This is a representative of one of BR's first efforts to respond to changing methods of handling. Built at BR's Faverdale Works, Darlington to diagram 1/211 this van is one of 36 built under Lot 2538 in 1954. With a steel floor and offset side doors this van was designed to carry palletised loads and to be loaded by fork lift truck from both sides. Unfortunately this often led to vans running with loads at one end only, resulting in rough riding and, subsequently, derailment.
B761349 in Turner's Sidings at Sheffield Park, July 2006 Martin Skrzetuszewski
After a short life in traffic many were put into Internal Use and a large number, including this one, were sold to the Port of London Authority for use within the old London Docks network. When the PLA began disposal, Bluebell purchased three in 1971 for storage. B761349 has been used by the Bluebell's Loco Department. However the ply construction is prone to rot and one of the three was scrapped some years ago.
Following a review of the wagon fleet, it was decided that we should aim to preserve just one of these vans for the long term, as an example of an interesting but ultimately unsuccessful design, and so in early 2010 this particular vehicle was moved to Horsted Keynes, where it was dismantled to provide spares
for vehicles under or awaiting restoration. The vehicle which is being retained for the longer term is B772972.
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