GWR Broad Gauge 8-wheelers

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
It seems an awfully long time since I posted any proper railway gallery shots.

After a very extended gestation, which began back in 2016, I can finally call this batch of GWR Broad Gauge coaches done. The commission began as two coaches, a Diagram E3 1st/2nd luggage composite (around 46ft long) and a Diagram E4 1st/2nd luggage composite (a mere 42ft). Then a Diagram E7 lavatory composite and another E3 was added. All kinds of adventures were had, documented in the build thread on this link. The original real vehicles were built as rigid 8-wheelers, Mr Dean of the GWR having no truck (ha-ha) with bogies. Some were later converted to bogie running gear. The models are running on bogies, to cater for the exigencies of model railway life, but represent the fixed wheelbase design in most respects.

As with most BG builds, a fair degree of scratch building, head scratching, and making-it-up-on-the-fly was required. Being already nine parts nuts, the repetition of the windows, hinges, suspension and all the rest, pretty much tipped me over the edge at times. I'm still not right. *twitch*

Anyway, here they are, in all their glory.

Diagram E3 (1876 build) No 308 (2).jpg

Diagram E3 (1876 build) No 308 (1).jpg

Diagram E3 (1876 build) No 308.jpg

First, No 308, a Diagram E3 of the 1876 batch.

Diagram E3 (1882 build) No 416.jpg

Diagram E3 (1882 build) No 416 (1).jpg

No 416 is an E3 of the 1886 batch. There are subtle underframe variations between the two but I can't actually recall what they are.

Diagram E6 No 439 (1).jpg

Diagram E6 No 439.jpg

No 439 is a Diagram E6 Composite Luggage.

Diagram E7 No 442 (1).jpg

Diagram E7 No 442 (2).jpg

Diagram E7 No 442.jpg

My favourite is the Diagram E7 Lavatory Composite. The lavatory compartment can only be accessed by occupants of the First Class compartment next to it. I wonder if special reservations had to be made to ensure you got a seat in the right compartment.

Nos 308 and 442 coupled.jpg

Nos 308 amd 442.jpg

Finally a couple of coaches posed together. Even on my extended photo plank, I only had room for two coaches to sit safely together.

Some time ago, I managed to get a test run with all four coaches on a BG layout. The idea was to test for potential shorting (there was none) and whether they were too heavy (they are). The upshot is a single locomotive couldn't haul all four coaches unassisted. The client was informed, and the idea has been put forward that, since he wants a pair of passenger luggage vans for this train, one or both "bogies" of one PLV should be motorised. That should be fun.

There we are, a long and tortuous journey, but I think worth it in the end. Now I can pack them into a box until they can be safely shipped to Australia. Frankly, I'm sick of the sight of them! :confused: :D :))
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Flying Squad
They are gorgeous, and a credit to you. The paint finish is outstanding. I'm just putting my Rover back together after painting, and they would be a lovely sight behind it.


Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
Thanks everyone!

The client made a visit to Blighty in 2019. He and the missus took a holiday and did some family research, and made the time to drop by here. He saw the models in an advanced state of completion, and dropped off some further work!

He has grown-up children currently living and studying in the UK. Hopefully, we will be able to transport the coaches back with one of them. That's the plan, Covid allowing.