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With again a respectful nod to the Southern Publicity Department  back in 1936 I am soon heading very South (well about 2 and bit  hours in a plane south)  for some exploration,  rest, relaxation and hopefully some sun and sea too. There will, therefore, also be a break in posts on this blog with normal service being resumed week commencing the 30th June.

summer posterThe now famous Southern Railway publicity poster  ’I’m Taking and Early Holiday cos I know Summer Comes Soonest in the South’, was first released in 1936. It was dubiously parodied later by the Late and Never Early Railway, imitation being… etc. etc.

The Photograph, originally in black and white, was  taken in 1924 by Charles E Brown and shows a small boy carrying a suitcase on the platform at Waterloo station talking to the fireman of N15 King Arthur class 4-6-0 locomotive No 755 ‘The Red Knight’, as he leans from the cab. The Southern Railway publicity department had the image coloured for use on this poster the hint of the black and white original can be seen beyond the locomotive.

I know this post is a cheat, as this is a repeat of a similar post from last summer, but I am already in holiday mode. If you are also about to head off on vacation or have one planned over the summer months then enjoy!

Just in case you get withdrawal symptoms feel free to click here to view a totally random post,  and for something to look forward to,  I will be reporting back on the Bachmann future product announcements, as part of their 25th anniversary weekend, on the 20th July, so speak again soon.

I am pleased to publish below images of the first off Engineering Prototype (EP) samples for the now seven versions of the Kernow Model Centre Adams 0-4-4T O2 class locomotives (the 7th variation, of 207 in Maunsell lined green was announced here).

Isle of Wight version W24

Isle of Wight version W24

These images are taken from the first main body parts tooling run are obviously far from complete, with little of the separately applied details such as pipework, brake gear and handrails etc added,  but will give you an idea of the impressive amount of detail and variations that have been incorporated.

Mainland pull push fitted version

Mainland pull push fitted version

Just look at the shear number of holes in the body tooling to incorporate those details. The full list of the available variations, including both Isle of Wight and Mainland versions,  and liveries that will be available can be found on the Kernow Model centre dedicated webpage here.

Rear 3/4 view

Rear 3/4 view

These being the first off Engineering Prototypes will therefore be subject to minor tweaks and correction where necessary. It has already been noted that some of the detail combinations of the EP’s produced do not reflect the final versions, but at this early stage are as much to test the tooling rather than to confirm each and every variation being produced.

The body only of the Mainland non PP fitted version

The body only of the Mainland non PP fitted version

For example the Mainland Pull Push fitted version shown left has the side tank strengthening plate of the Calbourne version and also the Isle of White type Westinghouse pump fitted.

A final view from the top

A view from the top

As regular readers of this blog will know I have been assisting the Kernow Model Centre with the development of these Adams O2 models, hence me being able to publish these pictures with their kind permission, and it’s nice to report this further progress.

The front face of the O2 in this case an IoW version

The front face of the O2 in this case an IoW version

This 1st EP will be checked to highlight any corrections needed, and will be followed  by a more complete and working sample for fuller appraisal. Once this has been complete and if there are no problems with the 1st EP, The model will then be progressed to a 2nd EP where all the rivets and finer detail will be added to the tool. For speed of development the 1st painted samples will also be provided to allow the project to then move apace ready for signing off and full production. Production should take, when authorised, around 4-6 weeks with roughly the same time to ship to Kernow Model Centre’s premises.

Today, 6th June,  marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied forces D-Day landings, Operation Overlord,  on the Normandy coast, the largest ever wartime seaborne invasion landings, that bought about the start of the end of the Second World War. We rightly commemorate bravery of the 156,000 allied troops involved and the as many as 4000 young men that fell to bring about the liberation of France and ultimately Europe some 11 months later.

It should also be remembered that D-Day was not just about one day but an incredible amount of planning and logistics both leading up to and for the many months that followed to ensure that men and machines, munitions, supplies and materials were in the right place at the right time to ensure success. Whilst much is reported about the 6000 plus ships and vessels that sailed across the channel,  it was very much the railways of the time that played a big part in these logistics supplying the many south coast posts such as Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Portland. The Southern Railway was of course at the forefront of these logistics.

For example to build the temporary ‘Mulberry’ harbours, Designed by Major Allan Beckett of the Royal Engineers,  that were built over six months off the Normandy coast by around 55,000 workers used  210,000 tons of steel, 1,000,000 tons of concrete. All these materials would have arrived at the coast ports for loading onto vessels by rail. This construction still stands as one of the greatest civil engineering feats of modern times.

The Southern Railway reported, later that year, at its 1944 Annual General Meeting that some £1,000,000 was spent on the additional sidings and equipment necessary to meet the needs of Operation Overlord. During 1944 over 26,000 special trains were run, with over 550,000 on duty service personnel carried.  Eighteen of the Company’s steam ships and their ‘modern’ train ferry ships also played an active part. All of this took place whilst maintaining a practically normal level of standard service trains to allow the civilian population to move from home to work as usual.

Lest we forget not just the young brave military personnel but also the dedication and efforts of the railway workers that worked tirelessly, in all too often difficult and life threatening conditions themselves, indeed many did also fall, to ensure the success of Operation Overlord.

No pictures with this post just thoughts and thanks.

 

The first public appearance of Fisherton Sarum was at the 2006 Wycrail exhibition organised by the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society. of which I have been a member for, gulp, over 30 years! This November, Saturday 1st, will see Fisherton Sarum once again return to the Wycrail exhibition, albeit in its bright new and spacious venue at the Cressex Community School.

Bullied power at Fisherton Sarum. 21C6 (left) was a Salisbury engine her entire life

Bullied power at Fisherton Sarum.

At this years Wycrail show Fisherton Sarum will be be in good company along with 26 other quality layouts in a wide variety of scales and gauges, including: Diesels in the Duchy (EM), Tucking Mill (2mm fs), Fourgig East (0)  and Propect Valley (H0).  As usual there will be also be a wide range of trade support.

The full details of the show can be found on the Wycrial website here, the key details however are that it is being held on Saturday 1st November, so add it to your diary now, at Cressex Community School, Cressex Road, High Wycombe, HP12 4UD. It is open to the public between 10.00 and 17.00. The show is well worth a visit and is generally accepted as being one of the best one day shows in the south of England.

 

It has been a busy three weeks exhibition wise.  Starting with a great weekend exhibiting Fisherton Sarum in its spiritual home at the excellent Salisbury and South Wilts exhibition. It was an honour to be involved with their 50th anniversary exhibition and meet so many visitors to the show that were familiar with Salisbury Shed including  a number of ex drivers. I enjoyed meeting and chatting to all and it was also great to meet some of the regular readers of my ramblings on here.

Buckminster Ironstone

Buckminster Ironstone

Last Saturday I enjoyed assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member, and regular operator with Fisherton Sarum,  Alan Paley with his exquisite pre-grouping Midland Railway based Loughborogh Roaad layout at the small Thames Valley Model Railway Exhibition. A very pleasant day was had playing trains.

A picture says a thousand words

A picture says a thousand words

This weekend is the final third, so to speak, and the largest of the three exhibitions being the excellent Railex show organised by friends at the Risborough and District MRC. I shall be joining the talented model railway builder and photographer Chris Nevard with his latest little master piece Buckminster Ironstone. It is only a small layout but it certainly packs a punch visually following on from a long line of iconic layouts from Chris.

I shall be assisting Chris on the Saturday so if you are coming along please say hello. Also in attendance at the show is the latest H0 and narrow gauge logging layout from the High Wycombe and District MRS, Prospect Point which is well worth a look.

 

 

The Southern Railway had many evocative and well known named trains such as: the Golden Arrow, Bournemouth Belle, the Devon Belle (as per my Talking Stock #20 post here) but one of the possibly most misnamed but well of them all was the Atlantic Coast Express. Why misnamed you might ask, well of the ten different termini served by the train there was only one that was actually on the Atlantic Coast itself!  The genius of the name, however, a result of a competition run in the Southern Railway staff magazine in 1924 credited to Guard F. Rowland* of Woking, was its simple initials ‘ACE’.

Merchant Navy 21C6 complete with ACE headboard on Fisherton Sarum

Merchant Navy 21C6 complete with ACE headboard on Fisherton Sarum

Owing to fiddle yard length I do not run a full length or accurate ACE on Fisherton Sarum, although one of my Merchant Navy class locomotives 21C6 Peninsular and Oriental Line does carry the Southern Railway style ‘scalloped’ style headboard and I have to say does look the part on my rake of Bulleid post 1946 coaches.

Although no new train service was actually introduced, the 11am from Waterloo on Monday 19th July 1926 was the first service to carry the name. There were a number of eventual charms about the ACE;  firstly it was a multi-part train with through coaches for destinations including: Seaton, Sidmouth, Lyme Regis, Exmouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Torrington, Ilfracombe, Padstow and Bude. On leaving Waterloo it could be formed of up to 13 or so coaches, many of them brake composites being single coaches for a specific destination, 2 or 3 coach sets (Plymouth or Illfracome)  and a 2 coach restaurant set (as far as Exeter). Secondly on many days there were in fact more than one ACE run in each direction sometimes as little as 10 minutes apart leaving Waterloo. The formation and destinations varied over time so this post is a summary rather than a particular snapshot in time.

Another View of the 21C6 on the ACE. 21C6 was in a fact a Salisbury based engine for her entire life.

Another View of the 21C6 on the ACE. 21C6 was in a fact a Salisbury based engine for her entire life.

The ACE not only changed engines at Salisbury, as per all Waterloo – West of England trains (except for the Devon Belle, that changed just down the line at Wilton as a PR exercise) but also on many occasions the train split there with the second portion containing the through coaches for the Dorset coast branches.

The King Arthur N15 class were the originally engines of choice from Waterloo but these were soon displaced post war by the Merchant Navy Class. once past Exeter where the train once again split a variety of locomotive classes could be seen ranging from  the King Arthur N15. Bulleid light pacific classes  (post war) to more humble engines such as 4-4-0 T9’s and 2-6-0 N classes.

 *footnote, it is unfortunate to record that Guard Roland although based at Woking at the time of the competition moved shortly after to Torrington (one of the ACE’s destinations) but sadly just six years later became the only person to killed on the North Cornwall Railway due to a shunting accident.

The ’00’ Works have produced a number of small batches of hand built Ready to Run locomotives including a variety of Southern classes. They also produced, before Hornby, a brass Devon Belle Observation car which graces Fisherton Sarum. The ’00’works have announced that they are to produce seven of versions of the ex London Brighton and South Coast (LBSC) Marsh designed I3 Class.

My I3 No. 2084 built from a Wills kit, She is the latter condition with cut down boiler fittings and cab to suit the SR composite loading gauge

My I3 No. 2084 built from a Wills kit, She is the latter condition with cut down boiler fittings and cab to suit the SR composite loading gauge

As I described in my Talking Stock #25 Marsh got one atlantic 4-4-2 tank right with the I3 post the I3 tanks  were very successful  and gained an excellent reputation especially with respect to fuel economy. When electrification of the Brighton lines started to displace them they found new jobs elsewhere. Having been built initially to the more generous Brighton loading gauge they were cut down slightly by reducing the height of the boiler mountings and rounding off of the cab roofs to work on the Eastern section, they subsequently worked further afield.

The 7 variations of the locomotive announced are:

- LBSC, Umber Brown No 25 with clerestory cab roof and round topped dome – £250
– SR  Olive Green.lined 2025 with clerestory cab roof and flat topped dome – £250
– BR Plain 32030Early crest with clerestory cab roof and flat topped dome – £250
– BR LINED  32091  with rounded cab roof and  flat topped dome – £240
– PLAIN  UMBER with clerestory cab roof and round topped dome – £230
– PLAIN BLACK with rounded cab roof and  flat topped dome – £225
– PLAIN BLACK with clerestory cab roof and flat topped dome – £225

Past Southern locomotive produced by the ’00’ Works, some of which have since been produced or announced by the major manufacturers, has included: N15, 700, C, E4 and Adams Radial classes. The level of detail of these models has steadily improved over time, although is still not as high as we seem from the likes of Hornby or Bachmann, they have in the past filled gaps in the market and they should be applauded for taking on another LBSC / Southern prototype.

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