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IRM A Class; Our First Locomotive!

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As a dedicated steam fan I have to be totally honest and say......I'll be getting one.  The specs are mouthwatering and for what is on offer, the price seems very very reasonable.  Hats off to all involved!

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Too good an opportunity to miss even if it might set the CC on fire!

I'm certainly not as much as fan of these as some on here, never really saw them in real life, but knowing how good the quality is going to be based on everything so far it's a no brainer to pick up a couple for misc uses around the layout.

Once again well done to all at IRM!

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21 hours ago, Mayner said:

A number of A Class appear to have been painted in the high band scheme before the all-black with white eyebrow scheme was introduced. There are photos of A6, 15,16,39 in Barry Carse's book. The tan band on A6 (the guinea pig for the scheme_ almost looks shallower than the other locos or possibly an optical illusion.

The low band was originally called the "dipped" scheme in contemporary IRRS Journals may have been introduced like the black to make grime and oil spillage of the flanks of these locos less noticeable. Even the flanks of the  re-engined Metrovicks  tended to get dirty very quickly compared to the pure bred GM locos, I am not sure if the weathering arose as a result of oil leakage similar to the IC125 power cars in the UK or simply grime washed off the roof by the weather.

Possibly a case for a some form of dynamic weathering (smoke unit?) so that the loco becomes increasingly dirty as mileage/time in service build up.

I would agree with you that the tan on A6 seemed a little lower than others.

The high golden brown band seems (at least on the Transplants) to stop just under the grill for the traction motor blower (by then removed) at No. 2 end. I'm not sure if the dipped band was to hide dirt, although it might have helped in that regard. I had thought it was to avoid having to paint the band through the radiator grills and side doors. Oil thrown out the exhaust led in later years to some A's having strips placed above the cab front windows to stop the oil being then smeared by the wipers across the screen, which for some reason didn't help the driver see the line too well.

Regarding CAWS (and radio), that appeared with DART re-signalling and Suburban CTC (complete with ATP for the DART units themselves) and was retro-fitted to Mainline CTC slightly later, and as that expanded, was generally rolled out with the colour lights within a short time period. CAWS guards weren’t fitted originally, and were developed due to the number of CAWS receivers getting bashed by objects on the track, as the receivers were outside the life guards. Many locos didn't receive them before they were withdrawn.

I understand that the IRM team are looking at the variations in anything you can think of including front windows, buffers, fuel gauges, wipers, footsteps etc. etc. as one has come to expect with their attention to detail. I don't envy them the livery discussions.

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The B&T 121, 141, 181 baby GMs only had the small low orange band, so perhaps the 'dipped' (i.e. stepped) B&T livery on the A class was an attempt to mimic that for consistency. Basically those locos were black with white and orange trim suiting the positioning of the walkways.

Edited by Noel

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Have to say a give hats off to the team on the A class. It's going to be a very, very long year for us all waiting to get out mits on the finished product. But I bet the time will fly for team IRM as they get this to market as perfect as possible. I believe Richie is taking 6 months of that time just to perfect the shades of orange and green 🤣.

I always thought the A class would be well down the road. That first we would see a coach of some type (Mk1GSV),  then maybe an E class or C class before the mighty A makes an appearance. As Tony Stark once said, Sometimes you need to run before you can crawl. 👍

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Guys, do you have any pics of an A class with the lined green livery, just to see with and without. To me I thought only the C class got the green lined livery. Cheers.

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7 minutes ago, Railer said:

Guys, do you have any pics of an A class with the lined green livery, just to see with and without. To me I thought only the C class got the green lined livery. Cheers.

There’s a photo of A46 (the loco we’re doing) in Barry Carse’s book on the Metro Vicks. As has been did elsewhere, the shade of green on this loco was darker than the standard shade...

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Thanks Patrick. 

Just looking at one of jhb171s old posts. He has 13 of the class listed in the dark green and the rest in the lighter shade with only 046 going from dark to light. 

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25 minutes ago, Railer said:

Thanks Patrick. 

Just looking at one of jhb171s old posts. He has 13 of the class listed in the dark green and the rest in the lighter shade with only 046 going from dark to light. 

That’s correct. 

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Irish Railfans' News, August 1969 on the subject of A class liveries:

The silver livery of the first As was offset by green numerals at each end and about half-way along each side, by a green CIÉ “snail” emblem on each side, and by the red buffer beams. As the years passed the livery became more and more dishevelled until by 1958 all (except A16 and A19 which were repainted in 1957) were grubby, to say the least. A change was made then: in May 1958 A46 appeared in a livery of dark green with a light green waistband and numerals. The buffer beams remained red. About the same time A36 appeared in a lighter green without the waistband but with numerals and buffer beams similar to A46. In time A locos 10, 11, 15, 24, 25, 34, 45, 51, 54, 57, 59 and 60 came out of the shops in the “A46 livery”; this was during 1958-59.
Early in 1960 the overall light green livery, as on A36, began appearing on a wide scale. Late in that year A46 itself succumbed and came out sans waistband in the lighter green. The preference for the lighter green livery continued until mid-1961 although it should be noted that no other loco made the transition from the dark green to the light green livery. Thus in 1961 the A class locos bore two green liveries while the original silver livery (in a really poor state) was still to be found.
There was a dramatic change in September 1961, when A6 appeared in a livery of black, golden brown and white. The white consisted of a band around the loco, a little below roof height, which dipped to a point at either end over the ridge between the cab windows. Below this was a wide layer of black which likewise came down in a point, this time below the cab windows and immediately below the point of the white band. The rest of the bodywork was brown, and the buffer beams were the familiar red. The numbers were in white on each end only. This livery spread gradually during 1962-3, though after the first few locos the black band was made narrower. To confuse the picture, however, A16 appeared early in 1962 resplendent in the original silver livery!
Though the “black and tan” livery (as it was very quickly dubbed) was applied to A locos: 1-3, 5-8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22-24, 27, 31, 36, 37, 39, 40, 47, 48, 50, 52, 56 and 58, there were still some locos running at this time in the old silver colours. The latter were by now exceedingly worn and some numbers were barely visible. Then early in 1964 A30 appeared completely black in colour, the only relief being a white band above cab window level at each end; this rose to a point in the centre, between the windows. There were white numerals at each end and midway along the sides; the buffer beams were orange. This did not last long - only 2 other locos were so treated, A49 and A55 - but was replaced by a slightly-modified version in which the buffer beams reverted to red, and the centrally-placed side numerals were replaced by two separate smaller numbers on the sides: one at each end, just above the bogie and behind the cab door.
The modified black and white livery remained unchallenged until mid-1968 and almost all the class were painted in it. There were exceptions, of course: As 1, 15, 22, 37 and 52 remained black and tan, the damaged A54 was still dark green, while A16, following its efforts in the filming of “Darling Lili”, was in a rather extraordinary livery which was mainly black with a stretch of black and tan at either end. By this time also, A58R and A59R had appeared in black and tan.
In June 1968 A52 appeared in a variant on the all black livery. It had a yellow patch covering each end from just below the cab windows down to the buffer beam, the yellow area being the full width of the loco. The numbers at each end were in black. The livery was not adopted for A15, which was since repainted in black and white, without the yellow ends. The current position is thus: As 22, 37, 58R, 59R: black and tan; As 4, 12, 13, 20, 24,31, 34, 50, 52, 55: black and white with yellow ends. All others are black and white.

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Hi everyone,

Firstly, thank you to everyone for your well wishes and support for this announcement, between kind words and orders. As you are probably aware, we were rather busy over the weekend with the show where of course we met many of you. It was the busiest we have ever been at a show so we are still trying to catch our collective breaths and today took a few hours to recharge the batteries. It's a huge undertaking from us and one we are relishing, and the A has a special place in our hearts, so we are delighted that we will be able to do the old girls justice in model form. 

CADs for the loco were finished (I think!) very late on Thursday evening, so while the shape and detail is there, there of course has been no time to do the decoration for them, they are currently in the 'to' do' pile at the moment, but we will put a list together of all the detail variants and liveries in the coming days to help you with your order. There are also prototype photos on the site in each loco so you can see what the livery is like (and thank you to the snappers who allowed us to use their images, you know who you are!) 

Now, somebody asked what the pixelated image I used as a teaser was. I'm so blinded by tiredness at this stage, I cannot find the post. but here it is....

 1316563603_AClasspixel.thumb.jpg.8a4fe2303364b05bf305bebb01c73f2c.jpg

Richie, Patrick and I surveyed A39 up in Downpatrick at the beginning of the heatwave this summer. It was a glorious day in so many ways. A special shout out has to go to the crew up there from the DCDR and the ITG, both of which could not have been any more accommodating. They also kept schtum for us about it, which we also really appreciate. We think this has been our best kept secret so far. It was great to get up close and personal with the old girl. She really does look sensational and they do an amazing job looking after the stock up there.

1754156647_a39rESIZED.jpg.a563aa33525f0dc099cdb053e494361c.jpg

Many, many measurements were taken and many, many photographs too from every conceivable angle.

 1125358235_RichiemeasuringDownpatrick.thumb.jpg.32161fba4fefb3022df03ef9c94a6653.jpg

Even the interior was fully measured up so we can provide an accurate cab interior.

308503724_interiorAmeasurements.jpg.833d4662461d2a117473b73e4a7a5455.jpg

We have received some queries over the weekend and endeavoured to answer them by email or on the forum, but just for the sake of completeness...

Yes, we will be catering for full differences and modifications over the lifetime of the locos. This of course includes the rebuild from Crossley to GM, CAWS guards where applicable, different wipers, windscreens, buffers, side steps, roof arrangements etc etc. 

Yes, we will also be doing a sound chip for both GM and Crossley with ESU. There is a Crossley powered locomotive in Australia, so we are literally going to the ends of the earth for this project! 

Yes, they will have a proper drive system, with central can motor, twin flywheels, lots of weight and all wheel drive. No motor bogies, no clockwork etc. It will be DCC ready and will run like a champ on digitial and analogue, whichever you use and prefer.

We're as excited as you to see the finished models on your layouts, and will pull out all the stops for them. They will most certainly be worth waiting for. 

Thanks for the support, the orders are flooding in. It's not possible to do this with out you!

Cheers!

Fran

 

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9 minutes ago, Warbonnet said:

 Now, somebody asked what the pixelated image I used as a teaser was. I'm so blinded by tiredness at this stage, I cannot find the post. 

It's here -

 

 

@iarnrod saw straight through it, of course.

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11 minutes ago, Broithe said:

I ate lots of carrots as a child 😁

 

 

@iarnrod saw straight through it, of course.

 

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@Warbonnet Is there a fixed quantity of each loco/variant to be produced or will that be decided when it's closer to the time to squirt plastic based on pre-sales of each loco/variant?

Edited by iarnrod

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55 minutes ago, iarnrod said:

@Warbonnet Is there a fixed quantity of each loco/variant to be produced or will that be decided when it's closer to the time to squirt plastic based on pre-sales of each loco/variant?

I was asking Fran that at the show. All he could say to me in the mass brawl lol, was that they will be doing just 250 of the special edition A1. The rest would vary depending on livery popularity. 

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28 minutes ago, Railer said:

I was asking Fran that at the show. All he could say to me in the mass brawl lol, was that they will be doing just 250 of the special edition A1. The rest would vary depending on livery popularity. 

Correct 🙂

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WOW!!!!!!!! can you remind me how I go about ordering these locos again. For sure I want an A1 in silver and I would also like at least one in green as well. The period I am modelling will be 1950's to earlier 1960's so I guess that means as built, also can they be fitted from new with 21mm gauge axles?

I am not to bothered about what numbers they are since I guess that they all got around over the years.

Fantastic models by the way

Regards 

 

Colin R

PS Just pre-ordered an A1 in silver hopefully for 21mm gauge.

Edited by Colin R
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25 minutes ago, Colin R said:

WOW!!!!!!!! can you remind me how I go about ordering these locos again. For sure I want an A1 in silver and I would also like at least one in green as well. The period I am modelling will be 1950's to earlier 1960's so I guess that means as built, also can they be fitted from new with 21mm gauge axles?

I am not to bothered about what numbers they are since I guess that they all got around over the years.

Fantastic models by the way

Regards 

 

Colin R

PS Just per-ordered an A1 in silver hopefully for 21mm gauge.

Hi Colin,

Many thanks for your kind words!

If you wish to order paying a deposit, simply add the locos you want to your basket and select ‘bank transfer’ at the checkout. We will send you an invoice by email next week that you can login to and pay your deposit on. You can the go in and pay the balance on it thereafter!

There will be room to convert them to 21mm.

Cheers!

Fran 

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Hi Fran

I think the card has paid in full for the A1 Model, I am however thinking in terms of two others in Green livery, I need to look at the history of this class and then decide on what else I would like, I don't think I will have any of the later liveries, but I would like to get one that has been rebuild with the better engine. I need to go and read up on there history

Colin

 

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1 hour ago, Colin R said:

Hi Fran

I think the card has paid in full for the A1 Model, I am however thinking in terms of two others in Green livery, I need to look at the history of this class and then decide on what else I would like, I don't think I will have any of the later liveries, but I would like to get one that has been rebuild with the better engine. I need to go and read up on there history

Colin

 

No problem Colin, if you scroll up BSGSV has some good livery history in his post which might be of help!

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Hi Fran

Thanks Fran that is clear, I might have to ask for one in each shade of green, but then I could just about get away with a Black and Tan liveried loco as well (Oh Dear)

Colin

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10 hours ago, Railer said:

Guys, do you have any pics of an A class with the lined green livery, just to see with and without. To me I thought only the C class got the green lined livery. Cheers.

 

010.JPG

27a36a831deba8aec713de6c41a4716cc6b40b90.jpg

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The authentic Crossley sound!

The Australian Metrovicks remained in services with their Crossley engines into the late 1980s on freight and Perth suburban passenger services.

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7 hours ago, Dead Kennedy said:

 

010.JPG

 

that's the old Killiney and Ballybrack station, right. Not the same as the current one. Down on the corner on Seaview Rd rather than current location?

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1 hour ago, chris said:

that's the old Killiney and Ballybrack station, right. Not the same as the current one. Down on the corner on Seaview Rd rather than current location?

The station has been at that site since the 19th Century. (1880's?) A nice shot showing the Up starter from the down platform, for short workings terminating at Killiney. Third and fourth carriages in Aluminium silver, is one one of the Suburban compos? Anyway, a bit of a sidetrack.

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22 hours ago, Railer said:

Thanks Patrick. 

Just looking at one of jhb171s old posts. He has 13 of the class listed in the dark green and the rest in the lighter shade with only 046 going from dark to light. 

Yes - I'd forgotten! 

I was about to start going through old Irish Railway News journals to see what exact details were to be had; memory suggests a lot.

However - broadly speaking....  the experimental "original" black'n'tan on A6, about 1961, was just that  - experimental. The style of lettering font is much thicker than what had been on green and silver locos before, and all the variations afterwards. The white line was different too.

In normal day to day traffic, it's like this.

LIVERY 1

All over silver, bogies and roof  included. No black. Lettering, numerals etc. in light "eau-de-nil" green (not black, as sometimes seen on models). The As and Cs were all delivered like this. By 1959 or so, repaints in green were starting as the silver weathered spectacularly badly, as one might expect; an A photographed beside an 1879-era shabby J15 in 1960 would have looked way more tatty than its older cousin. 

LIVERY 2

Light green (post-'55 shade). In some cases they had a waist-level eau de nil line, in other cases not. Snails and lettering eau de nil (not white or yellow, as occasionally seen on models).

Some received the dark green. I am unaware of a single dark green example which did NOT have the waist line, though if anyone can produce evidence of this, I'd be interested to know. All over plain green would have looked exceptionally dull and would have been made worse by dirt and oil stains. As on the light green, eau-de-nil waist line and numerals etc.

LIVERY 3

In the initial stages of black'n'tan, full waist high tan was applied. This is not to be confused with the LATER high tan, applied to some locos but not all, after re-engining. It is probable that not all locos received this, as the all-black (with white flashes on the ends) was started soon after. So, by 1963-6, most are all black, many having come to this straight from green. A few are high-tan sides.

LIVERY 4

All-black with yellow patches on the ends. This seems to have appeared about 1964 or so (would need to check date) and not all locos were treated. Thus, by the late 60s when the re-engining programme started, almost all were black, with or without the yellow patch. Numerals on the yellow patch were always black.

LIVERY 5 / 6

Once fitted with GM engines, and re-designated AR class, a FEW got the high sided tan; but most got the low band of tan. As mentioned above somewhere, this seemed to match the other locos. The dirt and oil stains were nothing like as bad as in Crossley engined days. 

LIVERY 7

Supertrain. Orange and black, no white lines, CIE "roundels" on ends ONLY. Initially, numerals on the ends were white shaded orange, but the shading disappeared quickly, replaced by plain white.

LIVERY 8

Post 1987, the "Tippex" livery came in. Same orange, same black, same paint style, but with white lines above and below the black added. Given budgetary constraints at the time, the advent of IE didn't herald a total new livery - they just amended what they had with the white lines, hence the name "tippex", invented by someone at Inchicore. This was to imply that the new IE couldn't afford anything to paint locos except a bottle of Tippex, a correcting fluid in common use in those times.

During this time, occasional livery variations occurred. It was by no means uncommon to see a loco still in the old CIE "Supertrain" livery, no white lines - but a new IE logo on the sides and / or ends. I have a pic in "Rails Through the West" of a loco  somewhere between Ennis and Athenry with a CIE logo on the front and an IE "set-of-points" on the sides! 

They never survived to get the large "Three-Pin-Plug" IE logo.

With considerable overlaps, to determine which engine switched from one livery to another at what time, there appears no complete database which shows this. I've seen photos of (FILTHY!!) silver ones in 1961/2, which would have gone straight to black. In the mid 60s, there's still one in green, and the others are variously in all-black, black with yellow end, and probably one or two with the high tan sides. IRM will presumably study photos of the various numbers they want to model, with whatever information is available on when the subject of the model went from one colour to another. Exact precise dates won't be available for all sixty of them, I'm sure. And in all reality, it's probably serious nit-picking to expect that! I wouldn't, even as a "livery freak"....!

(Will Glenderg do one in Donegal red, I wonder?)

 

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1 hour ago, jhb171achill said:

Yes - I'd forgotten! 

I was about to start going through old Irish Railway News journals to see what exact details were to be had; memory suggests a lot.

However - broadly speaking....  the experimental "original" black'n'tan on A6, about 1961, was just that  - experimental. The style of lettering font is much thicker than what had been on green and silver locos before, and all the variations afterwards. The white line was different too.

In normal day to day traffic, it's like this.

LIVERY 1

All over silver, bogies and roof  included. No black. Lettering, numerals etc. in light "eau-de-nil" green (not black, as sometimes seen on models). The As and Cs were all delivered like this. By 1959 or so, repaints in green were starting as the silver weathered spectacularly badly, as one might expect; an A photographed beside an 1879-era shabby J15 in 1960 would have looked way more tatty than its older cousin. 

LIVERY 2

Light green (post-'55 shade). In some cases they had a waist-level eau de nil line, in other cases not. Snails and lettering eau de nil (not white or yellow, as occasionally seen on models).

Some received the dark green. I am unaware of a single dark green example which did NOT have the waist line, though if anyone can produce evidence of this, I'd be interested to know. All over plain green would have looked exceptionally dull and would have been made worse by dirt and oil stains. As on the light green, eau-de-nil waist line and numerals etc.

LIVERY 3

In the initial stages of black'n'tan, full waist high tan was applied. This is not to be confused with the LATER high tan, applied to some locos but not all, after re-engining. It is probable that not all locos received this, as the all-black (with white flashes on the ends) was started soon after. So, by 1963-6, most are all black, many having come to this straight from green. A few are high-tan sides.

LIVERY 4

All-black with yellow patches on the ends. This seems to have appeared about 1964 or so (would need to check date) and not all locos were treated. Thus, by the late 60s when the re-engining programme started, almost all were black, with or without the yellow patch. Numerals on the yellow patch were always black.

LIVERY 5 / 6

Once fitted with GM engines, and re-designated AR class, a FEW got the high sided tan; but most got the low band of tan. As mentioned above somewhere, this seemed to match the other locos. The dirt and oil stains were nothing like as bad as in Crossley engined days. 

LIVERY 7

Supertrain. Orange and black, no white lines, CIE "roundels" on ends ONLY. Initially, numerals on the ends were white shaded orange, but the shading disappeared quickly, replaced by plain white.

LIVERY 8

Post 1987, the "Tippex" livery came in. Same orange, same black, same paint style, but with white lines above and below the black added. Given budgetary constraints at the time, the advent of IE didn't herald a total new livery - they just amended what they had with the white lines, hence the name "tippex", invented by someone at Inchicore. This was to imply that the new IE couldn't afford anything to paint locos except a bottle of Tippex, a correcting fluid in common use in those times.

During this time, occasional livery variations occurred. It was by no means uncommon to see a loco still in the old CIE "Supertrain" livery, no white lines - but a new IE logo on the sides and / or ends. I have a pic in "Rails Through the West" of a loco  somewhere between Ennis and Athenry with a CIE logo on the front and an IE "set-of-points" on the sides! 

They never survived to get the large "Three-Pin-Plug" IE logo.

With considerable overlaps, to determine which engine switched from one livery to another at what time, there appears no complete database which shows this. I've seen photos of (FILTHY!!) silver ones in 1961/2, which would have gone straight to black. In the mid 60s, there's still one in green, and the others are variously in all-black, black with yellow end, and probably one or two with the high tan sides. IRM will presumably study photos of the various numbers they want to model, with whatever information is available on when the subject of the model went from one colour to another. Exact precise dates won't be available for all sixty of them, I'm sure. And in all reality, it's probably serious nit-picking to expect that! I wouldn't, even as a "livery freak"....!

(Will Glenderg do one in Donegal red, I wonder?)

 

 

009.JPG

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Really loving the green A class. Thanks very much for the pics lads.👍

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36 minutes ago, Dead Kennedy said:

 

009.JPG

Superb pic! 

So, above, we’ve pics of the light green with and without lining.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that flying snails tended to be added WITH the lining, but as seen above, not when there was no lining.

Also, when all-black, sometimes the lettering style was as above, with a large central number on the side. Otherwise, smaller numbers low down at each cab end, with a CIE “roundel” (white letters, tan “broken wheel”) in mid position on the sides.

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The buffer beam side sole bar difference stands out. On the lined loco its green but black on the unlined loco.

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Naturally, exceptions arose. Here’s one with no line, but WITH an attached snail.imageproxy.php?img=&key=ac96cff20d889157

944E0A57-0A86-4960-B1DD-0AEAF3193740.jpeg

Edited by jhb171achill
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2 hours ago, Railer said:

The buffer beam side sole bar difference stands out. On the lined loco its green but black on the unlined loco.

Hi Railer. I think A11 may be an exception re green side buffer beam. Any others i've seen were black. See back cover image on Carse's book on MVs of A46 at Amiens Street.

CH06264C-1.jpg

Back in black

CAR1219C.jpg

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well done lads , the missing link 

with some plough on order, just about to reserve some flats and a several A's , 2019, is going to be expensive ......, digging another well ...

 

Dave 

WMRC

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A11...... yes, indeed, this was certainly normally black!

ONE “A” class, while in black livery, managed to get a yellow buffer beam for a very short while....

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