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rowanj

Trainspotting at Little Benton Sidings, Newcastle.

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Something a little different. My Suburbans are largely excellent but bog-standard RTR and I have always fancied some legitimate ex-NER stock. So here is the first on road-test, a D & S Dia 51 Brake 3rd..

The kits are out of production and, amazingly, I haven't found any descriptions of previous builds, Moreover, details of the prototype are also thin on the ground, so any help gratefully received.

I'm also going to resuscitate 3 Kirk ex-Lner kits to make an appropriate rake for Little Benton.

The loco is a short-bunkered J72 modified from a couple of Mainline bodies on a Mainly Trains chassis.

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Much to the disgust of local trainspotters, re-numbering has resulted in a G5 becoming 67341 of South Blyth, and a B1 is now "common as muck" 61014 ORIBI from Heaton or Tweedmouth.  The T1 from Tyne Dock may well be a "cop" but the chances of it ever having been to Little Benton in real life is improbable, to say the least. Plausible excuse? Gateshead Works had it for a casual repair, and sent it to Heaton Yard, who then used it to take an empty rake of cattle wagons to  Little Benton Sidings.  what rubbish...

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John you'll be telling me next that "Great Northern " never ran into Brum, cos it does on my layout ..

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This is a "work in progress" on what may become a short rake of ex NER and Ex-LNER Suburbans. I have a couple of Composites to build to match the Brake 3rd, which is now almost complete. By the %0's they had all been downgraded to 3rd Class.

 

The leading coach is a Kirk kit built longer ago than I care to remember, and has lain unloved in a box with 2 others for years. Flushed with "success", I'm going to have a go at renovating them, and have built ABS bogies for another wreck. I'll rebuild the underframe with MJT parts and see what happens.

 

There are often comments elsewhere about renumbering RTR locos, and I do this regularly. 42085 looks odd on this train, but it was on Tyneside in the 1950's, and actually worked Manors- Newbiggin trains, and I have a photo to prove it. Some of the 49ft coaches, of which the Brake 3rd is one, finished their lives on these trains, and so any renumbering of the loco, in this case, would be pointless. 

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DJH D20, amended to represent a loco at the end of it's life, emerges from under Little Benton Farm Bridge with the D&S Brake 3rd. I've also enclosed a prototype photo of D20 at the same spot, though taken from the West, which I cant replicate.

The B1 and Hornby Non-Corridors, by contrast, are all RTR, though the B1 has been re-named/numbered. In due course, I hope to be able to mix-and-match these to make more interesting rakes.

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The loft may be amongst the safest place in Britain at the moment, so I played trains this afternoon. 60020 is in typically scruffy condition, as it passes LB South on an Edinburgh-Newcastle parcels. The J39 has been shunted into the sidings to let it pass, Both locos are GBL bodies on RTR chassis. I must do something with the Parcels stock- other than a Parkside CCT and an ancient, but much loved Wrenn van, re-painted 40 years or more ago, the rest is all RTR out of the box, I would like something more authentic and will try to source some appropriate kit to occupy the next 12 weeks..

 

Progress can also be seen on the next ex-NER coach to be built. It is attached to a Kirk Gresley, which I'm trying to upgrade using MJT parts, but it will never be a silk purse.

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I built a few Kirk Suburbans years ago, but was never happy with them. When Hornby introduced their excellent coaches, most of the kits were consigned to a drawer. I intend to replace the gubbins on a few of the better -built coaches with MJT parts and this is the test-running of the first one, All new underframe fittings and bogies, new aluminium roof and vents, new buffers, and a modest touch-up of the paintwork on the body. This  model had no interior, so I've made a representation of the basic compartment and seating arrangement. There is an 1st Class on the next-to-do list, which will be changed to represent the downgrade which BR implemented to either 2nd or Composite in the 50's.

The loco is an early version of a Dave Alexander J21, one of the first kits I built after returning to the hobby 30 or so years ago. It is supposedly taking an ECL back to Newcastle, the stock having been used on a Morpeth stopper in the evening rush hour.

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Some time spent on the layout produced mixed results. An A2 "failed" when the con rod retaining pin came out, which means a trip to Works and a fairly fiddly repair. However the lads on the fence probably couldn't believe their luck when a 34E 9F came through on a rake of cattle wagons.

 

I never saw a 9F at Little Benton, though there are occasional reports in Railway Observer of visits up the ECML to Waverley, usually on Parcels. But it does no harm to run the occasional stranger. The loco is a GBL ex-Evening Star, with the tender body from a GBL 76xxx, on a Hornby loco-drive chassis. The wagons are a mix of Bachmann RTR, Parkside LNER and Coopercraft GWR, so are, therefore, pretty hopeless as far as authenticity goes. Even the LNER ones were all gone by BR days, One of these days, I'll do something about it. But from a distance, I think they look OK.

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Gateshead's Class 25/1 D5180 takes an empty rake of BP wagons into the storage sidings, clearing the way for Haymarket's "Hornets Beauty" to race through before slowing for the approaches to Central. The valve gear was easier to fix than I'd expected -thought I may have to dismantle one side, but managed to squeeze the soldering iron in. I seem to have lost a front step, however. Anyway, 64B was happy enough to roster it on an Edinburgh- Newcastle relief. The leading pair of coaches are Bachmann with Comet sides and roof altered a la mode de Tony Wright.

A good friend on RMWeb today posted some photos of signals around his layouts location, Water Orton , which is somewhere in the Midlands! in all seriousness, his thread is well worth a visit. Coincidentally, I came across a couple of photos of Little Benton which appear to show a short signal post on what I had always believed was a simple home/distant, and which I built as such. I only have 1 photo I can post which seems to show this, and I'd be interested to know what it protects, 

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Thanks for the plug John....the usual ten per cent fee?

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1 hour ago, 46256 said:

Thanks for the plug John....the usual ten per cent fee?

Yes, but only by Contactless.

 

Say safe, everyone,

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Posted (edited)

This photo could just about have happened in real life, but no later than the early 50's. The ex-NER carriages have just about had it, and the breakers yard is not too far away. The Gresley all 3rd is probably a more comfortable ride, and the loco is a genuine ex-NER A8. Even the loco is time-limited, as most had the slimmer boiler by BR days, and certainly by the mid 50's. The DJH kit only offers the original fat boiler, and a short smokebox, which should be extended quite noticeably for the BR era.

 

The NER coaches are D&S kits, the Gresley is Kirk with MJT details, especially bogies, underframe and roof. the loco is modified DJH. The Gresley coach towers above the NER stock, and I was a bit concerned about this, but it actually matches the ride height of the Hornby RTR. Photos do confirm there was a difference in real life, presumably as a consequence of the loading gauge in force when the coaches were built in 1900.

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Edited by rowanj
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A good friend of mine is in the process of modifying the GBL LMS Ivatt  to the BR 84xxx version. I did mine some time ago, fitting it to a Bachmann chassis. Only 1 loco was in the NER, and even then in Humberside, so the spotters had no chance of seeing it on Tyneside, never mind at Little Benton. It hardly ever (never) gets a run, but as I wanted to test the running of a Kirk kit I'm busy improving with MJT parts, I dug it out. The loco runs, albeit a bit jerkily, so I may see if oiling and cleaning improves matters. Brian is fitting his own chassis, which I think is a much better option.

The coach, incidentally, is fitted with Isinglass 3D printed bogies, as an experiment, and seems to run flawlessly. They are very competitively priced, and I'm going to try the Fox version on an ex-NER Clerestory in the "to do" pile.

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Posted (edited)

The relief "Meat and Fish" which ran between Tweedmouth and Newcastle has been brought into Little Benton Sidings by a Heaton J77 (Dave Alexander kit), Depending when the next relief is needed , the stock will remain here until another train comes to Tyneside, when they will merge to go back North, or else will probably be sent home with a mixed goods. All the wagons are Parkside kits.

The BP wagons are Bachmann and Mainline o various vintages and have been re-painted and lettered with Modelmaster transfers,

The non-corridor stock is my pair of D&S ex-NER coaches, with 2 renovated Kirk Gresley's, which look and run much better with the MJT parts. on one, the all-1st, I used Isinglass 3D printed Gresley bogies, and they are excellent.

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Edited by rowanj
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As the chassis of an ancient NuCast G5 kit, building of which during lockdown seemed a good idea at the time, is continuing to give me grief, I thought I'd run a few trains for therapy.

LRM 's N8 wheels another LOCO Coal to who knows where.,,.Blyth perhaps. I must get another of these and build it as an N9.

64B's sole A2/3, Honeyway is a DJH kit, and it seems right at home on a Blue Spot Fast Fish from Aberdeen. This was the first Pacific I (successfully) built, so is run more often than most.

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Though I love to build and run the D20's, G5's and A8's of this world, this, to be honest, is more like how I remember Little Benton. The Class 40 has just arrived at Gateshead, and has a fitted freight from Edinburgh, whilst the Derby Lightweight is on a local to Morpeth.

The V2 is on a York- Edinburgh Special, so it must be a Summer Saturday. As the band on the firebox has been lined, it must have been to Darlington Works fairly recently.

But as I'm in lockdown, I have more time to build stuff which has lain around, in some cases for a few years. The NuCast G5 is a case in point, and it has now got to the stage where I have it running, and It's now at the detailing stage.

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It's obviously a Summer Saturday, as York has provided a D49, "Berkshire" for a Rowntrees Staff Excursion to Berwick and the Borders. These were quite common, and York was often stretched to find stock, and so has resorted to an LMS rake.

The loco is a modified Hornby Hunt, with an ex-GC tender body from the GBL D11. If I remember correctly, I used an article Tony Wright did for BRM.

In the meantime, normal life goes on, and an ancient Mainline J72, modified to represent a vacuum fitted version and with added detail, brings in a short rake of empty wagons from Heaton to be stored in the sidings.

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Posted (edited)

The Summer Saturday continues, as the SO Craigendoran-Leicester passes behind 60002. Usually, this would be a 64B turn, but an opportunity has been taken to get a 52A loco and crew back to Tyneside, Well...that's my excuse.

 

Discovering the existence of this train is really just an excuse to run my LMS rake, which is really a bit of a hotch-potch of stock. All are Comet sides on Airfix donors- the coach in the picture a CK, but I cant remember the diagram.

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Edited by rowanj
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Starting to look a little care-worn, J27 65813 takes a load of coal from the Backworth Complex to Stella North Power Station. the loco is a Dave Alexander kit, and the signal box scratch-built ( and looks it in this photo). The signal shows, as usual, only the Home pulled off for this train. Seeing the Distant pulled almost always meant an Express passenger and therefore a source of great excitement amongst we kids.

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Posted (edited)

This is a NuCast G5 which I have been fighting with over the last few weeks, now on its' first service run. The rake is, in order, a Kirk Gresley all-third, a Kirk Gresley all 1st, an ex-Ner composite (downgraded to 3rd, and ex-NER 4 compartment Brake., both from D&S kits. The Kirks have been upgraded using MJT parts.

The time machine must have whipped us back to the early 1950's, and has caught an early-morning Newbiggin or Blyth train heading for Central via the ECML rather than the more usual route to Manors North. The ex-NER coaches had almost all gone by 1951, and this was their final stamping ground,

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Edited by rowanj
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Classic ex-NER in BR days at Little Benton North. The G5 is now in service, (though the temporarily fitted cab roof seems to have become askew). I would need some persuasion to go through another NuCast G5 build again. It heads North , probably on a Morpeth stopper. The A8 has, highly improbably, been rostered on a train from Alnwick, while the modified Bachmann J72 shunts the sidings, including the D&S Birdcage Brake.

For all the faults and dodgy modelling, this is the sort of sight I always had in mind when re-creating the scene of my childhood spotting.

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During Lockdown, I decided to try one of the Isinglass 3D coach kits, and enjoyed the rather different challenge. The construction is described on my build thread. The Dia 246 is the lead coach, behind the V3, on an otherwise rake of Hornby Gresley's.  The train is a special, conveying students to Tyne Commission Quay for a Fred Olsen Oslo Ferry, 

 

Meanwhile 60023 has a fully-fitted freight. Gateshead tended to use A1's on its' top-link turns, so an A4 is not such an unusual occurrence. Indeed, turns ostensibly rostered for an A4 very often saw an A1 instead. Quite why the apathy is not readily understood.

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I think the Bachmann WD is amongst the best RTR, and I have a couple of re-numbered examples. The locos were often seen on rakes of hoppers in the North east, though largely south of the Tyne, so the spotters probably has a "cop" here, as a load heads north, probably from one of the Stella Power Stations, Really, the rake should be empties, if it is heading north, i.e back into the Northumberland Coalfield.

 

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Posted (edited)

Bachmman wd totally agree John ,  couldn't believe at the time we were going to get a RTR example. I do recall though it topped a modellers poll a number of years running.

Edited by 46256

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It must be early 1950's. as a rake of vintage Ex-NER coaches have been pressed into service on either a relief workmans train, or a Race Special from Killingworth. The train has been put into the sidings to allow an Express to pass, and now heads to Central.

The coaches are all kit-built, the Clerestory brake from Worsley Works, and the last pair from D&S. They are all in a form of LNER Brown (not teak) and are intended to reflect various shades according to when last painted. They are all far too clean, and at some stage will be weathered, when I pluck up the courage- it's not something I am very good at.

The loco is my DJH A8.

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