CMR 'Atlantic'

Ted Polet

Brass locomotive construction

Upon the closure of the Campbeltown & Machrihanish Railway, its loco ‘Atlantic’ was retained for demolition work during 1934. Later that year, the management of the Craigcorrie & Dunalistair Railway, never able to resist a bargain, snapped up the loco for its scrap value and after a refit put it into service on the CDR. This explains why the big CMR Barclay, contrary to general belief, can still be found at work in the backwoods of Scotland, its sharp exhaust raising the echoes in the Glenclachan Gorge when hauling a string of empties uphill to Inverlochan Moor.

All right… this is all imagination. What really happened was that several years ago one of those discussions about scale versus freelance modelling raged in the 009 News. The driving force behind the discussion was Pete McParlin of Backwoods Miniatures, who had something to say about the use of N gauge mechanisms and what they do (or don’t do) to improve the looks of a narrow gauge locomotive. As a dyed-in-the-wool freelance modeller I decided I had to say something in favour of freelance work. So I wrote something in the ‘News’ and promptly had a reaction from Pete which in the end resulted in me taking up the challenge of building one of Pete’s kits. I ordered his kit of a Campbeltown & Machrihanish Barclay 0-6-2 which at the time was being announced.

Up to that moment I had mainly worked in styrene, or used whitemetal kits to produce an extensive fleet of narrow gauge motive power for the Craigcorrie & Dunalistair Railway. I found the prospect of soldering together an etched kit rather daunting, but I thought to myself that there were hundreds of people doing it so why not try it myself. The kit lay on the shelf for a year as I prepared Dunalistair for its 1997 Expo-NG appearance. During the winter that followed, it was staring me in the face until I decided to do something about it.

The photo album (see bottom of the page) gives a step by step account of the work. Below there are a few previews. First, the flat kit as it comes out of the box.

The frames and motion:

Here the model is nearly finished:

Trial running with a coal train:

Atlantic in service after detailing and painting:

More photos