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Rites of Passage for a Model Railway - 7: Brake & Goods Vans + Reading List and Gallery

by Davis Koertig (2020-07-03)


id="mod_23908783">L M S and L N E R brake vans

As with the Southern Railway and its predecessors, the London Midland & Scottish (LMSR) and London & North Eastern Railways (LNER) were 'conglomerates' of several older companies from the post-Railway Mania era. In the case of the LMSR and LNER railways from both sides of both borders had been drawn together, English, Scottish and Welsh. The GWR had absorbed the Taff Railway from South Wales before Grouping, the LMSR had just crept over the border and the LNER had absorbed the Wrexham Mold & Connah's Quay Railway by their request.


In the North of England the LMSR drew in the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (L&YR), The L&YR owned a fleet of short six-wheeled brake vans with double verandahs similar in appearance to the NER's four-wheeled brakevans, although the L&YR did not adopt the same type of side duckets for the guard to check along the side of his train. Another detail difference was that the cabin doors on the L&YR guard's vans were solid planked features and offset with a large framed window. The NER vehicle's cabin doors were fitted with windows and centrally positioned between narrow vertically framed windows, thus allowing much more daylight into the guard's cabin. A fairly small, flat-framed side window was centrally positioned on either side of the L&YR van that displayed little foresight in design for the goods/mineral guard to keep watch in urban areas. Early MR brakevans also displayed severe design flaws in having a balcony only at one end, rectified by diagram D1240 with verandahs at both ends but no side duckets. Diagram 1657 of 1927-31 demonstrated this oversight to be rectified, the only difference between the LMS van and its LNER counterpart being a centrally positioned vertical pillar. Steel 'V' bracing was added late in LMS days. A standard LMS design was adopted with D1657 on its 20 ft wheelbase underframe, later adapted with D1890 in 1933 from Derby Works including a more enclosed verandah style.


On the LNER front the Great Central Railway (GCR) had built brake vans of an altogether different appearance to those of their fellow LNER constituents. The Great Nothern (GNR) and Great Eastern (GER) were no further advanced than the GCR with their brakevan designs. All three companies' vans featured solid timber side walls, although the GER and GNR at least designed verandahs at both ends, the GER variant featured steel bracing as company practice, the central side panels with cross-bracing, either side with converging single bracing. The GNR had solid timber, waist high doors as safety features in common with later GCR types. As on the NER and later LNER vans the GER van had steel bars that could be secured, also at waist height, to prevent the guard being thrown off his verandah in rough riding.


The standard LNER design 'Toad D' would feature weighted.platforms at either end on a 20 ton overall weight vehicle with 16 ft wheelbase underframe to Diagram 158, still being turned out until 1949 to the LNER Diagram 1/500 It's British Railways (BR) development built from 1950 at Faverdale, Darlington, would feature handrails along either side of the outer end weighted platform. This would become the Standard BR. Diagram 1/506, widespread throughout the nationalised system between Cornwall and Caithness, although GW, LMR and SR examples could be spotted all over the same system on through workings or on departmental service..