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West Highland Line V4, a 1980's West Highland Line layout


young37215
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3 hours ago, young37215 said:

The use of more than 1 brake vehicle was seen right along the WHL in the early 1980's even in the shorter formed trains of the off peak months. This was particularly so on the Mallaig extension where in May 1982 37111 waits with a 3 coach consist at Mallaig containing BSO and Mk2 BFK. 

 

37111 Mallaig 1B16 20th March 1982

 

Another extension short formed train with BSO and Mk2 BFK headed by 37022 at Glenfinnan again in May 1982. It is quite possible that this is the same rake as in the previous picture given the dates and the coaches being in the same order. 

 

Glenfinnan

 

March 1982 saw even shorter trains, this one would be a challenge to model given that it includes a Mk1 BFK on a train hauled by 37262 approaching Lochailort .

 

37262 Lochailort 2B09 20th March 1982

 

BFK and BSO combo on the 0600 ex Glasgow in March 1982 headed by 37085 at Glenfinnan. I am not sure of the length of the train because can't find any pictures showing the rear of the consist.

 

Glenfinnan37085190100982A

 

37085 leaves Fort William in 1981 with single brake vehicle, this time a BCK.

 

Fort William 1981 37085

 

In 1984 37085 again with a 4 coach consist including BSO's of Mk1 and Mk2  

 

37 Loch nan Uamh

 

1984 with Mk2 D BFK and Mk1 BSO 

 

37 skirting Loch Eilt

 

I could go on, there are so many variations if you choose to look for them. Excluding BG's and BSK's I think I have managed to include an example of every Mk1 and Mk2 brake vehicle in operation on BR in the early 1980's. All in all I think the pictures show that you can run pretty much any consist you like with as many brake vehicles as you want and the odds are your chosen rake will have operated on the WHL at some stage. The variety is just one of the numerous reasons I enjoy modelling the WHL.

 

 

 

 

Just to add to the mix ... I'm seeing the 3 coach set in the first 2 photos (behind 37111 and 37022) as being a 5 windowed BSOT, TSO with a 4 windowed BFK bringing up the rear. I think that there is a BSOT in picture 4 as well.

 

Currently on holiday, so don't have any books with me but when I do get home I will be ordering the latest edition of the Hugh Longthorne (?) Mk.1 and Mk.2 Coach diagrams book as it's definitely an area that I lack knowledge in.

 

Regards,

Ian.

Edited by 03060
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22 hours ago, 03060 said:

the latest edition of the Hugh Longthorne (?) Mk.1 and Mk.2 Coach diagrams book as it's definitely an area that I lack knowledge in.

 

It's Hugh Longworth and whilst an excellent book, the best information about coaching stock diagrams and the booked consists comes from historic internal BR publications. I had a look at the carriage workings (Passenger Train Marshalling (PTM)) as contained in the Yahoo drives run and managed by Robert Carroll who I believe is Corrour on RMWeb. For the early 1980's there are SCR versions for 1981, 1982 and 1983 available and each show a variation for WHL services from the previous year. Rather than duplicate the diagrams, the link below will take you to the PTM's and anyone that is interested can peruse to their hearts content by joining the Yahoo group. As a brief overview I did'nt see any SK's in the PTM, only TSO's, ocassional CK's and a wide variety of brake vehicles. The PTM makes me question having an SK in each rake as I currently do and I am pondering whether I sell a few SK's and replace them with TSO's.  That said having just had a quick look on Ebay, blue and grey Mk1's seem in short supply at present meaning that absent re-mortgaging the house, I might just have to wait for Bachmann to produce another run of the TSO!

 

Most of the trains were actually booked to have 2 brake vehicles, typically a BSOT plus perm any one of BSK/BFK or BCK meaning that my 2 Oban rakes are closer to diagram than I realised. Based upon how I operate WHL4, I need 5 rakes for mainstream services (3 Glasgow Mallaig and 2 Glasgow Oban) plus the mixed train stock that did a single return journey between Fort William and Mallaig in the late afternoon/early evening. This matches quite closely the 1981 PTM whereas in later years the Mk3 sleeper rake terminated/started at Fort William which meant an additional Mk1 vacum braked rake for the Mallaig extension services was required. I have tried running a 1985 timetable but I did'nt enjoy this as much as the earlier 1980's timetables.

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7wNtUp2bp_eNVhLellLUDZoekk?resourcekey=0-MyJ3cCpov0nWPCpOI-41Tw&usp=sharing

 

 

Edited by young37215
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Hi Rob et al,

 

This has proved an interesting debate and you do find some great photos on Flickr. I have looked at the excellent Robert Carroll PTMs. While they show the plan, photos suggest that it varied from day to do depending, presumably,  on coach availability and demand.

 

I plan to start with two rakes on my layout (O gauge is expensive!). One will be a typical 2 coach off season train which depending on the year could be almost any combo of brake and non brake, but I think BSOT-TSO is about as typical as I can get. Like this photo.

 

https://scotphoto.com/product/class-370127-heads-a-two-carriage-mallaig-to-f-william-train-nr-mallaig/

 

A Mk1 or 2 BFK might be better for some years but they’re currently difficult in O gauge.

 

The other rake will be the 1982 observation car rake with SC1999 Lochaber (which I have a cunning plan to build). I’m basing this on the 1983 formation minus the second observation car. So it will be TSO,BSOT,TSO,BSK plus the saloon. Any observation on that formation would be gratefully received.

 

Looking again at your photos (and being slightly mischievous!), I’d say the other type of brake not evident in your photos in a standard BSO without the buffet. I think I can make out a feint red line on all your BSO contenders but could be wrong. I know they did appear, but I think the non buffet versions were one of the rarer brake vehicles.

 

Regards

 

Andy

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59 minutes ago, thegreenhowards said:

Looking again at your photos (and being slightly mischievous!), I’d say the other type of brake not evident in your photos in a standard BSO without the buffet. I think I can make out a feint red line on all your BSO contenders but could be wrong. I know they did appear, but I think the non buffet versions were one of the rarer brake vehicles.

 

Nothing mischievious, you are correct in what you say based upon my research which is also consistent with the PTM's. Whilst the SCR retained a small allocation of of BSO's according to my 1982 Coaching Stock book, most had been converted to BSOT by then. What the residual BSO's were used for or where they were allocated I do not know. 

 

For completeness, a quick Flickr search reveals some examples of Glasgow Oban consists of varying lengths. 37014 booked summer load 6 September 1981. The Mk1 BFK at the front is not available in OO, I think the rear coach is a BSK/BSOT but can't see clearly enough to identify it. 

 

07/09/1981 - Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

 

37192 in 1982, load 6 including adjoining BSOT and BSK

 

37192 Oban 14/09/82

 

37081 summer 1983, load 6 includes BSOT and BSK again

 

37.081 'Loch Long' backs the train out of the arrival platform at Oban. Jul'83.

 

37039 Autumn 1983, load 3 includes a BSK

 

37039 Oban 28/10/83

 

Another Autumn 1983, 37112 load 4 with just a BSK

 

37112 Oban 22/10/83

 

March 1984, 37175 approaches Tyndrum Lower with load 3 including a BSOT and a what appears to be a CK. I am always interested in pictures with a CK as I use them in my 4 coach rakes to provide first class accomodation. The SCR retained a few CK's into the 1980's although they were not that common on the WHL with first class whilst it existed usually provided by a Mk2 BFK.

 

37175 Tyndrum Lower 260384

 

 

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I poured over the PTM relevant for 1983 and hand wrote the set credentials for my own layout. Interesting that many services have a BSK stipulated but watching video of the West Highland Cine filmed in 1983 with train time and reporting numbers included in the narrative it’s obvious that the PTM was not hard and fast with BSK/BFK/BCK all seeming fair game. Maybe a TSO missing from a set. I note that the FW - MLG and return (mixed train) is set as BCK/TSO/TSO but I have seen this set with BSK/TSO/SK. It would appear that within reason a mild application of rule1 would be reasonably palletable. Nothing to radical.

I really enjoyed going through all that yesterday evening so thanks again for the link.

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34 minutes ago, mallaig1983 said:

I poured over the PTM relevant for 1983 and hand wrote the set credentials for my own layout. Interesting that many services have a BSK stipulated but watching video of the West Highland Cine filmed in 1983 with train time and reporting numbers included in the narrative it’s obvious that the PTM was not hard and fast with BSK/BFK/BCK all seeming fair game. Maybe a TSO missing from a set. I note that the FW - MLG and return (mixed train) is set as BCK/TSO/TSO but I have seen this set with BSK/TSO/SK. It would appear that within reason a mild application of rule1 would be reasonably palletable. Nothing to radical.

I really enjoyed going through all that yesterday evening so thanks again for the link.

 

Is there an easy way to distinguish an SK from a TSO externally? i.e. looking along a train from a picture without being able to see the interior layout

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The vents on the roof are offset to the compartment side if you look from above. I’ve always found it hard to tell them apart from a trackside angle but if it’s a video a careful eye will notice it’s easier to see through a TSO as it passes. Other than that I think you need to be lucky enough to see the number. 


I’m thinking a lot of peoples memories off compartments were in the BSK or BCK vehicles but although it rare an SK appears feasible.

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Mallaig slumbers before it is lifted so that I can motorise the 2 bracket signals and fine tune some of the scenery. Elsewhere I have managed to acquire an additional SO and have 2 more that I already had to replace SK's. The SK's will be disposed of and are now listed on Ebay should anyone be interested.

 

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1660962373_230622(5).thumb.JPG.c576a53d9666109cda05fe89a292b7c2.JPG

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

Elsewhere I have managed to acquire an additional SO and have 2 more that I already had to replace SK's. The SK's will be disposed of and are now listed on Ebay should anyone be interested.


Over the years I bought stock in preparation for my ‘retirement’ layout.  Sadly I gave little thought to what I really needed and bought many  things just because I liked them.  In the case of coaching stock that was also tempered by what was available too.  They say ignorance is bliss.   I have, however, ended up with an imbalance of stock which yes, I could run but it wouldn’t be quite right.  Do I just apply rule 1 while I seek  to redress that imbalance?  I don’t know.

 

For similar reasons to those outlined above I have a handful of maroon mk1 second open coaches.  I wonder how hard it would be to re-livery them and make a passable job of it.  

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11 minutes ago, BoD said:

I have, however, ended up with an imbalance of stock which yes, I could run but it wouldn’t be quite right.  Do I just apply rule 1 while I seek  to redress that imbalance?  

I’d just live with it for now, I’m in a similar position for a few items needed but it’s going to take a year or two to build the basic layout so I’ll concentrate on that while I wait. If you wait for the stock before starting you’re just losing time 😉

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3 hours ago, BoD said:


Over the years I bought stock in preparation for my ‘retirement’ layout.  Sadly I gave little thought to what I really needed and bought many  things just because I liked them.  In the case of coaching stock that was also tempered by what was available too.  They say ignorance is bliss.   I have, however, ended up with an imbalance of stock which yes, I could run but it wouldn’t be quite right.  Do I just apply rule 1 while I seek  to redress that imbalance?  I don’t know.

 

For similar reasons to those outlined above I have a handful of maroon mk1 second open coaches.  I wonder how hard it would be to re-livery them and make a passable job of it.  

I’d be interested in people’s experiences of painting blue grey. I’ve always found maroon easy and blood &custard harder but possible with use of the lining decals to cover the join. But blue grey looks very hard with the curves round the grey at the ends and ultra thin lining. I’m minded to have a go at cutting up a couple of Lima or Darstead mk1s to make a blue grey BFK, but the painting is putting me off.

 

Andy

 

 

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3 minutes ago, thegreenhowards said:

I’d be interested in people’s experiences of painting blue grey. I’ve always found maroon easy and blood &custard harder but possible with use of the lining decals to cover the join. But blue grey looks very hard with the curves round the grey at the ends and ultra thin lining. I’m minded to have a go at cutting up a couple of Lima or Darstead mk1s to make a blue grey BFK, but the painting is putting me off.

 

Andy

Have you tried transfers? I heard some company does coach bodyside ones.

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Just now, 6990WitherslackHall said:

Have you tried transfers? I heard some company does coach bodyside ones.

I did look at that. But the only ones I can find in 7mm are by Aquitrain and they only do the more common coach types. I might use one of their sides to go over the horrible jumble of parts I’d have left for the other coach after the conversion!

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7 minutes ago, thegreenhowards said:

I did look at that. But the only ones I can find in 7mm are by Aquitrain and they only do the more common coach types. I might use one of their sides to go over the horrible jumble of parts I’d have left for the other coach after the conversion!

 

Electra Rail graphics do full liveries for coaches and locomotives. I learned about them on Model Rail when Chris Leigh used a set of Porterbrook coach bodyside transfers to make a barrier coach.

 

 

Here's the link. Hope it helps.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://electrarail.co.uk/&ved=2ahUKEwjQ65_7_tX4AhWMS0EAHcW5DcMQFnoECA8QAQ&usg=AOvVaw2wNcRTJvzCtNF80H0U-1zF

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14 hours ago, BoD said:


Over the years I bought stock in preparation for my ‘retirement’ layout.  Sadly I gave little thought to what I really needed and bought many  things just because I liked them.  In the case of coaching stock that was also tempered by what was available too.  They say ignorance is bliss.   I have, however, ended up with an imbalance of stock which yes, I could run but it wouldn’t be quite right.  Do I just apply rule 1 while I seek  to redress that imbalance?  I don’t know.

 

For similar reasons to those outlined above I have a handful of maroon mk1 second open coaches.  I wonder how hard it would be to re-livery them and make a passable job of it.  

 

The disease of most modellers, we like something so we buy it and end up with more rolling stock than our layouts really need. I am currently looking at ways to increase the number of storage sidings on WHL4 for exactly the same reason. 

 

Based upon my recent experience of respraying a loco in just BR blue, I would not attempt to respray a coach in blue and grey. Too fiddly and time consuming by half plus I doubt that many of us would be capable of getting near the level of factory finish we are all used to. Trying to put a positive spin on BoD's position and given the way model prices have risen,  I suspect that selling the maroon stock on Ebay will return at least what was paid. This leaves you free to re-invest the proceeds as you see fit in rolling stock that meets your current requirements.  I know Ebay has its limitations and is expensive but my experience is that it is the best way I have found for exchanging rolling stock. 

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Doug popped over today with his new Accurascale Deltic 55001 to give it a run out. It seems a fine model and droned happily around WHL4 for a while reprising the return Oban to Edinburgh adexs that ran in the early 1980's which utilised the push pull Mk3 rolling stock usually found working between Edinburgh and Glasgow. St Paddy arrives at Crianlarich.

 

1903388111_140722(30).thumb.JPG.9f2d7ce43ff96b3a50b0fa85b3a787f1.JPG

 

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1504224328_140722(35).thumb.JPG.340065747eede1721840ba2126946e90.JPG

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On 14/07/2022 at 14:13, young37215 said:

new Accurascale Deltic 55001 to give it a run out. It seems a fine model and droned happily around WHL4 for a while reprising the return Oban to Edinburgh adexs that ran in the early 1980's which utilised the push pull Mk3 rolling stock usually found working between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Rob,

 

And it doesn't look 'out of place' at all. Great stuff.

 

Ian

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In between operations I have been looking at outstanding work on passenger rolling stock. I had previously detailed one of my two Hornby BSO's and finally got around to doing the second. The coach comes apart quite easily although the retaining lugs that secure the bodyshell to the chassis are very brittle and snap easily. Fortunately this does not cause too many issues when fitting everything back together. The detailing is very simple, I paint the table tops to break up the factory finished single colour and add a few passengers. Once paint and glue is dry the coach is put back together and rejoins the fleet as part of an Oban rake. 

 

I have one more TSO to renumber and detail before adding this as an SK replacement. I had hoped to find a couple more TSO's to replace SK's and was watching an Ebay auction of 5 blue and grey coaches that included 3 TSO's which ended yesterday in the hope that I might sneak a late bid. When the price for the 5 reached £225 I decided that I would wait for another opportunity. 

 

Untouched internal 

 

1595471309_160722(11).thumb.JPG.5d2e24c52d0053a64d8efee621ca3e70.JPG

 

Table tops painted

 

2107565110_160722(12).thumb.JPG.89a44ee8b52359c21fc2eef8f7d8f87d.JPG

 

Passengers added

 

1517867181_160722(4).thumb.JPG.ed8253cfe631a82842eee9ccfc0860dd.JPG

 

Completed coach

 

2125818504_160722(7).thumb.JPG.eebe6a84093341247686d0ae9a6e458d.JPG

Coach is returned to the layout

 

2066510923_160722(9).thumb.JPG.810c4e447a535dff42441ddbf00d9580.JPG

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Hi Rob. Makes such a difference just by adding some passengers and repainting the table tops. When renumbering Hornby MK1’s, What method do you use to remove the original numbers without damaging the blue underneath? 
Cheers, Bill. 

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11 hours ago, young37215 said:

When the price for the 5 reached £225 I decided that I would wait for another opportunity. 


Strewth.

That’s silly.

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25 minutes ago, BoD said:
11 hours ago, young37215 said:

When the price for the 5 reached £225 I decided that I would wait for another opportunity. 


Strewth.

That’s silly.

No kidding! I recently paid just £25 on eBay for a Hornby Mk1 BSO in blue/grey, so 5 would have been circa £125 not £225. Someone was sure desperate for those particular coaches.

Ian

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The price of models in general is crazy at present, I guess that like so many things model stocks are in short supply given the disruption caused by Covid. ISW has done well to pick up the Hornby BSO, I have been looking out for one for a while but have not seen any appear on Ebay.

 

21 hours ago, billywhizz said:

Hi Rob. Makes such a difference just by adding some passengers and repainting the table tops. When renumbering Hornby MK1’s, What method do you use to remove the original numbers without damaging the blue underneath? 
Cheers, Bill. 

 

It was a while ago that I renumbered my two BSO's meaning I can't be certain about how I removed the printed number. However I have only ever used T Cut or IPA for transfer removal so it will have been one of the two. What I do recall is how thin the Hornby paint is and that I managed to removed some of it despite what I thought was careful rubbing of the number. You have been warned...

 

The hot weather means I am spending time indoors in an effort to keep cool. Ironically the loft is one of the coolest places in the house when all the windows are open and the blinds closed hence why I have been working on the layout. Like others I have a habit of buying too much rolling stock which has left me with a shortage of siding space. The main fiddle yard was largely as built 5 years ago and had potential for an additional run round loop and extra sidings. I have added a 14th loop and managed to create and extend other sidings creating a total of 4000 mm of extra storage. Put another way that is space for about 28 OAA/OBA sized wagons or 10 coaches, my challenge is to use the space for existing rolling stock rather than see it as an opportunity to buy more!. 

 

Before changes

 

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806323526_170722(2).thumb.JPG.641d31f394392c809d8277ee80d75cd0.JPG

 

With changes, the control panel has been moved and an extra loop installed using the 3 way point and a double slip.

 

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