OK guys, I'm sorry I fed the global warming distraction.
Now could someone please advise me? I'm only running this train under
the Christmas tree, but I would like it to be correctly formed.
Were it LMS then brake at either extreme but preferably last, 1st can be
either middle or behind loco. Normally with 3 coaches then they would have
had 2 brakes, one at either end. Perhaps you should put brake behind loco,
then the 1st then the full 3rd, that way you could say the last coach is to
be dropped (or slipped) on route.
Like US practice. Express, mail and baggage all generally go on the loco
end. If a combination passenger baggage the passenger end generally goes
toward the middle - keeps passengers out of areas they do not need to access
while allowing them the freedom of the remainder of the train.
Is that similar to BR practice?
I have many memories on BR of walking through brake vans/luggage vans
and First Class coaches. Trains were (still are) often split or combined
en route, so there could be several brake vans in the train.
The only thing you didn't get to walk through was TPO coaches!
What looks like a combine isn't just a luggage area. It's the guard's
compartment (conductor) with a screw brake. If it was a corridor
vehicle (ie diaphragm connections) there was a side corridor separated
from the luggage compartment by a wire mesh. It's not an issue for a
But I saw very little in the way of baggage carried in it. When I was
a student in the late 1960s I would put my bicycle in it - and often
ride with it, keeping the guard company.
It was not uncommon to find a brake third in the middle of the train
especially when it was formed of more than one portion. For a short
train there wasn't really any point in having a brake third at each
end - it just wasted space. Twenty-five years ago when I used to
travel regularly between Manchester and Leeds these trains had 4
carriages, with the brake second in the middle. The short trains on
the West Highland line also had the brake second in the middle.
Regarding the original poster's question, I looked at pictured in
books on the Fairford branch and other cross-country lines running
that sort of train, and found examples of the brake in the middle as
well as at one end.
In earlier days like my own modelling era, carriages were shorter and
wooden. The train would be topped and tailed with a guard/luggage van.
These were also a passenger safety factor because they took the brunt
of any collision. Also in those days people traveled with more
In more recent times, I never understood the rationale behind the GWR
B-Set which seemed to have luggage/etc space out of proportion for
such a short train.
Short trains like this (North Somerset line : Bristol to Frome for
example,) would normally be a B set whereas Bristol to Avonmouth or
Filton with lots of workers would be 5 carriages (non corridor).
Sometimes they looked as if the ancient almost abandoned carriages
(non cleristory but almost) were marshalled for an outing!
Some mail and parcels were carried but most of the space was occupied
by bicycles, prams and pushchairs.
It was normal to go into Plymouth from St Budeaux with our twin pram
-- you certainly could not do that on a bus! With more than 20,000
workers moving on the quoted trains each day the G (WR) were busy
Today, one line is a memory and the other restricted to a single car
The direct answer is that the NC trains were made up with a brake/
parcels comp at each end. Ist was always in the safest position!
Because when the train reaches its destination, the loco runs round it
and hooks onto the other end ready for the return journey. If the
brake-3rd were last it now becomes first. It is better to have it in the
There are plenty of pictures showing trains made up this way.
When the train reversed at the branch terminus that would mean the brake
coach would be at the front, not that it would really matter with a
continuous braked train - the brake van really only provides accomodation
for the guard and a parking brake.