FCUK (16 Tons of French Connection in the Forest)

One of the noticeable things in Forest of Dean images is the variety of apparently similar mineral wagons. I have a good few of the Bachmann varieties which have taken precedence gradually over the Airfix mineral wagon kit of the past. Spread amongst these are a few non standard types, one of which you can see as work in progress above.
So, why ‘French?’ A very simplified history is that these types were imported from France, as well as ‘home built’. The original design being Ministry of War Transport requirement and sent out after D-Day to assist in re-establishing the damaged rail network in Europe. After the war many were repatriated and some were built specifically for domestic use. This wagon will be completed for Railex as I want to be able to have a suitable mix of types available to make visually interesting trains without resorting to a cliche. There’s a bit more work to be done on the underframe yet and decals will come from Cambridge Custom Transfers. The finished wagon project is destined for a book which I’m working on with a good friend, more of that in the future.

I try to keep reasonably close to the prototype mix so based on photos the majority are ‘Standard’ Dia 108 or derivatives with a mix of BR grey and faded PO wagon liveries, MOT slope sided minerals and the ‘suicide’ door wagon above. I’m not sure how widespread the nickname was, I’ve heard it used a few times, but the logic is un-escapable. The only doors on this wagon are the cupboard side doors. Who’d want to be standing in front opening them if the wagon were full of coal?

If my past is anything to go by, that’d be the apprentices job …

For ‘wagony’ stuff theres some useful protoype and modelling information at


This entry was posted in Airfix, Bachmann, book, Branch Line, British Rail, Canon G10, Chris Nevard, decals, Eastern Region, Exhibition, Forest of Dean, Great Western, hobbies, Hornby, Kalmbach, Layout, LMS, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, OO Gauge, Railex, research, Scottish Region, Southern Region, Uncategorized, Wales, waterslide, Welsh Marches, Western Region and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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