Tag Archives: SR 25T Brake Van

Talking Stock #32 Kitting out the various brake vans

The humble brake van was an every part of the railway scene up until the advent of continuous brakes for most freight stock in the early 1970’s.  They initially served two purposes: to provide additional braking for ‘unfitted’ goods trains and of course somewhere for the guard to travel; later vans were also ‘fitted’ for working on such vacuum brake fitted formations. They were a weighted wagon equipped with a hand internally operable brake acting on all wheels they ranged from the 4 or 6 wheel type to sometimes 8 wheels and also bogie types. The ‘fitter’ versions having vacuum cylinders and able to operate the brakes on the fitted stock that make up the train (some vans were simply through piped to allow continuity of the braking system without being able to actually operate it, in such such cases just the hand brake was available for use.

The guard’s accommodation often included one or two verandas, or closed ends with windows and many also incorporated side lookouts or duckets to allow a guard to look forwards along the side of the train.

This post follows on from the announcement by Kernow models of their ready to run version of the ex LSWR 10T Road van to diagram 1541 and will look at a few kit built examples of brake vans that can be found running on Fisherton Sarum.

Dia 1545 Road Van
Dia 1545 Road Van

The ex LSWR 10T road van mentioned above was known as a road van as in addition to the guard’s accommodation and single veranda it has side opening doors on each side and the van could also be used the carrying of goods. This van is currently available in resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio.  To the left can be be seen my model of the  20T Diagram 1545 Road Van also a resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio. As well as being heavier that the Diagram 1541 road van  they were also larger, had a veranda at both ends and side duckets.

Dia 1543 ex LSWR 20T Brake Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being finished

Staying with the LSWR seen left is my model  20T brake van to diagram 1543. This is built from a Jedenco / Falcon Brass  etched brass kit. 75 of this this type of van were built between 1915 and 1921.  They were known to staff as ‘new vans’ a name which they kept well into the 1950’s!

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough Brake Van

Moving further east, I have a couple of ex SECR brake vans firstly is one that is perfectly at home on the ex LSWR metals as it is ex SECR 20T Ballast Plough brake van, diagram 1748, in the civil engineers fleet. The first lone prototype was built in 1914 with 3 more being built by the SR in 1932, a further 8 with slight detail differences were built in 1949.  In addition to the brakes it also had ploughs to rake freshly applied ballast from hoppers in the same train. These ploughs could be raised or lowered as required from inside the van. This particular model, also built from a Jedenco etched brass kit, has already featured on these pages here along with its companion rake of 40t Ballast hoppers.

Dia 1559 ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Finally for this post we see an ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ 25T brake van to Diagram 1559 First introduced in 1921., The SR built a further batch between 1923 and 1927 but these had deeper 15” instead of 12” channel underframes and were given the diagram number 1560. These vans gained the nickname ‘Dancehall’ due to the large amount of space inside them. They were long lived vans surviving, albeit modified, in departmental use right up until the 1970’s. This is built from a Cambrian Models plastic kit. 

There are of of course other SR related kits and ready to run brake vans available and some of these may well feature in future posts, although my review of the Bachmann RTR 25T ‘Pill box’ brake van can be read here. 

Kernow O2 running sample arrives, and in other news….

Hot on the heals of the first Engineering Prototypes (EP) of the Kernow Model Centre ex London & South Western Railway (LSWR) Adams O2 class being received a couple of weeks ago as reported here, the first running sample has now been received.

The first running sample of the O2 class tank

Whilst this running sample is substantially more complete detail wise than the first samples there are still a number of details to be added and this running  sample,   does  not yet represent the finished models, although it is pretty much the Kernow Model Centre K2105 variant representing number 225 (the finished model will be in Southern Black with Bulleid sunshine lettering) as fitted with Pull Push gear.

The left hand side of the running sample.

It is good to see we are getting tantalisingly close, the next steps will be a few  minor tweaks / corrections before moving onto livery samples.

Although the video quality is slightly questionable Kernow have posted this video showing the running sample doing what a running should be doing i.e. running…

In other 4mm 00 news…

Dapol have been pretty busy recently, especially as per below in 7mm scale, in 4mm they have released a image of the first EP’s of the Class 73/0 JA variant with a promise that the Class 73/1 JB EPs are not far behind

Bachmann have recently received the 2nd EP of their ex London Brighton and South Coast E4 class , the first EP images can be seen here, this 2nd EP incorporates one or two minor modifications following consultation with the Bluebell Railway, where the preserved E4 resides, and is now ready for livery samples to be produced. Pictures of the 2nd EP can be seen here on RMweb.

Latest deliveries from Bachmann with a Southern flavour include a couple of livery variants of the Wainwright C Class 0-6-0: 31-464 number 593 in Southern Railway Black livery with Green Lining and also 31-464 number 271 in simplified SECR lined green.

In 7mm 0 Gauge news…

Dapol have released a first image of the EP of their ex LBSC Terrier A1/A1x class which has been produced from completely revised CAD drawings after Richard Webster joined team at Dapol. The image can be seen here. Once again as with all tooling samples this does not necessarily represent a complete or correct variant as it may well be a combination of optional detail parts.

Also about to hit the shops from Dapol in 7mm is the first of the SR 25t Pill Box Brake Vans. This first variant is the even planked Right Hand ducket version and was first tooled before Richard Webster started at Dapol. Whilst Richard was able to retool a couple of areas, e.g. the roof profile,  of this model there are still a number of errors that will be corrected on later variants.

Kernow Model Centre O2 progresses to tooling and other model news

I am pleased to exclusively announce that the CAD drawings for the 6 versions of the Kernow Model Centre Adams 0-4-4T O2 class locomotives have now been signed off to enable tooling to commence.

Kernow Models K2105 No 225

As regular readers of this blog will know I have been assisting the Kernow Model Centre with the development of these Adams O2 models and it’s nice to report this bit of good news.  As originally announced back in July 2012 some  might question the time taken to get this far and indeed this has

Kernow Models O2 K2101 W24 Calbourne

been longer than anticipated for a number of reasons; however what I can say is that the time taken has been worth it to get all the variants correct to a high standard of detail.

Work is still continuing with the Kernow Model Centre Gate Stock Pull Push Sets with a further set of CAD drawings recently received but these still require a few more minor amendments before we will be happy to sign these off for tooling. I am pleased to also confirm that the tolling will allow for the later characteristic steel panelling modification that was applied to set 373 in its later life.

In other 4mm 00 news…

Bachmann have now added images of the painted samples of the latest version of the ex SECR Wainright 0-6-0 C Class locomotives, click on the links below for the image, both are now shown as being available in July / August this year:

31-463   C Class 0-6-0 271 SECR Plain Green
31-464   C Class 0-6-0 593 Southern Railway Black Green Lining

Dapol has advised that work is still progressing on their Class 73 Electro Diesels with JA version (class 73/0) nearly released for tooling whilst final corrections for the JB version (Class 73/1) are taking place.

In 2mm N Gauge news…

Dapol have also now received  a further set of CADs for their Maunsell 4-4-0 Schools V Class for checking whilst the previously signed off  Bulleid Light Pacifics have been held  from tooling to allow for further corrections to the CADs to take place.

In 7mm 0 Gauge news…

The Dapol ex LBSC A1/A1x ‘Terrier’ is towards the end CAD development stage and is being developed in such away to allow for the variations within the A1 and A1x classes to be correctly produced. I have been providing additional information to the Dapol development team with respect to the 25T ‘Pill box’ brake vans and they should be receiving livery samples in due course.

Southern models perform well in Model of the Year polls

Each year Model Rail magazine, RMweb and MREmag join forces to ask modellers to vote for their favourite models of the preceding 12 months. The results of the latest poll, are published today on both  RMweb and MREmag .

In another busy year for new British ready-to-run models in the three major scales, Bachmann Europe emerged as the clear winner, sweeping the board in ‘N’ gauge, winning all but one of the ‘00’ categories and scooping the overall Manufacturer of the Year award with almost 60% of the vote.

Southern Railway / Southern Region  models were top in many categories: Hornby claimed just one top prize – for its popular Maunsell pull-push coaches, whilst the Bachmann C Class 0-6-0 won the best ’00’ Steam outline model and their 25T SR ‘Pillbox’ brake vans won both the ’00’ and ‘N’ wagon categories.

Model Rail editor Ben Jones added: “Congratulations to all our winners. There are worthy victors in every category, but the quality of many models that didn’t win is testament to the high standards now being achieved by all our RTR manufacturers.”  The full list of Model of the Year 2012 awards winners is published in the Spring issue of MODEL RAIL magazine, on sale Thursday March 21st.

Bachmann 25t SR ‘Pill box’ brake vans a review

These 25 ton brake vans were first introduced in 1928 by the Southern Railway and were built on a similar chassis to the previous ‘Dance Hall’ type vans but with a smaller centrally mounted body. Due to the more cramped style they were soon known by staff as ‘pill boxes’. They were built in various batches with last being constructed in 1948. Throughout that time a number of variations in the design were evident. These modifications ranged from the position of the lookout duckets, open or closed axle guards, planking arrangements, with or without sandboxes that were either fully or partially sheeted and also fitted or unfitted with vacuum brakes.

The Bachmann ready to run models of these vans, first announced in 2011, have now arrived and initially these have been released as 6 variants taking into account a number of the different manufacturing batches of the originals. Overall these are very good representations of the original, crisply moulded and a wealth of fine detail including separately fitted handrails (and body side vacuum pipe on later BR versions), brake gear including central pull rods and a bag of fittings for the brake rods and protectors around each wheel set (see below). It is a shame that the lamp irons on the body ends are simple mouldings, although the higher end rail mounted lamp irons, although very slightly overscale, are nicely separately applied. There are a couple of errors that I outline below but on the whole these are excellent models and Bachmann should be congratulated for their introduction and talking into account the variations of the prototype.

Left Hand ducket, even planked in Pre 1936 livery. Note the stove chimney position, just visible in front of the LH roof vent, next to the ducket rather than opposite it.

The first 80 brake vans built from 1928 were to diagram 1578 and had left hand look out duckets, open axle guards, even planking and fully closed in sheeting for the sandboxes. The Bachmann ref 38-400 represents number 55975 in Pre war SR livery with a white roof. There are a couple of errors with this model, the main one being the fact that position of the chimney for the guards stove is in the wrong place being next to one of the lookout duckets rather than on the opposite side (i.e. the correct position for a right hand ducket version). As the body and roof are one single moulding this is not a simple assembly error.

Another view of the Pre 1936 livery SR version

Whilst the livery is crisply applied the sole bars are in black when they should be painted brown as per the body sides.  The buffer headstocks are also in black, which is correct, although on some vans the headstocks were painted in the vermillion red as per the ends.

Bachmann have also released an even planked left hand ducket version as ref 38-801 in BR unfitted grey No. S55953 but with the later fitted additional end windows and without the sandboxes that were removed in BR days. It has been noticed by some that usually lettering on on the unfitted grey livery would have been painted on a black panel.

Due to the internal layout and the relationship of the door and the ducket,meaning the door opened into the space where the guard was likely to be sitting, all subsequent batches were built as a mirror image (as some have pointed out simply hanging the door on the other side of the frame might have been simpler!) with right hand look out duckets and the diagram number changed to 1579.

Bachmann have released an even planked right hand ducket version as ref 38-803 in BR ‘fitted’ bauxite. No. S55583 also without the sandboxes This model also has the vacuum brake gear and bodyside pipe, although no pipes for the bufferbeam are fitted or included, along with the later fitted additional end window. Whilst stove chimney is in the correct location for all the right hand ducket versions. The vertical brake pull rod linkage between the guards brake handle to the pull rods on the underside of the chassis next to the V hangers should, like the stove chimney position, also be handed between left and right ducket versions. Unfortunately Bachmann appear to have only moulded this correct for the left hand ducket versions so is incorrect for all the right hand ducket versions.. This and the rest of the models detailed below have the closed axle guards.

Right hand ducket and 2 plus 2 planking of the 1937 built version in the later SR livery style with smaller lettering

Examples built after 1937/8 had the alternate 2 wide plus 2 narrow planking arrangement and the addition of a second window in each end to allow more daylight inside the van. As noted above earlier built versions also had the additional end windows added mainly in BR days. The Bachamnn release 38-403 has the 2 + 2 planks, right hand ducket, closed axle guards and the later sandbox design without the full sheeting in post-War SR livery with grey roof as No. 56365.

A further view of the post 1937 SR version

Again on this model the solebars should be painted in brown rather than left in black. The small SR lettering appears to be slightly larger than the 4” lettering it is supposed to represent although the van number is a correct scale 4″ high. It should be noted that some retailers and magazines have incorrectly referred to this livery as being SR grey which could cause confusion as the livery is still SR brown but has a grey roof!

Bachmann have also released ref 38-404 with the 2 + 2 plank, right hand ducket, no sandboxes, vacuum brake gear and bodyside pipe (same comment above about buffer beam pipe applies) in BR departmental olive green as No. DS 55400.

A view of the underside showing the separately supplied brake fittings with them fitted around the right hand wheelset.

Supplied with each model is a small bag of the brake pulls and guards for fitting around each wheel set. It would perhaps have been nice if Bachmann had included a simple diagram to explain to all where these should be fitted. The pull rods are fitted first locating into small holes in the back of each of the brake blocks and then a pair of the guards are fitted into the square holes in floor with the longer leg going at the buffer beam end. These items are slightly fiddly to fit and require a small amount of glue to hold into place.

Review updated 16/10/12 to include RH Ducket brake gear error.

Bachmann and Farish Southern related Work in Progress

This post is just a quick update from  Bachmann (00) and Farish (N) on where Southern Railway / Southern Region related previously announced models are within work in progress.

Firstly Bachmann,  in 00 gauge, where the main good news is that the 25t ‘Pill Box’ brake vans have gone through production and are on the high seas to us as I type. A review of these models will be posted on this blog soon. Also the C class has now been approved for production to commence. In other SR related news the  SR PLV/PMV & CCT 4 wheel luggage vans announced in March this year are still at the development stage prior to entering the drawing office. The Class 205 ‘Thumper’ for the Kernow Model Centre is currently at the livery sample stage awaiting sign off before production can commence.

With respect to Farish, in N gauge, the 25t ‘Pill box’ brake vans have been release for production. Also following their announcement in March this year the Bulleid coaches are in the drawing office whilst the Original Style Merchant Navy pacifics along with the SR Van U (BR CCT) are at the Development stage prior to entering the drawing office.

Dapol announce new models for 2012/13 – Plenty of SR related items…

Dapol have today made their long awaited announcement of their 2012/13 range. Included within their new catalogue are a number of Southern Related items in predominantly N gauge but also a few items in 00 and 0 gauges and I am pleased to be able to detail the Southern Railway / Region related items below.

N Gauge Items

Following from previous announcements last October regarding the planned release of Bulleid Rebuilt Merchant Navy and Light Pacifics (see end of post), Southern Railway / Region modellers continue to be well catered for with a further number of new locomotives:

‘Schools’ V class 4-4-0′
Currently in the final cad/cam stage, this model features everything you would expect from a Dapol steam locomotive, including ‘super creep’ motor, DCC ready, traction tyres and a wealth of detail.
The initial releases planned (in both DCC read and DDC fitted options) are:

Class 33/0 and 33/1
Building on the sucess of their class 26 and 27 it was logical that the Southern Region’s Class 33 would follow.
The Initial release will be the class 33/1 ‘bagpipe’ loco with the class 33/0 following on a month after, during the 2012/2013 catalogue life span, although they are both in the tool room currently.

Class 33/0

Featuring Dapol’s established award winning heavy split frame tungsten chassis and super creep motor it will also feature a lit headcode panel in the direction of travel.
The initial releases planned (in both DCC read and DDC fitted options) are:

Class 33/1, will be the first released to be followed by the 33/0

33/0 33030 BR BLUE
33/1 33102 BR BLUE

Class 50
The Class 50 often seen on the Southern Region west of England line is also released in a number of versions although the early versions would not have been seen on SR lines in that condition.

Other new locomotives include a range of GWR Pannier Tanks, the Class 22 and the General Motors Class 59.

Rolling Stock

A range of Maunsell coaches are confirmed, these had already been hinted at on Dapol’s own Facebook page some time ago. These will be ready for the fitting of the Dapol lighting bar and also their working gangway connectors.

Maunsell 6 Compartment Brake 3rd

They do not appear to have formally listed what is being released but from the images files it looks like the following:

– Six Compartment Brake 3rd,
– Corridor Composite,
– Corridor All first,
– Corridor Compartment 3rd (to be confirmed)

Maunsell Composite

As this appears to be very similar to Hornby’s original releases ( I will not speculate on why) lets hope that they allow for the fact that the SR used set formations and release enough Brake 3rds to allow correct formations to be made.

Utility Van, SR Van U (BR CCT)

These I am sure will popular and great news to accompany the previous announcement by Bachmann of their planned release of Bulleid coaches.

A CCT utility van (Van U as per SR designation) is also announced, to be released in SR green, BR Maroon (sic, perhaps this should be crimson?), BR Blue and BR Engineers red.

The SR Van B, not listed as a release but included in the CAD drawings.

However within the CAD images supplied is also an image of a Van C (BY in BR parlance) as well but this has not been listed as a separate to be release item. I will endeavour to seek clarification on this in due course and post accordingly on here.

00 Gauge Items

First laser scan of Class 73

Development still continues on previously announced 00 items such as the Class 73 as announced here and class 22 headcode disc version. They have also announced a GWR streamlined railcars which I am sure will popular of modellers of that other railway!

Signals – 2mm, 4mm and now 7mm
Further to the recent introduction of working GWR and LMS style semaphore signals in 2mm and 4mm scales the range will be expanded to include Southern Rail Post built (Ladder types as described by Dapol) and Lattice type along with bracket options. These will also be released in due in 7mm scale as well.

0 Gauge

Dapol announced at Warley last year their entry into the 7mm market with a number of private owner wagons and the Class 08 shunter. Thus year will see two Southern related items added to range:

‘Terrier’ A1x class 0-6-0′
Featuring full cab detail, their OO motor connected to a flywheel with DCC compatibility, darkened profile wheels (to Gauge 0 Guild standards) and a heavy chassis. Like many new models this will be the result of laser scanning one of the numerous examples preserved.

The initial releases planned are:
32640 BR Black (Early Crest)
32646 BR Black (Late Crest)
W8 Southern Green ‘Freshwater’
55 Stroudley Green ‘Stepney’

‘Pill Box’ Southern Brake Van
Dapol have tooled this model to include left or right duckets, and correctly depicted brake gear, handles and chassis plates etc. It is also fitted with a working tail lamp!
SR BRAKE VAN ‘pillbox’ DS56400 Olive Green
SR BRAKE VAN 55965 ‘SR’ Brown / Vermillion red
SR BRAKE VAN DS55148 Engineers red
SR BRAKE VAN DS55597 dark grey with yellow warning panels.

Edit 21/07/12: Following communication with Dapol they have confirmed that the brake van SR livery would be brown not grey as originally stated within their press release and also that they plan a number of variants including  left and right duckets, 2 or 3 end windows, working tail lamp (where possible), air tanks where needed, axle box raised lettering etc.

A further announced 7mm release is that of an LMS pattern 6 Wheel milk tank

Previously announced Items

I also have CAD images of the previously announced Bulleid original and rebuilt Light Pacifics that I will post later in the week.


Bachmann SR 25T Pill box brake van livery sample pictures

Bachmann have now released pictures of the livery samples of their soon to be released SR 25t pill box type brake vans. The images can be seen on the Bachman website here.  They should, I am told,  hopefully be available by September this year.

I had the chance to view these in the ‘plastic’ so to speak the other weekend and the finish etc is very much up to the high standard that we have come to expect from Bachmann. The images on the Bachmann website are better the quick snaps I took the other weekend hence linking to their website rather than posting my own images.

Bachmann claim to be able to produce a variety of the different versions of these brake vans such as: even planking (as per the images),  uneven planking, either left or right hand look out duckets. It would appear that all the livery samples are utilising the same type of moulding and I hope this does not reflect the actual moulding being used for the three liveries shown as they all have the same BR style axle boxes even on the Southern decorated versions!  We shall have to wait and see how the production versions turn out.

First Picture – Bachmann SR 25T Pill Box Brake Van

A little while ago now Bachmann announced that it was adding Southern Railway 25t Pill Box style brake van to its range. These brake vans were seen all over the Southern network and currently the only 4mm model available is the Cambrian models kit.

Bachmann have now released the first image of an engineering sample for the brake van. The models in this range feature subtle differences that reflect the modifications and build style changes of the originals.  Click here to see the image, that I can not post directly to protect Bachmann’s copyright.

The SR Pill Box Brake Vans will be available from Bachmann  in both LH and RH Ducket versions and come with either standard or 2+ planked sides. They will also feature two styles of sandbox, open-framed or enclosed W Iron details, and moulded underframe detail for single or equal brake gear mechanisms. In addition, three versions of compartment door/window detail will eventually available.

These will I am sure be a popular and welcome edition to anyone’s Southern fleet and if this engineering sample image is to go by will be an excellent looking model.