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Hi all,

 

I have a few of the Hornby Blue Spot Fish Vans marked "To Run Between Kings Cross And Aberdeen" and I was thinking of assembling an reasonably accurate (if not quite as long!) recreation of the fast fish trains that ran overnight down the ECML. Part of the attraction of these trains is of course the top link motive power- A4s, V2s and the like.

 

I am aware that this train was mostly made up of Blue Spot vans by 1958-ish. I have two questions about the formations, though:

 

1. What was the most commonly-used brake van? I've read multiple sources that state that a BG or a BSK was used rather than a "normal" 20 ton van but I've never seen a photo to prove it.

 

2. What shed would the locos on this train have been drawn from? I'd quite like to use one of the upcoming A2/2s but I have no idea if that would be accurate.

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Dunno about the locos, but I remember helping my Dad load crates of eels into a maroon liveried BG or BSK.

 

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The RCTS Green book, says the A2/2s were used on fish trains in 1946 when based in Scotland. They moved south in 1949 and the RCTS book says they were used ona high propotion of fast goods and slow passenger trains. the first withdrawn were 60503 and 60505 in Nov 59 the last to go was 60502 in June 1961.

Edited by slilley
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Some time ago I scanned a copy of an article in Steam Days (October 2010) entitled Fish Traffic From North East Scotland.  It's about 12.5 MBytes and as I am unsure of the copyright situation I won't attempt to attach it but if anyone would like a copy, please PM me and I'll assume they can cope with a file of that size via personal email for their own use.

 

Cheers,

 

Stan

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Brake van would be an LNER/BR standard 20ton type with a 16' wheelbase, rated for 60mph but often run much faster than that on these workings!  The ride was so bad that it was normal practice to marshall two fish vans behind the brake van to steady it up, which was allowed so long as both the trailing vans were vacuum fitted and the brakes are working.  The van is of course through piped and has a brake setter and gauge.  As the train is fully fitted, a single tail lamp is displayed on the rear vehicle's lamp bracket.

 

A goods brake van was used as it had a coal fired stove, which most coaching stock didn't, so no BGs or BSKs; there was no provision on the fish vans for steam heating (indeed, part of the game was keeping everything as cool as possible) to keep the guard from freezing his family jewels.  These fish trains were legendary for fast running especially in the up direction, with pacifics and V2 being the usual motive power.  Timings were achieved that were the equal of the fastest non-stop passenger workings on the route; it must have been common to have speeds in the 80s and maybe more!

 

There are more suitable brake vans, notably the Southern's Queen Mary's, which rode like Pullmans, but the Southern was pretty assiduous about chasing them up if they escaped from the region, common user or no.  The LMS 'Stove R' could have been used as well, but most were in circuit working on NPCCS trains that needed a coal heated van.

Edited by The Johnster
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The power as far as Edinburgh was (1950's) very often a Dundee (Tay Bridge) or Aberdeen Ferryhill V2 or A2 (Peppercorn), used entirely interchangeably. Dundee crews were used

 

Sample workings

1957 - of 14 known workings all except 1 was a V2, the other was 60531 Bahram

1958 - of 22 known workings all except 4 were V2's. with Bahram and Tudor Minstrel being the others.

1959 - 9 known workings, all except 1 were V2's the other being 60527 Sun Chariot

 

John

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12 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Brake van would be an LNER/BR standard 20ton type with a 16' wheelbase, rated for 60mph but often run much faster than that on these workings!  The ride was so bad that it was normal practice to marshall two fish vans behind the brake van to steady it up, which was allowed so long as both the trailing vans were vacuum fitted and the brakes are working.  The van is of course through piped and has a brake setter and gauge.  As the train is fully fitted, a single tail lamp is displayed on the rear vehicle's lamp bracket.

 

A goods brake van was used as it had a coal fired stove, which most coaching stock didn't, so no BGs or BSKs;

 

So why do I remember loading crates of eels into BGs or BSKs at Guild Street ?

 

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16 hours ago, sulzer27jd said:

The power as far as Edinburgh was (1950's) very often a Dundee (Tay Bridge) or Aberdeen Ferryhill V2 or A2 (Peppercorn), used entirely interchangeably. Dundee crews were used

 

Sample workings

1957 - of 14 known workings all except 1 was a V2, the other was 60531 Bahram

1958 - of 22 known workings all except 4 were V2's. with Bahram and Tudor Minstrel being the others.

1959 - 9 known workings, all except 1 were V2's the other being 60527 Sun Chariot

 

John

 

So far as modelling goes, its worth emphasising that "as far as Edinburgh" because there was normally a loco change there, although I've no idea what took over.

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6 hours ago, Caledonian said:

 

So why do I remember loading crates of eels into BGs or BSKs at Guild Street ?

 

 

Because it didn't matter about a stove if it was summer?

 

Best


Scott.

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5 hours ago, Caledonian said:

Well we always had to go right to the back end

A single BG/BSK/any bogie vacuum braked vehicle with the brakes working correctly on all the wheels can be used to run behind the guard’s brake van on a fully fitted train, in the same way as the example I previously gave of two fitted vans.  Maybe the goods brake van was attached after you’d loaded the eels!

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