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GNR(I) 'P' Van!

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I am still researching and collecting information for my Larne Harbour Station project, (late 60's/early 70's). A number of photo captions mention the 'important' 5:30pm ex York Road to Larne Harbour and the shunting of Brown Vans to the Quayside Siding for unloading. There is a photo on page 72 of Derek Young 's 'The Ulster Transport Authority in colour' showing the 5:30 ex York Road at Downshire, with a former Great Northern 'P' van carrying mail from Londonderry en route to Stranraer. I am interested in finding out about the 'P' van. Desmond Coakham's 'Irish Broad Guage Carriages' has a picture of a P1 Class Bogie Parcels Van, No 780, built 1930, at Bundoran Junction in 1957, but although similar, is not like the one in the Downshire photo! He mentions that another 10 vans, similar but with steel framed bodies appeared in 1944. Presumably, the one on the 5:30 ex York Road was one of the 1944 built vans! Can anyone throw any light on this?, and in particular can anyone refer me to a better photo of the van that may have run on the 5:30 ex York Road in the 60's! I would appreciate this for modelling purposes. Extremely unlikely, but might someone produce a brass etch?

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The IRRS booklet Great Northern Railway (I) Carriage Diagrams : Part 5 Non passenger Stock in section 3:8 shows a P2 bogie van. There are 10 listed Nos 783 to 788 were built in 1934 and Nos 755, 757, 777 and 778 were built in 1944. the side elevation drawing shows them to be made of horizontal wooden planking with the sliding doors in vertical planking. they differ from the P1 versions in two main ways: first there are strengtheners 7 on each side, these could be made of metal and are possibly the metal frames referred to by Desmond Coackham. The second difference is that the windows and associated louvres are smaller and have been re-positioned.  The letter "G" is on one sliding door and the letter "N" on the other. Unerr the tile of these vans there is a bracketed note to say they can run with passenger or goods trains. there is no similar note for the P1 versions

The P1 vans are numbered 779, 780 and 781 no build date given.


Hope this helps


When I did a search just now for P2 vans I came across an image of a P2 van which linked to the louthnewryarchive.ie site but no image of the van within the site.

Edited by MikeO
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On 9/17/2020 at 5:22 PM, MikeO said:

The P1 vans are numbered 779, 780 and 781 no build date given.

'P 1' vans were built in 1930. The three members of classification 'P 1' were 48' 0" x 8' 5" over body and weighed 24½ tons. In terms of construction they had a timber body and timber under-framing and all passed to CIÉ. Classification 'P 2' were slightly different, being 47' 6" x 8' 5" over body and weighing 23 tons. The sliding doors were 6" wider than the 5' 0" doors of classification 'P 1'. In construction terms these had timber bodies but steel underframes. On the dissolution of the GNR in 1958 only two 'P 2' vans went to the UTA, the remaining eight went to CIE, who formally withdrew all their 'P' vans in 1973.

The following photograph of an NIR (ex-GNR) 'P 2' was taken at Larne Harbour in 1971 and has been lifted from the interweb. Copyright may belong to Jonathan Allen.



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