Retro Review – Triang R15, UD Milk Tanker, 1955-75.

Welcome to another retro review. Here we look at a Triang wagon from my Collection. This is the R.15 United dairies four wheel milk tanker. All photos, the author.

The prototype

Milk tankers were used on Britain’s railways from the 1930’s to the late 1960’s. They were used to transport raw milk from local farms to the central creameries. The four wheel type were used until WW II. They were not fitted with baffles, so the milk tended to move about and cause derailments. The six wheeled type were introduced in 1931, these were fitted with baffles.

Milk tankers had two ladders, one on either side so that a rubber filling hose could be inserted into a flip top dome shaped receptacle. They had taps above the buffer beam so that the tank could be emptied. Various design and livery variations, were to be had, depending on the company.

U.D. 4 Wheeled milk tanker, Note the taps above the buffer beam. The ladder is very fine.

The model

The Triang model was in production for 20 years, although it underwent many upgrades . The R number never changed. The early X11 chassis and coupling were crude, with “blobby” buffers and simplified brake gear. This model was in the first 1955 catalogue, with the X11 chassis. The later chassis had much more comprehensive brake gear.

Some of the Triang versions had exposed axle ends, no axle box covers.

Compare the later X356 chassis below, with the X11 chassis.

Common issues

Firstly, the model has over scale ladders and rather fragile buffers. These are often missing or broken. Next the early models used transfers for the lettering, these are often damaged or missing. Finally, the paint turns yellow. They were originally painted white.

This model is not particularly rare and can be had , boxed for £7- £10.

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