Steam Era Models R30P HO Short Steel U Van Kit without trapdoor

Product Code: SEM-R30P
Barcode: 176495

Stock levels are subject to continuous change and may vary from store to store. Store transfers and holds available on request by emailing

Most rolling stock constructed by or for the Victorian Railways during the 19th century involved significant amounts of wood. Whilst the use of wood allowed savings in initial cost, this was offset by higher maintenance costs in the longer term. Accordingly U 278, the first example of a 10'6” wheelbase louvre van with steel body and underframe, was constructed at Newport Workshops in 1897. Despite the higher build cost of this form of construction, as compared to the earlier series of vans with wooden bodies, it was considered that the projected longer life and reduced maintenance costs justified the construction of further vans to this design. Consequently, a batch of 180 vans, numbered U 281 to U 460, was constructed to the same design between 1898 and 1900. These vans had the handbrake on the opposite side of the van to the brake cylinder and the brake weigh shaft mounted in a plummer block directly below the bottom flange of the side sill. A second batch of 100 vans, numbered U 461 to U 560, was constructed at Newport Workshops in 1906. This second batch of vans had the handbrake installed on the same side of the van as the brake cylinder and the brake weigh shaft was mounted in shallow vee brackets 8 ¼” below the bottom of the side sills. Some vans were constructed with a trap door in the top Louvre at one end and further vans, but not all, were retrofitted with this door.

This kit is representative of a van as running between about 1955, when buffers were removed, and 1978 when the last examples were withdrawn. A number were reclassified as HD, operating in departmental service as tool vans


  • Available in a range of Victorian Railways prototypes of wagons and carriages, in HO scale only.

  • R series kits are injection moulded from polystyrene and RE series kits are etched brass with lost wax brass castings. All kits include instructions, decals and wheels/bogies as appropriate.

  • Kits do NOT include paints, couplers and in many cases etched detail parts, which are all available separately.

  • Wheels to NMRA RP25 code 99 profile and HO gauge, from the standard SEM range of wheelsets, are included.

  • Bogie vehicles are supplied with appropriate bogies and wheels from the standard SEM range.