Rapido Trains UK is to produce the Southern Railways’ most numerous wagon, the distinctive eight-plank open.
Choosing an eight plank design set the Southern apart from most other railway companies. However, the standard body, with its large, lower drop door with and smaller ‘cupboard’ doors, was used for several different diagrams of wagon. Rapido Trains UK is to produce two of these diagrams, the 1379 and the 1400.
The Diagram 1379 was the first eight-plank design to be introduced and 7,950 were built between 1926 and 1933. This made the Dia.1379 the most numerous SR wagon.
They featured a standard RCH underframe with 9ft wheelbase and, originally, all were unfitted. The first 3,000 were built with Morton brakes but this was subsequently changed to what the SR called ‘Freighter’ brakes.
In 1935, the SR increased the wheelbase to 10ft. The first wagons with this wheelbase were fitted with vacuum brakes. However, two batches of unfitted 10ft wagons were built during 1936 and 1937. These 1,400 vehicles were, fittingly, given the diagram number 1400. They re-used old wheelsets but the chassis and bodies were new and they were fitted with Freighter brakes.
Our all-new model features a number of alternative parts to allow us to make the most comprehensive model of an SR eight-plank wagon yet. We have tooled parts to produce both 9ft and 10ft wheelbase, Morton and Freighter brakes along with disc and split-spoked wheels.
Both diagrams carried SR pre-36 and post-36 brown livery followed by BR freight grey along with a few departmental liveries. The wagons were seen widely across the railway network -including the Isle of Wight where 88 examples of dia.1379 wagons were sent, several which we have chosen to produce.
Some wagons were retro-fitted with vacuum brakes by British Railways. If there is demand, we will consider tooling this variant in the future.
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