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A great sample of archive film.  If anyone is interested in producing the Roadrailer, I would certainly buy a batch.

Quick one whilst I've got a spare 5 minutes. Most of you may have already  have seen it.

The prototype boxes on test.  In the film the boxes have already undergone some strengthening work after failing MIRA  SMMT  testing at Oxford. The bodies cracked and wheel Hubs/nuts failed on their fist road journey whist being driven from Scotland to Oxford. It was also found that in road use the trailers would tip over laterally when stationary on roads with near standard cant, guttering and drainage crowns. 

In the film the Roadrailer is seen crossing Stebbing Road between Rayne and Great Dunmore.


Zip forward to 1' 40".






B*ll*cks. Should have read through my own post from earlier in the thread before posting.


I see from the film that the road wheels were recessed in the van-the Scalecraft model seems incorrect in this respect.  If there is interest in producing Roadrailer models, I would buy a batch.

Spiffing film! Thanks for sharing! Tip top! 

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I now have a full size scan of  C & O General Arrangement Drawing 218-R-263 'Road-Rail Van' dated 1954, it is the rounded corner early shape, like the ones that were sent to England in 1958 - but most interestingly it shows the cast rail bogie wheel carriers as used in the English version - in a text I have describing the US version it does mention the completion of the 3 improved, lighter by half a ton, versions in 1959, presumably the pattern of the majority of all the later US production ones we see.

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This seems to be a still from a film taken during the demonstration of the first to prototypes - at Marylebone, if I recall correctly.



John Isherwood.

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The story of this surviving Roadrailer #186, gets curiouser and curiouser ! - my Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter Vo. VIII - No. 12 December 1976 states -:

  • The prototype models were built without side doors, to increase the strength of the sides as structural members. However, doors were later added to the prototype Railvans (and all subsequent RoadRailers were built with them)
  • Numbers 170 -199 Date/Builder 1964 C&O Grand Rapids 
So it was one of the last built ? - with no stiffeners or side door and skids on its undercarriage legs like the prototypes?
I have found a photo of #186, in a field near Wyoming Yard in Grand Rapids, Michigan taken in June 1980, but it sits tight between two others and you cannot tell if it has a side door, ?
In the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter Vo. VIII - No. 12 December 1976 it tells of six sitting in a field at Wyoming Yard in Grand Rapids - same group ? - in that group is number 149, with no side door !
The others in the field are 141, 150, 152, 166 & 185
Number 149 does not exist in the C&O numbering/build list !, it has 150-152 built 1959 by Visioneering Co. Cleveland, and 153 -157 built 1959 by Visioneering Co. Cleveland
in the 1980 photo number 149 is of a differing construction / underframe to number 186 and any other I have seen, with or without side doors.
The build list does have 115-144 built 1964  by C&O Grand Rapids
The Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Magazine July/August 1998 Vol. XXXI states -: the RoadRailers in that Grand Rapids field have all been scrapped, except one which is in the B&O Museum Collection in Baltimore - I have a photo of that and it is number 170 - and that is not in the field in 1980, and it has a side door.
I have a picture of number 186, on its rail wheels at Grand Haven Michigan taken in 1987, it has no side door.
The earliest picture I can find of it where it is now is 2002
Oh the questions !
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..... I have located the air motor  :yes:  


- this is an air motor



.... here is the air motor on the Roadrailer




.... you can just make it out in this picture of one of the UK Roadrailers, ( i have messed about with the contrast to try and enhance it





here is another shot of the US one, note the air reservoir (moved on the UK version to the rear spine piece slope as the additional frame strengtheners are there






you can see that here





..... that took some working out !     :sungum:

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More info - one of the US photos had a makers plate that listed 3 Patents - a bit of searching and digging on the US Patents Office website and each of them is available as a .pdf ! - lots of diagrams on the transfer mechanism, the coupler and the brakes - very interesting - a couple of examples -:








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OK, so thinking about the actual model, that I am going to make - what suggestions do people have for how to do the coupler - would a wire hook be best ? - what do people think ?


Go prototypical - a ball on a stem, fitting into a keyhole socket.


Pretty much what Scalecraft did - but they used a truncated pyramid rather than a ball.



John Isherwood.

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So long as the vehicles are nose heavy enough an L shaped rod or bar going through the transom of the leading vehicle, or adaptor wagon, should keep them in contact. If it's thick enough it should look enough like the real thing to be convincing.

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