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Appendix Three - Loco hauled Passenger Rolling Stock




Although technically outside the scope of this work some consideration of appropriate bulk-people rolling stock may be of interest.

The Stockton & Darlington Railway hired a coach from a local stage coach operator, this was a standard coach body mounted on a specially built railway-wheeled wooden underframe. The coach, called 'Experiment', was fitted with a drivers 'boot' at both ends, giving a more symmetrical appearance and allowing the coach to be horse drawn without having to turn it round. All early railways contracted stage coach builders to produce first class coaches, these used typically three stage-coach type bodies terraced on a simple wagon body. This lead to the 'compartment coach' which was a feature of British railways until the 1960's.

Most early coaches were painted black and yellow, this was quite 'trendy', the bright yellow lead chromate pigment for paint had been introduced to Britain in 1800 by a German chemist called Kurtz, who set up a factory in Manchester. The colour had been popularised as a colour for coaches of the horse drawn type by Princess Charlotte and was still in vogue when the early railways were built.

Within a few years the appearance of three separate coach bodies was illusory as the builders started making simple square bodies but retaining the curved mouldings and panels.

Originally only first and second class accommodation was provided, third class was introduced in 1838. Second class passengers rode in open sided vehicles with a canvass roof, third class passengers travelled in open trucks, in some cases without even seats being provided.

Fig ___ Early Passenger Vehicles
Early coaches and private carriage wagon


A bad accident in 1840 at Sonning Cutting saw several passengers killed as they were thrown from the open carriages. There was a bit of a fuss and Gladstone's act of 1844 ruled that all railways had to offer at least one train a day on each passenger line with accommodation for third class passengers, all the coaches were to offer protection from the weather, all passengers had to have seats and fares were to be a maximum of 1d per mile. It was only in the 1970's that the early morning low-fare 'workmen's trains' were discontinued by BR.

Third class coaches built to meet these rules, the so called 'Parliamentary' coaches, remained very basic, generally resembling long wheelbase cattle trucks. Most third class coaches were open saloons, that is not divided into compartments, many had only a single oil lamp for night time illumination. Some had simple leather side curtains, others had slatted louvers, glass windows took a while to appear. Much to the railway companies surprise third class proved to be a sound business investment and in 1872 the Midland Railway started putting some third class coaches on all its trains including expresses.

Within a few years much more railway-like square shaped enclosed coaches were built, generally of three compartments on wheelbases around the eight to ten foot range. These retained the seat on top for the 'guard' and a railed enclosure on the roof for luggage. The guards disappeared from the roofs in the 1850's but old coaches with roof-mounted luggage rails were still operating on minor lines into the 1870's.

The size of carriages gradually increased, by the 1840's coaches were built with wheelbases as long as twenty feet, similar in general outline to the Graham Farish four wheelers but usually rather lower roofed.

Third class and minor railway four wheel coaches were still being built with wheelbases ranging from twelve foot for a four compartment all-third to fifteen foot for a first-third (with two compartments of each). These can be made up using a Peco fifteen foot brake van chassis with a cut-down Graham Farish 'suburban' coach body, with careful cutting you get two four wheeler four compartment bodied from a single Farish coach. Again it would be an idea to cut this down in height, preferably also making a rather flatter profile roof similar to that on the Peco pallet van. Something similar can be done to produce a six wheeler coach however the best chassis for this is the Peco long wheelbase brake van. Cut with care you get to keep the footboards, which saves you adding them from L section Plastruct. My model six compartment six wheeler (based on a photo of a Furness Railway coach I believe) was made over twenty years ago and used two of the standard Peco ten foot wheelbase chassis, so I had to add footboards. The problem is the six wheel rigid chassis cannot handle model railway curves, I had curves down to twelve inches on the layout so I glued the centre pair of wheels solid and trimmed the flange from the bottom of the wheels. They don't go round but you would be hard pressed to spot that fact.

Fig ___ Early coach types on a Peco chassis
Four and six wheelcoaches made from Farish suburban coach

Modelling the four wheeler coaches was described in Railway Modeller January 2001 (Traffic for Tickling Article 1)



The six wheeled coaches were built up to a length of about thirty feet, with the development of the 'bogie' for exports to America much longer coaches became practical. The first British bogie coach designs were some large Midland Railway vehicles on six wheel bogies built in the 1840's but bogie coaches did not come into general production until the mid 1870's when the Midland Railway and the Great Western Railway introduced first and third bogie coaches (by this time second class had disappeared). The standard bogie coaches were originally of about forty foot overall length but within a few years coaches of up to fifty four foot were built. As bogie coaches became the norm the redundant four and six wheeled coach chassis were often re-used for special purpose goods vehicles. Some of the four and six wheeler coach bodies were re-built as articulated coaches running on four wheel bogies (notably by the LNER) others were combined in pairs on new longer bogie chassis to form a single large coach.

The four and six wheeled stock remained in use for many years, the last four wheeled passenger coaches in service ran under British Railways ownership in South Wales in the late 1950's. Four and six wheeled stock was banned from passenger trains in 1959 but I have seen at least one reference (possibly incorrect) mentioning the use of four wheelers in South Wales in the early 1960's. Examples of these early coach designs remained in use on industrial lines such as collieries and steel works into the 1970's. These establishments often had lines that wandered 'cross-country' and this may be the origin of the 1960's sighting.

Coach roofs increased in height slowly over the years, by the turn of the century they were only a foot or so below the loading gauge, some brake coaches of this period had raised sections for the guard so he could see along the top of the train, these were usually called 'birdcage lookouts'.

Toward the end of the 19th Century coach roofs had changed from the almost flat stage-coach roof to an arched profile but the internal height was still low. In the 1830's the GWR had experimented with a raised centre section, called a Clerestory (a contraction of clear-story), but it was the Midland Railway that popularised the design in the 1870's. Clerestory roofs cost more to build and maintain but they provided a place for additional small windows, provided ventilation for gas lights, and were marketed as 'hygienic'. Clerestory coaches were built by several companies, non are available as ready to run models but as an experiment I added a clerestory to a Graham Farish suburban compartment coach. To do this I sanded and filed the centre of the roof flat added a strip of 30 thou card with a strip of 20 thou card on top. I used short off-cuts of 10x20 thou strip to represent the windows or ventilators in the side. When assembled I found the roof sat too high so I cut about a millimeter from the top of the coach sides, sanded down the raised ends and trimmed the clear glazing strip to match.

The final variant in roofs was the three-arc roof profile, in which the sides followed a smaller radius curve than the centre. Three arc roof designs were common on non passenger coaching stock.




Fig ___ Coach roof types and Graham Farish coach fitted with home made clerestory roof
home made celestory coach


The Midland Railway, being a late comer, had several routes which were longer than the competition. This prompted them to offer improved accommodation to passengers. In the early 1870's they upgraded all the third class accommodation to what had been second class standards and a couple of years later they abolished the second class altogether and reduced their first class fares to what had been second class.

The rest of the railway companies gradually followed suit and by about 1905 most British trains became first and third class only. The Great Eastern went even further in promoting third class, promoting itself as the 'poor mans line', and made a healthy profit. In 1956 British Railways renamed third as second class, this changed again in 1987 when second class became standard class.

Most companies indicated the 'class' of a compartment or coach by having a large numeral on the doors, some had 'First' and 'Third' written at the waist line, some had both (second class was very rare after 1900). The yellow stripe at the cantrail (near the top above the doors) to indicate first class compartments was introduced by the GER on London commuter lines in the 1920's as it was easier to see on crowded platforms). I believe that other colours were used for other classes and this splash of colour earned the services the nickname of the 'Jazz Trains'. I understand that the early BR southern region livery included the yellow stripe for London suburban services but other regions did not adopt the marking until about 1961 when a number of new liveries were being introduced for inter-city services. At this time the yellow stripe became standard, and a red stripe was added to the cantrail of catering vehicles. I do not know which of the passenger franchises use this marking although in 2005 First had the marking on some of its London based Class 165 multiple unit stock and Central Trains had the marking on at least some of their class 375 electric units. The marking on both these types was confined to one end, behind the cab, and extended back only as far as the first set of doors (slightly more than a quarter of one coach in a two coach set). These liveries have been sketched in App 3 - Diesel Multiple Units and App 3 - Electric Multiple Units.

The illustration below shows the first class (left) and 3rd class (right) compartments on the DC electric units introduced in the mid 1930s by the LMS on the line between Altrincham and Manchester. These remained in service until 1971 (I used to take this service to attend college in the 1960s) and frankly they were a lot more comfortable than the more modern trains running through Altrincham, and a lot more comfortable than the trams which now use the line to Manchester. The window in the door was a 'droplight', sliding up and down and controlled by a leather strap secured using holes in the strap which engaged with a large brass stud on the door.

Fig ___ Coach compartments for First and Third class
Coach compartments for First and Third class


The Midland introduced non-compartment coaches when they bought some Pullman coaches over from the USA in 1874. These proved popular but in general the British public preferred compartments, which remained in use up to the first British Railways design, the Mark One coach, which was derived from a design by Bullied for the Southern Railway.

Sleeping coaches for First Class passengers were introduced on the London Edinburgh service in 1873, but it was 1928 before the four-berth sleeping compartments for second class passengers appeared.

The first corridor coaches were introduced in 1892 by the Great Western Railway, these had compartments but with a corridor along one side allowing passengers to move along the coach. Shortly after this the same company produced corridor connections on the ends of the coach, however the early designs had the connection to one side, which became awkward where coaches became reversed in traffic. The centrally mounted corridor connection was a logical development and connected corridor coaches became the norm for all long distance trains by the early part of this century. The Post Office coaches retained the off-set corridor connections so passengers could not gain access the post office coaches.

Restaurant carriages had first appeared in the USA in 1876 and the first British examples ran in 1879, but as the British favoured compartments, and had not yet developed the corridor, the passengers remained in the coach for the entire journey. For local trains the compartmented non-corridor stock remained in use into the 1970's. The original BR Mk 1 coach was built in a sixty two foot corridor version and a fifty seven foot compartment coach. The advantage of the compartment coach was the sheer number of doors, allowing people to get on an off quickly. This was an issue on the intensive suburban services, in the 1950's BR Southern Region was apparently the most efficient people moving thing on earth. The service was also very safe, research by Lloyds suggested that the safest place on earth was a first class compartment on a BR train. I believe that rail is still statistically the safest form of land transportation. The compartment coaches were getting rare by the end of the 1960's. The Oilerkon passenger electric multiple units on the Altrincham to Manchester line survived longer than most, built in 1931 they remained in service until the mid 1970's.

The restrictions imposed by the British loading gauge constrained the size of the pasenger stock, British coaches are generally smaller than those in use elsewhere on similar tracks. The illustration below below was scanned from a 1930s Carriage and Wagon Builders pocket book. This shows the average for British suburban lines (some were smaller, notably the line to Hastings, but this is representative)

Fig___ British suburban services loading gauge

British suburban services loading gauge


In 1949 Bullied produced some double decker electric multiple units (the Bulleid 4DD class) for use on London commuter lines, traffic had grown and extending the platforms was going to require time. I had thought these employed a drop centre design but Ron Strutt was able to point me in the direction of a detailed review of the type ( the Southern Email Group website includes both a description of the type in service and a full cut away drawing) and further information can be found at The Bulleid Double Decker Society website (note this latter is a Tripod hosted site, which currently suffers from this ISPs 'pop ups'). In essence they interleaved the compartments, providing 22 seats in the same length as 12 in a conventional compartment design, however this was achieved at the expense of reducing the headroom. This in turn meant people took longer to get on and off, resulting in longer stops in stations and they were withdrawn in 1971.

The British Railways standard Mk1 corridor coach was just over sixty foot long by nine foot wide and weighed in at thirty two tons when empty. The corridor coaches had either sixty four second class seats in 8 compartments or forty two first class seats in seven compartments. Non corridor suburban coaches had seating for one hundred and twenty passengers. The Mk 2 Coaches appeared in 1964, these had no compartments as such and the general standard was sufficiently advanced that passengers with second class tickets sometimes refused to get on because they thought this must all be First Class. By this time however interest was focused on multiple units for passenger working and subsequent designs have favoured this approach.

Slam Doors
The standard door used on British trains from the early days had hinged doors, usually called slam doors, operated by the passenger. The handle on the outside was a brass bar and this was only horizontal when the door was properly closed, so the chap on the platform waving the green flag could look along the rake and immediately see if all the doors were secure. On the inside was a curious sliding handle, notoriously difficult to use, most passengers opened the drop-down window in the door and reached outside to open the door. The noise as the doors were closed prior to departure was a characteristic of British passenger stations (I am a little surprised no one ever sold a model platform with this noise, and that of the pea-type 'thunderer' platform staff whistle, built in).
The BR Mk.1 based stock all used slam doors, the 'high density' units had doors beside each set of seats along the coach so the noise at the station was substantial. The last slam doors in service were some Mk 1 based EMUs in the South East, the last of these were withdrawn in October 2005, provoking nearly as much nostalgia as the end of steam.
Slam doors were said to be dangerous, in spite of the difficult to open inside handles they were said to open when the train was on the move (as many as thirty people a year were falling from trains in the later 1990s, mainly in the overcrowded trains in the South East). Another danger was when people opened the door as the train approached the platform, jumping off at the trot before the train had come to a halt was common practice amongst commuters eager to get a place in the ticket check queues at the exit barriers, but anyone standing too close to the edge of the platform could be caught by the opening door, in some cases being knocked over and ending up under the train. The Mk 1 coach was also held to be less safe for passengers in an accident and in 1999 the train operators were told to eliminate slam door trains as soon as possible.




Available Coach Models




There are three manufacturers of RTR coaches, Graham Farish having by far the largest range, with Lima and Hornby Minitrix supplying the remainder.

Graham Farish produce models of British Railways standard coaches and also what are described as 'typically British' outline pre BR coaches. These pre-BR coaches have moulded windows, backed by a clear glazing strip, but flush fitted windows were a fairly recent development so this is acceptable. Firstly there are the 4 wheeled coaches, these were introduced in the 19th century, but some examples were still operating on branch lines well into the late 1930's, and some lasted as late as 1953 on a small branch in Wales! Others served as workmen's coaches either for the railways departmental staff or in trains run by collieries, quarries etc. Next we have the non corridor suburban composite and brake-end compartmented coaches with interior detail in the form of a moulded insert. Whilst sufficiently vague to serve in all liveries supplied these do contain elements of Southern coaches dating from the Maunsell period. Finally there are corridor fitted 'main-line' coaches, complete with interior details and compartments, again these may serve for any of the Big 4, but do rather resemble LMS coaches from the Fowler period and they will pass muster as Collet era GWR stock.

Regarding the liveries on offer the GWR pre 1908 monogram was an unusual choice but can be replaced by repainting in plain chocolate and cream and using the 1934 shirt button monogram available as a loco transfer. The non-corridor coaches can be fitted with a home made clerestory roof to 'age' them as described above.

The last of the pre BR stock on offer from Graham Farish is the match-boarded 'Pullman' coaches, they produce dining and brake-end types, both with interior detail. The N gauge society used to supply alternative transfers for these coaches and some may still be available from the Society shop. I have little information on prototype Pullman coaches, they were originally introduced in the UK by the Midland Railway and taken up by the LNWR and subsequently used by all the Big 4 for prestige express trains. In later years these match-boarded coaches were confined to the South and BR used a different design, similar to the Mk.1, so strictly speaking these should be confined to pre war layouts.

For the BR period modeller Graham Farish produce a large range of coaches of Mk.1, 2 and 3 types, these are generally regarded as the best models on offer, using a simple clear plastic insert to produce flush glazing.

First of these were the Mk.1's, introduced by BR in the 1950's, the Farish models are the long-distance corridor types. They are 63 ft overall and run on 'commonwealth' bogies. Grafar offer a selection of basic Mk.1 series coaches; the corridor second (SK), the composite corridor brake end (BCK) and the 'buffet' corridor coach (RMB). These are available in early British Railways 'Carmine & Cream' as well as the later WR chocolate and cream, SR green, and LMR lined maroon all with the circular BR emblem and the later blue and grey of the BR corporate image.

The shorter (57 ft) Mk.1 corridor full brake coach (BG) has been introduced and is available in the same selection of liveries and also liveried as a BR 'Express Parcels' and plain blue 'Newspapers' van. The same chassis forms the basis of the GUV van, used for various parcels duties.

The 'First Open' (FO), 'Tourist Second Open' (TSO) Mk.2 coaches, introduced by BR in 1964, are provided in 'Inter City' blue and grey livery.

The 75 ft Mk.3 Intercity coaches most familiar from their use with the HST are supplied in all first (TF), all second (TS), buffet coach (TRUB) and sleeper coach, all in the current 'Intercity' livery.

Graham Farish also produce two kinds of diesel rail-cars; the GWR/BR 'AEC' built units introduced in the 1930's, and a class 101 class DMU, available as two or three car sets with additional centre coaches available separately. The former are available in the GWR post 1934 livery, early BR carmine & cream and later BR green with the yellow 'whisker' motif on the cab front. The latter are provided in early BR green livery (with the post 1964 yellow rectangle on the cab front, this replaced the earlier V design or 'whiskers'). It is also produced in plain blue, blue and grey standard and white with a grey stripe.

The Lima range (which as mentioned before has now been withdrawn, but may still be available in existing shop stock or second hand) consisted of BR Mk 1 stock, they are somewhat under length and appear to be scaled at 1:160. The windows are not flush but recessed, using a moulded sides with a sheet of clear plastic backing this. They produced the 'brake second', composite (first and second class accommodation), buffet and brake van. Also from Lima are the GWR/BR Siphon G and BR CCT vans discussed in the RTR goods stock section.

Minitrix supply Mk.1 coaches, again with recessed glazing. Brake/Second and Corridor composite types are available. Current liveries include WR chocolate and cream, lined maroon and blue/grey, however the coaches run on the B4 type bogie which was introduced in the early 1960's and so is not really suitable for the 'regional' schemes). Shortly to be released by this firm are a pair of Gresley 'Teak' coaches which will have the correct pattern bogies.

Coach Kits are now again being taken seriously by the trade. There have been some white metal models produced at one time and another but few of these proved successful. Plastic models, some with pre-printed sides, have been produced in the past and these turn up second hand now and then, but it was Bernard Taylor's introduction of the simple replacement window inserts for Grafar stock which really started the ball rolling. Demand for these has been consistent and has demonstrated the viability of N kits to the retail trade who are now starting to support more ambitious complete kits.

Mr Taylor produces a range of inserts for the Grafar BR coaches (which all use the separate insert glazing system) and more recently he has added some simple replacement ends units and inserts to enable the production of a good representation of SR EMU sets.

In the field of complete kits the Ultima range is the market leader, with a comprehensive selection of LMS (Stannier period) stock, a good selection of LNER (Gresley period) coaches and now early GWR coaches. These kits consist of pre-printed sides and ends where the detail is printed on clear plastic giving a neat 'flush glazed' look. At the moment kits involving the use of etched overlays to produce panelled stock are being developed by this firm. Ultima recommend the use of Fleetline or 2mm Scale Association kit-built bogies for accuracy, but those from Grafar can be used.

Peripheral items in the range include such parts as roof ventilators, which are of use when building or modifying goods stock as well as underframe detailing parts for the coaches.

P.D.Marsh market kits of the GWR 'B-Set' brake end coach, a centre all-third coach to go with these and a GWR Autocoach. The kits use pre-printed plastic sides which are rather thick and not so easy to bend to the correct 'tumblehome', which is the curve inwards at the bottom of a coach side. They have a white metal underframe, roof and ends and run of standard Graham Farish bogies (not supplied). The livery is the post 1934 'shirt button'. P. D. Marsh also produce a simple and useful whitemetal kit of an SR CCT (Covered Carriage Truck) which comes with alternative ends for the utility van version. This fits on a lengthened Peco 15 ft chassis, using a simple metal insert similar to that used on the A1 models modern wagon kits. I am not sure of the date of introduction of the prototype but these vans saw service until very recently and may still be in departmental use today.

Ian Kirk has now released a range of kits of the 'Teak' (Gresley period) LNER stock, and the range is planned to expand in due course.

Langley used to market etched brass GWR 'slip coaches' ,these were released from the tail end of a moving train so the main body of the train did not have to stop at intermediate stations.

They also offered an Autocoach which came with a white metal 14xx loco, these were superb models but did require some skill on the part of the modeller to do them justice. These kits do not seem to be available at present, but the firm is currently advertising an etched brass LNER clerestory coach (these were the coaches with the raised central section along the roof), and more etched brass coach kits are said to be in the pipeline. They also supply a range of etched brass and whitemetal bogie kits.

There is a range of BR coach kits, originally produced by Modern Transport Kits but now marketed by Fleetline. This range includes some parcels stock.

Introduced in 1987 was the first kit by a new 'N' manufacturer Westward, who selected a rather unusual prototype; a GWR bullion van. These coaches had doors on only one side and were exclusively used to ship gold and other precious metal bars from London to docks serving transatlantic liners, principally (if not exclusively) Plymouth.

There are also some DMU and EMU whitemetal kits available, including the twin and parcels versions of the GWR DMU.






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