I’ve been wondering just how much stock I’ll need as the bare minimum to get Artillery Lane up and running. I consider the main players for this segment to be the Metropolitan, the Midland, the Great Western and the Great Northern. All of these will be providing passenger services, and all using tanks with condensing apparatus. I’ve also decided where on my timeline I want to begin, and after much deliberation I’m plumping for mid to late 1890s.

Taking the four companies in turn, the Metropolitan used the famous A and B class Beyer Peacock 4-4-0 tanks, hauling rigid eights or rakes of nine ‘Jubilee’ 4-wheelers. The tanks are essential, and currently there are no kits on the market, so it’s likely to mean finding the GAs, a visit to the London Transport Museum to measure and photograph the preserved one, and a bout of head-scratching and scratch-building to cobble it all together. I’ve had the artwork for the Jubilee carriages drawn up by a friend which has been a real boon. A rake of Jubilees was formed thus: Bk2/2/1/1/3/3/3/3/Bk3, and thanks to Jim Snowdon’s book on Met. stock, I have the individual numbers of the carriages to hand.

The Midland had a variety of four-coupled tanks in use, by both Kirtley and Johnson. Carriages consisted of Clayton’s 1st, 3rds and Bk3rd City sets running in various formations, and according to Lacy & Dow, one short train in 1893 consisted of Bk3/3/1/1/3/Bk3, the same source gives all the numbers of the carriages in that rake bar on, and I reckon I can make a pretty decent guess at what that might be. I have a Laurie Griffin kit for the Kirtley tank and Slater’s kit for the Johnson type, the latter requiring a few changes to represent the relevant class. Mercian can supply the carriages, but I want to see and measure a number of key dimensions before buying as the photos on their website are not exactly complimentary.

The Great Western provided the 2-4-0 ‘Metro’ tanks in a number of varieties hauling Holden’s 4-wheel stock. Thanks to some herculean research by Graham Beare and John Lewis I now have enough information to build and number a prototypical rake, as running between 1890 and 1896. I have a Roxey kit for the loco and for the 3rds and Bk3rd, but will have to draw up some artwork to get some sides etched for the 1sts, 2nds and Bk2nds.

The Great Northern had a variety of different four-coupled back and well tanks by Sturrock and Stirling, but I’m going to begin GN services with a Meteor kit of Ivatt’s C2 Atlantic tank (LNER C12), introduced in 1898. I’ve drawn a complete blank regarding carriages – I assume 4-wheelers, but researches continue along with membership to the GNRS for some much needed help..

I’ll be making  in depth posts about all of these locos and carriages in due course. What is slightly concerning is that apart from a minimum of four passenger locos, I’ll need about 25 carriages, and that’s before I factor in the GNR services which remain elusive.

Next I’ll consider the minimum goods services.