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Today the 9th July 2017 marks 50 years since the end of steam on the Southern Region. During the final weeks in July 1967 there were officially 72 steam engines left in service that obviously included a small number of Bulleid Merchant Navy’s (6) and West County Class locomotives (18 including two in original form) but also a number of British Railways standard classes such as BR Standard 5MT and 4MT 4-6-0s, 4MT 2-6-0s, 4MT 2-6-4Ts, 3MT 2-6-2Ts and Ivatt 2-6-2Ts. The other loco class active until the end was the USA 0-6-0T at Guildford, Southampton and Eastleigh. These final steam allocated duties up to the final day final day  included boat trains to Weymouth or Southampton Docks, some standard service trains to Weymouth and also a few freight and departmental turns. The old West of England line west of Salisbury had already been taken over by the Western Region and steam was effectively eliminated on the line from late 1964.

35028 awaits the off from platform 19 of Waterloo on today’s Waterloo Sunset tour to Yeovil and return.

Merchant Navy Class Bulleid Pacific 35028 was one of those locomotives in service until nearly the end. She is now happily preserved and extremely well maintained by the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society.  She has just returned to regular main line service following an extensive overhaul,carried out by LNWR Heritage at Crewe, to gain a new ten year boiler certificate.

36028 just before today’s departure. Picture copyright and courtesy D Puddicombe

She has now returned to her home base at Stewarts Lane and has already this  week on the main line including a tour  to commemorate the last Bournemouth Belle on the 5th July (which was also Clan Line’s last actual day in BR service).

I am honoured to travelling behind her today on the UK Railtours Waterloo Sunset railtour today to Yeovil Junction and back to mark the 50th anniversary.

My model of Bulleid West Country 34013 Okehampton

One of the Bulleid West Country Class locomotives that also survived to the end of steam on the Southern was 34013 ‘Okehampton’ which unfortunately did not get preserved but she appears left in model form, although possibly slightly cleaner than she actually ended in service.

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The Bachmann Europe team met up this week with the model trade press to update the market on the latest developments and progress, a full report can be found on the RmWeb forum here and I take this opportunity to update on those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. As in previous years at this Media day no new product  announcements were made. All images on this post are copyright and courtesy of Andy York / BRM and or Bachmann Europe.

Firstly, in 00 gauge the relevant SR updates from Bachmann are as follows:

The impressive SECR livery sample of the 60′ birdcage stock

Since the London festival of model railways where I reported on the ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) 60′ Birdcage stock BR Crimson livery sample being shown, the livery samples for the SECR

The SECR 60′ composite livery sample

and SR Olive Green versions have now been received and signed off. I have to say the decoration and lining look extremely fine and

The other SECR brake 3rd livery sample

well done. The SECR dark lake version in particular is very impressive and must be a first  such accurate and highly detailed ready to run rolling stock for the pre-grouping era . Delivery is expected in September.

SR livery sample of the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock

The first releases will comprise of the following:
39-600 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SECR Dark Lake

SR Composite livery sample

39-601 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SR Olive Green
39-602 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite BR Vermillion
39-610 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SECR Dark Lake
39-611 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SR Olive Green

ex SECR Brake 3rd in SR livery

39-612 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite BR Vermillion
39-620 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SECR Dark Lake
39-621 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SR Olive Green
39-622 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd BR Vermillion

Bachmann H2 Class CADs

The ex London Brighton and South Coast H2 class Marsh Atlantic 4-4-2 announced in September 2013  is being delayed by another 3 months as an issue with the curvature of the rear splashers was identified and a decision made to address that so it is likely to be around February/March 2018 when they are finally released. The CAD drawings can be seen left.
Two versions are due for initial release:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green

Bachmann Ransomes and Rapier 45T steam crane CADS

Bachmann first announced the 45T Ransomes and Rapier steam crane in March 2015. They were introduced by a number of railway companies, including the Southern Railway, during the war and some lasted into the 1980s.

A further CAD view of the 45T steam crane

The impressive CAD artwork is shown left, not all the gear wheels will work but some items such as the outriggers will be positionable.
Initially they are producing four versions:
38-800 SR livery,
38-801 GWR Livery
38-802 BR black livery
38-803 BR red livery

Lastly from a Graham Farish  perspective there is an update on the N gauge version of the ex SECR 60ft Birdcage stock and also the ex SECR C class 0-6-0.

Graham Farish C Class 0-6-0 CADS

Firstly the ex SECR C Class 0-6-0 that was announced in January this year is now at the CAD stage as per the image left. The model will feature a NEXT 18 DCC decoder socket, coreless motor, loco drive, fine cab detail and NEM couplers, the initial release will comprise of:
372-775 C Class 0-6-0 No. 271 in SECR plain green livery
372-776 C Class 0-6-0 No. 1256 Southern Railway Black livery
372-777 C Class 0-6-0 No. 31227 in BR Black livery with early emblem

Graham Farish EP of the N Gauge 60′ Birdcage stock

The first EP samples of the 60′ Birdcage stock were on show, they were first announced in July 2014,  and these are likely to be available in the second quarter of 2018. The initial releases will be sold as three coach sets, as follows:
374-910  60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SECR Wellington Brown
374-911  60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SR Olive Green
374-912 60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – BR Vermillion

Good to see further progress being made on the above items. As any additional information comes to light I will post accordingly.

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Regular readers of this blog will know that this time of year I tend to head south to where ‘summer comes soonest’, to coin a phrase from that well know Southern Railway Publicity poster.

I am soon heading very South (well about 4 and bit  hours and approximately 1600 miles in a plane south) for a blend of Spanish, African and Latin American influences,  exploration including a dormant volcanoes and a lavascape, rest, relaxation and hopefully some sun, possibly dark sandy beeches and sea too (might help you guess where). Normal service on this blog will therefore be resumed at the end of the month.  Before I get in to full holiday mode I just thought I would give a couple of brief updates on a few Southern related model items.

Engineering Prototype of the Dapol ex LSWR B4

Firstly, Dapol have now released images of the first assembled Engineering Prototype of their 00 gauge ex LSWR B4, announced back in 2014, This follows on the tooling test pieces that they had on display back in March at the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railways . So far the EP of just the one version of the 5 variants promised has been shown but I believe the other variations will follow.

Dapol B4 EP rear 3/4 view.

As a remind those variations so far announced are:

  • ‘Normandy’ (Number 96) as preserved by the Bulleid Society on the Bluebell Railway
  • ‘Caen’ (Number 90) Southampton Docks brown livery with Drummond Chimney
  • Number 88 in Southern black
  • Number 30082 in BR black, early emblem
  • Number 30096 in BR black, late crest

Secondly, The Kernow Model Rail Centre have received the second batch of livery samples of the their Gate Stock Pull Push sets and also the first main livery sample of the Bulleid Diesel numbers 10201 and 10202.
With respect to the Gate Stock there are still a number of tweaks being made to finalise the liveries.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre Bulleid Diesel 1st livery sample of 10201 . Picture courtesy and copyright KMRC

Although the first EPs of the Bulleid diesels broke cover, like the Dapol B4 tooling samples, back in March at the BRM / Warners / MRC London Festival of Model Railway as reported here, the livery application upon them had been undertaken by the factory from their own research rather than against approved livery artwork. The samples now received still have a few minor corrections to be made as the running numbers and BR early emblems are placed too high on the bodyside. The bogies require the axle boxes and springs painting black and the wheels will be the correct Bulleid pattern rather than the simple wheels provided for testing purposes. (The first engineering sample had the correct wheels).

Builleid Diesel 10202 livery sample. Picture courtesy and copyright KMRC

It should also be noted that these models have a centrally positioned 5 pole motor (not coreless) with two brass flywheels driving each power bogie via flexible drive shafts and having had the chance to test run the first EP they have a good weight to them, are quiet, smooth and powerful.
Kernow Model Rail Centre have also confirmed details of the final pricing and ordering details with respect to the pre-orders and this information can be found on the Kernow website here.

The 10203 versions will follow later.

Production slots for both the 10201 /2 Bullied Diesels and the Gate Stock are currently being finalised but it is hoped should be by the end of August, which neatly gets us back to summer and holidays how this post started.

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Further to my update of 8th May here regarding Bulleid Merchant Navy pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co and her steaming plans for this month, things change quickly, 35006 was additionally steamed and running services on 16/17/18th May, but now a problem with a repair carried out to P&O in the early days has caused 35006 to be stopped until a new repair can be carried out. The 35006 Locomotive Society will be starting the repair tomorrow, which will most likely require a new machined part and specialist welding, 35006 will not now be running on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway’s (GWRS) this weekend nor during next week. As always for the very latest information on loco rostering check the GWSR website here

[Update 24/05/17] Good news 35006 was steam tested again yesterday after a couple of repairs and will be available for the GWSR gala this weekend. The original problem was that there was a significant steam leak around the rear relief valve on the right hand cylinder, but whilst testing our other repairs it was found that the Right Hand Mechanical lubricator was not working. With assistance from GWSR staff this has also been repaired. 

Better news on the Bulleid Merchant Navy front is that yesterday, 18/05/17 saw the light load test runs of both 35028 Clan line, returning to the main line after a major overhaul by the excellent owners the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society; and also 35018 British India Line, privately owned by Dave Smith of West Coast Railways steaming on the main line in preservation for the first time since she went of of British Railways service in August 1964. 35018 is notable being the first of the Merchant Navy Class to have been rebuilt in February 1955 and still carried a few of the unique features, such as the front sand box position,  due to be being the first of the class so rebuilt. I am led to believe that 35018 did have a slight issue with a hot middle big end bearing but I am sure this will be quickly resolved. YouTube video below by khankadet

Whilst 35028 Clan Line was running in undercoat in preparation for a return to full British Railways lined Brunswick green livery, for some reason, possibly only known to Dave Smith, 35018 is currently being outshopped in both an unauthentic gloss black livery and also masquerading with Bulleid Light Pacific West County 34016 nameplates Bodmin rather than British India Line. Along with 35028 and 35005 Canadian Pacific, 35018 becomes the third Bulleid Merchant Navy to run on the Main line in preservation.

I can not say I am a fan of changing locomotive identities, let alone between different classes of locomotive or unauthentic liveries, at least it good see both 35028 and indeed 35018 back on the main line. Hopefully 35018 will return to her proper identity and authentic livery perhaps once initial test runs have been completed.
I am especially pleased that the major overhaul to main line stalwart 35028 coming to an end, as being a Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society member I am booked on the UK Railtours ‘Waterloo Sunset’ railtour on 9th July behind 35028 between Waterloo and Yeovil Junction and return to commemorate the end of the steam on the Southern Region in 1967.

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As I reported in my last update post here about Canute Road Quay it made is first semi public outing and a days running in anger so to speak at the RMweb annual South West Area Group members day in Taunton at the end of April. This is not really an exhibition as such but a gathering of like minded friends and modellers for a day of informal chat with some trains running at the same time.

Caunte Road Quay makes its debut at the RMWeb SWAG meet in April. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

The day proved to be a success from my perspective with Canute Road Quay operating as intended (I am as ‘happy as Larry’ shunting wagons around) during the day and the layout  being  well received with plenty of positive comments from those that stopped by for a look.
From a transportation and setting up perspective, being of course much smaller, it is much quicker and easier all round than taking Fisherton Sarum to shows. I also thank my friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley for helping me play trains during the day.

Shunting in action on Canute Road Quay. The vinyl cut lettering on the proscenium arch can be clearly seen. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

I certainly believe that when exhibiting layouts at shows,  presentation, just as with lighting that I discussed here,  is just as important and should be carefully considered.  Canute Road Quay’s overall presentaion is aided by the design of the Tim Horn baseframes with the proscenium arch giving a letter box style view. The whole board is supported on folding adjustable trestles which does allow a range of viewing heights to be chosen, although I will generally opt for the higher viewing position. As the trestles are wider than the 12″ of Canute Road Quay I have also cut a length of plywood to act as a shelf at the rear of the baseframe for the all important cup of tea and also spare stock etc.
Around the bottom edge of the baseframe I have glued a Velcro Strip to attach one of the curtains that I use on Fisherton Sarum to hide the trestles etc.   To match the curtains the outside faces of the baseframes have been roller painted matt black with Vinyl cut white lettering in Gills Sans, from vinylletteringonline for the Canute Road Quay name across the top of the proscenium arch.

A view of the simple compact fiddle yard of Canute Road Quay. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

I operate Canute Road Quay from the front of the layout, at obviously the left hand end as that is where the fiddle yard and control are located, as with Fisherton Sarum operating from the front allows for easy interaction and conversations with the public at shows and is very much part of the exhibition experience that I enjoy.

The observant amongst you might also have noticed the subtle change the exhibition side bar to the right of the page which has had a title change and includes the fact that off the back of its Taunton appearance Canute Road Quay has been invited to attend the excellent Exeter MRS exhibition at the The Matford Centre, Matford Park Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter, Devon EX2 8FD over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd July.

P.S. Are you fed up withe the ‘quay’ puns yet, I am kind of hoping so as I might be running out of them….

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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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This Month sees restored Bulleid pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. return to regular steam on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) following the completion of her restoration and return to service last year.  So far this year she has already run during March for a series of Private Charter trains in conjunction with the Cheltenham Races Festival, but now allocated dates for her running on the GWRS during May have been released.

35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway

The steaming dates commence this weekend 13th/14th May followed by the weekend of the 20th/21st and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 23rd to 25th may leading up to the GWRS’s Cotswold Festival of Steam  over the weekend of Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May.

A cabside view of 35006

Her first visit to another line has also been announced, as 35006 will be appearing at the Mid Hants Railway Summer gala being held over two weekends in July to celebrate 50 years since the end of Southern steam with a distinctly Bulleid flavour. Over the weekends of 1st / 2nd and 7th, 8th and 9th July she will join Battle of Britain classes 34053 ‘Sir Keith Park’ ,  34081 ’92 Squadron’ and 34052 ‘Lord Dowding’ in service with some of the lines resident fleet of BR standard locomotives.

Of course these dates are all subject to the usual caveats of the availability of the loco and other factors on the line itself, so it is best to check before you visit the line. For the very latest information on loco rostering check the GWSR website here

As a shareholder it is always good to see her doing what she does best, being in steam, hauling passenger trains and doing Bulleid proud!

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