One of the key features in setting a scene for a model railway is in choosing what stock and locomotives you run. Do this right and you can enhance the overall appearance of your train set. When Albion Yard was more generic in its era and location, I ran items, more specifically locomotives, that would have been unlikely to be seen together. I didn’t have really unusual mixes, but a pannier followed by a standard class 4 2-6-0 and then a class 17 in retrospect didn’t feel right. They didn’t appear on the layout at the same time, but on following trains as the layout is operated on the ‘one engine in steam’ principal. Something was bugging me that something wasn’t right hence the stagnation alluded to in the first post of the blog. https://albionyard.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/hello-world/
Coming to the realisation that the layout needed a focus the Forest of Dean location was chosen, see post link below and this has lead to a tightening up of what I run on the layout. I still use it as a test track occaisionally but the real use is now just BR/WR types and traffic. https://albionyard.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/albion-yard-cinderford-glos/
So there’s been considerably less of the above movements, for example its known that the 350HP 08 variants were tried in the Forest of Dean but for various reasons weren’t considered a success, possibly a lack of speed contributing to it, and Class 14’s were used before their withdrawl as the Forest Railways succumbed to closure. There is one Class 14 in the fleet together with a low tank small prarie, and they will appear in the operating sequence. Heres the fleet including the ‘first reserve’ an Ivatt 2-6-0 which were found in the Gloucester area.
And if you’re wondering the 77XX in GWR livery is appropriate for the Forest of Dean in the 1950’s, it does need some pretty heavy weathering to finish it off though.
So what do I mean by all the same but different?, well the Forest of Dean area was served by a few common locomotive types, and the Pannier was one of them. I’ve used the Bachmann model which is a good starting point, and with a friend am hoping to produce some components for it that will improve it further. For the time being though I’ve rung the changes by changing numbers and adding different detail variations on them, the most noticeable are the cab vent and door modifications. By opening some of them more light gets thrown into the cabs, but it makes the locomotive look different, particularly when you have two of the same cab style and livery next to each other. Study photos carefully too, these will show you operating variations, for example the high cab locomotives often appear running with the rear cab doors open, I’ve yet to find a low cab variant on the open line with the rear cab doors open, so you can make an assumption that there was a good reason for this, perhaps something as simple as it was more draughty than a high cab, allowed them to fill the bunker with more coal, or that coal spillage into the cab was more of an issue with low cab types rather than the high cab Panniers.
Whatever the reason it meant that I have modelled the high cab variants with more doors open than the low cabs reflecting the images taken at the time in the Forest area. Other easy mods for these are replacing the bunker lamp irons with etched sets and adding the fire irons, they make a huge difference too.
The fire and lamp iron replacements have come from 247 Developments, as have most of the GWR numberplates I’ve used. In the next few days I’ll add a ‘fifteen minute hero’ post on how to use the fire irons.