LNWR 76738 (fictitious) 4-Wheel Tranship Van

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LNWRLondon & North Western Railway 76738 (fictitious) 4-Wheel Tranship Van
LNWR 76738 20231014.jpg
LNWRLondon & North Western Railway 76738 at Bridgnorth in 2023
Built By LNWRLondon & North Western Railway Wolverton
Status Cosmetically restored
Number 76738 (fictitious)
Other Numbers RNADRoyal Naval Armaments Depot 338
Built 1910-1923
Diagram 88
Type 'Tranship' 4-w non-ventilated van
Capacity 10 tons
1993 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1995 Restored to usable condition
2007 Cosmetic restoration
2023 Re-purposed as sales coach

Goods Wagons

"LNWRLondon & North Western Railway 76738" is a London and North Western Railway Company 10-ton Goods Van. Its actual age and identity are unknown, although it is thought to have been built at Wolverton between 1910 and 1923.[1]

The LNWRLondon & North Western Railway goods vans were built to carry general merchandise. Unlike GWR 10-ton MINK goods vans of the same era, they had a timber rather than steel chassis, and were also fitted with fold-down lower doors (which it no longer has) to aid loading and unloading by porters in goods sheds[2].


In 1919 the Government bought 500 goods vans from the LNWRLondon & North Western Railway on behalf of the War Department. These were intended to be loaded with artillery shells in case the Armistice talks with Germany broke down. The 500 vans were supposedly new, although some may have been 'nearly new'.[2]

Full details of this van's subsequent military service are unknown, although it ended its service as RNADRoyal Naval Armaments Depot 338 at RNADRoyal Naval Armaments Depot Bedenham, Gosport. Prior to that time it had received a number of alterations and repairs, including the replacement of the original doors by a set of 1950s BRBritish Rail or British Railways goods van full-length doors. Some of external planks were also replaced by narrower Royal Navy planks, which can be seen to the right of the replacement doors in both pictures below.[2]


The van arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway from Gosport on 22 November 1993,[1] having been acquired by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund.[3][note 1]

It was originally intended for static display at Kidderminster Railway Museum but when inspected by the Bewdley Carriage & Wagon Department in early 1995, it was found to be in good condition and considered suitable for operational use.[3] It therefore underwent a restoration was repainted in LNWRLondon & North Western Railway livery, notwithstanding the modifications to the original design. Before repainting, efforts were made to establish the van's true identity. LNWRLondon & North Western Railway wagon plates were removed by the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway after 1923,[note 2] and flatting down the top end plank where the painted number would have been displayed did not reveal a conclusive answer;[4] possible options included 8, 3 or 5, 8, 5 or 3, 4 or 1. As a published photo exists of one of these vans in original 1910 condition and numbered 76738, the decision was taken to adopt that number as representing a known member of the class.[2] With restoration completed, "76738" spent some years in use in the SVRSevern Valley Railway's Demonstration Goods Train.[1]

In early 2007 it was one of three wagons selected for cosmetic restoration at Kidderminster Carriage Works prior to exhibition in The Engine House, the others being LNER Mineral Wagon 223162 and LMS brake van 760866. Funding for all the restorations was provided by one of the agencies financing the setting up of the exhibition, with the work being carried out as a contract job by Mike Walker (owner of GWR 261 Toplight 'Snake C' Passenger Brake). By that time 76738 was 'on the brink of terminal collapse'. The body was affected by rot and fungus and required considerable heavy repairs before painting. A buffer beam fitted by the Navy was found to have been made of plywood, and was replaced with a more suitable one made of Iroko. A "new" roof canvas for the van was fitted using part of the former Arley Santa's Grotto marquee.[5]

76738 duly took its place on display when The Engine House eventually opened in 2008. The Railway Heritage Register Wagon Survey includes a photograph of the van on display in The Engine House in 2010. It was removed from there during a re-organisation in April 2012.[6] Although restored to serviceable condition, it was felt that the van's age and wooden underframe made it unsuitable for further use in the Demonstration Goods Train. It then spent some years stored out of sight in Kidderminster Carriage Shed but was seen outside Kidderminster Carriage Works during late summer 2016.

In April 2023 76738 was repurposed as the LMS & BR Coach Dept sales coach at Bridgnorth, selling books to raise funds for restoration work by the Bridgnorth Carriage and Wagon Department volunteers[2].

See also


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 114 and the wagon information poster on display in 2024 both refer to the GWRGreat Western Railway 813 Fund. The 1998 Stock Book named Paddy Goss as the owner.
  2. It is not clear in this instance if the plate was removed by the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway themselves, or during the RNADRoyal Naval Armaments Depot ownership


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Information poster on display in 2024
  3. 3.0 3.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 114
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 117
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 158
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 179