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The ’00’ Works have produced a number of small batches of hand built Ready to Run locomotives including a variety of Southern classes, including most recently an ex London Brighton and South Coast Railway Marsh I3 4-4-2 Tanks. They also produced, before Hornby, a brass Devon Belle Observation car which graces Fisherton Sarum. The ’00’works have announced that they are to produce three  versions of the ex London and South Western Drummond D14 4-4-0 express passenger locomotives.

The Image of the CAD drawing released by the 00 Works for their ex LSWR D15 4-4-0

Initially three versions are being produced, due for production this year, with pre-orders available to be taken via their website:

  • BR Black Lined No 30465 (Small early crest with stove-pipe chimney)
  • SR Black Bulleid Black Sunshine lettering No 466 (Original chimney, no Snifting valves)
  • SR Olive Lined No 463 (Original chimney with Snifting valves) 

The 00 Works advise that the The D-15 will have an all Metal cast body and fitted with a Coreless motor. The D-15 will also come fitted with slimline Bachmann/Hornby type couplings which can be unscrewed to replace if required.

My first D15 No. 466 built from a BEC Kit

As I explained in my Talking Stock#17 Post here Drummond was responsible for the introduction of 18 locomotive types including from the diminutive C14 class, 700’s, M7’s, a number of 4-4-0 classes including of course the renown T9 ‘Greyhounds’ class a small number of 4-6-0’s classes such as the T14’s and also a couple of railcars too. Over ten of these classes were long lived and survived well into British Railways ownership with the last of the D15 class not being withdrawn until 1956.

Also built from a BEC kit is my No. 467 in cleaner condition than 466

The D15’s were the final 10 Drummond 4-4-0’s introduced and were a version of the L12 class but with a longer boiler and firebox, with an overall 18″ longer wheelbase than the T9. The D15s performed exceptionally well and were put to work on the Bournemouth line where, apparently, many drivers preferred them to the less successful Drummond 4-6-0’s designs. They latterly saw extensive use on the Portsmouth line.

Past Southern locomotive produced by the ’00’ Works, some of which have since been produced or announced by the major manufacturers, has in addition to the I3 mentioned above, included: N15, 700, C, H,  E4 and Adams Radial classes. The level of detail of these models has steadily improved over time, although is still not as high as we seem from the likes of Hornby or Bachmann, they have in the past filled gaps in the market and they should be applauded for taking on another LSWR / Southern prototype.

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The “Devon Belle” Pullman service between London Waterloo and Ilfracombe with a portion to Plymouth did not in reality last for long as named train services go. It was introduced by the Southern Railway on 20th June 1947 and lasted until September 1954. Usually the train was worked from London to Exeter with Merchant Navy class pacific’s and was then split with a four coach portion heading to Plymouth and the remaining eight (sometimes up to ten) coaches including the iconic observation car heading to Ilfracombe both portions usually behind Bulleid Light Pacific’s.

Light Pacific 34011 'Tavistock' in experimental Apple Green Livery head London bond deputising for the more usual Merchant Navy Class

Light Pacific 34011 ‘Tavistock’ in experimental Apple Green livery heads the London bound Devon Belle deputising for the more usual Merchant Navy Class

At the time it was the only service to as advertised run ‘non stop’ from Waterloo to Exteter i.e. not stopping at Salisbury, although in reality an unadvertised stop was made at Wilton (the next station to the west of Salsibury) to change engines. This resulted in light engine movements between Wilton and Salisbury in each direction.

Merchant Navy 21C14 shows off the iconic Devon Belle headboard and deflector wing plates

Merchant Navy 21C14 shows off the iconic Devon Belle headboard and deflector wing plates

To meet the needs of up and down services two Devon Belle rakes were formed along with two popular observation cars on the Ilfracombe portion. These observation cars, numbered 13 and 14, were converted from other coaches, with the origins of No 14 being an ex LNWR Ambulance car which was converted into a Pullman car in 1921 before being ultimately converted for its role as an observation car. With the decline in passenger numbers first the number of operating days was reduced, then from 1950 the Plymouth section ceased and ultimately the final Ilfracombe Devon Belle service was run in September 1954.

Passengers having paid the supplement enjoy the view from the '00 Works' Devon Belle observation car

Passengers having paid the supplement enjoy the view from the ’00 Works’ Devon Belle observation car

A representation of the Devon Belle has been one of the signature trains on Fisherton Sarum since the layouts first public appearance in November 2006. My rake, albeit not a full 12 /14 coaches for space reasons is formed from Hornby Pullman coaches along with a brass observation car from ‘00’ Works prior to the later introduction of the Hornby model.  I have both a light Pacific 34011 ‘Tavistock’ (in early British Railways apple green livery) and a Merchant Navy Pacific 21C14 ‘Nederland Line’ decorated with the iconic Devon Belle head board and smoke deflector wing plates for operating this train. Where possible we also include the light engine movement from the shed to the west towards Wilton and back.

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