Train of the Week

Train of the week is a new feature that were are starting in August and hope to feature every week subject to how manic it gets with new product launches. Of course it is subject to how succesful the concept is and on going sales from it but it is not just about that it is also about showing ideas and putting together locos, coaches and wagons from various manufacturers together into a realistic train. Most featured items are standard stock items and we can always recreate it again to customer's own specifications with either more or less items of rolling stock or even different liveries as required

As such even when completed and sold we will leave them on the list as inspiration for short, simple trains that you may want to tackle yourself or leave us to do for you subject to items still being available and a new "Train of the Week" should be added every Thursday and we intend changing the era and type of train to keep it fresh and different.

Rather than constantly increasing the size of this, we have now archived the Train of the Week features from 2018 which can be found through this link 2018 Train of the Week feature

 

13th June 2019

Western Region Parcels Train

Continuing the theme on the Heljan Warships thought we would have the second of these with a Parcel train utilising both the Heljan Warship and Heljan BG's and GUV's.

We have used numbered and weathered examples of both the BG (Full Brake) and GUV (General Utility Vehicle) into a short but effective looking train.

This time we have broken up the appearance of the train with the use of one of the earlier crimson and cream BG's. As the crimson cream example is from an earlier era we have more heavily weathered to to show it's age but just as easily it could of been a clean, or relatively clean, western region chocolate and cream coach but what it does do is break up the solid colour of the train.

Both locomotive shown here have custom names and numbers using the Tower Limited Edition examples of the model but we also have the standard edition models available. Again these could also be all clean if required and is all down to personal taste.

Just to prove a point, we did originally think about a maroon example of the Warship as shown here. If we had done a maroon Warship with a rake of all maroon stock it would of just looked too "red" and the addition of the single coach in the alternate colour changes the whole appearance of the train.

For the maroon loco I did change the position of the single coach though, with the green example of the loco you could go straight into the maroon stock whereas here it is better to use the alternate colour the break up the profile of the train.

Here is a link to the Heljan BG's and the Heljan GUV's pages where you can see what liveries are still available of these.

Here is a link to the Heljan Warship page where you can see what liveries are still available of these.

Heljan BG or GUV
Heljan GUV or BG in a choice of liveries
£169.15
Heljan 37/4
Heljan GUV or BG in a choice of liveries, numbered and weathered
£234.15
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, factory named and numbered
£550.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, factory named, numbered and weathered
£590.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, choice of liveries, custom named and numbered
£600.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, choice of liveries, custom named, numbered and weathered
£640.00

6th June 2019

Troop Train

After the break last week because of both the Doncaster show and bank holiday we planned today to do the second Train of the Week featuring the Heljan Warships but then last minute the workshop have completed a custom paint job on a customer's locomotive and it was too good to miss given today is also the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The locomotive is one of the Tower Brass Castles which the customer had returned to us for painting and is an unusual one as 5018 "St Mawes Castle" along with 5001 "Llandovery Castle" were the only two in the class that were painted into Wartime Black and it the first time we have painted one of these in this livery

The loco is shown with a rake of four of the Dapol suburban coaches, in reality this could easily of been twelve coaches as the railways were tested to breaking point with the war effort and locomotives pushed to their limit on capacity so twelve coaches would not of been uncommon but we are restricted with space and is more of an impression than a scale length train. If this was also not a last minute descision we may well of also repainted the coach roofs a dark grey but by 1944 the threat of attack was slight with allied domination in the air.

The railways played a key role in both the First and Second World Wars. Troop transportation and munition production would have ground to a halt without regular and intensive use of the railway network and both military and freight trains had priority over normal passenger services. The railways were also instrumental to the evacuation of children from the danger of bomb-targeted urban areas. According to the National Railway Museum:

“During a weekend in September 1939 over 1,300,000 children in over 3,000 special trains were evacuated from the cities to the countryside.”

The railways were also vital to removing evacuated British troops from Dover after the retreat over the English Channel from Dunkirk and also on the build up to D-Day. Such a massive effort required centralised control and direction. During the 1920s, the railways had already been consolidated from an uneconomically viable patchwork of companies into the Big Four: the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), Southern Railway (SR) and the Great Western Railway (GWR). This made further centralisation much easier when war came

Almost immediately following the outbreak of war, control of the railways was passed to the Railway Executive Committee. For the first time, the term ‘British Railways’ was officially sanctioned and used. The Railway Executive Committee also had control of the extensive advertising hoardings and information posters at stations and used them to hammer home messages on air raid protection, reduced and emergency services and urging people to avoid unnecessary or leisure travel.

By the end of the Second World War, the British Railway network was completely worn out but, unlike continental railways, was sufficiently undamaged to allow it to be patched up rather than radically replaced or overhauled.

Next week will will get back to the series on the Heljan Warships but I just couldn't miss this impromptu chance.

Dapol Suburbans
Dapol 2 car Suburban coaches set, various liveries
£399.99
Dapol Suburbans
Dapol 4 car Suburban coaches set, various liveries
£699.99

 

23rd May 2019

Post TOPS Freight Traffic

We realised we had never used one of the Heljan Warship models as part of Train of the Week and took the opportunity whilst we were completing three Warships for customers, all with custom names and numbers all all in different liveries utilising the Tower Models Limited Edition of the loco.

It is shown here as part of a post TOPS frieght train utilising the Heljan OAA and VDA vans in matching brown livery.

We thought we would try something a little different this week though and are showing the train with both six and eight wagons to show how different the train looks for the addition of just a couple of extra wagons to the rake.

I cant make my mind up which looks better and just goes to show that it is the available space that defines what looks right or wrong, the eight wagons looks better but just dwarfs the test track but with more space it would look better. The set of six wagons is just over 160cm and the eight wagon just over 210cms

Here is a link to the Heljan OAA's page where you can see what liveries are still available of these.

Here is a link to the Heljan VDA's page where you can see what liveries are still available of these.

Here is a link to the Heljan Warship page where you can see what liveries are still available of these.

With the Bank Holiday weekend next week and Doncaster show on Saturday 1st June we will be taking a break next week with so much work on but will be back with a new Train of the Week on 6th June which will feature another a pair of Warships in different liveries.

Heljan OAA / VDA wagons
Heljan OAA and VDA wagons, various liveries
£70.00
Heljan OAA / VDA wagons
Heljan OAA and VDA wagons,, various liveries, weathered
£90.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, factory named and numbered
£550.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, factory named, numbered and weathered
£590.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, choice of liveries, custom named and numbered
£600.00
Heljan Warship
Heljan Warship, choice of liveries, custom named, numbered and weathered
£640.00

 

16th May 2019

Chemical Traffic

This weeks train of the week is a local one and has been done as a customer commission that we liked so much that we decided to do some for stock at the same time.

Shown here is a Blackpool based Black Five meant to be working the ICI route into Thornton. The loco is from the San Cheng model and lightly weathered where the tankers are heavier weathered compared to the loco. ICI is another iconic well known operator that most people are familar with.

The basis for the ICI tankers is the Heljan Class B tankers which we have fully repainted and weathered into this livery. The Class B tankers in ICI use were slightly different from the standard Class B tankers, so the purist might not agree with it but it is a case of working with what is available out there and the overall effect rather than being exactly right. (The main difference was a third tank cradle to support the tank)

Again to complete the train we have shown it here with one of the Dapol Standard 20 ton BR brake vans that has also been weathered.

Shown here are six of the tankers that we have completed for the commision but we have also completed another five for sale as we like them so much and have the option to do yet more if required whilst stocks of the United Molasses wagon we are using as the base last..

Although stocks of the Heljan Class B tankers are running low, here is a link to the Heljan Class B's page where you can see what stock is left of these vehicles and you never know, Heljan may well re-run these in the future.

I have not given a price on the loco as this was the customer's own loco but could easily be seen with late steam locos or early diesel locos. The overall length of the set of six tankers is approximately 120cms (Approx 4ft) and at six gives a nive overall appearance but could just as easily be a couple parked in a siding or a longer train dependant upon available space.

Heljan Class B tankers
Heljan Class B tankers, various liveries
£70.00
Heljan Class B tankers
Heljan Class B tankers, various liveries, weathered
£90.00
Heljan Class B tankers
Heljan Class B tankers, repainted and decorated as ICI and weathered
£100.00
Dapol 20ton brake van
Dapol 20ton brake vans weathered, various liveries
£92.95

 

9th May 2019

Railfrieght Opens

We have covered the Railfreight red grey era before with a similar train utilising the Heljan VDA Vans. These have now sold out but we still have stocks of the OAA opens and it was a perfect oppurtunity to showcase a respray that the workshops have just completed.

The OAA from Heljan is available in 5 liveries, two of which are shown here; the Railfreight Red Grey and Railfreight red grey ABN livery. We have used the Heljan Class 37 before and used this instead of the Class 20 in Railfreight Redstripe that we utilised with the set last time.

Rather than the two VDA vans that featured last time we have instead done a set of six of the opens along with the Dapol 20ton brake vans shown here resprayed into Railfreight livery and weathered.

We have also not done loads this time for the wagons but there is plenty of oppurtunity here to add detail to the train if you wanted to with various loads

The train as shown is approximately 2 meteres in length (6'6") but obviously more or less can be used to suit the size oif layout and the space available but as shown it looks a good size.

Here is a link to the Heljan OAA's page where you can see what stock is left of these vehicles.

Here is a link to the Dapol BR 20ton Brake Van page but the model shown is a repaint similar to the repaint we have done in the past on the SR Pillbox brake into Dutch livery.

Next week I need to get back to a steam train having done 5 weeks on deisels now.

Heljan OAA wagons
Heljan weathered OAA, various liveries
£90.00
Set of 6 Heljan OAA's
Set of 6 Railfrieght OAA's as shown here
£540.00
Dapol 20ton brake van
Dapol 20ton brake vans resprayed into Railfreight livery and weathered
£132.95
Heljan Class 37/0
Heljan Class 37/0 Speedlink Sector livery - numbered with chrome arrows and weathered £545.00
Train as shown
Full train as shown, Class 37, 6 x OAA's and Dapol Brake Van £1199.99

2nd May 2019

Cargowagon Freight

This is a first for us and the most "modern" set we have done so far utilising the Heljan IWB Cargowaggons and has been prompted by a painting commision for a set of these and also a set of the the IGA's opens that should complete in the next two weeks. It is shown here along with one of the Heljan Class 37/0 in Speedlink Sector livery after seeing a photograph of one of these on a short train of the vans in the Southwest.

In the late 1970s, Ford had sub-contracted its inter-factory transport to the continent. As the UK had the most restrictive loading gauge in European railways, British Rail was approached to agree a new design, which resulted in Ford placing an order for private owner wagons with Cargowaggon to make a replacement for the ageing VQX. The result was a 45 feet (14 m) twin-axle sliding door all metal van. The design proved so successful, that in the early 1980s Ford again approached Cargowaggon for a new design, this time a slightly longer 47 feet (14 m) twin-axle sliding door all metal van, which was adapted by British Rail to become the VGA.

So successful was the project for Cargowaggon, they extended the project. The problem of the twin axle design was that although its short length meant that it easily fitted on the cross-English Channel rail ferry, its long wheelbase restricted the minimum radius on which it could be used. The resultant longer length wagon, based on a twin EVA bogie, twin axle design,the IGA spawned three basic variants:
  • Curtain sided
  • Sliding metal door
  • Open flat waggon

The Cargowaggon IGA is now the most commonly used trans-European railway wagon, particularly popular since the opening of the Channel Tunnel, resulting in a design which has been improved over the developing years as opposed to replaced

We have a handful of the Class 37/0 in the Speedlink livery available fully finish but the new Heljan Class 37/4 is also going to be available in an un-branded Sector livery which could be completed in any of the suitable Sector liveries. We also have a special price on these weathered Cargowaggons.

The overall length of the set of four Cargowaggons is just under 2 metres (6'6") in length

Heljan IWB Cargowaggons
Heljan weathered Cargowaggon, various liveries
£135.00
Set of 4 Heljan IWB Cargowaggons
Set of 4 Cargowaggons as shown
£500.00
Heljan Class 37/0
Heljan Class 37/0 Speedlink Sector livery - numbered with chrome arrows and weathered £545.00

24th April 2019

Engineering Traffic

Well we started on this train nearly a month ago when we bought all of Heljan's remaining stocks of both the Catfish and Dogfish in the early and late olive liveries. At that time we had more of the early olive green Dogfish than any of the other variants so decided to use these to represent a later engineering train. We have previously featured a mix of Catfish and Dogfish in the earlier black livery suited to both the late steam or early deisel era whereas this is certainly more suited to the later deisel period and is shown here along with a pre-TOPS example of the Heljan Class 25/3

After building several designs of small ballast hoppers in its early years, BR settled on the 19 ton Catfish and 24 ton Dogfish from 1955 onwards. First on the scene was a batch of Catfish with actual construction taking place in 1955. The Catfish had a shallow but fairly conventional looking hopper with a single chute discharging between the rails. At one end of the 14ft wheelbase wagon was a platform with a single door control wheel, the vacuum cylinder being mounted at the opposite end.The Dogfish was a few inches taller than the Catfish and first appeared in 1956 . The other main difference was that three unloading chutes were provided instead of just one, giving the ability to discharge between the rails or to either side. As a result of this the end platform featured three control wheels.

Ballast trains are found all over the network and are an important part of track maintenance. Ballast is the name for the ‘stones’ beneath the track. This aggregate forms the trackbed and supports the track. It also helps with drainage, so rain water can drain away rather than pooling, and with preventing vegetation growth, which could destabilise the track and be a hazard for anyone working on the railway.

The Catfish and Dogfish were BR standard small ballast hopper wagons with almost 2000 being built. Fitted with vacuum brakes from new, many lasted into the 1990s while a programme to fit air-brakes to surviving Dogfish wagons was started in 2000. Despite this, the last examples of both types were withdrawn in 2006

Sadly since we started this train we have now sold all remaining stocks of the Olive Dogfish apart from this remaining set of six. We do still have stocks available of both the early and late olive Catfish available and limited stocks of the earlier black examples of both the dogfish and catfish..

Here is a link to the Heljan Catfish and Dogfish page where you can see what stock is left of these very nice vehicles.

Should have some more unusual ones coming up soon with full repaints on some wagons but the layout is actually at a Leigh show this weekend.

Heljan Cat / Dogfish
Heljan Catfish and Dogfish various liveries - clean
£79.95
Heljan Cat / Dogfish
Heljan Catfish and Dogfish various liveries - weathered
£100.00
Set of 6 Early Olive Dogfish
Heljan Early Olive Dogfish - weathered
SOLD

 

11th April 2019

Parcels Train

This weeks Train of the Week was inspired by the annoucement last week from Heljan of the lower of the price of their remaining GUV and BG coaching stock; admitedly this project was already underway at the time but it turned out the be perfect timing!

We have previously featured this train utilising maroon examples of both vehicles for use with either steam or early deisel which can be found in the archive from last year but we decided we wanted to show the train in the later era as well. Here we are showing two of the Heljan BG's in Newspaper livery along with two of the Express Parcels GUVs, all numbered and weathered along with one of the new Heljan Class 25/3 to haul them.

Both type of vehicle are incredibly versatile pieces which could be found as either part of a passenger train, as a dedicated parcel train like this, attached to a fitted freight train, milk train or even hauled by a single car DMU.

The set of four coaches alone are approximately 67" long and then there is whichever locomotive you wish to put on the front. The parcel stock also comes in a variety of liveries enabling you to give a more region feel with either the chocolate and cream or southern green liveries or the later Parcel Red and Royal Mail liveries.

Also at the workshop being completed for the shelf was an example of the Heljan Class 40 in blue and it would of seemed a shame not to take the oppurtunity to photograo it at the same time.

Rather than suggest a cost for the entire train it seemed better to give the options on the individual units, either as they come un-numbered or weathered from Heljan or with the options or numbering and weathering and there are plenty of suitable locomotives out the to finish off the set.

Just as a reminder, there will not be a Train of the Week next week as the workshops are taking a well deserved week long holiday, the next installment will be the 28th of April.

Heljan BG or GUV
Heljan GUV or BG in a choice of liveries
£169.15
Heljan 37/4
Heljan GUV or BG in a choice of liveries, numbered and weathered
£234.15

4th April 2019

EWS Van Traffic

We are looking forward this week and thinking about the forthcoming Heljan Class 37/4 that is due for release hopefully before the end of May. The release of the new Heljan 37/4 will see some of the more interesting later liveries being released. The only problem is available stock to go with these later liveries.

On that basis we did look at the Heljan VDA in EWS livery to go with the forthcoming 37/4 in the same livery as a future Train of the Week. Talking to Heljana few weeks ago though we did double check on the stock situation on the EWS liveried VDA's to find stocks were very low so jumped in and bought the last of them and sent seven straight off to the workshops for weathering.

All well and good but then we didn't have a loco in EWS to feature with the wagons but a customer came to the rescue who we had done some work for in the past with one of the Heljan Class 47's we had repainted in the past as Ribblehead Viaduct and also a Class 66.

The train came out rather well we think and gives a good impression we hope of an ideal train to make up using both the forthcoming Class 37/4 and VDA's. At the end of the day the customer also bought the rake of vans off us but we still have limited stocks of these so could repeat it again for anyone who is interested whilst stocks last as we may well sell our before the 37's are launched. We are also taking advance orders for the Heljan Class 37/4 for despatch as soon as they become available.

Details of the forthcoming Heljan Class 37/4's can be found though this link Heljan Class 37/4s. Good news as well, I spoke to Heljan today and the locos are in production in China and on target for the expected release date around the end of May.

I will be doing a Train of the Week next week but after that the minions in the workshop will be taking a holiday for two weeks around Easter so we will be taking a weeks break from this feature after the 11th of April with the next expected update on the 25th.

Heljan VDA
Heljan VDA's in a choice oif liveries, weathered
£90.00
Heljan 37/4
Heljan Class 37/4 in a choice of liveries - un-numbered
£509.15
Heljan 37/4
Heljan Class 37/4 EWS livery with customer choice of number and weathered
£584.15

 

28th March 2019

Heavy Freight

Following on from last week is another iconic San Cheng locomotive in the Stanier 8F 2-8-0 shown here in BR late crest and heavily weathered. A large number of 8F's were built and used as a heavy freight engine and saw extensive use all over the system includiung overseas both during and after the Second World War.

We have shown it here doing the mainstay of freight work from the era with a 16 ton mineral train. Sadly when it came to downloading all the images, this one is sadly a little blurred.

The 8Fs were successful and durable locomotives in BR service, with all 666 locomotives surviving until 1960 and routine withdrawals not beginning until 1964. The first to go in 1960 was 48616, followed two years later by 48009. 48773–48775 (the former Longmoor Military Railway locomotives which were the only 8Fs on the Scottish Region) were also withdrawn in 1962, but these were reinstated into London Midland Region stock in 1963. The remaining 664 were withdrawn between 1964 and 1968, with 150 surviving to the last year of steam on BR.

To finish off the train we went for another of the Dapol BR standard brake vans, again weathered just to complete the train.

The San Cheng 8F is another of the very desirable locos they produced and we have just a few left of these, one with the BR early crest and another with the BR late crest. Once gone we will sadly not be able to replace these.

As to an overall length of the train, we had it on our small layout with ten 16 ton minerals and it looked good but equally if you had the space as a heavy freight loco it would of happily pulled twenty or more freight wagons. We had previously done a rake of 15 bauxite 16 ton minerals for a customer but we struggled fitting in more than 12 on the layout.

Stanier 8F
San Cheng 8F BR in either early crest livery or late crest livery, heavily weathered
£1550.00
16 ton mineral
Dapol 16 ton minerals - various liveries clean finish
£38.50
16 ton mineral
Dapol 16 ton minerals - various liveries, custom weathered
£63.50
BR Brake Van
Dapol BR standard brake van - various liveries clean finish
£67.95
BR Brake Van
Dapol BR standard brake van - various liveries, custom weathered
£92.95

 

21st March 2019

North Eastern Shunter

We have recently completely one of the old Bachmann Brassworks (San Cheng) LNER / BR J94's for a customer; numbering it, weathering it and even sound equipping the loco to the customer's requirements and thought it would be nice to feature one of these as in the North East of England on shunting duties with a variety of wagons which we have also been weathering through the workshops either for stock or for customers.

Over the years a number of people have stockpiled locos with the intention of completing them at a later date and time being what it is, many do not get completed. It is never an issue fully finishing locos such as this at a later date, as we have done here.

The Bachmann Brassworks loco is sadly no longer available but there are still plenty out there and they do come out rather nicely.

The likes of the J94 were suited to shunting work or short distance runs are is shown here with a variety of Dapol wagons,; the ever popular 16 ton minerals which are available in a several liveries spanning pre and post Tops with one of the Dapol BR standard brake vans and then the relatively new Dapol 10 foot wheelbase BR vans whcih again come in various liveries. At the back of the yard can be seen a rake of Heljan Class B tanker all of which have been weathered to give a feel for the period rather than the clinical clean look.

In the case of the J94 shown the cost of numbering, weathering, painted the backhead and supplying the plates of this factory painted black locos was £100.00, other locos are obviously subject to the work involved.

14th March 2019

Parcels Train

The workshop has recently completed one of the San Cheng Royal Scots in BR green and this was again too good an opportunity to miss for Train of the week shown here with four of the Heljan maroon BGs and GUVs that have been lightly weathered in what was an iconic train often seen on the rails in the period.

The San Cheng range of brass ready to run locomotives have always been popular and good runners, it is just a pity they are getting harder and harder to come by with reducing stocks since the closure of the factory in China and they represent excellent value for money when compared to the Korean Brass locomotives out there.

Both type of Hejan parcels vehicle are incredibly versatile pieces which could be found as either part of a passenger train, as a dedicated parcel train like this, attached to a fitted freight train or even hauled by a single car DMU. They could also be seen attached to a milk train for the transportation of churns.

The set of four coaches alone are approximately 67" long and then there is whichever locomotive you wish to put on the front, be it steam or deisel. The parcel stock also comes in a variety of liveries enabling you to give a more region feel with either the chocolate and cream or southern green liveries or the later Parcel Red and Royal Mail liveries.

Rather than suggest a cost for the entire train it seemed better to give the options on the individual units, either as they come un-numbered or weathered from Heljan or with the options or numbering and weathering.

Royal Scot
San Cheng Royal Scot in BR early crest livery, clean finish
£1650.00
BG or GUV
Heljan un-numbered or weathered GUV or BG in a choice of liveries
£169.15
Weathered BG or GUV
Heljan numbered and weathered GUV or BG in a choice of liveries
£234.15

 

7th March 2019

Class 31 Merry-Go-Round Train

We have just completed a custom repaint on one of the Heljan Class 31's into Railfreight Triple Grey (Coal Sector) for a customer and thought the opportunity was too good to miss so we photographed it along with a rake of matching Dapol HAA Hoppers.

A merry-go-round train, often abbreviated to MGR, is a block train of hopper wagons which both loads and unloads its cargo while moving. In the United Kingdom, they are most commonly coal trains delivering to power stations. These trains were introduced in the 1960s, and were one of the few innovations of the Beeching reforms.

West Burton Power Station was used as a testing ground for the MGR system but the first power station to receive its coal by MGR was Cockenzie in Scotland in 1966. It was estimated at the time that the 80 MGR hoppers needed to feed Cockenzie would replace up to 1500 conventional wagons. By the end of 1966 there were about 900 wagons carrying 53,000 tons a week to four power stations. Power stations that were built to handle the new MGR traffic were Aberthaw, Drax, Didcot, Eggborough, Ferrybridge C,Fiddlers Ferry and Ratcliffe, of which the former and latter pairs are still open for traffic. Many of the older power stations were also gradually converted to MGR operation.

Merry-go-round operation was also adopted for the Immingham Bulk Terminal built in the early 1970s to supply iron ore to the Scunthorpe Steelworks from the Port of Immingham.

The two prototype wagons, 350000 and 350001, were built at Darlington works in 1964 and 1965 respectively, following which several large batches were constructed at the nearby Shildon works. With the exceptions of the two prototypes built at Darlington and the 160 wagons built at Ashford, all 10,702 HAA wagons were built there. With over 10,000 produced they were an iconic wagon of the The decline in the UK mining industry from the 1980s onwards made many of these wagons redundant. The last location to have coal delivered by MGR wagons was the Hope Cement Works in August 2010.

The livery of these wagons was of unpainted metal hoppers and black underframes. The hopper support framework was originally brown, then red with the introduction of the new Railfreight image in the late 1970s. When Railfreight re-invented itself in 1987, a new livery with yellow framework and a large coal sector logo on the hopper side was introduced.

The Dapol HAA's are currently available with the red and blue cradle but have sold out of the brown cradle livery. Dapol themselves have also sold out of the yellow cradle Coal Sector livery but we have just 13 left in this livery which can be sold clean or custom weathered.

The Heljan Class 31 was originally a standard green model that we have fully resprayed to the customer's requirements. Although the Heljan Class 31 is currently sold out Heljan have announce a limited re-run of these for later in the year which we are taking advance order for now in a total of six liveries, several of which are new and have not been done before.

Details of the forthcoming Heljan Class 31'scan be found though this link Heljan Class 31's

Details of these Dapol HAA's can be found though this link Dapol HAA's

Heljan Class 31
Heljan Class 31 in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£446.25
Dapol HAA's
Dapol HAA clean finish in a choice of liveries (Red, Blue or Yellow Cradles)
£46.75
Rake of HAA's
8 HAA's all weathered with different numbers in a choice of liveries (Red, Brown, Blue or Yellow Cradles)
£574.00
Rake of HAA's
8 HAA's all weathered with different numbers with graffiti in a choice of liveries (Red, Brown, Blue or Yellow Cradles)
£650.00

28th February 2019

London Suburban Service

Hectic this week with Kettering show this weekend and the workshop have also been working hard to complete various trains. As a result I now have a catalogue of the next 4 weeks "Train of the Week" ready to go at least.

Here we have one we have not done before with one of the new Heljan Class 43xx Mogul's in BR early crest livery along with one of the Dapol 4 car suburban sets.

Here we have used one of the Dapol four car suburban London sets of coaches in BR maroon and have lightly weathered the whole train which has really added character to the set. These coaches are available in both two and four car units in both Great Western and BR liveries with specific regions for the sets available covering London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol as example.

The overall length of the train is approximately 83 inches and makes a very effective set, larger than your normal suburban set but not as large as a Mk1 set of coaches

Details of the Heljan 43xx Moguls can be found though this link Heljan 43xx Moguls

Details of these Dapol Suburban Coaches can be found though this link Dapol Suburban Coaches

 

Heljan 43xx Mogul
Heljan 43xx Mogul in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£662.15
Heljan 43xx Mogul
Heljan 43xx Mogul in a choice of liveries, weathered
£702.15
Dapol 4 car suburban
Dapol 4 coach suburban coaches in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£699.99
Dapol 4 car suburban
Dapol 4 coach suburban coaches in a choice of liveries, weathered
£859.99
London Train
Heljan Mogul and Dapol 4 car suburban set, weathered
£1500.00

21st February 2019

Southern Light Goods

Back to a steam theme and sticking with a clean appearance for this short train. There is little available ready-to-run for the Southern region but we thought it worth focusing on this region for once utilising what stock there is available.

Here we have used one of the ever popular Dapol Southern liveried "Fishbourne" Terriers along with a mix of Southern 5 and 8 plank opens.

Completing the train is one of the Dapol Southern liveried Pillbox brake vans with an overall length for this train of approximately 95cm, so just over 3 foot in length.

The Terrier, Pillbox brake vans and open wagons are available in a good number of liveries and makes a nice short light goods train and can be depcited in a number of time periods and looks good either clean or weathered.

Details of the Dapol Terriers can be found though this link Dapol Terriers

Details of these Dapol open wagons can be found though this link Dapol Open Wagons

Details of these Dapol Pillbox Brake Vans can be found though this link Dapol Pillbox Brake Vans

14th February 2019

RazorEdge Railcars

Back to the concept of short, realistic trains again this week and one I have been wanting to do for a while and with a delivery from the workshops of new stock items made it possible We are showing here a clean example of the GWR liveried models and then a lightly weathered example of the BR Crimson and Cream livery. The Razor Edge Railcar is a complete train in just a single unit and equally at home on a small end-to-end layout or a larger layout.

In February 1939 the G.W.R. announced 20 new railcars The fleet would consist of 15 single passenger. cars, one express parcels car and two twin car sets. Previous Railcars had been of a streamlined shape and the new type cars would be much more angular which quickly lead to them being nicknamed Razor Edge Railcars.

The chassis were built by A.E.C. and powered by two A.E.C. 6 cylinder engines.   As built there was a drive shaft connecting the axle boxes on the powered side of the bogie at opposite sides on each end.   These shafts were removed in B.R. days.   The bodies were built at Swindon and the chassis’s were delivered there for final assembly. Maximum speed was 64 m.p.h. and the Railcars were used over a large part of the G.W.R. system, particularly in the Midlands, Oxfordshire, Bristol and Wales areas.

As built the Passenger Railcars were painted G.W.R. chocolate and cream. Lining was applied around the chocolate panels and the Railcars carried the G.W.R. roundel or “shirtbutton”. The roof was originally painted white.

In B.R. days the Passenger Railcars were repainted standard B.R. coach livery of carmine and cream with simple waistband lining. They were originally renumbered W19 to W33 but this quickly became W19W to W33W. This numbering system was retained until they were withdrawn. The final livery carried by the Passenger Cars was the familiar B.R. green with “Cat’s Whiskers” from 1958 onwards. During the B.R. period the roof colour was anything from light grey to dark grey.

The Razor Edge Railcar stands at just over 46cm in length but as with many of the similar units around at the time could also be seen with either a BG, GUV or milk tanker behind it.

This model is from the Tower Brass range and is either available in plain brass or fully finished as per the examples shown here. Details of the Tower Brass Razor Edge Railcars can be found through this link.

It is also worth mentioning that Heljan also intend producing a model of this loco in late 2019 or 2020 which we are taking advance order for now. Details of the Heljan AEC Railcar can be found through this link.

RazorEdge Railcar
Tower Brass Razor Edge Railcar in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£835.00
RazorEdge Railcar
Tower Brass Razor Edge Railcar in a choice of liveries, weathered
£875.00

7th February 2019

Torrington Milk Train

We had to think long and hard about doing this one. The workshop is very busy at present completing Heljan Class 43xx Moguls for customers and had little spare time. Last week we featured a CWS Milk train which a customer was inspired by but wanted the theme of the Dapol United Creameries silver tankers.

We were a little hesitant at first as we were not sure how these would look with the weathering so decided to have a look into images of the real thing....

Torrington had both a SR and WR route for milk traffic, both travelling via Exeter and the above image nicely shows just how dirty the milk trains can get.

With the image as inspiration we have gone for one light, one medium and four heavily weathered examples Obviously each are slightly different levels as they would not all be exactly the same degree of weathering. The individual cost for these if we were to do them is £95.00 each (£70.00 plus £25.00 for the weathering.) and the train could be as long and short as required and could easily include the likes of a BG or GUV for carrying milk churns

There is also a very interesting article on Torrington milk traffic which can be found here Torrington Milk Traffic. One line I found particulary interesting in there is up to six milk tankers being added to a passenger train for mixed freight and passenger service and may be why the customer ordered a total of six with the sheer volume of traffic through the day and also the mention of latter deisel era with milk tankers mixed in with clay trains.

As for the loco, we have shown one of the new Heljan 43xx Mogul, as if on the WR route out of Exeter and then a BR Terrier for Southern shunting operations (I know someone may scream they didn't do this but it is Southern and a little tank engine and available Ready-to-Run.)

Milk Tankers.
Dapol six wheel milk tankers in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£70.00 EACH
Milk Tankers.
Dapol six wheel milk tankers in a choice of liveries, weathered
£95.00 EACH

 

31st January 2019

Milk Train

Following on from last week is another tanker train but this time for milk traffic in the steam or early deisel era. This has also been an interesting train to research. Would of made me cringe to say "Milk for London" because really it could of been any major city.

We have put together a rake of the Dapol CWS 6 wheel milk tankers along with on of the San Cheng Manor class 4-6-0's in BR early crest lined green livery. CWS had private siding serving a dairy in Melksham (WR) and a loading facility in both Llangadock (WR) and Wallingford (WR). These served discharge point at Stewarts Lane and East Croydon, both on the SR so this could represent the shunting and creation of the train or a short train in transit. By the 60's CWS was under the United Dairies Label.

As to weathering, I always assumed the milk traffic fleet were kept relatively clean but looking at images they could almost be black with grime. We have gone relatively light weathering which has just highlighted the strapping detail which otherwise is lost and a very light sheen around the centre of the tanks for overspill. Obviously each are slightly different levels as they would not all be exactly the same degree of weathering. The individual cost for these if we were to do them is £95.00 each (£70.00 plus £25.00 for the weathering.) and the train could be as long and short as required.

To finish off the train we have a weathered example of the Dapol BR grey 20 ton brake vans. Last year we featured a short rake of just six milk tankers along with a BR black 64xx Pannier Tank rather than a mainline milk train destined for the busy cities and did not feature one of the brake vans as it was only assembling the milk train ready for a heavier loco.

The overall length of this train as it stands is just under seven foot but as previously mentioned this could be as long or short as you have space for and this could also be reproduced based around any of the standard liveries of the milk tankers produced by Dapol as either clean or weathered finish. It would be acceptable to see the odd clean United Milk tanker mixed in with a rake of CWS milk tankers once the company was taken over for example.

 

Manor
San Cheng "Granville Manor" in BR early crest lined green livery, lightly weathered
SOLD
Milk Tankers.
Dapol six wheel milk tankers in a choice of liveries, weathered
£95.00 EACH

24th January 2019

Esso Tanker Train

Another interesting and popular theme is petroleum traffic from all over the UK in both the steam and diesel periods and we have just completed a set of the Esso petroleum tankers.

Loco featured here is one of the Heljan Class 45's as D59 "The Royal Warwickshire Fusiler" along with ten of the Heljan Esso tankers. This was always the most popular of the liveries of the Heljan Class B tankers and has now completely sold out so we decided to use the very last set of these to complete this impressive looking tanker train.

Then we have weathered them and used artistic license to show a degree of the oil staining. In reality many of these tankers were so heavily stain with oil spills that you cannot even see the lettering but this is really effective at showing the overall character of the train without over doing it.

The whole train is just over 7'3" in length overall with the set of ten tankers. There are still other liveries of the tankers available; Regent and Mobil the other options available that can always be completed to order as the Esso set has now been sold. As we always say, this is only shown to spark ideas and show case what can be done, if you have space for more or less tankers it still give a good impression of the overall appearance.

We will be revisiting fuel tankers but in the steam era before Easter with the release of our two Limited Edition sets of the Dapol Air Ministry Class B tankers in both Esso and Shell BP liveries. Details of theTower Air Ministry Class B tanker sets can be found through this link and we will be offering a weathering service on these along the lines of the above tankers including the oil staining for an additional £150.00 for the set of six.

Petroleum Train.
Heljan Class 45 with 10 Heljan Class B tankers in either Esso livery all weathered
SOLD
Class 45.
Heljan Class 45 named and weathered
£640.00
Tankers.
Set of 10 Heljan Class B tankers in Esso livery all weathered
SOLD

18th January 2019

Mk1 Passenger Train

Following on from the limited re-run of Heljan Mk1's received last week we thought it was worth looking at these whilst they are still available. The popular Heljan Mk1 were produced about 5 years ago and .have been sold out for at least 12 months. Following several requests they have done a small and limited re-run of just eight vehicles with the best selection being the BR maroon livery with four versions available enabling a full train. There is also a new lower price on these coaches compared to the original issue price from five years ago.

We are showing here the Mk 1 coaches with one of the Heljan Class 42 Warship diesels, going for a factory numbered and named green example "Kelly". We went for this Warship as a maroon example just looked all too "red" for the whole train. There are currently ten versions of the Warship available including five of the Tower Models Limited Editions which are un-named and numbered so customer's can choose their own choice of iconic name.

Originally we were going to show the locomotive with five coaches but this was just too long for the small shunting layout we use for photography with examples of the SO Second Open, FK Corridor First, RMB Restaurant Mini Buffet and finally the BSK Brake Second Corridor and showing them clean rather than weathered. The coaches also come un-numbered so customers can decide on their own region for the train. We do offer a number and weathering service for these though at £25.00 for numbering and £40.00 for weather per vehicle

The overall length of this train as it stands is just over 90 inches with the four coaches as the individual coaches are just over 47cm each. If you were going to go for less than four coaches I would recommend the Dapol suburban coaches over the Mk1 coaches which, although used on suburban services, would usually not be used on such small trains.

Talking to Heljan it does look like longterm Heljan will reintroduce more of the original range but this is subject to how well this limited re-run goes with the full range of Blue Greys next on the list to supplement the TSO that has just been re-released in blue grey. There should also be more news on these around Telford show along with some new liveries if everything goes to plan.

Details of the Heljan Mk 1 coaches can be found through this link

Details of the Heljan Class 42 Warships can be found though this link

Heljan Mk1 coaches
Choice of liveries and types
£169.15
Heljan Warship
Heljan Class 42 Warship in a choice of liveries
£550.00

10th January 2019

Railfreight Train

This week we have gone for a short train based around the distinctive Railfreight grey era of 1982 through to 1987 and features one of the Heljan Class 20s and a mix of Heljan OAA's and VDA's in matching Railfreight Red-Grey livery.

This era is gaining in popularity and this is the third attempt we have made to get this onto train of the week with each time previously the train selling before we could feature it. Each time before it was four of the opens and only one van being effectively used as a brake van at the opposite end to the loco. This time we have completed it with 2 of the Heljan vans.

As a side point, we have just tried to re-order some of these VDA vans from Heljan and they have now sold out so we are limited to whatever stock remains here on the vans. Stocks on both versions of the OAA are still okay.

The loco and stock have all been numbered and weathered. Although weathering is not to everyone's taste it, even with a very light dusting, does take the "plasticy" sheen from both the loco and stock.

Keen eyed will also note the loads in the OAA's wagons and we have a few enquires on these and the simple answer is they are plastic credit card till roll tubes that have been glued together and spray to represent pipework

The overall length of this train as it stands is around 74 inches but obviously could be done as a shorter or longer train if required but looks effective and realistic even at just over 6 foot long.

We have also been asked about completing just singles of the shown rolling stock which it is always no problem to do if required so I have listed a price for these too. This obviously also applies to any of the wagons shown in previous weeks that we have featured.

Rake of OAA /VDA
Mix of two VDA's and four OAA's all weathered with different numbers.
£540.00
Single
Single OOA or VDA weathered
£90.00
Railfreight Train
Heljan Class 20 Railfreight numbered and weathered with a mix of 6 VDA's and OAA's with different numbers and weathered.
£1075.00