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Kernow Model Rail Centre have today announced that they have been working with Bachmann to produce the Southern Region 4-TC unit, also known as class 491 and later class 438,  that were usually propelled by 4 REP EMUs, Class 33/1s and also Class 73s, Class 74s and other compatible 1951/57/63 built EMUs. Although the 4-TCs were un-powered the Southern Region regarded them as Electric Multiple Units.

The first Engineering Sample of the Kernow model Rail Centre 4-TC

The first Engineering Prototype sample of the Kernow model Rail Centre 4-TC

This model, although based on the existing Bachmann Mk1 design, actually required three totally new tools to produce the four car unit along with their correct bogies and therefore is the equivalent of tooling three completely new locomotives. Despite this Kernow Model Rail Centre have managed to keep the price of the unit to £289.95, which is reduced to £269.95 if you place a pre-order before the model leaves China.

The first Engineering Prototype (EP) sample has been received and a few tweaks are required, such as moving the headlight to the correct position and re-configuring the wiring to allow the unit to be connected in the correct formation.

Another view of the first EP of the 4-TC

Another view of the first EP of the 4-TC

The units will feature working internal lights and the head and tail destination blinds also illuminate. Separate connecting doors are provided to give variations in headcodes, similar to the previous Bachmann 4-CEP. The unit is wired throughout using connectors similar to the Bachmann Blue Pullman, which allows full electrical connectivity while also allowing relatively easy uncoupling when required.

A side on view of the first EP of the 4-TC

A side on view of the first EP of the 4-TC

Switches below the unit allow the internal lights to be switched on or off, and also allow for independent switching of the destination blinds at the front and rear of the unit. The model is fitted with a 21 Pin DCC Decoder socket and also has provision for DCC Sound fitting. One decoder is required for DCC operation and is fitted within the luggage compartment of the Trailer Brake Corridor Second (TBSK) vehicle. The switching arrangements for internal unit lighting are replicated for DCC and can all be controlled from the single decoder.

Initially six liveries will be produced, with delivery expected to be around January 2017:

The 4-TCs were converted from Mk1 loco-hauled coaches, with 31 units converted in 1966-7 by British Rail Engineering at York Works. Initially 28 x 4 car units were created with 3 x 3 car units. The four car units were formed Driving Trailer Second Open (DTSO), Trailer First Corridor (TFK), Trailer Brake Corridor Second (TBSK) and Driving Trailer Second Open (DTSO). The 3 car units omitted the TFK. Summer services to Weymouth were frequently overcrowded so in 1974 a further 3 x 4 car units were converted and at the same time the 3 car units had a TFK inserted to make them up to 4 car units.

4-TC Unit number 416 in BR Blue livery with small yellow warning panels and etched BR logos as per model 32-640Z

4-TC Unit number 416 in BR Blue livery with small yellow warning panels and etched BR logos as per model 32-640Z

When the route from London Waterloo to Bournemouth was electrified in 1967 there was insufficient funds to complete the electrification of the route through to Weymouth. An alternative method of operation was designed with high-powered Class 430 4-REP units propelling one or two 4-TC units from Waterloo to Bournemouth. At Bournemouth the 4-REP would be detached and a Class 33/1 Diesel Locomotive would be attached at the Weymouth end to haul either one or two 4-TCs through to Weymouth. In the reverse direction the 4-TCs would be propelled from Weymouth to Bournemouth where the 4-REP would then haul the 4-TCs to Waterloo, leaving the Class 33/1 at Bournemouth to await the next Weymouth service.

4-TC unit number 8022 in BR Blue and Grey livery with Network SouthEast branding as per model 32-642Z

4-TC unit number 8022 in BR Blue and Grey livery with Network SouthEast branding as per model 32-642Z

The usual area of operation of these versatile units was between London Waterloo and Weymouth, although they could frequently be seen throughout the South Western division of the Southern Region. Regular duties included the Kenny Belle peak shuttle service between Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junction. They were also used extensively on West of England line duties between Yeovil and Salisbury to London Waterloo and between Reading and Portsmouth Harbour. Until the closure of the Swanage branch they worked on through trains from London Waterloo.

4-TC unit number 410 in BR Blue livery with half yellow ends Premier Charter with etched BR logos as per model 32-644Z

4-TC unit number 410 in BR Blue livery with half yellow ends Premier Charter with etched BR logos as per model 32-644Z

Railtours saw the units make trips to varied locations throughout British Rail, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Meldon and Barnstaple.
With the electrification of the entire Weymouth line complete by 1988, along with electrification of other South Western division routes, the need for the 4-TCs was removed and most were withdrawn by 1990. Two units were retained and repainted in original blue livery, albeit with larger yellow warning panels, with the intention to use them for “Premier Charters”, a role which they performed until 1994.

Chris Trerise, Managing Director of Kernow Model Rail Centre, said “When I first left Cornwall to work for British Rail I was based at London Waterloo and was immediately fascinated by the Southern and the variety of units in operation.  The 4-TC has always been a favourite of mine and there was never any doubt that Bachmann would produce a model to be proud of.  This is probably the largest project we have embarked on but our team work very closely with Bachmann and this has made the entire process very enjoyable.  We are really looking forward to receiving the painted samples!”

All images on this page are courtesy of and copyright of Kernow Model Rail Centre / Chris Trerise.

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Baggage trucks has been used on South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) and subsequently Southern, Continental boat-train services but these original 6 wheel vehicles ceased being used at the onset of World War 2. When boat-train services resumed in 1946 simple goods stock ‘Conflat D’ wagons were initially used until it was decided by the Southern Region in April 1950 that the Golden Arrow service required two specific baggage trucks once again. Two good wagons (Nos 39582 & 39614)  were duly converted, painted in passenger crimson lake (side rails only), renumbered S4207/8 and could be seen loaded for four SNCF boxes. They were given the British Railways operating code of Carriage Truck – Open (CTO). The livery changed to green in June 1956 and they lasted until February 1961 when they regained their original goods stock running numbers and livery.

Marc Models Golden Arrow Baggage Truck

Marc Models Golden Arrow Baggage Truck – CTO

My friends at Marc Models are in the process of producing an etched kit for these two baggage trucks, including their boxes and although slightly outside own modelling period I have been privileged to have been give one of the test samples to have a look over.  As with all Marc Models  products (see my Talking Stock #5 post about the Cinema Coach and Inspection Saloon models from their stable here) the quality is exceptionally high, and dimensionally accurately matches the drawing available, figure 22, in Mike King’s An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons, Volume 4 (OPC, 2002) and available pictures. The inset floor etch currently slightly too narrow but this is known to Mike Radford of Marc Models (and indeed the issue was advised to me by Mike) and is being corrected, which is of course the purpose of such a test etch and assembly, the brake handle is also currently missing.

A higher view of the Marc Models CTO showing the lifting eye detail on each of the containers

A higher view of the Marc Models CTO showing the lifting eye detail on each of the containers

The details are of a high level and include the various chain anchor points to hold the boxes down along with, as you would expect, all the fine underframe details and brake rigging. The boxes themselves are exceptionally fine including their vents, doors complete with mesh panels, end ladders and handrails giving access to the lifting eye included on the roofs. The lifting eyes has been the subject of some discussion and doubters but Marc Models do have photographic evidence, which I have seen, showing the eyes as they have be reproduced here in miniature.

This kit, once released by Marc Models, will be invaluable to anyone trying the model the correct Golden Arrow formation between mid 1950 and February 1961.

 

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