PASSENGER SERVICES

 
For the time being, passenger services on the Little Bazeley branch are still restricted to being a feature of the extended layout concept, but the module with Little Bazeley station - the terminus of the line for passenger trains - is currently in the preliminary planning stage. What follows is thus a look ahead to what should one day materialize.  
 

 
Southern Region Electric Multiple Units (EMU) are the obvious choice for the geographical location the layout is set in. This also means that this part of the layout will feature the third rail of the "Southern Electric" which carries the "juice" (components for which are available from Peco). Up until very recently, 4mm scale (00) EMU models in ready-to-run form were virtually non-existent, and it is only since late 2009 (when Bachmann UK introduced its first Southern EMU model, the 4CEP / Cl 411) that this part of the r-t-r market has been opened up.

Previously, modellers had been limited to using one of three models produced in the 1960s/1970s or to resort to kit-building. The most commonly available of the 1960s models was (and still is) the Tri-ang generic EMU (in either 2, 3 or 4 car formation, produced between 1957 and 1964) which somewhat resembles a SUB (suburban) unit.

 

 

  As such it would have been a fairly ideal choice for a mid-1960s layout portraying an out-of-the-way branch, as this would have been served by ageing stock running out its last miles. However, while actually looking quite good, the running qualities of these models are somewhat erratic, and the coarse wheel flanges can almost hardly be used as-is. The other two early models, Wrenn's Brighton Belle (produced 1976-1992) and the Hornby-Dublo EMU "2EPB" (produced 1962-1965), have always been tough to locate and/or commanded collector's prices, making them de facto useless for the average modeller.

Kits have existed for a long time (such as the 2EPB in 1970s/80s blue and gray livery built from a Southern Pride kit, shown here) and remained the only option until the ready-to-run market gradually turned to Southern Electric models - even though Hornby's pioneering launch of the Cl 466 Networker model in 1997 only served as an intermezzo and failed to trigger any further items as this model received mixed reception from the market (basically because it was underpowered).

 
Announced in mid-2006 and finally launched in late 2009, Bachmann UK's aforementioned 4CEP (Cl 411) was followed by an EMU far more suitable for services on a line such as the Little Bazeley branch: announced in 2009 and launched in various liveries in 2011, the 2EPB (Cl 416) exactly what passengers travelling to and from Little Bazeley would be most likely to see apart from the aforementioned older stock on its "last leg".

Bachmann has since added the motor luggage van MLV (mid-2012) to its range, while Hornby offer a 4VEP (2011), a two-car but expandable "Brighton Belle" (2012), a 2BIL (2013) and a 2HAL (2014).

 

EMU STOCK SERVING LITTLE BAZELEY

 
  2EPB #5770 (BACHMANN UK)
OVERALL GREEN BRITISH RAILWAYS LIVERY
(WEATHERED BY TMC)

A so-called second generation multiple unit, this is the most modern stock to appear on services to Little Bazeley

 
  2BIL #2090 (HORNBY)
OVERALL GREEN BRITISH RAILWAYS LIVERY
(WEATHERED BY TMC)

A first generation multiple unit, the 2-BILs were frequently used all over Sussex in the 1960s, quite often in multiple with 2HALs

 
  2HAL #2630 (HORNBY)
GREEN BRITISH RAILWAYS LIVERY WITH YELLOW WARNING PANEL
(WEATHERED BY TMC)

A first generation multiple unit, the 2-HALs were frequently used all over Sussex in the 1960s, quite often in multiple with 2BILs

 
  MLV #68006 (BACHMANN UK)
GREEN BRITISH RAILWAYS LIVERY WITH YELLOW WARNING PANEL
(WEATHERED BY TMC)

An oddity for the Little Bazeley branch and stemming from pure modeller's license, the motor luggage van is used on parcels and special services

 
  2EPB #5764 (BACHMANN UK)
BRITISH RAIL BLUE WITH FULL YELLOW ENDS

A number of EPBs had been repainted in the new British Rail corporate blue by 1969 and possibly also earlier, so this unit is supposed to be the first sign of the new BR era to appear at Little Bazeley - fresh from the paintshop at Selhurst and therefore in pristine condition

 
These EMUs (with the exception of the MLV) are perfect for depicting passenger services to Little Bazeley in the mid- to late 1960s and are ready to form the backbone of the EMU service to Little Bazeley.
 

Hornby's 2BIL 2090 (above) and 2HAL 2630 (below), both in expertly weathered condition from themodelcentre.co.uk

 
 

 
 

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Page created: 07/JUN/2004
Last revised: 22/OCT/2015