Is this crane going to be vastly different to the Hornby crane? I don't mean detail wise. 30 years dictates that this will be superior in that respect lol. But is it a hugely different machine to that one or are they pretty similar?
Yes, chalk and cheese spring to mind.
The Hornby model is a radically compromised representation of a 75-ton Cowans Sheldon design introduced in 1960 and in service (in steam powered form as loosely modelled) until 1976 or so.
The Bachmann model is a highly accurate representation of a 45-ton Ransomes & Rapier design introduced in 1940 and in service in steam powered form (steam only - none was ever converted) until 1989.
One is a model, the other a toy!
The same bloke who invented the weight relieving bogie, Sir Fredrick Stokes, was the inventor of the modern mortar.
Close. It was Wilfrid S Stokes, a Director of Ransomes & Rapier Ltd, who invented both. Stokes had been New Works Engineer for the GWR before moving to Ransomes & Rapier in 1896. He was, incidentally, knighted for his invention of the Stokes mortar in 1914, this becoming the standard British gun of the First World War.
I am trying to confirm if the Ransomes crane Bachmann are producing would be suitable to model the Laira (or Newton Abbot?) crane in 1947?
In a word - no. Laira didn't get a breakdown crane unitl 1963 when it received ex-GWR 18, which stayed until 1965. In 1972 this was replaced by ex-GWR 19 which stayed until 1987, in latter years carrying yellow livery (the only R&R 45-tonner to do so). The Bachmann model is structurally accurate for both of these. No 18 is currently extant unrestored at Carnforth, and No 19 is preserved at the Flour Mill.
Newton Abbot had variously at around this time GWR 8, a Cowans Sheldon 15 ton crane (like the D&S Models kit) and/or GWR 9, a Cowans Sheldon 35 ton crane (ex-Caerphilly). Fromt he mid-'50s to the mid-'60s it had ex-GWR No 3, a 36-ton Ransomes & Rapier crane. None of these resemble the Bachmann model.
In 1965 the ex-SR crane DS1580 moved to Newton Abbot upon closure of Exmouth Junction, staying at Newton Abbot until 1972 when it went to Laira. This crane, though very similar to the Bachmann model, differs in that it, in common with the MoS 45-tonners, had the hydraulic loading mechanism on the relieving bogies (not the earlier manual system). 1580 also uniquely had BFB wheels. DS1580 was the only 45-ton R&R crane to operate on the mainline which had hydraulic RBs and it seems unlikely that Bachmann will retool the relieving bogie to produce a model of a single unique crane. DS1580 is preserved and operating on the Mid-Hants railway.
That being said, from 1940 onwards it is entirely plausible that a GW 45-ton crane would have been deployed anywhere needed, and in 1947 the nearest (to NA or Plymouth) was No 19 at Bristol to 1948 then at Swindon CWA, or No 18 at Canton. It is highly likely that one or other or both of these would have been seen at Laira if needed on the far West country. Certainly no-body could tell you it didn't happen.
It is worth remembering that one of the reasons that this design was produced (and a requirement of the pre-war Railway Technical Committee for Air Raid Precautions, which drove the design) was that it conformed to the British Composite Loading Gauge and had both dimensions and axle loadings which allowed the cranes to travel anywhere on the UK mainline railways, including LPTB lines (and the Hastings line). They were (and are) physically smaller and lighted on the axles than the massive GWR 36-tonners which spawned them, and the 36-tonners were allowed over all mainline GWR routes in the West Country, including over the Tamar Bridge.
I think the colour schemes, stripes, insignias and home depot markings are a real problem for Bachmann.
Are they just going to produce two/four liveries or small runs of lots of different liveries ? I would hate to be the person making that decision.
Problem or opportunity?
Let's think about liveries for a moment. The model, taken with the tooling options visible in the Warley photos, allows an accurate model to be produced of any of eight cranes, namely the first order of six for "British Railways", of which four went to the GWR and two to the Southern, plus the two from the second order for the Ministry of Supply, both of which went to the LNER to replace two conscripted cranes, (The model from what has been seen so far does not allow any of the seven subsequent MoS/WD cranes or the Southern's DS1580 to be modelled, since these all had significantly different relieving bogies).
These 8 cranes between them, over their working lives and allocations, would have been seen in GWR grey, SR grey, LNER grey, GWR black, SR black, LNER black, BR(S) red, BR(E) red, BR(M) red, and BR(W) yellow. Assuming that the tooling options allow for the difference evolutionary changes that took place, that means that there is a huge variety of historically accurate models which Bachmann could, if they chose, produce. The livery details are also complex, due largely to the fact that cranes were generally painted locally and seldom were two alike. Furthermore there are differences such as the fact that the Western refused to follow the 1953 "Ad-Hoc Committee" directive to repaint cranes in morale-boosting red, and steadfastly left theirs black, not only that, but their pre-grouping individuality meant that no black BR(W) crane ever received a BR totem of any kind. The SR and LNER cranes carried differend totem at various times, adding further variations.
There are probably 30 or more different, historically accurate, combinations which could be produced, which is surely useful if you want a good ROI on your tooling.
If the notes I jotted down at the time of the original announcement are (still) correct, 38-802, the BR late crest model in black, will be of the ex-SR Exmouth Junction crane nowadays based on the Mid Hants Railway.
Unlikely, given the relieving bogie issue mentioned above. It will probably be S1560 or S1561.
The Bachmann model seems to represent the war time built 45 ton Ranson & Rapier cranes. 10 were bulit, 6 went to the MoS, 1 to the WO , 2 to LNER and 1 to the SR.
The 3 that ended up on BR were
LNER No 941601, later BR 1st No 331102, 2nd No ADRR 95214, stationed at Kings Cross 1943 -61, Grimesthorpe 61-65 and Tinsley 65 to 85 when withdrawn.
LNER No 951516, later BR 1st No 122 (ER number) 2nd No RS1083/45 (LMR number, 1958) 3rd No ADM1083, 4th No ADRR 95215, stationed at Gorton 1943 to 1965 (in 1958 Gorton became an LMR shed) and Newton Heath 1965 to 79.
SR No 1580S, later BR 1st No DS1580 (Sr number), 2nd 151 (WR number, 1963), 3rd ADRR 95216, stationed at Exmouth Junction 1945 to 64 (in 1963 exmouth Junction became a WR shed), Newton Abbot 65-69, Laira 71-79 being withdrawn from Old Oak Common in 1983.
All three are persevered along with a MOS crane number WD214.
There were 16 cranes built essentially to this design.
The first order, for six cranes, was placed in 1939 on the authority of and paid for by the Goverrnment as a result of the Railway Technical Committee's recommendations for ensuring that the railways could survive the effects of air raids. The RTC recommended that 24 cranes should be ordered from two suppliers, in the event 12 cranes were authorised, six each from Ransomes & Rapier and Cowans Sheldon. All were to be 45-ton capacity , to conform to the British Composite Loacding Gauge, and to have a 15-ton axle loading to allow almost total route availability. The only cranes of relevance to this discussion are the R&R six.
These were delivered in 1939/40, and four were supplied to the GWR (allegedly against the GWR's will since it felt it already had adequate craneage) and two to the SR.
In 1942 the Ministry of Supply ordered two further cranes from R&R to essentially the same design which were delivered to the LNER as direct replacements for two Cowans Sheldon cranes which had been requisitioned, converted to oil-firing, and shipped to the Middle East. The two LNER cranes differed from the earlier six in monor ways, the most conspicuous beign that the steam chests had moved outside the frame plates of the crab and the vales were operated by rocking levers (the first six has the steam chests inside the crab).
Some time later the MoS ordered seven further cranes for the military, and finally in 1945 the SR ordered one further crane. These had outside steam chests as per the LNER pair, but also had hydraulic loading systems on the relieving bogies instead of the earlier manual system. The relieving bogies are significantly different as a result. The final SR crane also has Bulleid-Firth-Brown cast wheelsets on the crane and relieving bogies (but not the jib runner).
The tooling seen in the Warley photos makes it clear that the Bachmann model can represent any of the first eight cranes, namely:
- GWR 16
- GWR 17
- GWR 18
- GWR 19
Incidentally of these, all except GWR 16 (cut up at Swindon in 1986) and S1560S (cut up ex-Tyseley in April 2010) still exist.
There were significant differences between the jib runners for these cranes, and right from the start the SR runners were different to the GWR runners (these differences are visible in the Warely photos). As time went by various evolutionary changes took place to all the cranes which resulted in them becoming increasingly unique. For example, the chimney lift gear fitted to the SR cranes (but never fitted to the GW cranes) was removed, chimneys became short not long, the toolboxes fitted to the jib runners were altered, one of the LNE cranes was fitted with and exhaust draughting arrangement to the boiler, turbogenerators were moved, and a whole raft of other details changed.
The allocations of these cranes is quite complex and poorly documented, however in essence the GWR cranes stayed on the Western and crane on the Western ever received the red livery. One ex-GW crane (at Laira, as mentioned above) received yellow livery, the only R&R 45-tonner to do so. Only one escaped from the Western, No 17, which was transferred to the Midland region from Stafford road in 1963 and received red livery (the only ex-GW crane to do so). It spent its Midland days at Oxley, Tyseley, Saltley, Willesden, Longsight, and finally Crewe. It is now at the GCR.
The two SR cranes remained on the Southern, and carried variousl gey, black, and red liveries. The survivor is now at the Swanage Railway.
Of the two LNER cranes one (951516) was transferred (along with Gorton shed) to the LMR in 1960, the other remained with the NE Region to the end. These carried grey, black, lined black, and red liveries. 951516 is preserved but not operational on the Bluebell, 941601 is similarly preserved byut not currently operational on the NYMR.
The jib runners for all of these were built by RY Pickering of Wishaw, but they too differed between orders and railways.
In conclusion it seems to me that this is a great looking model of a protype which has the potential to accomodate just about every type and region of modeller.
Edited by craneman, 30 November 2017 - 11:25 .