Rapido Trains OO 944032 GWR 93566 Diagram Y4 Banana Van GWR Goods Grey 16in Lettering

MRP £32.95

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The origins of the Y4 banana van date back to May 1918 when an order was placed to convert 300 general purpose vacuum brake fitted Diagram V16 MINK A ventilated vans into insulated meat vans. Diagram X6 and code MICA A were allotted for these conversions, which included the blanking off but not removal of the end bonnet vents, the intent being that the vans would be reconverted after the end of the war.
While it seems some were returned to use as ventilated vans, or possibly not all 300 were converted in 1922 an order was issued for the further modification of 258 of the X6 insulated vans for banana traffic. The banana van conversion featured steam warming and an adjustable end ventilator placed on the central panel of each end. Already equipped with extra insulation which helped maintain constant internal temperatures the adjustment of heat or air cooling allowed the right conditions for ripening the bananas in transit to the fruit markets.

Banana vans usually worked in block trains, running as fully fitted express goods trains in GWR days primarily from Avonmouth docks, which was also served by the LMS, to London Paddington, Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and Salisbury, where trans could be transferred to the Southern.
The South Wales trains featured an interesting formation with a vacuum piped brake van at each end as the trains reversed at Pilning, where the trains was propelled very smartly across the South Wales mainline for passage through the Severn Tunnel.
The Y4 vans remained in regular service into the early British Railways era, though steadily being displaced by new British Railways built banana vans until the Avonmouth rail terminal closed in 1967, banana traffic transferring to road transport.

Rapido Trains GWR Diagram Y4 Banana Van Specification

  • New doors with locks and latches moved
  • Steam heating pipes
  • End ventilators modelled in ‘closed’ position
  • Spoked wheels running in metal bearings
  • NEM coupling pockets
  • UK designed
  • Fine detailed plastic bodies/chassis with metal parts
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