click here 
for homepage



A 5 car class 124 Trans-Pennine DMU poses for the camera at Hornsey Road depot, and was built by Paul James utilising heavily modified Bachmann mark 1 coaches. Normally to be seen working Liverpool to Hull services, it must have arrived in North London as part of a Foot-ex special. This page highlights the methods used, and forms a photographic record of the various stages of construction.

Along with drawings and the background history of the class, this is one of the many images that have helped with the project.

Here is the start - the cab ends have been modified from the DC Kits class 303 EMU (Glasgow Blue Trains). There are some similarities, but plenty of modifications to carry out.

Using the same construction methods as the Swindon class 123 project, the Bachmann Mk1 TSO and SK are used as the doner vehicles. The DMC seen above requires the most modifications to the window positions, but this has proved not too difficult as the coach sides can be worked on easily once the coach is dismantled. On the side shown in the photo, all the windows except for the drivers door droplight have been cut out, and some adjustment to the actual size of the windows is required.

The cab windows have been enlarged and extended around the sides, and an aperture for the headcode box cut out. When the roof profile looks right, then the eyebrows above the windows will be added, along with the rainstrips and other front end detail. The cab will be fixed to the roof, and the join between the cab and coach side will co-incide with the door edge and change of colour.

This shows another cab for the second DMC. Each window is made and then put to one side, rather than made when the cabs are attached to the body and roof, and are made from pieces of curved clear plastic from the box packaging.

The first cab has progressed to the undercoat stage to see if there are any imperfections that need ironing out. The plan is formulating to finish the cab front completely (painted and glazed), before fitting to the roof, as this seems to be the easiest way to put the fiddley corner glazing in.

The DMC sides are coming along now. One side has had all the windows now cut out, with the other side 80% underway. Work is now proceeding on the tedious process of adding the corner fillets and filing the curves. The other vehicles in the set will not need as much modification as the 2 DMC vehicles.

Now in undercoat, and awaiting door hinges before adding a coat of blue / grey livery.

The bogies have now been fitted to the DMC, and a new floor made so that the coach can be assembled to check the sides, roof and cab front all go together. The roof ventilators still need to be fitted, and the join between the roof and the cab front still requires attention.

This coach interior started life as part of a corridor 2nd, but two compartments to the left have been given up for the brake section, and the toilet areas have been moved to suit the configuration of a class 124 MBS. The lead weight situated in the vestibule is to compensate for the weight at the motor end of the coach, so it doesn't tippytoes at one end.

The original idea for powering the rake was to use a pair of Tenshodo motor bogies, one mounted in each of the MBS vehicles, and weight added accordingly. Experience with the new generation Hornby motor bogie has proved its worth in other DMU projects, so this idea has been adopted instead. The required hole for the motor bogie could just be cut in the Bachmann coach chassis without compromising the sides, and a new bogie mounting bracket was added. The low profile of the unit allows weight to be positioned directly above the bogie. The coach interiors add to the rigidity of the model, so removal of internal parts needs its compensations by means of additional strength, especially as sections and trussing have been removed.

Now turning to the underframe detail. The class 123 had used a lot of parts from a Lima class 117 chassis, and a study of photographs showed that the Trans-Pennine underframe was very similar in layout. Another Lima chassis was sliced up and the parts positioned as shown.

The four main things that determine the position of components on the chassis are the engines (DC Kits whitemetal), and the fuel tanks which are modified 'Southern Pride' battery boxes. The radiators and other components have been salvaged from a Lima chassis. There are still the final pieces to fit, such as exhaust pipes and wiring conduit.

This Motor Brake houses the Hornby motor bogie, and is seen here on running tests.

A view showing application of the yellow ends and the sides lined out in white.

The other side of DMC E51962.

Still with some detailing to finish off, the unit is seen on running in tests.

The centre vehicle in this formation is a SK, on loan from the Swindon class 123 set. There are a few adjustments required to get the ride heights uniform.

With the painting and detailing stage finished, the unit was taken to the Shenston Road workshops for application of the weathering and further testing.

Another view of the unit at Shenston Road after the application of light weathering.

The following few photographs show the vehicles which make up the current set, starting with DMC E51962

Another view of E51962, and showing the exhaust stack / shroud and end view of E51960.

Motor Brake E51976.

E51981 is the other Motor Brake vehicle in the set.

W59239 is a SK on loan from the Swindon class 123 set, and can be easily identified by the B4 pattern bogies.

Side view of DMC E51960 which currently displays a 0000 headcode.

The modifications that have been carried out on this project, still allow for easy dismantling and access, and the interface between cab and sides is disguised by the door frame.

A view showing the inside of the cab which utilises a driving desk from the Bachmann class 108 DMU. The headcodes have been designed as plug-in modules, allowing easy change of display or backdating.

The almost completed set. It is intended that models of the Trans-Pennine SK and buffet vehicles will be next on the list, so that a prototypical 6 car set can be formed.