by Phil Marsh

Full size rail at major model exhibition

Published: 29th October 2013

12in to 1ft exhibits at NEC Warley show

The November 23-24 Warley model railway exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham is about as big as it gets on the small scale side of the railway hobby. While models, layouts and small scale techniques are to the fore, the show also holds more than a little interest when it comes to full size rail exhibits for inspiration.

The best news is, it could not be easier to access by rail being right next to Birmingham International railway station – you can walk from station to exhibition hall without stepping outside! The entrance is direct from the concourse at that station signed LG Arena.

This year The Greensand Railway Museum Trust’s Baldwin 4-6-0T WDLR No. 778 (BLW 44656/1917) and the NRM’s 40hp petrol ‘protected’ Simplex WDLR No. 3098 (MR 1377/1918) – both based at the 2ft gauge Leighton Buzzard Railway – will appear. Both represent types of locomotive which worked on battlefield supply lines during the First World War.

Also, the frames of the new Kerr Stuart ‘Tattoo’ class 0-4-2ST No. 7 being built for the 2ft 3in gauge Corris Railway and the line’s new carriage No. 22 will be present.

Patriot and War memorial projects

In addition, the LMS-Patriot Project intends to show its new-build ‘Patriot’ No. 45551 The Unknown Warrior as a rolling chassis. The driving wheelsets for the ‘Patriot’ were assembled at the South Devon Railway’s Buckfastleigh, then taken to Tyseley for turning and balancing. The wheels and axleboxes (which are being machined at Tyseley) are then going to Llangollen to be put under the loco’s frames to produce a rolling ‘Patriot’ chassis.

With the chassis now well advanced, the LMS-Patriot Project

has launched a scheme aimed at raising over £400,000 to finance construction of the boiler. Loans, to be repaid with a fixed 2.5% compound interest rate after 15 years, are being sought. Interest on loans will start to be repaid from 2020, by which time The Unknown Warrior should be a revenue earning engine.

The new boiler will be assembled at LNWR Heritage in Crewe, the objective being to commence building the firebox during 2014 and complete the boiler in 2017. The aim is for The Unknown Warrior to participate in 2018 events commemorating the 100th anniversary of signing the Armistice which brought about the end of the Great War.

To register for the Boiler Loan Scheme document email:, call 01785 244156 or write to: The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd., PO Box 3118, Hixon, Stafford, ST16 9JL.

Further information is available at

The LNWR named their locomotive No. 1914 Patriot in 1920 in recognition of those that gave their lives in World War 1.Wolverton Works is raising money for a War Memorial for the same reason and this will be erected next year at The Works.

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