Choosing a brake van

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HarryR
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Choosing a brake van

Postby HarryR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:14 pm

I dont have any Toad/Brake vans. Before I rush out and grab something from the usually sources I am seeking some advice about what I should choose.

There seem to be a number of different styles available, different weights, colours etc. So are there any rules relating which van should be used, should bauxite brake vans be used when pulling 'fitted stock', for example?

My layout is 'set' somewhere in the North West with an LNWR/LMS heritage in the 1960s-70s. But I'm not so committed to that scenario to avoid being anachronistic or unprototypical if there's something that takes my fancy.

Thanks

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Bufferstop
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:20 pm

You would from time to time seen almost ever variation on brake van design in your area/time span. The most obvious being double ended ex LMS and BR types. You would get the occasional LNER and GWR/BR Western toads, probably never saw a SR Queen Mary (bogie) type. As the period went on fewer and fewer trains needed a brake van and those still in use would tend to be on engineering or breakdown trains.
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HarryR
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby HarryR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:36 pm

Bufferstop wrote:You would from time to time seen almost ever variation on brake van design in your area/time span. The most obvious being double ended ex LMS and BR types. You would get the occasional LNER and GWR/BR Western toads, probably never saw a SR Queen Mary (bogie) type. As the period went on fewer and fewer trains needed a brake van and those still in use would tend to be on engineering or breakdown trains.


Thank you. Your informative answer eliminates my concerns about committing a 'howler'. :D

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stuartp
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby stuartp » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:02 pm

As Bufferstop says, potentially all varieties. For your period and region BR and LMS vans would have been in the majority.

BR vans were mostly bauxite (piped or fitted) but there were a few grey (unfitted) ones around towards the beginning of your period. Towards the end of the 60s most will have been bauxite and increasingly shabby.

LMS vans were essentially short (Bachmann) or long (Hornby). At the start of your period both would be around, short ones in grey and long ones in both liveries. The short ones went first, followed by the grey long ones. Fitted LMS vans were still on common use into the 70s and engineers' use into the 1990s.

From the mid 1960s the bauxite liveried vans (of all types) would have started to acquire 'boxed' lettering and later TOPs codes, beyond that you can't go far wrong with a bauxite BR or long LMS van for your period.
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HarryR
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby HarryR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:22 pm

stuartp wrote:you can't go far wrong with a bauxite BR or long LMS van for your period.


Thank you that's very helpful

Bigmet
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Bigmet » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:24 pm

Also, if you plan to have an engineers train going out to lay ballast, Hornby have a rather nice 'Shark' ballast plough brake van, specific to this activity.

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End2end
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby End2end » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:46 pm

You may be able to find brake vans decorated specifically for the area your modelling.
I have at least 3.
Here's one of them with "St. Blazey" printed on it.
Image
Hope it helps.
Thanks
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6C
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby 6C » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:11 pm

On the North West Area - GWR Toads common around Chester and Wirral and goods trains to Manchester via Chester.

NE brakes - (also Toads) all over the NW including the Cheshire Lines area which was partly supplied with LNER goods stock.

BR and LMS brakes the most common as discussed - mainly in the larger 20T varieties...
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SRman
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby SRman » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:32 am

Ex-SR stock could also be found all over the country - their parcels stock (PMV/CCT) were almost universal, but even the 'pill box' brake vans found their way "oop norf" - I certainly have access to a couple of photos of them in Scotland in Engineering olive green.

As Bufferstop said, the one type that didn't wander far, except on very specific engineering trains, was the ex-SR 'Queen Mary' bogie brake van.

Preference would be to use fitted vans on fitted trains, but they could also be used on unfitted or partially-fitted trains.

Bigmet
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Bigmet » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:29 pm

6C wrote:On the North West Area - GWR Toads common around Chester and Wirral and goods trains to Manchester via Chester...

Careful about the dates though, as the question related to 60s and 70s: the GW design single ended brake vans were restricted to WR only quite early in BR's existence as a result of protests from guards accustomed to the double veranda designs that the other companies had all adopted, and which BR continued by standardising on a variant of the LNER's Toad E. (I never saw a single GW design brake van in freight service on LMR/ScR/ER/NER in the 1960s - I would have noticed, we were always looking out for unusual vehicles - and by the 1970s it was ex-LNER and BR Toad E and the ex-LMS 20T vans only, in freight service in these regions.)

Pennine MC
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Pennine MC » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:27 pm

Bigmet wrote:
6C wrote:On the North West Area - GWR Toads common around Chester and Wirral and goods trains to Manchester via Chester...

Careful about the dates though, as the question related to 60s and 70s: the GW design single ended brake vans were restricted to WR only quite early in BR's existence as a result of protests from guards accustomed to the double veranda designs that the other companies had all adopted,...


1958 IIRC. As well as the single-endedness, all vans without duckets (whatever the origin) were restricted from long distance work from that date

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Bufferstop
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:30 pm

I can remember my mother's uncle complaining bitterly about having to work a GW Toad well into the 50s, (too much fresh air), He started off as a Midland man, by the time I knew him he was working out of Bescot, his least favourite trips were returning empties to Wolverhampton (WR). Ex GW, BR(W) territory extended into the midlands and Cheshire until the early/mid 60s It was deemed too close to lodge so whatever time he finished that trip it was hitch a ride back to Bescot, he would walk across to High Level and ride back in the van of anything passing through Bescot Junction, didn't seem to matter what it was it always seemed to pause long enough for him to get off at the platform.
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6C
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby 6C » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:37 pm

There were still GW toads around my neck of the woods on longer distance trains such as the Stanlow oil trains to places like Leeds/Toton etc.

This one is on a Neville Hill job over the Pennines in October '63 - with Class A and B tanks.
Normally it would be a double-ended BR Brake or an LMS double-ender - so whilst this is unusual - there is a prototype for everything..!

Chester is the location.

90540oct63.jpg
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Mountain
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Mountain » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:26 am

I never forget watching a trainload of what I call a "Mopping up train" or in other words, several shorter train formations combined into one long train to clear sidings etc... Such a formation would normally be seen on a sunday or saturday. (I'm guessing a sunday when the lines were less busy). One such formation had around a third to half of all the vehicles being various brakevans and there wee examples of all the big four including at least two GWR toads, an LMS brake van, around two or three SR brake vans used for ballasting work along with mny BR and ex LNER vans which looked identical. During this time it LMS vans were the exciting thing to see as they didn't pass so often. Yes, neither did GWR toads, but they were a little more common down here then LMS vans. I saw these somewhere around 1978 to 1982 or thereabouts. More likely being around 1980. Our area of the country aas known as "The dumping ground" as we tended to end up with all the older stock and locos from other regions. The only notable exception was the twice daily HST which I believe passed through from around 1978 or 1979 onwards. (Some said 1976 but I beg to differ as I never saw or heard them as early as that date... Heard... They had a very distinctive sound back then so were very noticeable even if passing in the hours of darkness. They were also the only locos to be seen in the current livery as all else down here was at least one livery behind!)
I remember often watching long interesting mixed trains of seemingly everything during the late 1970's to early 1980's. Various mixes including some LNER coaches mixed in! I later found these coaches were used as staff coaches, especially noticeable on weedkiller trains and the like.

Pennine MC
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Re: Choosing a brake van

Postby Pennine MC » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:26 pm

6C wrote:
This one is on a Neville Hill job over the Pennines in October '63 - with Class A and B tanks.
Normally it would be a double-ended BR Brake or an LMS double-ender - so whilst this is unusual - there is a prototype for everything..!


Interesting photo Pete, thanks. Whilst I'd always caveat that 'officially' restricted didn't always relate to what actually happened, I wonder if the fact that it's the front van made a difference. Did you ever see any at the rear?


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