Join us and delve into the archives to discover the stories of locomotive classes large and small, learn how the railway worked, and why it was built in this amalgamation of the popular Reality Check and Railway Realism sections from Hornby Magazine.
Winter brings special challenges for the railway, with snow, ice and fog making operation particularly difficult. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES examines how the system coped in the past and today, highlighting some of the special equipment used.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Many steam locomotives were given second lives in industrial and heritage railway service but seldom did this happen on the main line network. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at the Beattie well tanks, which first escaped the scrapman 116 years ago!EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Although much is known about the Western Region’s famous ‘Warship’ diesel-hydraulics, British Railways owned another set of locomotives with the same description and mechanical layout - but these were rather unreliable and made an early exit, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
More than three decades ago a small fleet of Class 59 diesel locomotives arrived in this country, and immediately proved themselves far superior to anything that we already had on our railways, starting a revolution that would, in time, see hundreds of similar locomotives brought to our shores, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
While electrification is very much in the news these days, the release of a model of a pioneering North Eastern Railway locomotive reminds us that such schemes have been around for more than 100 years. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES has the story.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
For many years the premier express locomotives on the West Coast Main Line were the Class 87s, but they have now fallen from grace though surprisingly many are enjoying a second but rather less glamorous career, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Although eclipsed in the public’s imagination by engines from rival railways the LMS ‘Duchesses’ were the most powerful passenger locomotives of their time and given other circumstances might have even held the world steam speed record, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Throughout the history of Britain’s railways there have been many locomotives and trains with troubled histories, with amongst the most recent the Class 92 electrics - a design that has struggled to find its rightful place on today’s railway despite its immense capability, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
During the 1920s the Southern Railway identified a requirement for a powerful yet fast locomotive for use on its continental boat train services, and this was to lead to the development of the ‘Lord Nelson’ class, a design that perhaps never really lived up to its full potential. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes up the story.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
The circular engine shed, or roundhouse, was once one of the most common structures on the railway but over the years hundreds have been demolished, leaving the one at Barrow Hill in Derbyshire as the only example still working and in anything like original condition, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.
Railway operators are always seeking ways to improve efficiency, and one of the most interesting results of this process was the conversion of a number of brake coaches to include a cab, enabling a train to be driven from either end. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks more closely at British Rail’s Mk2 Driving Brake Second Opens.
Repurposing and recycling are very much in vogue at the moment, but are principles rarely applied to trains. However, that is now all changing with the rebuilding of surplus electric multiple units into versatile and useful bi-mode trains, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.
The Class 56 is one of only a few British diesel locomotive classes to be designed specifically for heavy freight work and has nowadays largely disappeared from the network - although those that remain could have an interesting future. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains all.
With a route mileage of just under 250 and serving 272 stations, the London Underground network carries around five million passengers a day, yet attracts little attention from enthusiasts and modellers. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the fascinating history of this unique system, much of which is normally well hidden from public view.
On May 19 2017, the final examples of British Railway’s famous ‘bubble cars’ were withdrawn from mainline service after a remarkable career spanning 57 years, during which time they have gone through many modifications and changes to their duties. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES reflects on the story of the Class 121 and 122 DMUs.