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This is based on Colour-Rail NE106 with my apologies for the mediocre colours; the original, a Dufaycolor slide, was exposed on a dull day and the duplicate from C-R quite strongly vignetted and blue; I have done my best to restore it.

The scene is Edinburgh Waverley in August 1939 and A3 No 2747 Coronach is about to depart with the LMS formation of the Up "Thames-Forth" express. In the background stands a K3 and a Gresley 61'6" 3rd (TK)

All good stuff, but I got the picture because of the 6w van behind the tender. At first, it looked like the ex-NBR fish van, but that had windows in the side doors, and fewer ventilation grilles either side. After working through various sources, I suspect that it's one of the rarely photographed Fruit and Yeast Vans (LNER Wagons-3, p.59, Peter Tatlow).

The livery is intriguing, too, for this was classed as a goods van, even though fitted with AVB and through steam heat pipe. The body colour can be loosely described as brown and I think I can see the large white letters "NE" placed fairly centrally, between the doors. Further text would have been placed below them, and the slide seems to show what may be two words, in yellow??

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Iain Chalmers, member of the NBR Study Group, has come forward to say there could be two of these yeast vans behind the tender. He believes that much of the yeast was a by-product from the beer industries around Alloa and that these despatches could reach Burton-on-Trent in the Midlands. It's interesting that the NBR gave these vans a passenger livery (ie. NPCS) while the LNER regarded them as goods vehicles - a bit strange for a 6w vehicle fully up to NPCS specifications and running with expresses, but you have to get used to inconsistencies in railway practice.

There's more work to be done here but already there is the tantalising prospect for LNER and LMS modellers to run these vans.

Route of the Thames-Forth express - St.Pancras via the Midland Main Line to Leeds City, via Settle to Carlisle, and the Waverley Route to Edinburgh. After the hiatus caused by WWII, the service was not actually restored until 1956 when BR renamed it "The Waverley". But it was not to last and after an initial reduction to summer-only, it was withdrawn in 1968.

How the yeast vans were taken on to Burton-on-Trent is not yet known. It's possible that they may have been attached to other passenger services and returned via goods trains.

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Any further ideas/corrections would be welcome (via the "Contact/feedback" link, please)!

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