Photo of Unknown at Wembley yard

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  • Ben Williams

    5 February 2011, 17:22:17

    This van spent time at Wembley in effective internal use but we don't know the number as Robin tells me it had no plate. It also had an interesting end...

    "This 4 wheel van was found in Willesden New "E sidings in 1994 when the site was being cleared for development into the railnet PRDC (Princes Royal Distribution Centre.)

    As long stories go, one contractor had the contract to clear all the old sidings and recover all components but did this by moving any wagons out of the way first and leaving them to one side. A Bletchley based driver who was active at the Chinnor railway noticed it and bid for it to avoid scrap, but it never carried a worksplate or number (stolen) nor a painted number or internal user ID despite being used as a tail light store in the sidings.

    As time progresses the wagon had to be moved to allow building so was towed through the mud with a forklift to a newly constructed headshunt siding (itself shortened to allow railnet building.)

    One night the wagon was moved into the main yard at Wembley to allow eventual collection by road.

    However one of the shunters who propelled a long raft of wagons into what he thought was a vacant siding and was not in advance of the propelled move knew he could fit 10 wagons into the siding forgot this wagon was on the buffer stops and promptly reduced the wagon to matchwood in a spectacular collision which threw this wagon up and over the buffer stops.

    The new owner less than impressed but did salvage both wheelsets for further use, the shunter concerned got a good kick up the a***. The owner later produced a photocopy of the wagon number and builders plate but I have lost those details.

    It was clearly visible from passing trains on the west coast line prior to being reduced to matchwood."

    Charlie also later told me that this is a 12t LNER van - of which not many survive in preservation...

    If anyone knows the ID please let us know!

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