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.