Grovenor Sidings, Railway Modelling Pages by Keith Norgrove
Home Page, Class 37, Warship, Layout, DMUs, Turntable,  Garratts

BR Standard Brake Vans.

Updated: 27 August 2003

This question came up on the E4um email list in a discussion of the Pocket Money Kit.

Click on any photo for a larger version.

pmkbken.jpg (9023 bytes)

"What does the brake gear look like?  Is there some kind of offset Vee hangers?  I've checked out more photos than I care to remember and it looks  to me like one Vee bolted to the outer channel and the other to the inner channel of the frame any enlightenment most welcome!
Correct in my opinion, the Vee hanger is on the solebar on the side of the van where the hand brake pillar is, on the inner member on the other side, this allows the pull rods and operating lever to be on the centreline, just inside the one Vee hanger, and the crank connecting to the brake wheel to be vertically under the pillar. the cross shaft is in the centre of the wheelbase.  The side Vee hanger is the only noticeable part. The exactoscale spring units include the Vee hangers and you have to remember to cut one of them off.  Note that since the kit does not include the inner frame members you have to fix the inner Vee hanger to the floor in an appropriate place. (But see below for some more detail)

I have looked at all the sources available to me at present, primarily books and articles by Roger Silsbury, Bob Essery, Don Rowland and Eric Gent. None of them supply drawings or photos that confirm or deny this opinion. Next time I find a brake van I'm going to have to get my knees dirty. Then you will get an update!

This picture shows, more or less, how I did it
.braken.jpg (10662 bytes)

Available information indicates that the brake pillar and hence the side Vee hanger is on the opposite side (and end) to the stove and hence the chimney.

Note, when looking at the van side on, if the chimney is on the nearside it will be at the right hand end, if on the farside it will be on the left hand end. Remember this when fitting the chimney, don't copy the Airfix/Dapol roof, they made a mirror image!

roofsn.jpg (15197 bytes)

Also don't copy Airfix/Dapol and fit brake cylinders, most of the BR vans were piped only, the guard was expected to earn his keep.

Further Notes

Discussion on the list produced suggestions that the BR Brake Vans did not have Vee hangers, Duncan Wilcock confirmed from his photos that the following vans definately did have Vee hangers;





brakeva3.jpg (8047 bytes)

DB953180 Whitemoor 1993
Copyright D R Wilcock

DB953827 ZTV 3129 1/506 58/59
DB952675 ZTV 2606 1/506 1954
DB953180 ZTO 2868 1/506 56/57
DB953890 ZTO 3129 1/506 58/59
DB954199 ZTV 3129 1/506 58/59
DB954471 ZTO 3129 1/506 58/59
DB952737 ZTO 2741 1/504 1955

Duncan also notes:

I've been under non-Vee fitted vans and the pivot linking the brake column to
the brakes is located behind the solebars with the links running directly
under the concrete blocks which fill in the gap between solebars.  Which
makes the whole mech. almost invisible when viewed from normal angles.

The 'non Vee hanger' version has the pivot  between and behind the solebars,
and the one I photographed (from underneath) had a linkage to one end only
with a return likage to the other wheelset running the full length of the
van.  Thank god its only inches from the underside of the concrete infill,
and therefore almost invisible from trackside.  It would be nice to see how
this mech. works! 

The underside of a non-Vee fitted van (preserved at Shackerstone).

The top print shows the pivot with the
linkage to one end, with the return via what looks like a horizontal pivot
attached to the underside of the frame. 

brakvn7b.jpg (4025 bytes)

The lower print shows the return
linkage end....if you see what I mean.

brakvn7a.jpg (3445 bytes)

A few more photos from Bob Bourne confirm the brake arrangement for the non-vee hanger van and give a bit more of an indication of the compensating lever, they also show that an automatic slack adjuster was provided.

bourne1s.jpg (13520 bytes)

bourne2s.jpg (14486 bytes)

bourne3s.jpg (15061 bytes)

bourne4s.jpg (13414 bytes)

So it definately looks like my PMK kit needs some mods underneath, a bit more to come when I've got a round tuit.

Keith Norgrove,  14 February 2000.

Back to home page.