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.

18th October 2018

Mixed Fitted Freight

With the recent re-run of Dapol fitted vans it seemed a perfect opportunity to hightlight a fitted freight train where there is really no right or wrong combination of fitted stock. Remember this is just an example and you could easily justify any mix of vacuum fitted stock including tankers for an injection of colour.

Here we have used one of our Tower Brass J39's that has been lightly weathered in early BR livery to represent the workhorse hauling the train but any mid size loco could fulfil the role with any specific regional themed layout.

For something a little different we have also utilised one of the Heljan BG's instead of a brake van for additional carrying capacity. Either BG's or GUV's are equally at home on mixed fitted freight as they are added to a passenger train or dedicated parcels train. (more on this hopefully with next weeks Train of the Week)

These style of trains are iconic and can be made up with whatever fitted stock you have. Larger trains for long distance work or shorter trains for a local pick-up and drop off service so this week it didn't seem worth quoting a cost for the train as the mix can be anything you want.

For people who wanted a greater selection of numbers for the fitted vans it is worth mentioning we have commisioned Dapol to do two Limited Edition sets of six fitted vans in 2019, one set of six planked vans and one set of six plywood vans details of which can be found through this link. Tower Models Limited Edition Vans

11th October 2018

Parcels Railcar

Something often overlooked this week in a full train in a single unit that is equally at home on a small or large layout.

The British Rail Class 128 was a class of diesel multiple unit, built for British Rail built by Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company and introduced in 1959 The class was built specifically for parcels, fitted out with parcel racks and bike storage at each end, and did not feature any passenger accommodation. The last members of the class were withdrawn in 1991, and none were preserved.

A total of ten were built; six were built with gangway doors (W55991-W55996) and four without gangway doors (M55987-M55990)

This example is shown with light to medium weathering and the above image nicely shows how the weathering effect has nicely highlighted the roof panel detail which on the clean example is much less obvious.

 

The overall length of this unit as it stands is just over 47cm over the buffers and an easy addition to any layout and equally at home on a short end to end as it is on a larger layout. The Class 128 was also known to of hauled a single GUV or BG which would be a good addition to this very short but useful train

Full details for the Heljan Class 128 can be found here

Clean 128
Class 128 in a choice of liveries, clean finish
£475.000
Weathered 128
Weathered Class 128 in a choice of liveries
£515.00

4th October 2018

Railfreight Red Grey Train

This week we have gone for a short train based around the distinctive Railfreight grey era of 1982 through to 1987. The loco iteself though is shown in the later speedlink sector livery that was often seen hauling this older freight all over the country.

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 effectievly used as a brake van at the opposite end to the loco.

We will again be revisiting this time period again soon but with an early red grey red stripe loco once the workshop have completed it along with matching stock that has an entirely different character to it.

The overall length of this train as it stands is around 78 inches but obviously could be done as a shorter or longer train if required.

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.

Witht the arrival of both the Dapol 10 foot wheelbase wagons this week and the introduction of the BR brake vans next week be assured these will also feature in the coming month.

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 37 Speedlink Sector, numbered and weathered with a mix of 6 VDA's and OAA's with different numbers and weathered.
£1075.00

27th September 2018

Rowntree Chocolate Train

This week is a suggestion from a customer at Telford show and just sounded interesting so we thought it was worth a try utilising the Heljan Class 20 and Heljan VAA / VDA wagons but repainting the vans with the trademark white roofs.

Opening in 1895 Rowntree’s had bought one locomotive and had one-and-a-half miles of standard gauge track to allow direct access to the Rowntree’s factory at Haxby Road from the Foss Island Branch of the NER on the outskirts of York.

As the factory developed a station halt was constructed in 1927 at Hambleton Terrace. This was called Rowntree Halt and operated an unadvertised passenger service so that workers from Selby and Doncaster could commute to the factory but the mainstay of the traffic was always providing rapid transit for the chocolate and assorted confectionary.

In an attempt to protect the chocolate in transit from the worst of the effects of the sun the roofs of the VAA / VDAs were painted white and this was a unique feature of these in both the brown and railfreight red grey era. Apart from this there also additional insulation inside these dedicated vehicles as they delivered their "precious" cargo.

The final freight ran on 13th March 1987 with the the Halt closed on the 8th July 1988 to passenger service and tracks were lifted by 1992 bringing to end the line altogether.

Another fun one to do and it would also be a popular one with either the kids or Grandchildren and perhaps spark their imagination and maintain their interest.

The overall length of this train as it stands is around 72 inches but obviously could be done as only 4 or 5 VDA's in the set if required.

Rake of VDA's
6 VDA's with different numbers in a choice of liveries weathered (Railfreight Brown, later bauxite or Railfreight Red / Grey)
£540.00
Rake of VDA's
6 VDA's with different numbers in a choice of liveries weathered with white roofs
£600.00
Rowntree Train
Heljan Class 20 Post Tops Blue, numbered and weathered with 6 "chocolate" vans with different numbers.
£1099.00

20th September 2018 (Updated)

Coal Sector HAA Merry-Go-Round Train

The release last week of the new Dapol HAA's was too good an oppurtunity to miss so we have worked overtime to get an example of these done only a week after the launch of the model along with a perfect companion in the Heljan Class 37 in Coal Sector livery.

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.

At the same time were were completing a set of six with the red cradles for a customer utilising the three number variants Dapol have produced along with 3 with altered numbers and then weathered and seemed a shame not to photograph these at the same time.

As always this is just about showcasing what can be done as either inspiration for your own trains or what we can do if required. MGR trains can be very long if you have the space (Typically up to 35 in a train) for it but with just eight this still looks like a respectable size. The overall length of this train as it stands is the longest we have done so far at just around 82 inches.

We also currently have stocks of all four basic liveries of the Dapol HAA's in stock at just £46.75 each if you are tempted to do it all yourself.

We have also just had a special commision off this for a custom paint job which have now completed and it was too good to miss the opportunity to add supplementary photographs when they are ready. We have done a rake with the brown cradles weathered for a customer:

We have also done 2 heavily weathered examples with the brown cradles to add to the next series of photos

These heavily weathered examples are to represent older stock in a set of 8 weathered with the red cradles but subsequently "vandalised" with graffiti:

The last set was obviously the most work but has to be my favourite set to date!

We have now sold all the weathered examples of the HAA's from this Train of the Week but whilst stocks of the Dapol wagons last we can always recreate it to order.

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
Coal Sector Train
Heljan Class 37 Coal Sector, numbered and weathered with 8 HAA's all weathered
£1099.00

13th September 2018

Great Western Suburban Passenger Train

Some people have asked that we do more passenger service trains as well as clean examples so thought we would take the time to feature the new Heljan 61xx Large Prairie along with a four car set of the Dapol ex LIonheart suburban coaches

In this example we have put together on of the standard Great Western 61xx numbered as 6110. The 61xx worked mainly out of London so we have put it together with the Dapol ex-Lionheart four car London Division "A" set suburban coaches as a simple but effective train that would be at home on any branchline. We have gone for the early GWR green and matching coaches but equally as easy would be pairing the Early BR black 61xx with the two or four car crimson coaches or a late example of the 61xx with matching later BR maroon coaches.

We can always weathered these if required at £40.00 per vehicle with the customers choice of the degree of weathering but I just thought the Great Western set looks better clean compared to the latter days when the rolling stock wasn't looked after so much.

The overall length of this train as it stands is the longest we have done so far at just under 78 inches with the four car set of coaches or 46 inches with a two car set of coaches.

Suburban Passenger Train.
Heljan Class 61xx with a 2 car Dapol ex- Lionheart Suburban set
£949.99
Suburban Passenger Train.
Heljan Class 61xx with a 4 car Dapol ex- Lionheart Suburban set
£1249.99

30th August 2018

Suburban Passenger Train

Simple one here for Telford week, I think the workshop staff are under enough pressure with items to complete for the show for anything too grand but still an appealling set.

We have put together on of the Dapol ex-Lionheart 64xx Panniers with a pair of the Dapol ex-Lionheart "B"set coaches as a simple but effective train that would be at home on any branchline. We have gone for the early BR black loco with a pair of the crimson coaches here but we can also do earlier Great Western liveries or the later BR maroon coaches with matching locos.

As to weathering, the coaching stock was kept relatively clean but even a light dusting adds character and takes away the sheen of the plastic body to give an overall more realistic appearance. Clean examples of the pair of coaches are £399.99 and weathered examples are just £479.99.

We have given the option of either a Dapol ex-Lionheart 64xx in BR Early Crest black which has been weathered to match or the BR black late crest 74xx that was introduced after 1957. The costs of the basic loco is £340.00 plus £25.00 for the weathering.

The overall length of this train as it stands is just under 3 foot 6 inches and this could also be reproduced based around any of the standard liveries of the produced by Dapol as either clean or weathered finish..

The 4 car suburban sets from Dapol we will deal with at a later date once the Heljan 61xx's and Dapol 45xx Prairies are available as more substantial locos capable of hauling the 4 car sets

Suburban Passenger Train.
Dapol ex Lionheart Pannier with pair Dapol Suburban coaches, all weathered
£825.00

23rd August 2018

Coal Traffic

I was hoping to have another steam train ready for this week but with Telford show looming on the horizon the workshop have not been able to complete it and for us to get it photographed in time.

The Dapol ex Lionheart 16 ton minerals and Class 08 have given us a perfect opportunity to put these together into a rather effective looking train. Again I was hoping to hold back this train until the new Dapol BR brake vans were available but the sadly they are not now due out until September by the looks of it.

For this train we are looking at the Pre TOPS era so have married together the standard Pre TOPS liveried Class 08 along with the grey 16 ton minerals both produced by Dapol. We have taken the later grey liveried 16 tonners with the "Coal 16" lettering which is in the right time frame. As standard Dapol produce three number variants in this livery in both the welded and rivetted body types as shown below and the full range of these can be seen through this link Dapol ex Lionheart 16 ton minerals

By utilising all three standard models we only had to re-number three to give the set of six all with different running numbers

The whole train is only 40 inches in length and even if the forthcoming BR brake van from Dapol was added to this train it would still come in under 4 foot. Additional weathered minerals could be added to it if required at a cost of £63.50 or £65.00 each if re-numbered as well. I have also put the cost of the sound equipped version which we could do if required. Once the Dapol BR brake vans are released these are just £67.95 and we could weather any one of these through the workshop for £92.95

Obviously this is only an example and the same could be done with an early or later theme utilising the early and later liveries available of the same models. This is more a case of showcasing the work and simple but effective looking trains that either we can do or as inspiration to consider yourself.

Equally as good would be the Heljan Class 20 in the same role and that it does not have to be 30 plus minerals behind a 9F to look good.

Coal Train.
Dapol Pre TOPS blue 08 with six 16 ton minerals, numbered and weathered.
£599.99
Coal Train.
Dapol Pre TOPS blue 08 with six 16 ton minerals, numbered and weathered - loco factory fitted DCC and sound equipped.
£725.00

16th August 2018

Petroleum Sector Train

Another interesting and popular theme is petroleum traffic from all over the UK in both the steam and diesel periods

Loco loco featured here is on of the Heljan Petroeum Class 37 which we have completed as 37667 and weathered. Alternatively we could complete one of the standard Heljan Petroleum Sector Class 37's with your choice of number and degree of weathering.

Along with this are six of the Heljan Class B tankers in Esso livery.

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.

Of course there were many liveries and operators for fuel traffic over so we have also completed two alternate sets in keeping with the loco, above is the Regent version of the same Class B tanker from Heljan.

Here is the overall rake in Regent livery

Finally is the Mobil livery, which after weathering is my favourite and was only done as an after thought as I was so impressed with the CWS milk train from last week and how smart the red looks once weathered. Originally these had the Charringtons agency branding which we have removed representing an aging fleet.

The whole train is just over 5' in length overall with the set of six tankers with a choice of the three liveries shown.

We will be revisiting fuel tankers but in the steam era towards the end of the year 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.

The loco and set of 6 Esso tankers has now been sold but we still have the two other alternate sets available and we could always finish another Class 37 in either the Petroleum or earlier livery if requested.

Petroleum Train.
Heljan Petroleum Class 37 with 6 Heljan Class B tankers in either Esso, Regent or Mobil liveries all weathered
SOLD
Tankers.
Set of 6 Heljan Class B tankers in Regent livery all weathered
SOLD
Tankers.
Set of 6 Heljan Class B tankers in Mobile livery all weathered
SOLD

9th August 2018

Milk Train

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 the option either a Dapol ex Lionheart 64xx or 74xx. 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 we could add more to the rake if required. I would also consider adding a brake van to it but we are still waiting on the release of the new Dapol BR standard 20T brake van. This could always be added on afterwards but the train was too nice to delay until after the launch of this.

We have given the option of either a Dapol ex-Lionheart 64xx in BR Early Crest black which has been weathered to match or the BR black late crest 74xx that was introduced after 1957. The costs of the basic loco is £340.00 plus £25.00 for the weathering.

The overall length of this train as it stands is just under 4 foot 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..

Milk Train.
Dapol ex Lionheart Pannier with six CWS milk tankers, all weathered
£899.99

2nd August 2018

Dutch Engineering Train

We have really enjoyed putting this train together and has been a pleasure to do.

Loco loco featured here is on of the Heljan Dutch Class 37 which we have completed as 37245 and weathered.

Along with this are 3 Heljan Dutch Catfish, of which we have re-numbered two of so they all have different running numbers and then weathered.

Then there are two Heljan Dutch OAA's, again we have re-numbered one of these before weathering and added a clean pipe load to these which has been left loose in case you want to change it over for another load.

Finally we have taken one of the Dapol SR Pillbox brake vans and repainted it into Dutch livery along with renumbering it to a correct number along with artistic license for a couple of replacement planks before weathering.

The whole train is just over 5'4" in length overall. The only trouble is doing the train justice in a photo as an overall effect.

Engineering Train.
Heljan Dutch Class 37 with 3 Dutch Catfish with loads and 2 Dutch OAA's with loads all weathered
SOLD