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They were equally at home on fast goods, pick-up goods or passenger work either alone, or on heavy trains, double heading with another steam locomotive or an early diesel electric.
With over 30 different models and variations built, the Australian marketplace had never seen such choice and quality before. After the most successful period of Australian brass modelling produced, it was time for a change of direction and to reinvigorate the Ready To Run Brass Model Railways. Completing the triumvirate of geared locos, Accucraft (US) have released news of the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated live steam Heilser.
In 1897, Heisler received a patent on a three-truck locomotive, a tender riding on the third truck. The Accucraft model faithfully captures the character of these unique machines and is beautifully assembled in brass, copper and stainless steel to the firm’s usual high standards. Last month we brought news of our new locomotive releases for 2014 and although we intend to introduce some new items of rolling stock later in the year we are concentrating on re-running some frequently asked for items from the 1:19 scale range.
We are aiming to produce another run of these much sought after wagons during 2014 and, as before, will be packing the bolsters as pairs. Last November we told you that Accucraft (US) had announced the production of streamlined passenger cars in 1:32 scale and 45mm gauge and we can now bring you further images of one of the engineering samples, this time carrying Southern Pacific ‘Lark’ grey livery. In order to facilitate the easier fitting of twin-channel radio control, we have decided to modify the ‘Ragleth’ design with larger tanks.
Unavoidably we have had to increase some of our prices and these will take effect from January 1st.
The first in an Isle of Man connoisseurs range, TrackShack has commissioned Accucraft UK to produce the iconic Isle of Man 2 plank ‘M’ wagon. Whilst the coupling height of the wagon will naturally be IOM height there is an adaptor plate in the box for anyone who wants to set the couplings to the lower 16mm height. Designed by Henry Bowen and introduced in 1937, the semi-streamlined Hudson was selected to haul the 1939 Royal Train that carried King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their journey across Canada. So impressive was 2850’s performance on the 3224 mile trip that Canadian Pacific applied to Buckingham Palace for permission to officially designate the class as Royal Hudsons, a request that was granted. Although designed as express passenger engines and capable of over 90mph, the Royal Hudsons were also used extensively on freight duties, but it was on the prestigious passenger trains such as the daily Dominion that they made a name for themselves with 1250 mile runs between Calgary and Ft. The Royal Hudsons ran in service right up to the withdrawal of steam by Canadian Pacific in the summer of 1960 when most of the class were scrapped. Accucraft (US) has announced the production of streamlined passenger cars in 1:32 scale and 45mm gauge.
This year sees at least 85 working model railway layouts on show with exhibitors from the UK, and Europe.
There is a ‘narrow gauge’ theme this year with 2 visiting locos from the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway (Baldwin locomotive number 778 and a Motor Rail ‘Simplex’ locomotive) together with an engine from the Corris Railway. Accucraft, the UK’s leading producer of small-scale live-steam engines, and The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, builder and operator of Britain’s newest main line steam locomotive, are delighted to announce the production of a live steam, Gauge 1, model of Tornado. Accucraft’s model faithfully captures the elegance and power of the Peppercorn class A1 design and features all the unique details carried by Tornado. We are pleased to bring you an image of the first sample of our Welshpool & Llanfair brake van in its new bauxite brown livery.
We are pleased to say that Accucraft (US) have fresh stocks of the delightful little Forney 2-4-4T and these can be supplied by our UK retailers for ?739.00. Argyle Loco works have released an image of the engineering sample of the new Accucraft Victorian Railways NA Class 2-6-2T. The Victorian Railways ‘NA’ class 2-6-2 tank locomotives were built to serve the four narrow gauge 2? 6? (762 mm) gauge branch lines in that state. These models are all as currently preserved on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway and the full specifications can be seen here or you can download the superb NA Product Booklet to see a full history and model details. As ever, we will be attending the Llanfair Garden Railway Show over the last weekend in August.
Ian and Sandy Pearse of Accucraft UK Ltd, with Graham Langer (centre), on his recent appointment as General Manager of Accucraft UK Ltd. Ian and Sandy intend to take a step back from the day to day management of Accucraft UK Ltd and wish Graham all the success in his new role.
Graham has a wealth of experience in the field of garden railways, right back to the days writing for ‘The Pot Boiler’ magazine, which pre-dated ‘16mm Today’ magazine. We have been greatly disappointed to discover that some of our customers have experienced difficulties steaming the new Quarry Hunslet. We would also like apologise for the less than perfect packing which resulted in cosmetic damage to some locos in transit. As ever, Accucraft (UK) stands 100% behind its no quibble guarantee and first recourse in the event of problems should always be to contact us by ‘phone or email before attempting repairs yourself.
Ever since we announced that we intended to make a range of Gauge 1 locomotives we have frequently been asked about rolling stock to go with them. We will be offering the wagon in the liveries of the ‘Big Four’ and in BR grey and Bauxite and will be encouraging our dealers to commission private owners in liveries pertinent to their location or personal whim!
Introducing an Isle of Man connoisseurs’ range, TrackShack has commissioned Accucraft (UK) to produce the iconic Isle of Man 2 plank ‘M’ wagon.
John Lythgoe has been a professional modelmaker since 1973, and a designer of precision photo-chemically etched components for railway modellers since 1995. Gauge 1 modellers will be delighted to discover that he has recently introduced a range of nickel silver smokebox door plates for our little B4 as well as being able to supply the appropriate shed codes. LightLine offers a comprehensive service for lining and finishing 16mm or G scale locomotives.
Anything Narrow Gauge and Garden Railway Specialists have announced a joint venture in conjunction with Accucraft (UK). We will be running another batch of these iconic little locos this winter for delivery early next year.
Beyer Peacock built two 0-6-0T locos for the newly constructed Welshpool & Llanfair Railway in 1903. We will be attending the G1MRA Gauge 1 event at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on the 15th and 16th June. Due into the UK in July is the long awaited delivery of RGS Goose #4 – there is only a limited number of these attractive railcars available and, given how long the gestation period for this one was, we do not anticipate seeing another batch for quite a while!
These O gauge model trains, collected by Bruce Macdonald, were made by more than 30 different manufacturers from across Australia and New Zealand between the 1930s and the 1960s. Learn more about some of the model trains and scenery on show at the National Museum, with information on each manufacturer, from Bruce Macdonald’s 2005 book Spring, Spark and Steam: An Illustrated Guide to Australian Toy and Model Trains. Victorian Railways petrol tanker and open wagon made with tinplate and cast metals, by Kenneth Lowry, Hawthorn East, in the 1940s.
Kenneth Lowry established a small business at his home in the suburbs of Melbourne in 1938.
New South Wales Railways four-wheel open wagon made of wood, with turned brass wheels, by William Christie, Sydney, about 1938.
William Christie began constructing and displaying O gauge items at his Rose Bay home from 1936, moving the sale of model railway material to his umbrella shop in Bathurst Street, Sydney, in 1938. Solid metal road bridge with side ramps made by FW Strong and associates of Melbourne, in 1949. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1910, Frederick W Strauss established his business as a toolmaker and die caster manufacturing handbag fittings and toys under the name FW Strong in Melbourne from 1946. Box cover for solid metal road bridge with side ramps, made by FW Strong and associates of Melbourne, in 1949.

Following the Second World War, local manufacturers responded to shortages in imported products by creating quality toy and model trains for a growing market. Australian manufacturers, including Ferris, O Gauge House, Maurlyn and Robilt, produced trains modelled primarily on New South Wales and Victorian rolling stock.
Bruce Macdonald received his first train set at the age of five, the start of a lifetime love of trains. A member of the Australian Railway Historical Society since 1943, Macdonald is one of Australia’s foremost authorities on industrial railways and steam power in both full-size and miniature forms. In 1901, Frank Hornby applied for and received a patent for his Meccano construction toy idea. Manufacturing was moved to Guangdong province in China in 1995 to cut costs and improve quality because of competition from Dapol, Lima and Bachmann Industries. Bachmann Brothers was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA it is now owned by a Chinese company called the Kader Group.
In 2001, Graham Farish was absorbed by Bachmann who were originally an American company, are now owned by Kader Industries of Hong Kong, China. In 2007 John Della took up the challenge and now heads up Precision Scale Models and Train Hobby Brass. The Heisler locomotive was the final variant of the three major types of geared steam locomotive, following the Shay and the Climax. The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway was well provisioned with goods rolling stock when it was opened in 1902, all of which was supplied by Pickerings and the majority of which survived the closure of the line. The wagons come with a 45mm insulated wheel set fitted but a 32mm wheel set is provided for use on ‘0’ gauge.
These fine scale cars are constructed with metal bodies, die-cast trucks and metal wheels and as the photos show have fully detailed interiors and a very high standard of finish. It will be available as a live steam loco two livery options, Indian Red (S20-1R) and Holly Green (S20-1G) with a target UK RRP of ?1600.00.
There will be 8 different running numbers, and also a ‘data only’ version for anyone who wants a wagon without the IMR numbering on. It will be possible to use either the Scale IOM couplings or the standard Accucraft couplings at either IOM or 16mm scale height. Subsequently all 45 members of the class carried a cast Royal Crown on their front running board skirts.
Happily four have survived to this day in preservation, including 2860 currently in steam in British Columbia. This new Live Steam version is also cross ported so that valve gear is in prototypical position for forward and reverse. Constructed over a twenty year period, the prototype has written a new chapter in the annals of British steam, becoming the first main line steam locomotive to be built since 1960. The model is gas-fired with slide valves and has all the equipment the Gauge 1 fraternity has come to expect from an Accucraft locomotive. Baldwin Locomotive Works in the United States supplied the first two 2-6-2 tank locomotives in 1898 as well as parts for a further two locos. He is also very much involved with the full size preservation scene, having been associated with the A1 Steam Trust, builders of Tornado, for many years and working as part of that loco’s support crew on the main line.
Having had the matter brought to our attention we have conducted rapid investigations on our engineering sample to try to discover where the problem lies. We will be able to supply replacement parts to those customers who need them and if you have a problem in this area we would be pleased to hear from you.
For our UK customers we will normally arrange to have the loco collected the next working day by our couriers. A rugged and simple design employing standard RCH fittings throughout and originally they had to be built with seven side planks. He started making etched name, number and builders’ plates for garden scale locos in 2005 at the request of modellers who required plates of a standard higher than those readily available at the time. These small but powerful narrow gauge locos were taken over by the Cambrian Railway when it acquired the line and then by the GWR at the grouping.
An American made Pittman motor powers the middle truck with a reliable die cast metal gear box.
The O gauge was a popular choice for hobbyists and a number of manufacturers chose to specialise in that scale.
He began by supplying cast four and six wheel bogie components based on Victorian Railways rolling stock to fellow modellers. Along with his range of New South Wales rolling stock, parts and accessories, Christie also stocked a range of Fleet products and items produced by Frank Fitzgerald.
Working from his home with business partner Rudolph Hersch, Strong produced a range of traffic lights, signs and railway signals for O gauge and HO scale, in die cast metals and plastic.
During the 1950s and 60s, the Australian toy and scale model train industries prospered, creating products for children and serious collectors.
While model trains of the 1930s and 40s were often made of wood or simple tin-plate, by the 1950s and 60s complicated and highly detailed pressed sheet metal trains that ran on electric tracks were being mass-produced.
As an adult, he was involved in the restoration and conservation of historic full-sized steam-powered engines, including items in the Museum’s collection. They span from early steam engines of the Victorian times to the modern high speed intercity express locomotives. He formed the Meccano Ltd company based in Liverpool to produce his soon to be successful new product. They lead to the adoption of 00 gauge as a broadly accepted modeling standard in Britain, whereas much of the rest of the world had adopted HO gauge.
The former Hornby line was discontinued in favour of Tri-ang's less costly plastic designs. Hornby tried to become more profitable by producing licensed train sets to increase its appeal to a younger customer. This manufacturing company has been around since 1833 but it was only in 1966 with the sudden popularity of N scale model railroading in the USA that Bachmann entered the Model railway market. To cut production costs Bachmann immediately closed the Poole facility and moved production to China.
As with the first models and every other prototypical model thereafter, a new level of excellence was set. Whilst John brings nearly twenty years of business and customer service experience, he also brings great enthusiasm and passion to the model railway scene. The Heisler was the fastest of the geared steam locomotive designs, and yet was still claimed by its manufacturer to have the same low speed hauling ability.
The initial order was supplemented in 1903 with six timber bolster wagons which were eventually converted to goods wagons by the G W R. Couplings are chopper type but have a hook fitted if you wish to remove the chopper hook and use 3 link chains. 2850 was chosen and was turned out in a spectacular Royal blue and stainless steel livery to match the 12-coach blue and silver train.
The Royal blue livery on 2850 only lasted for the seven months of the summer of 1939 and after exhibition at the New York World’s Fair it was replaced by the standard passenger livery of maroon panels with grey boiler cladding and cylinder covers, which it has to be said is still a spectacular livery! On the cross-country runs it was common to have several express reefers at the head end between the engine and baggage car. They were originally built by Baldwin as part of an order for thirty standard gauge 2-8-0’s, class 190, in 1902. This large model is extremely powerful , but unlike the prototype is very easy and rewarding to run.

Since making her first moves in 2008, Tornado has hauled the Royal Train three times, appeared on the BBC’s Top Gear programme and run tens of thousands of miles on rail tours and preserved lines. The Victorian Railways Newport workshops assembled the parts to give an additional two locos, and subsequently built a further 13 locomotives. Careful analysis has shown that during the design process we were persuaded to allow for the fitting of DJB automatic drain cocks rather than the smaller, manually operated Accucraft type; this decision meant that the hole for the plug reduced the critical tolerance of the swept volume area in the cylinder and in a small number of cases the piston could over-run the drain and allow the blow-by of steam. Various configurations of side doors, end door and bottom doors were permitted, but the weight of the unladen wagon was not to be above 7 tons 5 cwt. The gauge of a train model is measured between the inside edges of the load-bearing rails, with O gauge generally measuring 32 millimetres, at a scale of 1:43. The company produced a range of products for basic tinplate enthusiasts and serious modellers.
During the 1970s, Macdonald returned to his interest in O gauge toys and models and spent decades collecting examples of the main Australian and New Zealand manufacturers. Hornby is the main company specialising in British model railways but others like Lima Marklin Peco Mainline Roco Graham Fraish and Bachmann are available. He then used his surname Hornby to as a trading name to launch a line of clockwork O gauge trains in 1920. The railway sets based on Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express have been particularly profitable ventures. In 1968 Bachmann launched its N gauge products and in 1970 it entered the HO scale toy train market.
As demand decreased after the end of the war they decided to enter the model railway business. Bachmann improved the model range robustness by redesigning them as they reintroducing the entire range. Heisler received a patent for the design in 1892 following the construction of a prototype in 1891. Heislers were produced mostly in two and three truck variants in sizes ranging from 17 tons to 95 tons.
The solution is simple but requires the precise centering of the piston in the bore, a job we will happily carry out for anyone who cares to return the loco to us. The model features prototypical IMR spoked wheels and scale working IOM couplings and the target RRP is ?59.00. During the 1950s, Slovnic began to produce detailed rolling stock kits with increasing diversity, until age and hearing problems forced him to give up his shop in 1965. About 155 pieces of rolling stock and scenery from the Macdonald collection are on show at the National Museum.
Hornby was slow to realise the potential of plastic unlike some of its competitors who could produce cheaper but still good quality products like Triang-Rovex.
Hornby decided to acquire it’s competitor Lima, an Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouef, a French manufacturer.
They started to sell British OO gauge railway layout track, wagons and other supporting items. Heisler’s design featured two cylinders canted inwards (under the boiler) at a 45-degree angle.
Like Shays and Climaxes they were popular on logging railroads where the track was often temporary and lightly laid requiring an articulated locomotive combining slow speed power with light axle loads. We’d like to apologise for anyone inconvenienced in this way and will do our best to get the locos returned as speedily as possible. The main line railway companies adopted RCH fittings for many of their own designs, and the LMS and LNER adopted the RCH 1923 mineral wagon as their standard. Whatever livery is chosen, the end result will be one you can be proud of and which brings your locomotive to life! The former Tri-ang Hornby was sold to Dunbee-Combex-Marx, becoming Hornby Railways in 1972. Originally the OO railway locomotives were powered by an 2 pole DC electric motor which was an unconventional choice. British made Graham Farish models is sought more by model railway collectors because it is 'older' and 'British'. Power was then transmitted to a longitudinal drive shaft in the centre of the frame that drove the outer axle on each powered truck through bevel gears in an enclosed gear case mounted on the axle between the truck frames. The first Heislers were built by the Dunkirk Engineering Company of New York, at the time producer of their own design of geared locomotive (called the Dunkirk), of which the Heisler could be considered an improvement.
The UK RRP will be ?2895.00 with a release date of 2014 and the model will be available in apple green, BR blue and BR green. It is available in either manual control or radio control live steam or as an electric model. By 1976 Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfix, both of which were producing high quality detailed models.
In 2007 Bachmann purchased the Williams Electric Trains company, which has allowed the company to expand into the O scale market. The company suffered at first from faults with some of its models due to its uses of impure mazac which is an alloy of Magnesium, Aluminum, Zinc and Copper similar to Zamak.
New model railway enthusiast generally prefer the more robust and detailed Chinese-built models. They did not adopt the Heisler design, but in 1894 the Stearns Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pennsylvania started to produce Heislers, and did so until 1904. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adult hobbyists. This acquisition also included the Rivarossi line of HO-scale products, also originally from Italy, and the Arnold brand of N-scale products.
Because of dwindling interest in model railroading, the Brothers decided, in 1981, to sell to their manufacturer, the Chinese Kader Group.
The way to tell these two types apart is that UK built models have a yellow sticker on the ends of the box and models built in China have a white sticker on the end.
Reorganised as the Heisler Locomotive Works in 1907, it produced locomotives of the Heisler design until 1941.
The retail profit from sales of this superb model will go to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust to complete the financing of Tornado herself.
By 1980 the market was extremely tough and Dunbee-Combex-Marx was liquidated, placing Hornby in receivership. In November 2006, Hornby Hobbies acquired Airfix and Humbrol paints for the sum of ?2.6 million.
The company name was changed to Bachmann Industries and the new owners started to expand the brand worldwide. In 1980 Hornby became Hornby Hobbies and in 1981 a management buyout saw the company back on a sound footing.
It is also part of the strategy to take over other failing companies in Europe and put them under one single name for example the British model railway company Graham Farish.
In May 2008, Hornby announced the acquisition of Corgi Classics Limited, one of the world's oldest makers of collectable die-cast models of trucks, buses, cars and airplanes.

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