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28XX

Imaginary Locomotives

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It has struck me that there is a significant disconnect between the behaviour of modellers towards rolling stock when compared with the places we model.

 

Many people go to great lengths to ensure that every detail of their engines is historically correct, then cheerfully place them in a ficticious piece of geography.

 

If we allow ourselves to create an imaginary world, then surely we should imagine also that the railway companies built additional stock to serve the line, because all the real vehicles were busy serving the real world.

 

I am not necessarily advocating freelance designs but, rather as we adopt characteristic architectural styles and standard buildings, we could postulate extra members of real locomotive classes. If the traffic demands it, we could also propose variants or sub classes of real designs.

 

Discuss....

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If we allow ourselves to create an imaginary world, then surely we should imagine also that the railway companies built additional stock to serve the line, because all the real vehicles were busy serving the real world.

I see the logic to some extent, but it doesnt completely follow. Increased traffic demands weren't necessarily always catered for in such a linear fashion as a directly corresponding new build, but sometimes by bringing locos out of store or sanctioning additional overhauls on those that might have been otherwise life expired. Or, we could just constrain ourselves to modelling locos that did exist, whilst assuming that the chimeras worked the parts of the system we arent modellingwink.gif

One thing I dont get too hung up about is getting allocations spot on; if a class was one that was legitimately used in 'my' area, it follows that the effect of 'my' line on overall traffic demands could have led to individual members of it being allocated otherwise than was actually the case

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Unless one is playing trains and running whetever takes their fancy (and I'm in no way a critic of this), once a modeller decides to construct a model of a railway then all sorts of things kick in. Architecture of the company that built the line for a start, and of course scenery. Even though a loco shed may be 'off stage', it is important to considers its function.

 

A Motive Power Depot was a garage and servicing area for locomotives needed to work the principal passenger and goods services that the shed was responsible for. Straight away this dictates which type of locos would work on your layout, but of course there is also scope for visitors and foreighers for other sheds and districts.

 

The types of freight worked in your chosen area determines the types of wagons that would feature in greater numbers than others. Same goes for passenger workings.

 

Regardless of scale, gauge, electronics, steam or modern image, a successful layout should tell the visitor whereabouts in the country it is located by its brickwork/stonework and scenery, and the origins of the line by its architecture, locomotives and coaches, plus the nature of its principal traffic.

 

By all means create an imaginarry world, but it still lies somewhere in Britain (probably) and not on another planet.

Larry

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There have been plenty of models of 'might have been' locos, i.e. those that prototype railways had proposed but never built.

 

On one of the best British-outline narrow-gauge layouts I've seen, all the locos followed that principle (for instance, there was a 4-4-0T proposed by Hunslet for the L&B). That actually had the effect of making the layout look *more* believable, since it didn't feature NG locos the viewer would immediately associate with another line.

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I feel that it would be perfectly legitimate to "imagineer" locos/rolling stock based upon actual real designs if one so wished!

I have heard of 'redgate models' idea of building the BR standard 2-8-2 (which the 9F nearly was!) and there have been others, notably GWR pacifics and even a GWR 2-10-2T along with C-C 'super Hymek's and so on.

Why not, if one has the skill to build such a model and make it look realistic and/or feasable, IMHO go for it! I don't think a sci-fi version of a Duchess or an A4 would be very 'realistic' but how about a 4-8-2 version of a Duchess or A4? A 2-8-4T version of the Stanier etc 6 coupled tank would be a most impressive machine!

Or, how about a 12 wheeled BR mark 1 restuarant or sleeper?

A Co-Co version of the HST was i believe, discussed in railway circles in the eighties, how about a Co-Co version of a class 86 or 87?

Cheers,

John E.

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Ahem. From the OP:

 

I am not necessarily advocating freelance designs but ... extra members of real locomotive classes..

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The answer may lie in the reasons folk choose imaginary locations. Some layouts are just generic backgrounds to their locomotives, suiting the individual's taste. If one was to pick generic locomotives and drop them onto generic layouts, well it seems to lose all connection to reality. :unsure:

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Well we are on the "What if" trail again. One I will throw in for discusion in the USATC S160.

 

What if say the GWR had purchased 50 or so in 1945/6

 

Modified, much as the ex ROD locos had been, I see no reason why these could not have worked on main and secondry lines.

 

With, of course, a Copper capped Chimney.

 

70022

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The late Don Jones of Don's Miniature New Street fame and this parish, used to have a fleet that was numbered in sequence from the first available number of a given class. Hence he had 50051 and 87036 etc. They were also named after his friends, with decent etched 'plates. I don't actually believe our Jim S-W has taken the fleet on for his contrasting miniature New St wink.gif

 

I have been tempted more than once to name a Hymek 'CHARD' after the West Country of the same name, and have it in TOPS as 35033 (vice 34033 was it?). If I ever run a fictitious 'what if' on Teviotbank, it will be set in the eighties when split-box 37s in Big Livery were de rigeur, and then I'll definitely have some choice names on them, Riccarton Outward Bound, Master Neverer and Paul Riley being but three....

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Take a look at the RCTS Green Books and you will find enough designs to last a life time of modelling. Forget about recreating Gresley's lost masterpiece. Start building, if only in model form , all those designs that never left the drawing board. I am sure that other companies had a similar hoard of never built projects. At least there are the never built standards that Redgate is atempting to bring to life.

Bernard

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How about designing your own things completely? I, for one, have been inventing stock from the black country railway industries workshop, so that we're able to run the railways upon declaration of our independence. such as the bcri type one 2-6-0 and the sixty foot standard push pull coach. Why bnother with what ifs? just design something entirely your own!

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Start building, if only in model form , all those designs that never left the drawing board. I am sure that other companies had a similar hoard of never built projects.

 

Indeed, the Southern Beyer Garrett is on my list. :)

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Indeed, the Southern Beyer Garrett is on my list. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

 

What about these Western beauties?:

 

http://users.powernet.co.uk/hamilton/bgpix/gwr280-082.jpg

 

http://users.powernet.co.uk/hamilton/bgpix/gwr460-064.jpg

 

I have been looking into a couple of 2-6-0s for "Isla Street" similar to the MSWJR but less "Swindony".

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I am not necessarily advocating freelance designs but, rather as we adopt characteristic architectural styles and standard buildings, we could postulate extra members of real locomotive classes. If the traffic demands it, we could also propose variants or sub classes of real designs.

 

 

I remember an article to just this effect in Model Railways sometime in the late 70s/early 80s. The author was modelling an Austrian narrow gauge line and couldn't find enough photos to produce an accurate model of a specific prototype, so gave their model a fictitious number (to run on their fictitious line). The article then went on to speculate that if all the GWR branchlines being modelled at the time had actually existed in real life, the GWR would have needed a lot more 45xx/4575s and Autotanks...

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It's not as ambitious as building a complete new fictitious loco, but I have a class 03 with the number 03254 and a class 04 with 04019. I keep meaning to get and repaint/renumber a class 15 and 17 with TOPS numbers, and I rather like the idea of Hattons' forthcoming class 14 in Loadhaul livery.

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Indeed, the Southern Beyer Garrett is on my list. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

 

 

 

Having studied welding design at one time, a field in which the name of a certain Mr Bullied cropped up, I wonder what he would have produced if he had continued as the CME of an independant Southern Railway to say around 1954.

Bernard

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US modellers have been at this sort of thing for years. Given the enormous number of railroads that have operated in that continent, adding one of your own devising is hardly likely to cause disturbances. Thus a number of the most feted and successful of US model empires have featured imagined companies. Two that come to mind are W.Allen McClelland's Virginian & Ohio, and Tony Koester's Allegheny Midland. Each identified very closely with a particular area of the US, reflecting topography and traffic from that region, and was scenicked accordingly. Locomotive liveries - steam and diesel - were intended to be "typical" in design, reflecting the era of the model's assumed prototype. Freight cars were - just as would be the case in the UK - a mixture of "fictional home road" lettered cars, and faithful models of actual prototypes from surrounding railroads, the ones with which the fictional road "would" interchange traffic.

 

Unquestionably this is tougher to do in the UK, although the proliferation of TOCs has helped a little. Tougher still in the steam era. Needs some careful thinking through, perhaps.

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Oldddudders :

......Each identified very closely with a particular area of the US, reflecting topography and traffic from that region, and was scenicked accordingly.
This is very close to my own thinking. Within this structure one could still introduce 'locos that never were' provided they fitted in with the rest of the loco fleet as regards livery. Or one could pretend the railway were never nationalised and model one of the Big Four companies as one thinks it might have developed in the 1950s and so on. But the topography and architecure wouldn't change although the nature of the traffic might.

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If you model the 19th century then the US idea of having your own company is a lot more plausible and can be taken a stage further. Pretty much every individual line was built by a (nominally) independant company and had their own designs of stock. So if you are building a made up line you pretty much need a made up company and to design your stock, whether from one of the commercial builders or your own works. Another possibily is that freight was handled by your company and passenger services provided by a bigger (real) company.

If you take this idea forward in time, your company could have been absorbed and the locos rebuilt in the new owner's works, I'm thinking of the way many south Wales locos were Swindonised, but there are many other examples.

I think most people shy away from this because it opens up the options too much. There's often too many real things we want to model to ever get them all in one lifetime, without broadening the scope.

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Indeed, the Southern Beyer Garrett is on my list. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

Can you/anyone please advise on the Southern Beyer Garratt? I met a chap a few years ago in Kirkwall who said he was building one, but all I can find on t'net under 'southern' is one that hails from South America. Thanks in anticipation, Brian.

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US modellers have been at this sort of thing for years. Given the enormous number of railroads that have operated in that continent, adding one of your own devising is hardly likely to cause disturbances. Thus a number of the most feted and successful of US model empires have featured imagined companies. Two that come to mind are W.Allen McClelland's Virginian & Ohio, and Tony Koester's Allegheny Midland. Each identified very closely with a particular area of the US, reflecting topography and traffic from that region, and was scenicked accordingly. Locomotive liveries - steam and diesel - were intended to be "typical" in design, reflecting the era of the model's assumed prototype. Freight cars were - just as would be the case in the UK - a mixture of "fictional home road" lettered cars, and faithful models of actual prototypes from surrounding railroads, the ones with which the fictional road "would" interchange traffic.

 

Unquestionably this is tougher to do in the UK, although the proliferation of TOCs has helped a little. Tougher still in the steam era. Needs some careful thinking through, perhaps.

 

There is a guy on TrainOrders,com who does exactly this. His username is < georgiaroad > and he models two fictional companies "The Alabama Midland RR" and the "Georgia Road" He also has his own loco rebuilding works called "Stephens Railcar" who do loco modification/rebuilds for fictional loco classes. His posts have some superb artwork for his fictional road schemes. I think he also has a Yahoo group. Not sure if you can do a site search without being a member, but my search pulled up a load of posts

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Can you/anyone please advise on the Southern Beyer Garratt? I met a chap a few years ago in Kirkwall who said he was building one, but all I can find on t'net under 'southern' is one that hails from South America. Thanks in anticipation, Brian.

 

Hi Brian, all I have is the brief description and basic drawing in the RCTS Locomotives of the Southern Railway Vol 1. When I'm in a situation to take it further, I intend to appeal on the SEMG forum to see if anyone has further details. I'll also post the CAD I'm working up, as and when I finish it off.

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Guest Phil

I think "what might have been" is an important part of a railway modeller's constitution, and serves to lighten up what can sometimes be a serious world. The key to it though is for the scenario to be believable

 

One of my "wmhb"s is to assume the following ;

 

Palethorpes didn't move to Market Drayton in 1967 but remained in Tipton.

 

British Railways retained Sedgeley Jn SB and the chord line to Dudley Port HL for another 7 years.

 

The 1964 trackplan therefore remained intact into the early 1970s.

 

Palethorpes continued to despatch products by rail into the very late 1960s.

 

The LMS and GW six wheel vans were withdrawn in 1965 but were replaced by a fleet of specially designed side door insulated mini containers carrying the new pink and white Palethorpes livery. These were loaded at the factory and conveyed on the equivalent of mechanical horse and trailer, then motor lorry to the Palethorpes platform to be loaded onto Conflats.

 

A BR owned Coles crane was stationed at the siding for this purpose.

 

At selected destinations the containers were opened like vanfits for the products to be unloaded, then returned empty to Tipton.

 

 

 

 

The sky is the limit on "wmhb"s though.

 

Frinstance

 

What if NBL had built a larger number of D600s and they survived long enough to run in the 1970s with Mk2 PVs.

 

A far more modern what if (and of no appeal to me !!)

EWS were originally purchasing 280 class 66s - the last thirty with ETS for passenger work. How about a 100 mph capable class 66/4 ?

 

No ? ok - I didn't think so !!!

 

Well go to the Railfreight era then - how about chopping your old Hornby into an 88 then, or the proposed 4 wheel class 18 or bogie class 38 ?

 

 

 

I know the OP refers possibly to more of the same but the imagination is a wonderful tool.

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In Model Rail 142 (April 2010) there was an interesting article on this subject (page 46) detailing one modellers exploration of a never made/conceived class, namely a Class 208 DMU. It looks so good and plausible that I might be tempted to blatently plagarise his idea and make a copy for myself to run on my layout when it is finished.

 

Kev

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