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GCR carriages

60ft gangwayed matchboard stock

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Some more pictures of Robinson matchboard carriages in LNER and BR days:

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Near Neasden on the final approach to Marylebone, C4 No 5259 has the morning 10am express from Bradford. The composition of this train changed along the way and the carriage behind the loco was a timetabled strengthener added at Sheffield, actually the return working of the BCK in the overnight newspaper train, the 2.32am. This carriage conveyed many a late-night traveller and resulted in stirring descriptions of that train's battle with the schedule. Photo: Author's collection.

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Entering Leicester Central with an Up express, which what may be another capture of the 2.20pm Manchester-Marylebone with the BCK from Barnsley behind the tender. In charge is "Improved Director" D11 No 5509 Prince of Wales. The date appears to be early 1930s and similar to the view of the same train behind D10 No 5437 Prince George when LNER 61'6" Gresleys had been used to modernise the train, except for the matchboard BCK. Photo: Author's collection.

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This picture doesn't really fit in this section but I've added it because the matchboard carriage has been attached to an express at York on the ECML, headed by A3 No 60081 Shotover. The date is Friday 6th July 1956 and it's a non-gangwayed 60' 3rd with 10 compartments, evidently recently out of the carriage works at York. It would serve for another ten years or so. The livery was probably crimson and it may have been attached as a strengthener or to get it home. The same would apply to the second carriage, a Gresley steel-panelled semi-corridor lavatory composite. The rest of the train is headed by a gangwayed 3rd brake.

For modellers, strengthening of trains like this is easy to do and it breaks up the string of sausages look of a train, but is rarely tried. The main thing is that older carriages were common. Photo: Author's collection.

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Robinson's matchboard style emerged in 1910 with his open "Barnum" carriages (see separate topic). 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 brake composite

This design deserves its own section because it was used as a through carriage for a long time, often behind the loco. And there is a kit.

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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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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.

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Another matchboard BCK, this time at the head of the 2.20pm Manchester-Marylebone as it sets off from Sheffield Victoria on 14th September 1929 behind D10 No 5437 Prince George.

The main formation has been modernised with Gresley carriages but for the through coach from Barnsley behind the tender, a matchboard BCK was still being provided. A marvellous example of real life provision of carriages and that change came slowly. It's possible that the picture above with Valour at Nottingham Vic also captured the 2.20pm from Manchester and the same matchboard BCK. Photo: W.L. Good.

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New addition - A marvellous picture which I have repaired and described, leaving the photographer's tilt because correcting it would lose detail and ambience.

D9 4-4-0 No 5112 (SHE) stands at Hull Paragon in the early- to mid-1930s.with the "Barry" through portion of the "Ports to Ports" express. It's the same type of matchboard BCK as described above, strengthened by a Gresley 61'6" TK. The working is described in the book under "Cross Country Expresses, The "Ports to Ports", pp.99-103. Photo: L.R. Peters 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 & cream 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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To be continued...

GCR carriages - 50ft London Suburban: are here.

GCR Barnum carriages: are here.

GCR London Extension - expresses: are here.

Modelling GCR clerestories: is here.

Milk vans: are here.

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