Dec­o­ra­tions

Model Rail (UK) - - Masterclas­s – May 9 1964 -

When No. 4079 backed onto ‘The Great Western’ it car­ried three boards on the front but none was a con­ven­tional train name­board. On the top lamp iron was a cast and elab­o­rately painted GWR coat-of-arms, pro­vided by the Western Re­gion. Bolted to the smoke­box door han­dles was the train re­port­ing bracket, car­ry­ing the code ‘Z48’. Be­low that, on the cen­tre lamp iron above the buffer­beam, was the ‘Ian Al­lan Rail­tour’ head­board. A driver’s name­plate was fitted on the cab­side, the only time I ever saw these used. It was said that drivers did not nor­mally use them as they did not wish pas­sen­gers to be able to iden­tify them in let­ters of com­plaint! The coaches had cant rail car­riage boards with ‘The Great Western’ on one board and ‘Padding­ton to Ply­mouth’ on the other. They were white on ma­roon to match the coaches. How­ever, of the seven coaches, only one BSO car­ried coach­ing stock roundels. This coach also had a sil­ver-grey roof, in­di­cat­ing it had been to the paint shop more re­cently than the rest of the set. Western Re­gion train re­port­ing num­bers (gen­er­ally known as head­codes) are avail­able from Pre­ci­sion La­bels and Fox Trans­fers. The lat­ter firm claims that its num­bers are in the ‘cor­rect font’ but on the spe­cial train at least two dif­fer­ent type­faces were seen, the char­ac­ters on No. 4079’s Old Oak Com­mon boards were much more bold than those from Laira and Bath Road. With the un­planned change at West­bury, things went awry with the head­boards. None were trans­ferred from ‘Pen­den­nis’ to Capel Dewi Hall. In­stead, some­one found the ‘Fes­tin­iog Rail­way Spe­cial’ head­board which was used on the an­nual Padding­ton­porth­madog spe­cial for the so­ci­ety’s an­nual meet­ing. This was a piece of painted hard­board nor­mally at­tached to the Ian Al­lan Rail­tour head­board when in use. It had pre­sum­ably been stashed in the brake van and some­one must have de­cided to use it, jam­ming it be­tween No. 6999’s lamp iron and handrail. It was a mir­a­cle that it stayed in place on the ‘Hall’ at speed! No. 7025 re­ceived the Great Western and Ian Al­lan Rail­tour dec­o­ra­tions, but not the train re­port­ing num­bers, pre­sum­ably be­cause these took time to at­tach to the smoke­box door dart and time was press­ing with a late-run­ning train. Nos. 7029 and 5054 both car­ried the full com­ple­ment of front end dec­o­ra­tion, each de­pot sup­ply­ing its own ‘Z48’.

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