UK Heritage Hub Issue 43 now ready to download!

Cornish Beam engine

Click here or on the picture above for our BRAND NEW UKHH e-zine Issue 43 (Released 21/08), ready for you to download and have a read of at your leisure.
Featuring a varied array of articles and images, from across the length and breadth of the country. Our thanks to everyone, whom continues to contribute to this fast expanding enterprise. It is really gratifying to see new names being included with articles and images.
Visit our homepage at www.themodelcentre.com/ukheritagehub for previous issues. Continue reading

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Rolling Stock on the Bluebell Railway

2014 Bluebell Railway - Sheffield Park - Southern Railway Maunsell Open Third No1336 SECRC Class 592The Bluebell Railway not only has an incredible collection of locomotives, but has a fleet of historic carriages that is also quite exceptional.  Around 70 carriages make up a collection of vehicles that range from the Victorian era through to British Railways mark one’s of the 1950/60s.  Tonight’s blog post looks at some of this historic collection in no particular order with a combination of pictures taken from various visits to the Bluebell Line, including my latest (please click here to read). Continue reading


London Transport Pannier

2014 South Devon Railway - Buckfastleigh - London Transport 57xx L.92 pannier tank

One of the worst kept secrets of steam locomotive colour schemes was discovered a long time before Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Castle (click here for more).  It is a secret that many of a western persuasion would probably keep to themselves… The  secret being that Great Western Railway locomotives painted red look very good. Continue reading


Holiday Snaps!

2014 Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway - Paignton - 7827 Lydham ManorA highlight of our holiday in Devon was a ride in the Devon Belle observation car (click here to read all about it.)  However, we did see a little more of the line whilst waiting at stations and on the return trip.  Bellow is a gallery of the remainder of this delightful trip on this picturesque line, including a snap of paddle steamer Kingswear Castle. Continue reading


On Shed


A fantastically modelled GWR locoyard scene!

Originally posted on Wychminster:


On shed, 2743, 4365 and 4510

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A Room With A View

2014 Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway - Paignton - Pullman Devon Belle Observation CarWith the exception of the picture at the top of this blog post, every picture you will see here was taken from the “Devon Belle” Pullman observation car on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway (PDSR) .  The carriage is one of two that ran on the Southern Railway’s Devon Belle express from London Waterloo to Ilfracombe, Devon from 1947 to 1954, .  Both have survived, the other (number 14) is based on the Swanage Line, whilst this (number 13) can be found in Devon.

Looking for an excuse to ride the PDSR and having long wanted to have a trip in this beautiful old carriage, my wife and I decided to pay the £2 (each) supplement for a single journey.  It was a wise move, as we had a fantastic time!

Despite the appeal of sitting directly behind a steam engine through a glass window, I wanted to experience the observation car as it was intended.  Whilst in service the observation cars were turned on a turntable at the end of each journey so that they always faced backwards at the rear of the train.  So that’s how we traveled, sat in prime position behind the glass window at the back…

Continue reading


Greenway Tunnel Walk

As part of the 150 celebrations on the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam railway this weekend they put on a one off special event which took place yesterday evening. A block was put on so that people could walk through Greenway Tunnel. It was a must do for me as I have been up and down through there so much on Torbays I wanted to go on foot!

I arrived for the 18.15 service hauled by 4277 Hercules. We set off  for the climb up to Churston before arriving at Greenway Halt. I don’t think this little halt had seen so many passengers alighting before!

After the train had ben despached to the Kingswear side of the tunnel, we were given a safety briefing, given some glow sticks, and set off in small groups. It feltrealy starnge to me to be walking in the 4ft after having had it drummed into me by many PTS exams that this was not the place to be walking! Glow sticks marked our way and we walked through, the recesses marked by candlelight. Just before the tunnel mouth we came across a very recogniseable gentleman in the form of Mr Brunel! He seemed to be quite flummuxed as to why so many people had come to inspect his 1864 tunnel, and just what were those bright candles that burned so much brighter than his own!

We had pointed out to us the BR strengthening work that was carried out just inside the Kingswear end of the tunnel in the form of sprayed concrete.

On exiting the tunnel we then reboarded the train via ladder from the cess. (A much easier way of reboarding than hauling yourself up under your own power!) before heading on down to Kingswear fro a brief stop and engine shunt.

We were soon underway once more, heading back up towards Churston and then Paignton, riding through the tunnel on this occasion.

A very enjoyable evening enjoyed by all. Thanks to the P&DSR and Richard(Fireman) and Rory(Driver) not forgetting all the staff on duty who gave us a great time, and last but definitely not least Mr Brunel himself! Sunset in Dartmouth IMG_0626 IMG_0627


Mid Hants Spring Steam Gala 2013 – Brookes Castle’s best shots

Last year I had the good fortune to attend the Watercress Line’s Spring Steam Gala and what a Gala it was. Originally it was planned to be an event where you able to see three of the National Railway Museums 4-4-0s in steam together. However as everyone knows the legendary GWR 4-4-0 City of Truro was withdrawn from service following boiler leaks. This left just the two Southern Region 4-4-0’s in the form of Schools class number 925 Cheltenham and ex-LSWR T9 number 30120. Luckily for me there was some Great Western traction in action as the Severn Valley stepped in and offered large prairie No 5164 to the Mid Hants for the gala. It was lovely to see the prairie, one of the most iconic Great Western locomotives. I had the good fortune to spend the day with Dave from LocoYard which helped make for an excellent day and gala.

The full line up

T9 ‘Greyhound’ No 30120
‘King Arthur’ Class No 777 ‘Sir Lamiel’
‘Schools’ Class No 925 ‘Cheltenham’
SR ‘Lord Nelson’ Class No 850 ‘Lord Nelson’
SR ‘West Country’ Class No 34007
GWR 5101 Class No 5164
LMS Black Five No 45379



The T9 leaving Medstead for Ropley she was easily the most photographed locomotive of the weekend because she is so elegant. At the time the location where I took the photo was a car park but it has since been developed into housing.

Continue reading


Hand-Painted Railcar Graffiti


What a fantastic way to add your own character to models – great tip!

Originally posted on fcflrailway:

Graffiti is an essential element to realistic railcar models. There are graffiti decals available on the market, but using a commercial product to represent something so individual and organic doesn’t sit well with me. So, I paint my own using acrylics. The water-based paint allows me to blend colors and recreate the inconsistent coverage of spray paint. Plus, I can personalize the artwork.

I start by sketching the graffiti on scratch paper to get the right size and spacing for any letters. Then I paint the silhouette of the art in multiple colors, creating a gradient. When the gradient dries, I come back with a contrasting color and outline the letters, and add any other details I want. IMG_3086IMG_3088IMG_3090IMG_3091missu

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Buckfastleigh, South Devon Railway 2014

2014 South Devon Railway - Buckfastleigh - London Transport 57xx L.92 pannier tankIf you ask a railway enthusiast to name a great locomotive works, you could get many replies.  Doncaster, Derby, Swindon, Crewe, Eastleigh, St Rollox, Darlington, Brighton… a list could on and on.  But these days things are different, most of the former works have declined, disappeared or evolved into a new use.  However, there are now new hubs in the heritage world.  Who would have guessed where these new hubs would be back in the age of steam?  Buckfastleigh is one of those new places where a staggering amount goes on.  Many other heritage lines send parts to Buckfastleigh for repair due to the specialist nature of the work. Continue reading


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