Tag Archives: Tram

Model Rail Magazine to produce Wisbech and Upwell J70 Steam Tram

Rumours from Warley National 2016 indicate that Model Rail magazine are considering commissioning a Wisbech and Upwell J70 Steam tram,  famously associated with Toby the Steam Tram from The Railway Series ( and the Thomas and Friends TV series).

Model Rail are requesting feedback on livery options and whether to produce a version with opening doors, sounds and removal sideplates!

I know what I’d choose (all of the above).

These models will be more than welcome on Brewery Pit, so I look forward to hearing further news. Pictured below are my J70 and Y6.

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BR Class 04 Diesel Tram at Speed: Day 4

On Sunday I completed my Drewery Class 04 tram. I sanded down some of the filler applied previously and fitted some loop couplings to the buffer beams. I also made up some three-link couplings and fitted a protection plate to the front and rear cowcatchers.

The original Bachmann whistle was filed down And fitted onto the front of the cab. Later versions of these trams had double horns fitted.

I fitted hand rails to the cab using split pins, which was quite a fiddly job. The original placement of the hand rails on the brass cab sides did not appear to be correct, so I adjusted them by filling in the previous holes and drilling new ones.

The final task was to create a mounting for the chassis. To do this I used some long bolts and drilled pilot holes into the plastic supports that are glued into the body.

Finally I sent the 04 on a test run of Brewery Pit. The body is a little low, as it bottoms out in a a few places, so I’ll adjust the height and then send the loco off to the paint shop.

The final part of ‘Modelling at Speed’ will be uploaded when the paint job is completed.

Please follow the link below for video of the Class 04 conversion so far:

BR Class 04 Diesel Tram at Speed: Day 3

So where were we? Oh yes, I remember… I was converting a Drewry Diesel Tram while filming the results (using time lapse recording). Here are the links to days 1 and 2.

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Here is the video:

Day 3 consisted of replacing the rather small buffers on the Bachmann Class 04 with the slightly larger versions used on the tram version. The donor for these buffers was a disused set of buffer beams from my Heljan Falcon (blink and you will miss it in the first few seconds of the video). I then added some brake pipes and hand rails. I firstly fitted the plastic versions that came with the Bachmann model, but decided they were horridly over sized. I decided to cut them off so I could replace them with wire versions instead.

I also fitted the small exhaust on the bonnet. The 1950s tram I am building has an exhaust pipe that is barely visible. As I have not seen any aerial shots of the bonnet I have made a guess as to what this might have looked like. A taller cylinder was attached to the exhaust in the later part of the 1950s, and I did find a pipe in my ‘bits box’ that matched this perfectly, but I forced myself to refrain and stick to my plan for a tram without a full chimney.

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I also noticed that the Bachmann version of the 04 has a step either side of the bonnet front that doesn’t appear to be present on the earlier tram types. I cut this off and added hand rails.

I finished off by filling in some of the gaps with model putty.

More to come in day 4….

Rolling Stock – J70 0-6-0 Tram Engine

In this series of articles I will introduce the locomotives that I operate on Brewery Pit.

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The Prototype
One of the main engines that see’s regular use is my J70 steam tram. The J70s were introduced to replace the ageing Y6s, and were famous for running on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway in Cambridgshire. J70s and Y6s look very similar from the outside, but are quite different underneath the tram body. The fundamental difference is that J70s have six wheels (0-6-0), while the Y6s have four wheels (0-4-0). The side skirts are also formed in a slightly different way, with the J70s including moulded foot steps (Y6s have ladder-like steps) and a curved lower section to the skirt.

The model
My model is made from a Silver Fox resin kit that was bought for my birthday in September 2006. I opened up the side windows using a knife and added hand rails. I decided that I wanted my steam tram to include a boiler, and I just happened to have a Dapol plastic pug kit lying around (many railway modellers do, for some reason). I cut up the boiler and mounted it onto a piece of plasticard and added some hand wheels to either end. The boiler isn’t accurate as it has a saddle water tank, but I didn’t really care at the time (and still don’t).

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Painting
I wanted to represent an engine running between 1948 and 1950, so I purchased as many books as possible and looked at the photos of the various steam trams and settled on No. 68217, which was one of the last steam trams to run on the line.

I weathered the boiler using weather powders and sealed it with a matt varnish.

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The tram was painted with a now discontinued shade of brown from Tamiya’s acrylic range (I think it was Tamiya, I can find out if anyone really needs to know).

The final weathering job shown in the pictures is not accurate to how the model now looks, as it was repainted to better fit in with my Y6 later on.

Power
You cannot obtain a 0-6-0 chassis which would fit such a small loco, so there is little choice but to install and 0-4-0 power bogie. I was a little excited at the time I bought the kit and urgently insisted a black beetle motor bogie be sent out to me ASAP. Unfortunately, the wheelbase (distance between each wheel) of the bogie was quite wide, now I know that this is a skirted loco and little of the wheels is seen, but when it is seen it looked weird.

The motor bogie was converted to DCC control and was a poor runner and it was eventually replaced with better black beetle bogie with spoked wheels (a nice touch), a shorter wheelbase and 27:1 gearing (meaning it can travel much slower than my previous 15:1 version).

My J70 is currently waiting to have a DCC ‘stay-alive’ capacitor to be installed, but more on that some other time.

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Wisbech and Upwell Tramway Video

I have just come across this lovely video of the fruit trains running across the Wisbech and Upwell tramway. This video links to the modelling at speed videos, which show my conversion of a Bachmann 04 Diesel Shunter into a W&U Diesel Tram.

I only wish there was some video footage of the J70 and Y6 steam trams. The narration incorrectly states that there were only two Y6 steam trams. I believe there were ten constructed in total, which were replaced by the J70 steam trams.

You may have noticed that there have not been many updates to the blog recently. This is because my flat is slowly being packed up in readiness for a move to Swindon in the next few days. This means that all current projects are now packed away safely for the move. Once I have unearthed my work bench and tools in my new home I will recommence updating the blog.

BR Class 04 Diesel Tram at Speed: Day 2

The second day of speed modelling took place on Sunday (last week).

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This video includes modifications to the 04s body to take the new Bachmann Class 03 chassis.

On reflection the axle doors on the side skirts are a bit big, but I was modelling at speed at the time and didn’t think to double check.

BR Class 04 Diesel Tram at Speed: Day 1

Today we answer the question: ‘How much modelling can be done in a day?’

At the Doncaster show a nice chap told me that one of Craftsman Models conversion kits includes the older style cab for an 04 shunter. So a quick purchase of a Bachmann 04 (and said conversion kit) and I was off. I decided to see how far I could get through the conversion in a weekend.

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Below is a time-lapse video of the first day of the conversion, enjoy!