Minerva Model Railways, the independent company formed by Chris Basten and Chris Klein, announce the manufacture of a finescale, injection-moulded 0 gauge model of the Great Western Railway 57XX/8750 0-6-0 pannier tank locomotive in 7mm scale (1:43.5, for 32mm standard gauge). It is Minerva’s third model and follows the acclaimed Peckett E Class 0-4-0ST locomotive produced in 2015 and the Kerr Stuart Victory 0-6-0T locomotive launched in 2016. It will be manufactured in the same factory as the Peckett and Victory. Delivery will be mid 2017.
The 57XX/8750 pannier tank locomotives were designed by the GWR’s Chief Mechanical Engineer C.B. Collett. They were intended to replace the ageing fleet of Dean and Churchward tank locomotives, many of which had been converted to pannier tanks from saddle tanks, and the motley collection of locomotives inherited by the GWR at the 1923 grouping. A total of 823 was built by the GWR and later British Railways between 1929 and 1950 making it the most numerous class of locomotive on the GWR and one of the largest class in the United Kingdom. These versatile and puissant tank locomotives were officially designated as light goods and shunting engines by the GWR, but were frequently used for passenger working on branch, suburban, and shorter mainline journeys.
As a result of the 1955 Modernisation Plan, the 57XX/8750 Class was withdrawn from British Railways service between 1956 and 1966. Nineteen withdrawn locomotives were sold to London Transport and a further six were acquired by the National Coal Board where they achieved a certain celebrity status operating around pits in South Wales after the end of British Railways mainline steam operations in 1968. Sixteen locomotives have survived into preservation.
The model will be produced in several batches to accommodate the principal options including early and later cab styles, welded and riveted tanks, with and without top feed apparatus and early and late injectors, as follows:
1st batch: 8750 late cab, welded tanks, with or without top feed, late pattern injectors, early or late lettered GW green liveries, early or late BR black crested liveries.
2nd batch: 57xx early cab, welded tanks, with or without top feed, late pattern injectors, early or late lettered GW green liveries, early or late BR black crested liveries.
3rd batch:57xx early cab, riveted tanks, with or without top feed, late pattern injectors, early or late lettered GW green liveries, early or late BR black crested liveries.
4th batch: 57xx early cab, riveted tanks, with or without top feed, early pattern injectors, early or late lettered GW green liveries, early or late BR black crested liveries.
- An injection-moulded ready-to-run body with over 200 individual components
- Die cast metal chassis
- Fine scale wheels
- Six-wheel electrical pickup
- High-torque flywheel-equipped motor, driving the rear axle
- 40:1 precision gearbox for slow, smooth running
- Options include DC, DCC-fitted and DCC sound fitted
- Full Cab detail
- Sprung buffers
- Hook draw-gear with screw or three link couplings
- GWR unlined green and British Railways unlined black liveries.
- A selection of etched tank and bunker steps, both early and late versions, together with long and short whistle shields
- Injection moulded locomotive crew.
The retail price including UK VAT for a DC version is expected to be £230.00 and lower than existing Minerva locos due to the larger numbers being produced. A discounted price for all options will be available for early orders, details to be announced when the sterling exchange rate has stabilized. The models will only be available direct from Minerva Models via mail and telephone order, the Minerva website and from the Minerva Models’ stand at selected model railway shows.