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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

This months picture…

Maunsell 2-6-0 N1 class 1822 heads west on a freight service. 1822 has been converted from a Bachmann N Class with modified front end and valve gear. The first four wagons are banana vans piped with steam heating to help ripen the fruit.

Maunsell 2-6-0 N1 class 1822 heads west on a freight service. 1822 has been converted from a Bachmann N Class with modified front end and valve gear. The first four wagons are banana vans piped with steam heating to help ripen the fruit.

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This months picture…

Bulleid Light Pacific, Battle of Britain 21C151 'Winston Churchill' is turned at Fisherton Sarum.

Bulleid Light Pacific, Battle of Britain 21C151 ‘Winston Churchill’ is turned at Fisherton Sarum.

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This months picture…

Douchess class No. 46236 'City of Bradford' is turned at Fisherson Sarum during trial runs for the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trials, she is coupled to a WD tender due to the SR not having any water troughs.

Stanier Duchess class No. 46236 ‘City of Bradford’ is turned at Fisherson Sarum during trial runs for the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trials, she is coupled to a WD type tender for the trials due to the SR not having any water troughs.

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This week sees the release of a new blockbuster style film ‘Dunkirk’; directed by Briton Christopher Nolan, whose stars include Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy and some singer or other Harry Styles (I didn’t think I would ever include his name in a post on here!); is of course about the the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between 27 May and 4 June 1940.
As it is probably not mentioned much in the film (as I have not seen it yet) I thought it would be worth revisiting a past post from May 2015 that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the event and discussed the vital part played by the Southern Railway.
The Dunkirk evacuation, code named Operation Dynamo, was decided upon when large numbers of British, French, and Belgian troops were cut off and surrounded by the German army. The event is renown for the use of a flotilla of 800 small ships used to assist in the ferrying of some 338,226 soldiers to safety.

southern-railway-coat-of-arms-1923-1948The Southern Railway played very much an unsung role in Operation Dynamo, as once back on English shores the soldiers that did not require immediate hospitalisation or were already based at local South Eastern England barracks were dispersed across England away from the main reception ports of Margate, Ramsgate, Folkestone, Dover, and Newhaven. During the nine period of Operation Dynamo the Southern Railway laid on and coordinated an amazing number of special trains comprising of : 327 from Dover, 82 from Ramsgate, 75 from Margate 64 from Folkestone and also 21 ambulance trains.
These trains, known as ‘Dynamo Specials’ moved 180,982 troops, many of these services were routed via  Redhill, Guildford and Reading, in order to bypass the capital and avoid congestion. Where possible during this period the Southern Railway maintained its usual passenger services with the except of some ‘omnibus replacement services’ to free the most heavily utilised routes between Guildford, Redhill and Tonbridge. Not only was coordination required of the departing trains but also the routing of the return empty stock workings and the necessary prepared engines required to keep the transportation of soldiers as quick and efficient as possible.

The Southern Railway mustered at very short notice nearly 2000 additional carriages, many borrowed from other railway companies including 47 complete rakes from the LNER, 44 from the LMS and 40 from the GWR.  Also 180 engines and crews were required from across the network, to operate these services.

To avoid delay at Dover and Ramsgate it was decided that the soldiers, many of whom had not eaten properly for days, would be fed on the trains. Just simply feeding the men provided Southern Railway with a major logistical problem,  therefore certain rail stations were designated feeding stations. These stations included Headcorn, Tonbridge and Paddock Wood Although the Royal Army Service Corps were primarily responsible many local Women’s Voluntary Service members were involved to provide food and drink, much of which was also donated or paid for with monies rasied from the local communities. Due to the number of trains involved only an eight-minute stop for soldiers to be provide with food and drink that bearing in mind this could have been 550 per train, was again an impressive feat.  Trains often had to pull into a siding at these food stops to ensure that any ambulance trains had priority over the use of the main lines.

Given that Southern Railway had practically no time to organise and plan such an activity, what it achieved without the use of modern day communication systems was very impressive; improvisation and word of mouth were the order of the day. One unknown Army general was famously heard to say: “I wish the Army could operate with as few written instructions as Southern Railway does in an emergency.”

The Southern Railway, as well as coping with troops from Dunkirk, was also evacuating no less than 48,000 school children from the coastal areas due to fear of a German invasion. It should not go unmentioned that a number of the Southern Railway’s shipping fleet and crew, varying from cross channel passenger vessels, Isle of Wight ferries and cargo vessels were actively involved out on the channel itself,  with a number being either badly damaged or lost to enemy action.

We should also pause to remember the 68,000 of our soldiers whom didn’t make it home safely from this particular French campaign.

I hope this post goes, once again, a little way to remember and honour the part that the Southern Railway played in the overall success of Operation Dynamo out of what was a defeat in military terms in Flanders.

 

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This months picture…

Bulleid Merchant Navy class 21C14 'Nederland Line' built from a Millholme kit, heads to London with the up Devon Belle having taken over the train at Wilton. Adams O2 built from a Wills kit, shunts the ash wagon on shed. My Grandfather, a Ganger,  can be seen taking a break leaning on his ballast fork near the platelayers hut.

Bulleid Merchant Navy class 21C14 ‘Nederland Line’ built from a Millholme kit, heads to London with the up Devon Belle having taken over the train at Wilton. Adams O2 built from a Wills kit, shunts the ash wagon on shed. My Grandfather, a Ganger, can be seen taking a break leaning on his ballast fork near the platelayers hut.

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Regular readers of this blog will know that this time of year I tend to head south to where ‘summer comes soonest’, to coin a phrase from that well know Southern Railway Publicity poster.

I am soon heading very South (well about 4 and bit  hours and approximately 1600 miles in a plane south) for a blend of Spanish, African and Latin American influences,  exploration including a dormant volcanoes and a lavascape, rest, relaxation and hopefully some sun, possibly dark sandy beeches and sea too (might help you guess where). Normal service on this blog will therefore be resumed at the end of the month.  Before I get in to full holiday mode I just thought I would give a couple of brief updates on a few Southern related model items.

Engineering Prototype of the Dapol ex LSWR B4

Firstly, Dapol have now released images of the first assembled Engineering Prototype of their 00 gauge ex LSWR B4, announced back in 2014, This follows on the tooling test pieces that they had on display back in March at the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railways . So far the EP of just the one version of the 5 variants promised has been shown but I believe the other variations will follow.

Dapol B4 EP rear 3/4 view.

As a remind those variations so far announced are:

  • ‘Normandy’ (Number 96) as preserved by the Bulleid Society on the Bluebell Railway
  • ‘Caen’ (Number 90) Southampton Docks brown livery with Drummond Chimney
  • Number 88 in Southern black
  • Number 30082 in BR black, early emblem
  • Number 30096 in BR black, late crest

Secondly, The Kernow Model Rail Centre have received the second batch of livery samples of the their Gate Stock Pull Push sets and also the first main livery sample of the Bulleid Diesel numbers 10201 and 10202.
With respect to the Gate Stock there are still a number of tweaks being made to finalise the liveries.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre Bulleid Diesel 1st livery sample of 10201 . Picture courtesy and copyright KMRC

Although the first EPs of the Bulleid diesels broke cover, like the Dapol B4 tooling samples, back in March at the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railway as reported here, the livery application upon them had been undertaken by the factory from their own research rather than against approved livery artwork. The samples now received still have a few minor corrections to be made as the running numbers and BR early emblems are placed too high on the bodyside. The bogies require the axle boxes and springs painting black and the wheels will be the correct Bulleid pattern rather than the simple wheels provided for testing purposes. (The first engineering sample had the correct wheels).

Builleid Diesel 10202 livery sample. Picture courtesy and copyright KMRC

It should also be noted that these models have a centrally positioned 5 pole motor (not coreless) with two brass flywheels driving each power bogie via flexible drive shafts and having had the chance to test run the first EP they have a good weight to them, are quiet, smooth and powerful.
Kernow Model Rail Centre have also confirmed details of the final pricing and ordering details with respect to the pre-orders and this information can be found on the Kernow website here.

The 10203 versions will follow later.

Production slots for both the 10201 /2 Bullied Diesels and the Gate Stock are currently being finalised but it is hoped should be by the end of August, which neatly gets us back to summer and holidays how this post started.

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This months picture…

Drummond 0-4-4T M7 No. 243 is one of the 6 painted in Malachite Green after the war but is one of those that were unlined, she is a repainted Hornby model. She has just shunted the ash wagon for filling by the gang.

Drummond 0-4-4T M7 No. 243 is one of the 6 painted in Malachite Green after the war but is one of those that were unlined, she is a repainted Hornby model. She has just shunted the ash wagon for filling by the gang.

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