Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /storage/content/39/1007239/ on line 30 COV AB 46t Vans Pack 02

This Train Simulator continues the story of some of the earliest long wheel base air braked general merchandise covered vans to be built by British Rail as they began to develop high capacity wagons with higher operating speeds to attempt to modernise freight services during the 1960s as a reaction to changing goods handling techniques and increasing road competition.

Continuing to look at the early development of long wheelbase vans, this pack features the wagons built to dia. 1/257 at Ashford works in 1970/1 with air brakes and about two-thirds with through vacuum pipes. Further vehicles were added in 1974 by Shildon Works as lot 3840 and these were built with air brake only. The wagons rode on long link suspension, had a gross load of 45T and a maximum speed of 60 or 70 mph depending on the load.


Into the 1960’s British Railways mainly provided 12T vehicles for the covered carriage of general merchandise, the exception being those vans intended to work on the train ferry services to Europe. While nearly all these vehicles were fitted with continuous train brakes, they were vacuum braked & in conjunction with their short wheelbase of 10ft, this limited them to running at 45mph.

In the mid-1960’s British Rail started to make the move towards using air brakes and after Merry Go Round coal hoppers and container flats had been successfully introduced, attention was turned towards providing new vans. A few experimental designs were tried out before a definitive production design appeared.

Ashford Works began delivering the first of the production series vans from the middle of 1969 to Diagram 1/248. These vehicles were a major step forward from the vacuum braked fleet, with a carrying capacity of 29T and 2 sliding doors of nearly 16ft long each. With a 20ft 9in wheelbase and Double Link suspension, they could run at 60mph maximum with a Gross Load of 45T, or could reach 75mph if the load was reduced to 35T Gross. They were fitted with Air-brakes that operated on wheel mounted discs and also had a through Vacuum pipe, to allow them to run with existing freight stock.

After the 209 vehicles that formed Lot 3685, several different experimental suspension designs were tried out on small batches until BR Long Link suspension was chosen for the remainder of production as Diagram 1/257. Ashford Works built Lot 3726 of 75 vehicles between November 1970 and August 1971. These were given the Telegraphic Code COV AB and were delivered in Freight Brown livery with the corporate BR Double Arrow. A yellow disc with the letters ABN in black was also applied to denote they were intended to be used on the Air Braked Network, which was a precursor to the more familiar Speedlink network of the late 1970’s & 1980’s. Vehicles 200250 - 200299 were fitted with a through Vacuum pipe, while vehicles 200300 - 200324 were Air brake only.

After a gap of 3 years, during which production had switched to the COV CD design (available as the VCA pack:, Shildon Works built a further 100 vehicles to Lot 3840 which were Air braked only and delivered in the new Maroon livery. When coded under TOPS the first 50 vehicles of Lot 3726 were VBB, with the remaining 25 as VBA. Lot 3840 were incorrectly coded as VAA when new, but were later changed to the correct VBA.


We always like to find ways of doing things a little differently and to incorporate new features to improve the use and enjoyment of our expansions.

Sometimes we will look at enabling new features to make models operate more like the prototype and in other cases to more closely reflect other influences in the real world.

The COV AB 46t Vans Wagon Pack 02 for Train Simulator features:

  • Freight Brown, Maroon and Railfreight Flame Red & Grey liveries (with livery-correct auto-numbering)
  • Clean and weathered variations
  • Physics to recreate loaded and empty versions.
  • Dynamically assigned works plate details, dependant on the vehicle number 
  • Intelligent oil tail lamps (Mk1 Battery flashing lamps on vehicles wearing weathered Railfreight livery)
  • 4 random options of lettering applicable to each variation

The pack includes a user manual with further details about the rolling stock and the customising of some of the features when using the wagons in scenarios.

Click here to view the COV AB 46t Vans Pack 02 Manual


As these expansions are being released via Steam Marketplace it is usual to not included bundled scenarios as we have in the past with our self-published expansions. However, as this product is workshop compatible we have commissioned two scenarios featuring the rolling stock included in the pack and these will be uploaded to Steam Workshop in the near future.

In the meantime you may want to search Steam Workshop to see if any scenarios have been shared by other people.

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