Talking Stock #23 Pull Push set 734 ex LSWR Emigrant Stock

The Southern Railway following on from its constituents made use of Pull Push sets across the network and this practice carried on well into British Railways Southern Region days. Other railways companies also made of such although they were often also known as autocoach, motor coach or push pull sets on these other railways. Originally many of the units were converted from either ex steam railmotors, following early pre grouping experiments  that found them to be inflexible and often under powered, and a mix of converted pre-grouping coaches.

Set 734 heads west past the shed at Fisherton Sarum

The main topic of this post are the nine Pull Push  sets converted from ex LSWR 46′ 6″ Emigrant corridor stock in 1942/3 that created sets 731 to 739. The sets comprised of a Driving Brake Third and a Composite and they retained their corridor connection between the two coaches. Although converted at the same time there were differences between the sets:  sets 731 to 4 were identical,  sets 735/7 had a slightly different Brake Third, sets 738/9 shared the same style Brake Third as sets 735/7 but with a different style of composite; confusing I know! The sets were widely travelled over all three sections of the Southern network and survived until 1959/1961.

Set 734 arrives at Ashland
Set 734 arrives at Ashland

My model of Set 734 that appears on Fisherton Sarum from time to time, and occasionally Hornby Magazine’s Ashland is a Northstar Models built set. Unfortunately Northstar Models that manufactured a number of limited ready to run ex LSWR coaches are no longer available. They were a Christmas present to myself a few years ago now.

Kernow Model Centre has commissioned the ex LSWR ‘Gate Stock’ Pull Sets numbers 363, 373/4 to be produced and hopefully these will make an appearance in early 2014, further details can be found here.

The Southern Region also created 20 Pull Push sets from late 1959 to mid 1960 as replacements for earlier Push Pull sets of SR and pre-grouping design. They consisted of two Maunsell vehicles, an ex-diagram 2403 BCK and an ex diagram 2005 SO.  These sets have now been produced by Hornby and my review can read here, they do not run on Fisherton Sarum as they outside my usual 1946 to 1949 modelling period.

11 thoughts on “Talking Stock #23 Pull Push set 734 ex LSWR Emigrant Stock

  1. Hi Graham,

    I note that the BR livery varied from BR(s) region green to crimson. Did this apply to all push-pull sets or just particular ones?



    1. It very much varied, initially some were painted either lined or unlined crimson, some remained in Varnished Malachite (which as more varnish was applied become a darker looking green) but with S prefixes to the numbers. Some are certainly listed as being in BR(s) green which as many survived until the early 1960’s this would well be the case.

  2. Yes, confusing, Graham!

    And the three batches were 731-735 (not 734); 736/737 (not 735-737); & 738/739. This was simply because the pre-converted coaches consisted of 4 x brake thirds; 2 x composites and 12 x all thirds. So the 12 thirds had to be converted into 7 brake thirds and 5 composites. So sets 738 & 739 were converted from 2 of the original brakes and the 2 compos. Sets 736 & 737 also had original brake thirds but the compos were ex thirds. Then sets 731 to 735 had both coaches converted from former thirds.

    Incidentally I also have set 734 from Northstar but mine is in BR lined red.


    Chris Knowles-Thomas

    1. Hi Chris

      This just goes to show how confusing it is then, the source I used was Mike King’s Illustrated History of Southern Pull Push Stock where the drawing pages 73 to 76 shows the thirds for sets 731-4 in one group and 735-9 in another.

  3. Hi Graham

    I was fortunate have set no 737 made by an unknown (I say this because I have not a record of his name) scratch builder although he had etched sides made. Regretably a break down in a relationship traps those models in a Birmingham flat. Any idea who it might be? I know he consulted G R Weddell who is the author of the book on LSWR coaches see page 131, but I cannot find contact details for him. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Clifford

      I think You would have obtained your set 737, as I did, from NorthStar models who supplied RTR coaches built from his own etchings. Unfortunately they are no longer trading.

      1. Many thanks Graham for that info. Do you know if anybody has bought the etching tools or do you recommend scratch build as a last resort? I am planning a possible EM branch in Sussex that would have gone to Storrington. Space only allows a small passing station based on Selham hence the need for the coaches as normally on the Midhurst branch.

  4. ..and of course there were the previous four driving brake composites formed from emigrant lavatory thirds that provided half of the sets 652-5. 652 lasted until August 1962.

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