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GCR carriages

The MSLR/GCR progressed through 6w carriages to bogie designs of several kinds in the normal way, conventionally panelled until 1910 when Robinson broke new ground with matchboard designs. Several GCR types can be built from kits and I would love to be able to fill more of the gaps but for now, here's an overview based on ex-works official photographs, supplemented by later ones.

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Clear pictures of carriages in trains are rare and it's a shame that this view has been cropped at both edges. Sometime in the 1920s B3 No 6165 Valour is at Nottingham Victoria with an Up express when the formations were still made up with Robinson matchboard stock. Behind the tender is a 1st/3rd brake composite looking quite superb. . Lens of Sutton.

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A close-up of the BCK. The LNER livery is being carried with the number 110 changed to 5110. There's a sub-section about this type and a model lower down.

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60ft gangwayed matchboard stock

Robinson's matchboard style emerged in 1910 with his open "Barnum" carriages. Corridor stock followed in 1911. Here are some useful pictures beginning with original prints taken at Dukinfield.

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A 60ft restaurant composite No 707 built in 1911 captured at Dukinfield in slightly used condition. It's a complicated design with a 1st class open saloon for 12 passengers at the far end, and at this end, two 3rd class compartments into which tables were slid between the seats when required. It was a pretty modest restaurant car and the whole batch was converted in 1935 to kitchen cars (Code 5168). Photo: Gorton negative, Doncaster Dwg Office, author's collection.

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A 60ft composite No 34 from the same year with a generous number of 1st class seats as CK(4,3). Photo: Gorton negative, Doncaster Dwg Office, author's collection.

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A marvellous publicity picture of a Manchester-Marylebone train built in 1911, a 4-set with a BCK roof-boarded for Bradford-Huddersfield-Sheffield-Nottingham-Leicester-Marylebone which would in service, have been transferred at Sheffield. The loco in the distance appears to be 8F 4-6-0 No 1097 Immingham. The formation is:

BTK, CK, RC, BTK / BCK

in which the restaurant car is No 707, same as the portrait above, and it is not supported by a 3rd class dining car. Perhaps one was not available when the picture was taken? The BCK is No 54. All the lettering and numbering on these carriages was by brass castings and very elegant. Photo: negative Gorton Dwg Office, LNER Press Relations Office, author's collection.

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The Diagram for the BCK in the photo above, to LNER Code No 5163. The GCR running numbers were:
14, 16, 54, 63, 105, 110, 126, 129, 846 (=9).

With prefix "5" added by the LNER. Note how, unlike LNER practice, guard's duckets were fitted on both sides. Two were dual braked of which No 105 was transferred to the NE Area on 10-12-33. These were long lived carriages and No 514 was recorded as having had its height checked by BR on 3-2-53. Redrawn from scan by Rupert Brown, author's collection.

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A scene from 1925 near Rugby with D10 "Director" No 5435 Sir Clement Royds and a Marylebone express. The BCK behind the tender is the same type as described above and is carrying the same roof boards for Bradford and Huddersfield as the publicity picture above. Author's collection.

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An unknown example of the same Diagram of BCK was captured still in varnished teak livery at Banbury General c.1950.

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Another example No E563E in BR carmine and creak livery in the mid-1950s, over forty years old and still in good shape.

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A model based on the Jidenco/Falcon Brass kit which I'll run as a separate topic later, along with some detail photographs of the 60ft underframe on an example that lasted long enough to be preserved.

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50ft London Suburban stock

This stock tends to be forgotten despite its longevity and eventual widespread use. It was built c1905-6 and formed the first sets of non-lavatory suburban trains operating out of Marylebone, the body sides similar to the slightly earlier clerestory version. Originally painted in the two-tone brown and cream livery, then stripped and varnished.

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An ex-works view of 3rd No 798 from the batch built by BRC&WC 1905-06 in the origininal brown and cream livery. This is an original print but alas not very well prepared. Photo: LNER Official RO/100, author's collection.

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A complete London Suburban 5-set stands in the carriage sidings near Marylebone station in September 1915. The formation is:

BT, F, F, T, BT

There was plenty of demand for 1st class seats at the time. Later, conversions were made into composites. Photo: Topical, Fleet St., author's collection.

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A view from May 1913 between Preston Road and Harrow on the Hill shows GCR 9N (LNER A5) with a down suburban train without lavatories heading for the Met&GCJ Line. The basis of the formation is a 50' London Suburban 5-set which may have been strengthened for the rush hour and comprises:

  T

50' London suburban

BT

50' London suburban

  F

50' London suburban

  F

50' London suburban

  T

60' matchboard

BT

50' London suburban

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After replacement by matchboard stock, these carriages were cascaded around the LNER into secondary and minor lines service and roof destination boards were fitted. C13 No 6065 has an Ordinary Passenger train near Wortley in 1933 with a secondary 4-set of ex-GCR carriages, low elliptical roof and clerestory. Leading is a 50ft ex-London Suburban BT(5). On the far end is a 4w passenger brake van, probably one of the D.120 clones built for the GC Section to D.170/176/177. Photo: E.R. Morten.

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Another example of a cascaded BT(5), in BR days, at an unknown location. The number is unclear but may be E5588. Author's collection.

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In this charming view from Wrexham on 13th August 1950, N5 No 69349 waits with a secondary 4-set to Hawarden Bridge with a complete train going back to around 1905-10.

BT

50' London suburban

  T

50' clerestory

  T

56' matchboard

BT

50' London suburban

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It's 1st September 1956 and this secondary service at Darlington contains stock from at least three different sources: ex-NER, ex-GCR and ex-LNER. In the middle, built in 1906 as a London Suburban 1st, is No 819, now E5819 and redesignated as a composite, C(2,5).

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In a related vein...

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I have appended this design for a brake composite because the outline is similar but it was built slightly later, in 1906-7, and because lavatories were not provided for normal suburban stock. Outer Suburban, yes, but by this time the GC was well stocked with lavatory types for the Outer Suburban service over the GW&GCJ line, so I cannot say where this fitted in. Two were built, No 221 at Gorton (1906) and No 1594 by Brush (1907) and it seems that, many years later, here they are both in a secondary service at Guide Bridge on 13th June 1949, running under ECS lights. In between is an ex-NER clerestory 3rd.

It may look a bit of an oddball, especially with both brake ends inside out, but it's typical of so many secondary services where old cascaded carriages were kept ticking over. They had been built as BC(2,3) and the 1st class designation can still be seen in the middle doors of the nearest carriage.

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Modelling and livery notes

It is possible to make some of these carriages by modifying a Perseverance kit of the clerestory version although only the 3rd is possible. The main requirement is the low ellipical roof and a matching end to suit it. Actually, that's not as hard as it might seem and I described a similar tweak when building a clerestory type (see link below).

Originally painted in the two-tone brown and cream livery, after the varnished teak scheme came in around 1908 they were stripped and varnished. Some modellers find this hard to believe but it happened alright (some GCR gangwayed carriages went on to be LNER-lined as well). A key aspect is that mahogany panelling appears to have been used for the original painted finished and when subsequently varnished, they looked slightly darker than teak panelled carriages, especially when marshalled together in b&w photographs. Indeed, observers from LNER days recall them as distinctly dark and dowdy. In BR days pre-Grouping stock was routinely painted plain brown.

To be continued...

GCR London Extension - expresses: are here.

Modelling GCR clerestories: is here.

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