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British Railways
12 Ton Pipefit B741381, Dropside Open Wagon

Pipefit being shunted - Andy Prime - 12 April 2007

No.741381, as restored to 1950s' condition, 12 April 2007. Andy Prime

This is an example of a BR diagram 1/462 12 Ton capacity "Pipe VB" or "Pipefit" wagon, designed to carry steel pipes from the steel mill to a customer or to the docks for export. It has fixed ends but both doors on each side drop through 180 degrees and the centre stanchions can be removed.

The genealogy of this particular design is principally from the LMSR; the first lot (to diagram 1/460 with handbrake-only) being built in 1949 in the former LMSR Derby* workshops. The LNER had a similar design of wagon, which was fitted with vacuum braking and known as a "Longfit". Two lots to BR diagram 1/461, having LNER style brakegear and vacuum braking, were built in 1949 at the former LNER Faverdale* (Darlington, County Durham) workshops. Diagram1/462 vehicles included detail differences to the earlier diagram 1/460 underframe and were fitted with vacuum braking from new.

B741381 was built in 1956 at Wolverton* Works (Buckinghamshire) under Lot No. 2712, which covered 350 wagons (B741000-741449). Its tare (empty) weight was 7 Tons 15 cwt. and it would have been turned out in BR Bauxite livery.

With the reduction in the British iron and steel industry, these wagons became increasingly redundant. Some diagram 1/462 wagons were used as barrier wagons for petroleum product traffic from oil refineries such as Ellesmere Port (Flintshire). Latterly, many were transferred to departmental service with the Signal and Telecommunications Engineer's Department.

B741381 was transferred to Departmental service with the Civil Engineer in June 1982 gaining a "D" prefix to its running number. In 1989 it was allocated to the S&T Engineer on the London Midland Region and its running number was prefixed by "KD".

KDB741381 eventually gravitated to Reading (WR). There it was used for some years in the Traction Maintenance Depot for the movement of chemicals to the carriage washing machine. The wagon arrived at Bluebell in October 2005.

* Derby (Litchurch Lane) and Wolverton (located near Milton Keynes) both continue in use as railway workshops. Faverdale Works was closed in 1963.


KDB741381, as it arrived on the Bluebell, October 2005. It looks to be in much better condition than it actually was! Martin Skrzetuszewski

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Additional research by Ted Crawforth.
Page last updated by Nick Beck, 16 January 2014.
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