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How were flat wheels/tyres dealt with on four wheeled freight vehicles of days gone by?

 

Were the wheels removed/replaced locally or were the vehicles sent somewhere to have the correct wheel profiles restored without removing the axle from the vehicle?

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In days of yore they probably didn't occur as often as now, more staff, no continuous brakes, ineffective handbrakes etc.

But they would have been red carded allowed to make one journey to be repaired at one of the wagon works.

 

Andy G

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  • RMweb Gold

Very simple job changing a wheelset on traditional wagons - all you needed was some jacks or a hand crane and, ideall;y, plenty of timber packing and preferably a site with firm ground (many cripplesidings gained concrete pads in later years making the job even easier and safer.  It was the sort of job a local C&W gang could do provided they had a suitable siding in which to do the work - and there were hundreds of such sidings around the railway network.

 

The difficult part was not changing a wheelset but getting wheels to/from the wagon which took them to/from works because that was a higher lift and really needed a hand crane or - in later years - something like a forklift truck.

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I'd suggest that a hot box was a more likely occurrence with a traditional wagon, especially in the days of fat (grease) boxes.

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Any competent wagon works would have spare axles for swapping - so long as it was a standard RCH vehicle.

 

.... and to answer the second part of your question : as implied by others, the wheelset WOULD have to be removed from the vehicle for turning - underfloor wheel lathes are a very recent innovation !

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Thanks for the responses.

 

The reason for asking is that my 7mm layout is currently best described as nothing more than a glorified large shunting puzzle. However, I'd like to give it some (slim) credence. At the moment there's a mix of vans and open wagons and whilst it is impossible to determine whether a van is loaded or not, moving empty wagons around seemingly needlessly grates a bit with me (as indeed it would if the open wagons always had the same load).

 

Consequently I was thinking of replacing the open wagons with a varied selection of vans and wondered whether parts of the layout/area could be perceived to be some kind of wagon van works whereupon vans could legitimately enter & leave the works with the same outward appearance.

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9 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

Interesting idea.  Are you going to file flats on some wheels too?  Model a hot box with a red LED?

Maybe a wagon with one end propped up on sleepers.

The 'flats on wheels' idea doesn't work very well on unsprung vehicles, nor with non-scale  weights.

We did file Vees in the rail surface at scale 60' intervals to replicate the noise of wagons on jointed track; very useful for giving an approximate location on an (largely unlit ) garden line during night operations.

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I got round the "loaded empty" open wagon issue by simply making removable loads, I used a washer on the underside and a magnet. For the coal merchants in a typical branchline terminus it's about the best I could come up with. I have a couple of 5 planks with barrel loads standing upright, a few in the centre are half barrels sitting on steel washers for the magnet. In 7mm have you thought about a working yard crane! 

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Thanks for that.

 

I have removable loads on my OO layout and don't always remember that!

 

The problem with the O gauge "layout" is that there's no fiddle yard as such - the sector plate whilst partially hidden is part of the puzzle - and the wagons can be shunted from one siding to another so load removal/adding generally has no discreet place.

 

I like the idea of simply sheeting the open wagons although there again it is unlikely that the sheet would be replaced over an empty wagon. There again, a folded sheet in an otherwise empty wagon could convey an "awaiting a load" message.

 

Another thought I had was to h*ll with reality (or anything near it) and simply shunt pristine and empty private owner wagons around. They'd certainly be colourful and individual wagons would be easier to identify rather than having to squint to read the wagon number.

 

Perhaps I should just leave things as they are and accept that shunting puzzles aren't a realistic way of running a railway.

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For open wagons I’d just use a sheet to l make them look loaded.

 

I’ve used Tunnocks Caramel wafer wrappers to create cheap (and tasty) sheets in 4mm.

 

1565537A-CF36-4D00-8267-62392BD33F39.png.05fa5df4c62fefc1a815360d3ce528f5.png

 

You get 3 sheets from one wrapper in 4mm in 7mm you should get one per wrapper.

8DDA8F15-09A9-4646-8FBF-2DC685106AE8.png

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A wagon repair depot or cripple sidings is a good idea for a small layout as it does give reason for a variety of wagon types.

 

There was a small cripple yard at Hereford, which was the inspiration for a shunting layout by Adrian (Hillside Depot), there is a thread on RMweb, and also photos of Hereford on Flickr, by Paul J(Swindon 123).

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/27588354414/in/photolist-J2TwB1

 

cheers

 

 

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Catching the later train

 

Stoke Gifford (Bristol Parkway) was another of the many yards where this was done - the hand crane stayed there into the late eighties.

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Probably not many photos available of the traditional way of cooling a hot axle box ready for a slow move to the nearest siding.

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10 hours ago, Trog said:

Probably not many photos available of the traditional way of cooling a hot axle box ready for a slow move to the nearest siding.

 

There is a rather splendid photo of a Sharp Stewart 150 Class 7 ft piston-valve 4-4-0, No. 2440, taken sometime between February 1903 and August 1907 [R.J. Essery & D. Jenkinson, Midland Locomotives Vol. 2 (Wild Swan, 1988) plate 153]. The driver is standing in the six-foot next to the middle tender axlebox, back to the camera, legs apart, elbows sticking out slightly, forearms turned inwards...

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