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The merits or otherwise of BR Mk I coaches, ex-Bluebell Motive Power

Discussion in 'Heritage rolling Stock' started by david1984, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    On the subject on Mk 1 stock, my copy of the S&D Telegraph, received yesterday (always a good read!) gives details on the 3 Mk 1 coaches that are in use or will soon be in use at Midsomer Norton to create a reasonably typical 3-coach train of BR days. The most interesting is BSO E9267, which was part of the consist of the SLS special that traversed the entire length of the Somerset & Dorset line in both directions on the last day of service in March 1966. It is believed to be the only coach from that train which still survives. Owned by the NYMR and in use on Whitby trains until 2016, E9267 would have gone into store but will now be looked after at MSN and repainted from its current blue/grey into BR maroon (with NYMR's permission). The 2 other coaches are: SK M26049 (in service) and BSK M34527 which is currently approaching the end of an overhaul at Cranmore. A 6-wheeled Midland Railway coach (body no 255) is also at MSN and is being restored but is unlikely to be seen in traffic for a while yet! Over the last few years, this little bit of the old S&D has been improving its collection of artefacts, rolling stock and its signal & telegraph.
    Although it is a small concern at present, the S&DR Heritage Trust is making progress and will soon have a 1 mile running line over the actual S&DR route (not another location pretending to be the S&D) and is well worth our support (in my view anyway!). I really must get down there sometime!
     
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  2. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    I personally like mark 1 coaches, they can look very good if in good condition and in a livery like maroon or crimson and cream. They are radically different from the plastic interiors and hard seats on modern trains and are now heritage vehicles in their own right now. Slightly prefer period 3 LMS Stanier coaches but a mark 1 is the next best thing. I don't dislike the early mark 2s either, with the opening windows.
     
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  3. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Before my time on the IOWSR I am afraid. Something of the kind was, I understand, envisaged although an early glimmer of the desirability of some form of USP thankfully avoided the route of Mk. 1 sameyness. The reaction of a passenger after asking how old the carriage is and being told "1924 and it is the newest we have" is one of the joys of travel to and from Havenstreet.


    I do like this post! On one trip to Havenstreet, I had to assist one group (not perhaps the "sharpest knives in the block") by demonstrating how the electric train door opened when the button was pressed. A couple of minutes later on this very hot day and I got into a sweltering compartment (L.B.S.C.R. 1903) to find the two occupants (not daft but "normals") had no idea about strap operated droplights. A quick demonstration, together with an explanation on how semi-slam door locks operated and they seemed grateful.

    One last point. The era of the Mk. 1 coincided with that of the side valve Ford Popular. I would not want to ride around in either

    PH
     
  4. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

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    We did indeed consider Mark 1s for the embryonic Isle of Wight Steam Railway in the 1970s, but not class 207 vehicles. What we looked at were the North London line class 501 vehicles. These were a high capacity suburban version with short (57' ) underframes, screw couplings & air brakes so would have been compatible. Their electric heating would have been a challenge. We didn't consider using then re-bodying as B.C.R. has suggested. We realised that should we buy some class 501 centre cars or driving trailers we would likely have to put a lot of effort into maintaining them which would reduce the effort available for the heritage vehicles.

    After some consideration what we decided was that we would manage with the six original Island bogie vehicles that we had and augment our stock by rebuilding 4 wheel carriages from grounded bodies using adapted SR CCT/PMV underframes. Instead of a few class 501 vehicles we therefore purchased 10 SR CCT/PMVs as they came out of traffic. So far we have rebuilt seven of these 4 wheel vehicles (well 6 + 1 nearly complete) and also one bogie vehicle using am SR GUV underframe.

    We do not regret letting the class 501s go although we have never been exactly flush for coaching stock. We currently have four bogie vehicles and six 4 wheel vehicles in traffic.

    Nick
     
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  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Just out of interest Nick, what would the situation be if you were lucky enough to expand your services by maybe going past Smallbrook Junction? Would you need another set of stock? Would you still have enough under frames? Sorry for the questions I do appreciate it's a WIBN situation, but the IOWSR is in a rather unique situation in that it's possibly the only standard gauge line in the country that can't just go out and buy a ready to run MK1!
     
  6. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    Some years ago IoM Railways built a brand new replica 'pairs' body on the existing underframe of F54. What would be the logistics of batch building body framing components for replica bodies to IoW loading gauge and placed on reclaimed 50' or 57' underframes? I can think of at least 2 50' underframes where the bodies were destroyed by fire and there are several very derelict BG's and Mk1 suburbans which could provide 57' ones. Sure, they wouldn't be exact replicas of SECR or LSWR stock but to Joe Public they would look the part. Or maybe it's just a WIBN!!
    Ray.
     
  7. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

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    Even if there were any available, you are correct in saying that we can't just go out and buy a ready to run Mark 1. If you look around at coaching stock you'll find that there are not many other suitable coaches available anywhere, even for hire.

    So we survive with two sets of stock and, effectively, no spares today. We are working to bring two of our SECR bogie vehicles back into service which will ease the situation (they are having new solebars fitted).

    We are moving towards having one spare vehicle in each of the two sets - one bogie and one four wheel. That should allow us to breath a little more easily. Two viable sets should be enough for an extended railway, should that ever come to pass.

    Looking to the future we have a bogie underframe prepared ready to be shortened and receive an LCDR body. We have other bogie and four wheel vans together with a variety of bodies "in stock" so we are well set up for the future but....... from experience it takes us 4 to 5 years to create a new vehicle.
     
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  8. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

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    As mentioned in my reply to Matt37401 we have a reasonable, though not infinite, stock of underframe donors. When we rebuild a coach we re-use as much of the existing body structure as we can, supplement it with parts from similar bodies that we have dismantled and then, when necessary, make new framing, seats and other parts to complete the job. Currently our preference is to continue doing this rather than make complete new bodies but I wouldn't rule it out in the distant future.

    Nick
     
  9. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    When we start to rebuild the Oldbury's we will have to consider how we are going to provide a suitable brake or two, they could end up as new build bodies.
     
  10. M59137

    M59137 Active Member

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    Part of my attraction to the IOWSR is that pure Island pedigree of the vast majority of the stock. I would personally prefer to see further bodies rebuilt (albeit perhaps with significant new material) than newbuilds.

    Are there enough Oldbury bodies to convert an existing one into a brake, or are the survivors in the collection too rare or special to consider that?

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Part of the problem with converting an existing vehicle is the capacity of the set, the coaches are only about 22' in length. We have six so loosing a compartment of seat by converting it to a guards compartment reduces the capacity even further. We would like to be in the position of having a spare brake for each set which would make the capacity even lower. The Oldbury set may not be used on a day to day basis but when it is it needs to be of a viable capacity.
     
  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I have always wondered, when you look at the amount of new wood that goes into some bodies, making two wholly new replacement brake vehicles for the Oldbury set, if you can use original bodies as the template to draw up the drawings from, does the C&W have the capacity to make a set of body frame parts drawings that new panels can be made from?
     
  13. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    With the right equipment, budget and being part of the work program I do not see why it should be a problem.
     
  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Would obtaining the right, or very close Hardwood be a problem? , what was the material used on the Oldburys,, as from experience some hardwoods seem to be more durable than others
     
  15. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Ive just had a look at one of the links to the IOWSR rolling stock, and the standard of work is just fantastic. One railway Ive never been to, must get there at some point
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    You are missing out then on a little gem!

    Tom
     
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  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    very true, the island was a very special place for me, in my early 20's at that time, it was relatively affordable to visit the island, Ticket from Woking to Ryde being about £10.00 including the boat, then it was a number 3 bus, to Havenstreet, now if i want to visit, i wont have much change from £ 50, even using a 60's railcard or driving to Portsmouth,
     
  18. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Ive only ever been to the Isle of Wight once, as a 13 year old, in 1973. We crossed over on the ferry from Lymington and I remember seeing a 4SUB I think it was in the station.
     
  19. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    I believe that they are principally teak so inevitably some compromises will have to be made.
     
  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Getting back to Mk1's, early ones with wooden interiors that have been refurbished and varnished, do look very good, and i don't think the average passenger would tell the difference from a late Bulleid ,or Maunsell vehicle from an early Mk 1, as far as the interior is concerned, lots of varnished wood, there will be detail differences, but it can be hard to date what is a 1938, Southern build, from a 1950,s BR Design, which would have been based on pre existing designs ,taking the best of other designs .
     

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