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Archive for the ‘Talking Stock’ Category

This week saw the first of the new Hornby ‘Original’ Merchant Navy Pacifics hitting  the retailers, see my Talking Stock #35 post here for more details and also the full size ‘Rebuilt’ Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. steaming in public service for the first time in 2017 on the  Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) for the week of services allied with the Cheltenham Races Festival. With this in mind I thought it was time that firstly I finished my model of 35006 in her as preserved guise (being a shareholder), and also that I mentioned the Rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacifics on this blog, although they are of course out of my usual 1946-49 modelling period.

Rebuilding the Merchant Navy’s

21C6 in original condition on Fisherton Sarum

Although in general the Merchant Navy class as introduced were a success, proving to be powerful and very free steaming, one of the outcomes of the less than scientifically carried out Locomotive Exchange trails in 1948 and further performance and efficiency tests carried out at the Rugby Stationary Test Plant between March 1952 and January 1952, showed them to be costing a lot in: coal, water, oil and secondly maintenance when compared to other classes. These costs along with issues of leakage of oil from the enclosed motion oil baths and the reliability and accuracy of the steam reverser / cut off setting led to the Southern Region looking at options to improve the engines.  The option chosen as opposed to trying to overcome the individual issues was to rebuild the engines with more ‘standard parts’.

Rebuilt 35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway.

The task was given, in 1954, to R.G. Jarvis of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer’s Department at Brighton, his new design replaced the encased oil bath and chain driven valve gear with three sets of  more traditional Walschaerts valve gear, new style piston heads and rods, regulator and a screw-link type reverser. The ashpan and grate were also replaced and included hopper bottom doors and front and rear dampers. A new fabricated smokebox, superheater header and steam pipes were also fitted.
The frames, outside cylinders, boilers were retained along with the: Bullied-Firth-Brown wheels (although now needing balance weights to be fitted), axleboxes, the efficient ‘clasp’ locomotive brakes and the ‘Stones’ steam generator for electric lighting both for the engine headsignals and in cab lighting. The same tenders were utilised, albeit with the side raves cut down to ease water filling access and reverse running view. The drawbar between the loco and tender however was replaced.

Reflecting on  superb standard of external finish on 35006.

Externally the ‘Air Smoothed’ casing was removed giving the look common to the recently introduced BR standard classes, although the characteristic oval shaped smokebox door was kept. Sanding, from replacement sandboxes, was also added to the leading driving axle, whilst rearward application was incorporated to the middle driving axle and new mechanical lubricators were accessibly mounted on the running plate alongside the boiler.
In 1955 the British Railways Board gave authority for fifteen of the class to be modified and authority for rebuilding the remainder swiftly followed. In February 1956 Eastleigh works released 35018 British India Line in its newly modified form (35018 as the prototype rebuild remained unique to the rest of the class as the front sandbox filler position and injector pipework differed), by October 1959 all the class had been rebuilt.
Performance of the rebuilt engines was indeed successful, solving most of the maintenance issues, although one drawback was that they put greater loads on the track, than the largely self balanced originals, as a result of increased hammerblow, caused by the balance weights required for the Walschaerts valve gear.

My model of rebuilt 35006 as preserved

The release by Hornby in the year 2000 of the rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotive heralded a new generation of model steam locomotives by Hornby and was a step change of standard of models reactive to competition in the market place and gave us a new super detail standard featuring blackened finish handrails and wheels with etched brass valve gear, detailed cab interior, and a five pole motor housed and driving within the locomotive itself. Over the years a number of the class have been released with a few modifications to the tooling along the way, although as yet none of the first series engines as rebuilt have been released as the 5000 gallon style tenders they were paired with have not been tooled.

My model of 35006 in as preserved condition

As 35006 in preservation has been paired to a brand new built larger 5100 style tender I have used a Hornby R1038 35012 United States Lines (split from a train pack) locomotive as the basis for my model.
Firstly I removed the cabside number numbers via my usual method of soaking the Hornby printing in enamel thinners and rubbing off with a cotton bud and replacing with HMRS Pressfix decals.

A front 3/4 view of 35006 based on the Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy with detailing parts and etched plates from RT Models and Fox Transfers

New nameplates and smokebox door number plates were fitted along with an extched 72B Salisbury shedcode plate on the smokebox in the slightly higher position than usual, level with the lower smokebox  hinge, on 35006 which was a charactoristic of her when in service. All the plates were obtained from Fox Transfers.
I replaced the front steps as supplied by Hornby by the more robust lost wax cast versions, along with a set of the cylinder drain pipes to complete the front end look, obtained through RT Models, from his excellent Albert Goodall range.
As I am modelling 35006 in her preserved condition I want to to also represent her superb external paintwork finish with a reflective and classic oily rag polished hue and have therefore given the model a coat of Kleer floor polish to give a such a finish to the paintwork (and also seal in the decals).

More details of 35006 and the locomotive Society can be found on my dedicated page here.  Also it is worth mentioning the 35011 The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that was formed last year with the intention of not only restoring 35011 back to working order but doing so back in original air smoothed condition condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements to fill the gap in preserved examples left by the entire class having been rebuilt.

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As promised in my recent  Warley 2016 update post  this post is about the first four original Air Smoothed Bulleid Merchant Navy pacifics being released by Hornby due in the first quarter 2017. The main purpose of this post is to advise the exact condition and dates applicable to all these four versions which I hope will assist those wishing to purchase the correct version for their time period or those potentially wanting to renumber to other members of the class. General details of the 3 distinct Series of Merchant Navy pacifics can be found on my talking Stock #1 post here along with some additional information on the initial liveries and tenders for the some of the Series Three Merchant Navy pacifics on my Talking Stock # 24 post here.

Hornby livery samples of 21C1 and 21C3 together

Hornby livery samples of 21C1 and 21C3 together

So far as you can see below Hornby are releasing two Series One versions in early 1941 and 1941 to 1943 condition respectfully and two Series Three versions in early 1950’s condition. It is assumed that other style Series One, Three and hopefully Series Two versions and liveries will follow in subsequent years.

The details of the initial four releases of these models due are as follows:

21C1 'Channel Packet' as modelled by Hornby in very early condition.

21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ as modelled by Hornby in very early condition. Note this does not have the supplied detail pack added yet, such as cylinder drain pipes and steps etc.

R3434 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ only represents her very early condition from when first introduced in February 1941 and May 1941. She has the original front end design known as ‘Widows peak’ without smoke deflectors, the area around the chimney filled as first designed and the sliding chimney cover, that was supposedly to be used to cover the opening. The Smokebox door ‘Southerm’ roundel is the inverted  horseshoe (later changed to a full circle with addition of the engine build date due to complaints that such an inverted horseshoe was a sign of bad luck). She also is fitted with the cast gunmetal number and ‘Southern’ plates that she carried until renumbering to 35001 in September 1949 and has the front number plate position being on the sloping section. when not in steam. It should also be noted in this condition she had silver coloured cab window frames and only had front steps fixed to the front right buffer when looking at the front rather then both sides.
By May 1941 step cut outs  were added to the sloping face and the lamp irons and electric lamps moved to just above the vertical face on the front hence also the relocation of the cast number plate to the vertical face.
It should be noted that whilst number 21C2 also carried the gunmetal style number and ‘Southern’ plates until renumbering in January 1950, she did not have the same chimney and cover arrangement as 21C1, as a greater opening was present around the chimney.

A further view of Hornby livery sample of 21C3

Hornby  21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ in 1941 condition. Note this also does not have the supplied detail pack added yet.

R3435 No. 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ is as introduced in September 1941 condition again with the ‘widows peak’ style front end without smoke deflectors but with the opening around the chimney and the slot in the front face above the smokebox. She was painted in wartime black livery in May 1943 and gained the front end modification in September 1944. Numbers 21C3 to 10 of the first series of 10 differed from the rest as the side casing was made from Limpet board material to reduce wight and are identifiable by the overlapping seam running horizontally along the side, the position of middle yellow line when in malachite green livery was adjusted to run along the top of this seam.

Of the remaining 7 series one versions they received wartime black livery followed by the front end modifications as follows:
21C4 ‘Cunard White Star’ – to black July 1943, front end modification January 1944.
21C5 ‘Canadian Pacific’ – to black March 1942, front end modification March 1944.
21C6 ‘Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co’ – to black May 1942, front end modification April 1944.
21C7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’ – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification August 1944.
21C8 ‘Orient Line’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C9 ‘Shaw Savill’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C10 ‘Blue Star’  – introduced in black July 1942, front end modification April 1943.

This gives some options for renaming 21C3 into other members of the class and simply repainting into unlined wartime black if you model prior to August 1944.

A computer rendered image of 35028 'Clan Line' as being released by Hornby

A computer rendered image of R3436 35028 ‘Clan Line’

R3436 No. 35028 ‘Clan Line from the Third series of number 35021 to 35030 (being introduced post 1948 they never carried the Southern 21Cx numbers), is being released in BR Brunswick Green with early crest. She will be modelled without the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between June 1953 and December 1954 when the safety vales were resited to just in front of the fire box.

A computor rendered image of R3382TTS 35023 'Holland Afrika Line' spot the differences between this and 35028

A computer rendered image of R3382TTS 35023 ‘Holland Afrika Line’ spot the differences between this and 35028

R3382TTS No. 35023 Holland-Afrika Line’ is also being released in BR Brunswick Green, early crest and will come fitted with Hornby’s DCC TTS Sound. She will have the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between gaining Brunswick green in March 1952 and the fairings being removed in  May 1953.

Details of all ten series three versions, to assist with any potential renumbering without repainting are as follows:
35021 ‘New Zealand Line’ – to Brunswick Green, from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in August 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35022 ‘Holland America Line’ –  to Brunswick Green from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in June 1956.
35023 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ – to Brunswick Green from malachite green in March 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1951, lost fairings in May 1954 and safety vales resited in November 1952.
35025 ‘Brocklebank Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in February 1955 and safety vales were not resited until rebuilding in December 1956
35026 ‘Lamport & Holt Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1952, lost fairings in January 1954 and safety vales resited in January 1955.
35027 ‘Port Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in November 1953, lost fairings in November 1953 and safety vales resited in November 1954.
35028 ‘Clan Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1953, lost fairings in June 1953 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35029 ‘Ellerman Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in July 1952 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35030 ‘Elder-Dempster Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in May 1953, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.

As stated above I hope that this information is of use for any readers wanting to either understand the relevant time period for the condition of each of the four Hornby releases and or assists with choosing possible candidates for renumbering and naming, so get pre-ordering now, you will not be disappointed by the model, not long to wait for them to arrive now!

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This Talking Stock #34 post about ex LSWR Ironclad coaches is published by way of a tribute to Gordon Weddell whom sadly passed away just over a two weeks ago and whose funeral takes place today.

Gordon was the authority on London and South Western Railway (LSWR) coaches and other rolling stock. He published a number of volumes of reference books on the subject which are a must have for anyone interested in or modelling LSWR rolling stock. I was lucky to have met Gordon on a number of occasions as he was one of the earliest members of the South Western Circle, and to all who had contact with him, he was very friendly and keen to pass on his expertise to all who sought his advice. Indeed it his book ‘LSWR Carriages in the 20th Century‘ that provides the main reference material for this post. He will be sadly missed.

A Drummond K10 class heads a rake comprising of the 1918 56ft Brake Composite with 1925 'Ironclad' set 385 at the rear

A Drummond K10 class heads a rake comprising of the 1918 56ft Brake Composite with 1925 ‘Ironclad’ set 385 at the rear

The 57 ft ‘Ironclad’ stock was an LSWR design, so known because of the use of flush steel sheeting screwed to a wooden body frame with narrow metal strips protecting the joints and near flush windows giving a the appearance of smooth flush sides.
Previous LSWR designs had used wooden sheeting and panelling. Being built 9′ wide a characteristic feature of the the ‘Ironclad’ stock was the tapering in of the brake part of the coach, to 8’3″, to allow for a guards lookout within the loading gauge.

A view of 1925 built 'ironclad' set 385 with Brake Third on the left and Brake Composite on the right

A view of 1925 built ‘ironclad’ set 385 with Brake Third on the left and Brake Composite on the right

The first sets of Ironclad carriages appeared in July 1921 and being the most modern design available to the SR in 1923, continued in production until January 1926. The Ironclads included a range of the usual coach types but also slightly more unusual types such as Pantry thirds, Pantry Brake Firsts and dining saloons.

A close up of 'Ironclad' Brake Composite 6564 of set 385

A close up of ‘Ironclad’ Brake Composite 6564 of set 385

The Initial batch were formed into five coach sets for the Bournemouth Line (with some longer sets for the Central Section) and allocated to the most important services until superseded by Maunsell stock.
The original 5 coach formations as numbered by the Southern Railway were Sets 431-434 (the original LSWR set numbers were 1c to 4c) and 435-444.

'Ironclad' Brake Third 3213 of set 385

‘Ironclad’ Brake Third 3213 of set 385

Two coach sets 381 -385 comprising of Brake Composites, SR diagram 416, paired with 6-Compartment Brake Thirds, SR diagram 137 were introduced in 1925 for use as branch line through coaches but these were converted to Pull Push sets between 1949 and 1952. General withdrawal occurred between 1957 and 1959 with many passing into departmental stock (although the Restaurant Cars were mainly withdrawn in 1947)

'Loose' 1918 built steel panelled (pre 'Ironclad') number 6539

‘Loose’ 1918 built steel and mahogany panelled (pre ‘Ironclad’) number 6539

My models as pictured are built from ex BSL now Phoenix kits and represent two coach set 385 comprising of Brake Third No. 3211 and Brake Composite No. 6564 before their rebuilding into a Pull Push set. My two coach set is strengthened with a ‘loose’ steel and mahogany panelled 1918 56ft Brake Composite No. 6539, LSWR diagram 2362 (SR Diagram 411) and all three are finised in lined olive green livery, note that the lining was actually applied to represent panneling that did not in reality exist. They form a rake regularly seen on Fisherton Sarum.

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As I mentioned in my Talking Stock #26 post here about the four Urie G16 class 4-8-0T locomotives, I do indeed have a soft spot for large tanks and therefore this post is about Urie’s other large tanks the five H16 4-6-2Ts. The later Maunsell Z class 0-8-0T locomotives  were the subject of Talking Stock #19 post here, whilst Maunsell’s W class 2-6-4 tanks will soon also feature on this blog.

The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie H16 class of 4-6-2 tanks were introduced in 1921, and if you have read my Talking Stock #26 post, you will know already that this was the same year as their slightly smaller sisters the G16 4-8-0T class. The two classes sharing many common parts such as motion, bogies, boilers and fireboxes.

Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.

Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.

Both classes were built in association with the new hump marshalling yard at Feltham. Rather than the four G16s which were designed for working in the confines of Feltham yard the five  H16s were intended for cross regional goods traffic between Feltham and the North London yards of Brent (Midland) and Willesden (London North Western). For this duty they had  5’7″  driving wheels, larger than the G16s, larger water capacity and the extra large bunker was carried by a radial truck.   As they were also used occasionally on empty carriage stock working between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and on special passenger trains, such as during Ascot Race Week,  the H16s were initially given the standard Southern passenger livery of lined olive green unlike the black livery of the G16s, giving rise to their nickname amongst operating staff as ‘Green Tanks’. This changed to a plain black livery, in common with all Southern locomotives from 1940 due to watime constraints, and was retained during BR days until their withdrawal in 1962.

H16 number 519 viewed from the other side.

H16 number 519 viewed from the other side and shows off the powerfull looking nature of these tanks that appeals so much.

My model was built, with much effort, from a Jidenco etched brass kit; that owing to the quality of the kit design, thin etches and limited instructions, took a number of years of starting, doing a bit, getting frustrated and putting down again before finally getting round to finishing.  Certainly not a kit for the feint hearted. She is powered using a Portescap coreless motor along with quite a bit of lead weight added to provide adequate traction due to the lightweight thin etched brass construction of the kit with only the small dome, safety valves and chimney being white metal castings.

My usual excuse for an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum of an H16, as they were only allocated to Feltham, is on a running in turn from Eastleigh although that does not really explain her weathered condition, so perhaps she was borrowed for a freight trip down the West of England line?

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The humble brake van was an every part of the railway scene up until the advent of continuous brakes for most freight stock in the early 1970’s.  They initially served two purposes: to provide additional braking for ‘unfitted’ goods trains and of course somewhere for the guard to travel; later vans were also ‘fitted’ for working on such vacuum brake fitted formations. They were a weighted wagon equipped with a hand internally operable brake acting on all wheels they ranged from the 4 or 6 wheel type to sometimes 8 wheels and also bogie types. The ‘fitter’ versions having vacuum cylinders and able to operate the brakes on the fitted stock that make up the train (some vans were simply through piped to allow continuity of the braking system without being able to actually operate it, in such such cases just the hand brake was available for use.

The guard’s accommodation often included one or two verandas, or closed ends with windows and many also incorporated side lookouts or duckets to allow a guard to look forwards along the side of the train.

This post follows on from the announcement by Kernow models of their ready to run version of the ex LSWR 10T Road van to diagram 1541 and will look at a few kit built examples of brake vans that can be found running on Fisherton Sarum.

Dia 1545 Road Van

Dia 1545 Road Van

The ex LSWR 10T road van mentioned above was known as a road van as in addition to the guard’s accommodation and single veranda it has side opening doors on each side and the van could also be used the carrying of goods. This van is currently available in resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio.  To the left can be be seen my model of the  20T Diagram 1545 Road Van also a resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio. As well as being heavier that the Diagram 1541 road van  they were also larger, had a veranda at both ends and side duckets.

Dia 1543 Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being complete

Dia 1543 ex LSWR 20T Brake Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being finished

Staying with the LSWR seen left is my model  20T brake van to diagram 1543. This is built from a Jedenco / Falcon Brass  etched brass kit. 75 of this this type of van were built between 1915 and 1921.  They were known to staff as ‘new vans’ a name which they kept well into the 1950’s!

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough Brake Van

Moving further east, I have a couple of ex SECR brake vans firstly is one that is perfectly at home on the ex LSWR metals as it is ex SECR 20T Ballast Plough brake van, diagram 1748, in the civil engineers fleet. The first lone prototype was built in 1914 with 3 more being built by the SR in 1932, a further 8 with slight detail differences were built in 1949.  In addition to the brakes it also had ploughs to rake freshly applied ballast from hoppers in the same train. These ploughs could be raised or lowered as required from inside the van. This particular model, also built from a Jedenco etched brass kit, has already featured on these pages here along with its companion rake of 40t Ballast hoppers.

Dia 1559 ex SECR 'Dancehall' Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Dia 1559 ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Finally for this post we see an ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ 25T brake van to Diagram 1559 First introduced in 1921., The SR built a further batch between 1923 and 1927 but these had deeper 15” instead of 12” channel underframes and were given the diagram number 1560. These vans gained the nickname ‘Dancehall’ due to the large amount of space inside them. They were long lived vans surviving, albeit modified, in departmental use right up until the 1970’s. This is built from a Cambrian Models plastic kit. 

There are of of course other SR related kits and ready to run brake vans available and some of these may well feature in future posts, although my review of the Bachmann RTR 25T ‘Pill box’ brake van can be read here. 

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I have now made two previous posts on this blog about the 1948 locomotive exchange trials, and my models of the locomotives that featured on Southern metals and would have passed through Salisbury and therefore can occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum. The first Talking Stock # 2 post focused mainly on  the Express Passenger and general purpose locomotive trials whilst the second post Talking Stock #30 focused on the less often referred to freight locomotives trialed. This post is by way of my own thoughts and conclusion about the actual trials themselves.

Ex LMS City of Bradford Heads past Fisherton Sarum onm an Exteter to Waterloo working. Note the WD tender fitted due to lack of water troughs on the SR.

Ex LMS City of Bradford Heads past Fisherton Sarum onm an Exteter to Waterloo working. Note the WD tender fitted due to lack of water troughs on the SR.

These trials were not attempting to judge an overall winner but to gain an insight and comparisons of good design and practice that could be in theory carried across into the future design of new British Railways steam locomotives.

A number of observers are of the opinion that the trials should have been larger to encompass more locomotive varieties and that there are some notable missing classes.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Some of the missing classes that have been mentioned include: the Western Region’s Castle Class, the London Midland Region’s Royal Scots or Jubilees, the Eastern Region’s V2s and of course the Southern Region’s Lord Nelson; of which a direct comparison with the Royal Scot Class would have been very interesting due to similarity on the origins of the designs. Also as I mentioned in my Talking Stock #30 post the Southern did not put any freight locomotive forward so perhaps the design of the S15 whilst being a possible contender was considered to be too old.

ex LNER A4 Seagull heads towards Exeter.

ex LNER A4 Seagull heads towards Exeter.

One major inconsistency that directly affected all the recorded parameters, despite all the precautions taken, was with the locomotive crews. The method of engine control varied; from those crews trying to be as economic as possible, such as the London Midland crews, whom allowed timings to slip to the benefit of coal consumption; whilst others, especially the Southern Region crews,  were keen to show the best of what the engines could do performance wise including some extremely impressive hill climbs. Coal and water, but not oil, consumption’s were all recorded and compared along with horsepower outputs and overall efficiencies. These therefore varied considerably by the style of driving. Additionally; loads on each test run varied rather than being controlled to be something near constant and that on a number runs considerable signal checks were experienced rather than Control ensuring a clear run where possible.

Ex LMS Royal Scot Hussar

Ex LMS Royal Scot Hussar

Also the Southern Region crews were not used to such prolonged running due to the relatively short maximum length of route available; 143 miles, between Waterloo and Exeter compared to runs on other regions ranging from 172 to 299 miles. The later being between Euston and Carlisle which was also longer than usually worked by the Eastern Region crews too.

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

As all locomotives were coaled with Yorkshire hard coal this immediately put the Western Region engines at a slight disadvantage as the drafting arrangements for these engines had been designed around the use of softer South Wales steam coal. Subsequent additional tests were carried on the Western Region with these engines on their more usual South Wales steam coal which did result in an improvement in coal consumption.

Due to the inconsistencies explained above it is very difficult to grade or score the performances of individual locomotives designs. In some cases locomotives were inconsistent on consumption, horsepower between runs or varied from route to route.  Some of the possible conclusions that can be drawn are as follows:

  • In the express passenger group it was a close run thing on efficiencies between the Eastern A4s and the London Midland Duchess Class.
    All of the Pacific’s were very consistent across all runs; however the results of the 4-6-0s varied more across the different routes.
  • In the general purpose engines group the Southern Region West County Pacific’s put in some brilliant and very impressive performances but these were at the expense of efficiency figures as already implied. The London Midland Region Class 5’s showed the best efficiencies of this group. The Eastern Region B1 class showed some considerable fluctuations in efficiencies between routes.
  • The greatest variation in overall efficiencies was experienced with the freight group with no engine type being consistent across all routes although the closest to this was the Eastern Region O1 class, but it put in a variable performance on the Eastleigh – Bristol route for an unexplained reason.
  • The widest variation of all in efficiencies and performance was seen with the Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 locomotives. In fact the 2-8-0s did not on the whole distinguish themselves very well at all.
  • Whilst the Eastern Region A4 class locomotives put in some fine performances they were marred by the fact that there were three failures during the testing attributed to the middle big end overheating on each occasion.

The data recorded and utilised in the final report was not generally seen by most as being fully conclusive, not helped by the fact that it took no account of the costs of construction or average costs of maintenance for each locomotive design.

Whilst it is also generally considered that future British Railways standard designs perhaps bore more resemblance to the origins of their designer, the trials were if nothing else a Public relations exercise for the newly formed British Railways as a show of unity between the now Regions.

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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.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

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!

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

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.

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as allocated to the SR in 1946

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as 78531 allocated to the SR in 1946

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.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

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.

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