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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 72 - March 1993
Compartment Affairs - Carriage and Wagon Reports - Andrew Bratton
Continental Ferry Wagon
This was built by British Railways Southern Region at Ashford in 1963, Lot No. 3472 to UIC Standards. A total of 400 were built: 150 by Pressed Steel, 250 by BR Ashford. According to an article in Steam Days (Feb '92) these wagons were for the Harwich-Zeebrugge ferry route which was able to accommodate larger vehicles than the SR routes.
It has continental springs and buffers, and dual brakes, i.e. vacuum for UK use and 'single pipe' air brakes for use on the continent (no main reservoir pipe in common with most European stock). The air brake has a loaded/empty changeover lever to vary the degree of braking. The wagon has side ventilators for perishable goods, roller bearings and anchor points. Its 26' 3" wheelbase must be one of the largest for a twin axle wagon.
Originally it would have been painted in bauxite livery with a "Through to the Continent by British Rail" slogan on the doors below the BR logo.
In latter years the wagon has been in departmental use based at Eastleigh as a timber store for BR C & W Dept. It had been moved by rail to Banbury along with a rake of condemned Grampus wagons ex Waterloo & City departmental stock. It was moved by rail [road?] from Banbury to Quainton on 1 October 1992.
The wagon has been leased to the North British Locomotive Society for 20 years for storage purposes. They are responsible for its restoration and maintenance.
There are no records of any similar ferry wagons being preserved although a number are still in use on BTR and MoD.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 01 December 2017