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And brakes.  What brakes did these Saltney wagons have?  I assume they were only single sided when painted in the red livery.  And were the brakes fitted with iron brakes shoes or wooden ones?  I know in the 1870's they were wooden from my Broad Gauge research, but when might that have changed?

My education is horribly lacking (sigh).  I have Russell's wagon book, but he bangs on mostly about modern image stuff which no is use to me at all.  'Great Western Way' only has a couple of paragraphs and a couple of blurry old photos before it's off into the modern image stuff too (sigh).

And what about that wonderful elegant curved brake lever on the 'Factory' wagon?  Was that a Saltney feature?

Edited by Annie
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8 hours ago, Annie said:

And brakes.  What brakes did these Saltney wagons have?  I assume they were only single sided when painted in the red livery.  And were the brakes fitted with iron brakes shoes or wooden ones?  I know in the 1870's they were wooden from my Broad Gauge research, but when might that have changed?

My education is horribly lacking (sigh).  I have Russell's wagon book, but he bangs on mostly about modern image stuff which no is use to me at all.  'Great Western Way' only has a couple of paragraphs and a couple of blurry old photos before it's off into the modern image stuff too (sigh).

And what about that wonderful elegant curved brake lever on the 'Factory' wagon?  Was that a Saltney feature?

 

All three types had the same curved brake lever seen on the "Factory" wagon. I think it's very probable that they all started out with the wooden blocks seen on that wagon - the Saltney book has a couple of photos of one of these 2-plank wagons with similar wooden blocks - one taken in the Swindon Carriage & Wagon Works sidings in April 1908. The latter is not from a Saltney-built lot but looks to be identical so I think by the 1870s we're not looking at a distinctive "Saltney style"; wagons to the same pattern were being built at Worcester and Swindon. (When did Worcester or Paddington stop building new wagons?)

 

Other photos show cast iron brake blocks - including a 2-plank in pre-1904 livery though it would be possible to change the brake gear without a repaint! My reference for the 1-plank wagon is No. 13521 of Lot 33, photographed in July 1907 for the "how to load a wagon" section of the General Appendix, the photo appearing as late as 1936, by which time the wagon would be 65 years old - it was probably withdrawn a quarter of a century earlier! This wagon has been uprated to 10 tons with oil axleboxes and post-1904 livery but still the curved brake lever. 

 

I don't think any of these wagons ever got given both side brakes.

 

I think I've drawn the end pillars too close together - I've left 2'0" clear between them and they're drawn 4½" wide; I suspect 2'9" centres is more likely - that's the centres of the iron end stanchions on the standard 4-plank wagons is, by measurement off the diagram, and also how a long 1-plank wagon is drawn, both in my scanned pages from Atkins.

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Some time ago @MikeOxon posted a couple of crops from a photo of Cinderford c. 1890s, definitely after 1880:

The lower of the two crops shows, from right to left, a 2-plank wagon and two 1-plank wagons of this type. The further wagons may be of the same type but the scan (from a photo in a book and presumably enlarged) is not very sharp. Wooden brake blocks can be seen on the 2-plank and the second 1-plank. The lettering variations are interesting, too.

 

Before these 9 ton 15'6" x 7'6" wagons, Saltney (and presumably other wagon works) were building 8 ton 1-plank wagons to the same 15'6" length but 1" narrower at 7'5", with 11" depth: 470 wagons to ten lots completed on dates from April 1868 to June 1870.

 

There were also some 8 ton 2-plank wagons 15'6" x 7'6" with 1'6" depth - 9" planks rather than the later 11" - 150 wagons of Lot 21, completed December 1870. Part of a wagon of this type can be seen in the Swindon April 1908 photo; solebar and curb rail details seem to be the same as the 9-ton wagons but the axleguards are of a different pattern, with the diagonal braces meeting the verticals almost at the bottom. 

 

There were also a couple of batches of smaller 9 ton 2-plank wagons, 15'0" long by 7'0" wide, Lot 52 and part of Lot 53 - listed in Atkins as 2-plank. (I wonder if inside dimensions have been listed instead of outside?)

Edited by Compound2632
shows not shoes
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4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

"how to load a wagon" section of the General Appendix

I know this was posted somewhere in the pre-grouping section of the forum so I guess I'd better try and find it.

 

Thanks very much for the further information Stephen.  I'm in discussions at the moment with having some GWR wagons commissioned for both the Broad Gauge and for standard gauge so your drawings and research was very timely.  That's why I was so excited about them.

 

I have ordered my own copy of Tony Wood's Saltney book since it looks like my interest in the red goods wagon livery era of the GWR is going to continue for a good while yet.

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On 24/07/2020 at 22:02, The Johnster said:

Mea culpa; specifically Cwmbargoed sheep and the result was that the axleboxes would be filled as close as possible to departure time.  Sometimes our ovine chums would still manage to drain enough from the axleboxes to bring the train to a seized up halt somewhere half way between Cwmbargoed and Ystrad Mynach.  They tipped the lids with their noses.

 

I am of the opinion that sheep are in fact a borg-like collective intelligence using apparent stupidity (on a hill walk in Mid Wales I once found one drowned in the only pool for miles in any direction and barely big enough for it to fit into) to lull us into not realising that they are plotting our overthrow and enslavement.  If anybody doubts this, just look into a sheep's eyes.   It's cold, dead, eyes... The Cwmbargoed sheep and those that learned to roll over cattle grids prove that they are in fact highly intelligent.  

Further to the above, a good friend in the Valleys has reminded me of just how clever Sheep can be ?
And to add to the belief that sheep are intelligent, it’s probably more appropriate to say clever.

In the Rhondda, where sheep used to run the streets in small flocks causing havoc, their favourite pastime at night was to open rubbish bins, in the days before wheelie bins, we used galvanised bins with removable lids, easy for the sheep to remove.

The council trialled clip on lids in an attempt to stop them, the sheep however were one step ahead!!!!
They found that if they rammed the bin they could crush it into an oval shape, hew presto off came the lid. 

Edited by Penlan
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Very interesting info you have found, Stephen. Almost a bit too much to take in!

 

Just when we thought our good old Bible was all we needed, a prophet brings us new knowledge from secret scriptures.

 

Lovely sketches too! I look forward to seeing them turn into models at some point.

 

I tried to model an old wooden brake block and lever for my 18ft one-planker, though slightly challenged by it being on the other side of the wagon in the only available picture! Maybe it should have been more curved.

 

I think I'll do as Annie and get a copy of the Wood book.

Edited by Mikkel
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36 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

I tried to model an old wooden brake block and lever for my 18ft one-planker, though slightly challenged by it being on the other side of the wagon in the only available picture! Maybe it should have been more curved.

 

I looked again at your build when hunting for online photos of early GWR wagons to see if I could find anything to supplement what's in Wood - there wasn't much. Your 5141, along with 4373 also illustrated in Atkins, are, I think, from a little earlier than the c. 1870 date give there. They have features in common with the 7'6"-wide wagons I've been drawing - general style of construction, ribbed buffer shanks, etc. - but the asymmetric axleguards suggest to me an earlier date, as does the single Scotch brake - although it may just be that the longer wheelbase was too long for the usual double block brake. I think a more-or-less straight lever would be right for the Scotch brake. 

 

Certainly none of this design are recorded as having been built at Saltney. If these wagons were the first to bear those numbers, they would probably date from the mid-1860s, going by the numbering of Saltney-built wagons of the period between the GW's absorption of the Shrewsbury & Chester and Shrewsbury & Birmingham companies in 1854 and the start of the 1867 letter lot book. On the other hand they may be later replacements of primordial wagons, though I would have expected even Atkins to provide Lot detail if that was the case.

 

But the answer undoubtedly lies in the wagon register, since both wagons were in service after 1875.

Edited by Compound2632
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After a horrible amount of searching I found this drawing.  I assume that this covered van shares the same kind of brakes as the Saltney wagons and if it doesn't I don't care because I'm going to use it anyway.

 

XbRKed9.jpg

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With a life in service of around 40 years, GW wagons of the late 1860s are not out of place in an Edwardian setting, if suitably kept up-to-date. G.F. Chadwick's North Staffordshire Wagons includes the example of a 6 ton wagon built in 1864 that had been involved in an accident on the GC in 1907. At the inquiry, its repair history was recounted, including new headstocks in 1893, new axleboxes and two new axleguards in 1897, and replacement buffers (probably conversion from dumb buffers) in 1899. However, it still had its original springs or at least ones of the same pattern.

 

Chadwick has photos of a couple more NSR 6 ton 1-plank wagons appear in photos of Leek & Manifold transporter wagons, i.e. no earlier than 1904. One dates from 1864; the other is described by Chadwick as "quite elderly", dating from 1857! That was built by Joseph Wright & Sons of Saltley (not to be confused with Saltney); the 1864 wagons were built by the same firm after it had become the Metropolitan Railway Carriage & Wagon Co.

 

This extreme longevity contrasts with what appears to be the c. 30 year life of a Midland wagon. From the 31 December 1894 stock-taking reported in Midland Wagons, out of a total wagon stock of about 112,600, there were only about 15,250 low sided wagons and 12,400 high sided wagons built before the start of the Litchurch Lane Lot Book in 1877 - i.e. more than 17 years old - together with over 21,000 ex-PO wagons, some of which may well have been built before 1877. 

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15 minutes ago, Annie said:

After a horrible amount of searching I found this drawing.  I assume that this covered van shares the same kind of brakes as the Saltney wagons and if it doesn't I don't care because I'm going to use it anyway.

 

That does seem to have the same solebar and brake details as these Saltney wagons of 1871-1874, despite being from a few years later. According to the notes I've assembled on these wood-framed vans, from various sources, only the first batch of 55, Lot 167, had wood frames, with subsequent batches having bulb iron frame, with a switch to the later standard channel iron frame for the final example built in 1885: 

According to Atkins, 2-plank wagons were built up to 1878, with 3-plank wagons from then on until the familiar 4-plank wagons were introduced in 1887. The 3-plank wagons had the same 1'10" high sides as the 2-plank wagons (the wider timber was getting expensive, I suspect). I believe I've read that early 3-plank wagons had wooden frames, so were probably identical to the preceding 2-plank wagons apart from the planks, but certainly by the last batches they had channel iron underframes. As they were constructed over the same time period as the outside framed vans, did they too go through the bulb iron solebar phase?

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More valuable information Stephen.  My main interest would be in the early 1878 vans with wooden frames since I would be wanting them for my early period layouts as well as for circa 1900.  Commissioning goods wagon is a lot cheaper than commissioning engines, but it still means that I need to be careful with my pocket money.

 

Edit: 3 plank wagons would be of interest to me as well.  I assume the planks would be of equal widths, though as we both know this isn't always the case.

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I suspect you may have already noted this, but in P. W Pilcher's album from the LNWR Society there are a couple of interesting photos showing early GWR wagons that might feed into this discussion. Plate 122 has three similar three plank wagons, one with metal underframe, and one with cast plates, but unfortunately all the brake gear is on the far side so difficult to say what material the blocks are made of, but it also has what the caption claims to be an unique view of the twin open veranda brake van, with outside framing. The other picture, Plate 126, taken about 1892-1897, is more pertinent, as it has two, or possibly three, large two plank wagons, which dwarf the neighbouring metal framed three plank in both height and width. One has got the curved brake lever, whilst the other has a straight one, but is especially interesting because it appears to have its W-irons outside the springs.

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It certainly looks like a book worth buying, but how easy is it to buy anything from the LNWR Society when you live outside the Uk.  My experiences with society purchases range from absolutely brilliant with the GER Society to utterly impossible with the HMRS so it would be nice to know my likelihood of success before I make the attempt.

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2 hours ago, Annie said:

...... how easy is it to buy anything from the LNWR Society when you live outside the Uk.  

Annie, are you on Facebook, if so go to the LNWR Soc's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/109619289726001
and either post there your request, or contact via PM, the admin.
Pilchers book is excellent value.
If your not on FB, PM me here and I will see what I can do - I'm not a member of the Society.

Edited by Penlan
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2 hours ago, Nick Holliday said:

whilst the other has a straight one, but is especially interesting because it appears to have its W-irons outside the springs.

 

214023427_HPFactorysidingswithtraverserc1900GWwagoncrop.jpg.af98083b30cb5c3e9f18a3ead498c49d.jpg

 

Crop from a photo in the Huntley & Palmers Collection, Reading Museum Service.

 

I'm on the case... Trying to reconcile what I see in the three photos I have with the stated 7'2" width.

 

Edited by Compound2632
Added Huntly & Palmers photo crop.
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1 hour ago, Penlan said:

Annie, are you on Facebook, if so go to the LNWR Soc's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/109619289726001
and either post there your request, or contact via PM, the admin.
Pilchers book is excellent value.
If your not on FB, PM me here and I will see what I can do - I'm not a member of the Society.

Thanks very much.  I will have a look at the Facebook page and make enquiries.  I'm keen to buy Pilchers book, but just a little wary after attempting to buy drawings from the HRMS and it turning into a disorganised mess that I just plain gave up on.

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14 minutes ago, Northroader said:

It’s a bad time to get things from the HMRS as their place shares the site of the Midland preservation site at Butterley, and access has been restricted by the  Covid precautions.

I've only just started buying books from overseas again since I knew it was impossible to do that during the first few months when COVID-19 was turning the world on its head for us all.

My attempt at buying plans from the HMRS was well before March 2020 and the issue was that they have no real way to accept payments from overseas.  After a good few emails were exchanged and it was plain I was getting largely nowhere I gave up.

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Here's one I made earlier – about 40 years earlier, before the balance of probabilities on wagon colour shifted to red, of a 2-plank wagon with wooden brake blocks, ribbed buffers, wooden frames, curved brake lever, and cracked planks in the door (as per photo). Also a lot of dust.

 

 

IMG_0778.jpg.8959dc483ad5ab2f586dd0097dba5336.jpg

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8 minutes ago, wagonman said:

Here's one I made earlier

 

Not a Saltney one, so possibly built at Worcester? - old series Lot 76, so, I think, built early 1873.

 

I note the cranked axleguard keeper plates - some are like this, others are straight. (Possibly replacements?)

Edited by Compound2632
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Thankyou, - that drawing will be very useful.

 

Referencing the LNWR Society I've been in contact with them and things are on the way to the society providing me with a copy of Pilchers photo album.  Now I'll shut up about the whole thing so we can get back to our regular programme.

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3 hours ago, Northroader said:

If it’s any help, here’s a drawing from the MRN, February 1966, in Kenneth Werretts wagon series, which may help dimensionally.

 

 

That shows one with iron underframe - like the Ian Kirk kit I built a while back, and renumbered 22598 of os Lot 321 on the strength of @Penrhos1920's data, one away from the number on the drawing. I can't actually find 22599 in Penrhos' list but equally I can't find 22583 that appears in a photo taken at Acton c. 1910! The list does include 22543/45/47/54/79/82/87/98 from a mix of lots, built at a time when new capital numbers for these vans were in the 35xxx and 37xxx series.

 

I've been wondering what the little box-like thing is on the solebar above the LH axleguard? It also appears on the wooden-framed wagons but a bit further to the right, clear of the crownplate.

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