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Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic Coast Express’

Ok it is not the proper Atlantic Coast Express , but I’m off for a much welcome summer break to a lovely island where the main airport code is coincidental ACE! Anywho, before I depart for some sun, sea, volcanoes and relaxation I will also leave you with a photo review and few very quick initial thoughts on the new Dapol ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0t in 00

Merchant Navy 21C6 complete with ACE headboard on Fisherton Sarum

The Atlantic Coast Express was probably the most misnamed of all the Southern Railway named trains but was a stroke of genius at the same time. 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’.

Moving on to the Dapol ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0t, first announced in March 2014  it has now hit the retailers.

Dapol B4 No. 88

My immediate first impression is that the model is quite light, certainly lighter than recent small tank releases such as the Horny Peckett and the Hatton’s Andrew Barclay. Despite the lack of weight they have run nicely albeit briefly on Canute Road Quay.

A rear 3/4 view of No. 88

The B4s were not a large class but as usual were a minefield of subtle and not so subtle variations over time such as: cabs, boilers, chimneys and buffers.

A view of BR late crest version No. 30096. Note the larger buffers (none are sprung) and different style cab

Dapol have tooled for some of these variations but have also managed at first glance to achieve a few errors including: possibly the number of boiler bands, variation combinations not appropriate to the particular livery (such as buffer head sizes), missing injector, missing front middle lamp iron (as fitted to some prototypes at the base of the smokebox door) and the cab ventilation holes just under the roof line front and rear are raised mouldings rather than actual holes (a possible translation from CAD to tool issue).

B4s No. 30089 and 30096 front comparison

I also note that on the BR livery version the smokebox door number plate is unusually completely a transfer rather printing on a moulded or an etched plate (although this may possibly be an advantage to those like me that will be repainting into an earlier livery).

Rear cab comparison between No. 30096 and 30089

There is also a pronounced joint line apparent around the front of the smokebox.

Electrical Pick ups are, as you would expect and indeed necessary, wipers on all the rear of four wheels with an open slew wound five pole motor (rather than now more common can motors) driving the rear axle via a flywheel and gear tower.

A trio of B4s

It also features a firebox glow which is quite dim, especially at low speeds on DC but might appear consistently brighter on DCC. No separate items are supplied for the owner to fit, with thee exception of a  unique very wide replacement tension lock coupling bar, but I am not convinced it will work well in conjunction with the lightly sprung close coupling NEM pocket.

Despite the initial comments above, I am sure the Dapol B4 will still be popular with most SR modellers and from normal viewing distances looks ok and runs well.

Normal service of posting will be back in a couple of weeks, with perhaps more on the B4 and also some views of the Heljan 07.

 *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.

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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.

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