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.
Throughout the Victorian era there was a requirement for sturdy goods locomotives of the 0-6-0 wheel arrangement, with one of the most successful and long-lived designs being the North British ‘J36’, a type which gave no less than 79 years continuous main line service, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
One of the most famous locomotive designs ever produced was the LNER’s ‘A1’ (later ‘A3’) ‘Pacific’. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the story of these iconic 4-6-2s which changed the face of rail travel on the East Coast Main Line.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Although locomotive-hauled coaches are largely a thing of the past, there has been one fleet of new-builds in recent years - the Mk 5s operated by Caledonian Sleeper and TransPennine Express. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into the background of these interesting vehicles.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Many people speak as if Dr Beeching was the man who single-handedly destroyed our railway system. In reality, he was merely the culmination of a process that had been under way for more than half a century. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the background of route closures.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
One of the longest-lived products from Crewe works was the remarkable ‘Coal Tank’ of the London & North Western Railway. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of these Victorian locomotives, which could be handled everything from heavy coal trains to lightweight push-pull passenger services in their long careers.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
In the days when almost every factory had its own railway system there was a massive demand for shunting engines, with one of the most prolific suppliers being Peckett & Sons of Bristol. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at one of their popular products, the ‘W4’.EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
The period immediately before and just after nationalisation produced a great number of competent but short lived locomotives. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the Peppercorn ‘K1’, which despite being very successful in main line service lasted less than 20 years.
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.