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A web-site by Rob Speare


Modelling Bulleid's 'Q1' class 0-6-0.

It's probably true that you either love or hate Bulleid's Southern Railway Q1 class of 1942.

As WW2 proceeded, the Southern were in need of a powerful, yet light-footed locomotve.  Bulleids' Q1 class emerged, and they proved very successful, some of the 40 examples surviving until 1966.

Their very stark outline was derived from the war time effort to conserve the use of steel, which was needed elsewhere.  However, Bulleid's Q1 design was Britain's most powerful, and the last main-line 0-6-0 class built.  They may have looked strange, but were very practical, good steamers, and were liked by drivers.

Details of the full size Q1 are summarised elsewhere, and their only deficiency seems to have been inadequate braking for the long un-fitted freight trains the Q1s were capable of hauling; but that shouldn't affect our smaller facsimiles.

Perhaps rather sadly, a bit like original Ford motor cars - they were only available in 'black' . . .   Hornby went one step further and offered their '00' gauge Q1 in 'black', and 'weathered black';  I'm sure larger examples become grimy all too soon.

The recent Hornby model has raised the Q1's profile from relatively forgotten; though a Q1 did appear in t.v's. 'Thomas and Friends', Series 9.
Arriving on the Island of Sodor, and named "Neville", he is described as being an "all round good egg, who doesn't hold any grudges" - well I'm pleased to hear that !
And, someone has even figured out how to model a Q1 from   'Lego bricks' . . .

More to the point, the Q1 makes a compact and powerful live steam model, which can be built as a basic hauler, or fitted with sufficient fiddly bits to keep most rivet counters happy.  However the only commercially published drawings and construction articles available are for 3½" gauge - as described by Nick Feast in Model Engineer.

I started my own Q1 Class construction locomotive a long time ago.  Working quite remotely, and before the internet as we know it, I found little detailed information available about this locomotive, and initially didn't even realise there was a preserved one.  Yet, wherever I have been, this project always stirred considerable interest, and people who have worked with these locos always find some anecdote to tell about them.

Over time I came across a few other brave souls who have also been busy constructing Q1s over the years.  Q1 builders are a determined bunch, and need to be, since until very recently each has had to research, design and manufacture the whole lot.

Since there were not many of these around, I thought it might be useful to provide some basic information, and show a snapshot of owners' work.  In the end I actively set out to track down as many Q1s as I could through contacts and word of mouth; and encourage each builder to tell their own individual story, and this formed the nucleus of the web-site.

No comparison of models is intended here, each features the attributes desired by the builder; but in whatever gauge, this page is meant as a tribute to all have completed, or who are building their own unique and still quite rare miniature Q1.

With the permission of various builders of the Q1s shown, there are short articles on their own versions of these intriguing locomotives.

Some interesting reading with a pictoral history of the class - "The Story of the Q1s" by John Scott Morgan, ISBN 0954485912, if you can find one.

If you know of any further Q1s, please let me know.

Please hover your mouse over the accompanying photos for their descriptions.