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DWWR / DSER Gas Wagon


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Lighting in passenger coaches on the DWWR system was originally by oil lamps, and in 1878, the company began testing various manufactures offering of gas lighting systems, one of which was the system used by the MGWR.

In 1884, the Pintsch Gas Company lighting system was installed in coaches free of charge and utilised their patent compressed oil gas – quite a deal at the time and one can only wonder at the discussion around gas costs over the years.  To facilitate the change, a gas works was constructed in Bray which fitted out the coaches over time as they passed through the works, installing gas tanks with pipework up to the gas lamps located on the roof.  This work continued until all coaches were converted by c. 1890.

To facilitate the filling of the gas tanks on the coaches, a supply and distribution network was required to bring the gas to the coaches.   To this end two gas tank wagons were constructed to facilitate this distribution across the DWWR network – one wonders how the coaches were topped up before these wandering gas tankers.  It would be not unreasonable to suppose the coaches were topped up in Bray when there - given the vast bulk of the coaching stock would have been on the commuter line between Bray and Harcourt St. or Westland Row.  Other stock probably was topped up when possible, but it cannot be too hard to imaging a number of dark journeys when the gas ran out before Bray.  Having traveled the line myself for years in the late 1980’s I do recall a number of trips when the lights failed – the tunnels South of Bray are quite dark, I can tell you!

To ease the re-fuelling process, two old wagons which were possibly cattle (or open) wagons were stripped and their chassis used to carry tanks for the gas and re-numbered Nos. 131 and 242 .  Tanks were fabricated, and given the weight of gas, these were not very heavy wagons with a reported weight of 3 tons.  Notwithstanding the cobbled together approach, these wagons appear to have been quite long lived with 131 operating on the network up to 1959.

One element of speculation was whether these wagons had a floor or not.  In one or two partial images I have seen it looks like there was no floor and the tank cradle was built onto the wagon frames – it’s quite difficult to see however.

No drawings, or even full photos were available, so by researching through old photos on various forums, (the IIRS archive online being very useful) it was possible to get some partials images which allowed a wagon to be developed and built.  There is a distant image of what appears to be one of these wagons in Bray in Shepherd & Beesley (Dublin & South Eastern Railways) p61.


The cattle chassis from the era in question would have been short, so a wagon length of 14" was selected, which in turn dictated the size of the gas tank.  



This drawing was initially developed to scratch build a brass model which after a pleasant afternoons work, plus some painting and finishing yielded a rather nice little wagon.


Some elements were not quite right, however I'm happy with the result and it does look well in a rake of goods wagons, or tacked on to the back of a passenger train.


I revisited the drawing and developed it up to 3D with a view to printing, and in this instance I decided to go with the no-floor option as it should make for a very interesting wagon.

So, as a 3D model, we get something like this:




This wagon has not been printed yet & some issues with supporting the tank during printing will need to resolved, as well as allowing un-cured resin out from inside the tank.  I decided to include two 3mm holes in the underside of the tank which will facilitate resin removal, but will also allow re-filling of the tank with weight.  This wagon will be very light and the open chassis will not allow addition of weight underneath, so being able to re-fill the tank with weight & seal the holes should improve the handling.

Given the open frame nature of the model, it does not make sense to leave the W-Frames, axleboxes and springs as an option as it will be quite difficult to create a robust independent framing system without impairing the open chassis.  I may be incorrect here, and if others wish these to be left off, I leave the challenge with them.


Similar to other models this will be offered with various options:

Basic body only


  • Brakes
  • Buffers
  • Drag hook
  • NEM coupling pocket (OO gauge)


Planned Prices:

Planned Prices:

N-Gauge / 2mm: € 12 - € 15

OO / P4 Gauge: €50 - €55

O-Gauge / 7mm: € 90 - €95



Edited by KMCE
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As a very satisfied customer of the first KMCE wagons, I can thoroughly recommend them. Despite their archaic appearance, vehicles such as this were commonplace well into the 1950s, thus the "A" class era, though they were beginning to get thin on the ground about then. Some lasted until the very early 1960s, at which time despite Inchicore building new wagons at a serious rate, 80-year-old goods vehicles could still be seen. More than a few may be seen in photos of the West Cork system in 1960/1, and I have seen very late 50s pictures of vehicles of this era in many other places. I particularly recall seeing a very old van at Adare many years ago, and others (GN / NCC origin) in Belfast in the 1960s.

So these are suitable for an GSR or CIE layout as well as pre-1925, and many survived to become clad in flying snails.

Last of the very ancient stock in actual service was probably about 1963/4, so a 121 or at an absolute stretch maybe a 141 could have hauled one amongst newer wagons and recently acquired ex-GNR stock.

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