PBA / JIA Clay Tiger Wagon
We have produced the PBA / JIA TIGER China Clay wagon in OO Gauge with the tooling and design work entirely owned by Kernow Model Rail Centre.
Introduced in the early 1980s, the strikingly-liveried hoppers were a distinctive part of the Speedlink scene throughout the decade, later seeing use on export workings through the Channel Tunnel.
Historically the long-distance china clay traffic from the West Country to the Potteries was transported in vacuum-braked five-plank open wagons. These had been modified with roller bearings during the 1970s to improve reliability but they could only carry 13 tons and needed to be sheeted to protect the highly sensitive load from the elements. Consequently when BR decided to phase out these vehicles in the early 1980s, English China Clays (ECC) and wagon leasing company Tiger Rail developed a new purpose-built air-braked covered hopper design as a replacement.
Known as ‘Clay Tigers’, the 35 new wagons were built by Fauvet Girel in France in 1982 and could carry 57.5 tonnes. Their tare of 22.5 tonnes resulted in a gross laden weight of just 80 tonnes, enabling them to run on almost all of the lightly laid branch lines in Cornwall and Devon. Numbered TRL11600-34 and coded PBA on TOPS, they measured 17,200mm over headstocks and ran on Y25CS2 bogies centred at 13,400mm, allowing them to negotiate a 71 metre curve. The wagons had a large roof aperture, this being covered by a one-piece bi-directional waterproof roof that was operated by a control wheel from one end of the vehicle. Loading at the clay drying plants was by front loading shovels. The steep-sided hoppers discharged through four bottom-doors that were hinged parallel to the track and the hoppers were fitted with a dead-fall system with snap-over arch-breaker arms similar to those found on merry-go-round coal hoppers. This enabled smooth unloading not only of lump clay but also the stickier ball clay produced at ECC’s works in Devon and Dorset.
The ‘Clay Tigers’ entered service in August 1982, taking over the ‘Clayliner’ working from Cornwall and running as a 10 or 11-wagon block train to a new rail-served terminal that ECC had opened at Cliffe Vale, situated half a mile to the north of Stoke-on-Trent station. It soon became evident there was some slack within the fleet so by the spring of 1983, the ‘Clay Tigers’ had also begun to appear in Speedlink services running between Cornwall and Scotland. Their primary Scottish destination was the PD Stirling distribution depot at Mossend but by the late 1980s, they were also used to supply the Tullis Russell paper mill at Markinch, Fife.
In the early 1990s the ‘Clay Tiger’ fleet were modified for working to the continent and re-coded JIA. This including fitting train-ferry tie-down points along the solebars, strengthening of the solebars and a reduction in pipework associated with the braking equipment, these variations all being catered for in the model tooling. The fleet were repainted into the blue livery at the same time as these modifications were made. This allowed them to work through to the continent, serving ECC customers in Switzerland and Italy via the Dover-Dunkerque train ferry and then the Channel Tunnel.
China clay loading points for these wagons in the West Country included the ECC dries at Burngullow, Goonbarrow Junction, Kernick, Marsh Mills, Parkandillack, Pontsmill and Treviscoe. In addition, one wagon occasionally carried china clay from the Goonvean & Rostowrack Clay Company sidings at both Bugle and Drinnick Mill, while ball clay was conveyed from the ECC works at Furzebrook in Dorset and Heathfield in Devon.
Although their workings to Scotland ceased with the demise of the Speedlink wagonload network in July 1991, the ‘Clay Tigers’ continued to supply Cliffe Vale. This service was reclassified as part of Railfreight Distribution’s Contract Service network. Tiger Rail’s bankruptcy in 1992 had little effect other than to see ownership of most of the fleet pass to Tiphook Rail.
The ‘Clay Tigers’ continued to serve Cliffe Vale but were eventually withdrawn in 2004 when this working was fully taken over by the new fleet of Imerys-branded JIA NACCO 90 tonne GLW covered hoppers. In later years they were used for short-notice flows, with just four remaining at Burngullow in 2010. These were cut-up shortly after our site visit and none have been preserved.
"Kernow unleashes a white Tiger .... All in all, a top drawer re-creation of a highly individual wagon type and one that should sell extremely well" - Rail Express
We have produced weathered and pristine models as exclusive models as shown below. New versions are now also being supplied under the EFE Rail brand.
Click the items below to order.
SB002I JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002J JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002K JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002L JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002M JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002N JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002O JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). £44.99 IN STOCK
SB002P JIA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). £44.99 IN STOCK
In August 2020 and August 2021 we announced a further batches of white Clay Tigers. These are licensed to Bachmann via the EFE Rail brand and are available direct from us and also from all Bachmann stockists.
Click on the images below to be taken to the order page for the latest prices and availability.
E87010 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11601 (Pristine) £42.95 IN STOCK
E87011 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11603 (Pristine) £42.95 IN STOCK
E87012 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11606 (Pristine) £42.95 IN STOCK
E87013 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11610 (Pristine) £42.95 IN STOCK
E87014 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11627 (Weathered) £46.95 IN STOCK
E87015 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11612 (Weathered) £46.95 IN STOCK
E87016 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11616 (Weathered) £46.95 IN STOCK
E87017 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11620 (Weathered) £46.95 IN STOCK
E87029 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11630 (Pristine) £42.95
E87030 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11625 (Pristine) £42.95
E87031 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11624 (Weathered) £46.95
E87032 EFE Rail PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon number TRL 11623 (Weathered) £46.95
HISTORIC INFORMATION - PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND SOLD OUT MODELS
The CADs were signed-off in August 2016 and tooling completed soon after, the first engineering samples arrived in late November 2016 and the first painted sample arrived in January 2017. The production samples were received in April 2017. Some images are shown below:.
The first images show the model in as-built condition (1982 to mid 1990s - PBA)
The next set of images show the modified wagon applicable from the 1990s (JIA).
The first batch featuring the white pristine versions arrived on 28th June 2017 (and sold out by September 2017), the second batch featuring the blue pristine version arrived on 16th August 2017.
The weathered versions arrived the day before we left for Warley exhibition, Thursday 23rd November 2017, this being a complete surprise for us as we had not been told they had even left the factory! The white weathered models sold out in April 2019.
SB002A PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). SOLD OUT
SB002B PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). SOLD OUT
SB002C PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). SOLD OUT
SB002D PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Pristine). SOLD OUT
SB002E PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). SOLD OUT
SB002F PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). SOLD OUT
SB002G PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). SOLD OUT
SB002H PBA TIGER China Clay Wagon (Weathered). SOLD OUT
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