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About this blog

A 'gritty reboot' of the Rev. Awdry's universe, modelling Sudrian Railways from 1905-1970. Including The North Western Railway/The Tidmouth, Knapford & Ffarquhar Railway/The Skarloey Railway

Entries in this blog

Bagnall 0-4-0ST 'Bill' - Spotlight

Bagnall 0-4-0ST 'Bill' - Spotlight

The first Spotlight video - an up close and personal look at Sodor China Clay Co. No.1 'Bill', a radio controlled 'bash' using an ERTL diecast loco.   Hope you enjoy!  

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Sudrian Histories is now on YouTube too...

Sudrian Histories is now on YouTube too...

After much deliberating, I've decided to take the plunge and make videos about the Sudrian Histories project! It's hosted on the Railway Mania channel. Here's the introduction, which gives an outline/insight into the grand scheme. Hope you enjoy!

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Nil Unquam Simile

Nil Unquam Simile

With the Nailsea Show fast approaching, the first public outing of the NWR looms, so I've been giving a lot of thought to the display. I've long wanted to make my own version of the NWR logo as described by Awdry, here's my current attempt.   "Per saltire azure and vert, Two gloves argent saltirewise  in fess a rose of Lancaster proper 1st Azure a wheel or winged of same dexter vert a fleece argent, sinister vert a mattock argent hafted or  base azure herrings naiant argent

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NWR ex-ROD 2-8-0s Nos.700-703 - Info Sheet

NWR ex-ROD 2-8-0s Nos.700-703 - Info Sheet

FACT SHEET   NWR No. 700-703   NWR Name: Erin, Triumph, Vanguard, Powerful   Wheel Arrangement 2-8-0/2-8-4T   Builder Various   Class ROD 2-8-0 (GCR 8K)   History   The first locos of this class were among those drafted in by the ROD to operate the newly-formed NWR during WW1. Upon cessation of hostilities, masses of these heavy goods locos were surplus to requirements and put up for sale. The embryonic company,

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(Shake, Rattle and) Roaring 20s

(Shake, Rattle and) Roaring 20s

An action-packed photo here from the 1920s showing ex-TK&F No.6 leading a string of lead hoppers into the yard whilst two goods trains pass on the main line above. China clay and empty alumina trucks in transit to Tidmouth, milk and fish heading east. Just visible behind No.301 is the tender of one of the ex-ROD locos lending banking assistance out of the steeply graded docks branch.   The mighty air-braked hopper wagon is also visible. This was designed to be attached to passenger

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NWR No.901 'Revenge' - Info Sheet

NWR No.901 'Revenge' - Info Sheet

FACT SHEET NWR No. 901 NWR Name: Revenge Wheel Arrangement 2-8-0+0-8-2 Builder Beyer Peacock, Gorton Works, Manchester, 1924 Class Beyer-Garratt History Since Cronk and Maron are much higher than Suddery Junction near Wellsworth, the four miles at a ruling gradient of 1 in 45 have through the years been a testing ground for NWR locomotives. Bankers are stationed at Wellsworth specifically for this section. In 1924 the NWR ordered an articulated 2

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'What's in a Name?' Part 2

'What's in a Name?' Part 2

The trends of my naming conventions are rough but follow a sort of convention. This is meant to reflect changing attitudes and preferences in the management of the NWR, and how they want to present themselves. I've added notes below in italics to explain the thinking behind each era.   Passenger/Mixed traffic locos   Manx/Sudrian authors, poets, notable historical figures - mainly locos that were there when the NWR was formed 1915-1920 e.g. Edward Faragher, Thomas Allen

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NWR No.403 'Thorkell' - Info Sheet

NWR No.403 'Thorkell' - Info Sheet

FACT SHEET NWR No. 403 NWR Name Thorkell Wheel Arrangement 2-6-0 Builder Royal Arsenal, Woolwich/NWR Crovan’s Gate Works   Class Maunsell SECR N Class Mogul (NWR Rebuild) History The N Class of mixed traffic 2-6-0 locomotives was designed in 1914 by Richard Maunsell. Production of the first batch was delayed by the outbreak of the First World War. Assembly began towards the end of the war and the first locomotive, No. 810, emerged from Ashford Works fo

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The TK&F - Braking

The TK&F - Braking

In the early days, train brakes were not of much concern to the Knapford and Elsbridge Tramway, all the trains being unfitted goods, slowed either by the brakes on the loco or by pinning down the wagon brakes. It was not until 1904 that the company had to confront this issue, with the expiration of the contract for the W&S to supply passenger services. Both the 0-6-0T No.5, and the two new Kitsons arrived fitted with only steam brakes on the loco, and it was not until 1906 that all locos w

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NWR No.308 'William Montagu' - Info Sheet

NWR No.308 'William Montagu' - Info Sheet

FACT SHEET   NWR No. 308   NWR Name: William Montagu   Wheel Arrangement 0-6-0PT   Builder Great Western Railway (North British Loco Co.)   Class 5700   Purchased by NWR 1937 (on hire from 1931)   'Prototype' Info   The legendary GWR 5700 class needs no introduction, but how one of these useful locomotives ended up in the North West requires explanation. In 1929, the GWR was building hundreds of pannier

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Maps!

Maps!

This is something of a work in progress, but since it's likely to be a work in progress for a long time, I'm going to post about it now and update later.   I've long wanted to map out 'my' NWR, and various places along the route, to work out what kind of traffic sources and destinations I have, and plan my timetables and traffic requirements appropriately.   Which leads me to this - a map of 'my' Tidmouth. If it looks familiar, that's because the basis for it is an old map of

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Sudrian Story Scenes - 2

Sudrian Story Scenes - 2

A couple of little vignettes from around the layout, sometimes referencing the books.   Thomas and Henry swapping stories at the junction.   My friend Rich gave me an early christmas present. All of the switches on the layout were previously marked by coloured stickers, which isn't very prototypical, so we decided to position appropriately-coloured objects next to the points instead. The little green Trojan marks the 'green' point, the red car denotes the freshly-repl

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Sudrian Story Scenes - 1

Sudrian Story Scenes - 1

I've been mucking about practicing focus stacking in photoshop and using the DSLR. What better excuse to channel my inner child and make little homages to scenes from The Railway Series?   "I see Daisy's left the milk again..."   "I'll have to make a special journey with it I suppose. Anyone would think I've nothing to do."   "It was raining hard. Water swirled under my boiler. I couldn't see where I was going, but I struggled on." "Oh, Percy, you are brave.

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The Flying Kipper

All kinds of ships use the harbour at the big station by the sea. There are passenger ships, cargo ships and fishing boats also come here. They unload their fish on the quay. Some of it goes to shops in the town, and the rest in a special train to other places far away. This is the train the railwaymen called 'The Flying Kipper'.     Yes yes, I know that this story is before Henry I gets replaced with Henry II, just a bit of fun now I have weathered my insulfish wagon. I took this in the mo

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Timetables and Traffic Requirements

A large theme of this alternate fictional universe is to give things reasons to exist. I've changed a lot from the Reverend's version, as I wanted to backdate the opening of the main Sudrian railways and give the island a chance to industrialise rapidly at the beginning of the 20th Century.   A big part of any railway is the traffic demands, these will guide what kind and amount of stock the line should have on its books.   For 'fun', I've begun to devise timetables for the NWR main line and

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Sudrian Language

It was once said of Tolkein that he ended up writing the Lord of the Rings as a by-product of creating the Elvish language. Whilst not quite as expansive as Middle-Earth (or even Westeros), I think Wilbert and George Awdry had a lot of fun creating the world of Sodor. The elusive book 'THE ISLAND OF SODOR; Its people, history and railways' is all about building the world that the stories inhabit, with its own colourful history. My modelling is my own take on this world, I've changed some details

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NWR No.301 'Thomas Allen' - Full Story

NWR No.301 'Thomas Allen' - Full Story

Here's the full story of the making of NWR No. 301, hero of the Railway Series books and the subsequent TV series. I've combined all the previous blog posts into one. FACT SHEET   NWR No. 301   NWR Name: Thomas Allen (Thomas Allen was a real life Manx author, my rationale is that the newly formed NWR wanted to draw on local heroes for names for its locomotives)   Wheel Arrangement 0-6-0T   Builder London, Brighton and South Coast Railw

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NWR No.805 'Suddery Cathedral' - Full Story

NWR No.805 'Suddery Cathedral' - Full Story

Here's the full story of the making of my 'Cathedral Class', No. 805. I've combined all the previous blog posts into one.     FACT SHEET   NWR No. 805   NWR Name: Suddery Cathedral   Wheel Arrangement 4-6-2   Builder London, Midland and Scottish Railway, Crewe (1935) Rebuilt Crovans Gate (1952)   Class Turbomotive 1935-1952 Princess Royal 1952 Cathedral 1953-   Purchased by NWR 1952   FUL

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NWR No.705 'Westlin' - Info Sheet

NWR No.705 'Westlin' - Info Sheet

Here's the info sheet on NWR No.705 'Westlin'. The build was covered in my cobbling thread.     FACT SHEET   NWR No. 705   NWR Name: Westlin   Wheel Arrangement 4-6-0   Builder North British Locomotive Company (1929)   Class Hatt 7P   Fate Withdrawn 1961   'Prototype' Info   Designed and built during Sir Topham Hatt's tenure as CME, this loco was the first of three 'Hatt Class Sevens'

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NWR No. 503 'Col. Henry Regaby' - Full Story

NWR No. 503 'Col. Henry Regaby' - Full Story

Here's the full (relatively short) story of the making of my 'Green 5', No. 503. I've combined all the previous blog posts into one. FACT SHEET   NWR No. 503   NWR Name: Colonel Henry Regaby   Wheel Arrangement 4-6-0   Builder North British Locomotive Co. (1935)   Class Stanier 5MT   Purchased by NWR 1935   History   After the Killdane accident in 1935, No.303 was written-off. At this time, the st

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NWR No.704 'Duke of Gordon' - Full Story

NWR No.704 'Duke of Gordon' - Full Story

Here's the combined build story for the flagship express locomotive of the North Western Railway, No.704 'Duke of Gordon' (or Gordon for short)     FACT SHEET   NWR No. 704   NWR Name: Duke of Gordon   Wheel Arrangement 4-6-2   Builder North Eastern Railway   Class A0   Purchased by NWR 1923   FULL BUILD THREAD BELOW   So, firstly, the numbering scheme... I always thought it a bit o

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NWR No.106 'Perseus' - Full Story

NWR No.106 'Perseus' - Full Story

Here's the combined build story for my little Avonside-esque 0-4-0ST, NWR No.106 'Perseus' (or Percy for short)     FACT SHEET   NWR No. 106   NWR Name: Perseus   Wheel Arrangement 0-4-0ST   Builder Avonside Engine Company (19??) Rebuilt Peckett and Sons (1920) Rebuilt Hunslet Engine Co. (1946)   Purchased by NWR 1920   The loco known to Sudrians as 'Percy' first arrived on the island in 1920. Original

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