Model Railway Rolling Stock
Bring motion to your layout by adding Rolling Stock
For most people the Locomotives, Coaches and wagons that make up a train formation are central to their vision of the layout they want to build and these movable items add passing interest to the person viewing the layout.
The number of different options available to the modeller are vast. You can choose to run a specific region requiring adhesion to a particular livery and can even narrow your choices to a specific period in history which in turn specifies whether you have Diesel or steam traction.
But of course it does not end there; you can also build your stock around passenger movement or freight delivery and indeed most railway enthusiasts agree that a mix of the two offers the best running experiences.
Having this many options means that you can build a model railway from any part of the country or indeed world and pick a time period in which it was set.
You can also choose how much detail you want as most items come with detailing kits that allow the addition of dummy couplings, brake rodding and service pipework. Most of the manufactures like Bachmann, Oxford Rail and Graham Farish offer very detailed models straight out of the box.
Current manufacturing is not just skin deep though. The paint finish and regional branding applied to the outer body are just the start. Unlike the not so scale models of the past, modern day production includes vastly superior motors, bogies and electrical pickups that not only allow the engines to pull more efficiently but also at much slower, more prototypical and smoother speeds.
The advent of Digital Command Control (DCC) which actually goes back to the early 1980s, also allows modellers to control more than one loco on the same piece of track and whilst DCC is not suitable for everyone it can and does add extra dimensions to running the setup including controllable sound.
If you are considering or using DCC on your railway then there are a number of packaging features that will help you in your buying decisions. An item marked as DCC Ready means that internally the manufacture has included a small interface that allows the insertion of a decoder chip by simply removing a blanking plate and plugging in a decoder. Others can be brought with the decoder already fitted so are ready to go out of the box, but don’t worry if you are using analogue control as these locomotive’s will still work on your layout.
When it comes to coaches you can really let rip with your imagination. Carriages are available from just about any time period and any region you can think of from small 4 wheeled branch line coaches right up to modern day Voyager 221 cars, they are all available. For the more adventurous among you there are even coaches with fitted lights, Just look at the various brands of Pullman’s available.
Again the level of detail on the modern offerings is superb with picked out handrails and levers down to the high level of detail on the underframes, flush glazing and bogies all of which add vastly to the realism you crave.
The variety and detail also extends to the freight wagons with so many options to make up freight trains with coal and mineral, tanker and livestock trains all being possible.
It’s your railway so you can run ever you like now with today’s range of options.
The grace and atmosphere of Steam.
From the very early days of railways in the United Kingdom, steam has always invoked conversation and amazement. The combination of coal, heat, water and oil unleashes many responses from the human sensory system, the smell, the radiation and spectacle have all added to its appeal.
The same is so true when it comes to a model steam locomotives which can faithfully recapture the sight and raw power portrayed by these elegant and complexed looking brutes.
Most models are based around a period of time and region whether that be pre nationalisation, the conflict years or the Standard classes introduced by British Railways.
The choice is solely yours as to which models you purchase. You can go back to the day when there was a free for all when anyone and everyone set up a railway company and there are a few privately owned and liveried locos available if that is your choice.
As a result of the Railways Act 1921, effective on 1 January 1923 in a process known as "The Grouping, 4 main companies were born out of all the other privateers. So how about opting to model your favourite region from one of the “big four” such as the London Midland and Scotland (LMS), the London North Eastern Railway (LNER), the Great Western Railway (GWR) or Southern Railways (SR) All offer their own coaches and wagons to compliment your engines.
If you like Halls and Castles but want to run other regions engines like Princess or Battle of Britain class, no problem as most of the big four had terminus and to a minimal extent shared lines.
As a result of the Transport Act 1947, on 1 January 1948 the Big Four became state owned to form a new company called British Railways. The New Company were able to successfully integrate all the various types of locomotives available to them and whilst they stayed to a great extent within the bounds of their original service region many were found crossing quite deep into the network. This gives you another terrific possibility to purchase a steam loco from any region and still realistically run it on your layout.
The final chapter in the Steam era was dominated by the Standard class of engine, these were of a very different design to their predecessors in that they were easier to service and as such have a distinctive look.
The manufactures of the models available have gone to great lengths to produce beautifully scaled models with very accurate and highly detailed running gear from the connecting rods, reversers, cylinders right down to the wire hand rails ad rivet detail these models will always depict perfectly the living breathing machine look of their full size counterparts.
Performance has improved beyond recognition with improved pickups to pull the power from the track, better electric motors and smoother power distribution.
The liveries are outstanding in their detail with crisp lettering and boiler lining plus the addition of warning plates, pipes and underframe detail. You even have the choice to opt for a pre weathered version on many models.
Steam offers the modeller the opportunity to also create a Heritage line so can legitimately be run alongside diesel locos and more modern stock
The Power of the Diesel
Diesel locomotion is an emotive subject some people love them others say that they lack character but it goes without saying that they were an important part of the history of the railways.
In model form the engines are available in just about every class you can dream of from shunters that were used to move wagons around in the docks and locomotion sheds right up to the mighty Deltics that were the power houses that kept freight moving up and down the country 24 hour a day seven days a week.
Which ones you choose to add to your layout is entirely down to you naturally, although it is worth remembering that just like their forerunners in steam certain models ran more on some regions than on others and certainly Warships and Western class locomotives were more in abundance on the Western region than anywhere else.
Unlike other forms of locomotives the diesels evolved at a faster pace than ever before as engineers attempted to squeeze more power, more reliability with less maintenance from their designs.
In model form it can be noted that today’s manufacturing techniques have made significant improvements also, improved power pickups and traction mean that even a lowly class 08 shunter will run slowly, controllably and with less effort than ever before.
As with most scale locos, most manufactures cater for the Digital Command Control enthusiast out of the box with nearly all of the larger scale locos coming with a DCC socket located under the bonnet. What’s more the sound lovers will find a much improved availability of sound images available even compare to just five years ago.
Diesel detailing is to a very high standard these days as manufactures realise that their customers want better accuracy from their models. It is not un-common to see full detailing packs supplied with each model despite them already being highly finished in this area.
When it comes to liveries the range available is quite good from early days Maroons and Greens through the early British Railways days and into the modern pre full electrification era Blues there is bound to be something for every modeller to choose from.
If you intend to use gradients – and we do some amazing systems to help you with that area - then considering the use of diesels over other traction is a good idea as these engines have good pulling power due to the advantages offered by the body shape which allows more weights to be added by the manufacturer thus improving performance.
Most locos come with flush glazing, metal laser etched fan grills and working directional lighting all of which adds the enjoyment in running these machines around any layout.
An added bonus with a single diesel is that it could have well been seen pulling freight up the main lines of the country as well as heading the 8:30 to Paddington with a rack of coaches.
The popular classes for mixed traffic working are the Class 47 which has stunning lines and is often rereleased yearly in different liveries. The Class 37 likewise has proved very popular with modellers again mainly due to vast number of available liveries.
Gradually more and more classes are being offered in both pristine and weathered liveries and whilst it is true that many like clean stock the weathered following is growing year in year out.
Whatever your decision, we are sure you will be delighted with your purchase and choice.