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Deciphering the Golden Way - Pullman History with Alex.


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Posted (edited)

Something different today, coming to you from Petworth!

 

The 1906 car, Princess Ena, of the last American-built batch, has been moved to the Old Hotel site for restoration and installation as additional hotel rooms, according to the Hotel's Facebook page, and the British Pullman Facebook group, also. 

 

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I can't quite fathom out which bogies the car is sat on currently (I believe there's a pair of six-wheel bogies in Scotland, ex Cambria, burned out in an arson attack in 2000), but it's amazing to see a car that I thought would forever be a dwelling back on the rails after ninety-odd years. Could this see more railway carriage homes being removed from their sites in Selsey and other places and returned to railway use? 

 

It's a pity the car is unlikely ever to be hauled again, it would be a unique example of pre-1923 Pullman history in motion (sleeping/day car Balmoral excepted), one that I would definitely pay good money to see and experience. 

 

 

Edited by AVS1998
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After doing a little more reading about the removal of the car, it seems that area of Selsey is being redeveloped (despite much local protest), necessitating the removal of the railway carriage homes. Whether that's the case for all of them is anyone's guess, but if it were, then I rather like the notion that the cars go to local heritage lines for restoration, even if only as static exhibits.

 

For instance, the ex Folkestone and Hastings cars that have survived could be clustered at Robertsbridge when the RVR and KESR are linked, and that could be an exhibit of the Hastings and Folkestone car trains, and any Pullmans to the Bluebell or Mid-Hants, showcasing Pullman history on the LBSC and later Southern to the resorts and ports. 

 

It would give these artefacts a third life and use, and be a useful exhibition of Victorian and Edwardian luxury railway sensibilities that aren't commonly seen in the UK. However, this is most definitely an expensive pipe dream that is unlikely to actually go anywhere, unfortunately. Of course, I may be wholly wrong and the carriages might not need removing at all. At any rate, it's a situation to keep an eye on. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello everyone, it's been a while. 

 

In the heat of this afternoon, whilst tidying my room, I rediscovered my Triang clerestory Wild West carriage that I had planned to bash into a facsimile of a Gilbert/Pullman car. After a lot of consideration I came to the conclusion it would never be an accurate model, but that wouldn't stop me having a go at it anyway, for a bit of fun.

 

I'd already marked out the bogie centres and the trussing placement, which was useful as I had enough spare 7mm handrails to form those.

 

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My next task was to modernise the car, as Pullman chose to with the SECR's club cars, by cutting through the window pillars to elongate them in a contemporary Pullman body style. Also added at this time was the Pullman matchboarding below the window. A battery box and gas tank were also glued into place, just to fill the space a little. 

 

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Two end windows were left, one to be filled in on either side, to form the pantry/kitchen and lavatory.

 

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Remembering I had some Wrenn spare bodies, I cut the vestibules away and filed them down until they fit the space at each end. They've been glued into place now, but will need some minor reinforcement with plastic sheet and then filler adding. I think I'll also add a dado rail/waist rail in half-round plastic rod (once I find it) to tidy up the seam of the planking. 

 

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The windows still need to be filed neat, and the planking tidied up along the bottom of the body shell. Filling the lavatory/pantry window shouldn't be too hard on each side, as I in-filled with the window pillar cut-offs.

 

Overall, I'm fairly happy with the project so far, it isn't perfect or accurate by any means but it captures the essence of the cars, which is what I was aiming for. That last photo definitely emphasises how much lower the cars were than a conventional Pullman, though - unless that's just the Wrenn vestibules creating a strange visual effect. Still, as I say, I'm fairly pleased with the results so far. 

 

 

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What if you extend the doors up a bit higher to recess in the roof like the car next to it? The door heights when placed side by side look a bit odd. Then maybe push the window heights up just a little bit more with the sliding dividers along the upper portion?

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I did think about that, but on the real Gilberts the door windows were in line with the saloon windows.

 

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I don't know if I could extend the doors up neatly enough to do it justice. They also didn't recess in like a conventional Pullman. Quirks of being a non-Pullman to begin with, I suppose. As it stands, this car will only run with pre-group stock anyway, never Pullmans, so I'm not too fussed. It's only an impression of a prototype, ultimately. What I should have done, I suppose, is cut away the body ends on the car where the clerestory is supported and fitted the vestibules higher up. You live and you learn. If I'd had a Railroad K type, I think their doors are bigger, which might have looked more in proportion. Never mind!

 

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With a quick flash of primer it's apparent I've a lot of filling to do in places, the windows still need more work and I also need to buff out the scratches from the file, but it's shaping up nicely. I'm not too convinced about the windows at the right-hand side - I might cut those together, too, and rethink the interior layout. 

 

Edited by AVS1998
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Hi Alex.

 

That's a very interesting project. The old Tri-ang Wild West coaches always made me think of the Weston Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway coaches, though they probably looked nothing like them.

 

I seem to recall that the Bluebell Railway or the Kent and East Sussex Railway have a recovered body for one of these cars. If I remember correctly it had been a grounded body and was recovered in two halves. I probably have a photo somewhere, but cannot think where the body parts are stored ? (Get Agatha Christy on the job). The SECSoc did produce a book about the cars a few years ago, which I do not know if you have a copy of ?

 

It looks like you have used Slaters planking for the match-boarding. I think that the Evergreen equivalent would have been better as it is machined rather than moulded and therefore has much sharper detail. (It costs more though).

 

I believe that a number of the Hornby Pullman cars could actually be issued in S.E. & C.R. livery, although they have not shown any interest in doing them. Perhaps with the swing to pre-grouping models some of these may yet appear ?

 

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing further developments.

 

All the best

Ray

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3 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

Hi Alex.

 

That's a very interesting project. The old Tri-ang Wild West coaches always made me think of the Weston Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway coaches, though they probably looked nothing like them.

 

I seem to recall that the Bluebell Railway or the Kent and East Sussex Railway have a recovered body for one of these cars. If I remember correctly it had been a grounded body and was recovered in two halves. I probably have a photo somewhere, but cannot think where the body parts are stored ? (Get Agatha Christy on the job). The SECSoc did produce a book about the cars a few years ago, which I do not know if you have a copy of ?

 

It looks like you have used Slaters planking for the match-boarding. I think that the Evergreen equivalent would have been better as it is machined rather than moulded and therefore has much sharper detail. (It costs more though).

 

I believe that a number of the Hornby Pullman cars could actually be issued in S.E. & C.R. livery, although they have not shown any interest in doing them. Perhaps with the swing to pre-grouping models some of these may yet appear ?

 

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing further developments.

 

All the best

Ray

it is the Bluebell. They have Gilbert car 'Constance'. Although in 2 parts, the body is reputedly in pretty good condition with much original detail and is stored on an underframe in the new Carriage shed. It is very much a restoration for the future- i doubt I'll see it in my lifetime

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9 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

Hi Alex.

[...] The SECSoc did produce a book about the cars a few years ago, which I do not know if you have a copy of ?

 

Hi Ray, yes, I do have a copy of the Constance volume, much-dog-eared at this point. 

 

9 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

 

It looks like you have used Slaters planking for the match-boarding. I think that the Evergreen equivalent would have been better as it is machined rather than moulded and therefore has much sharper detail. (It costs more though).

 

I believe that a number of the Hornby Pullman cars could actually be issued in S.E. & C.R. livery, although they have not shown any interest in doing them. Perhaps with the swing to pre-grouping models some of these may yet appear ?

 

The twelve-wheel cars, aside from the elusive brakes, are the only cars suitable to be reproduced in Lake. If Hornby decided to produce the 1910-14 cars, I'm sure they'd prove very popular, and they also were long-lived in the livery.

 

9 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

 

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing further developments.

 

All the best

Ray

 

Thanks Ray,

 

I'm glad that people are still discovering this thread!

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