Bachmann Weathered & Repaired Wagons By James Purves
Three recently released models by Bachmann add further to the growing number of war-weary open wagons released by the company. These have excellently designed artwork and are ideal for anyone modelling the late 1940s or early 1950s. Especially useful is the fact that the sides have different printing (as seen here) to show different planks replaced. This means that it is worth buying two of each to make up a train. Prior to the Second World War, most open wagons had wooden bodies and carried coal or coke. These were owned by the mining companies, coal agents, coal merchants and shipping companies. Some had been owned by the wagon builders and leased to the companies using them, with or without a maintenance agreement. Each owner had its own livery and trains were a colourful mix of shades of brown and grey, together with black and an occasional red, green or blue, each with the operator’s name and details. Private ownership of these had ended with the Second World War when the government requisitioned railway wagons for the war effort. From then on, once well maintained and neatly painted open wagons soon began to look tired and dirty. As they went in for repairs, planks were replaced piecemeal and usually without being painted afterwards. The once neatly painted exteriors quickly showed a patchwork of repairs. Those that passed into British Railways ownership received a number with the prefixed ‘P’ (as on the coke wagon shown here), most were later painted grey, sometimes with the original owner’s name showing through. Except for a few wagon kits by Peco in 1962, this era, when timber-bodied wagons were in a distressed state, has been largely ignored by model manufacturers and it is good that we now have these ready-to-run models available to buy. The new releases by Bachmann are: • 37-185A 7-plank wagon with coke rails in Cory Brothers livery with BR No.P156917, eras 4 and 5, rrp £17.50.