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PostPosted: 24 Jun 2012, 17:26 
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Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 17:09
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Hope the experts on the forum can assist with a more proto-typical Model Railway Breakdown Train formation and any info to the numbers / words on the individual items of stock. No transfers are available in N Gauge so it's a bespoke order from a specialist.

I have a Ransomes & Rapier 45T crane ( in BR Red) to run on my Exhibition layout set Western region early 1960's. After much study of photo's in Books and Flickr proposing running the train as follows :-

1. Crane with 2 Relieving Bogies and Jib Runner
2. 15Ft open wagon ( ex- tube )
3. Ex Southern CCT tool van
4. Ex GWR B set coach with some windows in-filled as a mess / staff van
5. Ex GWR Monster Parcel van for tools etc.

It appears Cranes run with numbers DWxxx
Staff Van / Tool vans DWxxxx
Would the crane have a small BR crest? and always have a MPD base signwritten?
Would the job runner carried any numbers or letters?

Any thoughts are much appreciated.
Carl


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PostPosted: 25 Jun 2012, 10:50 
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 00:07
Posts: 351
Location: Poole, Dorset
Carl, welcome to the forum!

The Western Region had in total five Ransomes 45-ton cranes over the years, these being the four ex-GWR cranes numbered 16, 17, 18 and 19, and ADW151, the former SR DS1580, which was transferred to the Western region with Exmouth Junction shed on 01/01/63.

The Western retained many of the GWR's practices long after other regions had adopted the new ways, and as a result all the WR 45-ton cranes remained painted black until withdrawal, with the sole exception of ADW151 which in its finaly years was painted yellow, so unfortunately there was never a red 45-tonner on the Western. The cranes on the Western were not marked with their depot and as a rule did not carry BR insignia. Check out the galleries on this site for photos.

The Western's breakdown train practice was generally to have a breakdown train (without crane) which would be augmented by the addition of the crane if and only if the crane was needed. Similarly for civils work the crane would be taken without the breakdown crane.

If the crane was travelling on its own, the consist would be the crane together with its relieving bogies, the jib runner (which also carried packing) and the open wagon (which was known on the western as a "weight tender", a term dating back to the 36-ton crane era). This wagon carried lifting tackle such as chains, spreaders, etc. Most (possibly all) of these wagons were not converted TUBES but were purpose built at Swindon, sadly none has survived into preservation (I have been hunting for one for years)! At least one 45-ton WR crane ending its days with a modified LOWMAC in place of the original weight tender.

The breakdown train in GW days would have consisted of purpose-built tool and mess vans, either independent 4- or 6-wheel types, or in some cases by the 62' bogie combined vans of which there were four (one survives at Tyseley). By the 1960s many or most of these had been withdrawn and the job was being done by converted obsolete passenger carriages; photos are your best source of information for these.

Of the five 45-ton cranes, ADW151/DS1580 survives and is in working order and regular use, albeit in SR Exmouth Junction livery, at the Mid-Hants Railway; ADW16 was scrapped at Swindon circa 1983; ADW17 was transferred to the Midland Region in 1963 and is now preserved in working order at the GCR; ADW18 was withdrawn in 1983, sold to Steamtown at Carnforth where it has been stored out-of-use and in deteriorating condition ever since; and ADW19 is preserved in working order at the Flour Mill Works in the Forest of Dean.


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PostPosted: 25 Jun 2012, 13:45 
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 00:07
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Location: Poole, Dorset
My apologies, the usual complement of typos crept into my last post. Most of these are obvious and unimportant, however the last word of the fourth paragraph should of course be "train" and not "crane", the final sentence reading:-

"Similarly for civils work the crane would be taken without the breakdown train."


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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2012, 20:54 
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Joined: 24 Jun 2012, 17:09
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Roger,
Thank you so much for your knowledgeable reply. I never realised WR based cranes were black but that explains why my reference photos from the web are Midland or Eastern Based. I do have one that is dated early 70's next to a Blue Hymek but I am unsure if its a WR 45T crane or a foreigner! A full repaint to Black is going to be a hard decision but , if I want a prototypical BR ( W ) breakdown train , I now have the full info to work on.
Carl


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