23 December 2022
Manufacturer unveil models of Diagram O11/O15 five-plank open, and the Dia. V14/V16 ‘Mink As’.
Rapido has unveiled EP samples of new models, depicting the Diagram O11/O15 five-plank opens and the Dia. V14/V16 ‘Mink As’. The announcement comes following the news that its GWR ‘Iron Minks’ and four-plank open wagons are due to arrive in the UK in January.
Design work on both projects is complete but liveries and running numbers have yet to be confirmed. The manufacturer plans to take orders early in 2023, with tooling to start soon.
Both the five-plank opens and the ‘Mink As’ have been designed by Rapido’s UK design team. The opens feature external and underframe details, and come supplied with enough parts to fit the Williams patent sheet supporter, either in the up position or ‘at rest’. The ‘Mink As’ will be offered with spoked or disc wheels, long or short rain strips and horizontal or vertical planked doors.
A step change in GWR open wagon design occurred in 1902 when a fifth plank was added to its four-plank design. The five-plank became the GWR’s standard wagon design and, essentially, variations on the post-1904 version with a 3ft 3in deep and 8ft body continued to be built well into the 1940s.
Both the Dia. O11s and O15s were introduced in 1911 and are virtually identical – they had a 10t carrying capacity and used a 16ft underframe with GWR self-contained buffers. However, the Dia. O11 was unfitted whereas the Dia. O15 had vacuum brakes. The GWR built 10,815 Dia. O11s between 1911-1919 and 2,105 Dia. O15s up to 1922.
Rapido Trains GWR five-plank Dia. O15 open, with vacuum brakes.
Rapido Trains GWR five-plank unfitted Dia. O11 open.
It’s not known exactly when the last of these wagons were withdrawn because they slowly disappeared over the years but they lasted well into BR days. Several Dia. O11s survive, including vehicles based at Didcot and the Avon and Severn Valley Railways. The GWR used the telegraphic code ‘Mink’ for the majority of its general purpose vans. The code is most closely associated with the distinctive metal-bodied ‘Iron Minks’ and so it’s often forgotten that the GWR built thousands of wooden-bodied ‘Minks’ from 1892 until the 1940s.
Rapido Trains GWR Diagram V14 van with vacuum brakes.
Rapido Trains GWR Diagram V16 unfitted van.
The virtually identical ‘V14s’ and ‘V16s’ were introduced in 1912. These shared the same body, underframe, ‘W’ irons, DC III brakes and axleboxes. The ‘V14’ had vacuum brakes, whereas the ‘V16’ was unfitted. The last of the 5,506 Dia. V14 ‘Mink As’ were built in 1927, and production of the Dia. V16s had ceased in 1923 with 2,759 built.