|Misbourne Valley Railway||
A pair of generic Austrian-style 4-wheelers to LGB's well-known design, given to the MVR as part of our original LGB starter set at Christmas 1999. Originally, A1 was supplied in blue-and-cream livery while A2 was red-and-cream. In 2012, A1 was repainted into the MVR's new standard cherry red livery; A2 was turned out in the same colours in 2014.
B1 is very much my favourite coach, but she has caused her share of problems over the years! She is based on the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway's coaches; the prototypes are actually standard gauge, but are so small that the body does not look out of proportion with the MVR's other stock.
She was built from a GRS kit purchased at the 2004 Stoneleigh show. Unfortunately, the whitemetal balcony railings were poorly designed, so I was never able to fit them successfully. She made her debut at the Vale of Aylesbury Model Engineering Society in August that year, finished in a temporary all-over blue livery. In May 2005 she was outshopped in two-tone blue.
Over the winter of 2010-11, she was brought into the works for repairs to her chassis. At the same time, the opportunity was taken to repaint her into cherry red, which I had decided to adopt as the MVR's new standard livery. I also fitted a new set of laser-cut wooden balcony railings kindly made for us by the Deben Valley Light Railway, finally giving her a truly prototypical appearance.
In 2008, I was given a much-modified Bachmann bogie coach by the gentleman who sold me Lyn. The body had been heavily cut down in an attempt to turn it into a 10mm scale standard-gauge vehicle. I decided to use this coach as the basis of a new, short-wheelbase bogie coach; my aim was not to create a finely-detailed show-piece, but a relatively robust vehicle that would be more suited to regular use than B1.
Ultimately, only the bogies and some parts of the frames and roof were salvaged from the original Bachmann coach. The couplings came from Brandbright, the balcony steps and railings from GRS; everything else was scratchbuilt from wood and plastic. Construction of the roof caused a number of difficulties, so it was not until 2012 that B2 was finally ready to enter traffic.
32mm Gauge Stock
The LTR Brake Coach
In recent years, a growing "heritage" movement has emerged within the 16mm Association, celebrating the early days of the scale in the 1970s and '80s. Models from this era interest me greatly but the acquisition of a suitable live steam loco is out of the question at present. However, in 2012 I took the opportunity to purchase this vehicle, which I had seen advertised for sale on the Garden Railway Forum; I was struck by its solid, simple appearance, instantly recognisable as a product of the early days of 16mm scale modelling.
Little is known of the vehicle's history, but it has travelled widely. I acquired it from a seller in the East Midlands, who tells me that he found it in a model shop in Scotland, where it arrived as part of a job lot. It was apparently built in the 1980s, but we do not know when or by whom. If anyone can supply any more information I would love to hear from them.
This coach cannot run on the MVR because it is 32mm gauge; therefore, it has not been allocated an MVR running number. It is used as a "support coach" to accompany our regaugeable locos (Russell and Blackbird) on visits to 32mm gauge lines.
The "Fairtrade" Ventilated Van
Another vehicle of uncertain origin, this van appears to be inspired by British Railways' standard-gauge ventilated vans. It caught my eye on a sales stand at the Llechfan Garden Railway in 2015. Despite its lightweight wood-and-card construction, I thought it was a characterful vehicle - and the price was too good to resist! Like the LTR brake coach, it accompanies MVR engines on visits to 32mm gauge lines.
Vehicles on Loan
An LGB 4-wheel open wagon (right) has been on loan to the MVR since July 2008. Two 4-wheel Bachmann tipper wagons were loaned to us by the Woodrow Light Railway from 2004 to 2013.
This pair of freelance bolster wagons have a slightly complex history. W1 was supplied in kit form by the Woodrow Light Railway in 2004, and was completed by December that year. Her sister had a much longer gestation period; this time the frames and floor were built in house at Rutton, but the bolster was again supplied by the WLR. She was completed in 2007, but was damaged shortly afterwards by a serious derailment. Repairs, which ultimately required the provision of a completely new frame, were not completed until 2012.
This scratchbuilt, freelance flat wagon was another gift from our friends at the Woodrow Light Railway. Fitted with IP Engineering couplings and running gear, she entered traffic in 2005 and has run reliably ever since.
U1 was built from an IP Engineering cattle wagon kit. Completed in early 2006, she initially suffered from problems caused by a warped frame. The Woodrow Light Railway helped us to resolve the issue by using hot water and brute force to bend her back into shape!
One of Accucraft's popular Lynton & Barnstaple Railway open wagons, T1 was acquired in 2006. The only modification for MVR use has been the removal of the chopper coupling hooks.
In 2008, the 16mm Association made the enlightened decision to send a free Brandbright open wagon kit to every junior member; at that time I still just qualified! A very straightforward build, she was completed by January 2009.
This Lehmann (LGB) "Toy Train" tank wagon was purchased via eBay in 2013. My intention is to Anglicise her appearance by adding crossbeams and angle straps.
K1 was the MVR's first kitbuilt vehicle. It was acquired for me by my brother in 2004, and entered traffic in time for the "Opening Gala" in May that year. Built from an IPE kit, she was modified fitting multi-height centre-buffer couplings and LGB tension locks. Initially turned out in blue and cream livery, she was repainted plain brown in 2012.
This van was purchased second-hand at the 2009 Stoneleigh show. Sadly, I do not know where or when she was built. Unusually, she is constructed from balsa wood; this is really too light for most garden railway work and has caused some problems during my attempts to modify her for MVR use.
She was originally 32mm gauge, and had no proper couplings, only safety chains. I fitted her with new wheels and axleboxes from IPE and multi-height couplings from Brandbright. Unfortunately, the roof was damaged in an altercation with a neighour's cat in 2011; work to fit a replacement is ongoing. This work will also see her given additional weight to try to make her less prone to derailment.
K3 was built from an IPE Vale of Rheidol brake van kit, given to me at Christmas 2011. She made her debut at the "April Steam-Up" in 2013.