OF THE LILIPUT NS 7501 2-6-0T LOCOMOTIVE
By David Halsa
In the short-lived International Railway Modelling, Robert Forsythe advocates modelling of the NS in the neglected period 1945-55 for its rich variety of imported locomotives and stock - American, British, German, Swedish, Swiss - in the chaotic aftermath of wartime damage and loss, and subsequent rebuilding. There are a number of RTR HO locomotives now suitably adapted to represent NS use in this period. Well established examples include former German engines such as Class 94 0-10-0T's (Fleischmann 4095), Class 38 (Prussian P8) 4-6-0s (Fleischmann 4161), and newer Benelux models such as SNCB/NMBS 2-10-0 25021 (Roco 43268) and the diminutive Swiss built 'Tigerli' 0-6-0T (Liliput L103308).
Liliput also produces the Prussian State Railway Class T9 (German 91) 2-6-0T in a variety of liveries from PSR to those railway systems such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, to which these locomotives were allocated after hostilities ceased as well as working German railways. The model of NS 7501 (DRG 911054) is particularly interesting as it represents the transition from German to Dutch ownership in 1946, and appears to be the only '91' transferred to NS. It is modelled in German livery with its DRG number crossed out in white and replaced by 'NS 7501'. Comparison of the model with a photograph of the prototype in this 'hybrid' livery (N.J. van Wijck Jurriaanse, 1972, p. 62) demonstrates the effective modelling by Liliput. The engine's characteristic appearance is well captured by evocative representations of the tall narrow chimney, squat flat topped dome, gilded bell and safety valves, blackened Walschaerts valve gear and connecting rods and small driving wheels, protruding cylinders and air cylinders on the front pony truck and rear frames. The buffers are sprung and the headlamps on rear and front buffer beams work in the appropriate directions of travel. Moulded application of riveting and application of other small parts is sensitive and detailed; paint work is smoothly applied matt finish black with red frames, footplate edges and wheels; brakes and fittings below footplate level are well proportioned. The use of red is somewhat bright and it is noticeable that some parts are self-coloured plastic, detracting a little from overall consistency. This is perhaps quibbling too much as the appearance of the model is excellent and well portrays the character and scale of the prototype.
Scale couplings and hoses are provided and the model is equipped with standard NEM fittings. The engine performs well; it runs smoothly from first contact with the track and the motor is quiet and refined in both directions of travel. One detail omitted is a box/cupboard assembly on the right side of the smokebox, covering brake equipment/cylinder, detailed parts on the model. Purists could easily fit such an appendage, made with plasticard. This is a very pleasing and exquisite representation of the prototype, evocative of a continuing link between German and Dutch motive power and of the coming of peace to Western Europe. It seems also a 'good runner'. If you are interested in this period, this locomotive is well worthy of consideration.