London Transport ‘Herring’ Ballast Hopper Wagons

London Transport ‘Herring’ Ballast Hopper Wagons
LT Ballast Hoppers 20150426.jpg
Three Herring ballast hoppers in an engineers train
Built By See table
Status In service
Number See table
Built See table
Diagram P6 / P20
Type 4-wheel steel ballast hopper
Capacity 20 tons
Telegraphic code HERRING
1984 Arrived on the SVR
1985 GW 150 main line appearance

Goods Wagons

The SVR is home to three ex-London Underground 20 ton steel Ballast Hopper Wagons. The design of these originated with the 1902 GWR Diagram P6 20 ton Ballast Hopper[1] and later 1945 GWR/BR Diagram P22 Ballast Hopper. These were not given a telegraphic code by the GWR, but were given the type name 'Herring' by BR. The London Underground examples include 'foldback' buffers to allow use with L.T. electric loco stock.

The SVR’s wagons are numbered as follows:

Number Built Built by Wagon Survey Notes
HW 410 1938 GRCW Link
HW 411 1938 GRCW Link
HW 436 1965 BR Shildon Link



The two early examples were originally ordered by the London Passenger Transport Board in 1936 for use on planned extension works on London Underground such as the extension of the Northern Line to Potters Bar. These works were cancelled in 1938 due to the impending war. The third example was not built until the mid-1960s.[2]


The three ballast hoppers were acquired by SVR(H) in early 1984 and were initially intended for use in completing the extension to Kidderminster. Delays in receiving the LRO meant they were marooned in a goods yard at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, only arriving on the morning of 23 July 1984, the Monday of the final week before opening. They were immediately brought into use, greatly speeding up the final ballasting, lifting packing and slueing which was required at Kidderminster.[2][3]

In 1985, 410 and 436 appeared on the main line when they were used used in the GW 150 demonstration freight train which ran to Newport behind GWR freight loco 2857.[4]

The wagons have seen regular use on Permanent Way duties on the railway, and are normally stabled along the line, often at Eardington. The SVR also has a number of other larger ballast hoppers, including a 24 ton BR 'Dogfish' Ballast Hopper Wagon and six 40 ton BR 'Seacow' 40t Ballast Hoppers.


See also


  1. Paul Bartlett
  2. 2.02.1 SVR Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVR News 73
  4. SVR News 78