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I did intend to return to some of the Hornsey rolling stock projects recently, but instead it's been playing trains and any spare time spent on the S&T. The pair of 2-HAL EMUS, just require lettering and a light weathering before they head off in convoy to the scrap yard. A few visitors from the Shenston Road fleet gives this view a definite Southern feel to it.

This is a helicopter view of the latest signals, made up from bits of brass tube, wire and etched ladders. The arms came from an Alan Gibson Pratt Truss gantry kit which I never got around to building, but a few parts have come in handy, such as the bracket for the Banner Repeater on the Up Fast.

The Up Slow has the red aspect at the bottom, whereas the more common placing is at the top for a ground mounted signal. There are instances showing both arrangements, and for added interest the fuzzy inset picture shows the drivers eye view from the station, and the reason it's ground mounted.

Showing the 2 starter signals in advance of the multi-arm bracket signal, with Eastwell's D5385 passing a rake of bogie bolster E wagons from Shenston Road.

I bought one pack of Wills cabinets (4 in a kit), using the back of the double-sided cabinets to make a fith and sixth super detailed unit. Using off-cuts of plastic card and strip, a few more of different sizes and patterns appeared, so hopefully my efforts shouldn't look too bad at 2 foot away with their back to us.

Peak 139 halted at the junction bracket signal. I've planted a few hundred concrete posts for the cable runs associated with the 3rd rail, track control equipment and communications - old computer ribbon cable does have its uses.

Back at the depot, on a weekend no doubt if the long line of shunters is anything to go by. For the spotters out there, 77 and 6709 are inside the shed, with a row of 350hp shunters D3312, D3036, 3332, 4192, D4040 & D3918 on the stabling sidings.

Now for some snaps taken by Paul from the lineside, recording more subject matter for the scrapbook. Here is class 03 number 2164 at home on the depot.

Here's a selection of Greg's locos starting with 50017.

402 in company with sisters 50013, 50017 and a Western.

Peak 139 and its rake of BEVs still waiting at the signals.



Still at Hornsey for the next few snaps, but this time with some of the stock from my Eastwell Ironstone fleet.... 5025 which was featured a few months ago, has now been joined by 5000, both repainted and modified SLW class 24s.

D5382 on cement duties - a Heljan class 27. Work still required in the cabs and adding loco crew..... there's no excuse now I have a collection of 'mini me's courtesy of Alan Butler of Modelu, even if a brutal reduction in size may be required to get them behind the control desk!

Ditto, this time it's D5385 with a load of Midlands coal.


Where did that come from? I think the novelty has worn off now, so it's booked into the Eastwell Workshops for a 00 gauge wheel swap, and then off to market. The wheels will no doubt fit some equally dated diesel units.



Issue number 255 of the Model Railway Journal features a 10 page article on Morfa Bank Sidings by Hywel Thomas. Our view is that it's an excellent edition, guest edited by Karl Crowther and containing lots of stuff up Our Street. Includes The Mill by Jason Thomas & Chris Rogers.



Again Paul has been out and about with his camera capturing the latest goings on in this part of the West Midlands. Brush 4 1720 awaits its next turn of duty on the stabling point, in the company of other Western Region motive power.

1720 stabled at Shenston Road stabling point.

Another Brush 4 1813 heads north past the goods loops with a mixed freight....

.... with 3306 in ex-works condition en-route to a new home.

English Electric type 4 whistles away on the station relief road waiting for a path south.

Latest addition to the fleet is this SLW class 24 number D5087 heading north on a mineral train.

Bachmann Pipe wagons after weathering.

This is part of a rake of 15 Bogie Bolster E wagons going through the Shenston workshops at the moment. Lima model with replacement buffers, decals, and Cambrian bogies (seen earlier passing through Hornsey).



My Lima bodied class 31 skinhead now has a top coat of blue and yellow paint on it, and just about ready for a grimey wash before installing the lazerglaze windows, along with cab entry handrails which I have readily pre-bent to shape, and then I will install the roof fan unit.

The original Mirrless engine exhaust ports on the Lima body were orientated longways to the loco. These were filed flat and filled in, and new engine ports were opened out and new details over laid to represent the E.E. engined version.

The original Lima roof grille has been replaced with an etched mesh grille, and below it fan components assembly from Extreme Etchings.

Buffer beam hoses & details for 31014 comprise those for a vacuum braked loco, mostly using parts from Extreme Etchings and A1 models. The corner body fairings have been joined along the underside, using styrene filed to shape. The Buffers are fully sprung Hornby items obtained as spares.

With the Lima buffers removed, Hornby sprung buffers have been fitted in place of these. These are nice working units, and also clearly show the tread pattern on the footplate provided.

The bodyshell is almost ready for a weathering now, and engine room windows have their glazing, but the cab entry handrails must go on now before all the weathering effects can be applied, then after that the cab windows can be glazed. The bufferbeams have their associated hoses and cables fitted and painted too, so that's another little job out of the way. I'm excited to think that I will have the skinhead running shortly.

Although I built this pub as a makeshift stand-in structure for last years exhibition (and also that it was made from cardboard), I had intended to scap it after the show and remake it from Plastic. That hasn't happened... Looking at the building since, the structure doesn't scrub up too badly seeing as it is only a background scene model, and so I have decided to keep it for the time being.

The spearhead railings have been completed along the top of the retaining wall, and a compound for the Pub has been established and walled around, and with a set of access gates included. Just need to find some clutter for this yard area now i.e. beer kegs, crates, and maybe some broken furniture in a heap from a mad night!



Some projects I find once I’ve started I just can’t put down…..This Bachmann ‘USA’ tank was a case in point. They were a brute of a dock shunter that I have wanted to feature since the earliest days of ‘Canada Road’, but somehow a kit, with all that outside valve gear, was more than I could face! Such a superb model out of a box was too good to resist however….and the level of detail as-supplied leaves few features worth tweaking. But I did put a little work into the cab area, with fresh glazing, crew, and a part open door.

Opening the roof vent - using an offcut piece of thin metal strip - was inspired by Rail Online photographs of the type.

This same source of pictures showed many – including 30071 – to have doubler plates added to the back of the bunker by the late 50s. A shaped piece of 5 thou was bonded onto the bunker, with the small round plate just above added the same way. The moulded coal load was also cut away, and the edges of the bunker opening thinned with a file.

Meanwhile the mech was re-gauged to EM using Gibson parts. There proved to be just enough space between the motion to accommodate the wider gauge - but beware of opening up the sintered bronze axle bushes from 3mm to 1/8”….attempting to drill one caused it to shatter, so careful work with a rat-tail file followed on the other five! The drop-in wheelsets allowed light downforce springing to be added at the two undriven axles (in a similar fashion to my tweak of the Hornby Class 08 mech).

The re-assembled model is shown ready for final weathering.

USA tank ‘30071’ ready for action in an early 1960s Southampton sequence on the layout, complete with target No.2 added on the centre lamp-iron fore and aft.

Another outstanding model ‘out of the box’ has also been on the work bench this month. ‘D5016’ is a Sutton Loco Works Class 24 from the dawn of BR diesels. The only major enhancement has been fitting of Laserglaze replacement glazing. Beyond that, the small bodyside access panel has been left open, as often shown by pictures - even from the early days; the valance panels slightly misaligned, and a crew added. A bit of light weathering with my usual matt enamel grime mix and the job’s a goodun…..

While the weathering paints were out Class 17 ‘D8610’ also got the treatment – again quite a light application, as if the loco has recently had some attention when the full yellow ends were also added.

Class 03 swop-body ‘2135’ is shown after completion. The livery is modelled to photos posted on the web showing it working a brake-van special tour of Ipswich Docks during October 1971 – which fitted with the layout far too well not to use …..Now I just need to model the eight brake vans with enthusiasts cramming every veranda!!

With weathering jobs going well, I took on the big one….08 296. The picture shows the model after the bodyshell has had the first stage (grime) added. Oil and rust staining will follow, as will griming-up the motion below the footplate. I must apologise for there being no intermediate pictures of the grime application in progress, but it becomes a mad flurry of painting on grime with one brush, and carefully blending it back or thinning it with another brush dipped in clean white spirit, and blotted regularly on dry kitchen paper. If the whole process isn’t done quickly then the drying matt enamel forms tide marks which ruin the result….. or at least that’s my excuse!



My interests are diverse, but one thing that comes very high on the list is Southern Region EMUs, and my growing fleet are all OO Gauge and I've no intention of changing that. Whilst taking a stroll around the back of the Hornsey Workshops & Yards, I came across a stash of Bachmann 2-EPB bodies and other surplus chassis bits and pieces left over from Kier's class 501s and suburban '57 footers project. This has now given me the impetus to have a 4-EPB in the fleet.

These pictures show a fairly straight-forward conversion by chopping off the cab, and splicing a compartment section in its place.

Making a start... 2-EPB cabs being removed, to make 2 centre coaches for the 4-EPB.

Welded into place on the left, and finished on the right.

Looking at various photos I have of BR designed 4EPBs they have no conduits on the roof. There was also only one periscope facing away from the cab end so the front periscope on the 2EPB roof is also removed.

Southern Railway design 4EPBs had roof conduits. I guess the difference between roofs for BR 2EPBs and 4EPBs is that BR 2EPBs were built from 1953-56 and BR design 4EPB from 1960-62 and at that later date they were internally wired. The ventilators are MJT.

I have a nice colour picture in a book of set no. 5344 approaching London Bridge in 1972 which looks the proper job. 5344 was built in 1960 and withdrawn in 1985. It carried rail blue and full yellow end from April '69 to '82. So that's the final identity. It is one of the 1957 phase II stock built between 1960 and 1962 for the South East division and never fitted with express gear ratios. The coach numbers starting at No. 1 end are MBSO 61598, TS 70457, TS 70458 and MBSO 61599.

I'm searching for images of the non cab end of MBSO and the ends of the TS for position of junction boxes and cabling as I think the high box on the 2EPB is in the wrong place as there are no roof conduits. Any suggestions welcome.

To be 100% accurate I will need to change around the seating in the TS coaches as they were a mix of saloon and compartment like the DTS in the 2EPB but the compartments were in the middle of the 4 car set whereas the 2EPB has the compartments next to the MBSO. The saloons and the majority of the compartments were non smoking except one on No. 1 TS and two on No.2 TS. The MBSOs were all smokers.

I have read that only No. 1 MBSO had motor generator and emergency batteries so once I can find photographic confirmation I'll get the saw out and take some detail off the No. 2 MBSO under-frame. Some builds had variation of position of air horns inset on the front of the cab for a while (just made me remember need to put air horns back on!) and some had smaller indicator panels like the South Tyneside 2EPBs. The first 2 sets had Southern Railway designed trailers.

Whilst on test at Hereford station (under construction).... Then try and work out how the thing would run without a third rail supply! In the meantime, there's a few more bits left over, so a new project is in the making for use on Hornsey Broadway...... let's just say it might be something to do with the GN Electrification!



May 2017 update page July 2017 update page