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Dave John

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    Pre grouping railways, particularly the Caledonian.

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  1. Well, hopefully a photo may come to light to see whether any storage was fitted, though I think the brakesman would be doing other things as well, possibly assisting or acting as the shunter. Winter working must have been hard, no wonder the accident rates were high. Perhaps the use of such wagons elsewhere as Gordon suggests happened elsewhere but just never got recorded.
  2. Very true compound, I am still not sure how they would have been worked in practice. As you say, there is no storage capacity, I think they must have been limited to working short trips on the mainline for transfer of a few wagons between yards. Then again the brakesmen, of which there might have been quite a few on early passenger trains prior to the introduction of the continuous brake in addition to an overall guard, would not have such facilities either. This is where I hope further researches by the CRA might shed light on things. These brake wagons did not seem to be under the control of a Guard, indeed the drawing of this one specifically refers to a Brakesman as late as 1913. My guess is that Guard and Brakesman were different jobs, the later being solely to control a brake wagon rather than oversee and document the safe conduct of a train. It may not even have been a specific job by this time, just allocated as and when to yard staff as required. "Operating the Caledonian part 2" may shed some light on the matter.
  3. Some photos of the brake wagons. Both have a rather rough appearance, but I doubt they were high up the list for maintenance. I have made a few guesses about the final finishing. Firstly, I’m not sure about the running numbers. I know that No. 185 was of this type so I have just used a couple of close low numbers. Being built on early wagon frames they might just have been painted on rather than having number plates. Secondly, it was CR practice to paint the ends of brake vans vermillion. These brake wagons don’t have much of an end, so I have just painted the outside of the end footboards red. The overall colour seems to have a bit of a purplish tinge when photographed. Thirdly, lamp irons. There is an amendment on the drawing of the later type of brake wagon indicating that lamp studs should be fitted, but that is dated 1913. I have no idea whether that applied to the earlier type as well, but if the earlier type had them I would guess that the later type would have them fitted at build. However I can’t imagine going out on the main line at night without one so I have fitted 235 with a lamp just fixed to the handrail with wire. Might well have been the kind of improvised solution applied at the time. If more accurate information comes to light then I can always redo them This is my take on how they would be used. A small trip working. Four empty cattle wagons, an old pig iron wagon and a brake wagon out on the main line. It might have kept the BOT happy, but it looks like Archibald would prefer a proper brake van.
  4. Good Idea Hroth. Move over a bit, I'll come and sit in the dugout with ye. The Caley bought two of the 15 ton cranes in 1886. So I have bought one. Well, ordered it. My thinking is this; its advertised at 17 quid but will go up. If its say 50 quid sort of then its much less than I have ever seen a D+S kit and I haven't seen one go past in years. So even if it needs a fair bit of work to convert to EM and adjust for the the Caley then its still not horrendously expensive. Good drawings and photos are available. Folk seem to be hassled by the lack of a match truck but a quick flick through Tatlow shows such a variety that Oxford would be daft to try and cover them all. If you aren't too bothered there are lots of rtr wagons that would look ok from a distance. If you are then for heavens sake, it's just a wagon. Build one. I will have to given the Caley used a six wheel outside W iron wooden thing. Those shells coming in yet ?
  5. Ok, ordered one. Let's see if they have different or all the same jibs. If not, well, I'm sure I'll manage. At least most of the runners were simple. Mind you the Caley insisted on using a low sided six wheel wagon with outside W irons. But I like scratchbuilding wagons.
  6. Dave John


    Good to see someone else thinking about the Caley in Glasgow. A good place to start; https://www.crassoc.org.uk/web/
  7. Thanks, the 63 that the Caley hired in were the same as those which were shipped overseas, and after they went off hire some did get sold off.
  8. Thats a very interesting and very impressive version of the ROD. Is it getting finished as one of the examples hired in by the Caledonian?
  9. Hmm, if you are using 3 link then you are really going to be pushing stock backwards buffer to buffer. Ok, I model a tight version of EM, but pushing 20 hefty wagons backwards from curves into pointwork without problems will take a fair amount of work to get right. Coaches pushed backwards buffer to buffer can be an issue, sideplay becomes an issue and a lot depends on how much off centre the wheels and track allow the stock to be . To answer your original question, the answer is yes, use a transition to ease out of a fixed radius curve into a section that it straight or of a lesser radius. What you don't want is a vehicle with buffers offset to the left since its on a curve locking with a vehicle with buffers on the centre since its on a straight, or worse buffers on the right since its on a reverse curve. ( or the other way round ) Some tricks for real buffer to buffer work. Spring the buffers, really try it. File off any little pip on metal buffers where they were parted off, they can catch and cause issues. Oil them, at a curve the buffers slide over each other, sounds daft but it does make a difference, which is why real railways did it. One dirty trick, go up a buffer size for coaches if they do cause trouble. Anyway, at 1 min in there is a train going back, off a curve into pointwork and across a long crossing. My tracklaying is not perfect, you can see the compensation working and the buffers bouncing a bit.
  10. Interesting debate on reliable running. One issue I have from time to time is starting. You know, you roll a train to a perfect stop at a platform, then when you open the throttle to move off it just sits there. Aye, usually when folk are round to have a look at the layout. Harumpf ..... So on Kelvinbank 2 I added a small pushbutton with a quite stiff action down there on the bottom lhs of my walkabout controllers. That button, via some electrickery, fires the coil on a hefty old contactor, one mounted up at the back corner of each of the main baseboards like so. This imparts a knock to the baseboard quite sufficient to get over the moment of sticktion or tiny amount of dust and lo, the train moves off neatly without the hand of god or the operators knuckles being hurt by a sharp rap to the baseboard top. Also you can see a small LED on the top of the controller. Thats a loco present light. Comes on if the controller senses the resistance of a loco motor, even with the controller shut. So if its not on then you look at section switches and point settings as a first thing, rather than prodding the loco and then realising the siding is switched off. It also has another function. It is fast enough to detect tiny open circuits to the motor and amplify them a bit. If it starts to flicker while a train is running then that tells me that track or wheels need a clean. A couple of dirty tricks perhaps, but if it keeps the trains running without the hand of god I'll go with them.
  11. Aye , and well polished pH, look at those condensing pipes. Class 92 s, and it looks like all 22 of them are in that pic. Well, perhaps not all 22, but I reckon at least a dozen. Nice black liveries too. Glorious stuff. I must build another.....
  12. There was an accident involving a fall to the ground when Brakesman Archibald McGregor fell from one of these wagons on the main line at 11.55pm on the night of 7th July 1913. Thankfully he survived and was only off work for 7 days, but it does show that these wagons were in regular main line use for trip workings, perhaps even up to the grouping in some places. Further details and a more comprehensive analysis of their use can be found in "More on Caledonian Wagons" by Mike Williams.
  13. If those are 2mm reducing bushes and you have neither reamers nor broaches then here's a dirty trick. Put a spot of toothpaste in the bearing and fit a cocktail stick in the mini drill or by hand. Run it through the bearing till the axles just fits through. Longer term both parallel reamers and broaches are very useful.
  14. I have pushed on a bit with the brake wagons, just about ready for some primer. They are small, but I have managed to get enough weight in there for them to run smoothly enough and keep the compensation working properly. Here’s a harsh picture of the underside, nothing particularly special but the use of a copperclad sub chassis does give decent fixings for W irons, ajs and the buffer springs and allowed me to get a slab of 1mm brass in as a spacer. Brake gear is a chopped up etch from the bits box. A photo on the track. I’ll put the brake stanchions and the lower footsteps on later. The handrails do bow in a bit, though I suspect the prototypes ended up like that too. A few more bolt heads needed too, but primer first.
  15. Hmm, If I ever had any money then I'd go for old railway posters. Storable, attractive to both railway and art folk, no Mazak rot. https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/wall-decorations/posters/original-vintage-caledonian-railway-travel-advertising-poster-golfing-girl/id-f_4947443/ Just a thought.
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