As well as building its passenger carrying capacity, the modern L&BR owns and has operated a number of ex-Ministry of Defence wagons for works train use in track maintenance, construction work and for equipment and mobile storage along the line. Wagons are numbered in the 50s and 60s sequence to avoid clashing with current and future projects to build replicas of original L&B wagons.
L&BR No.52 with L&BR No.50 at Woody Bay
These are ex-MoD flat wagons regauged by the WHR (P) and purchased by the L&B in1995. Three flat wagons were first used by the L&B at the Lynbarn Railway to store parts of steam loco Axe. No.50 was transferred to Woody Bay to assist with the early track laying in 2002. No. 52 followed soon after with the frames of No.51 being converted at Bratton Works to become the ballast hopper.
The rotting and damaged planks of both wagons were replaced with newer planks during 2003-4. Both wagons are currently in service assisting in the transport of track and building materials.
Bogie Flat "SR28322" in service at the Woody Bay coaling stage.
Bogie Flat "SR28321" carrying body panels for Hunslet D6652, Spring 2012.
Bogie Open wagon Nos. 53 & 54 (with coal).
Purchased second hand from the Bala Lake Railway in 2002 Bala Lake Railway. these two wagons had previously been used to carry munitions at the large RAF depot at Fauld, Staffordshire. These have proved very useful from the first demonstration freight trains in 2003 to transporting sleepers for tracklaying, spoil, coal, ballast and aggregate storage and even turnout rail and buffer stop movement over the years. Primarily used to transport steam coal from the car park to the coaling stage outside of the shed, this task is now delegated to "28320". These vehicles are currently used for storage
Wagon No. 28320 in the Woody Bay loading bay, August 2009 and a model of an original L&B open.
An ex-MoD bogie flat (regauged from 2'6") rebuilt at Woody Bay by 'The Wednesday Work Party'. This wagon has had plank sides fabricated in the style of original bogie goods wagon (L&BR No. 12, SR No.28301). Painted in SR brown livery, the wagon is now used to store and transport steam coal.
The five box vans currently at Woody Bay (Spring 2009) are all ex-MoD (No's 63-65 ex Trecwn) 2'6" gauge and have been regauged for use on the L&BR's works trains and for mobile storage. In their former role the vans were used at MoD munitions depots to move various bombs and missiles between the storage bunkers and servicing yard. Most of the vans also had a unique sliding roof to enable top loading of upright standing bombs.
All 5 box Vans together in the loading dock (Left-Right No's 64,61,62,63,65)
Van 61 arrived at Woody Bay in early 2002. First being stored in the car park before being moved across and onto the the newly laid track during the summer 2002. In 2003-4 the van received a complete overhaul, floor and roof repairs, and a full repaint. Currently No. 61 is used to store permanent way tools and equipment.
Van 61 after a recent repaint in the loading dock siding at Woody Bay.
Van 62 also arrived in 2002 and more recently - after a repaint and some bodywork repairs - was fitted out to become the S&T department tool van.
Side on view of Van 62 in the loading dock.
The L&B purchased 3 more vans from MoD Trecwn in 2004 which were eventually regauged on site in the loading dock.
Van 63 was originally in a yellow livery. Some restoration work was carried out in 2006 which included a repaint into SR Brown livery. The van was then used for railway equipment storage before being scrapped in August 2012.
Van 63 in SR livery by the up-starter signal at Woody Bay
Van 64 received extensive bodywork repairs in 2005-6, the removal and sealing flush of the sliding roof, and a repaint into SR Brown livery. Inside the van has been fitted out for permanent way tool storage.
Van 64 stands on the engineers siding during the tracklaying work near Bridge 67 in 2006.
Van 65 needed major bodywork repairs which were carried out in the shed in 2006. Painted in the Grey-black livery, this van is currently used for storage.
Hunslet Diesel 'Heddon Hall' with a works train of box vans crossing Bridge 67 in October 2006.
Ex-MoD Box vans 61 and 62, repainted as "SR47061" and "SR47062" in 2012.
Ex-MoD Hudson Bogie Brake Van
This vehicle was originally at RNAD Broughton Moor, Cumbria, where it was used with the heavily laden munitions trains around the 2'6" gauge railway complex. The steel body and slab bogies together with extra weights inside proved useful when braking these trains, particularly during propelling movements downhill. The railway equipment at RNAD Broughton Moor was sold by tender in April and July 1992.
The L&B purchased the vehicle in 1997 and is shown here at the Lynbarn Railway in MoD yellow livery with 'wasp' stripes. Photo: Dave Tooke
The body was restored and repainted into works train grey livery. The van was jacked up to remove the bogies for the regauging. The bogies are formed of just one piece of steel block from which further sections needed to be cut away for the wheels to run. During its time at the Lynbarn only one bogie was fully regauged.
After transfer to Woody Bay in 2003, the regauging was completed, brake shoes and hand wheel connected. The brake van received a final coat of grey paint before entering service in time for demonstration freight trains that spring and summer.
Brake Van No.60 saw extensive use on works trains and when other unfitted wagons were used in the works train.. With bench seats capable of carrying up to ten people seated and standing, the van was also used to transport volunteers to site and was often seen with the matching ex-MoD Box Vans and Flat wagons on the freight trains during past galas,
With the arrival of Brake Van No. 56042 and the advent of vacuum fitted goods stock - this vehicle has now been sold.
Brake Van No. 56042
Purchased in 2007 along with loco D6652 from the “Explosion museum at Gosport, Hampshire, this heavy wooden bodied brake 4-wheel brake van originally came from the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Dean Hill near Salisbury. It has undergone heavy restoration including being regauged from 2' 6" to 60cm and after two years of restoration was competed just in time for its debut at the 2011 September Gala. The van is always marshalled at the Barnstaple end of the works train and a 'freight train guard' tasked to operate the hand brake as required during propelling movements in engineering possessions of unfitted stock.
Not quite part of the Works Train, but a vital tool for the railway; 2009 saw the purchase of a Takeuchi TB153FR Zero Swing Excavator with a range of available attachments. Able to lift over 2 tons, its technical statistics are as follows:
The excavator has proven its worth around the railway having saved countless hours of back-breaking work and heavy lifting by the volunteers as well as the cost and inconvenience of having to hire in plant.
The digger laying floors in the shed extension, Spring 2009.
Summer 2009, tidying the sidings at Killington Lane ...
... and further landscape management.