The railway wagons of Mardy Colliery

kevsmith Feb 21, 2019

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    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


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    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)

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

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    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

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  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    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

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    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

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    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.


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    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.


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    Kev
     
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  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    A bit of judicious weathering helps.


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    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

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    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

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    Kev
     
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  4. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    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

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

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    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!

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    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!

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  5. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    British Railways first attempt at container traffic!


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

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    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

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  6. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    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


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    A BR built one



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    cheers

    Kev
     
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  7. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    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

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

    Kev
     
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  8. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    In a couple of my other threads you've seen how the Covid 19 pandemic has drastically changed the model railway scene. With all the shows cancelled for this year I got stuck into a lot of long term unfinished projects (the Thai railways 2-6-0 and the Dutch 0-6-0ST)

    I was debating what to do next when I had a knock at the front door. It was a friend of mine Martin, who said "you used to do gauge 1 didn't you?" I replied " er, alittle bit, yes"

    He then proceeded to bring three banana boxes into the house full of gauge 1 trucks, wheels, signals unmade kits and scenic details. "You can have these" he said. "I'd rather they went to someone who could make some use of them"

    Young Brooklyn and I had a fine afternoon in the back garden sorting it all out. It was an odd mix of gauge 1, G scale and a few bits of 0 gauge

    In there was an unbuilt Tenmille kit for a gauge 1 LNER ( London North Eastern railway) 20 ton loco coal wagon. A design that lasted well into the British Rail period after 1948

    With the first LMS Coke hopper sat on the shelf I decided to get on with the second one and the loco coal wagon

    The Tenmile kit uses scribed ply to represnet the wooden planks with cast whirte metal metal components for the strapping and etched brass brake gear.

    The axleboxes are sprung as are the buffers. Behind are the first and second Coke hoppers and the 0-6-0ST

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    It does have a lot details missing though

    you'll see that I've added the appropriate metal components on the solebar typical of a wooden underframe wagon

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    the additional parts are left over from Tony Riley kits and are injection moulded polysterene. Placed in position and with liquid plastic cement applied with a fine brush and some pressure applied they stick like S*** to a blanket

    More tomorrow

    Kev
     
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  9. OlyPen

    OlyPen TrainBoard Member

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    Very nicely done!
     
  10. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    More details added to the hopper and the loco coal wagon painted and waiting lettering.

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    Because there were no less than four pairs of archbar trucks with wheels in the stuff that Martin gave me I mght do a rake of the LNER 'Quint D' Bogie bolster wagons. These lend themselves to batch production and are a relatively simple design apart from all those truss bars underneath

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    Kev
     
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  11. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Painted and lettered. ready for weathering

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    Kev
     
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  12. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    I had a second thought about the Quint D bolster wagons. Once I'd blown the drawings up to gauge 1 they scaled out at nearly 22 inches long each and were going to use up all my underframe channel stock. i want something more compact and my thoughts turned to a well know British vehicle that used archbar trucks. The 'warflat'

    This was British army vehicle used to carry tanks and examples were built in both the First and Second world wars
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    I know of at least two that survive. One is at Barrow Hill roundhouse and is used by yhe Deltic preservation society to keep spare Napier Deltic engines.

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    on the face of it a fairly simple flat wagon to build, apart from the rather complex ends with the stabilising jack assemblies

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    Tapered in two planes, handed and surrounding the buffers.

    First thing was to blow the drawing up to gauge 1 and at 40 foot long it is a more manageble size

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    more soon
     
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  13. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Lurking behind the lathe was a sheet of 28thou brass that has been there for years so I cut the first set of body parts out. I'm a bit out of practice with the rivet embossing tool so they are a bit wonky

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    Now it was going to need a big soldering iron to get this together so I dug out the Facom 200W one. Once it is warmed up it blasts thropugh metal this thick even though brass conducts the heat away very quickly. Sequence was headstock at one end first, the four stretchers next, then both sides and finally the other headstock.

    With the basic structure assembled I brought it back into the house with a load of big wahers to pack up off the trucks to get the ride height right before I make the stretchers that hold the trucks

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    I've decided to make three vehicles which justifies making the pattern to cut out the end jack supports on the pantograph engraver

    The floors will be individual wood planks. Have to tell the kids to get as many wooden stirrers from the local burger shack as they can!

    more soon

    Kev
     
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  14. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Now the archbars were well used and had obviously had a hard life. I think they are Tenmille products ones. They were covered in steam oil, some of the steel tyres had come loose and some were bent.

    refurbishment involved soaking them in 'red magic' degreaser (We use it on full size locomotives at work) and then buffing them with a fibre glass pencil. The wheelsets, once degreased, had the tyres rebonded with Loctite bearing fit and once cured spun in the lathe to get the rust odd the tyres and axles

    The first pair sit behind the ones still needing attention

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    For some strange reason , as designed. the side frames are upside down. The straight beam should be at the bottom but the channel and lugs on the bolster suggest otherwise. Anyway I've flipped them and it looks O.K

    More soon

    Kev
     
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  15. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those flats are going to look great! Do you have some tanks to put on them?
     
  16. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Yes I do, but I'm keeping them back for now. With all the brass, solder and flux flying around they are safer where the are for now. I'll also get into the scale debate for AFVs at the appropriate time

    tonights pic. Bottom angles soldered on. truck bolsters installed. The other archbars have been cleaned, wheels cleaned and the whitemetal castings buffed up with mans best friend the 'Hush Puppy brush' ! these brass bristled brushes designed for suede are perfect for polishing a white metal casting. I haven't worn a pair of hush puppies since about 1979 but still got the brushes

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    Our clueless government have announced a four week full lockdown tonight. I'm officially classified as a critical worker but can do a lot of work from home so expect some rapid progress on the Warflats. Last thing I did before I came in was cut out the top and sides for No. 2

    More soon

    Kev
     

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