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Old 02-05-2018, 11:43 PM   #1
Chops
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Default Question regarding 4 wheel coaches.

rural rambler in night.jpg
A vintage Rural Rambler I stumbled over in a West Texas
junk shop. A long way from home. I snatched it before the
dust could settle.

I have long wondered about these ubiquitous 4 wheeled Hornby
carriages, and long since forgot, until I started watching
"Full Steam Ahead," on Youtube. Brilliant series, if you
haven't seen it, focuses on the sociological aspects of
railroads in Britain. I was alternately gobsmacked by
British ingenuity and stunned by scenery and forests
beyond compare- and I've seen a bit.

Anyways, do these OO Hornby pieces represent an early
(1870ish) standard of railway coach? If so, what? Kindly
post any links you have handy, on the subject, I'd be
grateful.
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:22 AM   #2
Mountain Goat
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As far as I'm aware, Hornby's models of the 4 wheel coach are nor specific to a certain prototype design but are more to give a general look of earlier 4 wheel coaches. They are about an inch or two too short to represent GWR prototypes (I maybe wrong), but are still lovely little coaches which are often overlooked. Over the years, Hornby have made them in GWR, SR, Caledonian blue, LNER, Midland and even in B.R. yellow engineers livery colours with track cleaning pads.
If you want a better represention try Ratio kits.

It is amazing how and why things were built as they were in the past. The further in the past we go, the more interesting things get as to the why things were done as they were. For example, one can look at early track plans and think "How could they bring a loco to shunt without the loco being trapped in the buffer end of sidings?" Horses were the reason why and also capstans where wagons could be pulled by rope etc.
They quickly started making rules due to finding out the hard way when things didnt work. For example, they quickly made a rule that all passenger platforms had to have ramps at both ends unless it was not possible to build, and terminus stations had to have a minimum number of at least one platform per track feeding the station area (E.g. if there were two routes of double track entering the terminus station the minimum number of platforms were to be four. One can imagine the chaos that used to take place prior to implementing this rule!)

From the earliest years onwards the railways have attracted brilliant minds and excellent workers into the industry. The skills the navvies had were just as impressive as the thought behind those who designed structures etc.
It is said the hayday of the railways in Britain were the 1880's and with good reason as apart from the later move to diesels (They already had the early forms of electric, or soon did not long after) from the 1880's onwards the improvements in technology have been relatively small compared to the absolutely massive leaps and bounds forward in the decades before those years.
The 1880's were also the peak before lines started to close. This maybe a surprise to some, but right through the history of railways, while many lines opened, quite a few lines had closed. Many lines closed in the1840's when the railway network put some smaller more localised chiefly horse drawn lines out of business by dissecting their lines, or just making them uneconomical to compete. A great many lines closed due to the 1930's depression. One closed near where I live during this time and has never reopened since.
In the UK, the greatest milages lost in the history of the railways came after the 1990's recession which hit so many industries, that the UK basically collapsed and for many areas, has not really recovered since.
The 1880's were the times when Britain was also at its industrial peak, so the railways were amazingly efficient at transporting the goods, which were shipped right round the world.

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Old 03-05-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
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Thanks, MG. The only thing, in my mind, that surpasses the ingenuity of these fellows
is the dedication of steam preservation societies that keep the embers glowing. Is
the next generation up to the task, I wonder?
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:01 PM   #4
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That's one of the big worries of the preservation movement, not as regards the skill but rather the numbers of volunteers. They are not coming forward in enough numbers to replace those who are 'falling off their perches'

Not only a railway problem, it applies in bus, aircraft and ship preservation as well.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:08 PM   #5
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MG

A little query, I have two of the hornby 4 wheel coaches, would I be right in thinking I can't repaint these in a BR maroon livery?
Just because I have them already and the ratio kits aren't exactly cheap per coach.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oncomin5torm View Post
MG

A little query, I have two of the hornby 4 wheel coaches, would I be right in thinking I can't repaint these in a BR maroon livery?
Just because I have them already and the ratio kits aren't exactly cheap per coach.
I'm not sure.in theory I guess. After all, somehow a few of the coaches survived to make it into preservation. Aparently eight exist. I believe two are at Gwili Railway in Wales. I have been on one of them.the wooden seats are a bit hard. I believe I hears they had a second coach though I dont know if it is operational or just a body.
I have a few GWR 4 wheel coaches and one is a brake van converted from a track cleaning coach.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #7
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Canít see why not.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:03 PM   #8
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I thought they did BR livery but I couldn't remember. Fair play to Hornby. They have covered most plausible liveries with these coaches.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:46 PM   #9
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I have two Thomas the tank engine 4 wheel coaches, and I have painted them crimson and will use them as engineers coaches, the world is your oyster
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