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Model Railway Express News Bulletin 29 October 2014


Time is tunning out

By Phil Parker

The 2014 Wishlist Poll closes at the end of Friday so if you haven't voted yet, get on with it!

Take me to the Wishlist Poll.

Have Your Say

Having your say - Wed 29th Oct 2014

By Phil Parker

NRM Atlantic

In response to the question (Monday MREmag) raised by Mel Holley, the Atlantic remains exclusive to the NRM / Locomotion Models for the foreseeable future.
Dennis Lovett
Public Relations Manager
Bachmann Europe Plc


Amazing what comes into The Poll Team e-mail inbox

Although there have been a number of positive comments about The Wishlist Poll 2014 here on MREmag and on RMweb, I’m pleased to say that we have received a number of very heartening letters via The Poll Team email address.
One such was from N gauge modeller, Ian McIntosh. Ian is an ex-railwayman who worked in an LMR Control Office in steam days and emigrated to New Zealand in the late 60s. In retirement, he has been a Station Attendant at Hamilton.
Ian’s modelling started in 1980 and his layout now occupies much of his garage. He has kindly given me permission to post the links below so that you can see his work.

Members of the N Gauge Society can find his article 'Rugby Road' in the NGS Journal for Nov/Dec 2013, page 46.

Brian Macdermott


009 Wishlist

To highlight the problems with any 009 wish list, let me put my oar in and say I would have little interest in models of ‘main line’ narrow gauge stock, but would welcome some industrial type locos; Ruston, Simplex, Hudson-Hunslet, Lister etc. Oh yes, and a Bagnall 0-4-0ST.
The major difficulty is that very few types were made in any great numbers, and those that were, were frequently modified, some drastically, over the years.
At least these could be found in use over a very wide area, the ‘main line’ types conversely being very single district orientated.
Bob Fleming



I am delighted with the new Hornby 2 HAL unit in BR green. It goes very well with the 2 BIL to make a four car unit. This was quite common in later days.
The notes on the box are comprehensive and are obviously taken from David Brown’s book.  He deserves an acknowledgement.
A lot of thought about a suitable head-code – 94 for a Maidstone Service, 14 for a Brighton Stopper, 27 for Reading or 12 for Alton but finally I decided on a rare choice – 37 for Horsted- Keynes Seaford.  It might just possibly stop in the opposite platform to the Bachmann E4 when it eventually appears.
Nicholas Rothon


Yet more on Sleeping cars

Brian's evidence, while correct for BR times, is not what I model and can remember as a schoolboy spotting in Glasgow Central in 1944. The overnight Euston was ten cars long, eight of them  69ft Sleepers, with a BG at each end. Generally headed up by a very dirty Streamliner. Those trains did indeed contain examples of all the twelve wheel diagrams but only once did I see an eight wheel 65ft car. My layout is set in 1947 and has the overnight Royal Highlander in the fiddle yard. Four sleepers of LMS origin and one LNER, again backed up with BTK's and a couple of the ubiquitous D1692 Third Opens.

I think I could bore for Britain on the subject of the LMS coaches being ignored by the Big Two. Maybe one of the smaller suppliers we seem to have around these days can spot the open goal in front of them particularly for P2 vehicles. And of course there are the kits, but I think the demand even for RTR sleepers would be disappointing based on my experience.  At the last count I had 54 etched coaches covering 48 LMS and MR diagrams on my layout and I still need about another ten to cover the stock that ran on the Northern division in 1947. Latest to be completed is D1720A (the Stanier rebuild of D1720) of which there was only one example in Scotland.

Alistair Wright


E B Mason sand wagon

I was searching the web via Google for information on the wagons of E B Mason, Sand Quarries, Stourport. I found MREmag and a reference to a model by Bachmann. I had built a model of this wagon in 1969/70 from
information, most likely Model Railway Constructor but may have been Model Railway News from about that time. I wanted to produce another. The original had been a Big-Big mineral wagon, the moulding scraped off and strapping,
etc.  added using Plasticard. I hand painted the livery, hands and eyes being better in those days. This time I propose using a Slater's kit.

In the review it was stated that no information could be found about the quarrying in the area. Here I can help a little. I had taken my layout 'Witts End Light Railway' to Barrow in Furnace, this was the Autumn of 1970 (before I went to Westminster Central Hall in 1971 for the re-launch of MRN as Model Railways). While in Barrow an older man, perhaps in his 50s (I was 29) kept looking very closely at something so I asked what was of particular interest.

The conversation went generally:

Man  'That Mason wagon, is that Stourport on Severn'?
Me ' Yes'
Man 'Stourport on Severn by Kidderminster'?
Me 'Yes that's correct'
Man with tears of memory in his eyes ' I used to load those. We quarried the sand, loaded into canal boats that were taken to the basin at Stourport, then shovelled it by hand into the rail wagons. We hoped for slightly damp sand which handled with ease, to dry or too wet was awful'.

Handled with ease is a relative statement as it must be about 8ft from the load in the boat to over the side of the 5 plank wagon. Location, the sand was quarried along a stretch of land between Kidderminster and Stourport that lies between the A451 Minster Road and the Canal generally between Oldington and the edge of Stourport. A look on Google maps will show the area. The Stourport Recycling Centre is in the area. The canal basin still exists to the side of Longboat Lane which is virtually  on the line of the closed railway.

Question, how many rivets does a model need to do it's job? This story has stuck with me more than any other account of any model I have built and/or owned because it was personal.

There  were other companies besides Masons but I don't know the exact areas they operated in. One of these was Harry Whitehouse, Stourport (produced by POWSides transfer No. 0189).

Other sand quarries in the Kidderminster area where 1, in the triangle between the SVR, Hoo Road and the A442 Worcester Road, look for Ludlow Avenue and Forester Way. Second was between the SVR/Main line and Hoo road,
look for Primrose Way. It is probable that all these sites were finished by 1960.

The sand was very fine 'red' and excellent for brick laying.

I know I've gone on a bit but I hope it is of interest.

Allen Morgan


Oh Dear!

I seem to have ruffled some feathers!
To Steve Mann my apologies. Of course I know that there was only one pre-grouping company, or at least that's what they thought at Swindon Works.
Actually I am quite a GWR enthusiast, growing up within a whistle of the Marlow Donkey and being a particular admirer of G J Churchward  as well as one of my great heroes, Daniel Gooch, the man who really made (and at one point saved) the GWR.
My N gauge layout is set in ex GW territory.
Sadly the GWR became too insular and tied to the past, when Collett then Hawksworth took the helm.
Accepting that there was only one pre-grouping company (almost that is), ties between the GWR & GER were strong in the late 19th and early 20th century. Churchward worked under Holden before the latter moved from Swindon to Stratford, and George Jackson may well have (and probably did) learn the benefits of standardisation from James. Also there was a one-off 4-4-0 from the GW that looked very much like a large boilered 'Claud Hamilton', particularly the cab and chimney.
To John Clements my apologies also. I should have said 'south of Leeds' rather than Doncaster and readily agree that the GNR lines in the West Riding, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire will often have seen the J6.
I only saw them around Peterborough, and they were a favourite of mine when I spent a day or two each year at North station. I would like to see one in 00 and if they are produced may well have one (I have voted for them).
The J6's (along with almost everything else including Halls and Merchant Navies) would have been seen from time to time at York. They may even have got to the Southern on cross-London exchange freights (although I have never seen evidence of that).
Dudley Jones
(location withheld for my own safety)


Passenger on platforms

I was interested to read Phil Spiegelhalter's article about passengers on platforms and his comment about the Chinese Tourists populating his coaches. Modelling the mid 1940's Southern Railway I bought several model people but soon realised that in post-war Britain people did not tend to wear pink trousers or yellow jackets so had to repaint them all.

Alan Wickens


The task of fixing those extra bits...

Now this is not a complaint or whinge but just a personal observation. I do wonder when manufacturers of our model railway items decide which "bits" will be left to the customer to fit, do they ever have a go at doing the job themselves? I have no objection to this arrangement as in some cases it is a matter of choice as to whether you wish to fit all or some of the items. It is all part of railway modelling.
However, I would just ask that surely it is possible in this day and age to ensure that the holes/squares into which these pieces have to be inserted can be of the right size. I have found in nearly every case the simple and quick task becomes a prolonged (and frustrating!) task as I have to also get most of the tool kit out to adapt the holes/squares to actually take the parts concerned.
Yes, I know it is has been raised before but it does not get any better!!
John Cherry


If it looks right - it IS right.

Further to John Cherry's comments my small circle of like minded friends decided that the " 2 foot rule" was the best idea, if it looked OK from 2 feet away then it WAS alright!

Alan Wickens
Sunny South Coast


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.

Hints and Tips

Hints & Tips No.899 - Foam as Trackbed

By Charles Beckman

I am using very thin foam over very thin plywood, cookie cutter construction with wide open spaces between subgrade sections. Everything above the bottom of the subgrade is fastened with latex caulk. There is absolutely NO layout noise that doesn't come directly from the locomotive except for the click-click of metal wheels on rail joint gaps (four wheel cars. Anythin with bogies such as US prototype would go cli-click - cli-click.) Things are so quiet with my better-geared locos that those rail joint clicks are clearly audible at three meters' range.

The plywood ranges from 1/4" to 3/8" and the foam is fan-fold underlayment, about 10mm thick. I also use a layer of cardstock between the foam and the tie bottoms - track templates, cut full size and left in place under the flex and hand-laid turnouts. Some, but only a minor percentage, of the plywood subgrade had to be beaten into flatness by bolting on chunks of steel angle iron.

I suspect, but cannot prove, that the silence is due to the sandwich of different materials and the fact that no metal fasteners penetrate from tie strip to plywood. The plywood is screwed (up from below) to risers fabricated from pieces of steel stud, using very short screws that barely penetrate into the foam from below. Track nails that actually encounter anything solid are removed - they are not driven in hard to begin with.

None of my track has been ballasted as I write this. The hardening effect of ballast MIGHT change things, but it is not intended to go below the top surface of the foam.


Atlantic News

By Brian Macdermott

The 24pp A5 Atlantic News is published every six months and is free to anyone who donates to the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Project – the reconstruction of No.32424 Beachy Head.

This issue has an interesting piece from the Chairman where he discusses the balance between ‘repair and restoration’.

Other articles focus on: what was in the toolbox of a Stroudley loco; 32424 technical report; part 2 of Dick Hardy’s experiences of the Atlantics and others; part 1 of what life was like at Stewarts Lane in 1948; an exploratory discussion on what colour 32424 should be when finished; and letters to the editor.

As usual, there is a list of parts that can be sponsored.

These range from the required nine cylinder studs at £9.00 each to the two crossheads at a mere £2300.00 each.



Model Railways

Graham Farish ‘Polybulk’ Bogie Hopper (373-236)

By Pat Hammond

The real wagons were built in France by Fauvet Girel, with the requirement that they would be suitable for use in Continental Europe as well as in Britain. Originally they were used for china clay transportation, as well as grain. In 1974, the first PIB Traffic Services ‘Polybulks’ arrived in Britain. They are all-steel 80 tonne bogie vehicles and can each carry a 58 tonne load. Fauvet Girel built a second batch of the wagons in 1981 for TSL/Grainflow, which were for transportating grain to the flour mills.

The model had been a popular subject in successive MREmag wish-list polls and the model has already been released by Bachmann in 4mm scale.

Three models are initially planned for the Graham Farish 2mm scale range and the model illustrated here is the first of these, currently on its way to the UK from China. It is highly detailed, with many separately fitted parts, and features include well detailed ends, catwalk, brake and underfloor discharge equipment represented and individual hand wheels. The model is very free-running with metal wheels and axles and there is a bag of bits for the bufferbeams. The printing is superb.

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