22 September 2022
They're new, represent the earliest era of the railways, and are spelt with a double 'g' – time for a closer look at these new models, then?
The recognisable Chaldron design appeared around 1820, but that in itself was the continuation of an outline that dated from the mid-17th century onwards. These two-axle wood framed ‘black waggons’ were built to slightly varying degrees of design, but a common outline, for the transportation of coal, brick, timber, stone and ‘muck’ across the North East of England. A ‘Chaldron’ is a unit of measurement equating to 53cwt in weight, and with weighbridges not being used there at that time it was a means of standardising coal wagon loads for collieries and merchants.
Accurscale has produced five main variants of the type, based on the S&DR style dating from 1835-45, built at Shildon, the North Eastern Railway (and subsequent Internal User pattern) P1 types of the second half of the 19th century and the improved 4T ‘Black Waggons’ that were so prevalent in and around the Seaham area, of which it has identified three main body profile types. Within these five variants, there are different arrangements of ‘bang plates’, handbrakes and wheel styles, which have been included within the tooling suite.
What we like...
- Accurascale deemed traditional tension-lock couplings to be too large for the delicate nature of Chaldrons and so the waggons are connected via all-new fine link chains, with neodymium magnetic heads, connected to the waggon via prototypical cotter pin coupling
- The couplings give a pleasing alternative which securely maintains a train of length that can be easily uncoupled by hand
- Two extra NEM-fitted coupling chains are supplied with the waggons for coupling to locomotive/additional rolling stock
- The all-over black livery is straightforward enough, and the white printing of the different operators and numbers are clear and precise
- The interior planking is well-captured, as is the planking and straps on the bottom door of the hopper
What we noticed...
- The couplings on the review samples have a tendency to attach themselves to the cotter pin and chain, but readily untie themselves when two waggons are brought together
- The combined coupling length may be longer than scale but it means they will happily handle curves tighter than first radius.
- Users will encounter an issue if modelling a scene correctly because the dumb buffer spacing and height is different from standard buffer positions on other stock. A means of translation should be considered either as wide dumb buffers to a locomotive or a horizontal beam over the dumb buffers on the waggon.
- Axles are simply a clip fit into the retaining pegs on the chassis but are still quite free-running
Read the full review in the December 2022 issue of BRM.