Wednesday, 15 August 2012

MOTW - Van 51

I've got another one of our multiple models to show you this week.

We have two versions of Van 51 / Van 1 which is another of those FR vehicles which has been given a new look and a new identity over the years.

This is the more modern of them, as P-Way brake van 51.

The model was scratch built in styrene to show the van as it appeared for the last decade or so in a livery not dissimilar to that adopted by BR's engineers fleet at one time and which suited it rather well, I think. It was built up on a Dundas four wheel chassis kit.

Van 1 was constructed in 1964 by the volunteers of the Midland Group of the FR Society. In its early years it was used as a passenger carriage at the peak of summer traffic.

At that time it looked much larger with the full height bodywork carried forwards to form a covered entrance vestibule, which was reduced to an open platform during a rebuild in the mid-80's making it look much more like one of the original FR four wheel vans which has been converted from quarrymens carriages.

In the 90's it was given a new number to accommodate a replica of a four wheeled double-balconied van which took the number 1, although it too later surrendered it to the reborn 'curly rood van'.

In its original condition the van formed part of the historic first steam train to return to Blaenau in 1982, hauled by Blanche. By now the all over green livery it first wore had been replaced by cherry red. Our other model of it portrays it in this condition and will no doubt be a future Model Of The Week subject.

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