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Mind your head! Rapido Trains UK are announcing a new loco that is way above par.
- New OO Gauge Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0ST, available directly from Rapido Trains UK and our Official Retailers.
- The next addition to the expanding range of highly regarded industrial locomotives from Rapido Trains UK.
- The Cornish King and Queen of preservation royalty.
- Separate tooling to accurately portray Alfred and Judy correctly.
- Twin Pack Special Edition and single locomotives available.
- Available to order now!
That's the way to do it!
Rapido Trains UK is proud to announce a cute Cornish Couple. The particularly petite Port of Par Bagnall's in OO Gauge.
The Port of Par 'twins' Alfred and Judy are possibly some of the most recognisable small industrial steam locomotives to work in the UK. The reason these two locomotives were designed requires a look back in time.
In 1829 Joseph Thomas Treffry started to build Par Harbour. His business interests required coal to be imported and copper, lead and granite to be exported. Other ports were too small or faced logistical obstructions Ð resulting in the creation of Par Harbour.
Over time the port grew as the china clay industry blossomed, and rail traffic started to become the norm. Eventually, the harbour was served by two mainline connections, one from the 'Down' side of the Plymouth Ð Penzance mainline and one from the St Blazey to Fowey line.
The port's first locomotive arrived in 1913 Ð a rather odd Welsh-built vertical boiler engine. In 1916 a second engine, a rather elderly Manning Wardle arrived and was named Punch. A further small Sentinel locomotive named Toby joined the fleet in 1926. With the downturn of the clay industry in the interwar years and the need to repair locos, the vertical boiler of the original engine was fitted to Punch creating a Frankenstein-looking machine.
By 1936 Punch required replacement. Tommy Truscott Ð the Ports Engineer decided a new steam locomotive was required and commissioned W.G. Bagnall of Staffordshire to design and build a new locomotive. This loco had to meet certain unusual requirements. The engine had to pass under an 8ft tall bridge under the Cornish Mainline to reach the china clay works along with operating on curves down to a 70' radius.
In September 1937 the locomotive was delivered at a cost of £1200 carrying the works number 2572. It had originally been planned to name her Chough after the distinctive species of Cornish bird. The message was received by Bagnall as Cough, which they thought was rather strange and so she was sent to Par without a nameplate. She was finally given nameplates that read Judy after 1955.
By 1952 the low-profile Sentinel Toby required replacement and an upturn in traffic meant an order was placed for another locomotive. In 1954 Alfred was delivered (named after the manager of the harbour Alfred Truscott). Whilst nominally the same, Alfred had some differences to Judy with different bunker style, tank and handrail alterations (such as a tank filler that opened in the opposite direction) and a different purchase price this time £7500.
The engines had a hard-working life hauling thousands of tons of china clay with both engines in operation each day. However, during the 1960s modernisation of the port started and rail traffic started to diminish. The branch line to the china clay workings was lifted and replaced with a road for lorries. Judy had started to experience boiler troubles so was withdrawn from traffic in 1969 - her driver Del Robins taking her into the shed for one last time for not only Judy's retirement but his own. Alfred soldiered on until 1977 when, rather unglamorously, shunting was taken over by tractors.
The locomotives gained a celebrity status not least because of their unusual size and stature. They were some of the last working steam engines in Cornwall and the site became a stronghold of visits by railway enthusiasts. The engines became so popular that they also inspired the Rev. W. Awdry to immortalise them in his Railway Series stories as Bill and Ben, carrying a striking yellow livery.
Judy was kept cleaned and oiled in the shed at Par whilst Alfred was in operation. With the cessation of rail traffic, new homes were sought for the engines. Judy first went to the recently established China Clay Museum at Wheal Martyn whilst Alfred, in operating condition, went to the Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society.
Both locomotives can now be found on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Judy was returned to operational condition in 2023 whilst plans for returning Alfred to operational condition are being finalised with the intention that both locomotives will be available to work together once again.
The Port of Par Bagnall models have been designed using works drawings to ensure accuracy and feature a variety of livery options covering their history, including those sported in preservation.
'As preserved' lined light green and 1960s dark-lined green livery versions will be available as part of the Port of Par Twin Pack Special Editions. In addition to the two incredible models of Alfred and Judy, these packs will feature an Illustrated booklet describing the history of the locomotives, and a postcard print of an exclusive Jonathan Clay painting. All are beautifully presented in a charming wooden box. What a stylish way to house the King and Queen of Cornish preservation. Two single locomotives will also be available in other liveries carried by the individual locomotives Ð this time in a standard box.
Modellers can look forward to a smooth-running mechanism with flywheel, plunger pickups, a factory-installed speaker on all models, and a Next18 decoder socket fitted under the tank. There will also be separate tooling to accurately portray the slight differences between Alfred and Judy correctly.
ESU has been working with us since the start of the project, the DCC Sound options will be fitted with an ESU Nano chip. ESU is also working on a bespoke electronic setup with us to help with smooth running on DCC.
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