British Railways 4w 12ton Ventilated Palvan
Designed For BR General type 4w Ventilated Van Specific type Palvan First Number unknown Present Number unknown Diagram number 1/211 Capacity (tons) 12
The handling of merchandise changed considerable with the introduction of the wooden pallet. Goods could now be transported with a reduced risk of damage, pilferage and at reduced handling costs. With the pallet being used increasingly in the early 1950’s, British Railways designed the Palvan so fork lift trucks could easily load the vans quickly and efficiently from either side. The first van entered service in 1953, and was a stark contrast to previous van designs with its offset 8ft 5inch door. A serious derailment involving Palvans bought into question the stability of the vehicles while running at speed, and thus their maximum speed was reduced to 35mph. Many were withdraw from service prematurely due to the riding qualities, and survived for many years as internal user wagons or mobile stores in goods yards. A large number were purchased by the Port of London Authority.
British Railways 4w Pipefit Open Wagon No. B484199
Designed For BR Built by BR Where built Wolverton General type 4w 5-plank Open Specific type Pipefit First Number B 484199 Present Number B 484199 TOPS code SOV Diagram number 1/462 Lot number 3070 Capacity (tons) 12 Notes VB The British Railways Pipefit open wagon was designed specifically to transport steel pipes from the place of manufacture directly to a customer or to a port for export. The design was derived from the LNER ‘Longfit’ wagon, and was based around a wagon with fixed end panels and dropside doors and removable centre stanchions. With the British iron and steel industry faltering, these wagons found alternative uses as barrier wagons for petroleum product traffic from oil refineries such as Ellesmere Port, while many others were transferred to departmental service with the Signal and Telecommunications Engineer’s Department. The Lavender Line currently has two examples preserved at Isfield, both are used to store spare signalling and track equipment.
LMSR 4w 25ton Machinery Flat Lowmac Wagon No. 700710
Designed For LMSR Built by LNER Where built Shildon General type 25t Machinery Flat Specific type Lowmac MO First Number 700710 Present Number ADM 700710 Other numbers I/U 083503 TOPS code ZRV Diagram number P54A Lot number 1342 Capacity (tons) 25 Derived from an LNER design, the term ‘Lowmac’ is an abbreviation for ‘Low Machinery’, which was used to describe a wagon that had the capacity to carry heavy machinery within the railway loading gauge. The low point of the centre decking is a mere 15.25 inches above rail level. Built with ramps at both ends, the wagon has the ability to be loaded over the buffers (which on some examples were trimmed), and typical loads were earth movers, road rollers or small lorries. Many examples were also fittied with air brakes to allow them to be used to take loads to and across the continent. With the onset of improved road networks and larger lorries, a majority of the revenue the ‘Lowmac’s’ were designed to take moved to road haulage companies and thus by the end of the 1950’s many of the wagons were either scrapped, replaced by larger bogie well wagons or became internal user wagons at depots. Since arriving at Isfield, our ‘Lowmac’ has been used to carry heavy parts of locomotives undergoing overhaul, and also rail and pointwork sections during track extensions and renewals.
British Railways 4w Non Ventilated Banana Van No. B882288
Designed For BR Built by BR Where built Wolverton General type Non-Ventilated Van Specific type Banana First Number B 882288 Present Number B 882288 Other numbers I/U 088303 TOPS code VBV Diagram number 1/246 Lot number 3290 Capacity (tons) 12 Introduced in the late 1950’s this type of Banana Van was built with plywood bodywork and corrugated steel ends, the design was influenced by an earlier LMS design. By the early 1970’s the majority of the Banana Van fleet were made redundant due to the onset of air braking. Many Vans were downgraded to ordinary traffic, or became barrier wagons, which again was a short lived career. The example preserved at Isfield is currently used as a store, although was the subject of a cosmetic restoration a number of years ago, being repainted to the livery it would have entered British Railway revenue earning service wearing.
London Transport 4w 20ton Steel Ballast Hopper Wagon
Designed For LT Built by GRCW General type 20t 4w Steel Hopper Present Number HW 433 Capacity (tons) 20 Notes “T. Robards & Son” Built in the 1950’s by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company for London Undergound, these ballast hopper wagons were used all over the LT network, so were required to have a reduced height in order to negotiate the deep tube tunnels. The fleet of wagons were retired in the early 1980’s being replaced by a higher capacity bogie version. Thankfully many of the 20ton 4wheel hoppers were purchased by preserved railways and have found further use rebuilding lines which fell foul of the Beeching Act.