Perhaps the most eagerly awaited rolling stock in recent years has been the South Eastern & Chatham Railway ‘Birdcage’ coaching stock from Bachmann, if only to provide appropriate stock for the ‘C’ class 0-6-0 to haul. The SECR, pressed by capacity issues on its trains, was among the first railways to stretch coaching stock designs to 60ft.
This created greater end-throw and meant that guard’s look-out duckets could not be accommodated within gauge, so the SECR opted for a minimal guard’s compartment with a raised roof which reflected the European style of cupola but became known here as a ‘birdcage’. Examples of SECR birdcage stock rescued from departmental service and from the Longmoor Military Railway have been superbly restored by both the Kent & East Sussex Railway and the Bluebell, where doubtless, Bachmann went to research the three-coach set which they have now released in model form.
The three-coach set consists of a brake third lavatory/composite lavatory/ brake third without lavatory, and the sample supplied to us depicts the set in early BR unlined crimson, about which I will comment later...
Find out more in MR240 - OUT SEPTEMBER 21