Above: On completion of its original overhaul in September 2002.
Right: On completion of its intermediate overhaul in February 2023. Both photos: Richard Salmon
One of 60 such wagons built in 1928 by the Southern Railway for engineers' use. The later (smaller, hand-brake-only) version of 15 Ton capacity was known as a "Tunny", and as a result this name has also been, incorrectly, applied to these earlier 20T versions.
20 of the wagons were initially allocated to each of Meldon Quarry, Redbridge Works and Angerstein Wharf, with this particular wagon being allocated to the latter.
These wagons were built principally for the Meldon Quarry ballast traffic. The Southern had their own quarry on Dartmoor. Trains of these vacuum-braked wagons would leave Meldon each week for engineering work around the railway, the traffic continuing to the present day, and these wagons had a very long life.
Some of the wagons were intended, also, for use in rapidly conveying replacement parts for damaged point-work from the Southern's engineering workshops to the site of any minor mishap (such as the running through of points, resulting in maybe a broken switch blade). The possibility of attaching these vacuum braked wagons to the back of a passenger train heading in the right direction would thus save a special train movement.
As seen in the photo at the top of the page, the wagon was thoroughly overhauled by Alan Blackburn and Gerry Bixley, and outshopped in mid 2002. Considerable care and research was undertaken to ensure the shade of "SR Orange Oxide" was as close as possible to paint samples obtained by Alan many years ago. The modern NCS colour reference is: 2080-Y70R. The same paint code was used for both overhauls, so differences between the two photos above are presumably due to different cameras and different lighting conditions!
In December 2020 the 'Goods Division' started an intermediate overhaul, reported here, which has seen the side planks replaced with pressure-treated softwood, and Iroko hardwood used for the floor planks, which hopefully will last a lot longer than the original softwood.
Reproductions of the original "To be returned to Angerstein Wharf" enamel plates have been made as part of the work (as seen in the photo here). The wagon was outshopped after what turned out to be a very thorough overhaul, with all components and the underframe stripped back and repainted, on 13 February 2023, as seen in the photo near the top of the page.