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From T49 to U25: yet another GWR 4-wheel coach


buffalo

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We've seen several GWR 4-wheel coaches on the blogs in recent weeks so I thought I would add one that I've been working on. The origins of this project go back more than four years to this topic in the early days of the current incarnation of RMweb and long before I started on the current incarnation of my Camerton layout. I'd almost forgotten it until I was reminded by a post by Miss Prism in this topic. The original intention had been to identiy the unusual brake coach used on passenger and mixed trains between Hallatrow and Camerton before the opening of the extension to Limpley Stoke. The topic ended with me assuming that the coach was a T49, much like the one recently restored at Didcot.

 

Since then, a few things have happened. Firstly, I came accross a mention of the branch coach being a brake composite. This probably makes more sense than a brake third as there were a few folk in Camerton at the time who would not have travelled third class. Then I found a figure caption in an article by Richard Kelham on the Cam valley collieries in BRJ No9 (1985) which said that the coach was a U25, and closer inspection of the photo in the Maggs & Beale book showed that there was indeed a larger gap between the ventilators of the third and fourth compartments. This is poor reproduction of the photo in question (ignore the date, it's certainly no later than 1907, probably earlier). In the original topic, Mikkel had suggested using some Shire Scenes parts to make the end ducket. Well since then, Shire Scenes faded away and was resurrected by Dart Castings.

 

After I was reminded of the old topic I found that Dart Castings were now selling a T49 kit so I began to think about whether this could be converted to a U25. All that was needed was to chop out a 3mm wide section in the panelling between the fourth compartment and guards van and insert it between the third and fourth compartments, thus creating the wider first class compartment. So, out with the razor saw. The first picture below shows the Shire Scenes T49 sides and ends, but the second side has been cut and re-arranged (don't worry about the alignment, its not soldered yet).

 

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The next photo shows the same side with all parts soldered together, but before forming the tumblehome.

 

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The ends were formed and added, together with a brass floor, solebars made from brass channel and Bill Bedford axleguards. The Shire Scenes kit only covers the body and a few detail parts and is intended to be assembled on a Ration kit underframe. I went with brass because it is my preferred medium

 

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Footboards were made up from brass angle, various underframe details came from a variety of sources or were made by hand. Having just said I prefer brass, you'll notice the partitions are made of plasticard...

 

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So to bring us up to date, I sprayed it with primer today and will need to use a little bit of filler to paper over some of the cracks. I'll probably spray the underframe black tomorrow, but it will then have to wait until I finish the current project (a David Geen Diagram L autrotrailer for use when the Limpley Stoke extension is opened) so that they can be painted together...

 

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Finally, I've added an underneath view as I noticed I hadn't taken any earlier.

 

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Nick

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So, out with the razor saw.

 

Wow. I'm impressed, and would never have considered using a razor saw for cutting down a length of etch, particularly over thin half-etch sections. Did you incline the saw very slightly to the piece, or apply it flat?

 

Also, I assume you used the Ratio boxes/springs (removed from their plastic W-irons)? And buffers?

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Thanks, Miss P. For the cutting I clamped the flat sides between a small engineers' square and a thin piece of plywood. Using the square as a guide, the first few strokes were flat to establish a line then it was finished by cutting at a very shallow angle.

 

No Ratio parts involved, though I'm hovering between using one of their roof pieces and trying to roll a three-arc out of brass. The springs and axleboxes are, IIRC, from Mainly Trains, probably no longer available but alternatives may be available from Dart Castings who also supplied the buffers.

 

As yet, there are no door ventilators but I intend to use some of the IKB castings from the BGS as these are much beefier than the etched ones in the kit.

 

On the underside, the brake parts below the guard's handle were included with the Shire Scenes etch, the A frames from the Bill Bedford axleguard etch, the vacuum cylinder and V hangers are old Mainly Trains parts, and the gas cylinder was turned from a piece of brass rod.

 

Nick

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Hi Nick, very good to see progress on Camerton. I noticed in another thread that you mentioned the Dia L autrotrailer, so I was hoping something good was on its way. And now this too. I had to look twice to see where you'd made the cuts. The whole thing is very impressive.

 

The efforts by Dart to upgrade this range has been a bit overlooked, I feel. Of course, there are still compromises involved in their kits but then there is the option of taking it a step further as you've done here. It's a real pity if the Mainly Trains bits are on their way out, I hope Dart may pick them up.

 

It's interesting to note how some branches had a clientele for 1st class traffic and others didn't. Were there any particular reasons that Camerton did, I wonder?

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Hi Nick, very good to see progress on Camerton. I noticed in another thread that you mentioned the Dia L autrotrailer, so I was hoping something good was on its way. And now this too. I had to look twice to see where you'd made the cuts. The whole thing is very impressive.

Thanks, Mikkel. If you only had to look twice then some filler is definitely needed :scratchhead: The autotrailer has been progressing well though I'm now in the middle of the rather tedious task of adding thirty-four bolection mouldings...

 

The efforts by Dart to upgrade this range has been a bit overlooked, I feel. Of course, there are still compromises involved in their kits but then there is the option of taking it a step further as you've done here. It's a real pity if the Mainly Trains bits are on their way out, I hope Dart may pick them up.

I'd not looked at Shire Scenes since that original topic so was surprised to find that Dart Castings were now doing the T49. Unlike several of their other kits it includes ends and other parts so is almost a complete body kit. I was quite pleased with it as it is dimensionally very close. The only problem is the non-brake end is a little wide and it is difficult to fold the tabs that attach to the sides tightly enough. As a result, the non-brake end is fractionally wider than the brake end, though it doesn't really show without measuring.

 

I really hope someone picks up the Mainly Trains etches and castings as my supply is dwindling rapidly. The lamp irons may have been a bit of a joke, but most of the 4-wheel coach parts were very good.

 

It's interesting to note how some branches had a clientele for 1st class traffic and others didn't. Were there any particular reasons that Camerton did, I wonder?

Unlike many coal mining districts, much of the Somerset Coalfield is set in rural farming country. The area has not always been prosperous but a proportion of the population might be described as 'comfortable'. There are certainly a small number of quite substantial houses of the 19th and early 20th centuries dotted about the Cam Valley.

 

Then there was the Jarrett family, in particular Emily Jarrett who owned and managed the collieries from 1863 until her death in 1911, after which they were bought by Sir Frank Beauchamp in 1914. The Jarretts lived at Camerton Court, rebuilt on the site of the old manor house in 1848-40, situated next to the church and overlooking the pits and railway from the south side of the valley. She was, however, described in a newspaper obituary as a fine horsewoman who never used motor cars. Whether she used the train I don't know, but there certainly was the potential for first class passengers to arrive at Camerton station.

 

Nick

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Then there was the Jarrett family, in particular Emily Jarrett who owned and managed the collieries from 1863 until her death in 1911, after which they were bought by Sir Frank Beauchamp in 1914. The Jarretts lived at Camerton Court, rebuilt on the site of the old manor house in 1848-40, situated next to the church and overlooking the pits and railway from the south side of the valley. She was, however, described in a newspaper obituary as a fine horsewoman who never used motor cars. Whether she used the train I don't know, but there certainly was the potential for first class passengers to arrive at Camerton station.

 

Now that's what I call research, profiling the individual passengers :-)

 

Emily Jarrett may of course have resented the intrusion of the railways, but on the other hand she may have accepted them as a better compromise than cars. She may also have been in need of a horsebox service... perhaps even organiser of an annual hunt (I understand that women engaged in fox hunts at this time), and thus lots of horseboxes!

 

You'll be needing some of Andrew Stadden's figures then, they are very good and there are several Emily Jarrett's in there I think :-)

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I rather think that Emily welcomed the railway as a reliable means of getting coal away from her pits. The Somerset Coal Canal, which passed through both pits, was in decline and road transport was expensive. Strictly speaking, it was her older sister Anna who inherited the pits and signed the colliery siding agreement with the railway in 1882, but it appears that Emily was always more directly involved with the day-to-day management, even before Anna's death in 1893.

 

Emily took her role as lady of the manor very seriously, apart from acting as church organist, she is said to have been a good employer and to have taken the welfare of the local people very seriously.

 

Yes, I'm sure a few horseboxes will be needed and perhaps the occasional family saloon, though I've not seen photos of either on the line. I have some of Andrew's figures, as yet unpainted, so maybe I'll have several Emily figures for different occasions.

 

Nick

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