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Posts Tagged ‘Bulleid Battle of Britain Class’

Today, 30th January 2015, marks the 50 anniversary of the solemn occasion of the State Funeral of one of our greatest statesman Sir Winston Churchill following his passing on 24th January 1965. Sir Winston Churchill was the only “commoner”, i.e non Royal, in the 20th Century to be awarded the honour of a State Funeral. The day is especially remembered in railway circles, following the service in St. Paul’s Cathedral, due to the his final journey by rail being from Waterloo to Handborough in Oxfordshire for the private family interment in Bladon.

The State Funeral procession led from St. Paul’s Cathedral, via the River Thames on the Port of London Authority launch Havengore, that travelled from Tower Pier and the Pool of London (even the Pool’s crane jibs were dipped as a mark of respect) to the Royal Festival Hall landing stage. From there, the procession went by road to Waterloo Station and onto the funeral train that comprised of Bulleid Battle of Britain class No. 34051 “Winston Churchill”; Pullman brake car No. 208; hearse van S2464S (an SR gangway bogie luggage van repainted to Pullman colours back in July 1962 and stored awaiting its eventual use); Pullman kitchen parlour cars “Carina” and “Lydia”; Pullman parlour car “Perseus”; and Pullman brake car “Isle of Thanet.

Folklore states that Sir Winston Churchill requested that should he pass on before the French head of Government Charles de Gaulle that the train should leave for Oxfordshire from “Waterloo” rather then the perhaps more logical Paddington, however this may not in reality be fact.  The official plans for the State occasion first started to be drawn up in 1958 under the code name “Operation Hope Not”. The train attracted large crowds along the lineside for its entire route as a mark of great respect for the man that had led and inspired many though the dark days of the Second World War.

My model of  "Winston Churchill" in her earlier Southern days as 21C151 as she  allocated to Salisbury and therefore makes an appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

My model of “Winston Churchill” in her earlier Southern days as 21C151 as she was allocated to Salisbury and therefore makes a regular appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

34051, numbered 21C151 in Southern Railway days (as pictured left), was a Salisbury engine for most of her working life (except briefly being at both Nine Elms and Exmouth Junction in 1950) and was sent to Nine Elms, from Salisbury, especially for this occasion and was driven by a Nine Elms crew namely: Royal Train Driver A.W. Hurley and Fireman Jim Lester. The locomotive famously carried a three disc head code representing “V” for Victory. Departing Waterloo at 1:28pm, the train travelled respectfully slowly on Southern Region metals to Reading where it joined the Western Region line to reach Handborough, via Didcot and Oxford, arriving at 3:23pm. 34051 returned back to Nine Elms light engine via the reverse route, whilst the funeral train itself returned to London Paddington.

Jim’s fascinating memories about that day, along with some great photographs, can be read here on the excellent Nine Elms Locomotive shed website.  Further information and pictures can be found here on the SEmG website.

After withdrawal in September 1965, 34051 was preserved in the National Collection and now along with hearse van S2464S has been cosmetically restored and is currently forming part of a special exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York.

R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack

R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack

Finally, as announced last December Hornby are marking the occasion with the release of their R3300 Winston Churchill funeral train pack comprising of Bulleid original style light pacific No. 34051 with cut down tender, in BR livery with late crest,  2 off Pullman cars, (although not prototypically the correct style of 1951 built Pullman cars) ‘Lydia’, ‘Perseus’ and Pullman liveried Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van S2464 (note existing tooling is being used for the GBL and not strictly as per the prototype van that was modified with additional windows in the centre pair of doors). We await to see when this train pack will actually be available…

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Last year Dapol announced their intention to produce Bulleid Light Pacifics in both original and rebuilt form. This is in addition to the 2012/13 range announcements made earlier this week.

First off CAD image for the Original style Light Pacifics

They have now released the first off CAD images for these new products as seen here. I should stress on behalf of Dapol that these are the very first CAD versions and there are a number of corrections that have already made or highlighted to them  for amendment.

Fist off CAD image of the Rebuilt Light Pacifics

These  include items such as: the tender top shapes, cab side profiles,  the very distorted shape of the cylinder on the original style  version, correct profile pony wheels and taking account of the need for separate valances in front of the cylinders to allow for time period changes etc.
Dapol have also advised that both 4500 and 5500 gallon tender variations are planned. Whilst the versions of the original style so far announced are all 8’6″ wide cab versions, following discussion with Dapol about the cab which will be a separate moulding meaning that  they might be able to consider the 9′ wide version or even the original flat fronted cab style with the two side windows should they feel demand would be sufficient.

Dapol should be congratulated in getting these advance images into the public domain, even with known errors at this  stage, and welcoming constructive feedback  and dialogue to ultimately improve the model.

P.S. Interestingly and coincidentally  this is my 110th post since I started this blog of my rambles last August and 110 is of course the number of Bulleid Light Pacifics built!

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When first introduced 21C101 to 21C163 had the original Bulleid style cab with narrow front lookout and two large side windows, the rear one of which slid forwards behind the front. Complaints were made due to a restricted forward view, not helped by the position, inside the cab, of the vacuum ejector controls, in front of the window on the driver’s side. Therefore starting in July 1947 the cabs were modified, with a wedge shaped front (sometimes referred to a ‘V’ shaped) giving a larger front window area. This resulted in a slightly smaller side window area which was then fitted with three windows the rear two of which slide behind the front to give in effect the same open window area as the original style cab.

21C102 'Salisbury' with original style cab and short smoke deflectors (brass scratch built cab)

The Hornby Light Pacific models all have the modified cab arrangement which restricts the of prototypes that can be modelled in either Southern or early British Railways Liveries.

21C103 'Plymouth' like 21C102 above with original style cab and short smoke deflectors (SRG whitemetal cab sides)

To suit my own modelling period on Fisherton Sarum of 1946 to 1949 I  have therefore modified a number of my Hornby Bulleid Light Pacifics to  the original style cabs.

s21C148 'Crediton' in early British Railways livery has original style cab and the standard length smoke deflectors (SRG whitemetal cab sides)

This involves cutting of the Hornby cab moulding, quite a daunting task on a £70 / £80 or more model, and replacing with either a scratch built brass cab or utilising replacement cast whitemetal cab sides that are now available from the Southern Railway Group (The production of these was prompted by my original conversion being detailed on the semg site).  After fitting the new cabs I tend to repaint the entire locomotive using either Railmatch or Precision Paints aerosol malachite green and number and lining transfers from the Historical Model Railway Society.

For comparison 34004 'Yeovil' post Locomotive Exchange Trials has a modified wedge or 'V' Cab and extended smoke deflectors.

As well the change in cab styles there also a number of different length smoke deflectors fitted starting with the original short length that then were increased in length to the standard length, whilst the three class members assigned to the Locomotive Exchange Trials in 1948 were all given extended deflectors, which they kept until either withdrawal or rebuilding, Note these three locomotives also received the wedge shaped cab prior tot the trials too).

Further information and a step by step process can be found on the Southern ‘e’ Group (SeMG) site here or my RMweb blog here

Further comparison 34090 'Sir Eustice Missenden' with standard length smoke deflectors and 9' wide wedge shaped cab from new.

Whilst on the subject of cabs it should also be noted that the last 40 built from 34071 to 34110 also had wider 9′ 0″ cabs (wedge shaped from new) instead of the earlier 8’6″ width.

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