Dapol MRA Wagons

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Dapol MRA Wagons

Postby highwood » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:38 pm

I received a set of the above today and they are superb.

On special offer at £89.99 due to a decoration error - anybody know what it is?

Also the Rail Track logo says "Renewing Your Railways" yet looking at a photo of the real thing it is "Renewing Your Railway" (no S plural)

Which is correct as all my other Railtrack wagons - Autoballasters, 5 and 7 ribs have the plural logo?

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Re: Dapol MRA Wagons

Postby highwood » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:08 pm

I understand my query may be of little interest to many readers but it's something that has puzzled me when looking at my RailTrack rolling stock!

Is the correct RailTrack logo "strap-line" singular or plural?

Have Dapol?Bachmann got it wrong or did real world rolling stock carry two slightly different logos at different times? Was this intentional or did someone make a mistake in the paintshop?

I see Bachmann released a PNA wagon today with the singular worded version.

Anyone shed any light on this?

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Re: Dapol MRA Wagons

Postby skyblue » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:54 pm

I remember reading about this issue a while back in a magazine but I think it was about some Bachmann wagons so it probably isn't relevant. A quick google search reveals several photos of real MRA wagons which clearly show that it is the singular and not the plural. Here's the link to the search.

However, real JJA autoballasters appear to have the plural form. So I suppose it probably varied.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Dapol MRA Wagons

Postby inoffapost » Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 pm

I Picked up a 5 set of these in NR livery a while back. 2nd hand but absolutely pristine, and,to my eye, virtually unused with all the bits present.

The detail is incredibly good, almost 'over the top' I would say (it would be interesting to read the original review) and I'm in a position to judge having actually operated the real thing, back in the day. They were pretty complex, the originals that is, and I remember wondering if they would actually stand the test of time.....

With the layout now up and running I'm conducting some wagon tests so it was time to start getting the acquired kit out. The set is really quite heavy. The boxes on the wagon are metal and to my mind too heavy for the chassis. Individual wagons can barely free roll due to the weight. I haven't tried it yet but I reckon one of my Hornby 66's will struggle to pull 5 of them on the flat let alone any kind of gradient!

I wanted to ask if anyone else has a set and what is their experience of them? The NEM couplings are also very poor but reading elsewhere this seems to be a Dapol trait anyway.

Any feedback on the MRA's would be welcome.

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Re: Dapol MRA Wagons

Postby Bigmet » Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:57 pm

These were very well received for appearance and overall accuracy, this being 'Dapol Dave's' focus in all his models for Dapol and later under his own (now extinct) DJM brand.

The running was problematic, but fixable. Main problem to overcome was the couplings, I recall owners substituting Kadees, 'hook and loop' couplers and home made magnetic couplers, all of which required DIY adaptions to fit to the vehicles.

As for free rolling, they may well improve with running if they had little use with the previous owner, the pinpoint axles will polish the plastic dimples they run in. A little light lubrication is beneficial. What I use on my RTR OO coaches and wagons is GT 85 (PTFE aerosol sold as a plastics compatible bike lube) which has been uniformly successful in maintaining free rolling without causing any damage to the moulded plastic underframes and bogies in the twenty plus years I have used it. BUT, I have never tried it on Dapol product, simply due to not having any, because they have never made products that suit my modelling; so I have no information on whether this might cause trouble. Plenty of alternatives out there.

Traction: It's the 'centre motor' models you want, that have drive to both bogies. Well proven mechanism designs originally developed by North American HO manufacturers, from the continent where looooooong freight trains operate. These are heavy for traction, and pick up on all driven wheels so are very reliable. If the rolling stock is properly free rolling, these will typically match the prototype for trainload on gradients: if the load would require more than one loco in reality, then you'll also need it on the layout. The larger specimens I have will start a 3kg trailing load, all standing on a 1 in 80 gradient. They would probably do more, but that's all the length of straight constant gradient I have!

A google search on Dapol MRA wagons should turn up lots of owner experience.

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