Discuss freight and rolling stock here
Enjoyed Hugh's articles on putting his one together. How many are out there now? Was watching some videos on and it looks like there were quite a few a Gilling in August.
Ben would have a better idea than me of how many are finished, but we made a dozen kits and only have one left. Mine is nowhere near finished, and one has gone to Australia, so potentially 9 running here now.
Cheers Dave. 8 or 9 together as a fitted head would look pretty impressive, especially behind something suitable like Vince's 4700. Good that they've nearly all sold.
John Catt says he remembers these, not as a fitted head, but as complete trains from the docks to Smithfield. At the tail was a small brake van, which he has modelled, photo in the latest Turnout, page 34
I did a bit of digging and found a couple of threads on RMWeb discussing Smithfield and the meat trains. Unsurprisingly it looks like they ran as fast fitted freights from the docks to Acton yard where they were remarshalled for Smithfield, with a condensing Pannier put on instead of the "Hall" or 47xx. I assume if other traffic for Acton was at the docks in suitable wagons this would have gone in the same trains, I can't imagine they were exclusively meat but probably often were. Same for the trains from Acton, Smithfield wasn't just a meat market so they could have been mixed with other wagons especially vans going although I would have thought they'd have to have been at least through piped.
I assumed the short wheelbase brakevans were so they could use wagon turntables but it seems it was simply a case of maximising the available space for merchandise wagons in a cramped yard- presumably using a short brakevan gave enough room to include an extra wagon in the train and still fit in the reception roads or whatever the limiting factor was. The vans appear to have been based at Acton for the last leg into Smithfield. I imagine the ride would have been less than pleasant at speed!
This thread discusses the workings and this one has a track diagram of Smithfield yard.
None of this is of any great relevance (unless the Gilling chaps fancy fitting a load of wagon turntables and a lift into the bunker...) but having gone down the rabbit hole I thought I'd share.
Thanks for going down the rabbit hole Matt, good bit of searching, and interesting result.