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Maryport & Carlisle horsebox


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I've started a 4mm model of a Maryport & Carlisle horse box No 4 (Local) from the Laurie Ward drawing in the HMRS Journal (1957) vol 2(5), which shows it as having an asymmetrical design with the 10' 9" wheelbase being off-centre - most peculiar ! I've never seen any other vehicle with such an asymmetrical chassis  and I'm looking for wiser heads than mine to pronounce on whether this is indeed correct or whether it is a parallax error from scaling from the only known photograph of this vehicle. I think that there might be an article and drawing on this very vehicle in an old edition of The Engineer from the early 1900s but I've never been able to find it in either the Leeds or Manchester university libraries. The rest of the vehicle above the solebars is pretty odd as well, having two different roof levels and three different widths but I can work on this and put off adding the running gear for a bit.

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I knew Laurie Ward. He would certainly have realised how unusual a vehicle with an off-centre wheelbase would have been and would certainly have discussed it with others, probably Geoff Platt, Ross Pochin and Tug Wilson for starters, before preparing a drawing and publishing it in the HMRS Journal. That said, there is nothing like publishing a drawing (or exhibiting a model) for dragging new information from unexpected sources, and I presume that you have checked subsequent issues of the Journal for relevant correspondence.

 

I do think it very unlikely that the asymmetrical drawing came about just as a result of parallax errors. We did know about such things even 60 years ago and an important check was always to see how "right" a drawing looked. Given your general description of the vehicle (I haven't seen either drawing or photo), it sounds to me as if the prototype vehicle was a "bodge up" itself, converted or altered for some good reason, to fit a dock and/or turntable perhaps, and perhaps not that unusual on one of the smaller railways like the M&C.

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That's really helpful, thank you. I did check the subsequent issues of the HMRS Journal but to no avail. I think you're right about it being a bodge up as the w irons are below the joins of the grooms  compartment and the tack cupboard to the main body of the vehicle. I'm not an engineer but coupled with the odd wheelbase of 10' 3", this looks deliberate even though it causes the asymmetry. The designation of it as 'Local' does suggest a specific traffic and/or that it didn't or couldn't work off the M&CR. 

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The HMRS drawings collection includes a drawing by Ross Pochin of M&C horsebox no 4. It doesn't seem to be a very detailed drawing (7mm/ft) but it doesn't seem from the thumbnail to be the vehicle you are talking about. There are also other drawings of one or more horseboxes built by Pickerings (it is not clear whether the three drawings are the same vehicle as there are no numbers quoted and the thumbnails are very small).

 

Jonathan

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I've made a start on the body and would have it on a basic under frame if I could find any 14mm W-irons in my stores. I'm quite pleased with it and the hardest part was making a start given the different widths and worrying about getting it square. Then again, I'm not sure how square the original  would have been by 1908, presuming it was still in service. When I return to it in a week or two, I'll start on the strapping and other detailing and will hopefully have located the necessary W-irons, etc. 

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The HMRS drawings collection includes a drawing by Ross Pochin of M&C horsebox no 4. It doesn't seem to be a very detailed drawing (7mm/ft) but it doesn't seem from the thumbnail to be the vehicle you are talking about. There are also other drawings of one or more horseboxes built by Pickerings (it is not clear whether the three drawings are the same vehicle as there are no numbers quoted and the thumbnails are very small).

 

Jonathan

I've already made (about 25 years ago!) a model of the Pickering horse box from the drawings that appeared in Model Railways in 1976 and also in Bourne's NPCS plans book. Please excuse the reversed photographs - I'm taking these pictures using my MacBook and I haven't figured out how to correct them. 

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51L do a kit for an asymmetrical bolster wagon, I think it's L&Y, but the ran as pairs so the asymmetry sort of gets cancelled out.

 

Having just joined the Scalefour Society, I've been having a look through back issues of their magazine. I'm pretty sure I just saw a picture of a completed model of this prototype. The model I'm thinking of had just won an award at Scaleforum. It may not have been the same prototype, but the roofline is what caught my attention...

 

Edit: Issue 180, December 2012. Unfortunately it is a Caledonian Railway horsebox.

Edited by garethashenden
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  • 3 weeks later...

Done a bit more but come up with some problems seemingly related to the make of plasticard (I've started a thread about this elsewhere). I've used up my very last packet of Kenline embossed strapping strips (marked 11p !) making the hinges and had problems fixing this admittedly rather old material using contemporary solvents ( my last bottle of old formula MekPak ran out out many years ago...). Hopefully I won't have to replace this with Mainly Trains etched brass and will put up some photographs soon.

 

Update - I have nearly competed the body detailing and will upload some photos soon. Still no sign of any Comet 14mm W-irons (I really don't want to pay Wizard Models fixed postal charge of £3.95 on a £3.25 item that could go in an envelope for a £1 p&p...) .

Edited by CKPR
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've done a bit more work on the bodywork, adding the hinges (the very old Kenline strapping) on the doors and the steps and alarm gear (scrap brass and wire) at the ends. I've also realised that the W-irons are in fact normal 12mm wagon ones and I didn't need the 14mm type after all (Of course, I only realised this after finally buying some 14mm ones from Mainly Trains...). Next job will be to finish off the hinges, add the louvred panelling to the hay box and fashion the roofs before finishing off the underframe. 

 

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Sorry to go off at a tangent but here are a few pictures from the Caledonian forum on a very similar horsebox both views from Perth and a model of the same (Not mine I must add) just thought you might like to see them. Steve

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Edited by Londontram
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Thanks  very much for posting these as by co-incidence, only yesterday I found a plan of this very same  Caley  horse box in the Railway Modeller (March 1975) and together with these photographs, I should be able to fill in some of the missing details on the under-frame . I'm increasingly inclined to think that the M&CR's horse box was second-hand from the Caley and that the differences shown on the M&CR plan with regards to the upper doors, the compartment doors, hay box panels and some of the iron work reflect repairs that were made in a simpler  (cruder ?) manner than the original. Then again, the possibility that it was a home-made copy is also plausible as the M&CR were old hands at copying their neighbours designs and two engines were almost direct copies. 0-4-4t No. 26 built at Maryport was a very close copy of a NER 'BTP' and 0-6-0 No.18, bought from the North British Locomotive Company, was a direct copy of a GSWR '361' class.

 

Update: I've been comparing the Laurie Ward drawing and the J.Boyle drawing of the Caley vehicle (RM March 1975 p84) and there are obviously a lot of differences between the two, not the least of which is length. Over the outside faces of the buffer beams, the M&CR one is 20' 6" whilst the Caley one is 17' 11". The wheelbases are also different, being 10'3" on the M&CR and 11' on the Caley. The M&CR one could be copy or a rebuild but I'm wondering again whether the Ward drawing is inaccurate - I do hope not as it's been a bit of pig to build so far !

Edited by CKPR
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  • 4 weeks later...

I came across this part of a photo a few days ago.  M&C Horsebox, blurred, but I expect the origin of this is a copy of a copy of a .....

There's no cross reference, so I can't attribute it..

 

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Thanks, that's really helpful  as I'm just about to do the last couple of jobs (brakes levers and footsteps) on it tonight - might post a complete but unpainted photograph later this evening. It's also reassuring that it looks like I've got it right with regards to the grooms compartment, which is quite different to the Caley vehicle. As for the provenance of the photo,I think it appears in Jack Simmons' "History of the Maryport and Carlisle Railway", published by Oakwood in 1948 (!) and long overdue an update.

Edited by CKPR
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... for a moment I thought you were going to say it was 'long overdue' for return to the Library.
I was looking for something else when I saw this... No, I haven't found what I wanted.

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... for a moment I thought you were going to say it was 'long overdue' for return to the Library.

I was looking for something else when I saw this... No, I haven't found what I wanted.

I do have a copy of the Simmons book (one of the many advantages of my mum having been a  S/H book dealer) but back in the mid-1980s, I consulted a copy in Carlisle library and a librarian stood over me as a I read it as they had so many copies stolen they weren't taking any more chances.

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Nearly finished - I've still to do the footsteps and the vacuum pipes but otherwise it's pretty much complete. I still haven't worked out how the vacuum brakes are supposed to work so for the moment it's just hand braked (I do wonder if it was merely through piped rather than being vacuum fitted itself). The under-frame and brake fittings are a mixture of whatever I had to hand and include etched parts from 55F, Slaters and Mainly Trains whilst the axle boxes, springs and spring hangers were assembled from various castings, probably old MJT or D&S, buffers ditto. The roof details are from an old Ratio sprue of MR lamp tops and ventilators. Overall, I'm quite pleased with it and it will make  a nice addition to the Mealsgate branch train when it's been painted up. Next job is to build the station buildings for Mealsgate...

 

PS The board in the background is the other half of 'Mealsgate' and next time it's all set up, I'll take some decent pictures and post them.

 

Update - it's now competed and primed and I'm now waiting for a nice hot day to spray the top coat of M&CR 'mid quaker green' (aka British racing green from a Halfords rattle can) in the garden.

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Edited by CKPR
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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought I'd found another reference to this horsebox, but it isn't!

 

Its another M&CR Horsebox No.4, which since the article is based on a drawing dated 12/8/1909, it is presumably a replacement for the one your model is of. Within the text of this article it points out that the wheelbase of this passenger rated vehicle 'was to the Scottish standard of 11ft wheelbase, rather than the English 12ft wheelbase'. So I wonder if this hints at why your prototype has an asymmetrical chassis?

 

FWIW, the these drawing & photos appeared in Model Railways 1974 February Pages 88-89.

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I thought I'd found another reference to this horsebox, but it isn't!

 

Its another M&CR Horsebox No.4, which since the article is based on a drawing dated 12/8/1909, it is presumably a replacement for the one your model is of. Within the text of this article it points out that the wheelbase of this passenger rated vehicle 'was to the Scottish standard of 11ft wheelbase, rather than the English 12ft wheelbase'. So I wonder if this hints at why your prototype has an asymmetrical chassis?

 

FWIW, the these drawing & photos appeared in Model Railways 1974 February Pages 88-89.

 That's this one IRRC - trouble is, now I've got two No.4s ! That said, I have an inkling that the 'local' designation may be akin to reserve list numbering, which is something the M&CR went in for with it's older locomotives. 

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Edited by CKPR
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  • 1 month later...

Taken the afternoon off work today and I've pretty much finished off the M&C horsebox with the lettering (assembled from Modelmaster PO wagon lettering), having painted the strapping and added the glazing some weeks ago. Well, almost finished it off as I haven't yet fitted the doors which now don't fit since I painted them and the brake hoses are still on my modelling bench (currently occupied by a Heller Potez 540...I am very easily distracted, which is one of the reasons why progress on 'Mealsgate is so slow).

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