LNER short wheelbase brake van No. 157877
This vehicle, also known as a Toad B brake van, arrived on-site in 1995 having been damaged in a fire started by vandals just days before. It entered traffic on the MSLR in 1999 and has been used every year since, first in passenger trains and in recent years more often as part of a demonstration goods train. It is fitted with automatic brakes which, although not authentic, give it extra operational flexibility. Similar brake vans would have run on the MSLR from the time it was absorbed into the LNER until closure.
Moy’s of Colchester 5-plank coal wagon No. 9431
This is a representation of the sort of privately owned wagon which would have been a common sight on the MSLR. Thomas Moy was a coal merchant based in Colchester with coal grounds at many stations in eastern England. Moy’s operated coal depots at several Mid-Suffolk stations. The words “Empty to Toton Sidings” on the side of the wagon means it was to be sent to the East Midlands to be loaded with coal from collieries in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfields. Although not authentic for this type of wagon it is fitted with automatic brakes so it can run in passenger trains.
GER fitted ventilated van
This vehicle wears a special GER livery with red end panels on each side to show it is fitted with automatic brakes. This would have allowed it to run in fast goods or passenger trains and it can sometimes be seen in the latter on the MSLR. Being a ventilated van means it is suitable for carrying perishable goods.
GWR fitted ventilated van No. 139455 (privately owned)
Again, this van has automatic brakes and can carry perishable goods. Although there may not be an obvious link between the MSLR and the GWR it would not have been completely unusual for vans of other Big Four companies to be seen so deep into LNER territory. Many items of goods rolling stock were known as common user vehicles meaning they could be used by any railway, not just the owning company, for a fee. This reduced the number of wagons running empty.
LNER engineers’ van No. 241245 (privately-owned)
All Big Four railway companies would have had some vehicles reserved for use by their engineering departments. The LNER painted these wagons Oxford Blue so they were easily distinguishable amongst the plainer liveries of general goods vehicles. As it would only be carrying or storing tools and materials there was no need for it to be ventilated. As it would never have run in a commercial passenger or goods train automatic brakes were not required.
GER 5-plank No. 28601
Another vehicle that would have been common across the MSLR, this 5-plank wagon was originally built in 1902 and restored by ‘Middy’ volunteers. In commercial service it would have carried all manner of general merchandise up to a maximum load of 10 tons.
LNER 7-plank No. 600043
This was originally a GER 7-plank wagon but was rebuilt from a derelict condition as a later LNER example. The letter ‘N’ in each corner marks it as a non-common user vehicle meaning if it ended up on another company’s railway it would have to be returned to the LNER at the next available opportunity.