Monday, June 17, 2019

Travelling in Style

Something different. After a seemingly endless series of posts about schlock movies and politics, I thought that I needed to get back to model railways.  In part, this has been prompted by a visit to the Alresford Toy Train Show on Saturday.  In addition to looking at some fascinating layouts, including a fabulous series of Playcraft displays, which included the operating road system as well as the railways, I picked up three Hornby Pullman coaches, which can be seen above.  I purchased them for a very reasonable price, (certainly better than anything I'd get on eBay), and they are in excellent condition: all boxed and unmarked.  If you look closely, you'll see that they are minus any names, (all Pullman first class cars had individual names), which Hornby provided as transfers, with several alternatives for each car.  Obviously, being second hand, I didn't expect the transfers to be present (you can obtain third party versions quite cheaply), but, amazingly, one box still had the transfer sheet inside. I haven't tried to find out whether the transfers are still viable yet, but I'll try them when I have time.

These coaches replace two of the older Tri-ang type Pullmans I've been using as part of my 'Bournemouth Belle' formation.  The older version are about an inch under length, (all Tri-ang coaches in the late fifties and early sixties were too short, but even after scale length Mk 1 coaches were introduced, the Pullmans continued to use the short version of the coach frames), while the Hornby versions, introduced in the seventies are roughly scale length.  Actually, Hornby still produce a version of these coaches, although they are now marketed as part of their cheaper 'Railroad' range of products.  Over the years, there have been some variations in their construction: two of mine are of the original pattern with the bogies riveted to the frame, while the other sports the later clip on type bogies.  The later coach is also identifiable from the lighter paint shades used by the manufacturer. 

For the time being, the three new coaches are being marshaled between two of the old Tri-ang 'shorty' type Pullman brake thirds.  The discrepancy in length isn't too noticable.  In time, I'll try to acquire some of the later, scale length brakes, (or maybe just one as, toward the end of its days, the 'Bournemouth Belle' would have one of the Pullman brake thirds replaced by a regular full brake coach).  As for the two 'shorty' Pullman firsts, they'll be pressed into use on boat trains, whichWa often featured one or two Pullmans in their formation, (although some, like 'The Cunarder', were usually all Pullman, using the spare 'Bournemouth Belle' stock).  Incidentally, if you don't know what the 'Bournemouth Belle' was, it was an all-Pullman train which allowed people to travel in style between Waterloo and Bournemouth West in the morning, returning in late afternoon.  During the sixties it was usually in the charge of either a 'Merchant Navy' or a light pacific, but by 1967, its last year of service, it was increasingly to be found with Brush Type 4 diesel locomotive, (what we later called a Class 47), at its head.  It finally ceased running on the electrification of the Waterloo-Bournemouth line in July 1967.  Anyway, here's another photo which shows my version of the 'Bournemouth Belle' in its entirety, with a blue and grey full brake at the rear, (actually prototypical - the train was photographed with such a brake several times 1966-67), and being hauled by 'West Country' class light pacific 34023, as it heads toward Bournemouth.  (OK, I know the layout is still bare boards and no scenery - you'll just have to use your imagination).



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