If it's the one I'm thinking of it look very US railroad like so would be either an adapted Tri-ang American model (they dipped their tows in the US/Can market in the late '50's early 60's IIRC) or a totally freelance design - I doubt any such design actually ever ran on the British railway system. Don't know what period your layout is but how about a military green colour, perhaps with US Amy insignia?
The model arrived in 1961 with a black body and grey roof and used the discarded body and roof moulds of the original Tri-ang transcontinental box car (but with the door "fixed").
It survived in this form until 1966 when the body colour changed to olive green. It was supposed to represent a BR Engineering Department wagon despite being unsuitable for the British scene. Final versions were finished in bright red.
Throughout its life, it carried the inscription "PERMANENT WAY DEPT." and the number TR9372. Carbon Tetrachloride for the felt pad could be bought in plastic capsules which were sold in boxes of six. (Lifted from Pat Hammond's book)
No - not a wind up. It never occurred to me that it could be a non UK prototype - sort of obvious now you say it. I just thought it could have been a pre-nationalisation design and that the odd one might have survived in departmental service - shows what I know!
My layout is based around early 80s North West, so I'm never going to make it look remotely right. Perhaps I'll just paint it BR blue and hope nobody notices - or transplant the die-cast bit into something more acceptable - or just forget the whole idea.
My layout is in a *very* dusty loft and its a continual battle to keep the track clean, so I thought I could stick the triang thing on the back of the odd goods train and perhaps not have to clean the whole layout by hand quite so often.
I converted a spare old Cl 47 using the kit out of one of the Hornby originals. In the beginning I ran it as a dummy but found that I could leave the motor in after taking off the tyred wheels and replacing them with insulated solids together with a new 5 pole motor with wheel pick-ups.
It was based (losely) on a British impression of an early US boxcar, modified to suit the then current manufacturing techniques used in the Rovex/Tri-ang factory. From memory there were three types of bogies fitted at different times:
- pre-archbar style diecast with open axleboxes and arm type/single bar coupler.
- archbar style diecast with open axleboxes and stamped full loop coupler.
- archbar style plastic with closed axleboxes and stamped coupler.
The giveaway that it was non-British prototype based (ie "Transcontinental") is that it lacks buffers.
Used to have a couple of these on my old Zero 1 layout in an attempt to keep it running.
They worked OK, especially when I used a few drops of surgical spirit on the felt pad, but I had to stop using it when they started putting something in it to stop the 'down and outs' drinking it as the smell used to make my Mum ill when I used it and it became a little greasy.
I got another a few years ago and tried using meths but they have stopped selling it around here, you now need a special licence apparently !
I made my son a track cleaner by sticking a piece of plywood under a closed wagon using Velcro strips and using old wheel balancing weights. Chamfered the leading edges off ( like in the car old drum brake days ) and it works a treat, non abrasive, cleans well, the Velcro pads can be removed without damage and the replacement pad is just scrap ply.
Mine's in a garage, complete with leaves blowing under the door and frost in the inside of the windows. To make matters worse within the same garage I use a bench sander, bandsaw and electric scrollsaw so I would imagine that my cleaning problems are at least on a par with yours. I also have a long tunnel and hidden storage sidings making much of the track inaccessable for cleaning purposes during normal day to day use.
My solution was to take an old hornby 21t mineral wagon and cut out a section of the floor in the middle. Drop through a 00 guage track cleaning rubber - trimmed to size then load the whole thing up with white metal ingots both resting on the rubber and over the wheels (I do a bit of home casting to have plenty of white metal to spare - but any heavy material should do). When it's loaded up the only thing I have that will pull it is a Bachmann C20 but it does't half keep the track clean.
I'm now making a new version based on a pair of old coaches, the leading one to carry the rubber and a second one with a brush (or felt pad if I can get hold of the felt).
You may want to try something similar, very inexpensive and of course you can make the track cleaning vehicles out of anything allowing you to hide the function of the vehicles at least from a casual glance.
When the weather's better my next project along this theme is to fit a motor inside a carriage, fit it with a ducted propeller and build make a vacuum cleaner out of it!