The GWR used the same underframe from its from its ‘Iron Mink’ van under a new open wagon too. So having announced the ‘Iron Mink’, Rapido thought it rude not to produce what became the Diagram O21 open wagon too.
The GWR built thousands and thousands of four-planks with either single sided lever brakes or DCI brakes (with minor detail differences) until a fifth plank was added to the design in 1902.
In 1927 the Board or Trade ‘Either Side’ brake regulations came into force and resulted in over 18,700 single-sided four-plankers being given an additional lever brake and shoe.
These wagons finally appeared in the diagram book as Diagram O21 and any that remained with DCI brakes became Dia. O5.
Despite being built in huge numbers, these wagons remained in the shadows for all their lives. They kept the railway moving but never grabbed the headlines and it’s difficult to track when they finally disappeared from the network.
If it were not for the GWR 813 Preservation Fund, it’s likely that the Dia. O21 would have slipped unnoticed into history. It managed to acquire the final three survivors but only No. 41277 is anything more than a rusting underframe. This vehicle was saved from Sharpness Docks in 1984 and is based at the Severn Valley Railway.
Here’s the specification of Rapido’s ‘OO’ gauge model:
• Single or double-sided
• UK designed
• NEM coupling pockets
• UK designed
• Fine detailed plastic bodies/chassis with metal parts
• Lots of fine, separately fitted details