British Rail’s iconic and revolutionary Cartic-4 car carriers are the next 1960s era model to be offered by Revolution Trains.
Each four-unit articulated Cartic-4 set could carry 34 (1960s-sized) cars at up to 75mph. In total 538 Cartic-4s were constructed between 1966 and 1972, and they lasted in service until the mid 2000s.
The Cartic-4 was developed jointly by BR and Ford following after the Beeching report of 1963 urged British Railways to focus on efficient block trains for freight and adopt fast, air-braked bogie wagons to replace its fleet of ageing and slow four-wheeled stock.
The design was radical at the time for freight stock – comprising a permanently coupled four-part vehicle in which the inner cars were linked via shared bogies on articulated joints – and two prototypes were constructed and trialled on traffic from Ford’s giant Dagenham plant in September 1964.
The production units differed slightly from the two prototypes, and the majority were built for private vehicle transporters MAT, Silcock & Collings and Tolemans, however some were also built by BR and used to launch its Motorail brand in 1966. This offered motorists the opportunity to take their car on holiday with them, with an extensive network of services between cities including London, Birmingham and Sheffield and Scotland, the South West and North Wales.
A new terminal was opened at Kensington Olympia in London, and ramps allowed both decks to be loaded simultaneously. This is featured in the wonderfully evocative British Pathé film “Car And You By Train” – which you can see here.
Stills from the British Pathe film “Car And You By Train.”
Out of holiday season, the Motorail-branded vehicles were often used alongside the rest of the fleet for new car deliveries. We will be offering as-built Cartic-4s in BR Motorail, MAT-Transauto and Silcock and Collings liveries.
In the 1984, following increasing incidents of vehicles becoming damaged in transit by stones, Silcock and Collings decided to add screens to the sides of the wagons. Some were also given corrugated roofs to protect vehicles from items dropped from overbridges; the roofs were hinged and could be raised to allow loading and unloading. Both these variants are being offered, and they often ran together in the same train.
This was a success, and within two years MAT had decided on similar measures, using Expamet mesh for its screens. The MAT fleet was inherited by STVA when it took over, and the Cartic-4s, by now coded PJA under TOPS, were refurbished and repainted into its pale grey livery.
A very small number of the MAT sets received roofs, however they were to a different design and are not being included.
STVA also decided to remove the top decks from three sets, and run them as single deck units primarily for light commercial vehicles; these lasted in use until 2013 however they are not being offered as they also featured some strengthening additions which would not be practical to tool.
BR drawings have been sourced and CAD work is underway. The models will feature our usual high levels of detailing, with the brake gear on the underside, accurate representations of the deck tread arrangement and separate parts including plastic and photo etched ladders, screens and roofs.
Once CAD is complete the models will be available to pre-order.