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Poll

Would you support and purchase a crowdfunded Brush Class 53 Falcon locomotive in N Gauge?

Yes in Livery 1, Original works livery - Lime Green/Dark Green body bands
6 (8.8%)
Yes in Livery 2, Initial service livery - Lime Green/Chestnut body bands & window surround
17 (25%)
Yes in Livery 3, Western Region livery - Brunswick Green/Pale Green body bands/Yellow Warning panel
24 (35.3%)
Yes in Livery 4, Corporate livery - All over BR Blue/Yellow ends
21 (30.9%)

Total Members Voted: 68

Author Topic: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon  (Read 1338 times)

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Offline NGS-PO

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Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:41:00 pm »
I would like to propose and poll the Brush Class 53 Falcon prototype locomotive as the subject of a crowdfunding project. If interested, please vote in the poll, after perusing the following, in order to give a broad understanding of likely demand.

Many thanks for reading.

BACKGROUND AND EMPLOYMENT

The Brush Falcon project involved a single, prototype, Co-Co Diesel electric locomotive, intended as a potential forerunner to a fleet of mixed traffic, general purpose locomotives for BR. Due to the lack, at the time, of a diesel engine powerful enough, yet light enough, the locomotive employed a twin unit of Maybach MD655 engines, similar to those fitted to the Class 52 Diesel Hydraulic, albeit powering electric traction motors.

The locomotive was first out-shopped in September 1961 and put to work on test on the Eastern Region and London Midland Region. Regular runs included King’s Cross-Hull and return as far as and from Doncaster. King’s Cross - Cambridge was also a noted turn, mainly due to problems with the Baby Deltics. Another route for Falcon, on the Great Eastern area,  during this period, was Liverpool Street to Norwich, as well as some regular freight turns between Norwich and March.

By February 1962 it was to be briefly found on the Western Region, where its performance was tested on the Lickey Incline. There are reports of Falcon with 18 coaches accelerating up Lickey without the aid of a banker. Other tests found the locomotive under test on the route to Plymouth over the Devon banks, with similar favourable results.

After a spell at Brush, Falcon was sheded at Sheffield for the summer of 1962, where it was employed on two return trips per day between Sheffield Victoria and King’s Cross on the Master Cutler and Sheffield Pullman, high end trains. By the autumn it could be found mainly on freight duties, notably coal trains. By the time 1963 came along, the locomotive was being used on genuine mixed traffic turns, equally as happy hauling passenger or freight trains around the Sheffield area and further afar.

After a year out of traffic, whilst the powers that be decided on what to do with the locomotive (the type 4 ‘standard’ locomotive being settled on Brush’s Class 47), it was decided that Falcon would be leased by BR and employed on the Western Region, where they had experience already of the Maybach engines. Bristol Bath Road was the chosen depot and by February 1965, after a spell of crew training, Falcon was employed on Paddington to Bristol diagrams, in concert with other, mainstream, Type 4s -  the diesel-hydraulics.

Unlike previous employment on the Eastern and LM regions, where the diagrams were steam ones, the Type 4 timings forced Falcon to work hard. This led to some major failures, for virtually the first time in its short working life. Due to its propensity to break, the locomotive was kept almost exclusively on the Paddington/Bristol turns, presumably to keep in easy reach of Swindon works. Reliability took some time to improve, and it wasn’t until 1968 that Falcon exceeded it’s contracted yearly mileage of 80,000, when it travelled 90,400 miles in the 12 month period.

Despite being non-standard, and potentially ripe for withdrawal, Falcon was fitted with Air brakes, to allow it to work with the new Mk2 air-braked coaching stock. The vacuum breaking equipment was removed at the same time, to make room.

Late December 1971 and early 1972 found Falcon on test again, primarily between Swindon, Old Oak Common and Didcot, and also at high speed between Bristol and Taunton. However, by May 1972, it was back on its old stomping ground on the Paddington to Bristol service.

Passenger work finally ran out for Falcon during 1972 with the advent of ETH stock. Fitting of ETH equipment was considered unviable Subsequently the steam heat boiler was isolated and the locomotive was transferred to Cardiff Canton to work steel trains between Newport Docks and Llanwern Steel works. The following year, 1973, Falcon found it’s next and final operational home at Ebbw Vale junction, working Iron Ore trains.

In october 5th 1975 one of Falcon’s  traction motor bearings failed, and following a number of months spent languishing at Ebbw Vale Junction, the unique machine was sold for scrap. A preservation attempt was made, however, apparently  a clause in the contract between Brush and BR stipulated that at the end of its working life, Falcon would be cut up for scrap and not be sold for preservation.

LIVERIES

Falcon wore four liveries during its lifetime:

September 1961: The initial livery out-shopped from Brush in September 1961 was lime-green body with darker green bands along the top and bottom of the bodysides. D0280

October 1961: By the time the locomotive was employed on BR metals, the livery consisted of lime-green body with chestnut upper and lower bands in place of the dark green bands. The chestnut was also painted around the window surrounds. D0280

1965: For it’s full service on the western region, the livery was changed to Brunswick green with a pale green bodyside bands, and yellow nose panels. D0280

December 1970: Swindon painted Falcon in its final livery in 1970, when the air brake mods were carried out. The machine emerged in all over BR Blue with full yellow ends and window surrounds. It was numbered 1200 and had the BR double arrow on diagonally opposite cabsides. The other cabsides carried a full TOPS data panel.


CAVEAT: My suggestion would be to discount the first livery, as it was only extant for barely a month before the scheme was modified.


PROS AND CONS OF A CROWDFUNDED FALCON PROJECT

Pros:    

A 10+ year service life, bridging transition and corporate blue eras. (see cons)
A truly mixed traffic locomotive, equally at home on express passenger & pullman services and heavy mineral freight trains, etc.
A large geographical area of employment, Great Eastern, Eastern, London Midland, and Western regions, including South Wales. Incursions into Scotland on ECML parcels trains to/from Edinburgh.
A relatively small number of liveries.
Heljan have produced a OO and an O gauge model, which suggest drawings may be available. If not, assuming the O gauge model was considered accurate, it may be possible to scale an N gauge version from it, similar to the method Kernow employed on (i think) there early Warship model for OO.
A surprisingly large amount of photographic reference material available.
Farish had what appears good success with DP1, another prototype machine, with a smaller geographical area of deployment.
Consistently high polling in the RMWEB annual wishlist

Cons:

Only one was built so poor to almost impossible prospect of multiple purchases, except in respect of collectors.
No existing example for scanning purposes
A reasonably short lifespan in the grand scheme of things
Less than astounding up-take of “transition” era crowdfunding models




Best

Scott
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 12:19:00 pm by NGS-PO »


Offline newportnobby

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 09:29:18 pm »
Thanks for putting over a very comprehensive and well researched case for a diesel loco I'd love to have.
Having seen it on WR metals in the mid 60s that's the livery I voted for :claphappy:

Offline Chetcombe

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 09:59:43 pm »
Thanks for putting over a very comprehensive and well researched case for a diesel loco I'd love to have.
Having seen it on WR metals in the mid 60s that's the livery I voted for :claphappy:

Completely agree, interesting proposal and I would also go for the 65-70 livery. Falcon is available in both OO and O gauges from Heljan/ Olivia's trains, I hope that is a good sign of the potential for enough  interest.

Offline Skyline2uk

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 10:19:50 pm »
An impressive piece of research and a genuinely interesting read.

I am aware of the "prototype" Diesels; DP1, Lion, Falcon and Kestrel, but only really know about DP1 and Kestrel (having read about the latter when I started driving a 7 1/4 inch version).

I am interested and delighted to read Falcon was used on the Western Region, and just because of that I have voted for a Blue one.

Such a model would be very very Rule 1 for me (don't model anything pre Era 8 at the moment), but she clearly should have been preserved and as such would be welcome one my layout with some Blue / Grey MK2s.

Skyline2uk
LNER A3 and A4....check
Deltic.....check
HST set......surely?!

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=4129.msg46795#msg46795

Offline Bob Tidbury

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 09:00:30 am »
I am very lucky to have two versions of livery .
The lime green and Chestnut painted by John Hazleton of Silver Fox fame .
And a Blue one which I think I painted years ago .
B H Enterprises have writen permision from John to sell, Falcon ,Lion ,Kestral and the Baby Deltic as Resin bodies .he also can get the Brown Boveri gas Turbine body .
I know Ray has got some Falcon bodies but they do need some work done to clean them up but Im not sure if he has any bogie sideframes .
If anyone is interested ring him on 01923 672809 after Seven PM to see what he has left ,I dont know when he is going to reorder more stock.
This is for those that like to build and paint their own models but a ready to run loco would be nice for those that are not so good at painting .
Bob Tidbury
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 09:02:47 am by Bob Tidbury »

Online Bob G

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2017, 09:22:09 am »
Scott

That's the way to scope a crowdfunding initiative!

I wish the LMS twins every support but it didn't get off to a good start because that's not how it should be done.

To be honest i's rather have a pair of Twins than another Falcon, as I have a livery 4 version from Britannia Pacific Models on a class 50 chassis - probably the same resin mould as the ex Fox ones? They only produced them in liveries 2 and 4, and I really want livery 3. But if it happened, I would have one.

Bob


Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 10:02:17 am »
All,

Thanks to those who have voted so far, more will be incoming.

I have come across a slight variation of Livery 2, when a small yellow warning panel was added, but as yet I'm not sure exactly when. The information I've seen only says it was added late in this livery's life, probably when it was based at Darnall (Sheffield)

Here it is here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5047/5643178258_ea1eeb3d58_z.jpg, being maneouvered by what is probably a Brush works shunter(?)

Hopefully I can find out more.

If anyone has anything to add, especially with regards routes and areas of operation, then I'd be interested in seeing it. The larger the geographical area, the better in terms of appeal.

Best

Scott
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 10:15:26 am by NGS-PO »

Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2017, 10:19:22 am »
A promotional Video for Falcon:


Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 10:35:49 am »
And here, briefly, at the 22 second mark, Falcon in livery 2 makes an appearance somewhere on the ECML:


Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 10:41:06 am »
Livery 2, on the Master Cutler, Sheffield Victoria



Interestingly, an EM sits on behind in the background.

And here is Livery 2 at the other end, King's Cross. The colour seems to be off as the lime green looks almost lightbrown:

« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 10:42:40 am by NGS-PO »

Online Dalek

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 10:42:12 am »
Excellent write up !

I'd be happy to have one in any livery variation, choose 2nd option in the poll though but would go with the flow to get one RTR

Craig

Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2017, 10:44:46 am »
Livery 3 at Bristol TM




Livery 4 at Ebbw Junction:





Livery 3, through Sydney Gardens, Bath:


« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 10:58:51 am by NGS-PO »

Offline Dizz

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2017, 10:48:44 am »
I understand your caveat comment but I have still voted for livery 1, however livery 3 is an extremely close second choice  :bounce:.

Pete


Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Crowdfunding Proposal for Brush Class 53 Falcon
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2017, 10:54:15 am »
I understand your caveat comment but I have still voted for livery 1, however livery 3 is an extremely close second choice  :bounce:.

Pete

Thanks, Pete.

To clarify, my caveat was me really thinking out loud that not many people, perhaps, would wish that livery as it had a short lifespan.

Many thanks for voting, much appreciated.

Best

Scott

 

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