God Jul!

December 24, 2018

Julenissens reiserute Julaften 2018 with weather forecast by yr.no.

Just touches the north of Scotland this year! God Jul to everyone.


On a mission…NSB B5 coach…

December 22, 2018

…in any form since its introduction in 1977, but I am not sure that it will succeed!

This is the mission: NSB (Norges Statsbaner) B5-series coaching stock…considered by many to be NSB’s most attractive and comfortable personvogner to date.

Once produced by Lima, the last record of ‘HO’ scale B5 coach production I can find is in 2009 sold under the Rivarossi label catalogue number HR4083 and HR4095 – finished in the latest silver/red livery but in unrefurbished condition (pre the 2010-2012 refurbishment programme).

NSB modellers can obtain B3-series stock (Roco) and B7-series too alongside many older coach designs such as the BF10 and AB11-series (NMJ) but there’s a big gap in the market which is the B5. Now, NSB contracted the modern refurbishment of B5s to Bombardier, undertaken between 2010 and 2012 resulting in some changes to the stock to bring it up to the standards required for a modernised railway. The current format is slightly different compared to the old Lima tooling, but outwardly, the coaches are the same. I suspect many NSB modellers interested in NSB Regiontog over the last six to eight years will ignore the differences  if the silver/red livery is correctly applied as was the case with the 2009 release by Hornby under the Rivarossi label.

NSB modellers of all eras since the introduction of the B5 in 1977-81 would be very grateful, in fact delighted, if Hornby International pulled its finger out and re-issued the model in the appropriate liveries – in NSB red and the silver/red scheme – hopefully the tools are okay!

So Hornby, how about it? It’s an attractive coach design and one that is keenly missed in the Norwegian modelling community. For a picture of the Rivarossi release see here: https://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com/productzoom/Rivarossi/11-4-001003-37610-0-0-0-34-5-2-0-gatt-it-p-0/productzoom.html

Of course, we do have the traction in ‘HO’ thanks to the Roco EL18 (above) and NMJ EL17…


One from the archives – May 2014.

December 19, 2018

Just in case all this recent stuff from Kent is too much, one of the Inverness-Kings Cross at Kingussie taken on 29th May 2014.

A trip into deepest (and sometimes dark) Kent.

December 13, 2018

The need to travel to Ramsgate for a few days arose recently and with it time to catch up with goings on on the South Eastern. Whilst railway photography in December, particularly a few days off the shortest day, is always tricky, some good results can be had by choosing the time and place carefully to take pictures. Even then, cloud cover can arrive at any time, reducing the already low light intensity further. The time window of usable light is much shorter and shadows will remain long – trees on the line side, which normally have no affect on picture taking except very early in the morning or late at night in the summer, cast long and dark shadows across the line all day in the Autumn and winter. So here’s some shots from Ramsgate, Tonbridge Yard and Wateringbury from Tuesday and Wednesday this week (11th and 12th December 2018). ASA settings were turned up to 500 or 640 and locations with stationary or slow-moving trains selected for picture taking.

09.10 in the morning and light levels, even with some sun, are low and just usable at 500ASA. Fortunately, the South Eastern High Speed ‘Javelin’ was moving slowly enough to be captured for the archive.

There’s nothing wrong with some after dark photography and Ramsgate depot has sufficient lighting to illuminate an everyday scene which is no less interesting for all that. This shot was taken as 22.30hrs when stock has returned to the depot for cleaning and berthing.

Light trails! Trains don’t have to be stationary to be photographed in the dark.

Autumn means rail head treatment (which is drawing to a close in mid-December) and extreme weathering of the locos allocated to RHTT duties. By the state of it, No. 66 729 Derby County in grime over GBRf livery has been working RHTT in recent times. Any modeller brave enough to have a go at this as a weathering project? Not as easy as it looks… Also look at the other end of such locos and you may find the cab windows completely filthy as RHTT works in top-and-tail formation.

Whilst the lack of any infrastructure stock at Tonbridge Yard was surprising, there were some test wagons and one or two others waiting for repairs to be seen. RHTT stock and a test train top and tailed by GBRf No. 73 694 Jeanette (photographed) and No. 73 692 Dick Mabbutt. On arrival at 09.50hrs there were eight GBRf blue Class 73s in the yard. By 11.30 hrs, that number was down to three as various trains departed, but not for long as other trains made their arrival. Class 73s present at 10.30hrs included the aforementioned No. 73 692 and No. 73 694 together with No. 73 107, No. 73 109, No. 73 136, No. 73 212, No. 73 963 and No. 73 965.

On my way to Tonbridge, a quick stop was made at Wateringbury on the Medway Valley line to admire the station building, photographed in early morning December sunlight. I did not have to wait long for one of the hourly trains that run between Paddock Wood and Strood – a three-car Class 375 No. 375308. The new blue livery applied to South Eastern stock is much more attractive than the old white and yellow scheme. Despite the limited opportunities to grab pictures during my Kent tour, due to the low light levels and time limits, the results were as good as I could have hoped for.

Heljan Class 07 visits…

December 6, 2018

Taking a turn at Loch Dhu Siding – a Heljan ‘OO’ gauge Class 07. A little testing and running in before renumbering and some detail changes to match a currently operational Class 07 shunter.

A random picture…Colas Rail 56 090 and 56 105.

December 1, 2018

Last weekend and the few days preceding it (the weekend of the Warley National 2018 show at the NEC Birmingham) experienced some particularly grubby weather. Obtaining some useful pictures during the trip was not easy. Here’s a shot of Colas Rail No. 56 090 and No. 56 105 passing along a main line somewhere in the East Midlands on a RHTT working.

A lucky shot taken with the camera set to 1000ASA at 1/250 sec f6.7. But taken where?















Answer: Beeston. A location I have not visited in nearly 30 years.

4-Vep No. 3437.

November 20, 2018