more potential exhibition invites that I shall follow-up accordingly.
There are a few things still to complete on Canute Road Quay such as: adding proper interiors and lighting for the front two main buildings (which are not yet permanently fixed down so I can complete this activity), actually wiring up the street lamps so they work, finishing the gantry crane with its hook and pulley and some more weathering of the buildings especially on the roof lines as a result of the number of seagulls present!
Also since the exhibition I have taken the opportunity to take a few more snaps of Canute Road Quay, during a couple of running (play), which is one of the advantages of being a small layout that I am able have set up all the time at home. Some of these quick snaps can be seen accompanying this post.
In my Lighting is Quay post I discussed the use of the LED strip lightning that I have deployed on Canute Road Quay although at home and for most of the time at the Exe MRS show the lighting was extremely effective there was at certain times of the day a shadow cast on the backscene of the front pelmet due to sunlight shining in through venues high level windows (I do not think it was really noticed by visitors to the show but I found it a little annoying at times from an overall presentation perspective). I have therefore fitted a second LED strip without any opaque strip of plastic in front to enable either of both LED strips to be switched on to give three different lighting levels to counter an effects of a venues ambient lighting.
In other news, I have been approached by two of the main model railway magazines to feature Canute Road Quay, in order to allow time between publication and ensure that different articles can be written I have accepted one of the approaches, give priority to the magazine whose lovely exclusive tank locomotives gave rise the initial idea of building the layout in the first place, so it shouldn’t take much to work out which magazine it will feature in first… The photoshoot has been arranged for September with the article hopefully appearing before the end of the year, so watch this space.
Regular readers of this blog will know that this time of year I tend to head south to where ‘summer comes soonest’, to coin a phrase from that well know Southern Railway Publicity poster.
I am soon heading very South (well about 4 and bit hours and approximately 1600 miles in a plane south) for a blend of Spanish, African and Latin American influences, exploration including a dormant volcanoes and a lavascape, rest, relaxation and hopefully some sun, possibly dark sandy beeches and sea too (might help you guess where). Normal service on this blog will therefore be resumed at the end of the month. Before I get in to full holiday mode I just thought I would give a couple of brief updates on a few Southern related model items.
‘Caen’ (Number 90) Southampton Docks brown livery with Drummond Chimney
Number 88 in Southern black
Number 30082 in BR black, early emblem
Number 30096 in BR black, late crest
Secondly, The Kernow Model Rail Centre have received the second batch of livery samples of the their Gate Stock Pull Push sets and also the first main livery sample of the Bulleid Diesel numbers 10201 and 10202.
With respect to the Gate Stock there are still a number of tweaks being made to finalise the liveries.
Although the first EPs of the Bulleid diesels broke cover, like the Dapol B4 tooling samples, back in March at the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railway as reported here, the livery application upon them had been undertaken by the factory from their own research rather than against approved livery artwork. The samples now received still have a few minor corrections to be made as the running numbers and BR early emblems are placed too high on the bodyside. The bogies require the axle boxes and springs painting black and the wheels will be the correct Bulleid pattern rather than the simple wheels provided for testing purposes. (The first engineering sample had the correct wheels).
Production slots for both the 10201 /2 Bullied Diesels and the Gate Stock are currently being finalised but it is hoped should be by the end of August, which neatly gets us back to summer and holidays how this post started.
A number of factors have led to me considering the possibility of producing a simple and small shunting puzzle layout to keep me entertained, be able to operate at home and possibly exhibit without the need for such a large operating crew and logistics.
Firstly, I do not have the space to have Fisherton Sarum completely set up at home, one of the disadvantages of owning a small 600 year old brick and flint cottage in the Chiltern Hills, or indeed the space to build any of the other two layouts, Hawkhurst in Kent and Lydford Junction in Devon, that I have been pondering over, researching and planing for many years (indeed in the case of Hawkhurst I have already built much of the rolling stock and some of the buildings, more on this in future posts on this blog perhaps).
Secondly, the arrival of the excellent Model Rail Magazine commissioned USA Tanks, and already having a kit built Adams B4, got me thinking about knocking up a quick dock / quayside type scene, but obviously not based directly on a specific Southampton Dock location, I did mention earlier my issue with space… Hence the name of Canute Road Quay to maintain a Southampton’ish identity.
I have often enjoyed operating (‘playing with’) shunting puzzle layouts that have been created by fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Ron North usually based on the classic ‘Inglenook’ design these type of layouts can be fun to operate as well as not taking up much space. For Canute Road Quay I have decided that I have approximately 4ft x 1ft of space in which I can fit an adaptation of the slightly larger than the ‘Inglenook’ puzzle the ‘Timesaver’. This includes the addition of a small run around loop.
I am also allowing for the top left line to exit through to a hidden single cassette (utilising the same foot long locomotive cassettes that I use on Fisherton Sarum) to allow for more operation and stock changing. The very front edge of the layout will be modelled as a dockside wall and the siding at the top right will be a small loco shed albeit single road and in semi low relief, being a sub shed of, and a similar look to the one actually at Southampton Docks.
The other two shorter sidings / headshunts will be just about able to hold 3 off box vans and a small shunting loco such the USA Tank or Adams B4. I will on the whole be remaining in my usual 1946 to 1949 Southern Railway time period; but will allow for the occasional change in era/area (perhaps the odd industrial loco)!
I will use a Tim Horn laser cut baseframe to result in a professional looking letter box type presentation with a built in front lighting pelmet.
Buildings, for simplicity and quickness will be a mixture of modified Ready-to-Plonk resin low relief type warehouses as the backdrop at the left hand rear, some laser cut versions for the buildings acting as scenic breaks towards the front a at least one scratchbuilt such as the engine shed. Trackwork will be a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces.
As procurement of track, baseframe and some of the buildings has already commenced watch this space for more updates…
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt