In October 2000 the Bluebell Railway announced its intentions to build a new H2 Atlantic locomotive, based on No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ (the original ‘Beachy Head’ had been withdrawn in 1958), at which point it had already amassed several key components including a boiler (from a GNR Atlantic), a tender chassis (from a LBSCR B4) and tender wheelsets and axleboxes (from a LBSCR C2X). The project continues apace, and it is hoped that the locomotive will enter service on the Bluebell Railway during 2021. More information on the H2 Atlantic Project can be found here
As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of 2018, the categories also celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene such as websites, retailers and exhibitions.
There have of course been a number of excellent Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2018 so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly. These Southern models are as follows:
I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has once again been nominated in the British Model Railways Awards (it was voted 6th in last years awards) within the website of the year category, so and this is a bit of a, well a big, shameless plug, please feel free to vote for it, if you have enjoyed my ramblings over the last twelve months.
Also if like me you have received excellent service from a particular retailer such as Kernow Model Rail Centre please also vote accordingly.
The first H1 Class Atlantics were built to haul express trains between London and Brighton. They were designed by D.E. Marsh, who had been deputy to the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern Railway, H.A. Ivatt, for 10 years until he was promoted to the top job at Brighton in January 1905. Such was the urgency for express motive power on the Brighton line that Marsh, with the full support of his former chief, borrowed a set of Doncaster drawings and made a few amendments. The result was five H1 Class locomotives which were built December 1905 and February 1906.
The second batch known as the H2 Class, as depicted in this Bachmann model, although essentially to Marsh’s design it was modified by his deputy L. Billinton. These modifications included superheating, larger cylinders, a reduced boiler pressure (although this was later increased between 1936 – 1940 up to 200psi to match the H1 class) and probably and the most visible aspect being the running plate which maintained a continuous line above driving wheels and cylinders.
Six H2 Class locomotives were built at Brighton Works between 1911 and 1912 and remained on front line Brighton express work until the arrival of the King Arthur Class 4-6-0s in 1925. They were named by the SR publicity department during 1925/6 after geographical features on the South Coast. The Atlantics then continued to operate other express trains and boat trains to the ferries at Newhaven until the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939.
The class continued to work secondary services after the war but there was less work for them and some were put into store. The first H2 Class withdrawal was No. 32423 ‘The Needles’ which took place in May 1949. The last to survive was No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ which was withdrawn on 24th April 1958. The Bluebell Railway is currently progressing well with its project to reconstruct a Brighton H2 Atlantic, utilising a suitable ex GN boiler as the basis. (see http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/locos/atlantic/ for more details)
Although originally built to the ‘Brighton’ generous loading gauge the H2 Class were subsequently modified by the Southern Railway to its composite loading gauge between 1935 and 1937 with a revised cab, cut down boiler fittings and the whistle position relocated away from being on the cab roof.
The 31-920 version number 2421 as modelled by Bachmann is in the condition she was in post renumbering from B421 in 1931 and prior to February 1937 when she received both the SR composite loading gauge changes and being fitted with a Maunsell type superheater and therefore receiving snifting valves on the smokebox.
The 31-921 version as number 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR Black Early livery incorporates the loading gauge changes, revised front lamp iron positions and filled in coal rails on the tender.
The model matches extremely well the dimensions, look, details and elegant lines of the prototype when compared to drawings and contemporary pictures.
Separately applied fittings to the body includes handrails, pipework, smokebox dart, the characteristic LSBSC lamp irons on the front buffer beam. The open cab is well detailed with a number of separately applied parts and nicely painted with pipework, gauges, valves, regulator, reverser and tip up seats all represented. The tender also includes open coal rails, fire iron stands and a cast metal full coal load to add additional weight. Other than those on the buffer beam itself the middle and top lamp irons on the tender body are moulded rather than separate fitted items.
The diecast metal locomotive chassis is fitted with a 3 pole motor, located within the firebox driving the rear driver axle via a gear tower although no flywheel is fitted. The boiler is packed with weight to ensure good adhesion of the four coupled driving wheels which themselves are like the prototype impressively close, although this has been achieved by them being very slightly under the scale 6’7½”.
Due to the tight clearances between the driving wheels, footsteps, cylinders and front bogie the connecting rod has an obvious joggle in it, which is probably more obvious in its pristine finish due to reflections than it would be if slightly weathered. This is of a course a something of a compromise to ensure the ability to run round round second radius curves, but other options such as having to leave off the middle set of steps for those tighter curves is I believe a worse option.
Both the front bogie and the rear trailing axle are slightly sprung, the latter being a pony truck style with plenty of swing allowed between the fixed dummy side frames.
Running on my sample was smooth and quiet across all speed ranges and in a test she hauled 8 Bachmann Mk1 coaches on the level with relative ease and no wheel slip on starting.
Electrical pickups are fitted to all driving wheels and the front and rear tender wheels, the tender is permanently connected to the locomotive via a fixed length drawbar (although the locating pin on the tender is slightly adjustable to reduce the loco to tender gap) and a four-wired connection that is plugged into the tender.
A 21 Pin socket is located in the tender along with space for a 23mm diameter sound speaker, a speaker mount bracket and screws are included within the accessory pack.
Brake blocks and factory fitted brake rigging are fitted to both locomotive and tender (although the latter along with the first wheelset will require to be removed to enable the tender body to be removed to access the DCC socket) with the locomotive chassis also featuring sand boxes and fine sand pipes that complete the chassis details.
The model matches extremely well the dimensions, look, details and elegant lines of the prototype when compared to drawings and contemporary photographs.
Separately applied fittings to the body includes handrails, pipework, smokebox dart, the characteristic LSBSC lamp irons on the front buffer beam. The open cab is well detailed with a number of separately applied parts and nicely painted with pipework, gauges, valves, regulator, reverser and tip up seats all represented.
The tender also includes open coal rails, fire iron stands and a metal moulded full coal load to add additional weight. Other than those on the buffer beam itself the middle and top lamp irons on the tender body are moulded rather than separate fitted items.
An accessory pack is included which includes: vacuum pipes, steam pipes, engine head signal discs, a nice option of open or closed cab doors and the cab weather sheet uprights. Also included are cosmetic screw couplings and front guard irons if no tension lock coupling is fitted and front cylinder corner infills for fitting if being used as a static display model. It is good to see that the supplied comprehensive owners information sheet details the positioning of all the separate items.
The livery application for the Southern Railway Maunsell Olive Green with white and black lining is well applied including the rear trailing truck side frames (although not all the class has these frames so lined). The tender frames are correctly plain black. The lubricator boxes atop of the splashers are picked out in brass and the cast nameplates and cabside number plates are neatly printed although a nice touch from Bachmann is that etched name and number plates are included for the owner to fit.
The introduction of these elegant looking locomotives with their distinct character, being of pre-grouping origin, with further future livery possibilities and details, that were long lived are certainly to prove popular with LBSR, SR and BR(s) modellers and gives Bachmann options for a variety of further liveries in due course, including LBSC Umber, SR malachite Green, wartime black, BR numbered malachite green and of BR lined black, as it is understood that provision has been included within the tooling for a number of the details changes that took place over time.
As has been the case in previous years the team at Bachmann have provided the media, and Bachamnn Collectors Club members, with a mid-term update on work in progress across all the many stages of the manufacturing process from: research, Drawing office CAD, Tool room, Engineering Prototypes samples, livery artwork, production and being shipped. This post is a quick summary of the status of those models of a Southern Railway / British Railways Southern Region flavour. Although some items have been a long time coming, what can be seen is that catch up / progress is being made. Click on the linked text to get more information on the details of each item from my post on the original announcement.
The long-awaited ex LBSC H2 Class 4-4-2 Atlantic is very imminent, being released in two versions No. 2421 ‘South Foreland’ SR Olive Green and No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ BR Black Early livery. I have been fortunate to have a review sample in my possession and will be posting a review in the next week or so, watch this space. Being produced alongside the H2 Class is the earlier H1 Class version initially as No. 39 ‘La France’ in LBSCR livery, which is also being shipped.
The 2HAP (Class 414) EMU is at the first Engineering Prototype (EP1) stage and as from the accompanying pictures is looking the part. Three livery versions will initially be released being: BR green livery, BR blue & grey livery and Network South East livery. At the second Engineering Prototype stage is the 158/159 DMU with with the 3 car 159 Class to be released as No. 159013 in Network South East livery.
Graham Farish N
Recently shipped have been the four versions of the Bulleid coaches in BR(s) malachite green that together, BTK – TK – CK- BTK, create four coach set s84.
The weekend saw the Warley National Model railway Exhibition at the NEC, as in previous years I have endeavoured to round up some of the news and items of interest from mainly a Southern / BR(s) perspective. It has been usual for some of the manufacturers to use the event to make announcements of new items or showcase updates to new products under development, this year however relevant new announcements were thin on the ground but there are a small number of SR / BR(s) related updates as shown below.
Also many thanks to those of you who read this blog for popping by the Hornby Magazine Twelve Trees Junction layout where I was playing trains for the weekend. For the first time Hornby Magazine and Hornby had a joint stand, demonstrating the closer co-operation between the two separate organisations that has been in place for the last twelve months. The large stand made a big impact due to the centrepiece being the splendid and recently repainted in full SECR livery, twelve inch to the foot scale, Wainwright H class 0-4-4t that had travelled up from the Bluebell railway.
In the last few years Hornby had made some of their new product announcements for the following year, however they are reverting to a single range announcement next January, date still to be confirmed, when of course I will fully cover the items of Southern interest on this blog.
Bachmann / Graham Farish
As is usual for Bachmann / Graham Farish no new models were announced at Warley. Their 2018 catalogue will be announced on Sunday January 7th 2018 and I will report the Southern related news then, direct from the media event. However they did have on display for the first time a few 00 gauge items of interest.
Firstly the livery samples of the ex LBSC H2 Class 4-4-2 ‘Atlantic’ locomotives first announced back in August 2013 and being initially produced in two liveries as
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2424 “South Foreland” (note chane of name and number as was originally announced as being 2421 ‘St. Albans Head”) SR Olive Green
Other livery samples on display were: OO9 former War Department Baldwin Class 10-12-D (now in production), Freightliner Flats and Containers, Carflats and Class 66 No. 66779 ‘Evening Star’.
Engineering prototypes (EP) of the Bachmann 45t Ransoms and Rapier steam crane were also on display. These models were originally announced in Mach 2015 and initially they will be released in four versions:
SR Black (38-800),
GWR Black (38-801),
BR Black (38-802)
BR Red (38-803)
These certainly looked impressive and had the ‘wow factor, although not motorised, all the moving parts do correctly move including all the gears, linkages, job and outriggers allowing the model to the posed accordingly and potentially motorised (DCC?) in the future.
Tooling variations correctly allow for the slight differences between the cranes supplied to the different railway companies such as toolboxes etc. and also the chimney can be in the raised or stowed positions. Final price is still be confirmed but due to the level of detail and fidelity of these models I would not expect them to be cheap but I am sure they would be worth it.
Also on display were the EPs of the LNER J72 and BR Class 90
Bachmann also advised that: “We are progressing positively with re-engineering a number of models that have been in the catalogue for a while and with the high profile of these items, the focus is in delivering fidelity to prototype that is not compromised by timescale”.
The ex SECR Birdcage stock, reviewed here, that originally arrived in BR Crimson Livery are now starting to arrive in Lined SR green and SECR Dark Lake (slightly revised from the original livery sample) liveries although at the time of writing the SR liveried composite is still to arrive.
The first livery samples if their 00 gauge ex LSWR B4 0-4-0t were on display. These were first announced in March 2014 and initially five versions are being released:
‘Normandy’ (Number 96) as preserved by the Bulleid Society on the Bluebell Railway ‘Caen’ (Number 90) Southampton Docks brown livery with Drummond Chimney
Number 88 in Southern lined black
Number 30089 in BR black, early emblem (originally announced as being 30082 but changed to suit tooling options)
Number 30096 in BR black, late crest
Also being released as a Dapol collectors club model is No. 91 in LSWR pea green livery.
Also on display were the livery samples of the body toolings for the 4 compartment Brake 3rd and 6 compartment composite Maunsell coaches in N gauge.
The Canadian manufacturer Rapido Trains, whom have been extending into the UK market with a number of commissions, made an pre-announcement of their intention to release in 2018 LMS/GWR/BR Gunpowder Vans, they had a 3D print on their stand but it appears to be a combination of possible tooling variants, full details to follow next year. Although not SR related they are likely to have run on SR metals.
So that rounds up the Warley SR Related news for another year. I had a good time at the show and for a change had an opportunity to have a reasonable look around and there was certainly a variety of some great and interesting modelling on display amongst the 90 or layouts on show. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea as a show but I still believe it is well worth a visit.
The Bachmann Europe team met up this week with the model trade press to update the market on the latest developments and progress, a full report can be found on the RmWeb forum here and I take this opportunity to update on those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. As in previous years at this Media day no new product announcements were made. All images on this post are copyright and courtesy of Andy York / BRM and or Bachmann Europe.
Firstly, in 00 gauge the relevant SR updates from Bachmann are as follows:
and SR Olive Green versions have now been received and signed off. I have to say the decoration and lining look extremely fine and
well done. The SECR dark lake version in particular is very impressive and must be a first such accurate and highly detailed ready to run rolling stock for the pre-grouping era . Delivery is expected in September.
The first releases will comprise of the following:
39-600 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SECR Dark Lake
39-601 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SR Olive Green
39-602 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite BR Vermillion
39-610 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SECR Dark Lake
39-611 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SR Olive Green
39-612 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite BR Vermillion
39-620 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SECR Dark Lake
39-621 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SR Olive Green
39-622 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd BR Vermillion
The ex London Brighton and South Coast H2 class Marsh Atlantic 4-4-2 announced in September 2013 is being delayed by another 3 months as an issue with the curvature of the rear splashers was identified and a decision made to address that so it is likely to be around February/March 2018 when they are finally released. The CAD drawings can be seen left.
Two versions are due for initial release:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green
The impressive CAD artwork is shown left, not all the gear wheels will work but some items such as the outriggers will be positionable.
Initially they are producing four versions:
38-800 SR livery,
38-801 GWR Livery
38-802 BR black livery
38-803 BR red livery
Lastly from a Graham Farish perspective there is an update on the N gauge version of the ex SECR 60ft Birdcage stock and also the ex SECR C class 0-6-0.
Firstly the ex SECR C Class 0-6-0 that was announced in January this year is now at the CAD stage as per the image left. The model will feature a NEXT 18 DCC decoder socket, coreless motor, loco drive, fine cab detail and NEM couplers, the initial release will comprise of:
372-775 C Class 0-6-0 No. 271 in SECR plain green livery
372-776 C Class 0-6-0 No. 1256 Southern Railway Black livery
372-777 C Class 0-6-0 No. 31227 in BR Black livery with early emblem
The first EP samples of the 60′ Birdcage stock were on show, they were first announced in July 2014, and these are likely to be available in the second quarter of 2018. The initial releases will be sold as three coach sets, as follows:
374-910 60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SECR Wellington Brown
374-911 60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SR Olive Green
374-912 60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – BR Vermillion
Good to see further progress being made on the above items. As any additional information comes to light I will post accordingly.
Well the annual event that is the Warley National Model Railway show at the NEC has now been and gone and by all accounts it appears that it was a good show, not that I was able to see as much of it as I might have liked. I had a good weekend on the Hornby Magazine stand operating friend and Editor Mike Wild’s latest layout Grosvenor Square, despite it being Western Region and DCC, but I think I just about coped. I apologise to anyone whom overheard and didn’t like my complaints (usually timed to gained maximum effect depending on whom was in earshot…especially that nice Mr Pete Waterman on the stand opposite…) that all Western region locomotives look the same, it was in jest… honest!
As is becoming more usual now a number of suppliers and manufacturers time announcements, product development updates and availability of new product around the time of / during the show and this year was no exception. This post attempts to round up some of those items of interest seen at the show from a Southern perspective, although this was slightly more limited than it has been in the past.
Like last year, Hornby used the Warley show to give a presentation on some of their plans for 2017 and make some new product announcements, including a Hitachi IEP Bi-Mode Class 800/0, which can be found via their website on their Engine Shed Blog. The full 2017 range including all the liveries variations from existing rather than new tooling is planned to be launched in January 2017.
Further to the ex SECR H lass 0-4-4T announced in September they have also now clarified the planned initial releases as being as follows, which differs slightly from the initial information I was given at the time:
R3538 number 308 SECR lined green. No.308 was built at Ashford Works in June 1906, entering traffic at Slades Green and was repainted to Maunsell Dark Green in 1925, when also renumbered as A308. Moving to Gillingham in July 1931, her last shed was Tunbridge Wells West, from where she was withdrawn in December 1962.
R3539 number 31518 BR late crest (with Overhead Electric warning flashes) lined black and pull push fitted. No. 31518 was built in July 1909 at Ashford and entered traffic at Orpington, numbered 518, Being dual braked, 518 mainly worked Chatham section trains. In December 1923 she became A518, then 1518 in July 1931. Post Nationalisation she was renumbered 31518 and later pull push fitted in March 1952, Withdrawal took place from Three Bridges shed in January 1964.
R3549 number 1324 SR Maunsell Olive Green. No.1324 was built at Ashford Works in May 1907, entering traffic as No.324 at Ashford. In 1924, based Tonbridge, she often operated services between the Eastern and Central sections of the Southern Railway. Renumbered as No.31324 under British Railways, withdrawal from Three Bridges shed occurred in July 1962.
It therefore appears that the previously advised release of the BR early emblem version will not materialise as part of the first releases.
The running samples of the new original style Bulleid Merchant Navy pacifics were on display, the malachite green versions of 21c1 and 21C3 can be seen left, and they represent the condition that these locomotives first ran between introduction in 1941 and early 1943.
There is one correction to be made to the livery to 21C3 which will be reflected on the production models in that the side numbers and Southern lettering on the tender will be correctly shaded in black not green. The four releases of these models are due first quarter next year (delayed from 2016) and are as follows:
R3434 – SR 4-6-2 ‘Channel Packet’ ’21C1′ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) in as introduced 1941 condition with widows peak
R3435 – SR 4-6-2 ‘Royal Mail’ ’21C3′ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) in as introduced 1941 condition with widows peak
R3436 – BR 4-6-2 ‘Clan Line’ ‘35028’ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) – BR Brunswick Green. early crest ,
R3382TTS- BR 4-6-2 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ ‘35023’ Merchant Navy (Original Air Smoothed) – BR Brunswick Green, early crest with TTS Sound
Look out for a post likely to be published next week detailing 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.
Hornby also announced a brand new ‘King Arthur’ tooling! Although this is in the form a Class 87 AC electric number 87010 ‘King Arthur’ in BR Intercity ‘Swallow’ logo, (I can now remove my tongue from my cheek!)
The SR cattle trucks announced last year have this week also arrived in the shops, once my versions arrive I will post a picture review. Just to clear up some misunderstanding on what versions have been released in this batch, as information on some retailers websites has been inconsistent due to changes in the information originally supplied / described by Hornby, the following versions are available:
R6735 – late SR livery, Bulleid designed version to SR diagram 1530 as introduced in 1947
R6735A – late SR livery , Bulleid designed version to SR diagram 1530 as introduced in 1947
(although it would not doubt have been a while before these ended up in BR livery)
R6737 – BR livery ex SR Maunsell designed version to SR Diagram 1529
R6737A – BR livery ex SR Maunsell designed version to SR Diagram 1529
It is still hoped that further livery versions, perhaps the inverse of the above, will be part of the 2017 range, although it should not be beyond the skills of many to re-livery the diagram 1529 version to the SR period.
I also remind readers that the 2016 livery versions of the excellent S15 4-6-0 model have also arrived at retailers namely
R3411 – SR 4-6-0 ‘827’ Maunsell S15 Class, Urie style tender – Post war Bulleid black with ‘Sunshine’ lettering
R3412 – BR 4-6-0 ‘30842’ Maunsell S15 Class, flat sided tender – BR Black early crest
R3413 – BR 4-6-0 ‘30831’ Maunsell S15 Class, Urie style tender – BR Black late emblem
Following on the recent announcement of their intention to produce 00 bullhead plain track with a more prototypical sleep spacing (bearing in mind that 00 being 16.5mm gauge rather the prototypical 18.83 it is still a compromise that the majority of us modellers accept) Peco also had on display an early mock up / EP of a large radius turnout which certainly looked good. It is my understanding that the geometry will match their existing code 75 streamline turnouts.
No new announcements from Bachmann, as is often the case at Warley, as their 2017 range is planned to be announced on January 8th next year, slightly earlier than their usual March date.
In their usual display cases at the show were a number of Engineering Prototypes of current work in progress this included the first views of the ex London, Brighton and South Coast (LBSC) Brighton H2 Class Atlantic Engineering Prototype as seen pictured left. The planned initial releases, although it looks like tooling will allow for future further variations, for the H2 class are as follows:
31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery
31-921 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR black livery with early emblem.
Also on display were the EPs of the ex SECR Birdcage Stock that have been seen for a while now.
Trafford Model Centre (TMC)
TMC announced a number of wagon commissions, via Bachmann one of which being one of the 14 Cycle branded PMVs which were introduced in 1952, primarily for use on boat trains, being essentially a modification of ex SR Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans to incorporate hooks inside to hang cycles.
Numbers so converted were 1055,1103,1208,1728, these had 60 hooks presumably for up to 30 cycles, whilst 1057, 1113, 1175, 1282, 1293, 1305, 1314, 1317, 1454, 1882 had 24 hooks each. Number 1317 in addition to the bike symbols on the outside was additionally stenciled, until 1966, for use between Ashford and Cannon Street to convey cycles by manufacturer Normans of Ashford. These vans, except numbers 1175 & 1208 withdrawn in December 1962, had all returned to the general pool by 1969. The version being issued by TMC is number S1282S correctly in BR crimson livery with yellow lettering and the white cycle stencil.
TMC have also commissioned Bachmann to produce the ex LNER /BR 22T double bolster wagon and this is at EP stage
There were no new announcements made by Dapol at the show in either 00 or N, as they are looking to get to market all outstanding products currently under development before making any new announcements. The ex London and South Western (LSWR ) B4 0-4-0T announced back in March 2014 is still at the CAD stage. They did have on show some of the results of the alignment of the Dapol and Lionheart ranges in 0 Gauge but none of these were SR related.
Introduced in 1962 this class of 14 locomotives was designed specifically for use in the Southampton Docks complex on trip and shunting duties. With the decline of traffic within the docks the class was re-assigned to duties in the Eastleigh area before withdrawal and finding further work with a number of industrial companies. Heljan advise that initially two versions will be produced reflecting ‘as-built’ condition and later modified locos with waist height air brake connections as follows:
Version 1 non-air braked
2900 D2985 BR Green
2901 D2990 BR Green
2902 D2992 BR Blue
2903 07010 BR Blue
Version 2 air-braked (extra cabinet, air receiver compartment and air pipes (high level)
2910 2993 BR Blue
2911 07005 BR Blue
2912 (07001) Peakstone yellow
2913 (07003) British Industrial Sand white
Proposed for release in 2017, Heljan had a early 3D print mock ups of this model on display.
Note: that the images of Engineering Protptypes sometimes show combinations of components that are mixed and matched and do not necessarily correctly represent the combinations for model variations announced (but can be a hint at possible future variations as well!)
The Bachmann Europe team met up this week with the model trade press to update the market on the latest developments and progress, a full report can be found on the RmWeb forum here and I take this opportunity to update ion those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. Although no new announcements were made it was indicated that the next catalogue and product announcements are likely to take place earlier next year, probably at some point in January. Although Bachmann have experienced delays in both the design and production arenas over the last couple of years tit is good news that they appear to starting to catch up a bit during the last twelve months or so of consolidation as had been previously promised.
The item of most interest for Southern modellers was the first images of the first Engineering Prototypes (EP) for the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock Trio ‘C’ 30 sets, (SR set Nos 567-570, 575-589, 602-5 and 612-8) announced back in March 2013. These compriise of aBrake Composite to SR Diagram 162, a Composite to SR Diagram 315 and Brake Third to SR Diagram 160. These sets pretty much remained intact throughout their lives until withdrawal between 1956 and 1958.
As can be seen from the pictures, copyright and courtesy of Andy York and Bachmann, the first impressions are very favourable with a high level of detail, although I have not had the chance to see them up close and in the flesh (plastic) yet.
The South West Trains class 450 Desiro 3rd rail units, based on tooling changes to the previously released 350 class units are now ready to enter production although delivery was stated as being likely to be February 2017, while the class 414 2 Hap units announced earlier this year are still at the design stage. Although announced back in march 2015 along with the Class 450, the 45 ton Ransomes and Rapier steam crane is still at the design stage prior to CAD work taking place, so is some way off yet.
Keep an eye on this blog in the next week or so for further updates on both released and imminent Southern / Southern Region relevant models form other manufacturers.
Last year I posted about Armchair Ready-To-Run designers being an extension of the term “armchair modeller” that has been used in the hobby referring to those who are vocal in criticism and comment but are sat in their comfy chairs tapping away on their keyboards without actually the processes involved in various aspects of the hobby. That particular post focused on the design side of things and why just because one model has been produced it should mean that a further slightly different model can or should also be produced.
It is true that the Marsh H2 Class and its predecessor the H1 class can be directly traced back to the Ivatt C1 Atlantic owing to the fact Marsh had previously worked with Ivatt on the C1 class whilst he worked for the GNR and that the boiler and a proportion of the chassis design is the same.
In model terms though such lineage does not necessary mean savings in design, tooling, or production costs. As I mentioned in my previsious armchair post a common boiler does not help with tooling costs as often it is combined with different cabs, fitting, running plates or other differing details. In the case of the two Atlantic models, and I discussed this with Bachmann staff a couple of weeks ago, in reality only approximately 70% of only the chassis components are actually common. The loco body, tender and trailing truck are all different and therefor unique tooling. Therefore it is only a small proportion of time that can be potentially saved at the design stage, as such as design work carried over for those small number of common components (remember its approx 70% of the chassis only that is common) that can be simply copied.
Even with these limited number of common parts the two models are likely to be completely separately tooled. This is due to other reasons which a lot of people do not consider such as: the fact that if part of the tooling is used for more than model it creates double the wear on certain tools compared to the rest, the logistical issues of either stock holding between production runs or trying to manage production slots of both models at the same time.
This logistical challenge is hard enough for Bachmann whom unlike Hornby only have production at one factory. Hornby have different models being made at a number of factories which is another reason why they would not usually share any aspect of tolling or components between models / factories as other wise it would be a logistical, transport and stock holding nightmare, in addition to the issue of uneven tooling wear.
I hope this post gives further food for thought into the issues that have to be considered in the design, tooling and production of models for the Ready-To-Run market.
The Atlantics were built to haul express trains between London and Brighton including the prestigious Pullman trains before completion of the electrification scheme on 1st January 1933.
They were designed by D.E. Marsh, who had been deputy to the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern Railway, H.A. Ivatt, for 10 years until he was promoted to the top job at Brighton in January 1905. Such was the urgency for express motive power on the Brighton line that Marsh, with the full support of his former chief, borrowed a set of Doncaster drawings and made a few amendments. The result was five H1 Class locomotives which were built by Kitson’s of Leeds between December 1905 and February 1906.
The second batch (Class H2) although to Marsh design was modified by his deputy L. Billinton. Billinton was Acting Chief Mechanical Engineer due to Marsh being absent on extended sick leave. In 1912 Billinton took over permanently when Marsh resigned, holding the position until Grouping in 1923.
Six H2 Class locomotives were built at Brighton Works and remained on front line Brighton express work until the arrival of the King Arthur Class 4-6-0s in 1925. They were named after geographical features on the South Coast. The Atlantics then continued to operate other express trains and also boat trains to the ferries at Newhaven (for Dieppe, France) until the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 brought the duties to a premature end.
The class continued to work secondary services after the war but there was less work for them and some were put into store. The first H2 Class withdrawal was No. 32423 ‘The Needles’ which took place in May 1949. The last to survive was No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ which was scrapped at Eastleigh following withdrawal on 24th April 1958.
The Bachmann Branchline OO scale model will be released in 2015. Two versions are planned initially which are;
31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery. Edit: Nov 2017 this model has now been changed to number 2411 “South Foreland”
31-921 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR black livery with early emblem.
Models will incorporate a DCC socket. Prices will be advised in due course.
David Haarhaus, Bachmann’s European Sales & Marketing Manager said “We believe that the H2 Class locomotive will be popular with modellers and the emergence of the replica at Sheffield Park over the coming years will introduce the class to new generations of railway enthusiasts and modellers. We are working closely with the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group and thank them for assisting us with this project”.
Sadly railway preservation was still in its infancy and ‘Beachy Head’ was scrapped before the formation of the Bluebell Railway in March 1959. This locomotive had worked part of the Locomotive Club of Great Britain Southern Counties Limited Rail tour on 24th February 1957 from Horsted Keynes to Brighton.
In 2000, the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group was formed to build a replica of ‘Beachy Head’ for use on the extended Bluebell Railway between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. Since then the group has acquired many parts including a GNR ‘Atlantic’ boiler, tender frames and wheel sets. Other items are being manufactured and the project has now reached an advanced stage.
I had the privilege to view progress on the build yesterday during a tour of f Atlantic House. The frames are now assembled cylinders, slide bars, inside motion and the start of the cab metalwork in place, the cross heads and sandboxes are ready to be installed along with some brake linkages. She will soon be ready for the finished cast and machined driving wheels to be fitted (the pony truck is also already complete). The ex GNR boiler is also substantially complete and awaiting tubing before the smokebox can be finished. I look forward to completion of the this project in maybe as little as 4 to 5 years. If you would like to assist with this project you can sponsor a component here.
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt