Hornby have today announced via their Engine Shed blog that they are to release, in 2016, Southern Railway 58ft non corridor brake coaches, to diagrams 99 and 418, that formed two-coach 2-Lav Sets Nos. 42-46, converted in 1936. Also to be released are the diagram 98 six compartment Brake Third Lavatory (physically the same as the Diagram 418 but without first class branding and all third style seating) and the diagram 31 Third Lavatory, converted in 1935, that were used as loose coaches for strengthening trains, one example of the diagram 31 No 320 is preserved on the Bluebell Railway, having been one of the first two coaches operated by the fledgling line.
These coaches totally compliment the ex LSWR Adams class 0415 radial tank being released later this year as the 2-Lav sets regularly operated on the Lyme Regis and other Devon / Dorset branches between 1935 and 1958.
The potential release of such coaches was hinted at last Friday via their video released here of the Adams radial running sample that purposely and cheekily showed the engineering samples being hauled by the radial tank, prior to today’s announcement.
These coaches were made up from ex London and South Western Railway (LSWR) 48ft bodies, originally built between 1894 and 1902, mounted on completely new 58ft underframes. Each of sets 42 to 46 comprised of one eight-compartment Brake Third (Dia 99) and one six-compartment Brake Composite Lavatory (Dia 418). The bodies being extended in length accordingly. The new underframes were to newer standard dimensions, intended for a coach body 6″ wider than the ex LSWR coaches, the bodies were slightly widened and these rebuilds can be easily identified by the weatherboard strip along the bottom edge to keep rain out of the gap between the body and underframe. The new underframes had the SR standard 8’0″ steam bogie, therefore the bodies resembled traditional LSWR practice whilst the underframes resembled the SR’s Maunsell Restriction 4 stock (as already produced by Hornby).
Hornby should be congratulated on the joined up thinking of producing suitable coaching stock for use with the previously announced ex LSWR Adams Class 0415 radial tank. This change in announcement policy follows on from unexpected announcements such as the original style Merchant Navy made earlier this year. It further demonstrates the positive progress being made by the Hornby development team, as I can personally vouch that they have been working on these coaches since last year, and some yet to be announced future products.
As I hinted in my summer comes soonest post on Saturday, this post was prepared prior to my vacation and was correct at the time of writing and I will amend and or provide additional information in due course.