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Modellers Back Track
June/July 1999 - Volume 2  No. 2
Goods Brake Vans


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Goods Brake Vans by Bob Essery
Page 53 - 60

Noted historian and specialist in goods stock, Bob Essery, examines the development and differences of the characteristic vehicle that used to complete every train of freight vehicles.

Often called Guards Van by railway enthusiasts, they are often misunderstood but in the days prior to complete vacuum braked trains, they had a very necessary function in a goods train working.

Magazine out of print but still available from either e-bay or from specialist ‘out of print’ magazine web sites, see below.

British Railway Books



Images in this article:

page 53:
Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon Company was building vans in 1865. This example was owned by Spalding and Bourne Railway.

Design of Goods brake van.

page 54: GNR and SEC produced twin-brake vans by close-coupling pairs of 10ton vans.

GNR 20 Ton van with 6 wheels and sand pipes for more effective braking.

page 55: Drawing of GWR 12 Ton Goods Brake Van. (full page).

page 56: North Staffordshire Railway brake van with a combination of vetsibule and verandah.

Excellent example of a South Eastern Railway 10 tonner of closed type with double doors for us as a road van.

Page 57: Ex-Midland 10-ton goods brake van as running after being sold to the Wemyss Coal Company about 1907. It is believed to have been MR No.M39. The underframe with large wheels is very similar to the much earlier Spalding & Bourne brake van. (authors collection).

Page 58: Greath Norther Ballast Brake of 1922.

Former war department brake van based on the LSWR design.

The Highland Railway top lookout 20 ton goods brake.

Page 59: Souther Railway bogie goods brake van, rated at 25 tons.

LMS van M732396 built in 1948 by BR.

Page 60:
Wapping Tunnel (Liverpool) traffic built in 1948.

Plough brake van built in 1932 (BR LMR).

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