Gauge 2 Passenger Carriages
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There are two distinct types of Gauge 2 passenger stock: Tinplate, made in Germany before 1914, and Wood construction, by Bassett Lowke and others.

Tinplate stock was made in a variety of styles, including LNWR, Great Western, Great Northern and LSWR. The most common, and most realistic, models were made by Carette and all the styles share common pressings with alternative litho schemes for each railway. Even the GW celestory coaches share the same body sides as the others! Best known of the tinplate coaches are the 6 wheel 'Cleminson' type, so called because the centre wheelset was articulated with the end sets, allowing the coach to run round very sharp curves. Unfortunately this clever arrangement is less succesful on the main line, where they are prone to derailment. As a result, many have been modified to become rigid 4 - wheelers.

All the tinplate coachers were foreshortened from scale, presumably to accomodate the curves on tinplate track. They were originally available with either pressed tinplate wheels or a superior cast pattern for finer scale track, although almost all have been converted to cast wheels now. The timplate coach pressings appear to have been available after the Great War, either because Bassett Lowke had a stock or perhaps he had taken over the tooling. However most of these models were either sold with Gauge 1 running gear, or converted to Gauge 1. It's been my pleasure to convert a number of Gauge 2 coaches back to their original configuration.

The wood construction coaches were aimed at a more selective market and examples representing GW, LNWR and GN stock are known. Many of the coaches share a constructional technique attributed to Henry Greenly where accurately machined top and bottom side rails accepted alternating inserts for side panels, doors and windows to allow almost any coach design to be represented. These parts were available from Bassett Lowke to amateur builders, though most of the known surviving coaches share a common style of finish which suggests they were completed at Northampton.

These specialised models approximate to scale, but appear to be still somewhat foreshortened. Great attention was given to interiors and in the case of Mr Jervis's models, lighting. The Fiftypointeight blog shows several Gauge 2 LNWR coaches attributed to Bassett Lowke's 'Premium' line.

I'm very fortunate to have acquired a rake of GW 'Toplight' coaches, originally made by Mr H B Jervis for the railway built in 1912 by Clement Krabbe and John Moore-Brabazon. I have also have acquired a superb LNWR Brake Third, also built by Mr Jervis.

A unique example of a wood construction coach is the Pullman which is of different and presently unknown origin.

Other builders included Carson, who apparently made cast metal coach components. It's not clear at the moment if other builders including Jubb and Mills produced carriages in Gauge 2.


Tinplate coaches

Carrette Gauge 2 LNWR 6-wheel Brake Third. In all, there are ten of these Carette 6-wheelers in varying conditions. Some, like this one, have been converted to 4-wheelers by removing the centre wheelset and fixing the swivelling end trucks in position. In this form they are steadier runners, but the long fixed wheelbase still makes them prone to derailment. As 4-wheelers, they are closer to scale, since all the Carette for Bassett Lowke passenger stock was foreshortened from scale dimensions. The side duckets are vulnerable to derailment as can be seen here.

The 'Cleminson' articulated underframe allowed them to operate on tinplate layouts and can be made to run reasonably well but these coaches are not an ideal load for steam locomotives because the risk of derailment never goes away.




Carette LNWR bogie composite. At 7/16" scale this coach comes out at 38' long, about 1 compartment shorter than the prototype which presumably was the LNWR 42' arc roofed coach. In addition, the Third class compartments are the same size as the Firsts, which would never do! Despite this, the model is a handsome vehicle. This one was included in the 'Abergavenny' lot from SAS and like the other G2 coaches from this source was filled to the waist with cement! The litho print is heavily darkened by some unknown process that has penetrated the ink and does not clean up. These models have the cast iron G2 wheelsets which are believed to have been an option at the time and are much safer in running than the free floating wheels.

Here, the bogies and underframe have been treated in Phosphoric acid before being painted. The wheels, which were red with the rust of a century, are unpainted as they emerged from the acid bath.



Since there was no hope of restoring the Litho, the coach side was scanned and re-drawn in CAD as accurately as possible. This was printed directly to self adhesive Vinyl sheet, which was then cut out and fixed to the sides, leaving the original Litho print intact underneath. The home made vinyl print features somewhat innaccurate colour fidelity and will be replaced with professionally printed vinyl giving more convincing colours in due course. It's not known what the number, '1322', represents. The Carson LNWR 'Precursor' 4-4-0 peeks out behind the coach.



Yes, this is the same coach!


Carette Gauge 2 GW Celestory Roof Composite. From the 'Abergavenny' collection, experimentally wrapped in vinyl ink jet printed  photograph, original kindly supplied by Ned Williams. Most buffers on these vehicles are 3D printed replacements. Originally filled with cement up to the waist!



Here is the same coach again, this time wrapped in a Cad generated replica of the original litho print.





Carette Gauge 2 GW Full Brake
, from the 'Abergavenny' collection. Body in as found condition, underframe restored to running order. Note the heavy discolouration of the litho - this penetrates right through and is not just a surface discolouration. All the vehicles in this collection are affected in the same way. Maybe 100 years in someone's garage, with oil and petrol fumes?




Here's the same coach after being vinyl wrapped.




Here's a video of 'Abergavenny' with the bogie coaches and the non-passenger stock.


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