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Lo­co­mo­tive: Thomp­son ‘A2/3’ 4-6-2 Gauge: ‘OO’ Pro­posed by: Keith Bryant

What is it? One of the joys of my trainspot­ting days in the late 1950s/early 1960s was the sight of a Thomp­son ‘A2/3’ wend­ing its way into King’s Cross, or ham­mer­ing through Wood Green with an ex­press. Vis­ually, these were rugged, im­pres­sive and pow­er­ful machines, if lack­ing some of the pret­ti­ness of their Gres­ley or Pep­per­corn com­pa­tri­ots. Many de­scribed them as hav­ing an un­gainly ap­pear­ance but, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the be­holder; cer­tainly any model rail­way pur­port­ing to re­flect the ECML’S glory days is de­fi­cient by their ab­sence. They were of their time and very fine per­form­ers on both freight and pas­sen­ger turns. The 15 ‘A2/3s’ were all built new by the LNER in 1946/47. All were named in the LNER tra­di­tion af­ter race­horses. The ex­cep­tion was the pioneer, No. 500, which was named af­ter its de­signer. Dur­ing my line­sid­ing days, five ‘A2/3s’ were lo­cated at the south­ern end of the East Coast Main Line, with nine in the North East and one shed­ded in Scotland. Sadly, there is a prej­u­dice among some East­ern Re­gion mod­ellers to­wards Ed­ward Thomp­son, whom they be­lieve des­e­crated the work of Sir Nigel Gres­ley. Many claim that Thomp­son re­built some of the great man’s lo­co­mo­tives out of spite, which Thomp­son al­ways de­nied. This prej­u­dice has, in my view, been re­flected in the mod­ellers’ wish lists. What would make it vi­able? With 15 lo­co­mo­tives serv­ing the LNER and BR for nearly 20 years, there’s cer­tainly plenty of scope for a sig­nif­i­cant va­ri­ety of rep­re­sen­ta­tions. As men­tioned above, the class served along the length of the ECML on a va­ri­ety of du­ties. As big lo­co­mo­tives with ten­ders, there is am­ple space avail­able for the in­stal­la­tion of DCC sound and a speaker. For me, this class is a must as an ECML modeller and I am sure many oth­ers feel like­wise. Can I see a real one? Re­gret­tably, no. Three sur­vived un­til as late as 1965, with No. 60524 Her­ring­bone be­ing with­drawn in Fe­bru­ary. Nos. 60512 Steady Aim and 60522 Straight Deal went for scrap in June of that year.

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