94522/94589/94630 — BR Covered Carriage Trucks

94522, 94589 and 94630 built in 1960/1

Originally constructed as covered carriage trucks for British Railways at the ex-LMS Earlestown Works to diagram 816. After withdrawal from revenue earning service transferred for use as Signal and Telegraph Department stores vans. Renumbered in internal user number sequence as 041638, 041641 and 041640 respectively. TOPS codes NOV, NPV and NPV respectively. Dimensions 40' 8" x 8' 9".

94522/89 and 94630 are British Railways standard design CCTs constructed in 1960-1 at the Earlestown Wagon Works. British Railways design to diagram 816, numbers W94522 (041638) and W94589 (041641) built in 1960 are from a batch of 141 to lot 563. Number (E94630) 041640 built in 1961 is from a batch of 97 to lot 564. After withdrawal from revenue earning service, transferred for use as Signal and Telegraph Department stores vans and renumbered for internal user stock as 041638, 041641 and 041640 respectively. TOPS codes NOV, NPV and NPV respectively. Dimensions 40' 8" x 8' 9".

Photograph 538: Derek Mason

After British Railways was privatised in 1997, the former Signal and Telegraph Stores at Wakefield Kirkgate passed to Jarvis Rail and ownership of the Kirkgate stores depot including its contents passed into the private sector. Subsequent rationalisation and efficiency improvements of the signal and telegraph stores function resulted in the old Kirkgate premises being closed and the stores transferred to more modern premises. The four forgotten railway vehicles inside the depot were declared redundant and awaited their fate.

The first of the three British Railways built Covered Carriage Trucks emerges from its slumber and into the daylight again after over 20 years of captivity inside Wakefield's former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, Kirkgate Goods Depot.

Photograph 543: Derek Mason

Wakefield Kirkgate Goods Depot is a substantial building wholly commensurate with the size of the town it served. Along the north side is a substantial covered way constructed to protect the process of loading and unloading goods. The first covered carriage truck 041641 is seen stabled underneath this structure awaiting collection by Allelys Heavy Haulage and movement to Derbyshire. It has been secured by the use of the lever handbrake fitted to these four wheeled vehicles due to their lower overall weight. It can be seen here that the end of the CCT is identical to that of its bigger brother the GUV. Although designed in the period of British Railways standardisation, it can be seen that both the CCT and the GUV are straight sided and therefore cannot utilise the standard Mark 1 door as does the full brake (BG). The doorway width, at 5 feet, is therefore 1 foot wider than their standard Mark 1 contemporaries.

Photograph 533: Derek Mason

The vehicle information panel on internal user 041638 (formerly W94522) shows all the relevant operational details for use by operational staff, 041 indicates allocation to the former Eastern Region of British Railways. Other items include Max speed (70), Length inside (36' 11¼"), Width over Body (8' 3½"), Extreme Width (8' 6¾"), Extreme Height (12' 4") and Distributed Load (10tons). WB indicates the wheelbase at 23' 6". Tare Load is 17tons 6cwt. TOPS classification of this vehicle is NOV indicating it is a standard CCT, i.e. one not modified for BRUTE traffic.

Photograph 534: Derek Mason

As can be seen E94630 never actually carried its internal user identity (041640). TOPS classification of this and 041641 is NPV indicating that they have both been fitted with chains for use with BRUTE traffic. The CCTs' vacuum brake cylinders are interestingly only 18" in diameter rather than the standard 21", adequate due to the lower total weight of these vehicles. The double fold doors seen on the adjacent vehicle allow them to be opened even when coupled in formation. An additional downward folding section supported by a flat section on the top of each buffer shank allowing vehicles to be driven along the entire train.

Photograph 536: Derek Mason

W94589 now internal user 041641 exhibits the later stencil lettering which appears much less attractive but no doubt quicker to apply, additional maintenance due/shopping information panels are also included (left). Note the former metal plated wooden chalk panel above the number, some of these still displayed the last operational destinations, a sticker on 041641 denotes "REDHILL TRANSFERS - BELFAST BIRMINGHAM LIVERPOOL CARLISLE". Note also the Tare (unladen weight) is displayed as 17tonnes which is nearly 11cwt less than standard, is 041641 different or is this simply a metrication error?

Photograph 544: Derek Mason

The 'Wakefield Four' as arrived at Rowsley on the approach to the partially completed locomotive shed. Note the double end doors and lower hinged section. A total of 6 buffers were missing all of which have since been replaced.

Photograph 547: Alan Taylor

Buffing tales, Alan Taylor relates all ..... " In order to position three CCTs and a BG in the Wakefield shed some of the buffers had been removed. Word got out that two CCTs were for sale at Booths in Rotherham and enquiries revealed that recovery of the buffers was possible. We hired a van and when we arrived one CCT had already been cut and lay on the floor in 2 feet sections. We needed six assemblies and all except one buffer had been placed to one side for us. Fortunately we had one spare buffer back at base! We loaded up the van and sped off back to Rowsley in time for dinner.

Photograph 548: Alan Taylor

continued ..... " After dinner we set about replacing the six buffers first by removing torched rivets and replacing them with new bolts. Then the shanks were bolted on, the rubber springs put together and the buffers reassembled, the securing pins were inserted next day. The recovery and re-instatement process was completed within 24 hours.

Now you may think the buffers are some of the smallest items on a carriage, but 'by-eck they aren't 'arf 'evvy' ! "