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Ian Wigglesworth
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I confess I have no idea of where in a train the different coaches go.
I'm also lost with all of the different types of coach you can buy!

One of the joys of not caring what I run!!
If it looks nice I will buy and run it, doesn't matter to me if the loco would never have pulled a certain type of coach.

What baffles me is the MK1's MK2's first class brake, corridor, buffet!!!!!!


Nightmare!!

It would be nice to have a little bit of an idea though

I've actually asked this of Hornby magazine to print an article on the different types of coaches why they have the names they do and what order they should go in, in the train.
Are coaches the same as locos and you would only find a certain type of coach in a certain area?
Is there a list anywhere that gives this sort of information, along with which type of loco would pull which coach etc?

I'm sure others new to modelling or just plain don't know may find it interesting.
Thought I'd ask here from you experts just to give me some sort of clue!!
 

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Where to start? I think we have had a thread on train composition before and the Hornby article on the last official BR Steam hauled excursion reveals a bit about train formation....

Anyway, I bags the easy answer! Mk1 vs Mk2

These are different generations of coaches. Mk1s were introduced by BR in the early fifties and continued in production until the first Mk2s in the late(?) 60s. Coaches are long lived, so Mk1s survived on main line trains well into the 70s.

Corridor designs were predominant until the mid 60s (?) when the open saloon plan took over. Dining cars attached to Kitchen cars were always(?) open.

As regards placement, each end of a train used brake compartments as a buffer to the passenger sections in the centre. Thus most rakes will have been topped and tailed with at least a half brake vehicle. From my memories of main line rail travel in the 70s, the catering vehicles, usually RMBs on the trains I was on, divided first class from second. HST formations on Western Region are still like this.

Longer distance trains often had full brake vehicles at one end or the other into which all manner of stuff was loaded, including pidgeons, scout camping gear, parcels....

So that brings to all those pesky letters. Basically it's one letter per feature:-

B = Brake
K = Corridor
S = Second class
F = First class
O = Open
C = Composite - ie mixed first and second class; generally compartments
G = Gangway
R = Restaurant

So a BSK is Brake Second corridor - or half second class compartments, half brake.
A BG is Brake Gangway - which means the luggage area was caged off down one side to create a corridor.
RMB = Restaurant Miniature Buffet.

Now you are equipped to make sense of the coaches page on Bachmann's website!

David
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
David,

Thankyou very much a little clearer!
I'm going to have to read that while looking at the coaches, to make sure I understand it all!

So thats what composite means


I feel incredibly thick!

I'm going to dig out the Hornby magazines again, as I know there is information in them that I haven't read, or have but it's not fully sunk in, which may also help.

So thats the MK1's and 2's
See what I mean about how complicated it can get!

Cheers
 

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Hi Ian/David,

Solves some mystery for me as well ...... though like Ian i run it if i like it its my layout after all
thank you David for clearing up the lettering, BSK always puzzled me
 

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Composite is a coach containing accommodation of more than one class.

Mk2s are particularly complicated, with seven sub-classes running from plain Mk2 (later known as Mk2z) then Mk2a through to Mk2f. The original ones were steam heated and vacuum braked so could and often would be in a train with Mk1s. Later batches had air braking, electric heating and air conditioning from Mk2d onwards, and the non-opening single-pane windows made them look totally different. Later Mk2s could not normally be in a train with Mk1s or earlier Mk2s. There were the inevitable exceptions where older vehicles were fitted with new heating or braking, most notably there were no Mk2 catering vehicles built so Mk1 buffets ran with all types of Mk2 sets.

Experts will no doubt object to the sweeping generalisations contained in the above paragraph!

In the Mk2 era there wouldn't normally be a brake at each end of a train, unless it was one that divided on route. Usually Mk2 sets would have a brake first or second of roughly the same rolling stock type as the main train, formed with the guard's area at the end of the train so passengers didn't walk through it, or a Mk1 full brake at one end. Well into the Mk3 era some of these vehicles replaced Mk1 brakes and buffets in Mk2 sets.

Usually first class was and is at the London end of the train, but the Midland in particular has lots of scope for reversal so trains are often back to front. Orientation of trains not serving London is essentially random. Where there is a buffet it usually separates the two classes so first class passengers have easy access to it but don't have the plebs walking through their coaches!
 

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In later years (1970s onwards, I think, but open to correction) there was only a requirement for one brake vehicle (with the guard's accommodation) in a set and it could be marshalled anywhere within the set. This doesn't mean that you can only have one brake coach just that the requirement was for a minimum of one. In earlier years brakes tended to be at each end of a rake but, even so, there were many exceptions, the SR, for instance, could add extra "loose" coaches to strengthen a rake - these were nicknamed "swingers" if they were at the trailing end.

Mark 2 coaches first appeared in 1964 as FKs in green (SR) or maroon (other regions), and Bachmann have modelled these as well as the same coaches in later blue and grey (with "S" numbers for the Southern Region!). These early Mark 2 (or 2z, if you prefer) coaches could be steam hauled as they had vacuum brakes and steam heating. Mark 1 and Mark 2 coaches could be found in the same rake. Early green FKs coauld also be found in sets of coaches with Mark 1s and Bulleid stock too. I have seen pics of maroon mark 2s in trains of mark 1, Stanier and/or Gresley stock.

The upshot is, you can mix and match stock for more interesting model rakes.
 

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QUOTE (SRman @ 9 Sep 2008, 08:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>these were nicknamed "swingers" if they were at the trailing end.

Looks like another case of confusing railway nomenclature! To most of us a swinger is a non-braked vehicle attached to the end of a train - definitely not allowed due to the risk of it running away if the coupling breaks. All passenger stock is continuously braked, so unless there is some problem with this equipment it can be formed anywhere in a train.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys!

You could even read page 58 of issue 9 (march 2008) of the Hornby magazine which lists the codes and gives train formation suggestions

I'm not even going to say it!

Still it would be nice to actually have something like that mainline railways catalogue that Poliss posted, very interesting.

Cheers
 
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