Everyone likes Class 03 shunters don't they?

Whisper it if you dare, but RAIL EXCLUSIVE’s boss, has a real penchant for those honorary steam engines of the diesel world, the diminutive 204hp Class 03s. Perhaps it was down to his mis-spent youth, sitting on the end of Newcastle station or bunking around Landore shed but the fool’s now gone and ordered a few box loads of models for everyone to share!

There’s something odd about these little engines that appeals, which probably means that, like many others, I’ve got cupboards full of half-detailed or ‘one day in the future’ Mainline and Replica ‘OO’ gauge projects as well as a few DJH kits tucked away for the ‘O’ gauge masterplan. So it was with considerable personal interest that I reported that Bachmann was to introduce a brand new 4mm scale model last year, to replace the old Palitoy product that later morphed in the Class 04. There was no doubting in my mind that if the specification was top notch it would be a sure-fire winner in view of the type’s geographical diversity.

For those who recall the old Class 03 that was produced by Mainline and later Replica Railways before being absorbed into the Bachmann brand then this old advert from the 1980s will make you smile…

For more of the same, visit www.mainlinerailways.org.uk

Picture the scene then, at the glossy Bachmann toyfair stand. Will it have reliable slow speed operation? Check. Will it incorporate the major detail variations? Check. Does it come in blue? Check. OK, I’ll have a common vacuum-braked one. Ermm. Don’t worry, what about the unique dual-braked/‘Saxa’ exhaust jobbie? Ermm… You better speak to the Sales Manager.

The story therefore comes to a predictable conclusion with your man having dug deep into his pockets to commission a production run of each of the missing variants for launch concurrently with the catalogue items. Full details of the deep water I got myself into can be found on the current product pages. Not content with that, we also discussed a complementary modified ‘Conflat A’ track-circuit runner but the progress on the locos has overtaken this project, meaning it’ll possibly follow at a later date. Let’s have some hands up also for the equally useful ‘Conflat L’ and let’s see if we can get the ball rolling for the station pilot fraternity.

And the running numbers chosen? Sorry to disappoint the Bristol, Barrow Hill, Hull and King’s Lynn contingents but it just had to be Stratford’s No. 03160 and Newcastle station pilot No. 03371!

Visit our 03 product page here.

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