Model Rail (UK)
Accurascale CDA china clay hoppers
◆ GAUGE ‘OO’ ◆ MODEL Accurascale ACC2531CDA-EWS2 CDA china clay hoppers, EWS livery ◆ PRICE £74.95 per triple-pack ◆ AVAILABILITY Accurascale stockists Web www.accurascale.co.uk
Following the recent release of Accurascale’s excellent HAA ‘merry-goround’ (MGR) coal hoppers (MR301), other versions based around the same wagon type are now appearing, including the popular CDA covered china clay hoppers. Although construction of twin-axle MGR hoppers had continued into the 1970s, with a range of covered versions being built for lime and gypsum flows, there was a long pause before the CDAS were constructed in the late 1980s.
After a trial conversion of an existing MGR hopper, a fleet of 124 CDAS was built from new at Doncaster Works in 1987-8, followed by a small number of rebuilds using spare HAAS. Built to replace the decrepit, timber-bodied and vacuumbraked OOV ‘clayhood’ open wagons, the CDAS revolutionised the transport of china clay within Devon and Cornwall and were initially treated to blue frames and large English China Clay (ECC) logos on the hopper sides. This branding didn’t last long, however, with English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) and then DB Cargo applying their house colours and logos to most of the fleet.
Although depleted in recent years, a number of CDAS are still in use and are hauled by DB Class 66s, having previously been in the charge of BR and EWS Class 37s for many years previously.
Accurascale’s model features much the same specification as the HAA models reviewed in the July issue, although there are also plenty of extra fittings installed to correctly portray the CDAS. The air brake equipment has been moved to the top of the running frame and the distinctive boxes are faithfully rendered at each end of the hopper, as is the tensioning rod for the hopper cover.
Talking of which, the canvas cover is moulded in plastic, but features a lifelike texture and appearance, complete with securing cords. The small horizontal slots are also present on both ends and one side of the hopper, for extra authenticity. Presented in triple-packs, there’s plenty of variety across our three sample wagons, in terms of logos, markings and even in the colour of the canvas cover. The paint finish is top-notch and the St Blazey lizard logos, builders’ plates and other small markings are all superb. Sprung buffers, brake discs on alternate wheels, and kinematic NEM coupler pockets are all features in common with the earlier HAA release, making for a great all-round package. Various packs are on offer, with EWS and DB markings. (GD)
The distinctive boxes are faithfully rendered at each end of the hopper