Sunday, October 26, 2014

Steam Preservation

I recently came across these three Tri-ang Hornby Steam Locomotives, all of which were still in their original, cellophane-sealed boxes.
All of the models date from the 1960s and 1970s and it must be very unusual to find them in this unopened and unused condition.
The first model is, of course, Nº 4472 LNER Class A3 Pacific 'Flying Scotsman, Catalogue Nº: R.855. This model has a corridor tender and glowing firebox and it dates from between 1968 and 1970.
The second is a Southern Region Maunsell Class L1 4-4-0, Nº 1757, Catalogue Nº: R.350. This one dates from between 1971 and 1972.
Finally we have a GWR Class 57xx 0-6-0 Pannier Tank, Nº 8751, with smoke! The Catalogue Nº for this locomotive is R51S and she dates from between 1971 and 1974.
All of the locos are in a lovely condition and, I should imagine, would be highly collectible.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Outlines of Power - Nº 3 : English Electric Class 50

Here we have the third of the 'Outlines of Power' articles by Mike Turner that the magazine 'Rail Enthusiast' ran during the early 1980s. 
This one featured the English Electric Class 50s with a fantastic portrait of 50003 'Temeraire' in large logo livery.
The accompanying annotation, which may be too small to see on the picture, reads as follows:
Mike Turner's painting of 50003 'Temeraire, in the bright new livery applied during the type's refurbishment at Doncaster Works, compliments Russell Carter's outline drawing of sister loco 50023 'Howe'. The Class 50s, originally leased to British Railways, were built by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, in 1967 and 1968. A total of 50 are in service on the Western Region, although their early days were spent on the London Midland before the full electrification of the West Coast Main Line to Glasgow.
Technical details:
Type: Co-Co diesel-electric; Weight: 115 tons; Tractive Effort: 48,500lb; Maximum Speed: 100 mph; Fuel Tank Capacity: 1055 gallons; Brake Type: air/vacuum; Brake Force, 59 tons; Engine: English Electric 16-cylinder 16 CSVT; Horsepower: 2,700; Traction Motors: six English Electric 538/5 of 400 hp; ETH Index: 61; Route Availability: 6.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Brush / Hawker Syddeley HS4000 'Kestrel'

I thought it would be a good idea to follow the previous posting, featuring Heljans OO gauge model of the Brush / Hawker Syddeley designed Type 5 prototype diesel locomotive 'HS4000' with a couple of photographs of the original.
The top photograph was taken on 29th January 1968 with the loco in pristine condition departing Marylebone station at the head of a special Press test train.
Unfortunately, I do not have any details for the second photograph but it was probably taken towards the end of its working days for BR.
Kestrel was, without doubt the supreme of all the prototypes, being as powerful and rugged in its performance as it was in its appearance.
It was introduced in 1968 and BR were originally delighted with their new, high power, locomotive. However, they found, to their concern, that with a running weight of 133 tons, mounted on to Co-Co bogies, it was greatly in excess of their existing axle limitations.
The  high performance of HS4000 was tested on various freight trains during the early part of 1968 but BR did not really use it to its full potential.
On 8 May a train consisting of 20 standard Mk 1 coaches, weighing in excess of 665 tons, was hauled up Shap Bank by HS4000, topping the summit at an amazing 46 mph. This was indeed the first time that the locomotive had been seen working to its full operating potential.
Later, in August 1968, a special test train was arranged to put Kestrel through her paces when a train of 2,028 tons, formed of 32 ton open hopper wagons, was hauled between Mansfield and Lincoln. This was announced at the time as being the heaviest train to operate on the BR network.
For much of its early life HS4000 was employed hauling coal trains between Shirebrook and March (Whitmore Yard)  because  BR engineers would not let the locomotive haul passenger services until the axle loading had been reduced. So, Kestrel was called back to Falcon Works at Loughborough early in 1969 to be fitted with modified Class 47 bogies.
Following this refitting, Kestrel duly took up the 'Deltic' diagram of the 07:55 King's Cross to Newcastle and the 16:45 return service.
Its passenger train running was superb with an 89% availability and virtually 100% timekeeping.
During 1970 the locomotive was employed hauling one of the heavy daily freightliner services between London and the north.
Following an engine overhaul in September 1970, the loco returned to its original coal train duties between Shirebrook and Whitmoor Yard before being finally withdrawn in early 1971 having accrued only 136,646 miles.
The loco was then sold to the USSR where it was displayed at the railway exhibition at Scherbinka during the summer of 1971. Since then very little was known of HS4000 but it is believed to have been finally scrapped during the early 1990s.

The Kestrel Takes Flight

In the photographs, above, we see prototype diesel, HS4000 'Kestrel' calling at the newly illuminated Carswater station.
We actually acquired this Heljan model a few months ago but it has only recently been fitted with a Howes sound decoder so this is the big bird's maiden flight, so to speak.
We hope to get her weathered in the not too distant future and, I am sure, she will be a future star of the occasional video in the future.
As well as the platform lights, we have also added fencing and people to this station although we still need to add signalling here and station name boards etc.
The trackwork in this central section of the layout is now complete and we have been concentrating on the scenery. 
We have also been spending some time giving the track throughout the rest of the layout a thoroughly good clean, it having been neglected for the past few months while we concentrated on rebuilding the northern half of the layout.
Hopefully, soon, we will be running regular trains over the complete system, as well as making some videos, too, to upload to YouTube and this blog.