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
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
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'
, originally made by Mr H B Jervis for the railway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
, also built by Mr Jervis.
More recently a superb rakes of Great
and Great Western coaches have come to light and happily joined
the collection, accompanied by an extraordinary GW style
Railmotor and trailer Car.
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.
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.
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
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
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