Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The One To Run

Introducing the latest locomotive to be added to our layout - a Hornby Class 121 Driving Motor Brake, to give it its full title. 
Although, I suppose, it is as much a complete train as a single locomotive and, indeed, is the train that will run the Sueston to Saggy Bottom service. 
It is seen here standing at Saggy Bottom Halt, in the shadow of the viaduct, and although it is in pristine condition at the moment, it is earmarked for weathering in due course.
Sadly it has no lights and lacks much of the detail of more recent model locos but I do think that Hornby have improved on the Lima original and have produced a nice looking locomotive or train or whatever you want to call it!
Actually I really do like it and it is just what we wanted for this branch line - and it is in the right livery too. 
We have, however, removed the couplings, since it is never going to form part of another train, and added some buffer beam detail although I am not too sure if this is absolutely correct. Not that I am too bothered if it is not since it does look much better than it did before and that is all that matters - to us.
We had to have a single car DMU to work this branch-line since the station here, which is Bachmann's Hampton Market Halt, is only big enough for one coach. Besides, this line is never going to be that busy - except, perhaps, at the height of summer.
The train is fitted with Howes sound although this was actually purchased for our Class 108. Unfortunately, though, the 108 has never worked properly so we decided to transfer the decoder and speaker into the 121 while we sorted out the 108. I'm sure all of these DMU's sound much the same anyway although, I am also sure,  the more serious Gricers out there will doubtless be able to tell the difference.


  1. I will confess that though when visiting preserved lines we balk at being offered 'heritage DMU' rides in place of steam, in terms of modelling I do really quite like the single and earliest twin car DMUs

    Of course in the holiday season I suppose you really ought to be able to couple another of the same, or similar, to your as yet pristine newcomer since that is how I remember peak summer Saturday's being handled on more than one little branch line.

  2. I agree with you that, when it comes to visiting preserved lines, we will always avoid the heritage DMUs in favour of steam although we did have one ride at Swanage on their DMU where we managed to grab the front seats. That was fun, I must confess.

    You are also right about being able to couple up a second car during peak times since, as you say, this was a common occurrence in days gone by. I have a book with several pictures showing various combinations of one, two and three car units and some of them do like quite odd.

    Maybe, if we can get the 108 working again, we can use this during the holiday periods.