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763 Posts
Right, deep breath.


Bachmann do a very nice Voyager in OO - its a recent model , runs very nicely and is not too expensive - a 4 car set will cost you about £80-90 to assemble

Hornby are promising us a OO Pendolino in a few months time : not a "high spec" model , but they have stated it will have a powerful enough mechanism to shift a scale length train and it will be DCC Fitted. First photos suggest somethign a great deal better than Dapol's rather poor effort of a few years back
And sufficient coaches will be available to run a scale 9 car formation.

But if space is tight , you probably can't manage 9 cars


Hornby are releasing the ex Lima power cars this year. Their current Mk3s were tooled up a few years ago and are scale length . They have also now released the missing TGS - ex Lima model

Back up power are the Meridian units - Voyager derivatives, but sufficiently different for Bachmann to say they won't do them. Nobody as far as I know has yet been brave and bold enough to try hacking a Bachmann Voyager into a Meridian. MML transfers are NOT available

Before the Meridians, the semi fasts were cl 170 Turbostars - and Bachmann have done their Turbostar in the old MML green. The Bachmann Turbostar is a very nice recent model , runs well , but requires hardwired DCC

As noted the key items of stock are available. Bachmann do Turbostars in the old Anglia livery , and I think in One colours

Now for the first hidden issue - suburban EMUs

WCML: Bratchell Kits do the 321. Its a fairly simple kit as kits go , and accurate . Its also expensive, and painting it in Silverlink livery is the most difficult part of the whole job , by a country mile. Nobody does a Desiro, or a 313 - even as a kit, and don't hold your breath unless you're into suffocation


Nobody does a 319 . Nobody is likely to do a 319 in the near future. That rules out everything south of Bedford


A 365 Networker might be butchered out of a generous supply of Hornby 466 3 rail Networkers. Bratchill kits have just announced their intention to offer a 317 , subject to sufficient interest. There's no 313. Don't hold your breath. Plenty of units are in WAGN purple livery which should be possible to paint


317s work the Cambridge line, and as noted Mr Bratchill threatens us with a kit - most of these are in WAGN purple, or at least the refurb white and black, some in new One colours. On the GE main line, 321s are the backbone of outer suburban services but FGE livery is even worse to do than Silverlink. Bratchill's painters even refused to do it at first , but they will now supply a ready built Bratchill 321 in FGE for well over £200
Only 321 446 currently carries One livery - but the 4 cl 322 units did return for a few months at the start of the franchise , and the white and yellow livery might be attempted by ordinary mortals . One livery is one of the less impossible liveries to paint if you are good with an air brush.

There's no 315 (see 313) This rules out modelling anywhere south of Shenfield. No Desiros and no 312s (which they replaced.) Don't hold your breath

The line sees extensive container traffic from Felixstowe, mainly Freightliner (86, 90, 66) with some GBRailfreight. (66) The only 60' flat is the extremely elderly and basic Hornby model. Bachmann do a good pocket wagon for 40'HC/45' boxes . Genesis do a whitemetal kit


Bachmann have just released the 166 Thames Turbo. But the Cl 180 Adelante (back up InterCity) isn't available, in any form and quite possibly never will be in either of our lifetimes

General considerations:

Most of these vehicles (except 321s) are very long, 23m affairs. They will struggle to get round 2nd radius curves, and I'll bet money they won't go throuh a crossover of Setrack points , which are horribly coarse anyway. Stick to Peco Streamline points and I'd suggest code 75 at that

Most of these lines are 25kV electric . Nobody makes ready made catenery. You are either into bodging something out of Sommerfelt bits, or scrtchbuilding.

If you can't face this , its MML north of Bedford or GWML

However I do feel the electrified GE is now crying out to be modelled, nearly all the stock can be done especially for the main line. It is probably the most compact - you could just about get away with loco + 7 + DVT - too short but not ridiculous - and 2 x 4 car EMU formations

763 Posts
I'm dabbling with a small terminus project somewhere else which will use a lot of Central DMUs . It is one possible option if space is too tight for main line running.

Just a thought but the Virgin Cross Country network does overlap most of the main lines mentioned.

Thus Voyagers run on the GW main line west of Taunton , and between Westerleigh Jnc/Bristol Temple Meads (and Bristol /Taunton which they have to themselves)

The share the Midland main line from Derby to Sheffield, the ECML from Wakefield to Leeds, and Doncaster/York to Edinburgh/Dundee and the WCML from Birmingham northwards

Central also overlap a lot (though the franchise is being relet on a new basis) as they operate the Liverpool/Sheffield/Nottingham/Peterborough/Norwich corridor and B'ham/Stansted - 158s and 170s being the main stock used on this. I think they also operate the "relief" Nottingham /Cardiff service introduced to reduce overcrowding on Virgin Cross Country - think this is also 158s and 170s

A Voyager and a Central or MML Turbostar might be good purchases - relatively short, excellent models , and could fit into quite a wide range of scenarios when you have space for something more main line
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