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BRITISH RAILWAYS DEPARTMENTAL WAGON KITS

C11 CATFISH 19 ton BALLAST HOPPER WAGON

Catfish

Catfish hoppers were similar to the Dogfish, the main differences being a lower hopper (reducing the load capacity) and lack of side chutes.
PROTOTYPE : These wagons have a hopper fitted with one central discharge door and were basically a welded version of the earlier "Mackerel". 236 Catfish were built from 1955-58 by Metropolitan-Cammell to BR Diagram D1/586 and were numbered:
1955: Lot 2682/3 DB992531 - 650. Lot 2775 DB992651-710 1958: Lot 2929 DB993508 - 566.(152 were still in service at 2/94)
These were all built with oil axleboxes & self-contained buffers as on the model. A further 471 were built to Lots 3039/3331 in 1960/61 (DB983376 576/627 - 896). These had Oleo buffers & roller bearings. (353 were still in service 2/94)
Catfish were originally allocated to the LMR, but from the late 60s spread onto the ScR & ER. Some were loaned to the SR in the 1970s. Catfish were worked with most other types of ballast hoppers. Rarely seen in the SR and WR areas.

C12 DOGFISH 24ton BALLAST HOPPER WAGON

Dogfish

There were a large number of these 4 - wheeled hopper wagons which were seen on all regions. Built from 1956 to 1960. The kit includes alternative flared chutes for the Southern Region version (see text below).
PROTOTYPE : Based on the LMS/LNER "Trout" design, and the earlier hoppers built by Leeds Forge for, amongst others, the SECR in 1911. These wagons were the most numerous of ballast hopper designs in the engineers' fleet. Introduced in 1956, the basic design underwent various detail changes, the last Lots had roller bearings & Oleo buffers. The model is based on DB993461, built in 1957 (Lot 2823 Metro-Cammell). It has open-front axleboxes & self-contained buffers and is suitable to be numbered from DB992711 to DB993507. In all, 1249 wagons were built and were abundant on all Regions. SR & LMR stock had 'flared' chutes to allow the ballast to fall clear of the outside 3rd rail. Another variant was for carrying slag ballast, having 9" plates welded to the top edges of the hopper, e.g. DB993160/192/239. Dogfish were worked with other types of hoppers, a train of about 8 Dogfish and 4 Sealion wagons being common. On the Southern Region, some Dogfish were worked with Mermaid side-tippers, and lettered 'MER-DOG'. Surviving Dogfish received the "new" liveries such as Loadhaul and Departmental grey, then EWS maroon. Air-braked wagons were coded HPA, although the time that they survived after the fitting of air brakes cannot have been very cost-effective.

C13 MERMAID 14 ton SIDE-TIPPING BALLAST WAGON

Mermaid

Built by Metro - Cammell, and almost identical to the GWR-owned type (these and the first batch of BR wagons were unfitted). They were used for tipping ballast from an adjacent line onto the trackbed, before laying the track. The opposite side of the wagon to the tipping direction was clipped to the rail, and the body moved sideways on rollers. The end chains attached to arms on the door opened it as the body tipped. Tipping too many wagons at once could tip the track as well!

C14 SHARK PLOUGH BRAKE VAN

Shark

Built 1956 - 60, and based on the LMS design (BR Oyster), itself very similar to a Caledonian Railway plough van.
There are ploughs at each end to spread ballast discharged from hopper wagons, which are lowered when in use, using the large handwheels on the end platforms. Wooden blocks under the ploughs "skate" along the rail head (real ploughs can only be used on plain track). Some vans had their ploughs modified to clear the third rail for use on the Southern Region. Includes moulded coupling bar for use with Hornby/Bachmann couplings.

C15 TURBOT 31tonne BALLAST/SPOIL/SLEEPER WAGON

Turbot

With one-piece floor and "one-piece" bogies.
One of the first "modern" type of P.W. open wagons built, although on 30 - year old underframes from Bolster Es with new bodies added during 1982-3. There were about 900 Turbots built. In use they became very battered due to being struck by excavator buckets. If used for sand, they needed lining with polythene sheeting, as the doors were not exactly leakproof. The Turbot was apparently bad luck for the works rebuilding them as construction began at Shildon, which closed before all the wagons had been converted. The work then transferred to Swindon, which also closed; the rest were then done at BREL(RFS) Doncaster.

C16 SEAHORSE BALLAST WAGON

Seahorse

Seahorse wagons were converted from OCA wagons during 1989 & early 1990, & totalled 30 wagons.
They were initially used to carry ballast from Meldon Quarry in Devon, to Hoo Junction in Kent.
This was to create a stockpile of ballast to refill half-empty Seacow/lion hoppers. This stockpile was termed a "virtual quarry", rather than the less trendy "heap of ballast". Some neighbours of other "virtual quarries" complained of "virtual dust" appearing on their washing.

C29 "TAUNTON CONCRETE" WAGON

Taunton Concrete

In the late 1950s sides were fitted to GWR sleeper wagons so that concrete products such as troughing could be carried.
These worked from the Concrete Works (north-east of Taunton Station, now a housing estate) to wherever the load was destined. Some survived until the late 80s on the Southern Region, one in particular, which had been air-piped, was based at Woking. Another found its way to the Isle of Wight. This late survival led to the preservation of some wagons, and removal of the sides e.g. West Somerset Railway & Bluebell Railway (restored to Sleeper wagon).

C41 SEA URCHIN BALLAST WAGON

Seaurchin

Converted from OBA wagons in the early 1990s. The only remaining part of the OBA body appears to be the end stanchions,
the rest being replaced with new steel parts. The wagons have carried a variety of liveries. Can be adapted to the type which has flat topped sides & ends.

C65 WALRUS 40ton BALLAST HOPPER WAGON

walrus hopper

These were built in 1952 with plate bogies and slightly shorter end platforms than the later Sealion/Seacows. The overall length was thus less than the Sealions and Seacows (by 16" / 5.3mm). Apart from the bogies, they were virtually identical to the third batch of Southern Railway hoppers. (see kit C67) The last three of these were withdrawn in the early 1990s. Two others (DB992481/491) were sold to Balfour Beatty and were still in use in 1997. The Balfour Beatty wagons were fitted with air brakes and full width platform canopies. Livery was blue underframe and everything above the solebar was white.

C76 BR WHALE 50ton BALLAST HOPPER WAGON

B R 40 ton Ballast Hopper

These larger hoppers had a roller-bearing plate bogie (this is a "one-piece" moulding) and were a basically a stretched Walrus, but air-braked. The wagons required strengthening and were moved off the Southern Region in 1982, some working, for example, from a quarry near Shrewsbury. Apparently the designer of the Whales travelled from Meldon Quarry to Taunton on their first trip, in the brake van at the rear of the train. He is said to have emerged onto the platform looking rather green and demanding disciplinary action, as the train had run at 60mph, and the wagons were only designed for 30-45mph! This was how they ended their days, as from 2000 Network Rail imposed a 30mph speed restriction on them.
The bogie ballast hoppers suffered from distortion, and some SR hoppers and Walruses got extra plates on the bottom edge at the end of the sides. Some of the SR ones had wider vertical channels fitted at the end of the sides. Even the later Sealions showed some bending at this point due to the hopper section sagging inboard of the bogie mounting. It is thought that all Whales have now been withdrawn.

C82 BR STURGEON RAIL/SLEEPER/BALLAST WAGON (with side doors)

B R Sturgeon Wagon

The Sturgeon wagon was based on the LNER "Dolphin" wagons, although these had fixed ends, and diamond-framed bogies. This kit is for the as-built wagons with side doors, for carrying rails, ballast & sleepers. It is thought that ballast was rarely transported in Sturgeons, the main use of those with side doors being for sleepers (old or new) or recovered rails. Some ran without the two top end pieces. Although there were stowage racks under the wagon for these pieces, it is quite likely that some were simply taken off and left in a PW yard, as photos show that they were often missing. In later years, some had the side uprights cut off level with the top of the folding end panel.
Note: Parts for the actual racks are not included in the kit.
The kit can be made with these pieces in place, or omitted. The two sections slot into the side uprights, so don't have to be fixed on (although they could get lost – just like the real ones).
The folding end plate can also be fitted on in the folded down position – although this does have to be glued on. Includes "One-piece" bogies with optional "NEM" pocket for "fish-tail" couplings such as the Hornby R8219.

Available from May 19th 2012.

C88 EWS 50ton Bogie Rail Wagon - YSA/Salmon

 EW S 50ton Bogie Rail Wagon - YSA/Salmon

About 300 Salmon wagons were fitted with ASF bogies from 1998, enabling them to run at higher speeds, some as high as 75mph. From 2009, a number (199) were fitted with large tubular frames to locate track panels. These are painted bright yellow, but the rest of the wagon remained in the condition/livery it had already (regardless of how tatty it was). These are YKA Osprey (curiously for an engineers' wagon, not a marine creature!). See LTSV Profile - Salmons.

C106 BR STURGEON RAIL/SLEEPER/BALLAST WAGON (without side doors)

B R Sturgeon Wagon

The Sturgeon wagon was based on the LNER "Dolphin" wagons, although these had fixed ends, and diamond-framed bogies. This kit is for the wagons which ran without their sides, and generally carried track panels. Some ran with ends, or just the side uprights, and others without any of these. Although there were stowage racks under the wagon for these pieces, it is quite likely that some were simply taken off and left in a PW yard.
(Parts for the actual racks are not included in the kit)
The kit can be made with some or all of the end pieces in place. It is also possible to fit the end components together as a separate unit, meaning that you have the option of putting them on or leaving them off – they don't have to be glued on. The two top end sections slot into the side uprights, so don't have to be fixed on (although they could get lost – just like the real ones).
The folding end plate can also be fitted on in the folded down position – although this does have to be glued on. Includes "One-piece" bogies with optional "NEM" pocket.
 
B R Sturgeon Wagon end     B R Sturgeon Wagon end     B R Sturgeon Wagon end     
The kit also includes optional "winches" for lashing straps (shown fitted in the main picture), and stanchions for the wagons which were converted to carry new sleepers – these were the earlier D1/638 wagons which had 8 doors per side. The solebar door hinge detail on this kit would need altering, as the D1/638 wagons had four "lift-off" (easier said than done!) doors, with far less fittings on the solebars.
NOTE: these wagon cannot be used on curves less than "2nd radius" (about 450mm), as the wheels would jam against the solebar. The coupling mount is for Hornby R8219 couplings, although other "split-tail" couplings that fit a NEM coupling pocket could be used.
The kit is designed for Alan Gibson 105mm "Lowmac" wheels – use of wheels with larger flanges than these have, will lead to clearance problems on curves. They will either stick against the back of the solebars, or the bogie mounting.
THE HORNBY COUPLINGS SHOWN ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE KIT.
See LTSV Profile - YAO Dolphin & YBO Sturgeon.

B R Sturgeon Wagon bogie

Here's a Whale and a Sturgeon (with doors) at Shrewsbury Coton Hill, about 1983:

whale hopper at Shrewsbury

And here's a Whale and a Sturgeon †, not quite "just like the real thing" *, at Tydd Gote, about 2012:
† and part of a Cambrian Sealion. * as Airfix used to say.

whale hopper at Shrewsbury

> PROTOTYPE PHOTOS