Warley 2017: HUGE announcement!
Hello and welcome to a very special STOP PRESS edition of The Engine Shed with a very special Warley announcement.
The rumours have been circulating, the froth has been building and finally we are able to reveal what we’ve been hinting at since July when we let slip that we would have some HUGE H Class related surprises in store. Well today we are excited to reveal that we will be joined on our stand at Warley by a very special guest, a 54 ton guest to be precise, a fully re painted SECR Wainwright H from the Bluebell Railway! Seriously, the actual loco! See, we told you it was a huge surprise!
Bluebell Railway's Wainwright H Class looking magnificent in the sunshine - the same loco that will be on our stand at Warley 2017
What does this mean for Warley?
People gather to grab a glimpse of our prototypes on our stand at Warley last year, this year our stand is set to be bigger than ever!
Well, our attendance at Warley this year is set to be the biggest yet, quite literally! With our stand measuring in at around 100ft in length, you will not be able to miss us and the Bluebell’s H Class will be taking centre stage allowing visitors to get up close and examine the superbly painted livery. Trust us, it is only when you get up close to this loco that you appreciate the intricacies and the amount of detail that has gone in to bringing this iconic piece of engineering up to museum standard.
A before and after shot of Bluebell's H Class. The left is when we originally went to measure up for our 2017 new tooling and the right is after the team at Heritage painting had finished their work
The re-livery has been carried out by the team at Heritage Painting, the specialists when it comes to painting road and rail locomotives, rolling stock, and vintage vehicles, and what a job they’ve done! With the majority of line work being carried out free hand and the SECR crest being the only detail that has been applied by transfer, the team at Heritage, with the help of Chris Shepherd and his team at Bluebell have gone from top to bottom reviving the iconic SECR green and applying some of the most detailed lettering and line work we have ever seen. This really is something to behold and we’re sure visitors to our stand at Warley will not be disappointed. We will have more about the re-livery in an upcoming edition but if you’re on the stand at Warley we have another treat for you; there will be members from the Bluebell Railway on the stand throughout the weekend and they’ll be more than happy to go over all the fine details with you.
The detail on the re-livery is spectacular and visitors to Warley will get to see it up close!
How to transport a steam loco
A member of the Bluebell team asses their work, and gives scale to the mammoth size of the loco
The H Class project does not end with just the livery though, oh no. Now we are presented with the mammoth task of transporting the loco all the way up the M40 to The NEC ready for it to take up residence for the weekend. It dawned on us when planning all this why we tend to stick to 00 gauge, the logistics of transporting a steam locomotive up and down the country are huge I'm sure some of us are more grey now than when we started! Nevertheless it has been a hugely interesting and rewarding process and we will go into more detail about exactly what is involved in a future edition of The Engine Shed as well in a future Club Magazine where we will have some more behind the scenes content from this remarkable project.
On the 23rd November it will begin to make its way up the M40 towards Birmingham. Now, this is where you come in, this is our call to arms, we want as many pictures of this superb loco travelling up the motorway as possible. So between the hours of 09:00 and 12:00 (UK time) get yourselves on the overpasses, arm yourselves with your cameras and get snapping. Upload your pictures to our dedicated Forum and on our social media channels with #HornbyHClassRoadTrip. The loco will be uncovered so you won’t be able to miss it and what a spectacle it is set to be! We must stress at this point to make sure you are safe at all times when trying to grab that perfect photo, please obey trespassing laws and please stick to the public paved over passes, we don’t want any one lining the hard shoulder of one of the busiest motorways in Britain now do we?!
Take a look below and see the moment the newly painted H Class ‘263’ saw sunshine for the first time last week.
Well that about does it for the is special edition Engine Shed, we will be back before with another edition before Warley and we’ll go into a little more detail about the monumental job Heritage have done with the re-livery for what is set to be one of our highlights of Warley 2017.
The Engine Shed Team
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