Model Rail (UK)
Factfile: Caledonian Class 812 0-6-0
The son of an agricultural labourer, John F. Mcintosh had been a locomotive driver for the Caledonian Railway (CR) until losing a hand in an accident. Once recovered, he became a locomotive inspector and, eventually, rose through the ranks to become locomotive superintendent in 1895. Developed from successful previous 0-6-0s, the first batch of Mcintosh’s Class 812 was built at St Rollox Works in 1899, with 29 examples being turned out. After proving a success, a further 50 locomotives followed, although limited capacity at the Caledonian’s own works meant they had to be assembled by private builders. The first 17 locomotives of the initial batch were equipped with Westinghouse brake gear and were intended as a mixed traffic type. Answering a need for more freight locomotives at the turn of the century, the ‘812s’ were employed on a wide range of long-range duties, from mineral traffic and general goods to fish 2 specials. The Westinghouseequipped batch could also be seen on regular passenger turns to locations such as Gourock, Wemyss Bay and Stonehaven, along with excursion trains, especially during the holiday season. Used widely across Scotland, well into LMS days, the ‘812s’ were based at sheds as far afield as Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh, St Rollox, Greenock and Carstairs. A good many were also stationed at Carlisle in the early days. Even with the coming of larger engines from the 1920s onwards, these powerful 0-6-0s retained much of their freight work and the fleet survived into British Railways ownership virtually intact. Final withdrawals came in 1963 and BR No. 57566 (CR No. 828) was retained for preservation, initially at the Glasgow Museum of Transport. In 1980 it was relocated to the Strathspey Railway where it eventually returned to steam in the early 1990s. From new, the 17 Westinghouse-equipped locomotives were turned out in fully lined CR blue, with the rest of the fleet painted plain black. Black was also favoured by the LMS after the Grouping, being applied across all 79 examples, and BR followed suit.
axles and performance proved to be faultless throughout our road test.
The model is not wanting in the looks department either, as Bachmann has done a terrific job of distilling the character of the real thing perfectly. The stately looking smokebox and cab really look the part and the tender is also impressive. A fully detailed cab interior (complete with printed gauges and dials), exterior pipework, brake gear, sand pipes, lamp brackets, globe lubricators and handrails are all neatly executed.
A hinged fall plate bridges the gap between cab and tender (although it looks a bit shiny!) and the fake coal load is a cast metal weight which simply lifts out to reveal a full rendering of the bunker profile. The basic black paint job is perfect, with the numerals and
BR crests sharply printed. A small bag of details is also provided, including cosmetic screw couplings and drawhooks, vacuum and steam pipes, plus a pair of cab doors and a few oil lamps.
After last year’s LNWR ‘Precendent’ (also by Bachmann) and SE&CR ‘D’ Class (Dapol), Rails of Sheffield have overseen another superb new RTR steam-outline model. As the Class 812’s rapid sales have proven, there’s clearly a market for more ‘provincial’ prototypes, so long may they continue to arrive! (GD) 210mm