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Sunday 3 September 2023

Ballast Cleaning Train - Part 10

The staff coach associated with this train was an ex-SE&CR 60 ft. Birdcage Brake 3rd lavatory (BTL) coach. These coaches (and non lavatory versions) were taken into departmental stock after they were withdrawn from passenger duties. Initially they were not repainted. Later the departmental colour of black and later still drab olive green was deployed and the coach re-numbered into the DS series.

I found two references to coaches used in BR(S) Departmental Stock:

  • BTL SR 3479 in Malachite was assigned to Matisa Ballast Cleaner DS100 in November 1956.
  • BTL SR 3521 in Malachite renumbered to DS 136
I cannot tell from the 1960 monochrome photos of the train what livery it had at that date nor the number allocation.

Model coaches are available from Bachmann (RTR) and Roxey Mouldings (KIT). Ever mindful of the cost I choose Bachmann from the after market. Bachmann coaches are available in Malachite, Olive, Dark Lake and Crimson. Some colours are only available from the after market.

At first I though to repaint a coach if I could find one that was in less than perfect condition but, all seemed to be new or in pristine condition. I am reticent about repainting a pristine model and as I don't know what livery it had in 1960 I decided not to repaint (for the time being). On this basis I should go for the Malachite version but this has extensive decals making it obvious for passenger services. The Crimson version is the only one with minimal decals and if I did repaint then it will be a simpler job to do.

The Bachmann Crimson is currently only available from the after market. I bid in an EBAY auction for one and lost out, being the underbidder. The person who won was very keen and placed multiple bids. If I had bid more I am sure I would have been outbid again. It sold for £31 + postage. 'Buy it now' prices for these Crimson coaches vary widely, anything from £40 to £75. I went for the cheapest EBAY 'Buy it now' coach available at £40 + postage - and whilst stated as 'used' it is in pristine condition.

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