Mill Lane Sidings

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GWR Diagram O4 Six Wheel Siphon

GWR Six Wheel Siphon Instructions.
Click here to download a PDF version of the instructions for this kit.

Product Code : MLS054

Product Code : MLS054

Finally, here is the N Gauge model with its bigger brother - an O Gauge model that I made many years ago from a Slaters kit.

The Great Western Railway used the telegraph code 'siphon' for all of its milk carrying wagons although these early designs were found to be as suitable for carrying crated fish as much as milk in churns. Whatever the load, before the days of refrigeration (even using ice rather than

mechanical refrigeration) the easiest way to keep the contents cool was to use slatted sides that would allow cooler air to flow through the body.

Despite the larger and all enclosed siphons that came later, the six wheel slatted side design lasted from the late nineteenth century to nationalisation (most were then scrapped, but some were sold out of stock, or retained as wagons for carrying 'engine parts').

Diagram O4 ('oh four', not 'zero four') came about halfway through the evolution of the design. The main change was the use of three double doors per side rather than two in order to speed up loading and unloading. Early designs had 'arc roofs' (a single curved shape) but most like diagram O4 had a 'three-centre roof' consisting of a shallow (virtually flat) central curved shape with much sharper curves at the sides.

The kit is made from laser cut parts with self-adhesive card overlays for the framing. The body is designed to fit on two Peco 10ft wheelbase brake van chassis (included in the kit) which are modified and joined together (I am grateful to Peco for allowing me to use the chassis). You can see daylight through the slats in the body (you can add milk churns if you want to!).