The underframe of 12058 in April 2011 - Martin Skrzetuszewski
This wagon is an open merchandise wagon and would have been used to carry almost anything that fitted within its size and load capacity (13 Tons). A tarpaulin may have been draped over the wagon and load to keep rainwater off the contents and if so, would have been tied down onto the various cleats that were fitted on the sides and ends.
Following the Grouping of 1923 the Southern Railway completed outstanding pre-1923 orders for new open wagons, then ordered some additional vehicles to pre-grouping designs. The period around 1930 saw batches of 'standard' designs built, fitted with secondhand ex-LSWR (9604 and 10013) or ex-SECR running gear and a reduced carrying capacity of 10 vice 12 tons. The favoured open wagon design during the Maunsell era was the 8-plank (30004 and 37786).
When Oliver Bulleid took over as Chief Mechanical Engineer, WW2 was on the horizon. Over 6,000 examples of a standard 13 ton capacity, 10 ft wheelbase, 5-plank design to diagram 1375 were produced from 1939 through Nationalisation to 1950, adopting various material-saving, cost-saving and reliability variations as necessary.
In addition to those built for the SR, 400 wagons to this design were built at Ashford for the LNER. 600 were completed for the War Department with another 1000 being supplied as kits for assembly abroad. 465 are recorded as being built for the LMSR under their lot number 1371 but there is some confusion over this, as the LMS records seem to show this lot having been built at Derby and/or Wolverton; and then to the LMS diagram 2094. However, 158 of the wagons built for the WD were transferred to the London Midland Region after Nationalisation.
In early 2005 this underframe of a post-1945 SR diagram 1375 wagon, fitted with handbrake only, was acquired by the Bluebell from Eastleigh Works in Hampshire. It had been modified as an adaptor wagon for moving individual SUB/EPB type electric multiple unit vehicles around the works. The body ironwork had been removed, and redundant wagon wheels welded to the frame to act as ballast, but the underframe remained in particularly good condition.
This wagon underframe was one of three similar diagram 1375 types modified as EMU adaptor wagons at Eastleigh. It is believed to be SR No. 12058, built in January 1946 at Ashford Works to order A3127, which was transferred to departmental use in October 1972 and withdrawn (presumably for internal use within Eastleigh Works) in March 1975.
In view of its good overall condition it has been decided to remake and fit the bodywork, restoring the wagon to its original "Bulleid" era condition. The Bulleid Society has agreed to part-sponsor the cost of materials for this volunteer project.
In early 2014, a film company enquired whether the Bluebell Railway would be able to assist by providing a number of 4-wheel underframes on hire and 12058 was one of those chosen. It is anticipated that the vehicle will return from hire late in 2014, with a view to restoration re-commencing in 2015.
Go to the news page for the latest details of the restoration of this wagon.
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons - Volume Four, by Messrs. Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley and King. Published by The Oxford Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 086093 5647.
This describes all the standard goods vehicle designs of the Southern Railway, including those built for the WD and other railway companies. 160 pages hardback, with copious photographs and diagrams.
Also, Southern Wagons Pictorial, compiled by Mike King. Published by OPC/Ian Allan Publishing, 2008. ISBN 9780860935971.
An excellent follow-up to the above, together with the other three books in the series.
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