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Building/Bodging some SECR Brake Vans


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A summary of the information in An Illustrated History of Southern Vans Vol.3 - SECR.
 
The first few of these six wheeled vans were built at Ashford in 1898, they were originally a clone of a Midland Railway design (MR diagram 393). A further batch were built in 1900 by Brown Marshall & Co. but all the rest were built at Ashford. The first forty vans were built with a veranda at one end and open at the other, all of these were converted to a veranda at both ends between 1914 and 1920. Fifty more vans were built between 1910 and 1914 with a veranda at both ends. All 90 vans passed to SR and the majority lasted into British Rail days.
 
There is a lot more in the book, lots of photos and drawings. It's a very useful book if you are modelling SECR vans and wagons.
 
The models I have made are based on the 1910 batch which were the first to have a veranda at both ends. Guy Rixon's model, No. 2014, is from the very first batch built in 1898/1899.

 

 

James Clayton moved from Beyer Peacock to Ashford in 1898 but after a while went to Derby before coming back to Ashford in 1914 later becoming Maunsell's right hand man. The influence of Derby was evident in this later phase of his career - it is reported he brought a large roll of detail drawings with him from Derby. What I can't work out is if he was any relation of Thomas Clayton, the Midland's Carriage & Wagon Superintendent until 1902 - any connection might explain the appearance of these D393 clones!

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"... in 1898 the South Eastern completed the first of its 'Midland Railway style' 20-ton vans. These were a carbon-copy of the standard MR six-wheeled van to that company's diagram 393, which had been built since 1886. Exactly how the South Eastern came to use a Midland Railway design is not known to the authors, but it was probably the result of an interworking agreement between the two companies. There were several locations at which traffic was passed from one system to the other, in particular via the Metropolitan Widened lines across London and there were probably locations where there might not have been clearance for the outward opening doors of SER brake vans to open far enough to allow the guard to leave the van. [...] In time, the SECR modified the design somewhat, resulting in a purely South Eastern vehicle."

 
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons vol.3
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"... in 1898 the South Eastern completed the first of its 'Midland Railway style' 20-ton vans. These were a carbon-copy of the standard MR six-wheeled van to that company's diagram 393, which had been built since 1886. Exactly how the South Eastern came to use a Midland Railway design is not known to the authors, but it was probably the result of an interworking agreement between the two companies. There were several locations at which traffic was passed from one system to the other, in particular via the Metropolitan Widened lines across London and there were probably locations where there might not have been clearance for the outward opening doors of SER brake vans to open far enough to allow the guard to leave the van. [...] In time, the SECR modified the design somewhat, resulting in a purely South Eastern vehicle."

 
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons vol.3

 

 

Hmm... 12"/ft modelling. Still begs the question of whether Ashford had copies of the Derby drawings or worked from a photograph of the prototype... Or did they send a man round with a measuring stick while the Midland guard was having his snap?

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Hmm... 12"/ft modelling. Still begs the question of whether Ashford had copies of the Derby drawings or worked from a photograph of the prototype... Or did they send a man round with a measuring stick while the Midland guard was having his snap?

If it was a case of agreed collaboration to achieve a mutual benefit in day-to-day working, there's no reason why the Midland wouldn't have supplied a set of drawings.

 

In geographic terms, the two companies would not have been competitors.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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If it was a case of agreed collaboration to achieve a mutual benefit in day-to-day working, there's no reason why the Midland wouldn't have supplied a set of drawings.

 

In geographic terms, the two companies would not have been competitors.

 

John

 

I'm sure that's true. We should remember that the locomotive and carriage & wagon superintendents of the pre-grouping companies weren't working in isolation - quite apart from people moving from company to company and between the private builders, overseas railways, and home railways, there was plenty of formal and informal discussion at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Then of course there were many close personal links - not just the well-known Ayrshire families of Drummond and Stirling; I mentioned in my pre-grouping wagon thread the association between S W Johnson, Stroudley, and Dugald Drummond who had a shared youthful education keeping the Edinburgh & Glasgow railway's motley collection of engines going in the early 1860s, and how, many years later, Johnson's son James married Drummond's daughter Christine. Hence I would not be surprised to learn that James Clayton was a nephew of Thomas but I've not seen any actual reference to a connection.

 

Certainly the Midland and the South Eastern were collaborators not competitors - in fact it's hard to find a company with whom the Midland did not collaborate, whether through joint lines, through carriage working, or at least connecting services - often when also in fierce competition in other directions (e.g. Ashby & Nuneaton with the LNWR and M&GN with the Great Northern). I have the Ian Allan reprint of the Midland's Summer 1903 timetable. I think every other British main-line railway company appears there apart from some of the South Wales companies.

 

Sorry, enough Midland propaganda.

Edited by Compound2632
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As I reported earlier, I have made a a start on mine. The first entry is on my workbench blog. I really don't want to hijack Simon's topic, but I can't resist showing off with a couple of photos of my effort to date.I don't think it's as neatly done as Simon's models, but I think it will come out OK in the wash!

SECR%206-wheel%20Brake%20Van%20Conversio

SECR%206-wheel%20Brake%20Van%20Conversio

 

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Hi Simon and SRman, brilliant stuff - you are inspiring me to reverse history and copy you south-of-the-river types to produce a Midland D393 brake! Less heartache than sawing up one of my treasured Slaters kits for the 4-wheel version and easier on the fingers than the equally rare D&S kit (though I have one stashed away). [i've been reminded that the D&S kit is now available from London Road Models.] Incidentally, some Midland 4-wheel 10 ton brakes did end up in Southern ownership - but on the IoW.

Edited by Compound2632
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I've been building goods stock to go with my SECR locomotives, mostly from plastic and resin kits. There is quite a lot available for SECR and other railways around 1918-1920 but something that is hard to find is an SECR brake van. There is a Cambrian kit for the huge 'Dancehall' type but these didn't arrive until quite late and would have been a very rare sight.
 
I have a copy of An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons, Vol.3, SECR that has a chapter on brake vans. The 6 wheel type from 1910, later to be SR diagram 1558, looks sufficiently like a Midland Railway type - for which there is a kit - that I thought I would have a go at some kit bashing.
 
There are two really big differences: The MR van has four wheels while the SECR van has six, and the MR van is too long, we need to reduce the length of the model from 80mm to 72mm. There also numerous small differences in the details.
 
I'm building a pair of them so I started with two Parkside Dundas kits PC58 for the MR/LMS 20 ton van. For the chassis I did consider using brass etchings with full suspension etc. but in the end I wanted to keep it simple and bought three of Parkside's 10 foot chassis kits which I will chop up, they are Parkside kit PA06.
...............................................
 
That's all for now. As the models progress I'll post some more pictures.
- Simon

 

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this build Simon and it has given me an idea that I could possibly do something similar in 7mm. Parkside do an ex MR Design 20 Ton Goods Brake Van 1659 (Product Code: PS111) and, with a suitable chassis, I am sure it would work. I will give it some thought but I am certainly inspired by what you have done.

 

Willy

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Just hijacking Simon's topic again, briefly: mine does look better with the larger Hornby wheels, to my mind. I have added the buffers as well.

 

 

Looking good, keep the pictures coming. What's the long SECR van in the picture? I'm thinking I want one.

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Hi Simon and SRman, brilliant stuff - you are inspiring me to reverse history and copy you south-of-the-river types to produce a Midland D393 brake! Less heartache than sawing up one of my treasured Slaters kits for the 4-wheel version and easier on the fingers than the equally rare D&S kit (though I have one stashed away). [i've been reminded that the D&S kit is now available from London Road Models.] Incidentally, some Midland 4-wheel 10 ton brakes did end up in Southern ownership - but on the IoW.

 

I started adding up the bits I'd need to make a Midland Railway D393 van from the Parkside kit for the D1659:

 

  • W-irons, Ellis axleboxes & springs - MJT or Slaters
  • MR wagon buffers - MJT - the D1659 has self-contained buffers, as does the preserved D393 which is a 1912 build; at my earlier period they were being built with wagon buffers

 

and the various issues to be addressed:

 

  • D393 has some hefty brackets on the solebar to support the body - not on D1659
  • wooden not steel headstocks
  • can the brake gear in the Parkside kit be used?
  • etcetera...

 

I came to the conclusion that at £22 the London Road Models / ex-D&S kit would be a cheaper as well as more accurate solution, if one's prepared to solder (as I am). This isn't to detract from the SER builds in this thread which I do like - It just depends how finicky one wants to be and/or how much one wants to have fun exercising one's ingenuity as Simon and SRman have done!

Edited by Compound2632
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Looking good, keep the pictures coming. What's the long SECR van in the picture? I'm thinking I want one.

 

That one is the Roxey Mouldings ex-LCDR brake van (ex-Chatham Models kit). It's a brass kit, with three layers of brass making up each side and end. My soldering skills for brass are not very good, but DougN came to the rescue with his resistance soldering kit. There are more details of the build and its trials and tribulations in my workbench blog. Thankfully, it is almost complete now except for numbering.

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OK guys, what colour should my handrails be for the period around 1900 to 1910, please? I like the idea of the white handrails but I'm not sure those came in until a little later.

p.s. Beautiful work on yours, Nick.

Simon: I commented in my blog that you seem to have not just started the ball rolling, but you've created an avalanche, with several of us doing models in various scales now (N, OO and O), all inspired by your bodging! I have unashamedly borrowed your title for my own build too.

:sungum:

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What to do with unwanted vacuum cylinders?

 

post-22510-0-02430800-1472590835_thumb.jpg

 

Just improvising some kind of machinery with a few bits from the scrap box. They are pumps or motors perhaps? More impressionist than modelling anything specific.

 

 

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What to do with unwanted vacuum cylinders?

 

attachicon.gifIMG_2445.jpg

 

Just improvising some kind of machinery with a few bits from the scrap box. They are pumps or motors perhaps? More impressionist than modelling anything specific.

 

Well, as I have just said of Richard I's pipe load: A great load.  That is the fun of modelling, when skill, inventiveness and originality come together in a convincing way.

 

Very convincingly painted, too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

perhaps we should Start a build your brake van thread..... :O

 

NIck

On the strength of that I hope you don't mind me slipping this in but well it is Scottish and someone mentioned the connection with the Scottish CME and other railways.

Any way here is my effort a Caledonian Diagram 6 goods brake van from approximately the 1880s (I say goods but I do have a picture of one of these being used as a brake on a passenger train made up of four and six wheel stock) Done from scratch on the silhouette cutter with comet W irons and Wizard axle boxes and springs, Its a work in progress and at the moment I'm waiting for a few bits and bobs like buffers which are also coming from Wizard.

First the parts as first cut, the main parts on 20 thou plasticard and the panel frets on 10 thou plasticard.

post-17847-0-93607300-1474545170.jpg

and this is how it stands at the moment on its Wheels though these need to be swapped out for spoked ones when I get some (also on order)

post-17847-0-00107900-1474545193.jpg

Sorry again for muscling in

                                     Steve

Edited by Londontram
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