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Posts Tagged ‘Golden Arrow productions’

I have a bit of a soft spot for all large tank locomotives and a number of classes of large tanks existed on the Southern Railway such as the H16 4-6-2T, W 2-6-4T, the Z class 0-8-0T that I featured in my Talking Stock# 19 post here and the topic of this post the G16 4-8-0T. The H16 and W classes will I am sure be the subject of future posts.

G16 494_1

A Urie G16 class number 494 from a class of four locomotives

The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie G16 class of four 4-8-0tanks were introduced in 1921, the same year as the larger H16 4-6-2T. The two classes shared many common parts such as boilers and fireboxes.
Having eight-coupled wheels of 5′ 1″ diameter, they were clearly intended mainly for hump shunting duties at Feltham yard and spent most of their lives to the shed there. Weighing in at 95 tons they were certainly heavy tanks and with a Tractive Effort of 34,000 were the most powerful locomotives on the LSWR. In common with the T14 4-6-0 ‘Paddleboxes’ and H16 class were the widest steam locomotives in Britain.
At one stage Maunsell was considering building more G16 class locomotives, as only four were originally built, but instead opted for his Z class 0-8-0T. With the introduction of the 0-6-0 diesel shunters in the 1950’s one was withdrawn in 1959, another in 1960 and the final two in December 1962.

My model of 494 is built from a Golden Arrow Productions resin body kit

My model of 494 is built from a Golden Arrow Productions resin body kit

My model of the G16 makes the odd occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum which must be a running in turn from Eastleigh works, as Salisbury would have been a bit far for a trip working! It has been constructed from a Golden Arrow Products resin kit mounted on a modified Hornby 8F chassis. This is somewhat of a compromise as the G16s had an evenly spaced 5’1″ driving wheels on 6′ centres whereas the 8F has 4’8″ drivers on unequal spacing. The kit correctly requires the cylinders and valve gear to be relocated further forward and the cylinders inclined. The main connecting rod is therefore relocated to be driven off the second rather than the third axle, this in itself creates another compromise as the large balance weight remaining on the third wheel set is incorrect and not easily rectified (it is not possible to simply swap the second and third wheel sets over as the chassis is driven via the third axle which therefore has the driving gear mounted on it).

As the kit only comprising of the resin body and chassis extension components for the detail items I used: Alan Gibson turned brass handrail knobs; Craftsman Models white metal Drummond style buffers and Urie whistle; brass clack valves, smoke box dart, etched rear spectacle protection bars and injectors from Mainly Trains; various pieces of copper wire for pipe work, plastic section for the bunker rear steps and lamp irons from Bambi staples.

Overall this is a relatively simple body kit, although the chassis modifications might not be for the faint hearted, resulting in a nice model, with a little care.

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And now for for something slightly different… Along with the other railway companies at the time , the Southern Railway, during the 1930’s, were also looking for the future of locomotive power. In 1937 Maunsell ordered three six coupled 350hp diesel electric locos, built by the SR at Ashford with English Electric power units, to compare against the Z class 0-8-0 tanks. These along with later versions ordered by Bulleid, were the ancestors of the British Railways large class of 350hp shunters that became the 08/09 class.

This picture from my collection shows Nº1 still in Southern livery taken on the main line, for a change, at Norwood junction (so not that far from home) on 6 June 1948

The construction of the frames, cabs and bodywork was completed at the Southern Railway’s Ashford works. English Electric, at their Preston works, then installed their  6K power units developing 350bhp at 680 rpm, traction equipment and motors after which they were returned to Ashford for final assembly.
The coupled wheels were 4’6″ in diameter and the weight in working order was 55¼ tons. Numbers 1 and 2 entered service in August 1937 with Number 3 following in September.

rear 3/4 view showing the distinctive rear cab overhang and the sloping lower rear windows

One distinctive feature of the Ashford body was the overhang at the rear of the cab with two angled lower windows, as well as the more normal two vertical windows, giving clear visibility of the buffers and coupling area. Most drawings available for these locos do not show these two lower angled windows, and at least one photograph shows they were not fitted when first delivered so they were a later modification, but one made very soon after they entered service.

No. 1 in post war livery,  still needs a couple of handrails added to the front steps

All three were allocated to Norwood yard for the majority of their working life on the Southern. It is therefore somewhat modellers licence that  my model sometimes makes an appearance on Fisherton Sarum.  When these locos were first introduced they were not described by the Southern as ‘shunters’ but as ‘trip’ locos. However, in trials on short freight trip workings around London the maximum speed of 25 mph was found to be too slow for regular use on the heavily used suburban passenger lines. On nationalisation they were renumbered 15201, 15202 and 15203 in the BR numbering scheme. All three were withdrawn and broken up in 1964.

My model was build from a Golden Arrow Productions resin body on a Lima chassis, (being the best option available at the time, although it might end up on a more recent finer  Bachmann or Hornby 08 chassis eventually).

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One item of my rolling stock that raises the most questions when I exhibit Fisherton Sarum, and is also one of the most common search terms that readers of this blog have used to get here, is in connection with the Bulleid Leader.  I will not go in to the whys and wherefores of the prototype as there are enough books and online references, such as the Semg website here or  dare I say it Wikipedia here  although a few myths about it can be seen to be perpetuated such as that the initial intention “was to replace the aging fleet of M7 class tank engines” when in fact it was to have the same route availability, which is not quite the same thing!

The Bulleid Leader on Shed at Fisherton Sarum along side Merchant Navy 35023

For my own 4mm model of Bulleid’s unconventional ‘Leader’, I utilised a kit of parts from Golden Arrow Productions. A limited edition ready to run model of this unusual prototype is available but I obtained from them a kit of bits so I could do my own thing when it came to the chassis arrangement etc.

The body is one piece resin casting, with additional castings for the ashpan and steam reverser.  Being resin the casting is quite thick which is slightly more evident around the windows and is one of the reasons why I did not try and model the roof vent shutters in the open position. Lamp irons and handrails etc were also added.

The power bogie for my model of the Bulleid Leader

White metal parts make up the power bogies and I have used Markits wheels and axles.  The power bogie is designed to use a LH19 double ended motor with 40:1 worm and gear drive to two of the axles on the bogie. Unlike the Golden Arrow RTR version that is supplied with one powered and one trailing, I chose to make two identical powered versions.   Initially power is collected from opposite sides at each bogie with a single wire between the two, I added additional wire wiper pick ups to each bogie (allowing them to be independent units, useful when testing) and ran a pair of wires between each bogie.

A closer view of my model of the Bulleid Leader in its early unlined livery including the ‘Cycling Lion’ insignia, before it was painted out.

The Leader never ran in public service and only on test trains from firstly from Brighton between July 1949 and February 1950 and then again from Eastleigh between April and November 1950 utilising the ex NER dynamometer car. It only generally ran with the Number two end leading as the number one end cab was considered too uncomfortable by drivers due to the heat of smokebox located at the back of the cab. The fireman’s compartment was also well known to have been overbearing in temperature as well but in reality was probably not that much hotter than a Bulleid pacific enclosed cab in the summer.

Although the Leader was painted in light grey throughout its short life (although it was reputedly seen in plain black in Brighton works for a day) there were slight changes to lining and insignia:-
21st June 1949  Introduced in silvery  light grey, no lining or insignia. Cast number plate on front of each end.
28th June 1949 while at Eastleigh 36001 was repainted outdoors in matt light grey, British Railways lion on wheel insignia and number added to centre of each side.
Between 15th & 22nd July 1949 at Brighton British Railways insignias and numbers painted out leaving a rectangle of a slightly different colour light grey (I guess  not so silvery and matt) Numbers applied to each end of both side just behind the door (note cast number plate on each end was also retained). Black and red lining applied in 3 panels to each end and 4 panels to each side.
March 1951 saw project abandoned and 36001 scrapped along with 36002 which was virtually complete and 36003/4 which were in progress.
It is also worth noting that from the limited photographs available it would appear that it was never cleaned!

I hope this post gives those searching more information and references to this intriguing prototype. for further reading I would recommend the following books on the leader:
Leader Steam’s last chance; Robertson, Kevin; Alan Sutton Publishing; 1988; 0862993768
Leader and Southern experimental steam; Robertson, Kevin; Alan Sutton Publishing; 1990; 0862997437
Leader the Full story (the above two books combined);  Robertson, Kevin; Alan Sutton Publishing; 1995; 0750910038
The Leader Project: Fiasco or Triumph;  Robertson, Kevin; OPC Railprint; 2007; 0860936066
Bullied Locomotives; Haresnape, Brian; Ian Allen; 1985; 0711015392

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