D95 banana van

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Guy Rixon
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D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:07 pm

As punted in the socially-distanced challenge, I'm building some D95 banana-vans of the LNWR. Since I need 10 or so of these, I need to make me a kit. It's going to be a printed kit, done as a learning exercise in design. Similar kits may follow.

They're fairly modern vans for 1905: 18' over headstocks, 9'9" wheelbase, flush sheeting, oil bearings wth 3'1" wheels, vacuum fitted. Details, including a facsimile of the GA, are in LNWR wagons vol 2.

D95-banana-vans.jpg
D95-banana-vans.jpg (102.49 KiB) Viewed 1566 times

This kit is designed specifically to be made at Shapeways, thus rigged to play to their strengths and avoid the peculiar limitations of their "Smooth Fine Detail Plastic" printing. Very fine detail can be included (walls down to 0.3mm in some parts, lettering on axleboxes might be legible). Only three flat faces will print with a smooth finish: that facing upward, and two out of four possible vertical planes; all others will be messed up. Vertical space in the printer is more expensive than horizontal spread. Spruing parts is encouraged and is essential to keep the costs down; each unsprued part adds about £7 to the price.

All thus leads to a kit rather like a moulded one, but with more scope for fine and undercut detail integral with the parts. One-piece bodies print with bad finish and cost too much.

First thing is to rough out the main components. They can be detailed later in the design.

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 19.00.25.png


Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 18.39.32.png


I've chosen the following parts.
    * Side.
    * End with integral headstock.
    * Floor with solebars, including mounting points for the Bill-Bedford axleguards.
    * Roof (fixing details not worked out yet).
The parts are pictured as an exploded view, but they print horizontally with the cosmetic faces upwards. The floor prints upside down, with its springs and solebars in the air. It has to be oriented so that the solebars are along the smooth-printing faces.

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iak
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby iak » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:32 pm

Very nice Guy.
Is this going to appear in your shop?
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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:53 pm

Yes, these will be in the shop, if they work.

dal-t
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby dal-t » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:53 am

Arrgh, another dilemma to wrestle with - I would dearly love one (or more) of these for my Premier Line goods fleet, but can I face the trauma of (non-) delivery from Shapeways, who don't recognise the realities of couriers in rural France and refuse to use the far more effective postal service? I think it might be another case of directing initial delivery towards my UK-based sister-in-law, whose globe-trotting Yorkie may well find herself uncomfortably squashed on the car's rear seat by all my goodies her mistress will be transporting when she is next able to visit.
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jon price
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby jon price » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:34 am

This kit component design looks really good. I would need more info on banana traffic to justify some of these, but I can probably make up an argument for why I need one in 1906. And of course once you have done this it will be only a small step design-wise to the 16ft 6ton vans which I really definitely need.
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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:54 am

jon price wrote:This kit component design looks really good. I would need more info on banana traffic to justify some of these, but I can probably make up an argument for why I need one in 1906. And of course once you have done this it will be only a small step design-wise to the 16ft 6ton vans which I really definitely need.

The banana vans did get used for other perishables, and even for christmas parcels, with the proviso that they had to be back in Manchester (later Garston) to meet the next banana ship. What I don't know is what happened to the block trains of vans when they got to a major goods station. People in small towns and villages like bananas too: how did they get there? Was the train of specialist vans divided, or was the fruit transhipped into other vehicles? If the latter, how could it be protected from cold in winter?

What were the particular 16' vans you needed?

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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:56 am

dal-t wrote:Arrgh, another dilemma to wrestle with - I would dearly love one (or more) of these for my Premier Line goods fleet, but can I face the trauma of (non-) delivery from Shapeways, who don't recognise the realities of couriers in rural France and refuse to use the far more effective postal service? I think it might be another case of directing initial delivery towards my UK-based sister-in-law, whose globe-trotting Yorkie may well find herself uncomfortably squashed on the car's rear seat by all my goodies her mistress will be transporting when she is next able to visit.

Once the design is proven and on sale, I'll be ordering a few, batch size constrained by the eventual price. I could add one or two to my order and post them to you if you like.

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jon price
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby jon price » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:35 pm

As you probably are aware "really definitely need" is a railway modelling term for "would quite like", but having said that the D87 express 10ton van, and the D46 refrigerator 6ton van are the ones I have my eye on. They fill the gap between the early 15'6" outside framed vans, and the later 18' D88s. I have toyed with scratch building, but havn't yet worked up the courage to build what would probably not turn out to be a brilliant model. All my stock is supposed to be pre 1907 so I have some of the earlier outside framed vans, plus a single D88 which will eventually be painted in diamonds only piped van livery to irritate people who havn't seen the 1906 photo.
Connah's Quay Workshop threads: viewforum.php?f=125

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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:47 pm

D46 has already been done on Shapeways by 5D_stoke. It's a one-piece print and when I bought one it didn't print very well. Mine's on the shelf awaiting rescue. At least it's cheaper now if you want to try.

D87, in vacuum-fitted version with the small wheels, sounds fun and I might have a go at that sometime. If Bill doesn't claim it first.

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jon price
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby jon price » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:53 pm

Yes. I have one of the one piece prints D46 prints from some time back. I'm very unhappy with it, as to clean up the rough surface I would lose all the detail, so basically would just have a plain box. Maybe better in the superfine stuff but just shy of £50 for a wagon body and still needing wheels, irons, couplings, buffers etc is too expensive. How much do you think your banana vans are likely to come out at?
Connah's Quay Workshop threads: viewforum.php?f=125

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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:17 pm

I was hoping for around £25, but spruing up the carcass parts, including the roof, in a simplistic way gives a base price of £37.40 including VAT, to which SW add £2.24 handling fee. The final fee would be a little higher as there are detail parts to add to the sprue and anything printed below the solebars takes up chargeable space on the z axis. I also need more sprues to make sure that it all holds together when the print is handled for cleaning and packing. This is borderline unaffordable for me.

I can play around with the spruing arrangement in case there's a more-economical form, but that's a bit of a snark hunt. The price is broadly consistent with Mike Trice's coach kits which are the same kind of design but bigger.

Discarding the roof might help, and I could replace the floor slab with smaller cross-frames pegged to the sides.

I can try thinning down the sides, ends and floor in case they are now charging a lot for the resin rather than space.

Too many parameters to sweep easily. Meh.

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Noel
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Noel » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:40 pm

Guy Rixon wrote:What I don't know is what happened to the block trains of vans when they got to a major goods station. People in small towns and villages like bananas too: how did they get there? Was the train of specialist vans divided, or was the fruit transhipped into other vehicles?


I doubt the whole trainload always went to the same place. More likely is that the traffic was consigned to various wholesalers, so the train delivered the relevant sections to the sorting yards at any location that was large enough to have a wholesale fruit and vegetable market, or at least one wholesaler, and it was then tripped to the appropriate goods yard, or the market if it had its own sidings [in London, for example, Stratford and, I think, Brentford did, but Covent Garden did not]. Any markets or wholesalers not on the main route, if any, would have their section left at a convenient sorting yard for another train to take on. The market wholesalers would then sell to retailers locally, while retailers further away who had placed orders with a wholesaler [minimum order a box, no doubt] would probably get their stock sent to them via the passenger parcel service if urgent, or the station truck.

I've based this on an article in Trains Annual 1966 about Cornish broccoli traffic; on 15/5/1960, by which time traffic had reduced considerably from its height, two trains went to south Wales [no other details, but a later reference in the text is to a van for Tonyrefail (and another for Barnstaple)], but those destinations more precisely identified are generally much larger, for example, Bath, Leamington, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh for one train or York, Newcastle, Halifax, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, Hull, Doncaster and Sheffield for another. The writer travelled on a train which exchanged traffic at Bristol, Water Orton, Sheffield and Doncaster, and included some general goods traffic, before terminating at York, where traffic, including broccoli, was left for stations further north. The Return to Manchester, or Garston, brandings imply that the wagons were likely to become well distributed, including the possibility of leaving the LNWR system for points further afield.
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Noel

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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:25 pm

Interesting. Playing around with the spruing reveals some useful savings.

BFI: £37.40
+ Thin side and ends from 1.5 to 1mm: £35.09
+ Align in z to reduce support material: £32.18
+ Reduce longest axis by rearranging: £29.67
+ Replace solid floor with girder-work: not yet worked out because complicated, guessing around £27.

Also, removing the roof from the print drops the price by about £2.50. The van doesn't seem to have either rainstrips or gutters, so printing the roof is not such a gain. I could do the kit with and without the roof.

It looks like SW now charge more for the consumables, less than previously for the machine volume and not so much for the z-height. Reducing the x dimension by increasing the y dimension seems to help. It would be really helpful if they would publish their charging algorithm; keeping it as a commercial secret is just silly.

Anyway, I'm now hoping for a final base-price after all details added around £32. To that must be added SW's handling charge and my commission, so the consumer price would be around £37. That might improve a bit if our exchange rates vs. EU and USA can be fished out the toilet but could equally well worsen if our economy tanks while t'other two recover.

I know of a place where I can get it all printed more cheaply, at a lower but sufficient resolution, and with the body carcass done in one piece. But if I go by that road it can only be printed in batches of ~7 vans and I would have to buy the batches, store them, and supply kits myself to buyers. Not really what I wanted.

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Will L
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Will L » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:15 am

I think Banana vans only ever ran in block trains on particular routes.

Bananas only become a common fruit when refrigeration became available and their transport is a specialised and carefully controlled process. They were (and still are) shipped green, and kept that way on the sea journey by refrigeration, in specialist boats (banana boats would you believe). Once they arrived in this country, ripening was triggered by warming them up and careful control of the temperature they were kept at was necessary. This took a number of days and mostly happened in specialised ripening warehouses, but it was started on the train that brought them from port to warehouse. For this reason there were specialized Banana wagons used for this traffic only which were steam heated. The steam heating pipe can be seen in your photo. Onward distribution of the sale ready fruit across the network to individual retailers would be in individual wagons which would not now require heating so were probably standard wagons. See Tatlow A pictorial Record of LNER Wagons page 49.

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Re: D95 banana van

Postby billbedford » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:46 am

I think you are going to have problems with those mitres. It may be better to print the van in three pieces, roof, body and underframe. I know I would.
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Noel
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Noel » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:30 pm

Lists of banana boats can be seen here, with dates of routes http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/eldersfyffes.shtml. The sizes of the boats are given as GRT, which is a measure of capacity unrelated to weight of cargo [which can be bigger than the GRT]. The 8,687 GRT Golfito of 1949 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSS_Golfito carried 1750 tons [140,000 stems], according to Wikipedia, but was essentially a mini liner rather than a cargo boat. Boats before WW1 would have carried far less passengers, and a higher proportion of cargo. Assuming they had a similar capacity [a big assumption, I know], they would have required 230 fully loaded 8-ton vans to carry the full cargo. The GWR built about 400 banana vans in the period 1921-30, suggesting perhaps that either cargos were bigger, or the vans were not loaded to nominal capacity, or they were expecting to have to carry cargo from two ships at once.

Assuming about 40 vans per train for an express goods, one vessel would require 6 trains to carry the cargo. Few locations, if any, would have had the capacity to deal with traffic at this sort of level, so it seems to be reasonable to assume that traffic from one vessel was distributed to more than one location. Llandudno Junction had a Fyffes warehouse from 1910 https://historypoints.org/index.php?page=collinge-antiques, presumably served from Manchester and later Garston, although what its capacity was I don't know. The Exeter location referred to on page 2 of https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/149046-bananafruit-traffic-40s50s60s/, which dates from just before or just after WW2, was on a loading bank which could only take about 6 wagons, suggesting that it was probably not served by a block train [the building is too small for that, anyway]. Some warehouses were not owned by importers, and had no rail access http://www.yorklocallist.org.uk/list.php?focus=84#84 and must presumably have been served via the local goods yard.
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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:16 pm

Thank you Noel for that analysis. The information on the ships is particularly useful.

The LNWR D95 vans carried 10 tons rather than 8, suggesting about 180 vans per per ship. Before D95 was introduced c.1905, there only 14 vans specifically listed as banana vans (and these were not heated, apparently). An unknown number of D95 were built from 1905 to 1910 and in the latter year 100 vans were built: this was the year that the traffic moved from Manchester to Garston. In 1911 a further 200 were built. These later batches were all assigned for Eldars & Fyffes traffic and that firm already a number of ships in service, so arrivals must have been fairly frequent (assuming that a ship could make a return trip per month).

My interpretation of the patchy information for the LNWR vans is that they didn't have enough vans for even one ship until 1910, so prompt return of the vans to Manchester would be essential. There would be no time for cuts of vans to disperse to smaller towns: overnight delivery to a main centre and return empty the following day seems most likely. Wider distribution of the fruit would have implied transhipment.

That said, I still feel good about sending 10 vans on from Camden to Strand (for Covent Garden) and getting them back to Camden pronto for the empty working.

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Will L
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Will L » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:34 pm

Guy Rixon wrote:...Wider distribution of the fruit would have implied transhipment...


Which there must have been as the bananas spend time in the ripening warehouse before final distribution.

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Re: D95 banana van

Postby billbedford » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:11 am

Yep, photo of the banana boats being unloaded show stems being carried on men's shoulders. While retailers were supplied with hands in wooden boxes.
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Noel
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Noel » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:48 am

Will L wrote:Which there must have been as the bananas spend time in the ripening warehouse before final distribution.


Once they started carrying bananas in temperature controlled conditions, Will, this follows, although the question is how many warehouses. Clearly there must have been a steep learning curve for all concerned in the early days, and handling and storage must have evolved, and increased, to match the demand. In Birmingham, for example, storage and handling was moved to the GWR facility at Moor Street in 1925, part of which was equipped to store and ripen bananas at that time. Previously there had been a banana store in a nearby converted canal warehouse originally dating from the beginning of the 19th century. Presumably part of the attraction of Moor Street would have been an increase in capacity, although I have no figures.

Guy, I have found another website of interest https://www.benjidog.co.uk/allen/Elders%20and%20Fyffes%20Line.html. It is an index of photos, so the fleet info is not complete, but the introduction is interesting as it takes the start of the trade further back in time, and might explain why only small numbers of banana vans were built to start with. I have quoted the relevant paragraphs below for convenience, as the site's copyright notice permits this.

"Elders & Fyffes Limited was formed in May 1901 to transport and distribute West Indian bananas in the United Kingdom. Bananas were first imported into the UK in about 1880 when Elder, Dempster ships began loading them as deck cargo on their northbound bunkering call at Las Palmas. By the end of the decade London tea importers E. W. Fyffe & Co were also importing Canary Island bananas and in 1897 joined with fruit sellers Hudson Bros to form Fyffe, Hudson & Co.

Elder, Dempster formed the Imperial Direct West India Mail Service in 1901 and the first imports of Jamaican bananas arrived in March. Two months later the rival companies combined as Elders & Fyffes. In 1902 the new company purchased its first ships and also approached the United Fruit Company with the aim of ensuring cargoes were available from the Caribbean. As a result United Fruit took a substantial share-holding and, in 1910, complete ownership of E & F."
Regards
Noel

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Guy Rixon
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Re: D95 banana van

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:27 pm

The reference to deck cargo is significant. Fruit carried on deck would be ripe on arrival, so infrastructure of heated vans and ripening rooms would not be needed. When the banana boats with refrigerated holds came into service then the heated vans would have had a role.

Noel, your latest ship-list yields the crucial information. SS Barranca, built in 1906 by Alexander Stephens & Son, was a refrigerated cargo-vessel. This was the point at which the heated vans appeared on the LNWR, so I suspect the Barranca was one of the prototype ships of this kind. The Barranca was photographed in Manchester around the right period.

I stand by my guess that there were not, initially, enough heated vans, so they would have been worked back to Manchester very quickly.


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