Mill Lane Sidings

Site Map.

BR Ferry Van

Prototype History


British Rail built 400 20T diagram 1/227 ferry wagons in 1961 to UIC standards (self contained buffers, double link suspension, four shuttered ventilation panels each side, and anchor points for chaining to the deck of ferry ships) designed to operate between Britain and the continent (TOPS code VIX). They had a distinctive design, with a single large central sliding door (13ft opening), substantial under frame trussing such as would be found on coaches, and both vacuum and Westinghouse brakes (with loaded/unloaded changeover controls for both). During 1983, a number were taken out of the international fleet for use in Britain alone as 25T capacity vans (TOPS code VJX). Many were later used as barrier vehicles (sandwiching a rake of vehicles carrying dangerous substances such as acid tankers) for which their long wheelbase was ideal, or passed to the engineer's department. They were initially painted all over brown bauxite and lettered 'Through To The Continent By British Rail' on the door. Around 1980, many received red ends and a red band at the top of the sides with grey lower body and boxed double arrows and 'Railfreight' branding, sometimes with the addition of 'International' underneath. At least one may have received 'Dutch' livery of grey ends and body side with a yellow band at the top, and they also received 'Satlink' livery of red ends and body side with a yellow band at the top.

The Kit


The kit consists of three plates. Plate 1 is made from task board which is similar to cardboard while Plates 2 and 3 are paper. Plates 2 and 3 have a self-adhesive backing to aid construction. Only a few basic tools are required - a sharp craft knife, wet 'n' dry sandpaper, a small file, tweezers, and a small drill. Most glues can be used to join the parts such as balsa cement, PVA, superglue and two part epoxy. A small amount of liquid polystyrene cement is required for the chassis. The model rides on the proven Peco NR-122 15ft WB Chassis (steel type solebars) which requires modification.

Please note that standard N Gauge 'rapido' couplers from the Peco chassis can be used with the kit, they are just not shown in the photos.

For some prototype inspiration and a chance to see the many liveries and conversions on these Ferry Vans, check out the excellent British Rail wagons photographs site by Paul Bartlett.

Click here to download a PDF version of the instructions for this kit.
Ferry Van Instructions.