Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

A Study in Blue

Leave a comment


Well if you’re a Holmes fan you’ll know about scarlet and if you’re a Sherlock fan you’ll know about pink, but this one’s in blue.

My wife wanted to find a blueprint to put on the living room wall. We agreed it was better to get a real one that meant something rather than some cheap tat from a shop.

On eBay I picked up a set of 7 blueprints. Intriguingly these were all stamped on the back “7th Feb 1934”.

They were all North British Locomotive Company. Having researched them and discussed it with a number of people I believe they were printed for a sales agent to carry around to use to sell their wares “this is what we can do” sort of thing.

Trying to resolve what they were exactly took a bit of time as 3 were 3’6″ gauge, 1 was standard gauge, and 3 were 5’6″ gauge. In the end I booked in with the National Railway Museum’s Search Engine facility and had a look at the original order books they have. They also have the original linen hand coloured GAs for the standard gauge Fairlie.


Here is what they are:

South African Railways 15CA 4-8-2


South African Railways MH 2-6-6-2 Mallet


South African Railways FD 2-6-2+2-6-2 Modified Fairlie


Mexican R1 / R2 Double Fairlie


Bengal-Nagpur Railway KSM class 4-6-2


Great Argentine Railway CS6 4-8-0


Great Indian Peninsula Railway N1 2-10-0.


The modified Fairlie is interesting because they weren’t very successful. Only 2 FCs were ever built and only 4 FDs. The FDs were produced in 1925 so presumably hadn’t shown their inherent weakness after 9 years if the NBL Co were still trying to flog them.

Also found a typewritten sheet in one of the order books at the NRM which showed which orders in WW2 had or had not yet been given authority to build. Real wartime rationing. Munitions before motive power.


Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales and Beamish. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s