Very many thanks to everyone who voted. I heard from readers in Australia and New Zealand, across to the USA and Canada, up to Scotland, down to the West Country and back to Old Oak Common. As is usual with such surveys, the MREmag readership ‘played the game’ fully in the spirit of what was intended.
You have spoken very clearly, as you will see when you open the Results PDF below.
It was also very clear from notes appended to voters’ emails that you would like to see models made in a full range of liveries – not just whatever happens to be at the Museum at present. The high level of support for the Museum’s efforts was also evident from those notes.
My fellow NBR Study Group member, Brian Macdonald, in his posting on 22nd. makes an excellent and incisive point about the NBR Dandy Car being a suitable subject to vote for with regard to production by a ready to run manufacturer. In fact a just dandy idea.
With its widespread area of work in Scotland and the north of England, being in preservation and surviving the cutting torch this will certainly satisfy the searing pent up demand over the past decades up here for Scottish models in RTR. It will fly off the shelves in our local model shops, indeed setting the proverbial heather on fire, being in sharp contrast to the more obscure, less commercial and relatively unknown NBR J36, Glen, Caley Tank, 812 or even the LNER D49 et al.
I have to admit that, unlike David Barnes, I lacked the courage of my convictions and cast my three votes for locos, but I completely agree with him that coaching stock represents a potential opportunity for the NRM. In particular, the Royal Saloons seem to generate a lot of interest among museum visitors, and would make distinctive and attractive models.
The two ECJS saloons 395 and 396 (the latter, for some reason, seems to be missing from the NRM website) had very long working lives (1908 to 1977) and were quite widely used around the national network, particularly after nationalisation, often in short formations. For example, I have in front of me as I write this a shot of an Epsom Derby royal special at Reedham (Surrey) on 31 May 1968, consisting of 395 with two Met-Cam Pullmans in grey/blue and a blue & grey BSK, the whole ensemble hauled by Bulleid electric No 20001.
The same comments apply to GW Saloon 9007, which was often used as an individual vehicle. The full LMS Royal Train, either pre- or post-1941, would probably prove too expensive to be viable, but would make a spectacular model.
And, yes, I would also buy a Barnum!
With regards to Mr David Barnes comment concerning that everything in the NCIM should not necessarily be interpreted as a locomotive, I can fully agree with his views.
The National Collection has many fine examples of coaches and wagons that would make superb models and I have already started to look at the prospect of introducing such rolling stock, which is why I am very interested to see the results of Brian Macdermott’s NRM collection in miniature poll.
I am disappointed in MREmag publishing the poor apology from Hattons without challenge.
The e-mail I personally received stated Hattons could not sell Bachmann items at less than 15% of the RRP as this is their arrangement with Bachmann. It would be interesting to hear Bachmann side supporting this. How is it then on their web site they currently offer Bachmann 38-345A FNA Nuclear Flask Wagon at £17 when the list is £29.95. That’s not 15% below RRP. If they sell lower than 15% what is the issue? Believe you me, not all retailers sell at 15% below RRP, that’s not the norm.
Basically Hattons made at guarantee that would cost them money and instead of honouring that guarantee they reneged on it.
Mr Parkers statement:-
It’s vital to us that all of you can fully trust in our prices and can be sure that you will always get great products at great prices from us as well as first class experiences. We’re sorry that we have shaken that trust in these recent weeks and assure you that we are committed to winning it back
If it’s is vital that we can fully trust in their prices, then honour the guarantee prices, it is obviously the buying public can’t trust in their prices and being asked to pay more isn’t a great experience. I can assure Hattons to win back trust is easy, honour their guarantee
Editor: To clarify a couple of points in Ian's letter. The statement was by Hattons and not written by me as he suggests. It was posted on their website, not part of an interview and as I promised to bring you the statement as quickly as possible, I didn't think it fair to delay this by entering into discussions.
I know that many modellers have already been in touch with them directly and I'm sorry that I'm not in the position to take up cudgels on behalf of everyone. My suggestion (for what it is worth) would be to speak to the professionals. If you are unhappy with ANY trader, speak to them, then your local Trading Standards Department if this doesn't satisfy you.
Just though I would pass this photo on the show what a weathered J15 complete with cab front wheel.
A friend did this for me so I must not take any credit.
Thank you, Alistair Wright, for your all-too-accurate comments! I was a bit reluctant to send in my first email, for all the reasons you mention, particularly the bit about the bean-counters' pernicious influence, but was persuaded to do so by the possibility of binding of the gear in this particular application. In other words, my comments might be helpful to some purchaser whose model shows a "hitch in its git-along" for no apparent reason.
However, I am sorry to say that your optimism -- at least as far as American firms are concerned, I'm not so sure about the Continental ones -- is misplaced. On the very same day that I wrote that first email, I had been reading a review of the new Chesapeake & Ohio "Allegheny" 2-6-6-6 articulated (by MTH Models, I believe, although I do not have the magazine to hand at this moment). Anyway, on this also superb model, at least on the one submitted for review, the return crank on the leading engine is "leading" and on the trailing engine is "trailing" -- ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE LOCOMOTIVE! What is worse, the review was written, and the photograph taken, by a senior editor of the magazine, who evidently did not notice the error. Incidentally, I do recognize that this orientation of the cranks is correct for some locomotives -- but these are all true Mallet compounds, on many of which the low-pressure cylinders on the leading engine retained slide valves, while only the high-pressure cylinders on the trailing engine were fitted with piston valves. The "Alleghenies" were not compounds, but simple articulateds, and therefore had identical cylinder/valve arrangements on leading and trailing engines.
Ah, well. We shall continue our lonely battles, if for nothing else than personal justification...
Mr Jones seems to assume a position for myself when he states "Simon singularly fails to take an objective view of Gresleys conjugated valve gear. After the effects of run-down during the war were overcome the A3s and A4s did, of course, still retain there pre-eminent position on the ECML".
Given that Thompson intended to keep Gresley's most successful classes and supplement them with new mixed traffic, 6ft 2in Pacifics (as per his standardisation plans, copies of which were circulated in a booklet written by OS Nock in 1947), it seems fair and reasonable to suggest that was indeed the main intention: to retain the 6ft 8in Pacifics of classes A3 and A4 and not to replace or modify them. I am unsure where exactly I have said this should not have been the case.
I also refute the insinuation that I do not take an objective view of the conjugated valve gear. I have stated many times there was nothing wrong with it post war when maintained and set up properly (the use by Cook of the Zeiss equipment for the frames, for example, is a post war advantage the Pacifics gained) - but, as I frequently repeat - in 1941 when Thompson took over, the LNER was not in the best shape and locomotives with the conjugated valve gear were suffering from the lower standards of maintenance due to wartime austerity and shortage of staff due to the war effort.
Thompson commissioned a report from Cox and Stanier as independents, which was written and presented to the LNER board. It recommended three things: firstly, to move away from the conjugated gear for all new build locomotives (which he duly carried out), to rebuild a number of classes experimentally with three sets of valve gear (and he did so for classes A2/1, A2/2 and A1/1), and lastly for modifications to be made to engines fitted with it to improve the standards of maintenance (and experiments were carried out on a number of A4s). One of the statistics contained within that report explains that in 1941, six times the number of Gresley design conjugated valve gear locomotives failed as similar three cylinder engines on the LMS did.
Would Mr Jones not accept, in the context of the wartime austerity conditions and with particular regards to locomotive maintenance, cost and building, that Edward Thompson might have had a point?
That all small and medium sized locomotives should have two cylinders, for ease of build and maintenance?
That the evidence suggests (off the back of a report from two eminent locomotive engineers of the time) that he had a point about the LNER's current situation with the conjugated valve gear?
Saying that the conjugated valve gear did not fare well in wartime is in no way besmirching Gresley's engineering reputation. What does besmirch his reputation is that he left it to his successors to try and fix the problems that had developed from the start of the second world war.
However, one cannot in my view be harsh on Gresley: his wife had recently died, he was ill for some time before his death and he was clearly not in the best frame of mind between 1940 and 1941. The V4 was an excellent machine but it was entirely the wrong locomotive for the job required, and the Thompson B1 was. The world had moved on from the speed record run of 1938 in a very short amount of time and Gresley could not adapt. How could he?
Being objective is recognising that all men are human and are subject to hubris. Their circumstances should be taken into account when we look back at their decisions in their proper historical content. To criticise Thompson, for example, for rebuilding the P2s, ignores that they were a non standard class of 6 similar locomotives but with a history of crank axle failure and reputed (if not proven) track spreading in addition to the Scottish depots almost wilful mis-use of them and thus bumping up their coal usage rather substantially.
Looked at in the context of war and the fact they were the only large locomotive class the LNER had which suffered such crank axle failures, you have to perhaps appreciate that even if we were to take out the reputed antagonism Thompson supposedly showed for the Gresley P2s, their own flawed circumstances and history made them ripe candidates without argument for some form of rebuilding. Thompson's decisions were drastic: but the A2/2s never suffered a crank axle failure nor spread the track. So brutally solving the problems but missing the point of the design!
So much is made of the personal qualities and the building up of a supposed long standing antagonism between Gresley and Thompson. They were both older men with entrenched views on locomotive engineering: who hasn't disagreed with a colleague vigorously when you have opposing views? But to ignore that Gresley and Thompson socialised together, were closer than is otherwise suggested (Gresley's daughter Violet, for example, was a flower girl at Thompson's wedding to Guen Raven) is to do both men a disservice. It makes Gresley out to be a superman, which he was not, and it makes Thompson out to be a pantomime villain, which he was not in equal measure.
I find both men fascinating in their differences but also in the similarities of their upbringings and experiences. There are some big differences - Gresley never experienced war at the front in the first world war, whereas Thompson did, and Thompson, though clearly an excellent administrator, was not an ideas man like Gresley. There is no shame in either of those things and it is in the positives they both brought to the LNER we should celebrate them, and look at their mistakes and failures in their proper and fair context.
"I believe firmly in respect at all times during debate. Simon should be advised that I am extensively read on Thompson and Stanier, and many more CMEs. I think it unfortunate that, in his crusade, he has not accorded respect to Mr Jansz and myself when implying that we are not reasonably well read on Thompson".
Yet Mr Jones has previously on a number of occasions dismissed my views out of hand. I can only speak as I find: if you are ignoring the clear contexts of war when discussing the merits of Thompson or any other wartime CME, then you are doing them an injustice and you are not well read on the subject matter.
It is laughable, given the lack of respect Edward Thompson has been shown in death by Gresley fanatics, that anyone on the opposite side of the debate should dare argue about respect for alternative views.
The problem with the populist view (that Edward Thompson set out to destroy Gresley's legacy and was bad for the LNER) is that the loudest and most vitriolic voices have been heard for too long. Rational debate becomes impossible because the moment anyone is called out on the accuracy of statements or the logic behind it, the detractors hide behind the obvious veil of somehow being disrespected.
However, I am happy to accept that on occasion my robust rebuttals may come across in a manner not entirely fair, and for that I am happy to apologise to Mr Jones.
It is fair to say that the Edward Thompson debate is one which will rage on for many years. It generates a lot more heat than light, because people are passionate. But to be fair and balanced, we must accept there are certain things which have been misrepresented for some time and that we must question why that is.
If I succeed in one thing as a railway enthusiast, it might be to have Edward Thompson's work and character reassessed fairly and for those who would decry him for heinous purposes to stop. Particularly in light of the war service he took, and the work he did for the GNR, NER and LNER - a brave but flawed man has been wronged for too long.
Simon A.C. Martin
I'm sorry to have to correct Dudley. The Coronations and Princess Royals shared an identical cylinder layout with the inside cylinders positioned ahead of the outside ones to get the drive distributed between two axles in this high power loco. The basic layout of the Coronations was settled before Stanier went to India to lead the investigation into problems with the Indian Pacifics which were derailing with disastrous consequences. Coleman was a great interpreter of Stanier's ideas and there is no doubt that his influence in the detail design of these engines was paramount. I suggest that Dudley arms himself with a copy of the Wild Swan publications dealing with the Coronations and Princess Royals which have General Arrangement drawings for these locomotives.
I actually met Thompson once and while I was a very junior engineer, and he was very polite and helpful. He had a lot of problems to deal with when he took over as CME and I think he also met a lot of opposition from people who did not want to co-operate. There were many serious defects in some of Gresley's designs which he tackled. The three bar slidebar was one which had a shocking habit of working loose in service due to poor locking of some nuts. The shedmaster at Ferryhill, Duncan Burton, I knew quite well, and he was very emphatic about some of Gresley's design defects which Thompson tidied up.
Probably the worst was the P2 which was virtually useless on the Aberdeen road for which it was designed as it damaged the track. Why a 2-8-2 was thought suitable for the winding route to Aberdeen is beyond any explanation. He grasped the nettle and converted them to 4-6-2 , not a pretty sight but at least useable. I know that as a young spotter I was appalled. but I know better now.
Peter Rich comments on the gestation period of the O2 as being 3 years but actually it will be nearer four and a half years and some models shown are still plagued with livery, detail and dimensional errors. Some of these are admitted by DJ models/Kernow on their own site but others seem to be ignored even after the major retool in the last few months. This partially corrected the completely inaccurate mainland bunker, coal rail and cab rear area on the 2nd EPs shown at the end of 2014. Whether these latest versions are awaiting still further tooling upgrades is not clear but it would be nice to think they will be further improved before release.
The most amusing errors on the liveries are the incorrect number 255 and the wrong font styles and sizes. Without access to a sample I have some concerns about the possible distortion of the splashers which may have opened up a whole new can of worms. I am still living in hope, but was about to cancel my order, until I read that the livery errors were to be attended to.
The last thing I want to do is to buy an RTR loco that needs to be largely repainted and fully relined and lettered. I am not that keen on having to make the detail alterations that would be needed to achieve the sort of accuracy that matches current offerings from the blue and red box brigade. Fortunately I think after 50 years of modelling I could modify or replace the offending parts but I may well be in a better position than most.
The Railway Observer of October 1951 has a brief report on the Corstorphine Branch which ran west from Haymarket for 1m 40ch. As well as V1s and V3s trains were often worked by main line locomotives as “filling in” turns.
Classes B1, D20, LMS 5MT, K1, K3 and V2 were regular visitors and on one occasion A4 60011 appeared at Waverley tender first with a local train. Some services to North Berwick originated on the branch.
Another publication adds Class D34 to the above cast and mentions that the branch was also used to stable main line stock between diagrams and includes a photograph of a six coach train composed of Thompson, Gresley and BR Mk 1 coaches which was a part rake “borrowed” for local duty.
There is more information and some photos on the Railscot site including one of an A1 on three coaches in 1964.. I doubt that this type of operation was unique to Edinburgh and it gives modellers the opportunity to run almost any class of loco on short passenger trains.
I use a Mac, which has automatic ‘Time Machine’ backup built in. This normally works very well but recently, after an operating system upgrade, the disk image on my hard drive became corrupted. The disk image is the platform for data stored on the drive and underlies everything that is kept there. The corruption made the computer inoperable but, worse than that, the Time Machine backup, which is basically an image of the disk image, was also corrupted. Fortunately I was able to use various techniques to recover my data from the backup drive but it had to be done manually and was a pain.
This problem is not unique to Macs. It will be a risk for any of a number of backup systems which clone your hard drive and enable you to make a bootable copy. So, my advice is to keep your images backed up on drives that are not a clone of your system, in addition to your clone backup. I had done this, so my pictures survived.
The other piece of advice is that you can store 1 Terabyte (i.e. a lot) of photos on Flickr for free. You can either have them on public view or put them behind a password. Other photo storage sites are available but most of them charge for more than basic quantities of data, so Flickr currently seems like a good option.
My photo to make up for all this computerese is for those who haven’t seen a GNR Atlantic on the main line.
As John Goss says, you probably need to have been at a rail cavalcade to see one in steam. Luckily for me (though not for the folk of North Yorkshire) I was working for North Yorkshire County Council in 1975.
Several of my colleagues were railway enthusiasts and one of them had a line to intelligence about arrivals for the 1975 Stockton and Darlington 150 Cavalcade. The cavalcade took place at Shildon, some miles north of our offices in Northallerton, which were close to the East Coast Main Line.
A number of urgent site visits were necessitated during the fortnights before and after the cavalcade. Curiously these were always to inspect a location alongside the ECML. Thus it was that I came to photograph No. 990 ‘Henry Oakley’ in full steam, hauling Stirling Single No. 1 at pace along the famous ‘racing ground’. The photo isn’t great. It was gloomy day my Zenit camera didn’t like it, so it has taken some digital enhancement to get an acceptable image. It was a sight worth seeing.
Swearing at a computer in Chatham
Editor: I'm now testing a cloud backup service for my PC so hopefully that will soon be one less worry. Flickr is also well worth considering and I know several MREmag readers use this service for photos. With over 8000 on-line, I certainly find it useful. As for the photo, perhaps Locomotion might be looking for a train pack in the future!
John Goss posted some lovely photos of the old station which clearly showed some of the neglect that existed towards the end of steam on the island with weeds evident all over the goods shed siding. It is this sort of atmosphere that is attractive to me as a modeller.
I take John's point about the restricted view caused by the station canopies but in real life the easiest viewpoints were those from the Terminus hotel end over the cream painted wooden fence and from the downs above (see attached photo taken with a Brownie 127 in pocket money times). It is the latter that was in my mind when thinking about how to present such a view and I apologise if John thought that I intended to include the drop down to Ventnor seafront!
For a standing spectator (or from a working position) to create this view would require the layout to be down at floor level, unless a viewing platform were constructed to annoy the H&S dept. Therefore, if one were to include a replica of the east side of St. Boniface down to a reasonable height the only solution would be to raise and lower the assembly so that for operating purposes the trains could pass through the tunnel to another part of the layout at 'normal' height.
Of course, if left at 'normal' height the only place to realistically see the whole station area would be from the hotel end. Perhaps in N scale building the downs is less of a problem but in 00 it tests the grey matter although one of the benefits must be to be able to add an impression of the iconic radar station near the top. More pressing from the start has got to be how to divide the track plan into manageable sections without too much disturbance of the station or the turnouts around the tunnel throat.
Ventnor seems to have been overlooked in model form with, as far as I am aware, only being covered recently by Reg Dear in 2mm and way back in May 1963 by Alan Williams whose layout featured in Model Railway Constructor. I always knew I had to keep these articles for a reason!
Bill Pearce wrote that with a Maglev ‘’one would have no more problems with derailments!’
Sorry to disappoint him, but I rode the maglev at the NEC a couple of times, and on one Saturday afternoon journey we ‘derailed’. After quite a wait we were ‘rescued’ and detrained and had to walk on to the NEC.
Bill Pierce asks about models of MAGLEV trains.
Coventry Technical College had a model maglev vehicle they used to display going back and forth on a short section of rail on open days back in the early 70s. It was very noisy and impressive.
Of course, it wasn't really a model train, it was merely the pieces needed to demonstrate the so-old-it-had-hairs-on effect of the Linear Motor - as it was labeled. The machine was probably six feet long and the carriage or whatever the moving part of a linear motor is really called was about two and a half feet long and maybe a foot high, perhaps eight inches across as I remember it.
So the proof of concept has been done. With modern materials, I imagine squashing that down to 0 scale would be almost trivial.
Half the problem with everything these days is that young engineers keep coining new names for things we've known about for decades.
I am very proud of this photo taken at Corfe Castle on 13th April, especially as it was so sunny I couldn’t see the view finder so just guessed when the train was in the right spot! I realise the same photo composition must have been taken hundreds of times. We had just been down to Poole RFC for the weekend for my son’s rugby tour and always manage to get in a trip to a railway attraction, RHDR last year.
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As a special Pre Launch Offer Langley Models are offering this finely detailed Lattice Pit Head Gear at a special Pre Lauch Price £175 instead of the £210 RRP. This will only be charged when goods are dispatched but you can order now to lock in this special price. Stock will be in 4-6weeks
The kit is etched brass and assembles as a full above ground unit to include the lift cage and cage frame, 4 coal truggs with its double height loading ramp and double height cage. (4 truggs per lift cycle). The Pit Head Gear Pictured here is without the Head wheels as the moulds for these are just being finished.
They are also going to be releasing the below ground unit to give a further lift cage and lift cage frame. 4 further coal truggs.
Further sets will be released to give Pit Ponies, Mining Figures (Victorian Mining Figs and Children) Pit Props Extented for roof support and closed for use above ground in the yard.
For more details, visit: www.langley-models.co.uk
One place that many people tend not to put lights is automobiles. It can be done!
I drilled out the headlights on a plastic Hot Wheels car, and put one Minitronics bulb in each hole. Now the car has working headlights.
Also, I lit up a double deck London bus, for a nice effect at night. Red bulbs make nice tail-lights, especially in a heavily trafficked area.
The 009 Society have commissioned a new kit from Parkside Dundas, the prototype being a Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) van.
The model is unusual in that it has a pitched roof rather than the more traditional curved version. In this there are pairs of sliding doors corresponding with the hinged openings in the side. This was to allow access by cranes and fork lift trucks to the interior.
After military service, several of the vans found their way to preserved lines such as Leighton Buzzard, the Tamar Valley and Talyllyn.
The kit is moulded in grey plastic and is supplied with wheels and handrail wire. The builder has to supply their preferred couplings, glue, paint and transfers.
Assembly is straightforward. There's no flash to remove and part fit is very good. Some of the components aren't required but the instructions make this clear. It's worth reading these carefully before starting off as the brake gear is handed and you could easily end up with levers that if operated would take the brakes off instead of on!
Holes have to be drilled in the body to fit handrails and locate the end steps. On the side the instructions mention some dimples moulded in to act as a guide but I couldn't see them. There are 6 prototype photos included on the page though which makes this easy enough.
On the roof, the sliding doors are fiddly to locate but moulded guides ensure it's easy to orientate them correctly.
On such a small vehicle (45mm long without couplings) painting the livery is fiddly. I found a bow pen run along the metalwork made a passable job from a distance. The letter was also done with the pen although transfers should be available from your favourite supplier.
An interesting a very useful prototype for anyone modelling military narrow gauge railways or preserved lines.
Price £8.00 plus postage.
The kit is ONLY available to members of the 009 Society and is the third model offered this way.