Tag Archives: EMU

Two new titles from Strathwood Books for Light Pacific and EMU enthusiasts

Two new books recently published and provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing are Southern Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics and Southern Electrics Scrapbook Volume II.  These wide landscape format books contain 208 and 176 pages respectively often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.

The first book, Southern Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics features each of the 110 Bulleid Light Pacifics in turn covering them in both original and where relevant rebuilt form. The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail, Rail photoprints  and the Transport Treasury so will not be new to many of us, there are also a number of photographs from other sources such as Strathwood‘s own library, that are not so familiar and many that I have not seen before. They are all nicely reproduced and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.
By covering each locomotive in turn and including images from different periods of their working life it provides a great reference for railway historians and modellers alike.
It was good to see the number of detail variations and differences in liveries included and well highlighted within the captions. The differences in liveries and lettering styles around the time of nationalisation is a particular interest of mine and gives further food for thought for some future models. I particularly liked the image of 34036 having been renumbered but still in malachite but with a large early British Railways emblem on the tender one of only four to have that particular combination. I certainly recommend this book to any Bulleid enthusiast.

The second book Southern Electrics Scrapbook Volume II is another new selection of excellent photographs to compliment all of the previous volumes detailing the Southern Region’s fleet of EMUs,  Different chapters cover topics such as: Blue is the colour, Kent Coast electrics inside and out, Snow worries, Passing the box, Everyday service, Towards push & pull on the Bournemouth line,  and Specials.
As with the Southern Lament book some of the photographs being from sources such as: Colour Rail, Brian Stephenson and Anistr.com might be familiar to some however a large number are from other collections and were certainly new to me.
All the photographs include informative and detailed captions from David Brown the renowned author on all matters Southern Electric.
Obviously the majority of the photographs cover the variety of Electric Multiple units ranging from the: 1940 Waterloo and City stock, early variety of 4-Subs, 2-Nols, 2-Hals , 2-Bils, 4-Cors, 6-Pan, 6-Pul and Brighton Belles through to the BR built MK1 based units.  The book doesn’t forget the locomotive scene either with classes 71, 73 and, of particular interest to me at the moment, the Bulleid Raworth booster electric locomotives.
Not all the images actually include an EMU or locomotive but include the infrastructure of the time and along with many of the photographs allowing the eye to be drawn away from the main subject the combination of details and entire scenes within the photographs will assist modellers of the period and give or take a few years as well.

Both these Strathwood Publishing books are well worth a read regardless of your particular direct interest as they include a variety of information and inspiration across a wide range of areas.

Bachmann 2015/16 range announcements include Class 450 EMU and 45T Ransomes and Rapier steam crane (updated)

Bachmann Europe Plc. have today, back in its usual March timing after last years change to July to coincide with the 25th Anniversary celebrations, announced their plans for the next 18 months, or so,  for both the Bachmann Branchlines (00) and Graham Farish (N) brands. They also provided updates on the current work in progress. I outline below the couple of items of Southern / Southern Region interest, the highlights of which are the release of a Class 450 Desiro EMU and a 45T Ransomes and Rapier Steam Crane.

Bachmann also advised that following a couple of difficult years 2015 will also be a year of consolidation to catch up with previously announced models. They also confirmed that they dropped their initial plans to release an ex LSWR/SR S15 Class (and an ex LNER J50 class tank) following Hornby’s announcement last December. It is noted that neither a Merchant Navy or 00 upgrades to the Bulleid coaches have been announced. 

Bachmann 00 gauge

Class 450 EMU Picture courtesy Bachmann

The class 450 EMU, based on the previously released 350 EMU model will be released in both pristine (31-040) and weathered (31-041) South West Trains Liveries.

45t Ransomes and Rapier steam crane, picture courtesy Bachmann and copyright Colour-Rail

The 45 ton Ransomes and Rapier steam crane were introduced by a number of railway companies, including the Southern Railway, during the war and some lasted into the 1980s. Initially they are producing four versions in SR (38-800), GWR (38-801), BR (38-802) black liveries and a version in BR Red livery (38-803) This model will be available during 2016 and ultimately the intention is that versions will be produced with an element of DCC control to the movements.

Other announcements include: GWR 94xx and LNER J72 tanks and a Class 70/8 in Colas livery complete with correct revised air ducts and boxes. The LNER V2 is also being upgraded with completely new body tooling (some of which of course were drafted onto the Southern Region in 1952).

Other livery releases include:

  • 31-375A Class 416 2 Car EMU No. 5764 in BR Blue (Weathered)
  • 31-379 2EPB 2 Car EMU No. 5771 in BR Green
  • 31-425C 4CEP 4 Car EMU No. 7106 in BR (SR) Green
  • 31-426B 4CEP e Car EMU No.7122 in BR (SR) Green
  • 33-827C SR Queen Mary 25T Brake Van SR Brown 
  • 37-067 5 Plank Wooden Floor Wagon SR Brown
  • 37-090 7 Plank End Door Wagon SR Brown
  • 38-400A SR Pill Box Brake Van SR Brown
  • 38-404A SR Pill Box Brake Van BR Departmental Olive Green (weathered)
  • 39-053F BR MK1 Second Open (SO) in BR (S) Green 
  • 39-153D BR MK1 First Corridor (FK) in BR (S) Green
  • 39-228D BR MK1 Brake Corridor Composite (BCK) in BR (S) Green
  • 39-262B BR MK1 Miniature Buffet (RMB) in BR (S) Green

Bachmann 00 gauge work in progress 

 The E4 tanks are in transit to the UK with the H2 Atlantics still at the development stage. Livery samples have now been received for the PMV and CCT utility vans. The Ex SECR Birdcage stock is still in the drawing office as further research takes place. 

Graham Farish N gauge

Graham Farish Queen Mary brake van picture courtesy of Bachmann

The only item of Southern interest from a Graham Farish point of view is the release in the main catalogue of the Queen Mary brake vans (previously a limited edition) in 3 versions SR brown with post 1936 livery (377-875), BR Bauxite (377-876) and EWS Livery (377-877). 

Other livery releases include:

  • 374-051D BR MK1 Corridor Second (SK) in BR (S) Green
  • 374-083A BR MK1 Brake Corridor Composite (BCK) in BR (S) Green
  • 374-991 Bulleid Three Coach Set in BR (SR) Green
  • 377-0897 Plank End Door Wagon SR Brown

Graham Farish N work in progress 

Both the Merchant Navy pacifics and the N class locomotives are currently in production. The 12t Vent vans are in transit and livery samples of the Bogie B luggage van are being reviewed.

An honest approach from Bachmann this year concentrating on catching up with previsoulsy announced models. There was also a discussion on pricing, with confirmation that prices will continue to rise but will still be under the price of comparative models being supplied into the European market. 

Full details can be found on the Bachmann website 

2Bil or no 2Bil…

It was generally received with much acclaim when Hornby, at long last (some of us have known it was on the cards for a few years now), announced last December that it was not only going to be producing a Southern 2Bil EMU but that it was already at an advanced stage of production meaning it would be available in the first Quarter of this year. This was considered as good news on a number of counts firstly as it would be a popular model and secondly that some of the supply chain issues that had been a challenge for Hornby over the last few years were being resolved.

One of the issues with the model being produced before any announcement to the market has been made is that production volumes are based totally on estimated figures. Some of the 2Bil train packs have been available at full RRP via Hornby’s concession store Modelzone in advance of other stockists. This appears to be either a new policy or an experiment by Hornby and has unsurprisingly not been popular amongst the other retailers. It now transpires that those other  retailers are being told that the quantities that they originally ordered will not be met. In some cases retailers will only receive as little as 50% of their original order. This will likely mean that a number of customers pre-orders will not be able to be fulfilled. We can only surmise from this that Hornby have under estimated the demand for these models.

On a positive note Hornby have to their credit reacted to this and announced a further run of the Train Packs referenced R3162A and R3162AX (DCC fitted version), running numbers TBA, expected to be available in June.

I shall be reviewing the 2Bil models on this blog in due course, and whilst not wanting to steal my own thunder I can say that with the exception of some minor niggles (roof top lighting conduits for one and the trailing car outer bogie another) it is generally a splendid representation of the prototype but more on that later…