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Thursday 13 November 2014


For a long time I fancied a T9 locomotive (Hornby have/had marketed the class for quite some time) but I could not justify purchase because in the 1960s there were no regular workings of it on my stretch of modelled main line in Somerset. By 1960 the last of the T9s were either working 'The Withered Arm' or used on secondary routes in Hampshire and by the end of 1961 all but one (30120)  had been  scrapped.

But I am more than happy to acquire and display the inexpensive yet well modelled, static GBL model that came available for a limited period at some newspaper/magazine outlets today.

You may think that I should have acquired a T9 long ago if I wanted one, regardless of authenticity. Well this just highlights one of the many factions in the hobby. Some just want to run trains, any train, whilst others like me are modellers who aim to replicate in miniature a time and place as far as practicable.

I did some more research to see if I missed any chance of it appearing on the Somerset main line in 1960. I came up with one possibility that, with a stretch of imagination, might have run briefly on the main line.

On the 14th August 1960 an RCTS special hauled by T9 30718 ran from Salisbury to Yeovil and Weymouth. My model layout is based on Crewkerne, which is just down the main line from Yeovil Junction and the T9 at this time was sheded at Exmouth Junction shed near Exeter. The RCTS special would not have reached Crewkerne but to get from Exmouth Junction to Salisbury the engine must have run light through Crewkerne. So, there is my excuse to run a T9 in my period on my stretch of modelled line.

30718 was scrapped in March 1961. It was the narrow cab type with 8 wheeled tender, same as the GBL model.

Now, how do I motorise the GBL model? (no guarantee that I will.)

GBL = Great British Locomotives Collection
LSWR = London & South Western Railway
RCTS = Railway Correspondence & Travel Society

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