BR 989098 'Mermaid' Ballast Wagon

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 989098 'Mermaid' Ballast Wagon
BR 989098 20150415.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways ‘Mermaid’ Ballast Wagon DB 989098
Built By Metro Cammell
Status Operational
Number DB 989098
Built 1959
Diagram 1/575
Lot 3170
Type 4-w steel side-tipper ballast hopper
Capacity 14 tons
Telegraphic code MERMAID
Brakes Vacuum fitted
1996 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway

Goods Wagons

The BRBritish Rail or British Railways 'Mermaid' 14 ton side-tipping ballast wagon is very similar to the design first produced by Metropolitan Cammell for the GWRGreat Western Railway as early as the 19th century.[1] This type of wagon was used to form a new track bed by tipping ballast from an adjacent line. The side of the wagon opposite the tipping direction would be clipped to the rail, and the body moved sideways on rollers by winding a handle. Tipping too many wagons at once could result in damage to the track![2]

Service and preservation

This wagon was built by Metro Cammell at Saltley in 1959 to BRBritish Rail or British Railways Diagram 1/575, Lot number 3170 (the first Lot under the later Diagram which included vacuum brakes and self-contained or hydraulic buffers).[3]. It was vacuum brake fitted and was numbered DB989098, the prefix indicating a wagon built by BRBritish Rail or British Railways for DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use.

'Mermaid' 989098 and 'Dogfish' 983115 were acquired from Burton Wagon Shops in late 1996 by John Briscoe, a member of the then Bridgnorth-based C&WCarriage & Wagon group.[4] The two wagons arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on consecutive days, 989098 on 3 December 1996. Both are regularly used on P. Way trains.


See also


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. Larkin Vol 1 (2011), p.42.
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 122