In December 2021 we took delivery of Southern Railway designed "Shock Wagon" No. S14036, which has been transferred to the Bluebell Railway Trust from the previous ownership of the National Railway Museum/Science Museum Group.
This wagon filled an identified gap in our Historic Wagon Strategy, and arrived on a "one-in/three-out basis", in view of the present overcrowding, with the three wagons being disposed of being of rather less interesting designs, and in significantly worse condition than this one.
This particular vehicle, with its shock-absorbing body arrangement with springing to cushion fore-and-aft shocks, was designed for the transport of delicate cargos. It will enable us to illustrate one of the Southern Railway's attempts to meet its customers' requirements, and shows unusual and innovative wagon design and construction practice, and hence significant educational value if correctly interpreted.
The strategy also sets out the eventual aim to be able to run three goods trains; pre-Grouping period (up to 1922), Grouping period (1923-1947), and early British Railways period. We have relatively fewer wagons from this latter period, so this SR-designed wagon, built by the then newly nationalised British Railways in 1948, is considered to enhance the existing collection in that regard too.
We are very grateful to the Science Museum Group for allocating this wagon for transfer to the Bluebell Railway Trust, to the Trust for financing the transport cost, and also to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where the wagon was previously on loan, for the care they have taken of it over recent years.
The Bluebell's Goods Division plan to include an overhaul of this wagon, which whilst structurally sound requires a bodywork overhaul before it runs on our trains, in their work programme.
Type: SR 5-plank 12-ton open goods, Shock-absorbing, Diagram 1392
Built: January/February 1949 - Order No. A3443
Brakes: Unfitted (hand braked) as built, later vacuum.
Original No: S14036
Length: 17' 6" over underframe, 20' 6" overall
Weight: 8 Tons 2 cwt as built, later 8 T 10 cwt
Load: 12 Tons
To Bluebell: 14 December 2021
Owned by: The Bluebell Railway Trust
It is noted that this wagon was part of a train involved in an accident at Paddock Wood on 8 December 1961.