October 31, 2012

An I for an I

Like many modellers, occasionally I like to find rare and extinct rolling stock and pick up the tools to try and recreate something long lost. However, try as I might, and build as much varied rolling stock as I might, there is no escaping the bare fact that in VR's suburban runnings, as in so much of it's operation between the wars, one wagon type dominated train consists - the open I wagon. Whether with tarpaulin or no, built of wood or iron, with swing or drop door etc., I's in all their variants were used by the VR for many if not most of their goods traffics (by volume). Now, this widespread use of open wagons wasn't uncommon in this era on railways around the world, however the VR used open wagons for many load types that other railways used other types of conveyance - flat wagons seem to be an example. So to try and ensure some decency in my stock I have a rule that "every 2nd rolling stock item I build has to be an I wagon" Easy you say? Well, sort of, thanks to their relatively straight forward construction allowing ready scratchbuilding, and Steam Era Model's provision of excellent kits of both chassis and whole wagons. However with at least 50 modelling moves to get one of these beauties built with a modicum of detail in the early era (not including decals to replicate VR's penchant for markings), I'm still happy when another is finally ready for the road as these two recent examples are now......

The picture below thought to be from the late 1940s is typical and illustrates why my more exotic wagons are regularly scheduled in country goods trains, and only some of them occasionally get called up for suburban work.......

Picture: Australian News & Information Bureau via John Buckland Collection.

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