Much has been written in the past about the locomotive exchanges that took place in 1948 shortly after nationalisation; indeed my own Talking Stock #2 post here discussed the exchange trials and featured some of the locomotives that appeared on the Southern with respect to the Express Passenger, General Purpose locomotive trials. Not discussed so often is the fact that as well as passenger locomotives a number of trials were also conducted with the freight locos of the time. This post looks at some of the freight locomotives that appeared through Salisbury on the Eastleigh to Bristol freight trials and therefore I have modelled to occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum. My thoughts on the overall effectiveness or otherwise of the 1948 locomotive exchange trials will form the basis of a further post.
Hornby have produced models of three of the freight locomotives used on the trials on the Southern and whether by complete coincidence or not are two correctly numbered for the actual locomotives used. It should be noted that the Southern did not put forward a freight locomotive. I am not sure why an S15 was not put forward perhaps the Southern felt it was not a modern enough design when compared to their Bullied Pacifics? I am yet to model the London Midland Region 8F number 48189 but it on the list of things to do.
First up is the 28xx class 2-8-0 from the that other railway the Western Region number 3803. I have fitted etched brass number plates over the original printed number plates to enhance the appearance, added real coal to the tender and lightly weathered. I am pretty certain this is not the first picture that has appeared on this blog of a WR locomotive, or for that matter run on Fisherton Sarum, but they are pretty rare!
The second Hornby locomotive is the Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789 and is generally thought of as being an excellent model. I have replaced the later British Railway crest (that did not exist at the time of the trials) with the correct style for the period wording ‘British Railways’ in Gill Sans. Again just the addition of real coal in the tender and weathering was required before entering the fleet.
In addition to the above two locomotives the WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 classes were also trialed, although the 2-10-0 was larger with a larger firebox and grate area it was essentially the same boiler as its slightly smaller brother and in fact the 2-8-0 generally gave better results.
The Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 produced by Bachmann is in my opinion currently one of their finest steam outline models in terms of both looks and performance. My model does not strictly represent the exact locomotive used in the trials as she is based one of the class as allocated to the Southern Railway in 1946 having been backdated with the Westinghouse pump etc but is pretty much in the same condition as number 77000 that was used in 1948.
My model of the WD 2-10-0 number 73774 is built from a DJH kit specifically to match the condition of her real life counter part used on the Eastleigh to Bristol runs. For those confused by the 77xxx and 73xxx numbers of the WD Locomotives they were renumbered into the BR standard 90000–90732 number range in the early 1950’s.
During the trials the freight runs to assess performance, just like the passenger runs the ex North Eastern Railway Dynamomenter car was attached to the locomotive. My model is from Golden Age Models and will also feature in a future Talking Stock post.