Having been in the top 10 of various wishlist polls for many years, the S160 2-8-0 has been a regularly requested / wish listed models. With Rapido Trains UK being an offshoot of the North America (albeit Canada) it seems a bit of a no-brainer for them to make a model of an American-built loco that operated in the UK.
You may be wondering why it is being featured here, so read on…
These locomotives were a standard design used by the US Army Transportation Corps (USATC) and were within the UK loading gauge. Almost 800 were shipped to Britain between 1942 and 1943 ready for the Invasion of France in 1944.
Prior to the invasion, the first 400 were used by all four of Britain’s main railway companies, including the SR.
Numbers 1771, 1926, 1920, 2356, 2378 and 2590 were officially allocated to Exmouth Jn. However 30 went through Eastleigh works for final assembly and were run in on the SR before being transferred to their allocated depots. The later later S160s were prepared by USATC personnel at Ebbw Junction before being greased and stored ready for use after D-Day 6th June 1944.
After the Invasion of France the Ebbw Junction stored S160s were shipped out to France, then the S160s on loan to the railways companies were returned to the USATC and shipped out to France. Those allocated to Exmouth Junction were all transferred back to USATC by September 1944.
Due to the considerable variations of the members of the class, especially as different manufacturers were involved, the Rapido Trains UK plan is to produce models of the original locomotives ‘as built’, when they were seen across the entire country during the Second World War. They will also produce tooling to allow for several preserved examples to be modelled as closely as possible.
Rapido Trains UK have also announced their intention to produce the small industrial Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0, no Southern connection as such although some of the SR pre-grouping companies did operate sister classes of Manning and Wardles.
It should be noted that although announced today, it is slightly frustratingly, not a full announcement with any details of the actual variations and liveries being produced or pricing, so it is not actually possible to pre-order the models today, so watch this space.
There were ten standard open wagon designs produced for the SR under Maunsell, although these could actually be grouped into just three main types: an 8 plank open that came in eight versions, a 5 plank open and an 8 plank ferry train wagon.
The first and numerically the largest SR design is the Diagram 1379 eight plank open on a standard 17’6″ RCH underframe with 9’0″ wheelbase with a total of 7,950 built. The first 3000 built from 1926 were fitted with Morton brakes with the remainder with SR ‘Freighter Brakes. Production continued until 1933.
88 Diagram 1379 8 plank wagons were transferred to the Isle of Wight in 1948/9 receiving 278xx / 279xx numbers.
In 1935 the wheel base of the standard 17’6″ underframe was increased to 10’0″ and from August 1936 an unfitted version (similar to the Diagram 1379) was introduced and given Diagram 1400. Construction continued until November 1937 and conveniently 1,400 of this diagram were produced.
Rapido trains UK have incredibly produced 31 versions across the two Diagrams 1379 and 1400, as they have tooled Morton and SR ‘Freighter’ brakes and split spoke and disc wheels, RRP is £32.95 per wagon (although they can be purchased at a discounted price from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre).
940001: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29306, SR brown (pre-1936)
940002: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.30601, SR brown (pre-1936)
940003: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31458, SR brown (pre-1936)
940004: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31372, SR brown (pre-1936)
940005: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.32565, SR brown (pre-1936)
940006: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33333, SR brown (pre-1936)
940007: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36485, SR brown (pre-1936)
940008: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36759, SR brown (pre-1936)
940009: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.30004, SR brown (pre-1936) (As preserved on the Bluebell Railway)
940010: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29898, SR brown (post-1936)
940011: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29427, SR brown (post-1936)
940012: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31364, SR brown (post-1936)
940013: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31421, SR brown (post-1936)
940014: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33255, SR brown (post-1936)
940015: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33730, SR brown (post-1936)
940016: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36359, SR brown (post-1936)
940017: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36871, SR brown (post-1936)
940018: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.10939, SR brown (post-1936)
940019: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.11783, SR brown (post-1936)
940020: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.27363, SR brown (post-1936)
940021: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S30215, BR grey
940022: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S27915, BR grey (Isle of Wight)
940023: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S27930, BR grey (Isle of Wight)
940024: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.S31472, BR grey
940025: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S34301, BR grey
940026: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S36194, SR brown with BR lettering
940027: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S34745, BR grey
940028: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S10953, SR brown with BR lettering
940029: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.S26782, BR grey
940030: D1400 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.S11530, BR grey
940031: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.DS719, Motive Power Department black
Look out for a future post where I will explain the different types of brakes used on Southern Wagons.
Forty 6 wheel 20t brake vans were built in 1898 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to Diagram 1558, were heavily influenced by Midland Railway practice, these had an open veranda platform (i.e. with no roof, sides or end rail) at one end and a closed one at the other. In 1910, 50 more were built with close verandas at each end, between 1914 and 1920 the original vans were modified with two closed verandas. These modified vans were identifiable as had double top rails at the end opposite to the rebuilt end to increase the height of the veranda. All 90 vans entered Southern Railway stock and most passed into British Railways ownership. There were also variations in some of the framing, planking and handrails between the two build versions.
Rapido trains UK have tooled two body types to cover both the dual veranda vans built new in 1910 as well as the single-ended vans re-built that year and have announced ten initial versions:
931001: No. 2033, SECR grey with black underframe
931002: No. 2036, SECR grey
931003: No. 55382, SR brown with red ends (large lettering)
931004: No. 55409, SR brown with red ends, 1910 batch (large lettering)
931005: No. 55384, SR brown with red ends (small lettering)
931006: No. 55366, SR brown with red ends(small lettering)
931007: No. S55429, SR brown with red ends, 1910 batch (BR lettering)
931008: No. S55434, BR grey, 1910 batch
931009: No. S55371, BR grey
931010: No. 80383, Engineer’s black, 1910 batch
The model contains a wealth of detail and many separately applied parts including, handrails, step boards and all lamp irons. Nicely moulded, non sprung buffers are fitted which is fine by me.
Due to the shape of the handrails and their prototypical fixing point positions, these have been finely and understandably moulded in plastic, so they will need to be handled with care. The upper step at each end just like the prototype is mounted on a single central bracket, on my example these steps are not quite horizontal.
Also included with the van is an etch of three of the document clips that were usually fitted to freight stock but not always in the same positions on the same type of van / wagon, so the purchaser can fit to the correct positions for the van modelled (some might have preffered the compromise of them being moulded or prefitted).
For those that want to remove the glued on roof, there is a also fully detailed and decorated interior.
The underframe with its wealth of brake gear as we have come to expect from Rapido Trains UK is wonderfully reproduced. This detail does mean that there is not enough space for the usual NEM 362 coupling mount so the tension lock coupling fitted is an NEM 363 short style with the fishtail but no socket, a sensible move.
The van weighs 36g which is a little (perhaps 10g or so) lighter than I would usually apply to my own models of this size, but with the brass axle bearings they are extremely, if not too, free running. Whilst I would always fit brass bearings to kit built models, I have rarely seen a need for them in most RTR wagons.
The livery and lettering as we would expect is nice and crisply applied, although as I have discussed here, the use of a stain finish gives the SR brown a perceived lighter colour, so I will give mine a coat of matt varnish.
P.S. Before anyone asks about the already sold out Rails of Sheffield commissioned original pre 1910 single end van, the version that has “Goods Break” on the side, is the correct and prototypical spelling for the period of the modelled van!
Between 1913 and 1914 the SECR purchased a number of wagons from RY Pickering. These wagons were built to move coal and were at the time were primarily used by William Cory & Son (Coal Factors) based in Erith. They were originally allocated SECR Diagram s1084, later becoming Southern Railway Diagram 1358.
These wagons carried a variety of liveries – Wainwright light grey with small SECR lettering and black metalwork, all over Maunsell dark SECR grey with large lettering and also standard SR pre-1936 brown.
These wagons are produced by Rapido Trains UK using their latest RCH 7 plank open wagon tooling featuring both side and end doors, angled vee-hangers, double sided brakes, flat-fronted axleboxes and split-spoked wheels. Although not all minor detail differences can be captured with this tooling, these wagons will be as close a representation of the SECR wagons as possible.
The Rapido Trains UK ‘OO’ gauge GWR V6 ‘Iron Mink’ covered vans have arrived, it might seem unusual for such a wagon to mentioned here you might be thinking… there is a reason, read on…
The GWR covered vans of all metal construction, therefore known as ‘Iron Minks’, appeared between 1888 and 1901 (after which their covered vans construction reverted to being built with wooden bodies) were built on 16’6″ underframes with a 9′ wheelbase and had a capacity of 8 tons, with over 4000 being built.
Due to the Governments re-armament programme, the fact the Southern Railway had not built any Gunpowder vans and only had 38 were in service (such as ex LSWR Diagram 1701) , a further 100 were apparently required from late 1937. It was decided to exchange 100 covered vans for GWR ‘Iron Minks’ and convert them as Improvised Gunpowder vans, they were to be returned at the end of the armament period or potentially the end of the war.
It does not appear to be documented exactly how many actually came to the Southern or for how long they stayed, but they were lettered SR with temporary SR numbers in the range 59001-100 and carried the SR code name ‘Cone’.
They were never allocated any SR Diagram number, and do not appear to to have been included within the SR Wagon registers, although they are very similar to the aforementioned LSWR Diagram 1701 Gunpowder vans, except the LSWR vans had lifting link brake gear rather than the two independent sets of brakes on the GWR Iron Minks.
As is now standard on the Rapido Trains UK they feature good underframe detail that includes nicely moulded beams, planking and central coupling rods/spring details and brake gear nicely in line with the wheels. Standard NEM slim line tension lock couplings are provided (on removable mounts for those that want to use 3 links) although they do protrude out past the end the buffers a little more than I personally prefer.
The brake handle correctly passes through the see through ratchet, rather than just being a solid moulding, a welcome development that is now starting to be seen on some of the more detailed new RTR wagons.
They also feature correct 8 spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups, that, despite being slightly lighter than I would prefer at 32g, run very freely.
The black livery application is crisp and well printed with the red cross and red and white lettering and has an overall pleasing satin finish. The roof is mid grey which I prefer, although it is suggested that they might haver originally been white.
The Diagram 1426 vans were introduced in 1918 and they lasted well into BR days, setting the standard for future Southern Railway vans.
These vans Rapido Trains UK feature: Two types of rain strip: curved and straight, separately-fitted end ventilators, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed body, under frame and self contained buffers.
There are eleven Diagram 1426 covered vans available:
927001: No. 15782, SECR grey (curved rain strip)
927002: No. 16737, SECR grey (curved rain strip)
927003: No. 45784, SR brown (Pre 1936) (curved rain strip)
927004: No. 47162, SR brown (Pre 1936) (curved rain strip)
927005: No. 45779, SR brown (Post 1936) (curved rain strip)
927006: No. 47159, SR brown (Post 1936)
927007: No. S45819, BR grey
927008: No. S47144, BR grey (curved rain strip)
927009: No. DS47182, Departmental black
927010: No. DS776, Departmental brown
927011: No. 15750, SECR grey (preserved)
The SECR used the same underframe for the two-plank ballast wagon. It introduced the first example in 1919 and 120 were built over the next four years. Incredibly, BR didn’t withdraw the last until 1971.
The Rapido Trains UK two plank ballast wagons feature: Two floor versions: curve-ended planks and straight-ended planks, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed bodies, underframes and self-contained buffers.
There are also eleven Diagram 1744 two plank ballast wagons available:
928010: No. S62433, SR red oxide with BR(S) number
928011: No. S62388, BR Departmental black
All versions of both models, share the same underframe although the Diagram 1744 two plank ballast wagon correctly has an extended brake lever. Both diagrams have accurate body detail, including nicely planked insides on the two plank ballast wagons. The roof of the vans is a good tight fitting separate part and allows for either the original curved or later straight rain strip option.
As is now becoming much more common on such new wagon releases, the also feature good underframe detail that includes nicely moulded beams, planking and central coupling rods/spring details and brake gear nicely in line with the wheels and a wire cross rod. They also feature nice 8 split spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups (careful if removing wheels as the bearings might drop out), that along with a with a reasonable weight of 38g for the van and 25g for the two plank, ensures very free running. Standard NEM 362 coupling pockets are included [Edit: to correct a previous statement].
Train Times have today revealed the identities for the two exclusive models they have commissioned both in LBSC lined black livery. They will be producing number 113 which spent some time at Eastbourne in the 1910s and “Loco Dept. New Cross”.
Number 113 originally built in May 1877 named “Granville” carried this lined black livery from 1906 until 1928 when she was repainted into Southern livery and numbered B113. She latter became 2113 then 32113 and was withdrawn September 1958 having worked 1,130,888 miles!
Number 111 originally built in April 1877 named “Montpelier” and became “Loco Dept. New Cross” from June 1908 until June 1922 when she was renumbered 611 and withdrawn in May 1932.
Hot on the heels of my post last month of the Rapido trains UK ex LBSC E1 class 0-6-0t Cad renders, that can be seen here, the list of the 14 ‘E1’ versions being produced so far to cover all key variations has been revealed as below.
Rapido trains UK have done their best to ensure that all the detail variations are covered but, they advise: “to be brutally honest, the ‘E1’ is a nightmare when it comes to small detail changes.” The LBSC list is:
Rapido trains UK confirmed back in January that they are going to produce the LBSCR ‘E1’ 0-6-0T in ’00’ gauge, as part of their growing range, despite it no longer being a commission by Model Rail magazine. My friends at Rapido trains UK have kindly provide me with copies of the latest CAD renders for this project and allowed me to post them here.
They advise me that they will hopefully be confirming soon which running numbers and liveries they are going to produce and I will of course publish the details here when known. I understand it will cover a number of the class variations throughout their lifetime and geographical working area. As I model 1946 to 1949 I am hoping at least one will be in SR sunshine black, or suitable for a quick repaint and renumber to that period, as a number of members of the E1 class were often seen shunting at Southampton Docks and will be therefore be suitable motive power on my Canute Road Quay layout.
It should of course be noted that these CAD renders are a work in progress and some areas in particular are known to require some amendments, such as tank tops. I am also hoping that the couplings might be revised slightly to reduce their protrusion.
It is the purpose of such renders to help evaluate the overall shape and details to confirm they are totally correct before approving the CADs for tooling to commence. Contrary to the belief of some, the first impression from tooling / the Engineering Prototype is to confirm fit and function and perhaps make some minor adjustments, not to see if the basic shape is correct…
The class were originally introduced in 1874 by William Stroudley for local goods and piloting duties, as the E class. Many gained a Marsh type boiler from 1906-7 with a larger dome moved rearwards, encased Ramsbottom safety valves and the whistle relocated to the cab roof. The last six engines were built by RJ Billinton that also has slightly different boilers, Ramsbottom safety valves and a manhole cover, with whistle, was fixed over the firebox. These six were also given different chimneys, to Billinton’s design, (a cast-iron type in one piece) and were known as Class E1, subsequently all the earlier engines also became known as Class E1. Withdrawals commenced in 1908 and continued in SR days
during the 1920s, with some examples sold to industrial railways rather than scrapped. Eight examples were also rebuilt as E1/R 0-6-2 radial tank engines for use in the west of England. Four E1s were also transferred during 1932/3 for duties on the Isle of Wight and renumbered W1-W4 and given names related to the Island:136 (originally Brindisi) became W1 Medina, 152 (originally Hungary) became W2 Yarmouth, 154 (originally Madrid) became W3 Ryde and 131 (originally Gournay) became W4 Wroxall.
Thirty survived to British Railways ownership but during the 1950s they were gradually replaced by diesel shunters. The last survivor,