Hayling Island favourite

Hornby continues to release models of its brand new OO-gauge ‘Terrier’ model, this time we review Southern Railway A1X 0-6-0T No. 2662.

One of eight brand new models of the Stroudley ‘Terrier’ A1X Class locomotive being produced by Hornby this year is that of SR No. 2662, finished in Southern Railway green with white lining and yellow numbers.

This particular locomotive was a regular on the short Hayling Island branch which diverged from the Portsmouth Direct Line at Havant, being one of many ‘Terriers’ to dominate the line from around 1890 until its closure by British Railways in 1963.

This side view of Southern Railway No. 2662 shows its fine lining and high level of detailing.

The continued use of such elderly steam locomotives was dictated by the bridge which carried the line on to the island. Langstone Harbour swing bridge was constructed of timber, and its relative frailty, combined with some sharp curves, made the lightweight, short-wheelbase ‘Terriers’ the perfect traction.

The cost of major repairs to the bridge and the replacement of ageing rolling stock determined the line’s demise, not to mention the withdrawal of the remaining ‘Terrier’ locomotives operated by BR.
Southern Railway No. 2662, originally No. 662 Martello, was allocated to Fratton by the Southern Railway to work on the Hayling Island branch. It survived to see service with BR on the line alongside Nos. 2640, 2644, 2655, 2659, 2661 and 2670 (the number 3 was added to the number by BR, so No. 2662 became No. 32662). It was withdrawn from service in 1963 when the line was closed and saved for preservation alongside a number of other Hayling Island branch ‘Terriers’.

The model

Finished with a large number of fine components, Hornby’s new ‘Terrier’ locomotive is highly detailed. The body is made up of several sub-assemblies which, with a number of different mouldings for key components, allows many of the differences in the class to be modelled.

A die-cast running plate provides weight, and the water tanks, boiler, smokebox and cab assembly are neatly assembled to it. Detail is crisp with subtle representation of rivet heads, smokebox wrapper and cab roof, which is delicately and accurately shaped.

The three-pole motor and drive gear is fitted to the chassis forward of the cab, which allows it to be fully detailed with an impression of a planked floor, driving controls and a detailed backhead. Flush glazing is applied to the round spectacle plates to the front and rear of the cab, and separate parts are used to represent the reversing lever, brake and regulator.

Livery details are refined, with the Southern Railway green applied smoothly and without blemish to the main body structure, wheels and small fittings. Lining is neat, level and of a consistent width, even along awkward body fittings, the cab and the front of the water tanks. Lettering and numbers are also of the correct shade with dense colours and little sign of any fuzziness, even on the small numerals applied to the buffer beams.

There are some compromises in detail even though Hornby has produced a wide number of different versions of major sub-assemblies to cover as many locomotive-specific details as possible.

The rear face of the cab is a solid sheet which is a later modification and not modelled with rivets and seams. The external water tank cladding does not wrap on to the top of the tanks with a cut-out for the water tank fillers. Nonetheless, the model is nicely finished with an eggshell sheen to the paintwork, small parts neatly picked out with metallic paints and the same done to the cab controls and backhead details.

It is an attractive model that will have wide appeal for many modellers and is very well priced compared to similar sized ‘OO’ gauge tank locomotives developed recently.

Anyone up for a Hayling Island branch layout? The small size of the locomotives, short trains and simple track formations of the line make it the perfect subject for a compact project or even a long narrow shelf layout that would provide some running length, say where the line ran along the harbour side of the island.

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