47ft 6" Wooden coaches

Passenger rolling stock appeared a lot more daunting to me UNTIL I spotted a Motorised Dandruff article on building 47ft 6" coaches. Herr Druff started the project but it's never been completed as yet :-(

No worries, because the article planted the seed and that's all that's needed.

These coaches (or the similar 50ft version) are the logical choice for me as they were well used on peak-time subbies around my time. And the flat wooden sides make it a little bit easier to scratchbuild. Maybe?

Inspired (and hyped up!) by the Motorised Dandruff article, a sandwich construction was mocked up of the side windows using cardboard just to get the spatials, bearing in mind they will need glazing and probably make a master for moulding and casting rather than having to reproduce accurate, clean-cut copies for maybe six coaches.


Cardboard not-to-scale mockup of proposed sandwich construction of coach sides.
The outside layer would be scribed wooden planking.
The rear (inside) layer would be shorter in height to allow a glazing strip for the upper fanlight(?) windows.


For producing these parts, one option is to get a set of three elements laser cut then assemble and mould and cast as many complete sides as required. This is where laser cutting comes into its own. Super accurate cuts repeatedly, every time every time.

Using the cardboard mockup for spatial conception, I had a quick go at it in CorelDraw and it looks no problem.


The three layers of a side in CorelDraw (black is offset for show, and not to scale).

Blue is the rear (inside) layer, pink is the middle, and black is the outside layer minus plank scribing, and offset just for ease of viewing it all.

The pale orange area shows where the top glazing strip will sit, stuck to the middle layer and sitting on the top edge of the rear layer.

The main glazing strip will be stuck to the back of the rear (blue) layer and hopefully give a good overall 3D effect to the windows.

So that's the idea. Head towards this. . .

Here's the window detail on the real thing (albeit a 50ft wide body) at Silver Stream Railway


Could have made it simpler I suppose, by doing the version without "fanlight" windows. Means only two layers. Maybe some of each? We'll see. . .

On returning to this project, I'll contact a friendly laser man and discuss best approach - e.g it may be too expensive to get the outside side laser scribed for the wood planks. May be ok for one then I could use that as a master and mould and cast? This is the way you have to think!

Another thought has been one day having a crack at 3D printing - either just the windowframe and sill, or a complete side and mould and cast from that.

Bogies could be fun to find too.

more to come. . . .