BR 953153 Goods Brake Van

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 953153 Goods Brake Van
BR 953153 20150307.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Brake Van 953153 (March 2015)
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Darlington
Status Awaiting repair
Number 953153
Other Numbers DB 953153
Built 1956
Diagram 1/506
Lot 2868
Type 20-ton brake van
Telegraphic code ToadfitTelegraphic code signifying a vacuum brake fitted brake van
Brakes vac fitted (as built)
1985 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway (BRBritish Rail or British Railways owned)

Goods Wagons

953153 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways-designed 20-ton 'ToadfitTelegraphic code signifying a vacuum brake fitted brake van' Brake Van, the telegraphic code indicating a vacuum brake fitted version of the typical 'ToadGWR telegraphic code signifying a goods brake van, which became the standard design's nickname' brake van.

Of the thousands of brake vans built by BRBritish Rail or British Railways, all but two were 20-ton vehicles. While developing their own standard design, BRBritish Rail or British Railways initially built 290 to Diagram 1/500 based on the standard LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway design, 74 to Diagram 1/502 based the GWRGreat Western Railway standard design and 125 to Diagram 1/503 based on the standard LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway design. These were followed by a further 1,050 (Diag. 1/504 LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway-based) and 125 (Diag. 1/505 LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway based).

Having evaluated two prototypes, BRBritish Rail or British Railways eventually adopted Diagram 1/506 as their standard brake van.[1] The design was very similar to the former LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway standard 20-ton brake van, but included a concrete platform for extra weight as well as glazed doors.[2] Other changes included the step-boards, which were extended to the full length of the underframe, and handrails along the end platform. The Diagram covered both unfitted and fitted versions, with the majority of the 2,855 eventually constructed between 1950 and 1958 being vacuum-fitted. The last brake vans to be built by BRBritish Rail or British Railways between 1959 and 1961 were a further 727 to Diagram 1/507 including B955243 which followed the same design but incorporated roller bearings and hydraulic buffers[1].


953153 was built in 1956 at Faverdale, Darlington to Diagram 1/506, Lot 2868.[1] During its working life it carried the number DB953153,[2] the prefix signifying a DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. BRBritish Rail or British Railways-built vehicle.


953153 was still in BRBritish Rail or British Railways ownership and active service when it arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway from Newport on 10 September 1985, having been attached to the returning GWRGreat Western Railway demonstration freight train hauled by GWR 2857. It was never collected by BRBritish Rail or British Railways, and after more than a decade was eventually sold by them for scrap. It was acquired from the scrapman by SVR(H).[2]

In summer 1997 the Bridgnorth C&WCarriage & Wagon department were called on to install a new stove in 953153 by the P-Way department, after the stoves and chimneys from both 953153 and 955243 were stolen at or around the same time.[3]

During 2001 953153 and fellow ToadfitTelegraphic code signifying a vacuum brake fitted brake van 955243 were damaged by fire while stored in the Engineers' siding at the Stourport Triangle. Repairs and an overhaul for 953153 were undertaken in 2002. The corner damaged by the fire, which was thought to have been started in the guard’s desk, was replaced. Both bottom stringers were also repaired and all the side outer boards replaced. The wagon was also re-glazed with laminated glass to meet the H&S requirements of the time.

Although it had been fitted with vacuum brakes when built, these were no longer functional at the time of the 2002 overhaul. SVRSevern Valley Railway News noted that "Equipping the van with vacuum brakes would make it much more useful on the SVRSevern Valley Railway." It was planned to reinstate the vacuum brake fittings during that overhaul, although it returned to service as a 'through-piped' van rather than fitted, as the missing brake cylinder and additional brake gear had not been sourced.[4]

953153 was photographed on several occasions between November 2009 and August 2012 with other wagons in the SVRSevern Valley Railway's Demonstration Goods Train at Bewdley.[5][6] By 2015 it was stored out of use 'up the line' at Highley where as of 2023 it remains awaiting an overhaul.

The main photograph above shows 953153 in 2015 on the line leading into The Engine House. Another view of 953153 at Arley in the same year is shown below.

See also

List of goods wagons


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rowland (1985) Appendix 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 123
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 141, 147
  5. November 2009 photo on Flickr
  6. August 2012 photo on Flickr