Sunday, August 16, 2009

Missing models - Part 1

Watching a British Transport film the other day - "Railways For Ever!" - among all the nostalgia, one scene leapt out at me. It was in the section of the film covering the exciting future of rail travel and showed a model of what the narrator, John Betjeman, claimed in suitably awe inspired tones, to be the new Advanced Passenger Train.

The scene involved a model railway layout with prominent Airfix signal box. Whizzing by was an APT. Not the APT we know and love (well I love anyway, a fabulous train) but a model of an early design study. The one shown above in fact. The model obviously ran on OO gauge track and as it cornered the coaches tilted realistically. Between the vehicles weren't gangways but those clever articulating units found on the real train when it emerged.

RG Latham has an excellent site on the APT here with many photos. Check it out.

Now what, I wonder, happened to this model ? It was built by a model maker, probably from scratch since the Hornby model was many years in the future. If it hadn't been they could have saved a fortune on "design studies". How the tilting was achieved is a mystery. From memory, Hornby struggled for some time to work out what in the end was a very simple method. In fact the construction as a whole would take some explaining - the sides are apparently seamless and also made from clear plastic, possibly vacuum formed ?

I must admit a model of the APT-E has always been on my list and one of these could be fun too. Mind you, if I wait long enough, Heljan will probably bring one out RTR !

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