I had a fit of madness last week and bought myself another model locomotive.
A pretty little thing but not painted very well.
This got me into research mode and I thought I would share how the process went.
The model is called Asia and was initially credited to a well known designer of such named Martin Evans. I quickly found out it was not one of his engines.
I found the makings of one for sale and the add indicated castings and drawings were available from a company called Reeves. This proved to be correct.http://www.ajreeves.com/asia.html
So now I know the model design is by Les Saxby and the full size engine was class no 54 designed by William Martley whom I have never heard of.
Back to the net and we find him. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Martley
Discovered he was locomotive superintendent of the London Chatham and Dover railway from 1860 to 1874.
Now I need to find some info on that railway.
Hit the mother load here. Lots of info about this company.
Here is one example - https://doverhistorian.com/2015/12/12/l ... ay-part-i/
It mentions the rolling stock was painted black.
This however gave the first real indication about locomotive colourshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London,_C ... er_Railway
Then I found this which cause immediate confusion because it was green rather than black and claims to be circa 1880http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/LCDR ... _loco.html
It does however identify the engine as a “Europa class” engine and since it is not called “ Asia” I know there were at least 2.
Eventually found this link https://chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com/2 ... r-railway/
Now I know there were 6 engines. Europa, Asia, Africa, America and 2 not named.
Still confused about the colour.
Found this postcard which again shows it as greenhttp://rlkitterman.deviantart.com/art/L ... -564907664
Information turns up in strange places at times.http://www.ebay.es/itm/192100702861
This picture gives an interesting clue.
If you look at the front of the tender just behind the engine near the top of the sides you will see a round object. This is a bell.
It is part of a very early emergency communication system that I recalled reading about in a book on railway accidents.
Did some more digging and found thishttp://www.crassoc.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115
The important bit for me is the system was approved around 1860 and then fell from favour eventually being replaced around 1900 so if I find a picture of an engine with a bell I can assume it is pre 1900 and without the bell post 1900.
A list here gives locomotive numbers. http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Locomotive_Stock_June_1888
You can see that the LCDR only had 180 engines so it was a small concern compared to others.
In this link I think I found a good clue.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCDR_Europa_class
It tells me the engines were rebuilt between 1890 and 1892.
Now comes the speculation.
I believe the engines started their life out painted black with lots of brass bits.
They were used on express trains and mail trains and were fitted with a bell on the tender to accommodate the external cord communication system then in use on such trains.
The engines were soon replaced with bigger ones on those duties but were still useful so were retained. They were re built between 1890 and 1892 and it is likely that at that time they lost the bell on the tender.
They may have been repainted green at that time or around 1900 when the company was re structured to form the SER. All had been scrapped by 1909.
That very nice green model noted above which was attributed to 1880 I believe is actually of a post 1900 time as it has no bell on the tender, is green rather than black and I suspect the initials on the side of the tender are SER, the post 1900 restructured company.
I have found a book Engines of the LCDR which is yet to arrive but I was pretty impressed with how much information was available on the net and I didn't have to pay anyone or join anything.
If only it was so easy with watches.
Learning all the time.
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