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Some sheeted wagons.

Dave John


My wagon fleet is a bit imbalanced. Over the years I have built about 80 wagons and of course I have made the interesting ones. Ok,  I have made quite a few open wagons and a good number of mineral wagons but I have long been aware that those dominated traffic and that the rest of my wagon fleet should make up at most 8% of the total number. Probably about the same sort of figure for any railway company of the period.


So, Plan A . Build about 230 mineral wagons and 150 open wagons and represent reasonably accurately the CR wagon fleet. Even if they are all sitting in a cupboard because my model railway is tiny in comparison to the real thing.




Plan B. Build some more of each, run a few trains in which open goods predominate and apply rule 1 to the rest of the fleet. Sound a more realistic target to me.


Anyway, I have spent the week fixing a few minor things and cleaning stuff. While I was at it I dug out some very old wagons, sorted them out and formed a short rake. They are all examples of sheeted opens I made a long time ago before I really decided on the Caley. Probably not very good, but they look ok from a distance.




I should make a good number more CR sheeted opens, but those four will do for a start.

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Plan C: bring the number of "ordinary" wagons up to that required to run the layout and ring the changes on the "specials".


Sheets - remember these are secured to the wagon's sheeting rings or cleats by tie ropes that are themselves tied through brass eyelets in the edges of the sheet - 16 per sheet - or in triangular flaps on the first seam - 3 per side. Ropes could be used to secure the load under the sheet but are probably only used over the sheet in special circumstances. 


This document is a useful guide - although BR from the 1950s, as far as I've been able to gauge it sums up common or best practice throughout the preceding hundred years. See also other documents made available on the Barrowmore MRC website.

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They look good to me I have a few sheeted wagons in my collection, I must get around to fitting ropes to them at some point.


If you have chance and you post a few more entries on your freight stock, I'm sure there are lots modellers out there who would love to see what you have created

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As an aside, I've been trawling through Board of Trade accident reports on the Railways Archive website for information about the make-up of goods trains in the pre-pooling era. Dave, you might be interested in Lt. Col. Yorke's report into an accident involving two goods trains - and much destruction of rolling stock - at Gretna in 1901. It's particularly interesting to see which English companies' wagons were in each train. The Carlisle - Glasgow GSWR train was made up exclusively of GSWR and, unsurprisingly, Midland vehicles. The Carlisle-bound Caledonian train, in addition to Caledonian wagons, had several LNWR and L&YR wagons, which one would expect, but also a good few NER vehicles. There's quite a bit of evidence for friendly relations between the two companies at this time - there's a topic on the CRASSOC forum about through ticketing (if not through carriages) between Glasgow and Newcastle via Carlisle; it looks like similar arrangements were in place for freight. The NBR must have been fuming at the perfidy of their supposed East Coast partner - tit for tat for the NBR's alliance with the Midland?


There's also a NSR wagon in there - well within the West Coast sphere of influence - and also a GWR wagon. Some accident reports give the type of wagon as well as its number but frustratingly not this one, even that GWR wagon No. 21070 falls in a gap in the list I constructed from Atkins' magnum opus.

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Fair point on the ropes Compound, but these date from the mid 1980s and I was still havering about changing from N gauge. The midland wagon is I think slaters, not a clue about the other three, though the GSWR one is whitemetal. Over the years I have bought a good number of second hand unbuilt kits, some of which were just parts in a bag. I have some of that elastic from EZline and as I introduce more CR sheeted opens I will try and work out how to do it properly. 


That thread on the CRA forums is a good read, I'd agree accident reports are a mine of information. I ought to have a few LNWR wagons about too, I'll dig and see what is available. Oddly Furness and Cam Ryhs turn up too, slate for building works. Wagons did travel, there are photos of CR stock in London. 


I will Paul. The D12 barrel truck in that pic is a scratchbuild in plastic. It is one of the early versions on a recycled 13 foot wb carriage underframe. The brake van is from a caley coaches kit, as is the engine. 


A quick plug. The CRA, lots of drawings available on CD, and the source of so much information that I would never have got anywhere without. 









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