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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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This is the second in a series of ‘Making Quay Changes’ posts with the Canute Road Quay being transported to either a different location or era or both.  After my Making Quay Changes #1 post moving the scene Eastwards, perhaps to the docks of Ipswich or Yarmouth,  utilising the lovely Model Rail magazine limited edition ex Great Eastern Railway J70 class 0-6-0 tram engines

Two USA tanks 30067 and 30067

Although my usual modelling genre, as regular readers will know, is the Southern Railway between 1946 and 1949, however due to Canute Road Quay has very few visual references to either period or location (yes there are a couple, but hey…)

USA tank 30067 continues to shunt

It therefore allows me to change the location and era with different rolling stock, vehicles and details.

USA tank 30067 is joined by B4 30089

In this case we have stayed at Canute Road Quay‘s intended setting but time travelled to a time when wartime rationing had at long last come to an end by moving into the British Railways late 1950s era.

30089 joins 30067 on shed between turns

Having deliberately when building Canute Road Quay left the vehicles and other details such as crates, sack stacks and oil drums etc. loose, it enables them to be both be moved around, to give some variety in photographs, and or replaced with other items to different periods.

USA tank 30064 adds a splash of colour to proceedings

In this case we still see the excellent Model Rail Magazine USA tanks, produced by Bachmann,  still handling the mainstay of the work, with a slight reference to the past due to a visiting ex LSWR Adams B4, by Dapol, all British Railways liveries.

The change in period also sees slightly more modern wagons and vehicles appearing, along a few older ones that have managed to get a repaint to the latest British Railways livery.

30067 catches the light on the quayside

At least, we are, unlike my first ‘Making Quay Changes’ post back to the Southern albeit Southern Region.

I hope you enjoy this post, the next ‘Making Quay Changes’ post with Canute Road Quay will also still be set in its usual location but again time travelling, but what era will it be…?

 

 

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This months picture…

USA 0-6-0T No. 68 shunts on the quayside at Canute Road Quay. She is a Model Rail Magazine commissioned loco by Bachmann.

PS. Happy Birthday to my Mum on the 27th this month (my brother on the 16th and my nephew Alexander on the 26th)

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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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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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This months picture…

An ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0T No. 100 shunts alongside the warehouse at Canute Road Quay. The B4 is a McGowen white metal kit.

PS. Happy we got rid American Independence Day to my USA readers on the 4th,  a date that is over shadowed this year by my own 50th birthday…

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Today, 6th June,  marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied forces D-Day landings, Operation Overlord,  on the Normandy coast, the largest ever wartime seaborne invasion landings, that bought about the start of the end of the Second World War. We rightly commemorate bravery of the 156,000 allied troops involved and the as many as 4000 young men that fell to bring about the liberation of France and ultimately Europe some 11 months later.

It should also be remembered that D-Day was not just about one day but an incredible amount of planning and logistics both leading up to and for the many months that followed to ensure that men and machines, munitions, supplies and materials were in the right place at the right time to ensure success. Whilst much is reported about the 6000 plus ships and vessels that sailed across the channel,  it was very much the railways of the time that played a big part in these logistics supplying the many south coast posts such as Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Portland. The Southern Railway was of course at the forefront of these logistics.

For example to build the temporary ‘Mulberry’ harbours, Designed by Major Allan Beckett of the Royal Engineers,  that were built over six months off the Normandy coast by around 55,000 workers used  210,000 tons of steel, 1,000,000 tons of concrete. All these materials would have arrived at the coast ports for loading onto vessels by rail. This construction still stands as one of the greatest civil engineering feats of modern times.

The Southern Railway reported, later that year, at its 1944 Annual General Meeting that some £1,000,000 was spent on the additional sidings and equipment necessary to meet the needs of Operation Overlord. During 1944 over 26,000 special trains were run, with over 550,000 on duty service personnel carried.  Eighteen of the Company’s steam ships and their ‘modern’ train ferry ships also played an active part. All of this took place whilst maintaining a practically normal level of standard service trains to allow the civilian population to move from home to work as usual.

Lest we forget not just the young brave military personnel but also the dedication and efforts of the railway workers that worked tirelessly, in all too often difficult and life threatening conditions themselves, indeed many did also fall, to ensure the success of Operation Overlord.

No pictures with this post just thoughts and thanks.

 

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