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ChrisN

Victorian GWR Coaches Ruabon Dolgelley

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I am building, very slowly, a Cambrian layout set in 1895 at a fictitious town which has taken over from Barmouth as the terminus of the Dolgelley branch line.  The coaches would of course be Cambrian, but, it is possible that the last train of the day from Ruabon could have run through with just a change of engine.  Now I know that post about 1900 Ratio supplied the coaches but I have found no information as to what was used before that.  So the question is what would have run between Ruabon and Dolgelley?  I am assuming ancient 4 wheelers, but how ancient?  Can anyone tell me or point me in the right direction please?  (Any information gained will mean that my 'to do' list will increase.)

 

Thanks in anticipation

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It was quite normal for coaches to be worked by another railway engines so a rank of GWR coaches wouldn't be out of place, and most likely the GWR would have a rank of Cambrian coaches running over their line as well. Have a look at this site for your GWR coaches and get rather confused for what you want. http://penrhos.me.uk/LotList.shtml

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It was quite normal for coaches to be worked by another railway engines so a rank of GWR coaches wouldn't be out of place, and most likely the GWR would have a rank of Cambrian coaches running over their line as well. Have a look at this site for your GWR coaches and get rather confused for what you want. http://penrhos.me.uk/LotList.shtml

 

Thank you.  I have seen this site before and it is very useful.  The question is were there specific coaches used on the Ruabon Dolgelley line before they introduced the U4s, S9s, T47s and the full brake V5s in 1900?  If I am not careful I shall start building salon coaches, which may or may not be fun but not very helpful.

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Don't forget prior to 1923 Dolgellau (Dolgelley) was the furthest the Cambrian worked along the line.  Dolgellau station had two seperate buildings, the one nearest the town being owned, operated and staffed by the Cambrian, the other by the GWR.  For the Cambrian, the main through route from Dolgellau was down to Barmouth Junction and then via the coast to Machynlleth, where they joined the Cambrian main line to Buttington and Oswestry, so it's unlikely that Cambrian coaches worked beyond Dolgellau before 1923.  After that date, the GWR rapidly replaced some of the rather moth-eaten and ancient Cambrian stock in some cases even replacing Cambrian 4 wheelers with their own 4 and 6 wheel coaches just to get rid of the inherited stock.

 

There are a number of books out there which illustrate some of the Cambrian and GWR stock used in the area, CC Green's Cambrian Railways Album-2 published by Ian Allan in 1981 has been very useful (covering the period 1922-1947) for my work with the Dolgellau model railway.  There is an earlier edition, Volume 1 which covers the earlier period, both available second hand. 

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Through trains to Barmouth in 1895 might have been considered a bit more important than some backwater branchline – access to the appropriate Carriage Working Book would useful – so may have used arc roofed 6-wheeled stock. By the time of WW1 these trains would have been made up of non-gangwayed bogie clerestory stock.

 

It's unlikely that there would have been any of the Ratio style coaches, many of which were only built in the early 1900s and used for Bristol Division local sets. Two T36s sandwiching a U4 was a common branchline set in the South West in Edwardian times.

 

Otherwise you're looking at very old 4-wheelers of the sort that were mostly scrapped before the diagram book was set up. Get out your Plasticard and your scalpel...

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According to Harris: June 1900, lots 941-947, U4, S9, T47, V5  built "To form Ruabon-Dolgelley local sets." I think what Chris is after is what GWR coaches might have seen on the route before that.

 

One option would be to use the same Ratio coaches, but choosing prototype numbers built in 1895 or earlier. As sets of these coaches were built specifically for that route in 1900, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that the same or similar diagrams were used before that.

 

The first lot of U4s in Harris' list were built in July 1891, and the first S9s same date (plus other lots before or during 1895) - so you could use those.

 

The first T47s were for the 1900s sets mentioned above so that one wouldn't work, but you could replace it with a Shirescenes/Dart Castings T49 (1894) or T20 (1882) and a V5 (1892). That range also has the T36 but they're from 1901. 

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Don't forget prior to 1923 Dolgellau (Dolgelley) was the furthest the Cambrian worked along the line.  Dolgellau station had two seperate buildings, the one nearest the town being owned, operated and staffed by the Cambrian, the other by the GWR.  For the Cambrian, the main through route from Dolgellau was down to Barmouth Junction and then via the coast to Machynlleth, where they joined the Cambrian main line to Buttington and Oswestry, so it's unlikely that Cambrian coaches worked beyond Dolgellau before 1923.  After that date, the GWR rapidly replaced some of the rather moth-eaten and ancient Cambrian stock in some cases even replacing Cambrian 4 wheelers with their own 4 and 6 wheel coaches just to get rid of the inherited stock.

 

There are a number of books out there which illustrate some of the Cambrian and GWR stock used in the area, CC Green's Cambrian Railways Album-2 published by Ian Allan in 1981 has been very useful (covering the period 1922-1947) for my work with the Dolgellau model railway.  There is an earlier edition, Volume 1 which covers the earlier period, both available second hand. 

 

Mark,

Thank you.  I think you are right that no Cambrian coach would have worked past Dolgelley before 1923.  Apart from anything else up until they had to change they were running unbraked 1860s stock and then I think coaches for that line were old even for the Cambrian.  I have C. C; Green's Vol 1 but the problem is that there is very little photographic evidence pre 1900.

 

Fairbourne:  My wife and I walked to Fairbourne from Barmouth across the bridge earlier this year and had lunch at the pub half way up the main road.  Unfortunately we chose the day that the train was not running so we had to walk back.  We have not been to Wales for years as my wife finds walking hills/mountains a bit much these days so to have a virtually flat walk was really nice.

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Through trains to Barmouth in 1895 might have been considered a bit more important than some backwater branchline – access to the appropriate Carriage Working Book would useful – so may have used arc roofed 6-wheeled stock. By the time of WW1 these trains would have been made up of non-gangwayed bogie clerestory stock.

 

It's unlikely that there would have been any of the Ratio style coaches, many of which were only built in the early 1900s and used for Bristol Division local sets. Two T36s sandwiching a U4 was a common branchline set in the South West in Edwardian times.

 

Otherwise you're looking at very old 4-wheelers of the sort that were mostly scrapped before the diagram book was set up. Get out your Plasticard and your scalpel...

 

Richard,

Thank you.  I have some idea what the GWR was using as through coaches as there is a picture of a C37/38 on Barmouth Bridge in 1896.  The Cambrian were probably using Tricomposite 6 wheelers, even though they had abolished second class at the time on a turn by turn about basis up to London.  What came from Manchester Exchange or Birkrnhead is another matter.  I had not thought of a carriage working book which ould of course answer the questions.  I will have to see what the Records Office at Kew has.

 

I am expecting to get the plasticard and scalpel out.  :imsohappy: The question is whether I do that before I learn to solder and solder my Cambrian coaches together.

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According to Harris: June 1900, lots 941-947, U4, S9, T47, V5  built "To form Ruabon-Dolgelley local sets." I think what Chris is after is what GWR coaches might have seen on the route before that.

 

One option would be to use the same Ratio coaches, but choosing prototype numbers built in 1895 or earlier. As sets of these coaches were built specifically for that route in 1900, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that the same or similar diagrams were used before that.

 

The first lot of U4s in Harris' list were built in July 1891, and the first S9s same date (plus other lots before or during 1895) - so you could use those.

 

The first T47s were for the 1900s sets mentioned above so that one wouldn't work, but you could replace it with a Shirescenes/Dart Castings T49 (1894) or T20 (1882) and a V5 (1892). That range also has the T36 but they're from 1901. 

 

Mikkel,

Thank you.  Hope you are well.  I had wondered about doing that.  I have a pre production T49 which is built, (I think), but not finished as up until now I had no reason to run it.  Using the kits would be quicker although lessinteresting, but you know the speed of my building so it might be a good idea.

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According to Harris: June 1900, lots 941-947, U4, S9, T47, V5  built "To form Ruabon-Dolgelley local sets." I think what Chris is after is what GWR coaches might have seen on the route before that.

 

One option would be to use the same Ratio coaches, but choosing prototype numbers built in 1895 or earlier. As sets of these coaches were built specifically for that route in 1900, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that the same or similar diagrams were used before that.

 

The first lot of U4s in Harris' list were built in July 1891, and the first S9s same date (plus other lots before or during 1895) - so you could use those.

 

The first T47s were for the 1900s sets mentioned above so that one wouldn't work, but you could replace it with a Shirescenes/Dart Castings T49 (1894) or T20 (1882) and a V5 (1892). That range also has the T36 but they're from 1901. 

 

 

Oops Sorry! Not doing my homework properly!

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Oops Sorry! Not doing my homework properly!

 

Richard,

Your first post was really helpful but I am struggling to find, not that I have been doing it for longer than today, GWR carriage formations.  Would they be held at Didcot?  (I shall email and ask.)  Are there any books with pictures in?  Well specifically books of GWR in Wales in the 19th century.  (I only have a limited knowledge of the GWR where it touches the Cambrian.)

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Chris

You need Carriage Working Programmes for the Northern and Central Wales Divisions. I am happy to be proved wrong but they are not common. I know of only 2 GWR Northern Division ones, one from 1922 and the other for 1945. The 1922 one does not distinguish between 4 and 6 wheel coaches but highlights bogie coaches and corridor vehicles.

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Chris

You need Carriage Working Programmes for the Northern and Central Wales Divisions. I am happy to be proved wrong but they are not common. I know of only 2 GWR Northern Division ones, one from 1922 and the other for 1945. The 1922 one does not distinguish between 4 and 6 wheel coaches but highlights bogie coaches and corridor vehicles.

 

Alan,

Thank you that, believe it or not is most helpful.  I am now in the right section of Kew Records but on the way I think I found the details of the war record of my step granddad who was an 'Old Contemptible' so all is not in vain.

 

As I write I seem to remember that the Ruabon to Dolgelley line was owned by an independent company (ies) by run by the GWR until they amalgamated in 1896.  I wonder if that meant that they used older stock.  Maybe not as Bradshaw's has it down as Great Western. 

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Chris,

 

Why do you assume ancient 4 or 6 wheel coaches? I would think recent coaches possible. The first photo is of a train at Trawsfynydd is a little after your time but illustrates what I expect for GWR services in your area. It appears to be a 4 coach set with another set attached to the rear (why else would the brake third have a tail lamp that's been forgotten in the middle of the train?). The coaches from the front of the train are T44 or T47 brake third, S9 third, U15 composite, T47 brake third, T27 brake third.

post-6743-0-80701300-1505836790_thumb.jpg

 

Although not in your area this picture of Sutton Scotney also shows a 4 coach set comprising of T27 brake third, U11/12 composite, S9 third, T27 brake third. It is clearly earlier as the coaches are all in the 1880 - 1904 livery.post-6743-0-13139100-1505837646_thumb.jpg

 

I think it fair to say that a 4 coach set comprising of a composite, third and pair of brake thirds was the pre Great War version of a rural B-set. In about 1890 someone worked out that rural services required more luggage/parcels capacity than previously supplied. Before that date most brake thirds have small van areas look at diagrams T20, T38, T51/2; the only van thirds before that date were specifically for the suburban London services. After 1890 all new builds had proper van areas and many existing brake thirds had the luggage area increased by incorporating one or more compartments into the luggage area. With the exception of the possible T47, all of the brake thirds were in these two photos were originally built as 4 compartment brake thirds and converted to the 2 compartment van thirds in the photos.

 

Another possible type of GWR coach you could run would be a through coach running from say Pwllheli to Birmingham or London. Depending upon demand it would either be 6 or 8 wheels, not 4 wheels. It would probably have all three classes and a luggage compartment and possibly a guards compartment. You have U21, U27 - U29 or one of the many E diagrams to choose from.

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Chris,

 

Why do you assume ancient 4 or 6 wheel coaches? I would think recent coaches possible. The first photo is of a train at Trawsfynydd is a little after your time but illustrates what I expect for GWR services in your area. It appears to be a 4 coach set with another set attached to the rear (why else would the brake third have a tail lamp that's been forgotten in the middle of the train?). The coaches from the front of the train are T44 or T47 brake third, S9 third, U15 composite, T47 brake third, T27 brake third.

attachicon.gifTrawsfynydd.jpg

 

Although not in your area this picture of Sutton Scotney also shows a 4 coach set comprising of T27 brake third, U11/12 composite, S9 third, T27 brake third. It is clearly earlier as the coaches are all in the 1880 - 1904 livery.attachicon.gifSutton Scoony.jpg

 

I think it fair to say that a 4 coach set comprising of a composite, third and pair of brake thirds was the pre Great War version of a rural B-set. In about 1890 someone worked out that rural services required more luggage/parcels capacity than previously supplied. Before that date most brake thirds have small van areas look at diagrams T20, T38, T51/2; the only van thirds before that date were specifically for the suburban London services. After 1890 all new builds had proper van areas and many existing brake thirds had the luggage area increased by incorporating one or more compartments into the luggage area. With the exception of the possible T47, all of the brake thirds were in these two photos were originally built as 4 compartment brake thirds and converted to the 2 compartment van thirds in the photos.

 

Another possible type of GWR coach you could run would be a through coach running from say Pwllheli to Birmingham or London. Depending upon demand it would either be 6 or 8 wheels, not 4 wheels. It would probably have all three classes and a luggage compartment and possibly a guards compartment. You have U21, U27 - U29 or one of the many E diagrams to choose from.

 

Penrhos,

Thank you, that is most helpful.  I had assumed that they would be ancient coaches as 1)the GWR was running someone else's line and a few years after they took it over they made new sets for it and 2) today all the modern stuff is used in London and Wales and the west country, and I suppose other places further away get the old rubbish.  It looks like it was different in the past.  Mikkel's suggestion would give me an easy four coach set and eventually, once I have built everything else I might make another set, (unless there is another easy set to build.)

 

As for through coaches I have a Slaters E38(?) which as I said earlier there is a photo of one on Barmouth bridge, (unless it was an E37.)  This will do for one but I will need probably two or three from Paddington, and one each from Manchester Exchange and Birkenhead.  It is  a mid March service so tri-composite 6 wheelers will suffice, just need to sort them out.  They will be turn and turn about with Cambrian through coaches but it is much more fun to have different coaches in the same train.  I will not mention family saloons...........

 

Thank you for posting.  I found your website ages ago and do refer to it when I need GWR information about coaches.

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.... The first photo is of a train at Trawsfynydd is a little after your time but illustrates what I expect for GWR services in your area. It appears to be a 4 coach set with another set attached to the rear (why else would the brake third have a tail lamp that's been forgotten in the middle of the train?). The coaches from the front of the train are T44 or T47 brake third, S9 third, U15 composite, T47 brake third, T27 brake third...

Interesting photograph that - for a line on which I never ever saw/rode in more than one bogie brake third through the 1950s.

Might it have been assembled for something like a Chapel or Sunday School excursion ?

dh

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The first photo is of a train at Trawsfynydd is a little after your time but illustrates what I expect for GWR services in your area. It appears to be a 4 coach set with another set attached to the rear (why else would the brake third have a tail lamp that's been forgotten in the middle of the train?). The coaches from the front of the train are T44 or T47 brake third, S9 third, U15 composite, T47 brake third, T27 brake third.

attachicon.gifTrawsfynydd.jpg

The GWR Northern and Central Wales Divisions July 10th, 1922 and ufn gives the following for the Bala-Blaenau Festiniog Branch:

Set no. 46 brake third, compo, third, brake third

Set no. 47 brake third, compo, third, brake third

Nos. 46 & 47 to be changed at Blaenau Festiniog daily.

Set no. 48 Workmen's Train 4 workmen's 3rds, 1 ordinary 3rd, 2 brake thirds between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Festiniog

 

Are there 2 trains in the same platform?

Edited by tanatvalley
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I can't comment on the GWR coaches but the Cambrian Coaches would depend on the destination of the train. A local train could be made up from 4 and 6 wheelers. The cambrian were still using some of their Metropolitan 4 wheelers until the first world war and some of their Ashbury 4 wheelers survived to be repainted in GWR livery post 1923.

 

Marc    

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Slightly off topic, but does anyone happen to know what coaches the Cambrian used on the Mawddwy Valley Light Railway 9from 1909)?

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I don't think I have ever seen a post 1909 pre 1923 photos. Pre 1909 the coaches were manufactured by Wright and Son (Metropolitan C&W). Presuming the Cambrian ran stock on the branch in the same way as their other smaller branches, I would guess that the coaches would be a mixture of 4 wheel coaches either outside framed Metropolitan or those built by Ashbury's.  

 

The photo is Blodwell junction showing Ashbury coaches

 

Marc

post-13539-0-86967700-1505977486.jpg

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I don't think I have ever seen a post 1909 pre 1923 photos. Pre 1909 the coaches were manufactured by Wright and Son (Metropolitan C&W). Presuming the Cambrian ran stock on the branch in the same way as their other smaller branches, I would guess that the coaches would be a mixture of 4 wheel coaches either outside framed Metropolitan or those built by Ashbury's.  

 

The photo is Blodwell junction showing Ashbury coaches

 

Marc

 

First off, many thanks, Marc.  That is helpful and that is a truly wonderful photograph; those old Ashburys are full of character, and I am very fond of those little 'Seaham' tanks.

 

Second, apologies to Chris for the hi-jack, but on the basis that it is resulting in pictures of Cambrian branch trains, I hope he will not mind too much!

 

I've always had a 'thing' for the Mawddwy line. Part of me wants to go back to the pre-1901 state with those wonderfully archaic coaches, but 1911 onwards offers the chance to keep hold of one of the Manning Wardles whilst introducing a SPC and a Seaham tank along with some Cambrian 4-wheel stock.  One cannot really do both, as the Cambrian's renewal involved replacing the iron FB rail with BH, reconstructing bridges and the wooden structures at Dinas Mawddwy.

 

Anyway, this is the one glimpse I have of a Cambrian train.  The Mawddwy had mixed trains, well, passenger services with any goods traffic going added on.  Wonderfully it is headed by one of my favourite classes.  There appear to be just 2 coaches, monochrome livery, oil-lit and with differing roof profiles. 

post-25673-0-91682400-1505980267_thumb.jpg

Edited by Edwardian
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We are developing the loco as a kit at the moment. The van is currently available from Taff Vale (Ex Dragon) and we do the coaches. So you should be able model the whole train shortly,

 

Marc 

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We are developing the loco as a kit at the moment. The van is currently available from Taff Vale (Ex Dragon) and we do the coaches. So you should be able model the whole train shortly,

 

Marc 

 

Well that's good news.  In 4mil?

 

EDIT: This is also, I think, No.28 (apparently a Mawddwy regular), any idea when and where?

post-25673-0-63907100-1506014155_thumb.jpg

Edited by Edwardian
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Unfortunately not 7mm only. I would love to shrink it down but I can't get the parts printed thin enough with sufficient detail.

 

The photo could be Barmouth.

 

Marc  

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