Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, A great way to spend a day...
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LMS 20 Ton Plate Wagon No: 498325

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Copy for this item was kindly provided by the owner of the vehicle.

Back in 1979 I paid a visit to the Llangollen Railway, which was then just getting established. Among their small fleet of rolling stock was a tube wagon, donated to them by Chesterfield Cylinders, an idea which I filed away for future reference.

A few years later I took up a job in Chesterfield and made a point of searching out their works, which had quite a large fleet of internal user wagons. There was a footpath carried over their works yard on a long footbridge, so it was possible to get a very good view.

As their rail operations contracted the wagons were steadily given away to various parties and in 1989 I arranged for a batch of four assorted wagons to be given to Peak Rail. One of them was 16A, and though it was painted a lurid shade of yellow, it was particularly useful as it had two plank dropsides and a series of bolsters along the deck which were very handy for rigging lifting chains.

The wagon had the remains of an LMS number plate on the solebar, and while the number could not be identified, the design was eventually discovered to be a “Long Low”. This is also known as a Plate Wagon. It was specially designed for carrying steel plate and other heavy loads; it is believed to be the sole survivor of this particular design. It is the fore runner of the later steel sided vehicles used by the LMS and LNER. By the turn of the twenty first century the vehicle was out of use and had become very dilapidated. Eventually it was re-sold to me. I began a scheme of restoration which involved stripping and replacing all the woodwork and cleaning down and painting the steelwork. The wagon is now in LMS freight grey livery and numbered 498325, which is selected from the numbers given to a batch of these vehicles in 1940. In time I intend to have some replica “D” plates made.
Builder: LMS Built: Circa 1940
Class or Type: Long Low Works No:
Weight: 20 T Running No: 498325
Brake Type: Unfitted Operational Status: Operational
Owner: Tim Oaks Arrived: --/09/10
Remarks: Formerly Chesterfield Cylinders No:16A
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