It was the wide variation of motive power which initially led me to consider modelling Oswestry Works. As well as locomotives from the Cambrian region, the works served the Chester and Birmingham district’s and anything else in the vicinity which needed some attention. Finding the original works registers in the National Archives showed that on some occasions some interesting interlopers would end up on the books, such as a 1366 class 0-6-0PT from Reading, 2884 2-8-0’s from Chester or 56xx 0-6-2T’s from Stourbridge. It was during the 1960’s and the London Midland Region changes that saw some of the biggest arrivals on the works books – 9F’s and Brittania’s, 8F’s and County’s, even a Castle and Jubilee class at one point. The works had to be altered to accommodate these lengthy visitors, space being tight as it was. A second entrance was made in order to provide at least 2 more repair bays.
The diorama is set around 1954 to 1960, before the LMR region change and before the need for a second entrance. Motive Power is based upon the entries logged in the original works registers, a spreadsheet of which is below. By far the most numerous visitors were the workhorses of the Cambrian network – the 2251 class 0-6-0 with 150 visits from 35 individual locomotives between 1954 and 1959.
Being a diorama there isn’t a great deal of scope for operability, though I am planning to motorise the traverser. I’ll be using some operable loco’s, some will be depicted in a state of repair using kits or 3D printed components. The majority of photographs show locomotives with their motion removed, some with buffer beams removed and inside cylinders under repair. The plan is to model in P4, however with 35 loco’s on the books to convert that’s some task! Though without the need for operation, I may be able to print my own frames, inside motion and other exposed internals, that’s the theory… In the mean time I’ve begun work on locomotive detailing, following Paul Marshal-Potter’s informative posts about Panniers on Albion Yard and from reading George Dent’s Detailing and Modelling RTR Locomotives in 00 Gauge. Etched chassis construction has also been made much less of a daunting task following the Dean Goods and 14xx posts on Chronicles of Penhydd/Llangunllo.