A prototype of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway diagram
s2139/4 2-plank dropside ballast wagon was built in 1919, with a
further 119 between 1919 and 1923. This design utilised a
standard SECR 12 ton capacity, 9' 6" wheelbase, steel
underframe with self-contained buffers, and was later allocated SR
diagram No. 1744.
The basis of the vehicle was a former SECR diagram s2139/2
7-plank open goods wagon like 5542 and
16194. Built by the Southern Railway
after the grouping, it continued in service with British Railways
until 1958/59, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of
Bristol Authority, being renumbered PBA 59305. It was purchased
from Bristol by Aldo Delicata, arriving at Bluebell in June
Right The completed wagon stands outside the C&W Works on 30 May 2012 (Richard Salmon)
Of the four wagons of this type acquired from Bristol, PBA 59305 was in by far the worst condition and required replacement
of its solebars. The late Pete Reid suggested that rather than
rebuild a fourth 7-plank, an SECR 2-plank ballast wagon could be
recreated. The project was approved by the BRPS. Mr Delicata
kindly donated the wagon to the Bluebell Railway for the 567
project and the Bluebell Railway Trust agreed to give a grant to
cover the cost of materials. The grant was boosted by a legacy
from Pete Reid, following his untimely death in April 2006.
The underframe was completely rebuilt with new steel main
members. Some smaller frame members, brackets and fittings were
recovered from the original, together with the running and
brake-gear. The body is new, with the steel fittings being
re-created or adapted from similar items in stock.
Left SECR 12 Ton 2-plank Ballast Wagon 567 stands in the Down Yard at Horsted Keynes in May 2012 (Dave Clarke)
The story of the re-creation of 567 may be seen here.
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons - Volume Three, by
Messrs. Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley and King;
Published by The Oxford Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 086093
This book may be available from the Bluebell Railway