Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mixing Drinks

Having taken a week off work I thought I might get around to a little modelling or maybe some research for the next Penistone historical post. As it is I've done nothing railway related at all; I haven't even found a home for the badger yet! This week has given plenty of opportunity for a good drink or two though (there is always mulled wine while the Christmas tree goes up), and fortunately that has given me the chance to do at least one post this week.

When I visited the National Railway Museum in York for the Great Gathering I did of course have a look around the shop. There wasn't much that took my fancy, but they did have a serious supply of beer and beer glasses which I just couldn't leave alone. I've mentioned the Flying Scotsman beer from the Caledonian Brewery before on the blog and not only were they selling the beer but they had matching glasses as well. Flying Scotsman wasn't the only beer on sale though, as the Wold Top brewery have produced a beer to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Mallards record breaking run. I wanted to try the Mallard beer but wasn't so taken with the logo which also appeared on the matching glass. So in the end I bought Mallard beer and a Flying Scotsman glass and mixed the two together leading to a very pleasant evening!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

TB Or Not TB?

I've never been lucky enough to see a badger, and if the current government has its way, the chance of me ever seeing one will be very low, so I'll have to make do with the next best thing; a badger roaming free in Jerusalem.

The badger is from the same Langley Models pack (A64) as the squirrel I added to Jerusalem back in September. In contrast to the squirrel I couldn't get away with painting the badger in a single colour although I did start with the same grey primer.

Because I'm modelling in N gauge (2mm to the foot) this badger really is tiny and I had to use the smallest paintbrush I own along with tiny amounts of paint, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. It looks much better in real life and will be a nice addition to the layout once I've figured out where I want him to sit.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

L&YR 2-4-2T No. 1008

When I visted Barrow Hill back in September, one of the things I blogged about were the new and upcoming releases from Bachmann that were on display. Of particular interest to me was the 2-4-2T that John Aspinal designed for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. On my recent trip to the National Railway Museum I managed to photograph the only preserved member of the class, number 1008.

According to Barry C. Lane's excellent book on the L&YR, number 1008 was actually the first of the type to be built and entered service in February of 1889. It was renumbered as 10621 when the L&YR became part of LMS and then 50621 under BR ownership before eventually being withdrawn in September of 1954. As far as I can tell she is currently displayed with her as built livery, as the front buffer beam includes the locomotives number and this practice didn't continue after the middle of 1891.

I really like this locomotive and I think, had more been preserved, they would have been an ideal size for working passenger services on many of the UK's preserved railways. As it is, if we want to see this locomotive move then we will have to make do with a model, and while space constraints have left me currently modelling in N gauge, I couldn't resist this exquisite OO gauge model.

As I mentioned in a previous post the Bachmann model will be widely available in a number of liveries (which will be available some time next year I believe) but the L&YR liveried model is exclusive to Locomotion Models (the modelling arm of the National Railway Museum). Given that only 500 models were being made in this livery I pre-ordered mine at the earliest opportunity. If I never go back to modelling in OO then a mint condition boxed example should keep its resale value so I'm considering it a good investment come what may.

I don't currently have the space to even temporarily lay out an oval of OO gauge track so I can't tell you anything about the running qualities of the model, but I can tell you that as a static model it is superb. I'm not even sure that a rivet counter would find much to complain about with this model. I've taken some detail shots (yes I should have dusted first) so you can get a sense of just how good it is.

If I had to find something to complain about then, for the price of the model, etched brass number plates would have been nice, especially given that I know they are possible to produce, but the printing of the number plate detail is so crisp and well applied that from a distance you wouldn't know they weren't etched. What truly amazes me is the level of detail included on areas that are impossible to see when in use; the leaf springs behind the driving wheels being the main example (bottom right picture) as these can't be seen when the train is on the track.

All in all an exquisite model of a wonderful locomotive. If you want one in L&YR livery then hurry over to Locomotion Models because as of this moment there are only 11 left and I doubt they will be available for long.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


When it comes to railways I'm definitely a steam person. In fact I've yet to find a diesel or electric locomotive that inspires me in any fashion. Having said that I am, however, also interested in the history of the line that runs along the bottom of the garden and so I'll make an exception for the EM1. The EM1, which stands for Electric Mixed-Traffic 1, was specifically designed and built for the Woodhead line. They were powered from 1.5 kV DC overhead catenary and employed regenerative breaking to actually feed power back into the system when running downhill. They were predominately used for working freight trains through Penistone as this photo from 1955 shows.

The photo shows number 26020 which coincidentally is the only preserved member of the class and which I photographed at the National Railway Museum when I visited for The Great Gathering.

If you want more details on the EM1 then Wikipedia has a fairly informative page, and if you fancy one in model form then Heljan produce an OO gauge model exclusively for Olivia's Trains.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cool Runnings

This post focuses on another, of the many, railway accidents to have occurred in and around Penistone (see here and here for previous posts on this topic).

At 7:53am on the 1st of January 1885, eight minutes after the scheduled departure time, a special excursion train to Liverpool and Southport left Sheffield. The train should have reached Penistone at 8:20am but at 8:26am it was travelling at around 20 miles an hour as it passed Barnsley Junction signal box approximately half a mile south of Penistone station (see the 1894 map to the right).

At approximately 8:21am a goods train, of mostly empty wagons, left Penistone goods yard heading south through Penistone station. After passing Huddersfield Junction signal box, with the steam off, the train was travelling at around 12 miles an hour as it headed towards Barnsley Junction.

By 8:27am two people were dead, two fatally injured, and a further 47 had suffered minor injuries.

The full details of what happened between 8:26am and 8:27am on the morning of the 1st of January 1885 come from the official accident report compiled by Major F. A. Marindin, who had also been responsible for the report into the accident at Bullhouse Bridge the previous July. Unlike that accident I haven't been able to find any other contemporary reports or photographs, but the official report runs to ten full pages and is packed with eye witness and expert testimony.

Before we can fully understand the accident report we need to understand the makeup of each train as specific carriages and wagons are referred to throughout the eye witness evidence. Firstly we have the passenger train that was heading from Sheffield to Liverpool and Southport. It was being operated, as was the goods train, by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) company and consisted of an engine and 18 carriages (note that I'm using break instead of brake as this is the spelling used in the original report):

  • 0-6-0 tender engine #229 (John Coldwell driver, John Healey fireman)
  • third class break #407 (under-guard Jacob Hanby)
  • third-class #452
  • third-class #417
  • third-class #255
  • composite #96
  • third-class #470
  • third-class #466
  • third-class #109
  • third class break #463 (head guard Joseph Plowright)
  • third class break #499
  • third-class #331
  • composite #98
  • third-class #657
  • third-class #188
  • composite #102
  • third-class #230
  • third-class #400
  • third class break #516 (head guard William Spinks)

The reason for two head guards being present is that each was in charge of a separate portion of the train. William Spinks was in overall charge as well as being head guard for the nine rear coaches which were destined for Southport, while the front nine coaches, which were destined for Liverpool, were under the oversight of Joseph Plowright.

There are slightly less details about the makeup of the goods train and I don't have running numbers for all 26 wagons. The details I have managed to deduce from the report are as follows:

  • 0-6-0 tender engine #464 (John Schofield driver, Edmund Peacock fireman)
  • MS&LR goods wagon #582 (the only loaded wagon, which was picked up at Penistone)
  • five empty Shireoaks waggons (numbers 98, 575, 1, 218, and 219 all picked up at Hadfield)
  • five empty Kiveton Park Colliery wagons (numbers 504, 413, 227, and 543 all picked up at Ardwick)
  • two empty wagons for Whaleswood belonging to A. Lawton (picked up at Ardwick)
  • four empty Shireoaks wagons (picked up at Old Dinting)
  • nine empty Shireoaks wagons (picked up at Ardwick)
  • break-van (guard Robert Higgs)

As you can see both trains were recorded as being pulled by 0-6-0 tender engines (number 229 and 464 respectively) and while I don't know for certain, I'm assuming that they were both of the same design, what would later be referred to as GCR Class 18, as this appears to have been the only class of 0-6-0 tender engines in use by the MS&LR at the time of the accident (if anyone knows differently please do let me know).

From the report it would appear that Robert Higgs, the guard on the goods train, was the only one to fully see the accident unfold. He had this to say in his evidence to the commission:

I was looking out ahead on the left-hand side, and I saw fire flying from a waggon, I think the fifth from the engine. I then saw the waggon oscillating very much. I then noticed it taking to the 6-foot way, and the wagon behind it followed. I then saw a waggon mount up. At that time time the engine of my train and the engine of the passenger would be about passing each other. I then saw the passenger engine strike one of the waggons, rearing it up on end, back towards my train. The waggon then fell back into the passenger train. I had put my break on as soon as I saw the fire flying. At that time I had not noticed the passenger train. It all happened quicker than it would take to tell.
The driver of the passenger train, John Coldwell, gives a similar account in his evidence:

When I first saw the mineral train the engine was over 100 yards away, and at that time I saw nothing wrong with it. When the engine was about 20 yards from me I saw a waggon (which I thought was the fifth waggon) was running on the 6-foot. I cannot say that I saw this waggon actually leave the rails. ... I shut off steam at once and applied the vacuum-break, and my fireman at the same time applied the tender-break. Both breaks were hard on before my engine struck the waggon which was in the 6-foot, and I think that before the collision took place the speed of my train had been reduced to nearly half the speed at which we had been travelling. ... Just before the collision I saw the waggon which had been running in the 6-foot work into the 4-foot of the down line. I struck it with the front of my engine, so that the smoke-box door was driven in. As my engine struck it I bent down on the foot-plate, as I thought the waggon might come over the engine, so that I cannot describe what followed.
Head guard, William Spinks, who was travelling in the rear van of the passenger train, continues the story:

Immediately I felt the vacuum-break go on I applied my hand-break. I looked out of the right side of my van. The engine of the mineral train had then passed me. I saw some of the waggons of the train in collision with my train, and one waggon struck the side of my van. I saw it coming and bobbed my head in just as it knocked the side lamp off. We were pulling up very quickly, and had just about stopped when the side lamp was knocked off my van.
It should be clear, from this evidence, that the accident happened extremely quickly and that there was nothing the drivers of either train could have done to avoid it. The best description of the aftermath is provided by John Thorpe, the assistant locomotive superintendent in charge at Sheffield, who arrived on scene at around 9.45am:

I first saw the mineral engine standing with two waggons attached, on the up line about 40 yards east of the last break-van of the passenger train. I then ... walked the length of the passenger train to see that all the passengers had been got out, and found that they had. I noticed that all the carriages were on their wheels. I walked round the train and back to the rear of it, and found two coals waggons on their sides, and Shireoaks waggon No. 1 reared up. It was then standing nearly opposite to the rear van of the passenger train, and was nearly cut in half. ... next was Shireoaks waggon 218 on its side, with the opening to the off side, lying on the the 6-foot, damaged, and one pair of wheels out; ... next was Shireoaks No. 219, partly on its side, and rather over towards the 6-foot way; next was Kiveton Park No. 504, on its wheels but off the rails, partly in the 4-foot way and partly in the 6-foot way; next was Kiveton Park No. 413, off the rails, but not much damaged; next Kiveton Park No. 227, off the rails slightly, and not damaged to any extent, next was Kiveton Park No. 543, with one pair of wheels off. ... Under Kiveton Park No. 543 there was lying a wheel and short length of axle, which I afterwards found to belong to Shireoaks waggon No. 218; the other wheel and part of axle was lying further to the west on the bridge, in the 6-foot way; opposite to the point of collision. ... The passenger train had no couplings broken, and none of the vehicles had telescoped. The damage had been done by the waggon (probably No. 1) dragging along the side of the passenger train. ... The waggon which took the shock of the collision, and then fell back on the passenger train, was clearly No. 1 Shireoaks, which was the fourth from the engine, and I believe that No. 218 Shireoaks, which was the fifth waggon, and the first to leave the rails, must have got buffer-locked with this waggon, and then pushed it out diagonally across the 6-foot, immediately in front of the passenger engine.
An appendix to the report goes into more details as to the damage to the passenger train, and while most carriages showed some damage (mostly scratched panelling and broken windows) the final three carriages of the front portion of the train (numbers 109, 466, and 470) had suffered so much damage that they would need to be completely rebuilt before they could be used again.

While the investigation had to look into how the accident unfolded, the more important questions they had to answer were what caused the accident and could it have been prevented. The focus of the investigation seems to have quickly settled on the axle of Shireoaks No. 218 which was found in two parts after the accident (as described by John Thorpe above).

Shireoaks No. 218, as it's name suggests, was a private owner waggon belonging to Shireoaks Colliery. The report doesn't describe the wagon in any detail, but I'm assuming it would be similar to the Shireoaks waggon captured in this photo while at Penistone steelworks.

Rather than being owned by the railway companies, private owner wagons were built by or for private owners. Often collieries who would need to ship their coal across the country, but often by local merchants or companies. There were no specific guidelines agreed between the builders of these waggons and the railway companies as to their size or the materials used to build them. The railway companies were responsible though for checking the waggons periodically to ensure they were safe to use on the railway. In this instance it would appear that there had been no cause for concern over Shireoaks No. 218 in the days leading up to the accident, and there was no suggestion that the wagon was unusual in design. A chemical analysis of the broken axle did, however, highlight the probably cause of the accident.

Graphitie carbonTrace
Combined do.0.078
The chemical analysis of the iron from the broken axle (shown in the table to the right) showed a higher than normal percentage of phosphorus. While 0.263% may not seem like very much, when considered in conjunction with the cold weather on the day of the accident (William Genders, the permanent-way inspector, stated that it was a "frosty morning and the ground was hard") it is likely to have been the cause of the axle failing.

The problem with phosphorus in wrought iron is, apparently (I'm not a metallurgist), that concentrations over 0.2% make the iron cold short or, in layman’s terms, brittle at cold temperatures. The iron in the axle, at 0.263% phosphorous, was clearly not suitable for use as a wagon axle and certainly not on a frosty morning. The failure was, therefore, an accident waiting to happen, although no one could have predicted that the axle would fail just as two trains were about to pass each other. Had the passenger train been on time it is likely that while the axle would still have given way, only the waggon itself would have been damaged.

In the conclusion to his report, F. A. Marindin, noted that:

... it nevertheless appears from the evidence that the existing regulations as to the construction of traders' waggons and inspection of waggon stock generally are far from satisfactory. ... it is clear that there is really no absolute hold over the builders, especially as to the class of materials which they make use of; besides which, the constant interchange of waggons from one Company's line to another's makes it almost impossible for any Company to guard against a wagon unfit for running coming upon its line.
His proposed solution to the problem was to suggest that:

... it is highly desirable that all waggons commencing to run upon any line should either be the property of the Railway Company, or should be carefully inspected before being permitted to enter upon the line, that care should be taken that all materials of which they are constructed are of good quality, and that there should be a systematic periodical inspection of the waggon stock of every description, including a rigid examination of all axles after they have run for a specified time. All waggons to bear a label to show that they have been passed for running by some Railway Company, and to be legibly marked with the date when they were last thoroughly overhauled.
All of which sounds eminently sensible to me.

  • Railway accidents. Returns of accidents and casualties as reported to the Board of Trade by the several railway companies in the United Kingdom, during the three months ending 31st March 1885, in pursuance of the Regulation of Railways Act (1871), 34 & 35 Vict, cap. 78; together with reports of the inspecting officers of the Railway Department to the Board of Trade upon certain accidents which were inquired into.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Great Gathering

Back in September last year I blogged about the fact that this year would see the 75th anniversary of Mallard setting the world record speed, for a steam engine, of 126mph back in 1938. That post focused on Mallard being returned to steam for the 50th anniversary, illustrated with some excellent photos my Dad took of the restoration, and I mentioned that this year she would only be a static exhibit. Of course The National Railway Museum couldn't let the anniversary pass without some form of celebration and what they ended up with was The Great Gathering.

What you can see here is all the six remaining A4 class locomotives lined up around the turntable in the main hall of the museum. From left to right we have Sir Nigel Gresley, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Union of South Africa, Bittern, Mallard, and Dominion of Canada. What is very special about this line up is that two of the locomotives haven't been seen in the UK since 1966 as Dwight D. Eisenhower was donated to the National Railroad Museum in Wisconsin and Dominion of Canada was given to the Canadian Railroad Historical Association and has been kept (in a rather sorry state) at the Canadian Railway Museum near Montreal. There have been previous unsuccessful attempts to bring the two locomotives back to the UK and it is unlikely that once returned to their owners they will ever visit again.

Many people, like me, probably visited The Great Gathering for the chance to see these two locomotives rather than Mallard, certainly if the number of people photographing each locomotive was used as an indicator of popularity. Having said that the museum really isn't the best place to photograph locomotives. The problem is that you can't really stand far enough back to get a good photo, it's certainly impossible to take a full side view of any of the locomotives around the turntable. Fortunately I can show you what an A4 looks like in all it's glory as Mallard was also on show at Barrow Hill when I visited back in September. I'd actually expected that she would be taking pride of place on the turntable in the roundhouse, where again she would be difficult to photograph, but she had in fact been parked outside in the perfect position for photography.

What I hadn't realised, until I visited The Great Gathering, was that Mallard isn't the only A4 to hold a speed record. In fact three of the six locomotives on show have set a record and two of them even have commemorative plaques fitted.

On the left we have the plaque from Mallard, while on the right is the plaque fitted to Sir Nigel Gresley. The third record is held by Bittern who now holds the record for the fastest preserved steam locomotive to run on the UK mainline having hit 92.8mph on the 29th of June 2013. This run was part of the anniversary celebrations and Bittern was given specific permission to break the 75mph speed limit for steam on the mainline. Maybe she will also be fitted with a plaque at some point.

I'll finish this post as I started with a shot of all six A4 locomotives. From this angle it is easy to spot which are static exhibits and which are in working condition as only the working locomotives have coal in their tenders.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Man From M.E.R.G.

So I realised that while I've done six posts recently about my trip to Barrow Hill Live, as yet I haven't shown you a single model railway! So this post will show a model railway, but something a little out of the ordinary.

According to the programme there were 11 layouts on show and yet the one I found most interesting wasn't listed as it was part of the Model Electronic Railway Group (MERG) display stand. Now I've messed about with some electronics on this blog, but my efforts pale in comparison to those on show here. What you can see in the photo is a DC layout (no fancy computer control) which is fully automated by the stack of electronics in the centre. Essentially the track is broken down into a large number of independent blocks each of which is controlled by a MERG SuperBloc board which ensures that two trains can never try and occupy the same piece of track, as well as controlling the signals and updating a layout diagram running on the laptop (from the discussion that was all the laptop was used for given that the system was DC and not DCC).

It was great fun to watch with trains running at different speeds being held at signals until the next block was clear, and the guy who had built it was happy to explain and demo how it all worked. I probably spent no more than a few minutes in front of each of the actual layouts on display, but nearer half an hour talking to people on the MERG stand. No surprise then that I've become a member!

If I ever have enough space I do have plans for a large layout that would require block level control due to the track plan so I can see me a) building a number of their kits and b) asking for advice on the forums when my limited electronics knowledge runs out. Hopefully I'll be able to give back by helping more on the software side of things.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


All the promotional material I had seen for Barrow Hill Live had mentioned that one of the visiting locomotives, which would be in steam, would be LNER B1 number 61264. I was a little confused therefore to see a B1 named Impala, number 61002, in steam. Not knowing how many B1 locomotives has been preserved, I just assumed it was a last minute change that hadn't been announced. It turns out though that the locomotive was 61264 just masquerading as Impala.

From a little bit of research the only surviving B1 locomotives are 61264 and 61306. A little further digging and I found that 61264 has been temporarily renumbered to 61002 as part of the 40th anniversary festival of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Apparently, prior to being scrapped, the real 61002 had pulled trains from Whitby to Grosmont, Pickering and beyond, along what is now the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. I'm assuming it will revert back to being 61264 next time it is painted.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Coming Soon...

I mentioned before that there was very little trade at this years Barrow Hill Live. This did mean that I managed to leave without buying anything, although having looked at the Bachmaan display I have a feeling I'll be spending some money soon.

Bachmann's stand wasn't your typical retailer stand as they didn't actually appear to have anything for sale. What they did have was a working N gauge layout (quite fun to watch) and two glass display cupboards showing manufacturing samples of some of their new products.

I was obviously most interested in the N gauge models on display (these are Graham Farish models as Bachmann is the parent company). In the first photo you can see that they are about to release a model of Tornado in BR Blue, the same livery she is currently wearing. The unpainted model in this photo is I believe a Midland 4F, but as they weren't labelled in any way it's hard to be certain. While the model of Tornado looks fantastic both of these are really too big for Jerusalem.

The second photo shows a much more promising candidate to expand Jerusalem's loco fleet; an LMS 3F Jinty. This model will apparently be available in a BR black with the early crest so will match my existing loco nicely, and hopefully it's diminutive size will be reflected in it's cost once available.

The third photo is, however, the most interesting. If you read the previous post then you will know that I'm interested in locomotives that at one time may have travelled along the line at the bottom of our garden; this is one such locomotive. This 2-4-2T was designed by Aspinal for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (although seen here in a BR livery) and I actually have a photo of one in Penistone. Unfortunately, this model is OO gauge and so won't be any use for Jerusalem but I'm still tempted to buy one. If I do buy one though I'll be going for the limited edition version from the National Railway Museum who are going to be releasing it in it's original Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway livery through Locomotion Models.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Butler Henderson

In one of the very early posts on this blog I looked at the different railway companies that had, at one time or another, run trains along the line at the bottom of our garden. One of the reasons for doing this was that, at the time, I was considering building an OO gauge layout set somewhere local and wanted to get the locomotives right. This led me to the problem that out of all the OO gauge models currently on the market only one was suitable (albeit unlikely to have run on the line) for the whole period up to the grouping in 1923; a Bachmann model of Butler Henderson produced exclusively for the National Railway Museum. After Iain spotted that Butler Henderson was the background to the Meccano Garratt I thought it was worth actually showing you what this locomotive looks like.

These photos were actually taken last year at Barrow Hill when I was at Model Rail Live but she (I know it has a masculine name, being named after a director of the Great Central Railway company, but I was always taught steam engines should be treated like a lady regardless of their name) is a static exhibit and doesn't appear to have been moved during the past year. Unfortunately it isn't very easy to take good photos of the engines around the turntable, as it is impossible to get far enough back, so I went for mostly detail shots instead, rounded off with a photo of the OO gauge model.

While Butler Henderson may now only be a non-working static exhibit this wasn't always the case. On the 25th of August 1985 she was in fact happily pulling trains along the Great Central Railway, captured here by my Dad at Rothley station.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Garratts Galore

Having watched Tornado being shunted onto a siding the first thing I did was head back inside to find some coffee, at which point I saw my first working model of the day; an LMS Garratt made from Meccano. While not as impressive as a real Garratt in steam this video should give you an idea of just how big these locomotives were when they were in use on the British mainline. Unfortunately none of these locomotives were preserved, although there is a standard gauge Garratt (I think a South African one) in the Power Hall at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester which is worth seeing (I was there for a wedding and couldn't get a useable photo).

Strangely having never seen a model of a Garratt in the flesh before there were actually two others making appearances on different layouts at Barrow Hill Live; an O gauge and an N gauge one. But details of the layouts on show can wait for another post.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Maybe It's A Woollen Mill?

I'm still to decide exactly what business S. A. Tan and Sons are in, but maybe they are running a woollen mill?

I didn't want to fill the layout with sheep, so I've used just three from the pack of eight I bought from Langley Models (model number A70). For those that are interested (and to make sure I can remember) they were painted by first spraying with Humbrol grey primer before the face and shadow detail was painted black (Tamiya flat black). The wool was then dry brushed using first white (Tamiya) and then Ivory (Model Color).

If you look closely you might also be able to spot the squirrel.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Iain correctly guessed that the driving wheels in the arty shot in yesterdays post were from Tornado, which was one of four locos in steam yesterday at Barrow Hill. When I arrived (I ended up arriving early so was about the 20th person through the gate) Tornado was sat at the halt which the DMU service from Chesterfield uses. The first movement of the day was then a little shuffling around to put Tornado onto one of the other lines down near the signal box, where it would spend the rest of the morning, before switching on to the demonstration train in the afternoon

For those of you who don't know Tornado is actually a very modern steam engine. Most steam engines in the UK were built before 1968 when all steam locomotives were withdrawn from the national network. Work on building Torndao, however, only started in 1990 and she moved under her own power for the first time in 2008. You can read more about Tornado at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust who were responsible for funding and building her.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Barrow Hill Live

This morning I spent an enjoyable few hours at Barrow Hill just outside Chesterfield at Barrow Hill Live enjoying trains from Z scale all the way up to 1:1. I went to a similar event last year which was run in conjunction with Model Rail magazine. This years event was quite a bit smaller but still very enjoyable. There was probably only a couple less layouts than last year but the real difference was the lack of trade stands. There were too large marques this year and both were packed. This year there was just one and it wasn't even half as full as last year. On the up side this means I came away without spending money on anything but a cup of coffee.

There were some really interesting layouts and some very interesting full size engines so rather than one long post I'll spread them out a bit. For this post I'll give you an arty shot of some driving wheels. Anyone care to guess at the loco?

Friday, September 27, 2013

The 13:05 To Jerusalem

Today’s post was going to be all about sheep, but just before 1pm the post arrived with my repaired locomotive, so I can finally show you a working passenger train.

I thought I'd go for a video rather than a photo and while the train is probably moving a bit to fast and the video quality is poor you should still get the general idea.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Penistone Is...

As I mentioned in the previous post many of the presents I received for my recent birthday were railway related, many of them were also books. One of those books was a modern reproduction of the 1863 copy of Bradshaw's Handbook. This is the same version as Michael Portillo uses in his Great British Railway Journeys TV Series -- strangely this isn't a programme I've ever actually watched.

George Bradshaw is best know for publishing railway timetables, but he also published a number of guides to the places the railway lines passed through. While there were a number of versions of these guides, as I mentioned above, this particular book collects together the four volumes and reflects the railway as it was in 1863. Given that both the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and the Yorkshire and Lancachire Railway had both reached Penistone by 1863, the first thing I looked for was an entry for Penistone.

I eventually found Penistone on page 52 of part 4 and it would appear that Bradshaw (or more likely someone working for his company, as he died in 1853) didn't really think much of the area as the full entry reads:

This is a small market town, situated on the banks of the Don, in the midst of a wild and dreary district. It contains several large cotton and woollen factories, and a free Grammar School.
Today Penistone is a still an active market town set in wonderful countryside that I challenge anyone to call dreary, even when the weather is miserable!

We'll have to see what Michael Portillo thinks of Penistone when series 5 of Great British Railway Journeys airs on TV. Although the list of journeys hasn't yet been announced my next door neighbour saw him with a TV crew a few stations up the line earlier in the summer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Are Sorry To Announce.....

British Railways are sorry to announce that the introduction of a passenger service through Jerusalem, as well as all goods services, will be delayed for an unknown period due to a failed locomotive.
As some of you will know I've recently had a birthday, and many of the presents were train related and will probably turn up on this blog at some point. One of those presents was a Mk 1 57ft suburban brake (Graham Farish model 374-312A) which, for the first time, would have brought a passenger service to Jerusalem. Unfortunately the failure of my only locomotive has brought a halt to "playing trains" for a while -- modelling will continue though.

The locomotive failed almost five months to the day after I bought it and so fortunately it is still under warranty. It has run perfectly, in both directions, since it arrived, at least until Friday last week. The first sign that there was anything wrong was when I tried running it in reverse; it had a pronounced wobble and was making a weird clicking noise. Strangely it ran forward without any issues what so ever. From a quick examination, it appeared that as the wheels rotated the rod connected the middle wheel and valve gear wasn't moving properly as the vertical piece it is connected to wasn't moving at all (it should swing left and right). I was going to see if running it forward for a few minutes would help it settle, but it hadn't moved more than about six inches when the connecting rod popped off (as you can see in the photo). Given that I have no idea what the underlying problem was or how to repair the obvious problem properly it has now been boxed up and sent off for repair under warranty. Hopefully it will return soon.

The coach is, however, excellent and I really am looking forward to being able to run it properly; I've been slightly lucky in that I didn't have anything anywhere near as long as the coach to check clearances when building the landscape and it only just clears the tunnel mouth... but just is enough. I will, however, definitely be more careful with clearances on future layouts, although if I can avoid such tight 1st radius curves in future then the problem will (at least partially) disappear.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


When I ordered the articulated truck, that has been the subject of recent posts, from Langley Models I also ordered a number of other items that will hopefully add some more interest to Jerusalem. One of those items was a pack of seven wild animals (item number A64) which contains; 2 foxes, 2 feeding rabbits, 1 rabbit sitting up, 1 badger, and a squirrel. So far I've only painted the squirrel.

I would have shown you the squirrel in situ on the layout but a) I haven't quite decided where it is going yet, and b) it is so small I didn't think I'd be able to get a decent picture of it once it was in place.

While modelling in N gauge is great, as it allows me to have lots of railway in a small space, it does mean that some of the details really are very small.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


As you can see, other than some weathering, the articulated flatbed truck I started to build from a Langley Models kit a few posts ago is now complete. The final step was to glaze the windows.

Given the small size of the windows, and the relative thickness of the castings, it was obvious that sticking some clear plastic inside the cab wouldn't work at all. One alternative would have been to try and cut some plastic to fit flush inside the frames but that also didn't seem like a sensible route. Fortunately there is a much easier alternative; Micro Kristal Klear.

Microscale Industries' Micro Kristal Klear
(I bought mine from Eileen's Emporium) is a PVA like glue that is designed to both dry clear and to not discolour clear plastic. This makes it perfect for gluing windows in place, but it can also be used to make the windows. You simply use a cocktail stick to smear a small amount around the edge of the window frame, and then draw the glue across the opening to make a thin film. You can see this in action above, after I'd just done the first window. Once dry the glue is clear and the window is glazed.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


As you can see, progress on the Leyland Beaver articulated flatbed truck from Langley Models has moved on a little further than the primer coat I showed in the previous post.

In real life the model looks neatly painted, but this close up photo shows that I wasn't quite as neat as I thought I had been. Mind you, given that the model is less than 2cm tall the slight amount of over paint is actually quite small. The metal work also looks much better in real life. I'm guessing the problem here is that the reflective flecks in the paint (to make it sparkle) are quite large in comparison to the details I'm trying to paint.

I'm more than happy with how it's going so far though, especially after I managed to fit a driver (I had to cut the legs off the model to get it to fit) which adds some life to the vehicle. I still have to paint the rear flatbed section and then I'll have to deal with cutting out the draft by adding some windows, all of which will, I'm sure, appear in a future post.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beavering Away

I've now cleaned up the white metal castings and started to assemble the articulated lorry from the Langley Models kit I showed in the previous post.

As for the type of vehicle I'm building, GB was closest in identifying the vehicle as a Leyland lorry, although Adrian was the one to spot that it was articulated. The final missing piece of identification is the model of the lorry, which the title of this post should help with.

The model (Langley Models number E20) is supposed to represent a Leyland Beaver flatbed lorry from somewhere in the period 1949 to the 1970's, which fits perfectly with setting the layout in 1955.

I haven't decided on the full colour scheme for the vechicle yet, although I am leaning towards the same as the example shown on the website of a red body, black underframe, with shiny metal details (the bumper, radiator etc.). As you can see from the photo I've only got as far as the basic grey primer, and there is still some work to do filling gaps between the castings as well (most obvious around between the roof and cab walls but I can't do this until I've painted the inside of the cab and glued down the roof). Even in grey primer though I'm liking how it looks so hopefully it will be a good addition to the layout.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

By Road As Well As Rail

Given that quite a large area of Jerusalem is taken up by the access road for the factory I thought it only right that I included at least one vehicle within the scene.

I did originally intend to buy a completed vehicle that I could just place on the layout (probably from Oxford Diecast as they sell appropriately scaled models) but in the end I've opted for a model I get to assemble and paint instead.

The kit is made up from fifteen cast white metal parts and is from Langley Models. I'm not going to tell you what the kit is meant to represent at this point to see if any of you can recognize it (or guess); just remember I'm modelling 1955 so this should help you narrow down the possible options.

Monday, August 26, 2013

(At Least) One Satisfied Customer

At 7:38pm on the 5th of August someone bought one of my models that I have on sale on Shapeways under the Penistone Railway Works banner. Specifically they bought an OO gauge model of the LNWR, Diagram 103, 1 plank open goods wagon.

The downside of selling models via Shapeways is that I have no contact with the buyers; I don't even know who they are. On one hand this is great as Shapeways deals with all the billing and shipping etc., but it does mean that unless a buyer specifically contacts me I have no way of finding out what they think of the models they have bought.

In this case, however, the someone turned out to be a user called pinddle who left me a comment to say that it was an "excellent model". More interestingly he also included the following photo of his completed model which I'm showing here alongside an old photo I used during development of the 3D model.

I deliberately haven't included a photo of the model I painted as it is no where near as good as this one, and I think you'll all agree that he has done a very good job of replicating the original.

So I can now state that Penistone Railway Works has (at least) one satisfied customer!