Bulleid prototypes make their debut


Kernow has now received the first tooling samples of the long-awaited Southern locos.

LATE March saw Kernow Model Rail Centre unexpectedly unveil the first pre-production samples of its ‘OO’ gauge Southern prototype diesels. First announced way back in 2010, development of the exclusive models has been a difficult and protracted affair, not aided by a lack of detailed drawings. However, last year saw a set of drawings located, allowing tooling to quietly take place, Kernow working directly with a Chinese factory in this instance.

Although finished as No. 10203, this is the tooling for Nos. 10201 and 10202. Differences between them include the size of some bodyside grilles.

The trio of Bulleid-designed locos, Nos. 10201-03, were built in the first half of the 1950s and featured an English Electric engine and 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement. Very much the fore-runners of the Class 40s, the trio were initially deployed on the Southern Region before moving to the London Midland and the West Coast Main Line in 1955. Withdrawn in 1963, a further five years elapsed before they were scrapped.

Pictured here is the first tooling sample of Nos. 10201 and 10202, which was unexpectedly supplied to Kernow in painted form but with the wrong number of No. 10203 applied. The latter loco featured a number of differences to its sisters, which will be faithfully recreated on the models. The factory has also tooled up the modified cabs with gangway connections, an appearance later gained by Nos. 10201 and 10202, but this variant is not among the initial batch of releases.

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Amended samples are now awaited from China and should these prove satisfactory, the models are expected to be released during the second half of this year. If all goes to plan, this could be as early as August for the first two locos, Nos. 10201 and 10202 in BR black. These will be followed a few months later by No. 10203 in both BR black and BR lined green. Each model is currently priced £169.99 but this is subject to change nearer release, depending on the exchange rate.

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