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Rites of Passage for a Model Railway - 31: Let Me Introduce You to Ainthorpe Junction

Alan's interest in the railways of the North East where he grew up, took root again in the 1980s. Follow his 'Rites of Passage' series...

Take a look at the railway world as it was, recreate it your own way using period images. Create a track diagram, modify if needed

Seems miracles are storming us like the Goths. Hattons e-mailed me the other night - guess what, Oxford Rail's bringing out a Class J27 0-6-0 @ just over £100 (any upward price adjustments to be notified). Now there's handsome! See below: 'Wishlist''

Seems miracles are storming us like the Goths. Hattons e-mailed me the other night - guess what, Oxford Rail's bringing out a Class J27 0-6-0 @ just over £100 (any upward price adjustments to be notified). Now there's handsome! See below: 'Wishlist''

Darlington-built and allocated J39 64710 passes on what was the Up freight/goods/mineral to the junction at the head of a pick-up goods (see also Unit 2 write-up)

Darlington-built and allocated J39 64710 passes on what was the Up freight/goods/mineral to the junction at the head of a pick-up goods (see also Unit 2 write-up)

Class V3 2-6-2 enters a junction on Tyneside,seen from signal cabin - could be empty coaching stock on the way to Heaton Carriage Sidings with the now defunct 'Norseman' ferry stock (connection London KX to Bergen in Norway via Tyne Commission Quay)

Class V3 2-6-2 enters a junction on Tyneside,seen from signal cabin - could be empty coaching stock on the way to Heaton Carriage Sidings with the now defunct 'Norseman' ferry stock (connection London KX to Bergen in Norway via Tyne Commission Quay)

J72 0-6-0T 68689, a Middlesbrough allocation in the 1950's stands on the lime shed and coal drops road awaiting the 'off'

J72 0-6-0T 68689, a Middlesbrough allocation in the 1950's stands on the lime shed and coal drops road awaiting the 'off'

Class A1 60131 'Osprey' enters the picture from left as an unidentified sister A! rounds the curve on the main line

Class A1 60131 'Osprey' enters the picture from left as an unidentified sister A! rounds the curve on the main line

The fireman on 4MT 80117 of Whitby shed leans out to see if the next train up Ainthorpe Bank needs assistance before returning home

The fireman on 4MT 80117 of Whitby shed leans out to see if the next train up Ainthorpe Bank needs assistance before returning home

In contrast to the rural feel of 'Thoraldby', 'Ainthorpe Junction' is to be on the edge of an industrial town with 'war wounds'...

Dreamed up whilst sat next to a hospital bed in early March, 2018, 'Ainthorpe Junction' has been furnished with sidings, some features associated with towns such as a horse dock, a livestock dock for the sale of animals for meat or dairy, and a goods depot in line along the front edge of the layout. Along the way there is a double track viaduct. A steep gradient, 'Ainthorpe Bank' will tax even the strongest heavily loaded locomotives. A siding will be laid in alongside the Down Main for a banker to assist.

There are endless possibilities that can be entered into the planning, and I dreamed up a mail order depot to be added into the corner where the main running lines pass on a wide curve. I've since put a name to it, 'Bloomfield's' after one of the suppliers of track and points (a member of the Double O Gauge Association, or DOGA, see below for a link to the association)

To make things interesting, there's the fearsome looking Ainthorpe Bank, a leftover of a bygone age. Luckily it's straight, from below the old truncated railway bridge on Unit 4 (part of a Metcalfe kit, the other half - as a narrow road bridge - is on the other side of the short wall where I took out a brick and shored it up with 4-ply board, a departed friend adding cement on the outer faces). With some assistance from fellow DOGA members - and Peco pamphlet No.17 "Introducing DCC (Digital Command Control) - I plan to introduce a banker, based on a siding next to the 'Down Main' running line to assist heavier uphill workings. this will call for some mental dexterity on my part in embarking on limited DCC involvement. The banker will ease off near the head of the bank at the junction and return to position - traffic allowing.

A few introductions have been made, and some ballasting (at long last!). A Skaledale North Eastern signal cabin from the 'Thoraldby' layout has been sited at the junction across the way from the coal and lime depot, along with a fogman's hut, a Mike's Models water crane for visitors to the depot to replenish, and a couple of smaller structures close by. A Skaledale North Eastern water tower that graced Thoraldby's goods depot has also been added to Unit 5, with another Mike's Models water crane in Bishopthorpe Yard. On the subject of which the track arrangement there has been modified again, with a set of facing medium right hand points to allow cattle wagons to be drawn out around the goods road (if the cattle wagons are empty and needed elsewhere, and the goods wagons/vans are in the process of unloading, they can be removed without inconvenient and wasteful shunt movements). In the Unit 7 fiddleyard another medium right point has been added to provide another length of track for carriage storage. A consignment of Carr's foam underlay was received May 15th, so 'work' can be done in putting down a length to lay the track. I think that finishes off the trackwork. No more uprooting (let's get on with the ballasting)! Oh, I don't know though. There's a little widening of the curve to do, on the inside road, Unit 3 to the left-hand curved point...

More soon...

The view out to the Fiddleyard, Unit 1 under the skew bridge

Ivatt 2 MT 2-6-0 46480 exits Unit 1 fiddleyard light engine on the Down Main. She'll gain the Up Main at the junction, by the signal cabin

Ivatt 2 MT 2-6-0 46480 exits Unit 1 fiddleyard light engine on the Down Main. She'll gain the Up Main at the junction, by the signal cabin

Darlington modified J39  64710 exits the same fiddleyard on the freight & mineral Up road (straight running boards were not a regular Gresley feature, they were on the North Eastern, and the D49 4-4-0 classes shared this design feature)

Darlington modified J39 64710 exits the same fiddleyard on the freight & mineral Up road (straight running boards were not a regular Gresley feature, they were on the North Eastern, and the D49 4-4-0 classes shared this design feature)

To give you an idea of the space the layout occupies, here's a set of images to show an end-to-end view...

Bird's eye view from Unit 1 fiddleyard over the skew bridge to Unit 3 at the end where the lines curve towards Unit 4. An adjustment needs to be made on the inside curve toward the point that controls the coal depot

Bird's eye view from Unit 1 fiddleyard over the skew bridge to Unit 3 at the end where the lines curve towards Unit 4. An adjustment needs to be made on the inside curve toward the point that controls the coal depot

Past the scenic break (two narrow bridges, one road and one rail where track will be shown as lifted) over Unit 5 to Unit 6 and the second set of curves (Bishopthwaite terminus station in the corner, closed to passengers but platform retained)

Past the scenic break (two narrow bridges, one road and one rail where track will be shown as lifted) over Unit 5 to Unit 6 and the second set of curves (Bishopthwaite terminus station in the corner, closed to passengers but platform retained)

Units 5 back to 4, the view back to Unit 3 and main stock/loco shelving unit  J39 64710 propels an ex-Midland brake van on the Up Main

Units 5 back to 4, the view back to Unit 3 and main stock/loco shelving unit J39 64710 propels an ex-Midland brake van on the Up Main

Fiddleyard Unit 7 modified 15/5/21, ballasting begun March from the skew bridge. Both measure 6'-6"

Enough for a branch passenger (local, semi-fast or fast), freight, goods, mineral or parcels working to be assembled.

An extra medium radius right-hand point was added 15/5/21 to give more space to store passenger and parcels stock (carriages, vans). That's it, you read right, tracklaying is finished, time to get started on scenics from the road overbridge. Attention can now be concentrated on the scenics from Unit 2 onwards. Scenic elements have been added from time to time, gradually emptying boxes to free up space. It's 'roll up sleeves time again'.

'Ainthorpe Junction', where the Main Running Line meets the freight, goods and mineral line (where the fun started, putting it together...)

The bridge so far (24/4/21). Road to be 'surfaced' with fine wet&dry mid-grey sandpaper

The bridge so far (24/4/21). Road to be 'surfaced' with fine wet&dry mid-grey sandpaper

Viewed from the coal depot, Ainthorpe Bank signal cabin seen between bridge piers. Signals on the Up side will be lower down the bank for the 'bobby' (signalman) to see beneath the bridge. On the Down side the signals to be visible to the skew bridge

Viewed from the coal depot, Ainthorpe Bank signal cabin seen between bridge piers. Signals on the Up side will be lower down the bank for the 'bobby' (signalman) to see beneath the bridge. On the Down side the signals to be visible to the skew bridge

J39 64710 passes Ainthorpe Junction signal cabin. Gnger's hut and coal storage shed have been added to make up the scene ...

J39 64710 passes Ainthorpe Junction signal cabin. Gnger's hut and coal storage shed have been added to make up the scene ...

... As has also this Mike's Models water crane, complete with hose and chain.

... As has also this Mike's Models water crane, complete with hose and chain.

Controlling the layout: Gaugemaster controllers - room for additional input provided

The newer dual controller on its shelf, awaiting connection to control the 'Down' end of the layout.

The newer dual controller on its shelf, awaiting connection to control the 'Down' end of the layout.

The 'simple' dual controller for use on the 'Down' end of the layout from fiddleyard Unit 1 ('Bloomfield' mail order depot, siding on Unit 2 and 'cripple' siding on Units 3-4

The 'simple' dual controller for use on the 'Down' end of the layout from fiddleyard Unit 1 ('Bloomfield' mail order depot, siding on Unit 2 and 'cripple' siding on Units 3-4

Both controllers near the middle of the layout. The single output controller is for the coal depot, the dual controller will be linked to the main running lines.

Both controllers near the middle of the layout. The single output controller is for the coal depot, the dual controller will be linked to the main running lines.

Gaugemaster DS dual controller with brake simulator - see text below

Gaugemaster DS dual controller with brake simulator - see text below

Another dual controller will be bought and located on this shelf in front of Bishopthorpe Yard (Unit 5) to assemble goods and livestock trains and Bishopthwaite Station (Unit 6) for goods rolling stock shunting operations

Another dual controller will be bought and located on this shelf in front of Bishopthorpe Yard (Unit 5) to assemble goods and livestock trains and Bishopthwaite Station (Unit 6) for goods rolling stock shunting operations

Controlling, and adding 'juice' to the 'Ainthorpe Junction' layout:

The top - dual - controller bought many years ago at The Engine Shed, Leytonstone High Road - now a ladies' salon - was for the largely single track 'Thoraldby' countryside layout (feeds were into the fiddleyard ends under bridges) and will come in use to operate the main through running lines via Unit 4, The lower one that was bought at the same shop controlled my son's smaller (now recycled) 'Kirk Rigg' layout.

They both have the same purpose, not just to regulate speed but to simulate the application and release of loco and guard's van (or compartment on passenger trains) brakes. The effect is that you don't see trains suddenly lurch to a stop or break into a 'gallop' from the start, which in many modellers' eyes was a huge step forward when first introduced (1980's I think).

The older dual controller with simulated brake I have now will operate the through running lines, whilst the single unit will operate the coal depot. The Dual Controller I bought recently (without brake simulator) will be on Unit 1 to operate the mail order depot and Up siding on Unit 2. Another I need to buy can control the large goods and livestock yard on Units 5-6. The third dual controller hasn't a simulated brake facility, will be allocated to the goods and livestock yard and small terminus. With three controllers visitors will be kept busy! Not being a techno-whizz, and it being cheaper than investing in a whole new control system, I'll still be able to see what's going on as far as I need to see from any of the three positions. Guests can help operate.

The shelves are based on struts attached to the support framework so cables can be detached and the layout units lifted off should/when the need arise(s).

*** Power has been fed into two tracks in the fiddleyard, that control the sidings at the back of the layout - 'Bloomfield's Mail Order, coal depot and cripple siding. It's also been fed into the coal depot to shunt the sidings at the back next to the Up Main and coal/lime deck whilst trains pass after coal workings have reversed in off the Up Mineral and Freight fiddleyard line. I've received new power clips and connectors to attach to the bank, Up and Down Main as well as the two areas on Units 5 and 6. My two class J94's have been run on both sidings and coal depot road with success. It's what they're there for, after all. Additionally I've successfully tested other locomotives. The rest will follow.

More soon...

Power input - clips and connectors

A pair of Peco power clips inserted to 'hold' the underside of the sleeper and rail. They're pulled around and over the edge of the sleeper to keep the power flow steady

A pair of Peco power clips inserted to 'hold' the underside of the sleeper and rail. They're pulled around and over the edge of the sleeper to keep the power flow steady

At the mouth of Bishopthorpe Yard, the clips shown above, and across the way at the station 'throat'. This way operations in either can be carried out independently of the main running lines

At the mouth of Bishopthorpe Yard, the clips shown above, and across the way at the station 'throat'. This way operations in either can be carried out independently of the main running lines

Instructions for attaching clips with a packet of connectors. Bared, twisted wires are laid onto the connector with an isolating sleeve to slide over it when the tabs have been overlapped, copper wires laid in, 'shoe-horned' onto the tab and secured

Instructions for attaching clips with a packet of connectors. Bared, twisted wires are laid onto the connector with an isolating sleeve to slide over it when the tabs have been overlapped, copper wires laid in, 'shoe-horned' onto the tab and secured

On Ainthorpe Bank, a couple of pairs of clips await the connectors and wires from the older, simulated brake dual controller close by.

On Ainthorpe Bank, a couple of pairs of clips await the connectors and wires from the older, simulated brake dual controller close by.

When I had 'Thoraldby' all I had to do was slip the bared copper wires over the lips on the connectors and power could be fed through to the rails. Seems I was a mite remiss. I should've had some connectors, intermediary elements, to do the job. This time I've been a good lad. Clips have been installed ready on Units 5 and 6 at Bishopthorpe Yard and Bishopthwaite Station's 'throats' to operate both/either independently of the main running lines. Some shunting can be done in one or the other whilst through traffic rattles along over the points once I've sourced another controller, possibly also with brake simulator for slow running. Power clips have also been added to the gradient. A road bridge will be added to hide the clips (in the shadows they won't be easily noticed). some form of 'disguise' will be found to hide the clips that provide power for the coal depot and short sidings.

'The launchpad', first to last basic units were built to tracklaying stage between the autumns of 2018 and 2019

The top end of the layout - isolating tracks on all four tracks were installed for locomotives to be relieved of their trains. Even if I invest in DCC not all are suitable, particularly earlier Hornby and Nucast kit-built motive power

The top end of the layout - isolating tracks on all four tracks were installed for locomotives to be relieved of their trains. Even if I invest in DCC not all are suitable, particularly earlier Hornby and Nucast kit-built motive power

Seen from Unit 2, the skewed brick road bridge (Metcalfe kit 'kit-bashed')

Seen from Unit 2, the skewed brick road bridge (Metcalfe kit 'kit-bashed')

Basic units were built in turn, beginning 2018; then foam was cut to size and shape and fixed down. Track followed as funds allowed

The idea for 'Ainthorpe Junction' was 'born' in hospital, in Plaistow men's ward to be exact before my first release early in 2018 (we won't go into that).

First came a few rough draughts before I was satisfied with the outcome, then I set down the final rough diagram and decided on a name. Location is somewhere near the East Coast Main Line, an industrial area that's seen some wartime damage, with a canal (you see the canal at two points on the layout). The junction is 'pre-rationalisation', with a coal depot at the front, a cripple siding (hot boxes, broken axles etc) at the back and double track, 'Up' and 'Down', splitting near the top end of Unit 4 for passenger & parcels traffic to the back (upper level) of the fiddleyard, freight, goods and mineral traffic to the front (lower) level via Units 3 and 2. At the rear of Unit 3, in the corner will be a small mail order depot (Bloomfield's). At this stage, mid-July 2020 a short curved point is awaited to complete the run-around for small locomotives (a J72 0-6-0 tank and Y7 0-4-0 Sentinel shunter).

The main lines descend a gradient to a break in the short wall (extracted single brick) that formed the basis of the tunnel on the previous 'Thoraldby' layout), under a brick bridge portal that carries an old truncated industrial railway. On the other side of the 'divide' is Unit 5 with a large goods and livestock depot with horse dock (Yorkshire has the biggest concentration of racecourses in Britain with nine sites - at Redcar, Catterick, Thirsk, Ripon, York, Beverley, Wetherby, Pontefract and Doncaster). At the far side is a long siding that leads off a short siding where a banker will await a signal to back up a train over the gradient to the junction and drop back. On Unit 6 is a right-hand point that allows access to Bishopthwaite, a goods only station from the Down Main.

Just as you think, "What's next after the J27 from Oxford Rail?" the heavens open and a deep voice tells you, "J26"

Class J26 0-6-0 5738 of North Eastern vintage in LNER days. They were spread across the former NER system as Class P2;, the LNER re-classified them as J26 and first withdrawals came in BR days in the late 50s-early 60s

Class J26 0-6-0 5738 of North Eastern vintage in LNER days. They were spread across the former NER system as Class P2;, the LNER re-classified them as J26 and first withdrawals came in BR days in the late 50s-early 60s

This is J26 65767 of Newport (51B) - in 1958 when Thornaby shed (51L) opened and several Teesside sheds closed (Newport, Middlesbrough, Saltburn) 65767 didn't make the transfer, nor did 65738 (see above) and was possibly scrapped that year.

This is J26 65767 of Newport (51B) - in 1958 when Thornaby shed (51L) opened and several Teesside sheds closed (Newport, Middlesbrough, Saltburn) 65767 didn't make the transfer, nor did 65738 (see above) and was possibly scrapped that year.

Although not as widespread as Class J27...

Members of Wilson Worsdell's earlier Class J26 served their purpose around Teesside (southern County Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire - Newport (Middlesbrough) shed's allocation was 42). Duties varied, as you can imagine, in an area of industrial activity with several graving docks on both banks of the Tees, steel and chemical works, railway yards and branches that fed the works with ironstone until imported ore took precedence from the late 1950's. None of the class saw preservation. Their successors, Class J27 dealt with the bulk of work between Selby and north of the Tyne on coal traffic until the end of steam in the North East in September 1967.

See the appraisals of both classes below...

"Here's one I made earlier", a profile of Wilson Worsdell's NER Class P2, LNER and BR Class J26 0-6-0

Class P2 1678 at the coaling stage days in NER days

Class P2 1678 at the coaling stage days in NER days

 Class J26 65774 passes through Thornaby station in BR days with a long Down freight. In 1950 she was a Newport (51B) engine, transferred 1958 to the newly opened Thornaby (51L) shed, withdrawn before or by June, 1962

Class J26 65774 passes through Thornaby station in BR days with a long Down freight. In 1950 she was a Newport (51B) engine, transferred 1958 to the newly opened Thornaby (51L) shed, withdrawn before or by June, 1962

J26 65756 was also a Newport asllocation that made the move to Thornaby in 1958 - she;s seen here on Flatts Lane near Normanby brick works,  the man on the road possibly giving the driver instructions

J26 65756 was also a Newport asllocation that made the move to Thornaby in 1958 - she;s seen here on Flatts Lane near Normanby brick works, the man on the road possibly giving the driver instructions

George Gibb, General Manager of the North Eastern Railway visited the USA on a fact-finding mission in 1901

One outcome of this trip was the decision to enlarge the NER's freight locomotive fleet.

Further, NER Class P2 0-6-0 was introduced, in many features the same as their Class P1 but fitted with a larger boiler, increased in its girth by 15". The firebox was also 12" longer. As the firebox was too wide between the rear wheels a sloping grate was fitted, the frames extended by 11".

Thirty Class P2 locomotives were built at Darlington 1904-5, twenty more at Gateshead in 1905. Initially the class was built with a high working pressure of 200 p.s.i, to be reduced to 180 p.s.i in May 1905. The last to be built had the lower pressure. The class was modified again in 1906 to produce Class P3. Changes included a small reduction in the number of boiler tubes, as well as a reduction in the angler of the grate.. The original P2 grate had a 12" slope to give wider clearance over the rear axle, avoiding needless bearing overheating. The decision was made to reduce the slope - class P3 was built with a shallower grate that permitted making the firebox 6" deeper. The differences between boiler types was small and a standarisation of both classes meant the P3 boiler was fitted to both classes.. The first batch of P2 received the new boiler in 1910, the last to be converted was in LNER days, in 1925. By this time the classes were P2 = J26 and P3 = J27 respectively. Class J26 needed minor stay alterations to enable fitting the new boilers. .

Another boiler change came in 1937 when the LNER changed Diagram 57 to produce Diagram 57A. The altered design included a sloping throat plate that resulted in a firebox that measured 6" longer overall. The boiler was 5" shorter to compensate. The boiler barrel - previously a three-plate construction - was now a single plate..Tubes were increased in number to 273 with a net heating surface of 1655.6 square feet. Most obvious was the relocation on Dgm 57A of the dome, now 12" further back. The last J26 received a 57A boiler in 1958. By this tíme withdrawals had begun and some rebuilt locomotives had already seen their 57A boilers exchanged back to 57. Diagram 57 and 57A boilers were both of the saturated and superheated type, only Class J26 receiving the saturated boilers.

As on other NER locomotives Ramsbottom safety valves were fitted at first, i.e. the four-column type mounted in squat brass 'trumpets' as introduced on Class V (LNER Class C6 Atlantic 4-4-2. Initially brass castings, these were later removed.

All Class J26 were built with NER 'porthole' pattern cab spectacles. After the introductioin of Class T2 (Q6) 0-8-0 in 1918 with the large shaped spectacles West Auckland shed peitioned for earlier T1 (Q5) to be changed to the T2 type. After this was carried out both Class J26 and J27 received the new spectacles, 28 of Class J26 missing out.

Traffic/allocation

At first Class P2 were employed mainly on long-distance goods and mineral duties, displaced by the newer Class T2 , Class S1 (B15) and S2 (B16) 4-6-0. At Grouping in 1923, when the smaller companies were incorporated into four larger companies (Greatt Western, London Midland & Scottish, London North Eastern and Southern Railway) the largest J26 allocation went to York (11), West Hartlepool (9), Haverton Hill (7) and Newport near Middlesbrough (6). Other sheds in the region were allocated only one or two each. In the 1930s Selby was allocated eight for work into the South Yorkshire (Barnsley area) coalfield.

A WWII wartime measure saw class J26 concentrated around Teesside, the larger allocation (39) to Newport. Minor changes were made in the early 1950s. In 1958 Middlesbrough (51D), Newport (51B), Stockton (51E), Haverton Hill (51G) and Saltburn (51K) sheds were closed, many of their allocations of Class J26 transferred to the newly opened Thornaby (51L) with some held back for scrapping.. Withdrawal began apace around this time, their last duties including mineral workings on the difficult curves of the Kilton and Lingdale ironstone mine line, as well as the heavily graded branch from West Auckland to Durham. Individual withdrawals were slowed owing to a lack of suitable replacements.

Widespread introduction of type 2 diesels saw the end of Class J26 however, the last sighting being 65735 of West Auckland (51F) on the Wearhead branch, County Durham, in May 1962 . The last withdrawal was in June, 1962.

Allocations 1950-58

Newport (51B): 42, West Hartlepool (51C): 2; Middlesbrough (51D): 6 [50]

In model form:

Union Mills produce a 2mm scale, N Gauge kit; Dave Alexander produce a 4 mm scale, OO Gauge kit; DJH have a 7mm scale, O Gauge kit.

Oxford Rail have announced their intention to produce a 4 mm OO Gauge ready-to-run model (their J27, now expected later, in the fourth quarter 2021. Variations will include LNER and BR livery (early and late emblems).

Wilson Worsdell's Worthy Workhorse - Class J27, harking back to that title image... Second introduction to the locomotives you'll see on the layout

J27 65819 at the coaling stage, South Blyth (52F) allocated here possibly before 1950, and remained until May, 1967 when South Shed closed, probably going for scrap. There is no mention of being transferred to Sunderland (54A) or Hartlepool (51C)

J27 65819 at the coaling stage, South Blyth (52F) allocated here possibly before 1950, and remained until May, 1967 when South Shed closed, probably going for scrap. There is no mention of being transferred to Sunderland (54A) or Hartlepool (51C)

65816 was a West Hartlepool (51C) allocation throughout her working life. Seen here at rest on shed

65816 was a West Hartlepool (51C) allocation throughout her working life. Seen here at rest on shed

The one that got away - 65894 owned by NELPG since 1st December, 1966, bought direct from British Railways' North Eastern Regions. Seen at Grosmont between duties. Fitted with vacuum pipes, steam heating and screw couplings for passenger working

The one that got away - 65894 owned by NELPG since 1st December, 1966, bought direct from British Railways' North Eastern Regions. Seen at Grosmont between duties. Fitted with vacuum pipes, steam heating and screw couplings for passenger working

... A modification of its forerunner, Class P2 (LNER/BR J26) and welcome when it arrives in model form ..

... The most important change from Worsdell's earlier Class P2 0-6-0 (LNER/BR J26) was the deeper firebox with a shallower, sloping fire grate, achieved by raising the boiler. Accompanying this modification was the reduction of the of the clearance between the firebox and rear axle. In the locomotive being earmarked for heavy freight work within the region they were never (in NER/LNER/BR days) fitted with vacuum brake and screw couplings for faster running on the main line. At first 80 were built between 1906-09 in five batches at North Road Works (Darlington), North British Locomotive Company (Glasgow), Beyer Peacock & Co., and Robert Stephenson & Co. on Tyneside. Twelve years on, when Vincent Raven was Locomotive Superintendent, a further batch of five was built at Darlington with Schmidt superheaters and piston valves. These were delivered 1921-2, followed by a last order of ten - also through Vincent Raven - from Darlington in 1923 (including the preserved J27). The superheated locomotives were identified by extended smokeboxes.

After WWII Class J27s were taken off goods working - although some were on branch pick-up goods, such as 65894 from York. Withdrawal started March, 1959. In June 1966 thirty-six still worked hard on coal traffic in County Durham and southern Northumberland. The last J27s were withdrawn from the Blyth area near the coast north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where they worked on short trips from nearby pits to coal staiths on the Tyne. The last J27 was withdrawn September, 1967.

Number 65894 was bought from BR by North Eastern Locomotive Group (NELPG) on 1st December, 1966 with restoration work following to full working order, being moved around from storage at Tyne Dock shed via National Coal Board shed at Philadelphia workshops (not far from Washington CD!) to Thornaby's newer roundhouse (opened 1958 to locomotives from decrepit sheds around Teesside bombed in WWII) and finally to ICI Billingham before transfer to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in her NER lined black livery as P3 2392, October, 1971. She appeared in this livery in the S&DR 150 steam cavalcade at Shildon on September 25th, 1975. Withdrawn from active service for boiler repairs, she was exhibited at the National Railway Museum, 1977-82. Turns have seen her on various preserved railways from the North to the East, on the North Norfolk Railway. More recent performance saw her more recently, August 2018, on the Wensleydale Railway between Leeming Bar and Redmire.

Allocations, BR/NE 1950-58: York (50A): 8; Selby (50C): 9; West Hartlepool (51C): 8; Stockton-on-Tees (51E): 3; Haverton Hill (51G): 7; Saltburn (51K): 1; Heaton, Tyneside (52B): 12; Percy Main (52E): 24; North & South Blyth (52F): 24; Sunderland (54A): 19

All 115 accounted for 1950-58

Let's see how the Oxford Rail J27 turns out when it's released in the second quarter of 2021. At the price it's advertised, £109 I should be able to afford a couple in one go. I don't intend to model Percy Main or Blyth (North and South), where the allocations numbered 24 each (five only of the Blyth allocation going to South Blyth).

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Here's a look at the Oxford Rail J27 beyond the computer design image - model now due first quarter, 2021

Side elevation of the OO Gauge Oxford Rail CAD drawing of the J27, which will be available later this year (2019) in LNER, early and later BR steam era liveries

Side elevation of the OO Gauge Oxford Rail CAD drawing of the J27, which will be available later this year (2019) in LNER, early and later BR steam era liveries

sporting a 'cycling lion' totem, here's the model with number 65837, a Percy Main allocation (52E) - possibly scrapped by 1965 as she was not on the transfer list on closure in February 1965

sporting a 'cycling lion' totem, here's the model with number 65837, a Percy Main allocation (52E) - possibly scrapped by 1965 as she was not on the transfer list on closure in February 1965

North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG)

  • North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group
    The North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG) exists to foster interest in, and to preserve examples of, steam locomotives, rolling stock and other items of railway interest connected with the North East of England.

NELPG - Preservation of North Eastern steam icons

...Owns one example each of four of the classes shown on this page, in earliest production date onward: Wilson Worsdell designed NER Class E1 (LNER/BR J72) 0-6-0 tank engine built originally 1898, last batch built 1951 of which 69023 is one; NER Class P3 (LNER/BR J27) 0-6-0 tender locomotive 65894 built September, 1923 - one of the last of a building programme started in 1901 with Class P1, P2 and P3 in 1906; NER Class T2 (LNER/BR Class Q6) 0-8-0, of which 63395 was also one of the later batches from 1918 that commenced construction under (Sir) Vincent Raven in 1913; LNER/BR Class K1 2-6-0 designed in 1945 and modified by Arthur Peppercorn before production from 1949 in BR days by North British Locomotive Works, of which 62005 was from one of the earlier batches and spent her working life in the North East of England.

See also the NELPG page for a range of images of their 'fleet' (the link for that is another of the page profile slide show).

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An eight-coupled workhorse from Vincent Raven's drawing board

Now preserved, tried and tested, Q6 63395 rest between shifts at Sunderland shed (54A) in June, 1967 months before withdrawal and an uncertain future

Now preserved, tried and tested, Q6 63395 rest between shifts at Sunderland shed (54A) in June, 1967 months before withdrawal and an uncertain future

Not as lucky, 63407 of Haverton Hill in 1950-58 was moved first to the new shed at Thornaby (51L) when it opened in 1958, then to West Hartlepool (51C) when Thornaby closed to steam in 1964

Not as lucky, 63407 of Haverton Hill in 1950-58 was moved first to the new shed at Thornaby (51L) when it opened in 1958, then to West Hartlepool (51C) when Thornaby closed to steam in 1964

Close-up of 63420 with the fireman holding on, watching out for a signal the driver can't see in good time from his side...

Close-up of 63420 with the fireman holding on, watching out for a signal the driver can't see in good time from his side...

Haverton Hill's 63443 awaits the 'off' - both (Hornby) engines have been weathered by me

Haverton Hill's 63443 awaits the 'off' - both (Hornby) engines have been weathered by me

Vincent Raven's NER Class T2 was re-classed by the LNER from 1923 as Q6...

A class of 0-8-0 steam locomotives meant for heavy freight haulage. A hundred and twenty were built between North Road Works, Darlington and Armstrong Whitworth on Tyneside from 1913 to 1921. They were based in design on Wilson Worsdell's Class T and T1, re-classified as Q5 by the LNER. The fifty Armstrong Whitworth locomotives built from 1919 at the Scotswood were their first locomotives after conversion of the works back from ordnance to civilian use. All were taken into service by British Railways' North Eastern region in 1948, numbered 63340-63459 (prefix '6' added to LNER's 1946 number sequence.

Number 63372 of Consett (54D) was withdrawn after an accident. Withdrawals generally took placed from 1963-67.

NER 2238 (LNER 1946 3395, BR 63395) was withdrawn from Consett in 1967 and it was touch-and-go whether the North Eastern preservation group NELPG had secured her purchase after BR insisted no locomotives should be sold into private hands once released to the scrap merchants. Agreement was reached through one of the founder members of NELPG to release the locomotive into the hands of the group as she had not yet strictly passed into the scrap dealer's yard.

Locomotive Class Q6 axle load RA*6; BR power classification 6F

Allocation area British Railways' North Eastern Region 1950-58: Leeds Neville Hill (50B) 2; Selby (50G) 15; Newport (Middlesbro') 14; West Hartlepool (51C) 15; Middlesbrough (51D) 15; Haverton Hill (51G) 11; Blaydon (52C) 13; Tyne Dock (54B) 4; Borough Gardens (54C) 12; Consett (54D) 11 Total 112

[8 went adrift between building and BR ownership, possibly lost in WWI/WWII]

Two Hornby Class Q6 models will appear on the layout: 63420 was a Middlesbro' allocation, 63443 Haverton Hill (between Billingham and the Tees, across the river). You'll notice the coal carrying capacity of 63420 is greater than that of later-built sister locomotive 63443, and having worked through from Middlesbrough to the exchange sidings at Gascoigne Wood (to pick up a coal load for an industrial destination away from the East Coast Main Line) has about enough coal to get her back to her home shed and not much further. If there any other calls on the crew during their shift her tender will need to be topped up.

When Haverton Hill shed closed in 1958 most of the allocation transferred to the new Thornaby (51L) shed. 63443 and two others went to West Auckland (51F); 63420 went to Thornaby - on closure the remaining steam allocation was transferred to Darlington, Hartlepool (51C) and Percy Main (52E). There are no records of 63420 making the move.

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Here are a few images of locomotives and stock that'll be seen around on the layout

Four wheeled steel hopper wagons - by the bucket-load, from different sources and of different makes. This is a Parkside kit of ex-LNER Dgm 100 20 ft wagon in early BR livery. There are also Dapol versions, and Parkside Dgm 146 21 ton hoppers

Four wheeled steel hopper wagons - by the bucket-load, from different sources and of different makes. This is a Parkside kit of ex-LNER Dgm 100 20 ft wagon in early BR livery. There are also Dapol versions, and Parkside Dgm 146 21 ton hoppers

Parkside kit of Dgm 1/185 BR Iron ore tipper, six built, three more underway in mid-May, 2021

Parkside kit of Dgm 1/185 BR Iron ore tipper, six built, three more underway in mid-May, 2021

Bachmann BR Class 4MT modified and weathered with screw couplings and ModelU crew - fireman seen here leaning out to hear whether an approaching train on the Down Main needs assistance up Ainthorpe Bank to the junction

Bachmann BR Class 4MT modified and weathered with screw couplings and ModelU crew - fireman seen here leaning out to hear whether an approaching train on the Down Main needs assistance up Ainthorpe Bank to the junction

The short 3'-6" unit from building to track laying

Three-quarter view of Unit 2 shows the front panel cutouts, three exit levels and plastic profile panels in place at the front as part of integral scenery (as opposed to structures at track level)

Three-quarter view of Unit 2 shows the front panel cutouts, three exit levels and plastic profile panels in place at the front as part of integral scenery (as opposed to structures at track level)

Got to order rail joiners to carry on track laying (25/11/19), although what track is available is in position and ready. A couple of double track lengths should be enough for the siding, likewise for  the main (freight and mineral) running lines

Got to order rail joiners to carry on track laying (25/11/19), although what track is available is in position and ready. A couple of double track lengths should be enough for the siding, likewise for the main (freight and mineral) running lines

Under-line factory windows with plastic frames from a Wills' pack backed by Humbrol matt anthracite painted plastic sheet either side of the windows. Two frames backed with clear plastic 'glazing'. War damage shown by 'cracked' wall .

Under-line factory windows with plastic frames from a Wills' pack backed by Humbrol matt anthracite painted plastic sheet either side of the windows. Two frames backed with clear plastic 'glazing'. War damage shown by 'cracked' wall .

Latest development on Unit 2 is the lifting of track on the Down side, a rail-built buffers stop replacing the approach to Unit 1 Fiddleyard

Latest development on Unit 2 is the lifting of track on the Down side, a rail-built buffers stop replacing the approach to Unit 1 Fiddleyard

J39 64710 heads local pick-up goods to the junction. Ballasted, with scatter fixed down, drainage channelling needs to be sourced and laid down, as well as signal posts (one on what was the Down Freight/Goods/Mineral to be minus its 'home' arm.

J39 64710 heads local pick-up goods to the junction. Ballasted, with scatter fixed down, drainage channelling needs to be sourced and laid down, as well as signal posts (one on what was the Down Freight/Goods/Mineral to be minus its 'home' arm.

Guard's van passes the photographer on its way at the train's tail to Unit 3, with bridge side walls over underground wartime factory unit. At the back a lighter ballast mix has been fixed down and will form the basis of the main running lines

Guard's van passes the photographer on its way at the train's tail to Unit 3, with bridge side walls over underground wartime factory unit. At the back a lighter ballast mix has been fixed down and will form the basis of the main running lines

Unit 2 track added and aligned with fiddleyard unit (1) and corner unit (3)

My ideas were modified for Unit 2. Instead of two lots of facing points, left and right on the nearside, I've only laid one, and a short headshunt (or kick-back) close to the skewed viaduct that will carry a road.

Trackwork complete, a long, shoulder high brick wall was added over the front face of an underground WWII factory front wall. The rest of the work is ballast, signals and scenics. More soon (easy does it, don't want to bankrupt myself as this is a one-man operation, albeit with track donated by fellow DOGA members).

Further work was carried out in the autumn, 2020, with a right-hand point just past the skewed overbridge at the end of the fiddleyard unit (Unit 1) at the back on the run to the 'Bloomfield' warehouse. A short curve was laid in - see Unit 3 - and passing loop long enough for a shunter to draw three four-wheeled 10'-0" wheelbase vans, two longer vehicles (CCT or baggage van) or a bogie CCT/GUV for deliveries or collections.

A low wall - Wills' (Peco) Dressed Stone Wall - has been added to the inner edge of the layout from the bridge abutments, along the siding to the end of the unit where it turns at a right-angle to provide an end-wall behind where the buffer stop goes. A project for later completion after the coal & lime depot's been completed to painting stage.

20-22/4/21: Track was lifted on the Down road of the lower - freight & mineral - level to add running interest. Rail-built buffer stop was added to the skew bridge approach and track continues to the junction on Unit 3 as a siding accessed from the junction for wagon standage.

Now the track layout is more interesting, I think you'll agree, with the former Down Freight/Goods/Mineral road a mere buffer stop before the facing crossover. Scenic elements include three Peco 'Plate Girder Bridge' sides that denote the trackbed crosses over disused under-rail wartime factories. Patchy grass has been fixed down on the top of one (so far) so see how it'd look, more grass has been distributed on the siding to the left of the Up road. Signal posts need to be added where I've fixed down white plastic rectangles. The one adjacent to the former Down side will be bereft of its signal arms (one home, one distant - the next post isn't going to be added, that's for the viewer's imagination as it would be in the fiddleyard. Drainage ducting is to be added, white plastic 'troughs' between the lines and a gutter grill where it would go underground down a drain before reaching the factory (that would be covered by ballasted steel plate to make it less visible to German bombers.

At the back you'll notice a mix of lighter coloured ballast has been laid down. This will form the basis of the junction and beyond to unit 4-6A.

(If you want to) join an association...

... Of likeminded railway modellers who might not necessarily share your particular interests but share your enthusiasm, try the Double O Gauge Association (DOGA). You may be a member of a local club, you may have exhibited, DOGA may have been there too. Wondered what they can do for you, or with you? The link is here to let you look into their activities, their aims, their intentions and their background. They come from all walks of life. Twice a year (normally) at general meetings they share their common goals and display their achievements in modelling competitions. Share those goals, click the link, see how you'd fit in...

Double O Gauge Association

  • The Double O Gauge Association
    The OO Gauge Association is more than an association of railway modellers. It's a fellowship. Join the Forum and see how, come to meetings - the AGT in spring/summer includes a competition in different classes; the winter meeting is a cosy gathering

4D Model Shop, 120 The Arches, Leman Street, London E1

  • 4DModelShop
    Offering model making supplies and bespoke services including laser cutting, photo etching, 3D printing as well as Industry jobs, events, guides and more.

... Much much more. Visit the web site and see, visit the shop and take in the variety of tools, scenic modelling aids, materials and services 4D has to offer. Nearest Underground station is Aldgate East on the District and Hammersmith lines, Aldgate and Whitechapel only a little further away in either direction. Fenchurch Street is the nearest overground station from Barking and Southend Central.

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A little more 'local flavour' in the way of motive power before I progress to LNER designs...

Class G5, originally North Eastern Railway class O No. 2087 on shed awaits permission from the 'bobby' (signalman) to join her train

Class G5, originally North Eastern Railway class O No. 2087 on shed awaits permission from the 'bobby' (signalman) to join her train

Post-Grouping scene, as LNER Class G5 No. 2089

Post-Grouping scene, as LNER Class G5 No. 2089

G5 in BR days - 67282 of Hull Botanic Gardens shed (53B) rests possibly at Hornsea, before returning to Hull whilst driver inspects the loco - trouble?

G5 in BR days - 67282 of Hull Botanic Gardens shed (53B) rests possibly at Hornsea, before returning to Hull whilst driver inspects the loco - trouble?

BR G5 67342 - possibly outshedded* at Pickering pilots an out-of-area over the moorland route between Grosmont and Malton - seen here at Goathland Summit

BR G5 67342 - possibly outshedded* at Pickering pilots an out-of-area over the moorland route between Grosmont and Malton - seen here at Goathland Summit

The Model Centre (TMC) near Goathland to launch a commissioned OO Gauge G5 through Bachmann in 2022 - see below

Class G5 0-4-4 Tank Locomotive

History: Wilson Worsdell re-directed NER passenger tank locomotive policy on taking the reins from his older brother Thomas. Class A 2-4-2 (LNER F8) tank locomotives would make way for a design that harked back to Edward Fletcher's well-tank fitted Bogie Tank Passenger (BTP) 0-4-4. In comparison with Class A Worsdell's Class O (LNER/BR G5) 0-4-4 had smaller coupled wheels. For that coal and water capacity increased. Altogether 110 left Darlington North Road works between 1894 and 1901 in seven batches. Many BTPs were replaced by the later batches and were thus rebuilt to 0-6-0 tank locomotives as Class J77 or converted to push-pull (auto-coach) locomotive designation.

The Class O/G5 were well suited to their purpose with no substantial alterations made to Worsdell's design by the 1923 Grouping. An amended boiler design with single plate barrel was used by the LNER after 1930 when replacements were called for. The design was again amended from 1937, boiler turbes increased to 205. The design change accompanied a re-positioning of the dome 20 inches back from the initial design.

The class was seen as sturdy and saw long economical service with both the LNER and BR in the North East area on both branch and suburban passenger duties. Speed of up to 60 mph were regularly achieved on Middlesbrough-Newcastle services. The class was replaced on heavier suburban services by the rebuilt Class A8 4-6-2 and Class V1/V3 2-6-2 tank locomotives.

In the later 1920s and 1930s a large number of Class G5s was replaced by steam railcars. By turn the G5 saw out the last of the Class F8 and G6 locomotives. In a further bid for economy on branch line diagrams 21 of Class G5 were converted for vacuum braked autocar services from 1937 (push-pull, to avoid having to run round their trains). The class began to be withdrawn in 1950, having survived without loss until 1949. Most were withdrawn 1955-58, replaced largely by diesel railcars or multiple units. The last withdrawal was 1958.

Technical specifications: As described, onward from LNER ownership: cylinders: 2 X 18"X 24"; Stephenson motion; Boiler size: 4'-3" diameter, 10'-3" length; Boiler pressure: 160 per square inch (psi); Heating surface - Total 1093 sq ft; Firebox: 98 sq ft; Tubes: 995 sq ft (205 X wheels: 3'-1.25"; Tractive effort: (85%): 17.200; Length overall: 35'-9.75"; Wheelbase: 22'-6"; Coal capacity: 3 tons - 10 hundredweight (cwt); Water: 1360 Gallons (Imperial)

Allocations: The class was fairly well spread out over the system from 1948, as it had been in NER and LNER days after superseding Fletcher's Bogie Tank Passenger locomotives on branch passenger workings. Let's take a look at how well dispersed they were (1950-59):Leeds (Neville Hill 50B) 9; Selby (50C) 2; Starbeck (Harrogate 50D) 3; Malton (50F) 5; Whitby (50G) 2; Darlington (51A) 3; West Hartlepool (51C) 6; Middlesbrough (51D) 2; Stockton-on-Tees (51E) 5; West Auckland (51F) 3; Northallerton (51J) 3; Gateshead (52A) 4; Blaydon (52C) 12: Tweedmouth (52D) 3; North & South Blyth (52F) 9; Hull (Botanic Gardens 53B) 8; Sunderland (54A) 21; Tyne Dock (54B) 1 - Total 101

None was preserved. The Class G5 Locomotive Company Ltd was formed to build a new G5, to be run on preserved lines mostly in the North East and Yorkshire.

*Advisory note to the last image above: 'outshedded' was an expression to note a locomotive allocated on paper to a particular motive power depot or 'shed' that was physically elsewhere. Lots of engines were marked up as being at such-and-such a depot, and were in fact at a sub-shed some miles away. For example, 1950-59 Class Y3 Sentinel (see also bottom of page) was listed as being allocated to Northallerton shed (51J), whereas she was at Leyburn on the Wensleydale branch until closure of the line in 1954. As she was listed at 51J [from 1950-59 in Paul Bolger's book "B R Steam Motive Power Depots - North Eastern Region"], she may have been taken back there when Leyburn was closed to passengers, then to goods in that year.

In Model form: ***New Announcement*** (12/11/2020) The Model Centre (TMC based at Beck Hole near Goathland in North Yorkshire) announced they have commissioned Bachmann to produce a limited run OO Gauge version planned for release in the third quarter of 2022, orders are being taken through their web site. There will be four versions, NER class O (a successor to the Bogie Tank Passenger or BTP), LNER Class G5, and British Railways (BR) Class G5 lined livery with early lion on wheel emblem, and the fourth version later totem. You can have one with either the coal bunker 'cage' or hopper bunker. Optional extras are available to those with limited modelling skills, a re-numbering and weathering service is also on offer;

in kit form Finney & Smith produce a 3mm scale kit; Alan Gibson, London Road Models and Dave Alexander have kits in 4mm scale for P4, EM and OO Gauge modellers; Connoisseur and Gladiator have 7mm scale (O Gauge) kits

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Unit 3:assembly with track laid...

Notice the curve measuring tool? Easy to assemble, only needs one willing body to mark where the vertical touches on the stretchers. Then mark where the risers should go. Repeat for inner curve and back road (to a lesser extent, away from the corner)

Notice the curve measuring tool? Easy to assemble, only needs one willing body to mark where the vertical touches on the stretchers. Then mark where the risers should go. Repeat for inner curve and back road (to a lesser extent, away from the corner)

Sidewalls are in place, some fixing has been done and cutouts made to accommodate lower detail that will be added at a later date. Things have started to look like the finished job....

Sidewalls are in place, some fixing has been done and cutouts made to accommodate lower detail that will be added at a later date. Things have started to look like the finished job....

The junction starts on Unit 3 towards Unit 4. Points have been installed on the parcels/passenger side as well as on the goods, freight and mineral side, Up and Down. This is the view Up, with a curved left-hand point leading to the coal depot

The junction starts on Unit 3 towards Unit 4. Points have been installed on the parcels/passenger side as well as on the goods, freight and mineral side, Up and Down. This is the view Up, with a curved left-hand point leading to the coal depot

'Bloomfield's Mail Order' has been provided with rail access via Unit 2  The curve will make things 'interesting' to add the platform. There are steps on the Gresley Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) so some thought needs to go into this

'Bloomfield's Mail Order' has been provided with rail access via Unit 2 The curve will make things 'interesting' to add the platform. There are steps on the Gresley Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) so some thought needs to go into this

Unit 3 from Unit 2, the former Down Freight/Goods/Mineral road is now a siding, it's been ballasted and scenery has been begun with a semblance of concrete (to be painted accordingly)

Unit 3 from Unit 2, the former Down Freight/Goods/Mineral road is now a siding, it's been ballasted and scenery has been begun with a semblance of concrete (to be painted accordingly)

Unit 3 progress from cutting timber and board, to assembly and track laid...

With Unit 2 set on the supporting framework (some minor adjustments to make), Unit 3 was to be tackled. I took my time, some materials bought, and curves marked for the trackbed from the front fiddleyard end.

3/12/18-1/7/19: Construction of the unit completed, foam trackbed and preparations were made for track laying. Got the back road fixed down as shown in the images above. Next job was the side walls, straightforward at the back, with two lengths of 1 ft deep 4 ply. At the front it was three shorter sections of 4 inch deep 4mm ply to accommodate the canal lock. I've considered inserting a perspex canal 'surface' over some painted board, thus creating a 'dirty water' appearance. Some studies of emerging canals with towpaths and locks should come in handy... Peco Streamline (and some Setrack) flat bottomed rail and points needed to be bought to complete the junction. Lots of scope for observation and research. Logic was needed to calculate for the shunt movements, the imagination for the scenery, observation and research come together for signalling and secondary junction and I shall need to study signalling arrangements].

That thinking cap still fitted since I completed 'Thoraldby'. The foam for the trackbed was almost complete but for the back road to the warehouse/dairy depot passing loop. The 'throat' was there. I finished that before I went on to Unit 4. Also, extra foam was added to the inner side of the curve for pointwork to take the track to the coal depot. The warehouse depot foam has been laid. Time to assess the curve and how long the loading platform needed to be, no more than three 10'-0" wheelbase four-wheeled vans or wagons. Plenty of time to consult an image archive of mid-1950s warehouse depot facilities; 'Cosmetic' factory walling cut, window apertures shaped, window frames and arches applied, some with brick backing to resemble windows blown out by bombing, and lintels fixed on several (need to finish them off now I've reached the canalside wall. Some of the windows have clear plastic inserted to resemble glass, the window frames to be painted as rusted (metal frames for pre-WWII industrial window replacements. I've got some etched brass ones as well, and may use them for a long building above the retaining wall at the rear of Unit 5. There's a four foot length to play with, after all! Lots of options to consider. More soon;

(Not as soon as hoped)

1/12/2019-31/8/20: Track having been fixed down on Unit 2, it was high time to venture 'eastward and northward over the border' onto Unit 3. Starting at the back first a short length of spare flexible track was laid to butt on the corresponding end on Unit 2. I thought I'd be able to clear the back road with what points I had but realised a medium right-hand was necessary, rather than the larger radius curved point I had, so that's been relocated as a trailing point near the short, low viaduct on Unit 6A. It'll come in use to allow engines to reverse-shunt into the larger goods depot,on Units 5-6 or leave the livestock market and/or goods depot via the Down Main line (to fiddleyard 2, Unit 7). Next to tackle was the nearside curve that leads to a large radius left-hand curve for the coal depot, complete with catchpoint to divert runaways away from the Up running line (to Unit 4). Track pins were used to fix down the flexi-track curve, and point rather than mere wood glue/pva. Even with heavy weights the formation could've 'crept' out of true and I'd have had a job trying to extricate both, with the possibility of the point having .collected gunge and rendered it useless. I'd already had to toss out a recycled point from a previous unwanted layout ('Kirk Rigg')., where one of the wires had been torn off its anchoring and who-knows-what-else.

The inner curve to the coal depot was laid to the end of Unit 3 all the way round from Unit 1 (freight and goods fiddleyard) over Unit 2 as well as much of the Down curve from the parcels/passenger fiddleyard side. And of course the small corner depot loop/head-shunt. Connecting track and left-hand curved point/turnout is laid and needs to be fixed down. The junction completed on both Unit 3 and 4, facing points link them in order to afford access both ways in the event of weekend engineering work, where the running department takes possession. You'd see staves either side of the affected line, track-wide red banners between them. Maybe I'll have workmen busy with lookouts either end...I've got a couple of ModelU 'gangers', and just need a few more. This is an era before high-viz orange workwear and yellow plastic helmets, so watch out for flat caps, donkey jackets and overalls. A lookout with horn was posted either end to watch out for approaching traffic. [As this will be a fairly busy route, you can be guaranteed there'll be a bit of standing around with tools at the ready. Maybe I'll 'take possession' of one line with red tape both ends mounted on chest-high steel posts. More on that at a later date. There are also Dapol workmen's packets, with tools, to paint]. A medium-small radius Hornby curved point was added at the back of Unit 3 to complete the run-around for the small 'Bloomfield's Mail Order' business in this crowded urban location. That saw Unit 3 altogether ready for ballasting. "Why Hornby", you ask, "when the rest of the layout has been laid out in Peco?" It was on offer and I'm not one to pass up a freebie. Besides, it was a perfect fit (see overhead view above). Track on Unit 4 around the junction was relaid, and the facing points on the bank removed, to be used elsewhere. A long diamond crossover was inserted in place of the double slip where the Up Main crossed over the Down Goods, Freight & Mineral.

The former Down Freight/Goods/Mineral being lifted on Unit 2, a buffer stop has been placed on the edge of Unit 3 where it faces Unit 2. Ash ballasting (a mixture of several packs from different sources and shades) on this side has almost reached the junction and will be carried over onto Unit 4 and the coal/lime depot. The lighter ballast from Unit 2 will follow through Units 3-4 and beyond (see later unit write-ups).

See also Unit 4 write-up

Another Gresley workhorse with a Darlington makeover

J39 64862 of West Hartlepool (51C) shed basks in the sunshine at home - must be early in British Railways days, with 4,200 gallon tender still marked as 'LNER'

J39 64862 of West Hartlepool (51C) shed basks in the sunshine at home - must be early in British Railways days, with 4,200 gallon tender still marked as 'LNER'

Darlington (51A) J39 rests at the coaling stage, also with 4200 gallon GST

Darlington (51A) J39 rests at the coaling stage, also with 4200 gallon GST

Here's 64710 again in close-up with crew and an almost empty tender - shift-end? Looks like 64821 is outward bound to pick up her working

Here's 64710 again in close-up with crew and an almost empty tender - shift-end? Looks like 64821 is outward bound to pick up her working

Gresley's Class J39

In July, 1926 the London & North Eastern Railway introduced the medium powered 0-6-0 Class J39, a steam workhorse for mixed traffic duties across the LNER network. Based on his earlier Class J38 that had been brought out in January, 1926, although with larger diameter coupled wheels, they were as useful on slower diagrammed passenger work. Nevertheless their 'Achilles heel' was a lower tractive effort. British Railways subsequently classed them as 4P/5F as opposed to the 6F of their predecessors that were allocated largely around the Scottish branches. Larger diameter coupled wheels also meant lower splashers over the leading coupled wheels.

Two hundred and eighty-nine of class J39 were outshopped between July 1926 and 1941. Of the total number built, twenty-eight were turned out by Beyer Peacock & Co., the other 261 were built at North Road Works, Darlington. Many of the Darlington produced J39s were built with boilers from Armstrong Whitworth & Co and Robert Stephenson & Co. frames were 29'-3" in length, 6" shorter than class J38. There were sub-divisions in the locomotive-tender pairings, J39/1 had Group Standard 3500 gallon tenders, J39/2 standard 4200 gallon tenders, J39/3 were paired with divers ex-NER tenders. All were fitted with superheaters and Ross 'Pop' safety valves.

British Railways took over the whole class in 1948, numbered 64700-64988. Withdrawal began in 1959, all withdrawn and scrapped by 1962. Although none were preserved, plans are afoot (?) to replicate a J39 in BR livery as 64960, together with a J38 for preservation in the future.

Allocations in British Railways' North Eastern Region 1950-58 were: Leeds Neville Hill (50B) 9; Starbeck (Harrogate, 50D) 13; Scarborough (50E) 2; Darlington (51A) 2; West Hartlepool (51C) 3; Middlesbrough (51D) 2; West Auckland (51F) 3; Gateshead (52A) 6; Heaton (Tyneside) 8; Blaydon (52C) 12; Tweedmouth (52D) 14; Hull Dairycoates (53A) 11; Borough Gardens (54C) 3 Total 79 l

Bachmann have produced a J39 in OO Gauge according to different subdivisions (including with ex-GC stepped tenders). I have one J39 with Group Standard tender, renumbered 64710 of Darlington (51A), that will be seen around 'Ainthorpe Junction' on mixed goods trip workings.


Unit 4, Track in place and functioning, re-organised with diamond crossing instead of double slip... And the introduction of a girder bridge

The back board is in place - at this stage screwed on - and the front one awaits 'profile' drawing' before it's cut. The cutouts have since been reduced to two, the nearest for lime cells (two hoppers) , the furthest for four hoppers (eight cells)

The back board is in place - at this stage screwed on - and the front one awaits 'profile' drawing' before it's cut. The cutouts have since been reduced to two, the nearest for lime cells (two hoppers) , the furthest for four hoppers (eight cells)

.... And what you've looked forward to: the link between Unit 4 and Unit 5 (see also below, for the other side)...

.... And what you've looked forward to: the link between Unit 4 and Unit 5 (see also below, for the other side)...

View of the lime shed to get you up-to-date. Ridge tiles, guttering and downpipes to add before painting. Wills' (Peco) Slate Roofing sheets were used for the roof and an amount of filler to disguise the gaps. Empty hopper in the lime she

View of the lime shed to get you up-to-date. Ridge tiles, guttering and downpipes to add before painting. Wills' (Peco) Slate Roofing sheets were used for the roof and an amount of filler to disguise the gaps. Empty hopper in the lime she

Completion of the stairs, handrails (Plastruct 90682 Straight, and SRS4 Diagonal) completed including landing

Completion of the stairs, handrails (Plastruct 90682 Straight, and SRS4 Diagonal) completed including landing

Vertical strips of card as embankment former, made pliable by bending, glued in place with strong wood glue, and adding horizontal strips over- and underlapped to strengthen the surface before I add 'Modoc', plaster impregnarted muslin sheet in strip

Vertical strips of card as embankment former, made pliable by bending, glued in place with strong wood glue, and adding horizontal strips over- and underlapped to strengthen the surface before I add 'Modoc', plaster impregnarted muslin sheet in strip

The girder bridge close to Unit 3 with an open wagon next to the lime shed. The junction cabin can just be seen beyond the bridge piers

The girder bridge close to Unit 3 with an open wagon next to the lime shed. The junction cabin can just be seen beyond the bridge piers

J39 64710 almost hides the signal cabin here. The signalman has to be able to see under the bridge to the signals down the bank to beyond the curve where more signals will be before the skew brifge

J39 64710 almost hides the signal cabin here. The signalman has to be able to see under the bridge to the signals down the bank to beyond the curve where more signals will be before the skew brifge

Fogman's hut. The signalman at Ainthorpe Junction cabin will need to call the running department for a fogman to attend when needed. He's got his own heater within (note chimney) on cold winter days

Fogman's hut. The signalman at Ainthorpe Junction cabin will need to call the running department for a fogman to attend when needed. He's got his own heater within (note chimney) on cold winter days

Unit 4: Progress on the lineside since the trackbed has been completed, the coal and lime depot being the focus of attention...

Fun and games in the offing for Unit 4, although not in the basic construction. A trio of features is planned, 1) railway junction and sidings/headshunts, 2) nearside coal depot, 3) low relief (Metcalfe) terraced house backs at rear.

Question is, will I get it all in? Let's get the basics done first.

13/1-11/7/2019: Unit 4's basic construction was completed, with a 'baffle' added on Friday 8th, set into place with some adjustments made. The coal depot area was modified, two bays turned into one for five hopper wagons (ten cells). An underpass was sited beyond the weigh office for road delivery vehicle access, the basic structure completed and awaiting later detail. Wills' Coarse Stone packs will be sourced for the cell walls, York Stone road surface will be added to the cell floors and the roadway in front of the cells, 'bled over' the unit side (see images 2-5 below). The scenic break was added, featuring a short length of terminated railway. Part of the Metcalfe double track bridge kit was modified as this scenic break which will incorporate some extra scenic features such as weed growth and maybe some 4 mm scale barbed wire if I can get hold of some (was it Scale Link?). Where the end of the bridge should be will be made to look like a part-demolished structure with signs of dereliction, a rusting buffer stop, rusted rail and rotting wooden sleepers. Got to figure out a way of doing that effectively - probably with the use of acrylics (bought some at the Hobbycraft shop in Romford, so I can experiment with them). Foam laid along the outer - level - siding 'arms' and down the gradient to the overbridge scenic divider. Points to buy for the track off the main running line and in the depot area itself: two medium radius right-hand, one for a short headshunt for cripples and another to make a facing connection for the run-around. At the other end is a curved medium radius point for a short tender locomotive such as a J27 0-6-0 (Oxford Rail, planned release later early 2021). The same locomotive will take empties out and back to a wholesaler or originating source such as a colliery either southward from nearby County Durham or northward from the Selby coalfield - a Q6 0-8-0 from Selby would have brought a long rake of hoppers to a distribution centre (probably York for delivery to local areas and York depot itself on the Leeman Road side of the main station - now a car park next to the Peter Allen building, part of the railway museum, once the main city goods depot). Three Peco medium radius right-hand points delivered, two for facing points at the far end of the coal depot. A third, already in stock was inserted to lead to the short cripples siding (long enough for two or three wagons, two hoppers and a steel BR 16 ton mineral wagon without fouling the point. Not forgetting an NER or rail-built LNER or buffer stop). Six Peco power clips were also delivered, two for the fiddleyards, four elsewhere as deemed suitable;

New Year, new ideas:

24/4-6/5/2020: Configuration laid from coal depot sidings via throat parallel to junction, fitted to length and connected for through working from Unit 1. Track layout also -very - basically established for junction with upper level fiddleyard, complete with run-round pointwork. Another two medium radius right-hand points delivered, both installed the same day and junction layout established. The right-hand point that takes the locomotives and hoppers round to the sidings.was moved forward the length of the point itself to accommodate the right-hand point and track that bypasses the depot from the the fiddleyard. It also gives extra length to the approach to leave brake vans and other stock during shunting.in the coal depot (drawing out empties, propelling laden wagons).. Flexi-track has to be added to link up the pointwork with Unit 3 and between nearside points at the top of the bank. rail joiners awaited with another two right-hand points that will be allocated to Fiddleyard Unit 7 for 'fanning out' the marshalling yard at the back. Trains can be assembled according to which side of Unit 1 they're bound for (passenger/parcels/horse boxes, or goods/freight/cattle wagons). In those days at times the horses were 'hunters', being ferried to some lordship's stables for a weekend, at other times hunt packs went in a full brake with his lordship's luggage.

7/6/20: We're through to Unit 5!

The double track section between Unit 4 and Unit 5 was completed on 7th June, not quite as momentous as the events seventy-six years earlier but a milestone all the same, celebrated with a shot of 'Famous Grouse' Scots' whisky (what else?!) See also Unit 5 write-up below.

30/9/20: Track was modified on Unit 4 with the removal of two left-hand facing points on the incline, replaced by plain track (better for engines that have to climb the incline without a signal check. A diamond crossover replaced the double slip where the Up Main crosses over the Down Goods & Mineral.

8/11/20: An Arch Laser Co. balsa weigh office was added to the end of the depot closest to the road underpass (tunnel). Detailing such as etched nickel silver Pooley weigh bridge and white metal 'bump barrier' will be added shortly once i've got one or two things sorted. I may change the roof for a piece of Wills' plastic slate sheet and add a plastic chimney pot, drilled with the inside painted soot black (matt). To complete this section I'll lay sections of Wills' York Stone on the board 'deck'. My method of attaching parts of different material to each other is a mixture of wood glue and superglue. Try separating that! Wills' Coarse Stone will be used around the back of the weigh office.

17/11/20: Much progress on the coal and lime depot, with cells completed, York stone (Wills') on the depot ground and the beginnings of the vehicle underpass. Just the rest of the ground level York Stone to complete, the underpass, weigh office detailing and lime cell walls at track level.

19-20/11/20: Coal depot surfaced with weigh bridge laid, window sill and barge boards added to weigh office (plastic strip trimmed to shape). The yard depth has been 'tested' with one of the range of 'Classix' commercial vehicles, a reasonably priced flatbed delivery lorry. still the deck to complete (upper level walkway) and lime cell walls with low hipped roof in North Eastern Railway style.

2-3/12/20: The coal depot wagon deck has almost been completed, including walkways, lime cells covered with a 'shed' structure. This had a dual purpose, 1. to ensure no lime dust blew about, getting into the eyes of those working in the coal depot or those in passing trains, and 2. to keep the lime dry. Damp would damage the product, making it unusable. Safety rails to be sourced and applied as well as steps up to the walkway from track level from behind the weigh office. An external stairway will be added at the opposite end of the coal deck from the weigh office.

5/12/20: Wills' (Peco) Roof Slates have been added to the lime shed, Humbrol filler used to 'camouflage' joins (why don't they do longer sheets, like maybe a foot or 30 cos/300 mm?). As this is supposed to represent a typical NER design, a hipped roof was created, which involved triangular cutouts at both ends. The result is suitable for my purposes and looks right as you can see from the images above. All that's left is to search for - or failing that buying - ridge tiles, either as one moulding or individual.

20-27/12/20: A stairway was added between the coal and lime cells using Plastruct steps and handrails, Wills' (Peco) timber decking added to the rail level for footways, and partly rail level safety handrails. Awaiting further packs from Eileen's Emporium (very useful for parts, tools and kits). The steep embankment was created with strips of cereal box card, vertical and horizontal and secured with wood glue - strong stuff and better than ordinary p.v.a glue. Next stage is covering with 'Modroc', plaster impregnated muslin sheet cut into manageable strips. Awaiting detail sheets from a new firm called 'Intentio', useful for scratch building. I'll see how it goes with cladding the card bridge on Unit 4 before going on to Units 1, 5 and 6A (stretcher bond brickwork and stone).

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A steed more recognisable as Gresley's...

Built within the NE Region as K3/5 by the Armstrong Whitworth works on Tyneside is No. 1108. On completion she was allocated outside the region

Built within the NE Region as K3/5 by the Armstrong Whitworth works on Tyneside is No. 1108. On completion she was allocated outside the region

Class K3/2 was allocated 1950-1958 to Heaton, Tyneside (52B)

Class K3/2 was allocated 1950-1958 to Heaton, Tyneside (52B)

Hull Dairycoates K3 61927 (Bachmann, bought at Monkbar Models in York) stands in the fiddleyard, ready to attach to a working

Hull Dairycoates K3 61927 (Bachmann, bought at Monkbar Models in York) stands in the fiddleyard, ready to attach to a working

In the cab, the fireman busies himself with feeding the grate whilst the driver keeps a firm grip on the regulator

In the cab, the fireman busies himself with feeding the grate whilst the driver keeps a firm grip on the regulator

LNER/BR K3 2-6-0 (GNR H4), a more powerful variant of the previous Great Northern Railway Class H3 (LNER K2), the 6'-0" diameter (1.8m) boilers were the biggest fitted at the time to a British steam engine. After Grouping the class was re-designated K3 with subsequent batches numbered (e.g. K3/2) in build sequence, and adopted as an LNER standard design. The nickname 'Jazzers' was given them due to the rhythm of their exhaust beat and their unbalanced gyratory movement.

The first ten were built at 'The Plant' (Doncaster Works) in 1920 to Gresley's design. Six batches were built subsequently at both Doncaster and Darlington works, some contracted out to Armstrong Whitworth. The last of 193 built were outshopped in 1937. The class was an exemplary mixed traffic design in accordance with Gresley's "Horses for courses" policy of locomotive distribution by needs. In 1945 Edward Thompson had K3 No. 206 rebuilt to a two-cylinder variant, classed as K5. No others were thus rebuilt, although several were later given K5 specification boilers.

The first ten, built as Class H4 in GNR days were numbered 1000-1009, became LNER K3 4000-4009 in 1923. Those built for the LNER were numbered haphazardly to fill gaps in the company's numbering scheme. In 1946 renumbering saw the class (K3 and K5) in the 1800-1992 sequence. They were to become 61800-61992 in British Railways' ownership.

All were withdrawn and scrapped from 1959-1962. The K5 went for scrap in 1960. None was preserved, although one Gresley designed 2-6-0, K4 'The Great Marquess', was bought by the late Viscount Garnock reliveried to LNER green and renumbered 3442 [she is now back in BR mixed traffic lined black as No. 61994 and can be seen at Grosmont awaiting work on her boiler].

BR/NE K3 Allocations in 1950-58 saw fifteen at Heaton, Tyneside (52B): 61818, 61875, 61884, 61901, 61904, 61906, 61917, 61930, 61952, 61962, 61969, 61984-7; twenty-one were allocated to Hull Dairycoates shed: 61813-4, 61819, 61871-2, 61874, 61883, 61892, 61899, 61902-3, 61920, 61922, 61934, 61935, 61941, 61945, 61965

Some time ago I bought a Bachmann K3 at Monkbar Models in York and renumbered the model to 61927, a visitor with a stepped-out tender from the Great Central (Eastern Region) with coal traffic in BR steel 16 ton and pre-Nationalisation ex-private owner wood-built wagons.

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RMweb - a site for railway modellers by railway modellers

A source of inspiration for modellers and would-be modellers:

The RMweb site is owned by the publishers of British Railway Modelling. There is no limit on the site, though. British and Continental outline models and layouts can be seen, write-ups and comment on all types of railway modelling encouraged in all gauges and scales. In need of appraisal on your attempts, in need of research for your projects? You're in the right place.

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"The engines that won the war"*

One of the unnamed, V2 60964 simmers at York (50A) beside the next generation of motive power. She was allocated here between 1950 and 1964. 50A closed to steam in June, 1967

One of the unnamed, V2 60964 simmers at York (50A) beside the next generation of motive power. She was allocated here between 1950 and 1964. 50A closed to steam in June, 1967

V2 60964 'The Durham Light Infantry' at York in 1958. She had received her name the month before

V2 60964 'The Durham Light Infantry' at York in 1958. She had received her name the month before

60864 on a mixed goods, on the lower level fiddleyard, Unit 1

60864 on a mixed goods, on the lower level fiddleyard, Unit 1

View over the front of the tender into the cab to show both ModelU crew seated (until the fire needs to be topped up)

View over the front of the tender into the cab to show both ModelU crew seated (until the fire needs to be topped up)

*Not my words, it's what's called 'received knowledge'.

Class V2 - no bomb*, just a horizontal flier, and powerful with it! Designed in the mid-1930s by Nigel Gresley for mixed traffic working, built both at Darlington North Road and Doncaster 'Plant' from 1936-1944, the best-known of the class is the preserved No. 4771 'Green Arrow' (1946 No. 800/BR 60800) and usually on show at the National Railway Museum, York (what had been York North Shed).

They were the sole major 'Mikado' class used in Britain. Where 2-6-2 tank locomotives were fairly common, the only other tender types were Paget's unsuccessful Midland Railway version, and the two later, smaller Gresley Class V4's. the 'Mikado' 2-6-2 wheel arrangement permitted a large firebox unimpeded by the rear coupled wheels, and the leading pony truck afforded greater stability at speed.

The V2 was a derivation of the Class A1 (A3) Pacific, with smaller wheels that increased adhesion on heavy trains. A shorter boiler also marked out the class, keeping Gresley's favoured 3-cylinder arrangement in an unusual monobloc casting. One hundred and eighty-four of the class were built in fourteen batches between 1936-44, almost through the duration of WWII, proving their worth in both freight and passenger traffic. The final batch of four were reconfigured by Edward Thompson as Class A2/1 Pacifics.

The relatively weighty 22 ton axle loading meant route availability was limited to main line working (forty percent of the LNER network, not including former Great Eastern routes). Gresley acknowledged a lighter mixed traffic 'Mikado' was necessary and the 'Bantam Cock' was designed for this purpose, allocated largely to Scottish routes. It was however Thompson's Class B1 4-6-0 that took up the baton from the V2 on lighter mixed traffic, rather than the V4 across the network. The last of Class V2 to be built as V2, numbered 3695, was turned out from Darlington in June, 1944. The class had the free-steaming qualities that the LNER's operating department needed. They were not only capable of working vacuum-braked freight at up to 60 mph (97 km/h) but they could be substituted for Pacifics on heavy wartime passenger (troop train) duties. A V2 in peak condition could almost match a Pacific for sustained high speed running, one being logged at 93 mph (150 km/h) on the 'Yorkshire Pullman', while another under test conditions notched up 101 mph (163 km/h). Their reputation was enhanced during WWII on epic performances, such as in one instance a V2 hauled 26 carriages over around 100 miles from Peterborough to King's Cross (London) with only ten minutes added on the scheduled timetable owing to a slippery start. For more details see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_V2

Allocations in the BR/NE area 1950-58: York (50A) 30; Gateshead (52A) 9; Heaton, Tyneside (52B) 27; Tweedmouth (52D) 2 Total 68, just over a third of the total built.

Bachmann brought out Class V2 in model form in LNER and BR liveries with early 'cycling lion' and later lozenge emblems.

My own V2, unnamed 60864 was a York allocation and will be seen frequently running through with either semi-fast passenger or goods workings

* Coincidentally, in WWII - for those of you 'not in the know' or across 'the Pond' - the Germans had flying bombs, V1 and V2, that they used to large effect on London and several mainland N W European cities; the LNER's Class V1 and V2 had a much more useful purpose

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Rites Of Passage...

Make your way through the series and see how you measure up. Some of you may already be 'further along the road' than I am, some enthusiastic beginners. Whatever stage you're at, you'll find something in this series to interest you, maybe re-enthuse you if you haven't been involved for a while to try your hand again. You might enjoy assembling units and laying track, pointwork and building bridges for others to 'pretty up' with scenery. You might enjoy scratchbuilding structures, as I do, or you might enjoy 'kit-bashing' to adapt kits to suit your own purposes. Like making wagons and other rolling stock or locomotives either to drawings or with kits? There'll be something for you. There are some links on the right of this page that you'll find handy, and enable you somehow to navigate your way through the series at your own pace.

Just remember you're in this to enjoy yourself... Or go out and get yourself another job.

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Gresley 2-6-2 tank locomotives

Class V3 67689 pauses at Durham in 1953, before the advent of diesel multiple units in the region saw them 'pensioned off' (scrapped), or allocated on parcels or empty stock movements and then scrapped when diesel shunters took over their duties

Class V3 67689 pauses at Durham in 1953, before the advent of diesel multiple units in the region saw them 'pensioned off' (scrapped), or allocated on parcels or empty stock movements and then scrapped when diesel shunters took over their duties

Class V1 67639 awaits her next duty at home shed 51D Middlesbrough

Class V1 67639 awaits her next duty at home shed 51D Middlesbrough

Class V3 2-6-2 tank loco 67685 stands on the Up passenger/parcels road ready to take. This is the driver's side...

Class V3 2-6-2 tank loco 67685 stands on the Up passenger/parcels road ready to take. This is the driver's side...

Sister V3 and shed-mate 67686 with hopper bunker is seen here, noses out for a local passenger working

Sister V3 and shed-mate 67686 with hopper bunker is seen here, noses out for a local passenger working

Gresley's Class V1 2-6-2 tank locomotive was first introduced 1930; the further development (rebuilding to V3) came later in the same decade, a last batch built 1939-40 as Class V3. Altogether 82 of Class V1 were built, 71 rebuilt to class V3 specifications, and the last batch rolled out of the works 1939-40. All were built at Doncaster Plant works between 1930-40.

Thirty were recorded as allocated to the North Eastern region 1950-58 at Middlesbrough (51D) 8. Stockton-on-Tees (51E) 1, Gateshead (52A) 6, Heaton - Tyneside (52B) 10; and Blaydon-on-Tyne (52C) 5. Two Class V3 locomotives - 67685 and 67686 - will be seen on the 'Ainthorpe' layout, both were Middlesbrough allocations in 1950, neither is recorded as having been relocated in 1958 to Thornaby (down the road) when the dilapidated Middlesbrough shed was closed down.

The roofing in the three roundhouses was never repaired or replaced in the decade-and-a-half between bombing and closure, probably earmarked for closure that was never acted upon before Thornaby opened. Several other Teesside sheds were closed at the same time as Middlesbrough, much of their steam allocation going for scrap.

None of the class was preserved.

Unit 5 begun 12th February, 2019, second track re-alignment 29th December, 2020

Baffle added to the 'up' end of Unit 5 to face the 'tunnel'. The scenery will be built up against this baffle to hide the construction

Baffle added to the 'up' end of Unit 5 to face the 'tunnel'. The scenery will be built up against this baffle to hide the construction

Retaining wall in place to await the next stage. See how Metcalfe low-profile terraced house-backs fir in place. Some modifications may be called for. First a backscene will have to be attached to the rear unit wall to achieve depth.

Retaining wall in place to await the next stage. See how Metcalfe low-profile terraced house-backs fir in place. Some modifications may be called for. First a backscene will have to be attached to the rear unit wall to achieve depth.

Initial view back toward Unit 4, a pair of facing right-hand points has been added, to aid a run-around off the Up Main to the Down Main and into Bishopthwaite's station (still designated "goods only")

Initial view back toward Unit 4, a pair of facing right-hand points has been added, to aid a run-around off the Up Main to the Down Main and into Bishopthwaite's station (still designated "goods only")

(Nearside) Run-round facility for livestock wagons (cattle, sheep, pigs) to be removed without prior wasteful shunt of goods wagons waiting to be loaded/unloaded - Skaledale water tower at rear

(Nearside) Run-round facility for livestock wagons (cattle, sheep, pigs) to be removed without prior wasteful shunt of goods wagons waiting to be loaded/unloaded - Skaledale water tower at rear

Seen from the opposite direction toward the through running l ines and banker's siding.

Seen from the opposite direction toward the through running l ines and banker's siding.

Unit 5, 12/2 to mid-July 2019, 29/5-30/9/20:

The unit was assembled on the framework, side pieces clamped in place an inch and a half from the brickwork. Measurements were taken to establish the length of spacers and end pieces, timber sawn to specification and laid in place. End pieces had cut-outs measured to fit over the framework. Spacers were screwed in place on the nearside, end pieces ditto and the unit so far assembled was unclamped, laid on a 'workmate' and clamped from the under-inside on to allow work to be completed including 6mm trackbed board as well as 4mm front and back 'scenic panels';

Risers were cut from a new length of 2 X 1 - eighteen altogether, and screwed on using a short length of 2 X 1 clamped to end pieces and spacers as I went along, as a gauge to set them vertical. It's not crucial here to have them exactly aligned as the board will overlap on the sides to where the back and front scenic panels form the break. The 6mm ply will butt onto them, leaving no space. There should be less than an inch at the front from trackbed level to panel height. The 12 inch deep back panel, as on the others, will be where backscene is fixed where applicable;

Ply board, 6 mm thickness was cut to shape where it meets the short inter-unit section, and partly screwed down. This will be completed when the 4 mm back and front panels.have been cut to shape and attached. With a bit of luck I'll be able do the whole lot in one day, maybe Wednesday 20th - turned out it was Thursday 21st, and as you can see from the pictures above we're nearly there. A good run with drill and screwdriver(s), 1.5 inch X 6 crossheads inserted downward, .75 inch X 6 'cheesehead' screws horizontally at front and 1 inch X 6 'cheeseheads' with washers at the back avoids fouling the runners to sit and slide along on the framework to butt up against the wall end where I took out a brick way back when and inserted thick board for track to be laid through. The same thing will apply this time around.

26-28/4/2019: A Metcalfe bridge over the planned double track course was added in modified form as a scenic break, backscene to be added later, with some of the same maker's low relief terraced house backs behind a long Ratio retaining wall, probably topped by spearpoint railings. Foam trackbed, 3.1 mm was added for the through running lines as well as for the livestock dock and goods depot nearer the front of the unit, with Wills' cobblestone laid between tracks and platforms. Wood glue was used to secure the foam to the bare board.

[Bit of an 'activity gap' between here and May, 2020]:

29/5-12/7/2020: Track and points laid in position (three-way and double slips), interlocking on the junction with the through lines. It's pretty obvious where the right-hand point on the back siding will be located. More will be added off-camera on the 'Up' side. This layout is on its way! "With a little help from my friends..." fellow DOGA member and 'stores' man for his local model railway group in West Sussex has sent a boxful of track and points including a double switch or slip. Some points have been used to connect the track on Unit 5, and beyond the divide on Unit 6 is the double slip that links the 'Down' through running line with Bishopthwaite's goods only station, the banker's access stand and point leading to the 'Down' running line. The idea behind this is that a driver of a heavy goods, mineral or passenger train can toot his whistle twice for assistance as he passes on the way to Ainthorpe Bank and the banker waits for the single slip point to change before easing up to the back of the train. He'll drop back again on the 'Up' road and resume his position for the next assist without obstructing any intermediate 'Down' working. (See the images above to work out how this would be achieved).

30/9/20: The track configuration was amended as the three-way point proved faulty, and the double slips lifted with it, replaced by medium radius left- and right-hand points (see images above).

29/3/21: Decided in the best interests of traffic flow to add another two Peco medium radius right-hand facing points to the (nominal) end of the livestock platform where it meets the goods platform (see picture three above, where the metal tape measure reel sits on the nearside track). This would allow cattle wagons to be moved out of that road past goods wagons/vans that were still being unloaded. A horse dock will be built on the middle road to enable race horses to be loaded or unloaded separate to the cattle or sheep on the inside of the layout. This has to be the final change before it's considered complete. I've had thoughts of using Wills' stone setts between the tracks, although that's usually the case for running road vehicles between or across tracks. Let's see how it develops ...

{You will have read in the section on controllers that I've attached shelves to the supporting framework for the controllers and fed power into the layout under the front of the house. Holes have been drilled into the sides of Unit 5 and 6 to feed the power cables through and under the frames. A Gaugemaster controller will be sourced to control both Bishopthorpe Yard and Bishopthwaite Station for goods receipt and wagon storage. Additional power cable has also to be sourced for this area}.

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Thompson's gazelles (4-6-0 class nicknamed 'Bongos', named after species of antelopes), built1941-48

Class B1 4-6-0 61031 'Reedbuck' brings a Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS) special around York station in the 1960s - one of the platforms added to cope with wartime traffic. A goods working awaits the 'right away' from the goods yards

Class B1 4-6-0 61031 'Reedbuck' brings a Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS) special around York station in the 1960s - one of the platforms added to cope with wartime traffic. A goods working awaits the 'right away' from the goods yards

Preserved B1 61264 visits the Great Central - away from 'home' on the NYMR

Preserved B1 61264 visits the Great Central - away from 'home' on the NYMR

One of the few named engines in the 'stable', Thompson Class B1 4-6-0 61010 'Inyala' of York shed through most of the 1950s - the driver setting the regulator whilst the fireman takes a breather from topping up the grate  ] ]

One of the few named engines in the 'stable', Thompson Class B1 4-6-0 61010 'Inyala' of York shed through most of the 1950s - the driver setting the regulator whilst the fireman takes a breather from topping up the grate ] ]

The LNER Class B1 4-6-0 locomotives, 'Bongos', were introduced in 1942 by Edward Thompson, 'successor' to Nigel Gresley. Built to Lot 2011 at Darlington North Road Works in 1948, Number 1031 'Reedbuck' would see service as 61031 and allocated to a Leeds area depot 37B Copley Hill. She would be transferred to 37A Ardsley before withdrawal in November, 1964 and scrapped by Drapers of Hull at the end of January, 1965.

A small number of the class would be spared the cutter's torch, of which 61264 was never given a name. She can be seen on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and is stabled with others of the NYMR fleet at Grosmont, A year ago (Winter 2017-18) her boiler was in its fifth year and tubes were being removed, a thorough inspection being made to ascertain her working life could go a further season in revenue earning service. A new coat of paint was also due]

Allocations in the region, 1950-58:- York (50A) 11; Leeds Neville Hill (50B):14; Darlington (51A): 16; Stockton-on-Tees (51E): 11; Gateshead (52E): 6; Tweedmouth (52D) 6; Hull Dairycoates (53A) 4; Hull Botanic Gardens (53B) 5; Borough Gardens - North Durham, Tyneside (54C) 3: Total 76

Two of the class will make an appearance on the 'Ainthorpe' layout when completed, both Bachmann models, 61016 'Inyala', a York (50A) allocation and 61339, one of the unnamed B1 class, of Neville Hill shed (50B) near Leeds. I may get another B1, probably Bachmann (as being part of the metal framework of the model, Hornby buffer beams are next to impossible to drill through)

Metcalfe railway structural building kits

A red brick bridge kit has been modified as scene dividers on Units 4 & 5, the underside of the arches will be painted in Acrylic. On Unit 4 there's a narrow trúnkated railway, on 5 an old road

A red brick bridge kit has been modified as scene dividers on Units 4 & 5, the underside of the arches will be painted in Acrylic. On Unit 4 there's a narrow trúnkated railway, on 5 an old road

I took delivery of a couple of viaduct kits, one to add to Unit 6A, the other added to Unit 1, the fiddleyard scenic break. On Unit 6A it spans a canal and towpath as well as a narrow roadway across the unit width (10.5 inches.

I took delivery of a couple of viaduct kits, one to add to Unit 6A, the other added to Unit 1, the fiddleyard scenic break. On Unit 6A it spans a canal and towpath as well as a narrow roadway across the unit width (10.5 inches.

Metcalfe bridging and viaduct units

There are a couple of Metcalfe card viaduct kits and two bridges, or rather a bridge-and-a-half. The first 'viaduct' has been used as a bridge after assessing possible uses. The arches on the viaduct are higher, therefore the entry onto the layout from Unit 1 Fiddleyard looks a bit 'grand', the bridge element skewed with the portals parallel to the track. I plan to modify this and the other bridges and viaduct with a covering of plastic sheet for a 3D effect. Let's see how that goes after a short trial with pva/wood glue. It may call for a pva-superglue mix that definitely would do the job. From Unit 4 to Unit 5 are two bridge kits, the one on Unit 4 to be modified (otherwise known as kit-bashed) as a reduced single track rail bridge, the one on Unit 5, the other side of the abutment, is a narrow road bridge that's assumed to be controlled at either end by traffic lights. The other viaduct is on the 'bridging' unit 6A that links Units 6 to 7. The viaduct kit was set in a rectangular 'dish', a ground level added under and around the viaduct. The half bridge, or bridge portal is the scenic break on Unit 7 with a 'box' constructed of 6 mm ply as a baffle, painted black (see write-ups of Units 6A and 7).

Thompson's 2-6-4 tank locomotive, Class L1

Class L1 67764 of Middlesbrough mpd (51D) returns north-westward along the coast from Whitby/Scarborough with a short off-season passenger working. The route was closed in 1954 between Whitby West Cliff and Loftus

Class L1 67764 of Middlesbrough mpd (51D) returns north-westward along the coast from Whitby/Scarborough with a short off-season passenger working. The route was closed in 1954 between Whitby West Cliff and Loftus

Another Middlesbrough allocation, 67763 passes with a mixed rake of non-corridor passenger stock through Eskdale in the holiday season on the way to Whitby via Battersby after closure of the coast line

Another Middlesbrough allocation, 67763 passes with a mixed rake of non-corridor passenger stock through Eskdale in the holiday season on the way to Whitby via Battersby after closure of the coast line

Here's my version, renumbered 67742 of Darlington shed (51A), complete with appropriate shed code on the smokebox door

Here's my version, renumbered 67742 of Darlington shed (51A), complete with appropriate shed code on the smokebox door

Thankfully the roof is removable, which makes it easier to add crew. Here the fireman leans out of the cab as the engine passes - coasting downhill

Thankfully the roof is removable, which makes it easier to add crew. Here the fireman leans out of the cab as the engine passes - coasting downhill

One of LNER CME Edward Thompson's later introductions was Class L1 2-6-4 tank locomotive, the prototype No. 9000 built May 1945 at Doncaster Plant. The rest of the 100 strong class was built by British Railways at North Road works, Darlington between 1948-50.

Only eleven were allocated to the North Eastern Region in 1950, five to Darlington (51A), the rest to Middlesbrough (51D). Most were dispersed around the Home Counties, in the Great Central, Great Eastern and Great Northern sections of the Eastern Region. Most of the North Eastern allocations had been withdrawn by the late 1950s due to the allocation to the region of Birmingham-built Metro Cammell diesel multiple units (dmu's) during those years. Those remaining were put on empty stock or local parcels workings.

One of the (Hornby) class, 67742 of Darlington will appear on the layout with local passenger/parcels workings.

Railway (re-)building and materials - real life

Leyburn West,(Wensleydale Railway)  bridge and retaining walls - steps are being taken to instal pointwork for the western end of the passing loop at Leyburn Station - nice lineside and bridge work scenery detailing

Leyburn West,(Wensleydale Railway) bridge and retaining walls - steps are being taken to instal pointwork for the western end of the passing loop at Leyburn Station - nice lineside and bridge work scenery detailing

At the time the bridge was built west of the station at Leyburn they would have been glad of a dumper truck like this! The rail bed  has been laid to instal the pointwork for the western end of the passing loop

At the time the bridge was built west of the station at Leyburn they would have been glad of a dumper truck like this! The rail bed has been laid to instal the pointwork for the western end of the passing loop

Scenery, as you've guessed from a previous page in this series, is important enough to write books about.

The books are listed in other pages, so I won't go into detail. It's enough just to give one a mention:

One of a series in the Silver Link Library of Railway Modelling that gives a grounding in model railway construction - CREATING THE SCENIC LANDSCAPE by Trevor Booth, (ISBN 978-1-85794-023-7), 95 pp, colour and b/w images and diagrams in sections on 1. the scenic base & ballasting, ground cover; 2. developing the landscape; 3. the urban scene; 4. signalling; 5. 'populating' the layout

*details of further books in the series can be found on Amazon UK

Completed Hornby Class A1 Pacific conversion job and planned addition to the Ainthorpe Junction 'fleet'

Class A1 Pacific 60147 'NORTH EASTERN", shedded Gateshead (52A) 1960-1965, latterly only 'on paper' when Gateshead closed to steam. I have a Hornby locomotive, name plates, smokebox number plate and other details from Fox Transfers - keep you posted

Class A1 Pacific 60147 'NORTH EASTERN", shedded Gateshead (52A) 1960-1965, latterly only 'on paper' when Gateshead closed to steam. I have a Hornby locomotive, name plates, smokebox number plate and other details from Fox Transfers - keep you posted

A1 60126 'Sir Vincent Raven' of Heaton Shed (52B) - was this picture taken 'at home'? A projected addition, probably a Bachmann Branchline model next time. If I can't get 'Vincent Raven' it'll be a stablemate, possibly with Fox detailing again

A1 60126 'Sir Vincent Raven' of Heaton Shed (52B) - was this picture taken 'at home'? A projected addition, probably a Bachmann Branchline model next time. If I can't get 'Vincent Raven' it'll be a stablemate, possibly with Fox detailing again

Here's an average fully grown man working on the engine to give you an idea of the size of these locomotives. At full speed it takes a couple of miles after applying the brakes to stop.

Here's an average fully grown man working on the engine to give you an idea of the size of these locomotives. At full speed it takes a couple of miles after applying the brakes to stop.

... Here's my version, a Hornby Class A1 renamed and renumbered from 60163 'Tornado' to 60147 'North Eastern' of Gateshead shed (52A)

... Here's my version, a Hornby Class A1 renamed and renumbered from 60163 'Tornado' to 60147 'North Eastern' of Gateshead shed (52A)

Crew positioned, driver to the left. Pre-LNER eastern English railway companies' locomotives were right-hand drive. North British engines were left-hand drive so LNER locomotives that ran in Scotland were refitted for left side drive.

Crew positioned, driver to the left. Pre-LNER eastern English railway companies' locomotives were right-hand drive. North British engines were left-hand drive so LNER locomotives that ran in Scotland were refitted for left side drive.

Rear view of the tender in the first stage of weathering. Where you start is your choice. The aim of the game is a passable reproduction of an engine that's been in service for a while and due for overhaul at North Road Works (Darlington, Co. Durham)

Rear view of the tender in the first stage of weathering. Where you start is your choice. The aim of the game is a passable reproduction of an engine that's been in service for a while and due for overhaul at North Road Works (Darlington, Co. Durham)

British Railways' North Eastern Region may not have been as big as its neighbours, the Midland and Eastern regions, yet it carried much of the nation's industrial traffic until the late 1960s when the system changed (for the worse)

British Railways' North Eastern Region may not have been as big as its neighbours, the Midland and Eastern regions, yet it carried much of the nation's industrial traffic until the late 1960s when the system changed (for the worse)

Arthur H Peppercorn took the reins of the LNER CME's office after Edward Thompson's retirement

He had only a year to go before the LNER would give way to a natíonalised railway that included all the Big Four companies, with the Western, Southern and Midland Railway regions.

Edward Thompson, in his eyes, had left several 'rough edges' to his final designs for Pacifics, namely the A1/1 and A2/1 classes, rebuilds from Gresley designs seen by him as past their prime or just unsuitable for purpose. With just that year to go, Peppercorn had the drawing office at 'the Plant' - Doncaster works - galvanised and raring to go. It would be his and their swan song after all. I'll just deal with Class A1 here.

Thompson had the first LNER A1 Pacific 'Great Northern' rebuilt to A1/1 in 1945. This would have ushered in a new class A1, had the new-builds been carried out. The programme was not repeated on others of the Gresley A1 class. Instead, started by Thompson and carried forward - with adjustments - by his successor Arthur H Peppercorn a brand new Class A1 (and A2) was designed, albeit based on Thompson's blueprint with modifications.

Peppercorn A1, a thoroughbred

The new Class A1 was designated for the heaviest passenger diagrams in the post-WWII era of the LNER's East Coast Main Line, i.e., trains of up to fifteen coaches, a maximum of 550 tons at speeds of 60-70 mph (95-110 km/h). As with earlier LNER Pacifics, the new A1 had a three cylinder arrangement with double Kylchap chimney. The new Class A1 was ordered by the LNER under Peppercorn's authority but the first locomotives were not built before the 1948 emergence of British Railways.

Forty-nine were built between 1948 and 1949 at Darlington North Road and the Doncaster 'Plant'. Numbers 60114-22 were built 1948-49, 60123-29 at Doncaster in 1949. Darlington built 60130-43 in 1948, 60144-52 in 1949. The remainder, 60153-62 were Doncaster-built with Timken roller bearings on all axles in 1949.

Naming was somewhat varied, with some named after racehorses - as Gresley's were - senior railwaymen of the North Eastern, Great Northern and North British pre-Grouping railways; some were named after birds, pre-Grouping railway companies and after characters or places in novels of Sir Walter Scott - and one after his place of residence, Abbotsford north of the border.

Withdrawal began 1962 and ended 1966 with some engines going for scrap after only thirteen/fourteen years in service. Of the two remaining, 60124 'Kenilworth' and 60145 'Saint Mungo' the latter was earmarked for preservation by Geoff Drury, although for various reasons this did not save the engine from the cutter's torch.

In 2008 a new Class A1 was completed, with the modifications considered a natural progression had all fifty been built in succession. She was tested in works grey livery on the Great Central route between Loughborough and Leicester North (I was on the inaugural train in the late summer of 2008.

Edward Thompson's 2-6-0, modified by Arthur Peppercorn, built by North British Locomotive Co. and introduced from 1948

K1 62001 of 51E Stockton-on-Tees (1950-58) runs with mixed freight - location unknown

K1 62001 of 51E Stockton-on-Tees (1950-58) runs with mixed freight - location unknown

BR Lined mixed traffic livery K1 62005 in NELPG ownership at Grosmont heads a train of Gresley stock for Pickering - early BR 'cycling lion' totem

BR Lined mixed traffic livery K1 62005 in NELPG ownership at Grosmont heads a train of Gresley stock for Pickering - early BR 'cycling lion' totem

Driver on 62064 leans out as 62059 nears (ModelU figure)

Driver on 62064 leans out as 62059 nears (ModelU figure)

Both locomotives seen from above. Hornby did a good job on these and the Q6

Both locomotives seen from above. Hornby did a good job on these and the Q6

Thompson's 'Mogul' reconfigured by Peppercorn, introduced in BR days, 1949-50

Edward Thompson, CME of the LNER 1941-46, opted for two-cylinder designs for this mixed traffic 2-6-0 locomotive, rather than the more complicated three cylinder designs of his predecessor Gresley. The 70 produced were to be split between the Eastern and North Eastern regions of British Railways. Thompson's prototype for the K1 was the rebuild of K4 3445 'MacCailin Mor', classified K1/1 entrusted to his principal assistant Arthur Peppercorn and became British Railways number 61997.

When Peppercorn succeeded Thompson as the LNER's Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1947 his first task was the 2 cylinder rebuild of K4 'Mogul' (2-6-0) 3445 'MacCailin Mor'. Running plates were reconfigured to improve access from side and fore to the cylinders for the fitters, and changes were made to the two-wheel 'Pony truck' to the front of the coupled wheels. Cylinder linings and boiler were also changed. These new engines (Class K1) were also longer, receiving larger capacity tenders to hold 4,200 gallons of water instead of the standard K4 3,500 gallon tenders. Seventy Class K1 mixed traffic locomotives were built by North British Limited (NBL) of Glasgow, the last LNER type of its size and the last 2-6-0 to be built for use on main line routes. They entered service under the au spices of British Railways between May, 1949 and March, 1950. Class K1 was useful and versatile, working widely on ex-LNER metals, although largely in the BR/NE area. Like the K4 they were also used on the West Highland route between Mallaig, Fort William and Glasgow on fish and passenger workings. They were all withdrawn after all-too-brief working lives between 1962-67. The last to be taken out of service only just escaped scrapping. 62005 was originally bought from BR by Viscount Garnock as a source of spares for his K4 3442 'The Great Marquess'. However, realising he didn't need her he donated 62005 to the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG - see the page link on my Profile page). By 1975 she was restored to main line running order and appeared in Darlington apple green livery as the fictitious LNER 2005 at the Stockton & Darlington 150 Cavalcade in September, 1975. She runs mainly on he main line simply as BR 62005, yet appears on the West Highland line for much of the tourist season with the 'Lord of the Isles' nameplate, re-liveried in the more accurate BR lined mixed traffic black.

Allocations in the BR/NE Area 1950-58:- Darlington (51A)- 17; Stockton-on-Tees (51E) 8; Heaton - Tyneside (52B) 5; Blaydon (52C) 10

Two Hornby-made class K1 locomotives will be seen on the layout, 62059 was a Darlington allocation, 62064 at Stockton-onTees


Crews, lineside, signal, and goods depot personnel, and incidental non-railway figures from ModelU

The fireman aboard an ex-WD Class 0-6-0 saddle tank (ST) J94 looks ahead for a signal at 'off' - hand-painted ModelU figure (I paint my own although the service is offered).

The fireman aboard an ex-WD Class 0-6-0 saddle tank (ST) J94 looks ahead for a signal at 'off' - hand-painted ModelU figure (I paint my own although the service is offered).

ModelU

  • Modelu – Finescale Figures
    Fine scale figures in ranges from 'Ragged Victorians', pre-Grouping (1923) pre- 1948-1990) and post-Nationalisation (1990-present day) footplate, lineside and station figures in scales from 2mm to Gauge 1

ModelU

A more personal approach to populating your layout, manning your motive power, lineside manpower and overseeing the personnel... Yes, you can buy a bowler-hatted footplate inspector, or have your stationmaster conferencing with his staff.

By the way, for ModelU customers there's the ModelU page on Facebook, where you can demonstrate your mastery of the incidental. All you have to do, once you've become a customer is accept the invitation to show your figure painting skills. Easy enough.

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Ratio cattle dock and provender store kits ordered for Unit 5

This is the Ratio Cattle Dock that comes in kit form. I had one on 'Thoraldby'. For the 'Deanthorpe' goods depot and cattle market I'll marry two together for a train of up to five/six wagons, with a yard alongside for more pens..

This is the Ratio Cattle Dock that comes in kit form. I had one on 'Thoraldby'. For the 'Deanthorpe' goods depot and cattle market I'll marry two together for a train of up to five/six wagons, with a yard alongside for more pens..

Ratio Provender Store, Ratio kit 513, now a Peco product. I bought one assembled at a model railway show. I saw two together at Masham near Ripon in Yorkshire. I'll buy another two and assemble as one, using the third as a separate unit,

Ratio Provender Store, Ratio kit 513, now a Peco product. I bought one assembled at a model railway show. I saw two together at Masham near Ripon in Yorkshire. I'll buy another two and assemble as one, using the third as a separate unit,

On Unit 5, the site of Bishopthorpe Yard...

... I shall do as I did on Unit 4, that is add depth to the unit by 'building out' - you'll have noticed the additional space created at the front of the coal and lime depot for vehicle parking at the loading cells.

Unit 5 will encompass a similar feature to add depth for the goods depot, the livestock pens (cattle, sheep and/or pigs, although pigs were often moved in horse boxes, especially with young and in winter, see the BFI monochrome feature "Farmer Moving South") and horse dock in that order along the front of the unit. Ratio (now owned by Peco) Provender Stores and Cattle Dock will feature along the front, with an open platform to unload especially racehorses (Yorkshire has nine racecourses from Catterick and Redcar in the north of the county, to Doncaster in the far south). I shall attempt to add a scratchbuilt timber goods shed based on several in the North Eastern area, built near the end of NER days, in addition to a pair of provender stores knocked into one as at Masham near Ripon in North Yorkshire (previously West Riding, to 1974).

Units 6 and 6a, 12-31/3, 1-9/4/2019 and 4-5/10/2020

As shown on the Unit 5 picture gallery, the banker's standage runs off the Down Main via a right-hand point as opposed to the earlier double slip. This simplifies running, although Bishopthwaite station has to be reconfigured as a result...

As shown on the Unit 5 picture gallery, the banker's standage runs off the Down Main via a right-hand point as opposed to the earlier double slip. This simplifies running, although Bishopthwaite station has to be reconfigured as a result...

Access to Bishopthwaite from Down Main. Packets contain Wills' (Peco) platform and ramp sections

Access to Bishopthwaite from Down Main. Packets contain Wills' (Peco) platform and ramp sections

I debated with myself about the benefits of a facing crossover on the viaduct from the 'Down Main' to the main yard across the 'Up Main'. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier (maybe it was because I needed to order two more right-hand points!)

I debated with myself about the benefits of a facing crossover on the viaduct from the 'Down Main' to the main yard across the 'Up Main'. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier (maybe it was because I needed to order two more right-hand points!)

Off the layout and into Unit 7 fiddleyard through the baffle - added on the curve to simulate the entrance to a short tunnel and give the eye a sense of continuity instead of a jarring scenery break

Off the layout and into Unit 7 fiddleyard through the baffle - added on the curve to simulate the entrance to a short tunnel and give the eye a sense of continuity instead of a jarring scenery break

The buildings for Bishopthwaite's small station, the station house and offices...

The buildings for Bishopthwaite's small station, the station house and offices...

... The goods shed and despatch office...

... The goods shed and despatch office...

The view from the viaduct to Bishopthwaite station. Scenery beside the viaduct to include an unmade roadway and canal - continuation of the one on Unit 3

The view from the viaduct to Bishopthwaite station. Scenery beside the viaduct to include an unmade roadway and canal - continuation of the one on Unit 3

Work on units 6 & 6A started 27th February 2019 - work ongoing ...

Flash forward to 1/6/2020: Trackwork began on Unit 6, and thoughts turned to the shape of what's to put on there. I've decided to use the recycled buildings from the 'Kirk Rigg' layout. As they were scratch-built it'd be a shame to just dump them, so they'll be used as a small terminus station, much as 'Kirk Rigg' was, except without passengers. It'll be a goods only site - long before Dr Beeching's blueprint for British Railways was completed - with the threat of closure hanging over it. access will be from the Down line, with facing points off the Up for pick-up goods workings to rejoin their routine. We have to imagine that after closure to passengers access to 'Bishopthwaite' station was reconfigured - 'rationalised' in British Railways' parlance. With the proximity to the main goods depot it's only a matter of time...

10/6/20: Buildings and the goods crane recycled from 'Kirk Rigg' have been positioned to ascertain the space needed for erstwhile passenger platform (retained for loco crew and guards awaiting permission to enter Bishopthorpe Yard) and goods platform. Nice amount of space available!

11-12/7/20: (See also Unit 5) With the box of track and points down in the depths of the house, I was able to configure the through running lines (the 'Down' side to complete next session), with access off the 'Down' line to Bishopthwaite goods only station, the banker's standage and on up Ainthorpe Bank, over the junction to either the passenger/parcels fiddleyard or to the freight, goods and mineral fiddleyard (both Unit 1, with access from the passenger/parcels side to the small mail order depot, 'Bloomfield's Mail Order', still to complete with the addition of a small radius curve point for the engine runaround (J72 or Sentinel). It'll get busy when the 'juice' is on throughout!

23/8/20: Facing crossover was inserted on the viaduct to ease transition of goods/livestock traffic across the 'Up Main' into the 'Bishopthorpe' yard. Exit is via a double slip and three-way point from the yard back across the 'Up Main' onto the 'Down Main', or from the 'Up Main' through the yard and back onto the 'Up Main'. It should work well both ways.

4-5/10/20: All change! A double slip that led the banker's standee siding and Bishopthwaite station has been replaced by a right-hand point, which continues the Down Main curve past Bishopthwaite station. Another right-hand point has been inserted to access the reconfigured Bishopthwaite station layout. A feature which might have been changed by British Railways in the late 1940s to simplify running. More when track stocks have been replenished (short sections);

17/2/21: I came to the awkward conclusion this morning, when trial-running a newly acquired Gresley brake 2nd carriage with an ex-LNER CCT and BR horse box, that I need to re-align the two lines where they leave the viaduct onto Unit 6. The curve is too sharp and buffer lock happens. Hey-ho, here we go again. Track-lifting time again...Watch this space.

Riddles' 2-8-0 wartime 'austerity' stand-in for the London Midland & Scottish eight-coupled

Robert Riddles' WD 2-8-0 in BR days, 90074 at West Hartlepool mpd in steam's Indian Summer,  1967 (90074 was by this time a visitor in the area, and the last three sheds closed to steam in the autumn of that year)

Robert Riddles' WD 2-8-0 in BR days, 90074 at West Hartlepool mpd in steam's Indian Summer, 1967 (90074 was by this time a visitor in the area, and the last three sheds closed to steam in the autumn of that year)

Repatriated from Sweden and overhauled, given a BR number in sequence, 90733 at Haworth shed on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WVR) in 2007

Repatriated from Sweden and overhauled, given a BR number in sequence, 90733 at Haworth shed on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WVR) in 2007

Three-quarter view of WD 2-8-0 90446 of Newport (near Middlesbrough) shed, 51B heads a mixed fitted and unfitted working from the lower deck fiddleyard

Three-quarter view of WD 2-8-0 90446 of Newport (near Middlesbrough) shed, 51B heads a mixed fitted and unfitted working from the lower deck fiddleyard

You can just about make out the crew, driver in nearside window, fireman offside. The class was widely distributed around Eastern and North Eastern Region depots (114 from Tweedmouth south to Hull area)

You can just about make out the crew, driver in nearside window, fireman offside. The class was widely distributed around Eastern and North Eastern Region depots (114 from Tweedmouth south to Hull area)

Robert Riddles' 2-8-0 heavy freight steam locomotive introduced in 1943 for war duties...

Altogether 935 were built; the class was based on the LMS 8F design, until then the Government's standard type. Several modifications were made by Riddles to the 8F design to produce a low-cost rather than aesthetically designed machine. The boiler was of simpler construction, parallel (LNER type) as opposed to the traditional tapered. A round-topped firebox was preferred to the conventional LMS 8F Belpaire type, and of steel rather than the rarer, more expensive copper.

Construction was divided between the North British Locomotive (NBL) of Glasgow who divided 545 between their Hyde Park and Queen's Park works, and Vulcan Foundry (VF) at Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire who made up the number. WD 800-879 were ordered originally as LMS Class 8F, the last named 'Vulcan' from new. All were renumbered with a '7' prefix before shipping to mainland Europe after D-Day, 6th June, 1944. The '7' prefix was applied when newly outshopped to those built on or after 5th September, 1944 and all but three saw service with the British Army. After WWII the War Department sold 930 locomotives, two were kept, three scrapped. The LNER bought 200, classified them O7, numbered 3000-3199 in 1948. Another 533 were bought by the British Transport Commission (BTC). All 733 locomotives on British Railways in 1948 were renumbered 90000-90732, the one only named 'Vulcan' kept her name.

In 1946 twelve were exported to Hong Kong to work the Kowloon-Canton route. Six were scrapped in 1956, the last two surviving until September, 1962. The other 184 locomotives stayed in mainland Europe, mainly employed by the Netherlands railway. One went to the USATC in exchange for a USATC S160 class locomotive (Baldwin 2-8-0) in a postwar agreement between the WD and USATC. One, Vulcan Foundry works number 5200 was brought back from Sweden (after being sold to them by the Netherlands railway) and overhauled to ex-works condition by the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Railway (K&WVR) in 2007. A new cab and tender were necessitated as the SJ had modified both. The engine was given its BR number 90733 and took its initial passenger working on Monday 23rd July, 2007

British Railways' North Eastern Region was allocated 123 of the LNER lot, divided between the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire, Durham and Tyneside, the largest of which was 36 at Newport (Middlesbrough). Steam finished officially in the North East in the autumn of 1967

Allocations in the region: York (50A) 7; Darlington (51A) 11; Newport -Tees (51B) 36; Stockton-on-Tees (51E) 15; Tweedmouth (52D) 8; Hull Dairycoates (53A) 13; Hull Springhead - ex-Hull & Barnsley Rly (53C) 25 Total 114

Models: One WD 2-8-0 - a Bachmann model - is already in the motive power department and will be seen on the layout. Number 90446 was a Newport (51B) allocation between 1950-58, the timespan of the layout. Another is on the cards, possibly also a 'Teessider'.

'Final mile' - second fiddleyard progress (of sorts) . However the layout needs to be re-configured...

Front panel attached to Unit 7, 5.5 inches deep 4mm ply with nine .75 inch cheese-head slotted screws (2 each end),

Front panel attached to Unit 7, 5.5 inches deep 4mm ply with nine .75 inch cheese-head slotted screws (2 each end),

The baffle, in blackboard paint, seen from Unit 7

The baffle, in blackboard paint, seen from Unit 7

The fiddleyard, Unit 7, final layout. The last few short sections of track were slotted in during the week ending 7/3/21 - which means ballasting can start from Unit 1 (at last)!

The fiddleyard, Unit 7, final layout. The last few short sections of track were slotted in during the week ending 7/3/21 - which means ballasting can start from Unit 1 (at last)!

Additional carriage & van storage to be added on the right by means of a medium radius right-hand point

Additional carriage & van storage to be added on the right by means of a medium radius right-hand point

Fiddleyard, Unit 7 was begun, 9/4/2019; track laid through the baffle summer 2020, almost complete late January early 2021

9/4- 22/7/2019: The framework was assembled, the shape obvious now in the images above. (I interspersed work on this with work on the overbridge/viaduct site on Unit 1). The fancy woodwork stage has been passed reasonably successfully and all that remains to be done is the endpiece towards 6A to be ;screwed in place and the risers can be attached for a gradual descent onto the main fiddleyard level at about 2.25 inches above frame level all the way to the stair end. Then it's the 6mm ply again and 4mm ply back, end and front panels. Then on to trackbed laying (at last!)

Unit base completed, a baffle at the end of Unit 7 to 6A was added, assembled in situ by cutting two pieces of 6mm ply, glueing them to the end wall and then adding a 'roof'. Next two more pieces were measured, glued against the first formation with the 'roof' marked and measured against the sides and glued down. A 'face' piece was added to match the profile of the bridge arch and glued on after priming and painting the inside walls, priming and painting the back of the 'face' piece before attaching it. That'll change the perspective of Unit 7 and make the passage off the scenic part under the bridge look less 'flat'. the baffle interior, exterior and front have been treated with blackboard paint (... Reminds me of a 'Stones' number, "Paint It Black" that was played as soundtrack to a US Vietnam War series we had on commercial TV here in the 1980s. Shame it was taken off and never repeated); tracklaying began from Unit 1 once the basic unit was completed

12/7 - 30/8/2020: Double track was laid from Unit 6A, Metcalfe viaduct, and passed through the baffle onto the the unit 'throat'. Two points fanned the track out to make four tracks. At some stage facing points will be laid to link the rails and to cross from 'Up' to 'Down' side for locomotives to run down a loco release road to change duties in 'scissor' fashion. More track and points delivered, awaiting one point and short track sections for completion. Peco seem to struggle to keep up with demand - not just from me - but I'm nearly there.

30/1/21: Finally I got round to laying the two orders of points ordered last year and delivered almost a week ago (Peco 'furloughed' their workers and only recently caught up with orders). Rail joiners are still in short supply though, and I'll have to wait a little longer for the last packet needed to complete this layout and have some left over for the portable 'Thorpe Carr' layout fiddleyard. I'm a medium radius left-hand point short due to some rearrangement of Bishopthorpe Yard's track and reconfiguring of the Up and Down Main access from Bishopthwaite, from the banker's siding and between Up and Down tracks for shunting purposes. Hopefully I'll have that point soon and be able to sort out the remaining track links (bought my 'Famous Grouse' a bit prematurely, but ... You know).

17/2/21: Had a rethink on Unit 7 layout. I figured that for freight/goods/mineral traffic to access the Down Main I should add a pair of medium radius curved points in the station throat. Needs some careful consideration. The points are on order and the medium radius straight left-hand point I ordered for the link is on its way, plus another packet of rail joiners. All that remains when the two curved points arrive (one left, one right to face each other on the bend from the viaduct) is to fit them in. Who said it would be easy?!

25/2/21: You can see from the images above that Unit 7 has been radically rethought, with the said approach from the freight/goods/mineral side to the Down Main across the end of the parcels/passenger roads. Got to wait for some double, single and half straights to complete the layout and then it's on to ballasting from beneath the skewed Unit 1 overbridge.

week ending 7/3/21: a last consignment of track - single and short straights - allowed the completion of the fiddleyard, which means I can start on ballasting. As the last pack of two Peco plate girder bridge sides was received the same week, and have been fixed down with the 'magic formula' (wood glue with a trickle of superglue, sets like concrete and you'd need a road drill to shift it!).

This unit is effectively complete!

Another locomotive class seen in number in the North, Robert Riddles' War Department class 0-6-0 saddle tank design

Lined up at Darlington shed (51A) - what's the collective term for a number of J94s, a welter? - a weekend shot shows the class off-duty. Darlington had 11 of the 45 allocated to York and the North East overall

Lined up at Darlington shed (51A) - what's the collective term for a number of J94s, a welter? - a weekend shot shows the class off-duty. Darlington had 11 of the 45 allocated to York and the North East overall

In late LNER days, J94 8056 at West Hartlepool shed (51C in BRNE days) near the loco coaling stage - left rear (no handrail - imagine climbing up those steps on a windy day with a shovel over your shoulders!)

In late LNER days, J94 8056 at West Hartlepool shed (51C in BRNE days) near the loco coaling stage - left rear (no handrail - imagine climbing up those steps on a windy day with a shovel over your shoulders!)

Nearest the camera 68010 sports a hopper bunker, 68052 has the normal type. Both were Darlington allocations

Nearest the camera 68010 sports a hopper bunker, 68052 has the normal type. Both were Darlington allocations

68010 close-up with fireman resting after topping up the grate, driver - far side - makes adjustments

68010 close-up with fireman resting after topping up the grate, driver - far side - makes adjustments

The LNER tried one of Robert Riddles' ex-War Department (WD) 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotives under industrial working conditions in November, 1945. Seventy-five were bought in, renumbered in the 8006-80 sequence.

All were taken on by British Railways - 45 by British Railways' North Eastern Region with its heavy industrial involvement - , the regional prefix '6' added to their numbering, and classified 4F (freight allocation) in their power output. employed largely in shunting duties, in dockyards and similar environments on short trip-working between industrial and railway premises, where their short wheelbase allowed them to negotiate tighter curves than standard 0-6-0 wheelbases.

With their power output, one location they were used in was on the Cromford & High Peak Railway (C&HPR) in rural Derbyshire. Here they replaced older ex-North London Railway 0-6-0 tank engines of 2F power classification. Classed as J94, they began to be withdrawn from BR service from 1960 with the advent of diesel shunters, until around 1967. Some were sold into private industrial use, many to the young National Coal Board (NCB) to augment their ageing steam fleets around mainland Britain (North, North East and Midlands in England, Central Scotland and South Wales) .

The Ministry of Supply, attached to the War Office awarded the contract to build just under four hundred War Department 0-6-0 saddle tank engines to Hunslet of Leeds who built 120 themselves. Hunslet sub-contracted to Andrew Barclay for fifteen, Robert Stephenson's Darlington plant built 90, Vulcan Foundry and Hudswell Clarke 50 each, and W G Bagnall were asked to build the last 52.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) kept 90 for the Longmoor Military Railway; 75 were sold to the LNER who classed them as J94; 27 were sold to the Dutch railway network, 11 loaned to Dutch state-owned mining interests; others were sold for industrial use to France and Tunisia in 1946. Between 1948-64 77 new Austerity saddle tank locomotives were built for the newly established National Coal Board and 14 more were were ordered by the MoD for the Longmoor Military Railway and operated by Royal Engineers crews. Altogether 485 were built to order between 1943-64.

Allocations in the region:- York (50A) 7; Darlington (51A) 11; Newport - Tees (51B) 7; West Hartlepool (51C) 6; Heaton - Tyneside (52B) 1; Blaydon (52C) 4; Sunderland (54A) 1 Total: 37

Two (Darlington, 51A allocation numbers) will be seen around 'Ainthorpe', 68010 and 68052. With the numbers of goods and freight wagons I've got, they're guaranteed to be kept busy, loaned out for external duties.


Model Scenery Supplies

  • Model Scenery Supplies
    Realistic terrains, backscenes and landscapes for model railway and war game enthusiasts

A convincing backdrop, unless you're a budding Leonardo or Van Dyck, is no easy matter. If you've slaved hours on your tracklaying, ballasting or stock and so forth, you don't want to be let down by a flat looking backscene.

There's a company called Model Scenery Supplies in Norfolk, England, who stock backscenes by 1D, who produce backscenes for different scales, different environs and different purposes, whether it's industry, townscapes, ports or countryside, they have something to suit. You can choose from self-adhesive backing or one you attach with PVA.

LMS designed classes were also built at Darlington North Road and Doncaster 'Plant'

Initially Ivatt 4 2-6-0 locomotives were provided with double chimneys

Initially Ivatt 4 2-6-0 locomotives were provided with double chimneys

Early Ivatt 4 2-6-0 seen here with original double chimney - all were later replaced due to poor steaming capabílity

Early Ivatt 4 2-6-0 seen here with original double chimney - all were later replaced due to poor steaming capabílity

Although designed for light freight work, at weekends or public holidays some were assigned to passenger working

Although designed for light freight work, at weekends or public holidays some were assigned to passenger working

', The one 'that got away, 43106 preserved on the Severn Valley Railway

', The one 'that got away, 43106 preserved on the Severn Valley Railway

Ivan 4MT 43054 was a Darlington allocation throughout the 1950's, seen here with a mixed freight on the front fiddleyard, Unit 1

Ivan 4MT 43054 was a Darlington allocation throughout the 1950's, seen here with a mixed freight on the front fiddleyard, Unit 1

LMS Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 'Flying Pig'

Designed by H G Ivatt for the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMSR) for medium freight traffic, also used on secondary passenger working, between 1947-1952 162 of the class were built, 75 at Horwich Works (ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway), 50 at Doncaster 'Plant' and 37 at Darlington North Road Works.

The class saw extensive use around the network in England, many on the former Midland & Great Northern (LMS-LNER) line where they were.the main motive power. Some were allocated to the former Somerset & Dorset line, although soon re-allocated away, deemed unsuitable for the long, hard inclines where they proved poor steamers. Later class members were modified with single chimneys, thus improving their steaming capability. All the earlier class members were subsequently fitted with single chimneys.

The first three of the class were numbered 3000-3002, renumbered by British Railways (BR) in line with other LMS designs as 43000-43002, the other 159 following in sequence, 43003-43161, and were built in batches by BR Eastern, Midland and North Eastern region works. Nicknames for the class varied from 'Doodlebugs', 'Mucky Ducks' and 'Flying Pigs', the latter used predominantly in the North Eastern area.

The design was similar in outline to the American Baldwin 2-8-0 tender locomotives that came in the early 1940s. Boiler and cab layout, high running plates positioned with a gap above the outside cylinders and gap ahead of the cylinders, no continued, curved running plate down to buffer beam level as had been the tradition in British locomotive design of the 20th Century. For this reason locomotive enthusiasts saw the class as the ugliest British locomotives introduced by LMS designers and BR in turn, particularly those outshopped with double chimneys - the first 50 produced. These performed poorly and were soon refitted with single chimneys. These locomotives also carried new mechanical features to reduce maintenance and were therefore cheaper to run. Their utilitarian appearance was a deliberate design decision, earlier sketches showing the engines.fitted with normal curved running plates ahead of the cylinders.

Withdrawals: .began 1963, initially with six going to scrap. More followed between 1964-68, the last batch being also six. One only escaped the cutter's torch, 43106, the last of the class in service had been stored at Lostock Hall near Preston on the Midland region of BR - its last turn in revenue-earning traffic was shortly before Easter, 1968, the duty curtailed by derailment at Colne Goods in Lancashire. Number 43106 was picked as the best of what was left to preserve for posterity and a search was made on the Tuesday after Easter to check on the state of the engine..As the damage was thought minimal the prospective owners would see to what was needed to be rectified. On return to Lostock Hall fitters from further north at Carnforth were called. Repairs undertaken can still be seen. Steaming by BR took place for the last time on 4th August that year, the end of steam on the BR main line - officially/ .The engine is now 'at home' on the Severn Valley Railway. A major overhaul of 43106 was finished in 2009, boiler repairs completed 2013.

[source: Wikipedia].

Allocations: North Eastern Region 1950-58: Scarborough (50E) 1; Darlington (51A) 6; Heaton, Tyneside (52B); Hull Dairycoates (53A) 1

Models (ready-to-run): Bachmann produce a single chimney version of the class. My own is based on a much weathered 43054 of Darlington mpd.

LMS H G Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0

A small chimney alteration and increase in cylinder size was made to the original Ivatt design

A small chimney alteration and increase in cylinder size was made to the original Ivatt design

One-time York allocation, 46480 takes a passenger working over the Stainmore line in the late 1950s

One-time York allocation, 46480 takes a passenger working over the Stainmore line in the late 1950s

Preserved 46443 on the Severn Valley Railway

Preserved 46443 on the Severn Valley Railway

Here's my (renumbered) version of 2MT 46480, a York allocation from the mid-1950's after several m.p.d's in the Leeds/Bradford area were transferred to BR/NE

Here's my (renumbered) version of 2MT 46480, a York allocation from the mid-1950's after several m.p.d's in the Leeds/Bradford area were transferred to BR/NE

Cab view of 46480 (a Bachmann Branchlike model) shows driver on the left at the controls, fireman on the right looks out for signals the driver can't see on a right-hand curve

Cab view of 46480 (a Bachmann Branchlike model) shows driver on the left at the controls, fireman on the right looks out for signals the driver can't see on a right-hand curve

Nicknamed 'Mickey Mouse' by crews, their performance was nevertheless remarkable for their size. Ageing Midland 0-6-0 tender locomotive classes were the early mainstay of the LMS' lower-powered motive power. Larger locomotives had been William Stanier's priority on taking charge of locomotive design and construction with the formation of the London Midland & Scottish Railway company in 1923.

H George Ivatt sought to redress the imbalance at the late start of his tenure as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS in post-WWII 'austerity' Britain. In introducing his 2-6-0 tender and 2-6-2 tank engines he increased the capabilities of branchline traffic motive power. These engines were affectionately dubbed 'Mickey Mouse' by crews used to larger engines, although the nickname in no way hinted at inferiority in performance.

One significant advantage the 2-6-0 tender class had over its tank counterpart was in its range through greater water capacity (3,600 Imperial gallons/3,600 US gallons/14,000 litres) and coal carrying capacity (4 long tons/4.5 US/4.1 metric tonnes).over the tank engine's capacity of 1,350 Imp. gallons (1.6 US/6,100 litres) and 3 long tons coal capacity (3.36 US/3.05 tonnes) respectively.

After solving draughting problems at Derby and Swindon, the class became a 'runaway' success. Further locomotives of the class were built by BR to a standard design, with modified cab and tender profiles and fittings.

Altogether 128 were built to Ivatt's design between 1946-1953. Most were assembled at Crewe, 20 by the LMS and the rest by BR - from 46465 also at Darlington in 1951. An increase in cylinder dimensions of 1/2 inches (13 mm) wrought a tractive output of 18,510 lbs (8,400 kgs), 1,100 more than originally designed.

They were classified a freight engine, 2F by the LMS, 2 MT by BR, meaning they were deemed suitable for both light freight and passenger traffic. The Darlington-built locomotives (46465-46502) were allocated around the Eastern and North Eastern regions. The last 25 (46503-27) emerged from Swindon (Western Region) works, allocated to BR Western Region depots, outshopped in lined black - some in lined BR Brunswick Green.

LMS numbering from first introductions was 6400-6419 at Crewe; from 1948 46420-64, between 1948-50; Darlington produced 46465-46502 from 1951-52; Swindon's output (including those liveried in lined green) was 46503-27.

Withdrawals began 1961, ending 1967 with the remaining forty-two still in service that year. Several were bought intact from Barry scrapyard in South Wales. Three are operational at the time of writing this (early December, 2019), two are under restoratión and two are static displays.

Allocations: to BR North Eastern Region allocations in 1956/59: York (50A) 2; Darlington (51A) 7; Stockton-on-Tees (51E) 1; West Auckland (51F) 1; Northallerton (51J) 1; Tweedmouth (52D) 1

Models (ready-to-run): Bachmann introduced their model in the early 2000s, my own was renumbered to 46480 (se'e image top), a York allocation listed from 1959 in Paul Bolger's book 'BR Steam Motive Power Depots - North Eastern Region' (re-published 2009 paperback by Book Law Publications, Nottingham, ISBN 9-781907-094118) .


LMS Fairburn Class 2-6-4 tank locomotive - the blueprint for Riddles' Standard 4 MT

42055 stands in the rain at Low Moor shed near Bradford. An atmospheric shot of a redoubtable locomotive

42055 stands in the rain at Low Moor shed near Bradford. An atmospheric shot of a redoubtable locomotive

42140 near Derby with a semi-fast passenger working

42140 near Derby with a semi-fast passenger working

Preserved Fairburn 42085 attends a celebration of LMS motive power at the National Railway Museujm, York

Preserved Fairburn 42085 attends a celebration of LMS motive power at the National Railway Museujm, York

4MT 42083 - in unkempt state here, needs 're-work' on weathering - was allocated to Whitby shed (50G) in the mid-1950's to replace Class A6 4-6-2T locomotives that had been transferred out to Hull area as pilot engines

4MT 42083 - in unkempt state here, needs 're-work' on weathering - was allocated to Whitby shed (50G) in the mid-1950's to replace Class A6 4-6-2T locomotives that had been transferred out to Hull area as pilot engines

Here's a three-quarter rear view of the engine awaiting her crew

Here's a three-quarter rear view of the engine awaiting her crew

An LMS 2-6-4 tank locomotive that would develop into BR'S Standard Class 4MT first emerged under Fowler's auspices in 1927 for allocatíon to passenger traffic diagrams, further developed by Stanier with a three-cylinder tapered boiler in 1934, later Class 425500. A year on Class 42425 emerged with two cylinders. Then Fairburn's two cylinder 2-6-4 entered traffic in 1945 as Class 42050.

Fairburn's background - on joining the LMS from English Electric in 1934 as Chief Electrical Engineer - saw him actively encourage design developments that reduced shed services and increase mileage between workshop visits to handle wartime conditions of shortages in skilled manpower and materials. Fairburn would eventually take the LMS into the diesel age with 0-6-0 shunters.

Final development of the design would progress under Riddles, with his BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4 tank locomotive in 1951. Fairburn;s 2-6-4 was markedly different from his predecessor's by the shorter wheelbase amongst other modifications. Another distinguishing factor was the gap in the running plate in front of the cylinders. The class would be built until Riddles' design came onto the scene in 1951. The final engines in the numbering sequence of 42066-106 were built at Brighton works for BR Southern Region in 1950-51 and superseded earlier designs. Most of those would stay on BR over the remainder of their working existence. Mainly allocated to Stewarts Lane in south London, Dover and Ashford in Kent, to be run on South Eastern metals. Between 1945-51 217 of the class would be introduced on mainly passenger traffic diagrams All were withdrawn by 1967.

In December, 1951 47 were allocated to the Eastern Region, some of which progressed to the North Eastern Region, mostly by virtue of former Midland areas being relocated to the North Eastern Region (Skipton area eastward including Bradford)

. Those allocated to the Eastern Region in 1951 included Yorkshire sheds, then within Midland Region (Leeds, Bradford, Halifax) before being transferred to the London area. Briefly some found their way north as far as Newcastle-on-Tyne, others on the coast at Whitby and Scarborough sheds, some to York.

Withdrawals started 1961, the last going for scrap in 1966-67. At the end of 1966 42 were still at work however, around 40% of the tank engine classes still in service. 42073 and 42085 only are preserved.

In model proprietary model form Bachmann introduced the class, of which I have No. 42096, to renumber to either 42083 or 42085, allocated to York from the mid-late 1950s. These were the only Fairburns allocated to the North Eastern Region at the time.


North Eastern signalling and signal cabin prototypes still in use from pre- and post-Grouping days

Cantilevered bracket signal structure drawing and photograph inset

Cantilevered bracket signal structure drawing and photograph inset

Knaresborough Goods Junction (between York and Harrogate) ca 1896. Useful diagram for signal placing - every movement was controlled on the NER

Knaresborough Goods Junction (between York and Harrogate) ca 1896. Useful diagram for signal placing - every movement was controlled on the NER

In the 1970s at Seamer near Scarborough the original  NER signal cabin still stood near the entrance to the goods depot close to the more recent structure

In the 1970s at Seamer near Scarborough the original NER signal cabin still stood near the entrance to the goods depot close to the more recent structure

LNER steel-built 'double doll' bracket post stands near the site of Grosmont shed (North Yorkshire Moors Railway)

LNER steel-built 'double doll' bracket post stands near the site of Grosmont shed (North Yorkshire Moors Railway)