After buying the Hornby clockwork engine, I acquired two passenger cars and this No. 42200 Brake Van. One of the learning curves faced when venturing into a new realm of collecting is the terminology. Trains and the train system in the UK as a whole has its own vernacular different from ours. Sometimes it's a different name for the something that serves the same function as on our railroads. Other times it's learning a new name for a function that has no real equivalent on American railroads. Such is the case for the 'brake van'. I think I'll let Wikipedia do the explaining - they're better at it:
"A brake van is a wagon at the rear of a goods train where a guard would sit with a handbrake. The job was to provide extra braking force for a train and as an emergency hand brake.
All brake vans served the same purpose: to add extra brake-force to a train. Brake vans are operated by Brakemen who are in charge of making sure that the lights are in the correct place because at night a signalman would need to see the tail-lights to know that the train had not split, so that he can clear the line.
Most vans had both normal brakes and vacuum brakes. They also contained a fire for the comfort of the brakeman." - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_railway_brake_van)
Of course in the States we have the caboose which was essentially the office-on-wheels for the conductor of the train. The caboose wasn't meant to be specifically an extra breaking force although it did have a brake wheel on it. But all cars in an American consist had brake wheels. This toy version apparently represents a passenger car converted for use as a brake van vs. a purpose built car or converted flat car.
I have no clue what I'll post next as so many things - collecting wise - were kinda happening at once. But until then - Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina