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.
In just over 200 years, the South Wales Valleys have gone from being the birthplace of railways, through housing one of the most intense freight systems in the world to becoming the home of a suburban commuter railway system. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this fascinating area, which is bristling with modelling possibilities.
Locomotives designed primarily for freight work in general do not attract the same interest as those intended for express passenger traffic, but one exception is the handsome ‘V2’ 2-6-2 of the LNER , designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the history of this iconic class to mark the arrival of Bachmann’s all-new ‘OO’ model.
The Great Central Railway is a unique survivor in preservation with its signature double-track main line, and this late 1890s built line forms the subject of our feature build for this year’s Yearbook. To begin the project, Mike Wild looks back at the real thing’s development, demise and resurrection.
For many people the pinnacle of railway achievement was Mallard’s 126mph dash down Stoke Bank in July 1938, but since then this high-speed record has been broken many times with most of the subsequent attempts being much less well known, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES found out.
Throughout its 172-year history, Britain’s West Coast Main Line has been at the forefront of railway development, and never more so than in recent years when the route has hosted some of the most advanced trains ever to run on our network, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Heritage railways are now an everyday part of life – but 70 years ago when volunteers took over the isolated Talyllyn Railway in Wales the idea of amateurs running trains was considered not only controversial but also completely crackpot, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.
At the turn of the 20th century, the 4-4-0 was the most popular wheel arrangement for passenger work, so it was natural that when the South Eastern & Chatham Railway was looking to upgrade its fleet it opted for some, with the resulting ‘D’ class amongst the most handsome locomotives of the period, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.
During the 1950s and 1960s the Southern Region massively extended its electrified network, and in doing so introduced a number of new classes of Electric Multiple Unit, with one of the least numerous of these being the 4-BEP which was designed to provide catering on services on the South Coast lines. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into the history of this small but unusual class.
The 1930s saw remarkable advances in railway technology, which produced improved journey times and better comfort for travellers. One of the most progressive trains of this time was the London Midland & Scottish Railway’s ‘Coronation Scot’ - an initiative that war cut short, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.
Soaring high into the Pennines in spectacular scenery, the Settle & Carlisle Railway has always held a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and modellers. However, this railway had a troubled history with threats to its existence from the very start. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.
The Class 37 is nearing its 60th birthday and continues in daily use on the national network. One of the most useful variants is the ‘37/4’, which was upgraded to supply Electric Train Heat in the 1980s. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the development and life of this 31 strong sub-fleet.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
One of the most recognisable and longest-lived of the Modernisation Plan diesel locomotives is the Brush Type 2, which later became much better known as the Class 31. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES examines this design, which despite its longevity has not been without its problems.
Although the ‘Pacifics’ of the LNER are generally considered to be some of the best-looking locomotives ever built, there was one batch of locomotives that defied this rule. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES and ANDREW RODEN look into the history of the ‘A2/2s’ and ‘A2/3s’ which, while they looked ungainly, were an intelligent response to wartime pressures.
The Great Western Railway is more often remembered for its fleet of copper-capped chimney steam locomotives rather than for technological innovation - but in fact the company was amongst the first to introduce viable diesel traction, in the form of a series of self-propelled railcars, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.