Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
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Barry Rhys
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:25 am

Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

I gather that the Caley changed over from Mansell wheels for carriages and NPCS to the relatively unusual Pullman-style 4-hole disc wheels some time in the 20th Century. I have been trying to determine the approximate date for this changeover, and would like to ask for any help regarding this.

My only source out here in Korea is my limited collection of Caley-related books and mags. Looking at the few relatively clear photos showing carriage underframes, there appear to be photos of new Grampian stock having disc wheels (though I can't count the holes!) in the Caledonian Livery book, although I am unsure whether they are earlier or later lots - so, if they indeed are new, some time between 1905 and 1909. But I'm not even sure about that. All of the 45' non-corridor stock I have seen appear to have Mansell wheels, though I don't know about the 48' non-corridors. I'm particularly interested in the immediately pre-Grampian 50' corridor stock, so 1903-ish I think, though I don't have my Carriage Order Register with me in my office presently!

It would be of particular assistance if, in addition to an approximate start date (educated guesses welcome even if no records are available), someone has some information or thoughts about the nature of the changeover implementation. I assume there must have existed a stock of Mansell wheels awaiting use, so the question arises as to whether these would simply be used up first in continuing new-build order for any and all carriages, or whether the remaining Mansell wheels might have been used selectively for eg. less heavy carriages or those usually travelling at lower speeds (eg. non-corridors); or possibly used exclusively for new NPCS builds until used up; or maybe even reserved for repairs and routine servicing of existing Mansell-wheeled stock?

I can't help thinking that this must already have been resolved among CRA members, since obviously it plays a big part in deciding what wheels to use in a pregrouping carriage model.

Thanks for any assistance, Neil
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MIKEWILLIAMS
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

Can't help you with the coaches, but the Diagram 8 horseboxes were fitted with Mansell wheels up to the last two lots, which had disc wheels. This merited a new drawing, St. Rollox 8975, dated 25th May 1898.
jim mac
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by jim mac »

Neil
Going through my collection of CR drawings, most show wheels without detail. However StR drg. 17254 (19/1/1914) for 6-wheel Fish Van (G351) and StR drg.17272 (31/1/1914) for 50ft Brake Vans (H321) both show 4-hole disc wheels. Given how close the dates are this might be the point of introduction.
StR drg. 21080 and the RY Pickering drg 10752 and 10768, all dated 1921 for the 57ft carriages, show 8ft bogies with 4-hole disc wheels.
Going through the Minute Extracts (CRA2/3/1/9 Archive Catalogue) show that the Mansell wheels were introduced in 1862, but unfortunately don't record the change to disc wheels.
I don't think the Company would have fitted disc wheels to existing stock until the original wheels were life expired.
jim mac
Barry Rhys
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

Thanks Mike and Jim for taking the time to go through your drawings. Sorry for the delay in responding.

** Warning: possible mega-post approaching **

With such a disparity of information from those drawings I decided to spend the evening last night going through all my published photo resources - ie. limited collection of books - to try and identify coach and NPCS types, their wheels and respective build dates, based exclusively on visual identification of wheel types, but this time to write all the data down in order to avoid the "I'm sure I saw a picture of a Grampian with disc wheels, but I can't remember where" syndrome. So I've set out the data below in a hopefully meaningful format, and I think it gives us a really good basis for discussion.

A couple of notes first regarding resources and methods. All of the photos are contained in the 3 books 'Caledonian Railway Livery' (henceforth CRL - all from Chapter 6.1 Carriage & Non Passenger Coaching Stock), 'Caledonian Cavalcade' (CC) and 'Historic Carriage Drawings Vol.3 NPCS' (HCD), all well-thumbed and on my shelf. Having examined all photos and captions, I then obtained further build data from the CRA reprinted Coaching Stock Register, in which every one of the coaches and NPCS was identifable - a rich resource if ever there was one.

Only photos of coaches and NPCS on which the wheel types were identifiable with some confidence were listed. Nearly all of these - the vast majority being in Jim's CRL book - appear to be official photographs taken either by the CR or the independent builder, almost certainly at the time of building or introduction. Regarding the wheel identification, at first only some of the wheels could be definitely identified as either Mansell (typically from the ring of boltheads/rivets adjacent to the tyre) or holed-disc (by one or two clearly visible holes on the disc face). Lighting conditions play a massive part in this, sometimes confusingly - there are at least 2 three-quarter view photos I excluded because I think that what initially appear to be clearly visible holes in the wheels are in fact brightly lit edges of footboard supports hanging in front of the wheels! However having found some examples of posed photos on which the wheel type was absolutely clear, I made a discovery that is perhaps obvious to wheel enthusiasts, but which I previously had not noticed: when the wheel tyre edges are painted white, as they are in all of the posed photos I mentioned, the difference in width of the painted edges (I'm not prepared to state 'tyre thickness', since I'm not certain that technically this is the wheel tyre) between the Mansell wheels and disc wheels is huge. So large in fact - the Mansells having a narrow painted edge and the discs a very wide one - that I'm sure this is usable for identification on posed photos even when the detailed wheel features cannot be made out. Nevertheless, in the data below, I haven't pretended I could identify the wheel type simply by the painted band - if I can definitely recognise features I've written 'definite', if I think I can recognise features but not 100% sure I've written 'I think', and if I can't actually make out physical recognisable features I've written nuffink!

I've arranged the data chronologically by build dates, including coach type and no. with Diagram ('Small Dia. Book') and Order No., wheel type with remarks about identification where relevant, and critically the source (book/page/plate no.) so we can find them again. HN is Hurst Nelson, RYP R.Y.Pickering. I'm sorry about the formatting with line spaces, but having first constructed the whole thing using multiple spaces, I 'Previewed' the post and they all disappeared! I think "frustrating" would be one possible word.

Build Date..Coach/NPCS Type....CR No.....Dia./Order...........Identified Wheel Type.....Painted Band.................Photo Source

7/1893___18'8" 4-whl Horsebox__No.8_____D8 H093__________Mansell (definite)_______Not painted_____________CRL p.264/pl.48
1/1895___21'6" 4-whl CCT_______No.28____D11A H117_______Mansell (definite)_______Not painted_____________CC p.60
1/1898___18' 4-whl Prize Cattle Box_______D40 H164_________Mansell (definite)_______Not painted_____________HCD p.91
1/1898___45' Composite________No.126___D36 H159 (HN)__________________________Narrow white band_______CRL p.251/pl.15
1/1900___50'3" Family Saloon____No.15____D42 H175________Mansell (definite)_______Narrow white band________CRL p.249/pl.12
3/1900___48' First_____________No.304___D44______(HN)_________________________Narrow white band________CRL p.251/pl.16
3/1900___48' Third_____________No.650___D40______(HN)_________________________Narrow white band________CRL p.251/pl.17
7/1904___48' Third_____________No.1291__D46______(RYP)________________________Narrow white band________CRL p.252/pl.18
1/1905___65' Corr. Brake Third___No.620___D63 H228________Mansell (definite)_______Narrow white band________CRL p.253/pl.21
7/1905___65' Corr. Brake Third___No.511___D63 H232________Mansell (I think)________Narrow white band________CRL p.253/pl.20
7/1905___65' Corr. Brake Compo__No.148___D62 H231________Mansell (I think)________Narrow white band________CRL p.253/pl.20
1/1906___65' First______________No.67____D66 H235________Mansell (definite)_______Narrow white band________CRL p.255/pl.25 (Confirmed - see JM post 2012.12.20)
7/1906___65' Corr. Composite____No.217___D61 H230________Disc (definite)_________Wide white band__________CRL p.254/pl.22
7/1907___30' 6-whl Horsebox_____No.120___D73 H250________Disc (definite)_________Wide white band__________CRL p.264/pl.49
1/1908___50' Corr. Full Brake_____No.3_____D73 H249________Disc (definite)_________Not painted______________CRL p.259/pl.36 (Corrected - see JM post 2012.12.18)
7/1908___30' 6-whl CCT_________No.177___D83 H278________Disc (I think)___________Not painted______________CRL p.263/pl.44
9/1916___30' 6-whl CCT_________No.73541_D101 G346_______Disc (definite)__________Not painted______________CRL p.263/pl.46
1921_____Balerno 4-whl First/Third/Brake Third_______(RYP)__Disc (definite)__________Wide white band_________CRL p.258/pl.32
12/1921__30' 6-whl Full Brake____No.50____D16 H355______________________________Wide white band__________CC p.57
12/1922__57' Lav. Brake Compo__No.468___D109_____(RYP)___Disc (definite)_________Wide white band__________CRL p.256/pl.27
1923_____57' Corr. Brake Third___No.1448__D107_____(RYP)___Disc (definite)_________Wide white band__________CRL p.256/pl.28
1923_____57' Corr. Composite____No.460___D112_____(RYP)___Disc (definite)_________Wide white band__________CRL p.257/pl.29


Well having spent so long sorting that out, I don't really feel much about talking about it! Seriously though, note the absolute consistency of narrow white painted edges up to 1/1906, and wide painted edges after 7/1906. Looking at a couple of the very clear pictures, it can be seen that the cast disc wheel has a very thick protruding portion at its outer circumference, which then becomes concave moving towards its centre. This wide protruding part of the disc wheels appears to be fully painted white in the posed photos, whereas the Mansell wheel only has a narrow rim able to be painted. If you look at the data above but ignore the painted rim bands, there is still the consistency of identifiable Mansells up to 1/1906 and discs after 7/1906. (Added note 2012.12.19: In this post I originally misidentified the 1/1908-built 50' Corridor Full Brake No.3 wheels as Mansell type, with a comment about this apparent changeover date discrepancy and the possibility of a false identification on my part from the photo. Happily the misidentification has been confirmed by Jim Mac in his Dec.18 post below, so I've now edited this post and corrected the entry above accordingly - thanks Jim!)

The 65' Grampian corridor coaches were certainly well photographed when introduced for promotional purposes, so it is no surprise that these photos form a large part of the illustrations in CRL. Without wishing to introduce too much conjecture, it is noticeable that the earlier batches of the 65' stock illustrated in the photos, including the Jan 1906 Non-corridor First, are fitted with Mansell wheels, whereas the July 1906 Corridor Composite carries disc wheels. From memory (still in my office!) I believe this was the period when other changes were introduced to the new 65' stock builds, in particular the change in roof profile from cove-roofed to elliptical. I wonder if in fact the general changeover from specifying Mansell wheels for coaching stock to disc wheels was instigated at this time, possibly even due to experience gained of using Mansell wheels on what were fairly monstrous, albeit beautiful, 65' coaches.

I don't want to draw any conclusions without some input from others, if possible. If anybody has any other photos that may add information to the above, especially from the periods around these dates - eg the first 15 years of the 20th Century - and particularly of other coach types outside the 65' stock, I really hope that you could share it here.

Of course, none of this addresses Mike and Jim's research, which adds a whole new set of questions to the mix!

Gotta go, Neil
Last edited by Barry Rhys on Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Dave Lochrie
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Neil,
Thats one of the chapters of the carriage book nearly done then.
I don't think I had realised how early the changeover occurred, but the 50 foot stock were fairly photoshy, compared to ther successors. To help backfill that missing period here are
CR 50' Third No 982 of order H202, 1902 with Mansell wheels with a narrow white band.
CR No 982- H202 of 1902.jpg
CR No 982- H202 of 1902.jpg (118.21 KiB) Viewed 15044 times
and amusingly from an american publication "Mr M'Intosh's Observation Car No15" more commonly described as 50'3' Family Saloon to order H175, Mansell wheels with a narrow white band.
CR "Observation Car" No 15.jpg
CR "Observation Car" No 15.jpg (131.42 KiB) Viewed 15044 times
Dave L
Barry Rhys
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

Dave, if this thread were to contribute in any way to the development of the Caley carriage book I would indeed be a happy man. That gorgeous picture of the 50' Third is now emblazoned across my office computer log-in screen, and looks even better at 20 inches width. Bringing the Caley to Korea. But I'll open a new thread regarding the piccy soon, and stick to the Mansell/disc discussion here.

I have to admit that from a modelling point of view I would now feel confident in fitting 1902 50' corridor stock with Mansells; 1910 50' non-corridor and 1912 57' corridor stock with discs; and 65' stock I would fit either with Mansells for the early cove-roofed corridor batches, or for the elliptical-roofed coaches (both corridor and non-corridor) I would intentionally select later batches (say 1907 onwards) and fit discs, thereby avoiding concerns over the precise introduction date. So happily we've reached a conclusion that will help my coach building efforts for the next few years.

Nevertheless, particularly for future searchers of knowledge, I wonder if we could achieve a little more in the way of confirmation. So firstly, do you or anyone else have any further pictures of 65' coaches built around, and within maybe a couple of years of, the suggested early-1906 disc wheel introduction date? Even coaches without visible numbers may be useful, as several of the diagrams were first introduced exactly around this time and hence a coach could contribute data simply by its diagram and wheel type being identifiable.

Secondly, as I'm still uncertain about the wheel type on the Jan.1908-built D73 50' Corridor Full Brake No.3 on page 259 plate 36 of Caledonian Railway Livery, I wonder whether it may be possible to confirm by use of a magnifying glass on the book photo, or better still a copy of the original picture? (Added note 2012.12.19: Jim Mac has indeed shown - in no uncertain terms! - that the wheels are disc type, not Mansells, in enlargements of the photo in his post below. Hence I've also deleted the comment about the misidentified Mansells possibly indicating that maybe a general changeover had occurred earlier but that stocks of Mansells were still being used-up in 1908.)

Regarding my mention of the apparent Mansell to disc changeover date being approximately coincident with the introduction of elliptical rooves on new 65' stock, I should add that this is clearly not some kind of rule, since the D66 65' Non-corridor First No.67 has an elliptical roof (as did all of the non-corridor 65' stock) but is fitted with Mansell wheels. As a further note on this, last night I happened to find a classic CR promotional photo of a posed rake of the newly introduced 65' Non-corridor coaches forming the Glasgow-Edinburgh service in David Jenkinson's British Railway Carriages of the 20th Century, and although the photo reproduction does not have the clarity of the CR Livery photos, nevertheless all the coaches appear to be fitted with Mansell wheels.

I haven't referred back to Mike and Jim's findings regarding the St. Rollox drawings yet. I think all three of you have much more experience than I of the Caledonian Railway's processes of making and approving drawings, and their subsequent realisation as actual stock builds. Also, I haven't even touched on the question of why the Caley introduced 4-hole disc wheels as their standard - I really am assuming a lot just based on Jim Smellie's mention thereof on his Caley Coaches website as guidance for building his coach and NPCS kits. 1905 seems such an early date for introducing disc wheels that the Caley may well have been a leader among the British railway companies. Did they perhaps seek advice from the Pullman Company and follow the latter's 4-hole design closely? Did they ever trial other disc wheel patterns having different shapes, numbers of holes etc? Particularly Mike's finding regarding the 1896 drawing for the final 2 lots of D8 horseboxes specifying disc wheels at such an early date is tantalising - does the drawing show the disc wheels in any detail (eg. identifiable holes etc) or are they specified with a written comment?

I think I ought to finish conjecturing here and add something definite for a change - not surprisingly a quote from somebody else: For any 4mm modellers wondering where to obtain the aforementioned 4-hole disc wheels, the Caley Coaches site advises that Alan Gibson now produces such wheels, References 4S16 (P4), 4E16 (EM) and 4016 (OO).

Neil
Last edited by Barry Rhys on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jim mac
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by jim mac »

Neil
These enlargements of Plate 36, p259 CRL clearly show the vehicle is fitted with disc wheels; the photograph was featured by all the leading periodicals of the period in their July or August 1908 editions.
lh bogie 50ft brake.jpg
lh bogie 50ft brake.jpg (218.91 KiB) Viewed 15014 times
rh bogie 50ft brake.jpg
rh bogie 50ft brake.jpg (274.83 KiB) Viewed 15014 times
The actual number of holes in the discs is not exactly clear, but StR drg 17272 clearly shows the 4 holes.
50ft Brake bogie drawing.jpg
50ft Brake bogie drawing.jpg (442.67 KiB) Viewed 15014 times
jim mac
Barry Rhys
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

Jim, that's brilliant. Always happy to be proved wrong to reach a correct result. I've also corrected the original photo data table in my Dec.13 post accordingly and added notes regarding this correction in that post and my Dec.18 post, so that anybody reading this thread for the first time or only partially reading it won't be misinformed.

Are you able to do the same for one further key photo - namely the one on the cusp of the suggested changeover date? Specifically:

1/1906-built D66 65' Non-corridor First No.67 (CRL p.255 Plate 25), which I've identified as 'Mansell (I think)' but really would like to change to 'Mansell (I know)'! After your establishment of the 1908 50' Corridor Full Brake as having disc wheels, I think No.67 is the final Mansell-wheeled vehicle in the selection of photos I've discussed and hence is fairly significant.

Thanks again to all for their contributions on this topic. Just about there now, I feel.

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
jim mac
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by jim mac »

Neil
Unfortunately the images are not very clear, but the enlargements of the bogies of CR67 non-corridor first are attached.
lh bogie non corr first.jpg
lh bogie non corr first.jpg (227.71 KiB) Viewed 14974 times
rh bogie non corr first.jpg
rh bogie non corr first.jpg (246.38 KiB) Viewed 14974 times
jim mac
Barry Rhys
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

Thanks again Jim, that's just what I was hoping for. Clearly visible at this magnification, and even better zapped up to 150%, are the bolt (or rivet) heads - particularly clear on the 2nd and 3rd wheel in the upper picture - circumferentially arranged next to the tyre indicating Mansell wheels. I've edited my photo data table above accordingly.

Well, I'm very pleased to have reached this point of conclusion based on what photographic evidence was readily available. At least there are no longer any discrepancies to account for in the photos considered - but of course this was only a tiny sample on which to base a conclusion.

To summarise again, all of the coaches and NPCS in the photos up to and including the 1/1906-built 65' Non-corridor First No.67 are fitted with Mansell wheels, and all those from the 7/1906-built 65' Corridor Composite No.217 onwards are fitted with disc wheels.

Probably sufficient evidence to reach the 'balance of probabilities' civil law standard, but certainly not to reach the criminal law requirement of 'without reasonable doubt'!

So having reached this stage, I now wish to introduce, or maybe end with, a previously unrecognised party pooper to the question of changeover from Mansell wheels to 4-hole discs. Have a look again at Jim Mac's enlargements of the 50' Corridor Full Brake No.3 bogies in his Dec.18 post that confirmed its fitting with disc wheels, particularly the upper photo right-hand wheel. Now count the holes - ain't no 4 holes there, to be sure! In fact, since the 2 visible holes are exactly opposite each other, this is most certainly a 2-hole disc wheel. And in the lower photo of the pair, while only one hole is visible on each wheel due to their orientation, they certainly are not 4-hole discs. I think it would be extremely pedantic to argue that they may nevertheless be 3-hole with the 2nd and 3rd holes being hidden behind the axleguards - so I won't.

Sigh...back to the photographs then... Now looking back at the 65' Corridor Composite No.217 on CDL p.254 Plate 22, which is a very clear picture and not in need of magnification, I'm fairly certain that there are holes absent which should be clearly visible if these were 4-hole disc wheels (ie. equally spaced at 90 degrees around the wheel).

Rather than boring you here with the data for each vehicle, I'd just like to say that having now reconsidered all of the above disc-wheeled coach and NPCS photos, I suspect that those up to and including the 7/1908-built 30' 6-whl CCT No.177 (CDL p.263 Plate 44) are probably fitted with fewer-than-4-holed disc wheels, very likely the 2-hole pattern referred to above on the 50' Full Brake; and those from the 9/1916-built 30' 6-whl CCT No.73541 onwards are probably fitted with 4-hole disc wheels, as drawn in the St. Rollox Drg. 12272 of 1/1914 for the 50' Brake Van (Order No. H321) in Jim's Dec.18 post. Certainly the 4-hole discs in that drawing have much larger holes than those of the clearly visible 2-hole discs referred to above.

Maybe Jim was right in his opening post about the 2 named St. Rollox drawings of 1/1914 indicating the introduction date of 4-hole disc wheels; but the unforseen factor (at least to this writer) was that maybe a 2-hole pattern of disc wheels had already been introduced and fitted to coaches and NPCS since around 1906? Of course, all of this is conjecture, particularly bearing in mind that not a single photo of those studied is of stock built between 1908 and 1916!

Anyway, it'll do for mi' modelling for a while.

Thanks especially to Jim, Mike and Dave.

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
Barry Rhys
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Barry Rhys »

Just a little extra piece of information for those interested in West Coast Joint Stock coaches (as any Caley devotee surely should be).

According to the HMRS-published Register of West Coast Joint Stock, Mansell wheels were fitted to all WCJS carriages and NPCS until 1914, at which point steel disc wheels were henceforth fitted to new stock. How many holes?... I have no idea. And the photos in that book are not well reproduced and generally very dark, so I won't be doing any further "photo analysis"!

I'm not of course implying that there is any connection between the Caley's and WCJS's adoption, or change of type, of disc wheels - it's purely just given as help for WCJS coach modelling.

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Changeover from Mansell carriage wheels to 4-hole discs

Post by Dave Lochrie »

CR, Mansell Wheelset, RYP 1903.jpg
CR, Mansell Wheelset, RYP 1903.jpg (114.37 KiB) Viewed 14850 times
Just for the sake of completeness (and because I'm unlikely to have any other opportunities to post it), here is a RYP official photo of a Caledonian Railway Mansell wheelset!!? interstingly dated 1903 just around the time the decision was being made to replace them as standard fitting for future CR orders. The reason for the shot is now lost in the mists of time. Colours then, as this set is fully finished, not in photographic grey?

Dave L
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