Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Highland Railway Brake Van

HR d.39 Brake Van
The characteristic HR bottle-necked buffers were a problem to replicate, the nearest I could find were on Invertrain's website, listed as... "Wagon Buffers Midland", they looked about right. The cast w/m shank was separate from the mounting plate by which they were attached to the buffer beam; I found that this was the wrong shape anyway so I substituted a n/s disc which I soldered to the buffer beam first then soldered the buffer shank to it.

The axle-boxes are my own castings which I made for Lochgorm's HR 6-wheel brake van. The d.39 GA drawing shows no detail of the axleboxes. There are no extant photos of the vehicle in HR days to confirm that these were correct but I thought they were a good bet.

It's a busy place under a HR d.39

I soldered a length of  4mm angle section behind the solebars which added strenght to the structure and also served as a base on which to mount the "J" hangers which were made from strip bent to a "z" shape and soldered in place. The upper arm of each hanger was drilled to take a 7mm wire which went through the hole into the solebar. The springs were mounted on this wire which passes through holes drilled in their extremities and holds them in place. I found that once I'd soldered the sand pipes in place I couldn't remove the wheel assemblies so I soldered these in place too at this stage.

HR d.39 structure underneath.

I finished off the "J" hangers by threading a couple of small discs onto the wire that protruded below the hanger and then added a final 14BA nut to the bottom of each one. I cut away some of the metal on top of the axlebox, where the spring sits, to allow a tiny bit of  movement to the "rocking axle"; it's all a very tight fit and there's brake gear and rigging still to add.


  1. Hi Pete;

    I too have just completed one of these but in 4mm. See here - http://highlandmiscellany.com/ The main problem I had (which you have not mentioned?) was that I found that the sides stood too high?

    It is by no means certain that these vehicles were delivered to the Highland and may have gone straight into LMS grey.

    All the pictures that I have seen have also shown a chalkboard on the right hand end - I pressume you have the Backtrack LMS special edition that includes an article by the old man on these?

    1. I've just noticed this comment hence the rather late reply. I thought the problem was that the ends were too low so I just built them up a bit with strip. And No, I've not seen the Backtrack LMS special but I'd like to! As to painting it in LMS grey...too late, I sprayed it red oxide yesterday.