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BR 13 ton Pipe wagons, numbers B740418, B740676 and B741715

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Above: BR pipe wagon KDB 740418 carrying loco coal at Caverswall Road station in September 2004
Although a specialised wagon type, the pipe wagon bore great similarity to common general merchandise wagon designs. Being intended to carry light but bulky commodities such as earthenware pipes, at 21'6" they were designed to be longer than standard wagons but of similar height and payload. They have a 12'0" wheelbase and the underframe dimensions conform to the RCH 20ton pattern, even though the wagons are only designed to carry a 12 ton load. This was later uprated to 13 tons. Although a BR standard design, to which almost 2000 wagons were constructed between 1949 and 1961, the work was spread across five different builders and four slightly different diagrams. Hence there are numerous detail differences to be seen when the wagons are studied closely, based on the custom and practice of the railway company works from which they came.
The three examples at Foxfield show many of these detail differences, as their history suggests: 


B740418 was one of 200 wagons built on lot 2047 in 1949 at the former LNER wagon works at Darlington, and was vacuum fitted from new, to diagram 1/461. It has typical LNER 8-shoe clasp brakegear.
B740676 was part of a smaller batch of 50 built at the ex GWR works in Swindon in 1952 as lot 2329, conforming to diagram 1/460. It has Moreton handbrakes but with LNER style levers. According to the records it did not have automatic vacuum brake when new, this must have been fitted at a later date.
B741715 was built to a third diagram, 1/462 as part of a batch of 60 built to lot 2846 at the former LMS carriage and wagon works at Wolverton in 1956 and was equipped with vacuum brake when new. 

Above: Official photograph showing what a typical BR Pipe wagon looked like when built

All three wagons arrived by road on 7 November 1994 in excellent condition, having been in recent engineering use at Stafford and last overhauled only a year or so before. They are equipped with both vacuum and air brake piping, and carry an attractive mid blue livery. The numbers had been prefixed "KD".

B740418 was purchased privately and is currently used as the locomotive coal wagon at Caverswall Road depot but will soon require some attention to the wooden body and floor.

B740676 still has a metal safety cage fitted from its days in engineering use at Stafford. It was purchased privately and is in store at Foxfield Wood sidings.

B741715 was purchased by the railway with its body already removed before arrival, though it arrived with a large number of useful spare body planks. The intention has been to modify it to carry a coach body, possibly the body of NSR third class coach number 127. This will require a great deal of restoration and conversion work which has not yet started. It is in store at Blythe Bridge exchange sidings.


Above: KDB740676 on a rare visit to Caverswall Road in September 2004 to collect cable drums
Above and below: Details of the BR S&T blue livery on Pipe wagon KDB740676


For more information on the Foxfield Steam Railway, its passenger services and special events please see the official website at http://www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk.