Posts Tagged ‘Southern Railway’

Hornby first announced their intention to produce, as part of their 2017 rang,e the ex SECR Wainwright H class 0-4-4t back in September 2016 The first models, the SECR livery version,  duly arrived  October 2017 followed by the BR late crest lined black version in December 2017. I have now received my own model No. 1324 in SR olive green, hence me only just officially reviewing the model now.

A side view of R3540 in SR livery as 1324

The first 64 of the eventual 66 members of the class were first introduced by Wainwright of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway between November 1904 and 1909. The final two members of the class were eventually built under the auspices of Maunsell in 1915! They first appeared in Wainwright’s fully lined dark green livery followed by by Maunsell’s plain dark green livery, then the wartime dull grey livery up until 1923. In Southern Railway days they were in lined olive green which gave way for most members of the class to Bulleid black under wartime conditions and eventually British Railways lined black.
All but two members of the class (numbers 1264 & 1312 due to cracked frames) entered British Railways service with withdrawals taking place initially between 1951 and 1953 as a result of the spread of electrification and the remainder between 1959 and 1964.  A large number of the class were fitted with standard SR air control Pull Push gear from 1949 onwards to replace some of the aging D3, R &  R1 0-4-4 tanks. There were a number of slight differences within the class such as steam and Westinghouse braked versions, slight variations in coal and water capacities, while fifteen of the class had straight sided rather than flared topped coal bunkers.

A front 3/4 view of No. 1324

Hornby announced four versions as part of their 2017 range:

  • R3538 No.308 in fully lined SECR green livery
  • R3539 No. 31518 in lined BR black with late crests and, correctly, OHLE warning flashes and pull push fitted
  • R3540 No 1324 in SR Olive green livery (Post 1931 i.e. number changed from A324 to 1324)
  • R3512 No. 31551 in BR lined black with late crest as part of a train pack with Maunsell Pull Push iset  No. 602, comprising coach nos.1318 and 6681

As part the range for 2018 announced Hornby are to produce R3631 as 31265, representing one of the 15 members of the class with flat side bunkers (which is revised tooling new for 2018), in BR lined black with early crest. A further versions is being produced during 2018 as a limited edition for Hornby Collectors club members as R3648 No. 263 as she is persevered on the Bluebell Railway. It should be noted that No. 263 when introduced, in May 1905, she was one of the fifteen members of the class with flat sided bunkers and fitted with early type pull push gear. Sometime before withdrawal, by BR in January 1964, she was fitted with a version of the flared bunker style (not quite matching the rest of the class, see if you can spot the difference) and she has retained the style bunker in preservation.

A rear 3.4 view of No. 1324

Hornby have included within  their tooling the ability to produce a number of options including smokebox rivet style, steam and Westinghouse braked versions, flat and flared bunker sides along with those fitted with air control pull push gear and its associated small bore air control pipework down one side of the running plate.

The model is fitted with pick ups on all wheels (although some have found those on the bogie require a little adjustment to function correctly),  a five pole motor and brass flywheel and incorporates an 8 pin DCC socket. Body removal is quite simple, requiring the removal of four screws, however those wishing to a fit sound a small speak can be located within the bunker but this will require a little more complex dismantling of the body. Included with the model is an accessory / detail pack containing brake rodding, hand brake linkage, small NEM tension lock couplings and buffer beam pipe where applicable for the Pull Push fitted versions (which are neatly designed to mount  behind the bottom edge of the buffer beam.

A close up of No. 1324 looking into the cab

Hornby have certainly captured the look and dimensions of the prototype well and includes many separately applied parts including: pipework, handrails, lamp irons (front and rear) whistle, safety vales, smokebox dart, sprung buffers, sand pipes, a sliding cab roof shutter and steps. The cab features a fully detailed interior with leavers, control vales and dials all suitable painted. Both the front and rear spectacles are glazed with the rear ones fitted with glazing bars and the bunker coal load is removable.

Looking at home on Canute Road Quay, resting between shunting turns.

Livery application of all the released versions that I have seen is up to the usual very high standard that we have come to expect from Hornby. The selection of the SR Olive Green livery version as No. 1324 is convenient (possibly on purpose) as this loco retained this livery right until nationalisation before gaining BR lined black, so she never gained wartime SR Black with Sunshine letter so widens her period of operation (it makes a change for me not to have to repaint a model to suit my own 1946 to 1949 period, although I dare say a repainted one will enter the fleet at some stage  in the future).

Once  again Hornby are to be commended for the product of another excellent Southern model. Knowing that the earlier released  livery versions have already sold out with most stockists the H Class is bound to be a success as further livery variants are announced in future catalogues.

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Canute Road Quay is by its nature a pretty simple layout and therefore operation is kept reasonably simple, although being DC control not DCC control there still seems a reasonable number of wires involved!

The four track sections are coloured in this diagram

I have allowed for four track sections being the left hand headhunt and run around loop, the right hand head shunt, the front quayside headshunt and finally an isolating section  within the engine shed road to allow for more than one engine to parked in the shed / coal stage area. These simple four section allows for flexible control especially when I want to have more than one locomotive on the layout at anyone time.


Keeping track and wheels clean are essential to good slow speed running.

I am only using one controller for the layout and am using the trusty Gaugemaster W series hand held controllers (that like my transformer box I swap between Canute Road Quay and Fisherton Sarum).  I have therefore used a common DIN plug and socket wiring arrangement between the two layouts. Some time ago Gaugemaster changed their housing for the their W series hand held controllers to a smaller overall but deeper housing and to be honest I prefer their original style and therefore have obtained a number of the original housing style controllers. The other advantage of using Gaugemaster controllers is their excellent mo quibble lifetime warranty and repair service, which although I have only called upon once proved to be excellent and quick (I will state the usual disclaimer that I have no connection to Gaugemaster other than being a happy customer).
I have also been using on Canute Road Quay their WS version of the hand hand controller that has a braking and acceleration simulator built in via a small thumb operated wheel on the side which allows for nice realistic slow speed acceleration and stopping.

Track and wheel cleaning

The WS controller, Din plug and socket and also the track with sprung wire contacts to the inset brass contact screws can be seen in this picture. The on the control panel the switches are coloured as follows: Red – Track sections, Blue – Points, Black – unclouplers and Yellow – lights

As with any layout especially small shunting layouts where locomotive speeds are low, to ensure nice smooth running cleanliness of both the track and the locomotive wheels and picks is essential.  before any running session I clean the top of all the rails bu lightly rubbing with a soft wooden coffee stick of the kind that can be obtained from any coffee shop, this is not abrasive but picks up any dirt easily and by doing each rail separately it does not cause any issue due to the inset track areas or those sections of track that are slightly overgrown with grass and weeds etc.
I have also , as I am not using DCC, fitted a Gaugemaster High Frequency (HF-1) track cleaner into the controller circuit, which although not liked by some, means that during the hours that the layout might be operated at a show ensure ongoing cleanliness and good running.

A close up of the screws and springs to provide power to the temporary track for the Trix track cleaner within the fiddle yard.

For wheel cleaning I have tend to use a Trix/ Minitrex (66602) wheel cleaner, the kind that sits on a straight section of track to transfer power from the track to the brass wheel cleaning brushes area to rotate the locomotive wheels. These are now also marketed by Gaugemaster (GM60)(apologies if this post is being a bit like an advert for them but it’s not intentionally that way) as there is not really a straight section of track suitable on Canute Road Quay I have inserted a couple of countersunk brass screws, that are wired directly to the controller,  into the top surface of the fiddle yard on which I can place a short length of track. As can be seen in the picture left this has a couple of sprung wire droppers to transfer  power via the rails to the wheel cleaner, therefore allowing me to clean a locomotive wheel off scene and can be easily removed from the fiddle yard to allow for movement of the cassettes..

I will cover the operation of the points and uncouplers in a future Controlling Interest post, so what this space.

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This months picture…

An ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0T No. 100 shunts the loco coal to the small sub shed at Canute Road Quay. The B4 is a McGowen white metal kit.

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This latest “A view from the line”  post takes for the first time a closer look at Canute Road Quay and more specifically the track work inset within concrete along the quayside.

USA Tank No. 72 shunts across the inset track. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

There are a number of methods of re-creating inset track and this post describes the method I have used on Canute Road Quay and hopefully its relative simplicity and the effect gained will be of use to other modellers. Although I have covered the process before in multiple posts about Canute Road Quay I thought it would be useful to details the steps I used in one post.  The trackwork on Canute Road Quay  is  a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces. For the open track I have used C & L Finescale flexitrack whilst utilising Peco small radius LH / RH  and ‘Y’ turnouts and within the inset track areas plain Peco track.

Stage one.

Stage One

To start with check rails were added inside the running rails, by gluing with lengths of code 75 rail, obtained from C & L Finescale,  to every 3rd or 4th sleeper using cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). Then the first layer of 2.5mm cork, the approximate height of the sleepers, was  glued down either side of the track, and also a strip added between the check rails.

Stage Two

Stage Two

Another layer of  cork, this time 1.5mm thick was then glued on top of the original base layer of cork from stage one, that also extends right up to the outside surface of the main running rails totally covering the sleepers. Any gaps were filled using air drying modelling clay. I was careful around the one inset point to ensure that the check rails and the cork were spaced to ensure that the switch blades can still operate correctly (this does leave a slightly larger gap than one might ideally want but it is a necessary compromise).

Stage Three

Stage Three

The surface was then painted with Green Scenes textures concrete paint ,I also smoothed the texture slightly once dry as to my eye it was slightly too textured for the effect I was trying to achieve, but was a good starting point. It was then slightly weathered.  A representation of the expansion joints between the concrete panels was drawn on, pushing down into the painted cork surface, using a sharp HB pencil , spaced every 60mm to represent 15 foot concrete panels. Then weeds,  creeping grass and the such like added using a mixture of grass tufts and static grass. Etched brass Drain and manhole covers, from Langley Models (F73), have been also been inset into the surface at relevant locations.

USA tank No. 68 passes the quayside office. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

I hope this post helps explain the process I used in simple stages and will be of use for any others looking to replicate inset concrete trackwork.

Check my exhibition diary here to see where Canute Road Quay will be exhibited next. At the time of writing it will be Railex organised by the Princes Risborough and District MRC, on the 26th / 27th May at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP


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This months picture…

A Drummon L11 Class 4-4-0 is coaled at Fisherton sarum. The model is built from a Lodden white metal kit.

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This post is a bit of a smorgasbord of updates including product development updates from Hornby and Hatton’s, a new announcement from Oxford Rail, Fisherton Sarum’s next outing and finally the 2017 British Model Railway Awards

Hornby SR Lord Nelson 4-6-0

The livery sample of the Hornby SR 4-6-0 Lord Nelson. Image copyright Hornby and linked directly from their Engineshed blog

Announced only earlier this month as part of the 2018 range Hornby have, via their Engineshed Blog here, shown off how much of an advanced stage in development the model is at, with the first fully decorated Engineering Prototype sample having been received. Hornby are already aware that a few slight tweaks are still needed but that is the point of such samples.
Generally the process of the development of such a model is around two years, so it demonstrates how much work had been competed before the announcement earlier this month.
To see more images and a video of the model running click here.

Hattons ex SECR P Class 0-6-0t

The full suit of the Hatton’s P Class releases. Picture copyright and courtesy of Hatton’s

Hatton’s have this week confirmed that the majority of the production run of their ex SECR P Class 0-6-0t locomotives are on their way to them and will be arriving in two batches. Product codes H4-P-003 to H4-P-012 will be arriving on Friday 9th March 2018 whilst H4-P-001 and H4-P-002 will arrive in May 2018.

Originally only announced in September last year the progress made on these models has been excellent, although the over delivery dates have been delayed slight from that first stated, I feel that Hatton’s can be excused for such a slight slip in the delivery schedule.
Having had the pleasure to handle and indeed run some of the Engineering prototypes I can safely say it will be worth the slight additional wait.

For more information and to see all the sample photos, click here.

Oxford Rail announce Rail Mounted Guns

  • OR76BOOM01 WWI Boche Buster – Camouflage and ROD2330 (Dean Goods locomotive)
  • OR76BOOM01XS WWI Boche Buster – Camouflage and ROD2330 (Dean Goods locomotive) with DCC Sound
  • OR76BOOM02 Railgun Gladiator WWII

Some might be wondering why I have mentioned this here on a Southern related blog, however I am reliably informed via a number of sources that the Gladiator rail mounted gun was for a while based on the Elham Valley Railway in Kent during the Second World War. Apparently, although it was never actually used in anger it has certainly been recorded that at least one test firing broke lots of windows in the area. See here for more details on the prototype.

The have also announced a further ex LSWR 4-4-2 Adams Radial in a presentation box as OR76AR008 25th Oxford – Southern Late Sunshine Lettering 3520. New wagons to be added to range include 5 plank mineral wagons and 12 ton tank wagons.
See the full announcement on the Oxford Rail website here.

Fisherton Sarum to appear at Milton Keynes Exhibition Sat 10th February

Making its second and possibly last appearance this year Fisherton Sarum,on Saturday 10th February, will be at the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society exhibition being held at  Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Stantonbury, Milton Keynes. MK14 6B

This popular and large show will comprise of over 40 layouts, including scales T, Z, N (including BR(s) Bodmin General), H0 (including Prospect Point from the High Wycombe and District MRS) , 00, 009, EM and G. Also attending will be over 30 traders. The show is open between 10am and 4.30pm.

Please drop by and say hello.

British Model Railway Awards for 2017 (a shameless plug)

Voting for this years British Model Railways Awards promoted on RMweb and British Railways Modelling Magazine is now live and open for voting until 31st January, so you don’t have long to vote, with the winners being announced in the Spring edition of British Railways Modelling Magazine and on RMweb.

As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of the year, the categories also celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene such as websites and exhibitions. There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2017  so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly.

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has once again been nominated for the third year running, within the website of the year category, so and this is a bit of a, well a big, shameless plug, please feel free to vote for it, if you have enjoyed my ramblings over the last twelve months.

Also if like me you have received excellent service from a particular retailer such as Kernow Model Rail Centre or maybe Hatton’s please also vote accordingly.

Please make sure you vote counts to support the Southern / Southern Region models that have been produced in 2016 by voting here before the 31st January.

Here endeth the shameless plug…



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This weekend sees the annual Chiltern Model Railway Association (CMRA) exhibition at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage, SG1 1LZ. I am pleased to be exhibiting Fisherton Sarum at this this excellent show, the first of its two appearances on the road this year (the other being Milton Keynes on February 10th).

A line up of Bulleid pacifics on shed at Fisherton Sarum awaiting their next turn.

This is the second year the CMRA has held the show at this venue having been previously for many years at the somewhat cramped St Albans Civic Centre.  here will be more than thirty working  layouts across a variety of scales, gauges and prototypes. And as usual a wide selection of specialist and general traders together with demonstrations, static exhibits and society stands.
The show is open on Saturday between 10am to 5.30pm and on Sunday between 10am and 4.30pm.

A quiet period on shed with Bulleid pacific 21C102 “Salisbury” being cleaned, A Drummond 4-4-0 L11 “Large Hopper” No 405 is being coaled. An Adams 0-4-4T O2 No 213 also simmers on shed.

Situated only a couple of hundred yards from Stevenage’s main shopping area, the venue offers a town centre location with the benefits of good transport links and car parking. For those coming by public transport the railway station is literally just over the road and is joined to the venue and town centre by a pedestrian bridge. Services are mainly operated by Great Northern, lying on the route from London King’s Cross to Peterborough & Cambridge. The station is also served by trains between London and Letchworth via Hertford North. The bus station is also close, less than a minutes walk away. For those travelling by car the venue is on the dual carriageway A602 which is easily accessed by two junctions on the A1(M), one from the north and one from the south, with an estimated 5 minute travelling time from the motorway. Several large car parks are next to the venue.

if you are planning on coming along Fisherton Sarum is stand number 65 located in the bowls hall, please drop by and say hello, it is always a pleasure to meet and chat with readers of this blog.

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