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Members of RM Web will, I hope, be pleased with the next edition of TRACTION, issue 223, which  is published on Friday 1st August and, with this issue, there's also free 16 page TRACTION MODELLING supplement. 


From this issue TRACTION should be much more widely available than in the past as virtually every W H Smiths bookstall on railway stations should be stocking it. If it's not there, ask why not!


The contents of the magazine cover a wide area of interest. Whether you are interested in the British diesel and electric era, European locomotives or model railways there's bound to be much of interest.


No doubt it was inevitable that many enthusiasts didn’t hold British Rail’s Type 3 diesels in quite such high regard as the more illustrious Type 4 and 5 locomotives. After all, much of the Type 3’s work was on freight trains rather than passenger workings. Nevertheless these mid power range locomotives eventually found a place in the hearts of many enthusiasts. The Class 33s on Waterloo to Weymouth and Exeter trains, ‘Hymeks’ on Western Region second rank expresses and of course the ‘37s’ in Scotland all put in stalwart performances for many years. Colin Boocock in his article ‘A TRIO OF TYPE 3s’ looks back at the life of these three classes.


One of the areas where Type 3s had a significant impact was on the lines out of Waterloo, especially in the days before electrification of the line between Bournemouth and Weymouth. Gavin Morrison takes us on a photographic trip behind ‘SOUTH WESTERN CLASS 33s’.


Brian Ringer concludes ‘A NORTHERN ODYSSEY’ with a tour of the fascinating world of the railways of the North East in the 1970s. Consett, the East Coast Main Line near Durham, the National Coal Board’s Harton electric railway, the Durham coast line and Teesside all feature in his account.


In his article ‘OXFORD FREIGHT: 7A01 AND TRIPS’ Michael Rhodes shows how the once numerous local trip freight workings all came together to form longer distance services.


Every so often total disaster strikes a train, when anything and everything that can go wrong does just that. In 1994 Martin Birchall was a tour manager on a special train from Derby to Carlisle and back. At Carlisle he asked the question, “WHAT CAN GO WRONG?” Shortly afterwards he found out……


Arguably the ‘Deltics’ are the most popular diesel type ever to run in Britain, so we asked Brian Morrison to chose a selection of his photographs for ‘IT’S A DELTIC’.


‘INTERLUDE AT WATER ORTON’ is the location for a visit Malcolm Batten made to watch and photograph traffic on the eastern outskirts of Birmingham.


Heading much further south, Phil Barnes spent a lot of time recording on film the Southern’s diesel electric multiple unit fleet and, in ‘DEMUs OVER ‘THE JUICE’ IN EAST SUSSEX’, we see these reliable but rather unglamorous units in action.


Following the recent article in TRACTION about the Bristol to Scotland sleeping car trains, Bob Dunn looks back at the days when, as a driver at Saltley depot, he drove ‘1S19 and 1V56’.


Enthusiast often neglected branch lines, but Glen Battern shares his recollections of the Southminster Branch in the 1970s in ‘OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN ESSEX’ when he found a surprisingly interesting line.


This issue’s European section shows the photographic work of Gordon Ogden in ‘GERMAN ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES IN THE 1980s’. In the first of a two-part article he looks in detail at some of the locomotive classes that were to be seen on West Germany’s railways.




Welcome to this special edition of TRACTION MODELLING, which we hope you will enjoy reading. For many railway enthusiasts constructing models is a natural progression from their ‘outdoor’ interest. Even enthusiasts who don’t actually take part in this fantastic hobby, usually appreciate the ideal world that we create where trains always run on time, the weather is always sunny and, of course, our favourite locomotives turn up whenever we want to see them!


In this edition of TRACTION MODELLING we’ve attempted to show you some of the variety that exists within the section of the railway modelling hobby that covers the period of diesel and electric traction during the last thirty or so years of the twentieth century.


Beginning with N scale, there’s a very simple, but effective, conversion of a Bachmann Class 24 into one of the batch allocated to Inverness depot. Instead of headcode discs these had four character headcode boxes, tablet catcher recesses and a revised covers to two of the ventilation grills. The model of a Highland Class 24 is intended to operate on a layout that Michael Watkins is constructing based on one of the stations on the Kyle of Lochalsh line.


Moving up to 4mm scale, we showcase two contrasting layouts. Marshfield with Ely Bridge is an ambitious layout in terms of size, filling an entire room and is constructed on two levels. David Prichard has taken inspiration from the real railway, in this case the main line between Newport and Cardiff in South Wales. With a large diesel depot and long trains David can recreate the days of BR blue period locomotives hauling heavy passenger and freight trains.


The second layout, Finsbury Road, also takes inspiration from an actual location. Constructed by Paul Eckett, it is a compact but highly detailed layout inspired by Finsbury Park depot in north London. It’s an excellent example of what can be achieved in a relatively small space. The use of DCC equipment for controlling the layout, plus the fitting of sound chips to all the locomotives, adds to the feeling of realism.


We’re sure that readers will be pleased to hear that, with the return to bi-monthly publishing of TRACTION, each issue will contain an eight page section in the centre of the magazine for those of you who are interested in modelling the diesel and electric days on Britain’s railways. Look out for some fascinating and inspiring articles in the future.


The next issue of TRACTION will be published on the 3rd October.

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No sign of it on Preston station bookstall today - the only place I'll get the chance to pick up a copy as I'm busy driving rail replacement coaches this week.


Do ask why not as I believe it should be available at almost all main line stations.

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Yep plenty at WHS Glasgow, although it seems WHS are replacing staff with these infernal automated machine things!


Anyway magazine was good, still reading it through with a good modelling supplement. Recommended.

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