The Southern Railway was formed in 1923, and comprised the South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR), the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSC), the London & South Western Railway (LSWR), plus the Isle of Wight Railways and a few minor companies. The main companies' works for wagon building were at Ashford (SECR), Lancing, near Worthing (LBSC) and Eastleigh (LSWR). Each had their entrenched way of doing things, leading to minor variations in batches of wagons of the same type built at more than one works.
NOTE: on this page, kits are listed in order of our reference number, rather than by railway company.
C6 SR 12ton 8 Plank Open Wagon Kit
A numerous type, our kit is for the 9' wheelbase unfitted design (D1379), with "Freighter" double-sided brakes. These were also used as engineers wagons – many were converted to carry cable drums for electrification work between 1950-70. However, after an accident in which an unfastened top door struck a passenger train, their use for spoil was banned.
NOTE: the kit represents an Ashford-built wagon. This works (unlike Eastleigh) did not bevel the top edge of the body sheeting (planks). When built and painted, the body sides were fairly smooth, with little evidence of plank edges until shrinkage took place.
See C96 below for 10ft. wheelbase version.
C7 SR 25ton Brake Van Kit
Above : LH ducket/equal plank type (SR early livery) ¦ RH ducket/unequal planks (BR Dept. livery)
Built between 1928 and 1948, some were still in use in the late '90s. The kit allows the construction of one of several body types: equal or unequal planked, left or right handed duckets. Optional sandboxes. Kits produced from May 2010 have a single window on the end of the cabin for the "as-built" vans. Extra window frames for the BR modifications are included.
See C95 below for 15 ton version.
C33 LBSC/SR 5 plank Open Wagon Kit
The standard LBSC open (D1369), with body style as built from 1912-26. The later wagons built by the SR all had flat topped ends. 400 of these were transferred by the Southern Railway to the Isle of Wight, where some remained in use until the end of steam and closure of Medina Wharf in 1966. With sheet rail & flat end option. See a preserved wagon at the Bluebell Railway.
C50 SR 5 plank Open (D1380) Wagon Kit
Built in 1930-31, these wagons used underframe parts from LSWR wagons and were known as "Rebuild Type 1" (D1380).
There were 900 of these wagons built, 17' 6" over headstocks with a 9' 0" wheelbase. The kit has LSWR-style buffer bodies, plus axleboxes and doorsprings of the type used on these wagons. A later version with similar bodywork had a 10' wheelbase, some of this type were built as BR D1/34
C55 SR 40ton Ballast Hopper Wagon Kit
Built in 1928, this design was based on the LSWR hoppers and continued through two other SR versions to the BR Walrus & Sealion/Seacow. The bogies in the kit are one-piece frames and stretcher, with separate axleboxes. This early type had single door controls rather than the double-ended style found on all the later variations.
Due to the wagons' tendency to sag in the middle, the full length centre door could become extremely difficult to operate, as the operating rod had a centre bearing which got tight when the hopper sagged. Five of these and one of the later batches went to Northern Ireland, and one is now preserved by the RPSI. They were used during relaying of the NIR Bleach Green - Antrim line in 2000, although the above-mentioned door problem caused some difficulty.
C59 SR 13ton 8 plank Mineral Wagon Kit
100 of these were built between 1945 and 1946. They were SR Diagram 1390. Another 1,850 were built for the LNER (their D192). NOTE: kits supplied via model shops usually have a non-bottom door floor.
C66 SECR 12ton 7 plank Open Wagon Kit
This design was built between 1919 and 1926. They became SR Diagram 1355, and some lasted until about 1970. RH picture shows an SR built D1355, which all had a sheet rail when new. The last design of LSWR open wagons was very similar.
C67 SR 40ton Ballast Hopper Wagon Kit
This is the third type with cast "AAR" bogies built in 1947. The slope of the hoppers had become steeper, apparently because the stone being quarried at Meldon did not "flow" as well as that being used when the 1928 hoppers were built. The BR Walrus (Kit C65) which followed was very similar, although these had GWR-style plate bogies which were somewhat less reliable.
C77 SECR 2 plank Ballast Wagon Kit (D1344)
120 of these were built between 1919 and 1923. The kit has extra parts to fit along the edge of the floor for the "as built" overhanging floor wagons (Left-hand picture).
In later years they were seen all over the Southern Railway/Region system, some wagons lasting until the early 1970s. A few ended up on the Western Region, when in a ridiculous moving of Region boundaries, the western end of the Salisbury - Exeter line became part of the Western Region, putting the Broadclyst PW depôt over the border, together with its wagons (right-hand picture – lettering panels, which include the black/red oxide, can be emailed (jpg) on request for you to print onto thin paper).
C78 SECR "Dancehall" Brake Van Kit (D1560)
Built from 1923-26. The right-hand picture shows a preserved van at Sheffield Park on the Bluebell Railway. The kit could be modified to represent the earlier 1921-built vans of D1559 There are extra parts to allow the Departmental "Ballast Brake Van" conversion of 10 vans in 1953 to be built (with ONE verandah boxed in). Several of these vans were air-piped and survived until the 1990s. The last survivors were ZPO DS55466, ZXW DS55476 (BBV), ZXV DS55493 (BBV), ZTO DS55509, ZTO DS55512
Above left: BR Ballast Brake conversion option.
Above right: modification to the earlier D1559 van. 1mm sq. plastic strip added below the side and footstep hangers thinned to represent the rod hangers (This seemed easier than changing them to plastic rod).
C79 LSWR 12/15ton 8 plank Open Wagon Kit (SR D1316)
Over 1342 of these were built between 1904 and 1925. Some lasted until the 1960s. These were larger than most 4 wheel merchandise wagons, there was increased capacity, with an improved tare weight : load weight ratio, although most were later down-rated to 12 tons.
The kit has "one piece" solebars and floor. The sheet rail is optional – later wagons, including the SR-built ones, didn't have sheet rails. The buffers are separate mouldings, making it easier to fit sprung buffers if required.
The kit can be assembled with or without the sheet rail and "door controller" arm – both the "without" options need the mounting plates to be cut off the body. Single lever brakes can also be modelled.
The larger capacity seems to have been a similar exercise to the GWR "Felix Pole" 20ton wagons used in South Wales. The LSWR was a rather long thin system, with spread-out population centres, so reducing the amount of "dead" weight being hauled about must have seemed a good idea.
20 wagons were converted to grain wagons in the 1930s. This involved new side sheeting (planks) to do away with the doors, and the fitting of hoppering inside. The sheet rail (and sheet!) was retained. The surviving 16 wagons were used for grain traffic on the Canterbury & Whitstable branch in Kent during the 1950s. Parts for this conversion are not included in the kit. See also C95 below
Extra top doors with diagonal braced hinges are included, but the wagon sides will need the top door section cut out to fit the door variation (Picture below).
This will be followed by LSWR D1410 Van and one day by an LSWR "New" Brake van to D1543:
C95 SR 15ton Brake Van Kit (D1581)
Fifty of these vans were built in 1934 for use on lightly-laid branch lines, and some spent their entire life on the same line. They had shallower solebars than the 25 ton vans (as this was where the scrap "ballast" was located), and RCH-style axleboxes. Two were cut down for use on the Canterbury & Whitstable line (perhaps used with the LSWR "grain" wagons mentioned under C79 above). Two more were sent to the Isle of Wight, where one remained in use until about 2000. Several others were early transfers to engineering use – with a large toolbox on one platform. One of these, DS455, was still to be seen in the Salisbury area about 1990.
C96 SR 10/12/13ton Open Kit (D1400)
The 10 foot wheelbase version of the standard SR 12ton open wagon. 1400 of these wagons were built between 1935 and 1937, using second-hand "worn-out" spoked wheels and rated to carry 10tons. Although the wheels seem to have been the only parts that weren't new, the wagons were referred to as "Rebuilds Type 4". By 1939, most had been fitted with new wheels (probably all of the 3-hole type) and were uprated to 13tons during the war years. During the BR era, they were rated at 12tons.
The kit has "one-piece" floor and solebars. The end and headstock are in one piece, with separate buffers.
C98 SECR 10ton Van Kit (D1426)
These vans were built between 1919 and 1922, but the SR built a further 100 of D1426 at the end of 1925. They remained in revenue use until the early 1960s, but survived longer than this in Departmental service. Although there is probably no evidence to support it, it would have been useful to have fitted a step on the inside of the drop-down door to make it possible to get into the van from track level (in Departmental use). One, at least, was fitted with small windows either side of the doors when in Departmental use, and may have the step as suggested above. The roof profile was continued in the later SR standard 17' 6" vans, but the drop-down lower door was omitted, the doors being full-height cupboard type.
C103 SR "Borail" Bogie Rail Wagon Kit (D1598)
These wagons were built from 1937, beginning with a batch of 25 wagons. 30 more followed in 1943, and 50 in 1945. The later ones had different buffers. The kit includes all three types of buffers: as built the first batch had SECR-type buffers, later ones had unusual Bulleid ones with rectangular buffer head spindles. The wagons were used to transport new rails which meant that they travelled to/from Workington or Scunthorpe. In BR days the wagons were used to transport used rail panels and sometimes other items, such as bridge girders. With "one-piece" diamond-framed bogies.
The picture above shows a wagon fitted with "Bulleid" buffers. The lashing rings are separate mouldings that can be put on as shown or upwards if chains are attached to them to secure a load.
C104 SR "Borail" Bogie Rail Wagon Kit (D1599)
Identical to the last batches of D1598, except for having cast bogies. Built in 1946 & 1948, there was a total of 69 wagons. Some had provision for "Robel" cranes to unload rails – these had been first used on 3 wagons of D1598 in 1937. These wagons and the earlier ones had wood planks fitted when their own steel floors became badly rusted (planking is not included in the kit). With "one-piece" cast bogies.
The picture below shows a wagon in SR engineers' livery.
C107 SR 5 Plank Wagon Kit (D1375)
D1375 wagons were built between 1940 and 1948. However, the model is of the wagons with thinner body sheeting (planks) than normal, and thinner floor planks. These were built during 1943 & 1944 amounting to 850 wagons. Another 400 wagons went to the LNER as their D178. To save metal, the headstocks were cut off square and the corner plates were narrower (as on LNER 6 plank opens). Two later batches (about 1100 wagons) also had the thinner planks, but had the more usual angled headstocks. These could be modelled using plastic, and hiding the join under the buffer body. Vacuum brakes were fitted later to many of these wagons, with a second set of brake blocks. A number were used for ball clay traffic to Stoke-on-Trent.
With "one-piece" underframe. Will include etched tie bars, optional "Oleo" buffer bodies and vacuum brake cylinder. The top edge of the sides & ends are as near scale thickness as possible – about 0·5mm: the real planks were 1&frac2;".
Not yet available. Current status: uses underframe as C91. Body: tooling virtually complete, etching on order (13/04/13). Here's a pre-production sample, the right hand picture shows the Oleo buffer bodies.
C108 SECR 5 Plank Wagon Kit (D1347/49)
150 of these were built in 1921-22. Parts will be included for the buffer type used on D1347, 500 of which were built between 1920 & 1925.
Current status: available now. Here's a pre-production wagon:
C109 SECR Twin Bolster Wagon Kit (D1610)
50 sets of these wagons were built in 1921-22 and were in use until the 1950s. One of the last surviving pairs was used by the Southern Region Signal Dept., presumably to transport signal posts.
Not yet available. Current status: uses existing SECR underframe, other parts not started on.
LBSC wagons at sea: Newhaven breakwater in rough seas – 1920s or 30s: the two-storey defensive structure built in WWII at the landward end, just in front of the two figures, is absent. This WWII structure was demolished in the 1970s or 80s (?), although it outlived the West Quay/Breakwater branch, which closed in 1963 – see below for Newhaven c.1960 on YouTube.
The track on the breakwater was flat-bottomed rail held down to the concrete by clips with occasional tiebars. There was a loop roughly where the bend in the breakwater is. The higher right-hand side is a covered way enabling access to the lighthouse without getting wet, but frequently lost parts of its concrete "roof" due to wave damage. A compound off to the left of the picture housed a concrete making facility used to cast blocks for repairing the breakwater. Materials for this were brought down the West Quay branch, including water – see Youtube video below.
Access to the breakwater (or the adjacent sandy beach on the left) is no longer allowed (causing much annoyance to Newhaven residents).
YouTube video of Steam at work in Newhaven, including the West Quay branch. Includes a train passing along the road section near the Hope Inn. One of the wagons is an SR 8 plank containing a large water tank (for concrete block making – see above) and an access ladder on the end. A further 14 clips of various SR subjects can be accessed after the one below has been watched.