Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's 1955

It's 1955 and little Johnny has borrowed his Dad's camera for a day of trainspotting. He isn't expecting to see much as the sleepy branch-line near where he lives isn't exactly a hive of activity. Having settled himself on a sunny bank it isn't long before the distinctive sound of a hard working steam engine echos down the valley and within a few minutes the train emerges from under the nearby road bridge and into view. A quick press of the shutter and Johnny captures for posterity the first visit of the newly built 82026 to his sleepy corner of England.

Of course that is a whole lot of make believe nonsense, but most well built model railways have a back story around which they are constructed and deciding on the year I am going to set my layout in seemed a good place to start. Fortunately the locomotive I'd bought made this really easy.

The locomotive is a Graham Farish model of British Railways Standard Class 3 2-6-2T number 82026. Forty-five examples of this class were built between April 1952 and August of 1955, but number 82026 was apparently completed on the 12th of November 1954. As I want to be able to use green trees and shrubs as part of the scenery on my railway this would mean that the earliest the engine could have appeared on my railway would have been the spring of 1955.

The model I've bought is finished with the early BR logo which it would have worn when initially built. This logo was phased out from 1956 which helps to limit the time window for my model railway to just the spring and summer of 1955; in reality 82026 wouldn't have been repainted with the new logo until it underwent an overhaul meaning that it could have been seen in this livery for a few years after 1955.

I'm still in the planning stages, but to help get a sense of scale I built the road bridge seen in the photo from a kit. This was actually easier to build than the OO gauge coal office I previously purchased from, mostly because the thickest cardboard I had to cut was just 1mm. I think I'll probably need to rebuild the bridge at some point as I'm not happy with the position of the retaining walls, but at least it's a start.


  1. I'm looking forward to further hard work. I always had a sneaking desire for N gauge.

  2. One day, Mark, perhaps I'll see the completed model. Your period will be just as I was leaving prep school with its two railways (on two sides of the school - a high level and a low level) and one I can so easily identify with.