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I am finding myself building wagons from the 1870s and 1880s which have only 6 ft or 6 ft 1in between the solebars. There is no room for standard etched W irons.

 

I have tried three solutions, none altogether successful:

1. Cut the etched W irons, so the verticals can be closer together to fit between the solebars, drill out the axleboxes as far as possible and use filed down flangeless bearings - tends to get through too many axleboxes when I drill just that bit too far

2. Cut the etched W irons but crank them out below the solebars and use standard bearings (rather ugly and non-prototypical but the only solution if the problem is discovered after the bearings have been fixed firmly into the axleboxes

3. Use thinner than prototype solebars, say 1mm thick instead of a scale 5in,, which sometimes gives room for standard etched W irons; or thin down the solebars in this area - but this pushes the springs too far out on the solebars.

 

Does anyone have any better solution?

Edited by corneliuslundie

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I have always settled for filing out the back of the solebar to allow unmodified W irons to fit.

Best wishes

Eric  

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I agree with Eric as I, too, have modelled early 19th century wagons in EM gauge for some years.

The only other possible option is replacement solebars,made from thin wood obtained from any good

veneer supplier but that means adding the strapping, rivets etc, a very time consuming business!

Michael dJS

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Thanks for the suggestion of the Alan Gibson W irons, though as I have said elsewhere my experience with springing is not good.

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MJT  Wagon  Compensation  Units  (look  on  the  Dart  Castings  website)  offer  the  ideal  solution  to  this  problem.  They  are  designed  to   allow  RTR  wagons  to  be  compensated  by  giving  one  end  a  rocking  axle.  I  use  them  at  both  ends,  with  one  end  soldered  up  solid.  You  need  to  take  off  the  pinpoints,  and  the  axle  holes  in  the  units  should  be  opened  out  to  a  sloppy  fit.  Use  enough  washers  (8BA)  to  remove  any  sideplay  in  the  axle.  You  still  need  to  fit  axleboxes  and  springs,  but  they  are  cosmetic.

I've  suspended  many  wagons  this  way,  with  complete  success.  I've  developed  a  sprung  version,  but  I  need  to  get  components  etched,  and  that'll  take  a  while

 

Allan  F

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Thanks for the MJT suggestion. I had completely forgotten that approach. I think I have some somewhere! I'll give it a go on the next model.

 

I am not even sure about the need to compensate one end on a 9ft wheelbase wagon in EM. I'll report back.

 

Jonathan

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You're  probably  right  about   not  needing  compensation  under  short  wheelbase  wagons -- that  illustrated  is  6'3"  WB!  The  wagon  is  resin  cast  from  my  own  master,  and  the  solebars  are  20  thou  thick,  and  have  given  no  problems.

 

I'm  glad  to  see  somebody  else  modelling  very  early  wagons;  I'd  love  to  see  some  of  your  work.

 

Allan  F

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I am finding myself building wagons from the 1870s and 1880s which have only 6 ft or 6 ft 1in between the solebars. There is no room for standard etched W irons.

 

I have tried three solutions, none altogether successful:

1. Cut the etched W irons, so the verticals can be closer together to fit between the solebars, drill out the axleboxes as far as possible and use filed down flangeless bearings - tends to get through too many axleboxes when I drill just that bit too far

2. Cut the etched W irons but crank them out below the solebars and use standard bearings (rather ugly and non-prototypical but the only solution if the problem is discovered after the bearings have been fixed firmly into the axleboxes

3. Use thinner than prototype solebars, say 1mm thick instead of a scale 5in,, which sometimes gives room for standard etched W irons; or thin down the solebars in this area - but this pushes the springs too far out on the solebars.

 

Does anyone have any better solution?

 

I don't see what the problem is,  6' between the axle guards and 6'1" between the solebars is the standard distance for all wagons with wooden solebars. If you insist on using rocking w-irons, as opposed to sprung ones, you are going to have to make compromises to get the things to work. 

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Thanks for the link to the joggled W irons. That is in fact what I have done myself sometimes. However, it has the problem I discuss in the next paragraph.

 

In answer to Bill Bedford, I am not using rocking W irons, for which I agree more space would be needed, but once you allow for the thickness of the metal all the commercial W irons I have tried are about 25 or 25.5 mm wide. This can be compensated for by using thinner than prototype solebars, but that then pushes the W irons and springs  too far out compared with the solebars. And I am not sure once you go back to the 1870s that the distances between solebars and W irons were as standardised as you suggest. This was before the RCH was active in such matters.

 

Jonathan

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In answer to Bill Bedford, I am not using rocking W irons, for which I agree more space would be needed, but once you allow for the thickness of the metal all the commercial W irons I have tried are about 25 or 25.5 mm wide...

 

Hi Jonathan,

 

I was surprised by that, so dug out a sample of various types. Bill's sprung ones measured 24.8mm, MJT non-rocking 24.7mm whilst Exactoscale sprung were 24.2mm. All had been bent with square nose smooth jawed pliers and I reckon I could take another couple of tenths off if I used ny bending bars and folded them tightly and gave them a gentle tap with a pin hammer. Even if used as is,the worst case is only 2.4 scale inches over the 6', 1.2" per side. Would you really see the difference if your solebars were that much further out? I doubt you'd notice it on a full-sized wagon.

 

Back in the 1870s, there would still have been a fair number of wagons with outside W irons with the springs behind them. Have you tackled any of these?

 

Nick

 

edit: ps just found a complete wagon with Exactoscale parts, the width over the w irons is 23.8mm. The above figure was for an unbuilt example. Unfortunately, I can' lay my hands on one of my wagons with Masokits parts to compare as they are currently not accessible.

Edited by buffalo

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Thanks for that, Nick. I'll look at the Exactoscale parts. I think I have some Masokits bits somewhere but not sure if there are any W irons among them.

 

Perhaps I should try carefully bending very tight against the etched line and see if I can get them any narrower. I agree that if it only a matter of 0.5mm total that bwould have to be taken off the thickness of the solebars this wouldn't really show.

 

Of course, if the W irons are closer together the bearings have to be set deeper into the axleboxes. There is usually enough meat to do this but it can be a bit nerve wracking.

 

The wagons causing the problem at the moment are a pair of ex Mid Wales Railway timber wagons. When they are in a fit state I will photograph them and put them up here for people to laugh at.

 

Jonathan

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In response to scotcent, here are a few wagons from the 1870s, unpainted as I took the photos when I was abroad and my paints were not available. I don't normally model earlier than this as the Rhymney was only around from 1858 and for the first few years had very few wagons, and in any case my date is really 1912 when these wagons would have been on their last legs

 

The first photo is of an 1872 wagon, the second of a similar wagon but slightly modernised, built in 1877. The third is a pair of iron ore and rail wagons from the same period.

 

Slightly off the subject of the thread, the only other thing I have done, just for fun, is the three carriages in the last photo. These are the earliest Rhymney Railway carriages, supplied by C C Williams. They were made entirely from a side elevation of a train which appeared early in the 20th century in one of the railway magazines. No problems with distance berween solebars because the ends are a complete guess.

 

Jonathan

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Thank  you  for  letting  us  see  your  pictures.  I  note  that  the  wagons  had  sprung  buffers  at  one  end  and  dead  buffers  at  the  other.  I  believe  this  was  done  by  companies  who  were  trying  to  meet  BoT  regulations  as  cheaply  as  possible.  I'd  heard  of  this,  but  I've  never  seen  pictures,  and  I've  never  seen  it  modelled. The  Scottish  companies,  since  they  got  away  with  dead  buffers  until  about  1915,  probably  didn't  bother.  Very  interesting  brake  gear  too.

 

Allan  F

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Corneliuslundie, would the RR wagons from the 1870's had 5 link couplings ?
I have a few on my layout, though this is the only photo I have on my PC...

 

post-6979-0-53665200-1415563367.jpg

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Corneliuslundie, when I saw the pair of RR Rail Wagons, I had my doubts about the loose.chain couplings between them..

But looking at the RR book of stock drawings I see they are loose coupled - Drawing W1.

(By Trefor L.Jones and Mike E.M.Lloyd)

On most other rail wagon pairs I've seen (drawings/photo's) they have had a fixed link between them, but in the format of the W1 drawing, the wagons must part and come together in traffic, surely the rails would move on one of the bolsters, unless of course the rails are really tied down hard onto the bolster.

 

For those not familiar with these wagons, they had drop ends - into the wagon and a recess in the main floor for carrying rails etc., from the iron/steel works down to the docks, the ends were put upright for carrying iron ore from the docks back up the line. There is a central located piece of 'u' shaped rail pivoted in the middle to form a bolster.  Economic use of wagon stock.

Edited by Penlan

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Jonathan

I had never thought to worry about using W irons that are slightly wider than those on the prototype; it is not a dimension that had struck me as being particularly visible. 

Maybe I should start worrying now!

post-9472-0-50546700-1415629874_thumb.jpg

Best wishes

Eric

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My excuse for putting on three links was that I was 1200 miles from the UK and used what I had. In fact on my layout they will have Spratt & Winkle couplings. But since I model the 1912 period I am pretty sure they would have lost their safety chains and gained three link couplings by then.

 

There were in fact two types of iron ore and rail wagons. One was as described above. The other seems to have had two solid timber ends which did not drop, so the rails rested on the ends. They also had upright timber baulks instead of iron verticals. and as far as I can tell both types ran as single wagons, not permanently coupled pairs. I don't think the problem would have been any worse than that caused by putting a large tree trunk on a pair of GWR Mites. At a later date, of course, Instanter couplings would have solved the problem.

 

This is the Metropolitan Wagon Co drawing of that type. It is not very clear at the left hand end but you can clearly see the right hand end, and also the brake gear commented on above.

 

Jonathan

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A, yes, I had this drawing a few decades ago from Birmingham City Library Archives, should have the print somewhere.

At the time I was splitting time between the Metro., Archives and the Joseph Wright Coach drawings, plus Railway Accident reports, mainly LNWR and Neath & Brecon Rly, both at Birmingham and Kew.

 

Trouble was in the 1970's most of the Birmingham based drawings were in a separate store and access was restricted to 'qualified' staff only.  They were also in the (very slow) process of copying everything to microfiche.

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In fact I have discovered that most if not all the MetCamm drawings I am interested in are also in the HMRS collections and some are also at the WRRC. I bought copies of almost all the Rhymney ones from Birmingham a few years ago. Currently following the move of their archives to a new building they are not available. However, I already had a copy of the side view of the iron ore wagon, so didn't buy it and have no end view.

 

The drawing of the other style of iron ore and rail wagon (also built by the Metropolitan company) was in an article in Welsh Railways Archive reprinting an old paper on "modern" wagon design. That one definitely had the drop end and iron stanchions. Intererstingly it shows nothing filling the hole in the floor when the end is raised.  I have concluded that the MetCamm drawing shows fixed ends because there are 1/2 inch bolt heads marked at the right hand end of the side planks. 

 

By the way, don't bother with the drawing of a 4 wheeled passenger brake van as both the Birmingham and HMRS versions have a large drawing a of a screw coupling covering much of the body. Someone obviously goofed when making the original microfilms.

 

Here is my rendering of the timber ended wagons. I note that there are no couplings at the outer ends. I think I had run out at the time.

 

Jonathan

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Penlan, I love your acid tank. A real oldie. North Staffs registered I assume from the knot.

 

And Burgundy's dumb buffered wagons are rather fine, too. I have one or two kit built ones.

 

On the subject of dumb buffers, wagons with dumb buffers one end were quite common in South Wales for a while. There are a few in the Gloucester PO wagons book. I think the idea was that it gave some protection from buffing shocks but was cheaper than sprung buffers both ends. An issue for South Wales collieries was that the coal was more friable than harder coals from the other coalfields and therefore needed a little TLC. It also influenced the equipment used to tip coal into ships, with breaker boxes and other devices being used to reduce the distance the coal dropped.

 

I get the impression that in general this "cheap" option was not used so often by the railway companies. (Someone will now produce lots of examples!)

 

(There is an interesting article in the latest WRA about an attempt by the GWR between the wars to reintroduce coal firing for ships using containerised coal - again at least partly, I suspect, to avoid the problems mentioned above, though mainly to speed transfer of the coal to the ships. It failed.)

 

Jonathan

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A couple more Rhymney Railway vehicles: a timber wagon from the 1870s and a horse box. The latter is very similar to one of the early GWR diagrams. Please don't blow up the photo of the horsebox too much!

 

Let's see what other people are doing.

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Jonathan

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Some nice wagons in this thread! FWIW on the original topic, filing solebars is the simplest and most logical solution. Unless you get under there and measure no one will ever know. My own W Irons are designed to be 24mm between inside faces, or 24.5mm overall (theoretically anyway!) 

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My excuse for putting on three links was that I was 1200 miles from the UK and used what I had. In fact on my layout they will have Spratt & Winkle couplings. But since I model the 1912 period I am pretty sure they would have lost their safety chains and gained three link couplings by then.

 

There were in fact two types of iron ore and rail wagons. One was as described above. The other seems to have had two solid timber ends which did not drop, so the rails rested on the ends. They also had upright timber baulks instead of iron verticals. and as far as I can tell both types ran as single wagons, not permanently coupled pairs. I don't think the problem would have been any worse than that caused by putting a large tree trunk on a pair of GWR Mites. At a later date, of course, Instanter couplings would have solved the problem.

 

This is the Metropolitan Wagon Co drawing of that type. It is not very clear at the left hand end but you can clearly see the right hand end, and also the brake gear commented on above.

 

Jonathan

I'm thinking of building some Rhymney wagons c.1912 and was wondering whether examples built later would have more conventional double-block brakes, probably one side only initially and later independent brakes either side as the RCH regulations became more rigorous. I have the WRRC drawings book but not enough photographs to be sure. Any views would be gratefully received!

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