WORTLEY TOP FORGE MODEL ENGINEERS
THE PROTOTYPE 152 of the 2-BIL EMUs were built by the Southern between 1935-8. Designed for local and semi-fast services the units were built in two batches with some detail differences between the two. They spent most of their working lives on the South Coast lines between Portsmouth, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings and on the South-Western Division lines from Waterloo. Powered by 275hp English Electric motors mounted on the bogies of the motor coach, the units operated from the Southern's 750v DC outside third rail system. The Driving Trailer Composite coach had four second and four first class compartments while the Motor Brake Third had seven third class compartments giving a total of 24 first and 88 third class seats. The Driving Trailer was equipped with a lavatory at one end. The Motor Brake Third coach had a large guards/luggage compartment behind the driving cab. Although there was no corridor connection between the coaches, each had a lavatory compartment. This led to the typically unusual Southern classification of 2-BIL, (Bi = two, L = Lavatory!). The class lasted well into the 1970's and carried liveries ranging from the original SR olive green, through the BR Southern Region green up to the all-over BR(s) Blue. One of the class, unit number 2090 has been preserved as part of the National Collection at the NRM where restoration and repainting has recently been completed.
OBJECTIVES In short, the aim was to build the 2-coach unit to carry about 6 adults, including driver. The completed unit was to provide good slow running with powerful acceleration and some form of braking, plus reverse running. The powered vehicle would be the Motor Brake Second coach as this had the advantage of a guards/luggage compartment some 24" in length, ideal for housing some of the control gear and batteries. The coaches would be linked electrically, (for lighting and control purposes), by jumper cables as per the prototype. The control equipment would be mounted in the roof with a single plug-in panel. The modeller rather than the budding engineer came to the fore at this point as I made the rash decision that the interior detail would include fully furnished compartments, and lighting. Exterior detail had to include removable, working tail-lamps, and removable illuminated route indicator stencils. I decided at an early stage that the idea of opening doors, and working droplights was highly attractive, and fairly impractical - so I abandoned that idea at the drawing board stage! Non-functional screw couplings were to be fitted at the outer ends together with working buffers.
DRAWINGS and SOURCE INFORMATION Drawings at a scale of 10mm:1ft for the project were obtained from the famous Skinley range. A conversion chart was then devised which provided all necessary measurements up to 8ft in the three scales of 12":1ft, 10mm:1ft and 1.5":1ft. Numerous photographs and articles on the prototype were already to hand from my own collection of Southern text books. I had already built two of these units previously, one from scratch and one from a commercial kit, (both to 1:76 scale and predominantly from plastic card), so source data was not a problem!