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bordercollie

Longevity of raiway carriages

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Hello

As a rule how long did carriages last before condemnation. I ask because I am thinking of purchasing a kit for a carriage that was converted from Broad gauge to narrow gauge. Could this have possibly lasted to 1929 in revenue earning service?

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3 minutes ago, bordercollie said:

Hello

As a rule how long did carriages last before condemnation. I ask because I am thinking of purchasing a kit for a carriage that was converted from Broad gauge to narrow gauge. Could this have possibly lasted to 1929 in revenue earning service?

40 years sounds quite possible, but would depend on the type of service it was used on. Quite likely on a down graded service,  such as mainline to a secondary service. 

But since you're almost certainly talking about a GWR vehicle,  I suggest that you get this question moved to the GWR thread in Special Interests. 

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40 years is quite common on more recent vehicles. The mk2s were built in the 60s and early 70s.

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It can depend on the era as such; cannot be at all certain with regards to the vehicle(s) you mention. 

In the late '50s, in the interest of crash worthiness and fire risk, passenger carrying vehicles over 30 years old were expected to be withdrawn as soon as practicable, targeting mostly wooden bodied/framed coaches.

As Kevin and Colin have noted, later all-steel coaches had a considerably longer life.

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Hollycombe has the body of an 1885 luggage composite, converted in 1892 and withdrawn in 1932.

 

Cheers

David

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2 hours ago, Right Away said:

In the late '50s, in the interest of crash worthiness and fire risk, passenger carrying vehicles over 30 years old were expected to be withdrawn as soon as practicable, targeting mostly wooden bodied/framed coaches.

 

I believe, though I'm happy to be corrected, that BR Mark 1 coaches were originally expected to last for 40 years with a major refurbishment at the 20-year mark.

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7 minutes ago, RLBH said:

I believe, though I'm happy to be corrected, that BR Mark 1 coaches were originally expected to last for 40 years with a major refurbishment at the 20-year mark.

I have heard the same figure quoted. I have also seen it used for the case of new wagons.

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Pictured in the early 1950s at Birmingham New Street was what was believed to be an LNWR coach built 1899 which had gone via LMS, M&GN and LNER to BR(E) ownership. 

 

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The L&SWR, later the SR, were pretty 'careful'. When they started an electrification scheme, prior to WW1, the stock used bodies salvaged from 19th century stock. The underframes were not wasted, but used under 'new' bogie Passenger Luggage Vans; one of which carried Churchill's coffin from London to Oxfordshire in January 1965.

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Not exactly revenue service but a couple of 1908 East Coast Joint Stock saloons were used on the Royal Train until 1977, 1920 LNWR saloon M45000M used until 1990 and a couple of LMS inspection saloons built in 1940-47 still in use this century. 70 years is not impossible depending on how it was used.

 

On the Preserved Railway Stocklist site there are several examples of broad gauge coaches that were regauged and retired around 1930-32, mostly 6 wheel luggage composites, and that's just from the handful still around today. So back to the original question, yes It could still be in revenue service in 1929 although probably relegated to a branch line.

 

Cheers 

David

Edited by DavidB-AU

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Soon after Chris Green became head of NSE, we had him give a talk at our local club. This was just after the introduction of the cattle trucks class 317 on the CBG-LST trains, there were questions asked about their suitability including seats not aligned with windows. His reply (suitably avoiding the issues!) included the statement that that had an expected working life of 30-35 years, (how long have they lasted?), so maybe some things would change during this time...(Not).

 

Stewart

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Looking at the warwickshire railways site here: https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrbsh1368.htm is an example of a 1902 coach that lasted in revenue earning service until 1950, so 48 years for this GWR coach.  There are several other similar examples given on that site, photographed at Birmingham Snow Hill.

  • Informative/Useful 1

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As Mr Ingram has made clear, some carriages only last five minutes before having condemnation heaped upon them.

 

How long coaches last before being condemned in the other sense depends upon many things;

 

- changing traffic demands, which have seen-off or seen-demoted many vehicles with "life left in 'em"; 

 

- decay, of either wood or steel body structures, for example some post-WW2 all-steel coaches actually didn't last very well at alll, because welding and corrosion-proofing knowledge had yet to be accumulated;

 

- bogies becoming beyond economic repair and taking the rest of the vehicle with them;

 

- need for extensive and uneconomic re-wiring (a problem with some quite modern stock as demand for infotainment, mood-lighting etc has grown);

 

- etc.

 

Book lives of c30 years seem to have been common, and survival in service of c40 years equally so.

 

Hefty old traditional steel under-frames are bordering on indestructible, so have been re-used in many cases, notably by SR and BR(S).

 

Many late C19th wooden six-wheelers were doubled-up onto steel bogie chassis in the Edwardian period, and survived for a further fifty years.

 

The D stock of London Underground has survived super-well, due to aluminium structures, new bogies, and internal refits, and now new traction packages as they become diesel-electric or battery.

 

Have you been to the Isle of Man? 

 

How long is a piece of string?

 

Kevin

 

 

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11 hours ago, RLBH said:

I believe, though I'm happy to be corrected, that BR Mark 1 coaches were originally expected to last for 40 years with a major refurbishment at the 20-year mark.

Yet some were withdrawn after just 10 years service due to different travelling habits making them surplus to requirements.

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You can also consider the two 1911 SECR coaches 4145 and 4149  that were transferred by BR (Southern Region) to the Isle of Wight in 1949 and are still in action on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

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The Furness bought some coaches from Wright and some in 1869-72 they were photographed still on their wheels when the LMS repainted Furness passenger locos in about 1926-7. So they were over 55 years old at that point. They were probably being used for workman's trains.

Marc

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1 hour ago, royaloak said:

Yet some were withdrawn after just 10 years service due to different travelling habits making them surplus to requirements.

 

Some in otherwise good condition were withdrawn on the Monday after being put on a FOOTEX. 

  • Agree 1

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In South America I remember riding in a dining car, a sleeping car and a Sentinel railcar all built in the 1930s and still in revenue earning service in the 1990s. The Sentinel had been repowered as a diesel but was otherwise pretty original. It has since been heavily refurbished, I believe, and is still in service today.

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Just now, DavidB-AU said:

 

Some in otherwise good condition were withdrawn on the Monday after being put on a FOOTEX. 

They only lasted until Monday because there wasnt anyone in on the weekend to sign the paperwork.

 

At least the interiors and windows had been removed by the last load of 'passengers' to save the scrapyard doing it.

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18 minutes ago, Curlew said:

In South America I remember riding in a dining car, a sleeping car and a Sentinel railcar all built in the 1930s and still in revenue earning service in the 1990s. The Sentinel had been repowered as a diesel but was otherwise pretty original. It has since been heavily refurbished, I believe, and is still in service today.

 

I was on the last run of the Victorian Railways E cars in revenue service on Christmas Eve 1991. I travelled in this particular one which entered service in 1906.

 

4BE

 

Cheers

David

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Wasn't some of the stock in the Charfield crash of 1880s vintage? So that would have been ~40 or more years old. 

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Canadian transcontinental trains are using stock built in the mid 50s. I think they're going through their 3rd major rebuild. I don't think any have been retired except for major accident damage. (Some sold as surplus to requirements when the trip went from daily to 2-3 times a week)

Toronto streetcars have a life of 30-40 years. Early ones went sooner due to technical improvements. The last set were close to 40 years because the replacements didn't arrive.

A number of mainline coach sets delivered since the 1950s have had much shorter lives.

 

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32 minutes ago, BR60103 said:

Canadian transcontinental trains are using stock built in the mid 50s.

 

 

Some from the late 40s.

 

Cheers

David

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And of course some CIWL cars still in use were from the 1930s, but I suspect a bit like Trigger's broom.

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Assuming the Newcastle Metro is still using its original stock, they'll be ~40 years old now. Its a bit worrying to think I rode on them when they were almost new. 

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