Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /storage/content/39/1007239/ on line 30 PEC-04: HBA/HEA Coal Hoppers

The HBA/HEA Coal Hoppers are the fourth expansion we have created for Train Simulator 2014 and continuing our Project East Coast series of stock packs featuring rolling stock that could have been found on the East Coast Mainline in the 1970s and 1980s.

Built in the late 1970's and early 1980's for industrial and household coal this expansion features the hoppers with two different types of suspension and carrying two livery variations.

Stock Pack Contents

HBA/HEA Hoppers

The expansion features both the original HBA hoppers fitted with friction link suspension and the HEA version constructed with or modified with Bruninghaus suspension. In addition to this, both the early body style with a central ladder and small corner supports and the offset ladder configuration to which the vast majority of hoppers were built. Both body styles feature clean and weathered Maroon livery and Railfreight flame red and grey livery variants with the Railfreight livery having its branding in a number of locations. Empty and loaded versions with matching physics also feature in the pack along with rear versions fitted with both an oil tail lamp and on those which were likely to have survived long enough, a battery flashing tail lamp.

CAO/CAP/CAR Brake Vans

In addition to the HBA/HEA hoppers we have included TOPS code CAO (unfitted) and TOPS code CAP (vacuum piped) BR standard 20T brake vans to dia. 1/506, and TOPS code CAR (air and vacuum piped) brake vans to dia 1/507. The brake vans are supplied in different versions covering brown, brown with grey ends, bauxite and yellow livery and  Railfreight Flame Red and Grey liveries. These types are subdivided into those with smoke from the stove, clean and weathered versions and different variations of tail lamp covering, unfitted trains, fitted trains and no lamps. Those vans that were longer lived also feature a version with flashing battery tail lamp.


To let you experience the wagons in as authentic an environment as possible on the East Coast Main Line of the 1970s/80s we've enclosed two scenarios for you to use. Please note the scenarios require the original Newcastle - York route.

  • 8N98 1032 Healey Mills – Tyne Yard . You have been rostered to work 8N98, the Saturday’s Only 1032 Healey Mills - Tyne Yard service. You start in the Down Departure Sidings at York and have a few minutes before you head north to Tyne Yard. (1977)

  • 6E60 0408 Mossend NY - Healey Mills NY. This morning you are to work the 6E60 0408 Mossend to Healey Mills Speedlink. Your rake consists of some loaded HEA hoppers, several TTA tanks and a few other wagons heading south from Scotland. (1985)


HBA/HEA Hoppers

Coal hoppers, in the form of HAA Merry Go Round (MGR) hoppers, were some of the first wagons constructed as the air braked era dawned. However, it was to be a further 12 years before a more general use hopper appeared.

Although a world leading concept the MGR system required expensive automatic unloading equipment that would be unjustifiable at many factories, ports and coal concentration depots. As a consequence, much of the traffic to these locations was still conveyed in vacuum braked and unfitted hopper and open mineral wagons with relatively low speeds and capacities.

The prototype HBA hopper was constructed at Shildon to lot 3881 in 1976 and very soon after work began on lot 3885, also at Shildon, which would eventually swell the fleet to 1998 wagons, with the last two under frames constructed being diverted to prototype projects. The wagons were substantially constructed from steel with integral hoppers, supports and under frames.

Early versions of the wagons had a centrally located access ladder at each end with thin supports at the corners of the hopper body. Somewhere in the range before No. 360242 this arrangement was modified to an offset ladder at the left hand side and no corner supports.

The running gear as constructed featured weighing gear for a self adjusting brake system which utilised disc brakes. The wagons were originally constructed with 13 leaf BR friction link suspension which allowed an maximum speed of 60 mph when loaded but only 45 mph when empty. Throughout the construction period a number of wagons were out shopped with experimental suspension systems, none of which were really successful. In 1979 the decision was taken to alter the suspension of the wagons to allow them to work at 60 mph irrespective of their loaded state. Consequently, Nos. 361782 - 361796 & 361799 were fitted with Bruninghaus suspension at the time of construction.

This modification was an immediate success and wagons from No. 361800 were also built with Bruninghaus suspension from new. These wagons were also coded TOPS coded HBA like the earlier wagons until 1981 when the decision was taken to differentiate between the types and the Bruninghaus sprung examples gained the TOPS code HEA. At the same time it was decided to respring the earlier examples in the same way and as this took place they too gained the HEA TOPS code. It was not until 1985 that this respringing was completed.


Brake Vans

The brake vans included in this pack highlight one of the challenges of creating realistic and accurate representations in model form for both simulations or a model railway where official records and other sources conflict with each other and photographs of the real thing! The models included conform to photographic evidence and they are all supported by some references in the various research sources used. The pack includes two variations of the BR 20T brake van based around two (different) diagrams and lots although in reality the differences are not as great would at first be assumed as the later diagram appears to have been updated to included features that had been included to a greater or lesser degree on new brake vans for a while!

Dia. 1/506 was the diagram given to the official British Railways 20T brake van based on a design by the LNER. With plain axle boxes, spindle buffers and just a handbrake. As construction progressed through a number of different lots at Darlington (Faverdale) Works various changes took place including lots (or parts of lots) that were vacuum fitted, vacuum piped or fully vacuum braked. Axle boxes were changed from plain to roller and various buffer types were used. By the time we get to lot 3129, built in 1958-9 and the basis for some of the brake vans in this pack, photographs show vans to be fitted with roller bearings and hydraulic buffers. The diagram book states a mixture of vacuum braked, vacuum piped and unfitted vans contained in the lot with photographs generally supporting this (only one vacuum braked example found) during the period of the stock pack. Other sources show the entire lot as vacuum braked or vacuum piped at the time of construction and as a result we have hedged our bets with the models included!

Dia. 1/507 was the last incarnation of the standard BR brake van, built (officially) with roller bearings and hydraulic buffers with the versions included in this pack are modelled on those built to lot 3394 at Ashford in 1963. Unfitted when built, but with a through vacuum pipe and brake valve the majority were later fitted with through air pipes to create the CAR variant. Intended to work with air braked trains, many were allocated to specific pools and flows. Some of these brake vans were in use in the late 1980s on traffic flows carrying dangerous commodities that still required a guard to travel at the rear of the train or where propelling movements were required as a part of the trains journey.

The one limiting factor for the use of a brake van as a part of a Speedlink service was the 50 mph speed limit imposed on them which could mean the higher speeds of the modern air braked wagons couldn't be taken advantage of.

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