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.
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.
Although the Class 68 has been with us for only three years, it has already amassed a considerable following. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a closer look at this handsome and groundbreaking locomotive, which is set to be an industry standard for many years to come.
Throughout railway history there have been many instances of obsolete equipment being repurposed for a second life, with few being as successful as the rebuilding of a small fleet of almost 40-year-old locomotives to become the Class 20/3s, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.
Much has been written about British Railways’ post-war traction policy and in particular its decision to continue constructing what many regarded as obsolete and outdated steam engines. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks again at the dilemma BR faced and reviews whether, with hindsight, it came to the right decision.
In the rush to replace steam during the 1950s and 1960s a number of different propulsion systems were proposed, with gas turbines being the least successful. A number of experimental locomotives were, however, built with one of the shortest lived being English Electric’s GT3, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES remembers.
For more than half a century, the Midland Railway’s primary lightweight passenger design for secondary duties was a very neat and attractive series of 0-4-4T engines designed by Samuel Johnson. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the history of one of the variants of this once numerous class, and finds out why it was so long-lived.
Articulated coaches are often provided for the modern railway as a way of saving weight, improving capacity or for cost effectiveness, but the idea is not new and first appeared in the UK almost a century ago. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at the famous ‘Quad-Arts’, which were amongst the most successful articulated vehicles ever to have operated in this country.
Perhaps the most popular model of the early Hornby Dublo period was the LNER’s ‘N2’ 0-6-2T, which launched the Dublo range alongside the Gresley ‘A4’ in 1938. Many variations, some more realistic than others, followed. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the history of this often modelled but unappreciated class.
In its rush to dispense with steam locomotives, British Railways ordered many new diesels straight from the drawing board. One of the shortest-lived was the Clayton Class 17 – now the subject of a new model from Heljan. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of this handsome, but unreliable class in this feature from HM24 in 2009.
One of the most successful diesel locomotives ever to run in Britain is the English Electric Class 37, a design that has now given 60 years of front-line service to our railways. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the inception and early years of this popular machine.
Some of the longest and heaviest trains on the UK network originate in the Mendip Hills of North Somerset, and provide materials for many of the country’s biggest construction projects. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this traffic, which has grown tremendously over the years.
The Mk 3 carriage was one of the greatest designs ever produced for the railways of Britain and, although now almost 50 years old, it is heading for a new lease of life, thanks to the fitting of up-to-date features such as swing-plug and sliding doors. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES examines the latest developments.