I remember the old days, when if you wanted to offer a certain livery, you could, as long as the model you were painting as long as the model looked a bit like the locomotive you wanted to portray. Sometimes even that didn’t matter… Lima’s LNER ‘J50’ in LMS red is just one example.
There have been more recent examples, such as the Bachmann Class 08 offered in Longmoor Military Railway blue by ModelZone. The reason for the latter was that the ’08’ was the nearest thing available to the LMS 350hp, of which two ended up on Longmoor.
These days, we’re less tolerant of such things. So, taking the LMR 0-6-0DE as inspiration, why doesn’t someone offer the LMS-built BR Class 11?
Yes, they may look like a Class 08 but there are some subtle differences. The profile is shallower, the wheel diameter smaller and the footplate box arrangements different.
With the number of available diesel prototypes yet to be modelled in ‘OO’ down to just a handful, the LMS 350hp shunter has to be a priority. Doesn’t it?
What is it?
LMS diesel shunter development culminated in 7120, built in 1944. It has worked in partnership with English Electric since the 1930s and 7120’s shape, with its inside frames, tall radiator grille, narrow bonnet and end cab, essentially became the standard British diesel shunting locomotive. Over 1,000 locomotives would follow and this shape could be see not only elsewhere in Europe but also in Australia.
The locomotive has 4ft diameter driving wheels, a useful 11ft 6in wheelbase and was just over 29ft long. There were no complex arrangements of rods and jackshafts, as on previous LMS locomotives, just an English Electric 6KT engine driving three axlehung EE traction motors.
The War Department took 14 of the first 20 and the LMS and BR subsequently ordered more. The total fleet number 105 examples, which became Class 11 under TOPS. Production stopped in 1952 as work started on what would become Class 08, BR’s standard shunting locomotive.
The LMS design inspired locomotives built for the LNER (different body profile), Southern (different wheel diameter and longer) and the GWR (identical).
What would make it viable?
The Class 11s survived in BR service into the early 1970s so that gives you a huge number of liveries you could offer: LMS black, BR black, BR green (with ‘wasp stripes’) and BR blue. Then, of course, you’ve got an accurate canvas for Longmoor Military Railway blue, not to mention War Department livery. And you’d have to offer a Western Region version in green with ‘British Railways’ lettering in GWR ‘Egyptian’ typeface. And that’s before we get onto the three virtually identical locomotives built by English Electric for ICI in 1948.
There were a couple of minor variations to make things a bit more interesting too. You could have the later version with electric lights and with or without nose end ladders.
What’s not to like?
Can I see a real one?
Eight Class 11s survive in the UK along with ex-WD 70272 at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite and ICI ’12139 Redcar’ at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. WD70269, built at Derby in 1944, is displayed at the Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht.
What do you think? Comment below and see other thoughts in MR245, out February 15th!