The early days of railways saw many smaller companies building many small, non-standard coaches for passenger use. Coaches of this era produced a varied mix, but all adopted the same basic design developed from stagecoaches: a wooden body, bolted to a wooden or steel frame. With the development of the railways, many of these older coach designs became outdated and as speeds increased the four and six wheel coaches became incredibly uncomfortable.
Before the road network and suitable motor vehicles developed, the railways were the main carriers of racing pigeons. Special vans were loaded with baskets of pigeons and taken to a remote station or siding, where a railway employee would release the birds at the specified time. The design is really that of a full brake, but fitted with racks for the pigeon baskets. Pigeon Vans regularly worked as main line brake coaches when not required for their specialised purpose.
Our ‘newest’ vehicle in the Vintage set, it is often found in use with the Quad-Art set. It was used in departmental service and arrived on the NNR in 1969.