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Thread: Goods train composition in the 1940s-70s

  1. #1

    Goods train composition in the 1940s-70s

    So as to not confuse the issue I wonder if anyone can answer this question for me.

    Besides the bog standard Cattle special of say 20 wagons plus a brake van.

    can anyone come up with a typical good train formation for the above period

    I understand that it might not be possible but I was wondering what a typical good train would have looked like, I appreciate that the the various lines and different gradients would have played a part in how long a certain train would have been.

    But I was wondering if you could get away with say two or three covered vans, a couple of opens/flats, may be a container flat wagon with some bread bins on it, may be a well wagon and finally a brake van.

    Colin

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin R View Post
    So as to not confuse the issue I wonder if anyone can answer this question for me.

    Besides the bog standard Cattle special of say 20 wagons plus a brake van.

    can anyone come up with a typical good train formation for the above period

    I understand that it might not be possible but I was wondering what a typical good train would have looked like, I appreciate that the the various lines and different gradients would have played a part in how long a certain train would have been.

    But I was wondering if you could get away with say two or three covered vans, a couple of opens/flats, may be a container flat wagon with some bread bins on it, may be a well wagon and finally a brake van.

    Colin
    Colin

    You can do little better than to peruse the books which have photos of goods trains - the trouble is, few enough books have!

    As you say, it depended on the line. The GNR's Night Goods to Derry by the Derry Road could be sixty wagons with a 0-6-0 hauling it. There were two around 8pm ex Belfast and BOTH had anything up to ten flats with bread containers on them! However, the greater part of the train would have been vans - Ireland's weather didn't encourage the use of opens - not to say that there were none.

    The GN main line goods "over the Bank" to Dundalk were not quite as heavy, were mainly vans, no bread containers - they were a Northern Ireland peculiarity.

    Mineral traffic was very much less than Britain, except for loco coal going to outlying sheds. You didn't get the British situation of local coal merchants with offices in station yards (and even their own wagons). There were a FEW, of course. East Downshire Steamship Co. on the BCDR was a case in point.

    As you say, cattle specials were a massive business for the Railway - especially CIE - I saw one weekly notice of 120 pages where the first FORTY was entirely fairs specials!

    Of course, the smaller branch lines would have had short goods with a mix of vans, opens and cattle wagons. Well wagons were uncommon.

    If you're modelling the Great Northern, the IRRS reprint of the GN Wagon book might prove useful.

    I'm sure Jon will add massively to this, but it will get the ball rolling.

    Good sources of photos would be his books on the Western Corridor and the recent North Kerry book. For the GN, Charlie Friel's "Fermanagh's Railways would give you a steer.

    I've ignored beet traffic, which were in effect block trains, seasonal, but not a typical goods train!

    Hope this helps

    Leslie
    PS If you need wagons of this period, I know someone who sells kits of them ........
    Last edited by leslie10646; 06-07-2017 at 12:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by leslie10646 View Post
    Colin

    Leslie
    PS If you need wagons of this period, I know someone who sells kits of them ........
    You know what Leslie, I cant think who that is, I think he trades under the name of Provincial Wagons, I have visited the website on a number of occasions and when the financial drought is over I will be placing an order or two.

    The upside of having no money in the modelling budget at present means I can get around to building some of my 009 or 00n3 kits.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    Loose coupled goods trains on CIE main lines could load up to a max of 780 tons or a maximum length of 53 wagons subject to restrictions over certain route and sections of main line. As Leslie said the majority of traffic was carried in covered wagons, with open wagons and specialist wagons such as container flats, tank cars and grain hoppers pretty much in the minority. CIE had a handful of Lomac style well wagons which in later years were mainly used by the p.w. Dept for transporting small Priestman crawler cranes.
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  5. #5
    Thanks John that brings me on to another question tank cars where these for Milk or what did they carry, I am trying to get a picture in my head as to what type of tank car was used, there must have a been a difference between diary products and oils/chemicals.

    The period I am interested in is up to the mid 1960's or just up to the introduction of the bulk carrier fleets of container wagons.

    This is because I happen to like the Model A, B and C diesel locos that where introduced around that period and so I could just about run Green/Silver locos.

  6. #6
    A major modelling attraction of 1940s to 1970s goods trains was the mixed variety down in ROI of short wheel base two axle wagons, and there were almost no boring uniform 'block trains'. Pick up goods trains make it possible to model small goods facilities at branch stations often with only one or two wagons being dropped off by a passing mixed freight train. The zenith era of Irish goods traffic before the roads came along and boring containerisation.

  7. #7
    Tank wagons carried petroleum products for Irish BP/Irish Shell. Perhaps tar/bitumen as well.

    Petrol was taken into Cork Capwell by train for the buses before the rails were lifted.

    No milk tank wagons as far as I know. Milk traffic was taken in churns.

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...9a&oe=59C55A20

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...5a&oe=5A050973

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...48&oe=5A0101D0

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...07&oe=5A0FD9C9

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...7e&oe=59D12ADA

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net...ab&oe=5A049581
    Last edited by minister_for_hardship; 06-07-2017 at 11:17 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    The late 1960s was an interesting period with conventional (usually unfitted) wagons and vans running in mixed consists with recently introduced flats carrying ISO containers, palletised fertiliser and Guinness traffic, or bulk cement wagons.

    Brian Flannigans Flickr site has a good collection of photos of typical goods stock mainly in the Tralee area. Dublin-Tralee goods services were the last to go over to Liner (unit train) operation when loose coupled services ended in 1978 when a coupling broke on the last scheduled loose coupled goods out of Heuston Goods as the train climbed the Gullet to Inchacore and the wagons ran back into the station
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/holycorner/6940852928/
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  9. #9
    Great pics on that link. Thanks for posting. Pretty much what I remember before boring liners and fitted bogie freight arrived.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayner View Post
    . . . a coupling broke on the last scheduled loose coupled goods out of Heuston Goods as the train climbed the Gullet to Inchacore and the wagons ran back into the station.
    Would the guard in the brake van not have applied the brake stopping the uncontrolled run back of the rear half of the train?

  10. #10
    PS: That yard in Dromad depicted in the flickr link is eccentric but a treasure trove.

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