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GCR 6w goods brake van.

A model of the AVB version of this brake van appeared in a compendium article "LNER Express Fish" (see Articles Index for details) with a single picture and a brief account of how to deal with the Jidenco/Falcon Brass kit. It's going to be available again from new owners, Dart Castings. The GCR built manually and vacuum braked versions which lasted into BR days and I built both versions. There's a cluster of other variations in details, not all of which I was aware of at the time so there's plenty of scope for ringing the changes. Mine runs on a fish train that I've been building up.

gcr 6w gbv

The first prototype illustration is of an as-built example, GCR no 9515 (carried on a cast plate on the solebar). It was fitted with AVB (the cylinder is just visible underneath the rectangulat plate on the solebar. With GCR standard oil axleboxes and long, semi-flat, coned buffers with what appears to be a circular base. if you think you can see white-painted fittings, you're be right; a practice used by some builders to show potential new clients fittings that may otherwise be hard to see on the official photograph. In this case, the steps and all the fittings below the solebars are white, along with the buffer heads, screw-link couplings; handrail on the roof and even the chimney. Best of all - if only I had found this picture earlier - is the external lamp fitting. Lamp irons on the outer end are almost invisible in the shade; one of them is also carrying a lamp.


An LNER-period view from around 1938 at King;s Cross shows ex-GCR 6w goods brake van No 509494, unfortunately partly shaded but in fine condition. It's another AVB version. Handrails are the continuous type with a joint. Buffers are square-base ribbed with a long cone; axleboxes are LNER pattern.


No 509494 again, just the end, this time with the steps onto the roof. The upper lamp iron is higher than the one in the as-built illustration.


Seen at Eastfield in 1947, this picture shows manually braked 509533 (b.1911) in full running order. The handrails are not continuous (compare with the other pictures). Buffer housings are the same as above. LNER replacement axleboxes. Livery is LNER late '30s with small lettering.


Taken in 1953 at Peebles, this is No E509424 and is helpful because the low wintry sun is picking out the AVB cylinder (which appears to have been disconnected). GCR axleboxes. The additional lettering states "To work between Peebles & Galashiels". Solebar letter shows the most recent overhaul was on 4.11.52.


An AVB version (date and location unknown) in BR days but departmental service shows the body well, especially the bolt heads (which are all missing on the Falcon Brass kit or etched as holes)! Buffer housings are the RCH long type; GCR axleboxes. Detail variations probably from BR days include a different chimney, curved rainstrip over the verandahs, a slightly wider cornice and repair to one of the stanchions. Running number is 040143 and the panel states "Temporary on loan to OC & W Dept Broxbourne".

More pictures of these vans may be found in Peter Tatlow's superb LNER Wagons, Vol.1, Southern Area.

The two models were built a few years ago and the second one, as is often the case, got some fresh thought.


For the first model, of the manually braked version, I used mostly MJT parts for the underframe plus deeper spring hangers from Comet for the centre wheels. They weren't really deep enough but the step hangers disrupt the view. The buffers on this model were old Kenline.


The other end with the steps and handrail onto the roof. The chimney was made out of Plastikard tube of different diameters, to try and get the distinctive GCR shape.


The AVB version I built a little later using the same approach but with proper sprung buffers (MJT long GWR type), screw link couplings, and for the lower footsteps I replaced the etching with a scratch-built version using brass strip and L-section: it's slightly better looking and stronger to resist handling. A vac cylinder casting and hoses were added. In both models, the guard's handrails were the continuous kind but in the second one, I added the central support for the long handrail; this too adds strength.

For another model today, I would fill the etched holes and make bolt heads using brass wire. Maybe try the divided handrails as well. And make a lamp fitting for one of the end pillars.

Other GC models are here:

Clerestory 50ft coaches.

Horse box

Milk van

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