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The Triang GWR clerestory coach – Retro review

The prototype

In the nineteenth century four wheeled coaches were common. By the early 20th century the GWR had moved on to bogie coaches designed by Dean. The clerestory roof was needed to accommodate gas lighting. Most coaches of the era were 57′ long. However the Dean designs were only 46′ 6″ long. Above all they were wooden bodied with gas cylinders underneath for the lighting. In other words a death trap in an accident!

GWR Dean Third No.1941 of 1901 with clerestory roof, as preserved at the Didcot Railway Centre

The Triang GWR clerestory coaches R332 / 333 from 1961

The Triang GWR clerestory coaches first appeared in the 1961 catalogue. They were 7.5″ long with through metal axles. Two versions were issued, an all third and a brake third. Numbered 5017 and 2314 respectively. The livery was crude compared to the real thing, with no attempt at lining. Similarly, there was no running board represented.

Photo by the author

The windows were quite small, as a result no seating was fitted. However 1961 was the year that optional seating units could be bought. The body was a plastic moulding with painted cream banding. Likewise ,the underframe is also plastic, with a representation of the gas cylinders that were used to supply the lighting. Bogies and wheels are plastic. On the other hand the buffers are metal.

Photo by the author

The Triang Clerestory coaches were available from 1961 -70. This period covered the demise of Hornby, who went bankrupt in 1964. The Lines brothers of Triang bought the company and as a result the branding changed, in 1965. For example the logo changed to Triang-Hornby.

The two box designs for the coaches, before and after 1965

The boxes below show the design changes and price increase from 9’6 to 9’9, about £10 in todays money.

Photo the author

Below is the listing from the British Model Trains Catalogue 3rd edition.

Below is the Clerestory coaches page from the 1961 Triang catalogue, you can also see the new seating units advertised.

Scan by the author