East Sussex Finescale


Ewhurst Green

(Latest Running Sessions)

by Colin


Fellow Finescale Modellers,

As my current layout (Ewhurst Green) progresses there has been a significant number of running sessions thereon as friends from the East Sussex Finescale group bring their models to run. Some of these friends are still building their layouts; others want the opportunity to run full-length trains on somebody else’s metals (i.e. mine). Indeed, unless stated otherwise all the locomotives and much of the rolling stock featured are visitors; even the 8-car Metro-Cammell Pullman set was a visitor having taken ‘residence’ between 2015 and 2019!


Click for the 2019 Ewhurst Green running sessions


As it stands the longest bogie train has been eighteen, behind a Hornby ‘Duke of Gloucester’ visiting from the Algarve; the slowest locomotive a pre-WW1 Prussian 0-8-0 at eighteen minutes eight seconds for a complete circuit. This could probably be improved now more-modern controllers are employed.

With layout construction ongoing, the vantage points for photographs are currently somewhat limited (so apologies here). But these will increase with time – currently layout wiring is a priority. Only then can the trackwork be fully tested and adjusted before more scenery can be added!

Typically, these running sessions start with an excellent lunch at ‘our’ nearby friendly beach-front café; which is just a very short distance away!

These running sessions are recorded here and it was anticipated that sessions from six months ago may have needed to be dropped off the list as time progresses. However, with a move to our dedicated domain www.EwhurstGreen.com this may not be necessary. A thank you must go to www.BloodandCustard.net for previously hosting these pages at no charge to Ewhurst Green and to the support from the East Sussex Finescale group.



‘Counting Up’ 8th February 2020

The glorious warn sunny day betrayed little about the storms that came just 24hrs later. During lunch at ‘our’ beachfront café there was a short discussion about Bachmann’s 202o model announcements; indeed, there was so little to discuss. The main part of the conversation was around the 2 HAP units and whether Bachmann will release the two visibly different body styles.

Units nos.6061 are 6062 being 1957 type Phase 1 units (roof-mounted water fillers but no lighting conduits) whereas nos.4308 and 4322 are 1961 build of Phase 2 units with external window frames, one-piece lavatory windows (no sliding ventilators) and Commonwealth bogies at the inner ends of each coach. These units did not have external roof conduits or filler pipes.

Back to the running session and in addition to the day’s theme of ‘Counting Up’ (to follow last week’s ‘Counting Down’ of type 2 diesels) an outside-framed locomotive had been brought along to provide steam interest!  


However, back at the trackroom the session commenced with one of Ewhurst Green’s C-class locomotives as no.31227 undertook a positioning move with the coal train. These are super models and there are several on the layout, no.31227 being currently the number currently in use. Built at Ashford works and outshopped on 31st December 1900 (as SECR no.227) locomotive no.31227 was last allocated to Nine Elms (70A) from where it was withdrawn on 31st October 1959.


On the Up Line GWR ‘Dukedog’ 3200 class no.9003 hauls some delightful Collett coaches (mostly) in ‘shirt-button’ livery. It appears that these coaches aren’t particularly common these days having been out of production for some time.

In 1929 the cab, cylinders, and motion along with boiler and smokebox from withdrawn ‘Duke’ class no.3265 ‘Tre Pol and Pen’ were fitted to the straight-topped frames of ‘Bulldog’ class no. 3365 ‘Charles Grey Mott.’ This resulted in an engine with stronger frames but which could still be used on yellow weight-restricted routes. The conversion was a success and from 1936 some twenty-nine locomotives were rebuild from withdrawn Duke and Bulldogs classes, acquiring the nickname ‘Dukedogs’ in the process.


During these running sessions side-shots of locomotives are taken to record numbers, names and liveries. Just as this photograph on no.9003 was being taken the visiting blue-grey Mk.1 set rattled past at speed on the Down Main although I was unclear what was hauling it!

In any event this started the Counting Up of Type 2 locomotive classes!




Baby Deltic D5903 was given one of Ewhurst Green’s six-coach CLC-liveried Mk1 sets to haul. The Baby Deltics were a short-lived class. However, they did appear on Southern metals at least until 1966 when freight traffic ceased on the East London Line.

D5903 is seen here in its post March 1967 guise with full-yellow ends. Built at English Electric’s Vulcan Foundry D5903 entered service on 17th April 1959 Hornsey (34B). It was withdrawn from Finsbury Park on 30th December 1968 and recorded as being scrapped at Cohens, Kettering on 1st June 1969.



Lust a decade could have separated these two locomotive and coach liveries. On the Down Line D5000 sporting green livery hauling Green Bulleid coaches (BR’s MK1 stock took much of its design from these coaches) whereas on the Up Main, no.24 081 appears in the (then) new corporate blue with TOPS numbering hauling a six-coach Mk1 set.

In the second photograph D5000 is on the Down Main with plate wagons in the Down Siding. No.24 081 is on the Up Main with the Branch Reversible alongside. Ballasting of the sleeper ends and ten-foot will occur in due course. The two curving sidings awaiting ballasting are the Electric Siding and Carriage Siding respectively.



With the visiting Mk.1 coach set now on the Down Main, no.25 279 (as allocated to Liverpool Division thence Cricklewood East) took over. Into service from Beyer Peacock Gorton Ltd as D7629 on 7th September 1965 (to Tinsley depot) the locomotive received dual-brakes in the summer of 1969, it was renumbered 25 279 on 29th January 1974 and withdrawal into preservation came on 18th March 1987. It is understood to reside on the Great Central Railway as D7629.



Lima BRCW no.26 038 hauling the coal train on the Down Main. Although these models have a reputation for being noisy, once lubricated this model spent an hour or so’s smooth running whilst only emitting a modest level of sound. Heljan also produced a ‘Scottie Dog’ class 26. However, the Lima version of the logo is much crisper in terms of its presentation. Although dated, the model would simply benefit from Ultrascale wheels and care!

Built as D5338 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and into service at Haymarket on 28th June 1959; it moved north to Inverness on 12th March 1960 (where is stayed) and was renumbered 26 038 on 1st January 1973. After just over 33 years in service it was withdrawn on 19th October 1992 and is now in preservation carrying the name “Tom Clift 1954-2012” (after the well-known career railwayman and latterly Managing Director of the Grand Central Railway open-access train operator).



Built as D5376 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and into service at Thornaby on 21st February 1962, it moved north to Eastfield on 28th February 1970 and was renumbered 27 029 on 1st January 1973. After nearly 24 years in service it was withdrawn on 9th January 1986 and scrapped on 30th April 1987 at Vic Berry’s Thornton Yard.



Ewhurst Green’s Metro-Vickers Co-Bo D5714 made its second appearance this month; this being only one of a couple owned by East Sussex Finescale group members. It was at this point that one of the attending group exclaimed they should have brought their TOPS class 29 along before declaring they had a class 22 as well – so it was decided to have a complete running session of Type 2 classes when somebody buys one of the recently released TOPS class 21!


To sound an end to the session a Bell was Rung, sorry, I meant a Belle was Run!



‘Counting Down’ 1st February 2020

Upon arrival ‘our’ beachfront café was relatively quiet but rapidly filled up (fortunately we always have a table booked). Sadly, they had changed suppliers with some of the menu no longer up to its previous standard.

There were a few speculative words in respect of Bachmann’s anticipated announcement next week although expectation is rather limited. The general perception is towards there being a position of consolidation with nothing significant upon the horizon.

With one interesting exception, the theme of the session was Counting Down – perhaps a satirical reference to some recent political event – I’m not quite sure. However, this made for some interesting appearances and could have continued on if I could have recalled where my Baby Deltic (TOPS class 23) was stored and TOPS classes 21 /22 been available. Before any reader ponders on the prospect of a Baby Deltic at Ewhurst Green this had been purchased for my previous London-based layout (they used to work onto the Southern via the East London Line from which freight ceased in 1966) but may remain as my only example of a ‘bonneted’ mainline diesel.



No. 28.

TOPS Class 28 number D5714 running light engine on the Down Main; the day’s only non-visitor. This location will see a level crossing between the footbridge and facing turnout. The brick retaining wall just being placed there for effect as a bay-window house will stand behind the locomotive facing onto the public highway.

Number D5714 was the only known Metropolitan-Vickers Co-Bo to come onto the Southern Region, working through to Norwood Yard thence down to Three Bridges in April 1960; hence its inclusion on Ewhurst Green.


No. 27.

TOPS Class 27 (no.27 104) hauling a Mk2 formation on the Up Main. This visiting locomotive had only just been released by Heljan with its owner keen to put it to the test!

Into service in May 1962 as D5387, it was equipped with air-brakes in July 1971 before renumbering to no.27 104 on 1st January 1973 (whilst at Eastfield depot) thence no.27 048 on 1st September 1983. Withdrawn on 1st May 1986, it was cut-up on 1st September 1987 at Vic Berry’s Leicester Yard.


No. 26.

TOPS Class 26 (no.26 044) then took charge of the Mk2 formation on the Up Main. Into service as D5034 in October 1959, it was renumbered 26 044 on 1st January 1973 whilst at Inverness shed. Withdrawn on 17th January 1984 it was cut up 28th February 1987 at Vic Berry’s Thornton Yard.


No. 25.

TOPS Class 25 (no. 25 034 ‘Castell Aberystwyth / Aberystwyth Castle’ on a Down coal train. Following a year-1277 order from King Edward I, construction of several formidable castles was started including Flint, Rhuddlan, Builth and Aberystwyth; two of these setting a standard for future castle construction. Designed as concentric fortresses, Rhuddlan and Aberystwyth Castles were of innovative design comprising defensive rings (walls-within-walls) enabling the stronghold’s guards to defend from several heights without firing upon their own men.



TOPS Class 24 number D5085 in two-tone green livery looks entirely at ease with the coal train. Into service in August 1960 at Willesden shed it was withdrawn just two months prior to sixteen-years’ service and cut-up at Swindon works having been renumbered 24 085 in May 1974.


The count-down led to BR Standard Class 6 (Clan-class) no.72008 Clan MacLeod hauling a visiting late-crest visiting Pullman set on the Up Main. Ten Clan-class were constructed between 1951 and 1952, with a further fifteen planned (before cancellation). The first five of these fifteen locomotives were intended for use the Southern Region; having been allocated the names Hengist, Horsa, Canute, Wildfire and Firebrand. The remaining ten would have been given names from Scottish clans.



‘Southern Steam’ 18th January 2020

Yet again the beachfront café was quite busy but now they serve Croque madame – a pleasant change from their excellent sausage, bacon and eggs!

There were only a few words on Hornby’s disappointing 2020 range; indeed, most of the discussion surrounded Hornby’s ongoing error with its BR(S) green Mk1 coaching stock.

With few exceptions, Southern Region coaching stock did not carry carriage roundels; their application being were almost exclusively the preserve of multiple-unit motor coaches and special carriage sets such as the Ocean Liner sets. Even though Hornby are well aware of this error it is still perpetuates this error and will do so again (it seems) the new Mk1 restaurant car!

Whilst many of Hornby’s excellent models appear on Ewhurst Green their errant Mk1 BR(S) coaching stock has not; it seems nobody within the ESF group has bought them because of this silly error!

Friday, the 17th January had been an East Sussex Finescale modelling meeting looking at the Brighton Belle 5 BEL units and LBSCR station architecture; the latter carrying on today (18th). So today’s running session was slightly more muted with only four visiting Southern locomotives (all early BR crest) and two trainsets in use.



First on the layout was an ESF member’s newly acquired N15 no.30792 ‘Sir Hervis de Revel’ which was placed in charge of six-coach CLC Mk1 set no.525 on the Down Main. Built by the North British Locomotive Company in September 1925 it was known as one of the ‘Scotch Arthurs’.

In Le Mort d’Arthur, Hervis is first mentioned (as one of the heroes in the battle at Terrabil between Arthur's forces and those of Rience and King Lot (of Orkney). Hervis becomes a knight of the Round Table after Arthur's war with the five kings.



On the Up Main was Schools class no.30915 ‘Brighton’ in its June 1953 Royal Train guise for when the locomotive was used on Saturday 6th June 1953 to haul the Royal Train from Victoria to Tattenham Corner and the Derby races. On this occasion the Driver was John Nash and Fireman Syd Turner. For the day itself the leading buffers would have been changed for a buffed & polished set.

At this point in history the British Rail Board had decreed that 4-4-0 locomotives were to archaic to receive passenger green; a decision that was eventually reversed. The Schools hauled the resident-visiting five-car Pullman set.


Back to the Down Main rebuilt Merchant Navy class no.35023 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ took over passenger duties. This was the first time this model had run since purchase back in year 2000 and initially it did not run smoothly. However, some light lubrication and gentle running-in meant it could take on the six-coach train.

Rebuilt in February 1957 no.35023 was withdrawn ten years later in July 1967. In terms of shipping Verenigde Nederlandse Scheepvaartmaatschappij (VNS) was a company formed and jointly owned by SMN, KRL, Holland Amerika Lijn, Van Ommeren and KNSM. However, VNS operated under different names which included Holland Africa Line (which was founded in 1934). After successive takeovers VNS is now owned by Maersk with all previous names including Holland Africa Line now being extinct.


Last locomotive of the day was air-smoothed Bulleid Battle of Britain class no.34067 ‘Manston’ on the Pullman train. The locomotive was named after the East Kent airfield which came into being during WW1 as a base for the Royal Flying Corps. During WW2 Hawker Typhoon and Gloster Meteor squadrons were based at Manston and on 27th July 1944, RAF 616 Squadron became the first allied jet equipped squadron in the world to become operational, using Meteors to intercept German V-1 flying bombs being used to attack London.

In the sixties Manston saw joint military /civilian use becoming Kent International Airport in 1989. However, after several changes of hands closure too place with the last flights comprising one cargo service and one passenger service (KLM to Amsterdam) ceased in April 2014 thence formal closure taking place on 15th May 2014. However, in July 2019, it was announced the airport may restart operations by 2022 for short-haul and cargo flights.

Being the UK’s 11th longest runway it is understood Manston had been one of the many emergency-landing runways for the USA’s Space Shuttle program

It was not without irony that the last time I flew by aeroplane was in a Douglas C-47 (Dakota) into Manston!



‘Into the new decade’ 4th January 2020

On World Braille Day the beachfront café was quite busy on this cold but sunny Saturday; presumably many making the last of their Christmas break before the ‘sobriety’ of January sets in. The first East Sussex Finescale meeting of the year was also seeing in the new decade.

It had been intended to run two Brighton Belle sets, but unfortunately time got the better of all those attending!


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First to start the session was S15 no,30830 placed in charge of the unfitted coal train.


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With a train speeding past on the Down Main, on the Up ‘Whistler’ no.40 106 hauls the visiting five-car ‘late crest’ Pullman train. This visiting locomotive is a Lima model with a replacement underframe, motor and bogies from a later Hornby offering. Built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns at Darlington in October 1960 (thus enabling Vulcan Foundry to build the Deltics), no.40 106 was last example of the class to remain in British Railway’s green livery.

As carried by the model, in August 1984 no.40 106 was named ‘Atlantic Conveyor’ (the name was dedicated by John Brocklehurst, Chief Officer of the ship) after the Cunard-owned ship that was hit by two missiles in the Falklands war on 25th May 1982 with a loss of twelve lives; the ship sunk on 28th May 1982. The Atlantic Conveyorwas the first British merchant vessel lost at sea to enemy fire since World War II. Although in tradition with the original class names, this naming was very sadly not well-received by some enthusiasts.

Finally, on 29th October 1987 no.40 106 gained considerable attention as D326 in the ‘Great’ Train Robbery film ‘Buster’; undertaken at the Great Central Railway. No.40 106 remains in preservation.


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Green liveried BR Standard Class 3MT no.82005 hauling the six-coach Mk1 CLC-liveried set no.525 plus van on the Down Main. Allocated new to Tuseley in May 1952 no.82005 received green livery June 1958 just before it went to Chester shed and was certainly lined by September 1962; by this time, it was at moving back and forth between Shrewsbury and Machynlleth sheds. In April 1965 it moved to Nine Elms from where it was withdrawn in September 1965.


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A ‘first’ on the layout was this Engineer’s yellow D.C. Wickham’s Type 27 trolley; a Christmas present received by an East Sussex Finescale member! The trolley runs exceedingly well and is an impressive model – this being the smallest visiting model brought along to a running session.


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As the Wickham trolley was being photographed the unfitted coal train rattled past on the Down Main!


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Bachmann's 158 746 carries the Alphaline livery of the time albeit possibly incorrect for this particular unit. The Alphaline livery dates from ‘Wales & West’ (the predecessor of Wessex Trains). Units, 158745 and 158746 were both re-liveried by Wales & West (silver with yellow along each sides). The Wales & West franchise was divided into Wessex Trains and Wales and Borders Trains with the Alphaline service (the brand dated back to Regional Railways) being shared by both companies (each company had remained part of National Express).

Based at Cardiff Canton, both units nos.158 745 & 158 746 entered the Wessex Trains fleet; the livery being altered; the branding changed (wording plus blue to purple including door colours) but with yellow along the sides retained. However, refurbished units carried a simplified version of the livery, dropping the yellow along each side but retaining both the Alphaline ‘A’ and links across the doors. Bachmann’s model of 158 746 is presented in this ‘refurbished’ livery which does not appear to be correct for this unit.


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Finally, a comparison in size between the Wickham trolley and class 40!



 ‘New Year’s Day’ 1st January 2020

Although the eighth day of Christmas the festivities seemed to be quite distant as a new decade commenced. However, based on the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song ‘eight maids-a-milking’ the opportunity to run a milk train was resisted.

Like Christmas day, it was a good opportunity to enjoy some ‘me time’ on Ewhurst Green. This would include testing a new purchase (a U-class locomotive) on the Up Main (taken under an engineering ‘possession’ to enable this). With much to do this day it wasn’t until relatively late in the afternoon that I finally made it into the trackroom.


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 ‘00’ Works E4 no.52503 hauls six-coach CLC-liveried MK1 set no.525 on the Down Main.

The van ‘C’ is an excellent weathered model from The Model Centre.


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This was followed by Southern Region-allocated Sulzer Type 2 no.D5000 hauling Green-liveried Bulleid three-set no.865.


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E4 no.32503 takes a turn on an unfitted coal train.


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U-class 31627 hauling a three-coach Crimson Lake non-corridor set around to the fiddle yard (to be boxed and stored).


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No.31627 was then placed in charge of the six-coach Mk1 set which it hauled with ease.

Only just acquired, this DJH kit is a nice model although needs a few minor adjustments including rewiring the connections to its Portescap motor to provide conventional running direction. On the 3’ curves the one wheel of the leading truck occasionally catches the cylinder block so minor adjustment will be required here. Easily rectified, this is not an uncommon problem and both of Ewhurst Green’s kit built H15 locomotives needed a similar tweak to cure the same problem.


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E4 no.32503 was given a run on the six-coach Mk1 set (plus van) which it too capably hauled.



 ‘Four Calling Trains’ 28th December 2019

With apologies to the traditional song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ (first published 1790 thence popularised by a 1909 arrangement) which refers to Four Calling Birds! However, today involved four stopping trains of various types calling all stations!

But before today’s running session commenced, there was a trip along the coast to a very busy Morris Models thence a dash back in readiness for a hearty lunch at our usual beachfront café.

It is worth stating Morris Models is a traditional well-stocked model railway shop (both UK and continental outline) with an excellent selection of road vehicles (particularly omnibuses); it runs a loyalty-card system and will undertake mail order. Yards off the A27 (with unrestricted parking) the railway station at Lancing is not far away. One of the benefits from supporting one’s local model shop is being able to see your purchase including in-store test running.


Recently released 2 HAL unit no.2611 (from Morris Models) leads 2 BIL unit no.2090 on the Down Main; unfortunately, the LED daylight simulation has darkened the colour of these BR(S) green units.

As modelled 2 HAL unit no.2611 was a hybrid having had its DTC temporarily replaced from 2 BIL no.2113 between September 1959 and March 1961 (with which it had collided at Wimbledon Park). During this time both the damaged coaches underwent repair at Lancing Carriage Works until unit no.2133 and no.2611 were reformed with their respective (repaired) coaches.

As a hybrid unit, no.2611 remained designated as a 2 HAL; conversely 2 BIL units which were reformed with 2 HAL DTC coaches remained designated as 2 BIL by British Rail’s Southern Region.


Also from Morris Models was (visiting) ex.GWR 2-8-0T 5205 class locomotive no.5243. These were designed for short-haul coal workings in South Wales and were based on the 4200 Class (which had been introduced by the Great Western Railway in 1910). One hundred of the 5205 class were built between 1923 and 1940. Withdrawn between 1961 and 1964 three of the class survive into preservation; two being overhauled, the third in ‘scrapyard’ condition.


The last locomotive purchased from Morris Models was Bachmann ‘C’ class no.31227 hauling a three car CLC set plus ‘bicycle van’. Although this class were primarily intended for freight duties, they were occasionally employed on passenger work.


Finally, a run of augmented 4 SUB unit no.4428 was requested so who could refuse!


‘Bangs of Expectation’ 25th December 2019

Christmas Day provided an opportunity to enjoy some ‘me’ time in the track room with some of my own rolling stock, having my comfortable chair to myself enjoying an excellent Cuban cigar and large glass of Jura single-malt whisky!

With electric traction in use ‘Bangs of Expectation’ seemed appropriate. However, in reality this was the original term for Tom Smith’s (Christmas) crackers in 1861; the bang capability having been initially provided by Brock’s Fireworks of Nunhead.

In terms of Christmas Day rail travel on the national rail network I was able to enjoy this some twenty years ago when this recommenced with Gatwick Express running to /from Victoria. Travel for the day was free including mince pies and a glass of sherry!


On Ewhurst Green type ‘HA’ E5001 (TOPS class 71) hauls a Bulleid set on the Up Main. The model is actually in preservation livery for the yellow ends came after the Red /White body stripe; this body stripe in turn pre-dating the fitting of the cantrail rainstrips. However, the model was much reduced in price and is likely to provide a source of spares which Hornby have disappointingly chosen not to make available. Compared to availability of spares from continental manufacturers UK manufacturers’ spares availability is poor.


On the Down Main 2 BIL unit no.2090 runs solo, although Hornby’s latest 2 HAL model (unit no.2611) is awaiting collection from Morris Models in Lancing. Both Hornby’s 2 BIL and 2 HAL units are excellent models and a good choice to produce.


On the Up Main King Arthur class no.30770 ‘Sir Prianius’ hauls Bulleid set no.865. Produced locally by good friend Roderick Bruce, this ‘00’ Works model pre-dates Hornby’s offering and still holds its own today. Built by the North British Locomotive company in 1925 the ‘real’ no.30770 was withdrawn (thence scrapped) in November 1962.


Another view of no.30770 ‘Sir Prianius’ with Masterpiece train crew and fireman’s bicycle stowed on the tender! Fire irons and coal have also been added along with headcode discs. According to Sir Thomas Malory’s book ‘Le Morte d'Arthur’ (1st published in 1485 by William Caxton) the name was spelt ‘Sir Priamus. Malory identifies ‘Sir Priamus as being lineally descended to Alexander and Hector; he was knighted by King Arthur and promoted to the round table.


Back on the Down Main Sulzer type 2 D5000 hauls a nine-car passenger train with six-car set no.525 immediately behind the locomotive. Some Crimson Lake & Cream (CLC) Mk1 coaches lasted into the sixties on the Southern Region; this being due in part to the Southern’s varnishing techniques. Conversely the last of the Maunsell corridor stock was repainted green in 1959.


Ex.SECR Wainwright ‘H’-class tank engine no.31305 hauling Southern Malachite Green Birdcage set no.622. This set was outshopped in this livery 31st August 1944 thence varnished 22nd February 1947. It is probable this set received Crimson Lake livery before withdrawal 31st March 1956. This set differs from Bachmann’s Crimson Lake (CL) offerings (composite lavatory to diagram no.315) having its composite lavatory to diagram no.316; the difference being the windows in the middle of this coach.


‘H’-class no.31305 is a ‘00’ Works model; again, pre-dating Hornby’s offering. Several of these ‘00’ Works ‘H’ tanks are employed on Ewhurst Green alongside the Hornby BR versions. Entering service in May 1906 as SECR no.305, it was renumbered 1305 by the Southern Railway. Under British Rail no.31305 ended its days at 73A (Stewart’s Lane) in November 1962. Years later this was a depot I often attended in pursuance of my official duties.


‘The Shortest Play’ 22nd December 2019

It seems that such a short time ago we were enjoying ‘The Longest Play’ in June; now we have just passed the shortest day of the year; ironically Saturday 21st would have been our usual meeting day. However, some ESF members were travelling considerable distances in order to enjoy Christmas Luncheon at our local beachfront café and Sunday appeared to be the most opportune day for all those attending!

This running session also brought an interesting mix of rolling stock ranging from pre-grouping steam (both SECR and GNR) to nineteen-sixties East German diesels!


While visiting rolling stock was being removed from their boxes the ‘warm-up’ act composed augmented 4 SUB no.4428 trundling along the Down Main. Unfortunately, this proved to be a distraction as it captured the interest of members. No.4424 is the other augmented 4 SUB on Ewhurst Green; the augmentation trailer being clearly apparent.


Between 1966 and 1975, the Deutsche Reichsbahn purchased a total of 378 locomotives of these six-axle diesel-electric M62 series as the V 200 series from Luhansk in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine). Intended only for freight traffic, these locomotives were not equipped with train heating so only saw occasional passenger use in the summer months.

The first of the class were not equipped with exhaust silencers; their distinctively noisy exhaust earning them the nickname "Taiga drum" or ‘Stalin's last revenge’. Although the class were withdrawn by DB AG in 1995, some locomotives remain both in preservation and private use.


Having been temporarily allocated the late-crest (sixties) Pullman train (itself a visitor) as an ecs load, during the afternoon the low winter sun streamed in through the windows illuminating locomotive no.V 200 026. Deutsche Reichsbahn accepted this locomotive into service on 22nd March 1967 (as modelled including without exhaust silencer).


In March 1965 the first of this class were exhibited at the Leipzig spring fair. However, V 200 203 was built in 1966 and equipped with 1,000 hp engines. Originally painted in blue & ivory livery, in 1967 it received cream /red livery and was renumbered V 180 203.


This side elevation of V 200 203 shews its original GRP cabs; the concept was that the front windows (drawn in at an angle) should reduce the glare of the sun.


Both superb models, the two East German locomotives seen together as a BR 2 EPB rattles past on the Down Main. By this time V 200 026 was more-appropriately hauling a freight train comprising closed /open wagon from the DDR; the closed vans having undergone a slight modification to the couplings on one of Ewhurst Green’s workbenches.


Visiting 2 EPB no.5761 on the Down Main. Recently purchased by an ESF member this is a pre-2004 Southern Pride kit with earlier two-part roof. Equipped with a Southern Pride motor bogie, the model ran exceedingly well.


Originally built with prototype camshaft control equipment, 2 EPB no.5761 was ordered on 29th August 1955 to Lot No.30315 entering into service on 6th July 1956 in green livery. It was (damaged?) out of use c.May 1959 but quickly back into service. The unit was outshopped into blue livery with full yellow ends on 24th April 1967.


An unusual view of Ewhurst Green looking in the Down direction from the sixfoot of the main line (running had to be temporarily suspended). The crossover and its slips connect the Down Siding (left) across to the Branch Reversible (right) into Up Platform number 1. There will be two overbridges beyond the brick retaining wall; the first over the main line and the second across the doubled-tracked branch (by the Bulleid coach /double junction off the main line).

Yet-to-be completed carriage sidings can just be seen curving away on the extreme right behind the smoke deflector of 30913 ‘Christ’s Hospital’. Ballasting has remains ongoing as the track is still undergoing running /fault-finding. Mounted on 3mm cork, the track is held in place by the (glued) ballast.


Visiting SR-liveried SECR ‘H’-tank nio.1324 hauling one of Ewhurst Green’s Crimson Lake non-corridor sets. New from the box the model noticeably stuttered although this was much reduced after an hour or so of running. Built May 1907 as SECR no.324, it became 1324 under the Southern Railway before being withdrawn by British Rail as no.31324 in July 1962. The train is just passing over the double junction for the branch (off the main line); the Branch Reversible being the nearest track.


The second visiting 0-4-4T of the day was SECR ‘H’-tank no.308, which was built in June 1906. It became Southern Railway no.1308 thence 31308 under BR from where it was withdrawn in December 1962. The coaches are detailed Bachmann vehicles (three-set no.865).


The second pre-grouping liveried locomotive of the day was GNR N2 0-6-2T no.1730 hauling Southern Region Mk1 set 154. In BR days these powerful tank engines would be hauling BR Mk1 suburban coaches (albeit the shorter 57’ versions) on the Great Northern. Designed by Nigel Gresley, sixty entered service during 1920 /1921 with a further forty-seven between 1925 and 1929. This locomotive was were fitted with condensing apparatus for working on the Metropolitan Railway Widened Lines between King's Cross and Moorgate (including freight onto the Southern).

When it arrived at Ewhurst Green this model (derived from Airfix’s original) had a distinct wobble. After a strip-down on the work-bench this was cured and the back-to-back dimensions correctly set. Despite the age of its original design the model ran well and was simply to strip down. One of these had been sought for Ewhurst Green’s predecessor, cross-London layout Apothecary Street.


Ewhusrt Green’s Ex.LBSCR E4 0-6-2T no.32503 on an ECS (Empty Carriage Stock) working entering the fiddle yard. The E4 is a ‘00’ Works model locally produced by Roderick Bruce (who sadly couldn’t attend but did telephone into the running session). In the background is ‘resident’ visiting 5 BEL unit no.3053 and one of the augmented 4 SUB units.


Ewhurst Green’s SLW BR Sulzer Type 2 number D5000 on an ECS working to the fiddle yard; the Mk1 suburban second coaches are Replica models; these seconds augment sets 152, 154 and 154 (the latter was running today).


‘Christmas Shopping’ 14th December 2019

On this day in 1896 the Glasgow Subway opened, 1911 Roald Amundsen team reached the South Pole and in 1972 Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon. In 2019 there was a running session on Ewhurst Green following an East Sussex Finescale members’ shopping morning including taking the train to Morris Models in Lancing. Now withdrawn from the Great Northern, this involved a short ride on a class 313 unit (even though these are devoid of first-class accommodation). Members then made a quick dash along the coast to reach our local beachfront café and an excellent turkey lunch, against a vista of waves crashing onto the beach.


Locomotive no.24 009 is the latest release from Sutton Locomotive Works (SLW) and like previous issues is available DCC sound-equipped; the sound even operates on Ewhurst Green’s DC tracks. One of ESF’s members had only just taken delivery of his purchase earlier that morning!

Into service 14th March 1959 from Derby Works as D5009, it was renumbered 24 009 on in April 1974 whilst as Eastfield. Stored there (thence at Haymarket) from 23rd August 1975, it was scrapped at Doncaster Locomotive Works 30th November 1977; after some seventeen years and four months in service.


Bachmann ‘C’ class no.31227 hauls a seven-coach non-corridor train in crimson lake livery. Unfortunately, the daylight simulation LED lighting is not always particularly contusive to photography leaving these faded coaches looking much brighter than they really are.

Designed by Harry Wainwright, one-hundred and nine ‘C’ Class locomotives were constructed between 1900 and 1908. Although primarily intended for freight duties, the ‘C’ class locomotives were also occasionally engaged in passenger work including Kentish 'Hop Picker' services.


With train passing by on the Down Main, Bachmann SR grey-liveried Ransomes & Rapier steam crane no 1561S was placed on the Branch Reversible for all to examine. Several members who had more-or-less decided against one of these excellent models are now seriously reviewing their decisions.

This crane was purchased on the basis of its Guildford allocation (close to Ewhurst Green). In terms of livery any repainting of 1561S would have been unlikely to have happened that quickly and it is a reasonable presumption that 1561S carried grey livery at least into the early fifties (possibly even up to start of 1956). One SR-liveried steam crane was withdrawn from BR(W) service in the nineteen seventies!


On the Up Main ‘Britannia’ Standard Class 7 locomotive no.70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ hauls an express passenger train. Completed at Crewe Works on 30th May 1951, no.70013 was initially allocated to Eastern Region depot 32A (Norwich) being employed on express services to /from Liverpool Street. Some fifty-five of this class were built.

No.70013 was is notable as one of the four steam locomotives which worked the last steam railtour, the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ on British Railways (11th August 1968). It subsequently entered into preservation and on this day is awaiting overhaul.


On the Down Main locomotive number 31 102 took charge of a fitted van train. Into service 26th February 1959 from Brush Traction (Loughborough) as D5520, it was reclassified TOPS class 31 (from class 30) in April 1967 thence officially renumbered 31 102 on 1st January 1973 whilst at York (North) before moving to March (6th October 1973) thence Stratford (2nd May 1976). It was cut-up at EMR (Kingsbury) April 2007.


There was a significant clatter of two TOPS class 24 locomotives on the Up Main in the form of 24 081 and 24 009. Both are high-quality sound-equipped Sutton Locomotive Works (SLW) models with 24 081 being a resident visitor on Ewhurst Green. These are powerful models using a stereo sound system which provides a realistic high-quality output; just one of these models could easily haul double the seven visiting intermodel wagon-pair load with ease. Perhaps at a future running session we will see all three of this member’s sound-fitted SLW class 24 locomotives in operation…..


With the non-corridor train reduced to a three-car set ex.LSWR ‘O2’ class ‘0P’ power classification locomotive no.30225 is given a turn on the Down Main. These models were produced for Kernow Model Rail Centre by the now defunct DJ Models.

Designed by William Adams, sixty locomotives were constructed during the late-nineteenth century, commencing in 1889 with the first twenty locomotives. A second batch of thirty followed in 1890 thence the final ten in 1895; all being constructed at the LSWR's Nine Elms works. No.30225 was withdrawn in 1962 during their last year of operation on the UK mainland. Final withdrawals took place on the Isle of Wight in 1967 with just one example remaining there in preservation.


Finally, on the Down Main Ewhurst Green’s D8400 returns the fitted van train to the fiddleyard. These diesel locomotives undertook occasional visits to the Southern Region including via the East London Line (which last saw freight in 1966). Built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow, D8400 entered service 30th May 1958 at Stratford depot, from where it was withdrawn just over a decade later on 7th July 1968 before scrapping at Cohen’s (Kettering) in November 1969. During its service D8400 is reported to have suffered two engine fires on 7th June 1962 and 14th December 1963. Fortunately, exactly fifty-six years to the day of the second engine fire, model D8400 ran faultlessly!

In summation a good day was had by all!


‘Two-days at Ewhurst Green’ 6th & 7th December 2019

With attendance of an East Sussex Finescale (ESF) contingent from Portugal, two days were spent in the track room!

The 6th December was effectively a ‘workshop-cum-social event’ concentrating on the Southern Electric; in particular in-depth discussion on modifications to Hornby’s 5 BEL units. However, the 7th December started with a road-trip to Morris Models enabling ESF members to collect models orders for a four-coach Crimson Lake ex.GWR ‘B’ set and a Malachite Green liveried ex.SECR Birdcage Set. Furthermore, historical author Mike King was signing copies of his latest book ‘Southern Medley – The RC Riley Archive: Vol 3’.

Both days included luncheon looking out to sea from the warmth of ‘our’ local Beachfront café; this being particularly excellent with huge platefuls of Christmas-turkey lunches being served - nobody got beyond the second course!


First out onto the layout was a Hornby (ex.Lima) model of no.156 416 in ‘One’ livery. It still remains a rather nice credible model, although beneath the solebar the details are quite dated and it sadly suffers from Hornby’s ‘pizza-cutter’ wheels (Ultrascale does make conversion wheelsets for many models).

A total of 114 Class 156 Super Sprinter sets were built between 1987 and 1989 for British Rail by Metro-Cammell's Washwood Heath works. Powered by 6-cylinder Cummins NT855-R5 diesel engines through Voith T211r hydraulic automatic transmissions and Gmeinder final drive units, the class 156 units have a top speed of 75 mph.

Having been drafted away from East Anglia, in early 2005 the class 156 units returned when train operator ‘One’ received nine from Central Trains in exchange for a similar number of class 150 units. The ‘One’ class 156 units were used on the Bittern Line (Norwich to Sheringham via Cromer), Wherry Lines (Norwich to Great Yarmouth /Lowestoft), East Suffolk Line (Ipswich to Lowestoft /Felixstowe) and the Sudbury Branch Line (Marks Tey to Sudbury) along with services between Ipswich to Cambridge and Peterborough. All nine units passed to Abellio Greater Anglia when it took over the Greater Anglia franchise in February 2012.


On the Down Main Schools ‘V’ class no.30901 ‘Winchester’ heads a train of Bulleid 64’ stock including set 865. Unfortunately, despite having previously visited Ewhurst Green this locomotive kept derailing on the single-slip in the photograph. So, the locomotive’s wheelset back-to-back dimensions were adjusted (those on the tender were found to be too tight). However, the occasional derailment was still taking place, leading to the locomotive being temporarily removed for further investigation – but more of this later…


In Central Trains livery, two-car class 158-unit no.158 782 running on the Up Main. The footbridge sits in its intended position; a gated level crossing will be at the feet of its steps with a signal box in the middle of the picture (this side of the tracks).

A total of 182 class 158 Express Sprinter units were built for British Rail between 1989 and 1992 by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) at its Derby Litchurch Lane Works. Just seventeen units were built as three-cars; the remainder being two-car.

The Class 158 Express Sprinter Units replaces Class 156 SuperSprinter units on long-distance ‘East Midlands’ express services such as Liverpool Lime Street to Norwich via Nottingham. With privatisation, Central Trains (2nd March 1997 to 11th November 2007) operated these services, transferring the Class 158 fleet to secondary routes such as Birmingham New Street to Hereford and Derby to Matlock (in favour of Class 170 units).

The class 158 units were variously powered by Cummins 350hp, Perkins 350hp or Cummins 400hp engines with Voith T211rz or T211rzz hydraulic
Gmeinder GM 190 final drive units to the two inner-axles on each power car, yielding a maximum speed of 90 mph.


On a Down stopping service BR standard 3MT tank no.82029 hauls a five-car formation of two non-corridor seconds and non-corridor 3-car set no.154 (these coaches being Replica models). Entering into service at Darlington in December 1954, no.82029 locomotive moved to the Southern (Guildford) in September 1963 by when it had received a later style of crest. After reallocation to Bournemouth (January 1964) it ended its day at Nine Elms (September 1964 to 9th July 1967) before being scrapped at Birds yard (at Risca in Caerphilly County Borough) between November 1967 and January 1968.


Ex.BR class 47 locomotive no.47 500 ‘Great Western’ on the Up Main hauling resident visitor late-crest Pullman set. Entering service 22nd June 1966 as D1943 (green yellow warning panels livery) the locomotive was renumbered no.47 500 in March 1974 whilst it was based at Landore (Swansea). It moved to Bristol Bath Road in 15th May 1988.

On 27th February 1979 it was named ‘Great Western’ without ceremony at Old Oak Common; the nameplates originally accompanied by square transfer GWR decals. However, these were replaced with circular cast metal badges on 20th April 1979. On 20th May 1985 the original alloy nameplates replaced with GWR-style brass plates on as part of the Western Region's GWR 150th anniversary celebrations.  The nameplates were removed in September 1991 and eventually applied to no.47 815.

On the Down Main running had been temporarily halted as adjustments to the single-slip are made; these adjustments being interrupted by trains still running on the Up Main.


Having undergone a partial strip-down and rechecking of the wheelsets, it was concluded that there was excess lateral sideplay on each axle and the locomotive to tender drawbar needed adjustment. However, neither of these were the primary cause of the derailments, although the number of incidents were halved. So the investigation turned to the single-slip where slight adjustments were needed; afterwards the locomotive ran faultlessly. Essentially slightly out-of-adjustment wheelsets suffering excessive lateral free-play were being ‘exploited’ by an out-of-adjustment single slip.


With a suburban train rattling past on the Down Main, Ewhurst Green’s rebuilt Merchant Navy class no.35020 ‘Lamport & Holt Line’ leads a passenger train on the Up Main; the first vehicles of which being covered carriage tracks (CCT). Ewhurst Green has a number of Merchant Navy class locomotives although their use on this route to the coast would in reality have been somewhat limited.


‘Southern Eclectic’ 23rd November 2019

By no stretch of the imagination can ESF take credit for the title of today’s running session, for that belongs with Colin Duff and the name of his wonderful Southern Electric layout he built (now sadly dismantled when moving home). However, it just seemed appropriate for the day which start with a members’ train ride /visit to Eastbourne station and its lovely independent coffee bar!

This was all a precursor to early arrivals in the track-room before setting of the short distance to the seafront, lunch and a discussion about the afternoon running session around the scale mile-long track. Indeed, it was such a busy session I missed getting photographs of two 5 BEL units; on in Pullman Umber & Cream, the other in BR Blue & Grey, an original all-Blue 4 TC, a 2 NOL unit and stock that didn’t get unpacked being both MLV and 4 CEP units in Green and all-Blue liveries let alone ‘Hampshire’ and ‘Hastings’ 2H DEMUS!


Oldest unit photographed on the layout was augmented 4 SUB unit no.4428 running on the Down Main; this being one of two on the layout and the only ‘non-visitor’ running during the afternoon’ session. On the Up Main visiting 2 HAL unit number 2603 trailed the rear of an eight-car mix of 2 BIL /2 HAL units. Unit no.4428 appeared as an augmented between May 1947 and April 1956. Unit no.2603 appeared in this livery (green /full yellow end) between 4th July 1967 and 28th February 1970 when it received BR blue livery prior to withdrawal 12th June 1971.


Leading the eight-car mix of 2 BIL /2 HAL units was Blue-liveried 2 BIL unit no.2086 (it received this livery by February 1970 and was withdrawn 12th June 1971). The other two Blue units within this mix were 2 HAL no.2623 and 2 HAL no.2677. With Green-liveried 2 HAL no.2603 at the rear this visiting formation has taken up temporary residence on the layout!


With model boxes being opened the first non-resident visiting units started to appear. From Green livery, 2 EPB unit no.5764 was painted Blue with small yellow panels 19th July 1966, receiving full yellow ends 25th July 1969 thence Blue /Grey livery in February 1984 (before renumbering to 6264 circa October 1984). Painted on to two and three-car units, the inverted black triangle indicates there is no brake van at the other end of the unit.


4 CEP unit no.7113 went straight from Green to Blue /Grey on 30th September 1968 and was renumbered as 1524 on 10th October 1980. On 16th July 1996 its TSO (no.70262) went to St. Leonards West Marina depot and now (in green livery) is once again on the mainline being used within preserved Hastings DEMU unit no.201001 alongside a 4 CIG buffet car. The 4 CEP units were rebuilt by BR; one set is now being returned to original condition at Eastleigh works.


Following delivery on 18th August 1972, 4 VEP unit 7830 entered traffic 26th August 1972 in Blue /Grey livery, AWS was fitted in 1977 and the unit was renumbered no.3130 July 1987. There were no significant incidents or issues recorded during this time, which means not a lot else can be said – a typical 4 VEP that undertook sterling service. Whilst many bemoaned the 3+2 seating in second class, the first-class compartments were quite comfortable (having travelled many miles therein including from Ramsgate to Weymouth and back in one round trip; outward via London; return was non-stop!). Sadly the model does have a number of shortcomings; the pizza-cutter wheels being a particular issue on Ewhurst Green’s finescale track.


MLV no.68009 leads an unidentified 4 CEP on the Down Main. Outshopped 14th March 1961, no.68009 rain in this livery from 10th March 1970 to July 1986 when it received London & South East Sector livery (two-tone brown /orange) also known as ‘Jaffa Cake’ livery. It survives today in preservation.


Into service as no.5738, 2 EPB (BR-design) was renumbered in April 1985 as unit no.6238 having received Blue /Grey livery in December 1982. The model’s DTS carries the red cantrail band above the compartments; these being introduced following the 23rd March 1988 murder of a female passenger in a compartment between Brixton and Victoria. However, the compartments in unit no.6238 had already been opened-out to a saloon at Slade Green during April 1984 (as an experiment) so no.6238 would not have probably not carried these red bands. This modification left the DTS as two saloons seating 94; the MBS as one saloon seating 82. The unit was withdrawn 30th Sep 1991 and used as de-icer pilot.


Finally, in quietly setting up a photograph of 4 VEP no.7830, a thirteen-car ‘Boat Train’ (complete with MLV) caught me unawares as it hurtled past on the Down Main. I suspect it was 68009 (the only blue /grey version produced by Bachmann so far) but as some of our group members are into re-numbering I would not like to say for sure.

What is promised for a future session is a fourteen-car ‘Boat Train’ comprising Green or all-Blue MLV, Maroon TLV and three 4 CEP units in Green, Blue and Blue /Grey liveries!



I hope these will have been of interest!

Kind regards,




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