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GWR 6 wheel brake van in B.R. period.


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I am building a o gauge model of the Bridport based 6 wheel ex GW Toad as it would have appeared in B.R. days.

According to the OPC book on the Bridport branch, the van was vacuum fitted, but I suspect it may have just been through piped.

Photos of this van are rare, but the one photo in the OPC book show it with B.R. lettering (possibly late 1955)

My question is, what colour would the van have been at this time?

It could have still been in G.W. dark grey, Possibly bauxite, or B.R. freight grey. I doubt the latter as there are no black patches for the lettering. Bauxite also seems doubtful to my thinking but I may be wrong.

Any ideas anyone?

Cheers

Mike

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Much depends on the exact date it was repainted, and there were plenty of GW liveried Toads still about in the mid 50s.  But you say it has BR lettering, so it must have been given a BR livery between 1/1/1948 and the date of the photo.  Of course, what I am about to do is to confuse the issue further, but it will hopefully give you some pointers as to how to interpret black and white photos of this period. 

 

After nationalisation, for the first 2 weeks of January 1948, those few vehicles that did emerge from paint shops were in the exact same livery and style as previously but with no indication of ownership, so GW grey with GW lettering and numbers but no GW.  From 15/1/48 the instruction was modified to include the new BR practice of placing a W prefix ahead of the number.  From 1/6/48, the standard BR liveries had been decided on and were introduced; grey for unfitted and bauxite for piped through brake vans (there is no such thing as a fitted goods brake van as there is already a brake operating mechanism aboard in the form of the guard and the hand operated brake wheel).  Initially, white lettering and numbering was applied to grey painted vehicles, but difficulty in reading them led to the introduction of the black panels.  But a vehicle painted in the summer or autumn of 1948 without the black panels might well be in service for a decade or so before it's next repainting, so your photo van could possibly be unfitted and in grey livery. 

 

A bauxite liveried van should have the vacuum hoses and a white (as opposed to red for fitted) pipe visible if you can see either end of the van in the photo.  The vacuum hose looks like an elephant trunk about 4 inches in diameter and may be hanging loosely down or fixed to a dummy coupling in a sort of D shape.

 

So, if we assume that the book's description of a 'fitted' van means a piped through van, and the photo shows BR Gill Sans lettering, the livery must be bauxite.  There was a BR version of the GW grey livery but it used the GW lettering style.

 

 

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There must be a reason of course, but I cannot immediately see why a goods brake van on a mixed train would need steam heating equipment or through steam pipes.  On a mixed train, ordinary goods vehicles and even minerals are marshalled behind the passenger section, which is next to the loco and of course vacuum braked, with it’s own passenger guard riding in a passenger brake van. This is not to be confused with tail traffic of fitted and XP rated goods vehicles. 
 

As the goods/mineral portion of a mixed train, something by the way which is permitted only on specific routes by the authority of the relevant Sectional Appendix for the area, may and usually does contain unfitted vehicles, it must have a goods brake van with a guard riding in it and carrying tail and side lamps. This van does not need to be vacuum piped for this duty, though it’s working diagram may require this on another train in the diagram.  It cannot be connected to the train’s automatically braked passenger section because of the intervening unfitted vehicles, nor can it be connected to the steam heating for the same reason.  
 

This van apparently had a steam pipe, bit I have never heard of a goods brake van with steam heating.   A mystery!

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The only reason I can come up with is that this particular van was at some point in it’s diagram marshalled between a locomotive and passenger carrying stock.  I am not sufficiently familiar with Bridport’s methods of working traffic to hazard a guess as to how or why this situation occurred.  

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16 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

 

What BR lettering?

The photo in the opc book shows W56943 Bridport RU 24T in Gill Sans lettering with no black patches.

Apparently in was marshalled between loco and coaches on one turn, hence through pipe,steam heating pipe and screw couplings

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And here is the photo in the OPC book.

I think it must have had a repaint from the photo above as there is a bigger space between Bridport and RU lettering .

The photo looks to me to be rather dark for B.R. grey, so maybe bauxite?W56943.JPG.18bab5a76fd845be070df7de5b3424d4.JPG

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PS

I also see the number and tonnage lettering are in a different position, further indicating a repaint.

As far as my research has gone to date, these are the only two photos of this van.

There is another one of it at West Bay station but the van is mostly obscured by the loco.

As that photo is also credited ti I D Beale I think it is fairly safe to assume it was taken on the same day in August 1955

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I'd say that the Beale photo shows the van in bauxite BR livery; in fact with the BR Gill Sans leterring and numbering, W prefix, and vacuum hose it can't be anything else, but the comment that steam heating pipes were fitted to it so that it could be used 'on the daily mixed train between Maiden Newton and Bridport' gives no further clue as to the reason that steam heating pipes, which I would assume to be through pipes with no steam heating provided on the van itself, were fitted to this van.  There is no requirement for steam heating on the goods brake van of a mixed train. 

 

If anyone has a WTT for the Bridport branch at the relevant period, there may be some indication therein.

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There's an assumption here that there was a full repaint between the photos posted by @Miss Prism and @Quintus. That presumes that the van went for an overhaul at a wagon works with paintshop at some point during its time on the branch - how likely is that? Also I note that the two photos show opposite sides - it just might have been lettered differently!

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The fact that the photo caption says it was fitted with vac and steam pipes to anable it to be used on the Mixed Train tells us absolutely nothing because as already mentioned in thsi thread, and as explained in detail on the thread linked by Miss P the van would have been at the back of the train behind the wagons.   The only way it would make any sense is if it a had an unbalanced trip which required it to be attached to a passenger train - say to be worked up to Maiden Newton ready to come back with the Down Mixed Train.   However in that case it woudl have been attached rear from Bridport in order to shunt it off at Maiden Newton so it wouldn't need a steam pipe.

 

Pre-war there was only a Mixed Train from Maiden Newton to Bridport but later (possibly during the war?) and in the STT in 1947, there was a Mixed Train over the branch in the opposite direction.  If the van had to be returned to Bridport (and not left overnight at Maiden Newton) then it would have had to be attached front from Maiden Newton.  However in the other thread 'Bulwell Hall' who had researched the working in some depth stated that the van was left overnight at Maiden Newton although he had only looked at the period when there was no Mixed Train from Bridport to Maiden Newton.  

 

Overall we aren't really any further forward but logically the only reason for the van having brake and steam pipes would be if it at some time during the day had to be attached to a passenger train between Maiden Newton and Bridport.  It would have to be on the rear of the train for an attached trip towards Maiden Newton trip otherwise it would be trapped in the bay platform behind coaching stock unless the entire train was shunted to the yard simply to detach this van and I can't see anybody bothering with all that palaver.

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It does, but this gets us no further to solving the mystery.  You need to provide evidence of a diagram in which there was a requirement for a goods brake van to be marshalled between a loco (that could provide steam heating and vacuum) and the passenger portion of a train.  It does not have to be on the Maiden Newton branch, just at some point during the van's regular working diagram.  The presence of the bag suggests steam heating season, and that this particular van could only be taken out of service for overhaul during the summer season unless there was a reserve van fitted with steam pipes available, but this van seems to have been unique.

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Not sure if this helps, taken from Section B Freight WTT dated June - September 1955 under "Shunting Engines" section:

 

Bridport

Starting Time 6.45am  Works 8.7am (Mixed) Maiden Newton to Bridport (arr 8.34 a.m.) and 12.0 noon SX, 9.15 a.m. SO, Bridport to West Bay and back thence to shed SX. Works 10.25 a.m. Passenger to Maiden Newton SO

 

Maiden Newton

Starting time 8.30 p.m.   Works 7.42 p.m. Bridport to Maiden Newton (arr 8.12pm) and 10.15 p.m. (Q) or 10.30 p.m. Maiden Newton to Bridport.

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On 11/04/2021 at 18:15, Quintus said:

And here is the photo in the OPC book.

I think it must have had a repaint from the photo above as there is a bigger space between Bridport and RU lettering .

The photo looks to me to be rather dark for B.R. grey, so maybe bauxite?W56943.JPG.18bab5a76fd845be070df7de5b3424d4.JPG

 

The absence of black patches behind the lettering strongly suggests a bauxite livery - correct for a vacuum-piped van.

 

John Isherwood.

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Many thanks for all your replies and interest.

I think the van will be finished in bauxite when it gets to the paint shop.

I am using the Peco (ex Webster) kit, with 5 thou. riveted  brass overlays for the sheeting and modifying the handrails and windows. 

I'm sure someone out there must have done this!!

Regards to all

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...
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On 11/04/2021 at 12:11, The Stationmaster said:

And this was very thoroughly discussed - without being able to conclude why - in the thread linked by MissPrism.

 A van would be modified for a particular traffic as a common user.  What needs heat?  Bananas, Horse boxes, bullion train ( for the rozzers ),  Basically, a journey that requires heat....

 

... And, a heated brakevan.... 

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