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Simon60

Ambulance coach RTR conversions

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I’ve read a number of threads about a range of coach types and non-passenger vehicles that were used as ambulance coaches in WW2.

 

Are there any RTR examples that are known to have been used in this way (I’m aware of siphon G and SR luggage vans) that could be converted by renumbering and applying of appropriate livery (eg Red Cross and white roof) and are such running numbers known and listed somewhere?

Thanks

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I am sure that I have seen a photo of LMS Period 1 panelled coaches (the ones modelled by Mainline) converted to Ambulance use.

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Both LMS and LNER sleeping carriages were converted for use in ambulance trains.

The standard Hornby Gresley types would be suitable donors. Some of them had the panelling sheeted over which would make the job a bit easier.

I have a photo of a GWR open third that was converted to a dining car. That is described as ambulance train 34, so there must be quite a large number of vehicles involved.

Just found another photo of an LMS 12 wheel dining car in ambulance train use in train 21.

There must be a list available on the subject but my knowledge is limited as my interest in these coaches is for a later date.

Bernard

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LMS Coaches, A Pictorial History by Jenkinson and Essery contains a list of LMS Period 1 vehicles which were returned after use as Ambulance vehicles and converted to 57ft BGs. There are also some pictures of vehicles in their Ambulance Car state including a complete train.

Many of the LMS conversions used the coaches modelled by Mainline/Replica/Bachmann. Most had alteration to the exteriors so not just a simple re-livery but a good starting point for cut'n'shut. 

The GWR Siphon Gs had most of the vents plated over and some windows added in place of the rest. Several photos appear on Flickr.

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Thank you all for suggestions 

Lots of options 

Will try NRM for lists and running numbers as well as Jenkinson and Essery

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THe Siphon Gs that were converted are noted in Slinn and Clarke's book on GWR Siphons, published by the HMRS.. There are drawings for a typical conversion, along with number details.

I always fancied the 'Penicillin ' liveried one; ideal for layouts with a harbour....

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Here is my conversion of the Lima Siphon G as used in an ambulance train built for the U.S.Army.

These were originally used in Casualty Evacuation Trains, where they retained the GWR livery.

ac1.jpg

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While I think about it.

If you want to run an ambulance train pulled by a WD Austerity then you need to take care to select a stem heating equipped locomotive. These were not common so selection of an appropriate number is required and sorry no I do not have such detaiis.

Bernard

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Not Ambulance Trains specifically, but I happened upon a TV documentary last night about the evacuation from Dunkirk. Quite a few minutes of film of trains full of the returning troops (not quite sure of the locations). It was real "prototype for anything stuff" with a mix of companies' locos and rolling stock working together.

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There are some useful pictures of ambulance train vehicles in the on line album from the PRO records in the UIRL below

 

https://images.nationalarchives.gov.uk/assetbank-nationalarchives/action/quickSearch?CSRF=bBfNYYrmeXufFpegGH4X&newSearch=true&quickSearch=true&includeImplicitCategoryMembers=true&keywords=RAIL+253%2F327

 

If this does not work directly put    RAIL 253/327   in the search engine.

 

There are at least four examples of the 1939 conversion of LMS coaches to ambulance train use. These were farmed out to carriage works of all the four main railway companies (Eastleigh got the sitting and mental case vehicle, was Derby insinuating something?). As far as the use of ready to run coaches to convert to ambulance cars, most of the conversions made changes to the external appearance. The most significant being the creation of double doors to allow access for stretchers. This can be seen by careful inspection of the photographs. I have records which detail which LMS diagram was used for each type of coach, and the works drawings are in the NRM at York. I obtained some of them some 30 years ago via the OPC scheme.

A full ambulance train has at least nine vehicles, so not easy to represent on a model railway. There are a couple of exceptions that are easier to model. Firstly while trains were being built, single ward cars were used and attached to ordinary trains. Also single unit ambulance vehicles were also built. Most were for the U. S. Army and used an ex LSWR dinning saloon as the donor vehicle, but in the album referenced above you will find a GWR H33 dinning saloon converted for use by the Admiralty.

While the Hornby model is the correct type, it has earlier style windows, so Comet sides would need to be used to make an accurate conversion. This vehicle was painted Bauxite brown.

  • Informative/Useful 1

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You could try the Army Medical services museum for info as they had a preserved ambulance coach on display at their base in Ash near Aldershot a few years back, not sure if they have moved since then but they should have records of stock numbers

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49 minutes ago, mikes rail said:

You could try the Army Medical services museum for info as they had a preserved ambulance coach on display at their base in Ash near Aldershot a few years back, not sure if they have moved since then but they should have records of stock numbers

The coach that was at Aldershot was a Cold War era vehicle, being converted to ambulance train use in 1978 and taken out of service in 1989.

The records at the museum had very little on the details of the WWII ambulance trains when I visited some 25 years ago.

 

http://www.ianclarkrestoration.com/105/Army_Ambulance_Coach/

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Thank you all for the latest.

The album from Tony Cane shows some great opportunities for conversions.

I like the Siphon G 2067 converted to carry stretchers.

It doesn’t have much in the way of livery change.

These photos alongside Jenkinson and Essery should provide info on source vehicles.

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The GWR livery Siphon G was part of a Casualty Evacuation Train. There were 34 of these trains, the GWR providing 6. Each train consisted of 9 ward or stretcher cars, and 3 staff cars, 2 brakes and eventually a dining car, though at first in the GWR trains this was a centre corridor third. The vehicles were converted in 1939 before the start of the war and were returned to normal use. When war was declared the trains were assembled and used to move hospital patients out of the main cities.

The end stripes and the background to the letter “J” are yellow, the “J” is probably black. Each vehicle had a different letter and the trains were assembled in alphabetical order.

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That’s brilliant thanks 

Will start on this as a project 

Am looking at detailing work on a RTR Siphon including the American bogies and will go for the shirt button logo and numbering as per photo 

Thanks for all the input

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I used some of the old Mainline LMS coaches to make my AT, based off of some old pictures I found online. Just need to add numbers and it'll be finished. 

 

AT.jpg.f59d7e7ea05d7e7967b583d88dd1b12a.jpg

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18 hours ago, Simon60 said:

That’s brilliant thanks 

Will start on this as a project 

Am looking at detailing work on a RTR Siphon including the American bogies and will go for the shirt button logo and numbering as per photo 

Thanks for all the input

Bogies available from Stafford Road/Shapeways with NEM coupler pockets.  These run very freely with Bachmann coach wheels.   

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Thanks to WD1995

What are the Ref no’s and Running numbers for the Mainline coaches.  Are they the correct diagram or is there structural work to do?

Thanks to The Johnster

Will go there for extra bogies as I’ve got some Hornby Siphon Gs to upgrade too

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Question to Tony Cane re the picture posted last Wednesday 10.29 of RN 3207 Lima conversion 

Are the sides original GWR livery or is that a khaki repaint?

 

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My model of coach 3207 is in its later guise as part of an ambulance train built for use by the U. S. Army. This has several modifications compared to the CET stretcher car. The louvers are plated over, various doors taken out of use, at least one window cut in to each side, roof ventilators added and a roof top water tank. The green livery is a best guess as to the correct colour. I have attached a further picture of the model to better show the changes.

As to the LMS coaches used in the 1939 built ambulance trains, diagrams used were 1692 to 1696, but this is only really relevant if you are going to make the external modifications, in particular the double doors. I do know that one of the Bachmann coaches is diagram 1694 this was used for the kitchen car, but had double doors near one end on both sides.  The least modified coach was for sitting patients and used diagram 1695. The brake vehicles, diagrams 1693 and 1696, also had two sets of double doors.

As to numbering the train number was applied to both ends, this is 55 in the GWR album. Each coach had four a digit number, first two digits were the train number, the second two its position in the train e.g. 5501 for the first coach. Also there was a code letter, near both ends of the coach side, indicating the type of coach. Ward cars were A1, A2 etc., The sitting case car was E and the kitchen car D. All lettering was in white.

Finally I have included the only war time colour pictures of a British ambulance train that I know of. These are of a train used by the U. S. Army and may well be the LMS 57 ft coaches, though with some later modifications. The close up view is useful as the inside edge of the open door, which would not be subject to much weathering, shows the original colour better.

I hope this information is of use for your proposed models

P4160061.JPG

pows2a.jpg

pows3a.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 27/05/2020 at 08:21, TheSignalEngineer said:

LMS Coaches, A Pictorial History by Jenkinson and Essery contains a list of LMS Period 1 vehicles which were returned after use as Ambulance vehicles and converted to 57ft BGs. There are also some pictures of vehicles in their Ambulance Car state including a complete train.

Many of the LMS conversions used the coaches modelled by Mainline/Replica/Bachmann. Most had alteration to the exteriors so not just a simple re-livery but a good starting point for cut'n'shut. 

The GWR Siphon Gs had most of the vents plated over and some windows added in place of the rest. Several photos appear on Flickr.

 

I would be very interested in having models of a few of the 57' BGs that had been Period 1 brakes coachesbefore being converted to Ambulance use. It's become clear that I will need a lot of BGs and I don't want them all to be the same 50' variety.

 

Started looking into it by way of etched sides that could be fixed to Mainline donors (often available quite cheap). It has been pointed out to me that this would be a bit difficult in that after rebuild they were part panelled and part sheet steel. This would apparently require two etches.

 

Can anyone think of a better way?

 

And are there more photos out there to work from? The ones in Jenkinson/Essery are taken from a very oblique angle. I'm wondering if they were all the same or if the sheeting was applied on an ad hoc basis to repair damage. If so, it might be better just to start from the Mainline vehicle and apply very thin plastikard or brass to represent the sheet.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell

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2 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

And are there more photos out there to work from? The ones in Jenkinson/Essery are taken from a very oblique angle. I'm wondering if they were all the same or if the sheeting was applied on an ad hoc basis to repair damage.

There are a few pictures around on Flickr. I've spotted some on John Turner's page, (53A Models of this parish), also Robert Carroll has at least one. There may be some links in Clive Mortimore's thread as we had a discussion about them a while ago.

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