A large factor on ‘where to model’ has to come down to the motive power and stock. The Gresley Pacifics were always going to be a must, working the Top Link Expresses, followed closely by the North Eastern designed locomotives. If I’m to model 1938, it would allow for locomotives which had disappeared by the time of BR (or were literally on their last legs.)
After the LNER designs (A4, A3, A1, D49, K3), you quickly come into the NE motive power scene. Working expresses and stoppers would have been the North Eastern Atlantics alongside the D49s. Unlike the GCR and some of the GNR Atlantics, the NE 4-4-2s retained their Apple Green Liveries after 1928. Both NE Atlantics could be seen on this stretch of ECML, the C6 (Worsdell) and C7 (Raven) which were sill the backbone of many passenger workings in the NEA (North Eastern Area).
The smaller passenger services would be in the hands of the ex NER D20s. York had an allocation, as well as Starbeck and Stockton, so they would be seen on numerous trains. I have photo evidence of the large rebuilt Raven tanks, the A8s being used on some services too.
We now move onto the mixed traffic locomotives. The B16s, that very successful three cylinder design were the mainstay in the North East (as well as the K3 moguls). The B16s could be seen on anything from fast freights, through to Class B Goods. In 1938 the earlier Worsdell, B15s were still in use and could be seen working north of York. I have a photograph of a Neville Hill B15 working into York from the North on a MoD train….that would be a nice train to model.
The NE J classes would certainly be apparent, with the Class B and C freights in the hands of J24, J26, J27 working between Teesside and York. I did read somewhere that the J Classes could handle an number of the freights on this section of ECML due to the level gradients with the J39s (with 3500 gallon tenders) working alongside them. This leads on to the larger freights engines, Q5 and Q6. These engines would have been utilised on a number of Class B Goods but mostly on the mineral trains (iron ore and coal) working between the foundries of Teesside and the south (coming off the train at York).
As can be seen, locomotive wise we have plenty of interesting examples to be seen on an average spotting day. We now move on to have a look at Rolling Stock.
1938 is an interesting year, as the LNER NEA had just received a large number of Gresley Vestibuled stock, to replace some of the older NE types, so the Gresley teaks would be quite common on the Express workings along with older types. The non vestibuled stock would be far more of NE in origin. The NEA didn’t receive very much of the LNER standard coaching stock, as it had been well provided for by the NER prior to the Grouping. For example, the NEA was never allocated any Composite Lavatories.
It is apparent that kits will be required to produce a number of the stopping services. The key is being able to find kits for said designs, as John Fozard sadly passed away a year or so ago, and D&S only trade in limited batches.
I hope that gives an insight into what will be required to represent this section of ECML in the late 1930’s.
Special thanks to David Scott and Jonathan Wealleans for there help and advice regarding coaching stock.