SECR 12 Ton 7-plank Open Goods Wagon 16194, 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 This wagon continued in service with British Railways until 1958/9, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of Bristol Authority, being renumbered PBA 59252. It was purchased from Bristol for the Bluebell Railway by Ken Bayliss and other BRPS members, arriving in June 1981.
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 (16194) was therefore chosen. 16194 was completed in April 1922, being one of a lot of 240 built at Ashford Works, Kent, that year. SECR 16194 was re-numbered 16281 by the Southern Railway. Its numberplate would have been removed and reversed, the new SR number being painted on the reversed rear surface. SR 16281 continued in service with British Railways until December 1959.
16194 posed at Horsted Keynes on Goods Train Day, 9 April 2005, Nick Beck
16194 was overhauled and restored during 2003. Replacement ironwork for the "cupboard" and drop doors was manufactured from SR van door hinges and BR pipe/tube wagon door hinges. Repairs to the underframe, brakegear and running gear were undertaken. Much of the woodwork was recovered from its twin SECR 16358, whose underframe sustained severe damage while being shunted in 2002. After it entered traffic, a problem with one of its axle bearings was discovered and it was red-carded, awaiting attention. The wagon was lifted and the minor defect repaired in late 2005. 16194 re-entered service prior to Branch Line Weekend in February 2006.
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 is often available from the Bluebell Railway's shop at Sheffield Park.