The railway wagons of Mardy Colliery

kevsmith Feb 21, 2019

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    With your indulgence I'll give you a look at the rolling stock of my gauge 1 coalmine layout 'Mardy Colliery' featured in another thread in this forum. There will be a bit of a history lesson, I'm afraid, as it explains why we ran such a strange mix on the layout


    British freight wagons right up to the 1970s barely differed from the ones in common use in the mid 19th century. Four wheeled, unfitted (no automatic brakes), constructed mainly of wood and still running on grease or oil axleboxes. Vast quantities of them were owned and operated by the 'Big Four' railway companies and the coalmines themselves and they still carried the owners colour scheme when the second world war finished and the railways were at their lowest ebb. One advantage for the gauge 1 modeller is that being so short you can pack a lot of variety of vehicles into a relatively short train


    A typical Private owner wagon (I'll refer to these from now on as P.O wagons) lettered for the Babbington Colliery in Nottingham


    [​IMG]

    So I developed a standard way of constructing this type of wagon with a plywood body with the planks scribed on and the strapping represented by embossed plasticard, Wood underframes and the wheels, running gear brakes and buffers from a company called Tenmille


    This unpainted example had a working end door to operate on my never finished wagon tippler. The plastic components are bonded to the wood with Mekpak liquid cement which dissolves the back of the plastic, When pressure is applied the plastic goes into the grain of the wood and then sets and is well and truly stuck. This particular one also has a steel underframe (Plastruct ABS channel)

    [​IMG]

    So I lettered some of them up in a fictitious Mardy Main colour scheme and tried to recreate the careworn appearance of these vehicles

    [​IMG]

    As more modern wagons came into service these wagons were taken off the mainline and put into internal use, with white stripes denoting the fact

    [​IMG]
     
  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    These unfitted ones at least had the advantage of 'Either side brakegear' with a brake lever on both sides. Common operating practice on unfitted trains was for the guard to walk along the train before descending a steep hill partially applying some of the handbrakes. A practice known as 'pinning down the brakes' Number 206 has lost its handbrake lever somewhere at a show

    [​IMG]

    Their replacement was the ubiquitous standard 16T all Steel mineral wagon. over 300,000 were built over the years with minor differences. Most were unfitted and finished in grey paint and vacuum brake fitted ones that were painted in Bauxite.


    A preserved fitted example is seen on the 'Battlefield line' last year

    [​IMG]

    In this early 1960s shot a WD 2-8-0 trundles through Tupton on the Midland railway main line with 16 tonners in a mixed freight passing the sidings for the Avenue Coking plant with hundreds of them in the background.


    [​IMG]

    So wood was out as a construction material because of the grain and so I settled on 2mm Acrylic sheet sold by a local DIY store as secondary double glazing sheet. This was stuck together with Plastic weld and the details were Plastruct ABS sections. Running gear was Tenmille again


    An unpainted one is seen with a complete example. One thing I discovered early on when I left one on the windowsill was that even when painted with strong sunlight behind them they were almost transparent! After that they were all given a couple of coats of Matt black before any top coats were applied.


    [​IMG]

    Kev
     
  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    A bit of judicious weathering helps.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now not all the wagons inherited by BR were completely ancient. The LNER bequeathed some all steel 13 ton opens and these were constructed in Acrylic as well. BR kept on building these for years after

    [​IMG]

    The standard cattle van was a design inherited from the Great Western and again BR kept producing these until livestock traffic died out in the 1960s. This was an all wood kit from Tenmille with white metal detailing

    [​IMG]

    Kev
     
  4. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    Now there was nothing like a 40ft boxcar as seen in the USA. British vans, rated between 8 to 12 tons, were the same length as the open wagons and again were a mix of fitted and unfitted examples


    A relic of the pre first world war era was this Midland railway van that survived into BR ownership. Of all wood construction with injection moulded strapping and hinges from a limited edition kit by Tony Riley The card roof has had a bash which adds to the effect of a long hard life in traffic

    [​IMG]

    Acrylic to the fore again for a 12t Plywood sided fitted van

    [​IMG]

    Another example of an acrylic van under construction is this 'Insulfish' fish van introduced as BR moved towards longer wheelbase vehicles. In this condition it showed up every fingerprint!

    [​IMG]

    As fish traffic died out these were converted into parcel vans although you do wonder if they ever got rid of the fish smell before loading it up with people's Christmas presents!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    British Railways first attempt at container traffic!


    [​IMG]

    So although we didn't have that much room on Mardy it was always nice to have something different to run at shows

    [​IMG]

    above
    A 21 Ton plate wagon with a pipe load based on a longer standard length underframe

    Another variation was an early steel coil carrier with removal cradles

    [​IMG]
     
  6. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    And finally. In the same way that all American freight trains used to have a caboose on the end we had our 'Brake vans'


    An ex LMS one inherited by BR


    [​IMG]

    A BR built one



    [​IMG]

    cheers

    Kev
     
  7. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

    1,215
    1,043
    34
    So after 24 years I finally got stuck into the etched coke hoppers that my mate Peter Prydderch had etched back in 1994!

    The two sets of frets have sat in the loft all this time but a concerted attempt over the Christmas break got me resolved to finish some of the Gauge 1 projects that have languished up there all this time

    The prototype was introduced by the LMS (London Midland and Scottish railway) before the second world war and construction carried on in British railway days. It was basically a steel hopper with the sides extended up with raves to squeeze as much of the lighter Coke in

    [​IMG]

    Still some solder to clean up and some more rivet straps but it is not far off now

    Kev
     

Share This Page