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James Harrison

LSWR / ROD dia.1549 road vans- owned/ operated by the GC?

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Cross-posted from my blog to potentially gain a wider audience...

 

As well as adding to my collection of finished GCR-condition engines, thoughts are beginning to turn toward the rolling stock to go with them. I've already built up a small collection of pre-1923 private owner wagons, waiting their turn to be built, but before them come a brake van.

Somewhere in my stash of kits waiting to be built I've got a Smallbrook Studios LSWR road van diagram 1545 / 1549 (dia.1549 being 2'' wider and built for the ROD). The kit instructions say that after the war they were sold to the companies that had operated them, which included the Great Eastern, the Great Central and the Metropolitan.

I've read Volume 1 of Taplow's LNER Wagons, which includes these road vans in the Great Eastern section and also in the Metropolitan wagons pages, but not in the Great Central part of the book, as luck would have it.

I've also had a throrough going through of my GCR books to try to find at least a photograph of one, with no joy.

So I have a two-part poser; firstly are the kit instructions right in saying that some of these brake vans were bought by the GCR?- and secondly what were their running numbers?

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The reference may originate from a caption in volume 1 of An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons by Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley, King & Newton. Plate 101 shows a War Department vehicle with the following caption:

 

A War Department van, No. 71701, as built in 1918 by the Midland Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. Notice the fact that safety chains were provided for overseas use. At least 250 of these vans were returned to Britain after the war and were allocated to nine home railways, including the CR, GCR, GER, GNSR, LNWR, LSWR, Metropolitan Railway, NER and NBR. Twenty were still unallocated at the Grouping and these were purchased by the Southern Railway from Cohen Armstrongs Disposal Board in 1924 for the bargain price of £195 each. A comparable LSWR built van then cost in excess of £800.

 

There's also a composite drawing of SR diagram 1545/1549 (different end views) to 4mm scale on page 60 of that book.

 

I'm certain that I've seen a photograph of one in service - possibly in an old issue of Forward - although it may have been a post-grouping photo, in which case you couldn't guarantee that it was a former GCR van.

 

The GCR wagon diagram book had goods brakes on pages 64-68 (apart from ballast brakes on page 70 and ex-LDECR brakes, which were up in the 140s somewhere along with all the other stock inherited from that company). I have copies of all those pages except page 68 and none of them resemble an LSWR van at all. No idea what page 68 looks like.

 

Jim

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I have never seen any confirmation that these vans were in GC livery or were given GC numbers. The absence of any mention of them in Tatlow sort of confirms this.  It may be that they were loaned and ran still in WD condition. I have seen a photo of one which was in a strange mix of Met and WD livery.

 

There are two sources of 'proper' GC brake vans in 4mm scale. Mousa models do a kit for the 6 wheeler and the GCRS have the ex-D&S 4 wheelers which are not always available as there have been problems around getting suitable castings. 

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Thank you both; that's more information than I had to go on previously. 

 

It will most likely be a few months before I get around to building the kit (though as I spent some time this morning digging it out it's just as likely it'll be the next project through the works...), which gives me chance to do a little more research and digging around.  It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if I do have to finish it in ROD markings - as I did hackbash a proper GCR 6-wheel brake van a few years ago which I know definitely ran in GC livery! 

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There is also a 2 page article with drawings of the same vehicles in the NBRSG Journal for 3/15. It states 2 inches narrower than LSWR counterparts. Total thought to be 11, with some adaptions, for use on NBR. No numbers or photos have come to light of them in NBR days 

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Does anyone know anything about the use of these vans on the LNWR or LMS?

Have done a bit of searching but found nothing, any ideas on numbers or livery?

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....... were allocated to nine home railways, including the CR, GCR, GER, GNSR, LNWR, LSWR, Metropolitan Railway, NER and NBR. .........

 

Jim

I was intrigued by this quote and posted a question on the Caledonian Railway Association forum regarding these vans.   Mike Williams, author of the recent book on CR wagons, states that there is no trace in the records of these brake vans, though there were some goods vans purchased from the Disposal and Liquidation Commission.  Could 'CR' = Cambrian Railways'? :dontknow:

 

 Jim 

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I was intrigued by this quote and posted a question on the Caledonian Railway Association forum regarding these vans.   Mike Williams, author of the recent book on CR wagons, states that there is no trace in the records of these brake vans, though there were some goods vans purchased from the Disposal and Liquidation Commission.  Could 'CR' = Cambrian Railways'? :dontknow:

 

 Jim 

 

I suppose so, although I (and I'm sure you) would have thought that CR meant the Caledonian. To me the Cambrian is one of those railways, like the Metropolitan, that you have to spell out in full to avoid confusion with a grander enterprise. Even their own wagons were lettered "Cam Rys". I guess you'd have to ask the authors what they meant, because I'd certainly be inclined to trust the expertise of CR Association on this. I've been very impressed by their display stand when I've seen it at shows.

 

Jim

Edited by Jim Martin

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I'm not wholly comfortable with the information in Southern Wagons vol 1. The only companies that definitely purchased D1549 vans were the GER and the Met, and the latter significantly rebuilt their purchases, firstly removing the side doors and later on the duckets as well. I've looked through the relevant Tatlow's and there are no records of the GCR, GNDR, NER or NBR ever owning D1549 vans. The Cambrian definitely didn't.

 

Bill

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I've seen a picture of one of these vans in the NE area and carrying an NE number, so one would assume it had come down to the LNER via the NER.

 

The side doors had been sealed and all the external latching and handles removed.

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Some did end up on the Cambrian. John Coulter has one - originally made by Trevor Nunn for use on Wicken before more info came to hand about build date, etc - in S, on his Llanfair layout. He took a punt on the lettering style, which was 50:50, and inevitably when he did find a photo after nearly 20 years, he had chosen the wrong style! And no, I can't remember which he chose, Cam Rys or Cambrian.

 

Both would be wrong, the correct Cambrian lettering is CAM <door in the middle> R all in large Block Sans lettering, Load 1 Ton appeared on the bottom plank below 'Cam' with Tare: 20 tons above that on the next plank. They kept their ROD (I assume) running numbers too rather than getting Cambrian ones, painted on the half doors at the ends (From a photo of 71936 at Porthmadog) . There is a photo after he grouping in Cambrian Railways Album v2 page 56, with the caption that they came on Hire purchase from Midland RCW in 1918. Perhaps they were Midland RCWs running numbers rather than ROD. The pic here also shows no side door and smooth duckets, but that could have been a GWR alteration.(Shows GW No 68958, ex 71904).  The Cambrian ones traced so far are:

 

71712 /GW 68954

71936 /GW 68955

71849 /GW 68956

71801 /GW 68957

71904 /GW 68958

71850 /GW68959

 

That's from Research by Richard Evans. Anyway, getting off topic now...

Edited by Quarryscapes

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That last post makes me wonder if all or most of the recorded users had them on hire. It would make a lot of sense, because hired vehicles don't usually show up in diagram books and similar records. The GC hired loads of coal wagons, and at least some three plankers, to my certain knowledge. They may well have hired other stuff. Many hires show up in the GCR PO wagon registers at NRM York. 

 

However, even if the brakes were hired (which I can easily believe) it would not help with the livery, which is of more importance in modelling terms. Only a photo is likely to help, and even photos of 'mainstream' GC brake vans, while not unknown, are scarcely two a penny. To be honest, if I wanted one I'd be inclined to cheat and invent a likely livery, based on the known examples of ex WD vans on other lines. This is almost certain to lead to that elusive photo turning up, and someone racing to tell you you are wrong.

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Thank you everybody.  I've actually been working on this model, on and off, for a few weeks (in between waiting for paint to dry on other projects) and have made good progress.  I found a few issues- the ends were warped and broke when I bent them back into shape, and the roof put up a fight until I irreparably damaged it and had to fabricate a replacement.  But it's built up into a nice model and is now about ready for decals (I bought some WD markings from Modelmaster). 

 

DSCF2693_zpsjpvcf4zi.jpg

 

This was taken over the weekend; since then I've finished off the ends and the corners and painted the roof matt black.  Treated with respect it's an easy enough it to build. 

  • Like 1

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Hi James

 

I have built the Smallbrook Studio kit for the similar LSWR road van. It  was some time ago but I definitely remember having trouble with the roof insert.

In the end I got it into the best position between the 4 sides and use it to support a thin sheet of plastikard as a better roof cover.

 

See there picture here;

http://www.smallbrookstudio.co.uk/_imgstore/1/4011173211/page_products-new_23_8_mainimage/U5kfIw5QQg6Fb7F-7ncjDiXYslc.png

 

I think I've seen a picture of one of the ex ROD vans like yours as a Metropolitan Railway Van. Now it's at the Spa Valley Rly, see their website.

 

I agree cast resin kits are a bit more difficult than plastic ones.

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It's finished!

 

DSCF2702_zps5xzbr9va.jpg

 

DSCF2703_zpsbi4dthet.jpg

 

Doing a little research on the internet the only reference to paintschemes was that WD wagons were painted grey (battleship grey, perhaps?- but then what shade of grey is battleship grey?).  There are some preserved narrow gauge WD wagons but to my eye (your mileage may vary) they look too dark.  Eventually I settled on Humbrol #64 mid grey, on the basis of nothing better than that is what Airfix, Tamiya, Trumpeter et al call off for their model dreadnoughts.  It looks right but no doubt somebody somewhere has the crucial bit of information that blows my idea out of the water.  I used some Modelmaster waterslide transfers for the WD markings, the largest ones on the sheet (although they looked too small until I applied them to the model, and now I think they look about right).  

 

I'm using this model, a couple of Cambrian PO wagons and a BEC J11 as guinea pigs for experimenting with three link couplings.

  • Like 4

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