Railway History

RAILWAY HISTORY

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.

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Stanier’s ‘Princess Royal’

Eclipsed in reputation by later and more famous designs, the ‘Princess Royal’ class ‘Pacifics’ of the LMS were nevertheless a radical step forward for that company. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains how the class started a golden era of West Coast steam.

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Farewell to the ECML HST

On December 15 2019 the curtain came down on one of the most significant eras of the East Coast Main Line when the last HST was withdrawn from regular service on that route, marking the end of a 40-year period, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.

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Class 158 and 159 DMUs

The Class 158 family of DMUs revolutionised secondary services all over the country on their introduction 30 years ago and have been reliable performers with many more years of service planned. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES tells us more about this popular class.

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Maintaining the new diesels

The change from steam to diesel traction in the 1950s and 1960s brought with it a huge number of new challenges, not least at depot level where a whole new approach to maintenance had to be established. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

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Class 50 afterlife

BR’s Class 50 diesels are some of the most popular locomotives ever built, and this has been reflected in the number preserved, which currently stands at just over a third of those constructed, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.

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Gresley's pioneering ‘A3s'

Much is known about the exploits of Gresley’s famous ‘A3’ Pacifics, including Flying Scotsman, but far less is known about the wider impact the class had on services on the East Coast Main Line. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES finds out more to mark the arrival of Hatton’s new ‘O’ gauge model.

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BRITISH RAILWAYS Western Region

Chocolate and cream, lined green 4-6-0s, Brunel’s ‘billiard table’ and the torturous grades of the South Devon Banks were just a few of the components of British Railways’ Western Region. MIKE WILD looks back at what made this region of British Railways different to all the rest.

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TRANS-PENNINE TRACTION

With its intense traffic levels, fearsome gradients and challenging timetabling, the north Trans-Pennine corridor has always held great interest for enthusiasts. Now services on this line are undergoing a radical upgrade, the latest in a series of improvements which have been continuously carried out since Victorian times, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.

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The Somerset and Dorset Railway

Born by accident, financially insecure, difficult to operate and mostly unwanted throughout its existence, the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway has nevertheless gained legendary status amongst enthusiasts and modellers alike. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at what made this line so special and why it is so well remembered even today.

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The Collett ‘14XX’

No model of the quintessential Great Western branch line would be complete without one of that company’s little 0-4-2Ts and matching autocoach. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES traces the origins of this attractive tank engine back to the mid-19th century.