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Model Railway Express News Bulletin 21 July 2014


Bachmann news

By Phil Parker

Pat Hammond provides the official MREmag report on Bachmann's announcements in this issue, with Brian Macdermott adding some details from the perspective of the Poll Team, so I won't spoil it for you by pre-empting them.

There are a few letters on the subject already but I'll hold the rest over until Wednesday so everyone has time to digest the information.

Have Your Say

Having your say - Mon 21st July 2014

By Phil Parker

Hornby Steam Era Freight Stock

Pat Hammond’s review of the Hornby Shark (Friday) set me thinking…if they make this type of vehicle so well, then why aren’t we seeing more?
If you look at the on-line catalogue, you will find a very nice Trout Ballast Wagon; some superb Shunters’ Trucks; a BR Brake Van; and an Iron Ore Tippler – and that’s about it if you don’t take into account the less high-fidelity types that have been around since pre-Shark days!
I always felt that the Tippler was a mistake. Why was that made when Bachmann already had a version in their range and there are at least 200 freight/general service types as yet unmade?
I am writing this prior to knowing what Bachmann might announce but if Hornby are looking for ideas, here are a few:

  • LMS Cattle Wagon and 12-ton Vans;
  • LNER Cattle Wagon, Diag.100 Coal Hopper, and 6-plank Open Merchandise Wagons; GER 10-ton Goods/Meat/Banana Van (10ft 6in wheelbase vehicle);
  • SR Banana Van as well as 5- and 8-plank Open Wagons;
  • BR Prestwin Twin Silo and 20-ton Coke Hopper.

Here’s hoping!
Brian Macdermott


'Convertible' Triang coaches

Way back in the dim, dark past, when I was running Hornby OO, on the scene appeared the Triang plastic coaches. At the time, my layout was in my bedroom, L shaped, one leg along the far wall, the other leg along the adjacent wall, ending over the end of my bed. So, obviously, just a short out and back layout, perhaps twelve feet in total length.

I bought three MR red Triang coaches, and on examining them, found that their design was very ingenious. For those who don't remember these coaches, the underframe, to which the bogies were mounted, was in one with the coach ends, all in black plastic. The self-coloured separate sides slotted into the under frame, and the grey roof clipped onto the top.

Observing this, a little light went on in my brain, and I went out and bought three SR green coaches. These, as were the MR coaches were, I think, a brake third, an all third and a first third.

Dis-assembled all six coaches, then re-assembled them each with an MR side on one side and a SR one on the other, so giving a six car train, which could be run as either MR or SR just by turning the the train around. The L shape of my layout meant that one could always only see one side of the train, so the illusion was not destroyed.

Obviously, this is something that cannot be done with present day coaches, as these generally have the body, ends and and roof in one moulding, but no doubt, if one was keen, one could paint the opposite sides of BR standard coaches in different liveries, and as many exhibition layouts are viewed from one side only, such a ploy could be used on these layouts.

Bill Pearce.    


Notes from north of the border

During the last week I've been on a conference in Edinburgh, but just before it got started I took myself off to the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway. Though I've been to Scotland many times, I've never got round to visiting Bo'ness, but it's well worth doing. The nearest railway station is Linlithgow and the first view shows the station building from the platform.

This is reckoned to be one of the oldest station buildings in Scotland in substantially original condition and dates back to the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway of 1842. Most of the building is below platform level, the railway running on the higher ground behind the town.

Although Bo'ness is a long-established industrial town on the Forth, the present railway is very much a creation of the preservation era. All the main buildings have been transported from different parts of Scotland, rebuilt on site and blended together into an entirely convincing representation of a secondary Scottish line; in fact, very much what modellers do! The second and third photographs give a flavour of the place, but it repays inspection at first hand. D49/1 "Morayshire" was doing the honours on the passenger service that day and adds to the overall Scottish atmosphere.

The station site also houses the Bo'ness Gauge O Group's layout "Glenauchter", based very much on Gleneagles and housed in two Norwegian bogie coaches. The three views illustrate the station from the south, the south signal box with an impressive three-doll bracket signal and the main station buildings, respectively.

The layout is often open for viewing when the trains are running on the railway, but not always. It is, though, well worth seeing.

Neil Burgess


Spoiler Alert - The following letters mention the Bachmann Announcements. If you are reading the single page version of MREmag, you may wish to scroll past them to read Pat Hammond's official review first.

Bachmann 2014/2015

Well, what a let down yet again by Bachmann, nothing for anyone who models Diesels 1966-1973 Pre Tops. The only thing I have to look forward to is the class 24/1 from last year.
Kevin P Mulhall


Well I just checked out the new Bachmann items for 2014/2015.

No new coaching stock still waiting for previous announced models.
Only 1 New modern image Class 90.
Only 1 new steam loco Atlantic and re intro of the Fairburn tank.
Only 1 new freight rolling stock... but finally FFG/FFA orig freightliner flats.
Lots of new Scenecraft though.

Will the catalogue will be a former shadow of itself as all other new items are re liveried current models?

Nice to see some previous announced items for the last 2 or 3 years finally showing some production photos.

Oh yes, and the prices. Come on 74 pounds for a 3 Prestflo weathered set - surely a mistake?

£32.95 for a standard liveried coach now. Wow!

Greg Palmer


My pennyworth. The anniversary announcements might have looked a little less thin if Bachmann hadn't announced its anniversary set and the Brighton Atlantic early. Perhaps Bachmann announced the latter early in order to avoid what happened to its J15. It was hard luck on Bachmann that Hornby got in first. I suppose the J15 would have fleshed out the list otherwise.
The Class 90 is very welcome and I hope it will stir Hornby into upgrading some of its older models before someone else does. I very much liked the look of the Hornby Flying Scotsman 91 but I wouldn't buy such an outdated model.
Another locomotive and more wagons to expand the emerging 009 RTR range? Excellent.
As to the FFA; one of the joys of modern modelling is that even the humble goods wagon can have its own number. However, I've run into trouble trying to assemble an autoballaster set. One generator wagon, one flat topped and two round topped wagons. Is a grotty ex-railtrack example (38-212B) all that I'm going to get to complete the set of five? I find myself in a similar quandary when it comes to the new intermodals - they run in sets of five but only two inside wagons are offered. Do I buy in the hope that Bachy will sort me out next year?
Finally, has anyone noticed the 36-504 Dynamis Ultima DCC System? I've used Dynamis for years with pleasure but I'm coming up against its limitations - a roster of only forty locomotives and inability to read CVs. I was considering NCE but a particular problem in DCC sound is that the same function button does different things on different locomotives. So far as I can see, only the Hornby system offers programmable buttons but it looks very unwieldy. I think I'll wait and see what Bachy's thinking.
Colin Hewitt


Join in the discussion - send an e-mail to:

In the case of e-mails published in MREmag, individual responses from the editor are not usually sent unless there is an issue to be raised or answered. Our thanks to all those who contributed their thoughts, questions and answers which develop the topics covered above. A special thanks to Pat Hammond, Brian Macdermott, and Trevor Gibbs for their regular features.

 If you have suggestions for the model manufacturers to consider, or if there is anything else you would like to discuss within the British railway modelling and collecting subject base of this magazine, please send me an e-mail, giving your ‘first’ name and surname (no pseudonym please) to Please read the Notes for Contributors and keep your postings to a reasonable limit, as well as being positive, polite and definitely not libellous.

Anonymous comments cannot be published. Your contributions will be edited for readability and acceptability within the unbiased policy of the magazine. Care will be taken not to alter the views expressed but they remain those of the writer of the e-mail and are not necessarily shared by the Editor.

Any photographs supplied for use must have been taken by you, or you have copyright clearance for MREmag to use them.

Event information is reported as supplied and taken in good faith. If you are planning to travel a long distance, you are advised to check the website or contact the organiser to make sure everything is going ahead.

 Remember! The manufacturers are our friends - not our enemies. They read this magazine and so, when you comment on their products, you are talking directly to them. Choose your words carefully as you would with a friend.


Bachmann 2014

By Pat Hammond

The annual trade open days at Bachmann Europe’s Barwell headquarters are always a popular event with members of the trade and model railway press and for a number of years we have been pleased to report back to readers of MREmag with new information gained at these events.

25th Anniversary

Based on personal past experience, this year’s event, held on the 20th and 21st July (yesterday and today), is the largest and most important for a number of reasons. Prime amongst these is that it marks the 25th Anniversary of the European company and, as such, attracted a record number of guests, including the head of the Chinese parent company Kader - Kenneth Ting.

Talking about the 25th Anniversary, Bachmann’s Managing Director, Graham Hubbard, said: “I cannot believe it is 25 years since my wife Ros and I walked into the then empty warehouse and started Bachmann here in the UK. Today we are a highly successful award-winning brand with some 50 employees. I am also delighted that Mr Kenneth Ting, the Chairman of our parent company, Kader, has travelled from Hong Kong to share our very special weekend with us”.

He went on to say, “The last 25 years has been an epic journey for us and one that has ensured that Bachmann is a truly established international model railway company operating in America, Britain, China and Germany. The story is ongoing and I look forward to seeing the company go from strength to strength over the coming years”.

New Products

It is also the first time that the new Branchline and Graham Farish catalogues have been launched at the event and it is about the content of these that readers are probably most wanting news.

During the event Bachmann announced several new models that will be available over the coming 18 months. It also displayed the other ranges it distributes including EFE (Exclusive First Editions) model road vehicles and tube trains and the world famous W. Britain range of model soldiers.

Bachmann Goes OO9 Narrow Gauge

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, Bachmann Europe is to produce its first OO9 models. OO9 scale operates on 9mm track and represents those lines that were built between 2ft and 2ft 6” gauge. In Europe narrow gauge is modelled to HOe scale and both HOe and OO9 can be used together. The company’s Liliput brand already produces a range of HOe locomotives and rolling stock and OO9 products can also be used alongside standard 00 gauge items.

The British Isles once had a large number of narrow gauge lines, particularly where building standard gauge lines was difficult and the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in North Devon is one such example. Others were built for industrial purposes serving mines, quarries and military establishments.

During World War 1, narrow gauge railways were used extensively to convey equipment, munitions and men to the front where they were needed. They were also utilised on the return journey to carry injured troops. With British factories fully committed to the war effort, the British Government turned to the American manufacturer Baldwin to produce 495 4-6-0T locomotives known as 10-12-D types.

At the end of the war the narrow gauge equipment was sold off around the world and some was sold to British narrow gauge companies with examples operating on the Welsh Highland Railway, Glyn Valley Tramway, Snailbeach District and Ashover Light Railway. Bachmann are to produce the Baldwin trench locomotive in OO9 scale with both open and closed cab with the initial releases being:

391-025 in weathered WW1 ROD black livery as No.778.

391-026 in Welsh Highland Railway Black livery as No.390.

391-027 in Ashover Light Railway crimson livery as Peggy.

391-028 in weathered Ashover Light Railway black livery as Hummy.

To complement the trench locomotive, two World War 1 wagons are being introduced. These comprise a covered bogie wagon, originally used as an ambulance vehicle, and a 3-plank bogie open wagon. Two former ambulance vans have been preserved by the Lincolnshire Coast Railway and the Moseley Trust, who also have one of the open wagons at their Apedale base in Staffordshire. Planned models are:

393-025 covered goods wagon in weathered WD grey livery.

393-026 covered goods wagon in Nocton Estate Railway light grey livery.

393-050 open wagon in weathered WW1 WD grey livery.

393-051 open bogie wagon in Nocton Estate Railway light grey livery.

393-052 open wagon in weathered Ashover Railway light grey livery.

393-053 open wagon in Welsh Highland Railway grey livery.

00 Scale Class 90

Fifty Class 90 25kV electric locomotives were built between April 1988 and August 1990 for the InterCity sector of British Rail by British Rail Engineering Limited at Crewe Works in conjunction with GEC. During some 25 years of service they have carried 27 different liveries in operation. Most remain on front line duties with either passenger or freight operators but some recently withdrawn locomotives are currently up for sale.

A Bachmann 00 scale model will be produced to the same high standards as the much acclaimed Class 85. The following versions are planned:

32-610 90023 in InterCity swallow livery.

32-611 90037 in Railfreight Distribution livery.

32-612 90042 in Freightliner Powerhaul livery.

Freightliner FFA and FGA Wagons

The concept of Freightliner trains emerged in the famous Dr Beeching report The Reshaping of British Railways, published in 1963. Containerisation was seen as the way forward and BR built two prototype wagons at Shildon Works which could carry two 20ft containers.

The production run differed from the prototypes by being 62ft 6” long and capable of carrying three 20ft containers. 100 were built at Ashford Works with construction beginning in 1964 and comprised 18 outer wagons with buffers (later designated FGA) and 82 inner wagons (later designated FFA) which were coupled to the outer vehicles by a coupling bar. These usually ran in multiples of five vehicles with the two FGA wagons having the buffers at the outer ends and three FFA wagons between them. BR initially provided its own containers (which had their own fixing system rather than the standard ISO fitting which came in later) which were branded ‘Freightliner’.

Bachmann are to produce the FGA wagons (with outer end buffers) in twin packs and the FFA wagons in single packs to allow customers to add additional vehicles as required.

Both 20ft and 30ft ISO containers in BR Freightliner livery (grey with a red stripe and carrying the double arrow alongside the Freightliner branding) will be offered along with 20ft and 40ft Maritime containers. A 20ft tanker option will also be available.

The following items will be released:

38-625 twin pack FGA container flats (with outer end buffers) with ISO containers.

38-626 single FFA container flat (inner vehicle) with ISO containers.

38-627 twin pack FGA container flats (with outer end buffers) with Maritime containers.

38-628 single FFA container flat (inner vehicle) with Maritime containers.

Scenecraft 4mm Scale Buildings

The following new 4mm scale Scenecraft buildings are planned:

44-0001 two-road brick engine shed

44-0002 stone engine shed with tank

44-0003 brick base water tower

44-0004 stone coal staithes

44-0005 portable office

44-0006 wooden community hall

44-0007 curved platforms x2 (Radius 2 outer face)

44-0008 platform ramps x2

44-0009 container terminal crane

44-0010 wooden platform x2

44-0011 wooden platform ramps x2

44-0012 platform bookstand (newsagents)

44-0013 post war system built station

44-0014 post war platform shelter

44-0015 post war station canopy

44-0016 narrow gauge station

44-0017 double track rail overbridge

44-0018 small water tower

44-241 low-relief local bank

44-242 low-relief gentleman’s outfitters

44-243 low-relief Lyons Corner House

44-244 low-relief accountants

44-245 low-relief corner chemists

44-246 low-relief terraces

44-247 low-relief bookmakers with maisonette

44-248 low-relief post office with maisonette

44-249 low-relief off-license maisonette

44-253 low-relief greengrocers

44-254 low-relief power signal box

44-255 low-relief derelict houses

44-256 low-relief hardware store with maisonette

44-257 low-relief Victorian school

44-258 low-relief milk depot

44-553 coolant trolleys

44-554 outdoor toilet

44-555 stone walls with gates

44-556 storm haven tent

44-557 fishing boat

44-558 corrugated metal shed

44-559 street lamps

44-560 lineside cabinets

44-561 wooden post yard lamps

44-562 metal fencing

44-563 straight pavements x4

44-564 corner pavements & drop curb sections

44-565 6ft Victorian wall section

44-566 memorial

36-409 WW1 medical staff and soldiers

Graham Farish N Gauge ‘Birdcage’ Coaches

The South East & Chatham Railway ‘Birdcage’ 60ft coaches now being developed in 4mm scale will also appear in 2mm scale. Three versions will be available - a brake composite, composite and brake 3rd. The Bluebell Railway in Sussex has all three types operating on its line.

As rakes were permanently coupled together, the models will be produced in 3-car packs, each carrying a prototypical set number. The following are therefore planned:

374-910 set of the three coaches in SE&CR Wellington brown livery

374-911 set of the three coaches in SR olive green livery.

374-912 set of the three coaches in BR vermillion livery.

Scenecraft 2mm Scale Buildings

42-131 static caravan

42-136 wooden station booking office

42-137 wooden station waiting room

42-138 wooden station gent’s toilet

42-139 shunter’s mess room

42-187 Great Central signal box

42-196 rail interchange shed

42-197 coal distribution building

42-198 power station chimney

42-222 low-relief newsagents

42-223 low-relief solicitors/doctors

42-224 low-relief town garage

42-225 low-relief retaining walls

42-229 low-relief launderette

42-230 low-relief corner cafe

42-231 low-relief fish & chip shop

42-254 low-relief power signal box

42-297 low-relief cooling tower

42-298 low-relief boiler house

42-299 low-relief turbine hall

I should like to thank Bachmann, and particularly its Public Relations Manager, Dennis Lovett, for their help in compiling this information for you.


Bachmann Open Day

Brian Macdermott (on behalf of The Poll Team)
With many thanks to Bachmann’s PR Officer, Dennis Lovett, I was able to attend Bachmann’s 25th Anniversary Open Day at Barwell. I know that Pat Hammond will be writing ‘the official report’ so to speak (above), so I will just refer to the items which have an impact of the Wishlist Poll.
00 modellers of the middle 1960s onwards period will be delighted to hear that the FFA/FGA Freightliner Flats – as well as suitable containers – will be produced. A new Class 90 electric loco will appear in Inter-City Swallow, Railfreight Distribution and Freightliner Powerhaul liveries.
These three items were in The Top 50 of the Wishlist Poll 2013.
For the lineside, there will be a Low Relief Dairy. This was in the ‘high polling segment’.
Not on the Press Release, but clearly on page 132 of the 00 catalogue, are 14 & 20-ton Anchor Mounted Tank Wagons. These were to be listed new this year, but will now only appear in the N Poll. We’re sure these will be a popular wagon as we had numerous requests to list them.
The only new rolling stock announcement in N was Birdcage sets. These missed being in the ‘high polling segment’ by just one vote.
Finally, congratulations to Bachmann on this first 25 years. Let’s look forward to a similarly successful next 25! When you see the new catalogue, you will be amazed at how much the company now produces. And that is brought home when you see the number of parts (334) that go into just one loco!

Hints and Tips

Hints & Tips No.855 - The Layout Environment No 6 – Dealing with excessive heat Part 2

By Jim Campbell

The next step to consider is reducing the temperature in the space. To do this I would fit a fan in much the same way as I suggested to deal with humidity but in this case control the fan from a thermostat. I would not necessarily run the fan during the heat of the day as to do so would only be to draw hot air into the space. No, run the fan as the outside air temperature drops below that that has developed internally.

The fan will now have a cooling effect. It may be beneficial to run the fan for an extended period through the night, reducing the air temperature to say 15 degrees C. This draws heat out of the building fabric which then takes longer to heat up the next day (a technique known as night purging and becoming very common in commercial buildings in this sustainable age to reduce loads on air-conditioning systems). Incidentally, if insulating the walls is not an option then this use of a fan will be even more beneficial.


Mixed Traffic 196 - July 2014

By Steve Fackrell

The latest edition of the 3MM Society magazine has hit the doormat!

26 pages of articles and photographs is started with an editorial enthusing about the forthcoming Fiftieth Year of the 3MM Society.

The 2014 AGM is covered together with the winners and runners up of the various competitions.

The magazine is littered with photos of the entrants which will encourage others to enter another time.

Richard Brice contributes a fascinating piece on the possibilities of Kitmaster Coaches whilst Barry Witteridge describes his first 3mm layout- Wedmore. Alan Smith backdates a Dogfish whilst Jim Barry recalls his days with the P-Way gang.

A layout based on Bere Alston is suggested by David Hart together with rolling stock that could be used.

Add to this a couple of Eric Bruton's classic photos of LMS steam, Blast Pipe, Bits and Pieces and a piece by Geoff Gay describing his 50 something layout and another excellent edition has arrived.

Mixed Traffic is the house journal of the 3mm Scale Society.

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