BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

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BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby Huggy » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:03 pm

I'm wondering if any modellers with an interest in steam days Southern railways (South Eastern to be specific) know whether the H Class 0-4-4T in auto train form, as soon to be released by Hornby, ever ran with just the driving coach, or were they always in pairs? I'm asking because I have a set on order (memories of seeing them in action on the New Romney branch as a young 'un) but now realise that my part-built layout's platform is a tad too short. Well I started it before they announced the train pack deal, and don't have any room to expand! If a single coach set was ever prototypical - or maybe even if it wasn't - I may consider keeping the loco on order, but cancelling the two-coach auto set, and adapting some suitable southern coach to represent a single driving unit.

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Re: BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:31 pm

The majority of photos here suggest at least 2 vehicles ... tion=close

However the one at Orpington (currently on the 15th row down) does show a single coach (don't know personally whether it is a driving coach or not).

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Re: BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby RFS » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:52 pm

The loco in this image is not push-pull fitted so I assume it's not a driving coach either.
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Re: BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby Ken Shabby » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:11 pm

As far as i know the push pull 2 car set produced by Hornby only ever ran as 2 car set, never as single driving trailer.
These sets were converted from conventional Maunsell coaches at the end of the 50's to replace pre grouping push pull sets and were gone by around 1964.
I have seen a few photos of a M7 running with just one pre grouping (possibly LBSC) driving trailer in the mid fifties, but I think on the Southern 2 coach auto trains were the norm.

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Re: BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby rejrob » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:47 am

Hi there,a subject close to my heart.My layout depicting SE london in May 1958(With some licence)has 2 p/p H class 31239 and 31162,both SE Finecast kits I made with the appropriate apparatus for p/p working,again from SE Finecast. there are several 2 coach units used representing SECR ;LBSC and ex motor cars Unit numbers are 481/2 ;653;721and i think 32.The first 2 I used to see on the Westerham branch at Dunton Green and Sundridge (Near my uncles farm)Mike King was very helpful when I built the models ,with plans for their construction and there are a number of good books shewing pick,s of various p/p units.Hope this helps Ron

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Re: BR Southern H Class and auto trains query

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:06 pm

There was a legal limit to the length of loco hauled push pull operation in steam days. A loco was only allowed to propel two coaches, so you wouldn't see a driving trailer being used for that purpose with more than one more coach between it and the loco. This led to GWR push pull trains of up to 4 coaches with the loco in the middle. Of other companies workings I know not.
I did once board a Midland region special of 5 or 6 coaches in the 50s that arrived being driven from the end, but it was ECS until we boarded then it went back the other way so I assume the rule was different for empty stock workings.
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