GWR 1257 Siphon G Bogie Milk Van

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GWRGreat Western Railway 1257 SiphonGWR telegraphic code signifying a milk van G Bogie Milk Van
GWR 1257 20190707.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway SiphonGWR telegraphic code signifying a milk van G Bogie Milk Van 1257
Built By Metro Cammell[1]
Status Operational
Number 1257
Other Numbers 079060
Built 1927
Diagram O11
Lot 1378
Type Bogie Milk Van (NPCCS)
Telegraphic code SIPHON G
1976 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1979 Outshopped
2004-2007 Overhauled
2014 Interior restored

Goods Wagons

GWRGreat Western Railway 1257 is an outside framed GWRGreat Western Railway Milk Van (PMVG), telegraphic code 'SIPHON G'.


The design dates back to 1913, although this example was one of the sixth batch, built by Metro Cammell[2] in 1927 as Lot 1378 to Diagram O11 (this Diagram is in the Coach series rather than the Wagon series). It is classified as Non Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock (NPCCS), ‘brown vehicles’ of this type being fitted for use in passenger services. They were intended mainly to carry milk churns but also saw use on other duties, especially newspaper traffic.

1257 saw service with the GWRGreat Western Railway and BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W). Prior to preservation it was also in DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use as No 079060.[3]


1257 is believed to be the only remaining outside framed example,[4] and as such was identified as being of 'regional importance' by the NRM.[3] The coach was purchased from Wantage Road near Didcot, arriving on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 11 March 1976.[3] The roof was re-canvassed in winter 1977 and other work completed in time for use in the Autumn 1978 Enthusiasts’ Weekend.[5] In winter of that year it was used as Santa's Grotto at Arley; when not in use for that purpose it served as the Carriage & Wagon Department timber store.[6]

Use as Santa’s Grotto continued for some years. In 1985 it was proposed for 1257 to go on show at Swindon in August as part of a demonstration goods train in the GWRGreat Western Railway 150 event,[7] later cancelled after the closure of the Swindon works was announced just before the event was scheduled to take place.[8] The coach received major body repairs at Kidderminster Carriage Works in late 1991 before returning to Santa duties.[9]

Further repair work was carried out in 1997.[10] On 24th October 1998 owning group the Great Western (SVR) Association celebrated 25 years with a special train from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth which used their locomotive Collett Mogul 9303 and vintage GW set 3930, 9055, 9369 and 1257.[11]

In spring 2000 the SVRSevern Valley Railway acquired several Post Office Sorting Vans for use on Santa duties.[12] From around that time 1257 was used as a mobile store rather than a grotto. It underwent a major overhaul between 2004 and 2007.[13] Another Association celebration train with the toplights and 1257 ran on 27 September 2008.[14] The interior was restored and repainted in 2014.

In 2019, 1257 formed part of the 'German troop train' in the battle staged at that year's 'Step Back to the 1940s' event.

In 2022 it moved to Bewdley Down Yard for bodywork repairs[15].

See also


  1. Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book states Swindon
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  4. GW(SVR)AGreat Western (SVR) Association
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 49
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 50
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 75
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 77
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 101/102
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 124
  11. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 128
  12. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 132
  13. Great Western (SVR) Association overhaul pages
  14. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 163
  15. Branch Lines January 2022 (Retrieved 13 January 2022)