Steve Johnson    Modelmaker




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071 Class

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General Motors 071 Class

The Prototype

In 1976, CIÉ purchased eighteen locomotives designated 071 Class for express passenger work. General Motors EMD type JT22CW locomotives have a similar cab to the previous B141 and B181 designs, but there the similarity stops. These are much bigger locomotives weighing in at 99 tons and sit on two six wheeled bogies. The engine, a development of the 567 series, is the more powerful 12-645 E3B V12 two stroke, with turbo charging and blower scavenging, developing 2,450bhp at 900rpm. When delivered, they appeared in a slightly non-standard livery, the colour being more brown than orange and a white CIÉ roundal rather the the normal orange version. They quickly proved themselves as outstanding locomotives, providing availability figures in excess of 90% for long periods of time. Indeed, it was not unusual for all eighteen to out working for weeks on end, the only visits to the depot being for refuelling. At one time British Rail's freight division was looking for new diesel locomotives and seriously considered this type until the government decreed that they should not source outside Europe. However, this decree was relaxed when Northern Ireland Railways was purchasing locomotives. They have now been displaced from most express passenger duties by the newer 201 Class.

The Model

The basic details of the CIÉ 071 Class and NIR 111 Class are the same. Again two models of this locomotive have been available, the one from MTK being of etched brass and white metal construction and the other white metal version from MIR. The MTK version was not particularly good, so I built the MIR kit. In common with all MIR kits, good clean castings and a set of clear instructions make for easy assembly. Originally I had used the MIR motor bogies. These consisted of a white metal frame, Romford 20:1 gears, a DS10 motor and Kean Maygib 16.5mm wheels and axles. These units run acceptably, but I decided later to re-chassis the locomotive with the Athearn SD9 unit. The SD9 virtually slots straight in after the coupling mountings have been trimmed back. Interior detail is provided as are a set of etched brass fan grilles. Flush glazing, the correct shade paints and a good selection of transfers are available from MIR to complete the kit. I also applied some Craftsman etched brass windscreen wipers and made some lamp brackets from some scrap brass fret.

MIR Resin Bodied Kit

An updated version of the 071 Class kit became available in early 2000. The one piece body, cast in resin, is fairly clean. Some tidying up of the window apertures is necessary and expected. Included in the kit are some etched brass bodyside grilles for the cooler group as well as some nicely etched fan grilles and fans. Various white metal castings are included for cab roof ventilator, horn, buffers, running plate steps, hoses, cab floor, control desk and cab seats. As with the newer MIR releases, the kit also includes paints, transfers, painting diagram and some Flushglaze. A set of Athearn running plate handrail stanchions are supplied along with some brass wire for the handrail. The model is designed to fit onto the Athearn SD9 chassis.

Murphy's Models RTR Model

Murphy's Models has now produced the 071 class in a number of liveries and have included small detail differences that have occurred over the years, such as LED light clusters. The models are extremely good and well observed. They also feature a factory fitted loudspeaker and a suitable sound decoder is available. My version 088, is in the original livery with white roundal.