Accurascale have today announced that they are to produce the SR built banana vans to diagrams 1478 and 1479.
The banana traffic through Southampton docks in the early 1930s had grown rapidly and whilst the SR had the 99 LSWR built banana vans these were not enough and resulted in the SR hiring suitable vans from the North Eastern Railway that also included some ex Great Central and Great Eastern Vehicles (see my post about the GER versions here).
Between August 1935 and February 1936 the therefore SR introduced 200 banana vans to Diagram 1478, numbered 50575-774. These were similar to the previous insulated vans (Diagram 1477), with the Southern ‘Power Brake’ arrangement with eight brake blocks, but had horizontal planking and fitted with steam heating to aid the ripening of the bananas.
In December 1937, after the LNER had requested the return of all its vans that were on hire, a further 125 banana vans were ordered, To enable them to enter service quicker ordinary covered vans in construction were instead built as banana vans to Diagram 1479, numbered 50775-899. These had the same bodyside strapping and roof profile as the ordinary vans to give them a different visual look than the earlier D1478 vans.
The original SR livery of these vans was like the insulated vans of SR Stone body colour with red lettering
A slight difference in that the D1478 vehicles carried large SR lettering until 1936, before the SR switched to small lettered branding, which is how the D1479 vehicles entered traffic.
During the war some gained a red oxide livery, and in BR days were bauxite with a yellow spot indicating the van had additional insulation fitted. Most vans were taken out of traffic by 1958, those vans that remained in service found use in BR Departmental service, mainly being used as Fitted Heads and classified as Tadpole. Additional plating was also added to the top of the ends in later life.
Accurascale have announced that their D1478 and D1479 models will feature details variations for both early and later (additional end plating etc.) versions of each van , a die cast chassis, brass bearings, three types of wheel (split spoke solid spoke and 3 hole disc), separate hand rails, grab handles, door handles, lamp brackets, vacuum and steam pipes, through pipes steam heating cock and full SR ‘Power brake’ gear along with turned metal sprung buffers.
These wagons will come in triple packs in a variety of liveries across their careers in banana traffic and are priced at £84.95 each, These wagons will also be available across Accurascale’s network of local stockists such as Kernow Model Rail Centre.
ACC2045 D1478 Original SR Livery Pre-1936 triple pack-1
ACC2046 D1478 Original SR Livery Pre-1936 triple pack-2
ACC2047 D1478 SR Livery 1936 to March 1941 triple-pack
ACC2048 D1478 British Railways 1948-1961 triple-pack
ACC2049 D1478 British Railways 1961 onwards triple-pack
ACC2050 D1479 SR Livery 1936 to March 1941 triple-pack-1
ACC2051 D1479 SR Livery 1936 to March 1941 triple-pack-2
ACC2052 Mixed D1478/D1479 Transitional British Railways 1948-1950 triple pack
ACC2053 D1479 British Railways 1948-1961triple-pack
ACC2054 D1479British Railways 1961 onwards triple-pack
ACC2055 Tadpole mixed ex D1478-D1479 British Railways departmental triple-pack
ACC2056 Tadpole ex D1479 British Railways departmental triple-pack
Delivery is slated for Q4 2023, with decorated samples due in Spring of 2023.
These are often asked for prototypes, a good choice by Accurascale especially as they often ran in multiples at the head of Southampton goods trains, and will certainly be welcome on any SR/BRs South Western based model railway.
Some along with my older kit built versions will definitely be making an appearance on Canute Road Quay.