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

456017 at Clapham Junction.

November 19, 2018

Another from the 2003 archives…the humble Class 456 third rail unit which were operated on the former Southern Region Central Division for many years. A late evening image with long shadows but lovely light.

A brace of 90s.

November 18, 2018

EWS Class 90 No. 90030 was hired to GNER for ECML duties when photographed at Kings Cross in March 2003 (above).

Stafford in March 2003 found EWS Class 90 No. 90020 hauling two Class 325 ‘Railnet’ units to Willesden PRDC.


A heavy Class 25/3.

November 18, 2018

Heljan’s new ‘O’ gauge Class 25/3 is based on the very last build of 80 Class 25 locomotives and is a fine-looking model. A heavy one too, at 2100g.It looks the part, with all the character of these popular Type 2 locomotives. They feature twin motor drive, a powered cooling fan, etched grilles, detailed cab interiors and flush glazing.Directional lighting and a screw terminal DCC interface are part of the electronics. It’s a powerful runner too and should handle a long Summer Saturday train with ease. It is detailed as a no-heat locomotive which did not have a steam heating boiler or associated water tank.

The BR blue version with domino head code dots is shown – no number is applied leaving it to the modeller to select their own choice of running number.If you need additional BR blue loco number sets, NMS does an ‘O’ gauge number set which suits BR blue locomotives such as the Class 25/3.

Large scale visitor

November 13, 2018

A rare visitor to the studio here in Nairn (from where Rail Express Modeller is now edited) is the new Heljan ‘O’ gauge ‘Large Prairie’ or GWR/BR 61XX Class 2-6-2T tank locomotive – the featured model is painted in pristine BR lined green as No. 6132. It’s a bit of a monster compared to a lot of models that visit here for magazine reviews, weighing in at over 1.6Kg making handing a little more challenging than an N gauge model of equivalent size.

It was fun testing it and admiring its lovely lines as it sat on the photo stage. Afterwards, once photography and testing for the review was complete, it sat on my desk for a while – a lovely piece of modelling which I was reluctant to put straight back into its box.I thought to share a handful of pictures that did make the cut with you – even if GWR suburban tank engines are not your thing, the model can be enjoyed for its own sake.Anyway, it will be here for another week or so before being hauled down to the NEC so I can return it in person to Heljan to save the risk of damage by a careless courier. Will it re-emerge from its box for another airing before it makes the long journey south?