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Fish Vans — Diagrams and Workings

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I have had a read up online and have gathered that 275 fish vans were retrofitted with Timken bearings, and given the lovable blue spot. Are there any significant differences between the many diagrams of the fish van apart from LNER vs. BR clasp brake? I see a visual difference in that some have 7 additional roof straps running side-to-side on top, but nothing much else. BR vans received Timkens, LNER vans did not?

 

I am awar that the fish vans on the Aberdeen-KX trains were branded specifically so, but were all of them given the brandings? Were any other-route fish vans given such appropriate proscriptions?

 

Apart from Aberdeen, what were the big fish trains in terms of prominence and location, and were there any rakes made up entirely of Blue Spot vans?

 

Regards

Ron

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There were 3 types in the post-war period :-

 

1949/50 to LNER diagram 214. Total 600. 15ft wheelbase. All oil axleboxes. No Blue Spot.
E75000 - E75599   

Lot 30125 Darlington 1954 Dia. 800. Total 500. 15ft wheelbase. All oil axleboxes when built.
E87000 - E87499

- the first 275 were converted to roller bearing axles from 1957 for long distance running. Large Blue Spot applied to indicate this. The remaining 225 vehicles were not converted, and most made their way into general freight stock as vanfits to diagram 1/255. Some of the roller bearing fitted vans also went to freight stock as diagram 1/256.

BR Insulated Fish Van Dia. 801. Total 558. 15ft wheelbase. Roller bearing axles.

 

Lot 30344 Darlington 1959/60
E87500-E87692        (193 no.)
Lot 30384 Darlington 1959/60
E87693-E87957        (265 no.)    10t 14cwt
LOt 30422 Darlington 1960/61
E87958-E88057        (100 no.)

 

- 558 were built with roller bearing axles in three lots between 1959-1961. Central mounted vacuum cylinder. Blue Spot applied. Ribbed roof and modified strapping. Tare 10150kgs, 12ton load

 

Of the 833 vans with roller bearings, I believe 568 became SPVs for parcel and sundries traffic from 1968, the remainder staying on the residual fish traffic which had declined significantly from 1966 onwards when the tariffs and traffic arrangements were re-organised.

 

The last long-distance fish trains were from Aberdeen which ran until 1976, and Whitland/Pembroke finishing a little earlier I think. Single vans could be seen on ScR trains from Mallaig/Oban/Wick/Thurso, until around the mid-1970s also.

 

By the way I have an unreleased model of the D801 Fish van for Trainz.

Edited by stovepipe

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There were 3 types in the post-war period :-

 

1949/50 to LNER diagram 214. Total 600. 15ft wheelbase. All oil axleboxes. No Blue Spot.

E75000 - E75599   

Lot 30125 Darlington 1954 Dia. 800. Total 500. 15ft wheelbase. All oil axleboxes when built.

E87000 - E87499

- the first 275 were converted to roller bearing axles from 1957 for long distance running. Large Blue Spot applied to indicate this. The remaining 225 vehicles were not converted, and most made their way into general freight stock as vanfits to diagram 1/255. Some of the roller bearing fitted vans also went to freight stock as diagram 1/256.BR Insulated Fish Van Dia. 801. Total 558. 15ft wheelbase. Roller bearing axles.

 

Lot 30344 Darlington 1959/60

E87500-E87692        (193 no.)

Lot 30384 Darlington 1959/60

E87693-E87957        (265 no.)    10t 14cwt

LOt 30422 Darlington 1960/61

E87958-E88057        (100 no.)

 

- 558 were built with roller bearing axles in three lots between 1959-1961. Central mounted vacuum cylinder. Blue Spot applied. Ribbed roof and modified strapping. Tare 10150kgs, 12ton load

 

Of the 833 vans with roller bearings, I believe 568 became SPVs for parcel and sundries traffic from 1968, the remainder staying on the residual fish traffic which had declined significantly from 1966 onwards when the tariffs and traffic arrangements were re-organised.

 

The last long-distance fish trains were from Aberdeen which ran until 1976, and Whitland/Pembroke finishing a little earlier I think. Single vans could be seen on ScR trains from Mallaig/Oban/Wick/Thurso, until around the mid-1970s also.

 

By the way I have an unreleased model of the D801 Fish van for Trainz.

Thnaks for that, quite detailed answer.

 

Now the problem becomes a matter of Barrowmore does not have a single diag. 801 drawing! It's all 800. Are there any preferably cheap books or magazines, online sources, etc. that I can find the drawings for the diag. 801 van in?

 

I'd be interested in seeing your Trainz van, but I prefer to do my own "thing" with wagons since I have a massive underframe library that frees up space on the UV map otherwise used by axlebox, buffers, suspension, etc.. All of my wagons I'm inquiring about here on RMWeb use it so it will be very efficient for a ~30K polygon all-inclusive model (if the whole fleet of BR wagons is modelled).

 

I plan to release around 9 variants:

 

• BR 12T Fish Van (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van Weathered (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van Heavily Weathered (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Fish Van Weathered (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Weathered (BR diag. 801)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Weathered (KX, BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Heavily Weathered (KX, BR diag. 801)

 

Ex-LNER variants will get the vac standpipe. The "KX" indicating the branding restricting the vans to work only between Kings Cross and Aberdeen. But I can only do so with a diagram for 801!

 

Another question that may be relevant is the steam heat bag. Were these removed by the later 50s? I don't see any pictures of these vans working in passenger trains.

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Thnaks for that, quite detailed answer.

 

Now the problem becomes a matter of Barrowmore does not have a single diag. 801 drawing! It's all 800. Are there any preferably cheap books or magazines, online sources, etc. that I can find the drawings for the diag. 801 van in?

 

I'd be interested in seeing your Trainz van, but I prefer to do my own "thing" with wagons since I have a massive underframe library that frees up space on the UV map otherwise used by axlebox, buffers, suspension, etc.. All of my wagons I'm inquiring about here on RMWeb use it so it will be very efficient for a ~30K polygon all-inclusive model (if the whole fleet of BR wagons is modelled).

 

I plan to release around 9 variants:

 

• BR 12T Fish Van (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van Weathered (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van Heavily Weathered (ex-LNER diag. 214)

• BR 12T Fish Van (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Fish Van Weathered (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van (BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Weathered (BR diag. 801)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Weathered (KX, BR diag. 800)

• BR 12T Blue Spot Fish Van Heavily Weathered (KX, BR diag. 801)

 

Ex-LNER variants will get the vac standpipe. The "KX" indicating the branding restricting the vans to work only between Kings Cross and Aberdeen. But I can only do so with a diagram for 801!

 

Another question that may be relevant is the steam heat bag. Were these removed by the later 50s? I don't see any pictures of these vans working in passenger trains.

 

I think it will be hard to find a good diagram or drawing of D.801, which is possibly why both Parkside and Hornby produced the D.800 type for which good drawings exist. My D.801 is an adaptation of the D.800 drawing, though not made by me I hasten to add.

 

Is this a fish van, bit hard to see?

 

36258629132_52a004aefe_o.jpgGeorgemas Junction 1978 by pad72, on Flickr

 

Another one here

27084681153_7a7b2632d3_k.jpgEvening departure by MikeF 2013, on Flickr

Edited by stovepipe
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I cannot say for the first one, but the second one looks the part as the doors look recessed, oddly looks brown opposed to blue that is expected of the Parcels van variant.

 

It would be a stretch for me to adapt 801 from 800 drawings, but it indeed explains why those companies stuck to 800. The side strapping resembles a longer version of those on the 12T Van, so I may use that as a jumping-off point.

Regards

Ron

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Sorry, can't help with the topic but I have to say, what a fabulous photo 'Far North Line goods, Golspie' is - brilliant!

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I'll have to go back on what I said earlier, seeing as I commented on this photo 2 years ago. It's a close up of the Golspie train, showing that the fish van is being used in general freight stock as an VFV.

11738997734_275e0e8b45_k.jpgGolspie by MikeF 2013, on Flickr

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Hi Charles

 

I’ve already finished the mesh for the 800, and have found these to be the differences:

• Different strapping althroughout

• Ribbed roof on 801

• Door locking mechanism different

• Roof does not extend as far out past the body on the 800

• LNER Clasp Brake

• Steam heat pipes for the 800

 

There’s more scribbled on some papers near where I modelbut these I think are the key differences.

 

By the way I’ve finished my Conflat pack consisting of Conflat A and Conflat P (Thanks Michael Edge for help on the latter), and 9 different BR containers. These should be on their way to the DLS.

Edited by Evertrainz

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There are drawings of both 216 & 801 diagrams in the Dec 2000 BRM in an article by John Emerson. It should be noted that the 801 body is based on the standard BR van and is about 3 inches narrower than the 216/800 body.

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Does anyone know of any pictures of diesel power working the Aberdeen fish runs? This post makes me wonder how often diesels were used in the early days on the Aberdeen - KX train. The Blood and Custard site reports "train examined and locomotive change - type 4 diesel in December 1963" at Edinburgh Waverley.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Returning to this thread with a few questions.

 

Were the ex-LNER converted 12 ft. WB fish vans painted Ice Blue? How about the unconverted outside-door versions? It seems possible as the photo on this page (https://scottishrsl.livejournal.com/201941.html) featuring 70038 Robin Hood on Fish has what looks like a wood-framed van painted ice blue, the second van in consist looks also like a mucky shade of it.

 

Did vans necessarily need roller bearings to get the "ABERDEEN AND KINGS CROSS" branding? This shot (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue-diesels/6227393040/in/[email protected]/) shows an Insulfish van with plate axleboxes and a prominent black patch that I can only assume to bear the above branding.

 

I've been working on 3D models of the fish vans, picture for context. 

 

Ron

 

49343242832_36e6681957.jpg

D. 800 Fish Van (very dirty) by Ron Hessar, on Flickr

 

Edited by Evertrainz

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Some thoughts on the matters you’ve raised in this post.

 

Drawings

 

There is a diagram of the D801 Insulfish in the Barrowmore archive – sort of.  In the Diagram Book “British Railways - Diagrams of Freight Stock (1) {Yellow Cover}“ http://www.barrowmoremrg.co.uk/BRBDocuments/BRFreight1Issue.pdf, diagrams can be found for Goods Vans 1/255 and 1/256, formerly Insulfish Vans to diagrams 800 and 801.  Unfortunately, whoever drafted these diagrams didn’t have the interests of 21st century modellers in mind, and used the same drawing for both diagrams!  The 1/256 diagram is marked with the differing measurements etc. of a D801 van, but the drawing is for a D800 van.

 

As I was on the Barrowmore site I had a further browse for my own interest and discovered one of the other scanned books had a very comprehensive index of diagrams, post TOPS, which included a number of versions of Fish Vans.  So I clicked my way through the four books in the set only to discover that all the V series diagrams had gone AWOL.  Really annoying (In fact I used a rather stronger phrase at the time, but on a family website…).

 

I have a copy of the British Railway Modelling (December 2000) issue referred to in Mark54’s post.  It does include drawings for both D800 and D801 vans “… reproduced to 4mm scale”.  Both drawings are further annotated, that for the D801 van reading “Details taken from British Railways drawing No. SW/DN/22206 dated September 3 1957 © Gainsborough Model Railway Society”.

 

Gainsborough MRS (http://www.gainsboroughmodelrailway.co.uk/) is best known for their Gauge 0 rendition of the ECML between Kings Cross and Leeds during the British Railways era and they would certainly need fish vans.  The BRM drawing includes dimensions of the body bracing and the pitches of the roof ribs that can only have come from a detailed drawing, or measurement off a wagon.  So I suppose you could enquire with them and see if they were amenable to sharing their data.  I do rather suspect though that if you’re looking to retail your output, Gainsborough will want to discuss their share of the money as well.

 

The Historical Model Railway Society (https://hmrs.org.uk/) have an archive of documents, drawings etc., collected over the last 70 years for the purpose of modelling.  Sadly, being a voluntary organisation, only part of the archive is either listed or digitised for personal searches,  but you could enquire if they had any drawings of use.  There’s a contact arrangement on the website.

 

Finally, and a long shot, there’s the National Railway Museum.  Paul Bartlett, of rolling stock photographs fame, and ‘HMRSPaul’ on RM Web, seems to have sussed out how to make the NRM search engine work for him and it might be worth contacting him to see if he’s got any useful tips on how to make it work for you.  Even so, you’ll almost certainly have to make a personal visit to York to get anything from them.

 

Painting

Bodies

All the fish vans the LNER actually built were considered goods stock and would have received the company’s Red Oxide livery as vacuum braked wagons.  They would have carried this, along with a good helping of grime, into the early years of nationalization.

 

BR however, seems to have considered fish vans to be passenger rated stock.  An article in Railway Modeller (August 1991) quotes; “Ventilated and unventilated fish and meat vans were crimson with yellow lettering, changed to maroon with yellow lettering in 1957, and to bauxite in 1963”.  The article doesn’t cite any sources however, although it does reflect the painting of other coaching stock at the time.  However, we can say that the original LNER D134 vans never carried the ice blue livery, which was reserved for insulted stock.

 

For insulated vans, the RM article states; “White with black lettering, changed in 1963 to ice blue with white lettering”.  Again the article doesn’t cite any sources, but this reflects what can be seen in some contemporary photographs.

 

I’m fascinated by the Scottishrsl link you included.  It’s the first time I’ve seen converted D134 vans in the ice blue livery – from which you’ll note that I too think the vans you identify are indeed to this diagram.

 

Underframes

The LNER did, and BR seems to have, painted wooden underframes of non-insulated stock in body colour.

Insulated stock sole bars appear to have been painted black regardless of the framing material, but headstocks could be painted in body colour.

 

Roofs

Model Railway News (May 1950), quoting information from the then Railway Executive, noted that (Freight Stock) Van Roofs were to be painted “Grey”.

 

This note didn’t discuss Insulated Vans at all, but it did note that the roofs of Insulated Containers were also to be painted “Grey”, and I think it reasonable to assume that what applied to Insulated Containers also applied to Insulated Vans.

 

However, contemprorary photographs show that some vans at least were running with very light coloured roofs.

It’s difficult to make a fully formed judgement from black and white photographs, reproduced in 1950’s/1960’s technology, but I’m satisfied that there is sufficient tonal difference between the roof and the body of these vans, for the roof to be a pale shade of grey and an earlier note from Model Railway News (August 1949) which covered coaching stock described coaching stock roofs as being painted “Light Grey”.

 

None of which tells us what colour the ‘Grey’ was of course.

 

Lettering etc.

Black lettering on white bodies seems to have been fairly consistent, but I’m less convinced that white lettering on ice blue bodies was adhered to.

 

A photograph of E75474 (LNER D214) shows it to have been branded “Not to work between/Tonbridge and Battle/via Robertsbridge/Southern Region”.  As the bodies of Dias 214 and 800 were to the same dimensions, you might expect the D800’s to be similarly branded, but this is the only photograph I know that shows this brand (British Railway Vans, Gamble G, Cheona Publications 1997).

 

Some white vans also had the tare weight reversed out, i.e. white numbers on an oval black background.

 

The Aberdeen – Kings Cross route branding wasn’t consistently placed either.

 

The photo at Brough from the Blue-diesels Flickr site is intriguing, and not just for the ex-LMS container chassis carrying an FM container at the front of the train.  At first I wondered if the black patch was the ‘chalk board’ but that can be clearly seen to the right of the number.

So I think it must be a branding of some sort but possibly not for Aberdeen – Kings Cross.

 

Deployment

 

An article in Modern Railways (December 1963) discussed the Aberdeen fish traffic (this article seems to be the source of the quote about Type 4 diesels on the Blood and Custard site you refer to).

 

Services from Aberdeen were stated to be:

·         12.30 pm and 1.43 pm to Kings Cross, detaching at Finsbury Park.

·         2.15 pm to Carstairs, where it split to form two services, see below.

·         6 pm to Edinburgh Waverley.

·         6.38 pm to Manchester Victoria, and

·         7.33 pm to Perth.

 

The Carstairs service subsequently formed the:

·         8 pm to Birmingham Curzon Street, detaching at Warrington, Crewe, Stafford and Wolverhampton.

·         8.10 pm to Manchester Oldham Road, detaching at Preston (for Liverpool) and Wigan.

 

There was only one return working mentioned, 11.40 am from Kings Cross, apparently conveying up to 40 vans.

 

A further article in Modern Railways (October 1964) discussing the concerns of the Fleetwood fishing trade, mentions 25 main services in the country, without listing them (!), and also noted the average load per van as being 2½ tons.  The article refers to ‘… the ice-blue “Insul-fish” vehicles …’ which must mean the 214/800/801 family as they were practically the only Insulfish vans in service.

 

For Fleetwood itself, the following were mentioned (24hr clock now in use…):

·         14:50 to Crewe.  Described as a ‘star’ turn loading between 25 and 30 vans and said to have been hauled by Jubilee or Britannia classes.

·         16:00 and 19:05 to London Broad Street.

 

Other than Aberdeen and Fleetwood, loading ports that come to mind are Grimsby, Hull, Lowestoft, and Milford Haven.  Brixham remains a significant fishing port, but evidence of any Insulfish vans on the Western Region is hard to come by.  Despite the existence of Dover Sole, the Southern Region seems to have moved any originating fish traffic by scheduled passenger or van trains.

 

 

Rather a jumble of thoughts above, but I hope you might be able to find something of use amongst them.

 

TMc

 

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On 13/01/2020 at 18:36, watfordtmc said:

Some thoughts on the matters you’ve raised in this post.

 

Finally, and a long shot, there’s the National Railway Museum.  Paul Bartlett, of rolling stock photographs fame, and ‘HMRSPaul’ on RM Web, seems to have sussed out how to make the NRM search engine work for him and it might be worth contacting him to see if he’s got any useful tips on how to make it work for you.  Even so, you’ll almost certainly have to make a personal visit to York to get anything from them.

 

 

 

No I haven't! Some of my friends are very au fait with the search engine. Personally I just pop down to my local library when I want something having emailed to reserve in advance. Yep, my lady chose the house and it is 7 minutes walk to the NRM and a further 3 to the search engine! I spent too much of my working life doing library related research to really enjoy it very much.

 

Paul

PS the paint dates quoted appear accurate, very few railway books reference sources.

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There is a photo in British Railways - The First 25 Years: Vol 5 The South West (page 11 lower) showing one of the BR design fish vans in a train heading from Torrington to Barnstaple behind 34002 on 23 August 1963.
 

Unfortunately no more detail is give about the service, traffic or routing. Does anyone have any information on that service or any other information on the use of these wagons in Devon/Cornwall?

 

I’ve got a couple of the Rumney Models BR Dia 801 kits that I’ve built and was going to put them

into parcels use for a ‘70s/‘80s project but this photo might cause a rethink....

 

Jeremy

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On 14/01/2020 at 00:36, watfordtmc said:

Brixham remains a significant fishing port, but evidence of any Insulfish vans on the Western Region is hard to come by. 

 

Hard to come by maybe but the Insulfish vans did work on the South Wales flows. Both the BR diagrams could be seen along with the 12' wheelbase ex LNER wooden solebar wagons. A couple of pictures off the top of my head:

 

Page 72 of The South Wales Main Line Volume 4 by John Hodge. A pair of 1/801s with a Mk1 BG sandwiched between at the head of a Miford Haven to Weymouth fish service in 1961.

 

Page 61 of Working Steam: Collett and Hawksworth Halls by Roy Hobbs. Several Insulfish vans in an empty milk and fish wokring at Newtown Goods in Cardiff in 1963. The leading two vehicles are 1/800s. 

 

Gerald T Robinson had a couple of photos on Flickr that showed Insulfish vans in West Wales but his account no long seems to exist which is a shame. 

 

Justin

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On 14/01/2020 at 00:36, watfordtmc said:

BR however, seems to have considered fish vans to be passenger rated stock.  An article in Railway Modeller (August 1991) quotes; “Ventilated and unventilated fish and meat vans were crimson with yellow lettering, changed to maroon with yellow lettering in 1957, and to bauxite in 1963”.  The article doesn’t cite any sources however, although it does reflect the painting of other coaching stock at the time.  However, we can say that the original LNER D134 vans never carried the ice blue livery, which was reserved for insulted stock.

Would the LNER 10' WB Fish Van remain in bauxite in BR days as the Bachmann model or would it have received crimson the maroon livery?

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