31216 — LMS Period 3, Passenger Full Brake

31216 built in 1944

Constructed as a Passenger Full Brake (BG) at the LMS Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 2007. After withdrawal from revenue earning service transferred for use as Signal and Telegraph Department stores van. Renumbered in internal user number sequence as 041546. TOPS code NFV. Dimensions 50' x 9'.

31216 (LMS code 'CBR', BR code 'BG') was constructed in 1944 as a gangwayed passenger brake van at the LMSR Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 2007 and is one of a batch of 110 to lot 1357. After withdrawal from revenue earning renumbered as internal user number 041546. TOPS code: NFV. Dimensions 50' x 9'.

Photograph 562: Derek Mason

Photograph 562: Derek Mason

This is the sight which met us after first setting foot inside the S&T stores at Wakefield. Isolated and with three BR CCTs as company stood 041546. We couldn't quite believe our eyes, this LMS full brake had been 'forgotten'. At this time 31216 and her companions were in use as small parts stores for the S&T Dept, another five identical LMS vehicles played a similar role outside but as their condition had deteriorated these were in the process of being destroyed, all being replaced with standard ISO containers. These same containers were to remain only a few years longer as, after privatisation, the depot was eventually closed.

Photograph 563: Derek Mason

Photograph 563: Derek Mason

After a struggle to remove undergrowth and small trees, 31216 finally appeared from the old goods shed and into the early afternoon sunshine again after its near 20 year spell in captivity. Very few modifications were undertaken by the S&T in 1981 for its new purpose. A few items of electrical equipment with 'LMS' initials on them being removed subsequently presumably by 'collectors'.

Photograph 564: Derek Mason

Photograph 564: Derek Mason

31216, alias 041546, on arrival at 'Nanny Goat Crossing' Rowsley. The addition of signalling point rodding along the sides was to provide hanging space and cable runs, the rods have been removed and since utilised for the proper purpose! Amongst other chalked and painted lettering remaining form 31216's last journey in revenue earning traffic, is the easily distinguishable 'COND' adjacent to the TOPS 'NFV' logo and the over-painted 31216 number.

Photograph 565: Derek Mason

Photograph 565: Derek Mason

An interior view of another LMS BG in use as a store and excepting the general untidiness, illustrates the interior layout and condition of these vehicles during their latter years in revenue earning service. A steam pipe, here removed, should run just below the roof line to supply two central radiators and general heating for the guards' benefit. At the centre are the guards seats and cupboards together with lookout duckets on the vehicle sides. In this photograph adjacent to the right hand seat, the handbrake wheel is visible in front of the partition. In their later years the use of corridor connections was discontinued and afterwards, the interior corridor doors were sealed but fortunately not removed. The flooring is strengthened by the addition of substantial wooden planks fitted laterally across the vehicle and over the originals.

Photograph 550: Alan Taylor

Photograph 550: Alan Taylor

31216 rests in a sylvan setting at Rowsley on the approach to the proposed locomotive shed. No plans for its restoration have been agreed other than to conserve it for the longer term. Their are still many grounded LMS BG bodies around the country, a result of their sudden demise in the wake of the loss of rail-borne newspaper traffic in the early 1980s, but there are certainly a lot less in complete and sound condition, 31216 is one of the more fortunate being in the latter category.