No.16358, seen 15 years after its first restoration at the Bluebell, Richard Salmon
This is an example of a Southern Eastern and Chatham Railway diagram s2139/2 7-plank Open Goods Wagon. A prototype was built in 1915 and tested in service. 2120 more of these were built between 1919 and 1927. They had a 12 Ton capacity, a wheelbase of nine feet six inches and were fitted with self-contained buffers. One batch was built by Cravens in 1921, but most were built at Ashford Works by the SECR or the SR (from 1923 and to SR diagram 1355).
The carrying capacity of 12 Ton open wagons was increased to 13 Tons during the Second World War. This wagon continued in service with British Railways until 1958, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of Bristol Authority, being renumbered PBA 58162. The wagon was one of three purchased from Bristol by the Bluebell Railway in 1980.
The PBA kept no record of the original numbers of their wagons. We know that this is a SECR-built wagon as the solebars have hole spacings for a SECR numberplate. An appropriate SECR number (16358) was therefore chosen. 16358 was completed in August 1922, being one of a lot of 240 built at Ashford Works (Kent) that year. SECR 16358 was re-numbered 16443 by the Southern Railway. Its numberplate would have been removed and reversed, the new SR number being painted on the reversed rear surface. SR 16443 continued in service with British Railways until August 1958
No.16358 was initially restored in about 1985, work which included the reinstatement of the "cupboard" doors (which had been removed while at Bristol). It sustained severe damage to its underframe while being shunted in 2002. This placed the future of the vehicle in question. However, with funding from the Bluebell Railway Trust, the underframe is at present being completely rebuilt by a volunteer team.
Recommended reading: An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons - Volume Three, by Messrs. Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley and King; published by The Oxford Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 086093 4934.
This book may be available from the Bluebell Railway's shop.
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