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Photographer / Copyright
Derek Everson
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Location Link/s
Neasden Depot

Date added to site

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Details: London Transport operated a fleet of wagons, mainly for engineering trains, and these were often accompanied by a brake van. Most of LT's brake vans were very similar to those used by the mainline railway companies, but not this one! Seen at Neasden Depot on 17th September 1975, FB578 had been built by Gloucester in 1935 as a 10-ton flat wagon numbered F330. Rebuilt as brake van FB578 in 1950, this and similar FB579 (ex F327) were still in stock in 1980 but must have gone pretty soon thereafter. Slightly over half of the wagon length is still a flat wagon (the sides are removable), which presumably accounts for the FB prefix, other brake vans being just B. The shape and size of the cabin added to the other part of the wagon is unusual. Was the curious plan form used just to allow space for the fold-over buffers? And does the presence of what looks to be a chimney suggest that a stove or heater has been squeezed in somehow?

There is some cross-over with my other website (LTSV Rail-Data) here, as a BR TOPS diagram was issued for a type of wagon that looks almost identical to this. The diagram is PX031A, believed to be issued in about 1980, and it gives a basic side and end drawing along with key dimensions. The allocation of a TOPS diagram to LT wagons is not unusual, it technically being required before LT wagons could be used on BR tracks. Two TOPS stock numbers were also allocated to LT at about this time (LT5200 and LT5201), though it was suggested that these were one-journey allocations for new wagons being delivered. However, as I can't find any info on any two new wagons for LT around this time, I wonder if FB578 and FB579 were in fact the vehicles allocated these two numbers...

Update. Some further digging has found that TOPS diagram PX031A was related to TOPS stock numbers LT95800 and LT95801. However, another source states that these numbers were applied in 1980 to ex B583 and B584, brake vans built for LT in 1961 to the standard BR design. These were replaced in 1990 by two former BR brake vans B955096 and B955112, which were given new TOPS numbers LT95802 and LT95803 and 'paper' LT numbers B586 and B587. However (!), B583 and B584 remained in stock and were later (erroneously) given duplicate TOPS numbers LT95803 and LT95802 respectively. So, um.

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DamonFB578 is preserved at Quainton Road. Fully restored. I have photos if they're of interest Tom?Wed 10/02/2021, 18:10