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Grampus 20T ballast and sleeper wagon DB988395

Grampus wagon DB 988395

Grampus No. DB988395, April 2003. Richard Salmon

This is an example of a 20 ton drop side Ballast and Sleeper Wagon designed by British Railways and codenamed "Grampus".

Although numbered DB 988395, the precise identity of this wagon is unclear. DB 988395 was one of 219 similar vehicles ordered under lot No. 3245 from BR's Ashford Works in 1959. They were built between November 1959 and January 1960 to diagram 1/574 with vacuum braking. DB 988395 was originally allocated to the Western Region under the control of the Chief Operating Officer, but was latterly allocated to the Southern Region.

The Bluebell Railway's Grampus wagons have been and still are in regular use. Several years ago all were fitted with steel floors and several had some of their side doors replaced.

It was always anticipated that after the extension to East Grinstead had been completed, the reduction in workload for them plus the ability to accept main-line engineering wagons via the rail link, would render some of the Grampus wagons redundant. In early 2014, a film company enquired whether Bluebell would be able to assist by providing a number of 4-wheel underframes on hire. DB988395 was one of those chosen. In May 2014 the body above floor level was carefully removed and put into store. Although it was anticipated that the vehicle would return from hire late in 2014 (after which it would have been offered for sale or used as spares), it was in fact sold for use at Bressingham Museum and was transported directly there from the film company's premises.

For more information about the BR "Grampus" wagons, see this web page on DB991391.

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