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LT Flat Brake Van No. FB. 578


FB. 578 stabled with other ex LT vehicles prior to restoration

Photo:
Tim Cook - FB. 578 stabled with other ex LT vehicles prior to restoration

FB. 578  after recent restoration

Photo:
Andrew Bratton - FB. 578 after recent restoration


Originally built in 1935 for London Transport as 10-ton Flat Wagons for tube working, two wagons F330 and F327 were converted in 1949 to brake vans, becoming FB. 578 and FB. 579. These brake vans were for use with the experimental 400 h.p. tube dimension diesel-electric locomotive No. D.E.L. 120 of 1941, which was then working ballast trains. They were fitted with a steel and glass "sentry box" half the width of the vehicle for the guard, and with Westinghouse air brakes, and hand brakes.

When after trials it was decided that D.E.L. 120 was not a success, they were put to use as stores vans, not being heavy enough for use as brake vans with steam hauled ballast trains.

To save having to use both a brake van and a match wagon when the "long-welded rail train" was to be hauled by a steam loco, in 1962 they were modified to their present form. This was achieved by increasing the weight to 18 tons 6 cwt, and building full width cabs. The handbrake rigging was modified to give the necessary increase in braking force, and the Westinghouse equipment removed. The main and train line pipes and hose couplings were retained to allow working in trains hauled by air braked battery locomotives. Detachable side boards were fitted to the flat sections of the vehicles, allowing up to 2 tons of material to be carried.

With the end of steam working on London Transport they were used as match wagons for hauling scrap 1938 Tube Stock out over British Rail tracks. As Tube Stock have no couplings at the height of British Railways locomotives and were unable to couple directly to the Tube Stock, hence the use of these wagons. When this service finished these vehicles were stored at Ruislip until 1982. FB. 578 arrived at Quainton 28th June 1984, while FB. 579 was cut up by LT for scrap on 16 December 1983.

Until 2006 FB. 578 was stabled with a flat wagon, F. 329, which is similar to the one modified to form FB. 578. Then it went to the Appleby Training & Heritage Centre for complete restoration, which cost around £13,000 and took two years. The vehicle was sand blasted, much plating around the cab renewed, truck floor, new glass, new wood side and end boards have been fitted. In addition various small hooks and chains, axle box oil plugs etc. have been replaced. The vehicle returned to Quainton in July 2008 rejoining the rest of the URSST LT Wagon collection. Perhaps one day it will form part of a demonstration 1960s L.T. Engineers Works or Ballast train.

Reference: London Transport Flat Brake Van FB 578 returns to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - Brian Ammann - Quainton News No. 100 - 2008


London Transport engineers brake wagon at Lillie Bridge 13/08/59

Photo:
Models of Hull Collection (2003 - 53A) - London Transport engineers brake wagon at Lillie Bridge 13/08/59

FB. 578 after conversion into its final form

Photo:
FB. 578 after conversion into its final form


Origin :- London Transport Date Built :- 1935 Number :- FB. 578
Diagram :- - Lot :- -
Type :- 18 ton 6 cwt Builder :- Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. Wheelbase :- -
Owner :- URRST Status :- Operational Location :- Up Yard Shed
Accession No.: N/A Arrival Date :- 1984    

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Page Updated: 27 September 2017