Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bluebell Railway’

Bachmann first announced the introduction of these ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway 60ft Birdcage coaches back in March 2013. Has it been worth the wait? Although at the time of writing only the BR Crimson versions are due this month, I have to say, yes very much so. The review is is a version of one I have written for British Railway Modelling magazine the electronic version of which is published today with printed copies to be available next week.

These 60ft three coach ‘birdcage’ sets were introduced by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR) between 1912 and 1915; and comprising of 62 sets were the most numerous sets compared to the previous 50ft examples. With the birdcage lookouts over each of the guards compartments these sets typify the standard SE&CR non-corridor coaching stock.

The sets comprised originally of:  2nd / 3rd class composite Brake Lavatory (later declassified to Brake Lavatory Third (SR Diagram 162), a 1st / 2nd (later declassified to 1st / 3rd) Lavatory Composite (SR Diagram 315/6)  and the Brake Third (SR Diagram 160), The Composites were built in batches with two distinct body side variations, with the initial batch having two wide windows on each side for the saloon, whilst the later batch had one wide and one narrow window for the saloon; Bachmann have tooled for both versions. The Southern Railway renumbered both the individual coach and set numbers between 1923 and 1929.

39-602 ex SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory, No. 5468 Set 595

The initial Bachmann releases are as follows:

39-600 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SE&CR Dark Lake, No.1174 Set 138
39-610 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite SE&CR Dark Lake, No. 1178  Set 138
39-620 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SE&CR Dark Lake, No. 1182  Set 138

39-611 ex SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite, No. 5423 Set 613

39-601 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory SR Olive Green, No. 3518  Set 613
39-611 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite  SR Olive Green, No. 5423 Set 613 (Two wide saloon window style)
39-621 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SR Olive Green, No. 3446  Set 613

39-622 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd, No. 3428 Set 595

39-602 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory BR Crimson, No. 5468 Set 595
39-612 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite BR Crimson, No. 5468 Set 595
39-622 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd BR Crimson, No. 3428 Set 595

The SR versions are due to follow in October / November with the SE&CR versions November / December.

A view of the ends including separately applied lamp irons and brake control apparatus on the brake ends and showing the ‘birdcage’ lookouts

Separately applied fittings include the roof vents, vacuum pipes, handrails and grab handles. The brake ends also have separately applied lamp irons and brake control apparatus. The glazing is commendably flush and the window corner radii, especially in the drop lights are very nicely prototypically small. A representation of the internal window bars is included on the luggage compartment door window glazing.

The moulded interior and painted seating, and also showing the position of the body fixing clips.

The body is removed via easing the four clips located on each side to reveal a moulded interior with partitions, table in the saloon and even lavatories (where appropriate) and the seating painted in respective colours.

The fine underframe details with four sets of truss rods

The underframe detailing is exquisite with finely mounded brake details, 4 sets of very finely moulded queen post truss rodding and even the turnbuckles. The buffers are separate moulded items and not sprung.
Dynamos and battery boxes are fitted only to the the SE&CR composite, and on the SR / BR versions the Composite and the Brake Third as the electric lighting was through cabled to the other coaches in the set.

The separately fitted items and finely moulded 8ft Heavy Fox bogies can clearly be seen.

The all new well detailed 8ft Heavy Fox coil spring bolster bogies fitted with metal wheels sets and pin point axles running in metal bearings are very freewheeling. Detachable couplings in NEM pockets are mounted on the now standard close coupling mechanism.

The underside of the 8ft Heavy Fox bogies showing the electrical pickups incorporated

The resulting gap (4mm on the straight) between coaches could still benefit from being reduced slightly with perhaps an alternative to the supplied tension lock coupling (I test fitted Kadee No.18s, although of course the prototypes were not buckeye fitted, and this reduced the gap to 2mm) if your minimum radii allows. The coaches when test ran, run very smoothly both hauled and propelled though a complex range of pointwork.

No internal lighting is fitted but each bogie includes wiper pickups so this might be a potential option in the future.

Depending on the lighting that the coaches are viewed under the rendition of the crimson livery might appear to some to be slightly on the dark side, although it does match previous ready to crimson releases in that respect. The  initial SE&CR Dark Lake livery sample as previously shown by Bachmann has been commented on as being too brown and Bachmann I believe are currently looking at revising this to give a deeper red colour.

Please note: all the images on this post are copyright and courtesy of A York and BRM Magazine.

 

The complete set 595

Bachmann have been given assistance in the research and preparation of these excellent models by friend Trevor Rapley the owner of,  albeit one of the earlier 50ft version, birdcage Brake lavatory Composites preserved on the Bluebell Railway and the results speak for themselves (although I am sure someone will moan cryptically due to finding maybe a rivet slightly in the wrong place). The introduction of these sets with their distinct character, being of pre-grouping origin, that were long lived and little modified during their lifetime; along with recent and planned (check back on here after midday on Monday 11th for a further announcement) South Eastern & Chatham Railway / Eastern Section Southern Railway locomotives; will ensure that these excellent coaches prove popular.

Read Full Post »

Today, via their Engine Shed blog, Hornby have announced that they are to produce the ex SECR / SR Wainwright H class 0-4-4 tank as part of their 2017 range. The blog post also includes images of the first 3D Stereolithography printed samples showing the excellent progress that they have made so far. Ever since they posted a teaser picture some time ago on their Engine Shed blog and social media, taken on the roof whilst photographing and measuring the only surviving member of the class, number 1263, on the Bluebell Railway the rumours have been circulating; although I have been fortunate to know it was being worked on for some time now.

My model of H class number 1522 buit from a South Eastern Finecast white metal kit

My model of H class number 1522 buit from a South Eastern Finecast white metal kit

The first 64 of the eventual 66 members of the class were first introduced by Wainwright of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway between November 1904 and 1909. The final two members of the class were eventually built under the auspices of Maunsell in 1915! They first appeared in Wainwright’s fully lined dark green livery followed by by Maunsell’s plain dark green livery, then the wartime dull grey livery up until 1923. In Southern Railway days they were in lined olive green which gave way to Bulleid black under wartime conditions and eventually British Railways lined black.

Although in a spurious malachite green livery, this is my very early attempt at producing an H Class tank using an much cut about Wrenn R 0-6-0T as the starting point, but is one of the 15 with the flat sided bunker

Although in a spurious malachite green livery, this is my very early attempt at producing an H Class tank using an much cut about Wrenn R1 0-6-0T as the starting point, but is one of the 15 with the flat sided bunker

All but two members of the class (numbers 1264 & 1312 due to cracked frames) entered British Railways service with withdrawals taking place initially between 1951 and 1953 as a result of the spread of electrification and the remainder between 1959 and 1964.  A large number of the class were fitted with standard SR air control Pull Push gear from 1949 onwards to replace some of the aging D3, R &  R1 0-4-4 tanks. There were a number of slight differences within the class such as steam and Westinghouse braked versions, slight variations in coal and water capacities, while fifteen of the class had straight sided rather than flare topped coal bunkers.

Hornby have announced their intention to initially in 2017 to produce three versions: SECR full lined green, Southern olive green (subject to confirmation) and early emblem BR liveries; along with a fourth BR late crest variant in a train pack with two Maunsell 6xx series Pull Push coaches.
Final details and actual locomotive numbers etc will be further revealed in due course, and posted on this blog when available, however the Hornby design team have advised me that they are tooling to accommodate steam and Westinghouse braked versions, flat and flared bunker sides along with those fitted with air control pull push gear.

This will no doubt be a popular release and very useful for modellers of the Eastern and Central sections of the Southern Railway rather then the Western Section which has already recently been well catered for by Hornby with their M7, N15, S15, T9 and 700 class releases.

Read Full Post »

At  their annual Collectors Club event, this year held at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, last Saturday, Bachmann announced their intention to produce Class 117 and 121 Suburban DMUs, along with a Limited Edition E4 for the Collectors Club members.

An example of the Class 117 as preserved on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway

An example of the Class 117 as preserved on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway

More information about this release can be read on the Bachmann website here. Some of you will remember that The Kernow Model Centre announced their intention to produce this family of Western Region suburban DMUs at Warley last year.  In fact they had already laser scanned a Class 117 and had completed their initial research.  Following meetings with Bachmann after the Warley show at Warley it became clear Bachmann were also working on this model.  The Kernow Model Centre had previously said that they have no interest in “taking on” a major manufacturer and so immediately offered their research and laser scan data to Bachmann and they have been working with them on this project ever since.  Although primarily based on the Western Region the Class 117 units could be seen on Southern Region metals on Reading – Guildford services.
In addition to the main Bachmann releases there will also be a version of both classes exclusive to the Kernow Model Centre in the GW150 celebration Chocolate and Cream livery.
The Kernow model Centre have also advised that they have not forgotten about the Class 116 and Class 118 and further news about these will be announced  in due course (but with no current timescale for such an announcement).

E4 as Birch Grove

E4 as Birch Grove

One of the benefits of the being a member of the Bachmann Collectors club is the fact they produce limited edition model exclusively for club members. One of the models announced and available for purchase at the event on Saturday was a version of the ex London

Another view of E4 as Birch Grove

Another view of E4 as Birch Grove

Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) E4 class 0-6-2t in LBSC Umber livery as Birch

Grove a livery she was also regularly seen carrying in preservation on the Bluebell Railway. This will prove to be a popular model amongst club members I am sure.

I was fortunate to attend this event as a guest of Bachmann whom I thank for their hospitality provided to myself and my other media friends.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Hornby have today announced via their Engine Shed blog that they are to release, in 2016, Southern Railway 58ft non corridor brake coaches, to diagrams 99 and 418, that formed two-coach 2-Lav Sets Nos. 42-46, converted in 1936.  Also to be released are the diagram 98 six compartment Brake Third Lavatory (physically the same as the Diagram 418 but without first class branding and all third style seating) and the diagram 31 Third Lavatory, converted in 1935, that were used as loose coaches for strengthening trains, one example of the diagram 31 No 320 is preserved on the Bluebell Railway, having been one of the first two coaches operated by the fledgling line.
These coaches totally compliment the ex LSWR Adams class 0415 radial tank being released later this year as the 2-Lav sets regularly operated on the Lyme Regis and other Devon / Dorset branches between 1935 and 1958.

The potential release of such coaches was hinted at last Friday via their video released here of the Adams radial running sample that purposely and cheekily showed the engineering samples being hauled by the radial tank, prior to today’s announcement.

These coaches were made up from ex London and South Western Railway  (LSWR) 48ft bodies, originally built between 1894 and 1902, mounted on completely new 58ft underframes. Each of  sets 42 to 46 comprised of one eight-compartment Brake Third (Dia 99) and one six-compartment Brake Composite Lavatory (Dia 418). The bodies being extended in length accordingly. The new underframes were to newer standard dimensions, intended for a coach body 6″ wider than the ex LSWR coaches, the bodies were slightly widened and these rebuilds can be easily identified by the weatherboard strip along the bottom edge to keep rain out of the gap between the body and underframe. The new underframes had the SR standard 8’0″ steam bogie, therefore the bodies resembled traditional LSWR practice whilst the underframes resembled the SR’s Maunsell Restriction 4 stock (as already produced by Hornby).  

Hornby should be congratulated on the joined up thinking of producing suitable coaching stock for use with the previously announced ex LSWR Adams Class 0415 radial tank. This change in announcement policy follows on from unexpected announcements such as the original style Merchant Navy made earlier this year. It further demonstrates the positive progress being made by the Hornby development team, as I can personally vouch that they have been working on these coaches since last year, and some yet to be announced future products.

As I hinted in my summer comes soonest post on Saturday, this post was prepared prior to my vacation and was correct at the time of writing and I will amend and or provide additional information in due course.

Read Full Post »

This is not only my 200th post on this here little part of the interweb blogosphere, but more importantly today marks the 50th and Golden Wedding anniversary of my Mum and Dad.
I offer them my most hearty congratulations and also thanks for sticking with it and coping with bringing up myself and my older Brother. Also of course it was Dad and his upbringing that gave me the interest in all things Southern Railway. I also have to thank them both for regularly assisting me with operating Fisherton Sarum at a number of exhibitions across the country from Wadebridge to Hartlepool.

So in addition to the joining in matrimony of my parents Ken and Wendy, 1963 was a notable year for a number of other things, I wont go into the politics of the time, dreams, or assassinations (as I definitely can’t remember where I was at the time as I didn’t exist!) however the following are railway related:

  • The year started on Monday 1st January when the British Railways Board took over responsibility for the running of the railways from the British Transport Commission’s Railway Executive.
  • On the same day all the Southern Region west of Salisbury, was transferred to the British Railways Western Region for the final time. This was really the first nail in the coffin of the old Southern Railway route to Exeter, North Devon and Cornwall.
  • 1963 also started with the worst winter conditions since 1946/7 and I am sure many of you will have the footage of railway locomotives stuck in the snow across the network. For example on the 8th February snow totally blocked the old Southern main line route at Meldon and no doubt many other place over that period too.
  • The 27th March saw the publication of the infamous Dr Beeching “Reshaping British Railways” Report as I discussed in my post here.
  • On Saturday 31st March the Railway Clearing House (RCH) was disbanded after 120 years and its functions and staff transferred to the Chief Accountant’s Department of the British Railways Board. The RCH had been apportioning railway receipts between the British railway companies since 1842.
  • A more sinister event took place on 8th August with what has become known as the “Great Train Robbery” (although not so great for Jack Mills the driver), I now drive past the farm they used as their initial hide out every day to and from work.
  • Metropolitan Railway Loco No.1, that so successfully returned steam to the UndergrounD this year to celebrate the the Underground’s 150th Anniversary was originally withdrawn from service in 1963 having taken part in the centenary celebrations earlier in that year.
  • In November the Bluebell Railway was just 4 years old when the line from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes was closed leaving them without a connection to the British Rail Network right up until earlier this year when the northern extension to East Grinstead was triumphantly reopened.

Finally: The Beatles released their first album “Please please me” and gained their first Number One with “From me to you” and later that year had Number One singles with “She Loves you” and “I want to hold your hand” all perhaps very apt for my parents starting their new stage of life together!

So to Mum and Dad, I say with love, congratulations and many thanks!

To regular readers of this blog, I thank you for your time taken to read my ramblings over the last 200 posts, I hope you found them to be informative and sometimes entertaining. I also thank you for the comments and messages received, I always try to respond to as many of them as I can. Whilst I can not expect you all to read every post it might be worth trying the random post button sometime as you never know where it might lead you…

Read Full Post »

Further to my post yesterday that broke the news that Bachmann are to produce an 00 scale ex London Brighton and South Coast Atlantic H2 Class 4-4-2 I can now provide some further details.

The Bachmann press release is as follows:

The Atlantics were built to haul express trains between London and Brighton including the prestigious Pullman trains before completion of the electrification scheme on 1st January 1933.

32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem (Picture Courtesy Bachmann Plc)

32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem (Picture Courtesy Bachmann Plc)

They were designed by D.E. Marsh, who had been deputy to the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern Railway, H.A. Ivatt, for 10 years until he was promoted to the top job at Brighton in January 1905. Such was the urgency for express motive power on the Brighton line that Marsh, with the full support of his former chief, borrowed a set of Doncaster drawings and made a few amendments. The result was five H1 Class locomotives which were built by Kitson’s of Leeds between December 1905 and February 1906.

The second batch (Class H2) although to Marsh design was modified by his deputy L. Billinton. Billinton was Acting Chief Mechanical Engineer due to Marsh being absent on extended sick leave. In 1912 Billinton took over permanently when Marsh resigned, holding the position until Grouping in 1923.

2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery

2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery  (Picture Courtesy Bachmann Plc)

Six H2 Class locomotives were built at Brighton Works and remained on front line Brighton express work until the arrival of the King Arthur Class 4-6-0s in 1925. They were named after geographical features on the South Coast. The Atlantics then continued to operate other express trains and also boat trains to the ferries at Newhaven (for Dieppe, France) until the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 brought the duties to a premature end.

The class continued to work secondary services after the war but there was less work for them and some were put into store. The first H2 Class withdrawal was No. 32423 ‘The Needles’ which took place in May 1949. The last to survive was No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ which was scrapped at Eastleigh following withdrawal on 24th April 1958.

The Bachmann Branchline OO scale model will be released in 2015. Two versions are planned initially which are;

31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery
31-921 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR black livery with early emblem.

Models will incorporate a DCC socket. Prices will be advised in due course.

David Haarhaus, Bachmann’s European Sales & Marketing Manager said “We believe that the H2 Class locomotive will be popular with modellers and the emergence of the replica at Sheffield Park over the coming years will introduce the class to new generations of railway enthusiasts and modellers. We are working closely with the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group and thank them for assisting us with this project”.

Sadly railway preservation was still in its infancy and ‘Beachy Head’ was scrapped before the formation of the Bluebell Railway in March 1959. This locomotive had worked part of the Locomotive Club of Great Britain Southern Counties Limited Rail tour on 24th February 1957 from Horsted Keynes to Brighton.

Beachy Head replica is taking shape at the Bluebell Railway. The driving wheels will be added soon

Beachy Head replica is taking shape at the Bluebell Railway. The driving wheels will be added soon.

In 2000, the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group was formed to build a replica of ‘Beachy Head’ for use on the extended Bluebell Railway between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. Since then the group has acquired many parts including a GNR ‘Atlantic’ boiler, tender frames and wheel sets. Other items are being manufactured and the project has now reached an advanced stage.

I had the privilege to view progress on the build yesterday during a tour of f Atlantic House. The frames are now assembled cylinders, slide bars, inside motion  and the start of the cab metalwork in place, the cross heads and sandboxes are ready to be installed along with some brake linkages. She will soon be ready for the finished cast and machined driving wheels to be fitted (the pony truck is also already complete). The ex GNR boiler is also substantially complete and awaiting tubing before the smokebox can be finished. I look forward to completion of the this project in maybe as little as 4 to 5 years.  If you would like to assist with this project you can sponsor a component here.

Read Full Post »

Bachmann Europe Plc today, 31st August, have announced the addition to their range of an 00 scale ex London Brighton and South Coast Atlantic H2 Class 4-4-2

The announcement was made at their annual Bachmann Collectors Club members day that co-incidentally was taking place at the Bluebell Railway.

The new model will be released as:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green

Although none are preserved a replica of Beachy Head is currently being built on the Bluebell Railway.

Edit: just clarify this will be a general release anticipated to be available during 2015. Only the two liveries have been announced but maybe others will follow in due course.

In other news Model Rail magazine have today announced that their USA tank will now be produced by Bachmann rather than Dapol.

Further details will be posted later once I have returned from the event and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bachmann and the Bluebell Railway for the hospitality provided to myself and fellow members of the media, retailers and collectors club members that have attended. The day has included guided tours of the Wagon & Carriage Works, Locomotive Workshops and of course the Atlantic House workshop to see the progress being made on the replica, along with train travel along the entire line including the new Northern extension to East Grinstead aboard heritage rolling stock chartered by Bachmann.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: