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Back in March 2013 Bachmann Europe announced its intention to produce a model of the ex London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Billinton designed E4 class 0-6-2 tanks. The first production versions of this model are now on their way to the UK, with a small number having been sent to the model press for reviews in the last week or so. With the grateful thanks of Bachmann I was allowed to borrow, view and photograph an example yesterday at the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society exhibition and use fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Alan Paley’s Loughborough Road layout as a backdrop.

Bachmann E4 posed on Loughborough Road

Bachmann E4 posed on Loughborough Road

Four versions were announced:
35-075 Number 579 in LBSC Umber
35-076 Number B 473 in Southern, Pre 1931, Olive Green
35-077 Number 32556 in unlined BR Black Early Emblem
35-078 Number 32470 in lined BR Black Late Crest.

 

Bachmann E4 Left hand side view

Bachmann E4 Left hand side view

It should be noted that in January this year Bachmann advised that the running number of the 35-078 Late Crest Version had been changed to 32500.

As we can expect from the Bachmann they have captured the look and details of this delightful tank locomotive very well, and having now seen all but the LBSC Umber version, which will follow the SR and BR versions, the livery application is up to their usual high standard.

A bird's eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

A bird’s eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

I take this opportunity, having discussed this directly with Bachmann, to advise that the Southern Olive Green version No. B473, as photographed here, is modelled in her Era 3 condition (1923 to 1931/2 before she was renumbered 2473). Most E4’s during this period did, unlike the model, have lining to the cab fronts, and although I have not seen an actual picture of B 473 in this period it is evident that not all the class were so treated.

A bird's eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

A bird’s eye view of the Bachmann E4 on Loughborough Road

This is as clearly stated in their catalogue, and not therefore totally correct for number 473 as she has been preserved on the Bluebell Railway as there have been a small number of detail and livery changes made during preservation. This has been the subject of some debate on a number of the online forums and I am pleased to be able to clarify here.

Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network, with a number post 1948 being allocated to ex LSWR sheds such as Basingstoke and Nine Elms; even Salisbury received a couple (numbers 32506 and 32486), post the closure of the Western Region shed in 1950, much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews to replace their pannier tanks shunting Fisherton Yard!

 

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With respect to the Southern Railway Mogul 2-6-0 locomotive fleet most people probably immediately think of the Maunsell Moguls,  the N/N1 and U/U1 classes. Their origins lead back to the SECR for the 5’6″ driving wheeled N class followed by the later Southern built, also under the design auspices of Maunsell who was now CME of the Southern, the U class with their larger 6′ driving wheels.
The missing mogul in more ways than one is the ex London Brighton and South Coast railway (LBSC)  K class  designed by LB Billinton. First introduced in  1913 the eventual 17 members of the class were the first 2-6-0 locomotives on the LBSC and the first with a Belpair firebox, and like the Maunsell N class  also had 5’6″ driving wheels. They were generally seen as one of the most successful LBSC locomotive designs.
It is a great shame that no examples were preserved, hence the missing mogul.  It was a class of locomotive  on the wish list of the fledgling Bluebell Railway, as members of the class were still in service  when the Bluebell Railway was formed, however obtaining one was considered too expensive at the time.

K 2346_2

K Class number 2346 built from an old K’s white metal kit

Although  mainly employed on the central section for freight use they did occasionally wonder further west and east. I am not sure if one ever made it to Salisbury or not but the Brighton to Cardiff trains that changed engines at Salisbury could sometimes throw up a surprise loco from Brighton so it might have been possible.

A missing mogul both in preservation and also model kit or RTR form

A missing mogul both in preservation and also model kit or RTR form

My K class number 2346 shown left is built from an old Keyser (K’s) white metal kit, and makes an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

Sadly the K’s kit is not available anymore, so even in model form the class is still the missing mogul both in either Ready To Run (RTR) or kit form. Maybe now is the time to vote for a RTR K class in the current RMweb / MRE Mag wish list poll, along with perhaps voting for a few other Southern items at the same time. The results of this annual poll whilst not having a direct link to the manufacturers certainly is referred to by them when considering  their future plans.

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