Rapido trains UK have announced today (15/04), following a bit of a hint in one of their videos and me here, that they are producing the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Diagram 1558 six wheel brake van.
Forty 6 wheel 20t brake vans were built in 1898 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to Diagram 1558, were heavily influenced by Midland Railway practice, these had an open veranda platform (i.e. with no roof, sides or end rail) at one end and a closed one at the other. In 1910, 50 more were built with close verandas at each end, between 1914 and 1920 the original vans were modified with two closed verandas. These modified vans were identifiable as had double top rails at the rebuilt end only. All 90 vans entered Southern Railway stock and most passed into British Railways ownership. There were also variations in some of the framing, planking and handrails between the two built versions.
Rapido trains UK have tooled two bodies to cover both the dual veranda vans built new in 1910 as well as the single-ended vans re-built that year and have announced ten initial versions:
- 931001: No. 2033, SECR grey with black underframe
- 931002: No. 2036, SECR grey
- 931003: No. 55382, SR brown with red ends (large lettering)
- 931004: No. 55389, SR brown with red ends (large lettering)
- 931005: No. 55384, SR brown with red ends (small lettering)
- 931006: No. 55366, SR brown with red ends (small lettering)
- 931007: No. S55429, SR brown with red ends (BR lettering)
- 931008: No. S55434, BR grey
- 931009: No. S55371, BR grey
- 931010: No. 80383, Engineer’s black
The RRP will be £39.95 or discounted at official retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre here. The expected availability is early 2023.
Rails of Sheffield have commissioned the original pre 1910 single end vans to be produced in SER red/brown with red ends (ran into SECR days) and SECR grey (two running numbers).
These vans are a logical choice by Rapido trains UK and compliment there already arrived SECR Diagram 1355 seven-plank open, Diagram 1347 / Diagram 1349 five-plank opens and the previously announced Diagram 1426 van and the Dia. 1744 ballast wagons.