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 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. 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 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  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.
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.
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…