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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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This months picture…

USA 0-6-0t is about the cross the road in front of the small sub shed on Canute Road Quay. The USA tank is a model rail Magazine commissioned loco by Bachmann

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Hornby have today added 14 new items to their range as a mid year range announcement. The full list of items can be found here. 

From a Southern perspective this includes a couple of new livery’s to their newly tooled ex LBSC A1/A1x 0-6-0t ‘Terrier’ range.

R3811 /R3811x (DCC fitted) LB&SCR A1 class ‘Terrier’ – Introduced by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) in 1876, No. 48 Leadenhall was allocated first to New Cross then in the mid 1880s the  locomotive was transferred to Eastbourne for the Hailsham and Lewes local services. before being transferred to Portsmouth in 1890, 48 Leadenhall worked the East Southsea and Hayling Island branch line services until August 1901.

R3812 / R3812x (DCC fitted) SR A1X Class ‘Terrier’ W10 ‘Cowes’ – Numbered as 69 and named Peckham, the Isle of Wight Central Railway (IWCR) took possession of the locomotive on 18 April 1900 and it retained this combination until 1925, two years after being taken into Southern Railway stock. Repainted into Maunsell Green and given the running number of W10, in October 1928 the locomotive received the name ‘Cowes’ which it retained until May 1936 when it was recalled to the mainland to be stored.

 

Delivery of these new versions is expected to be January 2020.

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This months picture…

USA 0-6-0t No 72 still with original style bunker and cab shunts on the quayside on Canute Road Quay. She is a repainted Model Rail Magazine commissioned loco by Bachmann

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T14 class No 461 heads west passing the ‘daffodils’ appearing on the embankment between the main line and 21c159 “Sir Archibald Sinclair” waiting on shed.

May the angels protect you, may the sadness forget you, may goodness surround you and may your God always bless you. The budding trees, the new flowers, and birds that sing, whisper to me that it’s Easter, that and supermarkets full of chocolate of all shapes (many irrelevant), sizes and special offers!

Here is wishing a warmth in your firebox for your soul on Easter & always!

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Retailer Rails of Sheffiled have announced a new model in their planned range of exclusive models. Working in partnership with Dapol they have announced an 00 model of the ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) 16ft Covered Goods wagon (box van) to Diagram 1424.

The ex SECR Diagram 1424 Covered Goods Wagon

110 of these wagons were between 1904 and 1908, to an increased length of 16 feet during the Wainwright era.  Later designated Southern Railway diagram 1424. Several examples surviving to British Railways ownership, at least until 1956.  The models produced by Rails reflect the later SR and BR condition of the vehicles.

These will be manufactured, totally in the UK and available in June this year, using a new technique that features: A new, ultra high resolution, super strong aeronautical grade PU with a design life exceeding 25 years, a build process using the very latest light technology and is infinitely flexible for making all variants and low volume production potential for niche, products previously not capable of being produced economically for Ready To Run.

Rails aim to fill the need for niche products, which simply would not justify a large production run. As they are produced in limited quantities, these vans are priced slightly higher than mass produced items, however, we feel the price reflects fantastic value for such distinctive models.

First EP of the Rails Diagram 1424 wagon. Picture copyright and courtesy A York

Initially three liveries will be produced, with two running numbers in each livery.  The following models are now available for pre-order;

  • RL-1424-001 No. S45374, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
  • RL-1424-002 No. S45382, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
  • RL-1424-003 No. S45358, BR freight stock grey
  • RL-1424-004 No. S45427, BR freight stock grey
  • RL-1424-005No. 45374, Southern Railway brown, 1936 livery
  • RL-1424-006 No. 45455, Southern Railway brown, 1936 livery

The price for a single wagon is £27.99, As an introductory offer, valid prior to the release of the wagons, that if you purchase two wagons you will receive a 5% discount.

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Further to my post here just last month about the planned move announced by  The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that 35011 will be moving to its new base of the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, I am pleased to be able to advise that just only four weeks later, on Monday 15th April, the move has taken place, seeing No.11 unloaded at here new home. The Swindon and Cricklade Railway’s own volunteers have, with many thanks from The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, been splendidly working away to finish laying the new track and the completion of the covered accommodation in readiness for the arrival of No.11.

No.11 arrives by low loader

The intention of The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society of course is to not only to return the Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation to steam but also back to her original ‘Air Smoothed’ condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements.

Unloading continues

No. 11 will now be undercover within a shelter for the first time since she was in service. This will allow her to be fully dismantled, which was not possible to commence at its previous location. The boiler can then lifted allowing the rolling chassis to be moved into the Swindon and Cricklade Railway‘s main works.
There is already room allocated in the works enabling the main restoration work, and indeed uniquely returning to Bulleid’s original as designed and built condition, to commence at much greater pace and within vastly improved conditions.

Well done to the team at The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society for their hard work and dedication to make today’s move and the start of a new chapter in the life of No.11 occur.

No.11 looks at her new undercover home

The Just giving page that has been set up here is still open to help raise funds for the cost of this move, perhaps you might be able to make a small donation to assist, as said, “every little helps”!

Hopefully this post and the continued progress being made might convince some of the readers of this blog to join the Society, membership costs only £10 per year and full details on how to become a member can be found here and be a part of this ambitious but serious and credible restoration project

Full updates on progress can be found on the 35001 Society website here.

All pictures courtesy and copyright The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society

 

 

 

 

 

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