Rapido Trains UK 944033 GWR Banana Van (Diagram Y4) No. 93563, GWR grey (post 1942 livery)

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Rapido Trains UK unveils steam-heated banana vans for OO gauge

The origins of the ‘Y4’ date back to May 1918 when the order was given to turn 300 general purpose Dia. V16 ‘Mink A’ vans into insulated meat vans, given
the new diagram number X6 and re-coded as ‘Mica A’. The conversion was a temporary measure and in 1922, work began to modify 258 of the ‘X6s’, this time into ‘Y4’ banana vans.

Primarily working from Avonmouth docks, block trains of banana vans left for destinations like Paddington, Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and Salisbury,
where portions of the trains would have been divided up meaning that the vans could be
seen over a large proportion of the GW network.

Fitted with steam heating and a new adjustable end ventilator, these would ripen fruit in transit. The Y4s plied their trade into the BR steam era until the Avonmouth terminal closed in 1967.

Our GWR Dia. Y4 vans boast an impressive spec:

• New doors with locks and latches moved
• Steam heating pipes
• End ventilators modelled in ‘closed’ position
• Spoked wheels running in metal bearings
• NEM coupling pockets
• UK designed
• Fine detailed plastic bodies/chassis with metal parts