Third time lucky…

Perhaps third times the charm? Thirty one three ways? The humble mundane work-a-day ‘Ped’, nearly as long lived as the 37s on the mainline, today there are very many preserved including 31271 here in the valley…

31s on Paxton Road

As a prototype I’ve always liked their shape and the collection of body side grills. I had a pair in OO as a child, an old Triang Hornby one that was repaint fodder and a Lima Regional Railways one - current at that point as I was seeing them on the North Wales coast. My rebirth in N began very early with the Farish BR blue one being added to the collection as Paxton Road was inspired by Barnstaple goods and they appeared frequently on the ex LSWR metals there… it felt very much at home.

Later in one of those moments of scope creep, a love of the nuclear flask liveried ones and a steal of a price for a new one saw 31130 arrive. The way these locomotives carried the sub-sector Railfreight livery was lovely, and the Farish model weathered down beautifully. 

However, both if these have moved on, the former because I was concentrating on Scotland (and they fetch a good price in blue), the second because I realised a plain original Railfreight one might be more geographically and commodity neutral.

So 31154 now resides here, the echoes of its previous brethren present in its form, a lovely reminder of the way the hobby becomes a story in itself. Meanwhile, it’s gently modified and weathered form was a pleasure to produce and I love how it looks on the layout - yet also, imagining it on future projects, perhaps not a catalyst as such, but an enabler, a gateway.

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