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To commemorate 100 years of the Merchant Navy, and in remembrance of all those from various countries throughout the world that served in the Merchant Navy and who lost their lives during wars, conflicts and campaigns, Merchant Navy  Locomotive 35006 ‘Peninsular & Oriental SN Co’ will be running on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway on Merchant Navy Day – Tuesday 3rd September 2019.

35006 in the sunshine at Toddington

Locomotove No.6,  which was built in 1941 for the Southern Railway and formally named after the shipping company P&O in 1942 – with the unveiling of a grand nameplate on the side of the locomotive,  is based at Toddington station on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway which runs between Cheltenham Race Course and Broadway in the Cotswolds.

35006 has the signal off at Cheltenham Racecourse (ready to run around rather than head further south)

No.6  will be suitably decorated for the day with a specially commissioned ‘Merchant Navy’ headboard and flying the Red Ensign flags for the occasion. It is intended to have a brief remembrance service at 9.30 am for members of the Merchant Navy Association, at Toddington station, before pulling the 10am departure for Cheltenham.

Following many years of lobbying to bring about official recognition of the sacrifices made by merchant seafarers in the two world wars and since, Merchant Navy Day became an official day of remembrance on 3 September 2000.

Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September has honoured the brave men and women who kept our ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK’s imports.

The Merchancy Navy Asscociation aims to ensure the recognition of the Merchant Navy Veterans and the critical and strategic role of the Merchant Navy in times of war and conflict.
Why 3rd September? –  This date marks the sinking of the Merchant Navy ship – S.S. Athenia in WWII – the very first casualty of the war – torpedoed by a German U-Boat, with the loss of 128 lives, within 10 hours of the declaration of war on 3 September 1939, by Neville Chamberlain and the outbreak of  World War II.
Anyone who wants to come along and see and photograph the train is welcome to turn up at Toddington – entry is free. Anyone wanting to travel, this is a normal service train,  just buy a ticket and jump on board, all are welcome

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Yesterday evening, 13th July, saw the annual members day event with a dedicated special train purely for members and shareholders of the 35006 Society. It was a chance to ride behind 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co on a private train after No.6 had been in service on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway  during the day.

35006 backs on to the Members train

Relections from the cab #1

I was also fortunate as Shareholder to have the chance of a ride in the cab, see video below, for the part of the trip.

She certainly looked splendid and powerful in the evening light with the wonderful patina of having worked service trains during the day. Once coaled and coupled to the members train she ran non stop to Cheltenham racecourse station. Having run around she took the train tender first, again back past Toddington to the wonderfully recreated, Broadway station.

Reflections from the cab #2

I was lucky enough to ride in the cab between Toddington and Braodway. The evening ended as the sun set returning to Toddington. The 14 miles end to end gives a nice 28 mile round trip, and a couple of nice gradients thrown into the mix,  with some great views across the Cotswolds.

I was able to take a few pictures from the cab, getting a few reflections in the glass and tender sides (as we were running tender first for that part of the journey) hence the title pun of this post.

Stanway Viaduct from the cab of No.6

It also gave the chance to experience the views from the impressive Stanway Viaduct, just to the North of Toddington, this viaduct is approximately 210 yards long, crosses the valley at its highest point at just over 50 feet and each of the 15 spans are 36 feet. It is on a gentle 1 in 150 gradient heading north and on a gentle 80 chain curve.

The reputation for Bulleids to make steam was certainly evident with a low fire of good quality welsh steam coal, steam pressure was easily maintained, as it never dropped below 235 psi for the duration of my cab ride, despite the relatively full train, of members and shareholders, made up of eight BR Mark One coaches.

Coad, fire and water make steam pressure 235psi on the dial

The safety valves were just feathering for most of the trip despite the fireman keeping topping up the boiler to its near full limit.  The ride was very smooth, albeit at an average of around 25mph showing on the speedometer, on the still pretty new excellent permanent way to Broadway

It was certainly a great evening, including the cab ride as well, enjoying a picnic on board with my Mum and Dad. No.6 looked great as always and was running superbly and a credit to the 35006 Locomotive Society and the running staff of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway

It was also great to be able to get up close to 35006 and hopefully some of the pictures illustrating this post shows the impressiveness of her and also the impressive level of restoration and continued maintenance that has gone into this complex piece of engineering Bulleid Brilliance (with a little bit of Jarvis thrown in, I will concede).

No.6 runs round at Cheltenham Racecourse

The setting sun seen through the cab of No6 at Broardway

See my page here on how you can help keep, in any small way, No.6 up and running. 

 

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Model Rail Magazine have announced via their August 2019 issue, No. 263, that they have commissioned Danish manufacturer Heljan to produce the Class 12, 350hp diesel 0-6-0 shunters along the with the War Department, LMS / GWR Class 11 versions. Twenty six of the shunters, with English Electric 350hp engines, that became Class 12 were ordered by the Southern Railway before nationalisation but were first built at Ashford in 1949 and the order completed by 1952.

Class 12 350hp shunter, No. 15211 in orginal black livery

Numbered 15211-36, the Class 12 locomotives, looked very similar to the later numerous Class 08 and Class 09  and the earlier Class 11 350hp 0-6-0 shunters but had larger 4ft 6in diameter “Bulleid-Firth Brown” type wheels, the same size as used by Maunsell on his three 1937 shunters) as opposed to the 4ft 2in, normally spoked variety used on the others (Note not called ‘Boxpox’ as per the original North American style, as often incorrectly used for the Bulleid-Firth Brown type, including within the Model Rail magazine article announcing these models).

The Model Rail Class 12 version will include Bulleid-Firth Brown style wheels and the additional lamp irons / marker lights, however due to tooling limitations it may mean it will not be possible to include some of the smaller detail differences between the Class 11 and Class 12. All models will include a NEXT 18 DCC decoder socket, working head and tail lights, a stay alive capacitor and a factory fitted ‘sugar-cube’ speaker.

The Class 11s being produced first are not expected until Q1 2022 with 15 liveries available and the Class 12s the following year Q1 2023 with 5 versions available, all livery versions are limited to 300 pieces.

Class 11

  • MR-501: WD green, 70271
  • MR-502: Longmoor Military Railway blue, 878 Basra
  • MR-503: LMS pre-war black, 7120
  • MR-504: LMS post-war black, 7128
  • MR-505: BR black, British Railways lettering, 12043
  • MR-506: WR green, British Railways lettering, 15106
  • MR-507: BR black, early emblem, 12049
  • MR-508: BR black, early emblem (weathered), 12075
  • MR-509: BR plain green, late crest, 12105
  • MR-510: BR green, wasp stripes, 12100
  • MR-511: BR green, wasp stripes, 15105
  • MR-512: BR blue, D12062
  • MR-513: BR blue (weathered), 12052
  • MR-514: ICI grey/orange, Joule
  • MR-515: NCB orange, 12099

Class 12 (with larger 4ft 6in diameter “Bulleid-Firth Brown” type wheels)

  • MR-601: BR black, 15223
  • MR-602: BR black, early emblem, 15235
  • MR-603: BR green, wasp stripes, 15224
  • MR-604: BR green, wasp stripes (weathered), 15221
  • MR-605: BR blue, 15212

They will be eventually available to pre-ordered via the Model Rail webiste http://www.modelrailoffers.co.uk/ in due course.

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Announced in January this year as part of their 2019 range the first of the range of Bulleid 59ft ‘Shortie’ coaches have started to arrive. A little annoying they have arrived so far as the two Southern livery composites and BR(S) liveried Brake 3rds at the time of writing preventing full correct sets in the same livery be formed, until further versions arrived. Those remaining examples are promised between the end of this month and September. However Hornby should be congratulated in that they are arriving in the same year as being announced as part of their range for 2019!

R4882A 59ft Biulleid Composite in SR livery

The prototype of these coaches were part of 18 three coach sets, formed Diagram 2121 BTK – Diagram 2316 CK –  Diagram 2121 BTK, with set numbers 963 to 980. They were ordered in 1944 utilising Maunsell 59ft underframes that were originally constructed in 1940, then stored, when further construction was suspended by the war. Whilst similar in layout to previous Maunsell coaches, with doors for each compartment on the non corridor side (known as Multi-door) , externally they featured the new Bulleid bodyside profile. Bulleid new profile had already been introduced on the 4 Sub EMU set 4101 in 1941 with the body having a continuous curve from floor to cantrail and the characteristic lozenge shaped toplights over the droplight windows.

The non corridor side of R4882A

Hornby are releasing versions to correctly form Sets 965 and 973 in SR ‘Malachite’ green and Sets 968 and 972 in BR(s) green. The BR(s) versions include revised tooling to include: recessed / flush door toplights, later guards door handrail styles, rainstrips, end steps and the reinforcing beading added along the sides at waist the line.

This years full range as announced is as follows:

  • End view showing the
    characteristic Bulleid bodyside profile

    R4882 – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2316 corridor composite No. 5711 from Set 965 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery [Arrived]

  • R4882A – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2316 corridor composite No. 5719 from Set 973 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery [Arrived]
  • R4884 – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. 2845 from Set 965 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery
  • R4884A – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. 2846 from Set 965 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery
  • R4884B – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. 2861 from Set 973 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery
  • R4884C – SR Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. 2862 from Set 973 in SR ‘Malachite’ green livery
  • R4886 – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2316 corridor composite No. S5714S from Set 968 in BR(s) green livery
  • End close up and non corridor side

    R4886A – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2316 corridor composite No. S5718S from Set 972  in BR(s) green livery

  • R4888 – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. S2851S from Set 968 in BR(s) green livery [Arrived]
  • R4888A – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. S2852S from Set 968 in BR(s) green livery [Arrived]
  • R4888B – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. S2859S from Set 972 in BR(s) green livery [Arrived]
  • R4888C – BR(s) Bulleid 59′ Diagram 2121 corridor brake 3rd  No. S2859S from Set 972 in BR(s) green livery [Arrived]

For those interested additional information on the liveries carried and dates of repainting for the above sets are as follows (thanks to friend Colin Watts for the information, see also his excellent Blood and Custard website, for more information on these coaches here):

  • Set 965 (Malachite) to Crimson Lake and Cream (CLC)  March 1956 then to BR(S) Green  June 1958
  • Set 968 (Malachite) to CLC December 1953 then to BR(S) Green July 1957
  • Set 972 BR(S) Green from CLC February 1958
  • Set 973 BR(s) Green from CLC November 1957

As can be the seen from the accompanying pictures of the SR livery composite (the only ones I have in my possession at the moment (see opening paragraph) they are fine looking models that follow on from the standard set by their Maunsell stock range. This is hardly surprising as one of the reasons for suggesting these versions to Hornby in the first place was that they shared, with a few minor amendments the same 59ft chassis. The models come fitted with the standard close coupling mechanism with tension lock couplings fitted into the NEM Pockets. Also ‘Roco’ style couplings supplied loose to enable closer coupling, for those using Kadee style couplings (as I will be between the coaches in the sets as the prototypes were fitted with buckeyes) their Number 18 Medium length NEM style also couplings work well.

The packaging is of the now standard style, but the description on the box ends for some reason calls them ‘Suburban’ coaches, when they were of course introduced for the use in the West of England express services.

Close up of the sides, glazing and window signs

Hornby have captured the characteristic Bulleid curved bodyside profile nicely, but although the  large corridor side glazing inserts are also slightly curved, at close viewing depending on angle and light the prismatic effect at the edges is noticeable and perhaps the windows, excluding the opening door droplights, are not flush or as curved profile as they could be. Hornby did manage better flush glazing in the past on their Maunsell 1935 type Brake Composite. The corridor side handrail that is printed on the back of the glazing has a more golden (possible wooden) colour than polished chrome finish of the prototype. Grab handles, waterpipes / handrails and lamp irons are separately applied items and buffers are sprung. Although not pictured here, as I dont have any of the Brake 3rds yet, I am aware that Hornby have made an excellent representation of the Guards periscope on the roof.

Livery application and printing is as the high standard that we expect from Hornby .(although I am still not personally convinced by their rendition of SR Malachite) even down to the tiny and readable seat number information just below the cantrail. On the SR versions the correct for the period rectangular white on blue ‘First’ and triangular red on white ‘Non Smoking’ window signs are well represented.

The ‘V’ hanger positioned incorrectly outside of the Truss Rod can be seen in this view.

On the underframe the subtle differences between the Maunsell underframes and those for these Bullied versions such as battery box, dynamo and brake cylinder positions are correct, however the V hanger at the left hand end has been positioned outside of the truss rods (as per the Maunsell style) rather than immediately inboard. This slight error has I believe arisen due to the error also being included on at least one published drawing, whereas reference to prototype images shows that the location was also changed to be inboard.

It is also noted that on the BR versions so far released the tooling takes into account the later revised hand rail arrangement on the brake compartment doors and also the reinforcement beading (covering up the panel butt-joints that suffered from corrosion) added to the coach sides at waist level.  This additional tooling allows for a range of livery and tooling detail permutations in the future.

Overall once again excellent coaches from Hornby, who have certainly set the standard for R-T_R coaches over the last few years, and I look forward to the remaining versions arriving and further livery permutations in future years.

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Further to my post here just last month about the planned move announced by  The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that 35011 will be moving to its new base of the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, I am pleased to be able to advise that just only four weeks later, on Monday 15th April, the move has taken place, seeing No.11 unloaded at here new home. The Swindon and Cricklade Railway’s own volunteers have, with many thanks from The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, been splendidly working away to finish laying the new track and the completion of the covered accommodation in readiness for the arrival of No.11.

No.11 arrives by low loader

The intention of The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society of course is to not only to return the Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation to steam but also back to her original ‘Air Smoothed’ condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements.

Unloading continues

No. 11 will now be undercover within a shelter for the first time since she was in service. This will allow her to be fully dismantled, which was not possible to commence at its previous location. The boiler can then lifted allowing the rolling chassis to be moved into the Swindon and Cricklade Railway‘s main works.
There is already room allocated in the works enabling the main restoration work, and indeed uniquely returning to Bulleid’s original as designed and built condition, to commence at much greater pace and within vastly improved conditions.

Well done to the team at The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society for their hard work and dedication to make today’s move and the start of a new chapter in the life of No.11 occur.

No.11 looks at her new undercover home

The Just giving page that has been set up here is still open to help raise funds for the cost of this move, perhaps you might be able to make a small donation to assist, as said, “every little helps”!

Hopefully this post and the continued progress being made might convince some of the readers of this blog to join the Society, membership costs only £10 per year and full details on how to become a member can be found here and be a part of this ambitious but serious and credible restoration project

Full updates on progress can be found on the 35001 Society website here.

All pictures courtesy and copyright The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society

 

 

 

 

 

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The latest books hot of the press from my good friends at the Irwell Press are firstly two new publications in the excellent hardback “Book of the” series to cover the Southen Railway Moguls. The two volumes cover the initially ex South Eastern and Chatham and later Southern Railway, Richard Maunsell designed and produced 2-6-0 Moguls, the N and N1 Classes in Part One and U and U1 classes in Part Two. The third is a paperback version the Southern Workhorses No.1 Q Class 0-6-0s. Number two in the series of Southern Workhorses, still to be published, will be the Bullied Q1 class.
These three publications all follow the usual brilliant Irwell Press “The Book of Series” with historical background information about each class, their design, liveries and spheres of operation, photographs along, with particular details and photographs of each individual locomotive taken from their works records. the books are of the usual high standard of detail, information and photograph reproduction that we have come to expect from the Irwell Press at a reasonable price of £29.95 for the Mogul hardback versions and £15.95 for the paper Q class publication. As they say available from all good bookstores, and probably some not so good ones too!

Book of the Southern Moguls Part Two N and N1 classes

Book of the Southern Moguls Part Two U and U1 classes

Southern Workhorses No. 1 Q Class 0-6-0s

As with all the Irwell Press‘The Book of the” series they are invaluable for Southern Railway historians and modellers alike and well worth a read.

Further information about my N1 model, converted from a Bachman N class,  illustrated above can be read on my Talking Stock posts #12 here. My U Class model is built from a DJH kit, whilst the Q Class was built from a then Wills now South Eastern Finecast kit, sometime ago when I was in my early teens,  and is now running on its third chassis but still makes the occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum!

 

 

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Regular readers of this blog will know, via its dedicated page here that I am shareholder in 35011 General Steam Navigation. The intention of The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society of course is to not only to return the Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation to steam but also back to her original ‘Air Smoothed’ condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements.

What she would hopefully return to looking like. 21C11 at Bournemouth Photo credit John Neve

I am pleased to advise a couple of great items of news,which are big steps in further establishing this as totally serious and well managed restoration project. The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society have been able to this week announce that locomotive will be soon moving to its new base of the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.  The locomotive will be based within a shelter and will be the first time since she was in service that she will  be undercover. She will be fully dismantled, which was not possible to carry out at its current location, and the boiler lifted allowing the rolling chassis to be moved into the railway’s main works where there is already room enabling the main restoration work to commence.

A Just giving page has been set up here to help raise funds for the cost of the move, perhaps you might be able to make a small donation to assist, as said, “every little helps”!

Another major tipping point in this project has also been reached and that is the fact that The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society  now has the necessary funds to cover the cost of the construction of the missing main crank axle that really demonstrates the progress and support that the project has achieved.

In addition many original parts have been recently sourced and or manufactured and machined  such as the spring beams for the bogie and trailing axle truck and the Kilinger Valves.

Hopefully this post and the progress being made might convince to join the Society, membership costs only £10 per year and full details on how to become a member can be found here.

Full updates on progress can be found on the 35001 Society website here.

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