Inspiration for the brave railway modeller can be found in any place, we often find ourselves loosing hours if not days searching various outlets. In my case it can be Flickr I probably spend far too long looking at peoples photos on the that outlet. I also tend to rely heavily on books and magazines and the modellers guides that Rail Express modeller produced back in the day for me was a brilliant game changer and in my humble opinion worked wonders and helped many people out with what to put behind the loco of there choice.
As many know that sadly Rail Express Modeller is now not the publication that it once was! This I find really sad the standard of modelling published in those pages to me was outstanding and pushed the boundaries made the reader want to go that step further do that bit better push yourself and your limitations as the only thing that limits them is the person! Now Rail Express Modeller is now no better than the rest of the publications that are designed for the mainstream reader. A magazine full of small articles on how to fit a DCC Chip to this or fit sound to this……. It’s become very very vanilla!
There no escaping the fact that when REM (Rail Express Modeller) hit the shelf in the shops every month inside Rail Express Magazine. It had a very close relationship with the modelling group DEMU (Diesel and Electric Modellers United) and I think the creation of DEMU by a few like minded modellers has gone passed the asperations that those 1st members thought that was possible. REM Drew heavily on what the members of this group was creating individually and this saw some fantastic articles published in the magazine. One guy who was a regular contributor was a Mr Simon Bendall, having himself having a stint as editor at REM. Since then thanks to Key Publishing Mr Bendall has gone on to create a couple of specialist publications covering lesser modelled or hard to model trains.
Why hard to model? Well….. Lets look at a coal train a modern air braked version as we are modelling this era in early 1990s its pretty simple if its off to Power Station its a block of the same types of wagon (Nowt wrong with this I love my coal trains can’t wait for my Cavalex MGR’s to arrive!). Domestic coal train pretty much the same some HEA and MEA Box wagons and the FPA type box wagon or PFA box wagons.
One type of train that I have wanted to tackle for an age is some engineers traffic. With the Civil Engineers traffic you ave two types of trains. You have your possession trains that will be made up in a yard to the area civil engineers instructions and these train will take the right amount of wagons for the job that was required to be carried out. The other type was and still is the trunk service this might be ballast being moved from a quarry to nearest trunk yard or Local Distribution Center (LDC) as they become known in the late 1990’s. Or it could be track panels and sleepers and point work made up at a Pre Assembly Depot (PAD). Between the big engineering yards there was trunk services carrying empty and loaded wagons with different types of stuff in them a trunk train could carry ballast, track panels sleepers crippled wagons for repair and good order wagons off repair!
The Civil Engineer did not have the most modern of wagon fleets it got a lot of hand my downs from when revenue earning was passed the best during the 1980’s the Civil Engineer managed to rid its self of unfitted wagons and its fleet in 1992 was made up of a mixture of Vacuum Braked and Air Braked stock. This was a nightmare when it came to sourcing locomotives as they would have to have the vacuum brakes tested before they came off shed to work an engineers possession trains at a weekend. Also played up havoc with trunk services as most of these was timed to run at 60 mph soon as vacuum braked wagons got thrown in the mix straight away some funky shunting would have to be carried out have the wagons with the most common brake type next to the loco to provide the train with some force to enable to the speed to be reduced when the brakes are applied! This would also see the speed of the train reduced significantly!
The differing types wagon its self is very appealing with some grate ancient examples lasting well into the 1990’s one photo that illustrates the point beautifully
However, On West Halton I plan to go forward and have a crack at modelling a possession train that has been engaged on a mid week overnight or weekend possession on the branch that diverges off to South Ferriby Cement works. I want to get the mix of newish mixed in with very old seeing out the last days in traffic before withdrawal comes and they get ‘J’ Carded to booths of Rotherham.
So what am I going to choose??
I think I need to browse the pages of this publication and others like it a bit longer and when I decide what I want to do then I reckon another blog post will be due to advise you all in the meantime I will see if I can find some old ballast circulars to find some consist’s.
Bye for now.