SECR 12 Ton 2-plank Ballast Wagon 567, now fully lettered stands, in the Down Yard at Horsted Keynes in May 2012 Dave Clarke
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, nine feet six inch 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by the Southern Railway after the Grouping, it continued in service with British Railways until 1958/59, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of Bristol Authority, being renumbered PBA 59305.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 1981.
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.
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 4934.
This book may be available from the Bluebell Railway shop.
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