BR 'Rudd' Ballast Wagons

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 'Rudd' Ballast Wagons
Rudd Ballast Wagons.jpg
Train of Rudd Ballast Wagons in use by the Permanent Way Department at Highley
Built By See table
Status Operational
Number See table
Other Numbers See table
Built See table
Diagram See table
Lot See table
Type 4-wheel steel open
Capacity 21 tons
Telegraphic code RUDD
Brakes Air braked
2007 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway on loan
2015 Acquired by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H)

Goods Wagons

The SVRSevern Valley Railway's RUDD ballast wagons were originally built in the 1950s as 21-ton coal hopper wagons and converted into their present form in the 1980s. Fifteen wagons arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on loan following the 2007 storm damage and have remained in use by the P-Way department since.

RUDD ballast wagons

The original 21-ton coal hoppers were a BRBritish Rail or British Railways development of an earlier LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway design. All but one of the fifteen later to arrive at the SVRSevern Valley Railway were originally built to Diagram 1/146, of which all the Lots had a welded body with bottom discharge doors, vacuum brakes and a standard 20-ton hand lever brake. The exception, built to Diagram 1/149, had roller bearings and self-contained buffers with 100 out of the 1,000 also being vacuum through-piped.[1] The original TOPS code for the vacuum-fitted hopper wagons was HTV. They were used in revenue-earning service.[2]

A surplus of such revenue-earning hopper wagons in the early 1980s led to their withdrawal. This coincided with a requirement for 'new' civil engineers ballast and spoil wagons to replace the elderly Grampus open wagons and second-hand 16-ton minerals wagons then in use. A programme was therefore put in hand to convert more than 2,000 such wagons into CLAM, RUDD and TOPE wagons.[3]

The RUDD variant involved the replacing the existing hopper body by a new box body with three drop-side doors per side, and also fitting air brakes in place of the existing vacuum brakes. 800 of these were converted by Marcroft Engineering of Stoke and C C Crump of Connah’s Quay (400 each) to design ZB001A. The RUDD, which has a 21 ton capacity, was particularly long-lasting with more than 200 still in use at the start of 2008.[3] The TOPSTotal Operations Processing System, an American computer system adopted by BR from the late 1960s to number and manage rolling stock. code for the converted RUDD is ZBA.

Acquisition and use by the SVRSevern Valley Railway

Following the storm damage of 2007, the SVRSevern Valley Railway acquired 15 RUDD Ballast Wagons on loan from EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company (now DB Schenker). Details of the 15 wagons are as follows:

Number Originally built Originally built by Original Diagram & Lot No Original number Rebuilt Wagon Survey Notes
DB 972299 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 432033 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972345 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 432343 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972349 1957 BRCWBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company 1/146, 3030 B 423279 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972359 1956 Cravens Railway C&WCarriage & Wagon Co, Sheffield 1/146, 2933 B 420479 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972378 1956 Cravens Railway C&WCarriage & Wagon Co, Sheffield 1/146, 2933 B 420561 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972407 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 432604 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972416 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 432511 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972467 1955 BRBritish Rail or British Railways Shildon 1/146, 2713 B 416448 1990 Crump Link
DB 972469 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 433453 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972513 1956 Metro Cammell 1/146, 2935 B 421521 1991 Marcroft Link
DB 972548 1957 Head Wrightson 1/146, 3033 B 425624 1991 Marcroft Link
DB 972655 1958 Pressed Steel 1/146, 3157 B 431469 1990 Marcroft Link
DB 972677 1958 BRBritish Rail or British Railways Shildon 1/149, 3120 B 430362 1990 Marcroft Link Sold September 2023, awaiting removal
DB 972688 1957 BRCWBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company 1/146, 3030 B 423151 1990 Crump Link
DB 972724 1957 Head Wrightson 1/146, 3034 B 426121 1991 Marcroft Link

The wagons arrived in 2007 filled with ballast[4] and were used extensively during the repair project. They were then put into use for other purposes, including moving ballast, waste ash and similar materials.

At the end of 2008 the P-Way department were notified that the wagons were required in Cardiff at short notice. Seven were collected from various locations at Bridgnorth, Highley and the Tenbury siding. After being emptied, they were moved to Kidderminster and re-united with the other eight which were parked on carriage siding CS1. However they were then moved back to Bridgnorth for use in a New Year's Eve log collection train,[4] after which they returned to their regular duties.

During 2012 the mechanical maintenance exam procedure for the SVRSevern Valley Railway’s wagons was reviewed and updated in the light of past experience; the reasons including "the variations in some GWRGreat Western Railway wagon handbrake ratchets, and the peculiarities of the Rudd wagons on long-term loan". All 15 Rudds were examined and some minor repairs carried out.[5]

In 2015 an SVRSevern Valley Railway NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. announced DB Schenker contacted the SVRSevern Valley Railway this year to inform us that the wagons were available for purchase, and following negotiation I can announce that they have been bought for a competitive price. I would like to thank two individuals who have provided finances to assist with the cost of purchase.[6] Having become SVRSevern Valley Railway property, the following summer all fifteen RUDDs underwent air brake reservoir internal inspections and working exams, for insurance purposes and at the same time all the wagon identification numbers were repainted on the wagon sides by sign writer Clive Hyett, making identification of the individual wagons easier[7].

DB 972677, the 'one-off' ex-Diagram 1/149 example, was sold in September 2023.


See also

List of goods wagons


  1. Rowland (1996) pp. 53, App. 2, 4.
  2. Larkin Vol 3 (2013) p22.
  3. 3.0 3.1 (wagon class information)
  4. 4.0 4.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 166, Track Topics, Roger Ford
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 180, Wagon Repair Notes, Steve Peplow
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members.
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 197, Kidderminster Carriage Works Notes, Hugh McQuade and Nigel Hanson