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Great Western Railway
5-plank open wagon No. 87782

This vehicle is undergoing restoration to original condition through the support of donations to the Bluebell Railway Trust.

GWR87040

We are very fortunate to have (with the kind permission of the Historical Model Railway Society) a copy of the builder's photograph of a wagon from the same lot as 87782.
Photo from the 'Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Collection' of the HMRS ref. no. ACJ208.

This 10-ton capacity 5-plank vehicle was built for the Great Western Railway by the Gloucester Carriage and Wagon Company. It was one of a thousand (Nos. 87001-88000) in Lot 697, which was ordered on 20 October 1911 and completed on 28 December 1912. 87782, which was completed during week ending 23 November 1912, is thus a pre-Grouping vehicle. The average cost per wagon was £112.

10,815 of these vehicles were built by or for the GWR to their diagram O11, and they were known by the telegraphic code "OPEN A".

No.87782 is fitted with a handbrake only, this being of the Dean/Churchward ratchet type (as the name suggests this was designed by GWR mechanical engineers; it was widely used by the GWR but rarely by other railways). It thus had a relatively low original tare (empty) weight of 5 tons 18 cwt 0 qtr, although it was marked 5 tons 17 cwt on arrival at the Bluebell Railway.

The wagon was originally fitted with a sheet support rail. At the Grouping in 1923 most goods were carried in open wagons, those containing goods that required some protection being covered with a tarpaulin sheet. To prevent water accumulating in hollows and leaking onto the goods, many wagons were fitted with a sheet support which allowed water to run off.

During the Great War (1914-1918) a number of locomotives and wagons were taken over by the military for use overseas. 87782 was requisitioned on 21 February 1917 and was returned to the GWR on 11 April 1920. Our wagon is thus a veteran of the Great War!

Notes on 87782 from the GWR Wagon Register (now in the NRM, York):
Type: Open goods
Body: Wood
Length: 15' 6"
Width: 7' 7"
Height: 3' 3"
Frame: Iron
Length of spring: 3' 4 1/4"

Axles -
Length between centres of journals: 6' 6"
Size of journals 8" x 3 3/4"
Diameter through boss of wheels: 5 1/4"
Diameter in middle: 4 3/4"

Wheels -
No: Four
Diameter: 3' 1 1/2"
Base: 9' 0"

Buffers: Self-contained
Drawgear: Special through
Brake: RH either side

Stabled Corr(espondence reference) 89492. Repaired and returned to traffic Corr No. 96435 11/5/32

Haywoods Slack Adjuster Sw(indon) 7.1.39

W87782 was condemned on the London Midland Region on 21 February 1959 and sold by BR to the Port of Bristol Authority on 26 December 1959. It was renumbered PBA 59627 and continued in service within the docks until the late 1970s, after which it was purchased for the Bluebell Railway by Neil Cameron, arriving with other vehicles from Bristol Docks in June 1981.

GWR87782

GW 87782 prior to restoration in April 2003. Richard Salmon

The wagons at Bristol were regularly damaged and repaired. This one has been fitted with replacement headstocks and substitute door pillars on one side. The original GWR self-contained buffers were replaced with Dowty pneumatic buffers. The solebars and underframe on this wagon are in particularly good condition, considering that it is over 100 years old!

With almost 11,000 of these wagons in service they would have travelled widely, and would have been regular visitors to the Southern Railway area over a 40-year period. Thus one would certainly not be out of place in one of Bluebell's goods trains.

The restoration project is being funded through donations to the Bluebell Railway Trust. Details of how you can help with the funding of the restoration are included on this web page, which contains full details and photos of progress with the wagon's restoration, which commenced in September 2009.

Recommended reading:
GWR Goods Wagons by A.G. Atkins, W. Beard & R. Tourret (Oxford Publishing Co. 2013) ISBN-10: 0860936570. ISBN-13: 978-0860936572.
This may be available from the Bluebell Shop at Sheffield Park.

Used, older editions of this book may be available in the Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes.

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Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! Text © Martin Skrzetuszewski.
Photos © HMRS and Richard Salmon.
Research at NRM by Blair Robinson.
Last updated by Nick Beck, 11 February 2014.
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