THE ‘WARWELL’ LOW-DOWN
While reading your Hatton’s and Oxford Rail ‘Warwell’ reviews in MR237/8, two photographs came to mind; a Warrior infantry fighting vehicle loaded onto a ‘Warwell’ and a Warrior that had fallen off a ‘Warwell’... Perhaps you could write a piece on ‘Warwells’ and their uses? Philip Bullin, via email
Mike says: I have managed to find an image of a Warrior being loaded onto a ‘Warwell’, which originally featured in MR20, way back in 2000. You’ll notice that the well of the wagon has been bridged with a metal contraption called a cradle. The cradle is specially designed to elevate the Warrior above station platforms, since the vehicles – wider than the ‘Warwell’ deck – are in danger of clipping lineside objects and structures. However, this presents another problem; by not sitting in the well, Warriors breach loading gauge height regulations. As such, trains are only allowed to operate specific routes that have been vetted by Network Rail. As with other MOD armoured vehicle trains, the services are not allowed to exceed speeds of 45mph. Originally introduced to help Sherman tanks clear the low tunnels and bridges of Britain’s railways during the Second World War, ‘Warwells’ were adapted for general freight use (steel/rail carrier and bolster deck variants) as early as 1949. Early ‘Warwells’ featured diamond-frame bogies and vacuum brakes, but later MOD variants have been fitted with Gloucester GPS bogies and airbrakes. As for model making, there’s never been a better time to model a military-themed layout. Hatton’s and Oxford Rail ‘Warwells’ are now available to purchase, and Bachmann’s hotly anticipated ‘Warflat’ can’t be too far away either. Rolling stock expert Paul Bartlett often helps the Model Rail team when it comes to wagon-related matters. For the largest online photographic library of rolling stock, visit his website:
A Warrior IFV is loaded onto an MOD ‘Warwell’.
Oxford Rail’s ‘Warwells’ can be purchased with loads such as this Sherman tank.