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Throwback Thursday , ballasting…

Albion Yard

Remember the good times? Spending hours brushing ballast into the sleepers, getting the point work clean, repainting, filling the gaps afterwards?

No, me neither! However it is one of those chores that for me is included in the ‘Meh!’ files along with wiring. Today I’ve finished all the track work, it’s all had a good shakedown testing so on with the ballast. I’m using Woodland Scenics and it’s now in place for the fixing.

Normally I use diluted PVA or superglue, but this time I’ve tried a different technique, clear varnish acrylic with the surface tension reduced with detergent. It worked ok and I did a traditional PVA/detergent mix test simultaneously.

Working outside on a warm summer day the PVA cured faster, so I reverted to that method for the ballast across the layout. Peco bufferstops are at the track ends, but will be replaced with GWR or LMS/BR types…

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New MP Jones challenges Tories to pay for new sprinklers

Inside Croydon

Sarah Jones used her maiden speech to Parliament yesterday to challenge the Tory Government to provide the funds needed to pay for the potentially life-saving fitting of sprinklers in council-run residential tower blocks across the country.

Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones making her maiden speech in the House of Commons yesterday. Picture:

Croydon Central’s new MP was speaking during a debate on the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which at least 80 north Kensington residents lost their lives a month ago in the biggest fire tragedy in this country since World War II.

Jones said, “I am proud that Labour’s Croydon Council was the first council to agree to retro-fitting all our tower blocks with sprinklers.

“I call on the Government to clarify whether they fund this, and all the other changes we need to reverse the shocking cuts to local government.

“We cannot afford not to do this.

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ESNG at the Bluebell – 4


Our final post from the Bluebell Railway, again looks at the ‘big’ trains, and my two favourite locomotives from our visit.

Firstly, I was delighted to see the Southern Railway ‘Q’ 0-6-0 in steam and even better, it hauled us both ways between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes.  Designed by Maunsell in the late 1930’s, it was a slightly dated, but absolutely typical, freight and mixed-traffic 0-6-0 design.  All British Railways had similar locomotives from the early years of the century.

I’m a fan of the Q, as I had an ‘OO’ version, built from a Wills Finecast kit when I was a teenager.  Like the Bluebell, it appeared both in Southern green and in British Railways black.  It’s a very neat locomotive, and I’m wondering how easy it would be to convert the Farish LMS 4F to a Q.  My ‘OO’ version ran on a Triang ‘Jinty’ chassis, that…

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Electric Railway Museum Open Day Visit – 9th July 2017

Model Railway Musings by D827 Kelly

On the weekend of 8th/9th July 2017, the Electric Railway Museum opened it’s doors to the public once again.

Natalie and myself visited on the Sunday (9th), with the aim to take photographs of the Bulleid design 4SUB unit and the Class 457 car (67300), as well as to take photos for a modeller working on a scratch built Bulleid design 2EPB.

There are around 40 vehicles at the museum, and some were unfortuately inaccessible (the highspeed freight vehicle (HSFV1) and the APT-P power car (obscured by a bus!)).

The museum holds the following items of stock:

Complete units:
  • 2EPB / 416/2 unit 6307 – Bulleid design
  • 2HAP / 414 unit
  • 2EPB / 416 unit 930053 – Former Tyneside EPB
  • 4SUB / 405 / 4732 – Bulleid design
  • 503 – LMS design 3rd rail unit
  • 501 unit number 501183/501188
  • AM9 / 309 unit number 960101 (309 624)
  • AM9 / 309…

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Waterloo Sunset, marking the end of Southern Steam 50 years ago today…

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

Today the 9th July 2017 marks 50 years since the end of steam on the Southern Region.During the final weeks in July 1967 there were officially 72 steam engines left in service that obviously included a small number of Bulleid Merchant Navy’s (6) and West County Class locomotives (18 including two in original form) but also a number of British Railways standard classes such as BR Standard 5MT and 4MT 4-6-0s, 4MT 2-6-0s, 4MT 2-6-4Ts, 3MT 2-6-2Ts and Ivatt 2-6-2Ts.The other loco class active until the end was the USA 0-6-0T at Guildford, Southampton and Eastleigh. These final steam allocated duties up to the final day final day included boat trains to Weymouth or Southampton Docks, some standard service trains to Weymouth and also a few freight and departmental turns. The old West of England line west of Salisbury had already been taken over by the Western Region and steam…

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ESNG at the Bluebell – 2


Today, a few shots of the trains around Sheffield Park.  There were just so many locomotives to admire – some in steam, some awaiting maintenance, and some, like the Schools Class 4-4-0, in pieces.

Just outside the locomotive works was a line of Southern locomotives of various vintages.

And inside the shed, LBSCR 0-6-0T ‘Terrier’, ‘Stepney’ showed how smart – and complex – the old LBSCR livery was.  It is rumoured that the unusual livery of “Improved Engine Green” came about as designer Stroudley was colour-blind.  I can’t think of any other reason to paint a locomotive that colour!  Built in 1875.  How many preserved diesels will still be running when they are 142 years old??

Also in the shed, but difficult to photograph, was this lovely LSWR Adams 4-4-2T ‘Radial Tank.’  It’s a shame that you can get two versions of this classic locomotive in ‘OO’, but nothing is…

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3mm Woking Group does Mid Hants

Yesterday saw an expedition by 7 of us to celebrate (commiserate) 50 years since the end of steam on the Southern. National rail to Alton and then the 1040 hauled by 35006 to Alresford and a jolly fine trip. The cafe at Alresford do the finest bacon and Sausage rolls going and some of our group even indulged in the Shunters Breakfast. Back to Ropley we went and had a tour round the workshops, very informative shows the dedication, time and effort required by volunteers to restore and keep the existing locos running.

Trip round Ropley and a quick cuppa before catching Demu 1125 to Medstead and Four Marks so we could catch the real ale train from Alton on the way back.

Medstead is one of my favourite stations on the line and has a timeless atmosphere to it.

Catching the RAT we savoured our first pint (or 2) of the day which went down a treat – steam and beer what more could a man ask for!

Back to Alresford and half our party said their goodbyes and returned to Alton on the Demu which was the second to last train of the day. 3 of us decided steam was the only way to go so back to Alton on the last train. A very enjoyable day and thank you to Tim,Roger, Ann, Tony, Mike and Mr P for there lovely company.


Clas Ohlson the latest in retail exodus from Whitgift Centre

Great shame 😞

Inside Croydon

M.T. WALLETTE, our shop-till-she-drops retailing correspondent, on the latest nail in the coffin of the town centre mall

The development blight suffered in the town centre over the last five years since Gavin Barwell and Boris Johnson brought Westfield to Croydon continues and if anything is accelerating, with Clas Ohlson the latest big shop to announce it is quitting the Whitgift Centre.

On their way out: Clas Ohlson is to close in Croydon

The announcement came in the company’s annual report this week.

It is part of a £6.4million cost-cutting exercise which, the Swedish company says, is a consequence of poor trading conditions in 2016 and the rise of internet shopping – two trends which will do nothing to inspire confidence that Hammerson or Westfield, the “partners” on a £1.4billion regeneration project, will be in any rush to bring forward their plans for Croydon.

With most lease-holders in the Whitgift…

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ESNG at the Bluebell – 1


We spent a very pleasant weekend at the end of June exhibiting at the Bluebell Railway Model Railway show.  Two days playing trains, with the real thing just outside the “exhibition hall”.

The models at the Bluebell show are scattered between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations, in the works buildings and on the platforms.  We ended up in the locomotive works, that was certainly different, and a good place to be.  On our right was a locomotive wheel lathe, and through the open door at the end, full sized engines were being steamed up for the day’s work.  In fact, it got a bit smoky in the works, what with the smell of coal from the large locos, and the smell of methylated spirits from the Gauge 1 live steam next to us.  The only complaint was the slightly grimy and oily surroundings – a number of module boxes…

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Bachmann and Graham Farish – SR related product updates July 2017

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

The Bachmann Europe team met up this week with the model trade press to update the market on the latest developments and progress, a full report can be found on the RmWeb forum here and I take this opportunity to update on those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. As in previous years at this Media day no new product  announcements were made. All images on this post are copyright and courtesy of Andy York / BRM and or Bachmann Europe.

Firstly, in 00 gauge the relevant SR updates from Bachmann are as follows:

The impressive SECR livery sample of the 60′ birdcage stock

Since the London festival of model railways where I reported on the ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) 60′ Birdcage stock BR Crimson livery sample being shown, the livery samples for the SECR

The SECR 60′ composite livery sample

and SR Olive Green versions…

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