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Heljan have this week announced that now in development is for release in 2022 is a ready-to-run 0 gauge model of English Electric’s pioneering Class 73 – their first electric locomotive in this scale.

Designed to operate on both third-rail electric and diesel power in non-electrified areas such as yards and depots, the Class 73s lived a relatively mundane life until they were thrust into the limelight when the new ‘Gatwick Express’ operation started in 1984. Over the years, the class has worked everything from express passenger to newspaper and mail, freight and engineering trains. The advent of Sectorisation in the mid-1980s saw the standard BR blue livery replaced by a rainbow of liveries, a trend that continues today.

Class 73 in GB Railfreight livery

Despite a steady decline in the 1990s, these hugely versatile locomotives have seen a revival in the 21st century and continue to play a vital role hauling engineering and test trains for GB Railfreight and Network Rail on the 750V DC third-rail network and beyond. Now seen over a much wider area than in BR days, the ‘EDs’ have gained a cult following and 13 locomotives have even been rebuilt with more powerful diesel engines and modern electronics transforming them into 1,600hp go-anywhere machines.

Heljan’s all-new model is being designed to offer a range of authentic detail variations covering the entire career of the production batch built in 1965-67, many of which are still active on the main line network and heritage railways. These will include locomotives with or without high intensity headlights and NRN radio aerials, radio pods and optional fibreglass arc shields fitted to the bogies from the mid-1980s onwards.

Ten versions have been selected, covering a broad cross-section of BR, Sectorisation and Privatisation era liveries from 1965 to the present day – see below for more information. They are also currently examining options for models with factory-fitted DCC sound, details of which will be confirmed separately. The likely Price for DCC Ready models will be £625.00.

  • 7300: BR Blue E6008 (small yellow panels/grey solebar) WEATHERED
  • 7301: BR Blue E6020 (small yellow panels)
  • 7302: BR Blue 73137 (full yellow ends)
  • 7303: BR Large Logo Blue 73114
  • 7304: InterCity Executive 73102 Airtour Suisse
  • 7305: BR Civil Engineers ‘Dutch’ grey/yellow 73108
  • 7306: Revised Network SouthEast 73126 Kent & East Sussex Railway
  • 7308: EW&S red/gold 73128
  • 7309: Network Rail yellow 73212
  • 7310: GB Railfreight blue/orange 73107 Tracy

Standard features will include sprung buffers, wire handrails, fine etched grilles, separately fitted buffing plates, SR 27-way multiple working cables and hoses, windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details. CAD work is currently in progress.  It will also feature their proven high-performance twin motor/flywheel chassis with all-wheel drive and pick-up, separately switchable cab, headcode and engine room lights, an ESU XL pin decoder interface and provision for DCC sound.

 

The first five members of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSC) E2 class 0-6-0 tanks were introduced by L Billington in June 1913.  In service they were found to be powerful but slightly lacking in water and therefore a further batch of 5 were ordered, although delayed by the war, and built between June 1915 and October 1916 with extended side tanks, These extended tanks  increased water capacity from 1,090 to 1,256 gallons.
They were used on shunting and short distance goods trips, their small capacity coal bunkers made them unsuitable for longer trips. They were also used on empty stock workings at Victoria and London Bridge.

E2 No. 2104 shunts at the Quay

Work in progress front 3/4 view

Work in Progress rear 3/4 view

The bulk of the E2 can be seen in comparison with the B4 class. The body is yet to be lowered on the chassis slightly.

The later style chassis with added guard irons and sandboxes. The front fixing lugs are yet to be filed smaller to lower the body (The rear lug is likewise reduced)

The front 3/4 view RH side

the RH Side 3/4 view, she awaits some weathering now

Further shunting at the Quay

Following the onset of electrification a number were used as shunters at Southampton Docks and despite their 16ft wheelbase restricting their use in some areas of the docks they stayed working the docks until 1962 when the Class 07 diesels arrived.
Withdrawal of took place between 1961 and 1963.

The Hornby model of the E2 0-6-0 first appeared in 1979 and following 4 versions, LBSC Umber (2 versions) , SR lined Black and SR olive green, production ceased in 1984.   After which the tooling was altered used for the production of some other blue model… dam I wasn’t going to mention that…

Many years ago in my yoof I simply repainted into SR ‘Sunshine’ black, now with Canute Road Quay being an ideal setting for an E2 I decided to dig the E2 out again and give her a quick win makeover, so finescale modellers look away now…

The original chassis was the standard at the time Hornby generic 0-6-0 X04 motor fitted chassis. As this is a quick win project I have decided to not at this stage built a new chassis but simply swap it for the later style of Hornby 0-6-0 generic chassis with its closed frames and smaller motor and slightly greater level of detail. This later chassis is a direct replacement and also gives better running.
To this chassis I have added front sandboxes, made from plastic rectangular section and filed to shape with wire sand pipes, and added front and rear guard irons from plasticard.

The body itself generally matches the correct dimensions for the E2 which was certainly one of the larger 0-6-0 tanks. I have added new brass buffers, pipework, clack valves and lamp irons from various bits and bobs kicking around from the spares / scrap box.
In keeping with the Brighton Style, dating from when the water in the tanks was pre heated, the tank sides were clad and the fixing bolts for the cladding were a visible feature and the E2 was no different. To represent these visible fixings I drilled then glued in 0.45mm wire before cutting the wire almost flush with the tankside.
Just underneath the running plate I have added the long horizontal air tanks on each side, made from plastic rod and some of the piping from brass wire.

The E2 is a large tank when compared to other tanks such as the B4 class, however the body as new does sit slightly too high on the chassis, and this is simply remedied by filing the underside of the front two fixing lugs and also the underside of the single rear sprung lug.

After a dusting with primer from a Halfords aerosol can she received a coat of Halfords Satin Black again from a rattle can before the smokebox and cab roof were brush painted matt black and the bufferbeam of course in red. Her identity as 2104 was added using HMRS Pressfix transfers to complete the look.

I admit she would benefit from a proper finescale chassis, but as a quick win project I think it fits the bill and will extend the life of the Hornby model seeing occasional use on canute Road Quay. A nice 3D print of the E2 with the extended tanks is available and so this might form the basis of a future project…

KMS Railtech have announced that they are in talks with Accurascale to produce the Class 73/9 locomotive in 4mm OO Gauge.

They are currently in the initial stages of the project and at this point are encouraging expressions of interest. If there is sufficient demand they would open up the project for pre-orders and delivery of the model would be expected 18 months later.

Pricing is expected to be £179.99 for DCC Ready and £269.99 for DCC Sound.

They are looking to initially provide two running numbers of each of the following liveries:

  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • GBRf
  • Network Rail

Proposed Specification:

  • Highly detailed OO/1:76.2 scale model
  • Heavy die-cast metal chassis
  • Separately applied etched metal and high fidelity plastic detail parts, including grab handles, aerials, steps, wipers, nameplates, crests and more
  • Scale width wire handrails
  • Full underbody tank detail with brackets and pipework
  • Bogies feature separate footsteps, brake cylinders, speed recorder, end brake rigging and very fine brake chain
  • Brake blocks on trucks (bogies) in line with wheels (can be moved for EM/P4 gauges)
  • RP25-110 profile OO gauge wheels
  • Fully sprung metal buffers, extra-fine factory-installed pipework and screw couplings
  • Correct height mini-tension-lock couplers with NEM socket as well as a fully detailed bufferbeam
  • Provided DCC ready [21Pin MTC Socket]
  • Every model includes PowerPack / Backup Power Capacitor Bank for up to ten seconds of power free running, flicker free lighting and continuous sound
  • Minimum Radius 438mm (2nd Radius Set-track)
  • DCC Sound Versions include:
  • ESU LokSound V5 DCC Chip
  • Customised Dual-Speaker Technology with:
  • Large EM2 Style Bass Speaker
  • Smaller ‘smartphone’ style cube for higher frequencies

High Performance traction, to include:

  • High-quality five-pole motor with two flywheels
  • Helical gears for maximum performance and slow speed running
  • DCC ready with PowerPack Super-capacitor for uninterrupted power and super low speed running
  • All wheel drive and all wheel pickup
  • Fully detailed Lighting Pack, including:
  • Directional lighting on DC and DCC
  • Fully functional Headlights per prototype
  • WIPAC light clusters with day and night-time settings
  • Separately switched cab lighting and illuminated, details driver’s console, auto off on movement
  • Switchable red tail lights

Accurascale’s  Director of Product Development & Commissions, Patrick Conboy, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside KMS Railtech to produce the Class 73/9 in OO gauge. KMS are a young company with tremendous drive and ambition, and that is reflected in their decision to commission a high-spec model of these fantastic locomotives. The Class 73/9 dovetails nicely with our forthcoming Caledonian Sleeper Mk5 coaches, and together they will provide modellers with the means to recreate some of the most iconic present-day passenger services on Britain’s railway network.”

If you wish to express your interest in a Class 73/9 please follow the link here: 

 

 

On Friday 2nd October 2020, the boiler of Ex-SR Bulleid Merchant Navy Class, 35011 “General Steam Navigation” was successfully lifted from its frames for the first time since 1959. The boiler was built by North British in Glasgow in January 1941 and has been attached for a total of 61 years since its last overhaul in July 1959.

The boiler of 35011 is lifted from the frames for the first time since 1959

The frames are lifted to allow the trailing truck to be removed

The old smokebox is removed

The aim of the General Steam Navigation locomotive Restoration Society is to restore the Merchant Navy locomotive 21c11 / 35011 to her original as built condition complete with air smooth casing and Bulleids unique chain driven valve gear.

The trailing truck was also removed from the frames, utilising the crane on site as this will soon be moving off site to be fully restored.

The smokebox, that would have been unusable if we were restoring to as rebuilt condition, was also removed. A new smokebox to the original design will be fabricated in due course.

As a trustee and Director of the project it is an exciting time for the project and it allows us to concentrate on the restoration of the chassis which on its own is a big project and will take several years to complete.

We are in the early stages in the process of the manufacture of a new centre crank axle (she had the crank axle swapped for a plain axle just after withdrawal) and also the middle cylinder will need to be replaced to return her back to Bulleid’s original condition.  

With work on 35011 now being directed to the restoration of the chassis and further fund-raising campaigns will be launched in due course. The first of which is the wheelset tyre profiling fund here

We have been made very welcome by our friends at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway  and I am very pleased to be able to advise that following the forced closure of the line due to COVID-19 it is re-opening to passenger services this Sunday 4th October. 

This months picture…

Adams B4 0-4-0t No.100 rest at Canute Road Quay, she is built from a white metal kit

This is the fifth in the series of ‘Making Quay Changes’ posts with the Canute Road Quay being transported to either a different location or era or both.  In this post we are firmly in the Southampton Docks but after 1962 when the Class 07 diesels were specifically introduced to modernise the operations in the docks.

A pair of Heljan Class 07 models meet at Canute Road Quay

Class 07 D2985 arrives at the quay

D2988 is from the second Heljan production batch

Passing Class 07s at Canute Road quay

A busy moment in time at Canute Road Quay

D2985 arrives on the quay and passes D2988 awaiting to depart

D2985 arrives at the quay

Although my usual modelling genre, as regular readers will know, is the

Southern Railway between 1946 and 1949, however due to Canute Road Quay has very few visual references to either period or location (yes there are a couple, but hey…) items such as the vehicles and other details such as crates, sack stacks and oil drums etc. are loose, so it enables them to be both be moved around, to give some variety in photographs, and or replaced with other items to different periods.

The USA 0-6-0 tanks had been in service within Southampton Docks since 1946, Due to the various tight curves within Southampton Docks utilising existing Diesel shunters such as the EE 350HP, later 09 class was not going to be an option. Therefore in 1962 Fourteen 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunting 275HP locomotives specifically for use in Southampton Docks were purchased by British Railways from Ruston Paxman.  They had a wheelbase of only 8 ft 7½ in, compared with 11 ft 6 in for an 08. With their high well glazed cab offset between long and short bonnets they certainly had their own distinctive character.

The Heljan models, as per my review here, have captured the look of the prototype well. The feature a multi part injection  moulded body with fine etched front and rear nose grills on a heavy diecast chassis. Separately fitted items include: metal handrails, sprung buffers, windscreen wipers, pipework, roof mounted air horns and factory fitted screw link couplings. Underneath the body the chassis features the correct air cylinders, sand boxes, sand pipes, other pipework and brake gear. Also fitted is a working lubricator linkage on the left hand side (when viewed long bonnet forward. Included with the model are discs, including those with duty numbers, as used within Southampton Docks.

When paired with the suitable later era rolling stock, that I have now collected and weathered, the Heljan Class 07s certainly look the part and with their smooth running make shunting at Canute Road Quay easy and a refreshing change from my usual period.

I hope you enjoy this post, the next ‘Making Quay Changes’ post with Canute Road Quay may or may not be set in its usual location, so once again, where and what era will it be…?

 

 

This months picture…

USA Tank No.68 shunts in the sunshine at Canute Road Quay.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre have received the first Engineering Prototype (EP) from the tooling for the much-anticipated ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Van. 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 CADs, based on a laser scan of the preserved example at the Isle of Wight steam railway, were approved for tooling earlier this year.
KMRC advised: “The first Engineering Prototype samples have been carefully evaluated and we are very pleased with how the EP has turned out. We are currently discussing directly with the factory a very small number of slight modifications before the next stage of livery samples can be produced. The production of the livery artwork is in progress.”

The pictures show the high level of detail and multitude of separately fitted parts including: flush glazing, hand rails, brake gear with pull rodding, step boards and lamp irons to accurately portray a number of different versions of the prototype.

These options include alternative buffer shanks with a ribbed option as fitted to preserved No. 56046 on the Isle of Wight steam railway and either straight or cranked step board supports, the latter as fitted to the majority of those transferred in 1925 to the Isle of Wight.

In light of further research, a small number of the available versions have been changed with corrected running numbers and liveries as BR Bauxite would not be appropriate for the available options of this road van.

Details of the ten versions can be found on the Kernow Model Rail Centre website here

Anyone wishing to amend their pre-order due to these changes can contact the Kernow Model Rail Centre either through the website or via telephone.

Note: the images show a version with a mix of the potential options and does not necessarily show an actual available version.

I hope that you will agree it is looking great.

This is the fourth in a series of ‘Making Quay Changes’ posts with the Canute Road Quay being transported to either a different location or era or both.  It follows my Making Quay Changes #1 post moving the scene Eastwards, and then back to Southampton with my Making Quay Changes #2 post but in the 1950s  and #3 post set in the 1920/30s. We now move somewhere / anywhere in the late 1950s / 60s with industrial locomotives providing the horse power.

Passing Peckets a modified Hornby W4 0-4-0t passes a B2 0-6-0t renamed as ‘O.S.V.Bullied’

A Hornby B2 0-6-0t ‘Leader’ shunts at the quay

a modified Hattons Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t simmers

Peckett B4 0-6-0t ‘O.V.S. Bullied’ crosses towards the quayside

A pair of Hornby Sentinels pass each other with ‘Cattewater’ passing ‘Graham’

‘Cattewater’ stays on brand shunting an oil tank wagon

the outside cranked ‘Graham’ is on loan from the Oxfordshire Ironstone Co.

ex Class 05 now No.2 pauses at the crossing

Although my usual modelling genre, as regular readers will know, is the Southern Railway between 1946 and 1949, however due to Canute Road Quay has very few visual references to either period or location (yes there are a couple, but hey…) Having deliberately when building Canute Road Quay left the vehicles and other details such as crates, sack stacks and oil drums etc. loose, it enables them to be both be moved around, to give some variety in photographs, and or replaced with other items to different periods.

In this case Canute Road Quay‘s is off the British Railways network and could be any private quayside / wharf. In and around Southampton alone there were a myriad of rail served private docks and wharves including inner and outer docks and those along the River Itchen such as Dibles Wharf, Notham, Britannia and Victoria wharf,  many of which had their own locomotives.

In this case we see a number of locomotives privately operated ranging from steam locomotives to diesel shunters sharing duties around the quay.

The steam locomotives include the the Hornby W4 0-4-0t and B2 0-6-0t Pecketts, and the Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t both of which I have modified for use on Canute Road Quay. As per my Workbench Witterings #3 post they have been fitted with the use of dumb, usually basic wooden blocks, buffers so often seen at such locations. They remained in surface well into the 1960s and in some cases beyond. My B2 Pecketts have had their identities changed to be ‘O.V.S. Bullied’ and ‘Leader’ (spot the theme…), nameplates obtained from my friends at 247 Developments,  and weathered.

The early 1960s saw the introduction of a number of diesel shunters such as the 34 ton chain drive 4 wheel Rolls-Royce diesel powered Sentinel shunter rated at 233hp and the later 325hp, 38 ton style with outside cranks.
The Hornby Esso  4wDM version was introduced in 1963 and was for use in the Esso Bitumen works at Cattewater, hence its name, in Plymouth
‘Graham’ (Hornby must have been tempting me to purchase this one on purpose!) was delivered new to the Oxfordshire Ironstone company as Locomotive No.10207 in May 1965 and was fitted with vacuum braking and a higher ratio gearbox for mainline working, so is obviously on loan to the quayside.
The Hornby models have been modified slightly with the lifting eyes at each end having their holes drilled out, the wasp stripes on ‘Cattewater’ continued on the side of the bufferbeam as per the prototype and also weathered.

Moving towards the late 1960s saw some of the myriad of early BR shunter types being withdrawn and some entering industrial service such as the ex Class 05. This Heljan example is modelled on the second batch built by Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds and built in 1961 numbered D2574 to D2618, had a  higher roof line, smaller wheels (3’4″ instead of 3’9″) deeper buffers with oval heads than the first batch built in 1955. D2578 was sold to HP Bulmers in 1968 and is now preserved, but seen here working at the quay.

I hope you enjoy this post, the next ‘Making Quay Changes’ post with Canute Road Quay  the next such post will be be set in its usual location, but what era will it be…?

 

 

I am delighted to announce that, after spending 15 years in the Road Safety and Traffic Management sector, spending some time out due to Covid 19 has resulted in a decision to change lifestyle, I am delighted, having already hinted a new role, to be taking up the newly created role of Development Manager with the Kernow Model Rail Centre (KMRC) working alongside Chris Trerise the KMRC Managing Director. I will officially start the role on 1st October.

Canute Road Quay has seen the addition of a semi permanent photographic light box in preparation for the new role

The new role is responsible for the research, development, and project management of our commissions along with some aspects of PR, Social media, website development and, once they are taking place again managing their presence at some exhibitions.

Obviously as regular readers will know I have already assisted KMRC with a number of their model commissions in the past (and a few for the future) so I am already familiar with their projects and the team.

My appointment provides KMRC with additional resource to develop and manage the wide range of their ongoing and planned projects.

Don’t worry the appointment will not affect this blog and or its future content.

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