Workbench Witterings#15 Going bananas with a Great Eastern flavour

It is not often I post about a new Great Eastern ready to run model but this post is about the latest Oxford Rail Great Eastern Railway 10 ton banana van, confused? Read on…

In fact, along with some information courtesy of friend and SR coach and wagon guru Mike King, 100 of these banana vans were transferred to the Southern between 1933 and 1937, along with 225 of LNER origin.

The GER Banana van edges into the shot of an LSWR insulated van. Picture courtesy and copyright M King

The reason was the transfer of banana traffic from Hull to Southampton in 1933 and a return to the Royal Albert Docks in 1937.
The numbers of the ex-GER vans, (I believe to their  Diagram 72) were 632822-632921 and they kept their LNER wagon oxide livery but had “SR” applied in the usual position, over a painted patch but with “NE” in small letters in lower Right Hand corner of each side. The return of these wagons was requested by the LNER on 24/11/37. We have not seen any evidence of SR diagram numbers, but no doubt there was one allocated.  Mike has kindly provided the prototype images seen left.

A GER banana van is shunted by ‘Normandy’ at Southampton

The first shows the right hand end of GER van 632849 at Southampton Docks in 1936 with the painted patch under the ‘R’ and the small ‘NE’ lettering. The second image shows van being shunted by “Normandy” at Southampton Docks in September 1936 so the justification for having at least one on Canute Road Quay is all too obvious.

Oxford rail have released their  OR76BAN001 Oxford Rail GER 10t Banana Van number 632882 in LNER wagon oxide livery, so I  thought it would make a quick and easy livery adaptation. With a cost of only £16.95 at retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre this van with its level of detail, especially the underframe, is very good value for money.

The Oxford Rail GER 10T Banana Van out of the box
The nicely detailed underframe noting the two plain brake levers

The only error on this particular model is that it has a plain brake level on both sides, instead of having a Morton Clutch type lever on the [edit] side adjacent to the vacuum brake cylinder, the incorrect plain lever would in fact be taking the brakes off when the lever was pulled down!
Ironically I understand that the OR76GEGV001 Oxford Rail GER 10t Covered Van version has two Morton Clutch style levers!
I have therefore replaced the incorrect brake lever, on the side adjacent to the vacuum cylinder,  with an etched version obtained from Wizard Models.

The van is pretty light and only weighs 30g which is under my preferred approx. 45g for a van of this size. Easing a small screwdriver between the bodyside and the chassis side allows the body to be removed to add some additional weight inside it.

Masked up ready for patching
SR Decals added, brake lever removed

To amend the livery I simply masked around the original NE letters and painted with Precisions Paints P952 ‘Light Brick red’ as when tested I found this to be a better match to the Oxford Rail representation of LNER wagon oxide than the Precision Paints P67 LNER Freight wagon oxide which was much darker.

Normandy in her slightly later guise shunts the finished GER Banana van with an SR Diagram 1478 version at Canute Road Quay

I then applied standard ‘S’ and ‘R’, and the non common user ‘N’ on the bottom plank from HMRS Pressfix SR Wagons transfer sheet 13 and the small ‘NE’ from HMRS Pressfix LNER wagon transfer sheet 12 to complete the relettering.

All in all, despite having to replace the brake lever this has been a quick win addition to the wagon fleet, although it awaits some weathering, for Canute Road Quay and will be something Southern Railways wise slightly different…

16 thoughts on “Workbench Witterings#15 Going bananas with a Great Eastern flavour

    1. A scratch pen is likely to take the body colour off as well which wouldn’t be good, and the prototypes the G E were patch painted out so doing the same on the model is following the prototype.

  1. LNER -ex GER banana vans were added to SR-stock Casualty Evaculation Trains 332 – 334 from March 1944 for the storage of linnen, blankets, food, when the trains might be stabled temporarily at isolated points. It was specifically requested that the through steam heating be reinstated. LENR ex GER diagram 42 and 140 vans went to CET 332: 632869 (diagram 42), CET 333 632850,(diagram 42) and CET 334: 235214 (diagram 140).. The vehicles were not to be repainted, the numbers and N E to be retained but ‘BANANA VAN’ to be painted out.

  2. Excellent news.
    I think a stray banana van will make a great addition to Bosmelin (Cornwall) in due course.

  3. ” instead of having a Morton Clutch type level on the [edit] side adjacent to the vacuum brake cylinder” – Er… Missing word? left or right side? 🙂

    1. Luke, it states “side adjacent to the vacuum brake cylinder” and this is offset to one side therefore no missing words. The [edit] was to signify a correction not a missing word.

  4. Would you happen to know what the numbering scheme was when the SR vans were taken into BR ownership?

    1. If your mean specifically these GE vans they went back to the LNER in 1936, and in BR ownership were given an E prefix to the wagon number.

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