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The plan for New Street has always been to feature a selection of engineers trains.  The ones I have had in mind are a rake of loaded mainly 4 wheeled hoppers, a rake of loaded bogie hoppers, a rake of loaded grampus style wagons (partially fitted), a rake of empty salmons and a mixed rake of unfitted oddities(also empty).  All of these trains have been started to a degree and most of them many years ago.   However I had an urge to get at lease one of these trains finished off and it was the bogie ballast hoppers that appealed the most.

These have been pretty much done for years with most just needing the hand wheels and safety screens finishing off.

The oldest model is an old Cambrian kit for a Sealion.  Because this model does look a little different to all the others it will actually form part of the 4 wheel rake so that it doesn’t stand out.

Next up a couple of Lima Sealions.  An excellent model for its time let down only by the odd bogies. Ive replaced them with Cambrian ones.

The Lima tooling went to Hornby and rather than just stick it in a ‘railroad’ range box they did actually do some decent upgrades to this model.  Mainly the bogies but also adding the safety screens.  The rest is as Lima designed it with the exception of Hornby moved the end handrails from the top of the platforms to the buffer beams and replaced the inner original handrails (which were plastic) with better wire ones.

The above image serves to show the changes made. The hand wheels have been replaced with Stenson Models etched ones and the safety screen, while a commendable effort, wasn’t fine enough in my eyes. I’ve used cut down etches from Extreme etches intended for the class 56 bodyside grills. I also replaced the buffer heads with some  from MJT.  The livery Hornby applied to these seem to be a hybrid of the earlier light grey version applied in the later dark grey style. I couldn’t find any like this so the lower black band was added.

Also from Hornby the later welded Seacow.  Again the screens were replaced.  These too had the lighter grey livery so they were resprayed into the darker grey.

Bachmann have also done a Sealion and theres not a lot wrong with it as it comes. I still changes the screens and hand wheels for consistency throughout the rake.

The super easy conversion to a lima Sealion is to remove the vacuum cylinders to turn it into a Seacow. Lima did brand some of their RTR models Seacow but they retained the vacuum gear.

A more involved conversion is to stretch the lima model to produce the larger 50ton Whale. These were started way before the Cambrian Kit appeared although they do now ride on their bogies. Hand wheels are again from Stenson models.

Although a modest train for New Street its still virtually as long as Brettell Road!

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Russ Wykes
Russ Wykes
1 month ago

Some great work there and the subtle weathering finishes them off perfectly. Just need something suitable in very weathered blue to pull them now?