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Brake vans each end of a train ?


Sol
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Did it occur on the  UK railways in which goods trains had a brake van each end ? 

As I have on my railway a possible train from A to B coming from the north & then without any shunting to go back north to C from B just by changing the loco from end to the other.

 

Ron

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In a word yes. 

Trains which needed to reverse en route on fairly short journeys

 

There was a low of coal from the mining area north of Wellington (Shropshire) to Buildwas power station. Granville was one of the collieries involved.  Prior to MGR hoppers, this flow was mostly double braked as it had to run round at Wellington and Madeley Jn

Here is a link to a piccie of an Ivatt 4MT on such a train

p502530328-3.jpg

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Brake vans were used at both ends of a train if the train had to reverse direction during the run. They were also sometime used as barrier wagons for trains of hazardous materials. In practice, additional brakes could appear in any part of the train, if two trains were being run together for part of the journey, or merely to move a brake to another location where it might be needed.

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1 hour ago, LMS2968 said:

Brake vans were used at both ends of a train if the train had to reverse direction during the run. They were also sometime used as barrier wagons for trains of hazardous materials. In practice, additional brakes could appear in any part of the train, if two trains were being run together for part of the journey, or merely to move a brake to another location where it might be needed.

Although not always.  Our local branch trip had to reverse enroute but normally ran with a single brakevan.

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22 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

Although not always.  Our local branch trip had to reverse enroute but normally ran with a single brakevan.

Meant to add that but it slipped through! Shunting the van from one end of the train to the other wouldn't be popular on a busy route, but it did happen.

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A brake van at each end of the train was common on the Waverley route after the opening of Kingmoor marshalling yard. Trains from Kingmoor were hauled onto the Waverley route via a connecting spur and arrived on the line facing south requiring the loco to run round before heading north.  I understand the spur was considered too steep for trains to be safely propelled up it.

Edited by JeremyC
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Local notices did sometimes require 2 brake vans, if running around at somewhere like Pontypridd, where the up & down loops were on an incline. The nearest level line was down at Radyr, some 7 miles further down. We did sometimes turn them at Maesmawr, with top & tailed brake vans, but it was very rare. This was unfitted coal traffic from Tymawr to Abercwmboi.

 

Ian.

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Common on the iron ore and limestone traffic from Llanharan or Cregiau to GKN East Moors in Cardiff.  This traffic reversed at Pengam Jc, using the 3 roads that are still used there for storage and which became the reception roads in the yard's days as a Freightliner Terminal.

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Very common in South London, where local goods trips had to make multiple reversals very nippily, to avoid getting in the way of the busy passenger services, and looking at photos it seems to have been fairly common across the LBSCR in general, possibly for the same reason, and/or possibly because their older BVs were very small and light, so didn't have much stopping/holding capability, so maybe both vans were staffed in some cases.

 

Sectional Appendices often contain requirements to add extra BVs (not necessarily one at each end) on steeply graded sections when the train exceeded a given weight (number of wagons), and BV designs tended to get bigger/heavier over time as train weights grew.

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One instance I was thinking of was coal from Cannock Chase to Birchills power station, which ran down over Ryecroft junction into the cutting at Walsall, then changed direction at Ryecroft Junction and climbed the lead up onto the midland line. Often an engine on each end to get the coal up the hill 

 

This pdf gives you plenty of mapping and piccies of the canals as well as the railway

https://www.rchs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Walsall-Walkabout-1-Sept2016.pdf

 

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The local goods trains on the ex L&SWR Shepperton branch line by the early 1960's after the demise of the goods yards at Sunbury & Shepperton the goods trains serving the one remaining yard at Hampton always had a brake van at each end for a number of years it had multiple brake van's four at one end and three at the other end. 

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But the brake vans on preserved railways always seem to be full of the usual supects in hi-viz; not the traditional scene the photographers are after.  Neither are the immaculate and eclectic mix of white wall tyred wagons, of course...

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24 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

But the brake vans on preserved railways always seem to be full of the usual supects in hi-viz; not the traditional scene the photographers are after.  Neither are the immaculate and eclectic mix of white wall tyred wagons, of course...

Which neatly explains why models are often more realistic than twelve inch to the foot scale preserved railways!

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I have recollections in the late 70’s early 80’s of a class 40 on a train of brake vans.. so one at the front, rear and several in the middle.

 

i also recall several such freights where 2,3,4,5 brake  vans could be on the back of a freight.

 

the memories stand out as they were unusual.

 

i assume this practice occured in steam days too, if they were needed to be moved about ?

 

defintely wasnt an sls railtour !

Edited by adb968008
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Just to add one more case: On page 167 of "GWR Goods Train Working, Vol 2" there are two photos of the same timetabled mineral train with brake vans at both ends, "for ease of reversal onto the LNER at Banbury".

 

Edited by Harlequin
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2 hours ago, adb968008 said:

I have recollections in the late 70’s early 80’s of a class 40 on a train of brake vans.. so one at the front, rear and several in the middle.

 

i also recall several such freights where 2,3,4,5 brake  vans could be on the back of a freight.

 

the memories stand out as they were unusual.

 

i assume this practice occured in steam days too, if they were needed to be moved about ?

 

defintely wasnt an sls railtour !

This was fairly common practice as not all workings with brake vans had balancing return workings and they tended to congregate at places where they weren't needed, so could be formed as entire trains or numbers of them forwarded in service freight trains.  It certainly happened in steam days as well!  Of course, only the train van would have the stove lit and the lamps displayed.

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By the time my Control career started in Glasgow in 1984 brake vans were no longer a critical part of most freight operations, however my colleagues told me that in the 'old days' brake vans could be like gold dust, so muich so that a Controller was responsible for monitoring and collating their whereabouts !

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