This wagon may be described as a "rebuild of a rebuild". It is an example of a Southern Railway diagram 1380 5-plank Open Goods Wagon. 900 of these were built in 1930/31 at the Southern Railway's workshops at Ashford, Kent. They were fitted with the "Freighter" type of handbrake only, had a nine foot wheelbase and a tare weight of 6 Tons 0 cwt.
These wagons were initially classed as "rebuilds" because, despite the body and underframe being new, the wheelsets, axleboxes and springs were recovered from ex-LSWR vehicles. The frames were non-standard to accommodate the wider axle journal centres of the LSWR wheelsets. The smaller axle journal diameter of the old wheelsets also required the carrying capacity to be restricted to 10 tons - see 10013
The "rebuilds" were the standard 5-plank open wagon of the Maunsell era. The SR later adapted some of these diag. 1380 wagons, including this one, to take RCH-standard wheelsets, axleboxes and springs. This was achieved by removing and packing out the axleguards (W-irons) with one inch thick steel plate.
This wagon continued in service with BR until 1959, when it was withdrawn and sold to the Port of Bristol Authority, being renumbered PBA 59425. This wagon was one of three purchased from Bristol in November 1975 by the Bluebell Railway.
The PBA kept no record of the original numbers of their wagons. An appropriate number was therefore chosen. 9608 was one of a lot of 550 built in the Southern Railway's workshops at Ashford, Kent in 1931 under order A576. It was withdrawn by BR in June 1958.
9608 as S.C.Ruffy Wagon 9604, November 2005 - Martin Skrzetuszewski
The restoration of a vintage wagon can cost £1500. In order to help raise funding, this wagon has fulfilled the role of one of the "S.C.RUFFY" wagons for "Thomas the Tank Engine" events over recent years. It carried the number 9604
until June 2006.
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.
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.