For today, my only two DCC fitted Great Western locomotives “visited” the layout. Usually confined to the display cabinet, I give them a rare (ish) run to keep their motors healthy. Also visiting the layout were my two GWR Clerestory carriages.
Although my layout and model collection has a strong Southern focus, I’m often tempted off this track by foreigners; and these foreigners sometimes find their way to the yard for a run! My leanings towards Southern locomotives is a result of seeing so much more of them than any other types, but I’m not loyal to the extent of disregarding others, including the GWR! The GWR was (and is to many!) a traditional rival to the Southern, but for me my experience is only from the preservation movement and therefore I associate the GWR with holidays. I could no more turn my nose up at a GWR engine then I could a cream tea! If I had all the money and space in the world I’d have a large fleet of locomotives from all regions, including perhaps some Diesels, but alas that isn’t the case, so my Western fleet will remain small.
GWR 3440 City of Truro is of course the star of the duo and the model is significant in that it was the most expensive single model I’ve ever purchased. When the National Railway Museum released this Bachmann exclusive model; I was unable to resist. The prototype is simply one of the most graceful locomotives with a charm coming from it being both clearly of an older style of design and also being the unofficial first steam engine to touch 100mph. Whether this claim is true is open to a fierce debate that I will not get involved with, except to say that I hope it is true!
The 8750 Pannier tank is not nearly as glamorous but is a fabulous model of an extremely successful design. For me Pannier Tanks are synonymous with summer Devon holidays and for that reason I put it on my Christmas list just over a year ago and to my delight it was bought for me by my beloved! Bachmann have produced an excellent model that performs so well that it often stays on my layout a little longer than originally planned!
The two coaches are old Hornby models with a twist, which (regular readers might have guessed) is; they have been fitted with flush-glazing! As with my Bulleid’s this was achieved with SE Finecast flush-glazing kit’s and a lot of patience!
My other GWR engines will be featured in the future, though two are non-runners. One a Hornby open cab pannier tank that has been re-sprayed maroon and gold to become a Christmas decoration. Another is a 56xx from Mainline origin – another non-runner. This was rescued and cosmetically restored to look good in the display cabinet, a duty it performs well! 9F Evening Star can also be labelled of Western origin – this is a detailed Hornby Railroad model.
I’d be interested to hear if there are many other people who like me, fail to stay loyal to a region or era! If so, feel free to leave a comment!