20 May 2021
The Chirk-based manufacturer has taken delivery of decorated samples for its new Vanwide and VEA models in O gauge.
Expected to arrive in model shops before the end of the year, the samples are currently undergoing evaluation by the design team and will be priced at £58.59 (RRP).
The new models will feature sprung metal buffers, a metal sprung coupling hook and working Instanter couplings, profiled wheels and axles with brass bearing pockets, a compensated chassis for smooth running, plus several separately added fine detail pats to accentuate underframe detail.
The proposed liveries are as follows:
- 7F-049-001 - VEA 12 Ton Goods Van (Vanwide) Freight Brown #230026
- 7F-049-002 - VEA 12 Ton Goods Van (Vanwide) Freight Brown #230034
- 7F-049-003 - VEA 12 Ton Goods Van (Vanwide) Red/Grey #230117
- 7F-049-004 - VEA 12 Ton Goods Van (Vanwide) Grey (Yellow Ends) #230142
- 7F-049-005 - VEA 12 Ton Goods Van (Vanwide) Red/Grey #230078
- 7F-049-201 - Vanwide 12 Ton Goods Van Freight Brown #B 783773
- 7F-049-202 - Vanwide 12 Ton Goods Van Freight Brown #B 784641 VMV
- 7F-049-203 - Vanwide 12 Ton Goods Van Freight Brown #B 784479
- 7F-049-204 - Vanwide 12 Ton Goods Van Freight Brown #B 783994 VWV
Due to pressure from large customers, BR developed a box van design with sliding doors, the Vanwide to Diagram 1/217, with standard dimensions of 17ft 6-inch length with a 10ft wheelbase. Built between 1961 and 1962 at Wolverhampton Works and Derby Works, the sides were of plywood construction with flush doors that moved out slightly, thus enabling them to slide down the sides, so alleviating the problem of confined locations. The end walls were made from corrugated metal sheeting. The door opening method made a door aperture of 9ft possible which aided the loading of pallets by forklift truck. It was this wider door opening that gave rise to the code name.
The VEA vans were refurbished versions of the Vanwide and fitted with air brakes from 1977 to suit customers who could not handle the longer wheelbase of more modern designs of wagon. A total of 550 wagons were converted. They were used on Speedlink trains as well as military specials. A decline in MOD requirements led to most of the wagons being withdrawn in the early 1990s with just a handful finding further use in the departmental fleets. However, many survived in internal use at Army bases. Several examples survive into preservation.
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