It's been very quiet again on Worsley Dale but there's been a fair increase in rolling stock, many of which will be featured on the layout in the coming months.
I've been reading up on the Scottish railway scene lately and devouring lots of photographs and although it was mentioned by someone when work initially began on Worsley Dale, I never really took to the idea of modelling the Caledonian Sleeper because I just thought of a long rake of coaches running from London to Edinburgh that would look totally out of place on my little single line railway. But I hadn't really seen the opportunity that it presented upon arrival in Edinburgh and its forward movements with varying numbers of coaches and array of motive power.
The trouble with modelling the Caledonian Sleeper is that it can be very expensive. The MK3 sleeper coaches are in great demand and command a correspondingly high price while there are no commercially available models of the day coaches. In model form, much like in real life, the RLO and BUO day coaches must be converted from other MK2 coaches and while there are some examples occasionally listed on eBay the quality of workmanship isn't always that great. I was lucky to drop on a pair that I'm quite happy with.
The correct day coaches are not absolutely necessary however as there is plenty of photographic evidence to show that even when the train was in First Scotrail Caledonian Sleeper livery (as on the accompanying photos here) there could often be seen standard MK2 coaches in InterCity Executive livery for example. I intend to recreate some of those images at some point and have obtained the correct coaches in order to do so.
I'm not sure why but to me the class 67 looks like it was made for hauling the sleepers through the Highlands. Below is 67024 in EWS livery hauling three MK3 sleepers and the two day coaches over Low Shott viaduct.
The class 67's are being replaced by class 73's for the Highland sleepers but not before 67004 (below) was repainted in Caledonian Sleeper livery. This is 67004 'CAIRN GORM', a Hornby model fitted with TTS sound.
Double heading is not uncommon on the sleeper service and so as I had both locomotives out on a cold day down in Worsley Dale I decided to put them together for another photo with 67024 leading 67004. And after what, five years or so, just look at how Low Shott viaduct has weathered and withstood a number of harsh winters without any undue damage.
I would really like to recreate the sleeper service with InterCity liveried sleepers but I've yet to see any offered anywhere and I dread to think of what the asking price would be. I might have to console myself by modelling the Scotrail HST's just announced as part of the Hornby 2019 range.