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South Eastern & Chatham Railway
6-Wheeled Birdcage Brake Van No.719


SECR Guards Luggage Van 719

This six-wheeled van, built in 1905, is unusual in that it has both a "birdcage" lookout on the roof and side duckets for the guard. In addition to accommodation for the guard, the rest of the space was used for luggage. On withdrawal from revenue service, it was converted for use as an ARP Cleansing Van, based at Bricklayers Arms Locomotive Depot in London. With no further use for it after the war, in 1947 it was sold to the independent Derwent Valley Light Railway (DVLR) in Yorkshire.

The DVLR was a privately owned standard-gauge railway, opened in sections in 1912 and 1913, which remained independent through the 1923 Grouping and the 1948 railway Nationalisation. It ran between Layerthorpe, near York to Cliffe Common, near Selby. Primarily a freight railway (passenger trains running from 1913 to 1926), it thrived during WW1 and WW2. However, in 1964 BR closed the Selby to Driffield line, severing the DVLR's connection to Selby. Poor traffic from this southern section of the line resulted in the closure of the Wheldrake to Cliffe Common section in 1965. The van was withdrawn from service in 1967 and was sold to the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co. who moved it, with the rest of their stock, to the Bluebell Railway in late 1971 and early 1972.

The van's eventual restoration will require, as its first stage, the complete reconstruction of its wooden/flitch-plated underframe.


Type: Guard / Luggage Van
Built: Metropolitan Amalgamated Carriage & Wagon Co., Birmingham, 1905
Original No: 719
Other Nos: 719A, 616
Length: 32 ft
Weight: 13 Tons
To Service Stock: 1941
Service Stock: 1941
Service Stock No.: 1601S
Withdrawn: SR: 20 July 1946, DVR: 1967
Preserved: 1967
To Bluebell Railway: 09 February 1972

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Last updated by Nick Beck, 06 January 2016.
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