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Until the mid-1960s, there were relatively few vacuum-braked examples, all having the 8-shoe BR brakes. They had to be kept off certain flows, due to unloading equipment getting tangled with the brake-gear. They were also unpopular with NCB shunters, who wouldn't couple the vacuum-pipes together in some locations. The programme was stalled, with some wagons receiving all the accoutrements of a fitted wagon, bar the cylinders. They were still running like that into the 1970s.

  From the mid-1960s, there was a programme to fit a large number of unfitted mineral wagons with vac-brakes, using four-shoe 'Morton' brakes. These are the wagons you'll see with tie-bars between the axleguards.

By the beginning of the 1980s, both Southern and Scottish Regions had gone over to fully-fitted trains, so only fitted 16-tonners were to be seen on them. 

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Glad to assist, David.  My South Wales based has a good number of them, in two rakes (one loaded one empty) mixed with 7 plankers in BR grey livery or very faded XPO and BR numbers.  It is set in the 50s, and at this time the 7 plankers were being withdrawn in droves and replaced by the steel wagons.  Like you, I've adopted the 'mostly grey but one or two bauxite' approach.  My coal trains run as unfitted class K and my bauxite wagons have the vacuum brake isolated; the hose doesn't exist as I use tension lock couplers, but it if did it would be hanging loose.

 

Even in the 70s when I worked on the railway, the vast majority of 16 tonners were unfitted and in grey livery.  The collieries did not like any wagon that was not a standard unfitted 16 tonner with an instanter coupling and their shunters complained that the vacuum hoses got in their way and slowed operations.  

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15 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

Until the mid-1960s, there were relatively few vacuum-braked examples, all having the 8-shoe BR brakes. They had to be kept off certain flows, due to unloading equipment getting tangled with the brake-gear. They were also unpopular with NCB shunters, who wouldn't couple the vacuum-pipes together in some locations. The programme was stalled, with some wagons receiving all the accoutrements of a fitted wagon, bar the cylinders. They were still running like that into the 1970s.

  From the mid-1960s, there was a programme to fit a large number of unfitted mineral wagons with vac-brakes, using four-shoe 'Morton' brakes. These are the wagons you'll see with tie-bars between the axleguards.

By the beginning of the 1980s, both Southern and Scottish Regions had gone over to fully-fitted trains, so only fitted 16-tonners were to be seen on them. 

 

Thanks that is very helpful. As confirmed by yourself and Johnster below, the NCB obviously much preferred the unfitted examples. Modelling the North Eastern Region, the assumption is that this was exclusively 21t hopper country but that certainly wasn't the case and looking at photography and reference books, plenty of 16 tonners were certainly in the mix, especially at some of the smaller pits. 

 

11 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Glad to assist, David.  My South Wales based has a good number of them, in two rakes (one loaded one empty) mixed with 7 plankers in BR grey livery or very faded XPO and BR numbers.  It is set in the 50s, and at this time the 7 plankers were being withdrawn in droves and replaced by the steel wagons.  Like you, I've adopted the 'mostly grey but one or two bauxite' approach.  My coal trains run as unfitted class K and my bauxite wagons have the vacuum brake isolated; the hose doesn't exist as I use tension lock couplers, but it if did it would be hanging loose.

 

Even in the 70s when I worked on the railway, the vast majority of 16 tonners were unfitted and in grey livery.  The collieries did not like any wagon that was not a standard unfitted 16 tonner with an instanter coupling and their shunters complained that the vacuum hoses got in their way and slowed operations.  

 

Thanks Johnster, I really appreciate it and don't take your kindness and time given in sharing for granted. I model the NE Region and, as above, a healthy mix of 16t steel wagons would add to the ubiquitous 21t hoppers. I'm also thinking of at a few wooden bodied wagons into the mix too for a bit of variety, as these would still be useful for a smaller colliery in the 1950s and early '60s. I model in 0 gauge and Dapol do the 7- and 8-plank wooden opens, with ex-PO numbers, which I imagine might be suitable for my fledgling project. A nice mix of 21t, 16t and older wooden opens should be relatively realistic and fairly prototypical. 

 

That's fascinating stuff about the NCB preferring the unfitted 16 tonners. Obviously the simpler and more standardised the better,  something that makes sense in smoothing operations. 

 

Thank you very much again for taking the time to reply and offering the benefit of your expertise, it really is so helpful.

 

David

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It used to be something of a game knowing which colliery could accept what wagons because the loading screens varied.  Thus on the Cardiff Valleys we had some collieries (very few - I think there was only one by the early 1970s) which would only accept 16 tonners; some  which could only accept 16T and 21T flats (i.e. flat bottomed wagons) although almost all could deal with those; a few which could load what we called 'bombers' (24.5T flats); and some which could accept 21T hoppers.  But in addition to that certain flows had to be loaded in a particular type of wagon for the destination - e.g. older power station tipplers could only take 16T, or 16T &  21T,  flats and nothing else; older washeries couldn't accept higher sided wagons such as bombers and hoppers and so on.   Equally fitted wagons were not popular at some unloading sites either.  Thus segregating empties by type was an important feature when Blocplan was brought in and the principal segregation work was concentrated onto a couple of yards.

 

Nobody in the Valleys like fitted wagons.  Inevitably all the local trips in the Cardiff Valleys ran as Class 9 with no vacuum bags linked up and bagging up would normally only take place in the yards where the trips were turned into longer distance trains as part of train preparation - but it took time and was a far from popular job apart from Shunters getting overtime doing it if we were short of Train Preparers.   Even with trains wholly composed of fitted wagons they were not worked as fitted trains in the Cardiff  Valleys particularly where heavy gradients were involved because the automatic brake could not be relied on to hold the train let alone stop it.  There were various runaways with fitted trains, including MGRs, on South Wales valleys gradients during my time involved in freight working in the area.  Incidentally it wasn't the job of NCB staff to couple vacuum pipes - that was 100% down to BR staff as part of Train Preparation but it wasn't usually needed in collieries anyway with the trips running as Class 9.

 

Splitting vacuum fitted wagons when shunting was of course an extremely simple task because once the vacuum had been destroyed there was no need to do anything else and the pipes parted on their own as wagons were split when a cut was shunted.

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Hello Stationmaster,

What are flats?

 

Splitting vacuum fitted wagons when shunting was of course an extremely simple task because once the vacuum had been destroyed there was no need to do anything else and the pipes parted on their own as wagons were split when a cut was shunted. I thought there were split pins holding the vacuum bags together?

 

Gordon A

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22 minutes ago, Gordon A said:

What are flats?

 

43 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

some  which could only accept 16T and 21T flats (i.e. flat bottomed wagons) although almost all could deal with those; a few which could load what we called 'bombers' (24.5T flats);

13207184955_68e1492a74_b.jpgB281329 MEO [A881B-035] by Jamerail, on Flickr

 

:D

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Posted (edited)

Question arises regarding the 16t wagons. I have over 30 of the things, mostly built, but unpainted that are/were Airfix kits. I understand that they are incorrect as they (the model) were based on a small number of fitted BR wagons rather than the majority (unfitted) that would have been seen. Before I finish them (they were started only 40 years ago so a few extra months won't matter now), what do I need to do to them to make 'more' prototypical? I seem to recall from another thread that the brake lever needs to be removed from one side (which side?) and (presumably) the cylinder has to be taken off the underside for the non-fitted version. In addition, from what I understand, I need to link the V-hangers with a bit of brass rod. Or have I got this all backwards (again) !!! :).

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

PS: And the 'working' hinges need to be reduced in size - no?

 

Edit: I hadn't realised this was page 135 of the thread and the answer may well lie between here and page 1 !! I shall have a read through first. Cheers.

Edited by Philou
Arrived late at the party!

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7 minutes ago, Philou said:

Question arises regarding the 16t wagons. I have over 30 of the things, mostly built, but unpainted that are/were Airfix kits. I understand that they are incorrect as they (the model) were based on a small number of fitted BR wagons rather than the majority (unfitted) that would have been seen. Before I finish them (they were started only 40 years ago so a few extra months won't matter now), what do I need to do to them to make 'more' prototypical? I seem to recall from another thread that the brake lever needs to be removed from one side (which side?) and (presumably) the cylinder has to be taken off the underside for the non-fitted version. In addition, from what I understand, I need to link the V-hangers with a bit of brass rod. Or have I got this all backwards (again) !!! :).

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

PS: And the 'working' hinges need to be reduced in size - no?

 

Edit: I hadn't realised this was page 135 of the thread and the answer may well lie between here and page 1 !! I shall have a read through first. Cheers.

It is the brake shoes, not the lever, which should be removed. The Airfix kit is based on a BR Diagram 1/108 unfitted example, but, for whatever reason, they copied the brake gear from an earlier Diagram. These photos will give you some idea of what a 1/108 should look like:-

https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/brmineralweld

There are two basic types of 'fitted' 1/108.

Those built as fitted had 8 shoe 'Lifting Link' brake gear, available in a 10' wheel-base version from whoever distributes Red Panda. They had no tie-bar between the axleguards.

Later, unfitted wagons were fitted, with the addition of a set of brake shoes on the side that didn't have them, a pair of brake-cylinders, tie-rods and new buffers.

I spent several months taking lots of notes on variations on a theme of 16-tonners (I was being paid to check which wagons we had on site..) and very quickly realised that the 'standard' mineral wagon was a sort of Platonic ideal, oft spoken of, but seldom seen.

The least said of those door hinges, the better: as you'll see from the photos, the real ones were barely evident in comparison.

 

 

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Philou, get yourself a copy of this (but from an independent bookseller, obviously).  Geoff covers the Airfix kit as well as a large number of others.

 

This is an Airfix (actually Dapol) example built by my son following Geoff's modifications.

 

lneopen_zps3161c98f.jpg

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Thanks chaps - very useful. Just as well I hadn't merrily set-to with the brake-handles!!

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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Thanks for the link to Paul Bartlett's photos - it seems that the single side brake is on the side with the end flap to the left - on the pictures that I quickly looked. I'll pick up more detail this evening. Thanks too for the book link. I shall need to get a copy as I seem to have quite a collection of other minerals that could do with a make-over.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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3 hours ago, Gordon A said:

Hello Stationmaster,

What are flats?

 

Splitting vacuum fitted wagons when shunting was of course an extremely simple task because once the vacuum had been destroyed there was no need to do anything else and the pipes parted on their own as wagons were split when a cut was shunted. I thought there were split pins holding the vacuum bags together?

 

Gordon A

Flats were flat bottomed wagons - i.e. they were not hopper wagons.  They were called 'flats' in some yards to distinguish them from hoppers and were just one of the various names applied to 16T mineral wagons by ground staff, as I moved around the WR over the years I found myself forever learning new local names for exactly the same type of wagon, or using a previously learnt one and getting a very blank look from some of my Shunters!

 

Split pins were not used on the vacuum pipes on freight vehicles when they were marshalled in freight trains because if they had been it would have taken a bit longer when 'bagging-up' the pipes but more importantly they would not pull apart when wagons were uncoupled during loose shunting - pulling out the split pins before shunting would have wasted even more time.  

 

Of course, and I suppose inevitably, there would occasionally be a bright spark who put a split pin in (if there were any) but the wagons still came apart pretty easily, pulling a vacuum pipe off the stand in the process.  (But a lot less destructive than forgetting to undo the clips on a Standard coaching stock gangway before parting the vehicles.)

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Stationmaster

 

Thanks for the informative reply. 

 

Gordon A

 

 

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17 hours ago, Philou said:

Thanks for the link to Paul Bartlett's photos - it seems that the single side brake is on the side with the end flap to the left - on the pictures that I quickly looked. I'll pick up more detail this evening. Thanks too for the book link. I shall need to get a copy as I seem to have quite a collection of other minerals that could do with a make-over.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

Not always, some rebodies were the other way round, all depend on how the vehicle orientation when it enters the shops.

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Flats were flat bottomed wagons - i.e. they were not hopper wagons.  They were called 'flats' in some yards to distinguish them from hoppers and were just one of the various names applied to 16T mineral wagons by ground staff, as I moved around the WR over the years I found myself forever learning new local names for exactly the same type of wagon, or using a previously learnt one and getting a very blank look from some of my Shunters!

 

 

Thanks for that, Mike, I've always been mystified as to why the 24.5 tonners were widely referred to as "big flats".

 

I never came across "bomber" though.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling

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23 minutes ago, 45125 said:

Not always, some rebodies were the other way round, all depend on how the vehicle orientation when it enters the shops.

 

The new builds were consistent; it was the rebodies that were seemingly random, but these looked different, having no 'merchants' door above the side door. Many also had rounded bottom edges to the sides.

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11 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

 

Thanks for that, Mike, I've always been mystified as to why the 24.5 tonners were widely referred to as "big flats".

 

I never came across "bomber" though.

 

John

I've only heard 'bombers' applied to those in South Wales, though I never heard it when I lived there in the Sixties and Seventies. Few pits could accommodate them; Brynlliw and Graig Merthyr being the ones I knew, sending coal to Carmarthen Bay Power Station.

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Also in South Wales, Aberthaw 'A' power station took in coal in block trains of 24.5 tonners, usually hauled by 42xx, replaced by D68xx, before 'B' came on stream and everything went MGR.

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Posted (edited)

Here are a few of my mineral wagons modelled for the late 70s. A first time doing kits in N gauge for me. Apologies for the photo just a quick mobile snap and my proper camera wasn't to hand.

20190418_034217.jpg

Edited by Neal B
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On 30/03/2019 at 10:29, 9793 said:

 

 

Some of the best I’ve seen.

 

Glad you posted them in this thread and others who’ve posted model shots too, I think there should be more models in here aswel as the prototype shots.

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20 hours ago, Michael Delamar said:

 

I may be daft, and this could be an embarassing question, but I will ask in any case..... what's going on there? Is coal simply being 'tipped' from the 16 tonner into a barge? If so, would that happen for each individual wagon? Just seems like a very laborious process! 

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Yeap I believe so, the end door would have been unlatched and then the cradle tipped Carefully! 

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How did they tip the cradle?

To my eyes the wagon is the wrong way round.

If the auxiliary hoist is connected to the pair slack of chains, then the opening end door is lifted up above the fixed end?

 

Gordon A

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On 10/04/2019 at 09:29, Fat Controller said:

I've only heard 'bombers' applied to those in South Wales, though I never heard it when I lived there in the Sixties and Seventies. Few pits could accommodate them; Brynlliw and Graig Merthyr being the ones I knew, sending coal to Carmarthen Bay Power Station.

In the east, Oakdale and Hafodyrynys took in 'bombers'.

I also saw a handful around the AVCW (Aberdare Valley Central Washery), at Deep Duffryn, but not many.

Brian R.

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