In response, here is my next project!
In the early years, the GWR addressed the need to transport passengers’ luggage by providing separate ‘luggage boxes’ – and it seems that Victorians always travelled with a very large amount of luggage! It should be remembered that, at that time, passengers’ ‘luggage’ might also include their personal carriage and horses so, to pre-empt the next question, I have added models of carriage trucks and horse boxes to my ‘to do’ list
Two types of Luggage Boxes can be seen in a lithograph by J.C.Bourne of Bristol Temple Meads station, made in about 1840. This illustration has a great many features of interest but, in the present context, a smaller Box is shown immediately behind the tender of the ‘Fire-Fly’ class engine, on the right of the picture, while a larger one can be seen at the far end, in the centre of the picture.
from a lithograph by J.C.Bourne, published 1842
The early luggage boxes were constructed on the bases of carriage trucks, which helps to explain their rather curious profile. The boxes sat within the side rails of a carriage truck and then had sloping sides with lift-up side flaps, rather like those on modern road coaches or on many aircraft!.
For further information, I am indebted to the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) Data Sheets, which were tirelessly compiled by the late Eddy Brown from many sources. These Sheets refer to the Bourne illustrations and point out that there are no official diagrams or drawings. What other information is available comes from Traffic Committee reports and supports the theory that these Luggage Boxes were based on Carriage Trucks, with similar frames and with the wheels set outside the body. All the evidence suggests a wheelbase of 5’ 6” with an overall length of around 10’.
A Stock Account of 1840 indicates that 10 Parcels and Baggage Trucks had been delivered. Of these, one was an altered Carriage Truck, built by Braby, and three were Luggage Wagons with tarpaulins, built by Carr. The remaining 6, which I aim to represent by my model, were described as ‘Large Closed Baggage trucks for London’, built by Shackleford. These last vehicles are described in the BGS Data Sheets as “Body - emulat[ing] the Original Carriage Truck with similar low sides, suitably positioned within wheel-sets though supporting deep end panelled sections. These enclose body and secure the over-all roof, forming a framework for the wide side panelled openings. Floor suitably boarded over”. A closer view is provided by J.C. Bourne’s lithograph of Bath Station, from which I have extracted the following detail:
from a lithograph by J.C.Bourne, published 1842
I decided to start by building a model of a BG Carriage Truck, which is on my ‘to-do’ list anyway, and then adapt it, as seems to have been done with the prototype, to create the original Luggage Truck.
For the Carriage Truck, I can call on a description and drawing in Whishaw’s “Railways of Great Britain and Ireland”, dated 1842, as follows:
“The carriage-trucks used on this line are each mounted on four of Losh's wheels, of 4 feet diameter, and 8½ feet from centre to centre of axles ; but having the ordinary springs 3 feet 4 inches from point to point, the bed being 4 inches above the centre-line of axle : this carriage is furnished with a Stanhope lever-brake. The length of the body is 15 feet 4 inches, the width 6 feet 8 inches, and the height of each side 14 inches; the weight of a carriage- truck is 7442 lbs.”
To ‘convert’ this to the Shackleford type of Luggage Box, I have to reduce the wheelbase to 5’ 6” and the overall length to 10’, while retaining the main design features, including all those scrolled ends to the woodwork! There is an additional complication in that the BGS Data Sheets indicate that there were at least two version of these Carriage Trucks. The Whishaw drawings appear to show the later version with ‘Improved traction gear’ (I think that this refers to the circular structures within the draw gear), whereas the Bourne illustrations show an earlier version, with straight ends to the body, underslung springs, and no lever brakes.
It’s important to remember that all these early vehicles were ‘hand-built’ by carpenters, so it is very unlikely that any two were exactly alike. In addition there is no opportunity to follow the usual modellers dictum “find a photograph of the particular vehicle you intend to model” – there are no photographs at this period!. It is, therefore, inevitable that many details have to remain conjectural.
Modelling a Carriage Truck
The Carriage Truck is basically a chassis, with two side rails and a flat bed for the load. I was able to create my model chassis by adapting the one I’d already designed for my 3rd-class carriage, since the springs and axle guards appear identical in the two designs. I had simply to adjust the wheelbase and overall length to suit the new vehicle. These modifications were made to the 3D model in ‘Fusion 360’ and followed what I can best describe as a ‘cut and shut’ procedure, mainly using the 'Move/Copy' tool.
Modified 3D-drawing of chassis
This proved to be a very simple build, since it was largely based on drawings of vehicles that I had made earlier. The headstocks, as seen in Bourne’s view at Bath Station, have some reinforcement around the draw gear, so I drew these areas onto the surface of each headstock and then extruded them by means of the ‘Push-Pull’ tool in Fusion 360.
The two side rails were carried on ‘artistically’ shaped supports. I created the curved profile by using the ‘Spline curve’ drawing-tool in ‘Fusion 360’ and then extruded this profile, to form a solid body. It was then another case of using the 'Move/Copy' tool, to create the 8 supports needed for both sides of the vehicle. I positioned these along each side of the chassis, as shown in the BGS Data Sheet, and added top planks along each side.
To avoid the need to allow for overhangs, I printed the chassis ‘upside down’, ‘growing’ the side frames and springs from the flat floor. I printed each of the two side rails separately, again printing them ‘upside down’ from the flat surface of the top planks.
My model of the Carriage Truck, made up of three separate components – chassis and two side rails, bonded together using Superglue, is shown below:
Two views of my 3D-printed Carriage truck
In my next post, I shall describe my construction of the Luggage Box itself, which sits on this framework. For the moment, en passant, I already have a Carriage Truck
Edited by MikeOxon