Friday, June 29, 2018

S&DJR Locomotives

Last weekend we doubled our fleet of S&DJR locomotives, in Prussian Blue, to four when we acquired a Fowler 3F 0-6-0 'Jinty' and a Fowler 4F 0-6-0, both by Bachmann.
Therefore, I thought I would feature all four of these handsome locomotives in the blog.
First up is the 'Jinty', Nº 23, which has been DCC fitted and runs very well indeed. It currently does not have sound but that will be added in the future. The Catalogue Nº is 32-233 and the loco dates from 2013.
Next is the Hornby Class 2P 4-4-0, Nº 44, Catalogue Nº R2217. We acquired this loco a few months ago and she is yet to be fitted with DCC. Compared to the Bachmann locos here, she is very light but is a lovely looking locomotive and one that complements the others very well.
Now we have the Bachmann 4F 0-6-0, Nº 58, Catalogue Nº 31-880K. This is a very special loco since it was produced in 2013 for the Bachmann Collector's Club and is quite difficult to find now. She is fitted with DCC and, like the Jinty, runs extremely well. She, too, will have sound fitted in due course.
Finally we have the Bachmann 7F 2-8-0 Nº 88, Catalogue Nº 20-2012, which also dates from 2013. This is the only loco here to be fitted with sound (Howes, of course) and she also has non-working lamps fitted, in the S&D passenger train configuration.
The cab detailing, on both the 4F and 7F, is quite stunning and the coal, in the 4F tender, is die-cast metal, which provides the loco with a good deal of weight that, in turn, gives her a bit more pulling power.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Swanage Diesel Gala 2018

On Friday we made our annual pilgrimage to the Swanage Railway Diesel Gala and Beer Festival. As always it was a great day out spent riding behind various vintage diesels and sampling various excellent ales!
Below are some of the photos taken on the day, featuring some of the diesels that we travelled behind.
We arrived at Norden just before 8:00 am and decided to walk to Corfe Castle to catch the 08:30 train to Wareham, having never travelled on this stretch of line before. The photo above was taken at Norden, as we commenced our walk to Corfe Castle.
This photograph was taken in Corfe Castle and anyone who knows the village will appreciate just how difficult it can be to take a photograph here with the road devoid of any traffic, especially in the summer months. Maybe the fact that it was only 08:00 am helped!
At Corfe Castle station, the first Wareham shuttle service of the day arrives on time at 08:30 - headed by D6515 ...
... and tailed by 20007.
50049 'Defiance' was one of two Class 50s used during the gala. The second one, 50031 'Hood' was actually a replacement for Class 37 37521, which was unfortunately unavailable. Here we glimpse Defiance through the trees at Norden as she backs onto her train to form the 10:00 from Norden to Swanage.
 Now we see her on Platform 1 at Swanage having arrived and been released from her train.
 Meanwhile, on Platform 2, is Class 45 45041 'Royal Tank Regiment'.
Also on duty during the weekend was this Class 35 Diesel Hydraulic 'Hymek' - D7017. This provided me with my first ride behind one of these lovely locos and doesn't she look great in her BR Green livery?
A head-on photograph of D7017, standing on Platform 1 at Swanage.
A couple of photographs showing inside the engine compartment of D7017.
The Class 45 arrives at Norden with the 12:46 from Swanage.
... while 'Hood' and 'Defiance' await their next turn of duty. Of course, the Class 50s never did carry this rather striking Inter-City livery during their working lives, although they did come very close during the late 1980s! Personally, I think the colour scheme suits them extremely well!
A close-up of Hood's nameplate and crest.
A final shot of Hood, at Norden, having arrived with the 18:15 from Swanage. This should have been hauled by 20142, in its London Transport livery, but, sadly, had to be replaced by Hood when, apparently, its brakes failed.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Coaching Stock - Part 3

Time to feature some more of our coaching stock and, this time, it is the Lima Chocolate and Cream Mk 1s.
We have eight of these coaches comprising the following types:
BR Mk 1 Gangwayed Full Brake (BG)
We have just the one of Full Brake and its Running Number is W24680. The Catalogue Number is L305345 and this model dates from around 1980.
BR Mk1 Corridor Second Class (SK)
There are two Corridor Second Class coaches in our fleet, both with the Running Number W26070. This one has a Cambrian Coast Express coach board which has never been removed. The Catalogue Number is L305362 and it dates from 1982.
BR Mk1 Restaurant Buffet (RBR)
We just have the one Restaurant Buffet car. Its Running Number is W24760, the Catalogue Number is L305322 and it dates from 1980.
BR Mk1 Corridor Composite (CK)
We have two of these Corridor Composite coaches, both with the Running Number W24624. The Catalogue Number is L305313 and they both date from 1979.
BR Mk1 Corridor Brake Second (BSK)
We also have two of these Brake Second Class coaches. The Running Number is W24528, the Catalogue Number is L305333 and they both date from 1979.
Finally, and with nothing whatsoever to do with the preceding coaches, here we see Class 50 - 50011 'Centurion' - heading north, in charge of a short rake of small oil tankers.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Collecting Seacows

We had left a rake of Seacows, together with a 50T PROCOR hopper wagon in the Ballast Yard a couple of weeks ago so we thought that, this week, it was about time they were collected and put away for safety.
We therefore sent along 37057 'Viking' to do the honours and the photos below show her in performing her task admirably!
In the photo above, Viking has already collected the first few hoppers and is now reversing back into the yard to collect some more.
Here we see the Class 37 slowly inching her way through the cutting and around the bend ...
... and into the yard.
Now we see her reversing on to the two hoppers in the middle siding, the rearmost of which has been loaded with ballast.

A close-up of her coupling up to the two hoppers.

Finally, she couples up to the 50 ton PROCOR wagon ...

... before slowly departing through the cutting and away, much to the relief of the traffic being held up at the level crossing!

Details of the rolling stock are as follows:

Bachmann Class 37 37057 'Viking". Catalogue Nº: 32-781DS. Originally came with factory-fitted sound but has since been reblown with Olivias Trains sound files, which, I must say, are excellent!

Hornby Departmental YCB Seacow Hopper Wagons in Dutch Livery. Catalogue Nº: R6288.

Lima 50T PROCOR Hopper Wagon. Catalogue Nº: L305635.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mail Order

As we have recently started adding a few items of Royal Mail rolling stock to our fleet we thought that we ought to add the Bachmann Scenecraft TPO Apparatus somewhere on the layout. 
This would then enable future Royal Mail trains to deliver and collect letters and parcels whilst on the move!
The Catalogue Nº is 44-045 and the apparatus comes in three pieces: 
A small hut in front of which there is yellow and black warning sign
A net catcher, to catch the mail bags that are thrown from the train
A post with two arms, holding mail bags ready for collection by the passing mail train.
Sadly this is a non-working item but it does look good and fits in well with our mail coaches.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Coaching Stock - Part 2

Time to feature some more of our coaching stock and, this time, it is our fleet of Lima Blue and Grey liveried Mk1's. 
We do have quite a few of these coaches since it enables us to compile two or three rakes for use on various types of services.
There are four varieties of these coaches in the fleet and they are as follows:

LIMA BR Mk1 CORRIDOR 2ND CLASS (SK)
We currently have six SKs in our fleet, all with the Running M25308 (Catalogue Nº: L305361) although these numbers will probably be changed in the future.

These coaches date from around 1982. 

LIMA BR Mk1 OPEN 2ND CLASS (SO)
At present we only have two SO blue & grey coaches although we do hope to add a couple more in the future. Both coaches are numbered E4630 (Catalogue Nº L305383) and, again, the number on one of them will be changed in due course.

These coaches date from around 1987.

LIMA BR Mk1 CORRIDOR COMPOSITE (CK)
We have eight CKs and all have the Running Nº W43671 (Catalogue Nº L305315). We definitely need to change these so that each coach is differently numbered.

They all date from around 1980.

LIMA BR Mk1 CORRIDOR BRAKE 2ND (BSK)
Finally we have four BSKs all of which are numbered W43281 (Catalogue Nº L305331) and all of which date from 1979.
All of these coaches have been weathered to varying degrees, especially the bogies and all run very well too.

With the exception of adding, maybe, a couple more SO's to the fleet, I think this is as many of these coaches as we need for the services that we run on the layout.

As such they can be seen on expresses, semi-fasts and stopping trains and are also used for seating accommodation on the occasional sleeper service.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Type 2 Diesels

Moving on to Type 2 locomotives, we currently have five of these in our fleet and all them, except one, are in weathered condition.
CLASS 22 DIESEL-HYDRAULIC NORTH BRITISH - D6319
The North British diesel-hydraulic Class 22, or 'Baby Warship' as she was also known due to its similarity to the BR Class 41 Warship Class of locomotive. 
The Class 22 was introduced in 1959 and consisted of 58 locomotives, numbered D6300-D6357. Initially there were problems with the transmission and the engines, albeit these were nowhere near as bad as those issues with the company's diesel-electric equivalent Class 21 locomotives.
Besides which, following repairs by NBL their reliability did improve somewhat although they were soon displaced by the more powerful Hymeks and Class 42 Warships.
Our model is by Dapol (Catalogue Nº: D1000d) and is a great little runner. It has a Howes DCC sound decoder fitted and is used on similar duties to it bigger sisters, namely, freight workings, local passenger trains and ECS workings.
Sadly, none of these locos survived into preservation although D6319 was purchased from BR but was cut up at Swindon before the purchaser could save it from the cutter's torch.
One Locomotive (D6319) was purchased by a private individual from BR, but it was cut up at Swindon before the buyer could retrieve it.
On a more positive note, 'The Project Class 22 Society' do plan to build a new locomotive and their website, for those who are interested, is here www.project22society.co.uk.
CLASS 23 DIESEL-ELECTRIC EE - D5909
Built by English Electric at its Vulcan Foundry, the Class 23, or Baby Deltics, were another small class of locomotives, numbering only 10 in the fleet. It used the Napier Deltic T9-29 9-cylinder engine of 1,100 bhp, a single version of the engine used in the Class 55 locomotive.
As with the Class 22's, they were introduced in 1959 but, unfortunately, this was another prototype diesel that was beset with problems and they were all withdrawn by 1971. Once again, none of the fleet survived although one of the Napier T29 engines did avoid being cut-up and this is now being used (together with the body of 37372) by the Baby Deltic Project to build a new Class 23 - D5310.
Their website is: www.thebabydelticproject.co.uk.
As with the prototypes, our Heljan model (Catalogue Nº 2323) also gave us a few problems in that the drive shaft kept dropping out. I replaced it myself a couple of times but eventually decided to send it back to Howes who managed to effect a more permanent repair.
Our loco has been weathered and is fitted with a Howes DCC sound decoder and she does sound amazing. We use her for a variety of tasks from frieght to ECs to both local and semi-fast passenger work.
D5909 was also the only member of the class to receive the full rail-blue livery.
CLASS 24 DIESEL-ELECTRIC BR SULZER TYPE 2 - 24081
Our model of the Class 24 (24081) is by the Sutton Locomotive Works (Catalogue Nº: 2402) and is a great model in so many ways. She looks fantastic, she sounds amazing and is just like the real locomotive to drive!
She is fitted with DCC sound (plus stay-alive capacitor) and has two speakers, which means her sound quality is awesome.
The model also features the later exhaust arrangement, exposed solebars and plated over front doors.
The class numbered 151 locos and were built between 1958 and 1961 with 24081 being the last one to be withdrawn in October 1980. It is also one of only four of the class to have been preserved.
Our model is very much a mixed traffic loco and can be seen on a variety of goods trains as well as on both local and semi-fast passenger workings.
So popular is this loco with us that we have put in an order for a two-tone green version (D5040) due to be available in the summer.
CLASS 25 DIESEL-ELECTRIC BR SULZER TYPE 2 - 25248
Our Class 25 locomotive is by Bachmann and, in fact, she started out as 25245 (Catalogue Nº: 32-326DS) although we later had her weathered and renumbered as 25248. She also originally she came with Bachmann's factory-fitted DCC sound files but we have since had her reblown with Howes sound files.
There were 327 Class 25's built, between 1961 and 1967 and so ubiquitous were they that they became known as 'Rats' by trainspotters. 
The final 25 was withdrawn in March 1987 but, happily, 20 of the class were saved for posterity although, sadly, neither 25245 nor 25248 is amongst those preserved.
CLASS 31 DIESEL-ELECTRIC BRUSH TYPE 2 - 31268
Our final Type 2 locomotive, at least for the moment, is this Hornby Class 31, 31268, Catalogue Nº: R2413B. She came factory-weathered and we have not added to that weathering although, as with most of our locos, she has been fitted with a Howes DCC sound decoder. 
She is a great loco, too, and sounds fantastic although, of late, she has started giving us trouble by frequently derailing, especially on points. I am not sure why this is and is something that we need to investigate.
The prototype Class 31's became the BR standard Class 2 locomotives and 263 of them were built between 1957 and 1962.
Such was their success that 26 of the class have been purchased / preserved (although unfortunately not 31268) and they can still occasionally be seen on the main line today. 
Our loco, when she is running well, can be seen in charge of the same variety of trains that the prototypes could be seen handling across the BR network.