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Southern Maunsell Coaching Stock discussion


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Introduction

Of late it has become apparent that deciding which Hornby Maunsell coaches to buy to form into realistic train formations has puzzled folk on more than one thread. I've looked into train formations and Sets in some detail for the Treneglos layout and have a good collection of the standard texts (Gould and King) as well as some carriage working notices etc. None of these information sources is particularly easy to get a grip of so, from time to time, I'm going to add in posts looking at various different aspects of the real Maunsell coaches and their model equivalents.

 

Feel free to add into this repository or challenge anything I write - it's a complex subject matter and much is open to interpretation...

 

Background

Here's the headline points:

1. Southern coaches were either allocated to fixed 'Sets' or were deemed to be 'Loose' and available to be added into/onto Sets to strengthen them for periods of heavy traffic.

2. The Sets ranged from two coaches through to 8+ vehicles but there were generally fewer Sets as the Set length increased.

3. A train could be made up of multiple Sets - a 10 coach train, for instance, could comprise of 2no 2-coach Sets, a 5-coach Set and a loose coach. The Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) was a great example of a multi-portion train.

4. Just about every Set had two brake coaches - one each end (apart from some 2-coach Sets that had a brake (third or composite) paired with a composite or third).

5. It was common for portions of a long train to be dropped off or added en-route and for those portions to be taken to different destinations.

Now the outcome of all the above is:

A. A typical long train could contain as many or even more brake coaches than non-brakes.

B. The make-up and length of the train would vary along its route.

C. The length of individual Sets, portions and the train itself would vary through the season as additional strengthening Loose coaches were added for peak periods.

D. It is perfectly legitimate to tack an extra Brake Composite (BCK) on to the end of a Set or add one or more Corridor Thirds (TK) into a Set as strengtheners.

 

Complications

Issue 1: Due to route restrictions Southern coaches (pre-Bulleid) were built to 3 widths. R0 was 8' 3/4", R1 was 8' 6" and R4 was 9'. The important note for modellers is that both Hornby and Bachmann have only ever produced the full width R4 variety of Maunsell coaching stock (in 2mm and 4mm).

Issue 2: Maunsell coaches were designed in 1925 and that original design was tweaked until the final versions were completed in 1936. Four distinct 'body styles' appeared during this period (consider them as motor car facelifts - same mechanicals but different clothing). The important note for modellers is that both Hornby and Bachmann have only ever produced the initial 'low window' and first of the 'high window' body styles of Maunsell coaching stock (in 2mm and 4mm).

This means there are lots of Sets that can't be produced from RTR as they contain coaches that are R0 or R1 or the later two body styles. This significantly complicates matters but, as the majority of modellers aren't too concerned by this detail, the initial 'high-level' posts in this thread will ignore the different body styles. (It's important to me, so we will cover this later).

 

References

The standard texts on the subject include:

  • Maunsell's SR Steam Carriage Stock by David Gould, Oakwood Press ref X37 ISBN 0-85361-555-1 (I'm working from the third edition 2000)
  • An illustrated History of Southern Coaches by Mike King, OPC ISBN 0-86093-570-1 (I'm working from the 2003 imprint)
  • Bulleid's SR Steam Carriage Stock by David Gould, Oakwood Press ref X40 ISBN 0-85361-4679 (I'm working from the second edition 1994)
Terms used

Through this thread I'll refer to the coach types in shorthand using the following convention:

B = Brake

C = Composite (a coach containing more than one class of accommodation)

K = Corridor (with compartments)

O = Open (no compartments)

F = First Class

S = Second Class

T = Third Class (this was abolished and became Second Class in 1956 - so a TK became a SK)

 

Therefore a BCK is a brake coach, with a corridor and First and Third Class accommodation)

 

 

More to follow!

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Question 1: What coach formations can I create using a Hornby 6 compartment brake third coach?
This note was originally drafted and posted in Rob's 'A Nob to Brent' thread in response to on and off-thread requests for Maunsell Set formations from folk that normally model the GWR. As such I drew up the following high-level overview that ignores small (!) issues such as the four different Maunsell coach body styles (more on the low and high window variants in a later post), build dates, changing formations over time, and detailed differences such as rain strips and lavatory vents etc etc. It assumes an initial low level of knowledge of either the Southern or how it used coaches...

Typical Set formations
Lets look at the humble Maunsell 6-compartment brake third (BTK) produced by Hornby in four liveries. What Sets can this be used in? What could you buy to go with it??

2 coach Sets: Buy a brake composite and you have a BTK BCK combo - a Southern classic on the Devon and Cornwall lines.
3 coach Sets: Buy another 6-compartment brake third and a composite (CK) and this gets you the most common Southern Set formation - BTK CK BTK.
4 Coach Sets (a): Buy another 6-compartment brake third and two composites (CK) and you have BTK CK CK BTK.
4 Coach Sets (b ): Buy another 6-compartment brake third, an all first (FK) and all third (TK) you have a BTK TK FK BTK combo.

The four above combinations were by far the most common (c90%) to use the 6-compartment brake third. The three below comprise the remaining c10%:

5 Coach Sets: Buy another 6-compartment brake third, an all first (FK) and two all thirds (TK) and this gives you have a BTK TK FK TK BTK combo.
6 Coach Sets: Buy another 6-compartment brake third, an all first (FK) and three all thirds (TK) and you have a BTK TK FK TK TK BTK consist.
8 Coach Sets: Buy another 6-compartment brake third, three all firsts (FK) and three all thirds (TK) and you have the longest R4 Set I can find that uses the 6-compartment brake third - BTK TK TK FK FK FK TK BTK.

So how many of each of those Sets were there prior to WW2? (This gives an idea of which Sets were most common).
BTK BCK = 10 (Sets 168, 172, 178-180, 196-200)
BTK CK BTK = 28 (Sets 203, 221-232, 387, 400, 426, 429, 456, 952-961)
BTK CK CK BTK = 12 (Sets 193-195, 233-240, 464)
BTK TK FK BTK = 11 (Sets 202, 241-250)
BTK TK FK TK BTK = 2 (Sets 327-328)
BTK TK FK TK TK BTK = 2 (Sets 329-330)
BTK TK TK FK FK FK TK BTK = 2 (Sets 469-470)

Interestingly, if you look at the above and the individual coach types you'll quickly note how many brake coaches were used. To save you adding up, here's the results:
BTK = 124
BCK = 10
CK = 52
TK = 25
FK = 21

This is just a sample of the 6-compartment brake third Sets and ignores both the 4-compartment brake third Sets and Loose coaches but it should give an indication of why Hornby quickly ran out of brake third coaches and were left with lots of all-firsts. (The all-thirds and brake composites were snapped up as Loose coaches).

 

The small print
Please treat the above as a simple illustration and introduction to the very complex subject of Southern coach Sets. Explained fully it would (and has) filled books! It is my intention to revisit many of the issues 'glossed over' for this simple review in more detail as the thread progresses. In particular I'll outline the reasons why a number of the Sets referenced above can't be produced from RTR coaches as Hornby don't produce the two later body styles.


Edit 16/12/14: missing TK added to Sets 469-470 making them eight coach formations.

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I feel this is going to be a long thread. Are you going to include Bullied coaches at some point as you have referenced the Gould / Oakwood book?

 

Another book for Bulleids is Bulleid Coaches in 4mm scale / S.W. Stevens-Stratten / Ian Allan 1983.

I've included the Bulleid book as, in the later BR period, the Sets got a bit mixed up and contained coaches from Maunsell/Bulleid/Mk1 parentage. As discussed off-line I found the missing CK in Set 239 was a Bulleid...

 

Initially I'm intending this to be a relatively soft touch thread and suited to folk who just want to know which coaches go together to form generally realistic formations. As we go on I'll get more into the interesting rivet counter stuff! Don't want to bore people too soon ;-p

 

Perhaps I should have started with Bulleid coaches - they are (comparatively) a much simpler subject!

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Hello,

 

Thanks for a very useful post that gives a quick and clear rundown for average modeler. Would it be possible to do a similar post for the forthcoming Dapol N gauge Maunsells?

 

I believe they are producing a subset of the Hornby range (the low windowed variety) so it should be a simple matter of removing any formations that are not applicable.

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Morning all, to answer an off-line query, yes I will be covering the implications of the Maunsell coaches being built to three different widths and how the body style (particularly the window size and locations) changed from the first (1926) low window batches through to the final (1937) large window versions.

 

The intention with the info in post 2 was to get folk thinking about prototypical looking formations for their Hornby RTR coaches. The minefield that is getting individual the vehicles correct for a given Set at a given period will follow. We're eating an elephant here so small bites...

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Hi Chris

 

I just wanted to say many thanks for taking this subject on, here on RMweb, and providing such information that I am sure will prove useful to any SR / BR (s ) modeller.

 

I would add that the first release of Dapol N gauge Maunsell's is the same as the first Hornby release so the information will be the same for both.

 

Thanks again

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Great stuff. I use the coach set information on the SEMG website, but of course that only has coach numbers so you need to look elsewhere to check width (R0, R1, R4).

 

Perhaps I should have started with Bulleid coaches - they are (comparatively) a much simpler subject! 

 

Maybe, but the down side of that is that the selection of RTR Bulleids in both OO and N is very poor compared to the Maunsells. Having said that, BR green Maunsells are pretty difficult to find now. About time Hornby did another production run, methinks.

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My roster of Maunsell coaches has grown somewhat. Mainly due to making up what I had into meaningful sets. I was thinking of some Bill Bedford sides on Hornby bodies to make restriction O stock, but I think the rooves would be too wide.

Getting back to the point of this post. Maybe a carriage sidings would be the ideal model, with a carriage works adjacent.

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Question 2: What coach formations can I create using a Hornby 4 compartment brake third coach?

Typical Set formations
Lets look at the less numerous  Maunsell 4-compartment brake third (BTK) produced by Hornby in four liveries. What Sets can this be used in? What could you buy to go with it??

3 coach Sets (a): Buy another 4-compartment brake third and a composite (CK) and this gets you the most common Southern Set formation - BTK CK BTK. 
3 Coach Sets (b ): Buy another 4-compartment brake third and an all-first (FK) and you have BTK FK BTK - a rare set formation.
4 Coach Sets: Buy another 4-compartment brake third, an all first (FK) and all third (TK) you have a BTK FK TK BTK combo.

As well as the above combinations there were also four 'inter-regional sets that used the 4-compartment brake third. One of the Sets (427) seemed to hold steady at a typical BTK CK BTK formation. The make-up of the other three was somewhat fluid and comprised largely of Loose coaches and a dining car - different texts quote slightly different formations but here I'll give what is largely agreed to be their maximum lengths. Each of the Sets requires another 4-compartment brake third, two composites (CK), two all thirds (TK) and a dining car:


7 Coach Set 428: BTK TK CK Dining CK TK BTK - used on Bournemouth to Newcastle services
7 Coach Set 458: BTK CK TK Dining CK TK BTK - used on Brighton to Cardiff services
7 Coach Set 459: BTK TK CK Dining CK TK BTK - used on Bournemouth to Birkenhead services

So how many of each of those Sets were there prior to WW2? (This gives an idea of which Sets were most common). 
BTK CK BTK = 16 (Sets 201, 390-399, 427, 445-448)
BTK FK BTK = 1 (Set 202 - although this may not have been formed)
BTK FK TK BTK = 6 (Sets 204-209)
BTK TK CK Dining CK TK BTK = 2 (Sets 428-459)

BTK CK TK Dining CK TK BTK = 1 (Set 458)

Interestingly, if you compare the number of Sets using 6-compartment brake third and 4-compartment brake third coaches on their ends you'll note that the 4 compartment variety are in the minority: 67 vs 26. I would therefore suggest that, unless you are modelling a specific line that used the 4-compartment brake third Sets, the best brake to get is the 6-compartment brake third as you have a great number and variety of Set types to form. 
 

 

The small print
Please treat the above as a simple illustration and introduction to the very complex subject of Southern coach Sets. Explained fully it would (and has) filled books! It is my intention to revisit many of the issues 'glossed over' for this simple review in more detail as the thread progresses. In particular I'll outline the reasons why a number of the Sets referenced above can't be produced from RTR coaches as Hornby don't produce the two later body styles. 

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Question 3: Tell us about the four different body styles...

 

Probably the best, short, summary I've come across that describes the design progression of the Maunsell coach and the four distinct body styles comes from the Southern Railway Group. The link to the original page on their site is here. The text below lifts out the key details from that text of the four body styles (hereafter referred to as Patterns 1-4). A version of this text was included within the revised "An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall Railway", Irwell Press, in the Appendix I wrote containing details of the P-Sets.

 

Pattern 1: 1925-c1929.

In 1925, the SR placed orders for new carriages for West of England and Central Section services to London which incorporated these 'standard' features. The body (which was in essence a 'bow-ended' design with a basic length of 59' along the coach centreline) included passenger compartments each with an external door and corridors with 'low' main window lights. The windows were fitted into a wooden frame arranged such that the glass was noticeably recessed into the body side. The maximum width over the body sheeting was 9'-0" (Route Restriction 4) and there was a marked tumblehome. The luggage and guard's compartments had vertical sides (8'-7" wide with a small tumblehome at the base) and steel duckets.

 

Modellers note: Hornby have produced this 'Low Window' pattern of the Maunsell coach.  (See photo below)

post-6675-0-80371600-1418761986_thumb.jpg

 

The photo shows two features that must have been annoying to passengers:

  • A passenger standing in the corridor would have to duck to look out of the low corridor side windows. This feature was corrected in Pattern 2 coaches.
  • A passenger approaching or exiting the corridor side of the coach could be given the impression that there are 6 external doors, 3 of them are fake (denoted by a lack of handles). This feature was not completely corrected until the much later Pattern 4 coaches.

Pattern 2:  1929-1934.

The first or 'low' pattern of Maunsell bodyside, remained in production until 1933 for certain types of carriage (such as open saloons) but in 1929, the second pattern (known as pattern 2) which featured 'HIGH' corridor window lights emerged and since this was the only significant change, there was no need for a change in diagram number.

 

Modellers note: Hornby have produced this first 'High Window' pattern of the Maunsell coach. (See photo below)

post-6675-0-17679300-1418762016_thumb.jpg

 

Pattern 1 and 2 Comparison.

The photo below shows different appearance of the same type of coach, a Brake composite (BCK), in the Low and High corridor window formats.

post-6675-0-07228500-1418762152_thumb.jpg

 

A key point to note is that the compartment sides of the two coaches are identical, it's only the corridor side that looked different. Another point shown in the photos is the flat, slab-sided appearance of the brake section of these coaches.  

 

Pattern 3: 1935

The next major change in design occurred in 1935 (pattern 3). Windows were virtually flush with the window sides (the larger lights having large radius corners), and the body was marked by numerous screw heads where the steel sheeting was fixed to the wooden framing. Droplights were frameless. The gutter appeared more slender, adding to the 'flush sided' appearance. The 'double' battery boxes were dispensed with and two single boxes, each offset to the left of the coach centreline when viewed on each side were fitted.

 

Modellers note: Hornby have NOT produced this second 'High Window' pattern of the Maunsell coach. The picture below gives an impression of what a Pattern 3 Brake Third (Brake Second after 1956) would look like using an etch available from Bill Bedford (Mousa Models). 

post-6675-0-03624000-1418764054_thumb.jpg

 

Pattern 2 and 3 Comparison.

The photo below compares the appearance of the same type of coach, a Brake Third (Brake Second after 1956), in the Pattern 2 and 3 High corridor window formats.

post-6675-0-13502700-1418764300_thumb.jpg

 

The most notable difference between these two corridor sides is that the external corridor-side doors have moved. On Patterns 1-2 they were position opposite every other internal compartment door. On Pattern 3 (and also 4) they are now located between internal compartments.

 

Pattern 4: 1936

The final pattern (pattern 4) appeared in 1936, with the fixed window lights (small radius corners) mounted in a neat frame, giving the appearance of a moulding on the body side. Droplights were frameless except on the Open Third design where frames were again used. The numerous screw heads disappeared, presenting what was possibly the most attractive of Maunsell's carriage designs. In this final design the 'fake' doors were finally dispensed with and the corridor windows were subsequently larger.

 

Modellers note: Hornby have NOT produced this third 'High Window' pattern of the Maunsell coach. The picture below gives an impression of what a Pattern 4 Brake Third (Brake Second after 1956) would look like by photo editing the Bill Bedford etch example used in Pattern 3. Note that the corner radii of the large windows should be much smaller.  

post-6675-0-21951800-1418856004_thumb.jpg

 

For those wanting to look at the impact of the different body styles on different coach types I can heartily recommend the Mike King book referenced in the opening post. This book contains 4mm scale drawings of all the Southern coaches and is invaluable to modellers.

 

Edit 17/12/14: School boy error mistaking the Bill Bedford sides for Pattern 4 corrected and a photoshop image created for Pattern 4.  

 

Small Print

I have no connection with Messrs Gould, King or Bedford!

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Chris, this is going to be an absolutely amazing resource. A question for me for a bit later is, did the formations change during WW2?

 

The make-up of individual Sets changed frequently but the typical formation types were still found and the BTK CK BTK type was always the most common. 

 

A major reason was that the Southern were busily electrifying lines and thus steam hauled passenger stock was being steadily displaced. Generally the Maunsell stock was moved and this enabled earlier pre-grouping stock to be scrapped. The steady movement of Maunsell stock Westwards meant that the traffic they were used for altered and Sets changed accordingly. 

 

I've chosen the pre-WW2 period for the 4 and 6 compartment brake examples as the Set formations were comparatively steady in this period (and it was the period people were asking about most). 

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This is brilliant Chris. Can you request that this thread is pinned by the forum moderator?

 

When you have dealt with the diagrams, it will possible to give guidance on the sets that can be formed from Slaters' 7mm kits; after the 4mm modellers have been helped of course.

 

Just contemplating the best way to most clearly map Diagram numbers, restrictions and body styles....

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Paul, the other issue is rebuilding the Slaters 4 comp brake third into a 6 comp brake third. I've managed it, but boy that is seriously weird plastic - more like a toasted cheese sandwich.

 

Bill

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After cleverly disguising myself so no GWR fanatics will recognize me, I would like to ask a luddite question. Before nationalisation, were Maunsell lined green coaches ever seen mixed with Malachite ones in sets? Would make it much easier to obtain a correct set. Just asking for a friend....

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Paul, the other issue is rebuilding the Slaters 4 comp brake third into a 6 comp brake third. I've managed it, but boy that is seriously weird plastic - more like a toasted cheese sandwich.

 

Bill

 

Dare I mention Slaters have now brought out a 6 comp brake third (7C027)? A delayed purchase of bits last year saved me from kit bashing the BTK form the BCK like you have. 

 

I had 'weird plastic' issues with my Parkside Pillbox - very brittle plastic that I've not come across since in a kit. 

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