Stroudley six-wheel coaches:

This page was written as a result of a query from one of the Southern E-mail Group concerning the underframe arrangements of Stroudley 6-wheeled coaches. This information is relatively obscure, so this page is presented as a research tool for those engaged in modelling such vehicles.

The book you need is the out-of-print Carriage Stock of the LB&SCR by P.J.Newbury, Oakwood Press, 1976. No ISBN. This is a completely different book from the recent Oakwood press one which only covers the bogie coaches.

Drawings of the bodies abound. Underframes are a different matter, although there's a drawing for the Billinton 6-w underframe, used on all of his 6-wheelers. (N.B. Drawings are 4mm/ft scale, scanned at 300 dpi.)

As far as Stroudley's go, the only two designs of 6-wheelers were the four compartment First (as 661, currently under restoration on the Bluebell, but on a modified PMV underframe), later rebuilt as Brake 2nd, then Brake 3rd; and the 26' Full brake - for which there's a drawing with the positions only of the wheels marked.

There is however a photo of a First. This shows a very "clean" underframe with no trussing, brakes only on the outer axles, and springing as per a diagram of a 4-w brake third. The drawing of the 6-w Brake shows a foot-step below the Guard's door.

The text states that the first class carriages had 7-ft springs, all others 6-ft.

David Searle adds the following: the Roxey Moulding kits of the 6-wheel brake only include a drawing of the 6-wheel first (Gordon Weddell's drawing from the May 1986 Model Railway Constructor) and show the brake gear after conversion to brake 2nds.

Lighting: Brighton leads the way!
All Stroudley's carriages were oil-lit when built, but most were converted either to gas (with gas tanks under the carriages) or the LBSCR system of electric lighting. In 1881 Stroudley fitted incandescent electric lighting to a Pullman train using Faure cells. This was the first electrically lit train in the world. However, it was soon decided that the use of dynamos driven by belts off carriage axles was preferable to charging the batteries at each terminal station. Only the Brake coaches and vans had batteries and dynamos, which were inside the body of the coach rather than beneath, as in later practice. Current was supplied to the other coaches in the train from the brake.

A Stroudley and Tandy patent covered the improvement of oil lamps for railway use, whereby a draught was used to cool the oil reservoir, making it safer.

Passenger Communication
The Stroudley and Rusbridge patented electrical system for passenger communication was standard on the Brighton from 1887 until the grouping. Initially (and the single wire for this system was found embedded in partitions in No.661 on the Bluebell) there was a knob in the centre of the compartment partition which, when released, operated bells on the engine and in the guard's compartment. Unlike more recent versions, it did not operate the brake automatically, which helped when operating a slip coach. Later, the familiar chain-in-pipe system was adopted, but still communicating electrically with driver and guard. The principle of this system is still in use on the London Underground.

Cleminson radial trucks
There is mention of Cleminson radial trucks under the section on Stroudley bogie coaches:

"Bogie carriages first appeared on the Brighton in 1879 when Stroudley ordered some from both Cravens and Cleminsons. Six were built by each manufacturer to the same specification as the six-wheel firsts. They were 49ft 5in long with seven compartments. The Cleminson-built vehicles were referred to as "flexible wheelbase", but whether they ran on bogies or Cleminson radial trucks is unclear. A further six bogie-firsts were built after Stroudley's death in 1889 to a slightly different design - six first class compartments in a 48-ft body. They were built for the 8.45am Brighton to London Bridge which later became the famous 'City Limited'."

However, Brown Marshall built three 30-ft saloons, with half-domed ends. They ran on Cleminson Radial trucks, as did the Royal saloon.

In his book "Railway Carriages in the British Isles from 1830 to 1914" Hamilton Ellis describes: "... James Cleminson's flexible wheelbase arrangement. In this, there were three single-axel trucks; the middle one slid laterally, and was connected by radius bars with its fellows which were pivoted."

This photo shows one of the Brown Marshall Saloons with Cleminson radial trucks; No.599 of 1881. It appears that the 6-w firsts and brakes did not have these trucks, although, in the Public Record Office, John Coleman has found reference to the payment of royalties to Mr Clemenson for the use of his system on two First-class carriages.

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