S55490 under restoration at Horsted Keynes, 20 October 2007, Derek Forrester
This SECR brake van is being restored at Horsted Keynes by its owners (members of Southern Locomotives Ltd.). This is the second such vehicle on the Bluebell Railway, the other one being 11916.
S55490 was ordered as SECR 11934, one of a batch of 20 vans ordered to be built by the SECR at their Ashford (Kent) Works. It was completed in 1923 (after the Grouping) and was probably turned out in SR livery. Its SR diagram number was 1560 and running number, 55490.
55490 was in general traffic use in the South-East until its withdrawal (as S55490) and transfer to departmental stock by BR on 28th. November 1959. It continued in departmental service as DS55490 until condemned on 14th. January 1984.
It was tendered for and purchased by members of Southern Locomotives Ltd. Some years later it was moved to the Bluebell Railway, arriving on 15th. May, 1994.
Photo Right: the van at Horsted Keynes at an earlier stage in its restoration - November 2004 (Richard Salmon)
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons - Volume Three: SECR, by Messrs. Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley and King;
Published by The Oxford Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 0 86093 493 4.
This book may be available new from the Bluebell Railway Shop.
A used copy may be available from the Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes which is open most weekends.
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