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Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

vespa
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Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#1

Post by vespa »

I would like to get the Bachmann Rapier crane and make up a train. The only problem is a choice of vans and a Mess coach. I could just get hold of items from all makers and make do with those. Now with that in mind and the fact that I am considering the BR black early emblem crane, would the support coach(s) be black also or red?. Where could I get suitable transfers as Modelmaster seems to have sold stock out to Peter's Spares and I am not sure that they are what I want. I am totally flummoxed trying to find anything on Fox transfers site as it comes up with everything not related to breakdown trains. I was thinking of contact CCT to see if they have anything not listed. HMRS also don't appear to have anything suitable from what I can see. Photos of breakdown trains are nearly all black and white hence the colour question and the wagons are at too much of and angle to see any writing on them. I must stop getting into these obscure areas of railways :)
Train enthusiast from the 50's. Started with Hornby Dublo.
vespa
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#2

Post by vespa »

From the lack of replies I assume that this is an area of limited knowledge. I have been through all sorts of websites inc Paul Bartlett's superb selection of photos. I got some ideas from there and I can get hold of Railtec transfers to make up some of my own stock. I have ordered the Bachmann crane and an engineers flat wagon at a very good price. I intend buying 2 Dapol Fruit vans and spraying them black and adding transfers.I may iclude a tanker wagon for water. There will be a "Mess" coach but as yet I have not decided which model as that too will need spraying, lettering and numbering. I may again use a Dapol Kit brake coach as that will be easier to spray up with the windows out. The trouble with that, at present, is they are in short supply. There is no rush though and as long as it looks right I am not bothered if it is 100% accurate.
Comments and ideas please!
Train enthusiast from the 50's. Started with Hornby Dublo.
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Brian
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#3

Post by Brian »

The Ashford Kent (Chart Leacon) Breakdown crane and crew train had a old Mk1? corridor coach converted to a rail mess van plus it had a separate Tool van. It all formed part of the whole Breakdown train. While I never went on it, some said there was some coach compartments converted to sleeping areas? I can only recall it in a sort of brownish/marron colouring, but attached at the bottom is a link showing it repainted in Engineering Yellow.
https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/stewa ... #h379514dc
https://www.flickr.com/photos/curly42/5762584318
Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
vespa
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:04 pm
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#4

Post by vespa »

Thank you Brian. I spent all day yesterday perusing photos and text and the Breakdown Crane Association. I hope my efforts will be OK if not 100% accurate with numbering. Looking into this subject is a bit difficult as the best book about them is out of print and only availbe for collection on Mars. :lol: So far I will have the 50's crane and a suitable wagon with a Dapol banana van to become a tool van.
Train enthusiast from the 50's. Started with Hornby Dublo.
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LC&DR
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#5

Post by LC&DR »

Image

Does this help? taken at Bristol Temple Meads in the 1970s. The mess and tool vans are in the shed and are now painted yellow although the crane is still black.


Image

Then this is the Tinsley crane passing Beighton Tip at about the same date. The Mark 1 mess and tool van is yellow but the packing van is an old fish van in red.


Image

Here is a SR Mess & Tool Van at Hoo Junction (Greg Martin photograph)


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Another former Fish Van here at Crewe. (Trevor Mann photograph)




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An ex LNER coach as a Mess and Tool Van at Eastfields (Glasgow)



And the Eastfields Crane


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LC&DR
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#6

Post by LC&DR »

Yellow was definitely a diesel era livery for cranes and mess vans.

Cranes in BR days were black until 1959/1960 when they started painting them red. Mess vans and supporting vehicles were normally red. Black cranes were often given mixed traffic lining.

There was always a mess and tool van with the crane, it had a crew compartment, lavatory and kitchen. It was usual for old coaches to be converted for this purpose. Four and six wheel coaches were still being used in the 1950s, and short wheelbase bogie coaches. By the end of the 1950s bogie carriages were being converted and the four and six wheelers were withdrawn. It was also usual to also have a packing van to carry a quantity of heavy wooden pieces used to support jacks during rerailing. This would be a former covered merchandise wagon, or a parcels van. The Great Western Railway sometimes actually built dedicated vehicles for these purposes, but other lines used second hand vehicles. The vehicles were usually typical of the railway Region on which the crane was based. Old LB&SCR, SE&CR , or LSWR coaches and vans being used by the Southern Region breakdown trains for example.

Larger bits of kit like spreader beams might be loaded on a Lowmac or four wheel Flatrol.

Steam cranes needed a reserve of coal and water especially on long jobs. It was usual to take a tank wagon full of water if it was thought local supplies would be hard to come by. Exceptionally a mineral wagon loaded with coal might also be attached when the job was expected to be lengthy. Bridge jobs could last all weekend.

Sometimes only the Mess & Tool van and packing van would go to a derailment leaving the crane behind. Derailments of wagons and smaller locos could be dealt with using jacks and packing, and even if the crane went along it might not be used.

It was great to watch the breakdown gang at work. They were extremely skilled and experienced, knowing just where to put the jacks to get the vehicle back on to the rails. Lashings of tea was forthcoming from the mess van, and Bacon Butties too. If there was a nearby Fish and Chip shop the junior member of the gang would be dispatched with an order for the gang at a convenient moment.
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LC&DR
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#7

Post by LC&DR »

And finally a 'Stove R' once used in the Tinsley breakdown train.


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vespa
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#8

Post by vespa »

Thank you LC&DR. Great information and now I can get a fish van and spray it red. I was going to do the Banana van black but I think that can be red as well from your info. I was also looking at a red 6wheel milk tank as in the photo as I had seen a similar photo. There was a flat box section just under the tank about 1/4-1/3 of the length and "water not for drinking" about 1/2 way up at the other end. What red would you recommend as Gulf Red looks wrong in the colour charts.
As I write the Railtec transfers have arrived.
Train enthusiast from the 50's. Started with Hornby Dublo.
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LC&DR
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#9

Post by LC&DR »

The red is not that dissimilar to the red used on BR double arrow station signs or the red used by Virgin. When fresh it was quite bright, (Post Office Red) but of course it weathered and faded. It is possible that coach crimson / carmine might have been used but I guess the works overhauling the cranes and ancillary vehicles mixed their own paint and there would be variation.

This picture I hope might help.

Image
LC&DR says South for Sunshine
vespa
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Re: Breakdown trains and their rolling stock

#10

Post by vespa »

I have been spending time on this project today and sourced a Dapol Ex LMS corridor Brake kit. The reason I chose this is because it was cheap £15 inc p&p and the fact that it is already in bits, so spraying will be easier than ruining a more expensive model. Yes, I could have something more detailed, professionally sprayed and lettered but that is not modelling by me, but someone else. I have seen pro resprays and they are superb. However getting a red for the van and coach proved to be a nightmare. The dedicated paints are mainly in tins and are not specifically labled for the breakdown extras. I have been through many car makers paints but the very nearest seem to be discontinued or only available in 1 litre cans for spraying. Far too expensive. I am going to visit a small car accessory shop tomorrow as I know he has a wide range of Hycote acrylics. I have used several of those for other jobs. I have found that Hyundai have a red almost exact, so that may be what I will use. Hasve a look at the link and please comment.
https://www.paintscratch.com/touch_up_p ... at-H4.html
Train enthusiast from the 50's. Started with Hornby Dublo.
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