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BR's most basic coaches at the time of nationalsiation


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My understanding of the term 'basic' in regard to coaches is to do with the standards (or lack of them) of comfort avaialble to passengers; upholstery, space, heating, lighting, and so on.  The auto trailers I mentioned earlier, both GW and absorbed examples, with wooden tram seating may have been rought on your sit bones, but they were spacious enough and properly heated, and with fewer doors than compartment stock probably better as regards draught proofing.  They lasted well into the early 50s; I even have vague memories of the distinctive TVR sets on the Coryton jobs.  One might argue that some suburban high density compartment stock in which 10 people per seat was the norm were pretty unpleasant despite the upholstery and electric lights.  The 4DD sets, cutting edge modern when they were built shortly after nationalisation, were particularly disliked as the low headroom made them even more claustrophobic.

 

The NER electric North Tyneside stock was well liked, with big window vents and on hot days they ran with the sliding door open to get some air circulating in there; the safety elves would be apopletic but nobody ever fell out...

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16 minutes ago, keefer said:

Re: the SR 4SUB compartment layout - continued into BR with the EPB/HAP stock. 12 seats per compartment in third/second class until saloons came in gradually and only abolished in the 80s

 

As they were designed when people were "less well off" and comparatively skinny, we might consider that it would be possible to insert 12 people per compartment with relative ease.  Nowadays our plump population  would look like a tin of sardines in such conditions!

 

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54 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

My understanding of the term 'basic' in regard to coaches is to do with the standards (or lack of them) of comfort avaialble to passengers; upholstery, space, heating, lighting, and so on.  The auto trailers I mentioned earlier, both GW and absorbed examples, with wooden tram seating may have been rought on your sit bones, but they were spacious enough and properly heated, and with fewer doors than compartment stock probably better as regards draught proofing.  They lasted well into the early 50s; I even have vague memories of the distinctive TVR sets on the Coryton jobs.  One might argue that some suburban high density compartment stock in which 10 people per seat was the norm were pretty unpleasant despite the upholstery and electric lights.  The 4DD sets, cutting edge modern when they were built shortly after nationalisation, were particularly disliked as the low headroom made them even more claustrophobic.

 

The NER electric North Tyneside stock was well liked, with big window vents and on hot days they ran with the sliding door open to get some air circulating in there; the safety elves would be apopletic but nobody ever fell out...

 

That's why I pointed out the VoR carriages. Built by the GWR.

 

Some don't even have full sides!

 

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4 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

....... only one skin of sheet steel separated your elbow from the outside world if you were in a window seat.

C'mon, it was a bit more sophisticated than that - there was a layer of moquette glued to the steel skin ................... a teensie little bit more sophisticated.

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47 minutes ago, Hroth said:

 

As they were designed when people were "less well off" and comparatively skinny, we might consider that it would be possible to insert 12 people per compartment with relative ease.  Nowadays our plump population  would look like a tin of sardines in such conditions!

 

12 per compartment is only 6 per seat, you could have stretched yourself out no problem, but the aim was 10 per seat, 20 to a compartment, which sounds much less fun, especially on the bottom deck in the window seats with bogies and traction motors thundering past a few inches and only a thin sheet of steel between them and your ear.  Mind you, it couldn't have been that much fun on the top deck on a hot day, with each compartment acting like a greenhouse with those profile curved window!

 

Buy the point about working class malnutrition is a good one; nowadays obesity is the preserve of the underclass, which is genetically largely composed of the old working class.  I have diffiuctly in finding railway figures suitable for my 1950s South Wales Valleys layout (civilians can be H0).  Wartime diet and public health had improved, but by the late 40s and early 50s rationing was tougher than it had been during the war because of the desperate balance of payments problem.  My memory of relatives and their friends in the Valleys a decade later was that a lot of them were stunted, stooped, and skinny types, unlike the tall althletic straight backed handsome Home Counties specimens from Bachmann, Peco, Hornby etc.  Modelus', prints of real people weighed down by railway greatcoats and hunched against the weathern are far more like what I am looking for. 

 

Small Valleys BLT stations (very few were actually termini as the track always continued to a colliery further up towards the top end, the 'Blaen' of the valley) were usually deserted in terms of passengers.  Traffic up here was light anyway, and everybody knew the timetables, so they stayed at home in the warm and dry until they heard the train coming up the bank, and only then ambled down to the station.  I have a few railway servants here and there, and in a little group outside the leading railman's office (Stationmaster is down at Tondu) discussing some problem or other, and a signalman stands at the top of his steps.  An NCB foreman in a dust jacket with a clipboard is having a fag on the NCB loading dock.  Human existence is otherwise suggested by doors ajar, lights on inside buildings, bikes leaning against fences, buildings, or lamp posts.  There are, correctly, more sheep than people, and they are in more places, including some they shouldn't be like in the 6 foot or coming out of the gent's toilet.  A small group of them are blocking the road bridge access to the colliery, plump healthy Baccy imports just arrived from Romney Marsh and a bit miffed at the mountains, weather, and resident thug sheep they are being expected to deal with; one has sat down in protest, her sisters are milling arond a bit confused and wondering what they are supposed to do next, and a ram is looking on a bit forlornly; he has completely lost control of his harem.  On the mountain and trespassing on the railway are scraggy, undernourished Valleys girls, with a bit of attitude and nothing 'sheepish' about them; encounter one of these  on a path and she'll stand her ground with a 'come an' 'af a go if ewe fink yer 'ard enough' look. 

 

Their sisters about a dozen miles away as the crow flies at Dowlais Top learned to lift the axlebox covers of coal wagons with their noses to eat the contents, the examined train siezing to a halt about a mile down the valley towards Treharris.  Brecon Beacons sheep are usually a bit better fed, but the attitude is there right enough...

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1 hour ago, Hroth said:

 

As they were designed when people were "less well off" and comparatively skinny, we might consider that it would be possible to insert 12 people per compartment with relative ease.  Nowadays our plump population  would look like a tin of sardines in such conditions!

 

 

I know I keep mentioning them, but the GER coaches were "6 a side" so 12 per compartment. 3rd class the partition didn't even reach the ceiling. 2nd class did however (later downgraded to 3rd).

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7 hours ago, ardbealach said:

What about the two Caley Coaches at SRPS Bo'ness?  I understand they remained internally unaltered through their LMS days from back in the late Pre-grouping period.  There may well be other coaches now on heritage lines with a similar long history. (AM)

Original condition but not basic by comparison with the other examples being cited. 

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8 hours ago, Bucoops said:

 

I know I keep mentioning them, but the GER coaches were "6 a side" so 12 per compartment. 3rd class the partition didn't even reach the ceiling. 2nd class did however (later downgraded to 3rd).

Was the partial partition to save on lighting? Two compartments sharing a lamp.

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5 hours ago, PatB said:

Was the partial partition to save on lighting? Two compartments sharing a lamp.

 

Not sure as externally the bodies were apparently the same - although if that included lamp locations, quite possibly! Certainly saved a bit of wood.

Edited by Bucoops
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8 hours ago, PatB said:

Was the partial partition to save on lighting? Two compartments sharing a lamp.

There were lots of railways used that penny-pinching trick - but how many such coaches lasted into / beyond nationalisation is open to conjecture.

Edited by Wickham Green too
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On 07/11/2020 at 12:38, Nearholmer said:

Building on Mr MFarlane’s point: the SR were building augmentation trailers to create 4-SUB at the time, and they were incredibly cramped and pretty basic too. A key feature was that only one skin of sheet steel separated your elbow from the outside world if you were in a window seat.

 

Blimey, were they really that basic

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On 07/11/2020 at 12:27, ardbealach said:

What about the two Caley Coaches at SRPS Bo'ness?  I understand they remained internally unaltered through their LMS days from back in the late Pre-grouping period.  There may well be other coaches now on heritage lines with a similar long history. (AM)

 

Brand new in the 1920s.

 

They were express passenger stock and very similar to the LMS Period One designs.

 

http://www.caleycoaches.co.uk/corridor.php

 

 

Jason

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On 07/11/2020 at 13:04, Ravenser said:

 

LNER built . Can someone confirm whether "the sit up and beg stock" was applied to these or the successor BR Mk1 suburbans?


It was the LNER Quad arts there were so nicknamed. The seats were upright, with little leg room. You had to sit bolt upright. To “sit up and beg”. The suspension was quite bouncy at times, making for green faces too. But they got commuters moved on the GNR suburban services in large numbers, so could be considered a success in that respect.

 

Regards,

 

 Rob.

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A quote from The Railway Observer October 1950 which in turn quotes the BTC Report and Accounts for 1949;

"Of a total of 36,591 passenger carriages,

35,226 (96.3%) are electrically lighted,

1,248 (3.7%) are gas lighted,

1 is oil lighted and,

16 are officially not lighted at all."

Could the last 2 catagories qualify as most basic?  Any suggestions for what types they were? also for the gas lit.

Edited by Caley739
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27 minutes ago, Caley739 said:

A quote from The Railway Observer October 1950 which in turn quotes the BTC Report and Accounts for 1949;

"Of a total of 36,591 passenger carriages,

35,226 (96.3%) are electrically lighted,

1,248 (3.7%) are gas lighted,

1 is oil lighted and,

16 are officially not lighted at all."

Could the last 2 catagories qualify as most basic?  Any suggestions for what types they were? also for the gas lit.

 

I seem to recall that the Culm Valley line on the GW  was a light railway, and the speed was so low that the dynamos wouldn't charge the batteries on electrically lit stock. Hence a pair of ex Barry coaches with gas lighting were used.

 

My suspects for the unlit and oil lit stock would include the ex Wisbech & Upwell vehicles used on the Tollesbury light railway. The last 6 wheelers on the Mid Suffolk and the Thaxted line were gas-lit being ex GE main line stock, though the Thaxted vehicles probably just missed this count

 

P.S. It's just possible engineer's vehicles might have been included in the count. The VoR, and anything inherited from the East Kent or other minor railways would also be candidates

Edited by Ravenser
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4 hours ago, Ravenser said:

 

I seem to recall that the Culm Valley line on the GW  was a light railway, and the speed was so low that the dynamos wouldn't charge the batteries on electrically lit stock. Hence a pair of ex Barry coaches with gas lighting were used.

The Barry Raiiway coaches had been built with electric lighting in 1921 and were converted to gas lighting in 1950.  When their time was finally up and the two Thompson coaches arrived, an additional charging point was installed at Tiverton Junction.  In addition, each of the Thompsons was attached to another train from time to time and taken at speed to Paignton and back purely to charge its batteries.  It is perhaps just as well that the Hemyock service only lasted another year or so.

 

Chris  

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