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South Eastern & Chatham Railway
12 Ton 7-plank Open Goods Wagon No. 16194


SECR 16194 - Richard Salmon - 6 April 2003

SECR 12 Ton 7-plank Open Goods Wagon No. 16194, Richard Salmon, 6 April 2003

This is an example of a Southern Eastern and Chatham Railway diagram s2139/2 7-plank Open Goods Wagon. A prototype was built in 1915 and tested in service. 2120 more of these were built between 1919 and 1927. They had a 12 Ton capacity, a wheelbase of nine feet six inches and were fitted with self-contained buffers. One batch was built by Cravens in 1921, but most were built at Ashford Works by the SECR or the SR (from 1923 and to SR diagram 1355).

The carrying capacity of 12 Ton open wagons was increased to 13 Tons during the Second World War. This wagon continued in service with British Railways until 1958/9, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of Bristol Authority in 1959, being renumbered PBA 59252. It was purchased from Bristol for the Bluebell Railway by Ken Bayliss and other BRPS members, arriving in June 1981.

The PBA kept no record of the original numbers of their wagons. We know that this is a SECR-built wagon as the solebars have hole spacings for a SECR numberplate. An appropriate SECR number (16194) was therefore chosen. 16194 was completed in April 1922, being one of a lot of 240 built at Ashford Works, Kent, that year. SECR 16194 was re-numbered 16281 by the Southern Railway. Its numberplate would have been removed and reversed, the new SR number being painted on the reversed rear surface. SR 16281 continued in service with British Railways until December 1959.

16194 on Goods Train Day 2005, Nick Beck

16194 posed at Horsted Keynes on Goods Train Day, 9 April 2005, Nick Beck

16194 was overhauled and restored during 2003. Replacement ironwork for the "cupboard" and drop doors was manufactured from SR van door hinges and BR pipe/tube wagon door hinges. Repairs to the underframe, brakegear and running gear were undertaken. Much of the woodwork was recovered from its twin SECR 16358, whose underframe sustained severe damage while being shunted in 2002. After it entered traffic, a problem with one of its axle bearings was discovered and it was red-carded, awaiting attention. The wagon was lifted and the minor defect repaired in late 2005. 16194 re-entered service prior to Branch Line Weekend in February 2006.

After a decade in service, some of the timbers transferred from 16358 were decaying, and the complete floor and some side planks replaced; the wagon was repainted, and the later floor-plank retaining strip removed (the floor being bolted down, as originally built)), but the "12 Tons" lettering on both sides was on planks which had been replaced, and this was not re-done at that time.

16194 after its repaint - Richard Salmon - 25 August 2021
Having been put in the C&W Works for the "60 plus 1" Anniversary gala weekend in August 2021 as part of a display of goods stock, it was decided to quickly repaint it again, and this was completed in just a week. The lettering could not be done in time, but was completed after the wagon left the workshop. A wagon sheet has also be purchased and will be fitted. The one remaining job to do, hopefully when the wagon is next re-planked, will be to replace the ex-PBA bump-strips on the doors with SECR pattern ones, which are shorter and have square ends.

Right: 16194 after its repaint, 25 August 2021, Richard Salmon

In 2021, Rapido Trains announced they are producing new OO-gauge models of SECR 5-plank and 7-plank open wagons including one representing this actual wagon. They are available from our Goods Division online shop.


Matt re-lettering 16194 after its repaint - August 2021
Type: 7-plank Open Goods Wagon, SECR Diagram s2139/2 (SR diagram 1355)
Built: (1922, SECR Ashford Works)
Original No: Unknown - (SECR 16194 allocated in preservation)
Other Nos: (SR: 16281) and PBA 59252
Length: 17'
Wheelbase: 9' 6"
Brakes: Hand
Tare Weight: 6 Tons 6 cwt 1 qr
Load: 12 Tons (later 13 Tons))
Withdrawn: Sold to Port of Bristol Authority 1959
Preserved: 1981
To Bluebell: June 1981

Right: Matt Lander re-lettering 16194 after its repaint - August 2021

Recommended reading:
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons - Volume Three, by Messrs. Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley and King; published by The Oxford Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 086093 4934.
This book may be available second hand from the Bluebell Railway's Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes.

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Original text © Martin Skrzetuszewski, with thanks to additional research by Ted Crawforth.
Page originally created by Nick Beck, and last updated by Richard Salmon, 3 February 2022
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