BR 953153 Goods Brake Van
|BR 953153 Goods Brake Van|
BR Brake Van 953153 (March 2015)
|Built By||BR Darlington|
|Other Numbers||DB 953153|
|Type||20-ton brake van|
|Brakes||vac fitted (as built)|
|1985||Arrived on SVR (BR owned)|
Of the thousands of brake vans built by BR, all but two were 20-ton vehicles. While developing their own standard design, BR initially built 290 to Diagram 1/500 based on the standard LNER design, 74 to Diagram 1/502 based the GWR standard design and 125 to Diagram 1/503 based on the standard LMS design. These were followed by a further 1,050 (Diag. 1/504 LNER-based) and 125 (Diag. 1/505 LMS based).
Having evaluated two prototypes, BR eventually adopted Diagram 1/506 as their standard brake van. The design was very similar to the former LNER standard 20-ton brake van, but included a concrete platform for extra weight as well as glazed doors. 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 BR 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.
953153 was still in BR ownership and active service when it arrived on the SVR from Newport on 10 September 1985, having been attached to the returning GWR demonstration freight train hauled by GWR 2857. It was never collected by BR, and after more than a decade was eventually sold by them for scrap. It was acquired from the scrapman by SVR(H).
In summer 1997 the Bridgnorth C&W 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.
During 2001 953153 and fellow Toadfit 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. SVR News noted that "Equipping the van with vacuum brakes would make it much more useful on the SVR." 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.
953153 was photographed on several occasions between November 2009 and August 2012 with other wagons in the SVR's Demonstration Goods Train at Bewdley. By 2015 it was stored out of use 'up the line' at Highley where as of 2023[update] 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.