Rapido Trains UK unveils classic South Eastern & Chatham Railway van.
Having produced a range of SECR goods vehicles, the only thing missing from Rapidos collection was a brake van. They’ve corrected that omission, with this design of brake van, which has its origins in the batch of ten 20t six-wheeled Goods Brake vans that were ordered by the South Eastern Railway in 1898.
The design was outwardly similar to the Midland Railway’s six-wheel brakes, featuring an enclosed body and a veranda at one end and a platform at the other. A further 35 were built between 1900 and 1909. The design was modified with a veranda at each end in 1910 and 50 vans to this design were built. When 25 single ended van required overhauls, they were rebuilt to this new design, albeit with detail differences.
These vans were popular with staff. All 90 passed into Southern Railway ownership (where they received the diagram 1558) and, incredibly, BR inherited 86. Withdrawals took place between 1949 and 1960, although a number of vehicles were transferred into Engineers departmental use.
Only one of these vans survives. It was one of the 1898 batch that was rebuilt in 1910. BR sold it to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnbrough, Hampshire, where it was bought for preservation on the Kent & East Sussex Railway.
Rapidos tooling covers both the dual-veranda vans built new in 1910 as well as the single-ended vans rebuilt that year. As with all Rapido models these models feature a
high level of detail on the outside, underside and inside!
Rapidos SECR six-wheel brake boast an impressive spec:
• TWO body styles
• Split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings
• NEM coupling pockets
• UK designed
• Designed from original works drawings