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Friday 27 September 2013

YMRV Maroon Coach Numbers for BR(S) South Western Division

This is about BR(S), south west division, coach numbers for the unnumbered YMRV (Your Model Railway Village part work) maroon coach. Well, that is the main intent but research sometimes takes us down an unexpected path that draws us into a fascinating subject. More about that in the next posting.

The YMRV coach is a 1960s era, MK1 SK (second corridor) maroon coach with BR1 bogies and seats without arm rests.

It is well documented that BR(S) MK1 coaches in the early 60s were green and any allocated in other colours were 'quickly' repainted green. However, there is photographic evidence of maroon coaches in service on south west division and this arose from either inter-regional workings or transfer of stock between regions. It has to be said though that green was most common.

What follows has been gained from publicly available resources. I cannot vouch for its accuracy as I have yet to see photographic evidence of a maroon SK coach showing its number on the Waterloo-Exeter mainline west of Salisbury in the early 1960s. If anyone can shed light on this or give more information please comment.

To run coaches in maroon for local services, rather than inter-regional, I need to identify those that were transferred in from elsewhere. After the Western Region took over the running of Southern Region west of Salisbury in 1963 there was rationalisation of passenger rolling stock and transfers of MK1 coaches both ways. In theory coaches arriving on Southern Region would have been in maroon livery and then repainted green. Coach numbers would have remained the same but the prefix letter would have changed to 'S'. However, since the Western Region operated the line west of Salisbury from 1963 I assume transfers in would have retained both maroon livery and 'W' prefix. There is documented evidence at SEmG and in photos I have seen confirming W prefixes on some stock.

Keith Parkin (author of British Railways Mk1 coaches) states that Diag. 147 applies for SK coaches without seating arm rests. Sadly, numbers he quoted for Diag. 147 stock indicate only coaches from the 25906 range were allocated to BR(S) and these had commonwealth bogies (coil sping) and not the BR1 (leaf spring) of the model. However, BRSCarriages1_5.pdf‎ available from SEmG Online states that lot 30020 were built to Diag. 147 and this lot shows some numbers that Parkin attributes to Diag. 146 (with armrests). Who is right? If lot 30020 did include arm rests then I saw a comment somewhere that arm rests were removed from some coaches to increase passenger accommodation from 48 to 64 seats. No matter because since the coach seats of the model are less visible than the bogies I shall focus on numbers from the SeMG document for Lot 30020 that had BR1 bogies. As a rule numbers below 25704 carried BR1 bogies.

Lot 30020 Candidates

Note: Coaches in a train were arranged into fixed sets. The coaches listed below were classified as 'loose' on transfer 'in'. This means they would have been included in any numbered set or special service that required an extra SK to meet passenger demand. Fixed sets were abandoned in 1966.

All these were originally allocated to BR(S) then transferred to BR(WR) between 1963/64 only to return to the south western division a few months later:

24304, 24306, 24308, 24309, 24311, 24312, 24313, 24314, 24315, 24319, 24324. From this list I need to select 3 for my coaches. The next posting will be about my selection and the extraordinary diversion my research lead me.

To Part 2.

To Part 0.

Sunday 8 September 2013

YMRV MK1 SK coach enhancements

First job on the coach enhancement was a bit of painting. Me and air spray painting don't seem to get on too well. I made an awful mess of my working environment, and self, spilled the paint twice and as to the coach roof  it had to be sprayed several times to get an acceptable finish. It is fortunate I disassembled it so that I could focus on the roof without messing up the bodywork

The roof was first primed with car primer and then sprayed with Humbrol enamel paint. A final over spray of artists fixer was applied. This protects and gives a lovely satin finish. The ends were hand painted black to give a thinner appearance to the thick moulding. I decided not to over paint the roof pipework as prototype pictures show them to be the same colour as the roof, which must be due to the grime built up over time.

Reassembly of the coach was difficult as the chassis kept bowing. I could only correct this by leaving out the metal weight. I am hopeful this will be acceptable as the coach seems heavy enough without it and free running might also be improved as there was a bit of drag compared to other brands.

You can see the improvement from the picture. The roof is now representative of the prototype shown below it in the magazine than the original model shown above. In fact it is even better than my Bachmann MK1s which have a lighter grey though not as light as the YMRV* model.

The final enhancement was to paint the door handles a brassy colour. I don't intend to do any other painting.

Next job is to apply coach numbers, which I can tell you demanded quite a bit of research to identify likely numbers seen on maroon coaches on southern region, south western division in the early 60s.

*Your Model Railway Village partwork.

To Part 2.
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