Saturday 16 December 2023

Look, The Tea Wagon Is Coming!


But Not This Sort?

The above appears as a Tea CART on the sainted Wikipedia, sometimes called a tea WAGON in the U S of A. It is not to be confused with a tea TROLLEY ...
... or even a tea TROLLEY!
And this might well be referred to as a tea WAGON!

 P owerfully
 P ulling
 P etroleum
P roducts

Those of us who are "mature" will remember the iconic mixed goods train of the distant past.
Before fbb's time, and experienced only in photographs, are tank wagons of a very primitive nature. Basically they were a large tin can strapped to a standard wagon underframe.
The only way in or out was through the lid on the top - no other taps, valves or outlets were permitted to avoid leakage, conflagration or explosion!

But look at today's equivalent!
The wagons are classed as TEA under the British Railways wagon coding scheme. fbb doesn't think it is an acronym, just a set of letters in na series. But it might mean:- 


Here is a brief description.

Large Bogie Tank wagons are petroleum tankers introduced to the British freight network since the late 1960s. When fully loaded, the TEA tanks can carry up to 101.6 tonnes each, which means in an average train of 30 tanks in a consist, the total load can weigh over 3,000 tonnes. UK Freight Operating Company DB Schenker  launched 36 TEA Bogie Tank wagons in one train set, which adds an additional 447 tonnes of fuel per train movement. With such weight and length behind a train the driver must be skilled and patient in order to make a successful delivery.

Skilled and Patient? Too right, buster!

fbb's world-famous tank wagon collection includes a number of long bogie heavy haul wagons ...
... some of them classified TEA. But one escaped his determined acquisition effort. Like so many models today, notably those by specialist manufacturer's (specialist buyers-in from Chinese manufacturers!) those from Revolution Trains were all sold out by the time fbb broke open his piggy bank.

Earlier this year the company bounced a second batch of the original "exclusive" model, now not so exclusive. So, to avoid disappointment, fbb pre-ordered. It was waiting for the old bloke when he returned, last Monday, from the Isle of Wight.

It's a superb model at the usually painful price!

The box is made of strong card and and is simple to open. Just pull off the lid.
Inside, the model is in a protective plastic case within which is a wrap of flexible plastic sheet to protect the model from the protective case.
The wagon is a smidgen over 10 inches long (25.5 cm in the new money).
The detail is exquisite ...
... with numerous tiny tiny printed notices all of which are visible (but only by using a phone camera for fbb!).
Underframe "stuff" is sparse as on the real thing ...
... but next to the brake equipment is the tell-tale label ...
... dashed clever, these Chinese Chappies.

The livery is dark green with yellow lettering for Freightliner ...
... but the wagons were taken over by VTG and had a VTG label (quite a big label) pasted on as below in reality.
Revolution has a version with VTG in place.

The box contains two useful extras; a bag of bits; but fbb has no idea where to stick them ...
... and an exploded diagram which might explain where - if fbb could understand it.
As in a previous blog, readers are invited to count up how many bits make up this model - although some of the detail may not apply to fbb's particular model.

So, instead of moaning at the price, perhaps fbb should wonder why it is so cheap. And it has come all the way from China!

The important point of CHRISTmas is NOT the nativity, wonderful and joyous as that was. The important point is that the Outstanding Offer of the angel was made throughout Jesus' short three year ministry - and is still available today.

Nowadays it is fashionable to seek "explanations" for the miraculous in the Bible and to decry the idea of an intervening God from outside of earthly space and time.

Silly thinking; see previous blogs.

The miracles of Jesus are NEVER there for show; they always fulfill a deeper purpose in God's plan. And every miracle in the Gospels also demand FAITH on the part of the one who is healed or FAITH on the part those who brought the invalid to Jesus.

Like "Goodwill to all Mankind", the miracle is only done to those that "please God". Not everyone in Judaea was healed by Jesus.

Simon's Mother-in-Law was cured of a fever so that she could support the family whose wage earner was off for three years a-discipling.
The madman who lived naked in the caves of Gerasa was healed to illustrate the Power of God via Jesus and its availability to all who have FAITH, however grim their situation.
When Jesus forgave Mary of Magdala, a prostitute, it was her FAITH and commitment that led to His rebirth of her life and her on-going service of The Master.
The gift of forgiveness leads to a new life in a relationship with Jesus/God.

Christians today often talk about being "born again" (a phrase from the story of Nicodemus in John's Gospel Chapter 3). The Outstanding Offer is of ...

 P urpose
 P urity and
 P ower

... that is Power to overcome sin and live a life of contentment within The Peace of God.

In a broken world, it really does make sense.

And how much did your tank wagon cost, fbb?
The old man cannot remember in detail; it was ordered MONTHS ago.

Revolution's current price is £49 but fbb thinks he paid £45. It is fbb's Christmas present to himself. And, well deserved, say all of us!

Thought? Shouldn't this blog have been for the letter "T" for TEA?

 Next Q ABC blog : Sunday 17th December 


  1. I may be wrong, but T may stand for Tanker, E is the 5th design in sequence, A means air-braked, and p suggests that it's derived from a Powell-Dyffyrn design (not too sure about that last bit).

  2. Incidentally Bachmann are about to release their version ... such competition in a limited market is daft but all too common!