16mm Projects

Hudson Raletrux MOD NGF Wagon: Alan Poxon


Since 1865, Robert Hudson Ltd developed a reputation as one of the premier suppliers of light railway equipment in Great Britain. In fact, the term light railway was one that the company promoted in their sales literature. By 1900, Hudsons were using RALETRUX LEEDS as their address for telegrams and, in 1935, they moved into new offices in a converted chapel on Meadow Lane in Holbeck that they named Raletrux House.

In the 1960s, the light railway division of Robert Hudson Ltd became Robert Hudson (Raletrux) Ltd before the company was finally liquidated in 1984, with the goodwill passing to Clayton Equipment Ltd.

In the 1940s, Hudsons built wooden drop-side wagons used for the transportation of munitions. These wagons came in four-wheel and bogie versions that were later replaced by steel drop-side wagons used by the RAF.

David Williams of Resurgam Rolling Stock has produced 16mm laser cut wooden kits of these later wagons and he has now developed his range of models to include a NGF (Narrow Gauge Flat) wagon built for the MOD (Ministry of Defence) in the 1980s. The MOD NGF bogie wagons were of steel construction with a wooden load bed, and end bulkheads, for carrying the munitions.

Many of the MOD NGF wagons were allocated to the two foot gauge railway at RAF Chilmark, where munitions were stored underground in quarry caverns, and to the satellite, above-ground, storage facility at Dinton in Wiltshire. RAF Chilmark was closed by 1997 and some of the MOD NGFs were transferred to Central Ammunition Depot at Eastriggs, on the shores of the Solway Firth in Dumfries & Galloway.

At the time of transfer, other MOD NGFs found their way into preservation, including eight to the Ffestiniog Railway and two to the Moseley Railway Trust at their Apedale Valley Light Railway.

I ordered a kit from the first batch that arrived much earlier than advertised. The kit was very well packaged and came with the same detailed instructions that is a feature of Resurgam Rolling Stock kits. I particularly like the contents list that has a 1:1 outline of each component to aid  identification of the large number of small parts. A replacement for one missing item arrived by first class post the day after an e-mail to Resurgam.

One bogie frame complete, one to go.

Flatbed frame and bogie frames complete.

The kit went together easily, with all of the accurately cut wooden components fitting together without adjustment. The kit I built was in MDF but plywood is also available. MOD NGF wagons came in two lengths of flat bed, the Resurgam model is of the shorter variant from RAF Chilmark. The model can also be built to represent one of the Ffestiniog versions, or MODs as they are known there, with the end bulkheads removed along with the handbrake lever and rigging from one bogie. MODs are used on the Ffestiniog to transport permanent way materials, such as sleepers on a single flat bed wagon or in a combination of wagons to carry lengths of rail.

Photograph by David Williams of the Ffestiniog MOD rail carrying version of the Resurgam kit.

Resurgam offers stanchions and cross bars if you wish to model the rail carrying version along with the option of modelling one of the wagons fitted with the close-coupling arrangement.

Flatbed and load ready for painting

Hudson Raletrux MOD NGF wagon as used at RAF Chilmark.

A prototypical load of RAF munitions, 3d printed for me by Roy Plum, was added to capture the character of the MOD NGF wagons as used at RAF Chilmark in the late 1980s.  The flat bed structure is surprisingly heavy but I nonetheless added a small amount of weight under the frame to aid stability. The finished model is robust and runs well with the Binnie disc wheels supplied with the kit. Whether you want to model MOD NGF wagons, or any of the Ffestiniog MOD wagons, this Resurgam Rolling Stock kit is worth a look.

February 2021

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