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Heljan Metropilitan BoBo

5760 Views 27 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  petmar
Ordered a Heljan Metropolitan (Vickers?) BoBo on Saturday from Hattons at £74 - looks like a 'bargain.' Has anybody else got one of these?

My excuse for buying (other than I like the looks - not pretty, but a nice example of the era, and the price) is that I can put my GWR clerestories behind it with some sort of justification in that I believe they were used to pull GWR trains from Paddington to 'the city.'
The one I've ordered appears to have Aylesbury / Liverpool St. on the 'blinds' - not exactly appropriate but with my eyesight being what it is that probably won't matter - but does anybody know what it should have - Paddington and where?
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The Metro's terminus for 'The City' approaching from the West most likely was Liverpool Street, so I'd suggest that's your 'where'. (My guess, know nothing about this service!)

If it runs as sweetly as all my Heljan BoBo loco purchases to date this aspect should please.
QUOTE (SRman @ 7 Aug 2018, 05:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The old Metropolitan/GWR tie-up used steam locomotives through Paddington, before EMUs became the norm. The Bo-Bo's, as modelled by Heljan, dated from 1920/21, and were
used almost exclusively between Baker Street and Rickmansworth, where they were removed from their trains and steam locomotives took the train onwards to Amersham or even
Aylesbury in early days. After electrification to Amersham in 1960, the A60 stock took over services all the way from Baker Street to Amersham and Chesham, and the Bo-Bo's were
retired, with a couple being preserved. The LT lines onwards to Aylesbury were transferred out of LT hands somewhat earlier than this...
Aha. So the implication of this is that the electric loco showing destinations of Liverpool St. and Aylesbury is actually an indicator of where the passenger stock behind was bound for;
and not that the loco was going there?

QUOTE (Julian2011 @ 7 Aug 2018, 09:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... I'm a bit confused about how the Graham Farish coaches are involved, I must be missing some information somewhere.
I'll go for another guess here. There is no RTR Metropolitan teak coach stock, so some old Graham Farish compartment stock models* have been painted up to look suitable.
I am getting on my hobbyhorse now. There is a good picture in 'The Big Four in Colour 1935 - 1950' showing part of a coach side of a Metropolitan vehicle at Aylesbury showing just
what a thing of beauty this effectively pre-grouping livery scheme was. All varnished wood, highlighted with ivory cartouches in one of which is 'METROPOLITAN'. Gorgeous.

(*For many years the only thing in OO RTR that approximated an all compartment non-gangwayed coach was the Graham Farish product, a generic item possibly loosely based on the
LMS period three vehicles, or the similar BR coaches that followed in the 1950s. These did duty on many a layout until - hopefully - something better could be constructed or even -you
never know! - purchased RTR. We now have a few each of LMS, LNER, SR and BR appropriate types to an OK or better standard as RTR. But no RTR Metropolitan coaches.)
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Get a good look at them ahead of purchase. Some of the mouldings bend badly and won't straighten, very brittle. (We are looking at 40 years old and up.)

This product was well designed down to a price, the seating moulding is the underside on which the bogies are mounted.

I would suggest also considering the early Bachmann BR mk1 non-gangwayed. No more or less accurate than the GF's for the purpose you intend, and can sometimes be found
unboxed for very little money. The bogies and wheelsets are fit to use, whereas the GF will inevitably have to be replaced in my experience, so figure that into a price comparison.

Running gear was GF's great weakness in what OO rolling stock of their's that I saw. Very weak plastic wheels and typically inside bearings for 'no roll' performance. Triang Hornby -
yes even T-H - had them beat for rollability at the time, and Mainline and Airfix GMR left them for dead in this respect.
I have just picked this forum up ...
Just seen your post, welcome aboard. Any more operational gems from your time on the railway are going to be welcome.
I was very tempted by the Heljan Metropolitan electric loco, because I could easily rewrite history to a 'what if' scenario to make the KX - Moorgate section over the 'Metropolitan widened lines' of the inner suburban service on the ECML a much simpler operation. Why not work it using electric traction? There's a proven design for the job available, and the electrified section would probably extend North of KX to Finsbury Park for exchange to steam traction; where there is space to provide a flyunder or over to enable the locos to move between the up and down lines without interference to the main line traffic.

The additional attraction of such a scheme is that Gresely's team outlined a very handsome 2-6-4T suburban tank for the GNR using the layout of the successful K3 2-6-0; never constructed because the Metropolitan wouldn't accept it, and the 'quart in a pint pot' N2 had to suffice to operate these services for the following forty years. I may yet get around to the never-wazza Gresley 2-6-4T, a Bachmann K3 and split chassis A4 bogie, Airfix GMR N2 body and some plasticard are all ready and waiting in my project fodder bin.
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... I had a number of rides on the front of a BO-BO and they were a health and Safety nightmare especially for your hearing as they were very noisy and how the Drivers ( some for many years) put up with it over an 8 hours shift i will never know...
I can believe it. Early in my career I was exposed to some industrial plant of similar 1920s design date, and noise, vibration and harshness amelioration were clearly not priorities for the designer! Then again chaps were being sent out on open steam loco footplates for a full shift, and the mechanism could be very worn and rough riding as a result, and that persisted until 1968. I have read some footplate crew accounts of how amazing they found the new diesels in terms of their personal comfort...
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