(I am crossposting this to both the prototype and the modelling group
as my question refers to both sides.)
From the 1920s until shortly before the opening of the channel tunnel, a
differing number of rail ferry links operated between the continent and
the UK. Because of the differences in loading gauge and braking systems,
special rolling stock had to be used. The "continental side" of this is
more or less documented, and H0 scale models of at least some types of
wagon used are available.
I'm currently researching the "british side" of this, which doesn't seem
to be as well documented, at least from a continental point of view. A
webpage I stumbled upon mentions that the british railways (beginning
in the pre-BR times, but continued by BR) had rolling stock operating to
the continent also. The webpage gives interesting examples, although he
makes some errors (he doesn't seem to have understood the meaning og
"RIV" or the UIC wagon numbering scheme completely).
The author mentions an article about BR ferry boat rolling stock by Paul
Bartlett and Trevor Mann in the "Model Railway Constructor Annual for
1985" (published by Ian Allen Ltd. in 1984, ISBN 0 7110 1409 4). I can't
locate this publication in any library over here in Germany. Has anyone
access to this publication and could send me a copy or scan of said
article? Is there any other publication about this rolling stock,
especially with drawings? And are there any models of such wagons in H0
Many thanks in advance,
I have a photocopy of that article, and some other drawings, which I could
copy for you and post. I also have some articles by a chap called Guy Bratt
on modelling UK loading-gauge stock to 3.5mm scale. I had the pleasure of
meeting him about 15 years ago, when he gave me some copies of drawings to
various scales, which he had used for his models.
No such models exist of UK-registered prototypes in HO scale (though there
are a DB van and a VTG bogie van) - when you do build one, as I did with a
Cargowaggon Sfns flat, you suddenly realise both the difference in loading
gauge and the difference in modelling 1:87 against 1:76.
Drop me your address, and I'll copy them next weekend when I've got access
to our copier at work.
I tried to, but there's something wrong with your email address:
--------- by cutting here you might damage your screen surface ---------
host alpha1sys4.alpha1teclabs.com [220.127.116.11]:
--------- by cutting here you might damage your screen surface ---------
However, my address can also be found in my signature. :-)
Many thanks in advance and greetings from Stuttgart,
The SR began it's ferry service in the mid-1930s, but the GNR/LYR/LNER
had port facilities and ferries long before that. The German Einheits
ferry wagon designs for operation to Britain date from about 1927, so I
assume the LNER had rail ferries. So far I've failed to find any actual
details - I can find ship ownership details, but not the important part.
Lima made an HO BR/LMS type "Fyffes" banana van in SR markings with
'anchor' markings. There was/were SR vans of the same size but
differently detailed (different roof profile, wooden ends, different
doors ...) As Fyffes operated in Britain and Europe and possibly moved
bananas from the closest port to scource to Europe, the Lima van fills
the gap until I find something more accurate.
I keep searching, but haven't turned anything up so far. Lima also did
an FS thermos van (body of which can be fitted to a Roco standard
chassis) and a very nice and reasonably accurate iced container which
came on an FS low side FS wagon. The containers were marked "Agfa" and
"Mercedes" but I have an article on a Italian vegetable/fruit facility
set up for export using those containers. (painted white with FS
Torsten - There were a number of odd vehicles adapted for ferry use, some
were fully modified to international standards other had only partial
Examples from Paul Bartlett's rail wagon photographs -
BR Ferry Tube diag 1/449BR built just 20 Ferry Tubes - similar in dimensions
to the standard tube, including corrugated end, but with two drop doors and
full air brake rigging. Later they were popular with engineers, including
carrying railway spares on the ferries to Europe. 4mm drawing in Model
Railway Constructor Annual 1984 pp 111-118 & Bartlett et al BR wagon
BR Ferry vans; diagram 1/227 of 1962 and conversionsBefore 1962,
British Railways contributed only specialist wagons to the cross channel
fleet of wagons that could operate on the train ferries. They then
introduced two batches of ferry vans of diagram 1/227 totalling 400 wagons.
These were dramatically different at a time when a variety of rather
ordinary, small pallet vans and standard vans were being built. However,
they were contemporary in design with European vans. Although in early days
some were lettered on the doors others were plain. In the later 1970s a
number were repainted but this was short lived as many bogie vans began to
appear from 1977. They were only 20 years old when condemnation loomed,
however as they were vacuum and air braked many were converted for
alternative uses. The photographs show a selection of the later uses, which
for some included equipping with Bruninghaus suspension. I wonder if the
variety of TOPS codes is a record for a single design? (smile) A scale
drawing of the van was reproduced as part of Bartlett, Paul w. & Mann,
T., (1984) Cross-Channel Ferry Wagons used on BR in Model Railway
Constructor Annual 1985 pp 18 - 29, edited by Leigh, Chris.
BR Ferry open diag 1/055 and conversionsBR built 40 shorter length ferry
opens based on a
much earlier SR design but with updated running gear. In later years some
were reduced in height and other converted to platform inspection wagons for
the Thameslink electrification. Some nice liveries and detail photos!
Drawing in BR Wagons by Bartlett et al.
BR Rectanks and Conflat C -
Unexepectedly, BR introduced 78 Rectanks in 1959-60. At 34ft. over
headstocks with Davis & Lloyd bogies at 24ft. centres the design and
main dimensions were similar to the original Rectanks introduced during
World War 1. One was ferry fitted and others were converted to Conflats (see
http://gallery6801.fotopic.net/p488595.html ). Detail photographs includedBR
SR Scenery ferry vans - Just 4 of these scenery vans were introduced in 1958
fitted for sending to the continent. Very similar to the contemporary GUV,
but only 2 side doors and freight red livery.BR
There were two batches of Carfit C built for ferry use during 1958. Although
only 40 wagons
they found extensive use as under runners etc. with steel carrying bolsters
and by the engineers. Various liveries and detail photographs and two
rebuilt as spoil wagons.
BR Presflos - Tunnel CementMany BR Presflo pressure
discharge dry powder wagons were written for use by Tunnel Cement, either
with a large livery or in the usual BR livery with a T prefix fleet number.
As can be seen they appear to have been allocated at random from many
different building lots, including one suitable for ferry use.
China Clay - ferry registered
A collection of 4wh and bogie wagons used for china clay in
the UK, but with international registration (see also
MAT 94xxx series Carflat
Built in 1963 with ferry fixtures, and anchor I do not know if they carried
international numbers. The survivors in the 1980s were used on various
traffic flows. Uniquely, they were built on the underframes of Southern
There are also several modern continental designs on the site
I have had great difficulty in finding any information on pre-BR rolling
stock used on ferry services, if you come across any information on these I
would appreciate a pointer
You comment there are errors on my website
Grateful if you could advise where I was wrong in my description
of RIV and the wagon numbering systems used for ferry stock
As I understand it the RIV specification relates to the fittings on the
vehicle, allowing to be used for ferry work, covering the the type of
coupling fitted and the provision of heavy lugs on the chassis solebars
which are used for securing the wagon to the deck of the ship. Until BR
changed over to air brakes ferry stock had to have both air and vacuum
brakes or 'through pipes' to cope with the national differences in brake
systems (as far as I know only some RIV Continental stock was fitted with a
through vacuum pipe). Wagons which have been partially modified for ferry
work do not carry the RIV branding but they should have an anchor in a frame
painted on the side to indicate they have no loading gauge restrictions. BR
operated a number of vehicles only partly modified for ferry use which had
the anchor marking. Ferry stock was all fitted with screw couplings and
until the 1980's the buffers used were heavier than the British standard
designs, they also carry non-standard lettering and a 12 digit international
ferry wagon number in place of the usual national number marking
International services have their own numbering system, introduced in the
1960's, with a twelve digit number for each vehicle.
The first two numbers identify the continent, Europe is 21.
The next two numbers show the country in which the vehicle is registered, 70
for Britain, 88 for Belgium, 80 for Germany, 83 for Italy.
The next three numbers identify the type of vehicle; 279 for bogie vans, 414
for low sided open wagons, 749 for chemical tanks, 464 for bogie coil wagons
The final group of numbers identify the actual wagon, the last digit is
separated by a hyphen and serves as a computer check.
The remaining lettering follows the standard for each vehicle's home
country, although some markings, such as 'Hazchem' symbols are to
internationally agreed standards.
The first two digits do NOT represent the continent- they identify things
such as :- two-axle vehicle which may be used on both Iberian and standard
gauges, four-axle ditto, whether a wagon may be used on any UIC railway or
whether it is subject to exceptions, whether a wagon is privately-owned or
not etc. A second pair of digits then identifies the railway administration
with which the wagon is registered. There then follow a sequence of numbers
which give the broad general type of vehicle and its running number, finally
followed by a check-digit.
Try http://www.gbrail.org.uk/ or http://www.uicstock.org.uk/ or
I was a great fan of the original gbrail site when it covered British
stuff; the site now covers the things that this thread is about. It's
run by The Doctor, who sometimes posts here.
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