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 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
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.