: > Mail "trains" were either a complete train or a part which
: > travel coupled to public services but not part of the train
: There were many 'mixed trains' some of which had portions for
: locations. The Newcastle (later York) to Swansea (later
: being a classic case in point.
: The formation during the 1950's was:
: Loco: BG (Newcastle - Salop), 2 TPO (York - Salop), BSK, 2SK,
: (York - Swansea), BG (Stockport - Neyland), BG(Stockport -
: (Crewe - Aberystwyth), Vanfit (Stockport - Aberystwyth), Vanfit
: Oswestry), BCK, SK, BSK. TPO, BG (York - Liverpool), BG
: So there was clearly plenty of shunting & or re-marshalling
But not all had off-set connections, IIRC it was only the
specialist pick-up, set-down and sorting 'vans' that had them,
with standard centre connections at the outer ends of the fixed
formation, with the rest of the mail train (section) made up of
The Triang Royal Mail coach of the early 1950's also had off-set corridor
Keith Parkin's "BR Mark 1 Coaches" contains quite a bit of useful
information, including the following:
Post Office vehicles were not early targets for standardisation. By 1958 a
number of older coaches needed to be retired and the standard 63' 6"
undeframe with BR2 heavy bogies was used. Most had "standard" ends. This
was unusual for Post Office stock because, for security when marshalled with
other stock and to give maximum width for sorting tables, it had become
regular practice to fir an offset side gangway. The new vehicles entered
service in batches because this feature required them to work in
self-contained sets as they could not connect with older stock.
The scale drawings which accompany the text show that, for the Mark 1
coaches, only the Stowage Vans to Diagram 725 (Venhicle Nos 80403 - 6 and
80411 - 14) had the offset gangway.
Hope this helps,
I know of one model shop that has a large cupboard upstairs full (and
I mean full) of locos and coaches purchased and paid for some future
layout.. For whatever reason the owner hasn't even taken a lot of his
But in a letter to modellers backtrack fellow states less a security feature
more for better use of interior layout and also as they were wider than
normal to allow passage of handcarts loaded with mailbags.
Now thats an interesting point, if they were wide and central they would
definately interfere with sorting desks.
Not on the LMS according to Jenkinson & Essery. There were 2 vehicle
types - sorting and stowage - both had offset connections at both ends and
pick-up equipment was on the sorting coach.
Jerry, I wasn't the person who made the rules for Postal vehicles.
I'm merely commenting on what was, not whether or not something
simpler would had the same effect. Postal vehicles DID have offset
corridor connections in spite of the fact that I've never had one
up my arse.
: > :
: > : > On Tue, 22 Dec 2009 01:50:31 +1300, John Turner
: > : > wrote:
: > : >
: > : >>
: > : >> "simon" wrote
: > : >>
: > : >>> This may sound stupid but it clicked that you can
: > a non
: > : >>> corridor
: > : >>> coach by the missing corridor connections !
: > : >>
: > : >> I'm going off at a tangent here, but talking about
: > connections,
: > : >> can
: > : >> anyone explain the logic of off-set corridor connections
: > the end of
: > : >> mail
: > : >> coaches?
: > : >>
: > : >
: > : > Mail coaches were a total "no-go" area for the Public and
: > railway staff.
: > : > The offset corridor connections ensured that there could
: > no
: > : > "accidental"
: > : > thoroughfare. OTOH sorting coaches needed additional
: > areas
: > : > for both sorted and unsorted mail so the corridor
: > were a
: > : > neccessity. Sorting and storage coaches normally ran as
: > groups
: > : > and every major station had a turntable, so correct
: > wasn't a
: > : > major problem.
: > : >
: > : >> I understand that you may want to excluded 'Joe Public'
: > walking
: > : >> from a
: > : >> passenger coach into a mail coach (although I'd have
: > a simple
: > : >> lock
: > : >> would serve that purpose), but the off-setting of
: > connections
: > : >> must
: > : >> make marshalling of mail coaches difficult.
: > : >>
: > : >> Some also appear to be off-set diagonally, which would
: > they wouldn't
: > : >> connect with any other coach.
: > : >>
: > : >
: > : > I've never seen/spotted that!?!
: > : >
: > : > Greg.P.
: > :
: > : But wouldnt the lack of a corridor connection be sufficient
: > ensure no
: > : accidental access ? Seems a bit excessive to offset the
: > corridor as well.
: > :
: > Greg is talking out of his arse, as John said, a simple lock
: > would have secured the corridor connections, just as locks
: > prevented unauthorised access from the side door. As for
: > the fixed formations, if that was indeed required they would
: > been turned on the nearest triangle - as most carriage
: > didn't have turntables - and considering that they ran both
: > and down mail-trains why not just have two mail pick up
: > in each formation, one for each direction.
: Jerry, I wasn't the person who made the rules for Postal
: I'm merely commenting on what was, not whether or not something
: simpler would had the same effect.
Except that *you* are posting crap as a fact. If a simple,
suitable, could secure the side doors why would the same not be
true for the doors protecting the corridor connections.
Postal vehicles DID have offset
: corridor connections in spite of the fact that I've never had
: up my arse.
No one is suggesting that they didn't, the question was *why* did
they, try actually reading the thread rather than just firing off
the first troll, that comes out of your arse!
: If the pickup coaches were differently handed on the train then
Err?! (hope the ASCII arts works, "V" and "^" = pick-up/set-down
is a mirror image of
: able to go from one to the other. Cant see em carrying the cost
of having a
: coach unused on every post train. So seems unlikely.
But they didn't, these pick-up/set-down coaches had other
functions besides the obvious, even if it was just storage.
OK, am still only talking about LMS designs, but the pickup (may be on
sorting coaches or stowage vans) and it was always on the same side in
relation to the corridor offset. That means if you had two GPO coaches in
the same train with pickup appuratus on opposite sides then the corridors
would be on opposite sides. Consequently there would be no way of passing
between them - unless we're talking James Bond - except where train stops.
Have looked at some formations of passenger services that contain PO coaches
and can see most of them have an odd number of sorting coaches (based on
destination) not the two you idea would require. Usually where a stowage van
is present there is normally only one.
Conclusion is that normally the GPO coaches were turned for each journey.
at least has some interesting photo's of interiors.
againi I've not read though it, but past excursions to
absoluteastronomy.com have provide good info on other subjects.
Presumably astronomers have quite a lot of spare time on their hands -
waiting for the clouds to clear?
Given that it's about 135 years since the first off-set corridor
connections went into service and that someone whose opinions
I respected at the time (50 years ago) wrote that the purpose
was to deny entrance/exit to all but postal staff, I'm not
going to get into an argument as to whether 1874 locks were or
were not sufficiently robust.
I will admit that the suggestion that the offset corridor would
allow more room for sorting equipment has considerable merit.
We now have two possibilities/probibilities.
However, I do know for a fact that the interiors of Post Office
vehicles were not allowed access by other than Postal employees.
Not suggesting you are wrong, but the first LNWR train of corridor coaches
wasnt built till 1893. Which raises at least 2 questions, were there any
other coaches on passenger trains that had connections and when did the
other companies introduce corridor coaches ?
The GWR ran Britain's first corridor train between Paddington and
Birkenhead in 1892.
This had the connections at the side in line with the corridors. But
it was found to be operationally inconvenient so they went to central
connections pretty quickly.
Some of the carriages were easy to convert if they had lavatories at
the end of the coach - they just made these smaller to make room for
the connection. Others finished up as clerestory roofed auto-trailers.