This is a post about model railways… I’ve been there before, but what the heck.
The history of model railways is almost as old as the railway itself.
At first, the model railway was a miniature engineered model. This was amazingly exensive. Also, the models tended to be quite big – in general making something smaller is expensive. Towards the beginning of the 20C, various toy makers began to make model railways out of printed and folded tinplate. The big names are Bing Brothers and Marklin.
In Britain, Bassett-Lowke made lovely engineered models during the 1920s and 1930s.
Hornby, is the name most people recognise in relation to model railways. They make OO gauge models. These allowed ordinary people to construct relatively detailed and complex layouts within the context of suburban houses.
The engines shown here are part of a collection of engineered models recently sold at auction. They are hand-built to scale and are powered by live steam.
These are working works of art!
Only a handful of people are qualified to make these kinds of models. It takes several years to make them too. Harry Powell, of Crewe, made the model and it measures over 100 inches long.
The catalogue entry for this model follows…
The finest exhibition quality 7 ¼ inch gauge model of the Sir William Stanier London Midland and Scottish Railway ‘Pacific’ 4-6-2 LMS Locomotive and Tender No 6230 ‘Duchess of Buccleuch’, an accurate replication of the original engine in every detail and was built according to the drawings of Crewe and took ten years and over 18,000 hours to build the model, it was built by the famous model engineer Mr Harry Powell of Crewe and his brother Norman,the paintwork and lettering by Louis Raper, this magnificent model is fitted with a fully brazed and riveted superheated copper boiler with Belpaire firebox and all normal fittings including safety valves, regulator, blower, whistle, brake, injector and blowdown valves, incorporating full external detailing and smoke deflectors, fine scale cab fittings include wheel reverse gear, lever operated sliding firedoors, draincocks and ejector levers, three pressure gauges, twin water sight gauges, mahogany planked floor with steel panel and scale checker-plate, a wealth of classic fittings.
Chassis with twin outside cylinders fitted with Walschearts valve gear and two inside cylinders, scale twin ratchet lubricators, brass lubrication boxes, draincocks, sanding gear, working steam brakes, leaf springs and beautifully finished wheels, fluted motion, exceptional external detailing, smoke deflector plates,these were later fitted to all of the class. Tender details includes 4000 gallon Type II plaque,handbrake, water pick-up control, steam-driven mechanical coal pusher with cylinder guides and lifting eyes. The model finished in LMS maroon with yellow and black lining.
Length 113″ Cab Width 13 ½’
The Stanier ‘Duchess Class’ designated 7P operated throughout Great Britain and were ostensibly Princess Cornation Class Locomotives which were nicknamed “Duchesses” and many of both of the combined classes carried streamlining in the pre-and-immediately post-war period. They hauled the heaviest express trains from Euston through to Scotland including ‘The Royal Scot’ and earlier ‘Coronation’ services. One of the class was sent to the USA for the World Fair of 1939 in its streamlined form. All the class were withdrawn in 1965 and three remain in preservation.
* Sir William Stanier FRS. Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS at the company Crewe works.
* Harry Powell worked all his life at Crewe locomotive works, he was a Master Coppersmith and chief of the copper-shop at Crewe.
This locomotive was delivered to Jack Salem in Switzerland by Harry Powell and Louis Raper. On arrival Harry Powell said to Jack Salem “Well you wanted the finest piece that has ever been built and here it is”.
The big red engine, above, made 140000GBP.
Here are some pictures of the other models in the sale…