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Posts Tagged ‘Cambrian Models’

The humble brake van was an every part of the railway scene up until the advent of continuous brakes for most freight stock in the early 1970’s.  They initially served two purposes: to provide additional braking for ‘unfitted’ goods trains and of course somewhere for the guard to travel; later vans were also ‘fitted’ for working on such vacuum brake fitted formations. They were a weighted wagon equipped with a hand internally operable brake acting on all wheels they ranged from the 4 or 6 wheel type to sometimes 8 wheels and also bogie types. The ‘fitter’ versions having vacuum cylinders and able to operate the brakes on the fitted stock that make up the train (some vans were simply through piped to allow continuity of the braking system without being able to actually operate it, in such such cases just the hand brake was available for use.

The guard’s accommodation often included one or two verandas, or closed ends with windows and many also incorporated side lookouts or duckets to allow a guard to look forwards along the side of the train.

This post follows on from the announcement by Kernow models of their ready to run version of the ex LSWR 10T Road van to diagram 1541 and will look at a few kit built examples of brake vans that can be found running on Fisherton Sarum.

Dia 1545 Road Van

Dia 1545 Road Van

The ex LSWR 10T road van mentioned above was known as a road van as in addition to the guard’s accommodation and single veranda it has side opening doors on each side and the van could also be used the carrying of goods. This van is currently available in resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio.  To the left can be be seen my model of the  20T Diagram 1545 Road Van also a resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio. As well as being heavier that the Diagram 1541 road van  they were also larger, had a veranda at both ends and side duckets.

Dia 1543 Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being complete

Dia 1543 ex LSWR 20T Brake Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being finished

Staying with the LSWR seen left is my model  20T brake van to diagram 1543. This is built from a Jedenco / Falcon Brass  etched brass kit. 75 of this this type of van were built between 1915 and 1921.  They were known to staff as ‘new vans’ a name which they kept well into the 1950’s!

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough Brake Van

Moving further east, I have a couple of ex SECR brake vans firstly is one that is perfectly at home on the ex LSWR metals as it is ex SECR 20T Ballast Plough brake van, diagram 1748, in the civil engineers fleet. The first lone prototype was built in 1914 with 3 more being built by the SR in 1932, a further 8 with slight detail differences were built in 1949.  In addition to the brakes it also had ploughs to rake freshly applied ballast from hoppers in the same train. These ploughs could be raised or lowered as required from inside the van. This particular model, also built from a Jedenco etched brass kit, has already featured on these pages here along with its companion rake of 40t Ballast hoppers.

Dia 1559 ex SECR 'Dancehall' Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Dia 1559 ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Finally for this post we see an ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ 25T brake van to Diagram 1559 First introduced in 1921., The SR built a further batch between 1923 and 1927 but these had deeper 15” instead of 12” channel underframes and were given the diagram number 1560. These vans gained the nickname ‘Dancehall’ due to the large amount of space inside them. They were long lived vans surviving, albeit modified, in departmental use right up until the 1970’s. This is built from a Cambrian Models plastic kit. 

There are of of course other SR related kits and ready to run brake vans available and some of these may well feature in future posts, although my review of the Bachmann RTR 25T ‘Pill box’ brake van can be read here. 

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There are some who will wonder why we do it… we spend hours building a layout and its rolling stock to then transport it miles around the country, set it up, intensively operate it then pack it all away again and transport it back home.  No matter how careful we are some damage will inevitably occur to something along the way.  The reason why I do it, is for the enjoyment of exhibiting something I have built, have fun operating the layout with my family and friends and to meet a wide range of fellow modellers, many of whom have a common interest in all things Southern, and it is great that they take the time to show an interest in what I have done.

Last week Fisherton Sarum was at the excellent Watford Finescale exhibition, amongst a very high calibre of other layouts,  it was a very enjoyable weekend. I met and chatted with a number of readers of this blog and it is always great to see you.

As the title of this post implies there was a couple of casualties at the weekend, which is something I come to expect and do not generally get too upset about, some things  get fixed / replaced on the spot such as wires coming adrift or couplings breaking as it is necessary to keep the layout working. Others such as physical damage (although amazingly a once dropped locomotive only suffered a broken coupling that was fixed on the spot), broken detail (even when trying to avoid handling stock as much as possible), failed locomotives (although they all get cleaned and tested before each show) get put to one side for fixing at a later date.

My rake of SR Dia. 1774 40T ballast hoppers behind a Drummond T14 class 4-6-0

My rake of SR Dia. 1774 40T ballast hoppers behind a Drummond T14 class 4-6-0

One of my signature rakes is the Meldon Ballast train of SR diagram 1774 40T bogie hoppers, made from modified Lima Sealion wagons. These were fitted with Ratio diamond frame bogies (as they were the only ones of the type available at the time) and over time have proved to be quite fragile due to their method of construction and last weekend I was down to only 4 of the 8 usually in service.  I have now this week had a pleasant evening replacing the damaged bogies with replacements from Cambrian Models, these comprise of a single piece moulding for the bogie itself which should be far stronger in exhibition service, and I am now back to a full rake of eight 40T hoppers.

Although such damage is / can be frustrating it is all part of the hobby when exhibiting and does mean a little extra time modelling to put things right again but sometimes this can result in an improvement to the models such as the case of the Cambrian Models bogies.

Fisherton Sarum will once again be hitting the road on 8th / 9th March 2014 for the  Basingstoke and North Hampshire Model Railway Society show being held at the Aldworth Science College, Basingstoke, RG22 6HA  and if you are popping by please say hello as it’s always nice to chat.

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