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British Railways
Grampus 20T ballast and sleeper wagon DB984506

Grampus wagon DB 984506

An anonymous DB984506 in Horsted Keynes C&W yard in November 2011. Martin Skrzetuszewski

This is an example of a 20 ton drop side Ballast and Sleeper Wagon to diagram 1/572 designed by British Railways and codenamed "Grampus". Over 4,000 of these wagons were built to diagram 1/572 by six different builders. DB 984506 was one of 152 similar vehicles ordered under lot No. 3049 from the Butterley Engineering Company Ltd. in 1955. It was completed in 1956 with handbrake only, i.e. no vacuum brake or through pipe.

DB 984506 was originally allocated to the to the Western Region under the control of the Chief Operating Officer. It was purchased from Reading Wagon Repair Depot, still allocated to the Western Region, in 1987.

Note the underslung racks (to securely carry the removable end planks when not required) at each end of this wagon, which has now been fitted with a steel floor and a vacuum through pipe. After running with a loose axle box bottom, which was not noticed, the original plain bearing wheel sets were replaced by some with roller bearings from a "Dace" wagon underframe that had recently been broken up at Horsted Keynes.

It was always anticipated that after the extension to East Grinstead had been completed, the reduction in workload for them plus the ability to accept main-line engineering wagons via the rail link, would render some of the Grampus wagons redundant. In early 2014, a film company enquired whether Bluebell would be able to assist by providing a number of 4-wheel underframes on hire. DB984506 was one of those chosen. In May 2014 the body above floor level was carefully removed and put into store. It is anticipated that the vehicle will return from hire late in 2014 after which it will be offered for sale and/or dismantled for spares to keep the rest of the fleet running.

For more information about "Grampus" wagons see this web page on DB 991391.

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