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Mainland Set


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A doctor in Surabaya contacted me asking for an info on a trainset he has, he apparently got it from a patient who's father had worked in the corporation with. 




I have never seen a model train set that's been placed in a suitcase, let alone have several documents concerning it. 




The locomotive is a GWR OO scale Pannier tank, made in Yugoslavia by Mainland.


Can anyone tell me more about this set? I can't find anything about it.


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Mainline was a Kader/Bachmann line of OO gauge (double O gauge) for the U.K.  railway modellers. This one says made in Hong Kong.


This is a Great Western Railways 57XX pannier tank engine. Those driving rods look like they’ve seen better days. It will certainly need re-quartering.

Probably a loco model from the 1980s although I doubt the attaché case came with the original. Looks like a company offering executive toys put together which is very interesting. This site has the loco pictured in the 1981 catalogue 


Are all the wagons Mainline too? Hornby and Lima were also popular manufacturers of OO gauge stock at this time, I remember them well from my childhood.

The guard’s van is a Toad brake van, the style of which were used on the GWR. The soap wagon “perfection” was available from Mainline, Hornby and Dapol at some point.



The website above does have some images of the Mainline sets but this doesn’t look like it was from Mainline directly but maybe commissioned for a customer. An interesting piece so maybe worth researching Jessans marketing services and their other executive toys.

Edited by Kamome
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Reading the paperwork, this sounds like a special commission made by Kader for a third party. The stock is all standard Mainline.


My guess for the quartering problem would be a split gear. Mainline split frame locos were notorious for this as they had the driving wheels with stub axles pressed into a plastic axle, which provided the insulation. It might just be a shifted crank in which case stripping it down, pulling the wheels from the gear/axle part and refitting with a dab of gel superglue (ideally Loctite Powerflex) will sometimes do the trick, it did on an old Manor class 4-6-0 I have. I think you can buy remanufactured sets of plastic axles from Peters Spares in the UK if it has split rather than just slipped.


Do remember to get the quartering right or it'll lock up, even very slight misalignment will give you a model which runs like a three legged donkey. The cranks on one side should be a quarter turn ahead of the other (hence "quartering").


Watch for Zincpest in the frames too, some Mainline locos suffer from it.


Performance was never particularly wonderful, but it shouldn't be hard to get it moving again. Mine are ok when bowling along with a train but not so good at slow running.


I think I recently worked out where "Baldwin" were based in Bristol too. There was a coal yard behind what's now the M Shed museum, which should be easy to find on Google Earth (and videos of the museum's rail operations on YT). There are expensive flats and eateries on the site now, but it lasted as a coal merchant into the 80s (by then named "Western Fuel Co.").

Edited by Welshbloke
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A bit more things regarding the set. 


The entire stock is mainline, made in yugoslavia. Apart from the controller, which was model power from Ontario Canada.


Yes I do believe the problem appear to be the split axle in the loco. Id probably have to requarter and realign the axlerod.


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According to the papers that come from the briefcase. This was the grenadier collection by Jessam Marketing. My idea was that this was a door to door locomotive salesman briefcase, or a gift from the higher ups. 


Does Jessam Marketing ring a bell for you guys?


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It just sounds like a company marketing a small train set (and other toys) to executives to play with in their offices. I expect they just bought train sets from other manufacturers and just repackaged it so it all looked aimed at executive use only! Part of the psychology of executives, they are special and would not be caught dead playing with a kids toy even if it’s the exact same train set.



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It definitely wasn't made in Yugoslavia. Mainline models were made by Kader in Hong Kong on behalf of Palitoy (who also made Action Man and other classic British toys of the 70s and 80s). After Palitoy went under Kader carried on, at first on behalf of Replica Railways and then setting up Bachmann Branchline to sell the models in the UK without a middle man.


Some of the current Bachmann range still uses old Mainline tooling, and some of the earliest Bachmann new releases were stock.that Mainline had announced but not had time to release before being wound up. There were even some LNER coaches which had a very obvious raised area under the chassis where the Mainline logo had been ground off the tools!


The controller and/or track are Mehano (badged Model Power) which is where the Yugoslav connection comes in, Mainline did offer a transformer in the UK but obviously it took a 240v input. Whoever put these sets together would have had to source an alternative with a suitable input voltage.


Mainline stock plays nicely with HO Unitrak and Kato controllers, in my experience. Even the six-coupled locos I have will handle R370 curves.

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