Bachmann have just announced that they plan to release a 4mm scale model of
a concrete coaling tower in their Scenecraft range. It will ostensibly be
based on the prototype still extant at Carnforth and will have an RRP in the
Demand is expected to be very high for a model which in many respects
exemplifies the steam era of British Rail.
I always assumed that they were products of the 1930's -- our one at
Barrow Road (Bristol) was certainly older than me! (née 1938). I don't
believe that any other railway or BR region had them (labour being
cheap for shovel slaves) so that would make them an LMS feature?
They were built from the 1930s onwards, and although of LMS design, similar
installations appeared elsewhere. Some of the ex-LMS coal stages were
inherited by BR(NER) on re-organisation of some Yorkshire area sheds in the
They survived until the end of BR mainline steam in 1968.
I'm not at all surprised that a large plastic coaling tower would be
priced at 80GBP. It all depends on the level of detail involved, and the
number of individual (as distinct from molded on) parts used. That, and
the expected sale quantity.
The major cost of any model these days, despite CAD/CAM, is the tooling
for the parts. Because motors and gear trains can be used for many
different models, the cost of their tooling can be amortised over many
more units than the tooling for the shell, so they may actually
contribute less to the price of a unit than the shell. The production
costs (materials, energy, and labour) are usually a very small fraction
of the total. Typically, marketing (warehousing, advertising,
distribution) cost a good deal more than production.
Where there is little likely demand, "craft kits" are made (materials a
will be some combination of wood, plastic, resin, metal, etc, and both
raw stock and custom cut/cast parts.) Such kits can and do cost $150 and up.
This is not a plastic kit, but a finished (primarily resin) model. I've got
photographs (from the manufacturer) and will forward them to anyone who is
interested. Email me off group if you wan to see them.
53A Models, Hull.
According to 'LNER Sheds in Camera' by John Hooper, the LNER started
building them in the late 1920s. Sites included King's Cross,
Doncaster, Gorton, March, Neville Hill,New England and Kittybrewster.
It seems that they were very keen on mechanical coaling.
According to Hooper in the caption to a picture of the Kings Cross
one, "Coaling plants of this type [500t bunker capacity] usually cost
around £8,000 to build and the erection was always carried out by a
specialist company, with Henry Lees & Co. and Mitchell Conveyors
getting the bulk of the contracts from the LNER."
The picture of the Hornby coaling plant in MR 139 bears a remarkable
resemblence to one that was at the new shed the LNER built at Darnall
(Sheffield) during the early years of the Second World War.
The Hooper book is excellent, by the way, and contains loads of great
photos of sheds of all shapes and sizes - some of which would probably
make nice models.
Jades' First Encounters Site - http://www.jades.org/ffe.htm
The best Frontier: First Encounters site on the Web.
Was there enough Welsh steam coal left to fill a coal tower - excluding that
which was being exported - in BR days.
Anyway, LMS didnt use such softie stuff, didnt it all go to GWR to give
their engines a chance at some pulling power ?
Horses for courses. They had access to the best steam coal available
and designed locomotives accordingly. So they could do with narrow
fireboxes what took wide ones by the other companies. They didn't need
a trailing truck with its attendant problems of weight transfer and
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.