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Updated April 17th 2013

This is a page dedicated to the possibility of prototypes for many if not every situation that can occur on a model railway. Feel free to send updates and contributions to me and you too can be immortalised on a web site!


Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

How many times has someone shown you their unpainted brass locomotive in the past happily hauling a train? It has happened on the prototype where Chicago Burlington and Quincy ran their 4-8-4 5632 painted in a Gold colour for a centenary event in either 1964 or 1965 in Illinois. The prototype in this case followed many models no doubt but it has happened! As I recall, I think Union Pacific also painted a loco in gold, I think a Challenger but as a display piece only.

From Chris Thompson ( Whyalla South Australia) Proof of 5632's paint job can be seen at … no it is not a photoshop


Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

On the White Pass and Yukon Railway between Skagway Alaska and Whitehorse, there is a trestle bridge. Nothing unusual about that fact except that this ones centremost span is a steel truss bridge in its own right. A modeler might be told off for it by unknowing observers of his layout but it is there!


Brian Macdermott (UK)

On the evenings of 12, 13 and 16 February 1962, the 6.25pm Hitchin-Huntingdon was hauled by A4 Pacific No.60017 Silver Fox, with the usual two coach load.


Brian Macdermott (UK)

How many times have you backed an incoming freight into your yard and hit the stop blocks with the brake van, derailing it? (C' honest!) Well, there is a prototype!

In the East Coast Main Line DVD that I previewed recently at time of writing, there is a freight train with the brake van up against the blocks and the front wheels clearly off the road. time you're running an exhibition layout and take some flak from the 'know-it-all-visitor' when you hit the blocks, just say it was done deliberately to recreate an actual event!


Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

Two Locos with the same number side by side? Yes it has happened! In 1988 with the visit of Flying Scotsman to Australia, the New South Wales State Rail Authority had a 44 class diesel locomotive also 4472. And yes they were photographed alongside each other while "Scotty" was doing its shakedown runs. There was a story about two Garratts numbered 6042 side by side. The second 6042 was built from parts and recycled bits in 1966/67 and the urban legend extended to the two being pictured side by side at Broadmeadow but as the shopping/outshopping dates do not match it is highly unlikely to have happened... but it could have!

There was a picture of 2 boxcars belonging to different railroads Erie and New York Central, both numbered 16634 being coupled to each other in October 68 Trains magazine.

South Australian Railways went about a process of Broad Gauging what they called the South east system while still running Narrow Gauge trains. There is a Train order in the book “One Rusty Rail” where Engine Rx201 was to cross T class engine 201 on a Broad Gauge work train vs Narrow Gauge goods train... Normally they would never have had case to meet but it is conceivable that they could have been pictured side by side.

From Canadian Railway Observations.. . shows a photo of ex CN 2338, now an RPPX leasing co unit and CN 2338 together in McMillan Yard in Toronto in December 2010.


Brian Macdermott (UK)

On 4 October 1956, the loco of the Up ‘Royal Scot’ failed north of Carlisle. The train eventually arrived 62 minutes late behind Crab 2-6-0 No.42876 – tender first.


Brian Macdermott (UK)

An unusual sight at Waterloo on 4 August 1956 was that of the Up Atlantic Coast Express double-headed by 'Merchant Navy' 4-6-2s Nos.35003 Royal Mail and 35030 Elder Dempster Lines.

Trevor Gibbs

South Australian Railways rarely doubleheaded its Big Power locomotives but 525 came to the rescue of 524 hauling a train to Adelaide during the Queens visit in 1954 on an up North line train.


From Brian Macdermott (UK)

Modellers often report that bits fall off today’s highly detailed models. Well – it is prototypical! On 1 July 1956, the 9.54am Liverpool Street-Cambridge, hauled by K3 61873, pulled up suddenly just as the engine was about to enter Bishopsgate Tunnel. The Fireman went back and rescued the cab door which had fallen off!

In a similar incident, on 21 September 1956, the nameplate of Castle 4-6-0 No.5076 Gladiator came adrift whilst heading the ‘The Bristolian’ at speed through Reading. The plate was quickly recovered and sent up to Paddington on the following 11.00am from Penzance (due Paddington 7.10pm). It was handed to its rightful owner prior to departing home at 8.05pm, and stored in 5076’s tender for the journey. It was re-fitted overnight, but, apparently, still showed signs of being in the wars with the beading somewhat buckled.

From Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

A South Australian Pacific locomotive no 608 had its headlight mount break while hauling the Blue Lake Express in 1955 or 1956. The crew mounted the headlight on the headstock/pilot of the loco and completed their journey. The corner of the cast brass number plate was chipped when it fell off and that chipped numberplate stayed with the loco for the rest of its days.

From Brian Macdermott

More evidence that there is a prototype for everything!

On 1 July 1956, K3 2-6-0 No.61873 pulled up suddenly just after leaving Liverpool Street station. The fireman walked back along the line and retrieved a cabside door!

(Source: Railway Observer)


From Brian Macdermott (UK)

For some months in late 1955 and early 1956, WR coach No.W4611W ran with a roofboard with a town name spelt thus....SRHEWSBURY.

A further error was noted in August on coach W8115W bearing a board reading PADDINGTON, OXFORD and WORCSETER.

From Trevor Gibbs

On the railway line between Gawler and Roseworthy on the old South Australian Railways circa 1971, there was an electric signal numbered with a three facing the reverse way... kept the drivers alert late at night when pointing it out to me!


From Robin Johnson (UK)

In the early 1980s I spent a fair amount of time on Norwich (Thorpe) station. Incoming expresses would arrive, the loco pulling right up to the impressive pneumatic buffers and the loco (usually a Class 47) would uncouple. While this was happening, a station pilot (Class 03, always with a match wagon) would have buffered up to the coaches at the rear.

The 03 would then ease the coaches back a few yards, just enough to clear the scissors crossover at the concourse end, via which the train loco would then begin its run round manoeuvring.

Once the station pilot's driver had confirmation that the train loco was clear and the crossover points were re-set, it would then gently propel the carriages towards the buffers, the signal to stop being when the train actually hit them  (thus creating room at the 'country end' for the 03 to beetle off and for the train loco to pop itself back on the front and be inside the signal)

This hitting the buffers routine was always at extremely slow speed, of course (and I never saw a derailment), but I saw it happen many times. Even all those years ago I was a bit taken aback at how Heath Robinson the arrangement was. Still, it explained why the buffers were so heavy duty!

Whacking the buffers in a scenario that features a mixed rake of Mk1s and non air-conditioned Mk2s, Stratford silver-roofed blue 47 and a blue 03 with match wagon is, therefore, entirely prototypical!


From Jeff Lynn (Melbourne Australia)

There were plenty of instances of things like Lowfits, clearly marked "Not to be loaded with containers" carrying containers! A Lowfit is a four-wheeled flat wagon with effectively a single plank surrounding the floor; ideal for containers (of the older style used by the Big Four from the 1930s onwards) made by Bachmann. One can often see advice in the model press saying don't put containers in this or that type of wagon, Lowfits being one of the types mentioned. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint!), railway workers used whatever happened to be convenient, regardless of inscriptions to the contrary!

From Trevor Gibbs

I was an apprentice at Islington in Adelaide in 1973 where there were a few Western Australian Railways vehicles clearly marked “Not to work East of Kalgoorlie” - about 1150 miles and a change of gauge (at the time) away!!!

From John Smithers

Most of the bogie brake vans of the Victorian C, ZLP and SAR/ANR 8300 vans carried radio equipped stickers,above the toilet windows or to the centre of the van concerned. On one occasion in Mount Gambier (in South Australia) I noticed a 8300 class brake van that, had a Victorian Railways radio equipment sticker and on the bottom sill a stencil said “not to run in Victoria” ... go figure.

12 . Class 47 pushing single wagon

From Tony Pritchard (UK)

This happened in the early 1970s, where a Class 47 would push a single wagon loaded with ball clay to Abenbury Brickworks on the single track, former Cambrian Railways Wrexham to Ellesmere line. Abenbury was situated after Hightown Halt and before Overton. I assume it came back pulling a wagon full of bricks, or an empty wagon but I never saw that happen.

13 . Foreign Locos hauling your trains

From Bob Fleming (UK)

February 1954, and BRCW, Birmingham Railway, Carriage & Wagon Company, were building a batch of diesels for Commonwealth Railways. Intended mainly for the 3' 6" gauge sections, four standard gauge bogies were included in the contract so they could be used in other places on the system.

These bogies were fitted in the UK and at least one of the locos underwent trial runs on BR, in full Commonwealth livery, between Birmingham and Banbury hauling rakes of BR carriages.

I have two photos, one with a BR Mk1 in crimson and cream, a Gresley quad art coach set, plus more unidentified. About 14 or15 in all. (A picture of this is in the Locomotives of the Commonwealth Railways book - Trevor). The other shows a long rake of crimson/cream corridor stock, ex LMS or GWR. Quite an impressive sight. I use one of these pics to 'justify' running an F7 diesel and BR coaches on my Lone Star layout!

In 1951 a Hunslet 0-8-0 diesel for Peru spent a month on the London Midlland near Leeds. This time it was in HUNSLET livery, but still quite an amazing sight.

Can you imagine anything like this happening on our regulated railways of today, though I do recall that a Siemens? emu for the UK did run trials on a European railway?

From Trevor Gibbs

Foreign locos were quite a common sight in Sydney when the two major builders Clyde (GM Licensee) and Goodwin (Alco licensee) when locos for the Hong Kong and Pakistan North West Railway were built as well as those for the various state systems which were all tested around the Sydney area.

Trams for Hong Kong were also built in Melbourne and tried on the local system being variations of the locally designed Z class tram cars. The Destination boards were bilingual and very hard to read. A few commuters were also wondering where they were going to!

Now in Australia, there are locomotives ex Danish Railways as well as ex Hong Kong Railways with various operators.

French Electric locos have been photographed on the South Coast of England after the Chunnel opened... sorry I don't know the classes.

There were pictures in Trains Magazine circa 1960/61 of Southern Pacific Krauss Maffei Diesel Hydraulics being test run in (then) West Germany on trains.


From Brian Macdermott (UK)

Early crest 72005 Clan McGregor was noted at Gloucester Eastgate heading the 7.45am Paignton-Newcastle on 9 July 1960. (Thanks to Ian Taylor for this.) The Carriage Working book for the period gives this train as 10 LMR coaches.

Between 10 September and 21 October 1958, early crest 72009 Clan Stewart was trialled on the GE main line (source: The Eastern Around London, by Kevin McCormack).

From John Cherry

On 12 June 1965, 9F 2-10-0 No.92238 (82F) was noted at Bournemouth Central with an inter-regional working. Just right for those who model the SW area of the Southern Region.

Class J39s were regularly seen in the north east before the whole class disappeared by 1962. However, in August 1964 a photographer at the site of the former Forest Hall station, between Morpeth and Jesmond, had to look twice as he thought he saw a J39 approaching!

To his great surprise it was J38 No.65912 of 64B St Margarets, working a southbound freight to Heaton. J38s were virtually unknown on Tyneside.

From Anthony Hinxman

In the late 1950s, there were A5s shedded at Lincoln. Their duties included an early evening express parcels service to Nottingham. In the early 1960s L1s replaced C12 4-4-2Ts on Grantham-Nottingham passenger services.

From David Fairgrieve

Some unusual allocations or workings from a Scottish perspective include the following:

Long-term allocations include the use Pannier tanks '1646' and '1649' at 60A Inverness for the Dornoch Branch. There were also ex-CR 0-4-0STs at Crewe Works and Derby (and one used at times at Cromford)

Regular workings that few appear to know about include B16s to Edinburgh in the 1950s on freight. There is at least one photograph I know of with a B16 at Harmarket.

As an example of short-term use in wartime, I have heard of 'King Arthurs' at Newcastle working into Scotland around 1942. Has anyone any photographic evidence?

Short-term use for special occasions included City of Truro running special trains all over Scotland in 1959 with 123 Glen Douglas, etc.

Short-term use for failures includes V2s and B1s on the Southern in 1953 (including St. Margarets' 61354)

Other assorted short-term reallocations that people mostly have forgotten about include a Lancashire and Yorkshire tank (51235) tried out at Dalry Road, LTS 4-4-2Ts sent to Dundee where they were rejected and moved to Durran Hill (Carlisle) where they spent years out of use and Polmadie 'Clans' spending some time at St. Margarets and Haymarket around 1958, which made them (briefly) East Coast Pacifics.

As for those visiting works, everyone rightly points out that the BR 75000s were never Scottish locomotives (until 75014 came to the West Highland!) but in 1965 they were being serviced at Cowlairs Works, where I saw 75010 in December of that year, and green 75012 even made the newspapers earlier on in the year as it was found in use on the Gourock line while running-in.

Many of the above are available as ready-to-run models, so, the point for modellers is - don't completely rule out using a particular model for your area - do some research first!

From Mike Romans

Oxford was a place where locos from all of the Big Four could be seen, including types available in the r-t-r market. However, I always think that one of the ultimate regular 'intruder' workings was the B1 arriving at Swindon, every weekend, and sitting in shed for a few hours amidst most types of GWR loco, thanks to the nearby works.

From Peter Mayne

I saw the 72006 Clan MacKenzie at Leicester in April 1962. It appeared at Leicester on April 27 1962 on the regular freight turn emanating from Carlisle which I recall usually had a Black 5 or occasionally a Jubilee as motive power.

From Trevor Gibbs

Foster Yeoman imported a stock standard EMD switcher for its quarry operations in the UK. This ultmately led to the class 59's and 66's which are so abundant in the UK today as the locomotive proved its reliability. This loco could be represented by a stock Athearn SW7 or Proto SW9 switcher locomotive.

Southern Railway had a number of US built Vulcan 0-6-0 tanks ( known as the USA class) which could be modelled by the Mantua/ Tyco 0-6-0T of many years ago albeit in HO size.

The mainline British locos such as 4472 and King George V which have visited the USA have been well documented but did you know that a British 0-6-0T and a few British coaches operated at a park I believe in Michigan.

Pendennis Castle also operated in Western Australia for many years in the Pilbara Iron Ore region and also in Perth where it met Flying Scotsman in 1988/89.

A GWR Tank has operated through Germany to Poland.

The moral of this story is that you can have foreign locos on your trains and it has a prototype!


From Brian Macdermott (UK)

A rare sight at Newcastle on 18 April 1962 was WR brake van No.W17398, branded ‘Marazion RU, for use on perishables traffic only’. It arrived on the afternoon 'Parcels' from York and was hastily dispatched homeward the same day on the 11.46pm King’s Cross 'Parcels'.

From Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne)

Back in 1975, I was a travelling electrician/technician on the Indian Pacific between Pt Pirie in South Australia and Sydney. On one trip out of Sydney, our Baggage car developed a Bogie problem so a Southern Aurora Baggage Car was substituted which went to my knowledge right through to Perth. Another trip had our diner replaced with an Aurora dining car. This car was very good but only had enough provisioning for a night and a breakfast and had a totally different key system to other “Indian Cars” and would not have lasted 4 meal sittings anyway. It was changed out to my knowledge at Pt Pirie and returned dead in consist during the week.

16. Odd Workings

From Paul Reilly

I recall reading in magazines of the time that 'Coronation' pacific 46248 (City of Leeds) worked a Callander-Glasgow turn from Callander….It apparently came to Stirling on the legendary Sutton Coldfield car carrier train and was used by Stirling during its layover. The same entry refers to earlier use of both 'Coronations' and 'Royal Scots' on this turn but, when I finally managed to obtain the relevant copy, it mentioned only their having been seen at Buchanan St. on arrival from Callander, so it's always possible they were substituted at Stirling for another engine that brought the train in from Callander - that's pretty unlikely though.

The City of Leeds report specified that it was seen at Callander, though. In addition, the recent DVD of Caledonian Routes (volume 4 I think) has footage of Brush Type 4 D1856 (subsequently Class 47 number 47206) running round a local train at Callander… Interesting (and illegal) workings.

From Bill Dodd

Rose Grove (24B) had a large allocation of LMS and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway classes amongst which was a single London, Tilsbury and Southend 0-6-2T (41987) formally of Plaistow. It was used as a stand-in to the more usual 0-6-0T 'Jinty's' for shunting heavy coal trains over the 'hump' in the loop to the sidings!

17. Truro Delights

by John Cherry

On 22 July 1960, WR 2-6-2T No.4549 was photographed taking water at the country end of Truro station. Whilst initially nothing unusual, the loco still sported an 83G shed code plate, but had lost its smokebox door number plate. An enthusiastic fireman at Launceston had very neatly painted 4549 on the front buffer beam in true GW style. A nice modelling moment for the Bachmann 45xx.

18. Details that Bend or are in the wrong place

From Brian Macdermott (UK)

I’m sure I’m not alone in accidentally knocking fragile parts that abound on today’s highly-detailed model steam locos. But, as with many things, there is a prototype!

In his article in the December 2009 issue of BRILL, David Percival recounts a photograph he took of A4 4-6-2 No.60021 ‘Wild Swan’ in the spring of 1960. Her whistle was leaning forward at an angle of 45 degrees.

From Trevor Gibbs

An operating Queensland Railway PB15 class no 454 is down on the Bellarine Peninsula Railway here in Victoria. Its stove pipe funnel for quite a time was not quite 90 degrees to the perpendicular

19. Parallel Standard and Narrow Gauges operating

From Trevor Gibbs

When the Australian National standard gauging took place between Port Pirie in South Australia and Broken Hill in New South Wales, the Standard Gauge track did not follow the alignment of the narrow gauge apart from a few areas where there was dual gauge. The full sized narrow gauge ore trains and goods trains still operated the length of the line hauled by Garratts and venerable 4-8-0's particularly while diesels were being converted to Standard Gauge.

In the mean time, test trains consisting of SG locos, wheat cars and ore cars and anything that was available were run to familiarise the crews with the new track and for all the world looked like regular trains save that some were hauled by shunter locos. This was to bed and settle track in to place. I saw a few of these go past from the cab of a Garratt on one of my two experiences riding them.

20. Tandem 20 class...

From John Cherry

We have all become accustomed to Class 20s working in pairs with the cabs at the outer ends - which still occurs even today. However, in the early days of these locomotives, this was not the case. Nose-end (chimney first) working on passenger trains was common place.

On 28 July 1962, D8112 and D8078 were at the head of the 4.35pm Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig service, both working nose-end first. A nice modelling moment.

21. Train Races or Parallel Running

From John Davison

'Train Racing' has been done several times within Australia most famously with the Flying Scotsman visit to Australia in 1988-89. The book A Vintage Year for Steam by the Australian Railway Historical Society, now at a special clearance price, documents some of what took place :

While the term 'train racing' evokes more interest, what is correctly taking place is parallel running. If I recall rightly, there was one memorable fortnight in October 1988, when, for just about each day, there was parallel running of steam specials on the triple tracks from Melbourne to Seymour and back. This was over a distance of about 100 km each way. As per the cover of this book, this culminated in specially arranged triple track parallel running as the Melbourne farewell to 4472.

This can be reproduced in model form with the Victorian Railways R Class Hudsons of the Model Dockyard-Kumata, PSM-Samhongsa or Steam Era Models-DJH. Soon we can add an Eureka R Class to the options list. There are lots of 4472 options including the HO scale PSM-Samhongsa version.

Searching YouTube provides amongst others :

From Bill Dodd

Back in steam days, especially during the summer excursions season, it was far from unusual to see trains racing each other along the straight lines between Preston and Kirkham on their way to Blackpool. Numerous reasons abound, not least of which were trains from Lancashire and Yorkshire making up lost time after negotiating the bottleneck of Preston together with inter-region rivalry. Highlights included the rare opportunity of seeing rival Stanier Black 5's and Thompson B1's 'duking' it out for supremacy. There was of course, the added bonus that the first crew to hit the water troughs got to give their opponents a thorough shower-bath, something which occasionally came close to 'fisty-cuffs' on arrival at Blackpool Central shed!

From Trevor Gibbs

I have been on several excursions where Parallel running has taken place, notably in South Australia in late 1970 when Rx class 207 and 224 paced each other between Goodwood and Adelaide, although that could have taken place many times in steams hey day. In 1973, 3801/3813 and R707 paralleled from Benalla to Melbourne and also ran a special trip. 3820 and R707 did a parallel run from Albury to Wodonga later that year or in 74. In 1981 Garratt 6029 came down from Canberra and ran parallel to a K class from Victoria from Albury also to Wangaratta and gave me a chance to study the motion of the Garratt as the two trains swapped places. While I was not there, 621 and 4472 and 621 and 3801 have had “races” ( the fans of 3801 would have said “rigged” in the event of a real race) along where the Broad Gauge and Standard Gauge run from North Adelaide but not sure as to how far down the line they “raced”.

The most famous of these events was as John outlined in late 1988 and early 1989 and I felt privileged to be trackside for these runs.

Norfolk Southern also “ran a race” between their J class No 611 and their A class loco 1218 in the late 80's I believe.

Also I was once arriving from Adelaide in late 1973 on the Overland when we paralleled the Southern Aurora also arriving on a parallel (different gauge) track from North Melbourne into Spencer St. Purely a coincidence as it did not occur that often that I am aware of.

22. Cycling lion? No...cycling Signalman!

By Brian Macdermott

Most of these ‘snippets’ deal with unusual train workings. I thought you might like the following as an ‘unusual scenic item’.

In a Norman Lockett photo taken on 29 August 1945 near Whiteball Siding signalbox, the fireman of a westbound freight is giving a broad, wry smile to the photographer.

The reason? In the 6ft way between the Down Main and Relief, a man is cycling eastwards towards the box! From the angle of the bike, he looks none too steady! Was it a signalman on his way to the box? Or was it someone a little worse for wear after a liquid lunch?

Another one of those ‘we modelled it because it actually happened’ moments!

(Source: The Norman Lockett Collection. Great Western Steam, 1934-1949. By Mike Arlett and David Lockett. Pub: Lightmoor Press)

By Trevor Gibbs

Back in the days of the old broad gauge line to Port Pirie from Adelaide, the station at Nantawarra which was at the top of the bank from Bowmans was an attended siding for most of the day. The station master /signalman was issued with a bicycle from which to greet any crossing trains and set the points at either end of the yard. The trains were, by the standards of the day, long being up to 140 four wheelers equivalent which the siding could handle.

23. Disguising whats under the “layout”

By Trevor Gibbs

There really is a prototype for everything. During The Second World War, Locheed in Burbank and Boeing in Seattle used Disney artists to lay chicken wire over their factories and the tops were covered in plywood buildings, painted like rural orchards and plywood cars moved in various sequences so that an aerial reconnaisance plane from Japan would not pick the activity of building aircraft going on underneath!

24. Restriction lifted

By Brian Macdermott

Modified 'West Country' and 'Battle of Britain' Pacifics were permitted to run between Okehampton and Plymouth from the summer of 1959. No.34062 17 Squadron is believed to have been the first across – on 28 July – working the 8.41am Exeter Central-Plymouth.

(Source: Railway Observer.)

By Trevor Gibbs

For years the Cambrai line in South Australia was captive to the lightest motive power, Rx class in steam days and 830 class in diesel days. The line has been “shrunk” to Apamurra (wheat silo location) but laid with slightly heavier rail which enabled bigger power in the forms of 600 class Alco diesels when they were still in South Australia as well as 422/22 class diesels after 1996.

25. Pacifics on Bolster Trains

By Brian Macdermott

In late 1959 and early 1960, 'pacifics' were noted on empty bolster trains from Healey Mills to the north east. On 30 December 1959, it was A2 No.60522 Straight Deal; on 1 January 1960 it was A4 No.60008 Dwight D Eisenhower; and on 2 January it was A1 No.60158 Aberdonian.

25. Mixing Liveries

By Brian Macdermott

Ivatt 2-6-2Ts Nos.41223/4 were taken out of store during the week ending 24 October 1959, and transferred to Bedford, after having been at Watford for over a year. 41224 was probably (on the LMR at any rate) the last engine in service still lettered ‘British Railways’.

By Trevor Gibbs

Here in Australia there have been a few corporate changes in paint shcemes on different locos particularly on interstate runs. 4 or 5 liveries on as many locos is not uncommon and makes for a colourful sight.

25. No Codes

By Brian Macdermott

If you run your trains without headlamp codes, there is a prototype! Michael Mensing photographed 2-6-2T No.4571 starting away from Widney Manor station at the head of the 7.53pm Knowle & Dorridge-Birmingham (Snow Hill) local on 16 May 1957. The loco was not displaying a headlamp code. (Source: Railway Observer)

26. Long Train Names?

By Brian Macdermott

Early on Sunday 4 October 1959, B1 4-6-0 No.61379 Mayflower (in a very clean condition) was noted travelling to King’s Cross at the head of a special train, which included two kitchen cars. The train carried roof-boards saying ‘The Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company of Massachusetts Express’.

Is this the longest UK train name ever? (Source: Railway Observer)

27. Wandering Coaches?

By Brian Macdermott

The first Western branding of a standard BG (gangwayed brake) for parcels traffic appeared on 81240 (Aberystwyth and Manchester Victoria). However, it was observed during the summer of 1959 travelling between Manchester and Penzance. (Source: Railway Observer)

28. Summer Saturdays in the West

by Brian Macdermott

The Saturday 1.40pm Kingswear-Paddington (first part of the ‘Royal Duchy’) was reported as being regularly hauled by a 9F.

9F 2-10-0 No.92207 worked the 12.05pm Paddington-Plymouth on 15 August, and, on the same date, the 3.45pm to Fishguard was taken by 92229.

The 47xxs had, apparently, not been seen very often that summer. However, there was a fine sight at Exeter on 1 August, when 4706 was on the 1.25pm Paddington-Kingswear, passing 4704 on the 3.20pm Kingswear-Cardiff. Both locos were green.

On 27 July, the up ‘Torbay Express’ was hauled by D807 Caradoc and the down by D808 Centaur.

29. 4F to the Rescue

by Brian Macdermott

On Monday 3 July 1961, the 12.52pm York-Bristol failed at Mangotsfield North Junction, with D28 at the head. The train eventually arrived at Mangotsfield 45 minutes late with Bristol 4F 0-6-0 No.44523 acting as the rescue loco, tender-first. (Source: Mangotsfield Railway Circle newsletter, The Mail.)

30. Variety of Locomotives at one location

by John Cherry

A. Being on the principal Great Central route between Nottingham and London, and on the cross-country link to Banbury, Woodford Shed could often offer a mixed bag of locomotives. On 23 June 1963 the photographer recorded the following which, when related to today’s models (and some forthcoming items), is a railway modeller’s delight.

WR 2-8-0 No.2893 from Didcot was one of the last of the class and was seen on shed with classmate No.3806. These are the type fitted with the cab window – soon to be available from Hornby. In addition, the earlier type of 28XX was also present with Banbury’s 2845 – again, a brand new model to come from Hornby.

However, that was not all. J39 No.64727 (Bachmann) was stored on shed. Also present were WD 2-8-0 No.90218 (Bachmann), 'Royal Scot' 4-6-0 No.46169 The Boy Scout (Hornby), 9F 2-10-0 No.92104 (Bachmann) and, finally, B1 4-6-0 No.61018 Gnu (Bachmann) of York.

A lovely cross-section of locomotives of all types currently available to the modeller gathered in one location.

B. On a very sunny day in June 1959, a photographic session by the lineside at Putney produced the following array of locomotives working freight traffic: 43019; 44297; 33009; 33015; 30449 ‘Sir Torre’; 48306 and 30699.

All perfectly feasible, but, more importantly, all these locomotives are available to us as ready-to-run models. The 700 Class 0-6-0 No.30699 could be obtained from OO Works.

Putney is a suitable location for modelling (even in a fictitious way) whereby such locomotives could be correctly run together.

C. As many will know, the batch of BR 9Fs fitted with compressed air pumps was allocated, for most of their life, to Tyne Dock shed for the workings to and from Consett. As diesels began to erode these workings, they were reported as being seen on more conventional freight services, but photographic evidence is very sparse.

A new photo to me, personally, is of No.92063 being turned on the turntable at Carlisle (Kingmoor) in 1965. This is the first positive evidence of a Tyne Dock 9F working into Carlisle and yet another opportunity for those who model the north west area.

31. Extreme Curves on a Viaduct

By Bill Dodd

There was a viaduct that once carried the Midland Railway's Colne - Skipton line still in existence that has an arc (in the plan or overhead view) of approximately 35 degrees. As this column says, there's a prototype for everything, although I do recall one leading figure back in the 1960's pontificating in the model press, bemoaning the errors being perpetuated by modellers who built such curved viaducts and bridges on their layouts because, "such things do not exist on the real thing!". It lies just NNE of Great Harwood in Lancashire and carried the line, known locally as the Harwood Loop, over Martholme Lane and the River Calder

By Trevor Gibbs

A viaduct built circa 1915 over Commercial Road Port Adelaide was built on a very elongated S curve turning nearly 75 degrees with a station at the top then converting to a long embankment and a 80-90 degree corner at the other end. It was an operational headache for the South Australian Railways and was up till the 1950's anyway with helpers needed for relatively light loads.


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