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· Just another modeller
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QUOTE (simonj @ 24 Sep 2008, 06:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How come the British railways never had these, just a guards van. Did we always have automatic brakes?

***Heavens no - exactly the opposite really, but not so many hilly areas as europe I think.

Pre BR totally unfitted wagons (manual brakes only) were by far the majority.
This remained the case until after the formation of BR, and even then it took a long, long time to replace the hundreds of thousands of unfitted wagons with those having continuous brakes....

Train speed is always more about braking than horsepower of loco's, and freight trains would stop at the top and bottom of hills so the wagon brakes could be set on for control on the way down, and released once the flat was reached - average freight train speed point to point, especially for minerals, was not much better than walking pace (<<20mph when moving, and stopped often)

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