What Car? (Carrier)

Revolution’s IPA car carriers are selling well (thanks to those who’ve ordered) and are now in tooling, but we have had some requests for more information about when, where and how these vehicles are used.

66172 approaches Didcot with 6X44 Dagenham-Mossend in 2014. This train is comprised entirely of IPA flat wagons, with and without stakes, with a single Quad set in the middle. Photo: Colin Brooks.

With the generous assistance of STVA we have prepared drawing illustrating some of the sample consists for these vehicles for the last decade.    We’ve also added a few “legacy flows” from before this period.

66002 on 6X52 Portbury-Mossend at Llandevenny. IPA covered quad sets are immediately behind the locomotive; the vans are on IPA-As with and without stakes. Photo: Alan Williams.

With dozens of car trains running on the network every day, this is just the tiniest fraction, but offers an indication of the sheer variety of consists and shows that when it comes to automotive traffic, literally anything goes.

The diagram also indicates how Revolution’s IPAs can work with other models such as the N Gauge Society Cartic-4 kit and the Etched Pixels/Ultima WIA Arbel 5-unit.  The FIA-twins fitted with ISO car carrying panels could be a possible modelling project using the Farish intermodal twins as a starting point.  The biggest gap is the IPA-X twin and quad sets.  The twin has been produced by Bachmann in 4mm scale, and it would be excellent should they seek to reduce this model to 2mm.

92010 in Caledonian Sleeper livery at Northampton. There is a red Quad set immediately behind the locomotive, and behind it an FIA twin with car carrying ISO decks fitted. Photo: Trevor Plackett.

If you fancy doing some of your own research to decide what models to order, we recommend using photo sites such as www.flickr.com and www.smugmug.com.  One tip is use the train headcode or the origin and destination in the search box.

Current services include 6M66 (Southampton-Garston, Jaguar/Landrover), 6X77 (Dagenham-Didcot-Mossend, Ford) and 6X52 (Portbury-Mossend)

“Cartics, IPAs, TDTs – what are they called again?”

The nomenclature around the car carriers can be confusing.  Their owners STVA describe them as TDT-452 or TDT-852.  This code reflects the number of axles (either four, on a twin, or eight on a quad-set) and the year of first introduction – 1952.

Under TOPS they are coded IPA-A (uncovered versions) and IPA-B (covered) while to many enthusiasts all car carriers are simply referred to as “Cartics”, after the original articulated 4-unit sets (“Car-Articulated”) introduced in the 1960s.

90028 on Mossend-Southampton empties at Beattock. A mix of Quads, flats and flats with stakes, all in red. Photo: Jonathan Lewis.

 

History

When built in the 1950s and 1960s the wagons were used in France and had two decks.

The opening of the Channel Tunnel created demand for car carriers that could operate in Britain and Europe.  The TDT-452s had UIC-approved running gear and brakes, but were out of gauge for the UK.   And while a fleet of 5-unit WIA Arbel fully covered car carriers had been ordered there was a growing requirement to carry cars and the newly emerging people carriers and SUVs which were too big for these twin-decks.

The answer was to remove the double-deck body and add new sides, with Channel-compliant ferry attachments, while retaining the original chassis and running gear of the TDT-452s.

Introduced into service in the UK by RfD, and subsequently taken on by STVA UK on  its formation in 1996, the TDT-452s – coded IPA-A under TOPS and in the UIC 43 87 4333 series – were an immediate success.

However, particularly for high value vehicles such as Jaguars, Landrovers or Range Rovers, a need was identified for more protection.  Some of the TDT-452s were fitted with side-stakes to allow canvas to be stretched across the sides, and while this was partly successful a more drastic solution was identified, and some of the wagons were remarshalled into 4 unit quad-sets and given roofs as well as side canvas panels.

These were coded TDT0852, or IPA-B under TOPSs, and given UIC 43 87 4384-prefixed numbers.  42 quad sets were completed, and during the conversion there were some alterations to brake gear.  Also, the very last three were not fitted with ferry hooks as it was realised these were redundant.

On introduction the wagons were given a livery of very pale grey/white with red STVA lettering, however from the early 2000s a new STVA corporate colour (known as “Tomato Red”) was applied across the fleet, with the STVA branding reversed out in white. There are now very few wagons carrying the original livery.

 

 

 

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