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BR Mark 1 OLE project


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From memories of my Triang/Hornby Electra whizzing under the robust and very heavily unreal OHE at the time I still remember turning the lights off in the lounge and watching the genuine sparks fly as the Loco raced around the oval and the pan jumped on the jointed wires....that’s all I needed back then, now it’s different I have collected a lot of Dapol OHLE single masts and wires from their recent sales, the stuff was at a third of the price mostly so I just bulk bought......sort of the model railway enthusiasts version of pandemic panic buying :lol:

 

But I am still going to need the double track spans which have been promised and not yet materialised from either Dapol or PECO (and have a feeling they never will).......so yes I am in the market for half a dozen double track mast assemblies as I am well past being able (or having the patience) to assemble from lengths of brass rod/section/tube.

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Forgive me if this post fumbles across a few subjects and I'm sure the owner of the videos will excuse me sharing them but if you wish as I do, to model the southern part of the WCML from the 60s onward this thread is quite essential, no equipment, no trains!

 

Obviously the main focus here is the OHLE to allow some of the great new ACs available to sit under, and from the videos I think it emphasises a couple of points. It shows just how long a period these locos and rolling stock were around, in a myriad of liveries but we are talking 20, 30, 40 years and more for some of the traction seen in these videos. This is a huge period of time for modellers of my age to gain interest and who want to focus on this part of the country but really until now we have been unable to properly represent it by only being served up the odd AC loco. Bachmanns Class 85 was the game changer for me.

 

These films also show that if you are interested in running any early AC loco, 85,86,87 from the 60s until 2002 we really need an AM10 Class 310 which was ubiquitous in the area for nearly 30 years. The Catenary is catching up, and now nearly all the necessary locos and rolling stock are available to be prototypical of these videos, apart from our beloved 310 and I'm reluctant to start until I know for sure I can get a few. Maybe a long wait!

 

 

 

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RTR units would always be helpful to model the line, but kits are available.

310 kits are made by Southern Pride models.

For later modellers, Bratchell does a 317 kit, but this needs modification to turn it from a 317/2 to a 317/1. Bratchell also does a 321 kit, which is perfect for post-89 to 2007.

 

Unless modelling somewhere like Euston or New Street, you wouldn't actually need that many. Apart from the eras of livery transition, all the units looked the same so 310062 trundling back & forth would not look at all obvious, unlike a named loco, like for example, 87008 City of Liverpool.

2-3 units should be enough to run a layout. If kit building is not for you, then commissioning somebody to build one is a possibility.

 

I have given myself a slightly harder task than you. I wanted to model a real location on the WCML & the only place I found suitable was South Hamsptead, which also has the Watford DC lines. Not only does this make the layout wider but I also need a class 313 to fit my chosen era.

For me, 317s & a 313 were challenges of building such a layout but I have many more challenges before getting to those.

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3 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

RTR units would always be helpful to model the line, but kits are available.

310 kits are made by Southern Pride models.

For later modellers, Bratchell does a 317 kit, but this needs modification to turn it from a 317/2 to a 317/1. Bratchell also does a 321 kit, which is perfect for post-89 to 2007.

 

Unless modelling somewhere like Euston or New Street, you wouldn't actually need that many. Apart from the eras of livery transition, all the units looked the same so 310062 trundling back & forth would not look at all obvious, unlike a named loco, like for example, 87008 City of Liverpool.

2-3 units should be enough to run a layout. If kit building is not for you, then commissioning somebody to build one is a possibility.

 

I have given myself a slightly harder task than you. I wanted to model a real location on the WCML & the only place I found suitable was South Hamsptead, which also has the Watford DC lines. Not only does this make the layout wider but I also need a class 313 to fit my chosen era.

For me, 317s & a 313 were challenges of building such a layout but I have many more challenges before getting to those.

Yes, I've had my eye on the Southern Pride option for some time now, but it does appear from all I have read that its not that easy to get hold of let alone get one running! The promising news is that Britannia Pacific are planning a 312 sometime in the future so if an RTR version does not appear within a year or two, I will have to look to any option I can, hopefully I can twist their arm to make a few 310s.

 

I live on a small island in SE Asia so although serious detailing is possible I'm a little reluctant to go for the full scratch building of locos in case of missing parts!

 

Personally, I can't see how its possible to accurately model a section of the WCML from Euston to Birmingham from 1965-1990 without one, that's one of the busiest lines in the UK for with no way of truly representing it for a quarter of a century!

 

I lived in the Northampton area around this period and they were everywhere and for what I plan I would need at least three units probably a 4 car unit plus a 4+4 so I'm stuck.

 

Well, I'm determined to make this project happen and so I really wish you all the luck with your Watford DC plan as it sounds even more challenging!

 

Here's an example of Britannias rather good looking 304


 

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4 minutes ago, InterCitySpud said:

 

Personally, I can't see how its possible to accurately model a section of the WCML from Euston to Birmingham from 1965-1990 without one, that's one of the busiest lines in the UK for with no way of truly representing it for a quarter of a century!

 

 

I agree. You couldn't do the more interesting parts. You could do the direct route between Roade & Rugby because all the slower stuff went via Northampton, but this also includes freight so would lose a lot of the interest.

I think the 310s came off south of Northampton 1987 when 317s were released from the MML after 319s were introduced. The 317s did not last very long, soon being replaced by 321s. My earliest memories of the WCML were when the 317s were running.

 

5 minutes ago, InterCitySpud said:

 

Well, I'm determined to make this project happen and so I really wish you all the luck with your Watford DC plan as it sounds even more challenging!

 

 

I am finding it challenging, but rewarding when I get things right. I thought I may find it limiting to copy a prototype, but I really enjoy this part of it. I am building it as it was c1940 right now & will do it c1990 at a later date.

I wanted to do it it 2 eras & chose this one first because I had enough to do without OLE! There should be a link to my layout thread in my signature. It is not very long because I only update it occasionally.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting to see in those old clips that even in the early days of 310 electric services, the 304s found their way onto the southern stretch of the WCML.

They would have been running along side 310s in the Birmingham/Coventry/Rugby area daily. I've even seen a couple of shots of the two classes working in multiple! 

This was the case even into the 1990s after the 321s and 323s had come in. Though the remaining 304s didn't have long left by then. A few had received Regional Livery, as had the 310s.

Some 305s and 309s spent their final years working out of Manchester along side the newer 323s.

I've also seen some footage of 303s working between Manchester and Crewe in the late 80's!

There are so many different classes and liveries of unit you could potentially model for the WCML it would be difficult to cover all of them.

But who knows, perhaps at some point Bachmann might work their way backwards from the 350...?    :rolleyes:

 

RE the OLE options, I'm going to look into setting up a poll to asses which specific products (masts, portals, etc.) would prove the most popular then I'll at least have an idea on where to focus my efforts.   The one thing about the WCML that makes it so interesting is the very same thing that makes it so difficult to model - The range and diversity of it all (including the units!).

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by NorthenElectric91
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14 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

RTR units would always be helpful to model the line, but kits are available.

310 kits are made by Southern Pride models.

For later modellers, Bratchell does a 317 kit, but this needs modification to turn it from a 317/2 to a 317/1. Bratchell also does a 321 kit, which is perfect for post-89 to 2007.

 

Pete, do you happen to know whether Southern Pride still do the 310? The reference to 'made to order' has been crossed out and as I can't see them keeping the etches in stock, I am wondering if that's been discontinued- whether temporary due to this National curtailment of freedom or whether permanent.

 

I did email to ask, but got no reply.

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3 hours ago, NorthenElectric91 said:

Interesting to see in those old clips that even in the early days of 310 electric services, the 304s found their way onto the southern stretch of the WCML.

They would have been running along side 310s in the Birmingham/Coventry/Rugby area daily. I've even seen a couple of shots of the two classes working in multiple! 

This was the case even into the 1990s after the 321s and 323s had come in. Though the remaining 304s didn't have long left by then. A few had received Regional Livery, as had the 310s.

Some 305s and 309s spent their final years working out of Manchester along side the newer 323s.

I've also seen some footage of 303s working between Manchester and Crewe in the late 80's!

There are so many different classes and liveries of unit you could potentially model for the WCML it would be difficult to cover all of them.

But who knows, perhaps at some point Bachmann might work their way backwards from the 350...?    :rolleyes:

 

RE the OLE options, I'm going to look into setting up a poll to asses which specific products (masts, portals, etc.) would prove the most popular then I'll at least have an idea on where to focus my efforts.   The one thing about the WCML that makes it so interesting is the very same thing that makes it so difficult to model - The range and diversity of it all (including the units!).

 

 

 

 

 

In the 80s it was certainly a very rare event to see a 304 south of Rugby, they also often worked the stopping services up the Trent valley but yes you're right, they were mostly concentrated around the Birmingham area.

 

I do remember however, back in 1986 close to midnight, running down the steps onto platform 1a at Birmingham New Street for the last service home, all stations to Northampton and being confronted not by my usual 310 but a 304. Knowing them a little from trips to Bescot, I decided on the old First Class compartments which by then were declassified although they still had the deep black horse hair seats. Totally knackered but still like an old sofa to lie on for the journey home. The train was empty of course and I couldn't sleep anyway for the novelty of that bumpy 304 ride home!  That's the only ever time I saw one at Northampton. I digress again, but that's why I love this period of time and so much want to recreate it!

 

With regards to OHLE what you see in the videos is what I wish to create. My layout plan is a large scale mile oval with a long section of double track for which single masts are fine but the station approach and area will need a variety of multi span portals. I will have around 25 feet of both station and open countryside to model so it will need some masts but as I mentioned (for my sanity) I've already decided to sacrifice including the wires.

 

My plan is to open the often talked about and indeed campaigned for Northampton Parkway station on the main line. Sites suggested for this were the reopening of stations at Roade or Blisworth. I've plumped for the latter but moving it the other side of the A43 for traffic reasons! (You can see Station Road on the map)

Having two bay platforms and hourly stopping services to Euston, I'm gonna need those 310s although that 304 looks very tempting for an occasional visitor!

Screenshot_2020-12-30 Blisworth Map United Kingdom Google Satellite Maps.png

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8 hours ago, Derekstuart said:

Pete, do you happen to know whether Southern Pride still do the 310? The reference to 'made to order' has been crossed out and as I can't see them keeping the etches in stock, I am wondering if that's been discontinued- whether temporary due to this National curtailment of freedom or whether permanent.

 

I did email to ask, but got no reply.

 

I have never bought any Southern Pride products or know anything further about them. I just remember seeing 310/312 units on their website.

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1 hour ago, njee20 said:

I’m all for a bit of topic wandering, but if you want to discuss the available of mk1 EMUs can that go elsewhere...?

Thank you Mr Moderator, but one question.

 

Surely OLE and EMUs go together? 

 

But what would I know.

 

1927984980_25kvmk1cantileveroverlapround1rm.png.e007b3e02505312b1db536c8a5653f06.png

1233392352_25kvmk1cantileveroverlapround2isorm.png.5a38fe195ff58544b209ecd9ddd79144.png

1460506206_25Kvmk1boostertwintrackroundrm.png.65b57357d4a63259c01f6cc0849a2fce.png

1924203806_25kvmk1cantileveroverlapround3isorm.png.71653d4315513cd0158aded08e0410ce.png

217420195_25kvmk1overlapmast4rm.png.ecd698021eb62d7753c6ed75542663ab.png

012a.jpg.e255b25adcd218c6c4579b53b52d8713.jpg

Class AM8 and AM7

 

008a.jpg.c4858a0c78f018adc7a1db7e51c41614.jpg

Class AM5 3car

 

011a.jpg.314c99da5c05ebaf934694a61a7906c2.jpg

Class AM2

 

100_4621a.jpg.822f61db5f9c6718ec86bae08a0dfde0.jpg

Class AM4

 

100_4623a.jpg.a18df2496087a5c36022fd89939b6759.jpg

Class AM9

 

Guess what?  My present layout don't 'ave knitting or electric bog carts.

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I’m well aware of your contributions, the drawings are very helpful, and relevant here. Of course EMUs go with OHLE, so should we just stick photos of them in this thread? We could discuss the Revolution 92 as well. We’ve moved to a discussion about Southern Pride’s availability.

 

I’m all for threads wandering - but this turned into a small number of members debating a specific issue which would have been neatly contained in its own thread, where people who may be able to help (ie those who’ve bought from southern pride) could have contributed. 
 

The OP’s project really interests me - as do your previous contributions on the subject. Not least as I’m about to embark on 3D printing a load of OHLE for an N gauge model of Rugby. Mk1 EMUs don’t, and their availability via specific e-commerce sites even less so. Happy to take my leave though! 

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Those pieces of OHL are stunning  N E 91. Clive, your Drawings are excellent and must be useful for anyone wanting to have a bash at the 'Knitting' . Thank goodness I have absolutely no work to do like that. 

Aa for wandering threads, then that is one of the joys of a thread such as this. I can answer the S Pride question and yet I have little interest in OHL or those new fangled Electric Locomotives or EMUs but it is great to see them again as I used to live near Northampton in the 70s.

If the Thread wanders off too far then the OP can quite politely nudge people back on course if he so wishes, but I suspect the little diversions so far have been of interest to most on here. Best to just scroll on through stuff one may not like or just bog off somewhere else. Easy really. 

Clive, your OHL EMU creations are wizzard mate. I think the first I ever saw was at Liverpool Street in 1960.

Oh yes, Southern Pride!   David is a good old fashioned boy and likes to receive a letter (including SAE if you only need one reply), into which he will very likely put that response. However, as he is almost retired and it is easier to speak to him, I wrote to him recently, included my details and asked if we could communicate by email or phone to discuss some of his products and that was worth the effort as I obtained some stuff that he had forgotten he had at the back of a store cupboard.

Good luck with the further work NE91.....love those commissions.

Phil 

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9 hours ago, Mallard60022 said:

Oh yes, Southern Pride!   David is a good old fashioned boy and likes to receive a letter (including SAE if you only need one reply), into which he will very likely put that response.

Thank you Phil, this information is very handy to know. Hopefully I can do Northamptonshire circa 1980 justice!

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Very nice OLE drawings and EMU projects there!

May I ask where you got the dimensions for those from?

 

Most of the measurements for the portals I have made so far, I either took myself (where safe and legal) and also from information in the original 1960 BTCC Electrification Conference Papers. - A long but interesting read for anyone interested in the technical aspects of the early 25kv system.

If anyone has any other useful and relevant design/dimensions info (or contacts at Network Rail!) then please make it known as it could be a help.

 

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RE the EMU's, (slight topic wonder indeed, but OLE and EMUs are closely connected) I noticed someone on eBay was selling various bits and pieces (bogie frames, underframe parts, cab ends etc.) for the 302-309 classes, a few months ago.

They looked similar to the handful of DC kits components I have left in my box.  Just thought I'd mention as they might make the job of converting Mk1 suburban coaches into an EMU a little easier for those who aren't so confident/competent to scratch build with plasticard..  (though props to anyone who does it that way. I personally wouldn't have the patience!).

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Just come across this and NE91 your work looks absolutely brilliant. I’m currently building a monstrous WCML style layout crisscrossing the 80s to now and I’m eventually going to have to think what to do about the OLE. Already got some of the Dapol mk3 OLE but the stuff you have produced is incredible. Mine is going to be a fully 4 track loop from a rebuild I did with a mix of 2 and 4 that I wasn’t happy with. That’s exactly the sort of equipment I’d love to eventually acquire. 

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4 hours ago, Sintelliner said:

Just come across this and NE91 your work looks absolutely brilliant. I’m currently building a monstrous WCML style layout crisscrossing the 80s to now and I’m eventually going to have to think what to do about the OLE. Already got some of the Dapol mk3 OLE but the stuff you have produced is incredible. Mine is going to be a fully 4 track loop from a rebuild I did with a mix of 2 and 4 that I wasn’t happy with. That’s exactly the sort of equipment I’d love to eventually acquire. 

Totally agree! This fantastic looking stuff is exactly what we have been missing, at last some confidence to take on realistic WCML projects.

 

The very best of luck with your layout.

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  • 2 months later...

Hey all just a very quick update to say I haven't forgotten about this, but unfortunately due to the ongoing lockdown situation I don't currently have my own internet connection so have been unable to access my 3d CAD and printing services.  I hope to be back online at home within the next month or two.  Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest thus far.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi folks, apologies to all following this topic for the extended pause. I haven't forgotten and things are still on the go!

I have been working on various fitting and accessories. Registration fittings, anchor/tension portals and booster transformers etc.   I will shortly be ordering test prints of these.

In the mean time I am setting up a poll to assess which specific product lines I should focus on (it would be impossible to cover all of them at once) and what buyers priorities are.

Below are a few pictures of CAD renders of my most recent projects, now ready for test printing.   I will investigate having mouldings made for the most popular product lines if feasible with the hope of being able to produce self assembly kits at an affordable price.

Cheers

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Poll will follow shortly.

 

NB, once I have the test prints done and assembled, if anyone would like to purchase those prototypes, please PM me.

Being 3d printed they are not the cheapest, but I will sell them at cost price and it will help me to recoup some out of pocket expenses and continue to develop this project further.

Also, (bit of a long shot perhaps) but if anyone has any old technical drawings of the MK1 OLE, or contacts at NR who might, please let me know as this could prove extremely useful!

Cheers

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