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BR Cattle Wagon No. B893928

In temporary livery as an Ale Wagon

Tim Cook - In temporary livery as an Ale Wagon

As delivered as a tunnel inspection vehicle

Robert Frise - As delivered as a tunnel inspection vehicle

These Great Western Railway designed cattle wagons were once very common. Very few cattle wagons remain because they were often burned for health reasons. This one survived because it was converted into a tunnel inspection vehicle. Its roof was removed and replaced with an adjustable flat platform. A total of 250 were built in this lot, with 1,300 built to this diagram. It was withdrawn from BR service in March 1982.

Quainton's example of this once common vehicle was returned to its original condition as a cattle wagon. It was subsequently cosmetically restored as an ale wagon and numbered 38622, the reason for this is described below.

In the 1930's the GWR, in line with other railways, was facing increased competition from road traffic and sought to find other uses for existing vehicles. In 1939 they converted 130 cattle wagons to fruit vans, making some structural changes in the process. In the same year they converted over 100 cattle wagons to Ale Wagons for the Guinness traffic from Park Royal in west London. The fold down ramp would have made loading of the eight barrel loads easier.

B893928 was cosmetically converted to show an item once common but now vanished from our railways. There are some technical differences: the ale wagons had no vacuum brakes and the upper half doors were slightly different. They also had spoke wheels and appear to have retained the Wright-Marillier patent locking device and moveable partitions that sealed off the wagon into the size paid for by the consignor, whereby the partitions could not be moved once the top swing doors were closed. No doubt these would have been useful when the wagon was part full of barrels.

This vehicle has reverted to a 1950's bauxite coloured cattle wagon, after a period as an Ale Wagon. It is on display in the original station Cattle Dock.

Cattle Wagon in Cattle Dock, with Cow!

Tony Lyster - Cattle Wagon in Cattle Dock, with Cow!

The Esso Tank Car and the Cattle Truck - Quainton News No. 47 - Autumn 1982

Origin :- British Rail (Western Region) Date Built :- 1952 Number :- B893928
Diagram :- 1/353 Lot :- 2325 Tare Weight :- -
Type :- Cattle Wagon Builder :- British Rail Swindon Wheelbase :- 11' 0"
Owner :- QRS Status :- Restored Location :- Cattle Dock
Accession Number :- W/0068 Arrival Date :- 1982    

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 09 December 2017