Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

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Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:38 am

I have just received an example of Bachmann's SR type 'Pillbox' brake van, which must be among the most free rolling RTR vehicles I have ever seen. It's something of a liability because when detached for shunting and parked it doesn't stay put, but 'wanders off'; and on the end of a freight train going slowly can be seen giving the guard a very uncomfortable ride 'bumping along' on the back of the train.

It's good to have free rolling wagons, but brake vans are a special case so I have modified it using another good feature. The NEM pocket mounts are screw attached, and it is no trick to drill a new hole in the mount and reposition them. I routinely make adjustments for closer coupling on my wagons, and thanks to the screw attachment his time two birds are easily killed with one stone. By moving the coupler mount inboard not only is a closer coupling achieved, but the pocket mounts can be arranged to rub lightly on the axles, and gve the brakle van the slight dragginess it needs. Nop more rolling away when uncoupled, and it stably keeps the train extended.

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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:05 am

'tis a bit embarrassing when the brake van won't brake, I always make sure mine drag a little. Failing all else a sliver of foam plastic between axle and floor does the trick. It also helps promote the stretching out of the train as the couplings take up the slack. If it's too strong and keeps the train taught when stopping add a little (quite prototypical) weight. I find backing up to uncouple enough to introduce the required slack.
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Dad-1
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:25 am

I've been know to stick a small piece of soft packing sponge
in contact with an axle to provide a roll retarder. In fact a slight
brake on a brake van helps reduce freight train 'chatter' at slow
speeds.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Richard Lee
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 6:00 am

Re: Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Richard Lee » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:32 am

My one (which is one of those with the 'SR' in big letters) has a tiny piece of black wire going from one of the brake shoes to where the flange meets the rest of the wheel to slow it down. The wheel turns, but has just a little bit of resistance, so is not particularly free-rolling. The wagon came like that - the only things that I have done to it are to paint the wheels black and add Kadees.

Bigmet
Posts: 6799
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:48 am

I never apprecioated why the 'Pillbox' name until getting this model. The cabin is decidedly smaller inproportions than the norm for brake vans. Probably made for a more snug experience in winter as one advantage.

Pennine MC
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:23 am

Re: Stop, stop! Pillbox brake van

Postby Pennine MC » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:42 pm

Bigmet wrote:I never apprecioated why the 'Pillbox' name until getting this model. The cabin is decidedly smaller inproportions than the norm for brake vans. Probably made for a more snug experience in winter as one advantage.


Might explain why sightings of them off-Region are not particularly rare during the '50s and early '60s. Another thing that sometimes crosses my mind is the 25T rating might have made them sought after for some graded lines.


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