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Graham Farish

This section was originally written in the late 1980s, since that time Farish has been taken over by Bachman and a number of new models have been introduced. This section lists the pre-Bachman models, the separate section on Bachman Farish lists all currently available models in the range. Where I believe older models have been withdrawn I will mark the entry as such, I understand that (as with several other manufacturers) the individual models are being produced in batches so some may reappear after a time. The text below remains the original text, updates will appear on the Bachman-Farish page.

With their provision for `Modern Image' stock Graham Farish have done a lot to provide for the R-T-R modeller. My only reservation is their use of non-blackened steel tired wheelsets with deep shiny flanges. One cannot complain however in view of the support given by this manufacturer to the scale. Personally I feel the wheels do not look as bad on the modern stock as on the older wagons, but if it bothers you there are replacement (spoked) wheelsets available from Mike Bryant on correct length axles, and the range of spoked, three hole and disc wheels from Parkside Dundas can also be used (see Kits & Continentals section for further information on these). Unfortunately Graham Farish only sell the goods and coach bogies separately, however wagons can be obtained second hand relatively cheaply for conversion work. Do note however that this manufacturer has experimented with various designs of coupler and some of the older type were not as successful as the current spring loaded `Arnold' type.

Their original range consisted entirely of pre-nationalisation prototypes, all being drawn from the Roche series of drawings. These are all available in the pre 1937 large lettered livery, with the exception of the steel open in LMS livery. They have now released selected models in BR liveries, to date these are the 7 plank open and the single vent van in early pre TOPS livery with the steel open and the Presflo hopper in TOPS livery. More recently Graham Farish have collaborated with Taylor Plastic Models to produce a BR standard 20' 9" air-braked chassis which entered service in the 1970's. Graham Farish offer a range of ready to run models on this chassis whilst Mr Taylor uses it as the basis for a range of modern image kits.

Chassis details

Graham Farish chassis are not available separately, they have the LNER type axle box as standard.

Wagon chassis: Representing the RCH standard type it is a steel underframed 10 foot wheel base, 17 foot 6 inches over headstocks design the model is 36 mm OH, 20 mm WB and 49 mm OA. The Graham Farish brake van chassis is 50 mm OH 33.5 mm WB and 62 mm OA

4 Wheel coach chassis: This useful item has been withdrawn to allow production of models for another firm, I understand there are no plans at present to resume production of the coaches, but the chassis may re-appear with a new body at some point. This chassis is fitted with running boards along the full length in the manner of a brake van. It is 63 mm OH, 40 mm WB and 74 mm OA.

Modern AB chassis: This is the chassis supplied with Bernard Taylor's kits, and was produced as a collaborative venture between the two firms, who will not duplicate the bodies in each others ranges. It is 78.7 mm OH, 43 mm WB and 92 mm OA.

Bogie open/bogie van chassis: This is the heavily trussed chassis for the 50 ton open wagon.

Goods bogies (available separately): Diamond pattern, introduced about 1900 and used by all the Big Four, PO's and BR. The GWR generally preferred `plate frame' types which can be produced by removing the bottom bar on the Graham Farish type and fitting plasticard side plates stuck on with epoxy glue.

Passenger bogies (available separately): To date no definite data available on the prototype used for the 'British' pre-BR bogies but I believe they are based on an LMS design.

3 PLANK OPEN This is no longer in the Graham Farish range, but may be found second hand. Do note that these will have the old style Farish half-height coupling, which was not a great success (re-mounting the body on a Peco chassis is the best option).

5 PLANK OPEN - - An SR standard `high goods' design, introduced under Bullied some time after he became CME in 1937. Hence this wagon should not have the large SR logo but the smaller standard format introduced in 1937. I believe the end bracing should be steel L section rather than wood as supplied but I might be wrong on that point.

Photo of model

7 PLANK OPEN - Based on a pre-grouping North Staffs Railway loco coal wagon, absorbed by the LMS in 1923 these vehicles continued in use for Loco coal but it is also suitable for use as a Private Owner type. Note the large lettering was replaced in 1935, just prior to the introduction of Bauxite body colour, so this model requires re-lettering. A nice touch would be to give the wagon a wash of thinned bauxite, so the large lettering is just visible, then add new lettering to give the impression of a heavily weathered, re-painted, wagon.

Photo of model

STEEL OPEN - This particular wagon is a Butterly design dating from the mid 1930's, further examples were built in 1946. These wagons were built for the LMS and possibly some private owners, the small lettered LMS livery is correct. Quite a number of these wagons survived into the 1960s, I believe the last of the type in revenue earning service were scrapped in the late 1970s but a few may have survived in departmental use into the late 1980s.
I was content with this model until the Peco 16 tonner kit appeared, against which the body of the Farish wagon appeared over sized, I therefore modified my stock, reducing the height by cutting off the top rail (this was then glued back on) and replacing the ends to reduce the length to suit the Peco 9 foot wheelbase chassis. The photo shows the modified and unmodified models.

Photo of model

SAND/LIME WAGON - A seven ton Great Eastern Railway loco sand wagon which was absorbed into the LNER at the grouping and may have lasted into the early BR period. The model is perfectly acceptable as a Private Owner wagon, designs for these being somewhat varied to say the least. Unlike the Peco peak-roofed wagons the roof is not a removable addition to a standard wagon body, the ends are integral with the body and the roof is secured to a high false floor in the wagon by a pin. If you remove the roof and cut the ends down level you get a 'four plank open' wagon, this doesn't resemble any particular prototype I know of but adds some variety to a rake of wagons. The sides need to be thinned a bit and the wagon has to be modelled 'loaded' due the the high false floor.
The roof can be re-used, the model below is based on a Scottish bulk grain hopper used at Leith docks but lettered for a small 'light railway' layout.
Photo of model

PRESFLO 20 TON HOPPER -Introduced by BR in 1954, originally for cement traffic they were also used for other bulk powders, such as salt, slate powder, and alumina. This wagon was also used by BR from about 1966 to carry fly ash traffic from power stations and these fly ash wagons were changed to air brakes. The name Presflo refers to the 'air fluidisation' system built into these wagons. The system works by blowing in air to `fluidise' the powder which flows out of the discharge pipe in the air-stream. They were designed to be emptied using a small portable air compressor and so might be seen in even a small station goods yard where they would be discharged into lorries for delivery. When new they were often seen in colourful PO liveries, although many were in standard BR bauxite, lettering details will be found in the section on post-nationalisation wagon development.

Photo of model

The fly ash trains were a block working in BR bauxite livery, now available from Graham Farish (they were clean as they were washed down at the power station after filling with the ash). The last two BR owned cement carrying examples were condemned in 1987/88, but Blue Circle still owned well over one hundred of these wagons at that time. The company logo was removed from the private owner stock in 1985 and after that they ran in a livery of plain pale grey with either white or black lettering. The BR fly ash wagons were reported out of use and in storage in the mid 1990's. (See also Lima Prestwin)

OPEN HOPPER No longer in production (the top can be removed from the presflo model) - This is simply the lower body from the Presflo wagon and is not as far as I am aware based on a real prototype. With a bit of carving however it forms a good basis for an iron ore hopper and in the absence of anything else it was a welcome addition to the available N Gauge rolling stock. The models shown have been modified to represent end-lever and side-lever braked LNER hoppers.

Photo of model

TWIN VENT VAN - - An SR design, the alternate wide and narrow planks show it to be a 1939 version built at Ashford, earlier types, originating in 1918 on the SECR, had even width planking. One flaw is the roof profile which should have a more pronounced `droop' to the edge, giving a characteristic almost semicircular end profile. This can be produced by sanding the top edge of the sides and ends, although a replacement roof of 5 thou card is required (Ralph Snelling has produced a replacement roof section which is available to members of the N Gauge Society). These wagons were supplied to other railway companies during 1940's, however the only liveries supplied are pre 1937 and are incorrect as they pre-date the design. The model shown is in the process of being re-painted but retains the original Farish roof.

Photo of model

The N Gauge Society has now produced a useful multi-kit of the type which has the correct roof profile

SINGLE VENT VAN - Based on an LNER vent van dating from about 1934. The LMS had a similar van, introduced in about 1931, however the LMS livery supplied by Graham Farish is for a different type of van. The pressed steel ends on this wagon are useful for making models of some BR stock. The model shown has been (rather crudely) repainted in BR 'unfitted' livery.

Photo of  model

FISH VAN - A Great Northern Railway `fitted' fish van design which passed to the LNER at grouping. Incidentally the LNER moved the greater part of the home waters catch of fish, hence rakes of such wagons would be appropriate. As a fitted wagon these might have been seen attached to passenger trains up to the Second World War.

Photo of model

CATTLE WAGON - A Midland Railway standard design perpetuated by the LMS. To add a little interest to the roof one can add strips of plasticard or postcard to form the thin wooden strips used to prevent the nails holding the canvas roof sheet from penetrating and possibly injuring the cattle. Note the ends are standard MR van ends and so substitute sides can be used to produce a selection of MR/LMS vans. The only flaw on the model is that the white end inserts of the roof are rather visible through the upper sides, but a lick of paint solved that. The model shown still has the old style Farish shiny wheel sets.

Photo of model

One sometimes sees pictures of cattle wagons with white interiors and white stains on their sides caused by `lime washing' the insides of the wagons as a way of disinfecting them. The interior of these wagons should be all white and the liquid leaked out between the planks as well as through the built-in openings. There would be patches of white all over the body but mainly where there were gaps such as the openings at the bottom and around the open upper sides. This practice was banned in the 1920's, so the stains should not appear on Big Four or British Railways stock. The photo shows an example repainted as an MR van.

Photo of model

HORSEBOX - - This is a standard Great Northern Railway horse box. The Cheshire Lines Committee obtained their horse boxes from the GN (who were part owners of the CLC) and I think this one passed to the LNER eventually. Possibly also used by the LMS as stock from the CLC was spilt at the time of the grouping between the two companies who jointly operated the line. Generally horse boxes ran in non-passenger coaching stock livery, the model is available in PO livery at present, the essentially similar LNER livery has been included in the Livery section drawings. According to the Roche drawing six torpedo ventilators should be added to the roof, these are available from the Ultima range for details of which see the following section on kits. The basic body can be cut down to represent a typical small type seen on pre-grouping lines, although this does require the shortening of the chassis (in my case I used a cut-down Peco chassis kit).

Fig___ Grafar Horse box in LNER livery and 'Light Railway' version

Models based on the N Gauge Society hopper kit

OIL/TAR TANK - This rectangular tank is of a common older design, introduced in the late 1880's, very few of this type were built after the mid 1920's. Tanks of this type were mainly used by private owners, particularly gas works for coal tar but also chemical companies as well as by firms carrying petroleum oils. They were generally replaced by cylindrical tank wagons for lighter spirits but remained in use for heavier oils and tar into the 1960s. Similar wagons were seen in service (carrying Shell-BP fuel oil) in 1961 and they have been used by BR for fuel oil at outlying diesel depots into the 1970's at least.

BOGIE OPEN - This represents the 50 ton bogie ammonium sulphate wagons, about a hundred of which were built by the LNER to carry sacks of the sulphate, in which traffic they were sheeted. These were amongst the largest open wagons built for British rails up until the late 1960's. The BR livery is correct but Graham Farish used to offer this wagon in LNER red oxide livery which is incorrect, these were `unfitted' wagons and so should have a grey body (the Roche drawing on which the model is based is incorrect). The photo shows the original Graham Farish model, that has been fitted with Mike Bryant wheels.

Photo of model

These wagons were subsequently used for a weekly train moving rubbish out of London in the later 1960s and early 1970s (when they were replaced by redundant 16 ton mineral wagons). Both types were unsheeted when in this traffic and I gather the smell was a bit strong. The London terminal was located where the current Arsenal football ground is today. Kevin Allsop on the newsgroup uk.railway was able to advise
The depot was Ashburton Grove. There was an 08 outstationed there, manned by Kings Cross drivers, at least until 1980. A new Waste Transfer Depot was built there in the late 1980s, with waste removed by road. As part of the Arsenal stadium redevelopment a replacement depot at Holloway had to be provided. This is supposed to have provision for a possible future return of the traffic to rail.
On the same thread Peter Lawrence advised that-
The destination was Blackbridge tip, near Wheathampstead, now full up but easily recognisable by walkers along the footpath on the branch line formation. The Black Bridge itself has been removed though.
Incidentally, Wheathampstead station yard had a dung siding once used for wagons of the stuff supplied by London Zoo to local farmers. Apparently this also was sent via Ashburton Grove but I don't know how it got there from the zoo!

The same wagon is offered as a GWR loco coal wagon, which is not convincing, the original wagon had five metal doors per side and curved corners and ends giving an almost tub shape to the body. The same wagon was once available liveried as a 50 ton bogie brick wagon used between Fletton and London. These wagons were in fact wooden sided, the GNR originals had six plank high sides, the LNER built essentially similar wagons with sides five planks high.

Fig ___ Large Bogie Open Wagons
Sketch of models

BOGIE VAN Not currently in production - A North Eastern Railway van, passed into the LNER in 1923. Some seen until the 1970's possibly the 1980's in departmental service on BR. The underframe with its heavy trussing is that used for the 50 ton bogie sulphate wagon but this van had little in the way of under trussing. Removal of the brake handles and cutting away the heavy bars whilst leaving the outer two verticals and running thread across these produces a reasonable effect. Note the doors and roof hatches which may be used as a guide for modifying the Peco Reefer van to an NER 10t van. The photo shows the original Graham Farish model fitted with Mike Bryant wheels.

Photo of model

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and GWR also operated large bogie vans, the GWR type can be made from a couple of 'iron mink' kits with a new roof. The L&Y type can be built using Peco insulated van ends with new sides and roof or it can be modified from the Farish van by replacing the sides, adding the distinctive inverted V end braking and changing the roof doors to the L&Y cloth-and-bars type. For both a home-made chassis of 30 thou card sandwiched between two strips of 10 thou card with trussing from wire is preferable to using the Farish chassis.

100t TANKER - These high-speed high-capacity wagons first appeared on the railways in 1966, some two years prior to the blue corporate livery. The PO liveries were phased out in about 1974 as being too expensive to maintain. By the mid 1980s the tanks were now usually grey with red sub-chassis above the bogies for class A liquids (eg petrol) or black for class B liquids (eg fuel oil) and were not cleaned very often.
The 90 ton LPG tank version can be modelled by removing the end ladders and top walkways, leaving a slot along the top of the tank. The slot can be covered with a strip of 10 thou card extending down almost to the centreline to represent a 'sun shield' and the filling hatches can be represented with 10x10 thou strip and scraps of 10 thou card. These wagons can run alongside the Peco fifteen foot wheelbase LPG wagons.

Interestingly tank wagons to a basically similar general design were built in the 1950's or possibly even the late 1940's, although the tanks used were only about half the capacity of the 100 tonners. The diameter of the Graham Farish tank is a shade on the large side but if you remove the ladders and catwalks and shorten the wagon by cutting a section from the centre you get something not unlike one of these earlier wagons. You would have to fill in the slot along the top and add new ladders and filling domes and apply your own livery. There is an illustration in Don Rowlands book on early BR Freight Wagons which shows one of these early tanks, with a 40 ton payload, used by a specialist haulier for liquid latex traffic out of Liverpool docks.

Sketch of models

CONTAINER FLAT - A standard BR Freightliner wagon, introduced in 1964. The bogies are a little on the heavy side for this wagon, being (I am informed) better suited to the bogie tanker, for which they were originally produced. The `Freightliner' liveries offered are the two most recent of four, but I am unsure of the exact periods they cover. Alternative transfers are available from specialist suppliers, and Graham Farish produce unpainted `boxes'. One possible mod to this model is to fit a wooden (scribed card) floor with raised ends and drop-flaps to cover the buffers. Modified container flats of this type are used for carrying commercial vehicles (up to at least 1987). See also the Lima Freightliner wagon entry.


GWR - A standard GWR `Toad', introduced in about 1912. Should be a 16 foot wheel base but looks well enough, the difference is not really noticeable. BR also built further examples of this design but they were generally confined to the Western Region area, and were in fact marked ``NOT IN COMMON USE''. The BR liveried version is of an unfitted type

Photo of model

SR/LMS - - The SR version serves quite well an ex LBSCR design, which saw service up to the early BR period. The LMS version requires some modification, principally the fitting of `duckets' over the side windows (similar to those on the Peco brake van) to represent an early 1930's design.

Modern air braked chassis models

This chassis was produced by Graham Farish in association with Bernard Taylor of Taylor Plastic Models. It has only one drawback in that it appears to be made from a material resistant to the normal range of plastic solvents, 'Superglue' however works rather well. Similar chassis were used as early as 1960 when six experimental low sided wagons were built to test the air brake system, other experimental vehicles included vans with different door designs and tarpaulin 'curtain' sides. Graham Farish offer two liveries, the post 1964 British Rail bauxite with double-arrow and the later post 1980 'Railfreight' red and white.

OAB/OAA open wagon. Introduced in 1971 this was the first of the standard wagons on the new air-braked 20 foot 9 inch wheel base chassis and has steel ends with wooden drop sides. OAB is not a TOPS code but an abbreviation for Open AB, the original code for these air braked vehicles. OAA is the TOPS code for the wagon. Available in both liveries. It is worth noting that these were supplied with a plastic tarpaulin, usually pale olive green in colour, marked in white letters about 6 inches high: TO BE RETAINED WITH AB OPEN WAGONS. These wagons are still in service, some are used for palletised roof tile traffic and carry the Redland livery.

VAB/VBA sliding door van - The model is produced in the same two liveries (post 1964 bauxite and post 1980 Railfreight) as the open wagon described above. VAB is an abbreviation of the original Van AB code but I believe the code should be Cov AB as I understand Van AB was used as the code for some of the Vanwide ten foot wheelbase vans which had been fitted with air brakes. I am not absolutely certain of the pre-tops codes but VBA is the correct TOPS code for the vehicle (it has no end ventilator, adding one produces either a VAB fitted with a pipe to run with vacuum braked stock or VAA un-piped van).

Photo of models

FPA (Conflat P) container flat - Used mainly for open topped (minerals and coal) containers this wagon is to be supplied by Graham Farish with a standard ISO container load. Taylor Plastic Models sell the wagon with the option of one of two different types of open (coal) container.

PCA (cylindrical tank) This represents one of the modern air-fluidised power carrying vehicles, built for operation by private owners and wagon leasing firms, introduced in the mid 1960s. They are used for cement, grain and various powdery chemicals. Blue circle (and several other cement companies) discontinued their colourful liveries in the mid 1980s and most of these wagons have run since in a plain livery of light grey tank on a black chassis, usually with simple TOPS lettering in white. The company liveries have made occasional reappearances however and I understand that the liveries on offer are all appropriate.

PCA (depressed centre tank) This represents a PO design gravity discharge power carrying wagon which appeared in the mid to late 1960s and became the most popular design for cement traffic. The comments on livery for the cylindrical PCA tank wagon above also apply to this design. In the early and mid 1990's these wagons were seen passing through my local station several times a week (carrying chemical powders) and featured a livery of a plain if rather dirty white or possibly light grey tank on a black chassis as discussed for the cement wagon above. In the 1970's a bogie version carrying a pair of depressed centre tanks (similar to those on the Graham Farish wagon) and equipped for either gravity or air fluidised discharge were built (these remained in service at least into the early 1990s). Subsequent builds of the single tank four wheelers also had the air system built in as an option. The bogie types are also used for china clay traffic in a rather fetching bare metal 'silver' tank livery.

PGA Open Hopper These are the successful 50-ton GLW PO hopper wagons designed and built by Procor for road-stone traffic in the mid 1970's. With the cutback in road stone useage the wagons have been pressed into service on a number of duties (in 1998 rakes of these wagons have replaced the old ICI vacuum braked 23 ton bogie hoppers on the Northwich-Tunstead limestone run, problems with dust blowing off and high vibration from the non-welded rail saw them replaced by large bogie types a couple of years later).

PGA Closed Hopper This is the roofed version of the Procor 50-ton hopper wagon, some are used by 'stone' firms and the model serves well enough for sand or salt wagons, the vehicles used for these commodities are broadly similar in design but with differences in the external ribbing and the design of the roof. Bernard Taylor of Taylor Plastic Models has released a detailing kit for use with the British Industrial Sand wagon. The sand wagons are used for chemically treated and purified sand used in glass and ceramic making. Broadly similar hoppers are also used for a number of granular or powdery chemicals.


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