A brand new quarterly ‘bookazine’ from Warners called ‘Smoke & Steam’ is published on 30th April. It features some of the most famous – and not so famous – routes, featuring locomotive legends. With in-depth articles, including a few Southern related, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.
The contents include:
Following the Flagman – Dover’s seafront railway – Paul Isles
Forgotten Railways – The Peak District mainline – Graham Nicholas
Iconic stations: Exploring Salisbury – Graham Muspratt
Travelling in style: The Cornish Riviera Express – Adrian Vaughan
Mallard: A Pictorial Journey – Tony Wright
Semaphore Signalling – Why the GWR was different – Mike Romans
There’s only one Edinburgh Waverley – Ian Lamb
Restoring an SR Merchant Navy – Graham Muspratt
Goods locomotives of Buckingham – Tony Gee
Moving Into BR – the GWR becomes the Western Region – Mike Romans
Modelling coal and how to weather a locomotive – Phil Parker
Available digitally or on high-quality paper, Smoke & Steam should make an ideal coffee table companion.
It will be on sale from 30th April – you can pre-order your copy here. Initially, this bookazine will only be available mail order, but once things start to return to normal in the news trade, it should be appearing in good newsagents.
Despite including my articles, having had the opportunity to review some of the excellent other contributors articles from which I have already learnt new things (everyday is a school day) I think it will be a cracking publication.
First announced in October 2019 and following amendments to the first livery samples, examples of all seven versions of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway D Class 4-4-0 from the Dapol production line have been received by Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield. These have now completed extensive running trials and final checking. Following approval, shipping from the factory can now commence.
On the whole these look very good and I am looking to receiving my SR Sunshine version (although I will be renumbering as the numbers size shown above do appear to be slightly too large). Definite improvements have been made since the initial livery samples were shown, especially with the colour rendition of SR Olive and the toning down of the bright handrails on some versions (although strangely not the BR lined black version). The only other issue that has been noted is also with respect to the BR lined black version in that the cycling lion early emblem is facing backwards on the right hand side, at the time these emblems usually faced forwards on both sides as it does on at least one photo I have seen for 31574. As these are production samples it is likely to be too late to amend this.
It was back in February 2015 when Hornby announced that they were to produce an original air smoothed Bulleid Merchant Pacific as part of their 2016 range, however they were then moved into the 2017 range. These first three R3434 21c1 ‘Channel Packet’, R3435 21c3 ‘Royal Mail’ and R3436 35028 ‘Clan line’ arrived in March 2017, see my review of 21c1 here.
Since then the high seas between China and the UK have been devoid of Hornby ‘Merchant Navys’ despite further versions being announced in the following years.
Hornby advised in January 2020 that the delay was due to one of factories that they use being unexpectedly at very short notice closed, due to a compulsory purchase of the land by the Chinese government! This impacted the production of the new Merchant Navy pacifics, versions of the Peckett industrial tanks, the Class 800 Azuma units and the GWR 61xx large Prairie tanks locomotives. Work to move the tooling to another factory appeared to take longer than had been hoped, however the backlog is slowly being cleared and 35024 should hopefully now be the first of the overdue excellent Merchant Navys to arrive.
35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ was the first Merchant Navy to appear in the Express Passenger Engine Blue for the newly formed British Railways. Whilst in Eastleigh works in March 1949 for Minor ‘D’ examination she was first painted in a dark blue (note: not recorded as being the experimental purple seen on some other non SR loco classes, including the wheels with three horizontal crimson bands and a hand painted early emblem on the tender. She however re-entered service in what was to become standard express passenger blue with two horizontal black bands with white lining, following inspection of the livery by members of the Railway Executive at Brighton Works.
The blue paint of the time wasn’t very practical in practice, due to the elements and the heat from the engine causing the paint to discolour and fade quite quickly hence the change to BR Green for all Passenger Locos only a couple years later.
Hornby have released 35025 in the condition in which she first ran for a while in this livery from Exmouth Junction, as she does not carry the later BR shedplate (72A) it would have been fitted sometime before May 1949 when she was also fitted with the battens on the smoke deflectors to carry the ‘Devon Belle’ wing plates.
I wont repeat my full review of 21c1, as that can be read here, and all the positives are also on this model such as: the powerful 5 pole motor with large flywheel, all wheel pick up, the excellent coupling rods, the loco and tender brake rodding being factory fitted. Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes.
As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky.
The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.
The paint finish, whilst a slightly different hue to the printed box not that it maters, I think captures the drabness of the BR Passenger Blue well.
If the carpet crawler YouTube reviewer is to be believed this should along with the flat casing top be a stain finish just because another manufacturer has done so on a totally unrelated model, he also claims the nameplates are etched but printed, and that the brass cab side window frames are wood (to be fair they are wooden on the Light Pacifics). For the record whilst the blue could perhaps be only slightly more satin for an ex works condition, the casing tops should be matt black.
I only have two niggles are firstly the nameplates, whilst separately applied plastic parts are printed with none of the casting relief and I have already replaced these with etched plates from Fox Transfers.
Secondly the characteristic electric lamps that in reality are hung from the underside of the swan neck style lamp iron and also had electric conduit attached. However, on the model the lamp is attached via a perpendicular lug on their back into holes on the sloping front casing them to point upwards slightly and the very fragile plastic lamp irons to lean backwards.
I have replaced these three lamp irons with etched brass versions so they are stronger and correctly face forwards, this in itself helps trick the eye away from the lamp angle. The lamps are correctly black (the lamp casing were black painted brass on the front and body livery colour painted steal casings on the tender). Each lamp has a silver blob to represent the lens, however in reality these lens appear black unless the lamp is actually lit. I have touched away the sliver and again it helps disguise the incorrect angle of the lamps.
Little niggles aside, I stand by my earlier review these models have raised the bar, capturing splendidly the front face and overall look and details that Bulleid intended. Along with the excellent smooth running powerful drive system and chassis we can look forward happily to adding other versions to the fleet when then arrive, with hopefully more versions from the tooling suit that Hornby have produced to cover most of the potential variations.
It is fifty eight years to the day when Dr Richard Beeching’s report “The Reshaping of British Railways” was officially published on the 27th March 1963. This is a sneaky repeat post from eight years ago on the fiftieth anniversary, buts its still spoken about, with many opinions to this to this day, and currently in connection with the proposed reopening of some lines (including Exeter to Okehampton), so my thoughts below are still relevant.
Beeching was at the time Chairman of the British Railways Board. The report identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure, 55% of stations and 30% of route miles, with an objective of stemming the large losses being incurred during a period of increasing competition from road transport (that also had the support from the then Minister of Transport Ernest Marples whom it appears had connections to the road construction industry and had also appointed Dr Beeching in the first place).
One such line that was included in the report for closure was the Tamar Valley line, however due to the poor road links in the area some of the line was reprieved and survives to this day between Plymouth, Bere Alston and Gunnislake. In fact there is currently a growing movement and support for the line to be reopened north of Bere Alston back to the south end of Tavistock and even through to Okehampton to complete the Northern route to counter the issues sometimes experienced along the ex GWR coastal route via Dawlish.
In addition to the main report there were a number of maps included within Part 2 of the report that diagrammatically showed data such as : Density of passenger traffic, Distribution of passenger receipts, Density of Freight Traffic, etc. and of course the main outcome of the report the map of Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services. I have reproduced part of a couple of these maps in this post showing the Southern Region area.
Map 9 Proposed Withdrawal of Passenger Services shows the almost total eradication of the ex Southern Railway lines in the South West as already mentioned above, and a number of other lines in the South of England identified for closure. Happily some of these lines have now since reopened as preserved railways such as the Alton to Winchester line that between Alton and Alresford now forms the Mid Hants Watercress line.
Although the Unions at the time released their own version of the report titled “The Mis-shaping of British Railways” a number of facts (although in some cases the basis of collection of some of these facts have been questioned) within the report appear compelling and it is perhaps not surprising that the conclusions reached were so wide ranging.
The report with respect to freight on the railways proposed the move to quicker, higher capacity trains, serving the main routes, transporting greater loads to hubs. Not with the then traditional wagons but trains loaded with containers. Does that seem familiar today?
Whilst Beeching is a much maligned name for the passenger line closure section of the report it is easy perhaps forget that this report dramatically modernised freight on the rail network promoting containerisation and long-distance freight haulage.
Who knows if the current growth and success of the railway network as it stands today would have been possible if some of the harsh decisions as a result of “The Reshaping of British Railways” were not taken…
I am pleased to advise that Canute Road Quay makes an appearance in the April 2021 issue of BRM Magazine available now for digital subscribers and next Thursday 25th March for the printed version.
I open the article by discussing; how although I usually model the 1946 to 1949 Southern Railway time period but to allow for additional interest and how I have purposely built Canute Road Quay without having any fixed item that dates the period modelled or really identifies the area modelled.
This allows a wider range of rolling stock to be used giving a range of different locomotive traction, classes and livery choices that would be still be applicable to such a quayside location. I then continue to describe the layout itself.
The article, similar to some of my “Making Quay Changes” posts, covers time periods from the mid 1920s through to the 1960s starting with Southampton Docks liveried Adams B4 0-4-0t through to the USA 0-6-0 Tanks, industrial locomotives and the Class 07 diesels.
Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of BRM Magazine it joins two other ‘compact’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.
Due to the current Covid restrictions rather than being able to enjoy the company and a new pair of eyes photographing layout, I provided all the photographs myself to go alongside my text.
I have used my Canon G7x camera along with my set of studio lights and spent some time one weekend in January utilising the camaras ability to automatically take a series of ‘Focus Bracketed’ images, i.e. multiple shots from the same position but with slightly different focus point, and then combining them in post processing into one image to give an increased depth of field. Hopefully you will enjoy the article and the accompanying photographs.
As a surprise bonus the April edition of BRM TV that is available for digital subscribers of the BRM magazine this month has Fisherton Sarum as its main layout feature (remind me to teach Howard how to pronounce Sarum..).
It includes video footage, that to be honest I had forgotten had been recorded, from the appearance of Fisherton Sarum at the Doncaster Festival of British Railway Modelling way back in 2012 and also includes another look at some of the images that accompanied the article about the layout in the February 2021 issue of BRM Magazine.
Following on from the excellent Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics is the next title provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing being Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works . This follows the same wide landscape format and contains 208 pages often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.
Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works features every one of the Merchant Navy Pacifics in both original and rebuilt condition, together with a photograph of every one of the forty Q1s and all three of the Leaders that were built. Also included are some of Bulleid’s other works including his diesel & electric locomotive designs.
The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail,Rail photoprints , Anistr.com, Rail-Online.com 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. The selection of photographs covers details and variation in liveries and naming and shows the locomotives in action, on shed and in close up. The benefit is that the they are all nicely reproduced in the one book and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.
As well as the Leader, the book includes a few examples of: Bulleid’s drafting improvements with Lemaitre multiple-jet blast pipes and their associated large diameter chimneys, his 500hp 0-6-0 shunter 11001, the 350hp 0-6-0 shunters, the 10201-3 main line diesels and also the Bulleid/Raworth electric locos 20001-3.
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, a welcome addition to my library and wholeheartedly recommended.
This weekend at the second Gauge 0 Guild Virtual exhibition, Dapol announced that they are to produce an 0 Gauge version of the ex LSWR/SR/BR 0-4-0 Dock tank, These follow from their well received 00 gauge range, you can read my review here.
The B4 Class were produced in 3 batches (all overall classed as B4) commencing in 1891 as follows:B4 batch numbers 85 to 94D6, batch, finished in 1892, numbers 81, 95 to 100, 102, 103, 76, K14 batch, built 1907, numbers 82-4, 746/7 (later renumbered 101, 147).
Each batch had detail differences between them especially the last batch of 5 which had Drummond style boilers rather than Adams style, other detail differences included open / closed cab, cab roof profile (K14 batch) and buffers (appears to vary over lifetime).
Dapol have are initially producing six models in the first production batch:
7S-018-001 – L & SWR B4 0-4-0T “NORMANDY” – As Preserved – Open Cab
7S-018-002 – L & SWR B4 0-4-0T “CAEN” Southampton Docks lined brown 90
7S-018-003 – B4 0-4-0T SOUTHERN Black 88
7S-018-004 – B4 0-4-0T (Drummond Boiler) BR Early Emblem 30084
7S-018-005 – B4 0-4-0T BR Late Crest 30096
7S-018-006 – L & SWR B4 0-4-0T Lined Green 91
Normandy in preservation has an open cab whilst 88 and 90 both had closed cabs. 30096 before preservation in BR days had a closed cab that differs from 88 and 90 as it was modified from an open cab at the start of the war. 30084 being part of the later K14 batch originally had a Drummond boiler with dome mounted safety valves and a Drummond style chimney rather than the Adams stove pipe.
Dapol advise that the tooling will allow for four cab types, two different boilers, two forms of chimney as well as other prototypical features catered for such as water injectors and buffers. Hopefully but yet to be confirmed the 0 Gauge versions might also include, features missing / needing improvement: such as the tool box positions, extended lower middle lamp iron from the base of the smokebox and correct some of the cab sheets details, although again this might required more that four cab variants.
The specification includes:
Slide in PCB – With space for 2 x sugar cube speakers and a 21 pin decoder socket
Removable cab roof held in place with magnets to allow easy crew insertion
Highly detailed cab interior with fire box glow
High torque five pole skew wound motor driving the rear wheels
Fully compensated die-cast chassis to give excellent running capabilities
All wheel pick up
DCC Ready, DCC Fitted and DCC Sound Fitted models available
The Kernow Model Rail Centre, and therefore by default myself, have advised that the much-anticipated ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Van has been approved for production. This follows the careful review and approval of the Engineering Prototypes received last year and the decorated samples of all ten of the versions being produced that were received last week.
First introduced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1884 they were later classed as Southern Railway Diagram 1541. Almost 500 of these were built between then and 1905 making them the most numerous LSWR Goods Brake Van. Brake Vans with side doors through which parcels or other goods could be loaded were known as road vans.
The decorated livery samples can be seen above, (note that some of the samples were only the body assembly). Approval for production has been given subject to a couple of minor amendments to the printing on the solebar cast plate for two of the SR livery versions, the spacing (Kernow correcting the Kerning – a designers injoke) of the numbers on the LSWR SB003B version and the solebar and buffer colour on three of the BR grey versions.
SB003H LSWR Road Van number 54611 in pre-1936 large SR lettered livery is illustrated and shows the correct SR Goods Wagon brown, lettering style and the solebar cast plate that has wording “SR” “54611” an “Eastleigh Works” all perfectly legible.
KMRC anticipate production to commence at the end of March 2021 (following Chinese New Year) with shipment to the UK during May 2021 (subject to shipping availability) and hope to have them in stock for fulfilment of orders at the end May /early June 2021.
As we are talking Southern Railway catering vehicles it might be worth sitting down and having some light refreshment to go with the read as things are going to get a little confusing and complex!
The Southern Railway even with its relatively short distances involved, when compared with some of the other railway companies, still provided full dining services by pairing a Kitchen dining car with a dining saloon on many of its services such as Waterloo – Exeter, Waterloo – Bournemouth / Portsmouth and Weymouth, Southampton boat train services and the Brighton to Plymouth, and some Victoria – Dover services. They could also be found on the though Cardiff, Newcastle and Birkenhead services off the Southern. These paired vehicles would either be inserted within the middle of longer coaching sets, especially for the through services off the Southern; or within a train made up from multiple shorter coach sets, such as on the West of England line.
The Southern Railway (and subsequent the Southern Region) contracted out its catering services: on the South Eastern and Central Divisions it was The Pullman Car Co, and the South Western Division was originally Spiers & Pond (the LSWR contractor) superseded by Frederick Hotels in 1930.
Hornby Southern catering vehicles since 2018
The first newly tooled Southern Railway Maunsell catering versions were first introduced in by Hornby in 2018 and the subsequent ‘A’ versions currently available from Hornby are:
R4816 SR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2656, No. 7869 and R4816A 7865 in unlined SR Green; and R4817 BR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2651, with post 1939 / 1939 modifications, No. S7861S and R4817A No. S7858S in BR(s) Green.
The Diagram 2656 cars were built in 1932 and a later batch built in 1934 and other than the cooking equipment fitted were similar in body style to Diagram 2650. Hornby have chosen to produce these models in unlined olive-green which is totally correct for post 1940s condition.
The Diagram 2651 in BR(s) green represents one of the six, originally built in 1927, coaches post rebuilding around 1935 to include the characteristic recessed double doors. There were some slight bodyside differences between these and the subsequent 20 similar cars built in 1929 and 1930.
These catering vehicles would usually have been paired in service with Maunsell Diagram 2005 Open thirds numbered 1369 to 1400 such as R4537 Number 1400 or R4833 Number 1375 in SR Olive Green and R40101 number S1338S in BR(s) Green.
Hornby 2021 releases
The Hornby 2021 range sees the introduction of new tooling for two more Southern / BR(s) catering vehicles.
[Edit] The as originally announced Maunsell Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds R40030 and R40030A as numbers 7864 and 7867 respectively representing them original condition in SR lined olive green. Six of these dining salon thirds were built in 1927 and they were in service actually paired with the first Maunsell Kitchen / Dining Firsts to Diagram 2651 that were also built in 1927 and numbered 7858-7863. Modellers licence would have been required as this Diagram in original its 1927 form has not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.
The main difference between the two diagrams is that the earlier Diagram 2651 did not originally have external door or the vestibule at the dining saloon end and have smaller kitchen window adjacent to the double doors. The first batch of the Diagram 2651 were later modified to include the end doors and vestibule (although the smaller window remained) these and the subsequent later builds, with differing sizes of windows, were built with vestibules were confusingly all to the same diagram number.
The six Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds only lasted in this from until 1930 when they were reclassed as Open Thirds and renumbered in the range 1363 to 1368.
[Edit] Hornby advised at the end of January that the models R40030 and R40030A to be numbered 1363 and 1366 respectively to the longer and more flexible usage 1930 to wartime period.
During the war all except No. 1367 were converted for Ambulance Train use during WWII. (see comments below).
Just to add to the complexity and confusion with the SR catering vehicles the Diagram 2656 having been built post 1932 took over the numbers 7864 to 7869!
[Edit] Four of six, now reclassified Open Thirds were converted in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons branded as ‘Restaurant Car’ to Diagram 2658 and numbered 7841-4 . These conversions have also been announced by Hornby as R40031 Maunsell Dining Saloon Third / Composite to diagram 2658 Number S7841S and R40031A Number S7843S in BR(s) Green.
These four were actually paired with the Kitchen / Buffet cars to Diagram 2659 that themselves were converted in 1947 from Diagram 2656 Kitchen / Dining firsts and not yet available in ready to run form. So therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2651 Kitchen Dining First in BR(s) green instead. The other two were now fitted with 48 loose 2 +1 chairs and classified as First Class diners and numbered 7846/7 were were paired with newly converted Diagram 2661 Buffet cars for use on the reinstated ‘Night Ferry” service.
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.
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt