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Diary detailing layout construction

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Desert Sand , Dettol and some Extreme Plates

Heljan to my knowledge have produced three models of D1000 Western Enterprise painted in its experimental Desert Sand livery.  Heljan model number 5204 represented the prototype when it first emerged from Swindon Works in 1961 with no warning panels.  Heljan 5213 had small yellow warning panels as applied in November 1962.  Both 5204 and 5213 had a satin varnish finish.  Heljan 5221 also had small yellow panels but it had a gloss coated ‘ex works’ finish.   When the opportunity present
 

Train Reporting Numbers – Heljan – Western issues

I am returning to one of my favourite subjects, Heljan Westerns.  My sixties layout is shall we say ‘stuck in time’.  Rather than purchase the latest model shop offerings I have been backfilling some gaps in my ‘stock book’ from eBay.  Whether it is a sign of the times or just an ‘age thing’ but I have picked up a number of excellent ‘unused’ models, and in one case unopened from around ten years back. Heljan is a particularly interesting manufacturer in that their models seem to be designe
 

Ex LMS Jubilees – updating Mainline and early Bachmann split chassis models

One of my all time favourite models is Mainline locomotive Mars.  I kept my original purchase from 1983 and a couple of years ago I upgraded the model with a Bachmann mechanism.  I think it is still an attractive engine with its Fowler Tender.  The Mainline model of Mars was relatively expensive, I am guessing to cover the cost of the ‘new’ improved Fowler Tender which I think was all new tooling – that despite Mainline getting access to the older Airfix 4F / 2P designs.   45698
 

Keeping the wheels turning – Bachmann’s B1s

The starting point for this Post is B1 61018 named Gnu.  In1960 I used to collect engine numbers.  One of the better places with an easy cycle ride was Stockton Station.  “Oh there’s a B1! Oh no – its Gnu - again!”  My records show that in 1959 Gnu was allocated to Haverton Hill.  This was located just across the Transporter Bridge from Middlesbrough.  I am guessing the shed would have serviced the large ICI Billingham chemical factory.  From its frequent appearance through Stockton I am imagini
 

Ex GWR 43xx nostalgia – was it Mainline or Bachmann? Resolving some issues

The ex GWR 43xx engines were one of my all time favourite locomotive types.  They were disappearing fast when I was collecting engine numbers in 1959 / 1960 but for me they seemed to epitomise trains in rural central Wales – somewhere ‘magical’ that we visited for holidays!  When Mainline introduced their 43xx models in the early 1980s it became one of my must have engines.   37-091 Mainline 5328 43xx on my Bracken Ridge Layout around 1982   I bought my first Mainline 4
 

Enterprising Plates –Heljan Westerns

I am minded of Pam Ayres and her words: “Infallible, articulate, self-confident... and wrong.” From her monologue ‘They should have asked my Husband’   https://monologues.co.uk/Pam_Ayres/Ask_My_Husband.htm   Heljan D1000 Western Enterprise and D1010 Western Campaigner fitted with etched plates   When the opportunity presents itself I will buy etched plates.  Lately I came across a set of C.G.W nameplates for D1000 Western Enterprise.  These were followed by a

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Silver Sidelines

 

The ex LMS Fowler 2P – an update

Back in 2015 I wrote a Post for my Blog detailing an improvement to the old Mainline / Dapol model of the ex LMS Fowler 2P.     Mainline Ex LMS 2P from 1984   Crucially the work required access to Hornby spare part X6475, the front bogie from their latest engine drive 2P (R3028).  Sadly as said in my previous Post about remotoring the Hornby Q6, Hornby seem to have given up on providing useful spare parts.  Front bogie X6475 continues to be out of stock.  

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Silver Sidelines

 

Remotoring a Hornby Q6

With all the rain outside putting a stop to gardening I have been grounded and have used the opportunity to tackle some longstanding issues.  Hornby first released their Q6 models in June 2016.  Having being raised in Middlesbrough I had to take delivery of two versions, an Early Emblem and one with a Late Crest.  They were tested and given a run around the layout before being stored away to make room for some BR (WR) trains.   Q6 63443 Hornby R3425   February 2018 and

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Silver Sidelines

 

Class 37 or Class 55? Bachmann Bogies

I am now the proud owner of two BR Green Bachmann Class 37s.   Two Bachmann Class 37s produced around 2004   According to Mick Parker’s splendid new Class 37 web site https://www.class37.co.uk/fleet.aspx?strnumber=37676 my D6707 was outshopped in 1961 and spent its early life allocated to March.  D6826 was a later design without gangway end doors and was outshopped in 1963.  It was first allocated to Cardiff Canton.  Although outside of my layout period it was reported

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Silver Sidelines

 

Lowering the ride height of the Bachmann Deltic

My last Post https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/880/entry-21774-a-deltic-dalliance/ reviewed past ready-to-run Deltic models. The message was that the prototype was large, lengthy (and noisy) and that a scale model was not compatible with train set curves. In an attempt to solve the issue Bachmann appeared to have adopted a ‘Belt and Braces’ approach. The Bachmann model has a narrower profile for the leading bogie wheels while at the same time thinning the bodywork with ‘cutouts’

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Silver Sidelines

 

A Deltic Dalliance

The English Electric Deltic has long been popular with railway enthusiasts. It was a hugely powerful locomotive with a particularly evocative exhaust note, characteristic of its 18 cylinder two – stroke diesel engines. Production units began to appear in 1961 and ran initially in two tone green livery without names or yellow warning panels. D9002 – without name and warning panels 1961 It was about this time that I was ceasing to collect engine numbers. Notes inside the rear cover of my Ian

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Silver Sidelines

 

On a winning streak – The Rails Rapido Dynamometer Car

It has just been announced that the Rails Rapido Dynamometer Car has won the 2018 first ever Hornby Best OO Scale Wagon or Carriage Awards. Deservedly I would say. My model was purchased long before the awards were announced. The model is highly detailed and very well made. I think more a scale model than an item of model railway rolling stock.   Ex LNER Dynamometer Car - complete with magic wand (to turn on the lighting)   Over the course of a year I buy the odd item from Rails of Sheffiel

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Silver Sidelines

 

Black is black I want my loco back (Heljan Night Owl)

Black is black, I want my loco back It’s gone away for exchange they say, Ooh-Ooh What can I do? 'Cause I-I-I-I-I-I'm feelin' blue I am really very pleased with my black Heljan 47xx. I think it is becoming one of the best ever locomotives to grace my layout. It has been a long journey which will not suit everybody. However ‘job done’ and I am well pleased. Heljan 4706 BR Black 'Night Owl' When Heljan announced their 47xx I preordered a BR green model. I read with interes

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Silver Sidelines

 

Shades of Green, 2018 Version

This Post is made in response to the appearance of Heljan’s latest BR Green 47xx. Heljan’s choice of colours for both the engine green and the lining has evoked a certain amount of correspondence within the railway modelling community. I thought it might be useful to bring together some of my pictures. Some have already been posted elsewhere showing the new Heljan model in company with some older models from Bachmann and Hornby. I used the same title back in 2014 for a Post when I repainted the

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Silver Sidelines

 

Weighing up the Dean Goods

I have been taking advantage of the Spring Sales and have bought myself a BR black engine driven Oxford Rail Dean Goods.   I bought my first Dean Goods back in 1985. It was a Mainline model with a tender drive. The perceived wisdom was that the model was conceived and designed by Airfix just before that company folded. I thought the tender drive came with an unrealistically high mound of coal, to hide the motor, and it could be noisy. It did have a good haulage capacity.   Mainline Dean Goo

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Silver Sidelines

 

Llanvair Grange – new from Hornby 2018

In the 1960s we lived in the north east of England and took our holidays in west Wales. This Spring after a winter season of north east model railway memories I have taken a ‘Western’ break and invested in Hornby’s latest BR (WR) Grange.   Hornby R3452 Llanvair Grange – front end   I think the Grange is one of Hornby’s more finely detailed models. As a result it is rather delicate and in my opinion lightweight, benefiting from the addition of some lead ballast. Hornby’s previous Grange, Buc

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Silver Sidelines

 

Wheels and axles – Bachmann’s early B1s

Continuing my BR(NE) saga I have resurrected a couple of elderly Bachmann B1s that have been quietly slumbering in their boxes. Bachmann B1s – Widlebeeste and Hartebeeste There is an issue with these particular early models and mine were not immune! For whatever reason the black plastic wheel centres expand with time and catch on the coupling rods preventing the wheels from freely turning. The affliction does not affect the centre driving wheel and rather puzzlingly it is the rear pair of d

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Silver Sidelines

 

Semi-controlled quality, Hornby’s Coronation?

“It’s a Semi!” I am sure that is what young train spotters used to shout in 1959 at the sight of a Coronation Class Pacific. I am guessing, ‘Semi’ because it had been semi streamlined as opposed to fully streamlined like the ‘streaks’ (A4s) on the East Coast Mainline. East meets West (or Streaks and Semis) The’ Coronations’ were introduced by Sir William Stanier in 1937, the same year as the coronation of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon with the first member of the class named ‘Coronatio

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Silver Sidelines

 

Click click click, - Bachmann’s 15th Anniversary Set revisited

Continuing with my north east themed running sessions I have unboxed Bachmann’s 15th Anniversary Set.   Bachmann D396 and 60143   Bachmann marketed the set in 2004 to celebrate the first 15 years of Bachmann Branchline (1989 to 2004). The set comprises two Gateshead shedded locomotives, A1 Pacific 60143 Sir Walter Scott and D396 Type 4 English Electric Diesel (later Class 40). Both locomotives are of types that would have hauled the Tees-Tyne Pullman around 1960.   Bachmann 15th Annivers

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Silver Sidelines

 

Resurrecting ‘The Elizabethan’ by Bachmann

As Autumn approaches it is time to put the garden to bed and to come inside and play trains.   I am revisiting the north east of England in the early 1960s and I have resurrected my Bachmann Elizabethan train set. The splendid wooden box contains a model of 60017 Silver Fox with late crest and six maroon Thompson coaches. For use on my layout I had already added some extra lead ballast to the engine as detailed here in an earlier Post.   A4 60017 Silver Fox heading the Elizabethan   First

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Silver Sidelines

 

A sound choice – Hornby King on analogue DC

My last post dealt with Hornby’s latest King George I engine and I finished with the question, what about some sound on DC?   The Hornby TTS digital chip allows running on both digital and analogue DC layouts but does not provide sound on analogue DC. At the time of my last Post I had removed the Hornby TTS chip and speaker and was running the engine on analogue DC with an eight pin blanking plate.   Hornby King George I   King George was purchased at a discount and now I have felt able t

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Silver Sidelines

 

Kingly matters.

Hornby have released a second batch of their ex GWR King Class locomotives. With retailers selling these new models at a lower price than the price I paid this time last year for King Edward VIII, I have succumbed and invested in a model of 6006 George II.   Hornby R3384 6006 King George II   The Hornby Kings are rather splendid models. However I do wish Hornby would sort out their vacuum packaging.   Rub marks from packaging, Hornby Kings William and George   I had three Kings through

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Silver Sidelines

 

Well Chuffed – Bachmann 45504 Royal Signals DS locomotive running on analogue DC

As the year end approaches a new Blog Post is well overdue.   After a brief foray into the world of digital sound on analogue DC with two or three Bachmann Diesels (fitted with LokSound chips) I thought it time to investigate the possibilities of digital steam sound. I like the look and feel of Bachmann’s unrebuilt Patriots and I had been watching Giggleswick with a mind to making a purchase when I deemed the price to be right. However I was also keeping an eye on the Junction Box, run by Ian

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Silver Sidelines

 

My Deltic Sound Project

Continuing the north east theme I have invested in a Bachmann Deltic of the two tone green variety. I had to cancel an order on eBay when a quick check revealed that the Deltic Preservation Society still had ‘The Green Howards’ in stock (and many more Bachmann models) at very competitive prices, frequently below the cost of second hand items on that well known auction site. Bachmann D9008 The Green Howards – Limited Edition for the Deltic Preservation Society After recent successes with run

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Silver Sidelines

 

North East Medley - including Q6, L1 and V3

Not so long ago Hornby released their new Q6 models. Having been brought up in Middlesbrough there was no question about it, there would have to be a Q6 or even two on my layout.   First a picture from the past, the location is just to the south of Thornaby Station which provided visibility of all the lines from Middlesbrough and Thornaby before they diverged to Stockton (for the north), Redmashall (west) and Eaglescliffe (to the south).   Q6 63445 – Thornaby 1960 or 61   63443 was the fi

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Silver Sidelines

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