Have been fortunate enough to have 1/3 of the Ixion management staying with me this evening, on the way to the Sandown Model train show here in Oz. Luckily he had some Manors with him, both the polite ones and 4-6-0 variants. I was given the opportunity to put a Manor through its paces on my Sturminster layout. This Manor is the third EP (Engineering Prototype), rather than an actual production-run Manor
Let me first start by saying that I'm most impressed, and my loyalty has a strong Stanier bias. It is very well moulded and hardly a seam to be found, the rivet detail is excellent. I was shown one of the rejected bodies due to the rivets being too big, but I could hardly notice, the rivets on the final approved body were very fine. The water scoop on the tender stood out to me as something unique, can't remember seeing one on an N gauge model before. The add-on details are endless, but I was most impressed with the etched fire irons.
We carried out a load test, a proper one since it hadn't been done before. The Manor was running around a 5m oval, consisting of both Peco Code 55 + 80 track with 15 inch curves; one which has a 1 in 75 incline, the other with a reverse 12 in curve leading into it. It successfully passed though code 55 long radius points and double-slips. In the whole 1 hour of running it only derailed once, whilst entering a medium radius code 80 insulfrog point. The super creep, 50-1 motor, really does super creep. We started with 5 Dapol Collets, with no trouble. We then added 9 Dapol Gresley's, still no issues. To this we added 16 Farish Stanier coaches.
Still the Manor did not struggle, even when we stopped it on the curved incline. A further 3 Staniers and 3 Farish Mk1's were added, bringing the total load to 36 bogie coaches, and only then was some slight slippage notice as the Manor tried to take off from the stationary. Considering a Farish Royal Scot, with traction tyres on 2 axles, was struggling with the same load, the Manor can more than adequately pull a load.
Delivery I'm assured is very ,very soon, and you won't be disappointed when it arrives. I would just to add that I am not a Ixion employee (if I was all there locos would be painted crimson), just a happy future customer.
Videos are on youtube, here: