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Mel_H

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  1. It's only just occurred to me, but how were the AWS batteries charged?
  2. And here's a really remarkable bit of film - chauldrons still in use after almost 100 years. The system was so labour-intensive and antiquated. It's a great shame that the [remains] of the surviving staithes in Newcastle aren't better protected.
  3. Lovely set of [nostalgic] pictures. The first one (worm's eye view), is very handy as it nicely shows the way the skirt and nose taper and transition their shape to the main bodyside. A tricky area to accurately recreate.
  4. For 'design team', perhaps read 'project manager'. There was the person, who must not be named, who said he was a designer, but turned out to be nothing of the sort. Simply, a project manager....! I wish Oxford Rail and Hornby well, BTW
  5. This is excellent news, and very welcome. I hate to have to mention it, but I'm not convinced about the shape of the chimney on the GCR example? Am I alone?
  6. The following newsletter has been sent out today, which may be of interest. As SLW doesn't have its own section in 'manufacturers', being lumped in with 'Smaller Suppliers', I hope this is the right place for it. It is reproduced verbatim: SLW SUMMER REPORT Complete sell-out of SLW Class 24s New runs approved for production Unforeseen delays affect projects We are happy to provide you with a Summer update on SLW activities having, at last, found time to put fingers to keyboard in between development work. A nice problem to have? Let’s start with an apology… We’ve failed in our promise to try and keep the ‘staple ingredients’ of green and blue Class 24s always available. A month or two back, we sold out of all our current stock of models, four month ahead of our best expectation! We continue to express surprise at the number of modellers only now discovering Sutton's Locomotive Workshop and realising what a step-up our specification is compared to what many are accustomed to. You can factor in this increased interest from new customers following the publicity surrounding our Class 25 project. All this means no less than 17 different version (yes, we had to go away and count) of our Class 24 have sold out and we currently have no locomotives to sell at present! That must count as a win. More 'Skinhead' Class 24s approved What’s the solution? Simply put, we are making more models and are pleased to confirm that further ‘skinhead’ Sulzer Type 2 have already been added to our production schedule. This really is no secret, having said as much to anyone who has enquired by telephone or e-mail. We have been bullish in our quantities but revealing these details sooner than planned will allow us to adjust figures even further upwards for a limited period to avoid disappointment. SLW is not a fan of early ‘reveals’ but it is has become a necessary consequence of our sales success and market forces. Livery artwork has been approved and samples awaited. Some detail is revealed below. Full information will appear in newsletters and on our webshop later this summer (ready for advance reservation) so as not to detract too much from the new Class 25. This format will allow us to publicise the new variants individually with the attention each deserves. The additional Class 24s will be well worth the wait - you will already be accustomed to our scale metal handrails and headcode discs as well as separately-fitted bogie pipe runs and roof panels. You can expect even more stunning refinements as part of our continuous improvement policy. Our ground-breaking twin-speaker DCC sound - widely described as the best there is – will take another step-up, to an even higher level. A taste of things to come... You certainly deserve some ‘tasters’ so you can at least forward-plan any potential purchases. After numerous requests (and ever-lengthening waiting lists) we are repeating some of our most popular colour schemes albeit with subtle variation. To the delight of many, early plain (lined) green will return, with locos from both the 1959 Derby Pilot Scheme (LMR/SR) and 1960 Darlington build (ER). The everyday BR green with small warning panels is also to be offered in the slightly simplified ‘economy’ colour scheme applied by Derby during the type’s first serious overhauls. This will livery offer will additionally incorporate a pair of Tyne Dock modified locos with all the relevant detail fittings applied ‘out of the box’! We have not forgotten BR corporate blue - a late TOPS machine (with Derby re-plated front ends and boiler water tanks) is also included on the list. Additionally, and following repeated calls, BR blue with front doors still in situ will fill one of our few remaining gaps in the range. We have no ETA yet (see below) but suffice to say most of the hard work has already been completed, so it is not as complex as our other projects. MIXING IT UP: We've done Class 24s in British Rail blue with five-digit numbers before but they are always selling out. This new version replicates one of the last to retain an operational steam heating boiler and therefore features the underslung water tank... allowing you to make use of the leaky steam and safety valve sound function! A not so nice problem to have All that sounds very positive but, unfortunately, we have to offer up a less jokey apology: We are not alone in now facing issues which are causing delays. The rapid ramping-up of manufacturing after the global lockdown has put a heavy burden on the supply chain and power supplies, even to the extent of factory power cuts. We just wanted to give you the 'heads up' that SLW are caught up in this. Our manufacturing set-up is small and heavily queued-up, exacerbating the problem. Inevitably, disruption results in every process taking longer than expected. We are doing our best to mitigate this but will avoid any temptation to cut-corners. Despite this optimism, Class 25 production has fallen behind schedule. This is why money is never taken up front. Most model production is centred in the same province, so you can expect these to be industry-wide issues. It also comes on top of recent dramatic raw material and transportation price increases, so don’t be surprised if you see slow output and price rises across the board Quality takes a little longer From recent discussions, some customers are still under the impression we are a mass-market operation! It is worth re-stating that SLW is focussed on quality and has no interest in becoming a big industry player. Despite being a ‘one man band’, our products are a league above those who don’t share our attitude to fidelity. We’re all about having fun with the detail and enjoying serious modelling. We don't judge ourselves on sales. With the above issues having come to the fore, it really is a case of good things will come to those who wait! So, thank you - in advance - for your patience and understanding. In light of this, the Class 24/1 ‘Highland’ progress newsletter will follow in a few weeks with some teaser pictures. The advanced reservation of Class 25s has continued (beyond all estimates) to the extent that a further blazing BR blue option will be added in the next few days. We will give you specific information, along with more model images soon, but keep your eyes peeled at at: www.railexclusive.com If you have questions, do not hesitate to call on 01780 470086. Happy Modelling! Philip & Jamie
  7. Not sure about the backscene...? Reading depot 7/4/76, 31421, 31322 and 1028 Western Hussar (photo: Brian Morrison)
  8. A lash-up with at Southall. Makeshift three-car parcels unit, No L341, 20 March 1976. DMBS W50860 + GUV + Class 121 single car. (Brian Morrison photo)
  9. Mint condition (ex-review) copy of Joe Brown London Rail Atlas. Postage £3.20 (UK) and suitable donation for the local church. Please message me if you're interested, otherwise it will be chucked!
  10. Irish Model Railways have just sent out an email with information about progress, plus this handy chart (yet another great innovation): "With the A Classes about 6/7 weeks away from production completion we have received some requests recently regarding which locos are about to sell out. "So, to help you plan strategically for your A Class purchases, we have drawn up this leader board to demonstrate what locos are about to sell out in the short term, and which ones are likely to be available for longer. As you can see below, A23r is the most endangered species at this moment."
  11. SLW has sent a mailing to customers today with more information about its forthcoming Tamworth Castle 25/3 model. The full text and pictures are below, for those who aren't on SLW's list. TAMWORTH CASTLE FINALE 30 years on... 30 years ago today, D7672 – the last operational BR Class 25 and a serial escapologist – worked its final train on the national network. The 1Z45 ‘Rat Requiem’, organised by the late John Farrow’s Hertfordshire Rail Tours, was billed as the final run for Tamworth Castle and took place on March 30th, 1991. Over 340 miles from Leeds to Holyhead and back with load 10 over the Pennines was no mean feat. The ‘Rat that refused to die’ eventually bowed out in style - the Sulzer Type 2, which had been turned out in superb condition by its Holbeck support team, performed faultlessly. LAST RUN: Tamworth Castle backs into Holyhead station ready to power the return leg of 1Z45, having made a quick trip to the fuelling point for a check-over. The headboard has been repositioned, bufferheads repainted and a wreath attached for the trip back to Yorkshire. © Photograph: Philip Sutton. Some fine, gutsy running was appreciated by all on board before we paid our last respects on arrival back at Leeds. TC – now showing • HO • in the blinds – hooked off and ran light to shed through the middle road with its horns blaring as the assembled crowd broke in spontaneous cheering and clapping… Watching those scenes again on YouTube still brings a lump to the throat. RETRO REPRODUCTION: The forthcoming SLW model of D7672 Tamworth Castle includes a reproduction of the final journey headboard and has the 1Z45 reporting number displaying in the headcode box. © Photograph: Philip Sutton. 'Ice Cream Van' transformation This Type 2’s survivor status had been cemented even before it gained notoriety as a training locomotive turned railtour celebrity. The 1967-vintage machine had already escaped three close shaves that could have easily seen it end up as razorblades! Withdrawn as No. 25322 at the end of January 1984, it ended up stored with others in the coal stage road at Tyseley. A lucky break came in the form of a motive power shortage combined with the Tamworth Rail Week. A group of apprentices, about to conclude their training, were tasked to select and resurrect a Class 25 which then became the obvious choice to form an exhibit at the event. No. 25322 was chosen and given a very significant unofficial overhaul! The work included a make-over in a distinctive but somewhat garish livery, based on large logo, and the first application of the Tamworth Castle name (as a nod to the depot’s GW heritage). Now repaired, re-instated and re-allocated to Bescot, it was quickly nicknamed the ‘Ice Cream Van’! The writing was on the wall for the remaining Class 25s by the second half of 1985. However, in November, No. 25322 was selected to become one of the 12-strong Class 25/9 sub-class and given a major exam. This fleet was to be the precursor of BR’s dedicated traction policy. Now identified as No. 25912, it managed to hold out right until the end of regular Class 25 operation, becoming the last of the type to work a revenue-earning freight on March 23rd, 1987, before moving to the storage roads in Crewe Basford Hall Yard. Saved to train again Incredibly, a third reprieve came just three weeks later. The Eastern Region Training Engineer had need for a locomotive at Holbeck, Leeds. It was a simple case of ‘last in, first out’ as No. 25912 was identified by BRB’s Freight Engineer as the ideal candidate, extracted from the scrapline and moved to West Yorkshire. Having not long been ‘switched-off’ and subsequently being used for traction theory and maintenance tuition, it was realised that making the loco fully operational again would be a logical step. Having secured the blessing of senior managers, a few local railway staff and enthusiastic volunteers set to restoring the Type 2 to running condition, including painting into two-tone green livery for the first time in its career. Completion of the exterior work and its official handover the training section was marked with an official naming at Holbeck using cast nameplates on April 24th, 1989. Back on the main line Having begged, borrowed and acquired replacement parts from all across the network, the opportunity to return to the mainline came on February 24th, 1990. TC was used to pilot the booked Class 47/4 on a Leeds–Carlisle and return working over the S&C as part of a series of special weekends to promote the line. Such was the success of this outing, the chance to earn further revenue for the railway was too good to miss. Thereafter, D7672 powered numerous charter trains and appeared at several open days, each with subtle changes made to its decoration. The HRT outing to Holyhead in March 1991 was advertised as, and turned out to be, the last run. On a newly-sectorised railway, a sponsoring business prepared to take responsibility for the loco just could not be found leading to final withdrawal. SAY CHEESE!: Whilst the lineside was packed with observers, those on board were given the chance to record their day out during a photo-stop at Bangor. During the 10-minute break, the Holbeck team were presented with a framed photograph by way of thanks from HRT. A bid to purchase the machine by John Farrow and base it on the NYMR did not succeed. © Photograph: Philip Sutton It would be great to know how many railwaymen learned their trade working on this loco! To the teams that got 25322/25912/D7672 back up and running time and time again - take a bow. Some are still on the railway, some help out on heritage lines, some are retired, some have passed away… wherever you are, thank you! Re-live the past with SLW Tamworth Castle forms an important introductory part of the new SLW Class 25 range and features in two identities as No. 25322 in its ‘Ice Cream Van’ guise and D7672 in pseudo-green, as used on charters in 1990s and during the first stages of preservation. The models feature bodyshells without headboard clips at the No. 2 end. The latter is also being supplied with a full suite of etched stainless steel nameplates, final journey headboard, worksplates and 55A (Holbeck) shedplates. Advance reservations can now be made on our webshop at: www.railexclusive.com or by telephone on 01780 470086. Tamworth Castle is sure to be popular so don’t hesitate too long…
  12. Another variation, which appeared to be totally random, is the shape of the cab roof and position/proximity of the rain strip under the headcode box. I understand that a number of moulds were made for the fibreglass cab roofs and that they weren't all totally identical, hence the subtle differences. And, that's before the optical illusions created when the yellow was extended to the rainstrips. Also, in some overhaul pictures in works taken in the late '70s and early '80s, some locos appear to have had brand new cab roof (due to leaks?). Extracts of 25245 and 25229 (above) show this...
  13. I think it was only the locos converted to air brakes that had the hinged grills. Not sure why they were fitted though?
  14. I'll just leave this here: Its dual braking equipment allowed 7591 to handle workings somewhat different from its intended duties. Here on August 19th 1971 7591 heads the 4V73 Edinburgh - Pengam freightliner on the ECML somewhere between Penmanshiel & Granthouse. Photograph Bill Jamieson
  15. Sutton's Locomotive Workshop (SLW) has announced that it is to produce a RTR 4mm model of the Class 25/1, available in OO, EM and P4. It follows its existing Class 24, and recently announced 25/3. Marking the 34th anniversary of the end of revenue-earning Class 25 work on BR, when the final operational trio (25059, 25904 and 25912) - pictured - were shunted to Basford Hall Yard and switched off on March 25 1987, the announcement has been warmly welcomed. SLW revealed that it has already started tooling, by showing an image of two versions - with nose-end doors, and the later plated-up version. No details of which locomotives will be offered has been announced, but SLW says it's made the announcement due to the amount of interest - and expectation - that its reveal earlier this month of its all-new 25/3 has generated. Given that it's a different loco and tooling from the 25/3 and 24, I thought this deserves a separate thread...
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