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Voting for this years British Model Railways Awards promoted on RMweb and British Railways Modelling Magazine is now live and open for voting until 9th February, 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 (see below).

There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2016  so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly. These Southern models are as follows:

N Gauge:

00 Gauge

Following a few difficult years Hornby certainly appear to have turned a corner, and with the Cattle trucks to Diagram 1529 and 1530 and the ex LSWR Muansell 58ft non corridor stock alone have provided us Southern modellers with some excellent models (and more are to come in 2017 I assure you) so must be in with a good chance in the 00 manufacturer of the year category this year…

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has once again been nominated (it was voted 4th in last years awards) 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.

Regular readers will also know that I am member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society and our annual Wycrail exhibition is once again of those that has been nominated in the Exhibition of the year category, so again if you attended it, enjoyed it and think it deserves your vote…

Also if like me you have received excellent service from a particular retailer such as Kernow Model Rail Centre 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 9th February.

Here endeth the shameless plug(s)….

 

 

 

 

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A number of factors have led to me considering the possibility of producing a simple and small shunting puzzle layout to keep me entertained, be able to operate at home and possibly exhibit without the need for such a large operating crew and logistics.

Firstly, I do not have the space to have Fisherton Sarum completely set up at home, one of the disadvantages of owning a small 600 year old brick and flint cottage in the Chiltern Hills, or indeed the space to build any of the other two layouts, Hawkhurst in Kent and Lydford Junction in Devon, that I have been pondering over, researching and planing for many years (indeed in the case of Hawkhurst I have already built much of the rolling stock and some of the buildings, more on this in future posts on this blog perhaps).
Secondly, the arrival of the excellent Model Rail Magazine commissioned USA Tanks, and already having a kit built Adams B4, got me thinking about knocking up a quick dock / quayside type scene, but obviously not based directly on a specific Southampton Dock location, I did mention earlier my issue with space… Hence the name of Canute Road Quay to maintain a Southampton’ish identity.

I have often enjoyed operating (‘playing with’) shunting puzzle layouts that have been created by fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Ron North usually based on the classic ‘Inglenook’ design these type of layouts can be fun to operate as well as not taking up much space. For Canute Road Quay I have decided that I have approximately 4ft x 1ft of space in which I can fit an adaptation of the slightly larger than the ‘Inglenook’ puzzle the ‘Timesaver’. This includes the addition of a small run around loop.

trackplan_1

I am also allowing for the top left line to exit through to a hidden single cassette (utilising the same foot long locomotive cassettes that I use on Fisherton Sarum)  to allow for more operation and stock changing. The very front edge of the layout will be modelled as a dockside wall and the siding at the top right will be a small loco shed albeit single road and in semi low relief, being a sub shed of, and a similar look to the one actually at Southampton Docks.

Work in progress on USA Tank $64 in early British Railways livery, 68 and also 72 in pre full SR modified condition, although I need to add cab side windows. All await wesathering

Work in progress on USA Tanks,  s64 in early 1948 livery, 68 and also 72 in pre full SR modified condition, although I need to add cab side windows. All await weathering

The other two shorter sidings / headshunts will be just about able to hold 3 off box vans and a small shunting loco such the USA Tank or Adams B4. I will on the whole be remaining in my usual 1946 to 1949 Southern Railway time period; but will allow for the occasional change in era/area (perhaps the odd industrial loco)!

I will use a Tim Horn laser cut baseframe to result in a professional looking letter box type presentation with a built in front lighting pelmet.
Buildings, for simplicity and quickness will be a mixture of modified Ready-to-Plonk resin low relief type warehouses as the backdrop at the left hand rear, some laser cut versions for the buildings  acting as scenic breaks towards the front a at least one scratchbuilt such as the engine shed. Trackwork will be a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces.

As procurement of track, baseframe and some of the buildings has already commenced watch this space for more updates…

 

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Originally announced back in April 2012 the SR USA 0-6-0T Tank commissioned by Model Rail Magazine has now arrived. The gestation period although appears long, due to a number of factors including switching the manufacture from Dapol to Bachmann, researching and checking all the variation differences but boy has been worth the wait, I am also pleased to have been able to play a small part in this process.

Model Rail USA Tank MR-102 No 68

Model Rail USA Tank MR-102 No 68

MR-104 No 30064 in Lined Green livery Picture copyright and courtesy A York

MR-104 No 30064 in Lined Green livery Picture copyright and courtesy A York

A rear 3/4 view of No 68

A rear 3/4 view of No 68

Model Rail Magazine originally announced 4 variations:

  • MR-101 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery
  • MR-102  number 68 in Southern Black livery with Sunshine lettering
  • MR-103 number 30069 in BR Black livery with early emblem
  • MR-104 number 30064 in BR Lined Malachite Green livery with late crest (Sold Out).
    They later also added a further six versions:
  • MR-105 number 300 in Longmoor Military Railway blue
  • MR-106 number 30071 in BR Black livery with late crest and weathered finish
  • MR-108 number 72 in Keighley & Worth Valley Golden Ochre livery
  • MR-109 number 30067 in BR Black livery with Late Crest
  • MR-110 number DS237 “Maunsell” in BR Departmental Green livery

To a certain extent it is the number of variations being produced and the tooling differences required to cover them that has added to the complexity and time taken to produce the models. I am now the proud owner of two MR-102s one will stay as number 68 and the other will become s64 with British Railways in Southern ‘Sunshine’ style lettering on the tanks. The models have captured the looks and  fine details extremely well including; a multitude of separately applied hand rails and pipework, a detailed cab interior, well applied cab glazing.

The other side of No 68

The other side of No 68

The chassis with its fine and complex looking walschaerts valve gear is powered by a powerful and well geared 5 Pole Motor giving excellent performance with pick ups on all wheels. The die cast chassis gives a weighty feel and ensures good haulage capability.
The Bachmann and Model Rail Magazine team have managed to incorporate all the slight variations that existed between the relatively small members of the class that includes cab window styles, coal bunkers, steps, cab ventilators, handrails, pipe runs, smokebox doors and lamp irons etc. (although there has of course to be a compromise in some cases such as with smokebox door U shaped hand rails being present and single not twin lubricators on 30064).

A further view of 30064 picture copyright and courtesy A York

A further view of 30064 picture copyright and courtesy A York

An excellent new style of information sheet is included with the model, which I believe is to become standard with future Bachmann releases, also shows the positions of the additional detail items included with the model for owners to fit such as buffer beam pipes etc.

If you have have not ordered yours yet, then do so here, although I know MR-104 has already sold out and I am pretty sure others will do so soon! 

As a comparison MR-101 in original 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery and condition

As a comparison MR-101 in original 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery and condition

The Southern Railway purchased 14 (plus one extra for spares) of these powerful, short wheel based locomotives from the United States Army Transportation Corps in 1946 for use within Southampton Docks. They were modified at at Eastleigh works to suit SR use including: adding steam heating, vacuum ejectors, sliding cab windows and larger front square windows, additional lamp irons and steps and new cylinder drain cocks. Once the locomotives started to enter traffic, large roof-top ventilators were fitted, British regulators to replace the US-style pull-out one,  extended coal bunkers, separate steam and vacuum brake controls and wooden tip-up seats. Six of the class were later transferred to departmental stock and could be found at locations such Guildford shed and Meldon Quarry. They were eventually replaced at Southampton by the Class 07 diesel shunters. Withdrawal of the class took place between 1964 and 1967. A number have entered preservation.

 

 

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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 ion those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. Although no new announcements were made  it was indicated that the next catalogue and product announcements are likely to take place  earlier next year, probably at some point in January. Although Bachmann have experienced delays in both the design and production arenas over the last couple of years tit is good news that they appear to starting to catch up a bit during the last twelve months or so of consolidation as had been previously promised.

The first EP of the ex SECR 60' Birdcage Brake. Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

The 1st EP of the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage Brake composite (Dia 2432). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

The item of most interest for Southern modellers was the first images of the first Engineering Prototypes (EP) for the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock Trio ‘C’ 30 sets, (SR set Nos 567-570, 575-589,  602-5 and 612-8) announced back in March 2013. These compriise of aBrake Composite to SR Diagram 162, a Composite to SR Diagram 315 and Brake Third to SR Diagram 160. These sets pretty much remained intact throughout their lives until withdrawal between 1956 and 1958.

1st EP Ex SECR 60' Birdcage stock composite. Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

1st EP Ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock composite (Dia 2315) . Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

As can be seen from the pictures, copyright and courtesy of Andy York and Bachmann, the first impressions are very favourable with a high level of detail, although I have not had the chance to see them up close and in the flesh (plastic) yet.

Ex SECR 60' Brake Third EP (Dia 2431). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

Ex SECR 60′ Brake Third EP (Dia 2431). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

Also the ex LBSC H2 class Atlantic, announced even earlier in August 2013, has now also progressed to tooling for the engineering Prototypes and we hope to see these EPs soon.

Delivery of both the Birdcage stock and the H2 Atlantic is expected in May 2017.

 

The Model Rail USA Tank as No 68 in SR livery

The Model Rail ref MR-102 USA Tank as No 68 in SR livery. Picture copyright and courtesy Kernow Model Centre

The SR / BR(s) USA 0-6-0 tanks being produced by Bachmann for Model Rail magazine are imminent to arrive at Bachmann’s Barwell HQ, before being shipped to the Kernow Model Centre for orders to be despatched, this could take a few weeks to complete due to the shear column of orders so be patient.

The South West Trains class 450 Desiro 3rd rail units, based on tooling changes to the previously released 350 class units are now ready to enter production although delivery was stated as being likely to be February 2017,  while the class 414 2 Hap units announced earlier this year are still at the design stage. Although announced back in march 2015 along with the Class 450, the 45 ton Ransomes and Rapier steam crane is still at the design stage prior to CAD work taking place, so is some way off yet.

Keep an eye on this blog in the next week or so for further updates on both released and imminent Southern / Southern Region relevant models form other manufacturers.

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Last weekend saw the annual Warley National Model railway Exhibition at the NEC, this post rounds up the news from a Southern / BR(s) perspective. As duplication seems to be the order of the day I have also duplicated part of the post title from one I have used before. It is usual for some manufacturers to use the event to make announcements of new items or showcase updates to new products under development. This year was no exception although Hornby make the unusual step of announcing part of their intended plans for 2015 at the show.
Many thanks to those of you who read this blog for popping by the Shortley Bridge and Felton Cement Works layout on the Hornby Magazine stand, where I was playing trains all weekend, and saying hello it was good to see you.

Hornby

In making the unusual step of a pre-announcement announcement of their 2015 range Hornby are going head to head with two previously announced SR / BR(s) models from other manufacturers. This is likely to be due to the fact  that they have been working on the development of these models for some time now, Simon Kohler discusses such duplication in his interesting blog on the Hornby website here (posted just before the Warley show). Some people may ask why manufacturers can not simply talk to each other to avoid such duplication but this of course would fall foul of anti competition laws.

Image copyright and courtesy A York

Image copyright and courtesy A York

First up is the ex LSWR Adams Radial 4-4-2T, that was announced earlier this moth by Oxford Rail. Hornby had an Engineering Prototype on display they also had on display extracts from CAD drawings that show their intent to produce variations of Chimney and Boilers (Adams vrs Drummond) and also frame lengths, images of these can be found on the Hornby website here along with details of other non SR related items. Hornby advise that this model should be available late 2015. This particular prototype has finished high in recent wish list polls, hence the interest. I was also assisting another potential manufacturer of this model but this has now been sensibly replaced with another model instead, albeit non SR related, once the intent of the other parties was discovered.

hornbyclass71

An image of the initial Class 71 CAD

Secondly they also announced a BR(S) Class 71 3rd rail electric locomotive for delivery in 2016. This model has been previously announced by DJModels back in July using a kickstarter campaign hosted via the Kernow Model Railway Centre. only last week they confirmed that the required number of orders had been reached to allow the production of the model to go ahead.

Hornby 700

Image copyright and courtesy A York

In addition to the above announcements that also had livery samples of the ex LSWR Drummond 700 Class 0-6-0’s on display.

Hornby will be announcing the full details of their 2015 range on the 17th December and I will bring you a round up all the specific SR and BR(s) information to you at the same time, having been briefed along with the rest of the model railway media at Margate a week before.

Bachmann

Bachmann E4

Image copyright and courtesy A York

On the Bachmann stand were livery samples of their ex LBSC E4 on display in both Maunsell Pre 1931 lined olive green and also BR black versions.
The exhibition also saw for the first time the, only just arrived,  Engineering Prototype of the Southern Passenger Luggage vans PLV/PMV’s.

Initial image, a better one will be uploaded in due course

An initial image, a better one will be uploaded in due course

I am now also able to confirm that only one tooling [*update 28/11/14 below] for these vans is being introduced to despite their catalogue and website that mixing the terms PLV/PMV and CCT they are not producing a Southern Van U (BR designation CCT) with the end opening doors. Further information about these vans and the various can be found on my Talking Stock #6 post SR Luggage Vans which is based on the kits that this RTR version will now also kind of duplicate.

Graham Farish

No new SR related news to be had as they were showing the same first off Engineering samples of the N class and original style third series Merchant Navy Bulleid pacific that we have seen before, this does not of course mean that no further progress has been made behind the scenes.

Model Rail Magazine

Model Rail Magazine announced a further two livery versions of their USTC/SR USA 0-6-0T model commissioned via Bachmann,  in the form of: MR105 N0. 300 ‘Major-General Frank S. Ross’ in Longmoor Military Railway blue and MR106  No. DS233 in department black with post 1956 BR emblem, these and the previously announced models can be pre-ordered here although Model Rail advise that If you want a ‘USA tank’ you need to be quick placing your pre-order as one livery has already sold out and others are nearly all sold. Away from the show I have been privileged to have assisted in the reviewing of the CADs for these models and they are now very close to going for tooling.

Dapol

Dapol TerrierDapol had on display various model samples for models first announced back in 2012 :
In N gauge, livery samples of their Maunsell coaches in SR Olive Green along with the Van C.
In 4mm scale they had the latest Engineering prototypes of both versions of the Class 73 Electro Diesel (73/0 – JA and 73/1 – JB).  It appears that the 73/0 variant might be available first, even though to date they have only announced 73/1 versions!
For 0 Gauge modellers the first liveried sample of the Terrier was on display in Brighton livery.

Heljan 

On their stand in addition to livery samples of the 05 Class diesel shunter (one of the prototypes of course was outposted on the Isle of Wight for quite some time) they had the kit of parts that will make up their 009 ready to run Lynton and Barnstaple 2-6-2 Exe, Tor and Yeo locomotives.

Comet Models

Following the untimely passing of proprietor and friend Geoff Brewin, in September, his family are pleased to announce that the entire extensive range of locomotive chassis, coach kits and detailing items has now been successfully sold to Andrew Hartshorne of Wizard Models (and Model Signal Engineering), welcome news indeed. The transfer is planned to take place over the weekend of the 5th – 7th December inclusive, and Andrew hopes to open for trade of Comet items on Monday December 8th.

So all in all a very busy Warley show, with many announcements made, including those of interest to modellers of other railways. I am sure some will have ongoing ramifications within the model railway world, including no doubt some conspiracy theories,  interesting times ahead I feel…

[*update 28/11/14]

I have now received a further clarification from Bachmann with respect to the tooling being produced for the PLV/PMV and they have advised the following:

The first engineering samples of the forthcoming Bachmann Branchline Southern Utility Vans were displayed at the 2014 Warley Show. Two bodies have been tooled for these models which cover the Southern PMV which have one vent at each end (item Nos. 39-525, 39-526 & 39-527); whilst the second tooling portrays a CCT vehicle which has been converted to a PMV, this is evident from the sealed end doors with four vents at each end (item No. 39-528). An image of such a vehicle can be found at http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/srcct/h1552e6d6#h1552e6d6. The image used in the 2014 Bachmann Branchline catalogue for item No. 39-528 incorrectly shows a standard PMV. I trust this clarifies the situation.

Thanks to Bachmann for the clarification over and above what I was informed by them at Warley.

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Within my post of last Saturday breaking the news of the Bachmann H2 class announcement I also broke the news that the Model Rail Magazine commissioned USA 0-6-0 tank model is now to be produced by Bachmann instead of as originally announced Dapol.

I just wanted to additionally make this quick post to confirm such, rather then it be just be included within the H2 announcement post, as that was quickly made whilst on the Bluebell Railway travelling towards East Grinstead behind the ex SECR C Class 0-6-0  (in a area with limited 3G coverage) whilst I was a guest of Bachmann during their Collectors Club members day.  
The announcement of the switch of manufacturer was confirmed by the magazine editor Ben Jones who was also present as a guest of Bachmann, A full size USA tank has been scanned already and the information used will form the basis of a revised set of CAD drawings by the Bachmann design team in due course.

Edit: Model Rail magazine have now further advised:

“Revised delivery schedules will be announced as the project proceeds, but all other details, such as numbers/liveries etc stay the same. All pre-orders remain unaffected too. We’ll bring you more updates on the model as it develops. Pre-orders for all four ‘Batch 1’ models are very strong, especially so for the two BR models and advance ordering is recommended even at this early stage. Further versions will be added in due course, covering all major livery variations across military, industrial, BR and preservation eras. Look out in Model Rail for updates over the coming months and thanks for your patience and enthusiasm!”

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Bachmann Europe Plc today, 31st August, have announced the addition to their range of an 00 scale ex London Brighton and South Coast Atlantic H2 Class 4-4-2

The announcement was made at their annual Bachmann Collectors Club members day that co-incidentally was taking place at the Bluebell Railway.

The new model will be released as:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green

Although none are preserved a replica of Beachy Head is currently being built on the Bluebell Railway.

Edit: just clarify this will be a general release anticipated to be available during 2015. Only the two liveries have been announced but maybe others will follow in due course.

In other news Model Rail magazine have today announced that their USA tank will now be produced by Bachmann rather than Dapol.

Further details will be posted later once I have returned from the event and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bachmann and the Bluebell Railway for the hospitality provided to myself and fellow members of the media, retailers and collectors club members that have attended. The day has included guided tours of the Wagon & Carriage Works, Locomotive Workshops and of course the Atlantic House workshop to see the progress being made on the replica, along with train travel along the entire line including the new Northern extension to East Grinstead aboard heritage rolling stock chartered by Bachmann.

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