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Saturday 26 October 2013

YMRV MK1 SK Coach Enhancements - Final

What perplexed me most about the YMRV* coach is its lack of coach numbers. After all, as a beginner's model I would expect a detail like this to be included. But, as I researched suitable coach numbers to apply it occurred to me that this is a very clever tactic that the major manufacturers would do well to consider. The trouble is, if we buy a rake of same style coaches from a major manufacturer the chances are they will all have the same coach number since they are mass produced.

What would be ideal is for coaches to be supplied without applied numbers but with a transfer sheet giving a range of number sequences for each region.


I used HMRS pressfix sheet 14 (BR steam era) transfers with a clear varnish coating to seal. Each character is individually applied, which is extremely fiddly (This is why I suggest in the above paragraph a number sequence transfer). The photo above also shows the home made concertina gangways.

From the same transfer sheet triangular no smoking signs are added to the two central windows of the non corridor side. All transfers are positioned by reference to a Bachmann green SK that I already have.

'Emergency lighting point' and white star vacuum points are added to the solebar each side.

'Restricted C1' is applied to each end.

The other modifications to the standard coach were painted grey roof, painted handles and the heavy weight removed for better free running.

 * Your Model Railway Village part work.

To Part 0.

Saturday 19 October 2013

YMRV* Maroon Coach on BR(S) S.W. Division - Part 4

The other 1960s train of note is the Brighton/Portsmouth to Plymouth. In fact two trains because the first that drew my attention was the Saturday only service 9.03 Portsmouth to Plymouth because, as previously stated, there is reportedly a photograph somewhere showing the 4th August 1962 9.03 Portsmouth-Plymouth service with set 875 [BSK(34251)-SK(24311)-CK(15033)-BSK(34252)] having one of the centre coaches in maroon.

For the rest of the week the Portsmouth set was added to the Brighton to Plymouth service. This train had two claims to fame. Firstly it was the longest, regularly worked route across Southern Region and secondly it was the last steam hauled service to/from Brighton because steam locomotion was needed to operate the steam heated rolling stock used on this service.

The last timetabled through service from Brighton to Plymouth was March 1967.

The train comprised 10 coaches plus the Portsmouth set at the rear.

The Brighton sets:

Set 515* [BSK(35014)-SO(3836)-RB(**)-SO(3935)***-CK(15914)-BSK(35015)]
Set 516 [BSK(35016)-SO(3837)-RB(**)-SO(3936)***-CK(15902)-BSK(35017)]

* withdrawn prior to 14th June 1965
** various numbers
*** summer only

There are four good colour photographs of the Brighton to Plymouth train on route between Brighton and Worthing in 'Southern Counties Main Line Steam' by Michael Welch and these show a six coach formation (without the Portsmouth set) in 1966. Clearly, at this date of the Brighton sets only 516 is in use, if at all because sets were disbanded in 1966. The first SO in the train is maroon and one of the photos shows another maroon, possibly CK, towards the rear. The other coaches are Southern Green.

I cannot determine from black and white photos I have seen of earlier years whether the SOs are green or lined maroon and none of the coaches reveal their numbers.

Whilst the YMRV maroon MK1 is a maroon SK (second corridor) it almost passes as an SO (Second Open). The difference being roof vents and interior.

Aside from coaches it is worth noting that the engine carried the Brighton to Salisbury 3 disk head code (bottom left, middle top and middle bottom). This was changed at Salisbury for the Waterloo to West of England code (middle top and middle bottom). However, I have seen one photo of the train on Honiton Bank with the Brighton head code still in place.

* YMRV = Your Model Railway Village part work.

To Part 5.

To Part 0.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

YMRV* Maroon Coach on BR(S) S.W. Division - Part 3

Having discovered coaches on the SW division that were subsequently painted maroon and the coach sets that they were originally allocated to (in green) I found myself researching further the associated train services and this revealed two that were noteworthy. This posting is about the Cleethorpes - Exmouth train.

If anyone has a layout based on the south western main line and wants to run a rake of maroon coaches then here is an inter regional train seen between Templecombe and Sidmouth/Exmouth in the early 60s. Cleethorpes is a seaside resort situated at the mouth of the River Humber in the North East. Exmouth and Sidmouth are seaside resorts on the south coast in Devon. Why should a train service ever exist between the two, especially as the journey time was over 10 hours? I can only think that adventurous holiday makers in the Midlands and North travelled south because 'summer comes soonest in the south' according to one famous poster, and the reason they travelled by train was due to the poor road network. It is hard to imagine Devon residents going north was as popular, which is probably why the service only ran on summer Saturdays for two years from 1st July 1960 to September 8 1962.

Prior to 1960, and in fact from the late thirties, the Southern destination was Bournemouth West (via the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway) leaving Cleethorpes at 0657 and Bournemouth at 1005.

The route change in 1960 to Exmouth and Sidmouth made this the only regular inter-regional train working the main line between Templecombe and Sidmouth Junction. A Saturday only service it left Cleethorpes at 0700 travelled via the Somerset and Dorset to Templecombe, passed Crewkerne at 1600 and divided at Sidmouth junction with the Exmouth portion arriving there at 1740. The return journey left Exmouth at 1042 arriving in Cleethorpes at 2131. Information about this period can be found at the Narkive Newsgroup Archive.

Passenger coach types alternated between Eastern lined Maroon and Southern Green. For example, if Eastern coaches left Cleethorpes on a Saturday then those leaving Exmouth would be Southern. On arriving at each destination the stock was stored for the return journey on the following Saturday.

The makeup of the train was 8-10 coaches and for the Southern green formation was two four corridor sets (BSK-SK-CK-BSK) and a couple loose. Restaurant or buffet faclities were not provided! The Eastern maroon formation may have been (BSK BSK SK SK CK SK BSK BSK CK BSK).

Here is a couple of Ivo Peters videos showing green stock on the Somerset and Dorset.
2.55 time mark (Exmouth to Cleethorpes, green coaches).
9.14 time mark (Cleethorpes to Exmouth, green coaches).

If you have further information or corrections about this train please comment.

Next time, the other train service of note.

* YMRV = Your Model Railway Village part work.

To Part 4.

To Part 0.

Sunday 13 October 2013

39th Farnham Expo.

A bit odd writing a review of an exhibition in which I had a vested interest because this year I was party to exhibiting our Cliddesden layout there.

Being on the other side of the model railway layout gave me privileges and time to explore the exhibition across two whole days. Needless to say leisurely circuits of the exhibits were undertaken during breaks from operating our own layout.

Attendance was steady across both days with plenty of space for visitors to view layouts. I was told that visitor numbers were up on last year.

Nowadays we expect to see a high standard of modelling and once again I was not disappointed. There was a best in show award, as voted by the public, and the fact that little separated the top tranche of votes (I understand) exemplifies the high standard of layouts on show.

Loch Tat (N) won best in show but my personal favourite was Westcliff (EM), a seaside GWR branch line station set above a Dorset beach. I liked the openness, staging of people and the soft hues of the landscape and building colours, or was that influenced by the lighting?.

Loch Tat

Unusually, I could not obtain a couple of items I wanted from traders. One had sold out the previous week and the second can only be obtained second hand, of which none were available at the show. However, I did pick up three other items one of which I had tried to obtain elsewhere without success but here it was on display. So, a mixed result this year from the trade for me.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

YMRV Maroon Coach Numbers for BR(S) S.W. Division - Part 2

I said in the last posting about this subject that I would explain the 'unexpected path' my research lead me. When I started writing about it I realised that there was probably too much information for one posting, in fact there is potential for a book! So, I'll save it for the next posting. I have now selected the three numbers I will use on my maroon YMRV (Your Model Railway Village part work) coaches, or maybe not use. You see, I have Keith Parkin's book on order from the library because it is considered the bible on MK1 coaches and may give more insight into history of the coaches. It was suppose to be available to call in from another library but some 3 or 4 weeks later still no sign of it. (I bet another YMRV purchaser has it out on loan).

These are the three numbers I have chosen from the short list shown in the previous posting on this subject.


In 1962 24311 was allocated to set 875 [BSK(34251)-SK(24311)-CK(15033)-BSK(34252)] and would be seen passing through Crewkerne on these services:- Portsmouth/Brighton to Plymouth and Exmouth/Sidmouth to Cleethorpes.

There is a comment in the SEmG archives of a photograph somewhere showing the 4th August 1962 9.03 Portsmouth-Plymouth service with this set having one of the centre coaches in maroon. I don't know whether it was the SK or CK. But it is a close call and I'm happy to assume it was the SK for my purpose.

The coach transferred to WR in February 1964 and came back to the South Western Division in July 1964 for 'loose' workings. With the WR controlling South Western Division from 1963 it is reasonable to conclude that 24311 was in maroon with a W prefix and used in any set or special service that required an extra SK.


In 1962 24312 was allocated to set 876 [BSK(34253)-SK(24312)-CK(15034)-BSK(34254)] and like 24311 would be seen west of Salisbury for the same services.

24312 is identified in BRSCarriages1_5.pdf‎, available from SEmG Online, as being maroon on transfer from BR(S) to BR(W) in August 1963. The file archives at SeMG also reveal a comment that the S prefix was changed to W. Prior to this date the coach would have been green, if I have interpreted the comment correctly. The coach returned to the South Western Division by July 1964 and used for 'loose' workings. Assumed maroon with a W prefix. It was condemned and converted to a carflat by WR in 1968.


No evidence found as to what livery this coach carried but it was used on the same services as the other two in 1962, being allocated to set 877 [BSK(34255)-SK(24313)-CK(15035)-BSK(34256)]. The coach transferred to WR in February 1964 and came back to the South Western Division in July 1964 for 'loose' workings. Assumed to be maroon with W prefix.

Note: Coaches in a train were arranged into fixed sets. The 'loose' maroon coaches could have been included in any numbered set or special service that required an SK to meet passenger demand, resulting in mixed liveries of green and maroon. Fixed sets were abandoned in 1966.

Postscript: Just to show how varied/unusual passenger stock was after Western Region took over I found a photo in 'Ralway World Annual' 1976 of Bulleid WC 34099 Lynmouth on 05/09/64 hauling a Bulleid BCK in 'freshly painted lined maroon' and an ex-LNER Thompson SK also in lined maroon at Honiton tunnel!

To Part 3.

To Part 0.
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