September 27, 2009
Dapol is keeping up its end very nicely keeping N gauge modellers well supplied with models and livery variations. The latest pair of Class 156s I have had the chance to look at are the East Midlands Trains version pictured above and the CT version shown below: very contemporary and colourful too.
One of my favourite liveries is Central Trains colours, now obsolete. It is a bright colour scheme and suited these units very well. Dapol has made a good job of it, not too garish an interpretation, which was always a risk with this one in model form.
Working couplings at the outer ends enable manual coupling of units, one of the many features of this remarkable model. The outer and inner end couplings are designed for close coupling with a choice of gangways for use on sharp or shallow radii curves.
That’s close…yet the vehicles coupled like this will go round my 16 inch minimum radius curvature on my US outline layout without the gangways catching.
Each coupling is fitted with a cam mechanism enabling the coupling gap between the gangways to open on curves as seen above…
Each model has one driven car with all-wheel drive and the mechanism hidden below the window line enabling much of the interior to be modelled. Flush glazed too!
Working light and 6-pin DCC socket in both powered and unpowered vehicles (accessible through a removable roof) and no light leakage into the cab from the LEDs all adds up to an impressive package. Oh yes, don’t forget the lighting bar connection inside for interior lighting. It’s model with much going for it and I like the fact it has ‘presence’ too, something that Dapol seems to be good at capturing. My thanks to David Jones of Dapol for allowing me to photograph and feature these models. They should be in model shops soon!
September 24, 2009
DRS has started operating a new intermodal service to and from Inverness, probably in response to the loss of the Tesco traffic to rail freight operator, DB Schenker. Currently being run as a trial for Russells, the service made its first run yesterday. It was photographed at Moy with 37 038 in charge shortly after its 09.22 departure from Inverness.
Following a short recess in the loop at Moy, the train was caught on camera at Tomatin. Weather: changeable, but some brightness allowed for some reasonable photography.
I also took the opportunity to take update my library with shots of the north bound sleeper (Culloden Moor)) and the London bound Highland Chieftain (Feabuie):
Whilst we all hope that DB Schenker will reverse the fortunes of EWS by becoming more aggressive in winning freight contracts, we also hope that they would target road bound flows to increase rail freight’s market share, not work to take traffic from other operators, especially those that did work to secure business from road haulage. Sadly, in the case of the Tesco train from Grangemouth to Inverness, that is not the case. This scene of blue DRS Class 66s on the Tesco train on the Highland line will soon cease to be from November. As enthusiasts, we must never take anything forgranted on this railway of today! Things change so quickly, so photograph it as and when you can.