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Southern Railway
13 Ton 5-plank open merchandise wagon No. 12058

12058 outside the C&W Works - Richard Salmon - 3 May 2023

Bulleid Diagram 1375 wagon No. 12058 outside the C&W Works
Richard Salmon (3 May 2023, and below, 22 February 2023)
See full details of the restoration here.

12058 outside the C&W Works - Richard Salmon - 22 February 2023

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 (e.g. our 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 (such as our 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.

Match wagon 083215 at Eastleigh Works - Andy Prime - 12 October 1986

This photo shows a similar conversion to a match/adaptor wagon at Eastleigh Works, and was taken there on 12 October 1986 by Andy Prime. This photo is of 083215, rather than our wagon. They had a centre buffer at the other end for shunting individual SR/BR EMU vehicles.

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.

The underframe of 12058 in April 2011 - Martin Skrzetuszewski

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.

Photo Right: The underframe of 12058 in April 2011 - Martin Skrzetuszewski

In view of its good overall condition it was decided to remake and fit the bodywork, restoring the wagon to its original "Bulleid" era condition. The Bulleid Society agreed to part-sponsor the cost of materials for this volunteer project.

The wagon is unusual as one planked with English hardwood (due to non-availability of the normal Scandinavian softwood at the time of construction) and left unpainted, except for the plank bearing the vehicle's identity/details. The planks are only 1.5 inches thick, so the floor is raised on packers. Another unusal feature is that only the top and bottom planks of the body are bolted in place, the three intermediate planks being held with "clips" of so far unknown original design. A simple method of securing the planks without bolts has therefore been implemented.

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. Following its return from hire, restoration was not able to recommence until the completion of the OP4 project.

First planks test fitted to 12058 - Richard Salmon - 16 April 2022

The project then recommenced under the auspices of the Bluebell Railway Goods Division.

The floor planks are of the durable hardwood Iroko, but given the visibility of the side planks, the decision has been made to use Oak for these, and in consequence care has been taken to ensure a barrier between these and all steelwork, and the bolts used are stainless.

The photo here shows the first machined Oak planks being test fitted in mid-April 2022, just over a week after the rough waney-edge boards had arrived.

Go to the news page for the full details of the restoration of this wagon.

Recommended reading:

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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Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! Text © Martin Skrzetuszewski, Richard Salmon and Ted Crawforth.
Research by Ted Crawforth.
Photo © Martin Skrzetuszewski.
Last updated by Nick Beck, 15 September 2014 and Richard Salmon, 4 May 2023
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