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NIR

Carriage end steps

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I'm trying to understand what might be found on the ends of a carriage, something not often photographed. MU control cables, air/vacuum hoses I can understand but why the steps and handrail? Why would you need to access the carriage roof other than in a depot with a ladder or gantry?

 

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42 minutes ago, NIR said:

I'm trying to understand what might be found on the ends of a carriage, something not often photographed. MU control cables, air/vacuum hoses I can understand but why the steps and handrail? Why would you need to access the carriage roof other than in a depot with a ladder or gantry?

 

Would you believe, NIR, in the past ladders and even more so, gantries, were not considered completely necessary!

When I started volunteering at Whitehead in the mid 70s, I used them to climb into roofs to repair leaks (by painting tar sealant over them) or paint them.

The health & safety police would have kittens today, followed by nausea, fits of the collywobbles, multiple conniptions, and advanced heebie-jeebies....

Water (toilet) tanks had to be attended to as well.

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For the days before H&S with no ladders and gantries. Also for old skool shunters to hang onto while train being shunted.

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46 minutes ago, Railer said:

For the days before H&S with no ladders and gantries. Also for old skool shunters to hang onto while train being shunted.

Correct!

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Back in the days of yore, before electric carriage lighting, and carriages were lit by oil lamps, steps and handrails were provided on at least one end of the coach for access to the roof in order to maintain the compartment lamps. After the introduction of toilets in coaches, access to the roof was required for the purpose of refilling the water tanks which were located above the ceiling. More modern coaching stock utilized the handrail as a water filler pipe which could be connected to a water hose at ground level, thus eliminating the need for day to day access to the roof. Indeed, if you look at the end of a BR Mk 1 coach near to a toilet, you can see what appears to be handrails on both sides of the end, but steps on only one side. This is because the water tanks can be refilled from either side of the track, using the "handrail" on that side. Many BR Mk 1 coaches have had some, or even all of the end steps removed as access to the roof is no longer required on a day to day basis.

The following picture shows a Mk 1 end with "handrail" filler pipes on both sides, but only the LH side has, or had, footsteps, most of which have been removed.

 1029652204_BRMk1.jpg.90c4ff4583510386c05a1baad85919fe.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Aha! I wondered why the 'handrails' continued onto the roof. Now I just need to work out what railcars had what.

Edited by NIR

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