Back in March 2013 Bachmann Europe announced its intention to produce a model of the ex London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Billinton designed E4 class 0-6-2 tanks. The first production versions of this model are now on their way to the UK, with a small number having been sent to the model press for reviews in the last week or so. With the grateful thanks of Bachmann I was allowed to borrow, view and photograph an example yesterday at the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society exhibition and use fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Alan Paley’s Loughborough Road layout as a backdrop.

Bachmann E4 posed on Loughborough Road

Bachmann E4 posed on Loughborough Road

Four versions were announced:
35-075 Number 579 in LBSC Umber
35-076 Number B 473 in Southern, Pre 1931, Olive Green
35-077 Number 32556 in unlined BR Black Early Emblem
35-078 Number 32470 in lined BR Black Late Crest.


Bachmann E4 Left hand side view

Bachmann E4 Left hand side view

It should be noted that in January this year Bachmann advised that the running number of the 35-078 Late Crest Version had been changed to 32500.

As we can expect from the Bachmann they have captured the look and details of this delightful tank locomotive very well, and having now seen all but the LBSC Umber version, which will follow the SR and BR versions, the livery application is up to their usual high standard.

A bird's eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

A bird’s eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

I take this opportunity, having discussed this directly with Bachmann, to advise that the Southern Olive Green version No. B473, as photographed here, is modelled in her Era 3 condition (1923 to 1931/2 before she was renumbered 2473). Most E4’s during this period did, unlike the model, have lining to the cab fronts, and although I have not seen an actual picture of B 473 in this period it is evident that not all the class were so treated.

A bird's eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

A bird’s eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

This is as clearly stated in their catalogue, and not therefore totally correct for number 473 as she has been preserved on the Bluebell Railway as there have been a small number of detail and livery changes made during preservation. This has been the subject of some debate on a number of the online forums and I am pleased to be able to clarify here.

Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network, with a number post 1948 being allocated to ex LSWR sheds such as Basingstoke and Nine Elms; even Salisbury received a couple (numbers 32506 and 32486), post the closure of the Western Region shed in 1950, much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews to replace their pannier tanks shunting Fisherton Yard!


This Saturday I will be assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS members Alan and Simon Paley with their delightful Pre-Grouping Midland and London North Western Railway layout Loughborough Road at the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society’s exhibition being held at the Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Stantonbury, Milton Keynes. MK14 6BN.

A nice unusual feature of Loughborough Road is the working traverser at the end of the platforms.

A nice unusual feature of Loughborough Road is the working traverser at the end of the platforms.

Alan’s Loughborough Road layout is a fictitious location but is based on the premise of the main road running south from Nottingham through West Bridgford to Loughborough. The Midland Railway line linking Kettering/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham runs through West Bridgeford and slightly further East was the London North Western and Great Northern Joint Railway line built to link Market Harborough & Peterborough/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham. There is no evidence that any station was proposed for West Bridgeford but it is not entirely impossible that the good citizens of West Bridgford – in 1900 a thriving and growing suburb – might have ambitiously established a terminus for the Midland Railway with LNWR running powers and all linked into a growing Nottingham suburban railway network. I always enjoy assisting Alan and Simon operating Loughborough Road with its pre-grouping splendour and can usually be found sat out the front happily shunting the yard and trying to keep up with the running sequence.

Merchant Navy 21C6 received attention from the Fisherton Sarum Engine Cleaners before its next turn of duty on the Atlantic Coast Express.

Merchant Navy 21C6 received attention from the Fisherton Sarum Engine Cleaners before its next turn of duty on the Atlantic Coast Express.

Keeping with the local exhibition Fisherton Sarum will be making is closest exhibition appearance to home next Saturday 21st February at the Princes Risborough and District Model Railway Club’s Risex show. It is being held at the Community Centre, Wades Field, Stratton Road, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 9AX (I could probably hit the Community Centre with a lump of steam coal thrown from my house higher up on the Chiltern Hills escarpment, that’s how local it is!). The show is open between 10 am and 5 pm and whilst a smallish show it showcases a number of local layouts and is well worth a visit, so come along if you can and say hello.

This months picture…

Drummond T14 class 461 heads South West with a stopper service to Yeovil passing Bulleid Light Pacific Battle of Britain class s21C159 ‘Sir Archibold Sinclair’ on the rear 'Windsor Castle' coaling line on shed

Drummond T14 class 461 heads South West with a stopper service to Yeovil passing Bulleid Light Pacific Battle of Britain class s21C159 ‘Sir Archibold Sinclair’ on the rear ‘Windsor Castle’ coaling line on shed, so named after the Public House located on the north side of the main line.

Today, 30th January 2015, marks the 50 anniversary of the solemn occasion of the State Funeral of one of our greatest statesman Sir Winston Churchill following his passing on 24th January 1965. Sir Winston Churchill was the only “commoner”, i.e non Royal, in the 20th Century to be awarded the honour of a State Funeral. The day is especially remembered in railway circles, following the service in St. Paul’s Cathedral, due to the his final journey by rail being from Waterloo to Handborough in Oxfordshire for the private family interment in Bladon.

The State Funeral procession led from St. Paul’s Cathedral, via the River Thames on the Port of London Authority launch Havengore, that travelled from Tower Pier and the Pool of London (even the Pool’s crane jibs were dipped as a mark of respect) to the Royal Festival Hall landing stage. From there, the procession went by road to Waterloo Station and onto the funeral train that comprised of Bulleid Battle of Britain class No. 34051 “Winston Churchill”; Pullman brake car No. 208; hearse van S2464S (an SR gangway bogie luggage van repainted to Pullman colours back in July 1962 and stored awaiting its eventual use); Pullman kitchen parlour cars “Carina” and “Lydia”; Pullman parlour car “Perseus”; and Pullman brake car “Isle of Thanet.

Folklore states that Sir Winston Churchill requested that should he pass on before the French head of Government Charles de Gaulle that the train should leave for Oxfordshire from “Waterloo” rather then the perhaps more logical Paddington, however this may not in reality be fact.  The official plans for the State occasion first started to be drawn up in 1958 under the code name “Operation Hope Not”. The train attracted large crowds along the lineside for its entire route as a mark of great respect for the man that had led and inspired many though the dark days of the Second World War.

My model of  "Winston Churchill" in her earlier Southern days as 21C151 as she  allocated to Salisbury and therefore makes an appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

My model of “Winston Churchill” in her earlier Southern days as 21C151 as she was allocated to Salisbury and therefore makes a regular appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

34051, numbered 21C151 in Southern Railway days (as pictured left), was a Salisbury engine for most of her working life (except briefly being at both Nine Elms and Exmouth Junction in 1950) and was sent to Nine Elms, from Salisbury, especially for this occasion and was driven by a Nine Elms crew namely: Royal Train Driver A.W. Hurley and Fireman Jim Lester. The locomotive famously carried a three disc head code representing “V” for Victory. Departing Waterloo at 1:28pm, the train travelled respectfully slowly on Southern Region metals to Reading where it joined the Western Region line to reach Handborough, via Didcot and Oxford, arriving at 3:23pm. 34051 returned back to Nine Elms light engine via the reverse route, whilst the funeral train itself returned to London Paddington.

Jim’s fascinating memories about that day, along with some great photographs, can be read here on the excellent Nine Elms Locomotive shed website.  Further information and pictures can be found here on the SEmG website.

After withdrawal in September 1965, 34051 was preserved in the National Collection and now along with hearse van S2464S has been cosmetically restored and is currently forming part of a special exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York.

R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack

R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack

Finally, as announced last December Hornby are marking the occasion with the release of their R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack comprising of Bulleid original style light pacific No. 34051 with cut down tender, in BR livery with late crest,  2 off Pullman cars, (although not prototypically the correct style of 1951 built Pullman cars) ‘Lydia’, ‘Perseus’ and Pullman liveried Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van S2464 (note existing tooling is being used for the GBL and not strictly as per the prototype van that was modified with additional windows in the centre pair of doors). We await to see when this train pack will actually be available…

Further to the Hornby announcement of their new range for 2015 on 17th December last year, detailed from a Southern / BR(s) perspective on this blog  that included three versions of the Southern Railway built Maunsell 4-6-0 S15 locomotives. I am now able, having closely reviewed the proposed livery artwork, to exclusively advise the proposed running numbers and additional details for the three versions being initially produced, with an anticipated release date of June this year.

A further view of the 3D test print. Note the bogies under the tender are not the final Maunsell versions

A further view of the 3D test print. Note the bogies under the tender are not the final Maunsell versions

R3327 SR Maunsell lined olive green as number 824 paired with a Urie Bogie tender. She will be with smoke deflectors and therefore represents the condition she was in from September 1932 when renumbered without the ‘E’ prefix. 824 was one of the first batch of the Maunsell S15’s built in March 1927 and an Exmouth Junction allocated locomotive during all her Southern Railway days. 824 remained in this livery until April 1940 when under wartime conditions she was repainted in unlined olive green with Bullied style lettering.

A 3D test print prior to tooling of the S15 With Flush sided tender

A 3D test print prior to tooling of the S15 With Flush sided tender

R3328 BR early emblem livery as 30843 paired with a Maunsell flat sided bogie tender. 30843 was one of the third batch of Maunsell S15’s built in September 1936. 30384 ran in this livery as an Exmouth Junction allocated locomotive, with a 72A shedplate, between December 1954 and July 1959 when she gained the late crest (She ran with no emblem on the tender at all between a repaint in August 1949 and November 1954).

R3329 BR late emblem livery as 30830, with AWS fitted, paired to a Urie Bogie tender c/w auxiliary vacuum reservoirs. 30830 was a from the second batch of Maunsell S15’s built in August 1927. 30830 ran in this livery, with a 72B Salisbury shed plate between May 1960, when AWS equipment was fitted, and December 1963 when she was transferred to Feltham.

I hope this information is of interest and I thank the Hornby design team, with whom I am assisting, for allowing me to publish it.

Back at the start of November last year the 4mm scale road vehicle manufacturer Oxford Diecast, launched a new brand called Oxford Rail and their intention to produce an ex LSWR 0415 class 4-4-2T Adams Radial Tank. They have today released further details about the model, with samples due in April, and also announced their first item rolling stock, namely a range of Railway Clearing House (RCH) 7 Plank 12 ton mineral private owner wagon.

The first three livery versions, priced at £99.95, of the Adams Radial announced are as follows:

OR76AR001 BR lined black late crest number 30583
OR76AR002 BR lined black early emblem number 60584
OR76AR003 Southern number 488 (no further details on the actual variartion of the Southern livery or if as preserved has been provided)
[Edit: The Oxford Rail website has now been amended to read “LSWR number 488″, so therefore likely to be as preserved]

The standard 12 Ton Mineral wagon was the most numerous design of mineral wagons built in the UK after 1923. They were originally built with 7 side planks, had a universal length of 16’6″ with a width of 8’0″ and wheelbase of 9’0″  These wagons were of a simple design and employed standard RCH fittings throughout.

The first livery variations of this wagon, priced at £8.95 due the second quarter this year, and already fully tooled, are as follows:

OR76MW001 No.95 Fear Bros Staines (Red body, white lettering shaded black)
OR76MW002 No.10 Leamington Priors Gas (Red body, white lettering shaded black)
OR76MW003 No.44 E Welford & Son Oxford (Red body, white lettering shaded black)
OR76MW004 No.16 Weymouth & District Co-op (Dark green body, white lettering)
OR76MW005 No.217 Coventry Collieries (Black body, white lettering)
OR76MW006 No.286 Arley Colliery (Red body, white lettering shaded black)

Full details and images of the wagon liveries can be found on the Oxford Rail website

It is with great sadness that the legend in the model railway world that is Bob Symes also known as Robert Alexander Baron Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff (born 6 May 1924) has today passed away aged 90 after a short battle with Cancer.

BobSymesRIPLike many railway modellers of a certain age group I remember Bob from the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World and his own programmes he presented: Model World dedicated to the hobby of modelling, also on the BBC in the mid 1970s, and Model Magic. He also presented a series called Making Tracks in the 1990s. Making Tracks was a series dedicated to little-known lines and networks worldwide, and which specialised in steam operations.

I was lucky enough to have met Bob on a number of occasions firstly in my short trouser days admiring his large radio controlled railway models at a model railway show in Beaconsfield and lastly at the January 2011 Astolat show in Guildford. Bob was judging the competition for the best visiting layout in show and spent many minutes looking, very much at eye level, at Fisherton Sarum and no one was more surprised than me when he later announced the layout as best in show. I have just raised a beer in his memory in the engraved glass tankard that I received to commemorate the award.

RIP Bob Symes, a great inspiration to many modellers alike, the model railway layouts in the great upstairs have just gained another operator. My sincere condolences to all his family and friends.

Note: picture reproduced here with the kind express permission of, and is the copyright of,  Chris Nevard and Model Rail Magazine. It must not be copied or distributed in any manner (electronic, web or printed) without their prior written consent.


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