Rapido Trains reveals new RCH 1907 Private Owner wagons

07 March 2024
Rapido Trains UK will be expanding its popular range of OO RCH 1907 Private Owner Wagons, with a batch of 7-Plank opens featuring another new tooling.

During their lifetime, these wagons were issued a variety of diagram numbers by the mainline companies that had either purchased or inherited them. 

Priced at £32.95, the wagons are currently in tooling and available to pre-order from Rapido’s website.   

OO Gauge RCH 1907 7-Plank Private Owner Wagon - Side Door Variant

This version is the RCH 1907 compliant design, equipped with two side doors. These wagons are also six inches longer than the first models produced by Rapido.

The vast majority of these wagons were ordered by the War Department to deal with the increase in freight traffic during the conflict and to ensure there was a constant stream of raw materials heading across the channel to the progress of the war effort. Many wagons were even sent to Europe to help transport materials directly to the front lines. 

Before, during, and after the War, numerous privately owned businesses purchased the wagons in considerable numbers. So, by the time the railways were joined together to become the ‘Big Four’ wagons of this design could be seen across the UK in a variety of guises. 

By the time the railways were nationalised, the number of wagons had started to dwindle. Having survived for over 40 years and carried the burden of 2 World Wars' worth of coal traffic they were tired, to say the least. British Railways still utilised these wagons, but instead of giving them a lick of paint, they primarily left them as purchased and simply painted a new number with a ‘P’ prefix to 

A selection of liveries covering the history of these wagons from War Department service through private ownership and into their BR-era renditions are available. 

In addition to this, Rapido has produced four ‘What if’ liveries brandishing businesses named after some of the UK's most famous locomotive designers. 

All versions of the OO Gauge RCH 1907 7-Plank Private Owner Wagon-side door variant feature full external, internal, and underframe details, including brass bearings for friction-free running, NEM coupling pockets, and a high-quality livery application. 

Proposed liveries

• SKU 967418: WD No.81797 

• SKU 967419: Middleton Colliery No.686 

• SKU 967420: John Davies & Sons No.3 

• SKU 967421: S Brookman No.33 

• SKU 967422: J L Davies & Co No.121 

• SKU 967423: Lockhurst Lane No.15 

• SKU 967424: Gittings & Sons No.6 

• SKU 967425: WM Cory No. 2427 

• SKU 967426: Gresley No.4468 

• SKU 967427: Stanier No.6220 

• SKU 967428: Bulleid No.21C1 

• SKU 967429: Collett No.6000 

• SKU 967416: BR PO ex-Henry Hall and Son 

• SKU 967417: BR PO ex-Wilks 

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OO Gauge SECR 12 Ton 7-Plank Mineral Wagon. (SR Dia.1357) 

As the 19th Century drew to an end the newly amalgamated South Eastern and Chatham Railway wasted no time in capitalising on the recently discovered coal in and around Shakespeare Cliffs and the Kent coalfields and ordered a large number of 12-ton RCH-compliant mineral wagons, which included a sizable quantity of 7-Plank which would later become SR Dia.1357. A total of 1850 wagons, including Dia. 1357 versions were placed between 1910 and 1914.

When combined with the substantial number that the SECR used as part of a business agreement with William Cory and Son of Erith, who owned some 5000 wagons of numerous types, it is fair to say that the Dia.1357 were a common sight throughout Kent during this period. These numbers were further bolstered by some of the wagons that the War Department returned to the UK following the cessation of WW1, which ended up in Loco Coal use. 

Most of the wagons passed into Southern Railway ownership at the Grouping gaining both liveries carried by the SR. A very small number survived into the BR-era, but no evidence of any carrying BR livery has ever been found. 

Proposed liveries

• SKU 967401: SECR (Early) No.13578 

• SKU 967402: SECR (Early) No.13540 

• SKU 967403: SECR (Late) No.13620 

• SKU 967404: SECR (Late) No.14517 

• SKU 967405: SECR Loco Coal (Late)No.14374 

• SKU 967408: SR (pre-1936) No.17065 

• SKU 967410: SR (post-1936) No.10560 

OO Gauge LBSCR 7-Plank 12 Ton Coal Wagon. (SR Dia.1373) 

Much like their Kentish counterparts had done the previous year, the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway began ordering 7-Plank 12 Ton Coal Wagons in 1911. 225 wagons were added to a previously ordered SECR batch by the LBSCR, so the astute builder (Hurst, Nelson & Company) sensibly constructed them using the same SECR drawings. The LBSCR regarded these as a non-standard wagon, and illustrated this by ordering further parts for them from the manufacturer only a year after delivery, instead of producing parts themselves in their own wagon works. 

Once they had moved to Southern Railway ownership, they were issued a unique diagram number (Dia. 1373) despite having the same origin as their SECR cousins. These wagons carried both styles of SR goods livery prior to withdrawal. It is believed a very small number survived into the BR-era but no evidence of any carrying BR livery has ever been found. 

Proposed liveries

• SKU 967406: LB&SCR No.10972 

• SKU 967407: LB&SCR No.10880 

• SKU 967409: SR (pre-1936) No.27461 

• SKU 967411: SR (post-1936) No.27320 

OO Gauge GNR 7-Plank 12 Ton Loco Coal Wagon. (LNER Code 4150) 

It wasn’t just the pre-grouping companies of the South Coast that had RCH 1907 7-Plank side door wagons in mainline company use. Following the end of the Great War, the Great Northern Railway was given 50 7-plank wagons by the WD as replacement for GNR wagons lost or damaged during the War and set them to work as loco coal wagons. Incredibly, all 50 survived and were passed to LNER ownership, where they were issued the LNER Diagram code 4150. 

The LNER also had an agreement with Belgo- Anglaise des Ferry-Boats of Belgium, to provide cost-effective continental ferry rail freight between Harwick and Zeebrugge. This service used a number of hired-in wagons that were very similar to our new model. These hired vehicles had a rather interesting livery as they were covered in an eclectic mix of both companies' information and could be seen on both sides of the channel.

Proposed liveries

• SKU 967412: GNR No.54952 

• SKU 967413: LNER (Early) No.454941 

• SKU 967414: LNER (Late) No.454950 

• SKU 967415: LNER Train Ferry No.109.743 

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