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GWR Luggage Box


MikeOxon

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Following my recent series about modelling the GWR Posting Carriage@Mikkel asked “But where did the luggage go? Next project?”.

 

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.

 

1194892953_BristolTempleMeads1840annot.jpg.f510938e684c4c84260c7d72c5ea7b28.jpg

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:

 


1112947253_BGLuggageTruck.jpg.84d18c78495f2c1c06b21f2c78664b5a.jpg

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.”

71173844_Whishaw_CarriageTruck.jpg.c566ff85c17ea6cd2bf25e986e9a7620.jpg

 

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.

 

484309085_Luggagetruckchassis.jpg.efd0e54b0e3f21712f32322008992ac4.jpg

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:

 

 

1383202549_CarriageTruck_1838.jpg.d4c3fb96d050e239840bd8583751f294.jpg

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 :)

 

Mike

Edited by MikeOxon

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  • RMweb Gold

Fantastic Mike, you've moved fast with this (again). Truly unique stuff.

 

I do like these almost square BG vehicles, like the horseboxes. The similarity of the concept to airport luggage containers is indeed striking. Will the model have opening side flaps?

 

I had a good time studying the header photo, as you say there is much of interest in there. Is that manual shunting going on on the left hand side, I wonder.

 

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Fantastic work and super quick too! Very much enjoying these posts even if I find the ‘computer bit’ rather baffling. I’m so old-fashioned!

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5 hours ago, Mikkel said:

I had a good time studying the header photo, as you say there is much of interest in there. Is that manual shunting going on on the left hand side, I wonder.

 

The lithographs by J.C.Bourne do see to be remarkably accurate in their details, unlike may other railway prints, where the artists clearly didn't understand the workings of steam engines.  For example, the manhole cover on the front of the firebox identifies the engine on the right as one of the batch built by Fenton, Murray, and Jackson, which Gooch considered the best of the 'Fire-Fly' class. 

 

I suspect the group of men on the left have just been man-handling the private carriage onto a truck, while Her Ladyship looks on anxiously at the side, making sure that thy do not scratch the paintwork!  The illustration is full of little scenes, worthy of your writing about Farthing, Mikkel. 

 

When was the line to Farthing built - did it have any Broad Gauge history, I wonder?

 

Funny you should mention hinges.  I've been thinking hard about how I might implement them without making the model look too 'toy like' but I have the excuse that I have grand-children to consider :)

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33 minutes ago, 5&9Models said:

Fantastic work and super quick too! Very much enjoying these posts even if I find the ‘computer bit’ rather baffling. I’m so old-fashioned!

In this case, I had very little 'new' modelling to do, as I already had the 'complicated bits' ready on the computer from previous models.  I suppose that, if I were modelling a later period, I could prepare a 'kit of parts' on the computer to knock up all sorts of GWR coaches, with little extra effort to cover all the variations!   All done from the comfort of my armchair, too :)

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18 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

When was the line to Farthing built - did it have any Broad Gauge history, I wonder?

 

The story so far is that Farthing is the junction between the GWR's Berks & Hants extension - built in 1862 and I believe converted ca. 1874 - and the N&SR SG line, built in the 1880s. So a portrayal of the original GWR BG station in the late 1860s would be possible. Or goal posts could be moved :)

 

19 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

Funny you should mention hinges.  I've been thinking hard about how I might implement them without making the model look too 'toy like' but I have the excuse that I have grand-children to consider :)

 

The ability to get a glimpse of the luggage inside would be appealing. Including perhaps some of Amy Wilcote's paintings - although she would have been too young at that point I suppose - if born at all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Mikkel said:

The ability to get a glimpse of the luggage inside would be appealing. Including perhaps some of Amy Wilcote's paintings - although she would have been too young at that point I suppose - if born at all!

I recall writing something about Amy's mother in comments on some earlier blog posts.  Unfortunately, I do not keep copies of comments, although I do of all my main posts.  I recall that I once wrote that "I need to find another 'Amy' for this earlier time - perhaps her mother was the source of the talent - I must explore". 

 

I also know a little about Amy's mother - she was born in 1849 at Flaxley Abbey, into the family of the Crawley-Boevey Baronetcy, and married Lord Wilcote in about 1870.  Flaxley Abbey is not very far from Bullo Pill and she once commented on the accident there, saying "all those poor cows".  Perhaps Amy can help me trace some of her mother's paintings, although I doubt whether railway subjects were her style.

 

I can see a whole new modelling project for you Mikkel, creating the early BG station at Farthing :)

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6 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

the Crawley-Boevey Baronetcy

 

...whose seat was Flaxley Abbey. Forgive me if I have forgotten, but is there any particular reason you chose this family?

 

6 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

"all those poor cows".

 

:D

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18 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

...whose seat was Flaxley Abbey. Forgive me if I have forgotten, but is there any particular reason you chose this family?

As I recall, I wanted to place Amy's mother somewhere in the vicinity of the Bullo Pill accident, which drove my first foray into BG modelling.  I cast around for a suitable manor house and this was the one I found.

 

Back in the my 'Victorian world', Amy tells me that this faded old watercolour of the house was given to her by her mother:

799185678_FlaxleyAbbey2_DAP_Aquarell.jpg.a8db1e50876367772fa2f56a8d173d66.jpg

 

I wish you hadn't mentioned 'hinges', Mikkel, they are causing me pain.

 

Mike

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Sorry Mike! I can see how it might be tricky to design for 3D printing, i.e. a male/female hinge would require a slot in one of them, which I suppose can't be done easily.

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Brilliant and unique.  Those lithographs are a fantastic source.  You can tell from them that Broad Gauge really was broad!  There aren’t many modelers that have tried to tackle this period of railway history simply because, I suppose, that absolutely everything has to be made from scratch.  This nicely mirrors the difficulty those first railways pioneers, like Brunel, had in as much as that they also had to invent from scratch for the new technology.  Standing at that station in 1842, a passenger must have felt like how it is for us getting on Concorde etc. (not that I ever had the privilege of flying on that beautiful piece of engineering, but you know what I mean).   It’s such an important period of railwayana that I wonder why Hornby and the like have never produced much of it except a rather crude version of the ‘Rocket’ etc.  A great blog for anyone interested in railway history.    

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23 minutes ago, PaternosterRow said:

.....There aren’t many modelers that have tried to tackle this period of railway history simply because, I suppose, that absolutely everything has to be made from scratch. ....

 

Thank you for commenting.  My inspiration came from seeing the many beautiful models built by skilled members of the Broad Gauge Society.  Until 3D printing came along, I coudn't hope to emulate them.  I think that what I have done is find a way for 'ordinary' modellers to create fascinating models of obscure prototypes.

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