Background

In 1971, a new design of long wheel base van appeared from Ashford Works that had the same overall dimensions as earlier air braked vans, but they were fitted with 2 centrally mounted sliding doors per side and were Air-braked only. These 125 wagons to lot 3764 were coded as COV CD and painted Freight Brown with a large Double Arrow high on the left hand side. In the 2nd half of 1974, Shildon Works constructed a further 100 vans to lot 3832. It is these 2 lots of wagons that feature in this pack.

After the changeover to TOPS, these vans were coded as VCA, though the 2nd lot were incorrectly labelled as VBA when new (not featured in the pack). In time, the first lot were repainted in Maroon livery with a boxed Double Arrow and Railfreight branding. Both lots later received Railfreight Flame Red & Grey livery.

The VCAs seem to have been mainly used for tinplate traffic from South Wales to various Metal Box Company factories around the country and for export traffic. From the early 1980s many of the vans were transferred to departmental use or were used as the base for further wagon types, but these are outside the scope of this pack.

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